LP activist: ‘We’re not all computer programmers anymore’

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports on Bob Barr’s attendance at a fundraising event, at the “ostentatious mansion” of his running mate Wayne Allyn Root. Regarding the local scene, the newspaper says:

Barr will be on the Nevada ballot because the Libertarian Party has scored enough votes in previous elections to give its nominee ballot access.

In Nevada, the Zogby poll, apparently the first poll in the state to include third parties, put Barr at 9 percent and the major-party candidates tied at 38 percent each. Other recent polls had put McCain slightly ahead in Nevada, suggesting that Barr is taking votes from McCain.

The article also quotes from one of the Libertarians in attendance:

One of the fundraiser attendees, Allen Hacker, had seen many Libertarian tickets come and go, and said he felt good about this one. Hacker was there for the Libertarian Party’s original chartering in 1972 and ran for U.S. Senate in Nevada in 1980.

“We have credible candidates this time, guys the public will respond to,” Hacker said. “We’re not all computer programmers anymore. Some of us are salespeople.”

37 Responses to “LP activist: ‘We’re not all computer programmers anymore’”

  1. that guy Says:

    ... but most of us are still creepy Scientologists that started our own religion and refer to ourselves as “Speaker”.

  2. Stefan Says:

    Root should come out boldly and clearly to show his money is where his mouth is and contribute at least 100 k of his own money - actually it should be more - to the campaign. His “conversion” to many LP positions has been very very recent, like only a few months ago and he need to show sincerity. He has an estimated 2-5 m USD and at least two houses. Barr was specifically asked about this in the C SPAN interview and of course he could not speak for Root. Also: Root should be able to organise major fundraisers for the LP not only in Nevada, but also in California, New York, Miami etc. and online fundraising among his 2 million clients
    The LP and the Barr-Root campaign need this money yesterday.
    Now it easy for Root to spread his money to different donors to contribute 100 k plus. He himself can only contribute 2300, but the rest of the money he can give to family and friends to contribute. As a VP candidate, one wonders whether he is not allowed to contribute more than 2300 USD to the campaign.
    If you are a multimillionaire as Root and contribute only 2300 USD to your campaign and ask much poorer people to come up with the money, then you are simply hypocritical, and should never be considered for any future LP position or candidacy.

  3. Mike Says:

    Barr polling 9% in Nevada is great. More chances of getting into the Google forums.

  4. Robert Capozzi Says:

    What Root contributes is his business, but I do believe as a candidate, the Federal limits don’t apply. They certainly didn’t when David Koch ran for VP in 1980.

  5. kenneth Says:

    Harry Browne was typically talking to 200 plus fundraiser attendees at this point.

    Badnarick was polling about the same.

    Ah, but Barr promised a $40 million fund raise.

    His supporters have predicted 5 million votes with their ‘new’ platform (as they promised with the reformatted old platform), which is actually a cribbed version of a program document of the Crickenberger era they hijacked, and they’re not using anyway.

    In fact Barr squirmed like crazy on TV last night…the media is realizing he is not consistent with the LP and somethings wrong, and they’re using that line of questioning. He’s as unprepared as McBride was in some ways, unable to answer elementary questions and in fact being outflanked by more consistent Libertarian positions from the major party spokesmen and leaders..

    Meanwhile the LP continues to bleed members, money and Libs in public office as the Barr circle continues to screw up national with their silly ‘pragmatist’ approaches against ‘educational’ candidates and policies, and relectless harassment and personal attacks on actual Libertarians.

    Meanwhile Barr NOW says he’s there to educate on TV…what is Stephen gordon saying, who attacked candidates who lost but built the LP or positioned themselves for later wins as ‘losers’? And last night Barr declared himself ‘titular head’ of the Libertarian Party. I think he’s being advised by the same 3 Stooges who screwed up national.

    5 million votes is the standard that they set.

    I hope so. But I think Barr’s being positioned for failure by the same ‘pragmatiosts’ who have always wanted the LP to fail. He’s in a fantasy if he thinks he is the head of the LP, much less the movement. What bootlickers are feeding him this pap?

    5 million. We’ll see.

  6. David Tomlin Says:

    Sorry, but when the LP nominated Barr as presidential candidate they did indeed make him the head of the party. In my opinion that is one of the strongest reasons for not nominating him.

  7. Justin Grover Says:

    Root doesn’t have the same restrictions on contributions, but you CANNOT give money to another to contribute. That would be really unlawful.

  8. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Sorry, David, the head of the party is the Chair of the LNC, for better or worse. Barr is only the face of it, which is why a lot of members hide theirs.

    But Allan Hacker is correct: we’re not all computer programmers anymore, and that is in fact an excellent thing. Spaeking as one myself (who wishes he wasn’t in that pigeonhole), it’s good that we have more than just that profession in the party, as that diversity brings more experience and different perspectives to the party.

    Now immediatley, I hear the Reformers and pragmatists mumble, “See, we are good for the party!” To which I say, don’t confuse different perspectives on the message with diluting or destroying the message itself. The former is a way of thinking, and the latter is undermining the whole thing.

    If the Barr campaign can present/market the LP message in a manner that is appealing to voters in language they understand, then by all means he should do so and all praise to him if he does it. He is trying, but he just doesn’t get it yet, and whether that’s because he’s stuck in pseudo-libertarian-conservative mode or some other reason, he hasn’t turned that corner yet. He needs to focus on libertarian SOLUTIONS to the problems we face, not in the abstract of what the solution is, but in the concrete of how and why: saying the WHAT of, “a free market will take care of a problem” is not enough: HOW it will and WHY it will are important, as well as the economic opportunities that arise from doing so. That’s what people want and need to hear, and in 30-45 seconds or less.

    Bringing that full circle to Allan’s comments, a broader diversity of professions in the party will help in that marketing process. Perfect example: Root is a self-made businessman. To do that he must know something about marketing in order to succeed. That’s a resource to tap into for those skills, so tap into it. Root is correct in that we need to sell liberty, even if his style is too overenthusiastic.

    Marketing, marketing, marketing. It matters, and let’s face it, a bunch of computer geeks suck at it. So the expansion of professions and trades in the party will help that. But we need to listen and learn from their expertise on their areas while they refine their grasp of the libertarian philospohy (as do we ours, since it is always an ongoing process) .

  9. Roscoe Says:

    When was the LP ever just a bunch of computer geeks? As I recall, founder The David was in advertising. Clark and Bergland were lawyers.
    Evers was a teacher as were Rothbard and Emsberger. Gingell was a railroad executive. Ver Hagen sold insurance. Redpath and Walter were auditors. etc.

  10. William C. Bigelow Says:

    Although i use the internet a little, i am proud to be a libertarian technophobe.

  11. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Apologies, that should be “Allen”, not “Allan”. Damn Mondays!

  12. enrique Says:

    Gosh, where did Hacker get the money to attend such a posh event in Vegas…?

  13. Robert Capozzi Says:

    kenneth Says: 5 million votes is the standard that they set.

    Me: I missed that standard. Who set it? I’m thinking 2. 5’s possible, if things break right. I can even imagine 10% the stars align, like getting in the debates.

  14. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] Says:

    Michael Seebeck: Quit buying your Romanian built spell checkers at the swap meet! ——-Don ‘Not a Libertarian’ Lake

    1. David Tomlin Says:
      July 14th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    “Sorry, but when the LP nominated Barr as presidential candidate they did indeed make him the head of the party. In my opinion that is one of the strongest reasons for not nominating him.”

    Dave Tomlin: Sorry, but when a political party nominated some on as a presidential candidate all they are doing is nominating a presidential candidate. Informal influence, sure, official status, nope and never has been!

    By the way, George Washington [whom should be the poster boy of every non partisan group in the USA] had no party to ‘be the titlar head’ of!

  15. Robert Capozzi Says:

    ...IF the stars align…

  16. GoNolzOhio Says:

    “In fact Barr squirmed like crazy on TV last night…”


    If that’s your analysis of Barr’s interview on C-SPAN, I suggest you cut down on your drinking to no more than one fifth of whiskey a day. The only way someone could say Barr was “squirming” was if they their head was bobbing to and fro due to intoxication.

    The purists have been holding this party hostage for years, then blame the reformists for the party’s problems at attracting and holding members. That’s rich.

  17. Clark Says:

    yes..unfortunately bob barf is the whipped-cream titty head of the LP.. ;o)

    ...stephony and others here who seem to yack about LP problems with ‘money’ and ‘the media’ (virtually the same thing)..

    ...you have nothing of value to offer here..you still can’t even explain/don’t understand the origin, nature, etc. of one fucking ‘dollar’..

    (these republicrat dopes know not what IT i$ about which they blow..) ;o)

  18. Tennessee Mike Says:

    “.....Badnarick was polling about the same…...”???

    Badnarik polled as high as 6% in national polls in 2004?

    I’d love to see those polls.

  19. jgo Says:

    What gets to me is how the MSM give extensive coverage to those other guys: “X walked out the front door.” “Y blew his nose.” “Z appeared on our affiliated TV show.” “X is campaigning in Colombia.” “Y is campaigning in Taxahatchee.” as though any of those things were news. But they still seem dead set against covering the Libertarians… again. Beck has re-run his taped interview a few times, and I suspect CNN believes this is “equal time”, while they give 10 and 15 minute segments of new coverage to those other dolts many times each day.

    And I’m not seeing Barr or Root doing anything to change it, though I believe they could. I’m not seeing daily press releases, let alone multiple press releases from the campaign each day. The press releases I have found are often out of synch with the news and issues of the day.

    It’s not “purists” vs. “reformers”; it’s Libertarians vs. perverts. The corrupt unprincipled Atlanta cabal did nothing to increase number of Libertarians in the country or enthusiasm and support by the Libertarians there are. They were much more interested in dirty tricks to get libertarians to fund the king-pins in the manner to which they were accustomed, and in so doing caused many Libertarians to withdraw their support from both the national and state party organizations and stick to local efforts over which they could exercise some due diligence.

    One reason the proportion of computer wranglers active now may be lower is that many of them are unemployed and under-employed in this 1st month of the 3rd quarter of the 9th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression; they don’t have resources to devote to the effort.

    The Reps and Dems consider the president or presidential candidate to the the head of their parties, and the national committee chairs appointed by the president or presidential candidate as boosters. Libertarians never have looked at it that way. The individual Libertarians are the bosses of both the county, state and national chairs and executive directors, and of the nominee for president.

  20. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    We have a reverse pyramid organization. The national chair works for the state chairs. The state chairs work for the county chairs. The county chairs work for the members.

    Anyone tries to be “boss” of the LP will find many Libertarians responding, “You’re not the boss of me!”

    That’s just the way we are. Every member rules his/her our own turf—which may be just their own solitary membership—but which turf they guard jealously.

    We’re the Holy Roman Empire, not Tsarist Russia. Every LP member is his own feudal baron, and the emperor is but a figurehead. True, he has his own turf, which is a bit bigger than ours. But he’s not the boss of us.

    I remember Root saying, “I have a 16 year plan to win the White House. I wanna be your leader for the next 16 years…”

    It creeped me out. The guy comes from nowhere, and he immediately wants to be our “leader” for the next 16 years.

    I wonder how many others were creeped out by Root’s naked ego on display?

  21. darolew Says:

    “We’re not all computer programmers anymore.”

    You say that like it’s a good thing. =P


    As a computer science major, I have certainly noticed a trend toward anti-authoritarianism among programmers that probably explains the high percentage of libertarians among them.

  22. Bill Woolsey Says:

    Badnarik polled 1.2% in a Zogby poll. That was the peak. He had a 1% result, and plent of .6%, .2%, etc., etc.

    Browne had a 1.7% result in a Zogby poll. Nearly all of his poll results were less than 1%.

    Go to the Zogby site and search Libertarian.

  23. GoNolzOhio Says:

    “I wonder how many others were creeped out by Root’s naked ego on display?”

    Not me. It takes a serious ego to campaign for presidency/vice presidency.

    I really don’t have a problem with people coming “out of nowhere” to lead this party, because our desultory performance lo’ these many years really doesn’t lead me to believe we’d be giving up anything of value in the process anyway.

    In any case, David Tomlin is right. Its common knowledge that, in the American political system. the Presidential nominee of a party becomes its de facto leader. For example, at the height of Reagan’s or Clinton’s popularity, they obviously could have had anyone in their parties fired, up to and including the Chair.

  24. Jonathan Says:


    Please buy your Barr merchandise at www.bobbarr2008.com a portion of the money will go to fund the campaign. We need to make Barr’s name visible, place your bumper stickers.

  25. Rudi Dekkers Says:

    Stefan said: “Root should come out boldly and clearly to show his money is where his mouth is and contribute at least 100 k of his own money”

    Sorry Stefan, didn’t you hear? W.A.R. and Barr are newly converted Libertarians. This means that they now understand the libertarian/conservative principle that a criminal has a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to his victims. Hence, the first claimants on W.A.R.’s scamdicapper millions are the Iraq War survivors and refugees who were the victims of W.A.R.’s surging support for war prior to W.A.R.’s Libertarian conversion.

    And if there is anything left to W.A.R.’s estate after he pays for his responsibility to Iraq war victims, I would certainly vote to attach it as compensation for damages to Agent Barr’s drug war victims if I was on a civil jury.

    For fundraising, it looks like the LP will have to stick to libertarian saints with no blood on their hands, or maybe some unrepentant authoritarian sinners will throw them some money.

  26. Eric Dondero Says:

    Yup, Root is a “newly converted Libertarian” alright. I guess that explains why he has been listed on the Advocates for Self-Government List of “Celebrity Libertarians” for the past 8 years, and why LP News ran a blurb about him being a “libertarian” as far back as the late 1990s.

  27. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] Says:
    July 14th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Michael Seebeck: Quit buying your Romanian built spell checkers at the swap meet! ——-Don ‘Not a Libertarian’ Lake

    LOL! Sorry, Don, that was no spell checker mistake, just bad proofreading. It happens.

    Hey, Thomas, if the LP Chair works for the state chairs, then let’s have the state chairs be the exclusive electors of the LP Chair. (I’m not being sarcastic here, I really think it’s a reasonable idea!)

  28. Craig Says:

    You would think that Libertarians would be better versed in history, especially their own…. but many seem to forget that Michael Badnarik, a computer programmer by trade, was polling at 5% in New Mexico after concentrating on that state, until the major party candidates swamped it with visits, advertising, and free media—just like they will do with Barr.

    And Alan Hacker wasn’t making fun of computer programmers in 2006, when he managed Badnarik’s promising Congressional campaign in Texas to a disappointing 4% finish after squandering his early fundraising success ($400K plus) on just about everything except voter outreach or advertising.

  29. Cork Says:

    Root should come out boldly and clearly to show his money is where his mouth is and contribute at least 100 k of his own money

    Not only that, he should get started on that libertarian reality series he claimed he would get on the air (fat chance!).

  30. Lance Brown Says:

    If Root can’t or won’t contribute bucks (and let’s not forget that Bob Barr probably has a pretty healthy bank account too), then he should at least be able to connect with some celebrities. Phil Gordon has connected with a huge array of celebrities, and Wayne should be able to get an audience with them. And if he’s half the hot shit he claims to be, he should be able to get a stage full of celebrity endorsers.

  31. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Dondero, I forget how many Libertarians you’ve smeared over the years as being appeasing, American-hating, Leftists, simply because they opposed US interventions and foreign wars.

    Ruwart, Paul, Kwiatkowski, Browne, Badnarik, others? You’ve smeared so many Libertarians as “Leftists.”

    The fact that these Libertarians had a lot more cred than a tiny “blurb in LP News” and being one of many names listed at Advocates for Self-Government didn’t prevent you from calling them “Leftists” and worse.

    Yet we’re supposed to overlook Root’s very recent endorsement of McCain/Lieberman, his Republican Millionaire book, his embrace of the conservative label on talk radio, simply because LP News blurbed him once.

    Do I sense a double standard? A simple blurb and listing makes Root a “longtime Libertarian,” whereas decades-long LP activism doesn’t make one a true Libertarian if one opposes US foreign wars?

  32. John C. Jackson Says:

    I thought it was more like ” We aren’t all UNEMPLOYED computer programmers anymore.”

  33. Clark Says:

    ...these stooooooooopid fucking republicrats yacking about barf’s (phony) ‘high’ poll numbers in fucking july are so fucking naive it makes me sick…(please don’t tell people you’re a ‘libertarian,’ you chowderheads!)

    ...and can anyone even imagine how many people dunder0-head has poisoned as to ‘libertarianism’...imagine this stoooooooopid and/or evil fuck ‘collecting signatures’ and skunk-pissing on ‘Libertarianism’ day after fucking day!..

    ...and don’t any of you gd republicrat fools find it odd that with all the decent, knowledgeable, etc. people who call themselves ‘libertarian’..the ones who tend to get most/all ‘the press’ (lately..we were almost totally ignored prior) tend to be the worst fucking idiot republicrats among us?

    ..tell me sabotage isn’t rife in ‘the LP inc.’

  34. Is America Ready for a Third Party President? Says:

    Great article on the media and its involvement in this whole mess…

  35. darolew Says:

    What? That simply isn’t true. To this day, Root is listed under the “Friends of Libertarianism” section (see here). To quote: “(Celebrities who have not publicly declared themselves libertarian, but who have said good things about libertarians or libertarianism.)”

    This isn’t really accurate, seeing as Root started calling himself a Libertarian a while back, so perhaps The Advocates just can’t bring themselves to call him a Libertarian, eh?

  36. darolew Says:

    The above comment was intended as a reply to this:

    “I guess that explains why he has been listed on the Advocates for Self-Government List of “Celebrity Libertarians” for the past 8 years”

    ...but I think I accidentally deleted it or something.

  37. The Company Barr Keeps Says:

    Well, the fact that Hacker — the $459,000 man — is supporting Bob Barr pretty much says all I need to know about the LP’s ticket in 2008.

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