IndyTruth Blog
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.
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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!
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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.
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Help Get Chuck Baldwin on the Ballot! 
Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 05:04 PM - Activism, Elections
Posted by Administrator
The Constitution Party has nominated Chuck Baldwin for President. Dr. Baldwin has been a supporter of the Ron Paul campaign, and hosts a radio show called Chuck Baldwin Live, through which he has interviewed many important conservative leaders like Ron Paul, Jerome Corsi, and Alan Keyes. Baldwin is a strong opponent of globalization, interventionist foreign policy, and the fiat money system that is destroying our economy.

It is important that Chuck Baldwin gets ballot access in as many states as possible. This will help him get his campaign off the ground. It will also draw in more votes and more awareness of the issues and the Constitution Party. It is important that all those who believe in the causes Dr. Baldwin is fighting for help him with ballot access.

Here in Indiana, Dr. Baldwin will need 33,000 signatures by June 30 to be featured on the ballot for President. Even if you plan to vote for Bob Barr or continue hoping for a Ron Paul rEVOLution at the RNC, giving the voters of Indiana this other choice is a worthy cause.

I have contacted Mark Pool of the Constitution Party of Indiana to get details on ballot access petitions. It is very similar to the petitions we did to get Ron Paul on the primary ballots...

1. Print the CAN-19 form at http://www.state.in.us/sos/pdfs/CAN-19.pdf. Print the 2 pages of the form on 2 sides of a paper.
2. You only have to fill out the county on top and the candidates: Chuck Baldwin for President, Darrell Castle for Vice President. Leave everything else on the top and the back blank. Copy as many of these as you think you might use, and then start collecting signatures.
3. Signatures must be from registered voters who are residents of the county written on top. If you want to do more than one county, print some CAN-19's for each county.
4. You can register new voters, so bring along some copies of the registration form and turn them in to your county election board before the June 30 petition deadline. The voter registration form is available at http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/pdfs/50504.pdf.

If you are going to help out with ballot access petitions for Chuck Baldwin, please contact me at douglass@indytruth.org to let me know. That way I can help keep a count and let you know how to turn in your petition.

If you are not in Indiana, visit the Constitution Party's Ballot Access Report at http://www.constitutionparty.com/ba_stats.php for details about ballot access in all 50 states.
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Is Bob Barr a Neoconservative? 
Monday, June 2, 2008, 10:47 PM - Elections, Opinion
Posted by Administrator
As a young libertarian seeking to build the revolution started this year by Ron Paul, I had many hopes for the Libertarian Party (LP) convention and presidential nomination. I was confident that this was the year the LP would launch a presidential campaign that would dwarf any third party run in recent history, except perhaps that of the infamous Ross Perot. Instead, as I watched the live debates, nomination speeches and vote counts on C-SPAN, I was confused and then conflicted about the direction of the party.

Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, who has perhaps attracted more mainstream media (MSM) attention to the LP than any individual in the party's history, won the presidential nomination, defeating a well-spoken purist libertarian in the sixth round of voting. Barr was going to be the most successful candidate in LP history, but not without controversy.

I was not at all surprised by the nomination of Bob Barr. I knew going into the convention that he was raising more money and getting more MSM attention than any of the other 7-15 candidates (was anyone able to get an actual count?). However, many of the Libertarians on the televised broadcast, including former presidential candidate and now former-Libertarian Christine Smith, were publicly outraged about the nomination and the Republican "take-over" of the party. The libertarian blogosphere would also erupt throughout the next few days.

Since the moment of the nomination, I have heard outraged libertarians cry that Bob Barr is not a "real libertarian," but a "libertarian-leaning conservative" or the favorite term, a "neoconservative." Still, most of the party (the majority that voted for him), Steve Kubby, and other Libertarian leaders I respect called for "party unity" and support for the Barr/Root ticket. They argued that Bob Barr and his Vice Presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root would still be a medium for publicizing the libertarian message through a national campaign.

Let's analyze the first reaction that I mentioned. This is the argument that Barr and Root are not "true libertarians." They conspired in a "neoconservative take-over" of the party. The term neoconservative is used frequently by libertarians, liberals, and "real" conservatives, most often in reference to the Bush administration. I am even guilty of using it in my analysis last summer of Barack Obama's foreign policy. Since we use this word to describe all that we despise and oppose in politics, we must ask, do we actually know what it means?

When I first heard the word "neocon" used to describe Bob Barr, I thought, "he certainly appears to be a conservative and a Republican, but is he really a neocon?" Whenever I ask questions like this, I am quick to grab my dictionary. Such a contemporary word was not in the printed dictionary, so I visited Dictionary.Com, where I found neoconservative to be defined as "moderate political conservatism espoused or advocated by former liberals or socialists."

Is Bob Barr a "former liberal or socialist?" Let's hear what he has to say about socialism:

The government has no responsibility, should have no responsibility, and was never intended to have responsibility for managing or tinkering with the American economy. That was supposed to be left up to the marketplace. Capitalism. That is the nature of capitalism.


As an advocate of capitalism, the opposite of socialism, Bob Barr can not be defined with a dictionary as a neoconservative.

Let's try another definition.

I don't like to cite Wikipedia, but I often use it as a starting point in exploring an issue like this. I found a cited definition there from I book that wasn't available at my library. For what it's worth, I will share the quotation and citation from Wikipedia, as I found it on June 2, 2008:

Neoconservatism emphasizes foreign policy as the paramount responsibility of government, maintaining that America's role as the world's sole superpower is indispensable to establishing and maintaining global order. (McGowan, J. (2007). "Neoconservatism", American Liberalism: An Interpretation for Our Time. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, pp.124-133.)


Does Bob Barr support an American empire? He says,

Our National Defense policy must renew a commitment to non-intervention. We are not the world's police force and our long, yet recently tarnished, tradition of respecting the sovereignty of other nations is necessary, not from only a moral standpoint, but to regain the respect of the world as a principled and peaceful nation.


With a clearly stated non-interventionist foreign policy, Bob Barr is not a neoconservative by this definition either.

Finally, I will go to the man most libertarians trust and support, the man we look to for leadership in Congress, and the face of the greatest libertarian revolution since 1776, Ron Paul.

A famous speech presented by Congressman Paul to the House of Representatives in 2003 is titled "Neo-CONNED!" Paul provided in the speech "a brief summary of the general understanding of what neocons believe:"

1. They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual.
2. They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.
3. They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.
4. They accept the notion that the ends justify the means葉hat hardball politics is a moral necessity.
5. They express no opposition to the welfare state.
6. They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.
7. They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.
8. They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit.
9. They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it.
10. They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill advised.
11. They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem.
12. They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.
13. Using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country.
14. 9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.
15. They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists.)
16. They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary.
17. They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party.


Dr. Paul has done significantly more research than almost any of us about these issues. He has also been a respected member of Congress for twenty years, watching the movement of neoconservativism grow in the party around him. There is perhaps no one more capable of defining for libertarians the definition of neoconservativism than Ron Paul. If you have read Dr. Paul's definition and still believe that there is any chance Bob Barr is a "neocon," then you have a lot more to learn about Bob Barr.

As I said in the beginning of this post, I felt confused and conflicted in the days following the Libertarian National Convention. I still do feel this way, as I am still undecided about who I will vote for this November. However, there are two things I can say for sure about the mess that is the 2008 presidential campaign season:

1. Bob Barr is not a neoconservative.
2. Bob Barr will run the most successful presidential campaign in the history of the Libertarian Party.

If we abandon the Libertarian Party right now, who will be there to welcome and educate the hundreds of thousands if not millions of new LP voters and possible LP members that the Bob Barr presidential campaign will draw over the next six months? This campaign is the biggest opportunity in the history of the Libertarian Party. I am going to stick around to see it and be a part of it!
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