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Independent Political Report

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.?

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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:

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.


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:


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.


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:


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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Americans Elect Super PAC Spends $700,000 on Ads to Boost Independent U.S. Senate Candidate Angus King (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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Ralph Nader: Rigged Presidential ?Debates? Amidst the Supine Media (October 6, 2012, 11:10 PM)

By Ralph Nader at

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 ( 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 ( 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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NPR Debate: Gary Johnson and Jill Stein (October 6, 2012, 08:58 PM)

NPR has a debate with Libertarian Presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson and Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein; audio and transcript at the NPR site.

Opening statements:

Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party

“Country’s in deep doo-doo. Let’s stop the growing police state, let’s stop our military interventions, let’s balance the federal budget, let’s eliminate income tax, corporate tax, let’s abolish the IRS, let’s replace all that with one federal consumption tax ? that will create tens of millions of jobs in a zero-corporate tax rate environment.”

Jill Stein, Green Party

“Well, we are in crisis. We’re loosing our jobs, decent wages, our homes, affordable health care and higher education; civil liberties are under attack and the climate’s in meltdown. The wealthy few are doing better than ever, and the political establishment’s making it worse, imposing austerity on everyday people while they squander trillions on wars, Wall Street bailouts and tax breaks for the wealthy.

“A vote for me is a vote for the solutions that we need for jobs, not corporate tax breaks, for health care as a human right, public higher education that’s free, ending student debt, and downsizing the military to pay for it.”

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

“Whether you vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, I’m going to offer up a couple predictions. One is we’re going to continue to have a heightened police state in this country. The other is that we’re going to find ourselves in a continued state of military intervention; we are at continuous war with everyone. And then, lastly, we’re going to find ourselves ? regardless of which two of these guys gets elected ? we’re going to find ourselves continuing to borrow and spend money in ways that are absolutely unsustainable and if we don’t get control of this, we are going to collapse as a country. We are not immune from the mathematics of continuing to borrow and print money to the tune of 43 cents out of every dollar we spend.”

Jill Stein, Green Party

“Well, I agree with Gary that we are really headed in the wrong direction ? and in fact, we are accelerating in the wrong direction under both parties. And in fact, Barack Obama has basically embraced most of the key policies of George Bush on the bailouts for Wall Street, the layoffs for Main Street, the expanding free trade agreements that offshore our jobs and undermine wages at home; the expanding wars, the attack on our civil liberties, drill-baby-drill on the climate, you name it. We’re going in the wrong direction. We need a president ? we need a political party, that is of, by and for the people. If you go into the voting booth, and you cast a vote for either Wall Street-sponsored candidate, you are giving them a mandate for four more years of the same.”

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.

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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:

  • Alvin L. Clay- Mississippi County, J.P. District 6
  • Kade Holliday- Craighead County Clerk
  • Roger Watkins- Craighead County Constable District 5
  • David Bogan- Craighead County Constable District 1
  • Kari Barber-Bars- Garland County Assessor
  • Mark J. Golen- Faulkner County, California Township Constable
  • Dalton Elliott- Faulkner County, Pine Mountain Constable
  • Michael Yoder- Faulkner County Justice of the Peace District 8

Rebekah Kennedy:

Josh Davis:

(Videos found at

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Video: Gary Johnson Speaks at University of Cincinnati (October 6, 2012, 02:47 PM)

H/T Brad Lowry

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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.

LeeWrights_smR. 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

Blogger PostDiggDeliciousEmailFacebookFarkFriendFeedGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailLinkedInRedditStumbleUponSlashdotShare Gary Johnson Foreign Policy Video (October 5, 2012, 07:33 PM)

Posted at today.

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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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