The Badnarik Saga Continues

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In response to requests for information about Badnarik campaign fundraising, campaign manager Allen Hacker responded over at Blognarik:

First you dig a really deep hole…

…all the way to bedrock. Then you dig some more, and finally, you start your foundation. Note that you had to do a lot of work before you could even start proactively building something.

We’ve built a solid base. We’ve raised more than and spent less than $150K, and we’re ready to cement the foundation. That will happen the 25th when we win the District 10 nomination and can finally start to do the things a formal candidate does. That’s right, In Texas you can’t act like a candidate for office until you are one. We’ve only been a candidate for nomination through now, so we’ve been limited.

Yes, we do intend to raise substantially more than a million, and win this race. We’ve spent so far only about a tenth of that, maybe less. Sure, this takes faith and imagination. We have it, we hope you do too.

What does that foundation look like so far?

Six people working full-time backed up by 5 behind-the-scenes researchers. A fully-equipped office serving as a base from which we swarm out several times a day and talk to people, grab something to eat and keep on going. A mountain of data against which the opposition won’t be able to stand.

FEC reports don’t include “the human side”. All the fiscal analysis in the world won’t tell you how many hours are spent out in the precincts.

We did a listening tour in February. Can’t see all those hours in the FEC report. Starting Monday, and bolstered by radio ads, we’ll do the Feedback Tour. We’ll be out there touching and lighting fires for 4 solid days. Of course, you won’t see those hours or their results in the next report, either.

So please, my friends, let’s not let some nasty innuendo from inexperienced young people who don’t have any business experience mislead you into their thinking that we must do this from a revival tent eating hamburger-helper. They have no idea what it takes, and that’s just the limitation of youth.

They’re not bad guys by nature, but the destructiveness of what they do when they go off half-cocked is real just the same.

And please, let’s be fair both ways. Don’t just lecture me on manners without holding those guys to the same standard. They want to claim they’re doing analysis? Make them do a complete job. They want to say they’re just asking questions? Jump on them for us when they write snide remarks, innuendo and outright accusations instead. Then I won’t have to! (Thanks!)

And don’t let yourselves get jarred into letting them transfer old accusations from one group to another. That’s not analysis at all, that’s just mindless reactivity.

We all need to do better than that. I’m working on it. I hope you are too.

I like the skyscraper analogy, and find his stated defense very reasonable — for the most part. I think Hacker should lighten up a bit on younger supporters, as they provided most of the activism which helped Michael win the LP presidential nomination in the first place, as well as keeping the enthusiasm going throughout the presidential elections. It takes both money and activists to win, and I’d be using a bit less of a top-down approach than Hacker. But as I’ve said before, he’s the man on the ground and I’m several states to the east of them.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Money is a big deal in elections. It is the half of the logistical puzzle that makes campaigns work or fail. I’ve got an idea for raising money that I think will work well, I’d like to pitch to all candidates for the LP, and or state organizations. If you’re interested in hearing it, email me direct.


  2. At this point, I’m just wishing that Hacker could be a little less abrasive. There’s no call to label Stuart Richards as “the lower end of the totem pole” here, or to go after young supporters, and then there’s this:

    “It’s unfortunate that anyone with a mouth can say just anything”

    Wait, no it isn’t. That’s called the First Amendment.

  3. Nigel,

    There’s more to freedom than doing anything you want, there’s responsibility too, in equal measure. I know that some (demented?) libertarians like to argue that freedom goes so far as not having to stop a rape if you don’t feel like it, but that is, frankly (and abrasively, if you must), just plain ignorant.

    And there’s more to freedom of speech than just shooting one’s mouth off. Maybe after you’ve been in a theater where some stupid yells, “Fire”, you’ll change your tune.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s not gonna happen. But why not? Because all reasonable people everywhere have agreed that they won’t do it.

    More to the point, the First Amendment defense stinks in this case. It puts Stuart in with Faux News, who fired reporters for refusing to doctor a story. Their defense when sued? “No law requires us to tell the truth”.

    Morality, civil respect, honor, whatever, requires critics to tell the truth, do their homework, and keep it objective.

    Stuart didn’t.


  4. Oh lord, here he goes again. Hacker does more damage to Badnarik’s campaign everytime he opens his mouth… Why any candidate in their right mind would hire this moron is beyond me.

  5. Hacker,

    Is it your goal to see how many supporters you can alienate before the election?

  6. I saw an article, and I reported on it… and perhaps I didn’t use the nicest of terminology, but who here does? This is a blog where plenty of unsavory terminology has been used; I think I was actually quite light on you lot. I also recall that you made quite a few assumptions when you read my initial post. Reread this:

    Our Presidential candidate is a celebrity of sorts in Libertarian circles, and if there’s ever a real reason to run a candidate for that, this seems to be that reason: we have a good shot at plunking him in the Senate or the House afterwards, since his fundraising capabilities are on par with the majors. But we need people that will use our money responsibly, not squander it.

    Is any one part of that paragraph false? Yes, it was used in conjunction with the article on Badnarik, but I didn’t use his name for the concluding portions, because my intention was to stir up debate, and let the reader make up their own mind whether Badnarik was

  7. using money responsibly or squandering it.

    Pretty much the only offensive portion was:

    However, it looks like the majority of that has been spent on dinners out, cruise tickets, and other crap. Almost none of it’s going towards actual advertising or outreach. I’ll just blockquote Cassidy here:

    Now, if you read the FEC reports, what does it show? Just that: money going towards dinners out, cruise tickets, etc. So because I used the word “crap” I’m a villain? Are you fucking serious?

    I purposely bowed out of this debate a few days ago to let you have your say, let you defend yourself honorably, but you’re just namecalling at this point. So let’s see… I say “crap” once when honestly reporting on your candidate, and you go on to completely smear my reputation all over the libertarian net… yet I’m the one that has no “morality, civil respect, honor” and I “don’t tell the truth or do my homework.”

    I’ll grant you the objectivity part insofar as I had a

  8. presupposition on your activities… but when you cursed out Austin Cassidy a few months back for airing his thoughts on the Badnarik campaign, you didn’t exactly leave the best taste in anyone’s mouths. I already thought very little of you over your treatment of Cassidy; when I saw something that reinforced that, what else was I to think?

    Anyway, this is a news source but hardly an objective news source-if the blogosphere was a newspaper, HoT would be the opinion page. Objectivity is preferred, but not necessary… we’ve been less than objective plenty of times in regards to Bush, the GOP, the Democrats, etc. so I hardly think I’d start with a loudmouth who whines about bloggers picking on him.

    You actually did a decent job above proving me wrong; and as I said I’d eat my words if you could, consider them eaten. But that doesn’t change the fact that 1) this was a valid issue to bring up 2) clarifying this issue will probably HELP you get more donors 3) at this point, you’re

  9. just whining about this. Just let it go, nobody’s out to get you-I’m just out to make certain that libertarian donors don’t waste their money, because quite frankly there’s not enough of them out there and we have to treasure the ones we have and spend their money wisely.

  10. As a 27 year old (considering myself young at 27), may I suggest to Mr. Badnarik that he closely censors Mr. Hacker regarding his views on “young people” and the “limitations of youth.” If those statements become too widely spread, it will make my unoffical grass roots campaigning in the coming election more difficult. I tend to have better luck in talking with youth than people who have a great deal of emotional investment in their existing power base. Unfortuantly, youth tends to frown upon “old people” discrediting them for their youth. I’m not accusing Mr. Hacker of doing this, but it was my first impression upon reading his statement. Youth tends to know how to use a search engine a bit better than our elders.

  11. Allen, thanks for using a straw man argument to chew me out. Clearly I don’t believe that people should be allowed to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater. I do think your post was poorly phrased on the matter. I like Badnarik, but you, sir, are an asshole.

  12. Guys,

    If you want to spend your lives taking everything personally, I won’t try to stop you.

    I still think it’s just plain wierd that two-way shit-throwing isn’t acceptable to you.

    Most of this can run its course from here. I can live with you, Stuart, and I am willing to let Nigel take whatever time he needs to get over taking it all so personally. He’s been a friend and certainly could be again.

    However, you should all know that you can’t be listening to everyone equally. There is at least one among you who has been calling me an asshole on this and other blogs since before Stuart’s article was posted, and it’s because he has to make damn certain I appear to have no credibility before I finally get fed up with him and tell everyone how he flat-out lied to me about an email when I asked him to lighten up on the folks over at Liberty PAC.


  13. …I never planned to say a word about it, but if things don’t become a little more civil around here, I’m going to publish the whole thread.

    Then we’ll see who really wants the truth known and who doesn’t.

    As far as the current flap goes, I can be done with it.


  14. I didn’t find Stuart’s original post in the least bit condemnatory. I’ve found much of the discussion since to be far over that line. And I do agree that Mr. Hacker could be easier on the younger people…age is not the issue here. But, as a geezer, I’ll say, maybe respect is an issue…

    Mr. Hacker, obviously, is working for peanuts and probably paying even for the peanuts. As someone who’s slept in campaign

    For a long time now, Libertarian fundraising appeals have touted some nonsensical “secret strategy” and lured their checkwriters with such openly published nonsense.
    Hacker’s effort is the first major Libertarian campaign in some time which defiantly has refused to publish the campaign’s strategy. Duh? Only a moron, or the “experts” often found around Libertarian fundraising fraud, would discuss campaign strategy, with anyone.

    For that difference alone, Hacker deserves my respect.

  15. Wow, this is truly impressive. How much of this could have been dealt with behind the scenes? I am embarrased as a Libertarian today. HoT is a great website and all of you involved directly with the Badnarik campaigns (’04 & ’06) are doing a wonderful job, but tact is something that needs some work. This party won’t grow if childish shit like this continue to take place.

    Let’s move on and get Badnarik in office. Let’s get ready for ’08 and find a viable Presidential candidate that will make us proud. That will make all of us want to go out and knock on doors and wear away some shoe rubber.

  16. With friends like the “whiners and complainers” wing of the party, who the hell needs enemies?

    I’m 27 and don’t take any offense at all from anything that Hacker has said. I don’t even find him to be abrasive. Maybe I’m just dense. Boo-hoo.

    Can’t this stupid, overblown, trumped up thing just die? I can only imagine the impression this must be making on newcomers!?! Thanks a lot bungholes. Go get a girlfriend or a pet hampster or something and butt out, mind your own business, fly a kite, go play in the street, take up drinking, something…

  17. Devious Daved said:
    Thanks a lot bungholes. Go get a girlfriend or a pet hampster or something and butt out, mind your own business, fly a kite, go play in the street, take up drinking, something…

    Interesting… I know several Republicans who joined the Libertarian party after they were presented with the same attitude when they began to question a local candidate’s tactics and actions.

    They too were berated and cast aside (despite their generous monetary and personal time contributions) leading them to ask the bigger questions concerning their party.

    I have only worked small local campaigns, but we treated EVERYONE asking questions as if they were a potential Libertarian, not just a potential voter. Some of our most ardent opposition eventually became diehard supporters because we didn’t take the typical (and often expected) action of senseless bickering, which impressed them to no end, eventually winning them over.

    To each his own.. I guess.

  18. Cool. But it seems to me that this matter has been resolved and this kind of endless complaining is all I ever see. There is a difference between questioning and complaining – and most of the complainers are not even in the district.

  19. Disappointment is a fact of life for anyone who trusts political change to others. It may be that Badnarik will fail. The only one you control is you (Dr. Phil,

    Did you help or hurt?

    Even when he’s elected, the potential for disappointment is huge. The opposition may gang up on him (if they haven’t self-destructed by then). He could shoot himself in the foot politically (common libertarian trait).

    Having had a small taste of the hard work, planning and optimism demonstrated by this team, I’m willing to back the effort knowing my time and money was not wasted and that I did what I could to help.

    I have been disappointed, I may be–will be–disappointed again, but at least I’m not supporting the lesser evil or playing the victim in advance. If I have doubts, I think I’ll see if they’re well-founded in this instance, and address them in private rather than give comfort to our opponents. I can do that without relying on anyone else.