Unreality at the Barr Campaign

From the Nolan Chart:

Walt Thiessen writes on the Nolan Chart of Bob Barr’s failure to catch on with American voters, and the unrealistic expectations of his campaign in trying to add him to the presidential debates.

Thiessen says Barr has not caught on with Ron Paul’s voters and hasn’t even managed to convince traditional Libertarian Party members that he’s one of them. Barr’s fundraising is a shadow of Paul’s, and his poll numbers are only getting worse. It’s not looking promising for the Barr campaign.

Excerpts from the story on the Nolan Chart:

Another clear indicator that Barr is not catching on with American supporters of liberty, particularly Ron Paul supporters, is that his FEC filings show absolutely meager amounts of fundraising. Reported fundraising through June 30, 2008 shows that only 334 individuals had given a grand total of $181,082. While that averages out to a respectable $542 and change per donor, the 334 figure is pitiful in contrast to the literally hundreds of thousands who have given to the Ron Paul campaign this same year.


Rather, the LP’s long string of failures has been due to two key facts: (1) it is a third party, and third parties have every aspect of election laws written against them, including the Constitution itself, and (2) the party has never learned how to build from the ground up. Instead, it has always insisted on growing from the top down.

Click here for the entire article.

70 Responses to “Unreality at the Barr Campaign”

  1. Bill Woolsey Says:

    Barr’s poll results remain high by LP Presidential standards. The 1% Gallup result was for people who volunteered either Barr’s name or said they would vote Libertarian.

    The 2% Ipos result was also interesting. It included questions about strength of support. 43% are going to vote for Barr. And 39% are probably going to vote for him. And there there was 18% maybe.

    So, the IPos AP result gives 2%*43% or .86% strong support. This is close to the 1% that volunteer Barr’s name or “the Libertarian” as for whom they will vote.

    Right now, the LP is on track to get more than 1%. Better than ever.

    Still, it is a long way from 15%.

    Zogby has just reported another 6% result using their online panel methodology. While there have been telephone polls with similar results, they were earlier in the year.

  2. Bill Woolsey Says:

    Did Browne really raise 3 million in 1996?

    I see more like 1.5 million in total with about $1 million raised during
    the same period that Barr has been running.

    Browne started raising money in 1994.

    Brown also raised money from 1996 to 2000. It looks to me like it was about 1 million before and 1 million after the nomination.

    I looks to me like Barr is raising money at about the same rate.

    We can hope that the internet approach is more efficient.

  3. Jonathan Says:

    Very negative article. Bob Barr is polling 6% in the poll released today by Zogby. I say that’s pretty good for a Libertarian candidate. Without any real money, there is no mass exposure and the numbers will not climb further which means no debates but still very good showing if numbers hold up election day. Best for a Libertarian and will provide automatic ballot access for many states next time around. For now just word of mouth will do, but never underestimitate the power of word of mouth

  4. Tannim Says:

    Gee, who didn’t see this coming, besides everybody who didn’t walk into the Barr…

  5. John Lowell Says:

    News of Barr’s refusal to deny writing a check to pay for his ex-wife’s abortion years ago could very easily be denying him the votes of social conservatives who, given his work during the Clinton impeachment matter, should be a natural consistency for him. Could it be that a phony is getting what a phony deserves?

  6. Stefan Says:

    True, a very negative article written in the past tense, as if it is already November after the election. One wonders whether Mr. Thiessen really thinks his choice Mary Ruwart would have raised more money than Bob Barr and polled higher. One has to wait after the DNC and RNC when the Barr campaign could really take up steam.
    They should not depend on online fundraising only, as David Nolan points out, amd also send out fund-raising letters. I also assume they spend most of their time and money up to now only to get ballot access. Ron Paul is well aware of this frustration, where he said in 1988 he spent at least half of the money raised only to get ballot access, e.g. not much for campaigning.

    Apart from the Western States and NH etcv. Barr should perhaps also concentrate on smaller states and states Ron Paul did not had time to visit during the primaries, like Vermont. I know he has been to Oregon already, which is also good. They should organise fund raising events in LA, NY, Seattle Dallas, Houston etc. They also need “attention” and effective campaign that can take reaction, especially on his strengths, like the 2 Amendement. If I were the Barr campaign, I would make a special video for a TV add with Dick Heller, of the DC gun case, who si also treasurer of the LP in NY and a congressional candidate and demonstrate to Republicans that the Heller of the Heller case, and to pro-gun Democrats that Heller is actually with the LP.

  7. redfish Says:

    I think this is missing the crucial point that Ron Paul only got as much attention as he did because he ran on a major party ticket. If you run on a third party ticket, expect your support and your media coverage to be lower by default. The fact is though, Bob Barr will probably have a higher percentage in polling totals for the general election, than Ron Paul had for the primary elections. However, primary debates among major party candidates are much more inclusive than the general election debates. Cue Nader talking about third party candidates being second class citizens

  8. Stefan Says:

    Mr. Lowell: in all respect, if that would the only reason, why does’nt social conservative Baldwin poll substantially higher than Barr and attract most social conservatives? Many people are waiting till the DNC and RNC rdepending on the VP candidates as well as the party platform etc. COncrete: if McCain choses Lieberman (or Tom Ridge) as VP, look for Barr to poll at 15%, as Newt Gingrich has just declared.

    If Barr is a phony, why does he have a 98% rating with the ACU? Why has David Keene - chairman of the ACU - indicated he would support him? Why has Ron Paul rooted for Barr? or do you somehow (strangely) think that Ron Paul is either a phony himself, or not being able to judge a phony after how many decades of experience in DC and in life (including patients)? Please explain.

  9. Impeach Bush Says:

    If Ron Paul didn’t run as a Republican, he would not have developed the following he did. Barr should have done the same thing as Paul.

  10. Cody Quirk Says:

    About time to see a critical article of Barr not put out by me on a Pro-Barr website, TPW needs a little diversity.

  11. Ayn R. Key Says:

    “For a politically savvy former Congressman, Barr has demonstrated very little understanding as to how to garner support and snowball it. His decisions regarding campaign staff have proven to be disastrous, and his failure to satisfactorily address questions regarding his libertarian principles has been conspicuous. One of the most important rules that any “pragmatic’ politician follows is that once he vanquishes the other candidates in the party’s nomination process, he makes peace with them and reaches out to their supporters. Failure to do so is always catastrophic. Yet, that is a mistake that Barr has clearly made. He has done absolutely nothing to satisfy those party members who simply don’t trust his supposed conversion to libertarian principles. Instead, he has assumed that they’d all rally behind him from the day he won the party’s nomination. The utter stupidity of this failure in calculation is almost beyond reckoning.”

    That paragraph really does tell the whole story. His campaign has treated the long time party regulars with contempt by not talking with them. It took two months of badgering him about the religoius equality question before he finally answered, and even then his answer was completely disingenuous. Other questioners with other issues received the same treatment.

    His supporters have been even worse. I have been told that it is wrong for me to even ask the tough questions in the first place. When I suggested that he should make amends with the other side by having one of the “purists” as a running mate, the response was “what does he have to make amends for? He’s the winner, he shouldn’t apologize to a bunch of sore losers.”

    Really, the Barr supporters are the worst aspect of the Barr campaign, and they do more to turn off any “purist” trying to find redeeming value in the Barr campiagn.

    Then there’s the whole issue of the war. True, the candidate claims to be in favor of ending the Iraq war. His running mate used to be in favor of continuing the war (even using his initials to forward his campaign) until he found out which direction the wind was blowing and changed course accordingly. Yet all those who favor continued military aggression still support the two of them. One would think they’d have cause to reconsider, but instead I have a disgruntled republican tell me that he couldn’t support Paul because Paul was against the war but he could support Barr.

  12. Mike Guess Says:

    FUBAR is toast. Stick a fork in him. 400,000 votes if he’s lucky.

  13. DIAMOND Says:

    wow everybody is smoking the good stuff around here.
    Bob is polling 6% in the latest poll, heck cut it in half if you think it’s too high. At 3% he is still doing better than any Libertarian candidate in history. That’s at least 2 million voters.
    I wonder why most of you come to this site if you have none to support ?
    and I still get a laugh at Lowell still obsessing over his precious check. I can picture him masterbating every night to abortion.

  14. blakmira Says:

    I believe what has happened to Barr and those in the Libertarian party who selected Barr is what Ron Paul would call “BLOWBACK.”

    You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool a “real” Ron Paul supporter! We can smell a neocon in drag a mile away…

  15. Timothy West Says:

    I have at least 10 similar fundraising letters ( 1996 and 2000)
    from the Browne Campaign(s). 2 of them are expressly titled ‘OUR PLAN TO GET INTO THE DEBATES’. (never did either time)

  16. Timothy West Says:

    When Jacob Hornberger blew the lid off the Perry Willis scandal, followed by hard evidence from John famularo (at he time the computer guy at LPHQ) that Harry Browne had lied about his knowledge and coverup of the affair, and the affair was money laundering, last time I checked a crime. The Browne Campaign was forced to suspend operations because they had run out of money and no one was giving because of the scandal.

    These were all good anarchos. Not a reformer in the bunch. I didnt start making trouble until August 2004. The history is all there, just look for it.

  17. Carl Says:

    Harry Browne had Perry Willis to write fundraising letters. Willis knew how to write a thrilling newsletter. Unfortunately, one of the keys to writing a thrilling fundraising letter is to ride the line at the edge of the truth, to push rosy scenario to the limit.

    Browne himself did an excellent job of writing on the campaign trail emails. He gave the donors the inside scoop on the bootstrapping attempt. In terms of firing up the base, Browne was a master. In terms of realistic policy proposals, or getting traction outside the libertarian base, Browne was considerably less effective.

    I quite sympathize with many of Barr’s critics. Barr is running as much a conservative campaign as a moderate libertarian campaign. This might work if he had a big conservative base with which to raise funds, but apparently he does not. He needs to use the L word more, and openly commit to some of the things he said at the convention.

    Also, his campaign is playing optimism through fait accompli vs. explicit bootstrapping. He doens’t have the resources to play that game, and after the failure of the Badnarik congressional campaign, the LP donors are not in a mood for such an approach.

  18. John Lowell Says:

    Ah, yes, my friend Stefan.

    “If Barr is a phony, why does he have a 98% rating with the ACU?”

    Well, we don’t quite know if Barr is a phony at this point, Stefan. We know this: That someone holding themselves out as pro-life that pays for abortions is certainly a phony and Barr won’t deny he’s done that. Let’s just say the jury’s out. In any case, I’m talking about pro-life voters, not the ACU. To be 98% positive with them would be of only passing interest to them.

    “Why has David Keene - chairman of the ACU - indicated he would support him?”

    Perhaps David Keene is insufficiently pro-life. That might be one reason. Another might be that Keene is easily satisfied, God knows.

    “Why has Ron Paul rooted for Barr? or do you somehow (strangely) think that Ron Paul is either a phony himself, or not being able to judge a phony after how many decades of experience in DC and in life (including patients)? Please explain.”

    Why, yes, Stefan. On several occasions, I’ve pointed out here and elsewhere that Ron Paul is a phony. He is also a schmeggegie, about that we should be crystal clear. And in the doubtful case that Barr has received an exclusive endorsement from Paul, one might only say that a possible phony has been endorsed by a schmeggegie in any case. It’s really that bad.

  19. George Phillies Says:

    West claims

    “The Browne Campaign was forced to suspend operations because they had run out of money and no one was giving because of the scandal.”

    That statement is not even marginally true.

    Harry Browne had a number of faults, but not watching his cash on hand and income was visibly not one of them.

    For an accurate description of what actually happened, read ‘Funding Liberty” now being serialized at http://TheDailyLiberty.com

  20. GREEN DAD Says:

    Hey George glad to see you got time to talk to these 5 to 7 chronic bloggers under different alias. I do hope you have better things to do like helping The Libertarian Party succeed in this election. I hope the fact that you lost the nomination hasn’t soured you. You can prove yourself by helping the LP out but you won’t do it by arguing on pointless issues with these people unless ofcourse you ar one of them and then you really need help.

  21. Roscoe Says:

    Once the Pauliacs wake up to the fact that RP is not going to get the GOP nomination, some will still refuse to do anything other than write in RP in november. A bunch will support Baldwin. Barr needs to reach out to the RP leadership and make his case. So far, he hasn’t done this. Then maybe he will have time for one or two money bombs that could bring in, say, half of what RP brought in. The RP cause was always lost yet still got some $30 million. Barr’s cause is lost too, but $10 million should be possible. That ain’t enough, though, to buy network tv ads, so Barr’s people have to come up with some way to make him newsworthy.

  22. Dave Tyler Says:

    Question: Barr’s VP is a self-proclaimed “King of Vegas.” Am I wrong in thinking someone who claims to be as good at handicapping as he does should be bringing in more money into his own campaign? Anyone have any figures on how much Root has donated to his own campaign?

  23. Bill Woolsey Says:

    While Browne was an anarchist, he was apolitical until soon before joining the LP and didn’t describe himself as an anarchist.

    When he ran for President, he ran as a strict Constitutionalist. Did didn’t propose abolishing all federal taxes, but rather leaving excise fees and customs duties to finance all of the Federal government. From time to time, he suggested that states could do what they want. (They could finance government spending with their own taxes.) He took the states rights position on all of the controversial social issues as well. Even the war on drugs.

    However, his sound bites clearly were abolish the income tax, “privatize” social security, and end the war on drugs.

    The details of the program would be n very small Federal government and he really said nothing about what states might do. If pressed hard, (as he was on abortion) he would finally admit that he didn’t favor having state governments do anything. (Yes, he was an anarchist.)

    The Browne campaign raised a lot of money, but they didn’t spend much of it on what would ordinarily be considered campaigning.

  24. faeriejems Says:

    Assuming that Ron Paulites would turn to Barr was always a fairy tale for Barr supporters. There was never an indication that that would happen. I don’t know any Paul supporters who made the leap because the two men are as different as apples and cats.

    And it aint gonna happen between now and the election.

  25. GREEN DAD Says:

    faeriejamas is right. But only because it was primarily disgrunted Republicans that voted for Paul not Libertarians. Republicans for the most part will vote Republican in the election. Except a few, such as myself, who will vote Libertarian even though I’m a Republican. 3% sounds right. McCain is still hanging with Hussein so in a close election these Republicans will be scared into voting for McCain. Much like it happened to Nader in 2000. Nader was polling over 5% in EVERY poll the week before election and they scared the liberals into voting for Gore.

  26. Timothy West Says:

    And remember - Barr will be attacked if he does poorly, and he will be attacked if he gets into the debates and gets 9% of the vote. The reason the fundraising is bad is for 3 reasons:

    we’re in the second largest home market credit contraction in US history, with millions of house flippers and real estate speculators going broke and foreclosing, leading to massive bank failures, with businesses laying off at record rates. People who dont have incomes don’t give to any political campaigns.

    The Mary Ruwart supporters are not giving to or supporting the Barr campaign because they will only support anarcho-whatevers. Remember: political success for the LP is only important to them when it’s one of their own, and politics has always played second fiddle anyways. The LP is more like a sandbox where they can play while attempting to convert people into being like them. The LP is a sort of cult, where the people in it only care about politics as another avenue to signing up more. if it were anything else, the oath would not need to exist.

    teh anarchos used to brag about how they would stomp on any dissenting views at the convention. They are scared shitless that they are close to losing control, and Barr, simply put, believes in the institution of the state to some degree. He’s not one of THEM. So about 40% of the LP is sitting on their wallets as a result.

    ok, had enough for now. be back when I have more to say.

  27. Timothy West Says:

    Quick word to George:

    do you deny that Brownes campaign operations were suspended because of the Willis scandal or because of hornberger stirring the pot, neither, or both?

    Are you saying there was no shutdown in browne’s campaign in 2000 due to money problems caused by rumors and accusations by Hornberger that were proven later to be true?

    I need to know what part you say is untrue before I can respond to it. I am not at home, so I dont have my collection of LP material here.

  28. GREEN DAD Says:

    I have to say I enjoyed Timothy West OBJECTIVE piece on fundraising and Bob Barr. First time I read something objective here in quite some time

  29. Adam Says:

    I happen to be a supporter of Ron Paul’s ideals as well as as a Bob Barr supporter. And who are you going to vote for? Theocrat, Chuck Baldwin? Neocon=McCain, Communist Obama, or ecoterrorists Nader or McKineey.

  30. karl Says:

    Ruwart supporters should go ahead and just back Bob Barr—-because Mary is in the same company as John Edwards anyway. If she had gotten the nomination, the shit would be hitting the fan just like it is for John Edwards right now. The same shit will be hitting the fan for Mary and her “friend” soon anyway——but not yet.

  31. Ken Petty Says:

    What part of the US Constitution was written against third parties? Wasn’t the Republicans, Bull Moose (Progressives) and Whigs at one time third parties that triumphed over better established parties?
    Your premise that the Constitution was written against third parties reek of partisanship. Sad, really, and not true at all.

  32. George Phillies Says:


    I do not believe that Browne’s operations ever shut down, as opposed to mailing donors with threats that they might have to shut down. Certainly, his payment record to his staff was pretty regular.


  33. Benj Says:

    I ask the same question as Ken Petty. What is the Constitutional question in regards to Third Parties? I don’t believe you’ll find any mention of “parties” in the document.

  34. Derek Says:

    Green Dad makes a very good point because there were polls in 2000 that showed Nader with over 5% (I believe it was 5.3% or something) and, believe it or not, Gore with a considerable margin over W.

  35. Stefan Says:

    Karl : so Mary Ruwart was involved with a smiliar issue like John Edwards? Do you have any inside info on this? or is it a rumor? She could have accepted the VP nomination, as offered to her by the Barr campaign (before the last round) and then she could have rallied many Libertarians and women and spreading the LP message according to her definition/understanding. Does she not know in politics
    one often selects a complimentary VP, and not identical VP?

  36. Dr.Gonzo Says:

    I don’t mind the so called “threat” mailings. If we want to become a legitimate party we need to start donating legitimate money. We don’t have the millions flowing in from special interest groups.

    You cannot compare Barr to Paul either. That is just being intentionally dishonest to fulfill your agenda. I don’t think anyone thought Barr could reach Paul’s level.

  37. Marshall Says:

    I had made the decision to support Bob Barr but rally around the LP candidate no matter who it was. Now, I see these purists, these hardcore Libertarians who spend all their time trying to prove themselves more libertarian than the next person, unwilling to accept the results of Denver, spending all of this time and energy trying to tear down the Barr campaign just to be able to say that they were right. It’s crazy. And at this point, I couldn’t care what any of these people think they know.

    I’m a Ron Paul Repbulican, a Jackson-Jeffersonian Democrat, and card-carrying Libertarian who is supporting a good man who truly believes in Freedom & Liberty—Bob Barr. And rather than waste my time fighting this online war that is completely pointless, I’ll be out raising money, getting out yard signs, flyers, and mailers, and actually trying to make a difference with people…the good and decent people of America who like the idea of less government, less taxes, and more freedom.

    Will Barr’s campaign be a disaster? I don’t think so. I feel good about it and I’ll fight, just like several other folks I know, to help his campaign in every way I can. Don’t we all want the same thing? Less government and more Freedom?

  38. Tom Bryant Says:

    What is often forgotten is that Barr was a member of the LNC for two years. He has been a Libertarian Party member for longer than “ultra purist” Christine Smith - who openly supported socialized medicine until she figured out what a libertarian was.

    Barr is not the same vein as Gravel, who only thought of the LP after he lost a major party race.

    From the reports of my regional rep, has often voted with the purist/radical faction on the LNC. Barr definitely has put in more time and money than many of his “purist” detractors.

    His message is libertarian, there’s no getting around that. He’s not calling for new taxes, higher rates on old taxes, or more government spending. He follows the LP platform on controversial issues, which is what I would expect a representative of an organization to do.

    His vote totals in November are going to reflect a vote for the libertarian message. Voters that want a larger government, socialized health care, or more war are not going to be voting for Bob Barr in November.

    The arguments against Barr seem to revolve around a belief that Barr is not what he appears to be. That he is actually in favor of a bigger government.

    Now, if Barr could win the election, maybe that would be something to be concerned about. However, that is not going to happen this year. There’s no need for the Ruwart supporters to lie their way to becoming a Barr-elector to publicly declare that they won’t be casting electoral votes for Barr. All that will happen in November is that the Barr campaign will provide us with a view of how many voters like the libertarian message.

    A strong Barr campaign will help the libertarian message.

    Michigan is having a hard time putting all the new volunteers to work in our state. That’s our biggest problem right now - and that’s a good problem to have.

  39. Bill Woolsey Says:

    I did some research on the FEC webpage about fundraising for Browne in 1996 and 2000, and Badnarik in 2004. Barr is not doing worse than typical libertarian candidates. He just isn’t doing much better.


    Remember, the Browne totals were for three, and then four years of fundraising.

    Libertarian campaigns generally get a large portion of their funds during that last few months of the campaign.

    We will see what happens with Barr.

  40. karl Says:

    Stefan—Re: Mary—No rumor, unfortunately. Do I have proof—you bet I do.

    Re: the VP nomination—she’s not stupid politically (to lower herself to run with Barr)—she’s just stupid on the personal front. Just think if she HAD been nominated as the VP candidate——I would have busted this whole story wide open—and we would be looking at different headlines.

  41. Bill Woolsey Says:

    While Ruwart is a member of the LNC, I don’t understand how her personal problems are of any concern.

    Even if she were our Presidential nominee, it isn’t like she (or any libertarian) would be running on the program of using government to promote family values.

    The “you are imperfect too, so why are you throwing the first stone” just doesn’t apply.

    Anyway, the notion that anything Ruwart did as VP or even Presidential nominee for the LP would receive “headlines” is a joke.

    How crazy is this “karl” character?

  42. Timothy West Says:

    I’ll bet her viewpoints on child (defined legally, anyone under the age of consent of that state) adult sex would have made Nancy Grace. that would have made headlines indeed.

    of course, if think the entire concept of a state is undesirable as she does, who cares? if you dont support the state at any level, who cares what it’s laws say?

  43. Timothy West Says:

    and her personal life is off limits. She’s not running for anything,
    and I care not.

    “It’s yo thang, do what you wanna do.
    I cant tell you who to sock it to.”


  44. Robert Capozzi Says:

    This piece is weak analysis. We’re not told how many Paul supporters are Barr supporters. We don’t know WHY people gave to Paul who might not give to Barr. Maybe they’re tapped out, for all we know. Maybe they liked that Paul was giving the establishment GOP hell in the debates.

    Paul has a ready-made network of donors that I believe is probably larger than Barr’s. Paul’s built his list since the late 70s.

    Regardless, Paul’s BIG numbers came from third-party fundraisers, the “money bombs.” It was novel when it was started, now it seems passe.

  45. karl Says:

    Mr. Woolsey—The “headlines” I referred to above were not meant to indicate main stream media—-she’d never be that “important.” ——Headlines as in TPW, IPR, LFV, etc.
    Mr. West——her “personal life” is not off limits when her charagter is at question—-and it impacted other people on a personal level. She cannot be trusted—-and the next time she tries to run for something such as president——you all may want to remember that.

  46. karl Says:

    Also—-Mr. Woolsey——
    “How crazy is this “Karl” character?? Nothing crazy about “him.”

  47. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    There are probably as many reasons why Paul supporters are or aren’t jumping on the Barr bandwagon as there are Paul supporters who are or aren’t doing so.

    Like you said, some of them may have already spent their “discretionary budget for political contributions” for this cycle on Paul and just not be in a position to write checks they’d like to write.

    Not only is Paul’s donor list older and larger than Barr’s, but that list was also built to a larger degree on Paul’s personality without necessarily referencing party affiliation in a big way than Barr’s was. Paul’s donors included LP members, Constitution Party members, etc. from way back, while Barr’s list was probably 99.9% Republican until very recently. A lot of those Republican donors probably aren’t going to follow Barr across party lines, while Paul’s list has had since 1988 to be purged of people who won’t do so.

    The Barr campaign’s failure to raise big money cannot be blamed entirely on that campaign’s incompetence (although things like $19,000 for air conditioning certainly haven’t helped) or on the unwillingness of the LP’s “base” to fork over to a non-libertarian candidate. There are structural barriers that any campaign is going to have a hard time getting over.

  48. Ron Moss Says:

    Chuck Baldwin has our votes. Finally a trustworthy Rebel. Ron Moss

  49. John Lowell Says:

    Ron Moss,

    “Chuck Baldwin has our votes. Finally a trustworthy Rebel.”

    Ron, perhaps you can help me here if you’re knowledgable enough about the Baldwin campaign. Please explain to me what basis Baldwin asserts for his penchant of interpreting questions on international relations as aspects of there being “dark spiritual forces” at work. One gets the impression that Baldwin might tie himself up in knots should he become President contending with some sinister reality imagined to be at the heart of a UN humanitarian aid effort. Does Baldwin, unlike so many Evangelicals, allow his children to dress up and go out trick or treating on Halloween, for example, or does he recognize in the mere existence of such things the unalloyed hand of the accuser? Exactly where does Chuckie come down when it comes to these “pernicious” influences anyway?

  50. Robert Capozzi Says:


    Seems we largely agree, except I’d say Barr IS a libertarian. Not exactly my flavor, admittedly, but a good man doing good work. Campaigns are not the place for wholesale conversions.

    Recall that Barr jumped in late. Paul, until NewsletterGate, seemed a possibility to be the LP’s standardbearer (again). Barr may’ve been thinking about 2012, but he jumped ahead, as a void was created by the implosion of Paul.

    I’m cutting Barr some slack. Perhaps, due to his federalist stance on DOMA and perhaps Colombia, you don’t. Fair enough.

  51. Ayn R. Key Says:

    Already it is starting, as evidenced by Timothy West and Marshall. The purists are already being blamed for Barr’s under-performance, and we haven’t even gotten the November vote totals yet.

    Given that the “Reform” caucus has the Presidential Nomination, the Vice Presidential Nomination, and the Platform, in reality there is only one group to blame if the turnout isn’t as much of an improvement as they have been promising us. If it turns out to be the opposite of improvement, there is only one group to blame as well. The “Reform” caucus has been given everything they asked for, so if they do poorly, it must be the fault of the “Purists”.

    This “Purist” tried to give Barr a chance. This “Purist” had a few simple questions he wanted answered. This “Purist” was told by Barr supporters that he was bad to ask the questions, that he shouldn’t ask any questions about Barr’s libertairan positions, that he shouldn’t ask any questions of any sort that might call into question any aspect of the glorious candidacy.

    Perhaps the Barr campaign would be doing better if it ditched all its supporters and sought new ones.

    But telling potential supporters that they are bad if they try to bridge the gap between their own purism and Barr’s compromising on every issue … yep, that’s surely the “Purists” fault. It’s my fault if you are rude to me after all.

  52. John Lowell Says:


    “The “Reform” caucus has been given everything they asked for, so if they do poorly, it must be the fault of the ‘Purists’.”

    Well that’s obvious, Ayn. That sinister background noise one continues to hear from the idealists finally has managed to do its damage. They’re destroying any chance the Libertarian Party will ever have to be anything more than a pip-squeak fringe affair. And think of the insult to Barr personally, a man of real stature. Well, OK, so Bob may have paid an assassin to dispatch one of his kids, so what. That’s nobody’s business, and it wouldn’t be anybody’s business if Bob were readying an anthrax attack either. That’s strictly a matter between him and his psychiatrist. And that tank that Bob’s been using lately to launch himself on rabbit hunting expeditions? I mean, talk about the right to bear arms. Phew. Can’t get much more purist than that, eh? Yet they’re sabotaging him with all this insane insistence on principle. Bob’s principled. Just ask Larry Flynt.

  53. Marshall Says:

    Ayn R. Key,
    I think you misunderstood my comment. First off, I fully expect Barr to achieve the greatest numbers for a Libertarian in a POTUS race…that’s a given. 1% will be eclipsed. So there’s no “under-performance” issue involved here.

    Secondly, why would I blame the “purists” for any “under-performance”. And believe me—I’m not trying to be sarcastic here, but just how many “purist” Libertarians are there? First off, there just isn’t a huge number of card-carrying, dues-paying Libertarians to start with. From that, based on the percentage at the LNC in Denver, less than half would be purists, so we’re talking maybe a few thousand? Even if you add lower-case l purist libertarians, it’s maybe up to a few more thousand. I know for some of ya’ll, it seems like these blogs and web-sites are all-to-important, but when talking about the type of voters I’m talking to down here, they don’t really “follow the blogs” Besides, a lot of people who plan on voting for Barr are Republicans or Democrats anyway.

    Right quick, I just want to pass along a really interesting situation here in my hometown. I know this fellow who is a farmer. He’s life-long Republican, and he can’t wait to vote for Barr. He despises McCain and has now reached the point, as have I, where he thinks an Obama victory is what we need—go ahead and get a Socialist in there w/ a Democratic congress and show America what that will look like. They will then be ready for true change. He then went on to tell me about some of these older gentlemen that he associates with. Like most older folks in the South, they’re life-long Democrats and they are all about voting for McCain because, well…Obama’s black (which obviously isn’t cool on their part) and because they think he’s a Socialist (right on there). So you’ve got GOP lifers planning to vote for Barr and you’ve got life-long Democrats planning to vote for McCain—what a crazy & exciting election this is going to be!

  54. Joseph Knight Says:

    We’ve got a socialist running as a Democrat, A democrat running as a Republican, and a republican running as a Libertarian. Too bad there’s not a libertarian running. For the first time since 1968 I won’t be voting for Prez. Barr isn’t worthy of a vote - the Fairtax alone is enough to dump him and the party he rode in on!

  55. Ferenc Says:

    J K
    You right, Barr is a republican not a true Libertarian.

    God Bless

  56. Sean Scallon Says:

    What a brood of vipers we’re dealing with here.

    By actually getting more than 1% in the polls (and higher than that in some cases) Barr is actually doing better than most libertarian candidates have at the midway points. He certainly has had far more media attention than any other. We’ll have to wait until the end to see about the fundraising.

    Yet despite all of this the sore losers remain just that. Whether it’s George Phillies taking LP ballot spots in Massachucetts and New Hampshire or bloggers writing poison pen articles or people sitting on their hands and their wallets, apparently the purist faction could teach PUMA to Hilary Clinton supporters.

    Why should Barr and his team bring in people who haven’t elected anyone to so much as county dog catcher anywhere? It would be nice sure and perhaps tactful but not absolutly necessary. As for Ron Paul, some of them are suppporting Barr and some are not. The Paul campaign was a very diverse group of people and not all of them were libertarians. It should also be pointed out that many libertarians did not support Paul either for largely the same reason they don’t support Barr, that he’s too Republican.

    The only delusional people are those Libertarians purists who think that after over 30 years in existence that they’re just one magic formula away from being a major party. Build from the ground up? Don’t you think someone out there in LP World would have figured that out by now? Or maybe (perish the thought to some of you), just maybe, there aren’t that many libertarian puritans out there, at least not enough to build a serious national party.

    There are people who lean libertarian on certain issues from a right or left perspective. The problem is, you’re never going to convince to join a party where one must be all libertarian all of the time. The only way the LP is going to grow is by picking off chunks of the libertarians leaners from one of the major parties. Barr is trying to do this from a Republican perspective (Gravel would done so from a Democratic perspective if he was nominated). There are a lot of disaffected Republicans out there. It would make sense to nominate a candidate who could appeal to them and not to anarchists. Maybe Bob Barr is not your cup of tea, but if he does get over 1% and more importantly keeps John McCain out of the White House, then he will have accomplish more than any LP nominee ever has and the possibilites from such a showing for the future are endless.

    But if that upsets your puritan proclivities, fine then. The Boston Tea Party awaits for your donation.

    My God, you have thought that after Michael Badnarik (not just his Presidential camapaign but his awful Congressional camapaign too) that going in a different direction wasn’t just a necessity, it was imparative.

  57. Eric Dondero Says:

    Republican = Libertarian, for the most part.

    It’s Republicans these days who are calling for a repeal of seat belt laws, opposing smoking bans, supporting an end to affirmative action, and standing firm against political correctness.

    Thus, Barr is by definition a “libertarian.”

    Let’s remember the First expressly political Libertarian in history - Barry Goldwater - was a Republican.

  58. Eric Dondero Says:

    Brand new poll out of the liberal Univ. of Texas, finds John McCain crushing Obama 53% to 38% in the State. Not suprisingly.

    But more importantly, Libertarian Bob Barr gets 5%. He also beats Ralph Nader in the poll, by 3 points, 5% to 2%.

    5% in Texas is a pretty damned large number.

    Do you all realize, that alone could equal hundreds of thousands of votes? Texan Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik got 383,000 nationwide in 2004. Bob Barr could get nearly the same number of votes in Texas as Badnarik got nationwide, if these poll numbers hold.


  59. Eric Dondero Says:

    BTW, we cover the new Texas poll findings at Libertarian Republican blog. Click on the link for the info.

  60. George Phillies Says:

    “Sean Scallon Says:
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:10 am

    What a brood of vipers we’re dealing with here…

    Yet despite all of this the sore losers remain just that. Whether it’s George Phillies taking LP ballot spots in Massachucetts…”

    I realize you seem to be a bit slow, but I will be patient. That’s why I am not opening my response ‘Dear Moron’.

    When we started petitioning to put the Libertarian Presidential team on the ballot in Massachusetts—which, by the way is not spelled the way you think it is—we were told by the State Government that we could substitute whoever won at the National convention for whomever we did petitioning.

    When the State government changed its mind, LPMA immediately told national about the situation.

    The decision for Massachusetts to continue to petition for Phillies/Bennett, as opposed to restarting with Barr/Root, was made by Sean Haugh for the LNC. If you are unhappy that the LNC put me on the ballot here, for the moment, go whine at them.

    Similarly, in Connecticut—where the same problem arose—when a decision was made to restart petitioning with new names, and I was asked to file a letter authorizing replacement, I immediately filed the letter. If I had not, I would potentially also be on the ballot in CT.

    If Mr. Barr had wanted a party to unite behind him after he won the election, he needed to have entered the race well in advance and debated his opponents. His position on not appearing at the Jim Burns-organized debates at National, as reported elsewhere, namely that he would only debate real candidates, tended to kill the unification possibility.

    Your assertion that people are sitting on their wallets is an insult to the donors, who despite the economy appear to be a bit ahead at this point to their donations four years ago to Mike Badnarik.

    Having said that, Barr’s statement advocating to protect discrimination against women in particular Federal programs, as opposed to proposing to end the programs, certainly crossed my acceptability line.


  61. faeriejems Says:

    I agree with George that his timing in entering the race harmed Barr from the beginning. For him to have stuffed the ranks of delegates as he did, he had to have had those people registered with the party at least a month in advance of the convention. Yet he didn’t announce until two and a half weeks??? Completely disingenuous, in my opinion. It set him apart from the others, which I’m sure was the plan, but in a bad way. The Democrats have had a stupid word they’ve thrown back and forth: “Elitist”, but it seems to apply here. Barr was acting like he was too good to deal with the other candidates..

    Also, I agree with Ayn R Kay (miss our monthly meetings, Buddy) that the Barr supporters have not helped his case. I really did give him a chance, but after a mild comment on another list was told to “Put up or shut up”. So, we can’t ask questions now? Too much like Bush regime for me.

    Yeah, that’s what I said. Too much like the Bush regime for me.

  62. Adam Says:

    Phillies, you’re full of it, and you know it.

  63. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    When you allude to Barr “stuffing the ranks of the delegates,” I believe you assume far too much. I saw no evidence of “convention packing”—the predicted buses full of “ringers” never showed up, and the faces filling the delegations were generally familiar to me from the 2004 and 2000 conventions. Sure, there were some new faces. There always are. But not some noticeably large number of them, and to be honest most of them I ran into were attending an LP national convention for the first time to support Ruwart or Gravel. Furthermore, most of the delegates had been selected by their states before Barr ever announced—many of them before he even formed his exploratory committee.

    In the absence of evidence of packing or other nefarious activities, it’s reasonable to accept that Bob Barr received the LP’s 2008 presidential nomination because a majority of the delegates (many after their first choices were “weeded out”) decided that he was the best candidate. I think that majority made a bad decision, but I don’t think that decision was arrived at through the kind of corrupt methods you’re alleging.


    I understand that people are going to differ on the definition of “libertarian” and on what it means to run a libertarian campaign. That’s just the way it is. What I found more surprising than that Barr continued down policy paths that didn’t meet my own criteria in that regard was that he started running (and continues to run) a campaign that fails the “practical politics” criteria highly valued by the “reform” wing of the party.

    I’m trying to be fair here—everyone with two or more neurons firing inside their crania knew that “we’ll raise $40-50 million and win the election” was stuff and nonsense and so I don’t use that as the zero point in judging his campaign—but frankly his effort so far is embarrassing.

    Even Eric Dondero, who’s famous for putting his hype on steroids before letting it off the leash, has been reduced to setting the threshold for “success” as exceeding Ed Clark’s 1980 vote total—in an election likely to have half again as many voters and with no John Anderson analog running. A candidate like Barr, in an election like this one, should be looking at at least 2-3 million votes. I predicted some time back that he’ll pull 750-850k, and I’m beginning to wonder if I was too optimistic.

  64. Dave Williams Says:

    Hard economic times do tend to close the purse. But I think the real reason Barr and other third party candidates are not going to get much play this year is that not many folks have ever heard their names, and people are seriously concerned about B H O!

    Be it his former associates (Ayers, Wright, etc..), outright racial bigotry or his documented 100% liberal voting record or both, people have a real problem with this guy. Every gun owner I know is damn near ready to go to war to stop him…yes, it is that bad. So McCain will win because people will be voting for the lesser of two evils…again.

    The LP’s day will come, give it 8-12 years. People are starting to wake up. I did.

  65. Clark Says:

    williams dreams: “People are starting to wake up…”

    ...i don’t see much evidence of that..as evidenced by the FACT that in my lifetime i have met personally maybe eight or nine people who can honestly explain/understand the origin, nature, history, etc. of ‘the/a dollar’/’our’ system of money issuance, etc..

    ..that is, it appears, most/all peoples’ lives are consumed in the endeavor of acquiring, managing, etc…some ‘thing’ about which they are worse than butt-ignorant..

    ..darkne$$ prevail$, republicrats…ooga booga!

  66. MPM Says:

    “Instead, it has always insisted on growing from the top down.”

    I don’t see how this is true when you compare it to other third parties like the Greens or Reform Party. I think the LP has a much greater focus on winning local elections (although it should probably be even higher).

  67. Joe Lawson Says:

    Walt Theissen has NO CLUE - first if we compare Ron Paul to Bob Barr we can see some points that blow Walt’s claims away. First, Barr out raised Dr Paul in the first 3 month time period. Dr. Paul’s big money did not come until the 3rd quarter. In addition, Dr. Paul did not become a rock star candidate until after he was in the debates, and I would reason to say that his campaign would have never gone anywhere without Dr Paul being noticed in the debates. Dr Paul’s success had nothing to do with his campaign team, as a matter of fact, his campaign team (minus the web team) were terrible.

    Put Bob Barr in the debates and he will instanly be above 15%

    Let be real here

  68. Sean Scallon Says:

    Dear Mr. Phillies:

    Thank you for refraining from starting your last post “Dear Moron”. In a gesture of good will, I will refrain from starting this post with “Dear Pathological Liar.”

    Apparently, according to your home state newspaper the Boston Globe i this article http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/08/15/a_place_on_the_ballot/ you’re not exactly doing all you could do to have Barr’s name placed on the ballot instead of yours in your home state. Not only that, but you haven’t exactly been discouraging the NHLP from substituting your name for that of Bob Barr either. Maybe the fact the Barr camapaign has had to deal with these unessesscary distratcions in New England, by, and I will say it again, SORE LOSERS, caused then to miss the ballot deadlline Maine or at least was one of the reasons why.

    You’ve gone from being upset that Barr won to saying entered the race too late and the delegates were stacked for him. In other words your trying find excuses to deny his legitimacy as the LP nominee. If you had been that nominee would you appreciate it if Barr’s supporters were using his name instyead of your on the LP ballot in Georgia or in states across the South? Of course not, so why do act as if Barr campaign has a legitimate gripe that certain LP members haven’t exactly been loyal to the party nominee. I know, Ron Paul supporters aren’t exactly ready to join up with John McCain nor will some Hilary Clinton supporter back Barak Obama but at least they’re not engaging or turning a blind eye to or pretending not to notice act sabotage committed in their name.

    And what will you gain by this destructive behavior Mr. Phillies? Do you honestly think four years from certain LP members will forget your actions in this regard? I doubt it. Do you think in four years time you’ll ride out the Barr/Root faction and you and Ruwart, Kubby and the gang will be back in the saddle with clubhouse all to yourself once again? Then the LP won’t be worth a damn.

    I’m not a big fan of party schism on the non major party level because they can get ridiculous but there are serious division of opinion on what the LP should stand for and how it should operate and there disgruntled people willing to shoot their own to get their way. When that happens, then break-up is inevitable and in some cases welcome. There purist libertarian party now forming Mr. Phillies. If that what’s you want, by all means take advantage of it and leave the rest of the LP alone.

  69. Eric Dondero Says:

    I’ve never been a fan of Sean Scanlon. In fact, he and I have been on decidedly differing sides on countless issues. But on this, he gets it completely right. Finally someone is recognizing Phillies and his crew for what they’ve actually done: That is to openly sabotage efforts throughouth New England to get the Barr/Root ticket on the ballot. This has occured most blatantly in Mass and New Hampshire, but more undercover in Maine, and Connecticut, as well. Rhode Island is the only New England State where I saw or heard no evidence of Phillies tampering or working behind the scenes to keep Barr/Root off the ballot.

    I’ll take this a step further. The Nader petitioners were actively working against us Libertarians in many of the New England States, stealing our locations and blocking us from gathering signatures, as well as making promises to return favors to the LP by providing Notaries, and then bailing at the last minute.

    There’s absolutely no evidence to indicate such, but I think it’s quite coincidental that both a Leftwing Libertarian like Phillies and hardcore Leftwingers like the Naderties, both worked to subvert the Barr for President ballot access efforts throughout New England these past few weeks.

    Could a little behind the scenes coordination between the two camps have been involved?

    After all, who would stand to benefit?

    Nader and his followers could have hoped to succeed Barr in total ballot count, say 45 to 44, or so, thus giving him a media talking point.

  70. Eric Dondero Says:

    George Phillies:

    Similarly, in Connecticut—where the same problem arose—when a decision was made to restart petitioning with new names, and I was asked to file a letter authorizing replacement, I immediately filed the letter. If I had not, I would potentially also be on the ballot in CT.

    Eric’s Response:

    Mr. Phillies is correct in this assertion. He did send that letter. But then he proceeded to lobby all the CT Libertarian Party activists to sit on their hands and not to lift a finger to assist National from getting Barr/Root on the ballot there.

    What Phillies did not count on was the courageous Andy Rule, State LP Treasurer. Rule, a Christian Libertarian, did not buckle under. He stepped forward and volunteered to single handidly run the drive. And that’s what he did, much to the detriment of his personal, and professional life, and to his health. Andy did not get more than 5 hours of sleep for the last week. (Luckily a couple of Ron Paul people not connected with the LP, and brand new Bob Barr supporters also stepped forward to help as volunteers.)

    Phillies is a clever little man. He knows how to cover his tracks. He’ll do just enough to give the impression that he’s “on board.” Then behind your back, the knife gets slipped in.

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