Friday, October 31, 2014

AZ Democrats promote Libertarian to conservative voters

Democrats send mailer backing Libertarian in tight congressional race - Rebekah L. Sanders, Arizona Republic:

"Democrats are mailing campaign fliers featuring a Libertarian candidate to conservative voters in a competitive Phoenix congressional race.

"The effort could help U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., stay in office. Libertarian Powell Gammill assisted Sinema to victory last election by siphoning votes from her Republican challenger.

"The mailers are part of the Democrats' political strategy, said D.J. Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party. But he says the mailers don't ask voters to support Gammill, they simply point out his positions.

"'It might be unconventional, sure, but deceptive it's surely not,' Quinlan said. 'It says right there: "Paid for by the Arizona Democratic Party".'

"A spokesman for Sinema's Republican opponent, Wendy Rogers, said the mailers are a desperate ploy."

"The mailers use language appealing to conservatives, pointing out that Gammill believes in eliminating foreign aid, funding for abortions and gun laws. "If he had his way, not a single cent of government money would go to fund an abortion for any reason," the mailer reads.

"Gammill has run for office multiple times. In 2012, he captured nearly 17,000 votes. Sinema won the 9th District seat by about 10,000."

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oregon GOP intervenes in internal LP dispute

GoLocalPDX | Showdown: Libertarian and GOP Battle for Control of Right Wing - Shelby Sebens:

October 30, 2014 - "The Oregon Republican Party earlier this month filed an Amicus Curiae brief (Latin for friend of the court) appealing the Clackamas County Circuit Court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought against Libertarian Party Chairman Wes Wagner and other members of the LPO. The suit was filed against Wagner by fellow Libertarian and Washington County Libertarian Party Chairman Richard Burke.

"The lawsuit, dismissed last May, claimed that Wagner and others broke the party’s bylaws when selecting recent party leaders and candidates.

"But Wagner and others say the Republican’s appeal in the case is proof that the GOP is trying to strong-arm its way into the Libertarian Party.

"'The recent Amicus brief really represents them stepping out of the shadows and turning rumor and innuendo into something less deniable,' he said. “It is just absolutely clear at this point, beyond any doubt, that they are attempting vassalage.'

"But Burke, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said the claim is baseless.

"'This is a black helicopter, ridiculous conspiracy theory,' Burke said. He argued the real problem is the inability of some Libertarian to follow the party’s own guidelines....

"Wagner’s group argues that in addition to the brief filed by the Republican Party, Burke’s support of a Republican candidate in Hillsboro, is telling.

"Burke sent a letter to Libertarians in House District 30 stating his support for Republican candidate Dan Mason. That would[n't] be so bad if the Libertarians weren't running their own candidation, Kyle Markley.

"Burke said the way in which Markley was nominated, his position could be subject to a legal challenge."

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Alaska Democrat running ads for Libertarian

In tight U.S. Senate race, Begich touts one opponent in hopes of defeating another | Alaska Dispatch - Nathaniel Herz:

October 28, 2014 - "Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his Republican opponent, Dan Sullivan, do not get along, and each has subjected the other to months of negative advertising.

"But the relationship between Begich and the Libertarian candidate in the Senate race, Mark Fish, is considerably warmer, with Begich fighting to make sure Fish is included in debates, then tossing him softball questions that highlight their shared views on domestic spying.

"Recently, Begich’s campaign has even run radio commercials touting Fish’s candidacy alongside his own -- meaning that since Fish hasn’t spent any money to advertise his own campaign, Begich has now spent more money promoting Fish than Fish has himself.

"'He likes my positions so well, I’m looking forward to an endorsement,' Fish said in an interview Tuesday.

"Begich’s official position is that he wants third-party candidates like Fish to be heard. 'Since many of the debate hosts won’t include Mr. Fish, Sen. Begich believes it is only fair to give Alaska voters all the information,' Max Croes, Begich’s communications director, said in an emailed statement.

"But several observers say Begich’s effort to boost Fish’s profile is actually a shrewd act of electioneering -- one likely designed to drive shaky Sullivan supporters into Fish’s column, and shaky Fish voters to Begich. The number of voters in the pool is small, but in a tight and costly election, the strategy makes sense, one local pollster said."

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Libertarians endow U of Maryland business centre

Libertarian donors fund new research center at UM's business school - Baltimore Sun - Carrie Wells:

October 27, 2014 - "A foundation led by the owner of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team and the Charles Koch Foundation have pledged $6 million to create a new center that will study enterprise and markets at the University of Maryland's business school.

The center will be dubbed the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets after a $5 million donation by Ed Snider, a Maryland alumn[us] and chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the Flyers.

"With another $1 million from the Koch Foundation, the university can hire three professors and a managing director, in addition to support staff, five doctoral candidates and four post-doctoral fellows.

"Koch and his brother David run Koch Industries, an oil, gas, and chemical conglomerate that is the country's second-largest privately held company.

"The Koch brothers are known for financially backing libertarian and free-market organizations, supporting conservative political causes, and helping to found other economic and policy think tanks like the conservative Cato Institute....

"University of Maryland officials said the center will conduct its hiring and research independently of the donors. The $5 million gift from the Snider Foundation is the second-largest in the business school's history after the $15 million naming grant from Robert H. Smith in 1997....

"Snider, who recently recovered from cancer, also is known for his libertarian views. He helped found the Ayn Rand Institute and was executive producer of the film 'Atlas Shrugged: Part I,' based on one of the libertarian author's books."

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Negative GA governor's race helping Libertarian

Libertarian offers alternative to veteran politicians in Georgia governor's race | Online Athens:

"The barrage of negative advertisements about Republican Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter is helping Libertarian Andrew Hunt make his case for a third alternative in the governor’s race.

"'It’s a very, very night-and-day choice here. I am very different,' Hunt said in his only televised debate with the other two. 'I am a small businessman, PhD in engineering. I have about 50 patents, and I want to put all that to work for you. ... I have 1 percent or less of the money they do. You’re going to be seeing lots of ads run by them. We have the news of who they’re being supported by, the special interests that paid for these tens of millions (of dollars) in ads. You have to, if you want to support me, talk to other people.'

"Like Carter, he supports Medicaid expansion, but like Deal, he favors so-called tort
reform that limits malpractice payouts. He agrees with Carter on ending the ban on same-sex marriage, but is in sync with Deal on wanting to adhere to the original interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. He’s an advocate of school choice and educational savings accounts for tuition like Deal, and he joins Carter in attacking the incumbent’s ethics."

"The central plank on Hunt’s platform is job creation through a unique proposal to have the state cover the payroll-related taxes for full-time jobs paying more than $11 per hour.... He argues that will create incentives to hire because the costs will be lower for employers.

"As a result of skilled workers getting those new jobs, he predicts that unskilled workers will also find more opportunities."

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

How to fight terrorism with capitalism

The Capitalist Cure for Terrorism - Wall Street Journal - Hernando de Soto:

October 10, 2014 - "As the U.S. moves into a new theater of the war on terror, it will miss its best chance to beat back Islamic State and other radical groups in the Middle East if it doesn’t deploy a crucial but little-used weapon: an aggressive agenda for economic empowerment.... [T]he West must learn a simple lesson: Economic hope is the only way to win the battle for the constituencies on which terrorist groups feed."

"I know something about this. A generation ago, much of Latin America was in turmoil. By 1990, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization called Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, had seized control of most of my home country, Peru, where I served as the president’s principal adviser. Fashionable opinion held that the people rebelling were the impoverished or underemployed wage slaves of Latin America, that capitalism couldn’t work outside the West and that Latin cultures didn’t really understand market economics.

"The conventional wisdom proved to be wrong, however. Reforms in Peru gave indigenous entrepreneurs and farmers control over their assets and a new, more accessible legal framework in which to run businesses, make contracts and borrow—spurring an unprecedented rise in living standards....

"Peru reduced by 75% the red tape blocking access to economic activity, provided ombudsmen and mechanisms for filing complaints against government agencies and recognized the property rights of the majority. One legislative package alone gave official recognition to 380,000 informal businesses, thus bringing above board, from 1990 to 1994, some 500,000 jobs and $8 billion in tax revenue. These steps left Peru’s terrorists without a solid constituency in the cities....

"Looking back, what was crucial to this effort was our success in persuading U.S. leaders and policy makers, as well as key figures at the United Nations, to see Peru’s countryside differently: as a breeding ground not for Marxist revolution but for a new, modern capitalist economy. These new habits of mind helped us to beat back terror in Peru and can do the same, I believe, in the Middle East and North Africa."

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rand Paul explains his foreign policy

Rand Paul just gave one of the most important foreign policy speeches in decades - Vox - Zack Beauchamp:

October 24, 2014 - "Sen. Rand Paul just gave one of the most important speeches on foreign policy since George W. Bush declared war on Iraq. But instead of declaring war on another country, Paul declared war on his own party. Or, at least, its entire approach to foreign policy.

"In his address last night at the Center for the National Interest — a think tank founded by Richard Nixon — Paul gave, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of how he thinks about foreign policy. His moderate non-interventionism is a far cry from his father's absolutist desire for America to exit the world stage. But Paul's stance is light years away from the hyper-hawk neoconservatism that's dominated Republican foreign policy thinking for decades....

"The real target of Paul's speech were the neoconservatives: the wing of the GOP that believes that American foreign policy should be about the aggressive use of American force and influence, be it against terrorist groups or Russia. Paul's unsubtle argument is that this view, dominant in the GOP, is a departure from what a conservative foreign policy ought to be....

"Until this speech, Paul's 2016 foreign policy position hadn't been clear. Now it is. Rand 'clearly wants a more restrained US foreign policy,' says Dan McCarthy, the editor of The American Conservative magazine. According to McCarthy, who's talked about these issues with Paul's staff, Paul has been engaged in a 'trial and error' experiment. The idea is to figure out how to make a less aggressive foreign policy politically viable in the Republican Party.

"After this speech, the testing phase appears to be over. According to his advisors, this speech represents the final, overarching framework for Paul's worldview. Rand has developed a strategy for wrenching conservatives away from the Bush legacy, and it's now a question of implementing it. "

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Conservative group runs web ads for Haugh in NC

Conservative group funds pro-weed campaign for North Carolina Libertarian candidate - Washington Post - Matea Gold, Post Politics:

October 23, 2014 - "Sean Haugh, the Libertarian candidate for Senate in North Carolina, is getting a big lift in the waning days of the election from an unlikely group praising his support for marijuana legalization and his opposition to U.S. military action abroad.

"The 'More Weed, Less War' online ad campaign features beaming young men and women who tout Haugh as 'sharing our progressive values,' chant 'Get Haugh, get high!' and dismiss Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan as 'out of touch.'

"The outfit behind the campaign does not have a history of advocating for marijuana legalization.

"American Future Fund, a tax-exempt organization based in West Des Moines, has been frequently used as a pass-through for political money on the right. In the 2012 campaign, it was a major player in a network of politically active nonprofits supported by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch and other conservative donors.

"But James Davis, a spokesman for Freedom Partners, the main financial arm of the Koch-backed network, said it no longer funds the Iowa group and has nothing to do with its pro-Haugh campaign....

"Nick Ryan, AFF’s founder, declined to say who was supporting the campaign. 'As a practice, we don't comment on who does or does not contribute to our organization,' he wrote in an email.

"He added that the goal of the pro-Haugh campaign 'is straightforward — share information with voters about where Sean Haugh stands on a variety of issues'.

"Ryan said the campaign is now generating so much buzz that AFF plans to expand its initial $225,000 buy.... 'We are going to re-double our efforts and expand the program next week.'"

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Asperger's better than MBA for business success, says Thiel

Peter Thiel Criticizes Harvard Business School, Praises Asperger's - Businessweek - Natalie Kitroeff:

October 7, 2014 - "PayPal co-founder, billionaire, and venture capitalist Peter Thiel mused in a San Francisco ballroom on Saturday about the benefits of mild autism and not being competitive. In a wide-ranging talk before hundreds at a conference for gay MBAs, he also took a direct shot at the culture of business school and posed some provocative, if unusual, questions about the entrepreneurial spirit of gay people.

"'So many of the successful companies are formed by people who seem to be suffering from a mild form of Asperger’s,' Thiel said, referring to Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning type of autism. People with Asperger’s often have limited socialization skills and, he said, are unafraid of pursuing ideas seen as strange. 'What is it about our society where anyone who does not have Asperger’s gets talked out of their heterodox ideas?'

"Thiel was speaking at a conference hosted by advocacy group Reaching Out MBA to promote Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, a new book in which he argues that competition stifles original thought. In a navy crew-cut T-shirt, khakis, and sneakers, his vibe clashed with that of the jacketed and tied professionals in the audience. Thiel has not identified himself as someone with Asperger’s but praises those with the disorder for their willingness to pursue offbeat ideas....

"By contrast, Thiel said, MBA programs produce thinkers who tend to buy into innovations only once they’ve peaked. Thiel noted that MBAs flooded the world of junk bonds in 1989, a year before industry king Michael Milken went to jail. No MBAs went near Silicon Valley until 1999, he said, at which point “HBS perfectly timed the dot-com bubble,” referring to Harvard Business School."

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

VT Libertarian Feliciano "not a fringe candidate"

Libertarian Dan Feliciano Makes a Bid for Vermont’s Highest Office | Politics | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice - Kevin J. Kelley:

October 22, 2014 - "Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Dan Feliciano exceeded expectations when he collected 14 percent of the vote as a late-starting write-in candidate in the Republican primary. In a Vermont Public Radio debate the following month, the 51-year-old business-efficiency expert struck some listeners as better-informed and more articulate than Scott Milne, the candidate who had won the Republican gubernatorial primary."

"Feliciano comes across as unthreatening, nondogmatic and, in the view of political scientist and retired Middlebury College professor Eric Davis, 'not a fringe candidate.' His aim to be seen as more of a mainstream conservative than a radical right-winger has been steadied by endorsements from a few Vermont GOP standouts: party vice-chair Brady Toensing, treasurer Mark Snelling and Darcie Johnston, manager of Randy Brock's 2012 campaign for governor....

"Feliciano wants to slash taxes and shrink bureaucracy. He said he'd make a start toward those twin goals by eliminating the surcharge on electricity bills that finances Efficiency Vermont. That statewide energy-conservation entity operates on an annual budget of $45 million but produces "zero value" for Vermonters, according to Feliciano....

"Feliciano would also permanently unplug Vermont Health Connect, the state-sponsored website that is supposed to enable Vermonters to buy affordable insurance policies.... Feliciano's hostility toward Vermont Health Connect squares with his sworn opposition to Shumlin's plan to introduce a single-payer health insurance system in Vermont. Estimated price tag: $2 billion. The Libertarian's flat-out rejection of single payer is a key reason why Johnston, an ardent campaigner against Shumlin's proposal, has gone to work for Feliciano rather than for Milne, who has refused to denounce single payer."

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cato Institute challenging Federal Reserve

Libertarian Think Tank is Spoiling for a Fight with the Fed - Real Time Economics - Wall Street Journal - Ben Leubsdorf:

October 20, 2014 - "The Cato Institute has some bones to pick with the Federal Reserve.

"The Washington libertarian think tank this week will launch a new Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. Its goal: challenge the central bank’s policies and explore alternative ways to manage the U.S. money supply, including but not limited to a return to the gold standard.

"'I think we can do better than the Federal Reserve,' said George Selgin, the center’s director and a former economics professor at the University of Georgia. 'We should be exploring how to do better. We should be exploring alternatives that could do better, instead of dismissing that entire inquiry as something that should be only of interest to people on the fringe.'

"The new center is the latest manifestation of growing public and academic attention on the Fed and central banking after the 2008 financial crisis.... The Fed’s extraordinary actions in recent years – helping rescue large financial firms, pinning interest rates at zero for nearly six years and counting, three rounds of bond-buying aimed at stimulating economic recovery – remain controversial.

"Critics have variously accused the Fed of bailing out fat-cat Wall Street bankers, harming Americans who rely on interest from their savings, distorting the flows of the free market, failing to generate sustainable economic growth and flirting with out-of-control inflation and a debased currency. Defenders say the Fed’s policies prevented the crisis from escalating into a financial catastrophe, helped stabilize the financial system and helped nurture a fitful recovery, and they note inflation remains low and the dollar strong.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Knedler on Ohio ballot as Libertarian, for SoS

Libertarian points to his independence - Toledo Blade - Jim Provance:

October 19, 2014 - "Kevin Knedler offers himself as the alternative to two-party control of state government.

"'As secretary of state, I would be an independent voice,' he said. 'I would not be beholden to special interests or the two major parties. I would not use the office to run for something higher.'

"Mr. Knedler, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Ohio, scrambled to mount a successful write-in campaign during the primary election when it was clear the party’s chosen candidate failed to gather the signatures necessary to qualify.

" He is on the Nov. 4 ballot alongside Republican incumbent Secretary of State Jon Husted and the Democratic challenger, state Sen. Nina Turner (D., Cleveland).

"In addition to watching the court fights over early voting in recent weeks, Mr. Knedler points to legislation passed by the General Assembly that the party maintains would make it tougher for minor party candidates to qualify for the ballot. He also notes the apparent involvement of Republicans in challenging the candidate petitions of fellow Libertarians for statewide office, including governor.... In the meantime, Mr. Knedler said he would advocate for greater participation by independents and minor parties on county boards of elections that are currently split 2-2 between Democrats and Republicans.

"He also proposes making it easier for minor parties to demonstrate they have the support necessary to give them a spot on Ohio’s ballot."

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Britain's rising libertarian generation

Rise of the New Libertarians: Meet Britain's Next Political Generation - Shane Croucher, International Business Times:

October 10, 2014 -  "In the ruins of Westminster party politics, between the crumbling pillars of broken promises and the shattered glass of optimism, you'll find Britain's young people building something new.

"They don't need or want the British state and its creaking machinery. Like feats of Victorian engineering, these tired institutions are impressive, interesting, and have their place in history. But they're not practical anymore, these dusty relics from the Age of Statism.

"This is Generation Y. The under 30s who are the most liberal generation in British history, not just on social issues such as decriminalising marijuana and gay marriage, but on economic ones too....

"Adolescents of austerity, who understand they can't rely, as their parents and grandparents did, on the one-size-fits-all state as a provider. This generation knows what it wants: the grand prize of individual liberty and personal responsibility....

"Young libertarians are also looking to Ukip's newest hero, the Tory turncoat Douglas Carswell. A free market-loving, privatisation-touting, tax-cutting libertarian rascal, Carswell just won a by-election in Clacton - increasing his majority - after his defection from the Conservatives to become to become Ukip's first elected MP....

"Generation Y marks a noticeable shift in opinion when compared to other generations. They're not that proud of the welfare state. They're less trusting of the traditional big public institutions. They're much more socially liberal, cosmopolitan, and internationalist.

"They believe more in markets, lower tax and less regulation. They want to make their own decisions, not have the state – an overbearing parent, of sorts – make them on their behalf....

"Years of austerity and public spending cuts have changed Generation Y, but not in the way some expected. Rather than fuelling anger among young people that the state is being chipped away, many are absorbing the message of individualism, of DIY solutions to personal, community and societal problems.

"They simply don't need the state anymore. You're more likely to find them working in social enterprises and charities than in the hallowed Westminster halls of Whitehall."

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Libertarians appealing to fed-up U.S. voters

Fed up voters in Illinois (and around US): Why Libertarian may tip governor's race | Fox News - Douglas E. Schoen:

October 16, 2014 - "In a year of unusual candidates, Libertarian Chad Grimm may be the most atypical of the bunch.

"The 33-year old gym manager from Peoria is polling at 7%, more than twice the margin by which Democrat incumbent Pat Quinn leads Republican challenger Bruce Rauner....

"He is pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-tax, but also pro-marijuana legalization, pro-marriage equality, and he has derided the wealthy Rauner as a 'billionaire venture capitalist.' Grimm promises to lead Illinois into an era of 'less taxes, less prisons and less red tape.'

"America doesn’t have much experience with Libertarians. We know Ron and Rand Paul by now and they’ve both raised the profile of Libertarianism tremendously. That said, candidates like Grimm still lack a natural constituency who will support them.

"It follows that the fact that Grimm is polling at 7%, enough to decide the outcome of the election and then some, begs the question of what’s going on with our two-party system.

"To this end, Grimm is benefitting from the same pervasive dissatisfaction with American politics that is shaping races from Kansas to South Dakota to Maine.

"Voters are angry and frustrated with the state of politics in America. And it looks like many of those who may have once held their noses and voted for a Democrat or a Republican are finally starting to get serious about other options.

"Over 40% of Americans are now identifying as independents. We’re seeing their voting power in action in both Kansas and South Dakota’s senate races where independents Greg Orman and Larry Pressler are not only in contention, but leading in some polls.

"But in Illinois, where politics is notoriously rough and four of the last seven governors have wound up in prison, any candidate who wasn’t a Democrat or a Republican has been forced off the ballot, except for Grimm."

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Time: Paul is 'most interesting man in politics'

Kentucky's Rand Paul on TIME cover as "the most interesting man in politics" - James R. Carroll, Louisville Courier-Journal:

October 17, 2014 - "After he was elected to the Senate in 2010, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul shared a TIME magazine cover with some other tea-party members of Congress.

"Then in 2013, Paul was one of the '100 most influential people' to share alternating TIME covers.

"Now, he's back on TIME again, and he's all by himself, a measure of how the Republican lawmaker has emerged as – well, the title of the story says it all: 'The Most Interesting Man in Politics.'

"Paul, of course, is a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, and polls show him leading or near the top of his party's field of would-be candidates.

The senator has admitted he is considering a run, but won't make a decision until early next year....

"The accompanying story, by Michael Scherer, is titled 'The Reinventions of Rand Paul. Can He Fix What Ails the GOP?'.... Scherer details Paul's 'radical ambition,' saying that the senator is offering himself as 'a visionary determined to reinvent the conservative Republican story line.'

"Paul's unconventional positions against limiting ballot access and restoring rights to nonviolent felons are separating him from his potential GOP competitors, the story notes."

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Union local helping Libertarian in Illinois

Liberal Union Backs Libertarian Candidate in Illinois Governor Race | Washington Free Beacon - Brent Scher:

October 16, 2014 - "A large liberal union that has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to reelect Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is now throwing its financial weight behind the Libertarian candidate in an apparent effort to pull votes away from Republican Bruce Rauner.

"It was recently revealed that Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) will be conducting a large scale direct mail and robocall campaign to inform voters that Libertarian Chad Grimm is a more conservative candidate than Rauner.

"Recent polls show that Grimm is pulling in around 7 percent of voters in a race that is becoming increasingly close between Rauner and Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn....

"Last week, IOUE Local 150 contributed $30,000 to Grimm....

"The union claims that its support for Grimm is not an attempt to pull voters from Rauner, but a way to represent the various political values of its membership.

"'Local 150 is an organization with a diverse membership, and we make great efforts to encourage our members to be politically active and to vote in every election,' said communications director Ed Maher in a statement given to the Washington Free Beacon. 'While a majority of our Illinois membership has indicated its support for Governor Pat Quinn, we are committed to offering a viable choice for members who do not support Democrats.

"'Chad Grimm, the Libertarian candidate for governor, recognizes the value that unions add to Illinois’ economy and agrees that we accomplish more as a state when we focus on job creation instead of attacking unions,' he said. 'Grimm’s political values match those of a segment of our membership, and we therefore offered our support.'"

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Self-described libertarian UKIP's 1st elected MP

Westminster rocked as Ukip wins first MP in Clacton and comes within grasping distance of Labour stronghold - Matthew Holehouse, The Telegraph:

October 10, 2014 - "Douglas Carswell made history in the early hours of Friday after he triumphed in the Clacton by-election to become Ukip's first elected MP, while the party came within grasping distance of winning a Labour stronghold in a second contest.

"Mr Carswell recorded a resounding victory over his Tory challenger with 59.6 per cent of the vote and an increased majority of 12,404 - six weeks after rocking Westminster by defecting from the Tories."

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Can Douglas Carswell ride the Ukip tiger? - Matthew Holehouse, The Telegraph:

October 10, 2014 - "Mr Carswell is self-described libertarian, and one of Parliament's most radical thinkers about who has power in Britain, what a Parliament is for, and how the country must change if is to be rich again.

"He says new political parties should be like Uber and Spotify, tearing through markets and disrupting vested interests. He quit the Tories ... because [the party] refused to modernise enough and junked its 2010 manifesto on power of recall. He likes 'iDemocracy' so much he wrote a book on it.

"He loves free markets. He hates corporate cartels. He hates the Old Boys in Westminster who killed off open primaries. He welcomes the free movement of people, but worries about how to create a common British identity with which people can feel British in an age of transient labour and Skype relationships.

"He hails feminism, and says political correctness is just 'good manners'."

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Iowa LP Senate candidate killed in plane crash

Libertarian Senate candidate in Iowa dies in plane crash - The Washington Post - Sean Sullivan, Post Politics:

October 14, 2014 - "Doug Butzier, the Libertarian Party nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, was killed in a plane crash, authorities said Tuesday. He was 59.

"Key West Fire Chief Brian Arnold confirmed the crash and Butzier's death in a brief interview. He said Butzier was piloting an airplane late Monday night when it crashed roughly a mile from the Dubuque airport, which Butzier was approaching. No one else was in the plane.

"The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating a crash in the Dubuque area that caused no ground injuries.

"'The flight originated from Ankeny Regional Airport, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

"A single-engine Piper PA-46 crashed at about 11 p.m. Central Time on Monday while on approach to Dubuque Regional Airport in Dubuque, Iowa," said FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford in a statement. "The aircraft went down about a mile north of the runway."

"Butzier, an emergency room doctor, was a long-shot against state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) and Rep. Bruce Braley (D)."

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Kentucky Libertarian kept out of Senate debate

Oligarchy Wins, Kentucky Loses, Libertarian Candidate Says of Being Excluded from Senate Debate | The River City News:

October 13, 2014 - "Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes will face each other in a televised debate on Monday evening.... Absent will be the third candidate seeking the office: Libertarian David Patterson.

"A judge ruled against Patterson's emergency injunction filed by the Libertarian Party of Kentucky and the campaign. Patterson's campaign said that an open records request revealed that KET 'continually shifted criteria for inclusion' in the debate, to ensure that the Libertarian would not be part of it.

"'I'm running the best campaign that I can. I don't have $50M worth of out-of-state special interest money. My campaign has always been about regular Kentuckians, and that's who has lost today,' Patterson said in a statement on Sunday. 'KET has testified under oath that their mission and values statements don't apply to the decisions they make. They intend to apply a financial threshold to all future criteria. That means you must be rich or have rich friends to even stand a chance. Kentuckians now have their hard-earned tax dollars being used to deprive them of knowing their options when they walk into the ballot box.'

"'It is extremely disappointing that the court has said state entities can re-write the rules in the middle of the game,' said Libertarian Party of Kentucky Chairman Ken Moellman. 'KET testified under oath that Grimes and McConnell were invited without any criteria, while David Patterson was scrutinized under an ever-increasing set of criteria. This isn't even about Libertarians, it's everyone who's not part of the Old Parties. The First Amendment now only applies to the "chosen ones". Welcome to the illusion of choice. Welcome to the oligarchy.'"

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Libertarians and Ebola

How Libertarians Would Handle an Ebola Outbreak in Texas - Victoria Bekiempis, Newsweek:

October 2, 2014 - "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. on Tuesday, in Dallas, Texas.... Libertarianism generally advocates against government involvement in healthcare — so if the 135 Libertarians running for office in the Lone Star State this November were elected, would they want the government to fight the disease?

"The answer is more nuanced than one might expect: Most Libertarians interviewed by Newsweek agreed government should intervene to protect public health in exceptional circumstances, but said intervention would have to be very careful and limited—and, perhaps, that it is better executed by the private sector.

"Shikha Dalmia, a senior analyst at Reason Foundation, the Libertarian think tank that publishes Reason magazine, explains to Newsweek the starting point of most Libertarian belief is a limited government that provides 'essential' functions, such as national defense. But in certain circumstances—if a person had a deadly communicable disease and refused to isolate himself, for example—governmental intervention could be considered essential....

"Kathie Glass, a Libertarian candidate for Texas governor, says that forced isolation is OK if it’s absolutely necessary. 'If you are a threat to other innocent people, that’s an act of aggression,' she says. 'When someone has fatal disease, a deadly communicable disease, that’s an act of aggression to go around and expose other people to it.' But, she adds, we should be careful that we are not just wantonly violating someone’s liberty.

"With regard to a governmental public health infrastructure, there doesn’t seem to be active Libertarian opposition to entities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — 'I don’t think any Libertarian loves the CDC, but there are just bigger fish to fry,' explains Dalmia — but they generally favor the private sector’s handling of healthcare.

Carla Howell, National Libertarian Party Political Director, says 'governmental bureaucracies' involved with epidemic control are ineffective compared to private and voluntary efforts, in addition to costing too much money and violating individual rights. 'The sole purpose of government is to protect our life, liberty and property from harm caused by others in those few instances where the private sector cannot do a better job,' Howell writes in an e-mail to Newsweek. 'Containing Ebola in Africa is best left to private charities such as Doctors Without Borders rather than the NIH [National Institutes of Health] or the CDC.'"

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

What’s a Libertarian? Defining our terms

APOV: What’s a Libertarian? Defining our terms - The Daily News Online: Commentary And Letters - David A. Olsen, chairman, Genessee County Libertarian Party:

October 11, 2014 - "Over the past two years, I’ve been asked 'What’s a Libertarian and why should I vote for one?' If you asked 10 Libertarians, you will get different answers. Our core value is individualism — free thinking. We are guaranteed specific individual rights through the Constitution of the United States; Libertarians advocate the protection of all those rights.

"I’m also asked what our position on different issues that come along is. To answer that question, first consider a few basic questions. Ask yourself how, in general, you view other people. Consider those people you encounter every day. Are they generally good, decent, honest folks, who would share what they have with someone in need and help another who was in danger? Or, are they bad, scheming, selfish, and look the other way and not want to be involved in helping others in need? Next, ask yourself who should make decisions about people’s welfare? Are the people you know capable of making good decisions, or should they be prevented from doing so to protect themselves?...

"There will always be grey areas. Free thinkers will disagree on finer points, naturally. However, the Libertarian’s position on any topic can typically be found by determining what solution would put the most faith in people and require the least government involvement.

"With individual freedom, of course comes responsibility. Unfortunately, Americans have become dependent on the state. The expectation is that government will solve issues. It’s easy to understand why. Government takes a chunk of everyone’s earnings right off the top through income tax. Add property tax, sales tax, license fees, tolls, etc. and it averages out to almost 50 percent of everyone’s income. I use as a reference You will work for over five months before your pay is yours. Why are people still hungry, homeless, uneducated, with inadequate health care?"

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Mental health org. calls for legal marijuana

CAMH calls for legalization of marijuana - CBC News:

October 9, 2014 - "Marijuana should be legalized with strict controls to curb its use and social harms, the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says. 

"Canada’s current system of cannabis control fails to prevent or reduce harms associated with its use, Dr. Jurgen Rehm, director of social and epidemiological research at CAMH, said Thursday as the hospital released a new policy document on the drug.

"'Cannabis sales should be regulated,' Rehm said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. 'There should be a government monopoly on sales. There should be a minimum age for purchase and consumption. There should be controls on availability. There should be … a ban on marketing, advertising and promotion and plain packaging.'

"Rehm estimated that about 40 per cent of Canadians have used pot at least once in their lifetimes, and 10 per cent have done so in the past year. But its use is associated with harms to health.... Given the risk of harm, CAMH believes any reforms on marijuana control need to include a strong focus on prevention and harm reduction interventions.

"Anyone who buys pot in criminal markets doesn't know about its potency or quality. Meanwhile, enforcement of cannabis laws costs Canadians $1.2 billion a year, the centre said.

"While decriminalization has some advantages over prohibition, it doesn’t address health harms of cannabis use as strict regulations would, Rehm said, adding the strict regulations proposed set the model apart from other legalization approaches, such as in the U.S."

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

HI Libertarians run record number of candidates

Libertarian candidates 'on the rise' - Brenton Awa, KITV 4:

October 7, 2014 - "Come November, you might notice a lot of L's on the ballot. This year's general election fields 17 Libertarian candidates. That's the most ever offered by the party in Hawaii and it's also 16 more than the one who made the ballot in the last election.

"'Rather than waiting for the current system to change, we want to be the ones making the change,' said Anthony Higa, the Libertarian state House candidate....

"Higa's looking to represent State House District 19. He's going up against the incumbent Bert Kobayashi and Republican Victoria Mathieu. Higa's one of the Libertarians top candidates and he's giving this run all he's got. Higa already went as far as quitting his day job to focus on finding the needs of his community. But when no Libertarian has ever won any race in the state, getting supporters can be next to impossible.

"'The chances are always long shots unless you're a democrat in the State of Hawaii because this is a blue state,' said Tracy Ryan, Libertarian Party chairperson.

"The hope for this party lies in its beliefs. Libertarians want minimal government involvement while maximizing the public's freedom. They stand for ending the income tax, keeping guns accessible and marriage equality. 

"'We feel that liberty is the default position in a free country and we feel the burden of proof are the people that want to make anything illegal should fall on them, not on the people who say that it shouldn't be criminal or illegal,' said Ryan.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wylie up to 13% in FL poll, locked out of debate

Fla. Gov Race: Libertarian Candidate Improves, Scott & Crist in Virtual Dead Heat - JP Updates | JP Updates - Boruch Schubert:

October 7, 2014 - "The new Republican-oriented analytics firm Optimus has released a poll tracking the race for governor of Florida, and it appears to sound a positive note for little-known candidate Adrian Wyllie.

"The latest numbers show the Libertarian attracting 13 percent support from likely voters, an improvement of two percentage points since the firm’s previous poll. The increase is even more notable compared to Wyllie’s standing when 0ptimus first dropped his name into the mix back in mid-August, when he registered 9 percent of voter support.

"Unfortunately for Wyllie, he is being locked out of the gubernatorial debates due to his poor standing; in fact, the Florida Press Association has just ruled that he cannot participate in its Oct. 15 debate between Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist because Wyllie would have had to register 15 percent in a poll that was taken before Sept. 30 by an independent pollster.

"Crist and Scott continue to be virtually deadlocked at 40-39 percent.

"'This week, the two candidates stayed neck and neck, and the only "mover" in the race was Wyllie, who showed gains just outside the margin of error,' noted 0ptimus’ founder and analyst Brian Stobie, according to the Miami Herald.  'We view this is a backlash to the two highly negative campaigns saturating Florida airwaves, particularly from those in our modeled undecided voter universes, who seem to be leading this trend toward Wyllie.'"

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Monday, October 6, 2014

MN LP governor candidate gets Star-Tribune op-ed

The Libertarian Party alone now offers a true alternative | Minneapolis Star Tribune - Chris Holbrook:

October 3, 2014 - Tom Horner has recently been trying to convince us that Jeff Johnson and his big government GOP solutions are what Minnesota needs.... The opposite is true. Apparently, Libertarians are the only ones left to offer smaller-government solutions....

"I hope people look at a third-party option with conviction. The Libertarian Party has been proposing a 10 percent government budget reduction across the board upfront, and then an audit to find more to reduce, in addition to incrementally converting to a “fair tax” system instead of our current income tax seizure system. These steps would save the median earner in Minnesota $1,750 a year.

"If the Tom and Jeff show really wants to boost businesses and jobs in Minnesota, freedom to engage in voluntary transactions on Sundays would help; ending the prohibition on fireworks, marijuana, and other victimless crimes would help, and not trying to legislate morality would help. They seem to be interested only in boosting their partisan power, which rewards special interests."

"Lastly, the 'oh yeah, this is bad, too' commentary in Horner’s article on the GOP solution to fix the education gap by installing new principals is a joke.... Libertarians instead advocate more options for parents, like home school, on-the-job training credits, expanded vo-tech and a voucher system.

"A different style of big government overreach is not what Minnesota needs. Less government overreach is, and the Libertarian Party seems to be the last man standing to offer that."

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

The 5 best libertarian TV shows ever (video)

The 5 Best Libertarian TV Shows Ever - - Nick Gillespie & Meredith Bragg:

October 1, 2014 - "Here are five television shows all libertarians should watch.

"The Prisoner (1967-1968). The Prisoner follows a British secret agent who wants to walk away from it all but ends up a captive of the very government he once served. Late ‘60s psychedelia. Paranoia....

"House of Cards (2013-present). What more do you have to say about a political soap opera in which a disgruntled congressman lies, cheats, and murders his way to the Oval Office in just two seasons?...

"Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003-2010).... Bullshit! trained a skeptical eye on everything from bottled water and feng shui to the war on drugs and the death penalty....

"The Wire (2002-2008). Widely considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time, this Baltimore-based drama ... explores and analyzes class, race, and politics from multiple viewpoints and perspectives....

"South Park (1997-present).... Trey Parker and Matt Stone have taught us all real media literacy by showing us how to identify and spot phony philosophizing, moral panics, and self-interested crusaders a mile way."

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Libertarian 'third force' emerging in U.S. politics

American Way: between Democrats and Republicans, a libertarian "third force" is emerging - Telegraph - Peter Foster:

October 4, 2014 - "On the surface, American politics often seems so tribally divided between Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative that there is little point in even bothering with the shades of grey in between..... But ... the failures of first the Bush and now the Obama administrations have seen the emergence not of a third party in US politics but a libertarian 'third force' that could yet influence the outcome in 2016.

"Listen carefully and libertarian ideas – with a small 'l' – can be heard shaping many of the big issues of the day, from marijuana legalisation, to penal reform; from digital privacy issues in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations to whether or not to bomb Syria....

"The libertarian sentiment reflects the pitchfork politics that gave rise to the Tea Party on the right and the Occupy movements on the left that were both fuelled by public disillusion with the power of conventional politics to deliver anything other than the stagnant status quo.

"Measuring the potential electoral impact of libertarianism is difficult precisely because it cuts across traditional party lines, which is both its protean strength and political weakness in an era of big money politics.

"Put a capital 'L' on libertarianism and it largely evaporates – Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate in 2012, won only 1 per cent of the popular vote (1.2m people), but research by the Cato Institute, the libertarian think-thank, points a much deeper pool of Americans with libertarian leanings.

"When they asked voters if they considered themselves 'fiscally conservative and socially liberal – also known as libertarian', some 44 per cent of Americans were happy to be placed in that category.

"The politician most obviously trying to capitalise on the idea that Americans aren't quite so easily pigeonholed into red and blue boxes is Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky who the bookies rate as a leading contender for 2016.

"As the son of veteran libertarian Ron Paul, his formula will be to bring libertarian ideas off the fringe – where his cranky dad always languished – and into the mainstream, tapping that well of disaffection that resonates across party lines.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Dalton GA mayor endorses Libertarian for governor

Former GOP governor candidate backs Libertarian | Georgia News - Kathleen Foody,  Associated Press:

October 3, 2014 - "A former Republican candidate for governor is backing the Libertarian candidate on the Nov. 4 ballot.

"Dalton Mayor David Pennington lost a long-shot bid to replace Gov. Nathan Deal as the party's nominee in May, earning about 17 percent of the primary vote. He attacked the governor's fiscal policy during the campaign, appealing to conservative voters.

"Libertarian candidates could play a role in both the race for governor and Georgia's open U.S. Senate seat....

"On Friday, Pennington endorsed Andrew Hunt and says voting for a third-party candidate isn't a waste. Pennington says he won't tell anyone else who to support and expects people to vote their conscience."

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Conservatives, libertarians must unite to win, say GOP strategists

Strategists Say Libertarians & Conservatives Must Unite to Win - Josh Siegel:

September 30, 2014 - "Doug Stafford says he and his boss, Sen. Rand Paul, got into politics the same way: through their church, which inspired them to develop pro-life principles.

"Stafford, the executive director of RAND PAC and a close adviser to Paul, sat on a panel this past weekend at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., a gathering of social conservatives. "

"Stafford was there to sell Paul, the Kentucky Republican with a libertarian streak, as a potential 2016 presidential candidate who can bridge the divide between conservatives and libertarians....

"This week, Paul will travel to North Carolina to appeal to libertarian-leaning voters in a state with a hotly contested Senate seat.

"Republicans are worried that third-party candidate Sean Haugh, a Libertarian running for Senate in North Carolina, could siphon votes from Thom Tillis, the Republican who is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan.

"If Republicans are to take control of the U.S. Senate, experts say, they will likely have to overcome third-party candidates, many being libertarian, who could play spoiler and take away votes.

"The best way to do that, Republican strategists say, is to project the similarities of conservatives and libertarians, so as not to give voters a reason or alternative to vote outside of the two major parties."

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Robert Sarvis denies "Democratic plant" rumors

Libertarian Sarvis denies being in cahoots with Democrats - Roanoke Times: Politics - Marcus Schmidt, Richmond Times-Dispatch: 

September 30, 2014 -  "Libertarian Robert Sarvis, the only third-party candidate on the ballot in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race, vehemently denies allegations that his Senate campaign and his 2013 gubernatorial bid were meant to help Democrats defeat Republican candidates.

"'It’s just an absurd claim and just a way to scare people,' Sarvis said in an interview Tuesday with editors and reporters at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

"The rumors date to a story posted by the conservative blog The Blaze shortly before Election Day last year, when Sarvis ran for governor against Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli....

"The blog said that Texas-based software billionaire Joe Liemandt was the major benefactor to the Libertarian Booster PAC, which had contributed $11,454 to Sarvis’ campaign to pay for signature collection, yard signs and campaign materials....

"But in 2012, ABC News reported that Liemandt had also contributed between $100,000 and $200,000 for President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.

"But Sarvis on Tuesday denied that Democrats were actively backing his last campaign and are behind his Senate bid, hoping that his participation in the race will weaken support for Republican Ed Gillespie, who wants to defeat Sen. Mark Warner.

"'We can put the truth out there, but we still get a lot of responses from conservatives who claim that I was a Democratic plant and that I am again this year,' he said. 'The most you can do is to say, well, it’s not true.'

"Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian National Committee and founder of the Libertarian Booster PAC, also denied allegations that his PAC only supported Sarvis’ gubernatorial bid as a tool of moneyed Democratic Party interests."

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