IndyTruth Blog
There is a new political party in Indiana 
Saturday, June 21, 2008, 12:56 AM - Elections, News
Posted by Administrator
There is a new political party in the state of Indiana. The Boston Tea Party was established in 2006 as an alternative to the Libertarian Party. Members of the BTP who reside in Indiana have organized a state affiliate, the Boston Tea Party of Indiana (BTPIN), which the National Committee approved late Friday night.

The platform of the Boston Tea Party is one sentence long, and cannot be changed according to the national bylaws. It is as follows:

"The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose."

The BTPIN endorses and adopts that platform in its bylaws. It also shares the purpose of the Boston Tea Party,

"to empower lovers of freedom to reduce the size, scope and power of government through various means, including but not limited to: nominating and/or endorsing candidates for election and appointment to public office; affecting public policy through information, education & advocacy campaigns; and supporting the diverse and important work of the individuals and organizations comprising the libertarian movement."

The BTPIN will run the Boston Tea Party's candidates in presidential elections. It will run candidates for state and local offices in Indiana. And it will seek to gain ballot access for these candidates.

"The Founding Fathers were libertarians," says BTPIN founder Douglass Gaking. "We seek to restore the constitutional, libertarian government that they created for us. Their revolution began with the Boston Tea Party in 1773. In 2008, the Boston Tea Party of Indiana starts a new libertarian revolution here in the Hoosier state. We will be a force for smaller government in campaigns, debates, and public office in Indiana."

"When a representative in a constitutional republic considers a piece of legislation, they must ask themselves, 'Is this constitutional? Does this reduce the size and authority of government?'" Gaking says, "Our politicians are failing to ask these questions. We will ask these questions, and if the answer to them is 'no,' then our votes for those resolutions will be 'no.'"

Membership in the Boston Tea Party is open to anyone who endorses the party's platform. You can join by going to the party's web site www.bostontea.us and signing up at no cost. All business of the Boston Tea Party and its Indiana affiliate is conducted online.

At the 2008 online convention, June 15-16, the party nominated Charles Jay for President and Thomas Knapp for Vice President. Jay lived in Indiana before moving to Florida, and is also the nominee of the Personal Choice Party. Knapp is a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri. They will be write-in candidates for President and Vice President in Indiana this November.

You can stay up to date about BTPIN news by visiting http://btpin.wordpress.com/


add comment ( 8 views )   |  permalink   |  related link
BTP: The New Libertarian Alternative 
Friday, June 20, 2008, 09:51 PM - Elections, Opinion
Posted by Administrator
The Boston Tea Party is sort of an off-shoot of the Libertarian Party. Some say it is an alternative to an alternative political party. And some say that it is a waste of time and not constructive to libertarianism. I joined the BTP because I like the platform, and see it as a great opportunity to educate the public with the libertarian message.

The Boston Tea Party was founded in 2006 by Tom Knapp, following a Libertarian National Convention with reduced attendence and a disappointing change to the platform. In May 2008, the Libertarian Party nominated former Republican Congressman Bob Barr. The frustration that many Libertarians had with the party's selection of a more conservative candidate brought some attention to the Boston Tea Party. The party saw an increase in membership in the month between the Barr nomination and the BTP's National Convention.

I am one of those new members. I was drawn to join the party for several reasons. First, I liked the idea of a party requiring no dues to join, but instead a simple endorsement of the party's platform. Ultimately, it was that simple platform that drew me to join the Boston Tea Party:

The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.


The party's founder Tom Knapp says that the platform allows it to be a "big tent," welcoming a diverse group of members and candidates who simply seek a decrease in size of government, whether they be Green, liberal-leaning, conservative-leaning, anarchist, or anything in between. What makes this party handle such a diverse group is the fact that the platform is so simple and that the platform can never be changed. It is attached to the bylaws.

How does the patform work? A Boston Tea Party candidate would approach each issue with a small government solution. This is very in line with how our Founding Fathers intended for us to run the USA. In a government "by the people, for the people," laws should only be made to protect people's rights, not to eliminate choice. Most government programs, even those that provide services, restrict the rights of some individuals to have a choice (i.e. Social Security).

When the membership of the BTP logs on to the party's web site to vote in the national convention, they are expected to vote with the platform in mind. The voting process uses approval voting, so a member may vote for all of the candidates who he/she feels are acceptable. I voted for two of the party's VP candidates, and some members may have voted for all three. "None of the Above" is also a fairly popular option that members may select. If NOTA happens to win an election, than the party will not run a candidate.

Every two years at convention, the Boston Tea Party adopts a program of no more than five stances on issues. The current program adopted August 21, 2006 is as follows:

1. The Boston Tea Party calls for a complete and unconditional withdrawal of US troops from, and a cessation of US military operations against or within, Iraq.

2. The Boston Tea Party supports repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act.

3. The Boston Tea Party calls for an end to the federal prohibition of marijuana and hemp.

4. The Boston Tea Party calls for the immediate repeal of the REAL ID Act and any and all National ID plans.

5. The Boston Tea Party calls for legislation adopting an annual, regularized increase in the personal exemption to the federal income tax of $1,000 or more, and the additional application of said personal exemption to all FICA/Social Security taxes paid by employees and employers.


The program allows the party membership to select which issues are the biggest priority and how they should be handled. If the government ever reaches a point where it is sufficient on most of the membership's priorities, there could be fewer than five points on the program. Just as if there is a sufficient candidate for another party that is sufficient to the membership, they may vote to not run a presidential campaign in that election.

The Boston Tea Party is a complete representation of libertarianism that will always represent it's membership. With no fees, no travel, and no extensive commitments necessary, and a one member, one vote convention, every member is represented in a truly democratic party.

I also feel the party's purpose to be a significant mission that I can support,

to empower lovers of freedom to reduce the size, scope and power of government through various means, including but not limited to: nominating and/or endorsing candidates for election and appointment to public office; affecting public policy through information, education & advocacy campaigns; and supporting the diverse and important work of the individuals and organizations comprising the libertarian movement.


It is for these reasons that I joined the Boston Tea Party just a few weeks ago. With the party being so young, growing, and accessible, I was able to take a leadership role right away. I utilized my skills and resources in Internet radio to host a debate for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates on RPI Radio. I also started an Indiana affiliate, the Boston Tea Party of Indiana, which is only one National Committee vote away from becoming official. I hope that our affiliate can make the message of libertarianism more accessible to the people of Indiana, be a force for promoting free and open elections in our state, and run successful campaigns for office so that me way inject libertarian ideas into debates and policy "at all levels and on all issues."

If you would like to join the Boston Tea Party, the only requirements are that you endorse the party's platform by signing up on the web site. If you are in Indiana, you may also join our state affiliate by joining its Yahoo Group. Visit the BTPIN's web site to stay tuned to the latest BTP news from Indiana.
add comment ( 9 views )   |  permalink   |  related link
Boston Tea Party Nominates Jay/Knapp Presidential Ticket 
Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 04:40 AM - Elections, Media, News, Opinion
Posted by Administrator
The Boston Tea Party, an off-shoot of the Libertarian Party founded in 2006, has finished it's twenty-four hour long online convention to select its nominees for President and Vice President of the United States. Polling closed at 9:00 PM Eastern Time on Monday night with Charles Jay leading the presidential vote and Tom Knapp earning the vice presidential nomination.

Charles Jay has already started his general election campaign as the nominee of Utah's Personal Choice Party. He is a libertarian and expressed in the Saturday night debates his intention to stick to the BTP's short and simple platform,

The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.


The Boston Tea Party's Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates were hosted by me, Douglass Gaking on RPI Radio on Saturday night. I host the IndyTruth Show every Saturday morning at 10:00 AM Eastern Time on RPI.

During the debate, Jay's competitor Robert Milnes said that he planned to continue running as an independent if he did not receive the BTP's nomination. He also plans to attend the Green Party's national convention in Chicago to seek their support.

In a message to the party membership shortly before voting began, Jay made several pledges, including, "Remember, though my name may wind up associated with this campaign, this is YOUR party, not just mine." He also pledged that "when the dust clears, a vote for Charles Jay and the Boston Tea Party will be anything BUT a 'wasted vote.'"

Tom Knapp has won the BTP's VP nomination. He founded the party in 2006. He is also running for U.S. Congress in Missouri as a Libertarian. Knapp recently wrote on his campaign site that he supports Congressman Dennis Kucinich's 35 articles of impeachment which were introduced to the House of Representatives earlier this week.

Knapp offered three pledges to the party membership before the convention began:

I am not a wealthy man, but if at all possible I will travel to appear at campaign events in the states where we achieve ballot access, or to HELP us achieve ballot access, or to assist in the formation and promotion of new state affiliates.

I will not only accept, but actively seek, opportunities to positively represent (or book our presidential nominee to represent) the party's ticket on talk radio and in other media.

I will proactively promote the party's platform and program, and work with our presidential nominee to create a campaign approach that accords with the party's aims in both letter and spirit.


Knapp competed against Todd Andrew Barnett and Chris Bennett for the VP nomination. In his concession, Barnett said that Knapp "is the best representative and speaker for the Party ... without any doubt." He pledged to support the Jay/Knapp ticket. Chris Bennett also conceded, suggesting that he may be interested in being their campaign manager.

It will be interesting to see how this ticket affects the turnout for contraversial Libertarian Party nominees Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root. The Boston Tea Party has seen a significant increase in membership since that nomination, which led many purist libertarians to leave the LP or at least object to voting for the LP's ticket in the general election. These members have argued that the former Republican congressman Barr is not a true libertarian, but a libertarian-leaning conservative.

Barr authored the Defense of Marriage Act and voted for the Patriot Act while he was in Congress. He has changed his position on those issues, but is still criticized for not being libertarian enough on many parts of his platform. While Barr calls for a decrease in government spending, he does not have a clear plan for eliminating the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve, a disappointment to many libertarians and conservatives who see these as unconstitutional and supporting of corruption.

The Boston Tea Party's candidates were critical of the FairTax during the debates, and most suggested that it would be better to eliminate the federal income tax and replace it with nothing. I am personally excited about the Jay/Knapp ticket because I know that I will be able to vote for a President who is truly libertarian, constitutionalist, and has clear, strong plans for tackling the root of foreign policy and economic problems.
add comment ( 9 views )   |  permalink   |  related link
Ron Paul Announces Campaign for Liberty 
Thursday, June 12, 2008, 04:54 PM - Activism, Elections, News
Posted by Administrator
ABC News is reporting that Ron Paul will make a "big announcement" tonight from Houston, Texas. You can watch the announcement live from the RonPaul2008 channel on Justin.tv.

While much of the media is speculating that the announcement will be the ending of Dr. Paul's campaign for the presidency, I expect that it will focus on his new organization, Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty. Paul writes in an announcement on the campaign's website,

With the primary season now over, the presidential campaign is at an end. But the larger campaign for freedom is just getting started. Therefore, I am happy to announce the official launch of the Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty.

The work of the Campaign for Liberty will take many forms. We will educate our fellow Americans in freedom, sound money, non-interventionism, and free markets. We値l have our own commentaries and videos on the news of the day. I値l work with friends I respect to design materials for homeschoolers.

Politically, we値l expand the great work of our precinct leader program. We値l make our presence felt at every level of government, where just a few people with our level of enthusiasm can make a world of difference. We値l keep an eye on Congress and lobby against legislation that threatens us. We値l identify and support political candidates who champion our great ideas against the empty suits the party establishments offer the public.

We will be a permanent presence on the American political landscape. That I promise you. We池e not about to let all this good work die. To the contrary, with your help we池e going to make it grow by leaps and bounds.

This is the most ambitious venture of my political career, and I think it can achieve great things. But I can稚 do this alone. I need you to help me. I need your energy, your creativity, your ideas, and your dedication.

People frustrated with our political system often wonder what they can do. I have founded this organization to answer that question, to give people the opportunity to do something that really makes a difference in the fight for freedom. Please join me by becoming a member of the Campaign for Liberty. Our goal is 100,000 members by September.


I joined fifteen minutes ago, and as I write, I am watching the member ticker rise by one hundred new members ever few minutes. I have no doubt that Dr. Paul's campaign will reach the goal of 100,000 members. This will be the most successful campaign for liberty in our lifetime.

Please go to the site, read the campaign's mission and strategy, and sign up today. Let's help Ron Paul reach over 10% of the campaign goal (10,000 members) by the time he makes his announcement tonight!
1 comment ( 14 views )   |  permalink   |  related link
Bob Barr Saturates the Internet Media 
Wednesday, June 11, 2008, 03:53 AM - Elections, Media, Opinion
Posted by Administrator
With a background in the CIA, an alarming congressional record, and a platform that still has libertarians uneasy, Bob Barr is far from the best thing the third parties can offer this year. How then is Barr dominating coverage in the Internet Media?

Austin Cassidy's Independent Political Report posted an analysis of Google News hits today, which concluded that "Bob Barr, Ralph Nader dominate online coverage of alternative candidates."

"Bob Barr, Libertarian Party" makes up 58 percent of the total share, while "Ralph Nader" comes in a distant second with 34 percent. No other candidate surpassed three percent. Green Party front-runner Cynthia McKinney was in third at 2.5 percent, and Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin was in fourth at 2.3 percent. Nine other candidates from various "minor parties" each had less than one percent.

It is no surprise that Nader is doing so well. This is his third consecutive run for the presidency. How is it that Bob Barr dominating?

Before he even began his campaign for the presidency, Bob Barr was already attracting attention in the third party world. Since America is trapped in a two party, left-right paradigm, it helps as an outsider to be a former insider in one of the two major parties. Barr is viewed as a former Republican by the media much more than a Libertarian. This alone will draw more mainstream media attention to Barr.

To start off his campaign, Barr hired campaign manager Russ Verney. After advising Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996, Verney knows a thing or two about getting a third party candidate some attention. Next, Barr consulted with the Ron Paul campaign, and hired some of the same people to create his campaign web site. The web site is updated frequently throughout each day with blog posts and other content.

In the first two weeks of Barr's general election campaign, he managed to attain appearances on some highly rated prime time cable television shows. He was a guest on Comedy Central's Colbert Report. After a successful segment with Glen Beck on CNN, he was invited back to do a full hour interview, which was also featured on Beck's daytime radio show. Televised appearances always pick up blog chatter, especially when they appear on YouTube seemingly within seconds of their live broadcast.

Finally, what I attribute most to Barr's domination of the online media is a tool that is hardly mentioned as a key to successful campaigning, press releases. From the first days following the nomination, the Barr campaign has been printing out press releases on a daily basis. If a day goes by without one, the next day will have two.

These aren't boring press releases or the three paragraph cookie-cutter releases that I often find myself snoozing through. They discuss hard issues in detail, and many of them are quite provocative.

A May 30th release took on former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee for his criticisms on libertarianism:

"Perhaps Governor Huckabee is forgetting that it is compassionate conservatism that led to our record budget deficits and explosion in the size of government. His vision of more of the same will lead his party deeper into the quagmire," warned Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, "I am reminded of then-Governor Ronald Reagan saying 選 believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism and that 禅he basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. The problem we face isn稚 too much libertarianism, but not enough of it."


A June 3rd release accused his major party opponents John McCain and Barack Obama of "playing a petty game of 'gotcha' while Iraqis demonstrate against the Bush administration痴 plan to create long-term, if not permanent, bases in Iraq."

On June 4th, Barr attracted some attention in a press release urging weekly debates between himself, Obama, and McCain.

On June 5th, Barr drew on some heavy statistics to discredit the Lieberman-Warner bill, saying "Don稚 Wreck the Economy in the Name of the Environment." Is it worth a $1 trillion tax hike, or $1,300 per American household to cut potential warming only .013 degress (Celcius)?

On June 8th, Barr's "Time to Remove Troops from South Korea" reminded me of Ron Paul's exciting discussions of non-interventionist policy. He again supported his argument with some rousing statistics.

The South has an economy estimated to be 40 times as large as that of North Korea; South Korea has twice the North痴 population and a vast technological edge. "It is time for real leadership on this important national security matter, Barr said, adding that "maintaining a large and costly American military presence in Korea largely because that痴 the way it痴 been done for more than half a century makes little sense."


He went on to point out that South Korea has been sending money and food to the government in Pyongyang.

That same day, Barr told McCain in another release, "No Spying Outside the Law."

"Along with President George W. Bush, Sen. McCain seems to believe that the president, like the British king of old, possesses unconstrained and unreviewable power," warns Barr. "This is a truly shocking claim: when the American colonists created a new nation, they were determined to limit both government and executive power."

...

Sen. McCain has sought to distance himself from President Bush, but he now sounds like a member of the Bush administration. "The Constitution must come before any political party," says Barr.


Today, Barr held a much anticipated press conference regarding U.S. relations with Iran. He called for an emphasis on diplomacy, rather than threats, criticizing McCain for his "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" tune.

These press releases are a strategic treasure for the Barr campaign. They trigger widespread chatter in the blogosphere. They also take on a strategy that has shown to be successful for alternative candidates. If the media will only focus on the establishment candidates, and the media also emphasizes gossip as a means to be entertaining, then an alternative candidate must spur controversy with those candidates. One of Ron Paul's most successful periods of media attention was when he took on Rudy Giuliani on the issue of foreign policy, calling him out for neglecting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Barr has aimed at the weak spots of both the major candidates. Obama is trying to appear as an "anti-war" candidate (this blog has exposed him as an imperialist). Barr showed how Obama shares a policy with McCain which is unpopular with the people of Iraq as well as the war opposition in America, permanent bases. He then went after McCain for a weakness the mainstream media as well as the bloggers enjoy criticizing him for, his close association with the Bush administration.

I am hardly a Barr fan, and it will take a lot more than some press releases and YouTube one-liners for him to get my vote, but I have to give him credit for getting off to an impressive start for a third party campaign. With a quality staff, a constant stream of activity from the campaign, and a little provocation, Barr has made himself the most talked about alternative candidate these past few weeks. The other alternative candidates should take a lesson from Bob Barr and use these strategies. Perhaps they should use them against him. They must get aggressive to earn their share of coverage in 2008.
1 comment ( 26 views )   |  permalink   |  related link

<< <Back | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next> >>