Would Somebody Please Hold Austin Petersen’s Hand

GJ2016

Gov. Gary Johnson

Libertarian Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen has been making a lot of noise lately because Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson would not attend an event hosted by FOX Business Anchor John Stossel.  The event, which was going to be a televised debate between three of the main contenders seeking the nomination for President within the Libertarian Party (Johnson, John McAfee, and Petersen), was going to be held during the International Students For Liberty conference in Washington D.C. February 26-28, 2016.

Gary Johnson had already made a commitment to attend the Mississippi/Alabama joint state convention on February 27th for their own debate.  There was no way that he could attend both debates on the same day (Stossel was only offering his debate on the 27th and Petersen has not been invited to the ISFLC on any day other than the 27th).  Being a man of his word, Gary refused to back out of his previous commitment.  Instead, Gary will speak at the International Students For Liberty Conference on February 28th as their keynote speaker.

Gary Johnson For President 2016 Campaign Event Director Tom Mahon, responded to Austin Petersen’s ridiculous demands this way:

ROFL…the latest from Austin “I Just Can’t Stop Myself From Lying, Even After Being Busted in Biloxi” Petersen,

“After an invitation from Fox Business host John Stossel to appear on the network during this year’s Students for Liberty conference, Gary Johnson refused to accept the invitation to debate alongside fellow candidate John McAfee and myself.”

Incorrect babycakes, Gary refused to bail out of a debate alongside yourself and Mr. McAfee that was already scheduled in Biloxi, Ms. He is more than willing to debate you in this previously scheduled event.

“Johnson told our campaigns that his refusal was due to a prior engagement.”
HOLY SHIT!!! An accurate sentence…..Painful bro?

“However, when both of our campaigns offered to work together with Johnson in order to make both events possible for all campaigns, he refused to play ball with us and with McAfee.”

Sooooo……what’s stopping you and McAfee from “working together” and making both events possible for YOUR campaigns? Why does Gary need to attend?
Have you ever heard of the psychological affliction known as Co-Dependency?
Are you co-dependent Austin?
Does widdle Austin need someone to hold his widdle hand?

“We had a chance to bring national attention to the ideas of liberty, the Libertarian Party and it’s candidates, and Gary ruined that opportunity for all of us.”
Awwwwwww, poor widdle baby!!!
Big bad Gary wouldn’t break his commitment with MS/AL and now poor widdle Austin can’t play in Stossel’s sand box!! What are we gonna do with poor widdle Austin!!!!

Again NOTHING is stopping you from “bringing national attention to the ideas of liberty” on Stossel….
GO FOR IT BIG FELLA!!! Here’s your chance at Libertarian STARDOM!!! Take McAfee and go to Stossel’s show!!! DO IT!!!
(But something tells me you’d prefer a spanking, right Austin? Would that salve your hurt?)

“Gary, do you even liberty, bro?”
Austin, do you even think, sis?

In the end, both John McAfee and Austin Petersen agreed to skip the Stossel event and attend the Debate in Biloxi, Mississippi.  It looks like Petersen’s plan has backfired.

It would be great if the Petersen campaign would stick to the facts.  It would be great if the Petersen campaign would stop attacking other candidates and concentrate on why Austin Petersen would make a good Libertarian candidate for President.  Both of those things are just impossible to do.

Consider our endorsement of Gary Johnson here.

 

ODLRN: Why We’re Endorsing Gary Johnson

Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Gary Johnson

2016 is shaping up to be a potential breakthrough year for the Libertarian Party, and there’s only one candidate who has the seriousness, credibility, and principles to lead the Libertarian ticket: the former Governor of New Mexico, and the most successful Libertarian presidential candidate in over thirty years: Gary Johnson.

As Johnson is the first to acknowledge, the Libertarian nomination process is open, competitive, and ongoing. So far we’ve had Steve Kerbel and Marc Allan Feldman on the show, and have found them both perfectly agreeable gentlemen. We’ve seen Austin Petersen and John McAfee bring a dash of controversy to the race.

None of them have given any indication that they could be, or are serious about trying to become, the next President of the United States. None of them have given any indication they could earn serious media coverage or vote totals for the Libertarian Party in 2016. Some of them say they intend to focus on building the party instead of doing those things. The more likely result, is that a campaign ostensibly focused on party-building instead of earning votes, will not do a very good job of either.  

We have also seen efforts from some quarters, to promote their preferred alternatives for the nomination, with grossly negative attacks and malicious smears and whisper campaigns. These attempts have been unpersuasive, and we don’t expect them to become any more persuasive with repetition.

When the delegates to the Libertarian National Convention gather in Orlando at the end of May, we will be presenting to the nation our choice for President of the United States. As a successful two-term Governor and entrepreneur, Johnson is not only qualified to be President, he’s better-qualified than what we usually get for the office. A self-made millionaire, experimental aircraft pilot, and world-class mountain climber and triathlete, he has a personal story to match his credentials.

On the issues and message, instead of preaching to the choir with obscure insider jargon, Johnson offers an outward-focused campaign that can sell libertarianism to the broad classically-liberal center of American politics. The vast unrepresented majority of fiscally conservative and socially liberal voters who have been disenfranchised by the two-party-only-system and are ripe to fuel the rise of a third major party.

Gary Johnson is the only candidate for 2016 who has demonstrated he can substantially improve our party’s vote totals, winning more votes than all other alternative candidates combined in 2012, and was the first nominee ever to win over a million votes. For the 2016 presidential nomination of America’s third-largest political party, there’s hardly a choice at all.

That’s why we here at the Old Dominion Libertarian Radio Network- Joe Enroughty, Jeff Kleb, Alex Butler, Jeffry Sanford, and Andy Craig- are unanimously endorsing Gov. Gary Johnson to be the 2016 Libertarian nominee for President of the United States.

How the Constitution could let the House stop both Clinton and Trump: 12th Amendment 2016?


The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. – U.S. Constitution, Amendment XII

 

There has been an increasing amount of discussion about a possible strong third-party or independent showing in 2016, whether from an independent Republican ticket put up in opposition to Trump, or from a Libertarian or independent campaign capitalizing on popular disgust with the frontrunners for the major-party nominations: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both of whom are unlikely to muster approval ratings higher than the low-mid 40s. 

This seems like a good opportunity to review one of the lesser-known provisions of that already too-obscure institution: the Electoral College. Under the 12th Amendment, in order to be elected President a candidate must secure an absolute majority (currently 270 votes) in the Electoral College. Thanks to a strangle technicality in the way the amendment is written, as little as one Electoral Vote cast for a third-party candidate, could legally result in the House of Representatives electing that candidate President of the United States.

The way it works, is if no candidate receives a 270 vote majority. Then, the newly elected House will have to choose a President, in the brief window in January between when they take office (Jan 3) and Inauguration Day (Jan 20). In this election, they are limited to choosing from among the top three candidates in the Electoral College. Adding an additional wrinkle to the process: each state gets one vote, the only time the House of Representatives votes that way. The delegations from the 43 states having more than one Representative, must vote among themselves, to decide how to cast each state’s one vote. This effectively guarantees that the Republicans would control the outcome of any election thrown to the House, even if they are no longer the majority, because of their dominance in more, smaller states. 

The Vice President is elected separately by the Senate (voting as usual), however they are limited to the top two, not three, candidates in the Electoral College.

 

So, with that basic scheme in mind (see here for CGP Grey’s excellent video explanation): consider the following scenario plays out on Election Night 2016:


HouseEC



The Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee is Donald Trump. The third candidate can be any number of possibilities: Jim Webb, Mike Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, Angus King, or an independent Republican ticket put up in opposition to Trump, such as Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan or Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. However, since it’s my personal preference, in this scenario we’ll posit that it is Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, as the Libertarian nominee. The same basic premise can be played out with any of them.

Clinton has 43% of the popular vote. Trump has 39% of the popular vote. Johnson, after being included in the debates on the calculation from both major-party candidates that he would hurt the other more, gets 16% of the popular vote. The remaining 2% scatters to other minor party candidates. (This is roughly similar to the popular vote breakdown from Clinton vs. Bush vs. Perot in 1992.)

However, the Electoral College tells a different story than 1992. Unlike Ross Perot, Johnson has won a narrow first-place plurality with approx. 34% in three smaller states: New Hampshire, Nevada, and New Mexico, totaling 15 Electoral Votes. The remaining states are near evenly divided: the Democrat ticket has 260 Electoral Votes and, despite being four points behind in the popular vote, the Republican ticket has 263 Electoral Votes.

Instantly, all eyes turn to the House of Representatives, and in particular its Republican members.

The House Republicans are now in a real dilemma. Most have refused to support or endorse Donald Trump’s disastrous campaign, which has continued in much the same manner as his primary campaign, and a small number had even openly endorsed Johnson in the final weeks.  Most of those who nominally endorsed Trump, only did so halfheartedly and insincerely. 

The Clinton campaign demands that the House confirm her, not along party lines, but because she received, by far, the most popular votes. The same percentage, they note, as Bill Clinton had received to be elected in 1992, though still well short of 50%.

The Trump campaign counters that the voters had returned a GOP-majority House (at least by state), and so the specified process in the Constitution implies that the Republican members of the House should elect their own party’s nominee. Additionally, they count that Trump was the first-place candidate in the Electoral College. 

House Republicans are in a catch-22. The vast majority consider Trump ideologically and more importantly, temperamentally, unfit to be President. Many of them have said so publicly. Furthermore, almost two-thirds of voters rejected him, and he lost the popular vote by a wide margin. The idea of a Trump presidency, particularly under these circumstances, with every Republican in Congress to blame, is seen as a nightmare scenario among GOP establishment circles.

On the other hand, few Republican Congressmen can go home to their districts and face a primary, having voted to install Hillary Clinton as President. The massacre in the 2018 mid-term primary elections would be historic, and they know it. They are caught between losing their seats in primaries, or losing their majority in the general election, to voter backlash in favor of the spurned Democrats. 

In this scenario, Johnson presents a strongly appealing and compelling dark-horse option. A former Republican Governor with experience in office, and a smaller-government free-market platform, he is much more acceptable to many in Washington than dangerous lunatic Donald Trump. But he also has an appeal and acceptability to the left and center that Trump utterly lacks. The same is likely true of Jim Webb, and possibly Michael Bloomberg. 

Facing deadlock and no good options in picking either Clinton or Trump,  the House Republicans make an offer: the House will elect the third-party candidate President, and the Senate (still in GOP hands), will elect the Republican nominee for Vice-President. (This is made easier, since the third-place candidate for Vice President is not eligible to be elected by the Senate).  This could be Ted Cruz, for example, or another relatively acceptable GOP Governor or Senator placed on the ticket in a failed bid to keep the GOP unified behind Trump. (Alternately, if the Democrats have retaken the Senate, they could independently elect their party’s nominee for Vice President.)

So on December 30, 2016, a press conference is called in the Capitol Rotunda. Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, announce that both of their incoming caucuses had just voted in a special closed-door session, to elect a Libertarian President and a Republican Vice-President. A unity ticket among candidates who, between them, received a majority of both the popular vote and the electoral college. After being sworn in on January 3, the new Congress does exactly that. 

And that’s how, if the stars align just right, this obscure provision of the Constitution could allow members of Congress to, in effect, veto both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and elevate a third-place runner-up to the Oval Office instead. 

Far fetched? Absolutely. Impossible? I don’t think so. Unprecedented? Not quite. In 1824, a very similar scenario played out among John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay. Jackson, seen as unfit despite being the clear popular vote winner, was passed over in favor of popular runner-up Adams, thanks in part to a deal with 4th place candidate and Speaker of the House Henry Clay to appoint him as Secretary of State. 

This is not an entirely new idea, either. Throwing an election to the House has long been the goal of third-party Presidential campaigns, most famously those in 1948 and 1968 that swept the Deep South. It is a consideration that should figure heavily into any campaign strategy for a strong third-party presidential campaign.

Andy Craig Releases First Campaign Ad

Andy Craig

Andy Craig

U.S. Congressional candidate Andy Craig of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has released his first campaign ad in the 2016 race which will pit him against incumbent Democrat Gwen Moore.

Craig, who recently celebrated his 25th birthday and is now constitutionally eligible to run for Congress, is chair of the Milwaukee Libertarian Party, Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, and a co-host of the popular internet radio program “The Old Dominion Libertarian Radio Network.”  He ran for Wisconsin Secretary Of State in 2014 receiving about 60,000 votes.

The campaign ad, which is titled: “Stop Over Criminalization,” can be seen below.

Posted by Andy Craig for Congress on Friday, December 11, 2015

 

Rand Paul: The Has-Been Who Never Was

Rand PaulFrom the very beginning (2010), when Rand Paul announced he was going to run for the U.S. Senate, many within the liberty movement thought that the Kentucky ophthalmologist turned politician would be just like his father.  I wasn’t as convinced because he was running under the TEA Party label and was branding himself as a conservative Republican.  Many said (and still claim to this day) that he was just trying to avoid what they considered the missteps of his father, by stealthily maneuvering himself within the Republican party as a libertarian without having to say he was a libertarian.  In other words: “Rand Paul’s being dishonest about who he is and what he stands for because it’s the only way he can win.”  This seems to be a recurring theme among Rand Paul supporters (now known as “Randroids”).  They claim that Rand Paul isn’t telling the truth when he says things that are anti-liberty, but that it’s the only way he can work his magic within the Republican Party.  Rand Paul made it clear from the outset that he was no libertarian.  But don’t worry, he’s just being dishonest.  The ends justify the means, according to Randroids.  But only if it’s Rand Paul.  If anyone else in the political world is dishonest, they feel immediately compelled to make a meal out of it.

One thing that has always perplexed me is the continuous excuses that Randroids make for their beloved candidate.  But the “He’s only lying to get elected” excuse, really takes the cake.  They tell you that his plan is to lie his way into the position of GOP Presidential Nominee by pretending to be in line with the Establishment Republicans on most issues.  If indeed this was Rand’s grand plan, they have just let the cat out of the bag by broadcasting Rand’s secret all over social media.  Lindsey Graham may never have sent an e-mail in his entire life, but his staffers have surely told him about the chatter they read on Facebook.

Rand Paul has flip-flopped (very clearly, I might add) on a number of key issues, with his supporters and even his own campaign staff refusing to admit that he has done so.  Rand even got “testy” with Savannah Guthrie over at NBC when she brought the issue up in a live interview being watched by millions.  You can read about his flip-flops here, here, here, and here.  It’s one thing to change your position on one or two issues once you’ve received new information.  But flip flopping on nearly every policy plank of his platform really underscores the fact that Rand stands wherever the people in the room with him want him to stand.  As the old saying goes: “Any port in a storm.”

Rand Is Not A Libertarian

Rand Is Not A Libertarian

Some of the greatest minds within the liberty movement have also condemned Rand Paul for his anti-liberty stances.  Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo, and Gary Johnson, are just a few who have pointed out the fallacy of being a libertarian and supporting Rand Paul.  The graphic to the right illustrates this and more.

Rand also attempted to have his Rudy Giuliani moment (which instantly fell flat) at the first GOP Presidential Debate of 2015, when he went toe to belly with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  Rand may have been right in his argument, but it did little to boost his poll numbers because he’s wrong on so many other things.  His comments to Christie about “Giving President Obama a hug,” made the social media rounds for about an hour after the debate, and then disappeared into the night.

I never fell for the “He’s just lying to get elected” BS, because even if it were true, I wouldn’t be supporting a candidate who was blatantly dishonest.  Regardless of the reasons behind it.  It’s why I also wouldn’t vote for him if I lived in Kentucky, where he’s up for reelection as a Senator.  A race that isn’t as clear now as it was a year ago.

The guy who truly could have been known as a “different kind of Republican” (whatever that is), won’t even be an also ran.  Which makes that possible gig at FOX News as a “libertarian” commentator a no-go from the git-go.

Meet Dr. Marc Allan Feldman – Libertarian For President, 2016

Dr. Marc Allan Feldman - Libertarian Candidate For President, 2016

Dr. Marc Allan Feldman – Libertarian Candidate For President, 2016

Dr. Marc Allan Feldman is seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President Of The United States.  Dr. Feldman is an anesthesiologist at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.  He has run for political office in Ohio before, most recently as The Libertarian Party Of Ohio’s candidate for Attorney General.  His Presidential Campaign is called “Votes Not For Sale,” and he is emphasizing getting big money out of politics.  Click here to watch his campaign announcement video.

Dr. Feldman was raised in Southern Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. Being around politicians throughout most of his childhood, he grew to dislike politics and felt there were no politicians worth voting for.  It wasn’t until he discovered the Libertarian Party at age 50, that he began to take an interest in politics and thus began voting.

He is running for President because he believes he can make a difference and his plan is very simple.  He titles it “BASE – My Progressive Plan to Shrink the Federal Government,” and here are the four practical steps it entails:

1. Balance the budget.
2. Audit all Federal agencies and laws.
3. Show the effectiveness of charitable organizations.
4. Exempt with a tax rebate for donations to certified effective charities.

1. Balance the budget. Retired admiral and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, was not exaggerating when he warned that “the single biggest threat to our national security is our debt.” On the first day of my administration I would deliver to Congress a detailed balanced budget. While Congress debates and considers this plan, I will declare a National Fiscal Emergency and, by executive order, direct every government agency to apply strict controls to limit spending to available revenue. Not one single dollar will be added to our 18 Trillion dollar debt. The debt clock will stop dead.

2. Audit the Federal Government. Every agency and every federal law exist to serve a purpose, to make a difference in the world. Some may work well, and others poorly. The world is a complicated place, and there is a Law of Unintended Consequences. A law may be well intentioned, but cause no improvement at all, or at times make matters worse. For every agency and every federal law, objective measurable survey instruments will be used to give evidence whether they are working, making people safer, more secure, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, or sheltering the homeless. If the law is not working – it is repealed. If the agency is not improving the situation – it is eliminated. The job would be given to the Government Accountability Office whose mission is “to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. We provide Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced.”

3. Show the Effectiveness of charitable organizations. The same survey instruments used to evaluate whether government laws and agencies are meeting their goals will be used voluntarily to evaluate the effectiveness of charitable organizations in meeting these same social goals. If charitable organization are equally or of greater effectiveness dollar for dollar than the federal government in making people safer, more secure, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, or sheltering the homeless or any other government social goal, that charity would be certified as an Effective Social Organization.

4. Exempt. If American taxpayers decide to donate to any charity certified as an Effective Social Organization, the taxpayer would not get just a tax deduction, but a dollar for dollar tax credit. This essentially causes an equivalent reduction in tax owed, making donations to Effective Social Organization free.

Because of the tax credit, billions of dollars being donated to these organization would cause a immediate revenue shortage. Because the budget is required to be balanced, spending cuts would be immediate and automatic. These cuts would be based on information, not politics. Because the government programs to be cut would be those that are managed more effectively by the voluntary charitable organizations.

This would lead to a simultaneous dramatic shrinking of the cost and intrusiveness of the Federal government and an expansion and empowerment of the private social safety net.

Dr. Feldman firmly believes that we have lost our way and are no longer following the Constitution, our founding document.  Here is what he had to say concerning the Constitution and our runaway government:

I don’t want a concealed carry gun permit.
I don’t need a same-sex marriage license.
I don’t have to have a marijuana grower’s permit.
I want freedom and a government that does not demand permits and licenses for things that are none of the government’s business. I don’t need all these permits and licenses, because I have a Constitution. Let’s respect that.

He has also stated:

I want my campaign to be a coalition, not a cult. I want people who agree with me that spending a billion dollars on a Presidential campaign is wrong. I want people who agree with me that we must balance our budget immediately. That we must honor our Constitution 100% and follow its instructions for a country that is more prosperous for all, more productive, and free.

Dr. Feldman wants to get big money out of politics not by creating more laws, but by informing the American people that they don’t have to vote for the big money candidates.  His campaign is accepting donations that are capped at $5.00 per individual person.  If you would like to make a donation to the campaign, click here.

Here is what his web site states about donations:

If you would like to become a supporter, please donate up to $5.

You cannot donate more.

You cannot make multiple donations with a total over $5.

That is not what we are about.

You will never receive a fundraising letter, fundraising call, or be asked to sponsor a fundraiser.

Because we do not do fundraising.

Because we think votes should not be for sale.

Dr. Feldman is tapping into a demographic that is usually ignored by both the Democratic and Republican Parties.  He states:

Are you one of the 100 million Americans who could have voted in 2012, but stayed home? Did you think you could not make a difference? Did you think politicians only represent the rich?
The only real voter fraud is telling people that their votes don’t count. They do. One hundred million struggling Americans can choose the next President. Even if you have to borrow money to pay bills. Even if you have had trouble with the law. Even if your English is not so good. You can have a President who will work for you and will represent you.
You deserve that.
It is your right.
Your vote is your voice.
Be heard.

He has also stated:

We should not allow people to hide greed, hatred, and lust for power behind a political philosophy.
Conservative values are good: responsibility, our Constitution, and religious faith.
Liberal values are good: fairness, tolerance, forgiveness, and charity.
Libertarian values are good: freedom, personal empowerment, and non-aggression.

There is nothing “conservative” about mass incarceration, police brutality, marijuana prohibition, or hating Islam.
There is nothing “liberal” about dependency, deficits, taxes, or hating Israel.
There is nothing “libertarian” about greed, bigotry, terrorism, or sexual exploitation.

Just because we are against an ever-expanding, intrusive, surveillance state, does not mean we are against all government.
Just because we believe government should not enforce morality, does not mean we are against morality.
Just because we do not believe that government should take care of people, does not mean that we should not take care of each other.

On Tuesday, August 4th, 2015, Dr. Feldman will be visiting Richmond, Virginia for the first time as a Presidential Candidate.  He will be speaking to The Patrick Henry Supper Club hosted by The Richmond Metro Libertarians at The Robin Inn Restaurant in Richmond’s Historic Fan District.  Why not join us for dinner (beginning at 6pm) and stay for Dr. Feldman’s presentation.  You do not have to be a member of the Libertarian Party to attend.  He is a refreshing change from all of the other candidates getting the major media attention.  Perhaps that is why they refuse to cover his campaign in their news cycles.

For more information about Dr. Feldman and his campaign, you can visit his web site or Facebook page.