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Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/31/2008 12:36:39

Well, by now you've heard that Bob Barr was won the Libertarian Nomination for President....but who might Mr. Barr be, exactly?

Of course, he's got a campaign website, so I'll spare you the tedium of excessive cut and pastes today. However, his bio might be worth checking out, and of course we'll go back and look at his platform and positions from time to time...to compare and contrast with the 'big boys'.

Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, serving as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. He now runs a consulting firm, Liberty Strategies LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and with offices in the Washington, D.C. area.

Bob Barr chose to join the Libertarian Party because at this time in our nation’s history, it is essential to join and work with a party that is 100 percent committed to protecting liberty.

Bob Barr has served as Regional Representative of the Libertarian National Committee.

Bob Barr works tirelessly to help preserve our fundamental right to privacy and our other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.
Bob Barr

Bob Barr also occupies the 21st Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy at the American Conservative Union, and is a Board Member of the National Rifle Association. Bob Barr is also a member of The Constitution Project’s Initiative on Liberty and Security, and he served from 2003 to 2005 as a member of a project at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University addressing matters of privacy and security. In fact, recognizing Bob Barr’s leadership in privacy matters, New York Times columnist William Safire has called him “Mr. Privacy.”

Bob Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia (1986-90), and served as President of Southeastern Legal Foundation (1990-91). He was an official with the CIA (1971-78), and has practiced law for many years.




The biggest challenge facing any third-party candidate is not publicity, or funding, or name-recognition, but ballot access. Googling "ballot access" brings up a whole host of sites detailing the past, present, and future of access for third parties, and indeed ordinary Americans. In fact...without free ballot access, the Republican party may have never been able to exist, as free and fair access was key to their early growth in the 1850s. Beginning around 1930, the parties in control began to pass ever more restrictive laws, as detailed in a paper written by Richard Winger back about 1994...



Vigorous third parties existed in the last [19th] century because the election laws did not discriminate against them. People were free to form new parties, and the government treated all parties, new and old, equally. In 1854, the newly founded Republican Party won more Governor's seats, and sent more Representatives to the House, than did any other party. It was able to do so because there were no ballot-access laws until 1888. Indeed, there were no printed ballots before that year; people simply prepared their own ballots and were free to vote for the qualified candidate of their choice. When the government began to print ballots in 1888, it acknowledged this freedom of an unrestricted vote and invariably left a write-in space on the ballots.

Furthermore, in the 19th century, there was no such thing as public financing of the two major parties, which began for Presidential elections in 1974. Today, the Democrats and Republicans have their campaigns for President financed by the taxpayers. Under the 1974 law, no third party has ever received general-election public funding, although a handful of third-party Presidential candidates have received some primary season funds.

We no longer have vigorous and active third parties because Democratic and Republican state legislatures passed restrictive laws that make it exceedingly difficult for third parties to get on the ballot in many states. These laws usually require third parties to gather signatures for a petition to be on the state ballot, and they often place strict deadlines for gathering such signatures.

These restrictions did not emerge overnight. From 1888 to 1931, ballot-access laws were rather mild. In 1924, only 50,000 signatures on a petition were required to place a new party on the ballot in 48 states (a figure that represents 0.15% of the number of people who had voted in the previous election). During the 1930s, ballot-access laws became significantly restrictive, as they required new parties to gather more signatures and file for application earlier and earlier in the campaign year. Still, it was not until the 1960s that compliance with ballot-access laws became extremely difficult.

In 1994, a new party that wants to field a candidate in every race for the U.S. House of Representatives and have the party name appear on the ballot next to the candidate's name would need to register 1,593,763 members or gather an equal number of signatures. Yet the Democratic and Republican parties need not collect any signatures to assure themselves of a place on the ballot, and the number of signatures needed for individual Democratic candidates to place themselves on primary ballots in all 435 contests is 138,996 (the number would be slightly different for Republicans).



There's a chart out there at wikipedia showing the ballot access for all 50 states. Of course, the Democrats and the Republicans are in all 50, but there are some curious gaps in the primary state lists.


But wait...there's more! The coalition for free and open elections has some interesting information on their minimalist website. It's actually curious that Bob Barr (formerly R-GA) is now the Libertarian candidate and will have to face ballot-access problems. As a congressman from Georgia, he may have been part of the problem.
Georgia has had fewer presidential candidates on the ballot in the last 30 years than any other state. Georgia's state definition of "political party" is a group that receives 20% of the vote for president in the entire USA, or 20% for Governor of Georgia. No party other than the Democrats and Republicans has met that definition in Georgia since 1912 (when the Progressive "Bull Moose" Party got 27% for president in the entire USA). Even when the American Party carried Georgia in the electoral college in 1968, that still didn't qualify the American Party, since even though it got over 50% in Georgia, it "only" got 13% in the entire USA. And no third party candidate for Governor of Georgia has polled 20% since 1898.


So...if you're voting for the mainstream candidates, you can be smug and sit back and not worry that the person you like is going to be on the ballot. But if you're thinking about a less-popular or alternate selection.....well, now you know how Florida and Michigan democrats feel.

:peace:



133 comments (Latest Comment: 06/01/2008 11:56:47 by Random)
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Comment by velveeta jones on 05/31/2008 13:01:29
Great and informative as usual TriSec.



I did go to BB's site and a few things pop out at me. He seems very vague on exactly were he stands on the issues. For example, I know he has in the past been Anti-Choice, yet on his site he decries the "Nanny State". I wonder what this means to women rights.



Otherwise, I would one day like to see a third party candidate get elected, or at least have a chance.



Bernie Sanders anyone?



:clap:

Comment by shelaghc on 05/31/2008 13:37:08
There are still a *lot* of Ron Paul supporters. I do wonder if he might switch parties as well to be Barr's running mate.



If so, McSame will *really* have a run for his money.



Comment by BobR on 05/31/2008 13:40:39
Excellent post as always. I agree that "freedom of choice" is one of our most important unspoken and unspecified freedoms, and I hate laws that take that away.



On a completely different note (no pun intended): I put together a website for my songs. It's kinda crappy looking, but fairly functional. I'm putting my stuff out there warts and all. Click on BR Music Land if you're interested...

Comment by velveeta jones on 05/31/2008 13:47:03
Great site BobR! I'll have to investigate it when I have more time. Will you add the link to the links box?

Comment by BobR on 05/31/2008 14:11:16
Quote by velveeta jones:

Great site BobR! I'll have to investigate it when I have more time. Will you add the link to the links box?


I'm working on a "home" site that will include my music and photography, and Raine's art, plus some other fun stuff (and a link here, of course). I'll add the link then...

Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 14:39:31
The ballot rules were a product of the two major parties to insure that they would be unchallenged in their dominance by making it extremely difficult for minor parties to field candidates. I wonder if a legal challenge can be issued that such rules violate equal rights in voting by not allowing choice.



BTW, is anyone catching the Democratic Rules debate on C-SPAN where Shillary is trying to force Florida and Michigan in?

Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 14:57:46
Since I am doing OT again this weekend, it's off to the salt mine I go.



Later gators.

Comment by shelaghc on 05/31/2008 15:19:16
Rachel mentioned on her show this week that she would be on MSNBC all day long one day.



Does anyone know which day that's supposed to be?

Comment by jd_in_ny on 05/31/2008 15:22:31
She mentioned on Countdown last night that she would be on today - for the RBC mtg. I think.

Comment by IzzyBitz on 05/31/2008 16:25:49
Happy Saturdee! I just watched Keith's response to Bill-O's NBC outrage.



The funniest part was the look on the guests faces when Bill was going off on NBC. Poor Bill. He just doesn't possess Keith's intellectual gifts. It's almost getting to the point of picking on the retarded kid on the playground. Not that there's anything wrong with that in this case. It is high-larious!



Rachel will be on MSNBC today and tomorrow. Keith will be on tomorrow. No rest for the talented.



Comment by velveeta jones on 05/31/2008 16:45:47
Hey JD! Where ya been?



Izzy, that KO piece on BillO was hysterical! Man, he really does obsess a bit too much about NBC! What a loon!



I gotta go to work in a while, I'll miss most of the voting bru-ha-ha. And, the screaming orange wearing Clinton supporters.

Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 17:28:12
Bill-O is very thin skinned and doesn't like when he's called on his bullshit. That's why his obsessions with Al Franken (who he never calls by name) and Keith (which is why NBC as a whole has to stand in as proxy). You would think that after the embarrassment of being laughed out of court when he and Fox News lost that lawsuit.

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/31/2008 17:32:52
Bob Barr, when in congress one of the instigators of the Republican get Bill Clinton movement. One of the floor managers for the impeachment. Bob Barr still thinks impeaching the President of United States over a blow job was needed.



I'm just sayin'



Bob Barr and I agree about the security state that Bush has created.

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/31/2008 18:35:09
GroundReport friend of mine sent me the linky thingy. Looks interesting and the founder/CEO is a hottie! :rofl:

Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 18:58:28
Is anyone watching the Rules & Bylaws Committee coverage?



What fun!



Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 19:02:40
If I was off I would be. I was listening this morning. You can just hear the desperation in the Hillary fans although they are at least hiding that they are only pushing this since it is now the only way she has even a slight chance at the nomination.

Comment by MMB on 05/31/2008 19:04:21


Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 19:09:54
Hey, where's Random? I figured he would have popped in by now.

Comment by TriSec on 05/31/2008 19:19:09
Just seen at the supermarket:



Lady in front of me had an armful of those re-useable shopping bags...



"Can you put everything in plastic bags first?"







:thud:





The Struggle Continues...



Comment by Mondobubba on 05/31/2008 19:21:41
Quote by TriSec:

Just seen at the supermarket:



Lady in front of me had an armful of those re-useable shopping bags...



"Can you put everything in plastic bags first?"







:thud:





The Struggle Continues...







WTF! :thud:

Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 19:22:46
Quote by livingonli:

If I was off I would be. I was listening this morning. You can just hear the desperation in the Hillary fans although they are at least hiding that they are only pushing this since it is now the only way she has even a slight chance at the nomination.




No way the committee gives Clinton everything she wants (because it is a rediculous and untenable position) - however, after they rule Clinton will disagree, continue to claim that 2210 delegates is the magic number.



So come Tuesday, Obama may claim victory having reached the adjusted total based upon today's ruling - Clinton will not concede.



Many smart people in the Democratic Party have posited that the most important part for a Democratic White House win this fall is how the loser exits. And given that, the above scenario does not bode well.



Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 19:37:58
Quote by Mondobubba:

Quote by TriSec:

Just seen at the supermarket:



Lady in front of me had an armful of those re-useable shopping bags...



"Can you put everything in plastic bags first?"







:thud:





The Struggle Continues...







WTF! :thud:


Not exactly undoing that image that Americans are idiots, is she?

Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 19:50:08
Mondo - about what time was your call to the SMS yesterday? I wanted to pull it and put the audio up (some 4Fers asked for it)

Comment by TriSec on 05/31/2008 19:56:31
Oooh, and now my garden has already yielded a harvest...



making meatballs and gravy this afternoon with *fresh* basil and oregano I grew myself!





Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 19:56:31
Mondo called during the first hour (around 9:30 if I recall).



Sam Seder fans, tomorrow will be the last Seder on Sunday. It's a book show but he will be doing the last half-hour on the Sammy Cam. After that, his radio future is now uncertain.



Another nail in the AAR coffin.

Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 19:58:43
Quote by livingonli:

Mondo called during the first hour (around 9:30 if I recall).




Thanks, Liv!



Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 20:12:47
Here's Mondo's call from yesterday:



If I don't post it again on Monday (for those who might not peek into the bloggie on weekends) - please, someone do!

Comment by TriSec on 05/31/2008 20:31:48
Practicing some Bird now....came up to listen to "Dewey Square". At least Miles is on it...





Comment by Random on 05/31/2008 20:36:05
...Well...uh...yes....

Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 20:47:20
::: peers into Blog ::: Heya everyone! Painting and being wonderfully lazy today. We may very well have a new member of our family, btw, Kizzy is here, and seems to be loving the casa de Bob and Raine. Kizzy is a beagle. Camille seems ok with her, and Kizz is currenly sleeping in the big chair. :xfingers: We told her foster mom that we would like a few days or so to see if this is a good fit. I can say this, it is always a good sign when doggies don't eat the cat food!

Comment by TriSec on 05/31/2008 20:53:42
To borrow a phrase from Joe Castiglione...."Can You Believe It?"



A Boston-LA NBA Final? Who would have thunk it?



http://images.cafepress.com/product/187559868v3_240x240_Front_Color-AshGrey.jpg


Comment by m-hadley on 05/31/2008 21:04:57
Afternoon Everybody,

Had to work today, but have been home for a couple hours watching the DNC mess in DC as covered by MSNBC - is anybody else watching this? Does your head hurt as much as mine does? I tried blogging about it, but not sure that I made any more sense of this mess than Chuck Todd or Rachel "Rhodes Scholar" Maddow have. What I don't understand is how the Clinton camp can scream so loudly about counting every vote and completely ignore the voices registered in the caucuses? And what about all the "uncommitted votes" cast in Michigan when Clinton's name was on the ballot and Obama's was not? I have a massive headache - I think I gotta go lay down for awhile...

Cheers,

mfaye :D

Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 21:08:35
ABC is probably happy because I'm sure that this will do much better in the ratings than last year's Cleveland-San Antonio final did which was the lowest-rated NBA finals ever.

Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 21:57:28
Quote by m-hadley: Afternoon Everybody, Had to work today, but have been home for a couple hours watching the DNC mess in DC as covered by MSNBC - is anybody else watching this? Does your head hurt as much as mine does? I tried blogging about it, but not sure that I made any more sense of this mess than Chuck Todd or Rachel "Rhodes Scholar" Maddow have. What I don't understand is how the Clinton camp can scream so loudly about counting every vote and completely ignore the voices registered in the caucuses? And what about all the "uncommitted votes" cast in Michigan when Clinton's name was on the ballot and Obama's was not? I have a massive headache - I think I gotta go lay down for awhile... Cheers, mfaye :D
I tried watching some of it earlier,,, it was too confusing... BUT... AmericaBlog is doing some FINE coverage of the whole thing. Go, rest Faye... I don't want your head to hurt...

Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 22:06:22
Obama has resigned his Church membership. Link to come when I can get it.

Comment by Random on 05/31/2008 22:07:12
anyone watching the rules thingie for the Dems?

Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 22:09:53
Quote by Random:

anyone watching the rules thingie for the Dems?


Oh yes!



Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 22:15:25
Nora O'Donnel is reporting it right now on MSNBC. Barack O bama HAS resigned from his church. Rach is saying that this was a perfect time to do so being that news story is being dominated by the RBC meeting. (saying that the news will be buried) ... interesting take, regarding timing. I am mixed about it. I fear they will attack him for appearing to be weakm which I know is not true. The saddest thing is the reality that we are here in America where YES< it was a f*ckin' religious litmus test. SHAME on this country. SHAME.

Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 22:16:23
If what Chuck Todd is reporting is correct (and I swear, he always is correct) - Harold Ikies is going to have a fit - Andrea Mitchell, I think, is wrong.



Look for Ikies to say things like - this committee is doing exactly what the Supreme Court did in 2000.

Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 22:18:03
I was listening to a little of Jon Elliot on the ride home last night. And he was commenting as to why the Democrats chose to stay at a hotel chain that gives 90% of its money to the GOP while avoiding chains like Hyatt which are more blue in their contributions.

Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 22:20:15
Quote by Shane-O:

If what Chuck Todd is reporting is correct (and I swear, he always is correct) - Harold Ikies is going to have a fit - Andrea Mitchell, I think, is wrong.



Look for Ikies to say things like - this committee is doing exactly what the Supreme Court did in 2000.


Like Shillary's people would have been so concerned had she actually been in the lead for the nomination and as it is, she can only get the lead by counting Michigan where Obama had no votes because he was not on the ballot because he followed DNC rules and she didn't since she signed the very same pledge.

Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 22:21:07
Motion placed on the floor to fully seat the Florida delegates... much applause... I thought that thier was an agreement behind closed doors that 1/2 delegates would be seated. this motion will be heard, and the speaker is asking the audience to PLEASE temper the applause.

Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 22:23:00
Quote by Shane-O: If what Chuck Todd is reporting is correct (and I swear, he always is correct) - Harold Ikies is going to have a fit - Andrea Mitchell, I think, is wrong. Look for Ikies to say things like - this committee is doing exactly what the Supreme Court did in 2000.
You sir, are correct. Ickes' partisanship is overwhelming today.

Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 22:24:04
Quote by livingonli:

Quote by Shane-O:

If what Chuck Todd is reporting is correct (and I swear, he always is correct) - Harold Ikies is going to have a fit - Andrea Mitchell, I think, is wrong.



Look for Ikies to say things like - this committee is doing exactly what the Supreme Court did in 2000.


Like Shillary's people would have been so concerned had she actually been in the lead for the nomination and as it is, she can only get the lead by counting Michigan where Obama had no votes because he was not on the ballot because he followed DNC rules and she didn't since she signed the very same pledge.




I understand what you are saying - and I am against seating MI - but I really don't see how HRC violated the DNC rules or the pledge she signed. She certainly has flip-flopped and is trying to change the seating rules. But what rule did she break. I can't find a anyone who can point that out to me...



Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 22:24:56
IT does seem like a compromise will be made today. These people want to get back to NYC tonite for a major DNC fundraiser featuring Al Gore....

Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 22:27:49
Quote by Shane-O:
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by Shane-O: If what Chuck Todd is reporting is correct (and I swear, he always is correct) - Harold Ikies is going to have a fit - Andrea Mitchell, I think, is wrong. Look for Ikies to say things like - this committee is doing exactly what the Supreme Court did in 2000.
Like Shillary's people would have been so concerned had she actually been in the lead for the nomination and as it is, she can only get the lead by counting Michigan where Obama had no votes because he was not on the ballot because he followed DNC rules and she didn't since she signed the very same pledge.
I understand what you are saying - and I am against seating MI - but I really don't see how HRC violated the DNC rules or the pledge she signed. She certainly has flip-flopped and is trying to change the seating rules. But what rule did she break. I can't find a anyone who can point that out to me...
Where did that pledge come from? the one that the candidates signed? Good question Shane-O. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly that if the delegates weren't going to be seated, that the candidates would assume those rules meant no going to those staes. It's like she campainged as an independent in some respects in those states.

Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 22:29:29
This is a critical issue, becuase if ALL the delegates ARE passed, then we will start having primaries years before the actual General Election.

Comment by livingonli on 05/31/2008 22:29:58
Quote by Shane-O:

Quote by livingonli:

Quote by Shane-O:

If what Chuck Todd is reporting is correct (and I swear, he always is correct) - Harold Ikies is going to have a fit - Andrea Mitchell, I think, is wrong.



Look for Ikies to say things like - this committee is doing exactly what the Supreme Court did in 2000.


Like Shillary's people would have been so concerned had she actually been in the lead for the nomination and as it is, she can only get the lead by counting Michigan where Obama had no votes because he was not on the ballot because he followed DNC rules and she didn't since she signed the very same pledge.




I understand what you are saying - and I am against seating MI - but I really don't see how HRC violated the DNC rules or the pledge she signed. She certainly has flip-flopped and is trying to change the seating rules. But what rule did she break. I can't find a anyone who can point that out to me...



She signed the same pledge that Obama and Edwards signed which is why all the other major candidates took their names off the Michigan ballot.



From the AmericaBlog postings;

For the past months, we've had to listen to Hillary Clinton and her spinners talk about the fair result in Michigan. That would be the election where she was the only person on the ballot. Former Senator Don Riegle offered his views on the Michigan primary in the Detroit News yesterday:



The Michigan Democratic primary election offered a Soviet-like ballot -- in that Michigan voters were not given a real choice among candidates. There was no competitive Democratic primary in Michigan -- a primary where viable candidates compete to earn the support of voters. Instead, Michigan Democratic Party officials permitted an election to take place even though three of the viable candidates (Barack Obama, John Edwards and Bill Richardson) had properly removed their names from the ballot to fully comply with DNC rules. The election went forward with only one viable candidate on the ballot (Hillary Rodham Clinton) in direct violation of DNC rules and with full knowledge -- and acknowledgement -- that the Michigan delegation would not be seated at the nominating convention in Denver.


Comment by Raine on 05/31/2008 22:31:15
This whole thing makes me sick. At one point, if the DNC did not put their feet down we legitamatly were facing primaries in 2007

Comment by Shane-O on 05/31/2008 22:31:24
Quote by Raine:

Quote by Shane-O:

Quote by livingonli:

Quote by Shane-O:

If what Chuck Todd is reporting is correct (and I swear, he always is correct) - Harold Ikies is going to have a fit - Andrea Mitchell, I think, is wrong.



Look for Ikies to say things like - this committee is doing exactly what the Supreme Court did in 2000.


Like Shillary's people would have been so concerned had she actually been in the lead for the nomination and as it is, she can only get the lead by counting Michigan where Obama had no votes because he was not on the ballot because he followed DNC rules and she didn't since she signed the very same pledge.




I understand what you are saying - and I am against seating MI - but I really don't see how HRC violated the DNC rules or the pledge she signed. She certainly has flip-flopped and is trying to change the seating rules. But what rule did she break. I can't find a anyone who can point that out to me...

Where did that pledge come from? the one that the candidates signed?



Good question Shane-O. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly that if the delegates weren't going to be seated, that the candidates would assume those rules meant no going to those staes. It's like she campainged as an independent in some respects in those states.



Is there evidence that HRC campaigned in MI or FL prior to Jan 15? That absolutely would be breaking the rules set up under the pledge. I thought it was well-settled that neither campaign was accusing the other of doing so.