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Sunday Breakfast Menu, Oct. 7
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ October 7, 2012, 01:13 AM)

Surrogates from the Obama and Romney campaigns join the Sunday talk shows to review the first presidential debate.


Is Gary Johnson Putting Oregon in Play for Romney?
(from: Independent Political Report @ October 7, 2012, 12:52 AM)

A number of conservative blogs such as Breitbart, Gay Patriot Blog and Michael Barone are speculating that the reason why Obama is running ads heavily in Portland, Oregon is that Gary Johnson may be putting Oregon in play, in large part due to marijuana policy issues. And, indeed, polls in several states, including New Mexico and Colorado, indicate that Johnson is drawing more heavily from votes that might otherwise have gone to President Obama, whereas in other states he draws more heavily from votes that may have otherwise gone to Mitt Romney. As a counterpoint, a commenter on one one of those blogs observes that Obama’s campaign is also advertising heavily in San Francisco (it is highly unlikely that they think Johnson is even remotely likely to put California in play).

The speculation about Oregon has made its way onto the LNC discussion list by way of Dan Wiener. Some readers may find ironic, however, that earlier this year Mr. Wiener’s alternate, Dr. Scott Lieberman, wrote to Richard Burke

I think you work for the Johnson campaign. Please make it clear to them that it is in their long-term best interests to sacrifice ballot access in Oregon if that is what it takes to politically neuter Wes Wagner and his group of misfits.

Steve Newton writes in response to Bruce Cohen’s statement along those same lines:

Gary Earl Johnson is not doing as well as expected: In fundraising, in appearances and in polling.The way for him to become relevant…To become interesting to the media…And American voters…Is to threaten to take a battleground state away from Obama. Libertarians will be thrilled if he uses Marijuana as a wedge issue. Pot smokers are a large enough voting block to swing it in Oregon.I say to the Gary Johnson campaign, the way for you to do something good for the LP and for America, much less for your own efforts is to go hard against Obama in one or two swing states.How about Oregon and New Mexico for starters?Gary! Do America a favor and take down Obama. Or go down trying.

This is a fascinating post that deserves both fisking and parsing.

In what way is the Gary Johnson campaign not doing as well as expected, Bruce–and by whom?

The campaign has painstakingly raised several million dollars, almost entirely from small donors. Did you somehow expect that million-dollar donations were going to roll in for a third-party candidate until after he had broken through?

Appearances? You have to be kidding, right. Gary Johnson and Jim Gray have been crisscrossing the nation, appearing nonstop at every possible venue. While Gary has not cracked regular coverage on A-list media (and note that even Ron Paul, with ten times his funding never did, either), he has attracted more press coverage in local, state, alternative, and internet media than any other Libertarian candidate in history. He’s been on Fox, CNN, the Daily Beast. . . . USA Today published his answers to debate questions; WaPo and Newsday called for his inclusion. Three debate sponsors pulled out thanks to grassroots pressure from his campaign.

Polling? He’s disappointing in polling? Some polls show him at double digits in the battleground state of Ohio, others at 6% nationally.

[...]

From this disappointment, Bruce goes on to argue that what Gary should really be doing is running hard against Obama in a swing state like Oregon, that he should make himself a single-issue candidate in order to tilt the balance in one state.

What an idiotic strategy, designed only to improve Mitt Romney’s chances and not to improve the Libertarian Party’s.

[..]

What the Gary Johnson campaign is doing that has NEVER before happened in the Libertarian Party is building a truly nationwide effort with coordinators and events in virtually every state, with earned media aplenty, with true grassroots organizing. . .

An example from Delaware: when Bob Barr [...] ran in 2008 he did nothing in Delaware. Even if you wanted them, you couldn’t find signs, or bumper stickers, or a campaign, much less an event.

This year Gary Johnson skyped into the Libertarian Party of Delaware convention, and Judge Jim Gray actually came to Delaware State University to address and excited crowd, doing radio and TV interviews while he was here. You can actually see Gary Johnson signs around the state (when embittered Ds and Rs don’t knock them down, which has happened), and third party candidates are getting a “coat tail” effect. The Jewish Federation of Delaware reversed its longtime exclusion of third party candidates from its debate; state media has even covered the controversy of the University of Delaware holding to political apartheid in its debate.

That would not be happening without Gary Johnson, and more specifically the Gary Johnson 2012 campaign.

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Pennsylvania Libertarians Claim Enough Valid Signatures
(from: Independent Political Report @ October 7, 2012, 12:27 AM)

From Dr. Tom Stevens on LP State Chairs List and IPR comments:

20,606 We Win!

Although Judge Colins has not made a final ruling and there are still some motions outstanding and another full day of petition signature reviews scheduled at the Philadelphia Board of Elections for Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at the end of the day on Saturday, October 6, 2012, the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party obtained 20,606 valid signatures (5 more than the 20,601 needed), to place Gary Johnson, Judge Gray and the other statewide candidates endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania on the General Election ballot this November.

Paul A. Rossi, Esq., attorney for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, wrote the following in a private update to key LPPA activists:

?At the close of business today (this evening) the total number of stipulated valid signatures on the Pennsylvania nomination papers for the Libertarian Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates was 20,606 (4 more than needed to place all of your candidates on the Pennsylvania General Election Ballot).?

Dr. Tom Stevens, LPPA State Chair, commented:

?We thought the whole idea of holding an election was to give voters a meaningful choice on Election Day. If the only option people have is to vote for the Democrat or the Republican, I say that is no choice at all! Both major political parties are responsible for our current multi-trillion dollar debt and the out-of-control spending. Even though the Libertarian Party submitted more than enough valid signatures, the Republican Party tried to make us cave by threatening us with potential sanctions, court costs and with paying the fees of the battery of GOP lawyers called in to try to short-circuit the democratic process. With little money and an army of dedicated volunteers, we stood up to the challenge, never once considering capitulation. Now, the voters of Pennsylvania will have a real choice and can vote for candidates who support the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and who will defend our Civil Liberties and every person?s individual right to life, liberty and property ? without exception.?

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Big and Small L Libertarians Contemplating Runs for Mayor of NYC
(from: Independent Political Report @ October 6, 2012, 11:50 PM)

In what is an off year for elections in most states, New York City, with a population that would put it in the top dozen states if it were its own state, will be holding a Mayoral election next year.

An anonymous source writes me via email:

Carl [Person] is considering a run for NYC Mayor on the Republican, Conservative, and Libertarian lines. He is in contact and is arranging to meet with people to discuss the possibility. This is an interesting situation because to the GOP’s lack of a candidate and a rather lackluster effort to recruit one (they’ve even openly asked several DEMOCRATS to put their names in for consideration).

Kristin Davis, who sought the Libertarian nomination for Governor and ultimately ran as the Anti-Prohibition Party candidate in 2010, may also be seeking the Mayor’s office.

Wikipedia:

in July 2012 [Roger] Stone announced that Davis had changed her registration to the Republican Party for a potential entry into the 2013 New York City mayoral election. A campaign committee was registered the next month.

Wikipedia cites the following sources:

1

In other Republican news, Roger Stone announced today former madam Kristin Davis has re-registered into the GOP from her upper east side address.

Roger says Ms. Davis may be seeking the Republican mayoral nomination next year in a run against the “nanny state.” The recent super soda debate is the most recent example.

Without a billionaire self funder like Mayor Bloomberg, the GOP will likely lose to the Democratic nominee, who likely will be City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

However, New York City’s public financing of campaigns can be a money maker for even losing candidates.

2

Is the Manhattan Madam running for New York City mayor?

According to her Wikipedia page, Kristin Davis, who claimed have to served Eliot Spitzer with her escort service, changed her registration to Republican in preparation for a possible run for New York City mayor in 2013.

Now, she?s got a campaign committee to raise money to run for Mike Bloomberg?s job.

The Daily News wrote more about the prospect a few months ago, and Davis wrote on her own blog in late June that she was ?seriously considering? running as a Libertarian, especially since she feels Council Speaker Christine Quinn would not end the practice of stop-and-frisk as mayor.

Recall that Davis ran for New York governor in 2010 on a very Libertarian platform, advised by Roger Stone.

If she runs as a Republican, that could be a hell of a primary with Malcolm Smith.

The link to Davis’ blog goes to this page:

CAN WE VOTE AGAINST STOP & FRISK?
I PONDER THE 2013 NYC MAYORAL RACE

While I commend Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for their efforts to make the NYPD Stop & Frisk Policy less intrusive and racist- it is not an issue that can be fixed.

The NYPD Stop & Frisk Policy, which allows for an NYPD Officer to ?Stop & Frisk? an individual, without just cause, is unconstitutional. It violates our 4th amendment rights, which are designed to protect us from unreasonable searches, and require a warrant, issued by a court of law, supported by probable cause.

I, personally, have been the victim of the NYPD Stop & Frisk Policy. A few months ago I was ?stopped? outside of the airport and searched. I have no idea why I was stopped. I was going about my business. While I was not doing anything illegal ? I cannot tell you how scary it is as a convicted felon to be detained by the police on any matter. I spent four months in the hell-hole of Rikers Island and even the sight of a Police Officer sends shivers down my spine.

The only way to ?fix? this policy ? is to get rid of it. Unfortunately, City Council President and 2013 Mayoral Race Frontrunner, Christine Quinn, supports the NYPD Stop & Frisk Policy.

In 2013, if Christine Quinn wins the Democratic Nomination for Mayor of NYC, the unconstitutional and racist NYPD Stop & Frisk Policy will continue. Those who oppose stop and frisk will have no voice.

If this happens, I will seriously considering entering the Mayor?s race as the Libertarian Party Candidate so the voters have a choice and can cast a vote against this outrageous policy. Based on the fact that I successfully collected the 22,000 signatures required to get on the ballot as a protest candidate for Governor, I am confident I could get on the mayoral ballot.

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Romney Gets Personal
(from: Political Wire @ October 6, 2012, 11:31 PM)

"Mitt Romney, his friends often say, is a private man in a public world. But with just one month left until the election, he has calculated that to win the presidency he must do what for years he has been loath to: share intimate stories about his life," the Washington Post reports.

"So, as the sun set on his rally here Friday night, the Republican nominee, buoyed by his successful turn on the debate stage, for the first time publicly related emotionally powerful anecdotes. Romney told of ministering to the needy in his Mormon church, including a 14-year-old who was dying of leukemia and summoned 'Brother Romney' to his bedside. He also spoke of an old friend who ended up a quadriplegic after an accident and came to see Romney recently, the day before he died."

New York Times: "An adviser said that Mr. Romney decided on his own that he wanted to tell those stories onstage. But the move was also couched in a broader campaign strategy to encourage Mr. Romney to reveal a more caring, personal side of himself, a counter to his reputation as a data-driven technocrat."


Expectations Grow for Vice Presidential Debate
(from: Political Wire @ October 6, 2012, 11:30 PM)

In the wake of President Obama's widely panned performance in his first debate against Mitt Romney, the Washington Post says the stakes for Vice President Biden "are suddenly higher than ever. In the Oct. 11 vice-presidential debate he must not only avoid making any gaffes but also try to puncture his Republican opponent's arguments on taxes, entitlement reform and deficit reduction, something Obama was criticized for failing to do last week."

"The pressure on Ryan has risen as well. Romney greatly exceeded expectations, appearing both presidential and in command of the debate stage. Ryan, who has never before debated at the national level, must prove that he is potential presidential material -- while also defending the numbers that Romney put forth last week, especially on tax cuts."

Mark Halperin: "Is Paul Ryan's goal to win the debate or just not lose it?"


The FBI's War on Student Radicals
(from: Political Wire @ October 6, 2012, 11:22 PM)

Just out: Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power by Seth Rosenfeld.

A New York Times review calls it an "electrifying examination of a newly declassified treasure trove of documents detailing our government's campaign of surveillance of the Berkeley campus during the '60s. Rosenfeld spent 30 years fighting to compel the government to release more than 300,000 pages of documents about the illegal spying program, an effort the F.B.I. spent almost a million dollars opposing."


Americans Elect Super PAC Spends $700,000 on Ads to Boost Independent U.S. Senate Candidate Angus King
(from: Independent Political Report @ October 6, 2012, 11:13 PM)

Ballot Access News:

According to an October 5 story in the Washington Times, Americans Elect?s super-PAC has spent $700,000 on independent expenditures recently to boost Angus King, the former independent Governor of Maine who is running for the U.S. Senate as an independent. The story also says that the donor to the Americans Elect super-PAC who made this possible is New York city Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is himself a registered independent.

And from comments on that same post:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $500,000. The other two major donors are Peter Ackerman, one of the Americans Elect founders, and John Burbank, the founder of Passport Capital, gave $500,000 and $750,000, respectively.

This super PAC in support of King, countered spending from the NRSC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in support of Republican Charlie Summers. It?s the first pro-King advertising from an outside group, in a race where the GOP is pouring in resources amid a shifting Senate battleground.

The NRSC, National Republican Senatorial Committee, has filed a complaint with the FEC about the involvement of Americans Elect.

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New McCaskill Ad Hits Akin on Rape Views
(from: Political Wire @ October 6, 2012, 11:12 PM)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) put out a new ad hammering challenger Todd Akin (R) on the subject of rape victims.

National Journal reports the is airing statewide. It indirectly cites Akin's comment that women rarely become pregnant in cases of "legitimate rape." The ad's narrator states that "it's not what Todd Akin said. It's what he believes."


Ralph Nader: Rigged Presidential ?Debates? Amidst the Supine Media
(from: Independent Political Report @ October 6, 2012, 11:10 PM)

By Ralph Nader at Nader.org:

The three upcoming so-called presidential debates (actually parallel interviews) between Obama and Romney show the pathetic mainstream campaign press for what it is ? a mass of dittoheads desperately awaiting gaffes or some visual irregularity by any of the candidates. The press certainly does not demand elementary material from the candidates such as the secret debate contract negotiated by the Obama and Romney campaigns that controls the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the campaigns? corporate offspring.

A similar secret contract between George W. Bush and John Kerry in 2004, obtained by George Farah, executive director of Open Debates (www.opendebates.org) showed just how the two Parties rig the debate process. Both Parties agreed that they would: (1) not request any additional debates, (2) not appear at any other debate or adversarial forum with any other presidential or vice presidential candidate, and (3) not accept any television or radio air time offers that involve a debate format. Were this deal to be between two corporations, they could be prosecuted for criminal violation of the antitrust laws.

This year voters are not allowed to know about the current backroom fix between Obama and Romney.

Farah revealed more. The Bush/Kerry closeout of the voters and the media extended to their agreeing not to ask each other direct questions but only rhetorical questions, and to clear any questions from the audience by their chosen moderator prior to the debates. Of course third party candidates are excluded. In 2000 and 2004, national polls showed majorities wanting me in the debates ? the only way non-billionaires could reach tens of millions of voters ? but the captive CPD and their compliant director, Janet Brown, created other exclusionary barriers.

Nothing seems to motivate the mainstream campaign press into challenging the two Party duopoly, its definition of important questions, or the rancid corporate sponsorship of the debates down to the hospitality parties the corporatists hold at the debate locations in Colorado, New York and Florida this October. The reporters must like the free wine and food.

Nor did the supine press inform the voters of recent written requests by numerous organizations in the Pittsburgh, District of Columbia and Portland, Oregon regions inviting the presidential candidates to debate in these areas (http://nader.org/2012/09/18/ralph-nader-dc-organizations-call-for-presidential-debate/). Heaven forbid that the people strive to shape the presidential debate process and weaken the duopoly?s grip. Imagine a democratic process.

Substantively, the supine press applies its own rules. Rule One is to avoid pressing questions that extend the public?s agenda beyond what the two major candidates are wrangling over. So if they don?t debate pulling back from unauthorized wars, invasions, incursions or other important foreign policy moves they are not asked. Rule Two is to ignore what major civic groups or groups with credible track records propose for the candidates to address. So Obama and Romney are not pressed by the press to expressly respond to many important issues including: what they would do on law enforcement against corporate crime, fraud and abuse, whether they favor a $10 minimum wage that catches up to 1968, inflation adjusted, for thirty million workers, or on their positions on either a Wall Street speculation tax that can raise big money or even a carbon tax.

Union organizing rights, workers? health and safety, and a variety of important consumer protections are scarcely on the press table even when their own colleagues often report on these timely subjects.

When a matter is super-timely and they can interview the nation?s foremost expert on the politics of presidential debates ? George Farah, author of No Debate ? the major media is not interested. They have rejected his op-eds. Apart from local radio shows, he cannot get on national public radio, public TV or the commercial networks. It is not for lack of space and time being devoted to the Presidential campaigns.

I know Farah. He worked for me over a decade ago, right out of Princeton before going to Harvard Law School. He is an interviewers? dream ?speaks crisply, cogently and convincingly.

Maybe reporters should be given ?curiosity training sessions? about what the public needs and wants to know but that the candidates are not interested in discussing.

Maybe columnists should work with the people on the ground instead of just working off clips and dealing with political flaks who restrict access to the candidates. Some columnists could benefit from a sabbatical for self-renewal.

Maybe editors and producers should expand beyond the usual ?talking heads? and give the many important outside voices and movements some deserved coverage.

Our country needs a better performance by the major media that is stuck in routines, ruts and stagnant self-censorship from the national to the local levels. This is especially true of the concentrated television industry that uses our public airwaves, free of charge.

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