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Pennsylvania Libertarians Claim Enough Valid Signatures (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.?
Big and Small L Libertarians Contemplating Runs for Mayor of NYC (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:
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 cites the following sources:
The link to Davis’ blog goes to this page:
Americans Elect Super PAC Spends $700,000 on Ads to Boost Independent U.S. Senate Candidate Angus King (October 6, 2012, 11:13 PM)
And from comments on that same post:
Ralph Nader: Rigged Presidential ?Debates? Amidst the Supine Media (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.
NPR Debate: Gary Johnson and Jill Stein (October 6, 2012, 08:58 PM)
Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party
Jill Stein, Green Party
The short debate – 11 and a half minutes – then goes on to cover answers from each candidate about the economy, health care and role of government before ending with these closing statements:
Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party
Jill Stein, Green Party
There have now been several alternative party debates, including Huffington Post Live: Gary Johnson, Rocky Anderson and Andre Barnett, Democracy Now!: Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson, and coming up on October 23, Free and Equal with Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Virgil Goode and Rocky Anderson.
H/T: Steven Berson in this month’s IPR Open Thread.
Green Party of Arkansas Fields Slate of 14 for November Election (October 6, 2012, 08:57 PM)
Ronald Hardy at Green Party Watch:
Besides Presidential Candidate Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala, Arkansas voters will see Greens on the ballot for all four seats in the House of Representatives, plus two state legislative seats and 8 more local races.
Arkansas is predicting a Republican sweep of the four Congressional races. The Green Party and the Libertarian Party have candidates in all four races.
Rebekah Kennedy is a Fort Worth attorney, who in 2008 got over 200,000 votes running for US Senate for 20.56% of the vote in a head to head match up with Democrat Mark Prior. She also ran for Attorney General in 2006 and 2010, pulling in 33,338 votes in 06 (4.4%) and 193,658 votes in 2010 (26.7%). This year running for the House of Representatives in CD-3, she faces incumbent Republican Steve Womack, and Libertarian candidate David Pangrac after the Democrat dropped out of the race. Polling in this race is interesting: Womack (R) 58%; Kennedy (G) 15.5%; Pangrac (L) 6%; Undecided 20.5%.
Josh Drake is running in his third attempt for the House of Representatives 4th CD. Drake is a Hot Springs attorney, who pulled in 4,129 votes in 2010 (2.32%) and 32,603 votes in 2008 (13.8%). Polling for this race indicates a tough race, With Republican Tom Cotton polling 51%, Democrat Gene Jeffress at 22%, Josh Drake at 4% and Libertarian Bobby Tullis at 3%. Undecided voters are at 20%.
In the first Congressional District, student Jacob Holloway appears to be losing traction (his website is broken and his original facebook page is down). Polling has Holloway at 1%, versus 53% for the Republican, 28% for the Democrat, and 2% for the Libertarian candidate Jessica Paxton.
In the second Congressional District, Barbara Ward, who works at the Arkansas Historical Museum, is polling at 4% in her first campaign. Republican Tim Griffin is at 49%, Democrat Herb Rules is at 28.5%, with Libertarian Chris Hayes at 3%.
The Green Party has two candidates running for State Legislative races in Arkansas. In District 50, former Globetrotter Fred Smith, who was formerly elected to the seat as a Democrat, is running against Democrat Hudson Hallum, who was elected to replace Smith in a special election after Smith resigned in 2010. Details of why Fred Smith resigned, and why he is running now as a Green, can be read here. In the other race, in District 45 the Green Party is running Travis Mason against Republican incumbent Jeremy Gillam. There are no other candidates in the race.
Other candidates running for local races on the Green Party ticket in Arkansas:
(Videos found at Independentarkansas.com)
Video: Gary Johnson Speaks at University of Cincinnati (October 6, 2012, 02:47 PM)
Lee Wrights: Support our troops. Bring them all home now (October 6, 2012, 12:02 AM)
by R. Lee Wrights
Samuel Johnson said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” H.L. Mencken expanded that definition when he said, “Patriotism, in truth, is the great nursery of scoundrels ? Its chief glories are the demagogue, the military bully, and the spreaders of libels and false history.”
I think of this definition every time I hear the phrase or see a sign or bumper sticker that says “Support Our Troops.” This slogan has been twisted into a mantra employed to blind Americans to the death and destruction that’s the inevitable result of our interventionist foreign policy. As an editor of a daily news service, I think of this every time I watch or read a news report of a young soldier coming home and seeing his six-month or year old child for the first time. I think of this every time I see a young Marine coming home with his limbs blown off. I think of this every time I see another body bag or flag-draped coffin.
And every time, a knot forms in my stomach. I remember my service as an Air Force medic, treating military personnel physically and emotionally scared by war. I’m sick of it. I’m sick and tired of the perpetual and universal state of interventionist war perpetrated by both Democrats and Republicans that’s driving us deeper and deeper into debt, devastating our economy, and most disturbingly, destroying the lives of our most precious resources – our young people.
After more than 11 years in Afghanistan, U.S. troops are propping up another in a long-series of corrupt dictators, while being killed by the very soldiers they are supposed to be training. The death of the 2,000th soldier there went unnoticed by the media and the “major” parties, who spent more time talking about an anti-Islamic movie that probably doesn’t exist than about the deaths. Most disturbing of all, there was and is no outrage over the continued rate of carnage, not only of our own troops, by of the innocents killed in the “collateral damage” of drone attacks.
As a veteran nothing, would bring me greater pleasure than to never again have to report the death of another soldier, sailor, marine or airman who’s made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. There’s no reason, no justification, no legal or moral cause for the continued presence of American forces anywhere overseas. We simply cannot afford to be policemen of the world, nor should we be under any circumstance.
Sadly, it’s clear to me that neither President Barack Obama nor Gov. Mitt Romney has this same desire. Despite their pious pronouncements, neither of them understands what it really means to support our troops. They’re too busy beating their chests and trying to appear tougher than the other guy. Both resort to slogans and rely on the blind allegiance of “patriotic” Americans to “support our troops” no matter what the cause.
Blind allegiance is the mother of tyranny; it is not patriotism. Throughout history, blind allegiance has facilitated the rise of dictators who’ve massacred untold millions in the name of the Fatherland, the Motherland — or the Homeland. Blind allegiance dictates that in times of war it’s the citizen’s duty to support their leaders regardless of how evil or pure their intentions may be.
Do not allow the call to “support our troops” to become nothing more than a would-be tyrant’s propaganda tool. No matter how many bumpers stickers, signs, or yellow ribbons that are displayed, no matter how noble and well-intentioned the efforts to raise funds to support our “wounded warriors,” nothing can justify keeping our troops in harm’s way. The best way we can show our support for our troops is to bring them all home – now? alive.
The greatest gift our nation can give to the brave men and women who have pledged their lives in our nation’s defense is to honor that commitment by never again sending them into harm’s way capriciously, unnecessarily, for political gain, or to line the pockets of those who profit from their sacrifice. America is indeed the home of the brave and we should bring the brave home so that they can enjoy the “blessings of liberty” in the bosom and safety of their families.
Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson is the only candidate who doesn’t want to bomb Iran. He’s the only candidate for president who would end the war in Afghanistan today. And he is the only candidate who understands that to truly support our troops we must bring them all home now. On Nov. 6, join the Million Vote March to vote Libertarian and stop all war. Vote to support our troops and bring them all home now.
R. Lee Wrights is an editor, writer and political activist living in Texas. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party national committee. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LP.org: Gary Johnson Foreign Policy Video (October 5, 2012, 07:33 PM)
Brian Doherty: Libertarian Gary Johnson Should Win the Election (October 5, 2012, 07:26 PM)
Brian Doherty at Reason:
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary
Beyond that sort of principled iconoclasm, serious news sources
Is it possible the Libertarian Party, in a year of
The biggest barriers to Johnson?s success are money and
According to FEC filings as of the end of September, Johnson?s
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