Friday, August 17, 2018

Austin Petersen loses Missouri Senate primary

Bitcoin-Friendly U.S. Senate Candidate Austin Petersen Loses Republican Primary -

August 8, 2018 - "Pro-bitcoin U.S. Senate candidate Austin Petersen has lost his Republican primary bid to challenge incumbent Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill in the upcoming mid-term election.

"Petersen, who accepted the largest single bitcoin donation in federal election history and was also forced to return several six-figure cryptocurrency contributions due to campaign finance regulations, was soundly defeated by Attorney General Josh Hawley, who received 58.6 percent of the 663,553 votes...

"Despite garnering endorsements from several state-level Missouri politicians, Petersen finished a distant third, receiving 8.2 percent of the vote and coming in just behind Tony Monetti, who had been endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

"Petersen’s candidacy was always a longshot, and the Republican National Committee (RNC) had already begun campaigning for Hawley long before last night’s primary. Hawley had also won endorsements from major local newspapers, including the Kansas City Star, who said that many of Peterson’s ideas are “best left to theoretical discussions in academia, or ignored altogether'....

"For cryptocurrency supporters, Petersen’s candidacy marked an opportunity to add another pro-bitcoin voice to Congress.... As CCN reported, some legislators — such as Congressional Blockchain Caucus members Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) — have embraced the burgeoning field, while others, perhaps most notably Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), have called for the government to pursue an outright ban on cryptocurrency.

"Previously, Petersen ran for president as a Libertarian Party candidate during the 2016 presidential election, finishing second ... to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who ultimately received 3.28 percent of the popular vote."

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

NH Libertarian state rep. resigns from legislature

Keene's lone Libertarian representative resigns from Legislature | Local News | - William Holt, Keene Sentinel:

August 15, 2018 - "State Rep. Joseph P. Stallcop, L-Keene, submitted his letter of resignation to the N.H. House Clerk’s Office Aug. 6, according to House Communications Director James E. Rivers.

"Stallcop, 22, represented Cheshire District 4, which covers Keene’s Ward 1.

"The Libertarian was elected to the House in 2016 as a Democrat during his junior year at Keene State College. He ran unopposed.

"In an interview Tuesday, Stallcop said he’d intended to stay for just one term, noting that those two years coincided with the remainder of his time at Keene State. After graduating in May, Stallcop said he moved to Dover because of better job opportunities in the Seacoast region.... He said he hadn’t been aware he needed to submit a letter of resignation until recently, believing that his term had come to a close with the end of the normal legislative session on May 23....

"In May 2017, Stallcop announced on the steps of the Statehouse in Concord that he had changed his political affiliation, saying he no longer felt welcome in the Democratic Party. The change did not affect his ability to serve out his term, which was set to end later this year.

"Stallcop did not file for re-election in June. Democrat David Morrill and Libertarian David Crawford are both running for the seat."

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Gary Johnson declares for U.S. Senate

Former Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson running for U.S. Senate - CBS News:

August 14, 2018 - "Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson began his campaign Tuesday to unseat New Mexico's junior Democratic senator, seeking political opportunity in the space between Democrats and voters loyal to President Donald Trump.

"Johnson, a former two-term governor of New Mexico, was added to the state's list of Senate candidates as final paperwork was being filed with election officials. His campaign manager said a formal announcement would come soon.

"Johnson remains popular in New Mexico.... [His] 2016 presidential bid as a Libertarian sputtered after a live-television gaff on foreign policy. Democrats saw the presidential run, with currents of social liberalism, as a bane to their party, even as Johnson criticized Trump for his treatment of women and border-wall proposal.

"Elected and re-elected governor of New Mexico as a Republican, Johnson stayed true to a small-government philosophy while vetoing more than 700 bills. His open advocacy for legalized marijuana broke mainstream 1990s political taboos and made him a national curiosity....

"Rod Adair, a Republican political strategist and former state senator, said Johnson's reputation for disciplined, business-savvy governance and as an independent thinker ... 'seems to be right in the wheelhouse of measurable disgust with both the left and the right. He may be the perfect third-party option right now.'

"Johnson, a 65-year-old fitness enthusiast who has summited Mount Everest and this summer completed a grueling 2,700 mile (4,350 kilometer) bicycle race along the Continental Divide, says Democrats and Republicans alike are guilty of deficit spending and military overreach that he says limits economic freedom.

"A campaign ad rolled out Monday by the Elect Liberty PAC touts Johnson's image as a self-made businessman who is disciplined and competitive....

"Registered Libertarians make up a tiny sliver of the New Mexico electorate — less than 1 percent of registered voters..... Democrats dominate voter registration rolls, but the state has swung back and forth between Republican and Democratic governors for decades."

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Gelineau wins historic MI Libertarian primary

Bill Gelineau leads in Michigan Libertarian governor primary | Bridge Magazine - Lindsay VanHuffe:

August 8, 2018 - "Bill Gelineau, a title insurance agent from Lowell and a former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Michigan, had a wide lead late Tuesday in the state party’s first ... gubernatorial primary.

"John Tatar, a former U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and a retired teacher from Redford, [was] Gelineau’s primary opponent.

"Minutes before midnight Tuesday, with 68 percent of precincts reporting, Gelineau had captured 58.4 percent of the Libertarian vote and Tatar had 41.6 percent. Combined, the two candidates had collectively collected fewer than 6,000 votes in a state dominated by the Democratic and Republican parties.

"Tuesday’s results are historic because Libertarians in Michigan have never before appeared on a state primary ballot. But the party’s presidential candidate, Gary Johnson, did well enough in Michigan in November 2016 that the Libertarian Party earned a spot on Tuesday’s primary.

"To qualify for the primary ballot, Johnson needed to earn slightly more than 154,000 votes; he received more than 172,000, according to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.

"Libertarians generally favor limited government. Tatar, for instance, has called for eliminating the state Senate, while Gelineau has advocated for cutting the Michigan Strategic Fund, through which the state awards economic development incentives."

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Twitter shuts down the Proud Boys' accounts

Twitter Shuts Down Accounts of Libertarian Gavin McInnes, Proud Boys - Petr Svab, Epoch Times:

August 12, 2018 - "Twitter suspended the account of libertarian commentator Gavin McInnes, as well as the accounts of his fraternal organization, the Proud Boys.

“'We can confirm that these accounts have been suspended from Twitter and Periscope for violating our policy prohibiting violent extremist groups,' a Twitter spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email on Aug. 11.

"When prompted, the spokesperson declined to specify what McInnes or the Proud Boys did to merit the banning. Proud Boys’ typical online content consists of mocking communism, socialism, and the Democratic Party. The Epoch Times reviewed posts on the Proud Boys’ Facebook page, as well as several incidents cited in media, but couldn’t find anything that could be identified as 'violent extremism.'

"McInnes endorsed the Proud Boys [fighting] back when physically attacked, such as by members of the far-left extremist group Antifa. While scuffles and fistfights involving the two groups have been captured on video, it’s often difficult to discern who initiated the violence.

"The Proud Boys group’s core tenets focus on minimal government, individual rights, closed borders, entrepreneurship, and the traditional family. They relish in defying political correctness and in touting the Western culture as the best in the world.

"McInnes said the Twitter ban is part of a coordinated effort to damage right-of-center prospects for the midterm elections.

“'All this stuff is part of the conservative purge, getting the right off social media, to try to stop Trump from getting re-elected. He’s already won; the ship has sailed,' he said, according to BuzzFeed. 'I think it will have zero effect on my reach or on the Proud Boys. We’ll always come back.'”

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Anthem Festival premieres libertarian films

A FreedomFest Report | Liberty Unbound - JoAnn Skousen:

July 23, 2018 - "FreedomFest, LasVegas, July 2018.... We wanted this year’s event to involve our attendees more directly — not just sitting in chairs listening to speakers, but participating actively in the discussion. So we lengthened our Q&A times, reduced the number of breakout sessions, created a scavenger hunt ... added 'conversation circles' in the evenings [and] expanded our “FreedomFest after Dark” activities with Karaoke ... and clubbing at a local night spot....

"Others found their way to the Anthem Libertarian Film Festival — and some never left.... We had the best films and the best attendance in our eight-year history, with four world premiere films, five SRO screenings, 11 hard-hitting panels, and films that inspired us even as they told stories that outraged us. Libertarian films can be depressing when they’re set in dystopian futures or focus entirely on the hopelessness of big government; what I loved about this year’s lineup is that they offered hope for a brighter future through greater freedom, greater courage, greater understanding, and greater technology. And the production values of our films this year were top notch.....

"One of my favorites was the Best Comedy winner The Inconsiderate Houseguest (Rob and Letitia Capili), which offers a subtle (Rob claims 'unintended') and unexpected theme about immigration beneath its quirky story about an uptight, rule-oriented roommate. 'Subtle' is the key here; messages don’t need to shout if they are presented well. Storytelling can be more powerful than a lecture because of the emotional connection it creates with the audience....

"The $2,500 Anthem Grand Prize went to Skid Row Marathon (Mark Hayes, director), an inspiring documentary about L.A. Judge Craig Mitchell who, troubled by the outrageous mandatory sentencing he was forced to impose, started a running club to help former felons regain their self-confidence and restart their lives.... Club member Rafael Cabrera was on hand for the Q&A following the screening. The film also won the $500 AnthemVault Prize for Best Original Score, featuring music composed by club member Ben Shirley. I defy you to watch this film with a dry eye.

"Saber Rock (Matt and Thomas Locastro, directors), about a young Afghan interpreter for the American military who was targeted for assassination by the Taliban when he began teaching children about the principles of freedom, won the Anthem award for Best Short Documentary. The real Saber Rock attended the festival and gave an impassioned opening night speech to the FreedomFest crowd.... He was awarded Anthem’s Special Jury Prize for heroism and received a standing ovation from the audience.

"Festival judge Gary Alexander argued at the judges’ meeting that America Under Siege: Antifa was one of the most important films at the festival because it reveals the truth behind the rising violence against free speech. Meanwhile, the gentle tone of Off the Grid with Thomas Massie won the hearts of festival attendees, who awarded it the Audience Choice trophy. Director Matt Battaglia follows the brilliant MIT graduate and inventor around the Kentucky farm that he built and maintains with his own hands as he talks about the priorities in his life and why he went to Congress.... A second Audience Choice trophy was awarded to Jimmy Morrison for his film The Housing Bubble, which features interviews with FreedomFest regulars Doug Casey, Peter Schiff, Jim Rogers, Gene Epstein, Tom Palmer, and others....

"The Anthem Libertarian Film Festival is one of the fastest-growing features of FreedomFest, and also the best kept secret. Film aficionados can purchase a FilmLovers Pass for all four days [that] includes all the films, plus film panels featuring top FreedomFest speakers and entrance to the exhibit hall. You can’t attend the FreedomFest general sessions or breakout sessions with it, but come on — with films and panels like these, who needs FreedomFest?"

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Elected Libertarians making a difference

How Elected Libertarians Are Making the World More Free - - Matt Welch:

July 14, 2018 - "What exactly do Libertarians do? Wait — don't answer that. As someone who edited a small-l libertarian magazine for eight years, I know all your jokes.... But at least 169 of these exotic creatures also hold elected office across the [U.S.].... And what these critics of government power are doing once they acquire it may provide a flicker of whimsical hope in these dark and fractious times.

"Brandon Phinney, a 30-year-old Army vet who found libertarianism through Ron Paul, was elected to the 400-member New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2016 as a Republican. He then switched parties after discovering to his horror that elected GOP officials did not mean what they said about cutting the state budget.... Phinney ... pores through the ever-expanding state code, looking for laws that are anachronistic, impossible to enforce, and/or just plain wrong. [Then] he tries to remove them.

"For instance, the Live Free or Die State had on its books for more than a century a prohibition against reusing glass milk-delivery bottles for any other substance besides milk.... New Hampshire is one of the few states in the union where performers are barred from drinking alcohol on stage. Or I should say were, until Phinney tackled the problem....

"Phinney faces his first reelection with an "L" next to his name this November, which will be an important early indication of whether the L.P. is able to protect, and thus lure more of, its recent converts from the two older parties.

"Another key party switcher facing electoral challenge this year is Nebraska state Sen. Laura Ebke. Ebke, who transferred from the GOP to the L.P. two years ago over issues of civil liberties, achieved something this spring that libertarians have been talking about forever: occupational licensing reform. Like Phinney's bills, Ebke's passed with overwhelming bipartisan — nay, tripartisan — support....

"Having Libertarians play the honest, respected brokers between Dems and Repubs may seem far-fetched... But that's just what Mayor Jeff Hewitt has done in Calimesa [California].

"The swing vote on a split city council, Hewitt, a garrulous former swimming pool digger, convinced his small town to tackle one of California's biggest problems: The unsustainability of public sector pensions. Instead of contracting fire services from unwieldy Riverside County, with its top-down engine-staffing rules and defined-benefit pensions, Calimesa under Hewitt's tutelage opted out and created its own tiny fire department, saving taxpayers a bundle. Now Hewitt is running for a spot on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors....

"The Libertarian Party needs, and is finally getting, some demonstration projects about how to govern better. Getting more Jeff Hewitts in more important positions could transform the little party that couldn't into not just the country's leading third party (which it is already), but also a bloc that can at long last change the behavior of the top two."

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