Libertarian Party Correspondent
The month prior to election time was a busy one for the Libertarian Party candidates and political activists. Besides the campaigning for local and U.S. Congressional races, Dr. Hospers and Mrs. Nathan were going at a feverish pace as the party grew in size and continued to put new ideas into action.
Mrs. Nathan made a nationwide tour that lasted over two weeks and carried her from coast to coast. Besides the amount of newspaper, radio and television coverage she received, she was able to speak to large gatherings on campuses and address several libertarian groups to communicate ideas and information on the growth of the libertarian movement.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of her tour is still to come, for in Houston she attended a convention of the Women's Professional Society for four days and made many contacts in the news media. She was thus able to give in-depth exposure of libertarian ideas to potentially influential people.
While Mrs. Nathan was on her nationwide tour, Dr. Hospers was touring the west coast working to build a momentum to accelerate the Libertarian Party's growth.
The second weekend in October he spent in the San Francisco Bay area, where he spoke on two campuses, and received coverage in several Bay area newspapers as well as the major radio and TV stations.
On October 20, Dr. Hospers traveled to San Diego and Phoenix and was instrumental in finally getting these areas active. Once again the news media was responsive in both places.
The next week Dr. Hospers traveled to Monterey, Seattle and Portland. In Seattle he was joined by Mrs. Nathan as they both campaigned in the only other state the Libertarian Party was on the ballot. (Colorado is the other.)
While Dr. Hospers campaigned almost exclusively in Seattle, Mrs. Nathan went to other cities in Washington in addition to Seattle in an attempt to stir voter interest.
During the first weekend in November Dr. Hospers spent time in Los Angeles speaking at UCLA and a rally for Manny Klausner. During the last few weeks prior to elections Manny became very active and spoke at several campuses in addition to spurring on grass-roots efforts in California.
Mrs. Nathan did some last minute campaigning in Portland and Eugene in preparation for Tuesday.
When the big night finally arrived on November 7, the Libertarian Party celebrated with a campaign party at the Hilton in Los Angeles, which was attended by over 200 libertarians, all but a few from California. Dr. Hospers, Tonie Nathan, Manny Klausner, Ed Clark (the national Libertarian Party Vice Chairman), and other local party officers were present to celebrate and celebrate we did for we had accomplished much, not politically of course, but in a much deeper and unexpected way. But this is a separate issue and will be discussed later.
Politically, here is how the libertarian Party candidates fared:
NEW YORK: Although Gary Greenberg, running for U.S. Congress, and Walter Block, seeking a state assembly seat, received enough signatures to be placed on the ballot, a judge ruled that the Free Libertarian Party allegedly did not meet the filing deadline and no names could be placed on the ballot. The issue is quite involved, but it appears to be a case of placing obstacles in the Libertarian Party's path for nonvalid reasons. So New York members got a taste of political hanky-panky and are much the wiser now. Far from being discouraged, they know that their tactics must be altered for future action and eventual success, which they now know they can achieve.
ILLINOIS: Paul Stout, running as a Congressional candidate, received much the same treatment. The elections board ruled enough signatures on the petition invalid and he was not placed on the ballot. The appeal was held up in court until it was too late to get him on the ballot. The ruling in this case also clearly violated the election laws.
COLORADO: The Libertarian Party was on the ballot in Colorado and the Hospers-Nathan ticket received 1,080 votes with 95% of the votes counted. So a fair projection would be about 1,100 votes.
Pipp Boyles, running for U.S. Congress, received 1,980 votes with 95% of the votes counted or about 1½% of the votes cast.
Hugh Futch, campaigning for state legislature, received 237 votes, or 1½% for that district.
There were seven minor parties on the presidential ballot and the Libertarian Party placed fourth.
WASHINGTON: With 40% of the vote in, the Hospers-Nathan vote count was 700 and a projection on this basis would be about 1,800. Each voter had received the voter's pamphlet detailing the candidates and their ideas. The Libertarian Party portion had the statement of principles and a picture of Dr. Hospers and Mrs. Nathan.
With six minor parties on the Washington ballot, the Libertarian Party came in third.
IDAHO: Steven Symms, a libertarian, had decided to run for office in the 1st U.S. Congressional District in Idaho on the Republican Party ticket. He won the Republican primary campaigning with Libertarian Party literature and on November 7 captured 55% of the vote. Thus, we now have a libertarian in the U.S. Congress. It will be interesting to watch Mr. Symms in the future.
Thus ended the first Libertarian Party campaign. What did it accomplish? Much, in a way that was as startling and unexpected as it was predictable and revealing.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Libertarian Party Correspondent".