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Independent Political Report

Mary Ruwart endorses Scotty Boman for U.S. Senate (July 23, 2008, 09:11 PM)

A media release from Michigan Libertarian for U.S. Senate Scotty Boman says he’s proud to announce he’s been officially endorsed by “libertarian icon” Mary Ruwart.

“It is a great honor to be endorsed by a person of Dr. Ruwart’s caliber; she is a superb writer, philosopher, and Michigan native,” says Scotty, who was the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Michigan?s successful ballot-access drive in 1994. Dr. Ruwart was supportive of that effort, donating copies of her critically acclaimed and best-selling book, Healing Our World, which were sold and the proceeds used to pay petitioners.

“Mary is unique among high profile libertarians in that she has a capacity to be both uncompromising in her positions and patient with those who disagree,” says Scotty. “This quality has made her a unifying force in the libertarian movement, always sticking to principal, while showing compassion to the less enlightened. Mary Ruwart put the ‘love’ in revolution, before the idea was a catchy logo.”

Disclosure: IPR’s editor-in-chief is a consultant for Boman08.


LP: Boehner?s comments reflect Republican failures (July 23, 2008, 05:36 PM)

In response to House GOP leader John Boehner’s comments to Reason’s Dave Weigel — that conservatives considering a vote for Bob Barr “might as well vote for Barack Obama” — the LP has issued a press release with harsh words for the GOP and its leadership.

Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis said that Boehner’s comments “reflect the same fallacy of thought that has put America in its current situation, with neither Republicans or Democrats offering the solutions voters want to hear.”

Davis also said Boehner’s comments were “a symptom of the same delusion that cost Republicans control in 2006.”

Read the entire release here.


IPR?s technical difficulties (July 23, 2008, 04:37 PM)

IPR was down for close to 24 hours, most of which I spent frantically trying to figure out how to fix things.

Ultimately, I posted the job on GetACoder.com and hired a programmer from Bangladesh to fix it. This is after being on the phone with a U.S.-based techie who couldn’t figure it out for over two hours. The guy from Bangladesh diagnosed the problem and fixed it in less than an hour at an affordable rate.

Sorry to editorialize, but to heck with Lou Dobbs.


Communists: Don?t ?politicize, disrupt or boycott the Beijing Olympics? (July 23, 2008, 04:08 PM)

The Communist Party USA has issued a statement concerning the fast approaching 2008 Summer Olympics to be held in Beijing, China. In reference to outcry from some quarters concerning China’s human rights record, often specifically focused on Tibet, the CPUSA has echoed the line of IOC President Jacques Rogge for preserving the Olympics’ tradition of political neutrality:

It is no secret that there are many who would like to do whatever is possible to undermine China?s status as a peacefully rising power. We urge the world community to respect China and not interfere in its internal affairs.

While in general we believe everyone has the right to dissent, we fully agree with International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, who said:

?We do ask that there be no propaganda or demonstrations at Olympic Games venues for the very good and simple reason that we have 205 countries and territories represented, many of whom are in conflict, and the Games are not the place to take political or religious stances.?

We believe that any call for a boycott of the Beijing games should be completely rejected.

Interestingly, the statement lauds China’s achievements made “in the last 25 years,” which very roughly coincides with China’s moves away from doctrinaire Communism. The full text, which includes the broader rationalizations underlying the statement, can be found here.


Mary Ruwart: Fannie/Freddie bail-out ?redistributes wealth from poor to rich? (July 23, 2008, 03:48 PM)

Dr. Mary Ruwart has issued a statement concerning the government’s proposed bailout of ailing NYSE-traded firms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Libertarian Party, Bob Barr, and the Boston Tea Party’s Charles Jay have previously released statements on the matter.

Dr. Ruwart’s statement, while in many ways echoing the sentiments of the LP and Mr. Jay, is in stark contrast to Bob Barr’s proposal to give the Federal Reserve “greater oversight” powers over Fannie and Freddie. Dr. Ruwart says: “The Federal Reserve is the institution that lends the U.S. government money. We pay the interest on that debt. This bailout, indeed any program that requires the government to borrow, generates windfall profits for the members of the Fed, a private banking institution. Isn?t that rather like putting the fox in charge of the hen house?”

Below is Dr. Ruwart’s statement in full:

When President Bush promised to prop up the failing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he authorized a transfer of wealth from those who live from paycheck to paycheck to those who have enough money to play the stock market. These lending institutions are owned by stockholders, who saw their shares plummet to lows of 6.7 and 5.0 respectively before they were promised taxpayer bailout. After Bush?s announcement, the stocks recovered to 13.4 and 9.2 respectively, making over 100% profit for speculators and saving investors from further stock free-fall.

Instead of investors losing most of what they paid for their stock, you and I will pick up the tab. The promised bailout has to come from our pockets, because we are the government?s only source of income. Government must tax us or create inflation by borrowing (the most likely scenario). The buying power of our savings and paychecks will plummet. People on fixed incomes (e.g., seniors) will be hurt the most.

How much will the bailout cost us? It depends upon how many mortgage holders default. If everyone did, which is unlikely, we could be looking at $5 trillion. When you consider that the national debt is $9.6 trillion, you can see that this bailout could, in the worst case scenario, cost us about a third of our buying power.

That may only be the beginning, however. Reassured that they won?t be punished for risky investments, management will make the sub-standard loans that got them into trouble in the first place. In several years, we?ll get to do this again! Where will it stop? It won?t! Other lending institutions will want the same subsidies?at our expense.

Some individuals are calling for more oversight of the two lending institutions by Congress or the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is the institution that lends the U.S. government money. We pay the interest on that debt. This bailout, indeed any program that requires the government to borrow, generates windfall profits for the members of the Fed, a private banking institution. Isn?t that rather like putting the fox in charge of the hen house?

Let?s summarize here: speculators, investors and bankers profit. We pay the bill, most likely through inflation. The rich benefit at the expense of the not-so-rich. The poor, who won?t be able to cope with the higher prices which result, will become poorer.

We should not be surprised at this result. Big government always favors the rich. Like a wolf in sheep?s clothing, Big Brother offers us a free lunch, while neglecting to tell us that we are the main course.


Barnett seeks re-election as BTP vice-chair (July 22, 2008, 04:45 PM)

Todd Andrew Barnett, the current vice-chairman of the Boston Tea Party, will seek re-election in October.

Earlier we reported that Jason Gatties — who, like Barnett is from Michigan — would be seeking the post.

Party chairman Jim Davidson will not be seeking re-election. Rumor has it that Chris Bennett — who has publicly stated his intention to leave the LP in November — is considering running for chair.

Read more at Last Free Voice.


House GOP leader: A vote for Barr is a vote for Obama (July 22, 2008, 03:58 PM)

“A vote for Bob Barr — you might as well vote for Barack Obama,” says House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio. “If you want to throw your vote away, that’s fine. But that’s what it would be.”

Boehner’s remarks — which eerily echo the Democrat smears against Henry Wallace in 1948 and Ralph Nader in 2000 — came in response to a question about Barr posed by Reason associate editor, Dave Weigel.

Click here to read Weigel’s full report.


Lew Rockwell: Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney ?friends? (July 22, 2008, 01:25 PM)

In a recent third-party update, Lew Rockwell noted that Libertarian Bob Barr and independent Ralph Nader are at just 2% each in July 22 Harris poll.

Rockwell, who served as Ron Paul’s chief of staff during the Texas congressman’s first stint in D.C., takes exception to a Barr statement saying his campaign “hired the same technology team that helped Paul’s Republican presidential candidacy raise a record-high amount of money via the Internet” (an indirect quote from the anti-Paul Houston Chronicle — it’s possible Barr was taken out of context).

Although Barr did shell out $30,000 of his donors’ money to Terra Eclipse in the month of June, Rockwell says crediting Terra Clipse for Paul’s succes is “like ascribing Ron’s direct-mail fundraising success to the business-reply envelope. It was entirely the man and the grassroots.”

Interestingly, Rockwell has kind words for Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney: “As to the non-interventionist Cynthia McKinney, her first priority is an orderly but immediate withdrawal not just from Iraq and Afghanistan, but from 100 other countries around the world. No wonder she and Ron Paul are friends!”


Barr campaign?s fundraising tops $500,000 (July 22, 2008, 12:28 AM)

The Barr campaign is turning up the heat on campaign donations, hitting the $500,000 mark today and aiming for $750,000 by August 1st. To compare, the Badnarik campaign just barely raised $1 million during the entire 2004 campaign.

The money has come from over 5,000 individual donors.

If the donations continue to roll in at this new pace, it seems entirely reasonable to expect Barr to hit $5 million or more by election day. A very respectable sum that will certainly allow for some national television advertising.


Alan Keyes on California ballot, for now anyway (July 22, 2008, 12:21 AM)

The always-excellent Ballot Access News reports that the California Secretary of State’s office has certified Alan Keyes as the Presidential nominee of the American Independent Party. That party is, or had been, the California affiliate of the Constitution Party.

For now, Keyes is on the ballot and Baldwin is off. But it’s not over as everyone is expecting this fight to go to court next.

Richard Winger’s report…

On July 21, the California Secretary of State recognized the American Independent Party state convention that was held in Sacramento, instead of the one that had been held a week earlier in Los Angeles. The Secretary of State?s Chief Counsel, Pam Giarrizzo, said that the Secretary of State made the decision based on the fact that Ed Noonan is listed in the records as the state chair. She said the office has no knowledge of who was at either convention, and of which convention had the larger attendance of state central committee members. She had no memory of how former Secretary of State March Fong Eu handled a somewhat similar situation differently, in 1988, for the Peace & Freedom Party. She said she might or might not look into the 1988 records, but said also that the decision is final.

Since the convention chaired by Ed Noonan chose presidential electors pledged to Alan Keyes, he will be the American Independent Party presidential nominee unless the other faction is able to sue successfully.


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