Who do you think will win New Hampshire?

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/fun/who-do-you-think-will-win-the-new-hampshire-primary/question-2387829/" title="Who Do You Think Will Win the New Hampshire Primary?">Who Do You Think Will Win the New Hampshire Primary?</a>

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Republicans and Democrats haven't gotten the message

Well, it looks like the Republicans and the Democrats still haven’t gotten the message.  Massive tea parties and the revolt against the disastrous policies of the Obama administration seem to not affect the swamp of Washington. Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said, "I think the current [35%] tax rate is appropriate for our country." No it isn't, it’s way too high. In fact, there shouldn’t even be an income tax. It is completely unconstitutional.

When I heard Republicans repeat the words "less government" on the campaign trail this year, I wasn't fooled. I knew they were lying. I hope you weren't fooled either.

Unlike the Republicans, we Libertarians believe in cutting government spending. In fact, we want to cut spending across the board -- and that includes the military, Social Security, and Medicare. And we want to get rid of ethanol subsidies and other corporate welfare -- while the Republicans vote to increase it.

Incoming Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said that Republicans now want to keep two significant parts of Obama-care: forcing insurance companies to offer coverage for people up to age 26 under their parents' policies, and forcing insurance companies to issue coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Libertarian Party (LP) Chair Mark Hinkle commented, "This switch is predictable. Republicans love to say the words 'less government,' but they always vote for more government. It's a shame that the big-government Republican Party succeeded in fooling Americans again on November 2. We tried to warn the tea partiers."

Hinkle continued, "Repealing one bill and replacing it with much of the same thing doesn't count as a repeal.

"Issuing coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is like issuing coverage for a house with a pre-existing fire. It doesn't make any sense, and no insurance company would do it in a free market.

"By the same token, forcing insurance companies to cover adults up to age 26 under their parents' policy is absurd. Republicans and Democrats both love to treat adults like children.

"If Republicans succeed in keeping these Obama-care policies, it will mean significantly higher insurance premiums for everyone, in order to subsidize the huge new expenses that insurance companies will be forced to pay."

The LP platform plank on health care states, "We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines."

The new omnibus bill offered by Prince Harry Reid is stuffed with earmarks put in by no other than a bunch of Democrats…and Republicans.

Republicans have failed to keep their promises even before they have taken office, and the Democrats are just a bunch of the same failed policies of the warfare state and quasi-socialism. The solutions are found in the libertarian philosophy of less government, lower taxes, and more freedom.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Inequality of Statism

By Francois Tremblay

Statists like to claim that they work for the equality of all. But this is an absurd claim, because statism is, by definition, inequality. It puts political power in the hands of the few. Democracy does not help this fact : it only gives it a veneer of credibility, which makes it worse. The government is not the people.

In a libertarian society, everyone is equal under the law. No one can manipulate the laws for his own advantage. No one has any interest in fighting each other for a power that does not exist. This is not a utopian goal : it's called the rule of law. It's called equality under the law. This ideal was explicit - although incompletely implemented - in the American Constitution and other constitutions.

In practice, democracy and big government has eroded a lot of the equality that we are all owed. We are all human beings, but unfortunately the statists and their ruling classes make some of us into inferiors and others into superiors.

A common criticism of capitalism is that the "rich get richer and the poor get poorer". That's almost half-right : most rich people do get richer. Due to bad decisions, some rich people lose all their fortune (I still remember a friend of my father's who went from multi-millionaire to penniless). Success is never assured.

Of course, what the statists actually mean is that capitalism breeds inequality. This assertion is, in fact, trivially true in one sense. Obviously, the more prosperous a society is, the more resources will be available, and the more resources that will be available to those who contribute the most.

Sports players, for instance, draw in millions and millions of dollars' worth of entertainment money : they give tremendous leisure resources, and thus are rewarded by the market much more than they were 10, 20 or 50 years ago. So there will always be a growing disparity between the most productive and least productive in a prosperous society, simply because of the Bell curve.

There is a more important sense in which the assertion is simply false. In most economies, including statist systems, there are two classes of citizens : the slaving class and the ruling class. There is little movement between these two classes, except the movement necessary for the ruling class to cull out its bad sheep and replenish its ranks. The only way left for people to claim what is rightly theirs is war.

As for capitalism, it is one of its prominent features in the 20th century that it gave us the "middle class" and vertical mobility. Scully (1992: 184) and Niclas Berggren (Stockholm City University), "Economic Freedom and Equality: Friends or Foes?", published in Public Choice, 1999), the more exhaustive studies made on the topic, both found that :

Income is more equally distributed within countries that are politically open, that have private property and market allocation of resources, and that are committed to the rule of law than in countries where these rights are abridged (...) The lack of rights of individuals to compete for income streams has a large and bad effect on the income distribution" (Scully)
But freedom and competition brings with it vertical mobility. It is true that inheritance and familial context dictate one's starting conditions, and that's not something I necessarily agree with. But it is a fact of economics that freer countries means more vertical mobility.
 
In caste-based societies, around 3 to 5% of leaders and captains of industry come from the lower classes. In freer countries like the United States, the percentage can go from 30 to 50% (Pitirim Sorokin, "Social and Cultural Mobility", 1959). John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich are two recent examples.
How important are our starting conditions, really ? Age-adjusted parental wealth, by itself, explains less than 10 percent of the variation in age-adjusted child wealth ("The Correlation of Wealth Across Generations," December 2003 Journal of Political Economy). And half of this 10% is due to similarities in financial management between parents and children (such as the affinity towards saving and investing wisely).
Contrarily to what some critics say, social mobility is not a zero-sum game. The more a society rewards its most efficient members, the more productive it becomes. And the more productive it becomes, the more resources are available to all. In a free society, more people will rise in economical status than people who will go down.
 
It's easy to see thousands of people being laid off because of outsourcing. But we don't see that the entire population saves billions of dollars at the grocery store, giving them more savings, and we don't see the benefits of those savings.
 
As such, the situation is very much like that of the Broken Window fallacy. This fallacy was first discussed by Bastiat, and points out that people see obvious benefits to destructive actions, but do not see all that has been lost. If a child breaks a windowpane with a ball, having to buy another window may seem as an economical stimulant, but in fact the money used to replace the window could have been used to more productive ends if it had not been broken.

The same is true here as well. We see the benefits of people having bad jobs in that they receive a salary, but we do not see the cost of that job on everyone else's livelihood.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Libertarian Party vs. Constitution Party

On one of my recent posts, Bill Dodge commented by saying : "(Note: I do realize that this comes from the Constitution Party Vice-Chariman. However, I posted this nonetheless because 1. Rejecting something just because it is from a different political party is wrong and 2. I agree with what this guy says.)

"Well said. The CP and LP have many similar stances. We ought to focus on our shared beliefs and work together to win elections, rather than debating and opposing each other because of issues we disagree on..."


Absolutely right, Mr. Dodge.  However, many people are confused as to the differences between the two parties, and this post will hopefully clear it all up.

"On the surface, the LP and the CP appear to be quite similar.  The very name of the Constitution Party appeals to the libertarian-leaning voter looking for a political party dedicated towards returning to a government strictly bound by the Constitution--as the Libertarian Party wishes for also.  Additionally, the LP and the CP are very close on issues like foreign policy, Second Amendment rights, economic policy and health care."

But...the CP is very much different from the LP on issues like gambling, pornography, the judiciary, and gay rights.

"One might remember the saying in grade-school geometry that 'all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.'  Well, the same can be said of libertarians and Constitution Party members.  Many Constitution Party members are libertarians, in some way, shape or form.  However, there are very few Libertarians--if any at all--that would comfortably identify themselves as ascribing to the Constitution Party platform. 

"There is a simple explanation for this: Christian members of the Libertarian Party recognize that the basis of their religion is the idea of free will and volition, and that their morality does not need to be reinforced or supported by government laws or coercion.  The Constitution Party, for whatever reason, finds that government should be a model for morality--that is, Christian morality--and all semblances of behavior and lifestyles contrary to this behavioral model should be eliminated through "Constitutional" government methods."


There you have it. The similarities to the two parties are fine and dandy, Mr. Dodge, but you have to realize the differences as well.  The Libertarian Party is the only true way to achieve a free and prosperous society, and the Constitution Party is almost (let me make sure you get that: ALMOST) promoting a quasi-theocracy.  Christians should be testaments to the power of the Christian message of Jesus and should evangelize to all people of the earth. However, none (at least those who believe the Christian libertarian philosophy) believe this call to evangelize can be replaced by a call to legislate morality through the government.

I'd like to close with an excerpt from the LP's platform and some basic differences between the CP and the LP.

"As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

"We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.


"Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power."

The Basics:

Libertarian Party founded in 1971.
Constitution Party founded in 1992 (changed name in 1999)
 
Libertarian Party Avg. Vote Since Founding: 368,000
Constitution Party Avg. Vote Since Founding: 117,460
 
Libertarian Party Highest Presidential Vote Total: 921,128 (1.1%)
Constitution Party Highest Presidential Vote Total: 189,820 (.2%)
 
(Special thanks to Andrew Davis for the basics and the quoted words.)

Summary of the LNC Convention

The Libertarian National Committe held a convention from November 20-21.  To summarize the events:

LNC fails to pass budget.

LNC hears one-sided report on Oregon.

LNC launches lock up a million dollars or some similar amount in a building in DC.

LNC allocates money for ballot access and places no limit on amount.

LNC puts National Convention in a luxury resort a $50 cab ride from the airport.

LNC refuses to consider Florida Resolution.

LNC refuses to consider Ruwart’s secret list issue.

LNC elects Bylaws committee: Starr Karlan Morris Carling Goddard Rutherford Johnston Oates Kirkland
Moulton

Root reports LNCC spent $7500 on candidate support in 2010. The LNC spends no money in support of specific candidates.

Flood reports on extremely interesting path to make drastic improvement in LNC phone system and affiliate phone systems.

Ruwart reports membership for the year is completely flat, and no one appears concerned.

LNC ExComm had failed to carry out its mission to prepare a detailed budget.

In my opinion, the convention was very poorly done. Yes, there were some good points, but, I am ashamed that the LNC ran such a lousy convention.  I sincerely hope that they will do better for the Libertarian Presidential Convention in 2012.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nero is Still Fiddling Away

by Darrell Castle
Constitution Party Vice-Chairman
 
(Note: I do realize that this comes from the Constitution Party Vice-Chariman. However, I posted this nonetheless because 1. Rejecting something just because it is from a different political party is wrong and 2. I agree with what this guy says.)

Legend holds that when Rome was burning from fires intentionally set, or from the wood and straw shanties of the poor which spread the fires throughout the city, Emperor Nero played his fiddle instead of mobilizing forces to save the city.

We can apply this example to America during the election process and especially post-election. There is much rejoicing among Republicans because the party has regained control of the House of Representatives and made some gains in the Senate.

While there is nothing wrong with rejoicing in victory, I can’t help but wonder if those who want Constitutional government understand that little or nothing has changed.

None of the Republican candidates, with the possible exception of Rand Paul, even give lip service to ending the Federal Reserve’s control over our monetary system. Until that control is ended and the power to create money is returned to the American people, no real change of a positive nature is possible.

It is the central banks, with their power to create and loan money into existence at interest, that allows them to use their corporations and media to buy the politicians that keep their financial interests paramount.

The final word came to my attention about noon today that the Federal Reserve just announced a $600 billion stimulus plan to create jobs and “improve the economy.”

This is an outrage, and every member of Congress should be screaming at the top of his or her lungs, but instead Nero just keeps playing.

This new effort to “improve the economy” will probably be the final nail in the dollar’s coffin. The central bankers will have what they seem to want, then: chaos, confusion, disorder, and world currency. Their dream will come to final fruition as they control the entire world’s money and with it, all of humanity.

Is there anything good that came from the election? Well, yes, of course some good things happened. I must admit that I enjoyed the interview Michele Bachmann (R MN) did with Chris Mathews of MSNBC. Here’s an excerpt:
Mathews: “Are you hypnotized…in a trance?”
Bachmann: “The American people are the ones coming out of our trance. I think people are thrilled tonight. I imagine that thrill is probably maybe not so tingly on your leg anymore.”
Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than that. Now, if only she understood that the Fed has to be ended and a new monetary system begun, what a candidate she could be.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The last two years...

On November 4, 2008, two years ago to the day, Barak Obama was elected President of the United States. He campaigned on a promise of hope and change from the way that the GOP has run things. So, he got elected by a large margin.

What is the result? Deficits, unending wars, massively bigger, bloated government, and the destroying of our Constitutional liberties and freedoms that we as Americans hold so dear.

What do we do? We need to defend our Constitutional liberties. We need to join the Libertarian Party, the only political party that will preserve our liberties. The GOP has eroded our freedoms. The Democrats have eroded our freedoms. Libertarians will end this erosion and give us back the nation that we love.

We need to invite the masses to join the LP, and hold honest debates over our domestic and foreign policy. Shutting down the opposition is not the answer. Rather, refuting the opposition’s arguments and converting our foes if possible is the answer.

We need to save our nation and take back America…before it is too late.

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." -- Patrick Henry

"The strength of the Constitution, lies in the will of the people to defend it." -- Thomas Edison

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Would we be better off with a third political party?

By Richard Winger
 
Contrary to claims from those who assert the introduction of third parties into our political system would only worsen the existing problems of gridlock, American history shows that third parties actually enhance the positive consequences of a two-party system. Here's how:
 
In a healthy two-party system, the major parties are distinguished from each other by a clearly differentiated platform. Voters, for the most part, enthusiastically hold allegiance to one of these parties and participate with high turnout at the polls. The parties are characterized by internal cohesion. When these conditions exist, the two major parties will ideally protect the political system against tyranny and legislative gridlock.
 
Using the criteria of higher voter turnout, the absence of gridlock and the exchange of power between two major parties, we see that our two-party system was healthy in the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s. During that time, control of the House passed back and forth, on the average, every four years. Each party was clearly differentiated in its platforms. And almost 80 percent of eligible voters went to the polls from 1876 to 1892.
 
A key reason for this vibrancy was the existence of many vigorous and powerful third parties. Some examples are the Greenback Party, the Union Labor Party and the Peoples Party. These groups forced the major political parties to pass significant anti-monopoly legislation as well as important labor legislation.
 
But these parties did more than simply force the two major parties to adopt various policies. Third parties have always provided an emotional bridge for voters who are weary of supporting one major party but aren't yet ready to vote for the other.
 
There is another crucial contribution. The emotional bridge provided by a third party not only lures voters to the polls-it can also help turn one of the major parties out of power. Without the third-party bridges, the party in power might never be defeated, a situation that could lead to stagnation.
 
We need third parties more than ever to introduce new ideas into the system, provide an outlet for people unhappy with current government policy, and make it possible for some third party to grow into a new major party, replacing one of the existing parties.
 
Richard Winger is the editor and publisher of Ballot Access News.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vote Libertarian tomorrow!

Dear Friend of Liberty,
Tomorrow is Election Day. If you haven't already voted, please go tomorrow and vote for every Libertarian on your ballot. (See here for a complete list of over 800 candidates.)

Also, please contact your friends and family and encourage them to vote Libertarian as well. Win or lose, every vote for a Libertarian sends a clear message for liberty.

According to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, 82% of voters live where they can choose Libertarians.

Unfortunately, in Washington D.C., where I'll vote, there are no Libertarians on the ballot. I've read about the candidates from other parties who are on the ballot. None have libertarian political views -- that's why it is so important to have Libertarians on the ballot. Perhaps I'll write in my own name for every race in D.C., or I may just leave the ballot blank.

When contacting your friends, feel free to point out how similar the policies of Republicans and Democrats have been.

You could also tell them that, according to Project Vote Smart, Libertarians show more political courage than Republicans or Democrats.

If they are Democrats, you might point them to this press release about anti-war voters.

If they are Republicans, you might point them to this one about how Republicans owe an apology to America.

I am especially thankful to all of our candidates, their families, volunteers, and donors who have given their time, effort, and money this campaign season. Please don't let up until the polls close Tuesday evening.
I expect to be posting election results and analysis throughout the week. Due to the large number of candidates, I'm unable to predict exactly what we'll be publishing when. However, please check LP.org frequently.

Also, there is always lots of discussion on our Facebook page.

Thanks again to all who have contributed this election season, and best wishes on Election Day.

Vote Libertarian tomorrow!
Sincerely,
Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

P.S. If you have not already done so, please join the Libertarian Party. We are the only political party dedicated to free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can also renew your membership. Or, you can make a contribution separate from membership.

"Why I'm a Libertarian" - A Powerful Essay by a High School Senior

By Joel Bock

As a senior in high school, it is finally time for me to apply to colleges. Many people see this with loathing of all the work they must do on top of homework. While I do not enjoy filling out applications, I saw the application essays as a chance to express my personality and ideas. Two of the colleges where I am applying require the Common Application. One requirement of the Common Application is to write an essay on a topic of one's choice, but several suggested topics are given. The topic I chose states as follows: Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you. I thought this choice gave me an excellent opportunity to state my views in political science. The objective of the essay is to explain to the intellectual non-libertarian what the basic moral premise of libertarianism is, and what it implies. I discuss how I became a libertarian and how that has shaped my outlook on life. I am aware that discussing such "extreme" views could scare away colleges, but I feel that if they will not accept unique ideas, then it is not the college I should be attending. My application essay is below.

I have been interested in politics since a young age. My father is a pro-free market Republican, while my mother is a pro-human rights Democrat. Both have strong political views. This has given me education in two opposing political views. I was first introduced to libertarianism by a friend during middle school. He was a college economics major who supported free markets, and he felt that Libertarians were the only political party that supported both economic and individual freedom. This was my first link to libertarianism. Last summer, my father mentioned the website LewRockwell.com to me. This website has daily articles about libertarianism and its application to our government today. The writers for this website turned my emotional appeal for libertarianism into a philosophical and moral conviction. They revolutionized my political views from a neo-conservative Republican, into a radical, freedom-loving libertarian. Libertarian philosophy is very basic, defined, and absolute, which is not contained within the philosophy of Republicans or Democrats.
The basic moral premise of libertarianism is as follows: Every human has a right to life and property, and the initiation of force in violation of these rights is wrong. This is very simple. It tells us that theft, murder, and rape are evils that violate another’s natural right to life and property. However, taking a closer look at this moral premise shows that the government commits some of these acts. Any action the government takes has a moral purpose because whoever is behind that action believes it is the right thing to do. Taxation, since it involves the government, is the initiation of force against human beings to take their money. Thus the essence of taxation is theft. The morality of taxation states it is right to steal a man’s money, which he has worked to earn, then use it as the thief sees fit.

There are two main arguments against libertarianism. One argument states that property is theft, and since the rich own most property, the poor must receive compensation. The problem with this argument, however, is that to steal, there must be property in the first place. Property must precede theft, not the opposite. For example, if an explorer were to find uninhabited land, claim it for his own, and grow a farm on this land, he did not steal anything from anyone. He merely took advantage of unclaimed resources. If he later sold his land, it would be a mutual exchange in which the buyer would then become owner of the property.
Another argument against libertarianism is that the people, by majority vote, have agreed to a social contract (the Constitution), and thus we must carry out this contract without complaint. In the case of America’s social contract, the Constitution, the people and the states agreed to give power to the federal government in exchange for defending their natural rights (religion, expression, property, etc.). However, if one side breaks the binding of the contract, the contract is no longer valid. It is quite clear to both conservatives and liberals that the government does not always adhere to the Constitution. The conservative sees the unconstitutionality of the welfare state and business regulations, while the liberal sees the unconstitutionality of wars, breaches on civil liberties, and special benefits to corporations. It is the duty of the people to speak out for their sovereign rights in order to live in freedom and prosperity.

Many will still believe that the poor must receive care or that we must defend our nation through the government. Though I believe a free market with no government interference would help the poor in more ways than welfare can, some circumstances are beyond the control of anyone. Thus, charities can provide adequate care, and people should voluntarily contribute to help those who are underprivileged. National defense is also very important because a nation needs to defend its freedom. This should be the sole duty of the federal government, while the state governments should provide the people with services such as roads and police. The question will arise as to how these roles are to be funded if there is no taxation. Every individual has an incentive to support these basic operations of government, since they are beneficial to all. Thus individuals would voluntarily contribute to help support this government. I believe that the path of taxation leads toward government oppression. It is a gradual process, but eventually everyone’s freedom will be at risk, unless the people rally to support the libertarian ideals of individual and economic liberty.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Are you a Libertarian? Take the World's Smallest Political Quiz to find out!

Want to know where you are on the political map? Well, the World's Smallest Political Quiz is for you! The Quiz is a simple questionnaire to find out just where you fit in the political spectrum. When I took the quiz, this is what I got:

Your PERSONAL issues Score is 90%
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 100%

According to your answers, the political group that agrees with you most is...Libertarian
Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.

Try it out! It's easy! http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

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Great Libertarian Websites

Here are some good websites for more info on the LP and libertarianism.

Libertarian Party – http://www.lp.org/

LP Texashttp://www.lptexas.org/

Advocates for Self Government: http://www.theadvocates.org/

Libertarianism: http://www.libertarianism.com/

Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/

Humble Libertarian: http://www.humblelibertarian.com/

LP Stuff: http://www.lpstuff.com/

Dallas County Libertarian Party: “Good News For Libertarians”

Even as pendulum of partisan politics continues to swing back and forth between the incumbent parties of big government, this year freedom finally has cause to rejoice. More and more people in Dallas and nationwide are beginning to see through the “two-party system”, and they are increasingly seeing the Libertarian Party as a viable alternative. The LP has fielded more candidates, organized more activities, and involved more volunteers than ever before. The incumbent parties have done everything possible to limit ballot access and discourage candidates, but freedom always finds a way to flourish.
The most visible signs of growth come from our candidates. The Texas Libertarian Party had five people register as gubernatorial candidates, and the ultimate nominee, Kathie Glass, has run an impressive campaign. She recently appeared in a televised debate with the candidates from other parties (minus incumbent Rick Perry, who shied away from the chance to make his case to the Texans he works for). She also received an astonishing 8% in a poll conducted by the Texas Tribune, a significant number considering that the Libertarian result was less than 2% in the last two elections.
Other candidates, such as John Jay Myers, are setting records for fundraising and activity. Mr. Myers crossed the $5000 FEC reporting threshold and raised over $7000, a record among Libertarian candidates in the 32nd district. He has aired television ads, sent out 8000 mailers, and participated in countless events. Throughout Texas there is a Libertarian challenger against each U.S. House incumbent (with the exception of Ron Paul, whose positions often match the Libertarian platform). Nationwide, there are about 800 candidates in races at all levels. This is up from approximately 600 in each of the past two election cycles.
These candidates are getting it done, but they are not alone. From top to bottom, more Libertarians are stepping up and taking on leadership roles, including high school and college students. Both Lake Highlands High School and SMU have Libertarian student groups, and they both boasted more members this year than their Democratic and Republican counterparts combined. Leadership at the statewide level has increased as well with more executive committee seats filled this year than for the past six years or more. Also, the state party recently upped its paid staff by hiring a new membership coordinator and two regional directors in the North Texas and the Gulf Coast areas. Having more people who can conduct outreach and fundraising full-time greatly increases the LP’s competitiveness.
Finally, the party’s online infrastructure has matured as well. Our online presence is starting to rival that of the other parties. For example, the national Facebook page now has 119,000 fans, compared to 155,000 and 187,000 for the Democrats and Republicans respectively. Those numbers have risen dramatically, with only 40,000 reported just six months ago. Locally in Dallas, our meetup group was almost non-existent two years ago, but it has swelled to over 200 participants, volunteers, and organizers who are active at our events. These online groups provide valuable resources for campaigns to reach voters, volunteers, and donors.
In short, we are seeing more leaders, more interest, more active candidates, and better results than we have seen in the past. Not only are people realizing the failure of government wars, bailouts, and controls, but they are also seeing that BOTH incumbent parties are the problem. The future is bright for the Libertarian Party and we will continue to build on the foundation we are setting now.
~Dallas County Libertarian Party

Friday, October 29, 2010

Democratic Incumbent Switches to Libertarian Party

In Clark County, Indiana, incumbent county surveyor Bob Isgrigg has switched his affiliation from Democrat to Libertarian as he runs for re-election this year.
Isgrigg has expressed concern about how the county handles its drainage projects, and filed a lawsuit against county officials several years ago.
Read the News and Tribune article about the race.

Elected Libertarian Erik Viker vying for higher office in PA

Erik Viker is the Libertarian Party candidate running for the House of Representatives seat in Pennsylvania’s 85th District. While he is currently running for office, he is also an elected Libertarian serving on the Selinsgrove Borough Council. His campaign has gained momentum and significant press coverage as he fights to break the stagnant two- party system in Pennsylvania.
The Daily Item, a local PA newspaper, recently published an article highlighting Viker’s campaign to bring the government back in to the hands of the people. Vying for an open seat against a Republican and a Democrat, Viker admits: “ ‘I am not a third- party experiment…I am what citizens say they want: an experienced, intelligent, accomplished politician who already knows what is needed.’ ” He is campaigning against the Republicans and Democrats who are too tied down to party politics to make real legislative changes. Viker believes he is a viable third party option who can represent constituents outside of party affiliations.
Viker’s platform centers on fiscal responsibility and minimal government intrusion, and he is campaigning forcefully to get his message to the constituency. Even with limited funds, Viker is using every tactic from door- to- door activity to direct mailers to make sure the people know what they are voting for in November. The most recent press release from the Viker campaign explains that they are attracting not only Independent and Libertarian voters, but also Republicans and Democrats who feel alienated from their own candidates. According to Viker, this election is not simply about winning or losing, it is about changing the way people think about government. For him, a vote for the Libertarian Party candidate is a vote for improving our political system and ensuring that each person is represented equally.
To read more about Erik Viker or to donate to his campaign, visit his website at http://www.erikviker.org/

Steve Kubby: ‘Protecting the Environment v. Defending The Constitution'

By Steve Kubby

Recently, I was sworn in as an official candidate for the South Lake Tahoe City Council, by City Clerk Susan Alessi. Take a look at what I have sworn to do:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”
Taking such an oath is a serious matter to me and it has already changed how I view the world.
For example, I spoke to a couple last weekend at a campaign party I hosted, who were upset that they cannot add a garage or even a carport to their South Lake Tahoe home. In fact, I’ve spoken to a lot of homeowners and businessowners that are extremely frustrated and upset about the restrictions on what they can do with their own property.
One thing is clear, Lake Tahoe is the most regulated real estate in the USA. Homeowners typically must wait several years and spend thousands of dollars to do simple maintenance on their homes. Adding a garage or carport is usually forbidden. All because of a federal agency that has asserted its power to tax, fine and regulate virtually every activitiy and property in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (or TRPA) was formed in 1969 through a bi-state compact between California and Nevada which was ratified by the U.S. Congress. The agency is “mandated” to “protect” the environment of the Lake Tahoe Basin through land-use regulations and is one of only a few watershed-based regulatory agencies in the United States.
Despite the lofty promises, many local residents tell me that big developers with big bucks get the TRPA permits, while everyone else gets fines and moritoriaums.
Whenever someone questions why we must accept such intense regulation, down to what size and color is allowed for signs in the Tahoe Basin, we are told that Federal Law trumps State Law. However, that is simply not true. It is the Constitution that is the highest law of the land. Furthermore, only specific federal powers, as enumerated in the Constitution, are eligible for Supremacy Clause arguments. The 10th Amendment further secures State Sovereignty by transferring all non-enumerated powers to the States and People.
Now consider this: the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Charter allows a city to pass and enforce their own rules and regulations, so long as they are “stricter” than the TRPA. An even stricter set of regulations would include two guidelines, not just one. The first guideline is to protect the environment. However, an equally important guideline has been ignored. The second guideline would be to, “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
This isn’t just prose, or libertarian rhetoric, it is part of the oath of office for all elected officials as well as our police and military. In fact, Article VI of the Constitution requires all elected officials to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution as the highest law of the land.
I believe the City of South Lake Tahoe can and should pass its own simple and easy to impliment regulations, that are based upon protecting the environment AND upholding our sworn duty to protect the Constitutional rights of the citizens of our city. Such rights would include the right of homeowners to add a garage or carport, to repair and maintain their property and to enjoy their property in peace, all without special fees and permits.
Rights delayed are rights denied. The TRPA has a lengthy history of delaying, sometimes for years, basic rights of homeowners. That puts members of the City Council in a position where their oath of office requires them to act and protect our homeowners.
The TRPA cannot invoke the Supremacy Clause, since there is nowhere in the Constitution where the word “environment” is mentioned. So there appears to be no enumerated power upon which to base a Supremacy Clause argument.
The City Council of South Lake Tahoe has the authority to pass its own regulations and a sworn duty to uphold the constitutional rights of our citizens. It is time for the City to replace the complicated, expensive and time-consuming regulations of the TRPA with its own, streamline and simplified land-use regulations. Any City land-use regulations that the TRPA doesn’t like, it can take to a federal court and challenge, but they will have to do so on Constitutional grounds and they will have to argue their case with the burden of proof on them, not our City Council. Meanwhile, the City Council must balance the environment with the Constituion to impliment regulations that protect homeowners and their families.


By Steve Kubby, candidate for South Lake Tahoe City Council. Kubby was the 1998 Libertarian candidate for Governor of California, 2000 and 2008 runner up for the party’s Vice Presidential nomination, and sought its presidential nomination in 2008.