Barbara Boxer

"An important statement in favor of personal liberties"

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California daily the Long Beach Press Telegram endorses Libertarian Senate candidate Judge Jim Gray over Barbara Boxer (the sitting Democrat) and her Republican opponent Bill Jones. They like his refreshing takes against the Drug War and the Patriot Act. They sum up their endorsement like this:

Gray is a former Republican, a law-and-order judge who has in two decades on the bench gained a refreshing perspective on the issues facing the country. He has become a Libertarian because he sees the party's platform as the most respectful of personal freedoms and individual rights.

Sen. Boxer doesn't need any more votes, and giving them to Jones won't do much good. A vote for Gray, however, would help make an important statement in favor of personal liberties and against the abuses of governmental power.

I've written previously about Gray's attempts to get in the debates. It was the Drug War that helped turn this Superior Court judge into a libertarian, and he was a star participant in a 2002 Reason symposium on second thoughts on the drug war from people required to help wage it.

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  1. Completely agree. Gray’s already got my absentee vote. Jones is the latest in a long line of Republican losers in a CA senate race and Boxer is just a kook.

  2. I hope we see a lot more of this. First protest votes, then serious candidates, then a new party that will draw heavily from dissatisfied voters in both current dominant parties.

  3. Slowly but surely, the LP is reinventing itself from within. I stress, SLOWLY.

  4. I hope he makes a strong showing and accomplishes what he hoped to. Judge Jim Gray has taken a very courageous stand by coming out publicly against the drug war. It has cost him all his political capital and partisan support.

  5. He’s got my vote. And I hope Robert Fulton is right about dissatisfied voters looking to alternatives to the Dem and Republican finger-to-the-wind sellouts.

  6. I wish Grey had been the LP nominee for President. I hope he makes a strong showing in the Senate race ? Boxer is one of the things that makes politics in the US bad ? incumbents rarely lose and she wants to spend and take your property.

  7. In the past few days there’s been a lot of statements on this forum about how the LP is kooky. As merited as many of those criticisms are, Gray is a reminder that there are more reasonable, articulate, and respectable voices in the LP. I donated what money I could to him, and I voted for him on my absentee ballot. I just hope that Gray represents a new trend, not an exception. I’m not holding my breath, but I can hope.

  8. Is the bigger story here that another US periodical is questioning the WOD?
    Is anybody keeping a tally?
    I don’t know of the reputation of this Long Beach Press Telegram, but I’ve been trying for years to get the so-called alternative newspaper here in Sinincincinnati (CityBeat) to be so bold.

  9. This is interesting. Though I do agree it is populated with more than it’s fair share of kooks, I think Badnarik is a fine spokesman. I also have always rejected the “the LP will never be taken seriously as long as they keep harping on drugs” mantra. I believe that the drug issue is our best issue and we should lead with it even more than we do because;
    1) We are sooooo right on this
    2) EVERYBODY else is sooo wrong
    Therefore, I think we will inevitably win the day and can carve out a reputation now by being the party of principal that always pushed for liberty even when it was political suicide.

    Now I’m reading comments here about a candidate that has distinguished himself as a non-kook with the bona-fides to make him a respectable representative we can all be proud of, and maybe even win over some converts. And yet, this man is emphasizing drug prohibition in his campaign.

    Can I take this as vindication?

  10. You must have missed the damning editorial a month back from the editorial board of the Denver Post.

    They openly and widely condemned the War on Drugs, and even gave credit to several libertarians (and Libertarians) for the wealth of information and insight.

  11. Warren-

    Another thing that differentiates drug legalization from other (allegedly) kooky issues is that the pragmatic, consequentialist argument in favor of drug prohibition is so strong. The drug war is responsible for heinous street violence on a daily basis, not to mention vast expenditures every single day. Ending the drug war is far more urgent than, say, abolishing zip codes or legalizing ferrets.

    Also, if you look at who supports drug legalization you find that it’s not just a bunch of kooks. William F. Buckley may not represent the center of public opinion, but he’s hardly a nutcase. Although there are some people who argue for the right to put whatever you want in your bodies, most of the arguments that I’ve heard deal with the economic and social fallout of prohibition.

    As long as drug legalization is approached from the consequentialist perspective rather than the purist perspective (“I should have the absolute right to get high on PCP any time I want!”) I think it’s actually a sane issue to put forward.

  12. I wonder how many Libertarians like this we’ll see in CA on the ballots that count, if the arnold-backed change to the primery system is implimented.

  13. Another good thing about the WOD as an issue is that we’ve already had a dress rehearsal for it’s defeat. And it was defeated with a Constitutional Amendment, no less!
    Called Prohibition.
    The “noble experiment” that flopped big time.

  14. pdog, I dunno how bad that open primary with the top two vote getters moving on to the general election will be.

    At first I was just thinking ‘this is a bunch of crap’. But, what may happen is that the contest essentially gets shifted back to the primary from the general election.

    In the end the LP candidate for governor will get his/her 1.5% to 3% of the vote. But it seems like that will happen in the March primary instead of in November. But I could be wrong.

    I still don’t like the way it smells though.

  15. Who the fuck cares about newspaper endorsements?

  16. Naturally Gray has my vote for more than just his anti-drug stance and LP affiliation. He’s a sitting judge and he’s sane (not to mention he has a drivers license and never threatened to blow up the UN).

    Bill Jones is a bit of a party hack but he did a fabulous job at Secretary of State for 8 years. He brought that office into the 21st Century from the 19th. It’s still a mind boggling black hole in some ways, but compared to the way March Fong Eu ran it for twenty years, it’s Nirvana.

    Boxer a kook? No, Bill G, Boxer is much more than a kook. She’s everything vile about politics on one single plate. And her lefty politics make Californicate’s senior Senator (DiFi) Feinstein look positively libertarian by comparison.

    I’d like to say some really offensive things about her but, to keep it short, she’s a got dam whooore. 🙂

  17. Quick question: How does this newspaper usually lean, especially wrt endorsements? I can’t believe I actually have a chance to vote for a candidate that I am proud to support, it seems so anacronistic. A libertarian candidate in CA that’s not a pornographer, ferret fanatic or other oddball. I wonder howJudge Gray would do as a major party candidate. I am aware his view on Prohibition II pretty much precludes that alternative, but I still wonder.

    TWC is right, kook is far too kind a word to describe Boxer.

  18. I emailed Judge Gray and asked why he didn’t run for a winnable office on the GOP ticket, like maybe State Senate from a GOP-gerrymandered district in Orange County. His answer was that his views on his signature issue are anathema in the GOP, and that reform will not happen by quietly toeing the party line. He also said that he was disgusted by the Patriot Act.

    While I agree that neither party is inclined toward reform right now, I’m not convinced that he’ll be any more effective from the outside either. Then again, he’s spent a year going out and meeting people and making his case. It won’t translate into electoral victory, but he’s persuading a lot of people, laying the groundwork for further reforms in the future. No harm has ever come from intelligent, reasonable, and eloquent people going out there to campaign for important reforms.

  19. As a Long Beach resident, I can tell you that the LBPT is a fairly small local rag. High school football is usually the biggest story on the sports page. Today’s front page was about a break in stormy weather. That said, it is a real daily paper, not an “alternative” weekly or a free community paper. Long Beach has ~500,000 residents and is at the southern edge of LA County, maybe five or six miles from Orange at the furthest.

  20. Speaking of small, local rag, can anyone from the LA area tell me about Arlene Peck? As in Wow! It’s Arlene Peck!

    She and I have been having cybersex for some years now.
    (She’s Jewish, so I’ve had better, but let’s keep that between us H&R folks.)

  21. Judge Gray gives me a sliver of hope for the LP, and for libertarian success in general. I’d vote for him for POTUS as long as his foreign policy was not isolationist, as is so often true of ‘tarians.

    It really is too bad the War on Terror has created a fissure among libertarians; we hardly needed more barriers to unity while were doing, like, so well. (eyes rolling)

    –Mona–

  22. Mona,
    The WOT is tempering us.
    Do you know Arlene?
    Ever had cybersex?

  23. “I’d vote for him for POTUS as long as his foreign policy was not isolationist, as is so often true of ‘tarians.”

    Non-interventionist. There’s a huge difference.

  24. Mona,

    There you go with your red herrings again.

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