Ken Hamidi, Libertarian 4 Gov

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With the ballot finalized, approximately 2.22 percent of California's candidates for governor will be listed as Libertarians. We've discussed Ned Roscoe and Jack Hickey; now meet Ken Hamidi.

First of all, Hamidi is billing himself as an "independent." Secondly, he emigrated from Iran at age 30, worked his way through jobs and education, and founded an organization of former and current Intel employees that accuses the chipmaker of corporate treason, among other sins. Thirdly, his basic message includes a broadside against outscourcing:

I advocate resolving budget deficit by rebuilding the employment market in California and discouraging outsourcing US jobs and technologies. I will specially work to end the invisible government structure of special interest.

His platform includes cutting taxes and spending, increasing health care, imposing selected tariffs, re-orienting criminal sentences toward rehabilitation, and reigning in globalization ("The centralization of authority associated with globalization is contrary to the U.S. Constitution," he warns). His endorsement list is "in progress."

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  1. A reminder — Reason magazine has no official affiliation with the Libertarian Party.

  2. R. Bakhaus: I may not always agree ( or like ) what I read/see at Reason. But I am always enlightened by the articles, and entertained by this particular format (H & R). It may not pass the dreaded purity test, but the often wildly divergent perspectives and viewpoints, as well as the respect that seems inherent towards those views, strikes me as one of the hallmarks of what Libertarianism is, or at least should be.

  3. Josh:

    The difference is, you spelled “purity” right.

  4. Oh, please–Reason is “left-leaning?” That assertion is as groundless as it is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    Anyway, back to said topic. Matt, how is this Hamidi guy considered a libertarian? Here is an almost random cut-and-paste from his crappy website:

    – Impose Tariffs on imported offshore employees brought to California by way of L1 Visas.
    – Make large companies justify mass Head Count Reduction plans.
    – Promote continuing education in the work place, by creating incentives for companies to education of their employees.
    – Promote business zones, drawing jobs to areas that need employment.

    Tariffs? Layoff justification? “Business zones” (whatever that means)? This guy is as statist as they come.

    So let’s do the roundup. We have the “smoker’s party” guy, the guy with the Abe Lincoln beard and a website with no less than 27 fonts, and now this poser. Adding to the fun, we have a steady stream of people like R. Bakhaus shitbagging anyone who isn’t completely and unrealistically zealous in their libertarian beliefs.

    This is why the LP continues to lose miserably.

  5. Lbertarian beliefs unrealistic?! Really?

    Well, excuse me. I must’ve made a wrong turn landing here. Better get back to realistic sanity. Where’s my map? Oh, here it is! See ya!

    http://www.self-gov.org/

    http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/

    http://www.americanlibertyfoundation.org/

    http://www.mises.org/lefevre.asp

  6. It isn’t the beliefs that are unrealistic, merely the zealousness with which Bakhaus applies them. Max is right.

  7. Sheesh, would somebody shut down the government already, there are corporations that could do a WAY worse job.

  8. Wouldn’t the tarriffs also violate the Constitution, by impinging on the Congress’ power to regulate commerce with foreign nations?

  9. I would not pass a purity test; of course it is my opinion that ideological purity is the hobgoblin of small minds.

  10. This whole “purity test” thing has come up a couple of times lately. I got a question about it:

    What is the difference between ideological “purity” and ideological “consistancy”?

  11. I think we need to be a lot more fair to the Libertarian Party on this recall ballot. Just as with the Republicans and Democrats, there’s really no party control over who does and doesn’t file under which ticket. No one is judging the entire GOP structure based on Arnold’s legitimacy (or lack thereof), nor are we chastising the Dems’ electability because Larry Flynt is on their ticket.

    If we’re going to judge the LP’s legitimacy, I’m not saying that such a case can’t occassionally be made (the druid and the blue guy, for example), but I also think that we’d be remiss to ignore great candidates like Ed Thompson who take libertarianism and make electorally viable.

  12. so this guy’s wants to reduce taxes and spending and ALSO increase healthcare.

    This guy’s obviously not a brain surgeon. Despite being an idiot, he sounds the most like a “real” mainstream candidate. I’ll take the successful small-business owner Roscoe any day, even if some people think that smokers’ rights isn’t a broad enough issue.

    I also think that people should stop bringing up the damn blue guy. The Democrat party near me once ran a neo-Nazi who happened to win a poorly contested primary in a safe-Republican seat. Do I go around pretending that all Dems are Neo-Nazis?

  13. ugh – The Democrats also have enough established candidates that they can drown out noise about the occasional freak that runs on their ticket. The problem with the LP, it would seem, is that the freak:viable ratio is way higher than “major” parties. This is still a phenomenon I’m trying to understand and come to terms with, but perhaps it has to do with the LP’s political orientation outside the “mainstream” to begin with – you sit out in what as perceived as left-field and you’re going to attract an inordinate amount of left-fielders.
    This isn’t meant to impuign the ideas of the LP (which I still believe are refreshingly sane compared to the GOP/Democrats/Greens), but it’s that signal to noise ratio that increasingly wants me to be a libertarian with a small “L.” I get tired of having to answer for the Blue Guy, the Druid, the Smokers’ Rights Guy, et al every time I try to defend libertarianism to non-libertarians.

  14. IIRC, Hamidi’s “organization” consists only of Hamidi. He got word of mouth — and a prominent lawsuit — by spamming Intel employees.

    http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2003Jun/gee20030701020640.htm

  15. Steve Skutnik:

    Do the non-libertarians that you encounter really know that much about the LP that they know about the Blue Guy and the Druid? It seems to me that it’s the small ‘l’ s that talk about these guys more than anyone…

  16. Steve Skutnik says, “I get tired of having to answer for the Blue Guy, the Druid, the Smokers’ Rights Guy…”

    A good way to answer for the “Smokers Rights Guy” is to visit the http://www.smokersparty.com website and read enough to understand that there is more to this candidacy than the soundbite phrase “smokers rights.”

  17. Of course, there’s still the question of what makes this guy a libertarian. He’s registered to vote as a Libertarian, but holds few, if any, libertarian positions, doesn’t say that he’s a member of the LP, and isn’t running as a Libertarian. Pegging him as one is a bit of a stretch, to say the least.

    As for the freak:viable ratio, that’s a problem with any small party — Libertarian, Reform, Green…whomever. I think it comes not from a larger numerator so much as a smaller denominator.

  18. Max — To echo Mike, he’s a “Libertarian” simply because he’s listed as one. The listings, I understand, are based on what you registered as in the last election, which makes this guy a Libertarian & Ueberroth a Republican, even though both seem to want to run as independents. As time passes I’ll write similar round-ups of other candidates who profess to have libertarian leanings.

  19. ugh – generally, the non-libertarians I know of who love to rip on Libertarians (see, progressives) make it a sport to point out all of these oddballs running on the LP ticket as “shining examples of Libertarianism in action.” So, the answer would be yes, if only to discredit libertarian ideas.

    James: Looking at smokersparty.com, the idea of “smokers’ rights” seems to be bit more than just a soundbite. Arguably, they have a coherent anti-tax platform, but most of their issues seem to revolve around the smoking issue, which I find to be painfully limited in scope. Cigarette taxes are just one form of excise taxes – the most popular one, but nonetheless just one.

  20. EMAIL: amelia2003_5@yahoo.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
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    DATE: 01/21/2004 04:43:20
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