My comment at Ballot Access News about the Constitution Party


Krzysztof Lesiak on August 5, 2020 at 6:24 pm said:

Don Blankenship’s nomination has to be the beginning of the end for the Constitution Party. I’m not surprised they chose him but Charles Kraut would have been a much better candidate, though like Blankenship on foreign policy he’s seems to lean more towards neoconservatism than paleoconservatism.

The CP should just be left to die a slow, peaceful death. However, where will the paleocons go to once the party dissolves? The LP? Or something smaller but more ideologically fit like the Life and Liberty Party.

http://ballot-access.org/2020/08/04/u-s-district-court-denies-injunctive-relief-to-don-blankenship-in-california-ballot-access-case/#comment-791169

American Third Party Report turns 6 years old today!

ATPR Record NEW 9 14 2016
All time- ATPR record based on Alexa rank (September 14th, 2016)

One of the premier destinations for third party news and views, American Third Party Report, turns 6 years old today. The website (originally found at amthirdpartyreport.com) was founded on July 16th, 2014 by me along with third party activists and bloggers Cody Quirk and Joshua Fauver. The website gained a significant amount of traffic before the 2016 presidential election until September 19th, 2016, when I single handedly hijacked the site from my co-editors and transferred ownership to an activist and writer Max Dickstein, who used the handle “BasedZionist.” This decision to stab my co-founders in the back was a horrendous one, a move that I deeply regret to this day and I lost the privelage of being part of ATPR, but here is the good news:

In the last year, ATPR has grown significantly, adding new authors and posting a large amount of unique content, and the site layout and design is a marked improvement over what it was a WordPress site (now the site is hosted by Blogspot). ATPR has been consistently cited by the other “bigwigs” of third party news (Independent Political Report and Ballot Access News) as well as other media sources and political candidates and parties as well.

ATPR is succeeding in its stated mission to be “one of the leading websites for news and varying commentaries that relate to minor/alternative political parties and independents since 2014.” The current ATPR website is also 100% correct when stating that “We are multi-partisan and include individual authors and contributors from the left, right, and various odds & ends of the political spectrum.”

As the site’s original co-founder, I wish ATPR another 6 years, and hopefully the site sees unprecendented growth and continues to be an influential news source for those in the sphere of America’s third political parties!

PS: Old ATPR articles from July 16th, 2014 to September 19th, 2016 can be found at the following address: https://thegrandinquirer.wordpress.com/ .

Krzysztof Lesiak

July 16th, 2020

La Grange Park, Illinois

Constitution Party Nominates Don Blankenship for President on Second Ballot

Don-Blankenship-
By William Saturn, Independent Political Report, May 2nd, 2020:

At its National Convention online today, the Constitution Party nominated former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship for President on the second ballot. William Mohr was nominated unanimously for vice president.

As posted at Ballot Access News, the vote went as follows:

First ballot:

  1. Blankenship 139.5 (46.19%)
  2. Charles Kraut 77.8 (25.76%)
  3. Samm Tittle 46.35 (15.35%)
  4. Don Grundmann 25.25 (8.36%)
  5. Daniel Clyde Cummings 13.1 (4.24%)

Second ballot:

  1. Blankenship 177 (57.28%)
  2. Kraut 86.75 (28.07%)
  3. Grundmann 24 (7.77%)
  4. Tittle 21.25 (6.88%)

Blankenship, 70, was the CEO of Massey, a coal mining company, from 2000 until 2010.  During his tenure the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster killed 29 people in West Virginia. Blankenship blames the disaster on the negligence of officials from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.  The federal investigation that followed the disaster led to the prosecution of Blankenship.  At the criminal trial, the jury rejected three felony charges but found him guilty of conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws, a misdemeanor with a prison sentence of one year.  The prosecutors were later found to have committed reckless misconduct due to their failure to disclose witness memoranda. Blankenship continues to maintain his innocence and decided to run for West Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat after leaving prison in 2017.

Read the rest here: https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2020/05/constitution-party-nominees-don-blankenship-for-president-on-second-ballot/

Adam Kokesh reacts to Justin Amash’s entry into the race for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination

Kokesh1
Libertarian Presidential Candidate Welcomes Independent Congressman Justin Amash to the Race, Asks him to Change Affiliation to Libertarian

It was great to see that Congressman Justin Amash has finally taken my advice to seek the Libertarian Party nomination for President. Unfortunately for him, he only took half my advice and, like walking on stage with his fly down, this is about to turn into an embarrassing loss for Justin: he forgot to change his affiliation to Libertarian first.

It’s great to see Justin bringing so much mainstream media attention to the Libertarian Party. Why is the mainstream media suddenly supporting a Libertarian Party candidate? I hope it’s because they have suddenly become interested in libertarian ideas and principles, but I’m much more inclined to believe that the liberal media wants Justin to be the nominee because he’ll “take” more votes from Trump than Biden, he’ll get way less votes than a Libertarian without the old party baggage, and he will condemn the Libertarian Party to irrelevance for decades as the party of “washed up Republicans.” Mark my words, if the mainstream media successfully manipulates the Libertarian Party into nominating a “washed up Republican” for the fourth cycle in a row, they will turn on him and us and call him much worse things as soon as we walk into their trap.

Keep doing what you’re doing if you want the same results. This applies to the Libertarian Party nominating “not-quite-libertarians” as well as the American people electing duopoly candidates. In 2016 we had the most politically experienced ticket on the ballot and couldn’t even crack 5%. That will never get America to the “Libertarian Moment” that we know is long overdue.

What I’m offering my Libertarian Party is a proven record of success spreading our message and an ethical platform consistent with our values. This new focus will not only help us succed as a party but also offers us the opportunity to make history. This platform literally puts consent of the governed on the ballot this November.

Instead of giving the American voters a chance to have their chains repositioned, we offer a world set free in our lifetime.

Localization is the future for the Libertarian Party. Throughout the last two years since we planted the flag of this idea, we have seen not only people from across the country flock to it but have witnessed other candidates adopting it as part of their message.

It is not time to pick up the scraps left behind by the larger parties. It is time to be bold and unafraid to stand on principle and declare our freedom. We have the opportunity to rise as a party and give the American people another choice.

I’m running for President with the Libertarian Party to dissolve the federal government in a peaceful, orderly, responsible bankruptcy giving us 50 independent states and up to 562 sovereign native nations … because I’m tired of this crap! I’m tired of poor men dying to line rich men’s pockets. I’m tired of veteran suicides. I’m tired of the drug war destroying lives. I’m tired of countless Americans dying from pharmaceuticals. I’m tired of people who care about freedom being fooled by people who don’t! I’m tired of Americans struggling to take care of our kids, living paycheck to paycheck, because our work, our inheritance, our potential is being stolen from us! If you’re as tired as I am, let’s take it back!

America, we are too good for this government! We don’t have to be forced into one system to be united in American values. Localization is the cure for polarization. With community level government, you can live in harmony with systems that represent your values and meet your needs. With localization, we unite every single American around that which makes us America!

I choose Freedom. I choose peace. I choose Localization. I choose to Live and Let Live.

Justin, welcome to the race, and hopefully the party. NOW ZIP UP YOUR FLY!

Source: Adam Kokesh’s Facebook profile, April 29th, 2020

Ken Armstrong ends Libertarian presidential campaign, will run for vice president instead

KALP

KEN ARMSTRONG’S ANNOUNCEMENT

When I started out on my journey to be the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President, over a year ago now, I did so because I had a calling to serve. I had a calling to serve the Party, its dedicated supporters, and, most of all, the American people, who are touched every day by pernicious government.

The pandemic highlights the inability of the Federal government to address emergencies and widespread economic pain, quickly, efficiently, and free from cronyism. At no point since the Libertarian Party’s birth almost 50 years ago, has the pain of the individual been more apparent, or more poorly addressed, by the Federal government.

The Libertarian Party must be in front of the pandemic crisis and provide leadership to the American people. Americans can address COVID-19 with humanity and grace without forfeiting our God-given civil rights.

I have more than forty years of leadership experience: Leadership as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard who led the charge for accountability in that service’s hospitals and clinics. I was nominated as Federal Executive of the Year for coordinating response plans for natural disasters; Leadership as a NATO commander overseas during international crises; Leadership as the CEO of Habitat for Humanity in Hawaii; and Leadership in local politics, as a small business owner, and as a Minister.

One of my enduring lessons as a leader is putting service to others over my own ego. I believe in Servant Leadership as a radical departure from our current politics-as-usual.

Yesterday, we learned that Congressman Justin Amash has formed an Exploratory Committee to seek the Party’s nomination at the top of the ticket. Last week, we learned that Judge Jim Gray was also seeking the nomination. This is in an already crowded field. I welcome both candidates and their dedication to serving liberty and the American people.

Sometimes leadership means aggressive competition with others. But not in all circumstances.

Leadership also means not doing anything that causes harm to the party, such as splitting the delegation during a convention that will have its share of challenges related to lockdowns. Leadership means recognizing where my voice and experience can bring the greatest benefit to the Libertarian Party. Leadership means making decisions that serve our ultimate goals (freedom in our lifetime) over the ego boost that one gets being top of the ticket.

When thinking about what is best for the party during an uncertain time, when I have much to offer in response to the complex social, economic, and human issues related to international disasters, I had to make a choice.

Can I be heard in my campaign for President at the same time that we have a crowded field that includes Congressman Amash? And will my voice competing against Mr. Amash generate the greatest benefit for the Party.

After prayer and reflection with my family and my campaign team, we have concluded that I can make the biggest difference running for the Party’s nomination for Vice President instead.

As the Party’s Vice Presidential nominee, I offer you two decades of experience as a dedicated libertarian. I offer balance to the ticket because I came out of the Democratic Party, not Republican. I remain one of the most experienced candidates in the field. And that experience can be combined with the right Presidential candidate to make a passionate, eloquent, and powerful team, without giving up on our home-grown aspirations.

The time has come for the Libertarian Party to loudly make its case to the American people. Our rights are worth fighting for. Strong leadership does not mean authoritarianism.

Please join me, as I seek the Libertarian nomination for Vice President of the United States.

Justin Amash becomes first Libertarian Party member of Congress, announces presidential exploratory committee

American Third Party Report, April 28th, 2020:

Justin Amash is throwing his hat into the race in what is becoming quite an interesting crop of third party candidates to vote for this year. While this is only an exploratory committee for the 2020 Libertarian nomination, this tweet seems to me like he is officially a candidate. “Let’s Do This.” =doesn’t sound very exploratory. Amash joins a growing list of candidates for the Libertarian nomination and is the biggest name in the race being as he is a current member of the US House of reps representing Michigan’s 3rd District. With tonight’s announcement, he is making quite a splash on social media.

4 comments:

NewFederalist said…

Another GOP re-tread. What a shame. If he was truly serious about becoming a Libertarian he could have switched from Republican to Libertarian rather than independent. Another failed Republican looking for free ballot access from the minor league affiliate of the GOP. There are too many really libertarian Libertarians seeking the nomination to go down this road for the 4th presidential election in a row.

Cody Quirk said…

Better late then never I say.

The LP HAS to run big name candidates in order to gain enough votes in those states were ballot access depends strictly on the amount and/or percentage of votes our presidential candidates get. Running big name candidates also helps advance the LP and libertarianism with mainstream voters, and hence will lay the stepping stones for future electoral successes, unlike with long-run LP members that have almost no name recognition and little appeal.

Amash also has a genuine libertarian voting record in congress, and regardless of how/when he joined the party, the important thing is that he finally joined, and wants to be our standard bearer, and I’m personally ready to back him.

Fyi, he’s officially our first LP congressman now.

Cody Quirk said…

Meant *long-term LP members*

NewFederalist said…

Really, Cody? Has C-SPAN updated their graphic? I don’t think so!

Congressman Justin Amash Lists Himself in Congressional Directory as a Libertarian

Congressman Justin Amash is now listed in the Congressional Directory as a Libertarian. He is the first member to list himself as a member of a nationally-organized party, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, since Congressman Vito Marcantonio was listed as an American Labor Party member. Marcantonio left Congress after he was defeated for re-election in 1950. The American Labor Party was the New York state affiliate of the Progressive Party that was founded early in 1948 by Henry Wallace.

Ron Paul always listed himself in the Congressional Directory as a Republican. John Anderson continued to list himself as a Republican all during 1980, even though he was running for president as an independent that year.

http://ballot-access.org/2020/05/01/congressman-justin-amash-lists-himself-in-congressional-directory-as-a-libertarian/

Two Minnesota Elected Libertarians Help Overturn Decision by City Government

Cara SchulzTwo elected libertarians on the Burnsville, Minnesota City Council were featured in an article on the HometownSource.com website on April 15, 2020, as they helped reverse a decision by the city government to keep open a city playground during a contentious meeting:

Backlash against COVID-19 restrictions in Burnsville erupted during Tuesday’s City Council work session, leading staff to reverse a decision closing playgrounds in city parks.

A 3-2 council majority of Cara Schulz, Dan Kealey and Vince Workman opposed closing playgrounds. Schulz also opposed police enforcement of the governor’s executive orders closing nonessential businesses, but no changes in police procedure are planned.

The decision to post signs closing playgrounds was made Monday and they began going up Tuesday, City Manager Melanie Lee told council members during the videoconference work session.

Many residents have voiced concerns about children catching the coronavirus from playground equipment surfaces, according to Mayor Elizabeth Kautz. Guidance from the National Recreation and Park Association and the Centers for Disease Control informed staff’s decision on the “hot button issue,” Lee said. Signs advising precautions because equipment may carry the virus had previously been posted.

Closing playgrounds disadvantages Burnsville’s many apartment-dwelling children, while the more fortunate may have backyard playgrounds, Schulz said.

Vince Workman

“The people of far more modest means, we are heaping burden after burden after burden on them,” she said. “They’re being disproportionately affected by what  is happening.”

Kealey said it’s ridiculous for the CDC to recommend closing playgrounds when customers in the “petri dish” grocery stores he’s observed have insufficient social distancing, masks or gloves, and touch many surfaces.

“The inconsistency is frustrating the devil out of me,” Kealey said, suggesting that the city advise people to bring sanitary products to playgrounds. “It has really gotten ridiculous.”

Workman said the city has found a way to increase social distancing at its pickleball courts and thus keep them open.

“I believe there’s probably room for that here as well,” he said.

A resident and nurse, Linda Kraemer, called into the work session and said she’s one of the people who have urged the city to close play structures. She said many residents have mobilized on the issue.

“And now tonight, I’m hearing those decisions are being second-guessed,” Kraemer said.

Keeping playgrounds open endangers low-income children because they might return to their apartment complexes infected and infect other children, Kraemer said.

Social distancing isn’t “a concept toddlers and preschoolers understand,” she said.

Kautz and Council Member Dan Gustafson said the city manager has the right to make the decision. One exchange grew heated.

“You’re undermining the authority of the city manager who was hired to run this city under our policies,” Gustafson said.

“These are unprecedented times, Dan,” Kealey said.

“Overriding the city manager is not the right thing to do,” Gustafson said.

“That is absolute B.S. We’re not undermining anybody,” Kealey replied.

Kraemer said she will be “reinvigorating our community” to oppose opening playgrounds.

The city has reduced the number of open pickleball courts to promote social distancing, Lee said. The skateboard park has closed because social distancing wasn’t achieved. The well-used trail around Sunset Pond has been made one-way to promote distancing.

School district closed playgrounds

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 has closed its playgrounds in response to new CDC guidance for park and recreational facilities. An exception is made for playgrounds where child care is being provided, during child care hours.

Superintendent Theresa Battle announced the closings Wednesday in an email to School Board members.

It said the closings are in alignment with CDC and the city — which has now reversed course.

Businesses

Schulz, a prominent member of Minnesota’s Libertarian Party who works for the national party as a candidate recruiter, said the city should “step back and step out of” enforcing Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders on businesses.

Her priority for having the city enforce the orders “is about zero,” Schulz said. “I do not think that this is a priority for our city right now. We have a lot of priorities right now. We’re going to need a lot of goodwill in our bank in our community so we can trust one another and work with one another.”

Kealey asked City Attorney Joel Jamnik if the city can refuse to enforce the governor’s executive orders closing specified businesses.

“In my opinion, no, given the language of 12.28,” Jamnik said, citing the state statute that requires emergency-management organizations to “execute and enforce” governors’ orders.

“This is the law,” Gustafson said, noting that the orders include a possible fine and 90 days in jail along with a request for voluntary compliance. “We don’t get to change that. We don’t get to impede it.”

“I’m not saying that we block them (the state) from doing anything,” Schulz said. “That’s up to them how they wish to do that. What I’m saying is this is a confusing area that changes constantly and can really impact people’s lives directly.”

Police Chief Tanya Schwartz said the department and code inspectors respond to complaints about business that are open in violation of orders. In all contacts thus far, businesses have agreed to close, she said. The city’s approach is “working with our community” and “educating,” Schwartz said.

“We may look at it as educating someone, but if we have a uniformed police officer go to a business and tell them they need to shut down, on the receiving end — and I do know this because I talked to a business that was on the receiving end — that does not feel like education, nor does it feel voluntary,” Schulz said.

The Michaels Store in Burnsville is one that closed and reopened under the governor’s changing and confusing orders, Schulz said.

The latest order says workers are allowed at arts and crafts stores, but only for the purpose of distributing materials that can be used to make personal protective equipment for pickup or delivery.

“Craft stores have been shut down,” said Heather Jelinek, a resident who called in and said crafting is her outlet for battling severe depression and anxiety. “They’re essential to me.”

Jelinek said her home craft business is in jeopardy amid canceled shows, and she can’t work her day job as a massage therapist during the pandemic.

“I want my financial freedom back,” said another caller, Sara Schmitt, a 43-year Burnsville resident and a self-employed manicurist. “I want to be busy, and a thriving business in Burnsville again,” she said.

Also calling was state Rep. Hunter Cantrell, DFL-Savage, who defended Walz’s orders and said the governor is seeking to open more businesses that can be operated safely during the pandemic.

“We cannot afford to make a misstep in this capacity,” Cantrell said. “The stakes have never been higher.”

Wisconsin Libertarian Party Gets Four Wins in Spring Primary

Source: https://www.lp.org/wisconsin-lp-gets-four-wins-in-spring-primary/

by Bob Johnston on April 16, 2020 in NewsBrian Defferding

Brian Defferding

Two Wisconsin Libertarian Party candidates were elected to office on April 7, 2020, and two already serving were reelected to their seats.

Wisconsin LP vice-chair Brian Defferding was unopposed in running for reelection to the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors in district 16.

Dave Ripp was reelected again to the Dane County Board of Supervisors in district 29. He also was unopposed, and has held that office since 1984.

Joe Prohaska was elected to the Appleton City Council in district 14, with 705 votes in a one-on-one race.

Robert Reynolds was elected to the Edgerton City Council in district 2, with 58% in a one-on-one race, receiving 292 votes.

“The LPWI and myself have placed emphasis on running and winning at the local level”, said Wisconsin LP chair Matt Bughman.

“What is really exciting is this election resulted in the most Libertarian Candidate being elected in the 30 plus years of the LPWI. Each candidate won because they put in the work knocking doors, securing endorsements from local officials, and having positive attitudes, which allowed them to connect with the voters.”

Lincoln Chafee Withdraws 2020 Libertarian Presidential Candidacy

IPR, April 5th, 2020 https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2020/04/lincoln-chafee-withdraws-2020-libertarian-presidential-candidacy/

Former Rhode Island Governor and U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee has withdrawn from the race for the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

In a Facebook post Chafee writes:

I enjoy campaigns. It is rewarding to participate in our electoral process; to exchange ideas with other candidates, to offer to the voters our experiences, visions for the future and open to inspection our past records.

As a new Libertarian I entered the race for the nomination for President and have met Libertarians from California to Alabama to New Hampshire. This adventure obviously changed with the frightening corona virus outbreak even as our campaign made a successful transfer to virtual connections via social media.

However after a tremendous amount of thought, I am no longer going to be a candidate for our Party’s nomination. I look forward to helping other Libertarians seeking office.

I share with Libertarians many views but especially our aversion to foreign entanglements. In the eighteen years since I voted against the Iraq war I have experienced the difficulty of having intelligent discussions on American foreign policy and the use of our military overseas. It is almost a forbidden subject. Others who have tried, such as Ron Paul and recently, Tulsi Gabbard I’m sure would agree. The invasion of Iraq was based on a falsehood, a falsehood supported by so many in government and the media. The ramification of this mistake is with us today as we face the Covid 19 epidemic trillions in unnecessary debt.

I am still motivated by my personal experiences as an anti war candidate but accept that the timing is difficult for me as a Libertarian in 2020. Thank you to supporters and volunteers, your energy, passion and smarts added to the joy of campaigning!

Stay safe, best wishes.

Thanks to Krzysztof Lesiak for the tip in the Open Thread.

Chafee, a Republican in the Senate, an Independent Governor, and a Democratic candidate for president in 2016, joined the Libertarian Party just last year.  Out the gate for his 2020 bid, Chafee had trouble garnering support.  In debates and media appearances, he stumbled on questions about his past support for gun control and multiple votes in favor of the Patriot Act.

Chafee’s withdrawal leaves 1996 Libertarian Vice presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen, Future of Freedom Foundation founder and president Jacob Hornberger, former Libertarian Party Vice Chairman Arvin Vohra, anti-war activist Adam Kokesh, former president of the Grady County (Georgia) NAACP John Monds, and performance artist Vermin Supreme as the most visible candidates for the party’s presidential nomination. Independent Congressman Justin Amash is reportedly considering a run.  The party plans to nominate a presidential ticket at the National convention May 21–25 in Austin, Texas, though this venue may change due to closures resulting from the Coronavirus Pandemic.