Republicans knocking out Libertarians

Hi All,

Accidentally, I came across this article on

For the past year or so, I have been somewhat distressed as to what I perceive as Republican strategy of making sure Libertarians do not split the vote. If Republicans succeed in convincing Libertarians to vote Republican because of the wasted vote syndrome, or because Republicans are just as libertarian, or because Republicans won the suit and kept the LP off ballots, etc. etc., they will get a bigger piece of the libertarian pie. It is one thing to support someone like John Dennis, whom we have know forever, if a real Libertarian is not running. It is another thing to support someone who claims to be a libertarian but who speaks of the need to get rid of the Congressional gridlock so things can get done -- read, more laws can get passed (thank you to LPSF's Matt for pointing out that from a real Libertarian point of view, gridlock is not a bad thing).

So, just letting everybody know that I will push for LPSF to campaign for the Libertarian presidential candidate, not the Republican one. PS, an ex-Republican, who is slowly seeing the light, is better than a Republican who is far from seeing any light at all.

Just sayin'


This is a fabulous article Marcy. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I just subscribed to his list.

Has anyone reached out to Robert Taylor? We should get to know this guy.


Don't know if it was already mentioned but a link to that article should go to the LPSF website.


Hi Mike,

Glad you enjoyed the article. A while back I posted a medium-assertive piece on the LPSF website alluding to this subject, but after attending a certain meeting a couple of weeks ago, I think maybe a more assertive stance on the matter might be appropriate; yes, including reference to this article. I will post something within a couple of days.

Regarding your suggestion of reaching out to Robert Taylor, I do not know of anyone in LPSF who has. I am not all that good at people to people public relations, so I am hoping someone in our group better than I, can start reaching out to these folks.


Don't know what you are talking about when you say you are not good at "people to people public relations". You are so charming!

I just sent him in invitation to lunch or drinks with us...will keep you posted.


Fantastic idea to send invitation!!!!!! Thank you!


Starchild, Aubrey and I attended the LP state convention. On Sunday Gary Johnson appeared electronically. We heard him, and some of us were able to ask him a question. Starchild asked an extremely useful question. He asked why Ron Nielson got so much money. Gary Johnson explained that this is money due to Ron Nielson's firm, so Nielson has to pay all his company's employees and all of its campaign spending, from the big sum it receives from Gary Johnson.

Like Starchild, I always thought Ron Nielson was getting all that money just for his advice. I didn't understand that he has a whole company and it was the company that managed Johnson's campaign. Now I understand, so I am really glad Starchild cleared that up.

Richard Winger
PO Box 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147

Thanks, Richard. The explanation about the money going to Ron Nielson's company sounds potentially plausible, but I still want to hear more details. To report a little further, Gary Johnson said if I understood him correctly that Ron Nielson got $300,000, but that he took the biggest loss because he was owed $300,000 more. But if the money was going to Nielson's company and not Nielson himself, it seems to me we don't know whether it was Nielson himself who took the loss -- maybe it was, or maybe it wasn't. The truth remains unclear, at least to me.

  Gary didn't say anything along the lines of "No individual associated with my campaign received six figures in payment." Perhaps I should have asked about that specifically. He did say that he thought Ron Nielson delivered good value to the campaign. Again unclear whether that was a reference to what Ron's company was paid relative to the services its employees or contractors provided, or to Ron's personal compensation relative to the value he provided.

  My overall point was and is that the LP and the freedom movement cannot afford the luxury of high-paid campaign staffers, and I think we need to demand more transparency going forward about how our movement's resources are spent. Lots of people volunteer services worth hundreds or thousands of dollars to the party and its candidates without being paid a dime. To my mind, any compensation even approaching six figures a year is too much. It's demotivating to people who are donating significant amounts of time and/or money without recompense.

  Maybe that's why some people want to keep what the well-compensated are paid under wraps. But keeping inconvenient or embarrassing facts secret from supporters and constituents is not a healthy habit to encourage in our representatives and leaders! If something can't be defended publicly, I contend that in the vast majority of cases it's something that shouldn't be done in the first place. The only exceptions I can think of that seem relevant to a political party or candidate are things that would run afoul of immoral government laws or regulations.

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))

Much agree. Thanks, Mike! Hopefully we'll hear back from him.

  Here's the response I just posted to Robert Taylor's piece (

Hi Starchild,

Good you went to the convention. I look forward to your report of what was accomplished.

I am not sure I understand your point regarding the movement not affording big payments. Johnson spent whatever he received from voluntary donors, and his campaign manager provided the services he voluntarily wished to provide. Judging by the number in the LPSF that became truly involved in the campaign, I wound say that Jonson may have had to pay a lot of non-volunteers to get anything done!

In other words, presidential candidates, if they wish to be noticed at all, need to spend oodles. So maybe, at national conventions delegates, if they wish, might vote not to run presidential candidates at all, or run candidates who are willing to accept the party's pauper status and not campaign to the extent it takes to be noticed. In my view, it all depends on what the Libertarian population wants.



  I wasn't necessarily planning to write a formal convention report, but would be happy to try to answer any questions about it that you or others may have.

  Paying non-volunteers is one thing, and I have no problem with campaigns doing this when they can't find the volunteers to accomplish something. Paying them $100,000 a year or more is a different matter entirely. Especially when the payments and the work rendered in exchange for those payments are not disclosed with sufficient transparency for supporters to make an evaluation of whether the money is being efficiently spent or not.

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))

There has been some discussion on the California convention (including some reporting/commentary from myself in the first link) at these pages on IPR:

  At the state executive committee meeting following the convention Sunday afternoon, I was a little stunned that I was among five people appointed to the state Bylaws Committee on the spot without objection. I've been unsuccessfully trying to get on that committee -- not to mention get the Bylaws changed to get county representation on it the way counties are represented on the Platform Committee -- for several years. Thanks to newly elected ExCom at-large representative Leon Weinstein for nominating me as requested. I'll try to do what I can to ensure the Bylaw Committee's doings are as publicized and input-friendly as possible.

  I'm cautiously hopeful that the leadership team this term may start turning the dismal condition of the Libertarian Party in California around. Kevin remains chair until at least next year (someone told me he doesn't plan to seek reelection after that), but I was also pleasantly surprised that he proposed at this first meeting forming a number of different committees from the ExCom and pulling in other party members. Membership, Fundraising, Media, 2015 Convention Arrangement, and Candidate committees were created and populated. I don't know whether my advocacy of strengthening our committee structure and increasing participation of people not on the ExCom had anything to do with this apparent decision to take a new tack, and time will see whether these committees are allowed real authority and function in a transparent and democratic manner, but it seems like a positive indicator. On the other hand, they unanimously voted to ratify the proposed budget without a whole lot of questions being asked, though at-large members Brian Thiemer and Bill Lopez did at least ask a few good questions. I got a chance to meet and talk with Brian a little bit, and both he and Leon who I also just met seem supportive of greater transparency.

  Between us, Aubrey and I nominated the following local folks as delegates to the 2014 LP national convention in Columbus, Ohio (June 26-29) whom we thought might be interested:

Janice Edelstein
Jawg Greenwald
Les Mangus
Michael Edelstein
Matt Murphy
Mike Denny
Niike Andino
Phil Berg
Reem Tahir
Terry Chong

  Richard Winger was also present from San Francisco and nominated himself.

  I'm not sure whether everyone on the list above is registered as a Libertarian and a pledge-signing member of the party (the two requirements to be a delegate), or wants to attend the national convention, but past experience has taught that it's easier to get names removed from the list than added later, so I always try to nominate everyone I can think of who might be interested in attending as a delegate (despite the admonition not to nominate people unless they've already confirmed they want to attend).

  If your name is listed above, please let me know ASAP if you're interested in being a delegate, and if so, confirm that you are a party member and a registered Libertarian (if you aren't already, you can register and join now and be eligible). Let Aubrey or I know if you have any questions or need help.

  A few other points of interest from the convention...

  Terry Floyd brought along and displayed an actual Bitcoin ATM machine that takes dollars and enables you to buy the digital currency (the going price was about $500 per Bitcoin). Terry also thanked Gary Johnson during the former New Mexico governor's video appearance for his role in New Mexico's current status as one of the only (the only?) state to allow such ATM's to be used without a license. Or something along those lines; Terry can perhaps correct me on the specifics.

  As I noted on IPR, attendance was very low -- only 44 delegates credentialed each day -- and I think the stupid decision to charge delegates an extortionate floor fee of $99 to $130 (depending when you registered) had something to do with that. Northern vice chair, convention organizer, and interim office support volunteer Gale Morgan apparently deserves the bulk of the blame for that. Hopefully he sees in retrospect that it was a bad decision and won't repeat the mistake. I know at least a couple likely attendees who say they were deterred by this, and myself and at least one other delegate, probably more, did not spend as much money as we would have at the convention if it had not been for the floor fee.

  I met Antoine Hage who's leading the newly formed student group California College Libertarians (, also a newly elected member of the state Executive Committee and his friend Shani Rose. Antoine and Shani are fired-up to organize partisan Libertarian college groups, and both also seem generally supportive of transparency and reform in the party. It occurs to me that Niike and Reem (copied on this email) and other members of the YAL group at SF State who are libertarian oriented might potentially be willing to have a second overlapping group that is a partisan group (YAL is non-partisan). Two groups could hypothetically be composed of largely the same people, yet exist as different organizations, being able to do things as a California College Libertarians chapter such as support candidates, get official recognition and assistance from the Libertarian Party, etc.

  There was also a friendly non-libertarian named Amy Zock there on behalf of, a new(?) website offering free web pages for candidates and causes of all stripes (kind of like Facebook's "Causes" pages). I took a quick look at it, and the site appears clean and user-friendly from what I could see. Amy assured me that they will not be charging for these sites in the future, so people need not fear setting up pages and investing work in them only to find themselves forced to abandon them if they don't want to be billed. Seems like a good opportunity for candidates and others looking for a stronger web presence, and I'll probably try to set up one or more myself.

  One of the speaker presentations I caught was a panel on grand juries, including Kelly Mordecai who has written a book on the topic. I'm already planning to apply for a seat on the SF Civil Grand Jury and encourage other local activists to do so as well. The deadline is April 30, and you can apply online here -- . It is a one-year commitment and involves an estimated minimum 10 hours a week attending meetings and investigating, but does pay a small stipend of $15 per meeting. More importantly, it's a chance to go and ask questions of local officials and really dig in and investigate how local government functions and expose problems. Kelly had a very good idea, which is that grand juries could potentially go in on election night and demand to see all the ballots and start counting, as a way of guaranteeing elections are clean and fair. Kelly and others have documented substantial evidence that electronic voting in particular is subject to ready manipulation, and that Ron Paul among others may have been victims of this. Speaking as a past election observer at City Hall on behalf of a campaign, I can personally testify that I was not able to verify the integrity of the vote to my satisfaction. Aubrey said he also liked this panel and may be able to say more about it, as I was in and out of the room trying to attend the ExCom meeting which had started concurrently.

  Okay Marcy, I guess this did turn into a bit of a report after all. :slight_smile:

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))
Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of San Francisco

P.S. - Here's a message I posted to the LNC list regarding one of the items on the LPC's budget:

Thank you, Starchild! Excellent report. Huuummmm...why the dearth of new leadership at the state level? Obviously, I should not ask that, given I was not even there, but the situation is unfortunate. For the first time since I joined the LP, I would have to agree with you that it is time to have the LP conventions at very low-cost venues, since the attendance is way too low to spread the cost of fancy diggs. Good about the committees, especially that people joined them. I was not able to locate the Democracy Now, but I will try again to find it later.

Thank you again!


Thanks Starchild....I can't say with any confidence I'd be able to attend. But thank you for thinking of me.

Michael Denny

Unfortunately the Edelsteins are almost certainly moving to New Hampshire, but of course they could still be California delegates in June in Columbus.

Richard Winger
PO Box 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147

Hi Matt,

  Don't know whether you got a chance to read the message I posted below, but yours was one of the names I submitted at the California LP convention last weekend as a possible national delegate, in case you would like to attend the LP national convention (June 26-29 in Columbus, OH). I just remembered that Susan who was checking names against the state database told me they do not have a pledge form (the statement you sign on the membership form) on file for you. They need that at the state office if you are interested in being a delegate (either this year or in the future). I'm not sure whether it can be faxed or emailed, or needs to be physically mailed, but Gale Morgan is handling the office calls now and hopefully will be able to tell you. The number is (916) 446-1776. Hope all's well with you!

Love & Liberty,
                                  ((( starchild )))