TAX REBELS TO BE JAILED WITHOUT JURY TRIAL
Karl Bray, probably the leading tax protest leader in the country today, and two other tax protesters, Sam Goeltz and Bob Wray were convicted in March 1974 of "illegal possession of Internal Revenue Service insignia" without the right to a jury trial. They have been appealing the case since then and are scheduled to go before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. Here is some background on the case.
Bray had been the subject of IRS harassment since 1971 when he was fired from his job as a radio talk show host because of IRS pressure on the station. Purchasers of his book Taxation and Tyranny were contacted and threatened by the IRS. On April 19, 1973, Bray was leaving a meeting of a tax protest group in his office in Salt Lake City when he was arrested, along with Goeltz and Wray, and held without being informed of the charges against him. The next day, they were arraigned for "illegal possession of IRS insignia," a charge stemming from reproductions of IRS seizure stickers which were passed out at the meeting which the IRS said they found in the defendants' cars (the illegal sticker is reproduced here—Surprise! You're under arrest!). When Bray returned to his office, he found $30,000 in business funds missing. Although Bray filed suit to get the money back, and the IRS never said why the money was taken, Bray hasn't yet recovered the money, and his precious metals business soon failed. In the last two years, Bray has been the object of much attention by the IRS and other government agents. (For more information on Bray, see Profile, Nov. 1974.)
On March 14, 1974, Bray, Goeltz, and Wray were denied a jury trial, tried and convicted, and sentenced to the maximum penalty under the law: six months in jail and a $250 fine, by Federal judge Willis Ritter. Although the charge was for "possession," the decision of Judge Ritter was based upon the assumption that the stickers had been counterfeited, a charge which had never been at issue!
In addition to the denial of a jury trial, 11 other constitutional rights were violated. An appeal to the 10th Circuit Court in Denver earlier this year proved fruitless, and an appeal was later filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, which may be considered in the fall session. The defendants are not hopeful, however, since most cases brought before the high court are never heard. They are asking people to write to the Supreme Court Justices, Congressmen, and the media to bring public attention to their case and force the Court to hear it. For more information about the case or if you wish to contribute to the defense funds write: Karl J. Bray Defense Fund, 296 Kathleen, #B, Orange, CA 92669; or F.S. Goeltz Defense Fund, 3005 Clay St., #3, San Francisco, CA 94115. They need your help. Remember, if they can get the leaders of the tax protest movement on such minor charges, they can get you next.
For more information about the tax rebellion in general write to Tax Reform Informational Materials [a clearing house on tax rebellion materials], Box 2423, Orange, CA 92669.
CANDIDATES FOR LIBERTY CONCENTRATE ON LOCAL ISSUES
One of the main reasons that local chapters of the Libertarian Party have not been taken seriously by the media, political leaders, and the voters is that, even when running local campaigns, they spend most of their time talking about vague, utopian issues on a national or international level, rather than dealing with the local community on local issues. One of the rare exceptions to this is Poughkeepsie, New York where the Free Libertarian Party is a respected political force in the community. The prominence began in 1972 when Sandy Cohen ran for Congress from the area with an active 22-month campaign dealing with libertarian solutions to local problems.
This year two important members of Cohen's campaign team, Ellen Davis (his former campaign manager), and Carole Cohen (his wife) are running for local offices in Poughkeepsie. Ms. Davis is running for Dutchess County Executive and Ms. Cohen is running for Mayor of Poughkeepsie.
Davis is a former McGovernite liberal who, after becoming a libertarian, was asked by Sandy Cohen to manage his Congressional campaign. She is currently working as an English teacher at a local high school. (For more about Ms. Davis, see "Profile," Aug. 1975.) In addition to running on the Free Libertarian Party (FLP) line in the general election, she is running in the Democratic Party primary and is given a good chance of defeating the leading candidate for County Executive, Robert Piggott, in either the primary or general elections.
Despite the hassles of having two small children at home, Carole Cohen is also running a very active campaign for mayor. In addition to her running on the FLP line in November, she is given an excellent chance of winning the Conservative Party nomination in the primary. Both the Democratic and Conservative primaries are to be held (or were, depending on when you receive your magazine) on September 9th.
Both Davis and Cohen have received very favorable media coverage—they send out a few press releases a week and each is covered by all the media in the area. Both have also been favorably mentioned in editorials by the local newspapers, and they were endorsed by one local paper, the Dutchess County News, that said in an editorial, "Like the first sweet smell of April, Carole Cohen and Ellen Davis have appeared and are running for public office…They will reduce taxes. Flat out. No nonsense. No kick backs. No foolishness. No secret deals. No protecting the 'good old boys'. They will reduce taxes at once."
The Candidates for Liberty campaign has been well-researched; both candidates have come up with comprehensive plans to drastically cut local government costs and power. They both have an excellent chance of being the first elected libertarians in the nation. People who wish to contribute or volunteer should contact Candidates for Liberty, Box 1776, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; phone (914) 4718771.
The Libertarian-Republican Alliance has announced their support for two candidates running this year.
One is Rick Knox, who is running for Councilman-at-Large in Metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee. He previously ran for State Legislature, polling 34 percent of the votes, and is an elected member of the Tennessee State Republican Executive Committee. Information on his campaign may be obtained by writing to The Knox Campaign, P.O. Box 17179, Nashville, TN.
The other is Harold Beale, a candidate for one of the three Virginia House of Delegates seats allotted to Arlington. He is given a good chance of unseating one of the Liberal Democratic incumbents. People may contact his campaign by writing to Beale for Delegate, 5922 N. 14th St., Arlington, VA 22209.
Several New Jersey LP members have successfully completed petition drives and are now on the ballot for the NJ State Assembly in the November general election:
Jack Conard, running in the 9th Assembly District, has already had two newspaper articles published about his candidacy. He is emphasizing that "the State seems to have a 'solution' to every 'crisis' except the Liberty Shortage." CONARD FOR LIBERTARIAN ASSEMBLY CAMPAIGN FUND, P.O. Box 1269, Toms River, NJ 08753.
Ron Wishart, candidate in the 11th Assembly District, is campaigning in order to get the Libertarian Party known as a political party and to educate the voters and politicians to the libertarian philosophy so that even if we don't win, our policies will prevail. WISHART FOR LIBERTARIAN ASSEMBLY, 5 Locust Grove Lane, Englishtown, NJ 07726.
Ken Kaplan is campaigning in the 26th Assembly District in order to turn on as many people as possible to the Libertarian alternative to the major parties' version of government and taxation and to attract a sufficient number of votes so that in the future both the media and the voters will regard the NJLP as a major party. KAPLAN FOR ASSEMBLY, 150 Cleveland Street, Apt. A-2, Orange, NJ 07050.
Dan Piro in the 37th Assembly District is taking a leave of absence of 2 to 4 weeks from his job to campaign fulltime. His objective is to get out on the street and run a serious campaign. DAN PIRO FOR ASSEMBLY, 2151 Center Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ 07024.
A central campaign fund has been established to make it easier to contribute to all of the candidates: CAMPAIGN FUND FOR LIBERTARIANS '75, P.O. Box 247, Bernardsville, NJ 07924.
LONG FOR MAYOR OF BOSTON
David Long, Chairperson of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party, is a candidate for mayor of Boston. He says that he is committed to a serious election bid, rather than a half-hearted educational teach-in or a means of gaining personal prestige or exposure. Long feels that from a libertarian's standpoint, "this is the biggest political battlefront of 1975, due in part to the off-year status of national politics, but more importantly, because of the present sorry state of affairs in the city of Boston."
Long announced his candidacy at the recent state LP convention and immediately received front page coverage in Boston's largest newspaper, The Boston Globe. At his first press conference, he called for the abolition of the Boston School Committee, institution of neighborhood control over neighborhood schools, and the implementation of a city-wide voucher system to facilitate freedom of choice in enrollment. He is also advocating the "drastic decentralization" of the Boston Police Department. He pledges to work for "immediate de-regulation and ultimate repeal of all laws regulating transportation, gambling, alcoholic beverages, drugs, sexual relations among consenting adults, construction and zoning, wages, and rents." As an incentive to decentralization, he would offer tax rebates to any person or group who privately contracts for services now provided by the city.
Long's campaign urgently needs contributions and volunteers. People may contact the Committee to Elect David Long Mayor of Boston, P.O. Box 2610, Boston, MA 02208.
MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO
Ray Cunningham, northern California Vice-Chairperson of the Libertarian Party, recently announced his candidacy for Mayor of San Francisco. He is a 33-year old mechanical engineer who spent 14 years in the Coast Guard before moving permanently to San Francisco.
Cunningham announced his candidacy on August 4th, receiving a good deal of media coverage including the front page of the San Francisco Progress. He said he is basing his campaign on the issues of shifting government services to private enterprise, drastically reducing taxes, and shifting police attention away from victimless crimes. "Let's get the police out of the bordellos and back on the beat," he said. Cunningham is criticizing the "monopoly privileges of the Muni and taxicab systems," preferring private companies operating on a freely competitive basis. He is also advocating a new "fire demand charge" levied against each building for the demand that building actually places on the city's fire department. "Many buildings in San Francisco are exempt from property taxes which shifts fire protection costs to other property owners," he explained, stressing that his demand charge would be separate from the property tax. Cunningham says that he prefers "voluntary solutions to all problems rather than the coercive nature of government subsidized programs. After years of rising crime and taxes on top of declining public services, it is becoming obvious that City Hall itself is the problem."
Anyone who wants to contribute or help with the campaign should write to Ray Cunningham for Mayor Committee, 450 Liberty Terrace, San Francisco, CA 94114 or call (415) 282-3313.
TAYLOR FOR SAN FRANCISCO SUPERVISOR
Attorney Lloyd Taylor has announced his candidacy for a seat on the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors. Taylor was a candidate for California State Treasurer on both the Libertarian Party and the Peace and Freedom Party last year. He is an attorney-at-law and certified public accountant and is treasurer of the Golden Gate Business Association. He is also a member of the Peace and Freedom Party State Central Committee and the Libertarian Party of California.
Taylor kicked off his campaign earlier this year by calling for the sale of several city-county services to private enterprise and received a good deal of local media coverage on his plan to sell Golden Gate Park. In addition to his plans to sell off the services and cut taxes by 50-75 percent, he has produced a comprehensive plan to drastically reduce crime in San Francisco. This plan includes: legalization of all drugs and victimless crime laws, removal of the current District Attorney and Mayor Alioto from office (he contends they are corrupt), repeal of compulsory education laws, repeal of payroll and property taxes, and repeal of minimum wage and child labor laws. Taylor contends that the major causes of crime are government laws that restrict entry into employment and business. "The increase in the crime rate in recent years is due to increased government laws restricting free competition and entry into the labor market of persons with lesser skills." Taylor is also calling for firing the vice squad, removing the city monopoly on transportation services, banning the sale of fluorocarbons in the city, and reducing the number of city employees in all departments which lack equal representation for homosexuals.
Anyone interested in contributing or helping Taylor's campaign should write to Lloyd Taylor for Supervisor, 360 Pine St., San Francisco, CA 94104 or call (415) 788-1193.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Frontlines".