Mr. Smith(er) Goes To Washington. (OK, we need your help for it to happen.)

There is a lot of talk today about Bob Smither and District 22. With Tom Delay’s withdrawal from the race, it is a two man fight- Democrat and Libertarian. The Libertarian Party candidate, Bob Smither, is counting on the largely Republican district for a victory.

Is Bob Smither the usual candidate? No, but that is what makes him perfect for this race. Think of it as a real life, modern day “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. Libertarians are excluded in a purposeful manner by the duopoly now in charge of our lives. The ruling duopoly would have you think that libertarians are on the fringe of society- that is how they avoid real issues and perpetuate their attack on liberty. They want the voter to equate libertarians with Jimmy Stewart’s naive character. (Hopefully they have forgotten how the story goes just long enough to vote for freedom.)

That said, I have to admit that the LP’s bet on the largely Republican District 22 is not a bad wager. Republicans used to believe in small government and low taxes. (It is well noted that today’s Repubican Party knows nothing of the aforementioned ideas.) Libertarians are on board where those “out of fashion” ideals are concerned, but we go a step further. Libertarians believe in the inalienable right of self-ownership.

Mr. Smither takes on the “taboo” self-ownership issues in well mannered argument, and I believe that with an elected Mr. Smither, we will see true freedom on the near horizon. I do feel it necessary to say that Libertarians are not a version of Republicans; we are more a portrait of the Republic. Any freedom loving soul should be able to get on board with that. Party affiliation not required.

You can learn more about Bob here. If you would like to help spread the message, call 1-800-Elect-US or 202-333-0008. People will be working in the LP office over the weekend. If you call, please leave a message at EXT 232 so they can get you signed up for BallotBase.

  1. I am 100% behind Smither, but I find two points ironic:

    First, Libertarians always complain about ballot access laws standing in their way to victory; yet in this case, these same laws are the only thing that gives us a chance of victory.

    Second, Libertarians always complain about the “lesser of two evils” mentality, but this mode of thinking is exactly what Smither expects from the Republicans.

  2. Maybe he and Ron Paul can caucus together. On a more serious note, from his “Why I am running for Congress” note, it appears he is a constitutionalist and a federalist philosophically, in addition to being a Libertarian. A great combination and, well, he could caucus with Ron Paul.

    Good to see that he is concerned about the prospect of a Speaker Pelosi, too. The serious problems of the Republican leadership in walking the walk aside, Pelosi’s rhetoric and philosophy are 180 degrees opposed to freedom. She’s not even starting from the right place on any serious issues.

  3. the comment in that Third Party Watch entry is really good, so I’m just going to replicate it:

    Chris Moore Says:
    “WOW! Could the Republicans get any more screwed in CD-22?!

    They have one candidate already registered as a write-in who has pledged to run no matter what. So they pick another candidate with a difficult to SPELL name to be their “official” WRITE-IN candidate. Now there will be at least TWO Republicans running as write-ins facing a Libertarian with republican appeal and name recognition whos name is on the ballot and a Democrat with $2 million in the bank.

    Prediction: either Lampson wins by a landslide, or he screws up and begins attacking the Republican write-ins and Smither eeks out a close win with 35%.”

    I think that’s a pretty solid analysis. The Repubs are indeed fighting an uphill battle eventhough they settled on one candidate to throw money at. I think it’s time for Smithers to start playing the “not a dime’s worth of difference” card and see what happens.

  4. Did anyone honestly expect the Republicans to endorse a Libertarian candidate? They’d rather see the Democrat win than ever even acknowledge our existence.

  5. if Smither does pull off a miracle upset, I hope now he has the sense not to vote for the GOP leadership. He can abstain, vote for Ron Paul, or vote for Pelosi, but he should not vote for Hastert after this.

  6. Zach, thank you for the compliment.

    I’m going to make a bold prediction. I’ve been doing this all week for college football (Va. Tech sneaks up on everyone and wins the MNC), so why not politics:

    Wallace comes out blasting Sekula-Gibbs for the “smoke-filled room deal” to be the Republican’s “candidate”. They tussel, all the while both sling mud at Lampson. Lampson ignores all the other candidates for a while, until some of the mud starts sticking. The Democracts in general will play the “smoke-filled room” card over and over, bringing DeLay’s name in as much as possible to throw mud. It will be nasty. Everyone will get dirty.

    All the while, Smither will be doing old-fashioned retail politics. He will remain generally positive and on message. He will pick up the endorsement of several mid-major Republicans, including Dr. Paul. Come election day, people will be fed up with the Democrats and Republicans. Result: Sekula-Gibbs 15%, David Wallace 18%, Lampson 32%, Smither 35%.

  7. Chris,

    I have to disagree. Your prediction assumes that 68% of the district will vote against the Democrat. Even in strong GOP districts, the Dems can count on 30%-35% just by being on the ballot. As long as this guy doesn’t molest any kids before the election, he can probably count on a 40% showing, which is plenty to win in a 4-way race.

    I hate to say it, but if the GOP runs any sort of organized write-in candidacy, we can forget about Smither winning.

    We’d be better off working for Frank Gonzalez in Florida if we want to get a libertarian elected to Congress. The Dems in his district have endorsed him even though they know he’s a libertarian and ran as an LP candidate last time. We have a much better chance of picking up that seat than probably any other seat in the country.

  8. Chris in NJ, I picked Va. Tech to the win the national championship in college football this year. I’m obviously VERY optimistic. I did say it was a bold prediction.

    My reasoning: Smither has Democrat appeal, too. Don’t forget that Libertarians usually draw from both Republican and Democrat voters. And also don’t forget about the independent voters and those who normally do not vote. I see Smither pulling off the upset IF voters in the district just get pissed off by both Democrats and Republicans.

  9. I have to back Chris Moore on this. Don’t forget that Lampson’s *SOLE* positive ‘claim to fame’ … is that he WORKED IN a charity foundation that SMITHER *FOUNDED.*

    That’s got power; so long as the message gets out… who can gainsay it? “I’m real proud of Mr. Lampson’s accomplishments in following the directives I laid out and spent my own blood-and-sweat on making happen…”


  10. I never much bought the line that we draw from both Democrats and Republicans, but maybe that’s because I’m from New Jersey. I know southern and western Dems are very different from those in the northeast. Every Dem I’ve ever met is a real hard core socialist who would make even President Skroob look palatable on some occasions. They’re also not very good on civil liberties (NJ was one of the first states to get behind REAL-ID).

    I think that the DNC is going to dump gobs of money into this district so they can say that they picked up DeLay’s seat. It’s payback time for them because the GOP knocked out Tom Daschle in the last cycle. Tit-for-tat stuff like that is all the 2 parties care about. It makes for good fundraising letters.

    Maybe I’m wrong, who knows.

  11. Have to agree with Chris in NJ. The only way Smithers could have won is to have gotten the GOP endorsement and
    no write-ins. Won’t it be a hoot if the GOP comes up one seat short of keeping the House!

  12. I don’t see what the rank-and-file Dems or liberal leaning moderates have to win by having Lampson in. More duopoly, more political doublespeak. etc etc. Read Lampson’s position on the war… more dounblespeak. He even committed the sin of voting for the authorization. It seems that the average non-sycophantic Democratic voter would be at least slightly better served by voting Smither, rather than a “business-as-usual lie to me and do nothing about my liberties Democrat”. Lampson is a Lieberman waiting to happen. Dems don’t like Lieberman and they have nothing to lose here and plenty to gain.

  13. It looks like Badnarik’s Campaign is going to lend a helping hand to Smither’s (reference: Hacker’s e-mail today to Badnarik supporters).

    That’s a good sign, two strong LP candidates running near each other supporting each other.

  14. Trevor,

    Please make that three strong candidates.

    Recall that my State Senate district overlaps Badnarik’s district. My “Rock Howard for State Senate” Campaign has been keeping quiet for a bit while the Smither situation has been percolating. That will change this weekend with some big news that hopefully will be worthy of a new HOT blog entry.


  15. Does Texas have a straight ticket button/lever in its voting machines? If so, this would mean a fair number of D (Lamont) and R (memory hole) votes regardless of the amount of campaigning.

    The D’s and R’s have been campaigning full time as parties for over a century and a half. That’s worth quite a bit. For them, it is a matter of getting out the vote and advertising a bit to swing voters.

    For a Libertarian, it requires getting enough people thrilled about the candidate despite the party. (Or, selling enough people on the party starting from WAY back.)

    So, if thousands of Libertarians bomb Smither with thousand dollar checks and work the phones as per Ballot Base, Smither might have a chance.

  16. Here is how the Republicans will have to write-in their candidates. My grandparents can’t even work their VCR. The republicans might as well give up now. There isn’t even a way to input a hyphen (for Sekula-Gibbs) on this contraption!

  17. GOP will mount a write in campaign and will come in second with the Dems winning the seat. And there is not one strong LP candidate let alone two. Smither may get a higher percentage than Badnarik but Badnarik, in spite of his claims, will be luck to reach double digits and probably won’t go over 15%. Hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain.

  18. Rock,

    Great to hear!

    I only meant we had 2 US House campaigns right next to each other running strong… but as usual you guys in Texas are just kicking ass all over the place.

    Despite what some people (like Get Republican or whatever) has to say… I’m very proud of the campaigns we’re seeing shape up in Texas.

  19. Personally, I don’t expect a single Libertarian victory, my contributions to the contrary. However, the important thing right now is doing the groundwork and getting people interested, educated and excited about the future. A significant turnout in any race would be one tool, not to mention merely running a campaign with some publicity. These are a diverse group of high quality candidates. They can only make us look good. And while bad publicity is better than none at all, good publicity is better.

    In the Smither/Lampson race, we have to remember this is a mid-term election. With DeLay gone, Lampson provides absolutely no compelling reason for the Democratic base in-district to actively support him. The Libertarian base and some subset of the Republican base is actively working Smither. If the turnout is low, there could be a victory.

  20. Hey guys if Smithers is smart, when the money starts to roll in(which I think it will)He should produce stuff we can use again in the future,Produce a commercial that can be used by another candidate or another campaign.Instead of buying alot of printed stuff from office Depot buy a nice printer you can use for years to come.I might be off base what do think?
    P.S. Badnarik should be thinging the same way

  21. Doug Craig:

    Indeed, if you go to my Presidential campaign web site under Radio and TV we are posting ready-to-broadcast-when-you-add-your-closer radio ads, available as a gift to to any Libertarian candidate (your radio station will be delighted to help adding the closer). We are deliberately covering a range of positions, not just my personal stands.

    We are also putting up my 1998 ads, some of which are reusable with a little tweaking and editing.

    Also, I continue to distribute the Libertarian Candidate support CD, available from me for free.

    Finally, We are taking the next step of concept videos, namely rather soon we will be putting up broadcast-quality video TV ads (they may look less impressive through youtube ). Naturally, your support for my campaign will be most appreciated.

    George Phillies

  22. How many Libertarian Party delegates are there?

    Where can a candidate obtain a listing of their names and contact information?

    When and where is the Libertarian Part convention that will nominate the next candidate for President?


  23. Thanks for blogging George Phillies. That’s good leadership. All elected officials and candidates should blog for the people every day.

    Hammer of Truth is a most excellent blog. My hat is off to them. The George Phillies blog appears to be a little weak.

    No link back to the main website. No date and time stamp on the individual blog posts. No audioblog reports from the candidate. No sitemeter. And I haven’t been able to get any reader comments posted even though I have signed up for the free account.

    Libertarians need to work hard to harness the power of the blog. At Chapman For President 08 this is one of Gene’s main planks in his campaign platform. We sincerely desire that the winner of the LP nomination for President will have a very active and robust blog of the highest quality and will have been using and developing that blog for a long time before the nomination ever happens.

    Cont’d at blog. Follow link in byline of this comment.

  24. Doug Craig,

    Our campaign has produced such a commercial and it will be available to nationwide candidates sometime after Labor Day.

    SG knows about this and will provide info to interested candidates. We might debut on YouTube etc. Presumably SVD & crew would link it here.

    Of course we’ll need some dough too in order to air it in our district:)

  25. Carl, to answer your question, yes, Texas does have a straight ticket party voting option. Also, I believe you meant Lampson, not Lamont (he’s running in CT).

  26. For readers who are confused by some of the above, there is not a Phillies blog. I do from time to time post messages, short and long, on a variety of places, including Hammer of Truth, Liberty For America Dot NET, Third Party Watch, Myspace, TheOilDrum, and with fair regularity Daily Kos. Several of these give my longer posts some recognition.

    However, I am focusing on more general outreach, certainly not on debating with other libertarians.

    And, as of today, I have moved to a new address, and my schedule will be disrupted for a while while I unpack. (That’s why I have not been pursuing radio outreach yet; until I am completely moved phone contact is slightly unstable. )

    In the mean time, please enjoy my issue and ad statements at .


  27. Doug Kenline said

    And I haven’t been able to get any reader comments posted even though I have signed up for the free account.


    Your comment and post are both up at Liberty For America. Have you signed into your account? You cannot view comments if you are not signed in.