Libertarians are often accused of entering candidates into political races in order to be a spoiler. The opposite may be true in Texas.
As most of you can guess, the reason I’ve not had time to blog here lately is because of all of the media excitement about the Bob Smither campaign in Texas 22. There is one key topic about thethat seems to have beem missed by the mainstream media so far. (I’m linking to FortBendNow because Mr. Dunn seems to be providing significantly better coverage than some of the more traditional media sources).
The way the story has been relayed to me by several parties (some of whom were inside the closed meeting), former congressman and potential future inmate Tom “Don’t Drop the Soap” DeLay spent his time trying to ensure there would be no support for Smither. According to what I’ve heard, DeLay suggested some outlandish conspiracy theory that Smither and Lampson are secret buddies and the only reason Smither is in this race is to siphon off Republican votes. The direct quote from DeLay seems to be that Smither is “a Lampson plant.”
According to Smither, there isn’t such a relationship and he’s only met Lampson in public when working on issues related to missing children. For those of you not familiar with the horrible tragedy which fell upon the Smither family and how this plays into this campaign, details are available here, here and here.
Of course, Lampson is exploiting that relationship to help his campaign. During the heat of the controversy leading up to Thursday night’s meeting, Lampson released a television commercial that seeks to associate his name with those very same issues. Smither made it very clear to me on the phone that any suggestion that he is working with Lampson to siphon off Republican votes “is a vicious lie.”
While there was clearly some support for Smither in the GOP meeting, DeLay’s antics killed any chance for Smither to address the audience. Now Republicans have a tougher pickle than the simple issue of whether or not to support the Libertarian candidate. They’ve probably got two write-in candidates, one of whom has a very difficult to spell name.
Texas 22 is rated around 65% Republican and areas of the district are certainly libertarian friendly. My question is why the “Hyphen Lady” and are running spoiler write-in campaigns to keep Smither, the only economic conservative actually on the ballot, from winning. It seems to me they are placing their personal interests ahead of those of the voters. If I was still a Republican (and I was for years), I’d be strongly supporting and then voting for Smither simply because he has a greater chance of winning than the write-in Repubs. I’d simply have considered a vote for either of the Republicans a wasted vote.
My suggestion to Republicans is to work with Smither to help ensure that Nancy Pelosi isn’t the next Speaker of the House.
My challenge to Libertarians is to take the Smither campaign to the blogosphere, much like DailyKos did for Lamont in Connecticut. With that sort of support, you can show local Republicans that Smither is indeed their best option.