Two More Political Party Swappers

With all the cross-party stuff going on with Bill Weld, Sue Jeffers, Loretta Nall and Kevin Zeese, I was already starting to lose track of who was in which political party. Now there are two more names to add to the list. The first one comes from The Boston Globe, which reports that New Hampshire Libertarian Party chair John Babiarz will be running for the legislature as a Democrat:

John Babiarz, 49, chairman of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, filed Thursday as a Democratic candidate for the Legislature. Babiarz, of Grafton, is a member of the liberty-loving Free State Project and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002. He once served as an adviser to former Republican Gov. Craig Benson, as an appointee to the governor’s council on government efficiency.

Babiarz, a self-employed computer programmer, said he chose to run as a Democrat because of election laws that make it easier to for major-party candidates to run for office. Republican and Democratic candidates are required to pay $2 or collect five signatures from certified voters to get on the ballot; independents and minor-party candidates must pay $2 and collect 150 signatures.

“It’s discriminatory,” said Babiarz, who said he knows of other Libertarians running under other party banners. He is running to represent the towns of Enfield, Canaan, Grafton, Orange and Dorchester. The district currently is represented by Republican Paul Mirski, of Enfield, and Democrats Catherine Mulholland of Grafton and Peter Solomon of Canaan.

This one confuses me a bit. 150 signatures is like taking candy from a baby. I’ll try to call Babiarz tomorrow (too late right now) to get the rest of the story on this one.

The other story
comes from Wisconsin’s The Capital Times, where David Redick dumped the GOP to run as a Libertarian for U.S. Senate:

Says Redick: “The Republican Party nationwide is ‘off course’ compared to its traditional values, and Republican leaders at the state and county level seem to like it that way or, at least, (they) will settle to be submissive and abused ‘loyalists’ to D.C. The far-right religious groups, corrupt congressmen and warmonger ‘neocons’ have taken over in D.C., and it seems no one is willing or able to push them back. (The GOP) is now the war, big-spending and homeland spy party. My campaign efforts to gain support for reform have been fruitless, but revealed the depth of trouble the Republicans are in. While they engage in self-serving denial to hide problems, the cliff of the November 7 election is fast approaching. Pollsters predict many losses.

“Hence I have left the Republicans to their well-earned fate and joined the Libertarian ‘party of principle.’ It embraces my philosophy of limited government, fiscal conservatism and peace, along with social liberalism consistent with the Bill of Rights.”

More power to Dave Redick for standing on principle rather than bending to the dictates of Republican partisanship. If he secures the Libertarian nomination, as seems likely, he’ll still be able to contribute ideas and energy to the fall debates.

As for the Republicans, they have shown by their actions that their party is no longer the “big tent” of the Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush days. More and more, the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower is starting to look like a narrow-minded cult of personality that loves its current president more than it does the conservative principles it purports to cherish or the country it purports to lead.

I absolutely love Redick’s quote on the fate of the GOP and wish him the best in his campaign.

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. Regarding the Babiarz campaign and their comments, I say good for him just for the sake of fucking with them. Having two levels of requirements for different political parties is just plain discriminatory and he’s nailed that.

    What kills me is the people who are most likely to slam him for these kinds of tactics (“blatantly trying to abuse the process by registering as Democrats and running against Democratic candidates in primaries.”) are the same ones who will run to us when it suits their agenda.

    So frankly, if they can’t play fair with us… fuck ’em.

  2. In New Hampshire many people vote a straight party ticket, checking a box to vote for all Democrats or all Republicans. Running under one of those tickets gets you a lot of votes you’d not otherwise get.

  3. John is one of _many_ libertarians running as Democrats this election cycle in New Hampshire. I’d say it’s about 50-50 split for Republican and Democrat among the many who are running, but with a strongly incumbent Democrat Governor, who is favored to win by a safe margin (we do 2 year election cycles, and most have gotten 2 terms minimum, this would be his second), the straight ticket voters will likely help carry lesser slots on the ballot…. Such is life in the Free State, where now behind both Republican & Democrat ballot choices are a growing horde of libertarian-minded individuals. Amen.

    And VanDyke is correct: Sauce for the Gander and all that jazz.

  4. Jon, actually, NH doesn’t have any more straight party ticket voting than most states. See how they may pick a Democrat for Prez and Gov. (although these change) and the GOP for US House and US Senate. Also, look at the NH Executive Council, it is divided with 4 GOP and 1 Democrat.

  5. When I say straight party ticket, I don’t mean “Pick out every Democrat or Republican and fill in that oval.” I mean fill in an oval that says vote for every single one of that party on the ballot.

    See this sample from 2004:

    Now note two people running as both Democrat and Republican. That’s fusion, it’s possible to get the nomination of both parties in New Hampshire, and that person gets every single straight party vote from either side. Not quite as useful in an uncontested race as in a multi-person multi-seat race though . . .

  6. Note that Nader has no party line; he is an ‘independent”. As it was explained to me at the time, the ‘Libertarian’ after Kahn’s name refers to a one time political maneuver that in 2006 will be replaced with ‘Independent’.

  7. Stephen,

    I’m not surprised. The “Libertarian Party” brand name is simply not effective at helping candidates winning elections, and I suspect that Babiarz is simply tired of losing elections. You can only put on the sackcloth so long. Its great to be the “voice of liberty”, but if you have a very tiny microphone and a cardboard box for a stump, you’re just not going to reach many people. I doubt Babiarz (whom I have chided in the past for being ineffective even as I have praised him for his dedication) will become a statist just because he’s running as a Donkey. He’s not a Jackass :-)


  8. Don’t know what other states have fusion, or straight party voting like New Hampshire. I don’t much care either, my efforts will be expended there once I get around to moving my butt up there. Freedom needs a beach front, and New Hampshire is the best chance we’ve got.

    The more liberty lovers we’ve got taking up slots in the Democrat and Republican party, the less slots left for fascists, socialists, authoritarians and other people who are in politics for the chance to run other people’s lives.

  9. I’ve been thinking about a similar scenario where LPers in NH clog up the ballot on both sides. This type of thing needs some coordination though. Decide who and how many will do Democratic, Republican and Democratic/Republican. There probably aren’t enough volunteers for it to be a total success. Once volunteers increase we’d add Libertarian.

    The NH Liberty Alliance’s Liberty Index shows NH Democrats as being more statist. Replace more of them and the whole of the index moves up.

  10. While it is important to adhere to and uphold party principles, there is also something to be said for party loyalty. If both big L and little l libertarians are going to run as Democrats and Republicans, then why bother to have a Libertarian Party? Like everyone else I get discouraged when our candidates either don’t get on the ballot or garner only 2% to 4% of the vote when they do. I also sometimes wonder if the LP is nothing but a glorified debating society. However, when I see the name of a candidate under the Libertarian banner on a ballot, I know what I’m going to get when I vote for that person. With a Republican or Democrat candidate who sounds the a libertarian, you can never be sure what you’re going to get. I, likely like many of you, have been disappointed again and again voting for Democrats and Republicans who turn out to be nothing but wolves in sheeps clothing.

  11. Jon: we have both beachfront _and_ beach-head here in NH.
    Come on up! The more the merrier here in the Free State.

    Devious: Yes, the “both sides” approach is happening already, and is being coordinated by a variety of groups, including the NHLA (which is a non-partisan pro-liberty PAC). As for the Liberty Index, it’s true that NH Democrats overall might be more statist, however, it depends on the issue. For bills such as an Anti-REALID, the Democratic side was more pro-liberty and worked for freedom. There is a good sized libertarian-ish wing of the NH Republican party, but it’s not a majority (yet).

  12. The whole point of the FSP in it’s original guise was a whole bunch of libertarians move into a state and AS LIBERTARIANS run for office and gain major party status. Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions….

  13. John: Excuse me, but you are incorrect.

    From today’s NH Concord Monitor, written by Varrin Swearingen, the FSP President:

    The Free State Project does seek 20,000 participants who commit to move to New Hampshire, where they will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty and property. The mission is to attract people who seek that style of government. The work of creating and sustaining such a society in New Hampshire is the job of residents, including project participants, not the Free State Project itself.

    (continued next post)

  14. (Continued)

    People who desire the limited government described above carry many names: libertarian, classical liberal, “Goldwater conservative,” etc. They have many interests and styles of pursuing such a society. The Free State Project does not endorse any specific changes to government or strategies to achieve them but rather leaves that up to its participants to work on once they come home to New Hampshire.

    The project does engage in one official activity in New Hampshire: the annual Porcupine Freedom Festival. This year’s festival will be held June 23-30 in Lancaster. Information can be found at Anyone interested is invited to attend.

  15. I believe there is a misunderstanding of what is going on. In 2004, in NH you could run as a “Libertarian”. In 2006, in NH you _cannot_. You can run as D, R, or “Independent”. Period. Full Stop. (MA is different. Here you can run as an L.)

    Given the allowed choices, running as part of the majority party in a multi-member district on a slate certain to win will actually elect libertarians. What you are seeing in significant part is an effort to persuade the D and R parties to change the ballot access rules.

  16. Seth:

    What does a synchronic slice of a project have to do with the original principles? Especially a slice that’s been modified for four years

  17. John, the point is that your interpretation of what the FSP ‘was’ is in fact, just that: your take on it. It was never officially ‘a whole bunch of libertarians move into a state and AS LIBERTARIANS run for office and gain major party status,’ and of course, since you thought it was, you are disappointed to see people filing as Democrats or Republicans. In the meantime, those of us here on the ground realize that having Capital L Libertarian ballot status or party membership is the least of issues… getting elected and otherwise being involved in activism in some way is the only thing that matters. In other words: my principle (and others here as well) is to be working toward a Free State, and that is the sole ‘original principle’.