Posts tagged ‘Libertarian Party’

New York Takes a Cue From Italy

Via the NY Daily News:

The race for governor just got a whole lot sexier.

"Manhattan Madam" Kristin Davis is tossing her lacy brassiere into the political ring - with the help of one of the GOP's most fearsome strategists.

Though he's often labeled a "trickster," former Nixon, Reagan and Bushes operative Roger Stone tells us he's dead serious about getting Davis on the ballot.

"This is not a hoax, a prank or a publicity stunt," said Stone, who has been quietly huddling with Davis for months. "I want to get her a half-million votes."

I love this:

Davis laid out her credentials last weekend at a Libertarian Party convention on the lower East Side.

"I was valedictorian of my high-school class," said the golden-tressed Davis, sporting a modest black suit but wicked Christian Louboutins with 5-inch heels. "I worked 10 years in finance. I was vice president of a hedge fund. I went on to build a multimillion-dollar business from scratch."

While branding "taxation as confiscation," the former escort empress said the legalization of prostitution and marijuana could provide $2.5 billion in revenue to help close the budget gap.

"I'm a natural Libertarian," said Davis, who also embraces gay marriage and the views of the National Rifle Association.

And here is some great political strategy:

Even though she needs only 15,000 signatures to get on the ballot, she's shooting for 45,000 - and Stone doesn't see any problem getting them.

"Kristin knows lots of Penthouse Pets," he said. "We'll get four, make them notary publics and have them, suitably attired, collecting signatures at Grand Central Station during rush hour."

My Votes in 2008

Should I Vote?  Yes, probably.  Many libertarians refuse to vote.  They refuse to be party to a choice between Coke-brand statism and Pepsi-brand statism.  I sympathize, and respect their decision.  You won't hear rants form me about the beauty of the right to vote.  But I see two reasons for libertarians to vote.  One is to find ways to register our existence, to try to communicate that just because we don't riot at WTO meetings doesn't mean that a great well of dissatisfaction does not exist among us.  The second reason is ballot initiatives.  While candidate A and B may be equally bad on the freedom scale, there is often a right answer for protecting freedom in the ballot initiatives, and they need your vote.

President:  Libertarian Party Guy.  Yeah, I know his name is Bob Barr.  I don't even care.  I am casting the vote for the idea, not the guy, in hopes that the Republicans, as they rebuild themselves over the next 2 years, might notice there are some libertarians out there looking for a home.  It would be nice to be as excited about a politician as some folks are about Obama, but really, they are excited by their own vision, not his.  We really know little about him, but my sense is that his every instinct about government run counter to mine.  McCain is hardly better, perhaps going Obama one further by matching him on tax increases and economic nuttiness but also throwing in a dollop of conservative restrictions on non-economic civil liberties.  And I think many of us are exhausted by the prospect of another 4 years of foreign-policy-as-penis-extension that McCain promises.

US Congress:  John Shadegg
.  If it weren't for Jeff Flake and Ron Paul, I would say Shadegg is about the best we libertarians can hope for of a major party candidate.  Not perfect (he was one of the ones who knuckled under on the second bailout vote) but pretty good.

County Sheriff and City Attorney:  Whoever is running against Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas.  Seriously.  I don't even know their names and I am voting for them.  I am sick and tired of Arpaio's schtick (index of articles here).  Anyone who can go on a crime sweep into the 99% all-anglo tony suburb of Fountain Hills and come out with arrestees who are 75% Hispanic is not even trying to be fair.  Andrew Thomas has had Arpaio's back for years, fighting many (losing) civil rights cases for him and prosecuting his critics in the media.

PROP. 100 Protect Our Homes:  Yes.  I am not sure this is even that relevant.  Prevents the imposition of taxes or fees on the sale of real estate  (e.g. no real estate sales tax).  Not sure if this is even a threat,  but I will usually vote to limit the power of government.

PROP. 101 Medical Choice for Arizona:  Yes.  This proposition would effectively prevent state health care laws like that in Massachusetts that require medical coverage and mandate certain types of medical coverage.  In Massachusetts, my current insurance plan (which I pay for and did a lot of research to uncover) is illegal (because it has a higher deductible that politicians want to allow).

PROP. 102 Marriage:  Big No.  I don't expect to change anyone's mind on this, but I am not in the least threatened by civil marriages of gays, and in fact have a number of friends and family members who have taken advantage of the brief window of opportunity in California to get married to their partner.  I am not sure how this can be a threat to me -- last I checked, my marriage is as strong today as it was before gay marriage was allowed.  This issue is sort of the conservative equivalent of the left's obsession with income inequality.  Conservatives tell folks (rightly) that they should be concerned with their own quality of life and not feel somehow worse if there are people who are wealthier.  But, then they tell us all our marriages are going to be worse because somebody over there who we never will meet is going to marry someone of the same sex.

PROP. 105 Majority Rules "” Let the People Decide:  Haven't Decided.  This is a weird one.  This would require propositions raising taxes to be passed only if the "yes" votes they receive equate to 50+% of the total registered voting population, not just of the people who voted that day.  Basically, it makes it impossible to have tax increases in propositions, which I like.  But it is a terrible precedent -- this is simply not how we count elections.  In particular, the "registered voter" number is almost meaningless.  Requiring a super-majority of those voting would be much better law.  I may well vote yes, because I suspect the next 2 years are going to be a heyday of taxation, but I will sort of feel guilty about it.

PROP. 200 Payday Loan Reform Act.  Yes.  Would un-ban payday loan companies in Arizona.  I have always supported choice, even for the poor and unsophisticated.  Payday loans are expensive, but as we have learned from subprime loans, maybe credit to borrowers with no income or assets should be expensive.  More here.

PROP. 201 Homeowner's Bill of Rights.  No.  Created by a pissed off union in a fit of pique as an FU to homebuilders.  Mandates decade-long warranties on homes, and offers a myriad of opportunities for trial lawyer hijinx.  And what problem is it solving?

PROP. 202 Stop Illegal Hiring Act.  Yes, I think.  Again, this is one of those confusingly worded initiates that like to use triple negatives.  But I believe it is a softening of the Immigration / hiring law that I have long opposed.  (related:  E-Verify reviewed here

PROP. 300 State Legislators' Salaries.  No.  Changed my mind on this.  At first, I thought current salaries were unreasonably low.  But now I think that they should all go out and get real jobs, and make the legislature part-time.  Maybe they'll meet less often.

Some Advice for the Local Libertarian Party

For lack of a better term, I call myself a libertarian with a small-l.  I do not, despite this term, feel much allegiance to the formal Libertarian Party.  I tend to like their platforms more than those of the major parties, but many of their candidates seem unserious to me.

Today I got my first press release from the local LP candidate for Governor.  And what is it about?  The LP candidate jumps into the fray on the Arizona 9/11 Memorial:

Libertarian nominee for Governor, Barry Hess weighs in on the only
thing Democrat Janet Napolitano and Republican Len Munsil can find to
disagree about - the great Arizona 9-11 memorial debate.

When asked for his input, Mr. Hess replied, "It doesn't surprise me
that this is all they can come up with to distinguish themselves as a
reason to vote for them.  The problem is that neither one of them ever
seems to posses the ability to go to the root of the issue.  The very
first thing they should have determined is, what is it?  Is it a
tribute to the innocent lives lost on 9-11, or is it a memorial of the
If it is a tribute to the innocent
dead, then the politically-charged slogans are clearly misplaced and
should be removed.  If it is a monument memorializing a tragic event
that is surrounded by a multitude of dubious official explanations of
what actually happened when innocent lives were caught up in something
bigger than them and lost in a politically-induced inevitability, then
the outrage expressed in the slogans is well, and rightfully placed.
Why didn't the Republican or the Democrat first establish what it is
supposed to be?  Because they are both just using it as a soapbox, and
it's shameful they would each use it in an attempt to garner votes.
The public really should reflect on the fact that if these are the best
candidates the Republican & Democrat parties could come up with,
maybe neither is their best option for Governor."

When I read the first line, I thought Mr. Hess was going to rightly criticize the major party candidates for focusing on trivia.  But no, he jumps right in himself.  I'm not a big fan of how the memorial turned out, but while the memorial was officially sanctioned by the governor, it was at least all privately funded.  We seem to have many other issues in a state where the government is building the new Berlin Wall that I would think a good libertarian would be more concerned about.

Here would have been my response:

"While the major party candidates focus all their attention on the content of a single
piece of privately-funded sculpture in downtown Phoenix, Warren Meyer criticized both
candidates for their support of a government-funded half-billion dollar monument to
mediocre football
and corporate welfare out in Glendale."

Postscript:  By the way, this government-funded facility is used for its core purpose just 11 days out of the year  (Fiesta Bowl, 2 pre-season games, 8 regular season games) which gives it an occupancy  of 3%.  Supporters will argue that it is used for other events (e.g. a home and garden show) but these events could be held at existing facilities costing 1/10 the amount of Glendale Stadium.  To somehow take credit for these other events is disingenuous, because their move to Glendale likely cannibalizes the revenue of some other government facility, like the convention center.  Most of the cost of the stadium -- visitor amenities, locker rooms, sliding roof, sliding grass floor, seats, etc -- are for football only.  More about why I hate the public funding of stadiums here.

Yet Another Reason Why I Am Frustrated By the Libertarian Party

After years of enduring a procession of moonbats and losers running under the Libertarian Party banner, I am frustrated that the party can't produce a credible libertarian candidate I feel good about voting for.  I wrote more on this here just before the election.

Now I see that the Libertarian Party is asking for a second recount in Ohio, after the first one changed the vote tally all of 300 or so votes out of a 100,000+ margin.  The Party's candidate admits that the recount won't change the result:

They have said they don't expect to change the election results, but want to make sure that every vote is properly counted.

Then why the hell do it?!?  And why the hell should we use government money to do it.  And why why why the hell is the Libertarian Party, the party of not just small but minimal government, doing asking for this??

Thanks to Captains Quarters for the link.  This "count every vote" thing confuses me.  A scientist would laugh at you at the concept of error-less measurement. Every measurement and count has error - you just try to make the count or measurement error substantially smaller than the differential in votes.    In the Washington governors race or in the Florida 2000 Presidential race, the differential was/is probably within the error bar.  But certainly not in Ohio.

Fixing the Libertarian Party

I have written several times as to why the libertarian party, while philosophically sound, falls far short as a political force.  Arizona Watch has a nice article and several links with suggestions to make the party a more viable political force.  You can find some of my problems with the party here.