Barry Hess Gets Heavyweight Endorsement

Check out this video endorsement of Barry Hess — the Libertarian candidate for governor in Arizona — by professional wrestler Sean Morley, better known as Val Venis (via LP.org):

I know, I know… wrestling jokes ahead in the comments. I’m not going to sneeze at their demographic of 5.2 million viewers (*cough* voters *cough*), but I think it would be funny as hell if we see Hess putting on an Andre the Giant wrestling uniform and taunting his political opponents all WWE-style at some point.

20 Comments
  1. Ug, Barry Hess. This is why the LP is considered a joke. The production values on that stink, and why call our health care system “the best in the world.” While it may be true (big if), no average voter really thinks that. Hess seems like a nice guy, but came across as a dufus in last years gubernatorial debates and stuff like this wont help.

  2. Ug, Barry Hess. This is why the LP is considered a joke. The production values on that stink, and why call our health care system “the best in the world.” While it may be true (big if), no average voter really thinks that. Hess seems like a nice guy, but came across as a dufus in last years gubernatorial debates and stuff like this wont help.

    And yes, I did vote for him last time.

  3. Wait till Mr. T endorses a Libertarian candidate. I can’t wait to hear Mr. T say about the Democrat or Republican opponent, “I pity da fool!”

  4. Oh, come on, “this is why the libertarian party is considered a joke” please. The reason that the libertarian party is considered a joke (and I don’t cnsider it that) is because we don’t win races, due mainly to a lack of organization on a local level. Republicans ran mr “bedtime for bonzo” for president and won, and democrats pick up endorsements from famous limo libs all teh time.

    I’m not a big fan of val venus, though. now, “the rock” that’s an endorsement, “can you smell what the libertarians are cooking?” (I think it’s hash brownies, yay!)

  5. Just watched teh video, I think you may have misunderstood teh theme, Will. This seems to me to be shot very much in the style fo a standard “val venis” pre-fight promo video, one man, standing facing the camera, generally poor production values, but made cheaply and giving an effective message. Wrestlers have found for decades now that this sort of promo suits their fans.

    In my personal opinion, Dusty Rhodes was the best in the history of wrestling at this, “I’m livin the american dream, I’ve wined and dined with kings and queens, I’ve slept in alleys and eaten pork and beans, whooooo!”

    I’m tired of people trying to discourage the party from using this sort of endorsement. republicrats take any endorsement they can get. Bill Clinton played sax badly one time on stage, and he rode for 8 years on that. Ahhhh-nuld is a Governor, for gods sake.

    I say, if South Parks Cartman wishes to tell people “Vote Libertarian, buttfu*kers!” I’m for it.

  6. You guys are really mean. A libertarian celebrity takes time out of his schedule to help an LP candidate and all you do is trash the effort?

    Go try to do better, assholes.

  7. I haven’t kept up with wrestling much since college, but I loved his character in high school. He was so over the top and hilarious.

  8. Gabe J — Barry Hess’s candidacy is mostly a joke, yes. Val Venus has nothing to do with that unfortunately.

    It’s nowhere near as bad as Ernie Hancock though. (On Ernest’s website, freedomspheonix, he actually *TELLS PEOPLE NOT TO VOTE FOR HIM*.)

    The both of them are cut from the “Bully Pulpit” model. They’re both somber individuals, but at this point, the total lack of media coverage or attempts to gain it have condemned both candidacies to failure. With ‘minority parties’ if you don’t get mainstream attention fairly early on you’re not going to win.

    The upcoming November gubernatorial election at this point isn’t even newsworthy.

    I’m crossing my fingers and hoping they prove me wrong — but I don’t see it at this point.

  9. A pro wrestler won governorship of Minnesota. Maybe we should run Venis for governor instead.

  10. Venis actually has a paying gig, unlike Ventura, who is retired. Not a bad idea though.

  11. I don’t get this blog AT ALL. A couple of days ago VanDyke and half the commenters were throwing their resumes at some D-list stand-up, who’s thinking about running for President so he can build enough name recognition to move his act from the Neon Pony to the MGM Grand. Now a bigger celebrity, with libertarian bona fides going back two decades and who once published a libertarian newsletter in Canada, simply cuts on online endorsement video for a candidate… and people act like they’re ashamed to be mentioning it or talking about it at all.

    WTF?!?

  12. Steve — good questions, honestly. I think the issue some have is that it is being seen as a wrestling promo, as it were.

    Chalk it up to the same thing that makes many Libertarians at gunshows fail to ‘proselytize’ to blacks and hispanics.

    I witnessed this myself, and am unfortunately also somewhat guilty of it. I will state that it’s hard to reach out to people who don’t speak your language as a defense, but it’s a paltry one and I know it.

  13. The backstage promos on WWE are simple, but they don’t look like they were shot on a Sony Handycam. Furthermore, if you go to Mr Hess’ site, there is a video of him standing in front on mini blinds- high class. My point was, if you are going to do something, do it right. Running candidates like Howard Stern or doing poorly done promos, isn’t going to help the cause. I think its great Val Venis wanted to help out, but they shouldve taken more time to do the thing right, used better word selection and made a superior product.

    Hess’ site is pretty blah as well. And when I tried to find out his position on immigration, I had to scroll through pages and pages to get a straight answer. He should pick up one of Harry Brownes book and work on being simpler, and more to the point. But I wish him well, and Ill vote for him again.

  14. I think people are being a LITTLE harsh on Barry Hess. Yeah, the mini-blinds made me cringe. However, at least he’s TRYING some new and different things. The typical Libertarian campaign consists of:

    (1) putting up a Microsoft FrontPage website, with a design more gawky than a teenager’s MySpace profile.

    (2) visiting a gun show, or gay pride event, or whatever pet issue first attracted the candidate to Libertarianism in the first place. Half the time this is done without getting permission or paying fees with the event organizers, so the LP’er gets thrown out halfway through the event.

    (cont.)

  15. (…cont)

    Hess has put out a very attractive and innovative website, and managed to get a speaking spot at the Republican state convention, and people still dog him because he’s not winning in the polls. However, if it WERE winning he would be dogged by the significant number of LP’ers for which winning is a nightmare scenerio.

    Sean Morley’s clip may not have the multimillion dollar production values of a WWE pay-per view. It’s still appropriate for the format… this thing isn’t intended for television, it’s a 60-second Flash-based clip for a video blog. C’mon…

    Let’s stop being our own worst enemy, folks.

  16. I don’t know about the rest of you all, but I know plenty of “non-rednecks” who watch wrestling that I’ve passed this onto — and they enjoyed it. It’s not as if Val Venis (the stage name) isn’t widely known in circles, and this provides a good way of getting outreach going.

    If anything, we need much, much more of this. It’s all about relating to the person doing the talking.

  17. ” And when I tried to find out his position on immigration, I had to scroll through pages and pages to get a straight answer. He should pick up one of Harry Brownes book and work on being simpler, and more to the point. But I wish him well, and Ill vote for him again. ”

    “[…] work on being simpler, and more to the point.”

    Dear sweet lord, *AMEN* to that! (And I’m an atheist no less!) I’ve read some of Barry’s dissertations. Genuine, earnest man… who criticizes politicians for being long-winded and obtuse every chance he gets. What’s he do? (Still gonna vote for him — even if he *DOES* tell me not to.)

    But mainly Steve Perkins is absolutely right with his statements about how LP’ers (paraphrasing) are like crabs in a box. We keep pulling each other down. Those who think the LP should *NEVER* be electorally successful work to make that happen. Those who do wish it bemoan the ‘education’ efforts of the others.

    Ahh, well. ‘Nough of my ranting.

  18. The opportunity to get to view peoples reactions to things almost instantly IS Freedom.

    I really appreciate your comments & I’ll do my best to do better.

    People often let Libertarian campaigns know how they should spend money (professionally-produced commercials) and then offer sharp critiques as to the visibility of the campaign when it is unable to do so.

    I’ll do my very best to represent the Libertarian (political) philosophy in a manner that will make you proud by finding and offering creative and sound alternatives and solutions that the general public will readily understand and enthusiastically accept.

    Everything Libertarian begins wilth a single, simple premise: Every individual possesses an absolute Right to be left absolutely alone. And that is what I hope to represent.

    I will ask you all to make this your campaign. Have some signs made, call in radio or contribute directly–just help.

    As always, I remain at your service-

    Barry

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