NOTA 2016

If Not NOTA, Who? If Not 2016, When?

An Update on Political Welfare Queenism

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Last July 4th, I wrote:

In 2012, former governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) entered the Republican presidential primaries. After driving his campaign six figures into debt, he dropped out of the GOP race and asked the Libertarian Party to nominate him on the idea that he could get a government welfare check (“matching funds”) to retire that debt.

Johnson was nominated on the first ballot at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention. He got his welfare check, ran on a platform that included the draconian “Fair” Tax — a proposal which includes a monthly government welfare check for every man, woman and child in America — and ended that campaign six figures in debt too. All on a platform, of course, of “fiscal responsibility.”

 

It looks like I got that wrong. George Phillies, Massachusetts Libertarian Party activist and publisher of Liberty For America magazine, writes (via personal email):

 

You were right, but you are out of date, as covered in depth in Liberty for America magazine:

Indeed, the Johnson campaign filing covering the end of May 2012 and made in June 2012 showed $122,301.35 in debt, and the “Pre-General-Election” filing made in late October 2012 showed $197,002.13 in debt.

The “Pre-General-Election” filing is the last filing visible before the election, the last guide as to whether the campaign might be a good investment.

Then in early 2013 Johnson filed some minor amendments to the previous filings. Now the end-of-May 2012 filing as revised showed a bit more debt, namely $1,090,493.96. The revised Pre-General-Election filing showed $791,536.38 in debt, which by the end of the 2012 in the revisions had increased to $1,134,603.72 in debt.

The Amended filings were also a tad more detailed. For example, you could now tell that the campaign manager had been getting more than $300 an hour, up until the convention, and the graphics people — I would have to look up the exact title — had been getting a paltry just over $200 an hour.

In addition, the FEC reviewed the campaign matching funds Johnson had claimed. They disallowed some hundreds of thousands of dollars of claim and asked for their money back, so those debts are actually understated.

The Johnson campaign’s current debt is $1,018,670.32, as of the January 2015 filing.

 

So after driving his Republican presidential campaign six figures into debt and getting a government bailout courtesy of the Libertarian Party, Gary Johnson drove his second campaign seven figures into debt.

As a percentage of revenues, Johnson’s deficit spending habits make those of Congress look positively frugal.

If “fiscal responsibility” remains a pillar of the Libertarian Party’s program, NOTA 2016 sounds highly preferable to running Gary Johnson again.


Katz ends presidential exploration, endorses NOTA

Joshua Katz,  elected Libertarian in Connecticut (and chair of that state’s Libertarian Party) and  Region 8 alternate representative to the Libertarian National Committee, has closed out his exploratory 2016 presidential bid with an endorsement of None of the Above.

Katz’s full statement on his withdrawal/endorsement can be read at Independent Political Report, but here’s a summary pull quote:

NOTA is our strongest candidate — I say this considering the success we have attained with our most credible candidates in the past, our financial status, and our lack of a strong network of elected officials.

I am endorsing NOTA because I would like this party to focus its attention on electing local candidates — 90% of a person’s interaction with government is with local government, and a strong network of local officials is a party’s most important asset.

All of us involved in the effort to nominate None of the Above in 2016 are thrilled to have Mr. Katz as a teammate!


Outreach Bump #1: Each One Reach One (or 100)!

OK, the basic startup stuff for NOTA 2016 is in place:

That’s all simple stuff, so I just took care of it. The next step is for you to do, and it’s easy too:

Let your friends know.

Like/share NOTA 2016 on Facebook so your Facebook friends find out about us.

Tweet something to or about @nota2016 so your Twitter followers discover NOTA 2016.

Mention NOTA 2016 at your next local Libertarian Party meeting.

Bore regale strangers at your favorite bar with tales of NOTA 2016‘s charisma and electoral clout.

The more people we reach now, with two years to go before the 2016 Libertarian National Convention, the longer we have to make our case to those people and the more successful we’ll be at building an organization to achieve our goal.

Let’s get started!


A Declaration of Independence from Republican Rejects

In 2008, the Libertarian Party nominated former US Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) for President of the United States.

There was no coronation — it took six ballots and the support of another Republican aspirant (Wayne Allyn Root, who got the veep nod in return for his endorsement) for Barr to get past his libertarian opponents — but what’s interesting are the “befores” and “afters.”

Before getting the nomination, Barr apologized to LP national convention delegates for his anti-libertarian past in general and specifically for his authorship, sponsorship and support of the “Defense [sic] of Marriage Act.”

After his nomination, Barr immediately went on national television to describe DOMA as a matter of “states’ rights” … and “states’ rights” as “the essence of libertarianism.”

After running a lackluster and non-libertarian campaign — he ran as an old-style “Dixiecrat” and was even compared to George Wallace in The American Spectator as if that comparison was flattering – which ended in debt (his campaign book’s author had to take him to court to get paid), Barr returned to Georgia and to the GOP. He endorsed Mitt Romney for POTUS in 2012 and is running for Congress as a Republican in 2014 (Root also returned to the GOP, endorsed Romney and has announced a 2016 Republican Senate campaign in Nevada).

In 2012, former governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) entered the Republican presidential primaries. After driving his campaign six figures into debt, he dropped out of the GOP race and asked the Libertarian Party to nominate him on the idea that he could get a government welfare check (“matching funds”) to retire that debt.

Johnson was nominated on the first ballot at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention. He got his welfare check, ran on a platform that included the draconian “Fair” Tax — a proposal which includes a monthly government welfare check for every man, woman and child in America — and ended that campaign six figures in debt too. All on a platform, of course, of “fiscal responsibility.”

Johnson is publicly mulling another run on the Libertarian Party’s ticket in 2016.

Are we really that desperate?

For most of its history the Libertarian Party has fended off catcalls of “just Republicans who want to legalize marijuana — GOP Lite.”

Those criticisms haven’t always been justifiable, but at some point — for example, after the party has offered Republican rejects for president twice in a row — they begin to ring true.

It’s time to declare our independence. We’re not “the Republican Party for pot-smokers” or “the Democratic Party for people who don’t like taxes.” We’re the LIBERTARIAN Party. Let’s start acting like it!

The best way to keep Republican retreads from sniffing around our party’s presidential nomination is to stop giving it to them. And since we’ve seen over two election cycles that LP convention delegates have trouble rallying around an individual opponent to well-financed, hard-sold Republicans, it’s time in 2016 to instead rally around NONE OF THE ABOVE.

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Note: All material on the NOTA 2016 site is in the public domain. Feel free to grab and re-use it on your own blog or web site, print it on paper, etc. That’s what it’s here for!


The Perfunctory Introduction

This site is exactly what it looks like: The web headquarters for what I intend as an active, powerful political campaign to nominate None Of The Above as the Libertarian Party‘s 2016 presidential candidate.

Right now, that campaign consists of just one guy — me. I expect that in the coming days more people will get involved. There may be a campaign committee or a PAC, and if there is I may turn this site over to that organization. For now, NOTA 2016 is just the people who decide to support it with their own time, effort and money (spent themselves as they see fit, not funneled through me).

Why NOTA 2016? For many reasons, which we will certainly explore and debate right here over the next two years. Those reasons don’t belong in a perfunctory introduction :)