Maybe the GOP is Worried About Barr

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A good sign of whether a third party campaign has any gas in the tank is whether one of the big parties is challenging its ballot access. In 2004 the Democrats fretted a bit about Ralph Nader, so they tied him down with lawsuits. In 2008 they've recognized him for the less-funny Pat Paulsen (a terrifying thought!) that he is, so they're ignoring him.

The Pennsylvania GOP isn't ignoring Bob Barr.

Cumberland County GOP chairman Victor Stabile, an attorney who filed suit to remove Barr, said he's fine with third-party candidates, but is crying foul because Libertarians listed Rochelle Etzel of Clarion County as their prospective presidential candidate when gathering petition signatures to put a nominee on the ballot.

Stabile acknowledged that state law allows parties to replace a candidate who withdraws…

Oh. Okay, then.

…but said Pennsylvania Libertarians never intended for Etzel to run.

Well, yes. In order to make the ballot, Libertarians couldn't wait until their Memorial Day weekend convention.

"The problem we have is that, as we understand it, and based upon the evidence that I've seen is that they circulated these petitions with Etzel's name, never intending her to be the candidate," Stabile said. "They went to the convention, nominated Barr, and then she withdrew."

Stabile said his court filing cites internal Libertarian e-mail indicating that they intended to nominate Barr, not Etzel, and likened it to voter fraud."We have a horrible problem in this state with voter fraud," Stabile said. "This is just another variety of that. You can't go around and, under false pretenses, saying 'Hey, sign this petition.'"

And the phrase "voter fraud" loses all meaning. Anyone who signed a petition to get a non-entity on the ballot in Pennsylvania as a Libertarian would be fine with an actual politician filling out the ballot line. Anyway, I'd think twice about filing a frivolous lawsuit against a third party candidate in Pennsylvania, given how that's worked out in the past.

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  1. Way to go Stabile.

  2. God… I… hate… the… two-party… duopoly…

    Seriously, it’s like these Republican and Democratic assholes think that they are divinely appointed to decide who can can vote for. Of course, they’ve rigged the system to ensure that they are.

  3. How can you want John McCain to lose? Remember–he was a POW!

  4. I agree with Stabile on this one. People who cast their votes into a well have the right to know just who their flushing it for.

  5. dammit!

    their = they’re

  6. Once again, McCain, who once said he would never mount or endorse a ballot-access challenge against his opponents (when he was the object of such challenges) demonstrates his opportunistic hypocrisy. From everything I have ever seen in the past three decades, the guy is and always has been an elitist who has no problem with bending or breaking the rules if he can benefit from the act. But he has no problem making the rules for the rest of us, and crying foul when “cheaters” cause problems for him. What a piece of work.

  7. I have a theory that Bob Barr is running for president just to fuck over John McCain. McCain is known for having a bad temper & to turn political disagreements on capitol hill into personal disagreements. Bob Barr being a politicain & a douche bag seems like the kind of a guy to hold a grudge & want some payback for a past slight.

  8. Actually, I think the one worried is Barr: he’s afraid of talking to me.

    All I know is my last two requests to take part in a ConferenceCall haven’t been replied to.

    I even name-dropped Reason’s contributors in the first request.

  9. C’mon, don’t be showing disrespect to Pat Paulson. Less funny than Pat is not a frightening idea, there’s still plenty of room for funny below him. He did some wonderful stuff.

    Penn

  10. “Actually, I think the one worried is Barr: he’s afraid of talking to me.”

    I’m afraid of talking to you too.

  11. I can’t find the transcript, but Limbaugh mentioned that very thing today. That conservatives might run to Barr if McCain chooses a liberal running mate.

  12. Are you telling me that a Republican would invoke the specter of voter fraud falsely, in a cynical attempt to infringe on people’s legitimate democratic rights in order to influence the outcome of an election?

    Come on, a Republican?

    Dave, did you get two sources on this? Because it seems really implausible to me.

    “We have a horrible problem in this state with voter fraud,” Stabile said. Then I’m sure there are stacks of documented cases of voter fraud in Pennsylvania in recent years, if it’s such a problem that the Cumberland County GOP Chair can so casually make such an assertion.

  13. “Actually, I think the one worried is Barr: he’s afraid of talking to me.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! He’s “afraid” of talking to a delusional, condescending asshole who mistakenly thinks his website actually matters to anyone with a brain in their head. That’s awesome. I was feeling a little blue and that cheered me right up. Is that kind of like how the actress who played Seven of Nine on Star Trek was “afraid” to respond to the LonewackoLoveScene script suggestions you kept sending her?

  14. Come on joe McCain was a POW remember? He wouldn’t pull stuff like this!

  15. James Anderson Merritt, do you have a link where McCain said he would never endorse a ballot access challenge? I’d love to spread that info around.

  16. BDB,

    Like this:

    How can you accuse the McCain campaign of infringing on people’s democratic rights? That is (adjective, adjective, and adjective). John McCain’s democratic rights were infringed on for five and a half years…IN A POW CAMP!

    or

    How can you accuse of John McCain of using his POW status for political gain? That is (adjective, adjective, and adjective). John McCain’s POW status was used for political gain for five and a half years…IN A POW CAMP!

  17. “That is (adjective, adjective, and adjective).”

    Is this like Mad Libs? I choose “flatulent,” “transcendent,” and “Lithuanian.”

  18. The house thing is so stupid. I don’t care if McCain or his wife is rich, thats B.S. class warfare.

    But McCain managed to transform a standard Democratic talking point into a George H.W. Bush at the checkout counter moment by not knowing hes rich. Way to go, Mac!

    If the Democrats lose to this guy, the Democratic Party needs to go the way of the Federalists and Whigs and let the Green Party have a shot at being the center-left party.

  19. FWIW, latest VP rumor: Jack Reed

  20. Actually, it looks like the BobBarrConferenceCall might have been a WaPo online chat; my complaints about JasonPye not informing me about it still stand.

    Flow dreams: That conservatives might run to Barr if McCain chooses a liberal running mate.

    That’s funny. The thing that conservatives oppose the most about McCain is something on which he and BobBarr mostly agree, with BobBarr being even more willing to throw out the BoobBaitForBubba via his ludicrous ideas that don’t have a chance of coming to pass in the current environment and which wouldn’t stand a chance in heck if the amnesty that BobBarr supports passes.

    People aren’t as stupid as BobBarr thinks they are, but some of them might be stupid enough to buy his no doubt forthcoming book.

  21. Why do they call them political “parties?” Is it because you have to be drunk to vote for any of their candidates?

    The fact that the GOP and the Democrats can openly use their power at various levels of government to block third parties–which are only a marginal threat, anyway–tells us exactly how bad things are. If we remain mostly free and prosperous, it’s no thanks to the people in power, whose sole aim–their sole aim–is winning and retaining office. And reaping the rewards thereof.

  22. “Actually, I think the one worried is Barr: he’s afraid of talking to me.

    All I know is my last two requests to take part in a ConferenceCall haven’t been replied to.”

    After Borat, can you blame him?

  23. Hugh Akston | August 21, 2008, 9:01pm | #
    I agree with Stabile on this one. People who cast their votes into a well have the right to know just who their flushing it for.

    Whose name will be on the ballot in November? If it’s Etzel’s, you have a point. If it’s Barr’s, you don’t.

  24. It would be nice if the mother-milk-cheese- eating old fart actually does worry the Republicans a bit. By the way, is he hiding a hairlip with that mustache?

  25. Of cours they are worried. Barr is a conservative running against the Republicans to split the conservative vote. That was the plan all along. The Libertarian Party is just being used by conservatives in their civil war. If Barr were running a libertarian campaign he’d be just as likely as to take votes from Obama. But Obama need not worry. Bob Barr is not running a libertarian campaign at all.

    The one net result of this is that lots of libertarians I know will have extra time on election day because they, myself included, don’t intend to vote. If a libertarian were running they’d consider it. But absent such a choice one may as well stay home.

  26. @ HLM et al

    This must be why the phrase “making the perfect the enemy of the good” was invented – to describe the Libertarian philosophy on voting.

  27. Some how I get the feeling the GOP doesnt care about anything. They seem to have the sheeple in the palm of their grubby little hands!

    RD
    http://www.Privacy-Center.net

  28. Wow, cool.

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/128215.html#1061523

    I get the feeling that’s really Penn. I think Libertarians need to rent a LOT of chickensuits this election season.
    JMR

  29. FWIW, latest VP rumor: Jack Reed

    FWIW, it will be a sad day for Rhode Island. He’s a good senator, and we don’t want to lose him.

    He’d be a better choice for Secretary of Defense anyway.

  30. Why are politicians such fucking assholes? What happened to the concept of honor – did it die along with the pistol duel?

  31. LOL joe. Obama got his political start by successfully challenging ballot access by the INCUMBENT.

    However, I am confused by this ballot petition process. How do the Dems and Reps do it? Technically their nominee isn’t even set yet. Do they get some sort of free pass based on prior electoral success?

  32. Get ready for a ton of these kinds of suits if Barr does achieve balance of power. The GOP committed lots of fraud in their Penna. delegate petitioning process and in confiscating Ron Paul delegate literature at the polls in Delaware county.

    One other lesson: The LP is going to have to hold earlier nominating conventions so the candidate is known well before petitioning starts in any state that requires a specific name.

  33. Then I’m sure there are stacks of documented cases of voter fraud in Pennsylvania in recent years,

    Wouldn’t this be the state with more registered voters than people over 18 in its biggest city?

  34. bubba,

    The fact that his challenge was successful means the signatures really were fake.

    As opposed to this, where once again, the voter fraud charge appears to be wholly imaginary.

  35. RC,

    Wouldn’t this be the state with more registered voters than people over 18 in its biggest city? This would be one of many states where old names aren’t automatically taken off the rolls when people move.

    I’ll take that as a “No, there is no evidence of actual voter fraud, so hey look over there.”

  36. In business and politics, love, the situation is always…fluid.

  37. “By the way, is he hiding a hairlip with that mustache?”

    The hair(y)lip may or may not hide a harelip.

    /end nitpick

  38. I’ll take that as a “No, there is no evidence of actual voter fraud, so hey look over there.”

    It goes back a few years, but this seems to fit the bill:

    Saying Philadelphia’s election system had collapsed under “a massive scheme” by Democrats to steal a State Senate election in November, a Federal judge today took the rare step of invalidating the vote and ordered the seat filled by the Republican candidate.

    Something more recent, as well.

    I particularly enjoyed joe playing true to stereotype:

    Still, many liberals insist fraud isn’t an issue in Pennsylvania. “Show us the fraud,” said Elizabeth Milner, chairman of the state’s League of Women Voters, urging a veto of voter ID.

    If you RTFL, examples of fraud follow.

  39. One 14-year-old example which, unlike all the recent fear-mongering, was backed by evidence, and was fixed; and somebody’s opinion that there gotta be voter fraud, without any evidence.

    How, that’s impressive.

  40. I have had a very hard time deciding whether to hold my nose and pull the gop lever. Matt Welch’s book really opened my eyes. This ballot challange to Barr well may have changed my mind to actually cast the protest vote for Barr. More than one person has said you don’t really want to be the winning party in ’08 anyway.

    what makes it hard is that any time you allow leftist wackos to appoint Supreme Court judges you pay the price for decades. The Casey Martin case made me sick to my stomach.

    It is not that golf is terribly important, but the arrogance of the court to think they should have the right to define the game of golf shows that people of this nation do not even deserve freedom if they have not risen in revolt against that abitrary and absurd infringement on the rights of individuals to do something as simple as make the rules of a game for themselves.

    I hate the modern republic.

    “I am a monarchist BECAUSE I am a democrat.”

  41. Isn’t Barr’s running mate a former porn star?

  42. # obi juan | August 21, 2008, 10:25pm | #
    # James Anderson Merritt, do you have a
    # link where McCain said he would never
    # endorse a ballot access challenge? I’d
    # love to spread that info around.

    The actual quote in the New York Times spoke specifically of GW Bush, but the clear implication was that McCain felt ballot access challenges were examples of unfair play, to which he would not stoop. Read it yourself and see if you do not agree:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D04EEDA123AF937A25752C0A9669C8B63

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