Election 2012

Libertarian(ish) Candidates

If you want to find a few liberty-loving politicos, look lower on the ballot

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We know one thing for certain: The winner of this year's presidential election will not be libertarian in any way, shape, or form. But with a little luck, there will be some libertarian-flavored opposition on Capitol Hill to greet our next commander in chief when he takes the oath of office in January.

Many small-l libertarians are running in competitive down-ballot races across the country, and several may actually win. Some (Richard Tisei of Massachusetts) are more libertarian than others (Ted Cruz of Texas). Still others (Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan) are already being touted as "the next Ron Paul." Rhode Island's Barry Hinckley and Minnesota's Kurt Bills have tough races ahead of them in their pursuit of a less intrusive federal government, while Kentucky's Thomas Massie just needs to hold off token opposition. Meanwhile, Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona is looking to make the big jump from Congress to the U.S. Senate, and Mia Love of Utah is looking to make history in her newly drawn district. If some of these players make it to Washington in January, they will join a growing circle of libertarianish, Tea Party-approved Republicans that includes Kentucky's Rand Paul, Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey, Tennessee's John Duncan Jr., and others. 

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) may be leaving Congress in January, but the following candidates might make sure there is still somebody in Washington reliably voting "no."

BEST BETS TO WIN

Ted Cruz

U.S. Senate, Texas

Ted Cruz's primary victory in Texas over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in July was arguably the biggest primary upset of the year. With his call to eliminate multiple cabinet-level departments and support for a full audit of the Federal Reserve, Cruz, the Ivy League–educated son of a Cuban immigrant, knows how to warm the cold hearts of fiscal conservatives. Cruz has talked vaguely about his support for a "fairer" or "flatter" tax system while getting behind a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. With endorsements from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Young Americans for Liberty, Club for Growth, plus libertarian kingmakers Ron and Rand Paul, Cruz's economic credentials are solid.

His positions on social issues are less impressive. Cruz, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), is a tough talker when it comes to immigration. In a June 2012 statement to the Houston Chronicle, Cruz said that he "categorically oppose[s] amnesty." He has called for building a wall across the southern border with Mexico and opposes the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal residency for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors. He opposes marriage equality for gays and lesbians and is reliably pro-life. At one point in his legal career Cruz was actively involved in defending the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on public property. His record in the courtroom is packed with cases on the social conservative side of the ledger.

But the campaign has focused so much on economic issues that both social issues and foreign policy have barely registered as topics of discussion. Cruz's foreign policy positions are not fully formed, but he has stated that we should use the "threat of overwhelming force if we see any evidence that (North Korea or Iran) might pass nuclear weapons on to terrorists or threaten us with nuclear blackmail." Cruz was against the Libya intervention but his reasons for it are more procedural than anything else.

The Cook Political Report, a highly respected handicapper of political races across the country, predicted as of mid-August that Cruz's general election race should be in the "solidly Republican" camp. Texas hasn't elected a Democrat statewide since 1994, and his opponent, former state Rep. Paul Sadler, is mostly a sacrificial lamb. The Libertarian Party is running restaurant owner John Jay Myers, but it does not appear that he will be a major factor in the race.

Thomas Massie

U.S. House of Representatives, Kentucky's Fourth District

Rand Paul's first endorsement victory of the year came in his home state of Kentucky this May, with the congressional primary win of Thomas Massie, the executive judge (think county manager) of Lewis County. Massie has already built up an impressively libertarian record in his short time in office: rejecting federal funds for projects his county couldn't afford, selling off county-owned property, focusing on local services that constituents actually care about.

As a potential congressman, Massie supports the elimination of the Federal Reserve and wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulation package. He favors both lower taxes and balanced budgets, helping him earn the backing of the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Republican Liberty Caucus.

Massie, unlike many fiscal conservatives, would also like to repeal the PATRIOT Act and National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, along with abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Education. He is hostile to the drug war, and he supports medical marijuana as well as the legalization of industrial hemp. 

Massie is running in a heavily Republican district, so his election is all but a lock against Grant County Democratic Party chairman Bill Adkins, who once compared the Tea Party to "terrorist suicide bombers." The Democratic Party spent big national money on the district in the heavily Democratic year of 2006 and still failed to win. The Republican incumbent, outgoing Rep. Geoff Davis, won the next two races with at least two-thirds of the vote. 

Justin Amash

U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan's Third District

The man most frequently touted as "the next Ron Paul" and "Congress's only libertarian," Michigan Rep. Justin Amash is seen by many in the libertarian community as their modern legislative standard bearer. Amash, a 32-year-old graduate of the University of Michigan and former Michigan state representative, was elected to Congress during the Tea Party wave in 2010 after running on a very libertarian platform. He has kept his word in office, becoming one of just three Tea Partiers to have earned a 100 percent rating from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth. He has picked up endorsements from the Republican Liberty Caucus and Young Americans for Liberty.

Amash's opposition to the Federal Reserve, military intervention, the PATRIOT Act, and ridiculous government subsidies like the National Capital Area Performing Arts program are all well documented. He's a deficit hawk who votes "no" on nearly every bill that comes before him. And unusually in Washington, Amash uses social media to explain in detail every single vote he makes.

Like many Republicans in the Ron Paul mold, Amash is a social conservative, opposing marriage equality and abortion rights. (Amash did lose the endorsement of Right to Life earlier this year due to a handful of "No" votes on abortion legislation.) He is on record saying he supports the Defense of Marriage Act.

"I consider myself a libertarian, traditional conservative, classical liberal," he told reason in an interview. "I think all those names are applicable."

"The reason I use those interchangeably, I think, is traditional conservatism as I view it is conserving the founding principles of our country and those founding principles are classical liberal, libertarian principles," he said.

Even though Amash's seat appears safe (Cook rates it as "likely Republican"), he will need to work the pavement because his district has been redrawn and his Democratic opponent, a former state representative and circuit court judge Steve Pestka, has the ability to self-fund his campaign. With the help of Ron Paul and his vast political organization Amash has developed a national following, allowing him to quickly raise large sums of money from beyond the district. His libertarian views and unorthodox engagement with constituents have helped him grow a diverse base of support in his home district. 

MAYBE 

Mia Love

U.S. House of Representatives, Utah's Fourth District

Mitt Romney has extremely limited appeal to serious libertarians, but Utah freedom-lovers may thank him for helping to carry Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love to victory in her race for Congress. Love, a fast riser in Utah politics, has attracted the support of establishment and anti-establishment Republicans alike not just because of her potential to make history as the first African-American Republican woman to be elected to Congress, but because of her clear western Republican views.

Love was born in Brooklyn and raised in Connecticut by her Haitian parents before moving to Utah and getting married. She started her political career in 2003 when she was elected to the Saratoga Springs City Council. In 2009 she successfully ran for mayor.

Love has been positively described as a "Trojan horse libertarian" by some conservative bloggers for her positions on homeschooling, federal control of land, and other issues. Liberals have attacked her for her backing entitlement reform and the privatization of student loans. Libertarians should enjoy Love's serious talk about eliminating the federal Department of Education and Department of Energy.

Love does not support marriage equality but opposes the Defense of Marriage Act on the grounds that the federal government has no business in dictating how states should handle marriage.

Love is challenging Rep. Jim Matheson, a very conservative Democrat and six-term incumbent who voted to repeal ObamaCare and opposes marriage equality. There are more Republicans in the district's newly drawn boundaries than before, and only a small portion of it overlaps with Matheson's previous constituency. National Democrats and Republicans are pouring money into this race as they see it as extremely close. (Cook rates it a "toss up.") Matheson has withstood strong challenges before, but that was when his district was constructed in his favor.

Richard Tisei

U.S. House of Representatives, Massachusetts's Sixth District

Richard Tisei is another GOP candidate looking to make history: He'd be the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress. Tisei, a longtime Massachusetts state senator and onetime lieutenant gubernatorial candidate, probably would have been better off running in the Tea Party wave election in 2010, but an ongoing family scandal involving his opponent, Rep. John Tierney, has made this campaign one of the most competitive congressional races in Massachusetts since the late 1990s.

Tisei supports gay marriage and gay rights, but like all of the candidates profiled here is focused overwhelmingly on economic issues. When talking with The Hill he described himself as a "live and let live Republican."

"I consider myself a libertarian in a lot of ways," he says. "I think the government should get out of your bedroom, off your back, and out of your wallet. That is, I think, the traditional northeast libertarian viewpoint."

Even though he has not signed Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge, Tisei has a track record of opposing tax increases and fighting for tax cuts. He led the charge in the Massachusetts state senate for years to lower the state income tax back to 5 percent after its scheduled rollback was halted at 5.3 percent in 2002. In 2010, while running for lieutenant governor, he did sign the Massachusetts equivalent of Norquist's pledge. 

As senate minority leader in Massachusetts, Tisei opposed legislation that banned smoking in newly legal casinos, though the law eventually passed after he left office. Though not campaigning on the drug war, Tisei supports medical marijuana and backed a successful 2008 state ballot initiative that decriminalized possession of small amounts. When asked his thoughts on full legalization Tisei said he was open to it. He also opposes portions of the PATRIOT Act.

The big mark against Tisei is that he supported Mitt Romney's health care reform bill when it was before the Massachusetts state senate. He opposes ObamaCare, and would vote to repeal it, but still defends his vote for the state version of the individual mandate. "The RomneyCare bill was 70 pages long. The ObamaCare bill was 2,700 pages long. It creates a whole new generation of government commissions and departments and bureaucracy that we'll never get rid of," he explains.

Tisei is challenging embattled Rep. John Tierney, an eight-term incumbent. Tierney's wife Patrice and her family are caught up in a federal investigation involving her brother's illegal offshore gambling operation. The arrest and conviction of his wife on multiple counts of "aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns" for her brother's offshore operation wounded Tierney's re­election prospects in 2010, but he was still able to fend off inexperienced Tea Party Republican Bill Hudak, a Massachusetts attorney. The scandal died down before resurfacing as a major part of the 2012 campaign when one of Patrice's brothers, Daniel Eremian, was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for his involvement in the operation. 

The Cook Political Report has slowly but surely moved the race to its "toss-up" rating. Tisei has had stronger fundraising than Tierney in recent quarters and is clearly benefiting from the very negative press surrounding his opponent. The major wild cards for Tisei are the historically incompetent Massachusetts Republican Party and whatever boost Tierney will receive from having President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket. 

Jeff Flake

U.S. Senate, Arizona

With endorsements from FreedomWorks, the National Rifle Association, and Citizens Against Government Waste, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is considerably more Barry Goldwater than his fellow Arizonan Sen. John McCain (who has also endorsed him). Flake, a five-term congressman, has a 100 percent lifetime rating from Club for Growth and a rating of "Libertarian" (the highest possible ranking), from the Republican Liberty Caucus. Flake spent most of the 1990s heading up the Goldwater Institute, an Arizona free market think tank, before successfully running for Congress in 2000.

Flake is a social conservative on abortion and gay marriage, but he voted to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell and has worked to liberalize immigration laws. He is definitely not a nativist when it comes to national immigration policy. "I have no sympathy for those who are running drugs or doing human smuggling or criminal activity but that's a very small part of those who are simply coming here to make their lives better," he says. "I think we ought to make sure we have a legal framework for them to come and work and then return home."

Flake is strong on taxes and spending, with a 91 percent rating from the National Taxpayers Union. Flake has voted with libertarians on some civil liberties issues, though he is uncomfortable with the libertarian label and does not consider himself one. He has been critical of the PATRIOT Act, particularly the warrantless surveillance aspects, and has offered a variety of amendments to weaken it by requiring the head of the FBI to personally approve requests for library or bookstore records, allowing for recipients of national security letters to consult an attorney and challenge them in court, and putting a stop to judges preventing people from knowing about impending government searches of their homes. Flake has also pushed to end the trade embargo with and ban on travel to Cuba.

The strikes against Flake are serious: his initial votes for the PATRIOT Act and the Iraq War. Still, Flake has the potential to pull the Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate in a more libertarian direction. But only after he faces the toughest challenge of his political career, former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona.

Arizona may be a red state but it's also a magnet for people looking to escape heavily regulated and taxed blue states such as California. Carmona, a retired vice admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, excites Democrats because of his Hispanic background and his bipartisan appeal as an appointee of George W. Bush. Unlike Flake, Carmona did not face any primary challengers, allowing him to steadily raise money while focusing on the general election. Every poll has shown Flake with a lead, but an ugly Republican primary against Will Cardon, a wealthy businessman, has had an impact on his favorability and has some local Republicans worried.

LONGSHOTS

Barry Hinckley

U.S. Senate, Rhode Island

People often point to Massachusetts as the most perfect exemplar of a one-party state, but that's because they often overlook its tiny, densely populated neighbor to the south, Rhode Island. The nation's smallest state is very much like Massachusetts, with its Puritan settlers, ethnic Catholic immigrants, love for baseball, and strong accents. And the mostly one-party rule of Rhode Island is similar, too, with moderate Republicans or former Republicans occupying the governor's office for nearly two decades even while Democrats have held large majorities in the legislature. It's not exactly a breeding ground for small-government types.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Barry Hinckley is a Rhode Island businessman, so he's familiar with the awful climate for business and innovation. (In its annual rankings for 2012, CNBC listed Rhode Island as the worst state for business in the country.) Hinckley got his start in the Ocean State working in his family's shipbuilding business, but he eventually left the industry and moved to Massachusetts where he started his own software company in 1999. In June, Hinckley sold his stake in the firm, Bullhorn Software, for an undisclosed amount; in various news reports he has said he made out "very well." Since 2010 Hinckley has co-hosted a libertarian Internet radio program called Revolution Radio.

Hinckley says he shares the values of the American Founders, whom he considers libertarian. While he lived in Massachusetts, he says, he was registered as a member of the Libertarian Party "for years," walking away from the Republican Party when George W. Bush was in office. He credits the Bush years for leading him to explore the ideas of limited government. "The Republicans are too socially conservative and the Democrats are too fiscally liberal," he says. When Ron Paul visited the state in 2012, Hinckley was the one who introduced him at the University of Rhode Island. "I consider Ron Paul the grandfather of political honesty," he said. 

Hinckley says the war on drugs has been a total failure. "I think marijuana should be legalized. I am not a big fan of legalizing all hard drugs but at the same time these people shouldn't be put in jail for life. If you're going to willingly do harm to your body the government shouldn't pay for it. That includes unhealthy foods and tobacco as well."

Hinckley supports gay marriage, is pro-choice, and is a strong defender of the Second Amendment, but insists his main focus is on fiscal matters. He would, among other things, repeal the income tax. "I used to like the fair tax and I am not a supporter of the flat tax. We have to get rid of the entire tax code and start over. The income tax is incredibly regressive, it punishes labor," he says.

Hinckley has a mountain to climb if he is to be successful in his challenge to incumbent Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Cook rates the race as "solid Democratic," and Hinckley's fundraising has been disappointing. Aside from the Republican Liberty Caucus, national groups that could dive in and spend heavily are not actively engaged in the race. Hinckley reportedly has the ability to self-fund his campaign but that would only go so far, since his roots in the state are nowhere near as deep as the incumbent's.

Kurt Bills

U.S. Senate, Minnesota

Kurt Bills has the cut-from-stone looks, booming voice, and background story that make him a candidate straight out of central casting. An average student in high school, Bills worked for a few years in road construction before going to college to become a police officer. A growing interest in education led him to change his trajectory. Since 1996 he has worked as a teacher at Rosemount High School in Rosemount, Minnesota, where he teaches history and economics. His political career took off in 2008 when he was elected to the city council, then he ran successfully for state representative in 2010. Now he's making the big jump to national politics with a challenge to incumbent Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Bills says he jumped into politics because of his students. "If my kids ever asked me, 'Mr. Bills what we are supposed to do about all this?' at least I could say 'Well here's what I did. I tried to get involved and you can do this, too. Doesn't matter what party you're in, just get involved.'?" 

Bills touts the curriculum for his economics courses, saying "I am an educator, not an indoctrinator. I don't teach them what I believe, I teach them all the schools of economic thought and challenge them on all of them." The works of Austrian economist Carl Menger sparked his interest in the field. 

He is not really comfortable with the libertarian label, preferring to call himself a "libertarian-leaning constitutional conservative," but most of his positions align with mainstream libertarian ideas. He is hostile to the drug war, favors a non-interventionist foreign policy, and embraces Austrian economics.

Unfortunately for Bills, Minnesota has shown itself to be a Democratic stronghold in recent campaign cycles, despite being the home to former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and national conservative icon Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Klobuchar was elected with almost two-thirds of the vote in 2006, and all polls indicate that she is poised to cruise to reelection again this fall. The wild card in this race is the Ron Paul movement in Minnesota, which is backing Bills vigorously. If the organizational chops that Paul's machine displayed during the Republican caucuses mean anything, this race could be closer than the "solid Democratic" that Cook currently predicts.  

CORRECTION: The original version of this article said that Flake initially voted for the Troubled Assets Relief Program. He did not.

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  1. I do want Mia Love to win, solely for the lulz she will bring to the Congressional Black Caucus.

    1. You actually think they’ll invite her to join?

      1. I think it’s the hemming and hawing and throat clearing and renaming that he looks forward to.

      2. They turned down the white guy from a black district because he was white.

        As far as I know, they’ve never turned down black person. I just want to see them either (a) twist in the wind trying to justify keeping a bona fide black person out of the black caucus or (b) put up with her harassing their crony/welfare state asses at every meeting.

      3. They invited Allen West and Tim Scott.

    2. Why? She’s not “really” Black.

    3. I still think they should re-name it “the big, black caucus.”

  2. A pure libertarian would leave a seat vacant.

      1. Why? Isn’t a -1 vote better than a 0?

        1. I took it as a good joke. The roadmap to the joke being: A real libertarian eschews power and tries to reduce the size of government. Therefore, Congress has one less person seeking power and ordering other people around. If the government holds a legislative session to pass new laws and nobody shows up…

          But on the serious side, of course a -1 vote is better than 0.

    1. Does this make Obama a libertarian? – he’s an empty chair.

  3. “make the big jump from Congress to the U.S. Senate”

    Is the Senate no longer part of the United States Congress?

    1. They seceded in 1861, but were forcibly reintegrated in 1865.

    2. Would to God it wasn’t…

    3. Is the Senate no longer part of the United States Congress?

      THANK YOU

    4. Congress is often used as a euphemism for The House of Representatives. Because we call guys in The House “congressmen/persons” and people in the Senate “senators”.

      Stephen Fry is watching.

      1. We call people in the House ‘Representative’. Congressman is inclusive of both the House and the Senate.

  4. For the polling junkies:

    The Houston Chronicle Blog ‘Texas on the Potomac’ took a look at the polls after the election four years ago and found out which ones were the most accurate. Topping the list was Rasmussen (hated by the left) and Pew (discredited by the left this year.) Ranked very low was the IBD/TIPP polling firm, right behind it was NBC/WSJ. Even further down was Gallup.

    Taking all of that into consideration, the top two polls to consider then would be Rasmussen and GWU. Take out Gallup as an outlier on the Romney side and IBD/TIPP as an outlier favoring the president, and you come out with a Romney +2 margin at 49/47.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012…..for-votes/

    1. Whatever happened to Zogby?

      1. He basically got out of political polling after ’08. I’m still unclear as a former Zogby online poll participant if this was because he was bought out or what.

    2. Pew (discredited by the left this year.)

      What does this mean?

    3. But Gallup had the last three Presidential races almost exactly right. They had Obama at 53% in 08, Bush ahead by 2 in 04, and Gore and Bush in a dead heat in 00.

  5. (ish)

    I’m making this my new party designation.

  6. What are “abortion rights”? How can you have a right to kill someone else?

    1. What are “abortion rights”?

      Abortion rights = the right to kill you in self-defense if you try to physically restrain a woman and force her to do something she does not want to do.

      Your jurisdiction ends when someone else’s body begins. Comprehende?

    2. If that’s what people decide is right, it’s a right. How else can you possibly determine what’s right other than by people thinking about it?

      1. You’re confusing the moral question “What is right?” With the question “What are my rights?”

        Abortion rights = the right to kill you in self-defense if you try to physically restrain a woman and force her to do something she does not want to do.

        This is utterly and completely incoherent.

  7. Raise your hand if you’d bang the chick in the picture.

    *raises hand*

    And some WONDER why there are no libertardian wimmins…

    1. Oh hell yes I came here to say that

      1. Overall, the GOP has an edge when it comes to good looking women.

  8. Justin Amash – Best Congressman ever?

    The explanation on each vote is the single best tool out there for following the daily activity in the House. I don’t even live in his district.

    Plus, his tweeter feed is really amusing. A few months ago he tweeted a pic from his office window, with view of a chair that was thrown onto the roof of the adajecent building. So random, yet so funny. Worth following.

    1. That pic would be worth it –

      *heads over to The Tweeting…*

  9. yes. It means the right to kill *you* before you physically restrain a woman against her will and force her to do something she does not want.

  10. My Congressman, Scott Garrett is definitely Libertarian(ish) and a member of the Liberty Caucus. He hates internet gambling for some reason, but is otherwise pretty good.

    1. He hates internet gambling for some reason

      So what? The question is whether he supports legislation to do anything abou it. I wasn’t aware being libertarian meant approving of anything anyone else does.

  11. Interesting how every single libertarianish candidate is a Republican. Just like Ron paul–and Rand Paul. Why, so is Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for President.

    Go figger.

    And yet we can’t seem to kick liberaltarians and the liberals that hold their leashes to the curb.

    1. Interesting that the LP has candidates running in most of these races that are even better. Go figure.

    2. Honestly, the same thing struck me.

    3. I was glad to see Mr. Quinn didn’t reach for some bogus balance by bending over backwards to include some Democratic nominee. I’d be very pleased if there were some, of course.

    4. “Interesting how every single libertarianish candidate is a Republican.”

      But it’s not surprising. Republicans tend to support the free market more and they also tend to support freedom of choice more. Democrats don’t like school choice, food choice, private property. Even in areas of “social” freedom, like gay marriage….they end up finding some way to assert control – like with the ban on gay therapy in California.

      That’s not to say that Republicans are consistent in supporting freedom, but Democrats are pretty consistently against freedom.

      1. Republicans tend to support the free market more

        except when they put forth a farm bill that includes crop insurance and price support programs that artificially distort the market

        and they also tend to support freedom of choice more

        except if you’re a pregnant woman making a choice concerning her own body or if you choose an Islam-based school or if you’re anyone choosing what substances to inhale

        Let’s please put an end to this falsehood that Republicans are libertarian or even libertarianish.

        1. Well – Many of us were raised on Republican small-government promises dating back to Reagan or even Goldwater.

          Unfortunately, those promises rarely resulted in actual small-government. That’s how I ended up here.

        2. I challenge you to find an elected politician in history that has done everything a libertarian should do, according to everyone who calls themselves a libertarian. You can’t. So I guess every elected politician is a freedom-hating statist. That puts the burden on you to prove why libertarians shouldn’t be dismissed as crazy people with no clue how the real world works. Or you could admit that, in reality, things are only true in degrees.

    5. To expand my point, there is a reason for this. As much as they argue vehemently about the specifics of policy, conservatives and libertarians largely share the same underlying philosophy of government. The general principle that defines libertarian thought – that the government should exist solely to protect people’s rights – wouldn’t be wildly out of place in a conservative’s creed. The modern, progressive left, on the other hand actively believes the government exists as a means of creating a utopian society.

      1. I agree with this. Although I think a lot of libertarians have a pretty utopian outlook. Maybe there’s a split among libertarians between the tragic and utopian views.

  12. Kurt Bills is a social conservative. He voted to put Minnesota’s gay marriage amendment to the voters, and voted to put the voter ID amendment to the ballot as well. Both are unlibertarian.

  13. A real libertarian eschews power and tries to reduce the size of government. Therefore, Congress has one less person seeking power and ordering other people around. If the government holds a legislative session to pass new laws and nobody shows up…

    A very libertarian elected official would show up, vote no on just about everything, and lambast the other officials in floor speeches pointing out the illiberality of the laws and spending they were trying to pass.

    1. I’ll know we are close when they start holding sessions to repeal laws.

  14. Minnesota is one of the most schizophrenic, mentally deficient states. These ass holes have produced nothing but soft, gooey non-leftists such as Tim Pawlenty and Rudy Boschwitz. Hell, go ahead and throw in that ignorant wrestler as governor. (Good God, that wrestler was such a nothing-gasbag.)

    But in their hearts, Minnesota is pure Karl Marx. They won’t admit it, but they cream their jeans when they recall their favorite son, Gus Hall.

    When you hear Minnesota, think Gus Hall.

    Minnesota can go screw themselves.

    Oh, and by the way, Minnesota, twice, voted to NOT allow Black Americans the right to vote.

  15. I live in Minnesota, you simplistic judgmental dipshi..

    It is a diverse state that produced both Keith Ellison and Michele Bachmann. And Gov. Ventura is pretty libertarian. He endorsed and campaigned for Gary Johnson here.

    Kurt Bills is not quite libertarian. He voted to send the gay marriage amendment to the voters. A libertarian stance would have been no. He voted to send the voter ID amendment to the voters. Not quite libertarian again.

    I want Klobuchar fired, but don’t know what the hell Bills is going to do once in power at the federal level. The 3rd party alternative wants medicare for all. The LP has no US Senate candidate. I have no idea who to vote for.

  16. Man, fuck Ted Cruz. John Jay Myers is the real libertarian running for senate in Texas.

  17. He opposes [extending] marriage equality privileges for to gays and lesbians

    FTFY. “Marriage equality” will be when nobody asks me which of my 24 spouses I want to file jointly with on my tax return, because they no longer dole out government benefits to people in monogamous relationships because they are so much more special than single people, and people in other types of relationships.

    Also, since “gay” refers generically to homosexuals, “gays and lesbians” is kind of redundant. If you’re going to go PC, go for the gold: “gay and lesbian same-gender-attracted homosexual persons”.

    1. Unless he is proposing a repeal of all the current spousal benefits, he’s against equality.

      1. Because inequality isn’t really inequality as long as you extend the institution of inequality to include 1 more group than it presently does. Makes perfect sense.

        1. So you’re too angry about this to understand when someone agrees with you, huh?

  18. libertarianish, Tea Party-approved Republicans

    I find that anyone who is Tea-Party approved is much more -ish than libertarian.

    1. This man speaks the truth.

  19. “make history as the first African-American Republican woman…. Love was born in Brooklyn and raised in Connecticut by her Haitian parents….”

    She’s not African-American. If we must hyphenate her heritage, it would be Haitian-American.

    I live in the Matheson/Love district, and it’s a tight, feisty, race. Love says the right things, but then, that’s easy. But I do think she actually believes most of what she says, and that’s encouraging.

  20. Too many social conservatives on this list. Stop pretending that Republicans are “libertarianish”.

    1. True Scotsmen or not, they do beat the alternative in most cases.

    2. Nice purity test. Take the half-a-loaf before you starve to death.

  21. If you are living in a state where your vote for either major party candidate will not be likely to make much difference you might prefer to make your vote count by voting for the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

    He already is showing 4% in national polls and if he can garner 5% will assure that in 2016 the LP will be eligible to get 90M dollars in matching funds which would enable their candidate to enlighten the electorate with libertarian perspective on issues.

    That might be a turning point, if not the end, for the two party dominance in American politics

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  34. A pure libertarian would leave a seat vacant.

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