Smither Will Punch The Clock For Voters


(Friendswood, Texas) – Libertarian Bob Smither, U.S. House candidate for District 22, signed the “Punch Clock Agreement,” a contract promising District 22 voters that, when elected, he will publish his daily official work schedule on the Internet, including the names of everyone he meets with and the events he attends.

Most working citizens report to their bosses on how they spend their day, and the “Punch Clock Agreement“ similarly holds members of Congress responsible while on the public payroll to report their official activities and associations to their bosses, the citizens who elect them.

With this announcement, Smither is issuing a challenge to his opponents, Democrat Nick Lampson and Republican write in Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, to join him in signing the Agreement, which is available at the Sunlight Network. So far, 34 candidates in the November election have signed the Agreement.

“The more transparent the governing process is, the better,” said Smither. “I promise to work for the voters, not the special interests. This agreement will allow my constituents to see exactly how I spend my day—who I meet with and how I am representing their interests.”

Bob Smither is the only conservative candidate on the ballot in the District 22 race in November. He will represent constituents in restoring government to the wisdom and bounds of the Constitution. He will be an independent voice for the people of District 22, with no ties to special interests.

[NOTE: The preceding is a press release, reproduced in it’s entirety, from the Smither campaign.]

  1. Please stop naming hyphen-lady by a name other than what we have bestowed upon her.

    This is a nice alternative to Badnarik’s contract. Both should become regular fare for Libertarian candidates. After the election, maybe we can work on getting the affiliates to adopt this and work out any kinks so that candidates can make it a standard part of their campaign package.

  2. I Googled her and didn’t find anything funny. What, the fact that there are tons of mentions?

    I like this “Punch Clock” thing. I think it should move beyond something that’s voluntary, and become a rule of Congress.

  3. Of course, the Leftist PC Police would have us all thrown in jail if we continue to play up the “Hyphen Lady” mantra. But wait, then again Hyphen Lady is a Republican, so that probably explains their silence. PC only applies to Democrats.

    Did y’all hear the latest from the PC front? The Liberals are now trying to ban the use of the word, “mankind.”

    So we’ve got Muslims trying to outlaw depictions or the use of the word Muhammed in a politically incorrect context, and now the libs trying to change the word mankind to “peoplekind.”

  4. Nigel, easy to figure out. Hyphen lady could very well be construed as anti-female by the Leftist PC Police.

    So, I suggest just as we Americans are now changing our habits in regards to the use and depiction of “Muhammed” due to pressure by Muslims, we consider doing the same for the term “Hyphen Lady.”

    Oops, I plum forgot. Scratch that. Political Correctness does not apply to Republicans. It’s only instituted against Republicans.

    Golly gee. Gotta be careful about all those pesky PC rules.

  5. … and Republicans listening to our phone calls without a warrant while engaging in unprovoked wars, creeping out house pages, violating their own ethics and campaign finance laws, breaking every promise they have ever made (remember when Bush was dead set against “nation building”) …

  6. Hyphen-Lady or why even mention her at all? She is not even a “3rd party”- not even on the ballot. Dems/Reps running in races with qualified Libertarians ( and/or Greens, CP, Ind.,etc) usually refer to “my oponent” in the singular and ignore everyone else actually on the ballot ( and certainly write-ins).

    Lampson and Smither might as well pretend that hyphen lady doesn’t even exist.

  7. It’s nice to have a libertarian on the ballot – other than a gubernatorial quasi Republican for governor who ducks the drug war issue when directly confronted by sympathetic radio host. The LPO of Oregon is going mainstream and whenever a moderate Republican is running they mostly don’t run candidates. They probably wouldn’t have run one for governor – except that they would lose their cover as a wing of the GOP. We are raising money, however. There are lots of people with money to spend on parties that are loud on tax cuts and mute on drug policy and foreign policy issues.

  8. I know the English language has its wierd points but it’s not that hard to remember.
    “it’s” = “it is”
    “its” = posessive

    Would anyone mind correcting the notice for the press release just to make me feel better?

  9. The LP party needs to stop mentioning the “hyphen lady” by name. The more you mention her the more credible she becomes. If you do say anything just say write-in candidates. There is no need to mention her name as she is not on the ballot. The more her name is mentioned the easier it becomes for someone to spell her name when they go to the ballot box. This is a very simple concept that I figured Libertarians would have gotten by now: The more you mention your opponent or their plans the more credible they will sound. This is exactly why libertarians and their plans rarely get any mention from the R’s or the D’s as well as the media. They understand that the more they mention us the more credible we will sound. About the only time they do mention us is when we have some kook as a candidate or some wacky idea that we are trying to push such as sell all the national parks and forests, etc. The media is starting to acknowledge us a little, since the R’s and the D’s are so bad.

  10. I like it!

    When Zander Collier was runninng for California Assembly he came up a pledge saying something like: “I will not vote on any legislation I do not understand.” I though it was a great pledge (still do) and I tried it out in my California Senate campaign. I found, though, that people often misunderstood and thought I was saying I would vote No on any bill I didn’t understand. I guess the lesson is that campaign communications need to be tried out on real people and refined until they actually communicate.

  11. Hey Mike! I hope you’re doing well! For clarification, my pledge was two-fold: 1.) I promised to *read* all legislation up for a vote, and 2.) That I would vote against any legislation I could not personally understand. The basis for this was that I believe the law ought to be in common, easy-to-understand English so that the law could be accessible to everyone. Finally, I also made a separate pledge where I promised to update a webpage on a weekly basis (Friday) outlining what I voted on and why I voted that way.

  12. Talking to Bob Smither Campaign Manager Kevin Tunstal right now.

    What we need is both precinct walkers and signers this evening and for the next few days.

    I’ve got a pick-up truck. Anyone in the area wanting to help me with sign duty this week?

    These are the big 4X8s.

  13. Mike, I pulled out my address books and forwarded the Smither appeal to Libertarian friends. This is an historic opportunity.

  14. You guys also realize right that by saying “hyphen lady,” you are helping everyone get recognition a.) that she exists and is running in the district and b.) that her name is spelled with a hyphen. So how is helping increase your write-in opponents’ name recognition as well as recognition of how to spell her name helping Smither? We should be, and the Smither campaign should be, acting like she doesn’t even exist between now and this time next month. The link MN posted used “Key Write-In Candidate,” (if one must refer to her, please use this instead), if you must did not mention her name or any indicators that it even was a “she.”

    The calling attention to the fact that there is a hyphen in her name might make it more difficult to toss out the vote on a technicality. More confusingly, her own campaign website or political signs doesn’t use a hyphen in some cases. Let’s just treat her the way her party treats us and act like she’s not there.

  15. We should be, and the Smither campaign should be, acting like she doesn’t even exist between now and this time next month.

    Umm, the election is two weeks from tomorrow.

    This is a REAL opportunity to see a Libertarian elected to Congress. Please donate to the Smither campaign if you can.

  16. Nick: In Texas, voter intent is a loose enough concept that a “Shelly” or “SG” might be enough for a judge to consider it a valid vote. Personally, I think SG stands for “that Smither Guy”. The hyphen is the least of the real issues, and it’s pretty funny that Google now knows her that way. The ‘voter intent’ problem is under discussion right now, rest assured… but pretending she doesn’t exist isn’t a strategy with any legs on it.
    (standard disclaimer – I’m webmaster for the Smither campaign)

  17. Is the “SSG” thing really true? I heard that wasn’t really accurate. Anyone have any links to precedent either way?

  18. In Kevin Cherry’s campaign for Georgia Public Service Commission, we’ve worked hard to attack the incumbent’s name.

    As the campaign’s communications director, and webmaster, one of my goals was to dominate the internet with information about the incumbent.

    How did we do? Search “Stan Wise Georgia”
    BTW, he had to settle for, becuase we owned =)
    ***Today we just released a press release that calls his biggest campaign accomplishment a bold faced lie, and that we had the facts to back it up.*** (Not much time for damage control on that one eh?)

    Any kind of “Stan Wise” and “election” or “campaign” or “libertarian” word combination in a search will bring information that leads to Kevin Cherry.

  19. “it’s pretty funny that Google now knows her that way.”

    Unless her campaign co-opted the publicity from the name and paid for the top google placement. Sure, you won’t find it anywhere on her site, but I have very little doubt that they didn’t turn the name recognition from the mockery into more self-serving publicity.

  20. Far more interesting to me than the presence or absence of (alleged) hyphens is the campaign promise itself. This seems like it should be a deal-sealer for a lot of people.

  21. Bob Smither is one of the most honorable and self-less LP members in Texas I know. A couple of years ago when intra-party bickering dominated Texas, Smither stayed above the fray, yet stayed engaged. (Myself, I do get dirty.)

    He is the architect of our state party website,, which is enormously valuable in promoting all of our candidates. He originally volunteered to be a candidate to help build the LP in general. Upon finding himself in an important race, he has stepped up to the plate demonstrating incredible dedication to the Libertarian Party.

    I don’t know all of his detailed political views. I would expect that he is emphasizing specific views in order to increase his vote potential this election. While that may entail risks of incompletely presenting the Libertarian Party message, I fully support his campaign and believe he is an excellent messanger for the LP.

    We have 168 candidates in Texas. I can’t imagine a better Texan in this race.

  22. And once upon a time conservatives and libertarians were close partners and viewed as part of the same movement.

    Ever hear of Frank Meyers, National Review and the “Fusionism” of the late 1950s and early 1960s?

    Ever hear of Barry Goldwater?

    Back then, conservatives and libertarains were two wings of the same movement.

    Only in the late 1960s did it start to break apart, with Murray Rothbard and the Radical Caucus guys.

  23. The SSG thing is not true.

    But what is funny, is that all of Hyphen-lady’s yard signs and 4X8s in the District that we’re starting to see pop up, say “Vote Twice for Shelly Sekula-Gibbs.” That’s because you DO get to vote twice for Shelly (and Bob and the others), once for the special election and once for the real election.

  24. 31, I’m something of a Rothbardian purist myself, but if you are actually a CD-22 resident who is thinking of voting against Smither because he isn’t “pure” enough, you, my friend, are ridiculous!

  25. And once upon a time conservatives and libertarians were close partners and viewed as part of the same movement.

    Way before that, for hundreds of years, liberals and libertarians were the same movement.

    Read this link to see how the temporary confusion of conservative and libertarian arose, and why it is past due, now that conservatives are rediscovering their fascist roots in earnest,

    for liberatians to rediscover our roots on the left

  26. You don’t acknowledge her by name or by hypen-lady. If you have to acknowledge her you just say write-in candidate. This way you are not helping anybody and if someone wants to vote for her they will have to take the time to make sure they can spell her name, without the help of libertarians.

    By the way what happens in Texas if no one gets a 50% majority. Do you have a run-off? In otherwords if Smither doesn’t win in the general election may he still have a chance in a run-off if he can beat the write-in candidates total and the democrat doesn’t get 50%. I see that as being his best chance because then he would likely get almost all of the write-in candidates votes. Or is the winner the one who gets the most votes on election day.

  27. Matt, #35, it’s not just “purity” – the “fair” tax will hurt real people in the real world. (I’m one of them.)

    However, I’ve backed off attacking Smither, not wanting to hurt the LP, because he won’t win. He would have to get ALL of the undecided vote to pull it off.

    Wes, #32, I don’t disagree with anything you said. If it wasn’t for the fraudulent “fair” tax, I’d probably be down there pounding the pavement for him myself.

  28. “And once upon a time conservatives and libertarians were close partners and viewed as part of the same movement.”

    Conservatives and libertarians are not the same and never have been. I think that trying to lump conservatives and libertarians together has actually set libertarians back. There are a lot of people on the left and in the center who are potential libertarian converts but have been turned off because of the supposed link between libertarians and conservatives.

    I have no problem working with conservatives if the issues that the conservatives are working on happen to coincide with libertarian issues. The same thing goes with liberals.

    I consider Constitution Party type conservatives to be a lot better than neo-conservatives. Neo-conservatives are basically fascists. Constitution Party type conservatives are bad on a few issues but overall they have a lot more redeeming qualities than the typical Republican.

  29. Andy shows his horrible ignorance of libertarian history.

    Guess he’s never heard of Frank Meyers and the “fusionism” of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

    Here’s a couple book recommendations for those wanting to learn more about the rise of the libertarian movement:

    Graham Nash’s “The Conservative Movement”

    Joseph Hazlitt’s “The Libertarian Party”

    E.J. Dionne, “Why Americans Hate Politics”

    Dionne’s book, a NY Times bestseller from 1995, devoted a whole chapter to the Libertarian Party. He went into minute detail about the LP’s ties to the 1950s/60s Conservative movement. Dionne, of course, is a Reporter with the Washington Post.

  30. I know about the history of lumping libertarians in with conservatives. It’s a lie. Libertarians never should have been lumped in with conservatives. This has damaged the movement more than it’s helped.

    I’m a firm believer in the Libertarian label being a brand that is outside of the “left vs. right” paradigm. It’s not about “left vs. right,” it’s about the state vs. you.

  31. I have to say that Andy’s right and Dondero’s not on the issue of libertarianism having nothing to do with conservatism.

    Anyone ever heard the term “classical liberal” (to describe libertarians)?

    Also, how about Von Mises’ essay, “Why I am not a Conservative.”

    Goldwater was a hawk and, as all libertarians surely must know, war is the health of the state.

    ‘Nuff said.

  32. Eric,

    Read and digest the links in 36, then get back to us about who is not up on their movement history. You act like libertarianism did not exist before the mid-20th century.