Big Badnarik Bash Raises the Bar!

Big Badnarik Bash Raises the Bar!

by Joe Cobb
Vice-Chair, LPOC

Friday July 16, approximately 70 Libertarians gathered at the Embassy
Suites Hotel in Santa Ana, for a banquet featuring our Presidential
candidate, Michael Badnarik and his campaign manager, Barbara
Goushaw-Collins. The food was excellent, the atmosphere festive, and
almost $12,000 - over $8,000 after expenses - was raised for the
Badnarik campaign. This was the largest and most successful
fundraising event for the campaign, since the convention!

The room was packed with Libertarian luminaries from Orange, Los
Angeles and San Diego Counties, with a sprinkling of activists from
other regions also in attendance. Among those there were David
Bergland and Sharon Ayres, Manny Klausner, LP Founder David Nolan and
California Chair Aaron Starr. Elected Libertarians included Art
Olivier, Sandy Lopez and Kate O'Brien. Candidates there to support
Mister Badnarik ranged from Judge Gray, to Andrew Favor, Tim Johnson,
Keith Gann, Dan Fernandes and Alexandria Coronado. Susan Marie Weber,
Riverside County Chair and Paul Ireland, Chair of San Bernardino were
likewise there for the Filet Mignon and the Libertarian fellowship.

Bruce Cohen, the event organizer, was Emcee for the evening. After
Bruce introduced the numerous dignitaries in the audience, Michael
Badnarik made a brief speech, focusing mostly on how many interviews
he's already done. Barbara Goushaw-Collins then delivered a very
thorough and interesting discussion of their plan to focus on one
'swing' state this August. It was a well thought out plan and caused
me to give an additional $100 to support the idea. Barbara spoke
longer than Michael did, but he came back up after her and fielded
questions from the audience for another 30 minutes.

I was delighted that Badnarik is planning to capitalize on antiwar
sentiment. On the other hand, his handling of tough questions needs
improvement. For example, he said as President he would strongly
respond to any threat from a foreign enemy as soon as he learned about
it, not waiting to receive the first strike. Unfortunately, this is
actually THE SAME AS George W. Bush's position, except that Bush
received false information and Badnarik is assuming he could receive
accurate information from the CIA, et al. I pointed this problem out
to Badnarik afterwards and it elicited no response. Michael keeps
getting better, each time he speaks and we're looking forward to his
return to Orange County next month.

Having seen Gary Nolan at the 2003 California LP convention (his
speech was not impressive) and Aaron Russo on C-SPAN in Atlanta, I
think Badnarik is doing about as well as anyone can expect, probably
better than Russo or Nolan, in regard to libertarian arguments in "the
real world." Badnarik is clearly serious about getting the
libertarian arguments correct, even if they sound odd to an untutored

Overall, the event was a big success. The participants were motivated
by what they heard, a significant sum of money was raised, and a great
time was had by the gathered crowd of Libertarians!

David Nolan and Bruce Cohen contributed to this article