Libertarian National Committee Region 7

Friday, September 12, 2008

Barr / Paul controversy

Most of you will have heard of the current Barr/Paul mess. If you haven't I've added some information below.

And so, I want to know what you think? I'd like your comments, complaints, positive feedback for Barr, whatever you have. Some vocal activists in the party want to try to revoke his nomination (on the grounds that he violated Bylaws by offering Ron Paul our VP nomination). He's alienated the Ron Paul people by dissing Paul.

To be fair, there are some new members coming in, and some new donors; some of these have notes praising Barr. However, I've gotten scores of nastygrams from activists, longtime Party members. Even David Nolan says Barr is out of line, repudiates him.

Yesterday I introduced a motion to censure Barr, and apologize to the Paul people. It has some support . . . and some opposition on the LNC.

Please tell me what you have to say.

And have a gentle day . . . :o)


Here's the information on the controversy . . .
all of this is snipped from eMail, postings on blogs, Facebook, etc . . .


This is the video of the interview where WAR found out that Barr had offered his nomination to Ron Paul. WAR was a trooper. Great recovery and admirable loyalty to LP.

http://tinyurl.com/RootBus

This is not just an act of rudeness. Our Bylaws spell out how our VP candidate is nominated, and this violates them (Article 12.2 and 12.4). It throws out our delegate's decisions at convention.

______________________________


This is from the State Chairs list . . .

On Sep 12, 2008, at 10:14 AM, C. wrote:

> > I'm in favor of including media releases from both Barr and the LP
> > HQ on this list.
> >
> > The Barr campaign has failed to communicate with most of us on any
> > level anyway (I've yet to get any of my emails or calls returned by
> > the campaign) so for some it's the only way to get the "official"
> > word from them before it's posted and re-posted and forwarded around
> > by others.
> >
> > State chairs need lots of communication from both the LP National HQ
> > and from the Barr camp, something that is clearly lacking currently
> > in a major way. If this list helps get that done then I'm all for it.
> >
> > C.

And the response, from another Chair . . .


C,

You too hunh? I thought it was just that they pretended
didn't exist. I have four people, including myself who offered to
coordinate my state. Some made several offers via e-mail and phone
messages. NOT ONE single person who has told me they attempted to
contact the campaign, has EVER received a response. Goodness knows
how many people daily sign up to volunteer on the campaign website and
then never hear peep. I've yet to find anyone who says they got a
response.

While you could subscribe to their website to get the PR's via email,
it seems the only purpose of giving your contact info to them is to
get a daily begging for money by both email and snail mail. (and many
of those pleas are canned and indicate they have no record of you
donating, I can't think of anything more insulting than to not
recognize who has and who has not donated, and then trying to make
people feel bad for not doing so.) I unsubscribed myself from their
lists and I just read the PR's on the site when I feel like it.

This is beyond unacceptable.

I understand the campaign may want to employ professionals, but they
are IGNORING hardworking eager volunteers. And since there IS no
coordinator for our state yet (at least to my knowledge since the
campaign doesn't make ANY contact with our state party) then it
doesn't look like they are making any headway in hiring a professional
anyway. Why not take what you have, work with it, train them, get
them up to speed, monitor their progress, be their for them if they
have questions/concerns, and hope for the best? No, instead, they do
nothing at all. Nice, real nice.

I want Russ Verney to try to explain to me why he, or anyone else at
HQ is too busy or too poor to call or e-mail each of the State
affiliates at least once to open a line of communication to coordinate
efforts in each state.

I supported (and still do) Wayne Root at the convention. I was very
impressed with Kubby as well. I'm thinking now perhaps I should have
voted NOTA in the last round instead of Barr. I'm still going to
fulfill my obligation as chair to do what I can to get him on the
ballot, but at this point, I honestly may not vote for him once he
gets it. Is this how he intends to manage the executive branch?

Sincerely,

A.

----------------------------------------

From: "J”
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 10:16 PM
To: info@lp.org
Subject: re: To our supporters and volunteers

Whatever Mr Barr and his handlers wanted to convey today, if the Acting Executive Director is sincere that he was trying to make a valid point, it didn't work. He came across as arrogant and petty. He showed disrespect for the whole Campaign for Liberty, which is an honorable, somewhat bipartisan attempt to break the two-party system and bring some decency back into government. He wasted an opportunity to get a lot of free media attention by not showing at Paul's eagerly-awaited press conference, and looked like a fool and sore loser at his own "press conference" (more like a Pity Party).

The recent packaging of Mr Barr without showing the Libertarian brand has alienated many on-the-fence Libertarians (not me--I knew from the beginning that Barr was an imposter). You aren't receiving money for his campaign for many reasons, and I suggest you give it up right now. Use any funds coming in for Damage Control--perhaps running ads in local papers explaining that Barr acted without the blessing of the Party. Also, has anyone explained to him that he doesn't have the right to name his vice-presidential candidate?

I need to remain a Libertarian at least through the election because I'm running for office, but please stop asking for money. It's pathetic.

J.
____________________________

G. wrote:

> There are very few states where the performance of the Presidential
> ticket matters. For example, in New Hampshire only the Senator and
> Governor matter, and in New Hampshire Barr is funding the Republican
> opponent of our Libertarian candidate for Governor.

Bob Barr has a PAC, the Bob Barr Leadership PAC. If you are a Congressman or ex, you are entitled to a "Leadership PAC", it has special favorable rules to some extent, and it is your money to give to your colleagues.

Barr's PAC sent money to a large number of Republicans, including in particular John Sununu, but others as well.

The transfers largely happened last year, before the convention. It was raised at the time that Barr was lying in his conflict of interest statements to the LNC, namely he was not disclosing that he had a PAC that almost completely supported Republicans--it recently gave the Redpath campaign a payoff to match the money it had previously sent his Republican opponent.

And, no, these were really reactionary Congressmen. The issue was covered a while back on TPW, as I recall.

This was known before the convention and our worthless whatever of a Party Chair was still pulling for Barr.

(Note from Rachel: I do not agree with this opinion. Bill Redpath is a good chair, for the most part. He runs tight, controlled meetings, which is important skill. He has at least an adequate knowledge of parliamentary procedure (Robert's Rules). I don't know him well enough to say how good his knowledge of Robert's is, but it's good enough. While we may agree with him on some decisions, there's no reason to call hime worthless.)

Here are the links to Last Free Voice articles on the PAC issue.

http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/bob-barr-an-enemy-of-libertarians/

http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/atlanta-newspaper/

http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/phillies-responds-to-revelation-about-barr-contributions/

____________________________________


Messrs. Verney and Redpath:

Please heed Mr. Nolan's words regarding use of the
word "Libertarian" on Bob Barr's campaign literature,
Web site, paraphernalia, etc. Democrats and
Republicans are offering the same old thing; attaching
the Libertarian label will give voters a clue that
maybe some new ideas are forthcoming. Also, even if
Bob gets an unprecedented number of votes, the victory
will have been Pyrrhic at best, and possibly a
squandering of a golden opportunity, if it doesn't
include publicity for the Libertarian name.

Libertarian Party members voted for Bob Barr to be the
candidate for the Libertarian Party, not a nameless one.
Wear the name proudly! Be our standard-bearer! That's
the stuff of which conviction, excitement, and true
change are made!

Live long and prosper,

K.

___________________________

Lew Rockwell's Blog

September 10, 2008

Bob Barr Shows His True Colors

Posted by Chris Brunner at September 10, 2008 12:34 PM

By committing to attend Congressman Paul's press conference only to declare minutes before hand that "it just isn't worth it." This is according to Don Rasmussen, Events Coordinator of the Campaign for Liberty.

Bob Barr has been slamming Dr. Paul publicly since he won the formerly-libertarian party nomination, but this seems to have offended more Ron Paul supporters than anything he has done so far.

For those who don't know, Barr spent much of his life jailing people on behalf of the federal government for possessing substances that the state disapproves of, before recently "seeing the light". Even since his supposed revelation, he has praised the troop surge, argued for intervention in Iran and South America, advocated a national sales tax, and voted for the PATRIOT Act twice. This just scratches the surface, of course.

With that said, it's probably for the best that he didn't show up today.

____________________________________

Now there's a Petition to the LP: Remove Barr as Nominee

from all those pissed off Ron Paul supporters
____________________________________

And an explanation from the LP for the self-destructive action (see below)
How to lose 100,000 votes through share egotistic stupidity...

*Sept. 10, 2008*
* **Dear Libertarian Supporter,*

I have been hearing a lot from many LP Members about concerns over Bob
Barr not attending Ron Paul's press conference.
________________________________

Name: S.
Email: S

Comments: Rachel,
Is there any hope that Barr/Root can be removed from the WA ballot, or, better yet, disavowed by the LNC? If the LP is to remain a meaningful part of the liberty movement, something has to be done about these fools.

http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/record-vote-total-for-lp-in-2008-heres-how/

______________________

B,

This LP Officer fully supports Outright Libertarians and its efforts for equality. I do not nor have I ever supported the Ron Paul campaign. I do, however, recognize that there were many young supporters of Dr. Paul who could have been groomed into Libertarians. It is true that many of Paul's supporters will never be Libertarian. However, I can see no reason to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" which is precisely what Barr did earlier this week.

T
Another State Chair


_______________________________

Facebook

Thomas Hill, despite the rain, and with the help of a gas/oil mixture, burned his national LP card. Thanks go to Bob Barr/W.A.R and certain members of the LNC and staff...on Wednesday

Thomas is wondering why he hasn't burned his National LP membership card yet?

5:47pm - 4 Comments




Justin C. Thibault at 6:17pm September 9
Why would you do that?

Jennifer Schulz at 6:23pm September 9
Seems to be politics getting in the way up there and turning some good people off. Support your local LP.

Thomas Hill at 6:31pm September 9

Because some members of the LNC and LP staff are unprincipled and are willing to sell out their values for electoral "success" and personal agendas. Neo cons are infiltrating the LP.


_____________________________

Bruce’s video was used without his permission in today’s Barr campaign eMail. Bruce hadn’t been asked/told, anything – they just appropriated his name and used it.

Here's the Barr message that uses Bruce's name and video . . .

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Shane Cory, BobBarr2008.com
Date: Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 10:09 AM
Subject: Don't be a Party Puppet!

Dear Rachel,

Maybe it's the kid in me, but a great Libertarian in Washington State, Bruce Guthrie, ran my all-time favorite political ads during his 2006 senate run.

The production of his commercials was simple enough: Lunch bags, glue, yarn and construction paper put together with very entertaining voiceover.

Bruce's theme was brilliant: "Don't be a party puppet!"

If you have a minute to enjoy,
here are two spots that aired: the Party Puppet Girls and Party Puppet Rick.

Now that only 53 days remain before the election, I think it's about time we kicked off our advertising campaign!

While we sill have ongoing ballot access battles going in many states and funds are still very tight, only three weeks remain before early voting begins in some states! Despite our challenges, I don't want to delay our media campaign any longer.

We need your creative help to get the ball rolling.

Rather than produce stuffy, standard political ads, we want to get your concepts or even full commercials.

If you're the creative type or want to spend some quality time with a few friends and a video camera over the weekend, we sure could use the help. Please keep them to 30 seconds, leaving about 3 seconds at the end for the government mandated, "I'm Bob Barr and I approve this message."

Once you have a concept or finished product, just send us your videos! Here's a drop box where you can upload your videos and concepts.

Not very creative like me? No worries, you can help just as much by making a donation today. I'll throw in the first $100 and if you can match or contribute $25, $50 or more, we would greatly appreciate the help. Click here to donate.

Thanks for everything that you do!
In Liberty,


Shane Cory
Deputy Campaign Manager
Bob Barr for President

_______________________________________


Mike Theodore's Notes (Facebook)
Mike's Notes|Notes about Mike|Mike's Profile

Un-Endorsement

Yesterday at 6:58pm

I'm rescinding my earlier endorsement of Bob Barr. I've been reluctantly keeping it up, as I'm not that easily pissed off.
His snubbing of Ron Paul didn't piss me off. It just saddened me.

I'm going behind David Nolan, this campaign is over.
This is like a bad novel, and Barr is the evil villain.

Once again, I'm back to supporting no one for President. I hate that. Someone asked me today "Obama or McCain?".
I loved responding with a third party just to surprise them. I had nothing.
He dutifully walked away.
I'm a frickin' cynic again!

I'm thinking of going behind Nader. Not as a Barr "anti-vote", but I want to stand behind real principles.


Here's the motion I (Rachel Hawkridge) made . . .


Colleagues -

I am very concerned with the Barr campaign's affront to RP campaign, supporters, etc. I have heard from several of our down line candidates that this stunt has cost them their supporters, volunteers and donors. If it was strategy, then it went seriously wrong, at least for our other candidates, and they were the ones who had some chance of getting elected, and actually moving policy toward more Liberty.

I believe that we need to apologize - if Barr's idea of leadership is to offend half the movement, then it is definitely my idea of leadership to apologize when it goes wrong.

To that end, I move that the LNC send the following letter to Dr. Paul, to post it on our blog, and send it to the Campaign 4 Liberty.
September 13, 2008

The Honorable Ron Paul
Committee to Re-Elect Ron Paul
837 W. Plantation
Clute, TX 71531

Dear Dr. Paul:

The Libertarian National Committee understands that the campaign of Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr has offended you, the Campaign for Liberty, and your many supporters by:

· Failing to attend your press conference at the National Press Club highlighting third party candidates after committing to do so;
· Holding a press conference of its own publicly inviting you to be Barr's Vice-President candidate (replacing Wayne Allyn Root) in spite of his personal knowledge that you have no interest in the position; and
· Issuing statements through both official and unofficial channels that disparaged you for not endorsing Barr's candidacy.

Although Former Congressman Bob Barr is the duly nominated presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party selected by delegates to the 2008 Libertarian National Convention, the Libertarian National Committee is deeply embarrassed by the Barr campaign's behavior and believes it does not reflect well on the Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian National Committee sincerely apologizes to you, the Campaign for Liberty, and your many supporters on behalf of the Libertarian Party and hopes that you, your organization, and your supporters will continue to work together with the Libertarian Party in our common fight for liberty in spite of the regrettable actions of Congressman Barr's campaign.

The Libertarian National Committee shares your goal of encouraging more people to vote for third party candidates and agrees with your four point statement on Foreign Policy, Privacy, The National Debt, and The Federal Reserve. The Libertarian National Committee respects your decisions to not seek the Libertarian nomination and not endorse an individual presidential candidate. The Libertarian National Committee also salutes the broad coalition of liberty loving Americans you have built through your presidential campaign, the Ron Paul R3VOLution, and the Campaign for Liberty.

Please note that Mr. Barr had no authority to invite you to join the Libertarian Party ticket. Under the Libertarian Party Bylaws, vice-presidential nominee vacancies are filled by the Libertarian National Committee, rather than by the presidential candidate himself. The Libertarian National Committee was not consulted before the offer was extended to you.

In addition, the Libertarian National Committee regrets that Acting Libertarian Party Executive Director Robert Kraus disparaged you in the Libertarian Party blog on www.lp.org. The Libertarian National Committee has reprimanded Mr. Kraus for his actions and is tightening its internal controls on www.lp.org blog content. We offer our sincere apology for the blog remarks of Libertarian Party staff.

The Libertarian National Committee, on behalf of the Libertarian Party, hopes its relationships with you, the Campaign for Liberty, and your many supporters were not irreparably harmed by the actions of the Barr campaign and our staff. The Libertarian National Committee and the Libertarian Party would both like nothing more than to continue to be allies with you in the battle for civil liberties, limited government, and non-intervention.

In Liberty,

The Libertarian National Committee


6 comments:

Arthur Torrey said...

I am very firmly in favor of taking the nomination away from Barr.

Obviously, it will be up to the various states just how to handle it if National does un-nominate Barr - in some cases it may be to late to make changes, and in others they may not want to revoke the nomination on a state basis to avoid problems w/ ballot status.

I know of NO state that will have a ballot access problem that is made worse if national removes Barr.

I am NOT willing to accept a censure motion as doing anything useful UNLESS it is a fallback measure introduced AFTER an effort to revoke the nomination has failed to pass, on a ROLL CALL vote.

As a final note, Mass had it's court hearing on substituting Barr for Phillies today. We won't get a ruling for a while, but I will say that as an elector I will NOT sign off on substituting Barr for Phillies. (If National were to replace Barr / Root with some other ticket, it is quite likely that I WOULD be willing to sign off on that replacement)

paulie said...

Hi Rachel,

Although I am not on the LNC, if I were, I would certainly sign your letter.

I'm not sure if you want or can even accept signers who are not on the LNC. Let me know, and if you do, I'll spread it around.

Peter Wilkie said...

As you know, I decided at the convention to sit this one out and hope the LP would survive the Barr candidacy without too much damage. I still hope so, but it's getting to be a weak hope.

Removing Barr from the ticket would help. Root and Kubby would be a great ticket; so would Root and Ruwart (in either order).

Whether or not Barr is removed, an apology to Dr. Paul is mandatory.

As for the best candidate for President this year: definitely NOTA. But someone has to take the job; I'll vote for one of the other minor party candidates, but not for Barr.

- Peter W

Anonymous said...

For me the campaign was dead in the water sometime ago. Long before Barr got the nomination I thought it was about getting names and addresses for his PAC and a way to kepp his name in the spotlight. He needs to be a "playa".

I plan on working on outreach tools over the next few months. We need literature. Who I convince of this... That's another issue.

MW

Richard Shepard said...

Frankly, I am more concerned about Barr's apparent snub of the state organizations than I am about the snub of Paul. I have several points to make.

I agree that it was petty of Barr to back out of Paul's "party party" at the last minute. There was no reason to avoid the publicity of associating (at any level) with Paul, except that Barr really isn't interested in building a coalition with the Paul supporters, or even getting their vote.

On the other hand, the rumor is that Paul had originally persuaded Barr to seek the LP nomination in the first place, with a promise to publically endorse him. If true, then Paul backed out first. (Maybe he had to -- I've heard that one too.)

But that is all a tempest in a teapot. Things happen in the rough and tumble of politics and we have to make the best of things as they happen.

And as to that, what concerns me most about this episode is that people on both sides of this debacle are out for blood. Never mind what it does for the cause of liberty in the overall. This side, or that one, depending on your allegiances, obviously isn't with the program and needs to be excommunicated. And so we all die a little.

What most people in this debate seem to forget is that nobody, outside of a few wonks, cares about us or what we think. A few papers picked up on Paul's press conference and still fewer picked up on Barr's. So what was the point? Being right (or righteously stupid, depending on your point of view) meant being below the radar.

But what really bothers me about the Barr campaign is its apparent narcissism.

I may be wrong but I think I'm a pretty good elections lawyer. I offered my services (at a discount, not for free, for reasons that should be apparent to most people with a family to feed) right after the convention. All I have ever gotten in response are those canned email solicitations for money.

Now, I see from at least two different state chairs that there is no communication even at that level. Volunteers sit around empty handed, waiting for something to do.

There is no excuse for this.

The Libertarian Party is fabled for its penchant to self-marginalize through infighting. That may go with the territory of liberty. But it also has a reputation for failure of teamwork.

I worked on the Guthrie campaign that came up with the puppet ads. The Guthrie campaign manager, Travis Wright, should get the credit for that one. I agree it is an inspired ad, and it should get more distribution, or get used as a model for more ads.

But courtesy demands that the prosective user seeks permission first.

I have now read several posts wherein some local activist has done his/her part to get Barr on the ballot, but who will not vote for him. And the reasons I have seen relate more to the treatment they have gotten from the Barr campaign than to Barr's voting history in the House.

I truly hope that somebody on the Barr campaign reads this, and recognizes that it is losing its base and needs to start making amends immediately.

Wes Upchurch said...

It is true that Paul is in it for the money. He set a PAC with a huge surplus of his campaign contributions, he used his campaign to promote his book (which he personally profits from).

Barr may not have handled it the best possible way, but he pointing out Ron Paul's hypocracy needed to be done to truly advance the liberty movement.

Paul is equally to blame, since he went off and endorsed an theocratical candidate in revenge.

Keep in mind that if Bob Barr's plan to get Ron Paul on the ballot as his VP worked, we would all be calling him the hero. It's Ron Paul that wouldn't rise above politics to the higher calling of principle. Unfortunatly for Bob Barr, sometimes even great plans backfire.