Stephen Gordon, LP Communications Director

Stephen Gordon - LP Communications Director (C-SPAN title error)We’re pleased to be able to post this great news that was emailed to us from Shane Cory, LNC Chief of Staff:

While I was hoping to give Stephen at least a few days of peace to relocate to Washington, D.C., it looks like someone from a small group of people decided to throw a wrench in those plans. Regardless, I am very pleased to confirm that Stephen Gordon will be joining me and the rest of the LPHQ team as our director of communications.

We have a very small staff in D.C. so it’s very important that we hire people who do more than come up with “bright ideas” and only talk about them. We must have people with not only vision but with the ability to see a task to completion.

Stephen fits that bill but more importantly, he doesn’t fear success because he doesn’t fear failure. This trait is invaluable if you are going to truly commit yourself to America’s third party.

I’ve known and observed Stephen for a few years now and he doesn’t hold back and pours his energy into any given task, regardless of the likely outcome. He doesn’t look for an excuse as to why we should or will fail. He looks for a way to succeed.

We’re in a special time right now that does not come along very often. We need people like Gordon to take advantage of this situation and we don’t have much time to do it.

I hope that your readers will be supportive of this move and will give Stephen the support that he needs for what will no doubt be one of the most challenging jobs of his life.

While we’re obviously biased here in favor of Gordon’s appointment as Communications Director (he’s also a prolific blogger here at HoT and embargoed me from announcing this until today), we’re saddened that he’ll be leaving us in the coming weeks as (see SG’s update) he’s expected to be moved to Washington, D.C. by mid-June (though no doubt he’ll be providing us with excellent posting material, perhaps like this).

Oddly, enough, the photo for this post is actually an error on C-SPAN’s part if anyone noticed, as Gordon was actually Communications Director for the Badnarik campaign when this C-SPAN footage was broadcast. It sucks to get scooped by some title error from two years ago, ya know?

Gordon will be filling a position that had been temporarily filled by Chief of Staff Shane Cory and for a while by Sam New after previous Comm. Dir. George Getz left the LNC mid-2005 (older readers will remember my fair share of nasty email exchanges with him).

I anticipate seeing how the tone and focus of the LP will change with Gordon as the party’s most public voice (and with his Open Source vision of politics, which sadly is no longer on the Internet). As savvy as Gordon is with local and state media, and national media from time to time, I expect the LP will be able to earn more press coverage with him in this important role.

UPDATE by Stephen Gordon: To begin, I’m confirming that I did sign and submit a letter of intent to the Libertarian Party to serve in the position of Communications Director. My tentative starting date is June 19, but there is a bit of flexibility in our understanding to allow for relocation-related issues. Also, I will be able to continue to write at HoT. Actually, I’ll probably have more time available to write here as working in an office setting is considerably more stable then the typical chaotic campaign environment.

My hope is that HoT will continue to serve as one of many conduits of information between political activists, the mainstream media, power players, the Libertarian Party and the entire libertarian movement. There are many libertarian activities in which the LP can’t or shouldn’t engage, but HoT can. I’ll be here pushing some envelopes in my HoT hat that I can’t in my LP hat.

Most importantly, I’d like to ask for your suggestions and comments about how I might be able to be effective as Communications Director at helping the Libertarian Party reach its maximum potential. While time, resources, legalities and other issues dictate that I can’t follow every suggestion offered, I can promise to at least consider each of your comments.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Cool! Congrats, SG!

    Now where does HoT go from here? Although there are other fine bloggers, Stephen Gordon is in my opinion the most prolific and credible. Are there plans for an official replacement? I suppose it’s good timing to integrate lots of other blog material onto Liberty Mix.

    In any case, let’s keep supporting good old HoT and the hot new LM.

  2. Good job and good luck Stephen G.

    Now where does HoT go from here? Although there are other fine bloggers, Stephen Gordon is in my opinion the most prolific and credible.

    When Stephen G. became a blogger here at the Hammer we seen our traffic more than double in just a short amount of time.

  3. Frankly if everything I’ve seen coming out of HoT is any indication I’m downright ecstatic to see Stephen given this position. SG, don’t just push the envelope here, though, push it with the LP as well when you can. That’s exactly the kind of thing you’ve often blogged about here and those of us really pushing for the LP to become a real player in modern American politics really want to see the party come even more to the forefront. Congrats!

  4. Thanks, everyone.

    Lenny, perhaps I should qualify my comment. While I certainly will push the media angles aggressively from the LP office, it might not be appropriate for me to post The Dildo Song on the LP website.

  5. Wow!!

    An LP staffer who has already been on the air on Free Talk Live!

    Shane Cory, you made the right decision on this one.

    Congrats, Stephen. We should talk. :)

  6. Friggin awesome!!!

    Gordon – which campaign were you working on and what will happen with those?

  7. Congratulations Mr. Gordon,

    I got to know you when I called to help with the Russo campaign in the early stages and now we have a great person at LPHQ as Communications Director. What’s next?

    Anyways, now that you have a foot in the door, can i make one little suggestion? MINORITY OUTREACH!!!!!!!!! The Libertarian Party has a great opportunity to reach out to minorities. The LP has done a sub-par job in recruiting minorities hopefully you with a help of others (hint hint) can turn that tide in OUR favor. Good luck and stay in touch!

  8. Congratulations, Steve, and to the LP for making an excellent choice! I believe that the energy, commitment and viewpoint that Steve will bring to this position will make a real difference in the viability of the LP as a political party. This is the most positive news for the LP as a whole that I’ve heard in quite some time.

  9. I think this is the most promising development for the LP since I’ve begun following it. Mr. Gordon is obviously competent–which alone is more than most LP folks (unfortunately)–but other than that, he has the maturity and intelligence necessary to perform this task. I mean–look at how the LP rebuked FTL… Would this happen with Mr. Gordon as communications director? haha! Also, I think that having Mr. Gordon in such a public position may help (at least to some degree) the LP’s troubling drift to the authoritarian right. The LP will never attract this crowd without selling its soul, and therefore the more non-rightists in public roles, the better.

  10. Congrats to Stephen :) !!!!!!!!!

    This is some of the brightest news I’ve seen concerning the LP since Zero Dues passed. There is no doubt that he is the man for this job, and there will be little doubt after he assumes his role that the judgement to hire him was sound.

  11. Big Congrats on this one Stephen. Real proud to see this one come down from up high. This is great news for all of us.
    Thank you,
    Michael Wilson

  12. Enter iteratively supportive comment here.

    Nothing unique I can add — I have to agree with just about everybody else on this one. Awesome news indeed.

  13. Congratulations Stephen. This vacancy needed filling and you will do a great job.

  14. Congratulations, Steve! You’re a great addition to the LPHQ team.

    My one suggestion is to add humor to press releases whenever possible while still maintaining professionalism. In my experience, humorous press releases are much more likely to get read and picked up.

  15. Congrats. I don’t think you need any advice or suggestions either. We can rest easy knowing that at least the communications director is going to do the right thing consistently and often.

    Now let’s see a post about the status of the chairmanship and the candidates.

  16. Congratulations Stephen,
    Your writings have inspired me greatly, they are a main reason I started blogging. I hope you keep it up and inspire others to do the same because if we get enough voices they cannot ignore us.

  17. Congrats!

    as far as suggestions go, I think it was you, yourself, that stated that press releases should provide actual news/events/happenings instead of “this is our position” stuff. I hope you don’t forget it.

    Also, Chris Bennet is right. Minority outreach is very important, be it african-american, asian, latino, or even muslim-american (I think Badnarik missed a big opportunity on that one). the LP needs to be the home for all of these freedom minded individuals.

    “this above all, to thine own self be true”

  18. Minority outreach will be difficult so long as the LP welcomes racists so fixated on affirmative action that they make it the #1 issue of a statewide campaign; or that members of the party openly advocate the repeal of civil rights legislation, etc. I attended my state convention a few weeks ago and I was afriad their was going to be a cross burning or lynching break out at any time.

  19. Congrats, Stephen! This is the best news to ever hit the party; it means that the reformers are in. We’ve come to power, and not only that, but one of the best men we’ve got is in there.

    You have the most real-world experience in the dirtiness of politics of all of us… if there’s any part of the LP that can turn this party around, it’s the reform movement… if there’s anyone in the reform movement who knows politics, it’s you.

    Congratulations again, I have a lot of hope for the LP once more. Oh yeah… since you’re moving to DC, I’d recommend living outside of the District… the whole area sucks but MD and VA are marginally better.

  20. How should we advocate repeal of ‘civil rights’ laws, if not ‘openly’?

    I think it is wrong to force business owners to serve unwanted customers, just as it would be wrong to force people to accept unwanted guests in their homes. I won’t pretend otherwise for ‘minority outreach’.

  21. But… but… the Dildo Song is exactly what the LP needs to propel it straight into the MSM spotlight!!! ;)

  22. Undercover_anarchist_ writes
    “Minority outreach will be difficult so long as the LP welcomes racists so fixated on affirmative action that they make it the #1 issue of a statewide campaign; or that members of the party openly advocate the repeal of civil rights legislation, etc.”

    Are you the same undercoveranarchist who complains that some people view immigration as an issue to be dealt with later rather than sooner?

  23. David and Chris,

    I’ll try to do a blog posting on minority issues which deals with both sides of the issue later today. Perhaps we’ll be able to come up with some solutions which protect the civil rights of minorities as well as those of business owners.

    I’m sure that the two of you are in agreement on 99% of the issues; it’s the outreach approach which likely will be different.

  24. This is terrific. Will you have anything to do with the LP News?

    I want an LP News that qualifies as a newspaper with full press rights under the 1st Amendment. I want to be able to give copies away (or sell them!) without having the recipient’s party affiliation derided by the editorial position of the publisher (of course individual LTE can express disgust with D’s and R’s, but the paper itself should welcome them to join us).

    Here’s to a higher profile.

  25. I hope Stephen will work to be an LP inclusive. Maybe he will even allow me and my kind to be libertarians. We deserve to be so even if we are not quite as anarchist leaning as some libertarians. We must win elections before we can change the course of this great nation.

  26. Congrats Stephen. I think undercover_anarchist has it right actually. I’ve seen him/her ripped more than once on the site for having an opinion. Be careful to recognize u_a hasn’t fallen into the conformity of this peer audience. The subject of Equal opportunity rights for Women, all ethnicities including whites and mentally and physically challenged need not be ignored. This is after all Liberty.

    We have a myopic white christian male agenda today. That said, it’s not government’s job (it’s just impportant to keep one’s eye on the trends of the nation and perhaps to chastise oblique opression.) Finally, one party has to stand up to the hyper-religious right. Stephen, help the country at large as best as you can – keeping the idealism and patriotism you already possess.

  27. Misfit,

    I was called yesterday by a prominent libertarian about getting re-started on an ERA amendment. She’s writing an article on the topic; I’m curious about what she’ll suggest.

  28. Julian,

    I’ve always been a strong believer in coalition activity. I hope to gain your support with the issues about which I’m guessing you’d approve: 2A rights, lower taxation, elimination of the nanny state.

    There will be issues and candidates where we disagree, too. I’ll continue to try to persuade you (as opposed to attacking you) on those issues.

  29. Mr. Phillies: I’m the same undercover_anarchist who thinks that there’s no entity with the authority to “deal” with immigration AT ALL, and that there’s nothing to “deal” with anyway.

    I think there is a distinction between a private home or club, and a business open to the public. If you disagree, I understand your view. However, if someone acts as if the ultimate injustice is that business owners are not allowed to discriminate, then they are obviously racists. Making repeal of Civil Rights laws a primary focus is dishonest (in fact, racist) and politically unpalatable to all BUT racists and the 0.0000000001% of the population who may view the issue as I assume you do (from a nonracist, uber-libertarian perspective).

    Minors cannot trade options, even in a custodian account. Isn’t that unjust??

    How idiotic would the above be, regardless of its truth, to make as a top priority for a political party? The same is true with affirmative action, the Civil Rights Act, etc.

  30. And by the way; I’m the same undercover_anarchist who would be a big George Phillies fan if only he would do a complete 180 on immigration and possibly soften his views on restricting trade a wee bit.

  31. Three words: The Daily Show. It is absolutely shameful that there are politically active people who know nothing about the LP, and (this being a culture of entertainment) Comedy Central’s fake news is much more likely to get their attention than the real news.

  32. UA, the issue of minors trading options is a matter of regulation, not civil rights. That should be abolished. What about accredited/qualified investor regulations? Of course those should all be abolished!

  33. Richard, TDS will be a tough nut to crack but I’ll certainly be looking for opportunities there. When I’ve worked for individual candidates in the past, I’ve had to line up their particular personalities and issues with the programs that are available. As an example, Russo was a natural for Howard Stern, but Nolan couldn’t get on the program and I never even tried with Badnarik. However, Badnarik and Nolan hit programs that I probably wouldn’t try to place Russo on.

    With the larger pool of resources (contacts, people and issues) available from the national perspective, I’ll have more tools to be able to use not only for TDS, but a wide variety of other programs, too.

    Since I accepted the job, I’ve already started a database of people (broken out by issue and region) who would be suitable spokespersons for the LP.

  34. Devious David: I agree that accredited investor requirements should be abolished, and would say that it borders (if not crossing the line) on being a civil rights issue. In the absence of much regulation, private entities (or even the government) could do voluntary certification, etc. that would make their investments more appealing, and those companies who chose not to become registered or certified (probably due to the expense, but possibly due to their riskiness or even outright fraudulent nature) would be less attractive, and anyone who chose to participate in them would do so with the full knowledge of added risk.

    I would go as far as to say that the above is a very serious infringement on equality and economic opportunity. Certainly, the above has had far more ill effects than whatever white males have suffered due to affirmative action or the Civil Rights Act. But to make an issue of the above is politcally stupid… And to make such a major issue of affirmative action is worse

  35. Wow, thanks for standing up for me, Misfit. I have thick skin, though, and the “ripping” I’ve received has caused me no serious harm. I like to think I can dish it out at least as well as I have to take it.

  36. Congratulations Stephen!

    I know you will do an outstanding job at LPHQ.

    It’ll be great having another cigar smoker in the DC Northern Virginia area.

    Bill Wood

  37. Haha well this is what I get for agreeing to sit on a scoop. ;-) I’ve been waiting for the national LP to make a bold move since Joe Seehusen left. This definitely qualifies. We have to be bold in our communications and Steve is definitely the man to do just that. It also speaks well of Michael Dixon and Shane Cory that this is what they are looking for. (I’m guessing Michael Colley also had decision making influence here.) Now we just need a political director (or at least direction) with a similar vision and willingness to take risks. Let’s Do Something big and get credit for it.

  38. This post has produced some fine commentary. Cheers! Stephen, keep us updated on the ERA ammend. u_a, you are welcome. I enjoy your musings.

  39. UA, you make a good point but I think ultimately all regulation and even all State interventions could be arguably boiled down to matters of equality and civil rights. On a more practical basis, though, it’s a matter of unnecessary regulation.

    I disagree with your solution of voluntary certification. If I want to get into a managed futures product or hedge fund for instance, it’s a matter of doing my own due dilligence, putting up my own money and accepting the risk. Period. End of story. Such a thing may be less “risky” than trading your own account.

    I can tell you that I can’t think of any minors or many adults for that matter that have any business trading options (equities or futures) in their accounts period, unless they are using risk capital. How many minors have that – hell how many adults? With that said, I wouldn’t step on anyone’s toes if they wanted to do it. I just don’t recommend it to anybody. It’s your money.

  40. DD: I’m saying.. The NYSE would have its own requirements in the absence of the SEC. The NASD would have its own requirements… Even the Pink Sheets would (as they do now). Companies could chose to follow the regulations / meet the requirements of the above exchanges or platforms or NEW exchanges or platforms; OR not… And in the case of “not,” there would be added risk that could be factored in by the investor. There would be no state requirement of any of this–it would just occur naturally in the market, as it did (to whatever lesser extent) in the days before the SEC.

    But all of that is really off topic.

    My point is that “accreddited investor rules” have much more serious consequences on my opportunity as a white male than whatever “reverse racism” I may experience as a white male–so why doesn’t the LP focus more on it in place of the racial issues?

    On a list of all the injustices of the state, affirmative action would rank in the bottom decile…

  41. … and if the injustices of statism could be quantified in the millions, then the government’s infringement on the “right” of a public business to discriminate on the basis of race has to be ranked dead last.

  42. How can we support Mr. Gordon until he gives specifics about his problems with Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State & Utopia ?


    Inquiring anarchists wanna know.

    Do it right Gordo . . . good luck.

  43. Suggestion (from my book, and I realize you have similar ideas)

    Two magazines
    “America the Free” general newsmagazine with L editorial slant. This may need an outside publisher, and you to have a second job to run it, so it can take ads.
    “LP News” covering campaign tactics, etc. the way Libertarian Strategy Gazette does.

  44. Congratulations Stephen! This is a huge step in the right direction for the Libertarian Party. I hope you keeping helping Ms. Nall as much as you can to get elected. That could be huge and bigger than anything that National could do at this time.

  45. Congratulations Steve!

    Sorry for the delay in the well wishes, my laptop crashed last week.

  46. Congratulations SG!!! I was out of town and only just learned the news- sorry that I am late. I can’t wait to see what you do!