The Libertarian Party in Election '07

The Libertarian Party is crowing about its 14 victories yesterday, which amounts to winning in 17 percent of the elections nationwide in which it had a candidate running. From the party's press release:

Libertarians were elected in Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania—54 percent of the states in which Libertarians ran. Libertarians in Michigan won four of the five known races in that state where Libertarians were involved—a stunning 80 percent rate of victory.

Complete list of every election with a Libertarian candidate nationwide, and the results.

More Election 07 roundup chatter from Hit and Run.

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  • ||

    I know the question on everyone's minds is: There was an election yesterday?

  • ||

    First the Caldwell, Idaho city council, then the presidency!
    This steamroller is picking up ... steam! Or something!
    We're going to paint this country blue! Oops, red! Oops, fuck it! What the fuck color is liberty?
    Gold! Like the gold standard! And we've set the gold standard by getting a negro-hating Bible-thumper elected as a Libertarian in Caldwell, Idaho!

  • ||

    Libertarians in Michigan won four of the five known races in that state where Libertarians were involved-a stunning 80 percent rate of victory.

    Ahem. I'd like a little respect around here for the Great Lakes State.

  • ||

    We're going to paint this country blue! Oops, red! Oops, fuck it! What the fuck color is liberty?

    Mauve. I didn't think it was a very good choice. I was outvoted though.

  • ||

    Michigan doesn't need respect. They need to kick out all the goddamn commies who are trying to turn it into the most pathetically poor state in the country.

    I haven't moved because I can't afford to. Soon, I won't be able to afford NOT to.

  • ||

    Michigan doesn't need respect. They need to kick out all the goddamn commies who are trying to turn it into the most pathetically poor state in the country.

    Would that be the Commies(D) or Commies(R) you are mad at? Yeah, our state government has got it's head firmly implanted.

  • ||

    No offense if this was meant as a "rallying cry" type of post, but this exactly the crap that caused me to let my LP membership expire.

    "Look! We elected a dog-catcher!"

    Congratulations, now explain how that advances my fucking freedoms.

  • fyodor||

    "Look! We elected a dog-catcher!"

    Congratulations, now explain how that advances my fucking freedoms.


    ARF!!!!

  • scooter||

    I don't know about a lot of these places, but I've yet to see a town council race where the candidate runs with an R or D next to their name. Or an L for that matter.

  • ||

    John-David,

    The short answer is: it doesn't. But the LP is trying to go from the bottom up, since it's a much cheaper route to go, I'd guess.

  • Eric Dondero||

    This is one of the best election year results ever for the Libertarian Party, and ironically it came in an off-year election.

    I'm usually quite the critic of the LP and their supposed victories. But I looked at the list. We're not talking the usual Park Recreation Boards, and Soil & Water Conservation Districts here.

    Every one of them was a town council victory except the judge in Indiana winning reelection, one mayor and a town supervisor.

    I'd say this is a clear sign of where the LP should focus it's efforts in the future:

    City Council races

  • ||

    Eric,

    I completely agree with you. Combined with a president who is a federalist (not sure if any candidates come to mind at the moment) this country could do well with more LP members on city councils.

    Until then, though, we are going to have the Feds overrule every local decision in the wake of Raich/ What's Rudy's stance on that decision?

  • ||

    fyodor,

    ROTFLMAO! That is the best 3-letter comment EVER!

  • ||

    The LP has obviously not had much success historically and is dormant in many states. However, there are a few states in which it is very active and doing well with the bottom-up approach. Indiana is probably the best example. If every state's LP chapter was as good as Indiana's, the LP would be a major national force in no time.

  • iih||

    J sub D:

    Ahem. I'd like a little respect around here for the Great Lakes State.

    All respects are offered from an ex-Michigander!

    BTW, J sub D, have your comments ever appeared here? Did you get my previous message regarding Bob Murphy's comment. He has a great response to the criticism of Ron Paul that the Pandagon people offered.

  • TLB||

    I'm vaguely reminded of the announcers here:
    imdb.com/title/tt0620282/

    as well as the Elm street quote here:
    snpp.com/episodes/7G05.html

  • Eric Dondero||

    The biggest problem with the LP is that they have no strategy at all for recruiting state legislators.

    Last year a NH Legislator "joined" the Libertarian Party for a few days. I was in touch with him and the LP leadership at the time about it, and they didn't seem at all interested. Well, the guy ended up sort of going back to the GOP.

    Unless they prioritize state legislators they'll never succeed.

  • ||

    Eric, what are you talking about? As usual, you confused the facts.

  • ||

    Eric, since you refused to answer my question, I'll let Radley Balko answer it:

    But Giuliani has spent most of his career advocating for more federal power to fight the federal war on drugs. He has declared that he would continue the Drug Enforcement Administration raids on medical marijuana facilities, overruling state law.

    Once again, quite the libertarian you have there.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The LP has obviously not had much success historically and is dormant in many states. However, there are a few states in which it is very active and doing well with the bottom-up approach. Indiana is probably the best example. If every state's LP chapter was as good as Indiana's, the LP would be a major national force in no time.

    One big reason for an increased emphasis on state parties, and more variation in their levels of success, was campaign reporting requirements. The national and state organizations pretty much had to separate their bookkeeping.

  • ||

    A few more dog catchers and maybe next time we can pull sheriff.

  • ||

    No offense if this was meant as a "rallying cry" type of post, but this exactly the crap that caused me to let my LP membership expire.



    My reasons for abandoning the LP as well. I was a member for twenty five years, and in all the time the best they could do was a city councilmen here or there. In the meantime Ron Paul was getting more votes in one year from his tiny Texas district as a (R) then all the (L) candidates combined did in twenty five years. The reason for my jumping ship should be apparent.

  • Edward||

    My goodness, all those city and town council seats. Oh yeah, the Libertarian revolution is just around the corner. Jesus Christ, I can see why libertarians are peeing their pants over Ron Paul.

  • ||

    My reasons for abandoning the LP as well

    I've heard this so many times it's ridiculous. For every LP supporter, there are 20 former supporters or small-L libertarians. If all of them entered the LP tent at once, the party would become a major force. But, there has to be some reason for them to do so. I'm not having much luck coming up with such a reason. Anyone else?

  • ||

    Alot of you guys remind me of Patrick Henry's useless cousin, who said:

    "Give me liberty, or I'll whine about it!!"

    Keep up the great work. Bitching about the LP on a blog's comment section will surely lead us to freedom...

  • ||

    Bitching about the LP on a blog's comment section will surely lead us to freedom...

    Well, we thought about mounting a campaign of assassination and social destabilization leading to the collapse of the current regime, but during football season we just couldn't get enough people to show up on weekends.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Seth, no confused facts at all. That is precisely what happened.

    There is a legislator in a northern state, who in a huff made some noises about "leaving the GOP and joining the Libertarians." I got in touch with the guy. And believe me, he's quite an individual - very good natured, but very wild too. I let the National HQ know about it. Called Redpath, Steve Gordon, Shane Cory, et.al. Their attitude was, "keep us informed."

    "Keep us informed!!!" Are you nuts???

    If I was at the LPHQ I would have been on the first plane up to Blankety-blank State, and knocking on the fella's door. I would have wined him and dined him. I would have promised him shitloads of money and support for his reelection effort. I would have got down on my hands and knees and literally begged the guy to sign on the dotted line, and offer him to pay the $25.00 fee too!

    (Actually, he did join the Blankety-blank State Party paying the $20.00).

    And mind you, this is not the first time this has happened.

    While in Montana I stumbled across, literally, a local Town Councilman, who was the former Libertarian Party candidate for State Legislature. He was a current dues-paying member of both the State and National LPs. He was proud to be an elected Libertarian, the only elected Libertarian in fact, in the entire State of Montana.

    I called up Shane Cory to ask him why he wasn't being acknowledged by the National LP. The response I got from Shane, was "thanks for the info Eric... good job... we'll look into it."

    And of course, nothing ever came of it. The guy still sits there on the Town Council, is still doing great work for liberty, 9 out of 10 times he's the lone "no" vote on the Council, and he has received ZERO recognition from any LPers outside of the LP of MT Chair, and ExComm, who love him to death.

    Like I said, if the LP is not going to take elected officials seriously, than they will never grow as a Party.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    What the hell is going on...Dondero saying things I agree with.... In my few years experience with the LP, what Donderoo is saying sounds about par for the course.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Democratic Republican, I know, it's scary. Just remember - a broken clock...

  • VM||

    A broken clock...
    ah yes. Perfect to throw at the neighbors' kids.

    Rob - would that be Cousin Maynard? Actually, for the perfect definition of "useless" see the 1:32am post.

  • Just-the-Facts||

    It's bizarre that people discuss the LP's 2007 election results without bothering to see how they compare to previous years.

    With all due respect to the factually-challenged Eric Dondero, this year ranks as one of the party's *worst* election efforts of the past decade. A little research reveals the party's election track record:

    November 1997: 39 Libertarians elected

    November 1998: 19 Libertarians elected

    November 1999: 20 Libertarians elected

    November 2000: 34 Libertarians elected

    November 2001: 72 Libertarians elected

    November 2002: 43 Libertarians elected

    Admittedly, this information isn't as easy to find as it once was, since the party stopped posting LP News stories to the website, and, in fact, removed all past issues (!). But you can find these election results at the "WayBackMachine" (at www.archive.org).

    (Be sure to check LP News issues a month or two *after* each election, since updates to the election results were frequently posted a month or two later.)

    Now, you can debate whether 14 election wins in 2007 is good news or bad for the Libertarian Party. But the fact is, 14 wins represents a major step *backwards" for the party.

  • Eric Dondero||

    The only valid comparison you can make above is with 2001, since this was an off-year election. And yes, compared to 2001, 1997, doesn't seem at first glance as anywheres near that level.

    But, I'm going by the LP's website. They're listing only about 40 or 50 total races.

    Now, winning 16 seats out of 40 or 50, is pretty damned good for a 3rd party.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Of course, I meant to say 2007 not 1997

  • ||

    One could infer that the National office doing nothing about Dondero's "finds" means that, deep down, the national office also realizes that the LP is a joke.

    How many elected and appointed officials are there in the U.S.? How many are Libertarians?
    (I'll even accept those who ran as R or D or Indies, as long as they hold LP membership).

    I guess if the LP ran only one candidate nationwide, in a race where no one else filed, they'd brag that "we elected 100% of our candidates."

  • Mike Laursen||

    One could infer that the National office doing nothing about Dondero's "finds" means that, deep down, the national office also realizes that the LP is a joke.

    The LP may or may not be a joke, but you'd be wrong to infer that the people who work in the national office think so. Nobody would put in that kind of volunteer time on something they think is a joke.

  • ||

    But, there has to be some reason for them to do so. I'm not having much luck coming up with such a reason. Anyone else?



    Maybe if they started running candidates to get excited about? Maybe someone other than an ex-callgirl who wrote a book on life extension who thinks the highest priority is legalizing ferret ownership. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it certainly doesn't get people motivated enough to trudge the precincts.

  • ||

    I wasn't aware that the people Dondero mentioned at the National Office were volunteers. Aren't they paid and wouldn't they have an interest in keeping up the "spin" for the contributors?

  • Mark Rutherford||

    All the Indiana races were partisan. The national list is not yet complete concerning Indiana. There were 41 candidates in Indiana, two victories (Hagerstown Town Court Judge and Pottawatomie Park Town Council) a narrow defeat for Hagerstown Town Council (lost by 10 votes) and the healthiest vote totals in Indianapolis ever.

    A good effect of running serious races is rarely given the attention it deserves. As has happened in the past, some of our candidates and volunteers are being approached by the winners to serve on boards, etc. as the minority party appointment on the various boards. However, this year the inquiries are more numerous.

  • Geotpf||

    And how many of these folks were running with the word Libertarian below thier names, as opposed to being a city council member or judge or whatever running in a non-partisan race?

    I'll bet none of them were actually running as Libertarians.

  • ||

    Geotpf -

    Do you not understand English? Re-read Mark's first sentence for your answer.

  • Mark Rutherford||

    All of the Indiana candidates were running as Libertarians - with the ballot clearly marked as Libertarian. It looks like we received a record number of straight ticket Libertarian votes too.

    Also, in some of the races where one voted for multiply candidates (top 3, top 5, etc.) Indiana Libertarians did not win, but received more votes than some of the Democrats and/or Republicans on the ballot.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I wasn't aware that the people Dondero mentioned at the National Office were volunteers. Aren't they paid and wouldn't they have an interest in keeping up the "spin" for the contributors?

    You're right. I was thinking of the national executive committee, not the national office.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Creech, I try to keep a national list of elected Libertarians and libertarian Republicans over at MainstreamLibertarian.com. It's very difficult. And I do it volunteer. Don't get any compensation for it.

    Pretty pathetic when you think about the fact, that I am the only one in the entire Nation (with the exception of Aarron Bitterman who tried to keep a list going for a few years too), who has a List of Elected Libertarians.

    This is the responsibility of the National Office of the Libertarian Party. They did this for two decades!!

    And IMHO, it was the Number One Best Thing they EVER DID!

    They dropped it in I believe 2002, and have not picked it up since.

    If the National LP HQ can't even maintain a List of Elected Libertarians, then they're not worth contributing too. It's their most valuable asset, and they can't even keep it going.

    Pathetic.

  • Eric Dondero||

    BTW, if anyone here ever wants to help me in compiling the List of Elected Libertarians, I could sure use it. I'd thoroughly welcome your help and support.

    Check out the List and let me know who needs to be added or deleted.

  • lpcowboy||

    With respect to the victories yesterday, they don't include totals for the whole year. For example, Illinois amd Texas had elections for local office earlier in the year.

    Also, even in nominaly non-partisain elections, its widley known what parties each cantidate represents. Local newspapers will publish that so-and-so attended a Republican fundraiser and so forth; almost everyone voting in an off-year election will know this.

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