The Weekly Sedition

Friday, 11 July 2008

The Temper Tantrums of Joseph Knight

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — weeklysedition @ 5:34 PM

While Joseph Knight has been at times an invaluable activist in the Libertarian Party of New Mexico, there have been other times when he was (and is, at present) a royal pain in the ass. Since his recent blow-up and infantile behavior over the nomination of Bob Barr to the LP’s presidential ticket, I’m posting a list of those previous temper tantrums, lest anyone forget.

April 1997 — Dr. Charles Mellon of Placitas, New Mexico volunteered to run for Commissioner of Public Lands and offered to throw 5000 FRN of his own into the campaign pot. His only stipulation was that he get the nomination in 1997, instead of the usual nomination at the 1998 State Convention. This way, he would have more time to build name recognition for his candidacy.

Come the 1997 State Convention, held in April at the Best Western next to the Intel facility in Rio Rancho. I came in just as Joseph yelled, “Fuck you, Anne!” to Anne McCracken, another long-time activist, and stormed out of the room. It seems that Joseph had objected to the early nomination of Dr. Mellon on the grounds that it wouldn’t be fair to anyone who came along in 1998 and wanted to run for the same spot on the LPNM’s ballot line.

March 1998

One of the scheduled speakers at our 1998 State Convention in Socorro was Fred Frolich. Fred wanted to run for Magistrate Judge on the LPNM’s ballot line. Joseph caught wind of this and sent a letter to myself and several others. This letter alleged that Fred was or is some sort of white nationalist of the Aryan Airhead variety, and that if Fred did indeed speak, Joseph would picket the convention. Joseph said that he would also invite the Anti-Defamation League to join said picketing.

A month later, on the second weekend of April, Frolich was there and explicitly denied any sort of Aryan Airhead sentiments or connections after being asked by Ed Nagel. Joseph wasn’t there to picket. Nor did Joseph send any sort of documentation to support his allegations.

August 1999 — January (?) 2003

Joseph got on my case off and on for three years because of my support for the Draft L. Neil Smith for President camapign. This was after Neil made some comments about Michael Cloud, Harry Browne and the LNC while speaking at the June 1999 State Convention in Taos. Those comments were later borne out to be true, in that there were improper dealings between the 1996 Browne campaign and the LNC before Harry Browne won the nomination, i.e., the LNC offered support to the Browne campaign that it didn’t offer to others.

Because of Neil’s comments, Joseph said that he opposed Neil being listed as a speaker at any further LPNM events. It was only after the Russell Means campaign ended in disaster for the LPNM that Joseph changed his mind on this, and in January / February, 2003, Joseph asked me to if I could get Neil as a speaker for that year’s convention in Albuquerque.

April 2005

Joseph reacted to the idiotic decision of the LNC to raise basic membership dues to 50 FRN by sending vitriolic emails to the LNC, threatening to quit the party if the dues increase was made permanent.

March 2006 — Joseph sent a proposal to that year’s State Convention in Rio Rancho that would grant full voting membership (“Caucus membership,” in the LPNM’s lexicon) to any member who either paid the requisite dues, or demonstrated “outstanding activism,” without proposing any standards as to what would constitute “outstanding activism.” He didn’t show up to support his proposal, yet got pissed off when it didn’t pass, especially after some of the comments made by those who were there — “No one is stopping anyone else from paying another members’ dues,” and comments comparing this to a welfare handout.

May / June 2008

This is the most recent one, that concerns the Bob Barr nomination. Joseph returned from the National LP Convention in Denver this year rather upset about the nomination of Bob Barr as the LP’s presidential candidate. I myself among others was not exactly thrilled at the prospect, but fellow Libertarians Steve Kubby and Tom Knapp said to give the guy a chance, so I did, on account of Barr’s apologies for his misdeeds and professing that his conversion was genuine. Apparently that wasn’t good enough for Joseph, as he had no problem sliming Bill Koehler and myself as “Vichy-linos” because of our willingness to give Barr a chance.

Because of these tirades and tantrums, I cannot in good conscience support Joseph for leadership positions in the LPNM any more. Nor will I as Interim Chair of the Boston Tea Party of New Mexico appoint Joseph to the BTPNM’s State Committee.

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, 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.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The Barr / Root 2008 Provo Campaign

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — weeklysedition @ 2:43 AM

The recent nomination victory of Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root to the Libertarian Party‘s presidential and vice-presidential spots on the ballot, respectively, has left many Libertarians outraged, dismayed and pessimistic. Some have already left the LP after the bitterly fought nomination process in Denver this weekend — it was a fight for the heart and soul of the LP, among other things. Others are suggesting that at least one state affiliate decline to place the Barr/Root ticket on the top of their ballot.

To those leaving — I’ve considered it myself. If I don’t like the way this campaign turns out, I won’t run for any further postings in the LPNM — I’ve been State Secretary for the past four years, did two terms as State Vice-Chair, served as a District 1 and At-:Large Representative on the LPNM Central Committee, have occupied the post of Bernalillo County LP chair for ten years (webmaster for about six), Editor of New Mexico Liberty for almost five years, and recently founded the CNM Libertarians. I’ve also done my share in maintaining the LPNM’s internet presence — the Myspace group, -forum on Yahoo and the -discuss lists come to mind.

Considering the time, cash and effort that I’ve put into the LP, I don’t like to see that effort and money go to waste because a candidate seems to want to weasel around issues that he or his supporters don’t want to deal with.

To those fighting the nomination after the convention is done and over with — it’s hard enough getting candidates to be listed ON the ballot. What you’re proposing might require a lawsuit against your state’s Secretary of State. Add to that mix another lawsuit by the LNC, quite probably joined by the Barr Campaign. There HAS to be an easier way to get your point across.

Which brings me to the point of this article. Some have accused both candidates of being less than fully libertarian. Personally, I’m more worried about the support allegedly given by both Barr and Root to other parties’ candidates. I created these banner advert and bumpersticker graphics as a way to keep the hard issues in the public square, and to help the LP’s more radical members to keep the candidates somewhat on track with the libertarian message.

If the candidates and their campaigns like these banners, cool. If not, maybe they should check their premises.

Below each banner, I’ve posted the HTML code for each one, set to link to this article. Feel free to download and post on your site. If you want to link them to the official sites for Bob Barr or Wayne Allyn Root, that’s fine by me too. (The banners for “Barr/Root ’08 will be posted shortly.)

If anyone has suggestions for more banners, or wants to gripe to me about how these “suck,” are “too radical,” whatever, my email address is

NOTE — NONE of these banners have been endorsed by Bob Barr, Wayne Allyn Root, anyone affiliated with their campaigns, anyone in the LP’s National Headquarters, or anyone on the LNC. NOR have they been endorsed by anyone in the LPNM, aside from me, acting in my personal capacity.

Friday, 23 May 2008

The 2008 Denver Bloodbath — Neo-Con Artists on the Loose!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — weeklysedition @ 3:27 AM

Yeah, yeah, I know — I’m an “armchair delegate.” If it wasn’t for having to drop 750 FRN to have a head gasket replaced recently, I would probably already be in Denver at this time, and would have already have handed whatever delegate token that I had been given to Steve Kubby.

Earlier I reported here and here [copied elsewhere] about the Bob Barr Leadership Fund handing out cash to Republican candidates, while offering NOTHING to the Libertarian candidates that those Republicans are running against. All of this while Barr was sitting on the Libertarian National Committee — Barr was elected to the LNC in December, 2006.

Here’s the page from the FEC’s disclosure database.

I discussed the Barr situation with LPNM State Chair Jay Vandersloot
about ten days ago. My informing him of it was the first he had heard
of it, but said that he was still planning on supporting Barr, on the
grounds that a Barr candidacy would give the LP its best chance for
exposure in this election. Jay is an honorable, honest guy who is truly
a “big tent” Libertarian that others in the Deform Caucus profess to
be. Still, I think he’s on the wrong track here.

Since the story broke on Last Free Voice, the story is popping up on other libertarian-oriented sites. For example — A Libertarian Mole?

George Phillies [official campaign site] opined on Barr’s financial fun and games with his “Leadership Fund” slush PAC.

When questioned about his PAC shenanigans, Barr said “‘I won’t be cross-examined’ about the fund’s finances” [from the article — MWB]. Guess what, Bob? People inside and outside the LP are going to ask you questions about your slush fund, whether you like it or not. You’re a public figure, and this is part of the deal.

Jarret Wollstein of the International Society for Individual Liberty [ISIL] throws in his support for the Libertarian Party’s actual libertarians.

Apparently, the formerly independent has been bought out by social-conservative direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie, who promptly installed the LP’s former National Director Shane Cory as its editor-in-chief. Cory then set about censoring anyone who posted comments that call Barr’s integrity into question — for example, Tom Knapp.

Next, David Nolan reported that Viguerie (among others) have been bullying Convention organizer BetteRose Ryan as to who the keynote speaker will be — at first, they insisted on Barr as the keynoter, then Viguerie when Barr made his presidential campaign announcement. Also in on the game is former Reform Party bigwig Russ Verney. Here’s the link to Nolan’s page on the affair.

Hell, even the Ron Paul Republicans are watching this fiasco. So much for going for their votes should McClown be coronated in Minneapolis.

As if the behind-the-scenes BS wasn’t bad enough, Barr has made comments that —

  • He’s OK with state governments defining personal relationships between consenting adults.
  • He’s not too keen on repealing Drug Prohibition
  • His campaign will bring Republicans who are disgruntled with the McClown campaign, which will be good for the GOP’s down-ballot. (Where is his support for the Libertarian down-ballot? Oh, right — I covered that above, in the parts about the slush PAC.)

Monday, 12 May 2008

‘Tis the Season for Treason

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — weeklysedition @ 8:02 PM

This is my SECOND response to L. Neil Smith‘s article in The Libertarian Enterprise, titled “Time for a Purge?” It’s also a followup to my own article, “Candidates, Purges and Principles.”

After I finished “Candidates, Purges and Principles,” I copied and pasted it to an email message, then sent it off to L. Neil and to Ken Holder, editor of TLE, as a submission. Neil got back to me, and while composing my response to his response, I spent some time looking through Tom Knapp’s blog for supporting details. While there, I noticed this article about current Libertarian Party National Director Sean Haugh. It might be old news, dated 22 February 2008, but it’s still relevant, as Haugh apparently defended his asinine comment, and has yet to recant it.

It seems to me that the LP’s Treason Caucus is in full swing this election cycle. Think about it — we have Bob Barr giving thousands of dollars to Republican opponents of the LP’s candidates while he’s been sitting on the LNC, and not giving much of anything to the LP candidates themselves.

(It was in the comments section of this story that I first found about Barr’s providing cash to Republicans against Libertarian candidates while sitting on the LNC.)

And we have the LP’s national Political Director, Sean Haugh, said that he would support a Republican over the LP’s candidate, Susan Hogarth.

Is it time for some sort of a purge in the LP’s ranks? YES, it is. But there’s one problem.

The LP doesn’t have any specific mechanism that I know of to kick people out of the organization. Maybe this is a bad thing, but in the mean time, those of us who are of the radical or “purist” mindset simply have to let the members of the LP’s Treason Caucus know that this sort of behavior simply will not be tolerated.

Think about it — what if Barr or Haugh were hockey players, and said to their teammates, “Let’s shoot the puck into our own net!” How would the team react to this insanity? I think that they would probably offer Barr and/or Haugh an enema of hockey sticks, minus any sort of lubrication. And deservedly so.

Now we’ve had this sort of problem in the LPNM at times, once from Socorro in 2000, and again here in Albuquerque in 2006. Both times, the perpetrators of this stupidity got hammered for it, and haven’t repeated the offense.

What does it take to stop such idiocy? Simple — vigilance on the part of the membership, and a willingness to stand up (and speak up) for principle. That’s it — nothing more needed. Nothing less will suffice.

UPDATE 12 May 2008 — Reposted at The Libertarian Enterprise.

Candidates, Purges and Principles

Re: Time for a Purge?

Neil —

I just read your article “Time for a Purge?” and am somewhat amused at the latest from the Watergate Gang.

This press release from Cory really makes me wonder what the dues of the LPUS’s Sustaining Members are going for. I was under the impression that Cory was hired to run the day-to-day operations of the Libertarian Party’s Watergate office.

A question for Shane Cory — How does calling for MORE State action help to fufill the LP’s professed mission of SHRINKING the State?

My answer — It DOESN’T. So what business does the Executive Director of organization supposedly dedicated to shrinking the State have in calling for more State activity?

And I think that the War on Kiddie Porn will go the same route as the Wars on Drugs and Terror — as an excuse for Democrats and Republicans to expand the reach and expense of the State, regardless of what their constituents say, never mind common sense, the Constitution, the rule of law. And where Cory & Co. are concerned, regardless of the Non-Aggression Principle.

As for the presidential candidate who congratulated this insanity, it wouldn’t be Christine Smith, would it?

KC Photos; Shane Cory; Buttons
Open letter to Shane Cory (LP Exec. Dir.) & Andrew Davis (LP Media Coordinator)

This comes as a disappointment to me, as I was operating under the assumption that Smith was one of the more principled candidates. My main fear about her was that she would burn out, being such a high-energy candidate.

But not to fear — another potential nominee has been dropping the ball. This would be former GOP congressman Bob Barr. Allegedly the Bob Barr Leadership Fund has been making campaign contributions to Republican candidates who were opposing Libertarian candidates, while the BBLF wasn’t making ANY donations to the Libertarian candidates. All of this while Bob Barr has been a sitting member of the LNC.

The page from the FEC ‘s PAC database

We in the LPNM had a guy who did this kind of schtick. Back in 2005, he had announced that he was seeking the LPNM’s nomination for U.S. Senate. At the time, he was the Vice-Chair of the LPNM. Come March 2006, he says that “If nominated, I’ll use my campaign to stump for Jeff Bingaman.” Bingaman was (and still is) the Democrat incumbent. He didn’t show up at that year’s (rump) State Convention two weeks later in Rio Rancho. I wonder why?

Fast-forward about two months later, and he announces that he’s forming the“Independent Voters of New Mexico” with the Green Party’s perennial traitor, Abraham Gutmann. As one of the leaders of this outfit, he endorsed then-New Mexico Attorney General Patsy Madrid for U.S. Congress, 1st Congressional District, against Democrat-wannabe Heather Wilson. (I’m NO fan of Wilson, either.) Given that Madrid had used her powers of office as State Attorney General in an attempt to kill off the LPNM as an organization, what business does a sitting officer of the LPNM do having ANYTHING good to say about her?

As for purging the undesireable members from the Libertarian Party, I don’t know that the Party has any specific mechanism for doing that. Is that good or bad? I’ll leave that question for the readership to answer for themselves. It seems to me that those who think along the lines of Carl Milsted and Eric Dondero like to conduct their purges by playing games with the membership and credentials rules, so as to cut the radical and principled elements out of the loop [1].

I say this in sharp contrast to those of us from the radical side — when we are deemed to have purged someone of the Milsted/Dondero side from the LP’s ranks, it’s mostly that person who was “purged” simply heard, “You’re full of shit” one too many times from other LP members.

[1] The current State Chair of the LPNM, Jay Vandersloot, while a member of the “Reform” Caucus started by Milsted, has no problem with Bill Koehler and I being in the radical camp. In fact, when Jay hears complaints about Bill and I from others, Jay will back us up, asking the complainer, “What have YOU done to advance the cause?”

UPDATE — 12 May 2008 11:28 PM — Apparently Shane Cory is no longer working at the Watergate, resigning last week.

Reposted at The Libertarian Enterprise, 18 May 2008.