Let me state at the beginning that I have a bias here. I'm a fan of
Root. I supported his campaign for the Presidential nomination at the
beginning and all the way through the convention. I thought he was a
candidate than Bob Barr and I still believe that's true.
Regarding Craig Thomas' question - and by the way, it's been ages
last saw you; I hope you're doing well - "Are any of these assertions
Nolan untrue or incorrect?":
Well, certainly some of the statements from Nolan's proposed
incorrect and much of the rest is just plain irrelevant.
1) Let's start with the very first sentence, "Whereas Congressman Bob
obtained the Libertarian Party's Presidential nomination by holding
prospects of tens of millions of dollars in campaign funding and as
five percent of the popular vote for President"
Bob Barr certainly did state during an exuberant moment at the
banquet that he believed he could raise tens of millions of dollars
reach record vote totals, but that was AFTER he won the nomination.
There is no evidence that I've ever seen that he ever said anything
like this prior to the nomination, though it wouldn't surprise me if
supporters promoted the idea. I have not yet met a nominee who boldly
stated after his nomination that he expects to have a poor campaign
easy to start to believe your own adoring fans.
2) "Specific shortcomings of the Barr/Root campaign which contributed
failure to achieve its stated goals and disqualify it from receiving
financial aid from the Libertarian National Committee."
I have no clue what David Nolan is stating here. The only financial
LNC can afford to provide to our Presidential campaigns is support for
ballot access, which is a hell of a lot of money. We also lend to
use of some of our staff.
3) "The Barr /Root campaign went to great lengths to avoid using the
"Libertarian" wherever possible."
Yes, that's true, as did the nominees of the other parties avoid the
their party labels. The major party candidates all attempt to appeal
undecided, independent swing voters. Unfortunately, shouting from the
hilltops that we're Libertarian (or Democrat or Republican) does not
anyone to actually listen to what you have to say.
4) "The Barr/Root campaign raised more than $1.3 million in
but spent almost nothing on advertising to the voting public. Campaign
staffers were paid inflated salaries; money was spent on refurbishing
Barr's Atlanta offices; "political consultants" were paid at least
$19,000 was spent on limousines. But almost nothing was spent on
Barr or the Libertarian Party via paid broadcast or print
Of course, money gets spent on consultants. These are the folks who
short period of time not handling their normal jobs so that they can
a grueling campaign.
As far as money being spent on limousines, many taxi and shuttle
have the name "limo" in their names. You can't tell from a campaign
report how the money was actually spent by only looking at the name
vendor. And, sometimes a limo is the most economical way for a large
to travel. I was in Philadelphia at a training conference a couple of
months ago and I had to get from the training facility to the
half-dozen of us with our luggage took a limo rather than get into
three separate cabs. That had to cut the cost per person by at least
The comment on not spending money on paid broadcast or print
simply ignorant. You simply can't effectively run a national paid
advertising campaign on a $1 million shoe-string budget. Given the
of campaign funds available, you're much better off spending that
trying to get earned media through radio talk shows and television
which is precisely what the campaign did. If they had attempted to
their meager funds on advertising, even fewer people would have
5) "Some petitioners were not paid for services rendered, leaving the
the embarrassing position of being dunned by those petitioners."
That's simply false. No one is dunning the LNC for anything related
6) "When TV personality Stephen Colbert interviewed Bob Barr shortly
he received the nomination and asked why previous Libertarian
not received higher vote totals, Barr replied that "The Libertarian
has never had a good candidate before" - thus insulting Ron Paul and
our previous Presidential candidates."
For folks who haven't seen it, the Colbert Report is a comedy show.
everything you say on his program had better be entertaining and
tongue-in-cheek if you ever want to get on the program again.
7) "In September, Barr agreed to participate in a press conference
by Ron Paul, but failed to show up. This understandably enraged Dr.
led to his eventually endorsing fringe candidate Chuck Baldwin for
President. As a result, the enthusiasm and potential financial
Dr. Paul's thousands of avid supporters were lost."
Ron Paul is a unique phenomenon, which won't likely be repeated and is
certainly not transferable to any other candidate. His endorsement
Baldwin did nothing for him and it would have done nothing for us.
Was the campaign poorly run? Sure, but poorly run Libertarian
campaigns seem to be the norm, rather than the exception. Would I
the campaign differently? Absolutely! For example, I would have not
focused on battle-ground states; I would have focused on the states
there was no question as to which candidate was going to win that
That said, I will give them credit for their successful media
which was stellar compared to most of our candidates. Our VP
alone got more media coverage than all of our previous VP candidates
combined, and more than many previous Presidential nominees. And in
of votes as a percentage of the voting population, the campaign
well as any of our better performing campaigns, with the exception of
So, should the LNC pass resolutions condemning our Presidential
for running disappointing campaigns? Only if we believe in the
of circular firing squads.
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