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Independent Political Report

Brian Doherty: Libertarian Gary Johnson Should Win the Election (October 5, 2012, 07:26 PM)

Brian Doherty at Reason:

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary
did something amazing last week: got
double-digits (10 percent) in a September poll
of likely voters
in Ohio. He?s simultaneously getting the usual smattering of
positive press, the most popular of which has been
Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic
declaring that he
intends to vote for Johnson. Friedersdorf explains
that serious liberals should have serious problems with President
Obama on war, civil liberties, and executive power, issues on which
Johnson is superior.

Beyond that sort of principled iconoclasm, serious news sources
such as
NPR are declaring
Johnson might likely sway the election
in that third party role as ?spoiler? for both
in swing states. Johnson told C-SPAN this week that
his own polling has found that in New Mexico and Colorado, he takes
more from Obama, and in North Carolina and Michigan he takes more
away from Romney. A Reason-Rupe poll finds him
taking equally from both

Is it possible the Libertarian Party, in a year of
great discontent
with both major party candidates, can make a
real difference, or at least earn more than 1 percent, a feat that
hasn’t been matched since the 1980 campaign of L.A. attorney Ed
Clark and billionaire industrialist David Koch?

The biggest barriers to Johnson?s success are money and

According to FEC filings as of the end of September, Johnson?s
LP campaign had spent $1.6 million through
August. Johnson told C-SPAN this
the campaign has spent more than $2 million. (In
comparison, Bob Barr spent $1.4 million in his 2008
Libertarian campaign
.) While Politico
in late September that ?significant super PAC support
for Johnson has yet to materialize,? at least one Johnson-oriented
SuperPac, Freedom and
Liberty PAC
, has spent to support Johnson in August and
September, according to FEC filings,
$35,000 on telephone surveys
$80,000 on making TV commercials
$100,000 on a website
, and a
quarter million on advertising
in August and September.

Read more……

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October 2012 Open Thread (October 5, 2012, 06:12 PM)

For those of you who have been around, as well as anyone new here, we do this every month. Check out past months’ descriptions and comments if you have any questions about what sorts of things usually get discussed in the open threads here. You may also post news tips here; we’ll do our best to post them, but as an all-volunteer group blog, we make no promises. You can also sign up to post stories at IPR; drop a note in the comments here.

To start things off, as I often do, here is latest from Juice Rap News:

Your turn in the comments.

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Rocky Anderson?s Ballot Access (October 5, 2012, 04:55 PM)

Found at Note that there are quite a few states where they are still seeking qualified write-in status.

Anderson is behind Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Virgil Goode in ballot access, but is the only one of those candidates participating or planning to participate in every forum with the other candidates known so far: A Democracy Now! counter-debate with Jill Stein this past Wednesday, a panel on the economy with Gary Johnson and Reform Party candidate Andre Barnett yesterday, and a Free and Equal debate on October 23 with Gary Johnson, Virgil Goode and Jill Stein.

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Americans Elect Spent $11,316,047 on Ballot Access in 2010 and 2011 (October 5, 2012, 04:45 PM)

Ballot Access News:

According to the Americans Elect Mission Report, published this year, the organization spent $1,157,723 for ballot access in 2010, and $10,158,324 in 2011. Those total $11,316,047. The report does not have the 2012 figure.

Americans Elect eventually qualified itself in 29 states. The last state in which it qualified was Oregon. It had collected signatures in some states that it never submitted.

The report also says that on June 26, 2012, Americans Elect?s Board of Directors approved a plan of dissolution. The report says the dissolution will be completed by the end of 2012. However, the organization?s ballot status will survive in 2014 in twelve states.

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Brian Irving: All Candidates Should Debate (October 5, 2012, 03:42 PM)

From Brian Irving for Congress. As an IPR writer, Brian is not publishing his own editorial per IPR policy, but submitted it to IPR as any other candidate or opinion writer would.

Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers is apparently unwilling to debate her Democratic opponent in the 2nd Congressional District, according to the News & Observer. Steve Wilkins told the newspaper that Ellmers has turned down an invitation to debate on WTVD-TV.

I feel your pain Mr. Wilkins. I believe all ballot-qualified candidates should agree to debate, anywhere and in any venue, and that the media has a duty and obligation to cover all candidates fairly and equally. I think all ballot-qualified candidates should be invited to debates by the sponsors and organizers.

Unfortunately, WTVD and WRAL apparently don’t believe that. I wasn’t invited to take part in the WTVD debate. Nor will WRAL allow me to tape a video for their online candidate guide, a service they?ve offered to the Republican and Democratic candidates.

I believe anyone in office, or seeking office, has a duty and responsibility to accept any and all invitations to speak to groups and especially to debate. Mrs. Ellmers herself has noted that she’s new to the district due to redistricting. That should make such personal contact even more important.

The model I’m using for my campaign is the same model I will use if elected, that of the citizen-servant envisioned by our nation’s founders when they wrote the Constitution.

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Barbara Howe responds to gubernatorial debate she wasn?t invited to (October 5, 2012, 02:04 PM)

The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters excluded Libertarian candidate Barbara Howe from their first gubernatorial debate, broadcast from the taxpayer-funded UNC-TV studios in Durham. Howe was excluded despite the fact she?s ballot-qualified and polling as high as nine percent, quite an accomplishment for a third party candidate.

Howe said she believes North Carolina voters deserve to have the full picture when submitting their ballots this November and the NCAB did a great disservice to the public but not inviting her. So in response, she?s posted a video on YouTube answering some of the same questions posed to Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory.

Read more.

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Johnson Campaign Alleges Republican Crimes, Dirty Tricks in PA Ballot Access Challenge (October 5, 2012, 02:02 PM)

Alex Pappas at the Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller obtained a letter sent from Johnson?s attorney, Alicia Dearn, asking the Philadelphia District Attorney?s office to investigate allegations of attempted bribery and false impersonation of an FBI agent.

?Based on what I have been told by witnesses, it is my opinion that the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee has engaged in Watergate-style dirty tricks, in an attempt to keep Gov. Johnson off the ballot,? Dearn wrote in the letter dated Oct. 1.

The allegation is that the Republican Party hired a private investigator to prove that signatures submitted by Johnson?s campaign were falsified.

A judge has ruled that Johnson has enough signatures to stay on the ballot, though Republicans are challenging the ruling.

Dearn said this investigator ? who either implied or gave the express-impression that he was an FBI agent ? offered $2,000 to Johnson?s campaign volunteers to testify that they had falsified signatures. The complaint also accuses the investigator of threatening prosecution for not cooperating.

Read more…

Blogger PostDiggDeliciousEmailFacebookFarkFriendFeedGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailLinkedInRedditStumbleUponSlashdotShare Blog: PA Libertarian Councilman Running in 2-Way for State Rep (October 5, 2012, 01:31 PM)

Staff at LP blog:

Two years ago, when Libertarian Erik Viker ran for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 85th District, he received nearly 10 percent of the vote in a 3-way race and beat the Democrat candidate in three precincts. This year he will likely receive more votes running in a 2-way race against the Republican incumbent, State Representative Fred Keller.

Erik Viker has made the Libertarian name more familiar to voters in Pennsylvania’s Snyder County since he was elected to the Selinsgrove Borough Council in 2007 where he served as the Council’s Vice President. In 2011, he was easily re-elected, and was the second-highest vote getter in a field of five candidates for three council seats.

As state representative, Viker promises voters that he will introduce legislation to curb spending on victimless crimes in Pennsylvania such as zoning requirements that are "making people pay a fortune," according to Viker. "We need to respect private property again. Why do you need a permit to do something to your own property?"

Viker will work to focus on cutting government spending rather than wasteful and unneeded legislation such as a resolution that was passed to make 2012 officially "The Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania. "It’s pandering to the right wing base of the Republican party," he says. "It’s so they can go and tell their constituents that they ‘voted for the Bible.’ The very idea that they wasted time on that over how can we save taxpayers’ money is wrong."

On the Selinsgrove Borough Council, Viker has been instrumental in creating a no-tax-increase budget two years in a row. He also works closely with the Selinsgrove Police Department to ensure that the police respect citizens’ rights and civil liberties, and he generally serves as a Libertarian voice for issues that the council faces.

Erik Viker says that if Libertarians can get elected to local office, their constituents will learn who they are as individuals and see that they are good stewards of public funds.

"You can see light bulbs go off over peoples’ heads when I ask if government should be doing a particular job or initiative proposed, and whether or not the government can do it well," Viker says. “If you respectfully challenge the preconceptions people have about the role of government, you can change their minds."

While his odds of unseating an entrenched incumbent are long, Viker hopes voters in his district will have a chance to hear him out. He reports that the local newspapers and radio stations have treated third parties "very well" so far.

For the next month, Viker will continue to make public appearances during Pennsylvania’s fall festival season and meet as many voters as he can.

Erik Viker is a professional theater stagehand and professor of that trade at Susquehanna University.

Viker Campaign Facebook page:

Campaign website:

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Gary Johnson on Alex Jones, 10/4/12 (October 5, 2012, 01:31 PM)

Johnson interview starts at the 2:35:12 mark.

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The Nation: These Debates Could Use Some Jill Stein and Gary Johnson (October 5, 2012, 12:27 PM)

John Nichols in The Nation (excerpt):

Imagine if Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein joined Obama and Romney for this year’s debates. Instead of having to listen to a pair of adult men trying to distinguish between Obamacare and Romneycare, we could hear a working physician explain why a “Medicare for All” program would be dramatically more efficient, economical and humane than what either the president or his Republican challenger has proposed.

Imagine if Libertarian Gary Johnson could respond to the predictably empty wrangling about whether America is “broke”—as opposed to suffering from broken budget priorities. Johnson would propose bringing American troops and resources home from policing the world’s trouble spots, a wholly sensible fix that would make the United States safer, richer and a more popular.

Imagine if Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode—who once talked about denying a US House seat to Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, because Ellison clutched a Koran rather than a Bible when he was sworn in—opened up a real discussion about the relationship between church and state. Instead of dancing around the issue, as they both do, Obama and Romney would be forced to get specific about how seriously they take the promise of Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation.” They might even call Goode out, sending a message that America needs to hear. from the leaders of both major parties.

By the standards of most countries, Stein, Johnson and Goode could qualify to join national debates. Johnson and Stein have secured places on enough state ballots to win the electoral votes needed to assume the presidency. Goode is already on twenty-six ballots and could yet use legal challenges (and certified write-in campaigns) to be positioned to get on enough additional ballots to win an Electoral College majority. (Other candidates, including former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, whose mounting an intellectually rich and radical run on the Justice Party line, have struggled to get on enough ballots to get near making the Electoral College cut. Anderson will, however, join Stein in a “Debate Talkback” tonight, which will be moderated by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman.)

There’s not much chance that any of the three will be elected. But at this point, there’s not as much chance as there once was that Romney will be elected. It would be absurd to disqualify Romney on the grounds that he’s falling behind in the polls, just as it is absurd to disqualify candidates who are on the ballot but have not gotten the exposure that might run their numbers up.

Read the whole article.

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