The Weekly Sedition

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Bob Barr Drops the Ball [1]

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — weeklysedition @ 3:52 AM

At this year’s [2008] Libertarian Party National Convention, there were fourteen candidates for the LP’s presidential nomination. At almost the last minute, former GOP Congressman Bob Barr jumped into the running. There were some serious questions about his past — whether or not he had changed from being a drug-warring, pagan-outlawing, homophobic war pig. There were other questions about the “Bob Barr Leadership Fund” slush PAC that he had set up — while a sitting regional LNC representative, the Bob Barr Leadership Fund gave about 50,000 Federal Reserve Notes to Republican candidates, many of whom are directly opposing Libertarian candidates in partisan elections. Examples include —

  • Ken Blevens, running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire — the BBLF gave John Sununu 3000 FRN, and NONE to Blevens.
  • Allen Buckley, running for U.S. Senate in Georgia — the BBLF gave 1500 FRN to Saxy Chambliss, and NONE to Buckley.

When questioned by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the Fund’s expenditures, Barr said that “”I won’t be cross-examined.”

Then, come convention time, the convention organizer, BetteRose Ryan of the Colorado LP was allegedly bullied by LNC or Watergate insiders to substitute Richard Viguerie as the convention’s keynote speaker at the last minute. Here’s the article by David F. Nolan.

Then there’s former Executive Director Shane Cory’s smear of Mary Ruwart. Shortly afterwards, I and others called for his termination from his spot, only to find that Cory had voluntarily resigned from the spot beforehand. Why did this cretin resign? To take an editorial spot at ThirdPartyWatch.com, which Stephen Gordon had just sold to Richard Viguerie. Shane then set about blocking anti-Barr posts from the site, as Tom Knapp found out the hard way.

Following that Denver convention, at which Barr won the presidential nomination after SIX rounds of voting (a record for any political party in 200-plus years of American history), he seemed to toe the line. What convinced me to give Barr a chance was this note from Steve Kubby.

While the campaign site wasn’t exactly inspiring, neither did it have anything particularly damning in terms of deviations from the libertarian line. Until now — the campaign recently released this fundraising letter.

I’m still wondering where some LPers get off misrepresenting the libertarian position like this. Immigration isn’t an issue per se, but is often pointed at as a “problem” in immediate need of solution. Any true libertarian can see through this shell game — the real problems come from Washington DC and Mexico City, not from people looking for work sneaking across the border.

And I’m wondering what the next issue is where the libertarian stance is misrepresented. We know that Barr supports some kind of “national consumption tax,” whether it’s a sales tax or gross receipts tax (where services as well as goods are taxed). The one that’s gotten the most press is the UNfair “Fair Tax.” So far, Barr & Co. haven’t tried to push it, but if the immigration fundraising letter is any indication . . . .

Last thought on this for now — this sort of fundraising letter is the sort of thing that should go out from a Constitution Party candidate to Minutemen types who actually think that the border can be locked down as advocated, NOT from the LP’s standard-bearer to the LP’s ranks.

ADMIN NOTE — There’s a reason that I put the “[1]” in the title — based on Barr’s past record and these recent events, I’m expecting more entries with this title, and I want to be able to reuse the title as needed.

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