Weld To Seek Libertarian Ballot Line?

Apparently Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Weld (NY, formerly MA) is interested in appearing on the ballot as both the GOP and Libertarian candidate under New York’s fusion system that allows a single candidate to win multiple nominations. This sounds like it might be a really good move for the NY Libertarians.

From the NY Daily News...

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bill Weld is sailing into uncharted waters in New York Republican politics: He’s making a major run to line up the backing of the tiny Libertarian Party.

Weld confirmed to the Daily News last night that he would “definitely be interested” in winning the Libertarian line.

“’Libertarian’ is not a bad word in my lexicon,” he said, noting one of his favorite expressions is: “I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.”

Asked about the party’s opposition to the war on drugs, Weld said he’d back medical marijuana, but added, “I’m not for the decriminalization of drugs.”

Because Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats in New York by a 5-3 ratio, GOP candidates covet a second ballot line.

Overwhelmingly, their partner has been the Conservative Party. But Weld’s more conservative GOP rival, John Faso, has a virtual lock on the Conservative line.

23 Responses to “Weld To Seek Libertarian Ballot Line?”

  1. Tim West Says:

    The LP would be insane to not take him. Bill Weld is about as libertarian as a candidate that a sigificant number of voters would accept.

  2. Joe Says:

    The Republican Liberty Caucus of New York has expressed reservations about Weld. He seems to be on both sides of the eminent domain issue. He attacked the Kelo decision, but supported the Atlantic Yards project (including the eminent domain). He has made the curious distinction that the eminent domain for tax base improvement is bad, but it is OK for general economic development. He also supported the West Side stadium. He opposes repeal of the Rockefeller drug law. His people asked the LP withdraw their drug legalization plank as part of negotiations for an endorsement. The voters may not be ready for legalization, but the polls show that the voters favor reducing penalties. His behaviour in the Decker College affair was poor.

  3. George Phillies Says:

    Weld is not in any normal sense a libertarian. Mind you, I live in Massachusetts, and in 1996 the state LP has me as its potential Senate candidate against Weld. Weld is a classical moderate Republican. The New York Rockefeller drug laws are remarkably harsh, and were originally copies off the Japanese drug laws, which were enforced by the very different Japanese judicial system.

    The Libertarian Party would be crazy not to stop listening to Mr. West’s recommendations for the party, which have done it enormous damage, starting with his campaign that destroyed the core party financialstream, the dues system.

  4. Tim West Says:

    he is best described as a Republican with a libertarian bent. I stand by my endorsement. he’s not the perfect libertarian, but I’d rather see him in office than the Democrat. I undrstand Weld is in favor of decrim of drugs rather than legalization. Either opinion would be A MUCH BETTER tack than the opposition.

    George, it was hardly my campagn. You give me way too much credit.

  5. Tim West Says:

    I went back and read the article again, which he states his position on drugs, which was 180 out of phase with his position I rembered from one of his other campaigns.
    I’d have to ask if there is another more libertarian candidate than Weld that stands a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected - if so, I’d support them over Weld. If not , I’d still support Weld. I’d rather have half a libertarian in office than someone whos a “conservative” or a leftist Democrat. I’ll make that deal.

  6. Brian Grant Says:

    My question of Mr. Weld would be this…. If he loses the Republican primary will he still run an “active” campaign if he should get the Libertarian endorsement. If the answer is “yes” then I think the LPNY should endorse him inspite of his “imperfection”.

    In New York State the candidate for governor has to get at least 50,000 votes to give his/her party ballot position for 4 years. That would make it alot easier to run candidates for other offices. Money could be spent on advertising instead of spending it to get on the ballot.

  7. Kyle B Says:

    Brian makes a very good point. If Mr. Weld will run a active campaign even if he loses the Republican primary then I think the LPNY should strongly consider endorsing him

  8. George Phillies Says:

    Having lived in Massachusetts while he was governor, I find that allegations that Weld is a libertarian do not appear credible.

  9. Tim West Says:

    But would he be better from a LP perspective than a ‘conservative” R or left wing Democrat? Unless a “real” libertarian can get elected, then I’ll take him anyday, even if he’s only libertarian on 30% of the issues, George. Thats a real life political decision.

    Better to have 30% chance of some libertarian policies put into effect on any isue than having none with the R or the D nominee.

  10. Jared Says:

    But with that same logic George W. Bush would be part libertarian because of the tax “cuts”, that doesn’t mean he should be endorsed or supported by the Libertarian Party.

  11. Hardy Says:

    A former governor is seeking the NY Libertarian Party’s nomination.

    “’Libertarian’ is not a bad word in my lexicon,” he said, noting one of his favorite expressions is: “I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.”...Weld said he’d back medical marijuana…

    This should be seen as a momentum builder. If the LP is to go mainstream this sounds like the place to start—this year. Weld might be the first of many disenfranchised Republicans looking for a party that is fiscally responsible and socially tolerant than the Bushites.

    If Weld accepts the NY LP nomination, then Tarrant a US Senate candidate in Vermont might seek the VT LP nomination.—Tarrant is trying to distance himself from Bush. He is spending tens of millions of his own money do to so, and is running against Bernie Sanders (avowed socialist).

  12. Tim West Says:

    Bush is in no danger of being confused with any libertarian or vice versa, tax cuts or no tax cuts. He borrows his way from foriegn governments to make up the difference - something no libertartarian would ever do.

  13. Brian Grant Says:

    If a candidate who is only 30% Libertarian is willing to accept the LP nomination and it leads to ballot position where dozens of 100% Libertarians are able to run, I say go for it.

    I would think there would be alot of interest in the LP from people who never gave it a second thought if Mr. Weld gets the endorsement. Also there’s the possiblity that Mr. Weld may become educated about the LP and become a convinced Libertarian.
    The New York state practice of cross endorsement or fusion as those of you not from New York call it doesn’t mean the candidate is a 100% supporter. It means there’s some agreement between the candidate and the party cross endorsing him/her.
    The New York State Libertarin Party has been trying for over 30 years to get ballot position and failed.It’s time to try something different.
    By the way I hold elected office in my town in upstate New York as a “third party” candidate so I know a little bit about practical politics and not just theory.

  14. Tim West Says:

    Why bother counting the percentages in any case? If they self identify as a libertarian, they probably are one. The are some people that cross over the line every so often but they usually get turned out in due time. This ruminating about purity only serves to weaken us and make assembling a liberty coalition of a large enough number of people who may be anywhere from 30% to 120% libertarian that possibly could actually effect change impossible.

    The other issue is that the LP is a single issue party, and it shouldnt be one. e need to expand the attack on not just government but corporate control over the people in areas of life. Big government and big corps go together and feed off each other.

  15. Hammer of Truth » Bill Weld as a Libertarian Party Candidate in New York? Says:

    [...] Here the debate already brewing at ThirdPartyWatch, my initial source for this story: Austin Cassidy: This sounds like it might be a really good move for the NY Libertarians. [...]

  16. Seth Anthony Says:

    Weld isn’t looking to be recognized as a Libertarian; he’s looking to get the slight edge in November that the Libertarian ballot line might bring him. He’s not looking to help Libertarians, it seems to me, but looking to help himself and the Republican Party.

    I like what a lot of what I see of Weld, but, as an outside observe, I’m not sure this is an astute move for the LPNY.

  17. Michael Gilson-De Lemos Says:

    NY LP could certainly reach agreement on what Weld would do if elected—appointing Libertarians and continued access should in my viewbe the main thing—and run him on that.

    The national by-laws distinguish between the candidate program and the platform for that reason, so this is hardly new. The US LP platform was designed for activists, advisory board members and citizen initiatives and referenda, not electoral candidates primarily: the new executive summary is for that if desired. This was the approach at FLPNY in the past, but I don’t know how it is now.

    I don’t know enough about the situation and players involved but getting on the ballot seems to be the priority. The LP there can then later run state house or other candidates and get sufficient names to build organization as I discuss in in http://www.libertyforall.net/mg.html to make the issue permanently moot, no?

  18. Daniel Ong Says:

    Setting aside the issues of whether Republican Bill Weld is “libertarian” enough for endorsement by the LP of NY and popular enough to gain ballot status for them, is the LP of NY even allowed to endorse him?

    LP Bylaws plainly state in Article 8: Affiliate Parties, 4. “No affiliate party shall endorse any candidate who is a member of another party for public office in any partisan election.” There doesn’t appear to be any exception for fusion voting systems.

    This issue came up recently with controversy over a local affiliate’s veteran leadership’s interest in endorsing various Republicans and Democrats. The issue is more complicated here: is the above provision binding on local affiliates chartered by the one state LP affiliate recognized by LPUS under Article 8, Section 3. “There shall be no more than one affiliate party in any one state…”?

    I voted for allowing my local affiliate to endorse candidates affiliated with other parties thinking that it would be used rarely and not being aware of LPUS 8-4. I have changed my mind and am now against it, seeing as it can be a conflict of interest for LP leadership in trying to fill ballot positions with Libertarian candidates, and is probably against LPUS Bylaws.

    If there is a candidate of another party suitably libertarian-leaning, the LP in that area can simply not put up an active candidate against the suitable one, and informally point out that suitable candidate’s libertarian leanings, such as LP Texas does for Ron Paul (elected Republican congressman, very libertarian-leaning and former LP presidential candidate).

  19. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I don’t know. The Alabama and Maryland parties have just nominated statewide candidates that, I’m pretty sure, are not registered Libertarians.

  20. Scott Says:

    Well, if Weld can capture around 50,000 votes on the Libertarian Party line, the party will be an officially recognized party in NY with an automatic ballot line. It would be a good move to endorse him

  21. Gene Berkman Says:

    Bill Weld is not perfect, but he has a better record on taxing and spending than any other former Governor in recent history. He does support medical marijuana, and he has called for ending income tax for New Yorkers who make $75,000 a year or less. He has also taken a stand against imminent domain, which you can see on his website.

    Endorsing Weld offers the New York LP the first serious possibility of gaining the 50,000 votes needed for ongoing ballot status. And given his stand on taxes, eminent domain and medical marijuana, a Libertarian candidate running against him would receive few votes anyway. And it does not look like the New York LP even has another candidate to back.

    The New York LP has several choices for a strong antiwar Libertarian candidate for US Senate. The Republicans are having a hard time putting up a credible campaign against Hilary. So backing Weld and running an antiwar Libertarian for US Senate could give the New York LP the breakthrough they need for ongoing ballot status and public recognition.

  22. John Day Says:

    Weld? Definitely. I have gathered signatures and distributed leaflets for libertarians. I’m sorry to say the party is not at all taken seriously, standing in line with Gus Hall, Linden Larouche, socialist workers, etc. Anyone that gives the party legitimacy and recognition is good. That would include Howard Stern, Drew Carey, Larry Elder, Milton Friedman, Walter Williams, John Stossel, Clint Eastwood, etc. Let’s not lose this chance to make ourselves less of a joke. Let’s nominate Weld, with enthusiasm!

    John

  23. Estelle Edwawrds Says:

    Nominating Weld is about more than just getting people to take us seriously. I’ll tell you what’s at the core of the issue.

    For years, the purists and pragmatists within the party have bickered among themselves, preached to the choir and had internet squabbles….all to no avail. Now, we can either take this opportunity to move forward and start behaving like a political party; or, we could do more of the same for the next 30 years and never acheive ballot status.

    Weld made it very clear to the party leaders that he does not agree with us on everything, and for that, he got a lot of points. What other candidate today even dares to tell the truth in that regard? What we are pleased with his stand on lowering taxes, responsible use of eminent domain, and getting rid of useless government agencies which only suck taxpayer dollars.

    The pragmatists and the purists within the Libertarian Party have been fighting with each other for years. Well, some of us are tired of it. Seems like the biggest thing standing in the way of libertarians sometimes is libertarians! We can either remain purists and not get anywhere; or take a chance on a candidate who has past experience, some name recognition and agrees with us on taxes and open up the way for third parties in general. Ideas are no good if nobody ever hears them.

    And speaking of eminent domain: there will be a last-ditch effort on May 22 to bring closure to Susette Kelo and the remaining homeowners in Fort Trumbull [New London, CT]. A big demonstration and press conference will be held at the state capital in Hartford to urge Governor Rell to intervene and make the NLDC (New London Development Council) give the titles back to the residents.

    Those who are seriously fed up with big government and its intrusions should go. This issue is bigger than all of us. Don’t wait until you or somebody you know is a victim of abuse of government power. I don’t know these people, but I’ve been following this case and think that this country has strayed too far from the Constitution as it is.

    Eastern Long Islanders often have a reputation of being very self-absorbed and spending money on distractions while at the same time complaining about high taxes and the cost of living. Many view us as spoiled suburbanites——whether that assessment is just or not.

    I hope to see some Long Islanders there at the state capital on May 22 Monday. The first couple of rallies had people who travelled from as far away as Texas! That’s right….they know the importance of liberty and the Constitution’s limits on government power.

    There’s a famous quote; I forget who said it, but it goes something like this: ‘An attack on liberty anywhere is an attack on liberty everywhere.’ Let’s put our energy and our money where our mouths are for a change. Show support for the people at the center of this controversial Supreme Court decision. Thank you.

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