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At the request of someone in the latest Badnarik thread, I went to and looked around, seeing if there was any substance to the charges that the site was unhelpful to the average voter, and if money should have been invested in updating the site.

To those familiar with Badnarik’s site from the 2004 Presidential race, the basic layout is the same. The graphics have been updated to say “Congress” instead of “President.” This seems fine; the basic layout of the site wasn’t bad in 2004, and just updating the graphics instead of completely making new ones from scratch seems reasonable enough to me. Graphics aren’t terribly hard to make, but the average District 10 voter hasn’t likely seen the Badnarik site back in 2004, so it’s basically irrelevant except to the few District 10 voters who’ll be looking at it who have seen both, and out-of-district libertarians like ourselves. But apparently the site’s undergoing a redesign nonetheless, which is a worthy use of campaign resources in my book.

Aside from the graphics, the only holdover from the Presidential campaign seems to be some of the media on his biographical page. Given that this particular page is talking about the man himself and not just the District 10 campaign, this is excusable… but it would be encouraging to see some more media related to the current campaign on the site, in a prominent location. The site just was transferred between servers, as Hacker says, so obviously we can’t expect this tomorrow… but sometime soon would be reasonable. If this is a serious campaign as it seems to be, there should be a wealth of local media interviewing him in a few months. Radio and television media downloadable from the site would be helpful, as well as any ads the campaign might release. It’s still rather early in the campaign, however. It’s good that they have his Constitutional class up there and downloadable, though-for those very few voters in any given election who can be swayed by “education,” Badnarik is an eloquent speaker. Besides, the mere fact that he teaches a class on the Constitution should help him in a conservative/libertarian district.

The blog is down; once again understandable given the recent difficulties. I suspect this should be soon remedied; blogs are useful campaign tools and given Hacker’s extensive examination of any blogs that mention the Badnarik campaign, I think they’re aware of the utility of blogs. I do think, if there is a redesign to be had, that the blog’s latest post or two should be on the front page of the site, a la, because it gets the reader involved right away instead of having to hunt down a way to be active. I don’t think it should predominate the campaign homepage, though-older blog postings should be archived on a separate page.

Reading the message presented on the site, I was rather impressed with their capability to custom-tailor the message to the locality. The campaign’s themes are “Family, Property, Security,” conservative buzzwords that should play well in the district. The ideas behind the themes don’t breach any libertarian principles, upon reading further, so no worries there. There’s nothing along the lines of “Repeal all taxes!” or “Legalize Black Tar Heroin!” on the site, so that’s good… they do seem to be playing to win, at least by looking at the site content.

The ultimate way to judge the site is by looking at the competition. He does have a good site, but nothing spectacular on first glance. Shouldn’t be too hard to top it with the redesign, if Badnarik, Hacker & Co. are serious.

Anyway, to sum it up it looks decent, far better than the average Libertarian site and though I’ve been on the anti-Hacker fence in past, here he does seem to hold up to criticism.

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. Well, I can say with authority that “undergoing a redesign” is something Hacker has been saying since July of 2005 (when I sent a reasonable/rejected proposal for about 3K or so).

    As many of you know, I was involved in the 2004 campaign site and we did one major fucking awesome job of turning a shitty redesign into a rocking whirlwind online campaign in just one month with 3 guys working on it for free on the side. Then it got delayed for another month while we waited for a micromanaging campaign manager (not Hacker) to approve shit (I was not happy). Then we stomped around on the Internet and got some crazy ass buzz, because we knew how to do shit like that. We didn’t have a “secret plan,” fuck… we didn’t even have a plan except to just get the damn word out… AND BOY DID WE (big props Stephen Gordon and Tom Knapp)!

    Anyways, that’s my cred… motherfucking results.

    Frankly I no longer care one way or another at this point if Hacker comes through or not, but if we are going to get bashed for talking about the lack of action… I’m at least going to throw my cards on the table and tell it like it is.

  2. Well, I can say with authority that “undergoing a redesign” is something Hacker has been saying since July of 2005 (when I sent a reasonable/rejected proposal for about 3K or so).

    Is that so? Well, they’d better get with it, and sooner rather than later… election season’s almost here.

  3. At the very least they should have swapped out the masthead with the new campaign logo some months back. It looks like someone opened that shit with MS-Paint just to scrub out the “for President” and put “for Congress.”

    Like I said, take it or leave it, but don’t bitch at me that I’m not doing anything, because I had my ass in gear back in 2005 and Hacker blew me off (and I even offered to cut up the proposal into just parts for upgrade and design if they were strapped for cash). Now I have a full plate of other things that I’m working on and he can take his sob story and sell it somewhere else, because I don’t fucking buy it.

  4. Whoa, Steve,

    Your proposal was fine at the time, we just didn’t have the money yet. Then, as you know, there were peripheral personal technicalities left over from the prez stuff that needed handled privately, and that finally came out fine. Now, with money in hand I’m putting togther names and ready to call the list to do some hiring. And Steve G. pushed heavily for you because you’re damned good and an asset to him.

    But now this. Damn, Dude!!!


  5. Well, we’re all results-focused people here; let’s not be too hasty about anything.

  6. McCauls site is clean. I think Badnarik’s site is to busy and mish-mosh. But then, I’m a programmer and not a designer. There is a reason for that.

  7. “As a conservative, I believe that we must put our fiscal house in order. I supported the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act, which will reduce the growth rate by one-tenth of one percent over the next five years without cutting necessary spending,”

    This statement is ripe for attack by badnarik. He ahould savage the opponent with this.

  8. Another Libertarian camapaign that doesn’t realize the power of the internet. I suppose it shouldn’t be much of a surprise as the national party still has it’s head stuck up it’s ass in this area as well.

  9. Well, let’s see what happens. This is Hacker’s big chance to silence the naysayers; if he works with us instead of against us I think there’s quite a bit we can accomplish for the cause of liberty.

    But the ball is definitely in his court ATM.

  10. If by “us”, you mean the Whiners & Complainers party, I hope he doesn’t with with “us”, but rather in direct contravention.

    The ball is in his court as he’s the campaign manager. I hope to see a revised website that is much cleaner and streamlined soon. Even if incomplete. McCaul’s site is quite basic, but to the point. If Badnarik could match that and go from there with all the fancy features afterward, I think it would be advantageous.

    The billboards are exciting, a follow-up with the website would be powerful indeed! Followed by more billboards and some radio. FM radio. You hear me, Hacker? FM RADIO. Not AM. Trying to get angry conservatives to vote Libertarian is a fool’s task that would likely bring out the Republican vote in force. All McCaul has to do if he feels threatened is go stand in a pulpit. Getting the Libertarian and youth vote would make this a race. Quietly locking up dissillusioned conservatives would win. Bombastically going after said conservatives would lose.

  11. How exactly is that tone going to help us work together on this, David?

    That said, a lot of what he’s suggested makes sense… I don’t know how the demographics work out in District 10, though, but a play for the conservatives does seem to be in the works given the emphasized themes of the Badnarik campaign.

  12. Trying to get angry conservatives to vote Libertarian is a fool’s task that would likely bring out the Republican vote in force.

    I agree. The hard-core Bush lovers are not going to vote anything but Republican. Yes, they are that shallow.

  13. All,

    This is some good, intelligent, speculation going on. I’m unhappy about leaving everyone in the dark, but I sincerely believe it’s the best approach. Generally, all I can ask for is patience and intrest. Remember, it’s early in the game, and there are data-backed reasons for everything we’re doing.

    One thing I can point out, though. It won’t work to point all our attention into the website one day and then push for an issue response the next. We’ll get there with all of it in an orderly fashion, I promse.


  14. Allen,

    Good to see you being more civil. I will tell you this, you will be getting generous donations from me in the near future, along with other candidates that I have already donated to such as Bill Pierce and Sue Jeffers.

    I am refusing to financially support the National LP until they put together a professional website, with relevant up-to-date information. There is no excuse for such stupidity anymore. I recently spent over $600 on two registrations to the National Convetion, that is the last they will see from me.

    I am also refusing to financially support the Libertarian Party of Texas until they get rid of that disease they call their “Executive Director”. I don’t know how much money I have given these morons in the past, but my household income has increased a couple hundred thousand dollars in the last 2 years and I am in the mood to donate. I guess that makes me one of the “povertarians” that their “Director” likes to call us.

  15. Michael Nelson,

    If you’ll donate $25,000 to the LPTX in April, I’ll resign, and I won’t be paid any commission on your contribution.

    What do you think?

  16. Second billboard is up.

    This one’s more rural, out near the center of the district. It’s on the major connector between Brenham and Somerville (both in the district). All traffic coming from Somerville or home from the lake to Brenham will see this one clearly for at least 200 yards. Daily traffic is 6100 cars, and the cost through the elecion was $3950.