Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Posts Tagged ‘libertarian party’

Montana LP Senate candidate decides not to help Tester get re-elected

Posted by Richard on November 2, 2018

Rick Breckenridge, the Libertarian candidate for Montana Senator Jon Tester’s seat, may have just ensured that Tester is finally retired:

Ever wonder how Senator Jon Tester, a Beltway swamp creature who voted against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh and famously stays in lockstep with his fellow Democrats on immigration and gun control, keeps getting elected in a state like Montana? The answer is simple: the Libertarian Party usually nominates a spoiler who siphons enough votes from Tester’s GOP challengers that he wins by the skin of his teeth.

In 2012, for example, Libertarian Dan Cox garnered enough of the vote to allow Tester to eke out a 4 percent win. This year was no different — until yesterday — when Libertarian Rick Breckenridge decided to endorse Republican Matt Rosendale. The Libertarian has been pulling enough support in the polls to enable Tester to slither back to the swamp again. …

Breckenridge endorsed Rosendale in response to a “dark money group” mailer aimed at persuading conservatives to vote for the Libertarian. I guess he didn’t like feeling like he’s being used.

Tester’s re-election chances were also hurt recently due to a self-inflicted wound:

This is not Tester’s only PR problem. Having sent out mailers to voters suggesting that he was an avid hunter, it was recently discovered that he hasn’t had a hunting license in years. This damaged Tester’s credibility and made him the butt of more than one joke. Donald Trump, Jr. recently quipped, “That Senator won’t hunt.” …

So Montanans now know that Sen. Tester is either a liar or a poacher.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Political poster of the year

Posted by Richard on March 6, 2014

Nick Gillespie:

Tim Moen is a Canadian who is apparently the first federal Libertarian Party candidate to run for Parliament from the Fort McMurray-Athabasca area in Alberta.

I’m nominating this as the best political campaign poster of the year.

Tim Moen

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Bob Barr pleased

Posted by Richard on November 10, 2008

Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr got half a million votes. It's not the million-plus his supporters had hoped for, or the 922,000 that Ed Clark got in 1980 (the Libertarian high-water mark). But it's the second-best Libertarian showing, besting Harry Browne's 485,000 in 1996 and Ron Paul's 431,000 in 1988.

According to Newsmax, Barr is pleased with his showing. And it looks like he cost McCain North Carolina:

When The Associated Press declared Obama the winner in the state, he had a 13,693-vote edge over McCain. By then Barr had already tallied more than 25,200 votes in North Carolina, according to the Boston Globe.

Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia, is thought to have siphoned far more votes from McCain than from Obama.

No Democratic presidential candidate had won North Carolina since Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976.

For a time, Barr was also the difference in Indiana. With almost all precincts reporting, he had 1.1 percent of the vote while Obama had 49.9 percent and McCain had 49 percent. In the end, however, Obama totaled 50 percent, McCain 49 percent, and Barr 1 percent.

“This is just the beginning of the new Libertarian Party,” Barr said in a statement.

“In these next four years, there will be an even greater need for a political party fully dedicated to lower taxes, smaller government, and more individual freedom — a voice for liberty.”

I certainly agree with that! If only the Libertarians didn't have their heads in the sand regarding the Islamofascist enemies of Western Civilization.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

LP nominates Barr, Root

Posted by Richard on May 26, 2008

The Libertarian Party nominated former Republican Congressman Bob Barr and Las Vegas oddsmaker Wayne Root as its candidates for President and Vice President. The good news is that Barr and Root were apparently the only two presidential candidates (out of 13) who wouldn't sign a pledge — promoted by the 9/11-Truther group Libertarians for Justice — demanding an investigation into "what really happened" on September 11, 2001.

The bad news is that Barr and Root both just barely won, so nearly half the LP delegates were prepared to have the party represented by someone who's at least open to some truly insane conspiracy theories. Furthermore, Barr barely beat Mary Ruwart, who got some media attention when she refused to back away from an earlier defense of child pornography and prostitution. 

The other bad news is that Barr, although not nearly anti-military enough for the "purists" in the party, seems to believe that the only way the US might be at war with radical Islam is if we attack Iran — a depressingly naive and ignorant position, if you ask me.

The "purists," who call themselves "the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party," are apparently outraged that "Republican pragmatists" have taken over, and the recriminations and name-calling have begun. Some people have denounced Barr as a "neocon," further evidence that most of the people who denounce others as neocons don't have a clue what a neocon really is.

Here are some links where you can find lots more:

Nothing from David Aitken yet. I know he attended; I think he was a delegate; I hope he'll share his observations and impressions. 

I'm glad I didn't attend. There would have been trouble. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Caution: legislature at work

Posted by Richard on January 23, 2007

I don’t usually read (and certainly don’t subscribe to) The Denver Post. It’s a depressingly predictable liberal rag. They’ve never met a tax increase they didn’t like, they reflexively endorse 90+% of Democratic candidates (throwing in just enough "thoughtful moderate" Republicans to justify their claim to being non-partisan), and they positively swoon over phrases like "government initiative," "investing in our future," and "public-private partnership."

But I’m going to have to start dropping by their website regularly to read the columns of David Harsanyi, which seem to be consistently iconoclastic, humorous, and more than a little libertarian. Check out, for example, his wonderful Dec. 21 column, "Liberals confused over charity," which opens with the line, "Anyone can be compassionate with other people’s money."

Today’s column is a follow-up to his Jan. 11 column about the latest installment of Denver’s plan to "end [sic] homelessness." They’re throwing vast amounts of money at a non-profit organization with a long history of defaulting on government loans so that it can build housing units for the homeless (at $250,000 apiece, not counting the parking garage for the cars the homeless don’t have). This is the latest such project targeting a recently revitalized neighborhood that’s getting a bit sick of being the preferred location for various "affordable housing:" and "group home" projects. Harsanyi pointed out that powerful city councilwoman Debbie Ortega, appointed executive director of the Mayor’s Commission to End Homelessness, is also the president of this profligate non-profit’s board of directors, and furthermore, is associated with its for-profit arm. How convenient.

But I particularly want to draw your attention to Harsanyi’s Jan. 18 column, which provided a brief — and funny — overview of the plethora of paternalistic legislation our lawmakers introduced in the first few days of this legislative session:

How about Rep. Anne McGihon’s crucial HB 1126, "concerning the authority of physical therapists to perform physical therapy on animals."

Gross.

Then there’s this paternalistic absurdity called HB 1006, sponsored by Rep. Paul Weissmann. He wants to double penalties for moving violations when the driver is "knowingly distracted."

How is one "knowingly distracted," exactly? By living?

For the purposes of Colorado law enforcement, "knowingly distracted" includes, but is not limited to, cellphone use (even hands-free), grooming, reading, eating and drinking. In other words, it gives police almost unlimited pretext to issue double fines.

Listen, no one should be reading a novel while driving. But should sipping a cup of coffee or eating a bagel be a crime?

Speaking of treating parents like children, every year, Democratic Sen. Bob Hagedorn is good for at least one solid intrusion. This year he’s babysitting by sponsoring a bill that prohibits "the use of an artificial tanning device by a minor unless specifically prescribed by a physician."

That bill seems less weird when you check out HB 1082, apparently sponsored by Rep. Andy Kerr and Mr. Spock. It would make it a crime for an individual to be implanted with a microchip. If citizens want to install microchips in their (untanned) teenage daughters, isn’t that their creepy concern?

Then there’s Rep. Jim Riesberg, who is co-sponsoring a bill that would create a new bureaucracy at your gym.

The "Athletic Trainer Practice Act" requires athletic trainers to obtain a valid license issued by "the director of the division of registrations in the department of regulatory agencies" before engaging in the practice of athletic training or representing himself or herself as an athletic trainer.

Republican Sen. Tom Wiens has joined the fun. He’s sponsoring a bill that "clarifies" the ins and outs of "whether to wear a helmet while participating in equestrian events called ‘gymkhana."’ Gymkhana, I believe, is derived from the Hindi phrase that translates to "stay the hell out of my business."

Amen, David!

To be fair — and to further illustrate Harsanyi’s sense of humor — I should quote his correction today of an error in the above:

Note: I owe an apology to state Rep. Andy Kerr, whom I accused in my last column of conspiring with Mr. Spock to pass a bill outlawing human microchips. It was Rep. Mary Hodge. And she is in league with the Cylons.

Regarding distracted driving, by the way, I’m happy to report that the Libertarian Party of Colorado (which seems to have stopped promoting insane 9/11 conspiracy theories) came out solidly against the bill and got a fair amount of local media attention for doing so. To date, however, they haven’t addressed tanning by minors, microchips, athletic trainer regulations, or any of the other pressing matters Harsanyi mentioned.

I can only hope the microchip issue doesn’t set off the moonbat wing of the LPCO.
 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Does the LP help or hinder liberty?

Posted by Richard on December 20, 2006

Last week, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr switched to the Libertarian Party. He not only joined the LP, he immediately became a Life Member and a leader, joining the Libertarian National Committee as Region 4 (Southeast) representative. Barr told Reason that he left the GOP for the LP in order to save the Constitution and preserve liberty:

I chose to join the Libertarian Party because at this time in our nation’s history, it’s fundamentally essential to join a party, work with a party, that’s 100 percent committed to protecting liberty. As great as the Republican Party is — and I have been fortunate to work with that party for many years and still have the highest regard for it — the Constitution is under such assault in this day and age. In order to have any chance of saving the Constitution and our civil liberties, we need a party dedicated to that cause.

Bruce Bartlett thinks Barr made a terrible mistake. According to Bartlett, joining the LP actually hurts the cause of liberty instead of helping it. His opinion of the party and the effect it has on the political debate isn’t kind:

Over the years, I have known a great many people who have flirted with the Libertarian Party, but were ultimately turned off by its political impotence and immaturity. C-SPAN runs Libertarian conventions, and viewers can see for themselves how unserious and childish they are. They show that the Libertarian Party is essentially a high-school-level debating club where only one question is ever debated — who is the purest libertarian, and what is the purest libertarian position?

At times, serious people have tried to get control of the Libertarian Party and make it a viable organization. But in the end, the crazies who like the party just as it is have always run them off. In the process, however, they have also run off millions of voters who have supported libertarian candidates at one time or another. After realizing what a waste of time the Libertarian Party is, many became disengaged from politics and don’t vote at all.

The result has been that libertarian-leaning activists have been drawn away from the Republican Party and the Democratic Party by the Libertarian Party, leaving the major parties with fewer libertarians. In other words, both major parties have fewer libertarians than they would without the Libertarian Party, meaning that the net result of the party has been to make our government less libertarian than it would otherwise be.

Bartlett wants the LP to disappear completely and be replaced by an advocacy group like the NRA, complete with lobbyists, advertising, and focused campaign contributions. I’m not entirely persuaded, but I must admit that in the last few years, I’ve focused my attention — and money — on organizations like Cato, the Institute for Justice, and the Club for Growth, not the LP.
 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Good election news

Posted by Richard on November 8, 2006

As regular reades no doubt could guess, I’m not exactly cheerful about spending the next two years hearing about Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ways and Means Chair Charles Rangel, and Judiciary Chair John Conyers. And I’m disappointed by the departure of Rumsfeld. Nevertheless, I’m basically a "glass half-full" sort of guy, and I think there’s some good news related to yesterday’s elections.

One big bright spot: the property rights protection movement racked up an impressive string of victories. Ten of twelve ballot measures passed, and eight of them are constitutional amendments (one victory, Louisiana, was in September). Only California and Idaho defeated citizen initiatives dealing with eminent domain. They were thrilled yesterday at the Institute for Justice:

“Election Day usually reveals how polarized public opinion can be as campaigns focus on highly divisive issues.  Today, however, the vast majority of voters across the country all agreed that the fundamental right to property must be protected,” said Chip Mellor, president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice, which represented the homeowners in Kelo before the Supreme Court.  “Citizens around the nation agree that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo was wrong.  As we’re seeing tonight’s results, this issue cuts across party lines, state borders and socioeconomic levels.”

“The American people are furious their property rights are up for grabs to the highest bidder,” said senior attorney Scott Bullock, who argued the Kelo case for the Institute.  “They understand that the U.S. Supreme Court declared open season on everyone’s property and the resulting momentum for eminent domain reform shows no sign of slowing.  The significant margins in the votes today show just how wrong a narrow majority of the Supreme Court was.”

The margins were truly significant, typically three or four to one.

Here’s another bit of good news: Dennis Hastert won’t run for minority leader. I’ve made clear my low opinion of Hastert. I think he bears much of the blame for the Republican losses. Hastert helped create the "culture of corruption" by dismantling the 1994 ethics and accountability reforms. His lack of principles, inarticulateness, and focus on wielding the levers of power helped create the widespread distrust of the Republican Party.

If the Republicans really have been chastened and want to mend their ways, in January they’ll follow Human Events’ advice and elect Mike Pence minority leader. Furthermore, they should correct a mistake they made when DeLay departed and pick John Shadegg over Roy Blunt for the number two post, minority whip.

More good news came via Josh Poulson, who argued that the GOP lost because it "abandoned its libertarian wing," and cited a couple of interesting related items. One is this post at Economist.com about the growing clout of Libertarians:

GLUM Republicans might turn their attention to the Libertarian Party to vent their anger. Libertarians are a generally Republican-leaning constituency, but over the last few years, their discontent has grown plain. It isn’t just the war, which some libertarians supported, but the corruption and insider dealing, and particularly the massive expansion of spending. Mr Bush’s much-vaunted prescription drug benefit for seniors, they fume, has opened up another gaping hole in America’s fiscal situation, while the only issue that really seemed to energise congress was passing special laws to keep a brain-damaged woman on life support.

In two of the seats where control looks likely to switch, Missouri and Montana, the Libertarian party pulled more votes than the Democratic margin of victory. Considerably more, in Montana. If the Libertarian party hadn’t been on the ballot, and the three percent of voters who pulled the "Libertarian" lever had broken only moderately Republican, Mr Burns would now be in office.

The other item is Sen. Tom Coburn’s statement on the elections:

“The overriding theme of this election, however, is that voters are more interested in changing the culture in Washington than changing course in Washington, D.C. This election was not a rejection of conservative principles per se, but a rejection of corrupt, complacent and incompetent government.

“A recent CNN poll found that 54 percent of Americans believe government is doing too much while only 37 percent want government to do more. The results of this election reflect that … the Democrats who won or who ran competitive races sounded more like Ronald Reagan than Lyndon Johnson.

“This election does not show that voters have abandoned their belief in limited government; it shows that the Republican Party has abandoned them. In fact, these results represent the total failure of big government Republicanism.

“The Republican Party now has an opportunity to rediscover its identity as a party for limited government, free enterprise and individual responsibility. Most Americans still believe in these ideals, which reflect not merely the spirit of 1994 or the Reagan Revolution, but the vision of our founders. If Republicans present real ideas and solutions based on these principles we will do well in the future.

Read the whole thing. If you’re a discouraged limited-government type, libertarian or conservative, you’ll feel better — and you’ll be glad there are people like Tom Coburn in politics.
 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Colorado LP jumps the shark

Posted by Richard on April 7, 2006

I was going through the past few days’ mail tonight, and there was the March Colorado Liberty. On page 5, I noticed an ad for a Denver event on March 31 — hmm, bad timing on somebody’s part — called Critical Analysis: 9-11. Well, shucks, I missed it. So I didn’t get to hear Morgan Reynolds of LewRockwell.com and Don Paul of physics911.net present evidence that:

  • Airliners weren’t hijacked and flown into buildings on 9/11, and the government faked all those cell phone calls from people on the planes.
  • Autopsies (!) proved there were no Arabs on Flight 77 (you know — the plane that wasn’t hijacked and didn’t fly into the Pentagon).
  • The WTC towers were destroyed by professional demolition involving scores of people precisely placing thousands of explosive charges over a period of weeks.
  • Guiliani was in on it.
  • So were the CIA, MI6, Mossad, Bush, Cheney, the NY Port Authority, the Rockefeller family, international bankers and financiers, the handful of plutocrats who control all the oil and defense industry corporations — I could go on, but what’s the point?

Really, you ought to visit the Critical Analysis: 9-11 web site. Notice that they’re proud to have Ed Asner and Charlie Sheen on their side. Click some of the links they provide for additional information about the 9/11 conspiracy. You’ll discover more fascinating facts: Britain’s MI6 secretly controls and funds al Qaeda, the captured Saddam is a fake, the London bombings were staged by the Blair government, …

Then ponder this: Critical Analysis: 9-11 is a project organized and financed by Rand Fanshier and some of his Libertarian friends. Rand had a column in the Colorado Liberty adjacent to the ad. In it, he described how he became convinced there was a conspiracy:

Then I did the math. An elementary momentum analysis, using a spreadsheet and data and formulas I checked and double-checked with my own hand, proved beyond any doubt that the WTC towers could not have fallen by damage or fires alone—that they were demolished. The implications were obvious; regardless of how implausible, some alphabet agencies—or people in their employ—at the Federal, State and local levels actually were instrumental in the murders of all those people and the destruction of so much property.

But I have continued doing my job in the LP here at the state level, for years, pushing back here in Colorado at the misuse of government power in so many little ways. All the time also pushing back in my mind the reality that these little things make no difference in a country that has essentially just had a coup d’etat, where the leadership doesn’t protect the people but kills them for geo-political utility.

So, despite the hopelessness of it all, Rand’s still doing his job for the Colorado Libertarian Party. What is his job? Why, he’s on the Board of Directors. In fact, he’s the Outreach Director.

Ponder the irony of that for a moment. To promote the LP among the vast horde of Republican, Democratic, and independent Coloradans, to convince them to take the LP seriously and not dismiss us as fringe kooks, to persuade them to consider becoming Libertarians, the Colorado LP relies on Rand "there were no Muslim terrorists, Bush/Cheney did it" Fanshier.

I believe this is compelling evidence that the Colorado Libertarian Party has jumped the shark (definition 3).

UPDATE: Check out also Libercontrarian’s excellent remarks on this subject, which predate mine by 6 days. Apparently, Nick’s Colorado Liberty was delivered earlier than mine, and he read it right away. He’s already officially left the LP.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Muslims rally against terrorism

Posted by Richard on May 15, 2005

Free Muslims Against Terrorism held a rally today in Washington, D.C. Here’s how the group describes itself:

The Free Muslims Against Terrorism is a nonprofit organization made up of American Muslims and American Arabs of all backgrounds who feel that religious violence and terrorism have not been fully rejected by the Muslim community in the post 9-11 era.

Free Muslims was created to eliminate broad base support for Islamic extremism and terrorism and to strengthen secular democratic institutions in the Middle East and the Muslim World by supporting Islamic reformation efforts.

Over 70 organizations endorsed the rally, from the Alliance for Democracy In Iran to the Objectivist Center. But the big "mainstream" Muslim groups, like CAIR and MSA (which Daniel Pipes says are Wahhabi/Saudi funded and controlled) opposed it.

The Autonomist live-blogged it. Sadly, only about 150 people showed up (they had hoped for 1000).

As a Life Member of the Libertarian Party, I was saddened — and embarrassed — by this, too (emphasis added):

1:29: Rocco just spoke with a representative of the Libertarian party who described Mr. Nawash [founder of Free Muslims] as a "dupe of the neocons." She went on to state that the neocons will use his speech to boost their cause." "Their cause" was defined by her to be making war with Iran and Iraq. When asked for evidence of this she simply stated: "Just go on to some websites and read about it." Real specific, huh?

With representation such as this, no wonder the Libertarian party membership is in a downward spiral.

Rocco also stated that he has been handed a flyer with not only the Green party info, but also with Libertarian info as well. He asked if this was usual for the two parties, and was told "no, only in cases of war."

Well, maybe she wasn’t an official representative of the LP… (Although there were those flyers…)

Does the LP now think the US government is so eeevil that Islamofascists and socialists are more palatable?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »