Why the New Hampshire Libertarian Party Ought to Sue Over Substitution

The New Hampshire Libertarian Party’s position on whether to participate in a proposed lawsuit on substitution is not clear. I have just arrived home from a vacation and this evening, it is too late for me to telephone any New Hampshire Libertarian Party officials.

New Hampshire ballot access is far worse than most people realize. The Green Party has only succeeded in getting on the New Hampshire ballot statewide once, in 2000. The Natural Law Party failed in both 1996 and 2000 in New Hampshire. The Constitution Party failed in both 2004 and 2008 in New Hampshire. The Libertarian Party failed for president in two states in 2004, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. Also, in 2006, the Libertarian Party had only two statewide petition failures, Alabama and New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s legislature has been very hostile to minor party and independent candidate ballot access. Many bills to improve the law have been introduced during the past ten years, but none of them passed in either House. The Secretary of State is hostile, and the legislature will not approve any election law change that he opposes.

The best way to persuade a state legislature to improve ballot access laws is to win a lawsuit against one of the ballot access laws. The New Hampshire policy forbidding substitution can probably be defeated in court, if the New Hampshire Libertarian Party will help that effort. New Hampshire is one of only two states which has never had any ballot access law declared unconstitutional. A winning lawsuit on substitution could be the key to winning additional ballot access reform in New Hampshire. The substitution lawsuit is an opportunity that should not be wasted.


Comments

Why the New Hampshire Libertarian Party Ought to Sue Over Substitution — No Comments

  1. i really hope they wake up, not having bob barr on the ballot in that state would be a sad event and they deserve to have their presidential candidate on the ballot in NH of all places. this is coming from an ohio green

  2. Except they won’t, and this suit should have been filed long ago.

    To quote from http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/08/19/libertarian-party-national-committe-will-sue-to-remove-phillies-from-nh-ballot/#comments

    10. # Seth Says:
    August 20th, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Richard, I’d like to know how “NH LP” will be a co-plantiff, when the LPNH Exec Comm (of which I’m a voting member) has NOT authorized such a lawsuit, and we explicitly discussed such an option and REJECTED voting for it.

    Someone is lying to you, or worse, being told that LPNH will support this, when by my informal head count, it won’t pass an ExecComm vote if proposed.

  3. The NH LP could always change its mind. But if the party has more loyalty to Secretary of State Bill Gardner than it does to its own ballot access, I guess the NH LP is free to have that mindset. As you know, you and Rich Tomasso worked together very hard last autumn to pass ballot access reform, and I came to New Hampshire at my own expense to help as well. The House subcommittee on our bill held three working sessions, but it all came to naught, because Bill Gardner didn’t approve of any improvements. New Hampshire is the only state in the nation which has increased the percentage of the vote for a party to be a qualified party, in the last 15 years. Doesn’t that make your blood boil?

  4. So Clinton will be on the ballot for the Democrats? She did after all win the primary.If they allow substitution for the Democrats then how can they deny it for the LP?

  5. Richard,

    There is more at stake in New Hampshire than LPNH’s “loyalty to Secretary of State Bill Gardner [rather than to] its own ballot access.”

    When LPNH nominated Phillies as a stand-in last year and began petitioning, they got no support, and indeed a good deal of static (including back-channel talk of the LNC disaffiliating LPNH), from the national LP. Then once LPNH had done the work to secure its ballot access, the national LP apparently blithely assumed that, having contributed nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada to that effort, it was entitled to dictate to LPNH what LPNH would do with the ballot access LPNH had earned.

    The problem might be solved by something as simple as an apology to LPNH from Bill Redpath for a) failing to support LPNH last year; and b) attempting to dictate to LPNH this year. It will almost certainly not be solved by the LNC attempting to hijack LPNH’s ballot line.

  6. Richard, we have explained this before: a lawsuit will NOT will win us substitution in the future, only in this case, since without a law passed dealing with it, it’s extralegal (and thus judge forced, and history shows that such forced decisions don’t end well, often worse…) and the NH legislature must pass a law allowing substitution, before the SOS will allow it in the future.

    Knapp’s correct, and even Dondero now admits that NH petitioning is very very hard (which we always claimed, and National always disputed… claiming that past failures were intentional sabotage… just like Dondero now claims, hmm…)

  7. What Richard fails to mention in this otherwise excellent piece, is that both the Governor and the Legislature in New Hampshire are controlled by Democrats. While I was up there, I met numerous State Legislators on the Street, mostly in Nashua, and southern NH. Every one of them said it was a travesty that we had to collect so many signatures to qualify the Libertarian Party for the ballot. Every one of them, save one, was a Republican.

    The long non-Republican was a self-described “Independent Moderate” running on that ticket for State Senate in Nashua. She herself had to collect 750 signatures, and was struggling to obtain them with a Team of 4!! staffers/volunteers. Every Saturday she’d be at the Town Dump in the 90 degree weather with her Team hitting up all the townspeople going there to dump their trash. And still she was having a hard time getting the needed 750 sigs. The poor woman was in a wheelchair, and about 85 years old.

    So much for the “Party of Compassion” otherwise known as the Democrats.

  8. One point needs to be stressed. “Petitions” in New Hampshire, are not really petitions. They’re more like Legal Affadavits. It’s quite intimidating to the voter. It’s a one-sheet paper, with a State Emblem, and all sorts of text stating that the Voter is swearing to this, and that.

    This makes it extremely difficult for the petition gatherer.

    There’s a natural tendency for signature gathering in other states, than when someone sees a bunch of signatures on a paper, like in Illinois, that has 25 spaces on one side for sigs, people just sign. “Oh, you mean I’m not voting for the person, this is just to give them the right to be on the ballot…” “Yes Ma’am.” You get the sig.

    Not so in NH. You have to convince people that all they’re doing is qualifying a candidate for the ballot, not signing their lives away.

    About 50% of the time, I’d have to show the potential signers stacks of other signed petitions from other people, before they’d be convinced to sign.

  9. Sure petitioning is very, very hard in New Hampshire. But not impossible.

    If we had had just two or three volunteers from the local NH LP to help us besides Tomosso and Brendan Kelly, we could have finished early, and made it to CT and ME on time.

    But as it was, Seth and his compatriots were too busy getting signatures for Phillies, running Phillies for President efforts, and telling potential Barr supporters, that “Barr would not make the ballot in NH.”

  10. Knapp hits on an idea, ironically.

    The National Libertarian Party should formally disaffiliate the New Hampshire LP, at least the faction devoted to renegade Phillies. And start over from scratch with Tomosso, Brendan Kelly, and Bob Barr loyalists who’ve recently joined the Party.

    These Phillies people need to be punished. Actually banished from the Libertarian Party altogether.

    It was they who were responsible for making our job so difficult in New Hampshire, also for the chaos in Connecticut, and ultimately for us missing the ballot in Maine.

    To allow them to go unpunished would be a severe travesty for Libertarians nationwide. Barr not being on the ballot in Maine, and possibly New Hampshire, could cost Barr/Root possibly 50 to 100 thousand votes.

    That, my friends, hurts all Libertarians around the Nation, from Alaska to Florida to California to Texas.

    Thanks a lot there Phillies partisans. Thanks for screwing us out of more votes in November.

  11. Yeah Seth, you are a member of the LPNH Board. Which is precisely the problem.

    You and your ilk should be immediately terminated, and fired from your positions for the sabotage you have inflicted on the Libertarian Party, no doubt under the direction of George Phillies, and possibly other Leftwing Anarchists posing as Libertarians like Tom Knapp and his Boston Tea Party crew.

    Seth Cohn and his ilk collected petitions from New Hampshire voters under the auspices that this was to “qualify the Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee,” not George Phillies for the ballot.

    New Hampshire voters signed those petitions believing they were signing for the LP Presidential Nominee, and that Phillies was a mere stand-in choice.

    While not explicit voter fraud, it comes awfully, awfully close to skirting the line.

    For that reason, and that reason alone Seth Cohn and his compatriots should be immediately terminated from the NH LP Executive Committee, and permantly banished from the Libertarian Party.

    Eric Dondero
    Fmr. Libertarian Party of Florida Secretary
    Fmr. Libertarian National Committeeman
    1986/87
    Ron Paul, Libertarian for President Advance Man/Travel Aide
    1987/88
    Political Petitioner for the Libertarian Party 1985 to 2008

  12. When a constitutional election law victory is secured, it certain does persist into the future, no matter what the legislature does. When the Libertarian Party sued Ohio in 2004 and won the case in 2006, and the legislature did nothing, in 2008 Ohio had to put the Libertarian Party on the ballot with no petition.

    When the Libertarian and Communist Parties sued Pennsylvania over the May petition deadline in 1984, and the legislature did nothing, the state was still forced to live with the August 1 deadline it had agreed to in 1984.

    When Eugene McCarthy sued Michigan over having no procedures for independent candidates in 1976, that victory lasted, even though the legislature did nothing about it until 1988.

    When the Communist Party sued Arizona in 1972 over that state banning it from the ballot, that victory had existed ever since, even though the legislature has never done anything about it.

    If an unconstitutional law could remain in force just because a legislature did nothing about a court decision, that would effectively eliminate judicial review in the United States. But it isn’t surprising that people in New Hampshire are uncertain about this, because, as mentioned in the post, New Hampshire is one of only two states that has never had a ballot access law declared unconstitutional or in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The other such state is Montana. The ACLU is currently suing Montana over its March petition deadline for non-presidential independents, so Montana may be removed from the list soon.

  13. Seth, you apparently missed Richard’s main point. Success in this substitution lawsuit would amount to compelling pressure upon the NH lawmakers to eliminate the anti-substitution statutory provision–and maybe to otherwise reform NH’s severe ballot access law. This would be a great strategic benefit to LP and to third parties generally. But none of this is going to happen without the active participation of NHLP on the plaintiff side.

  14. Watching this exchange makes me wonder if joining the LP is a mistake. ‘Barr loyalists’…’Phillies partisans’…I thought the Libertarian Party was the party of ideas, not a cult of personality. Your fighting amoung yourselves to be king of the molehill. Meanwhile, the country is being slowly crushed to death by the two mountains(if you don’t understand that analogy, sorry). I know I’m waisting my time typing this, but you all need to put your egos in neutral. Your not doing the LP, the NHLP, or the country any good with this bickering and infighting. Give it a rest guys…please!

  15. I was writing and sending my remark (# 14) before reading Richard’s latest comment (# 13). Richard wrote with much greater clarity than I.

    I join Jonathan in saying welcome back, Richard.

  16. Eric,

    I don’t “have” or “direct” a “Boston Tea Party crew.” The Boston Tea Party is directed on a day-to-day basis by its national committee, on which I do not serve.

    I do, however, occasionally address the national committee with a request or opinion. When the national committee was asked to endorse George Phillies for President in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, I did address the national committee — to opine against such an endorsement.

    As to the other, the “official Libertarian Party presidential ticket” in New Hampshire at this time is George Phillies/Chris Bennett. That’s the ticket the LPNH nominated. That’s the ticket LPNH gathered and submitted signatures for. It’s just that simple.

    I do agree that if LPNH doesn’t support the LNC’s ticket, LPNH should disaffiliate from, or be disaffiliated by, the LNC … but that’s a matter of choice on the part of both parties. At this time, what it looks like is that the LNC, rather than either persuading or disaffiliating a state party that doesn’t conform to its rules, is trying to steal that party’s ballot line, and that’s Not. Fucking. Kosher. The LNC’s legitimacy as a national party rests on the consent of its state affiliates, not the other way around.

  17. Welcome back Richard! Eric did a great job in your absence.

    I must say I find it sadly hilarious how so many people so deliberately and completely miss the point of this action. It shows that they are far more wrapped up in personalities and personal petty interests than actual facts, to the point where they would even oppose improvements in ballot access for their own party. This proposed lawsuit has never been about George Phillies, and he knows it. It’s about allowing the LPNH the flexibility to get as many candidates on the ballot with as few petitions and petition signatures as possible. It’s sad to see people who hate the LNC more than they love freedom. If the LNC cured cancer, these folks would rant about how great cancer is and how everyone should get it to defy the LNC.

    The LPNH was fantastic to work with on the second petition. I dealt with a lot of honorable and dedicated people who are still working hard moving the petitions through the certification process. And in the process we were able to get some more excellent candidates on the NH ballot, all of whom are worthy of your support. I come away from the experience thinking LPNH is one of the most active and stalwart state parties we’ve got. Don’t let a little dissent in the ranks fool you. The LPNH and its candidates are working hard for Liberty.

    The only downside to this is the people who actually work for Liberty are generally too busy with that to comment on these blog articles. Eric Dondero is an exception – he is just about the hardest working, most productive and most honorable petitioner we hired all summer. Say what you want about his blog comments but few of you can match what he has actually done in the streets to advance the cause of Liberty.

  18. This legal action is in the long term interest of the LP and the LPNH and I hope they can see it and join in.

    George Phillies needs to sign on to this as well. If he truly wants to promote liberty, then he needs to be a team player once in a while. Otherwise, he is useless in promoting the cause of liberty and becomes part of the problem.

    Personally, I would like to see David Boaz and Sheldon Richman running on the LP ticket. Maybe next time. But, in the meantime, we have Bob Barr, who is not a pure, perfect libertarian on the issues (after all, only I am), but he can help us all along the road to liberty.

    And we can all campaign for Barr by explaining what Libertarianism really is and how we support Barr because he’s in our quadrant of the Nolan chart, even though we disagree in certain areas. If we expect perfect agreement from our candidates and supporters we’ll never succeed.

    NEW HAMPSHIRE LIBERTARIANS!

    Please join in this legal action.

  19. Sean Haugh breaks his silence? Or is this an impostor?

    If it is Haugh, I find it interesting that B.A.N., which endorses every action by the rouge LPHQ, is a “safe place” for him to break the rules mandating his blog silence.

  20. Aww shucks Sean. Seriously, thanks for the compliment.

    Now repay the favor by making sure Barr/Root gets a record number of votes for the Libertarian Party. 3 million sounds like a nice healthy number to me.

  21. Geez Mr. Knapp. That’s curious. Cause Brendan Kelly, who serves as the State Chairman for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, also served as the “LNC’s” ballot drive Coordinator for the effort to get Barr/Root on the ballot, AND also as Host for the Bob Barr Murphy’s Tavern event while the drive was going on.

    I dare say the State Chairman for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, has a pretty good idea as to what the LP membership in the State desires.

  22. I like Eric Dondero. But his stumping for Barr/Root says all anyone needs to know.

    By the way, Eric: Jeff Wartman told me you thought you were “banned” from IPR. That is not the case at all.

  23. I must say I find it sadly hilarious how so many people so deliberately and completely miss the point of this action. It shows that they are far more wrapped up in personalities and personal petty interests than actual facts, to the point where they would even oppose improvements in ballot access for their own party.

    Thanks, Sean, for taking the time to spread some information where it is badly needed. You might want to consider, though, that it’s neither very professional nor very charitable to ascribe malice (“so many people so deliberately and completely miss the point”, “they would even oppose improvements in ballot access”) where simple confusion is the much more obvious answer. As you’re very much wrapped up in these issues, it may be perfectly clear to you, but for those of us trying to understand a really fairly complex issue from several states away it’s not at all cut and dry. The situation is not at all helped by George’s caginess regarding his support for the LP’s nominee, his refusal to issue a pledge not to campaign against him, and his pledges to actively campaign (including choosing a running mate and seeking endorsements) under the aegis of the Libertarian Party *while Barr was seeking signatures*.

    George could improve the temper of the situation immensely by making such a pledge to not campaign after Barr is certified. You, Sean, could also help the tone by adopting a more gentlemanly tone toward the people who help to pay your salary.

  24. The LPNH was fantastic to work with on the second petition. I dealt with a lot of honorable and dedicated people who are still working hard moving the petitions through the certification process.

    How many signatures were collected? What has been the validation rate so far?

  25. “Sean, could also help the tone by adopting a more gentlemanly tone toward the people who help to pay your salary.”

    Parasites never thank their hosts.

  26. Hmm. Isnt this the Free State projecte State where a whole bunch of Libertarians were going to move their? I would think that would improve ballot access.

    I was wondering if Richard or anyone else here would be able to state what they feel are basically fair and equitable ballot access rules for non-major party candidates? How many signatures? How much time?

    That might help, for someone such as myself (who does not belong to a minor party) who supports election law reforms, but feels their might be different opinions about what fair and free ballot access laws would look like.

  27. I like the British and Canadian systems, in which only a tiny number of signatures are required (100 in Canada, and 10 in Britain), combined with a filing fee. Petitioning is basically irrational.

  28. Despite Richard’s insistence that a lawsuit would clear the way for future improvements in the ballot laws, the past history of all SOS/ballot related lawsuits have shown the opposite effect, with poor results and a angry SOS opposed to being forced by the legal system, and his thus asking the cooperative legislature to pass laws giving him more leeway and control over the process. If you think it would be different, think again. There is a reason he’s been the SOS for umpteen years.

    As for Eric’s nonsense, being a target of Eric means I’m in the right… as he’s always wrong.

    Sean, on the other hand, has little excuse, since he should know better, and doesn’t.

    LPNH is currently split between those who support Barr, and those who refuse to support Barr. I’m clearly in the refusers, as are at least half of the LPNH. If any action, PRO or CON, is taken, the party will fracture… since that isn’t in the interest of LPNH, we’re on a fine line as to what actions to take. At the end of this, on Election Day, if nothing changes and Barr’s petitions are validated (a process George himself, myself, and many other anti-Barr folks HAVE helped with), we will have 2 candidates on the ballot. One a real Libertarian, and Bob Barr. I can live with that. Bob, Sean, Eric, and others can’t. Wonder why…..

  29. Petitioning is basically irrational.

    I hope you mean *requiring* petitioning is irrational. 🙂

    Although frankly I sometimes wonder if petitioning isn’t irrational, too. :-/

  30. Post #30 says filing and winning ballot access lawsuits actually hurts ballot access. Just imagine how things would be if no one ever filed and won ballot access lawsuits: in Alaska the only way a party could be ballot-qualified would be if it polled 10% for Governor. In Arizona, only independent voters would be allowed to sign independent candidate petitions. In Arkansas, the number of signatures for an independent would be 15% of the last vote cast, and the number of signatures for a new party would be 7% of the last vote cast, and there would be no procedure for independent candidates for president to get on the ballot. In California, an independent candidate would need a petition signed by 5% of the last vote cast, and primary voters could not sign, and only 25 days would be allowed to get the signatures. I could go on through the alphabet. It is the judicial branch that has saved the ability of Americans to run for office without being Democrats or Republicans.

  31. In NH, the situation is different. Our SOS is ‘elected’ by the legislature, and one man has had the position for 30+ years (reconfirmed every 2 years). A court loss won’t result in better access, it will result in a tweak to the law to the SOS’s defense.

    But again, Richard, you know the facts, you just want to think that they don’t matter.

  32. Seth Cohn warns the “Party will fracture” in New Hampshire, if any further action is taken. Big friggin’ deal! That would be much better for the Libertarian Party of NH. Having spent 4 weeks of my life recently in that Great State, and witnessing first hand the state of the libertarian movement, I would say splitting the Libertarian Party right down in two would be the absolute best thing for the Libertarian Party in NH and nationwide.

    The LPNH is a hornet’s nest of non-libertarian Anarchists. And these aren’t just your garden variety of Anarchists either. They’re hateful, spiteful, hardcore Leftwingers of the DailyKos, HuffPo, Moveon.org variety.

    They’ve even got one guy from that Code Pink group, who welcomes people to the libertarian movement with a Big ‘F’ You. (I am not exaggerrating here – I personally witnessed this at one event.)

    At the Bob Barr event this Code Pink guy and the other Lefties were heckling Barr throughout his speech and Q&A with inane drawn-out questions, and smart-ass remarks.

    The decent folks in the NH LP include the State Chair Brendan Kelly, and the Media Director Rich Tomosso. There are some new Bob Barr partisans who’ve been attracted to the LP. Thankfully, they’ve mostly not been in contact with the Anarchists.

    Better for the Anarchists like Cohn and his ilk to leave the LP NH as soon as possible, so that these newcommers don’t get scared away.

    Besides they have their own Boston Tea Party/George Phillies deal going on anyway. Why do they insist on polluting the Libertarian Party with their garbage?

  33. G.E. says I haven’t been “banned” from IPR. Curious. If that’s the case, than why is it every time I try to log on I get denied.

    Typical of Leftwinger Anarchists like G.E. They try to claim freedom of speech, except when it comes to actually allowing someone who disagrees with them to assert free speech rights.

    For the record, Eric Dondero Rittberg is not permitted to post on G.E.’s Independent Political Report.

    For the record, Eric Garris is one of my most bitterest enemies in life. He and I regularly trade vicious jabs. But Mr. Garris has always allowed me to post comments on this Forum, and even his Anti-War.com.

    I allow anyone to post on Libertarian Republican blog, most assuredly Garris and even Tom Knapp. I only ask that you post under your own names, and not under some bogus moniker.

    Eric Dondero, Publisher
    Libertarian Republican blog

  34. I like G.E. But his non-support for Barr/Root is everything anyone really needs to know.

    The fact that a Far-Left Anarchist non-libertarian like G.E. does not support Bob Barr, is proof that Barr is an outstanding candidate, safe for libertarian support.

    It’d be quite scary for the G.E.s of the world, and the Tom Knapps, and the George Phillies, none of whom are actual libertarians, but Leftwinger Moveon.org types who’ve infiltrated the libertarian movement and who are frauduantly using our libertarian name, were actually supporting Barr.

  35. (1) I do recall a few years back that the Arizona LP did endorse the national party’s candidate. I think this was Harry Bronwne (sic?) What happen to them?

    (2) Libertarians do not like to admit it, but they clearly have deep rooted internal, bittlerly divided factions that do divide along a libertarian left/right line.

    As an outsider looking in (BTW, this Democrat sure as hell does not approve of harsh/unfair ballot access laws and has been spending lots of time trying to fix them) it would seem that the R-L are making some noise — B B — is their man, and this bothers or scares the L-L.

    I doubt that this is a new conflict between the R & L-wings of Libertarianism. The philosophy has had historical ties to Ayn Rand, Anarchists, Democratic Socalists, Democrats, Republicans etc.

    What can be done? Well, if the National LP wants to keep the folks in NH in the party, and they sound like pretty passionate, dedicated people, then they are going to have to compromise.

    If the NH people want to stick with the national party, then they will also have to compromise.

  36. BTW, I would agree with Richard’s comments about ballot access.

    I can understand the need to have a petitioning requirement — to discourage Mickey Mouse candidates — but the UK and Canada would seem to prove that you have can free and equitable ballot access rules and not have every Tom, Dick and Harry running for office simply for fun.

    Again, not all Democrats (or Republicans for that matter) are so prejudical or injust in terms of electoral reform.

    I suspect, like gay rights, younger Demoocrats or Republicans are probably more interested in electoral reform then the older generation.

    I know plently of Democrats and Republicans 30 and under who generally support IRV or PR and think that harsh ballot access laws are stupid.

    Every time their is a local Democratic Party caucus or convention, I go and vocally support these reforms.

    Yeah, people give me dirty looks, but I also get some support and I remind people that the Democratic Party ought to be behind political rights, voting rights, free and fair elections.

    I spent a few years — while in college — trying to get people — independents, major and minor party — people together to work on behalf of election law reform.

    This is a major way that election law is going to come out; coalition based interest groups and lobbying. I do not want to lecture down to anyone, but their really needs to be more support in that direction.

    I contacted Congressmen and women for the ballot access bill, allowing PR in House races and the Voting Rights Amendment. Heck, I even wrote my own const. amendment that I lobby for.

  37. New Hampshire is not the only state in which the legislature chooses the Secretary of State.

  38. So many words, so much argument, so little progress! Its all BS!

    After 28 years (I doorbelled for Ed Clark) I’ve come to realize that the LP really doesn’t want to win. It wants to kibitz from the galleries–and don’t any of you BTP people bother to start looking smug. Never mind that this is just one election. Never mind that 95% (probably more) of the public couldn’t tell Phillies from Barr if their life depended on it. To read these comments is to recognize that, for many, its more important to be right than it is to accomplish anything significant.

    If my 28 years has taught me anything, it is that the path of the LP (or any third party–including the Boston Tea Party) will continue to be thwarted without serious election reform. E.g., IRV, PR or whathaveyou — just about anything but single member plurality districts apportioned by insider D and R hacks. We can have all the right answers (whatever they are) and if we don’t have the soapbox it doesn’t mean diddly squat.

    Screw the marital rights issue. Screw the war in Iraq. Screw the platform. Screw the personality conflicts. They are small potatoes when compared to the oppressiveness of the election laws third parties have to contend with all over the country.

    Richard is right. This substitution issue needs to be taken up, not for Barr, not for Phillies, but for the future.

  39. To read these comments is to recognize that, for many, its more important to be right than it is to accomplish anything significant.

    How can you accomplish anything significant unless you’re right?

    I mean significantly good, of course.

  40. When Eric calls me an anarchist, he shows his ignorance. I’m one of the true Reformers, a real LP moderate… but also one who watched Barr and his friends manipulate things in unprincipled ways, and to give someone supporting Republicans over Libertarians _while_ sitting on the LNC the nomination seems like a huge slap to everyone else in the party.
    The saddest moment of the convention for me was watching the Reformers back a candidate who in the end will set back the Reform side of things 10 years after his nightmare of a flipflopping campaign.

    Despite Richard’s arguments, sitting here in NH, knowing the SOS and the legislature far better than those in the LNC, I can say and will argue to my fellow LPNH exec board members that we have nothing to gain, and more to lose by getting into a lawsuit that cannot win, and will likely be thrown out. Not to mention the financial issues IF we put our name onto the lawsuit – I fully expect this to end up with a reversal and financial penalties for a frivolous case with no good standing and no merit.

    If you want to see NH election reform, the way isn’t a lawsuit, it’s to put 2 Libertarians onto the ballot, and watch them scurry to make it possible to substitute, rather than see us put multiple folks onto the ballot. They want LESS choices, and here we are providing MORE.

  41. Hmmn, Cohn, so you were a Wayne Root supporter then?

    There were two Mainstream Libertarian candidates in the race for the LP nomination this year: Bob Barr and Wayne Root.

    If you supported neither one of them, then you have zero claim to the mantle of “reformer.” All the rest of the LP candidates were radical Badnarik Anarchist types. (Well, Jingozian might have been an exception.)

  42. Re: 41.

    Susan, the Prohibition Party has been “right” (at least in its own opinion) for more than 100 years. And as it happened, it WAS “right” for 14 years. Then it wasn’t “right” anymore.

    The LP hasn’t been even that successful. One of the main reasons for the LPs lackluster performance is that, for at least 30 years, it has been at war with itself over everything from the contents of its platform to whether its primary purpose is to get libertarian candidates elected or merely to spoil elections for Ds and Rs. Everybody is so d*mn@d worried whether they are “right” that nobody notices that we are satisfying neither ourselves nor the voting public.

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