Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson Shatters Monthly Record for Fundraising

L.P. nominee brings in $5 million, "the largest monthly haul of any Libertarian presidential candidate in at least 20 years," but the feds rebuff his requests to be treated like a serious candidate. Meanwhile, Debate Commission protested, pro-Johnson documentary financed, plus other campaign news.


||| Reason

The new presidential campaign fundraising numbers came out last night, showing the Libertarian Party in decidedly unchartered territory. In the month of August, the Gary Johnson campaign raised $4.97 million and spent $3.68 million, leaving on hand $2.49 million to play with. These compare to July numbers of $1.6 million raised, $860,000 spent, and $1.21 million pocketed. The Wall Street Journal reports that "No Libertarian presidential candidate had [previously] raised more than $1 million in a single month dating back to at least 1996, before which digital campaign finance records aren't available."

The Journal also reported that, "On Tuesday, the agency that manages U.S. federal government real estate rebuffed a request to give Mr. Johnson the resources to begin planning a presidential transition process." The feds dealt yet another blow Tuesday when the General Services Administration rebuffed the campaign's request for regular national security briefings, citing Johnson's low poll numbers.

More Johnson news:

* Starting at 11 a.m. ET this morning, and running until 3 p.m., there will be a #LetGaryDebate protest outside of the Commission on Presidential Debates in Washington, D.C.

* After Wired magazine's embarrassing (IMO) endorsement of Hillary Clinton, the formerly libertarianesque journal has opened its pages to Johnson to explain why that's silly. "The piece spends 342 words cataloging the 'optimistic libertarianism' of its Silicon Valley founder of the 1990s. It offers not one word about the actual Libertarian Party candidate running for president," Johnson writes. "We promise freedom and liberty, not a dictator or a technocrat."

* Patrick Byrne, the libertarian founder of Overstock, is bankrolling a $1 million feature-length documentary titled Rigged 2016, which will promote Johnson while trashing the Democratic-Republican duopoly, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The film, scheduled for limited theatrical release in October in New York and Los Angeles (and then online thereafter), is being directed by Jeff Hays, the auteur behind Fahrenhype 9/11:

"The big lie is we only have two choices," says Byrne. "Let the people compare him to the other two. He'll mop the floor with them." […]

"If Johnson can win three to five states and Clinton and Trump fight to something close to a tie and neither gets the majority of electoral votes, it goes to the House of Representatives, where Democrats will prefer Gary to Trump and Republicans will prefer Gary over Hillary," says Byrne.

* Speaking of fanciful Johnson pathways to the White House, political analyst Cliston Brown pens an amusing and admittedly "far-fetched" scenario over in the conflict-riddled New York Observer. Basically, Trump and Clinton would have to tie, and then a bunch of other stuff would have to happen.

* Independent #NeverTrump conservative candidate Evan McMullin, whose name reportedly appears on the ballots of 11 states, continued his harsh criticism of Johnson in a new U.S. News & World Report interview, saying "Most Americans understand that he is not credible as a potential leader of the free world or of this country. This is a guy who thinks that defeating [ISIS] isn't our problem. This is a guy who doesn't know where Aleppo is. This is a guy who spends more time advocating for a drug culture in this country than he does dealing with real problems." Respondeth Johnson campaign spokesman Joe Hunter: "Gary Johnson is a two-term governor who enjoys substantial support from active members of the military and whose leadership skills are well-documented. To suggest he is 'unfit' is nothing more than trying to write a headline.

More Johnson news to come soon, including about an intriguing new Military Times poll.

NEXT: The Clown Panic Comes to College

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  1. How many puppies do Clinton and Trump have to strangle on live tv for Johnson to win the presidency?

    1. Don’t think there are enough puppies to pull that off.

      1. Not even if the whole population of South Korea turns vegetarian.

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    2. Trump will just claim they were Muslim puppies. Clinton will claim they were also Muslim puppies, but about to commit terrorist acts.

    3. Trump would have to strangle Brad, and Clinton strangles Angelina. Then, maybe, we got a shot.

    4. 3. Each. One puppy can be ugly, but the other two have to look cuddly.

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    6. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do,

  2. Maybe Gary should whole-heartedly endorse the welfare state and get even more donations.

    1. Maybe it’s because GJ hasn’t released his tax returns yet.

    2. No, he should continue advocating cutting the federal budget by 20% and reforming entitlements.

  3. I love how the Trump and Bernie people talked about how rigged the system is. Yet, when a viable 3rd party candidate comes along they are the first to bash him and say he shouldn’t be in the debates.

    The system is rigged because the people want it rigged enough that they have a higher chance of THEIR dictator winning.

    1. *Yet, when a viable 3rd party candidate *

      Viable. LOL

  4. People on Slate the other day (*at the article where the author insisted “no liberal can possibly vote for Johnson“) were insisting that Johnson was simply a “Koch Puppet”

    I don’t think anyone tried squaring that claim with the fact that these guys are basically running a bake-sale-funded campaign.

    1. Logic is not a thing at Slate.

    2. Actually, a bake sale might actually significantly increase funding. Depending on what the “bake” is referring to. Both meanings could provide a significant source of funding.

  5. “The film, scheduled for limited theatrical release in October in New York and Los Angeles (and then online thereafter),”

    That strategic targeting should really put New York and California into play.

    1. I noticed that too. There are enough independent movie theaters in every major and mid sized American city. Only releasing it in those two progressive shitholes is counterproductive.

      1. UT, NM, CO, AK, MT,NH? Any of those would be smarter.

        1. Ummm … you have to actually get someone to agree to put the movie in their theater. A single screen in each state might be all they have right now.

          1. Very true. New York and California seem not so friendly to libertarians. Why not start in a state that is polling higher?

      2. Meh. Not many people want to see this sort of thing in a theatre. They are probably doing theatrical releases so they qualify for awards (not that they will win), and other film industry reasons unrelated to the actual purpose of the documentary.

        That they are releasing it online shortly thereafter is the important thing and will get them a far wider audience than making people seek out the film in theatres.

        1. I would speculate that you do L.A. & New York to attract media attention, and then otherwise do all your targeting online in the places you want to target.

          1. I hadn’t thought of that reason. Releasing in those two cities makes perfect sense now.

          2. Right. Media chance is a better target.

          3. Right. The idea is to get the opinion makers to pay more attention and write about the film.

  6. What would it take to get a binding “None of the Above” option on the ballots?

    1. Monty Brewster could do it.

    2. An atheist?

      1. Amen, brother!

    3. I think we should scrap elections and just choose the president by lottery. It’s highly improbable that we’d consistently come up with as shitty people as the primary process has been churning out.

      1. A lottery system for all elected officials would either be the greatest thing ever or lead to straight up Armageddon.

        I’d take those chances.

      2. A Hunger Games style of selection would be more fun and probably result in people being more fit to be president.

    4. “None of These Candidates” is a choice on the Nevada ballot.

  7. “No Libertarian presidential candidate had [previously] raised more than $1 million in a single month dating back to at least 1996, before which digital campaign finance records aren’t available.”

    Just run a few computer models and in

    1. OH FUCK!

      My thesis definitively tying Libertarianism to AGW! It’s gone! The whole thing is gone!

      I’ll never graduate now. Only, if only, Reason’s forums had an edit button. Oh WHY!….

      1. Only, if only, Reason’s forums had an edit button.

        Like Reddit forums where employees of government contractors can ask how to alter email addresses to hide data from subpoenas and then later delete the questions? That kind of edit function?

        But that won’t see the light of day on reason today, will it?

        1. PHAIK SKANDUL!Z!!!11!!!!11!!!!!!1!!!

        2. All the news that’s fit to print!

        3. [comment deleted by moderator]

        4. Yeah, fuck this free speech shit if I can’t edit my own fucking free speech! Fuckers!

  8. Perfect alt-text: ‘Not a serious question!’

  9. Too little, too late.

    1. For what?

      they were never going to win. and there’s plenty of time for them to “do well” (i’d call anywhere 3-5% “well”), even despite not getting into the debates so far.

      1. They’re making the dems shit their pants, so there’s that anyway.

        1. The additional bleaching of said undies at the dry cleaners is going to raise our taxes.

  10. ” leaving on hand $2.49 million to play with”
    for a guy going all in on qualifying for the debates, leaving a bunch of money in the bank rather than advertising his bona fides seems an odd strategy for achieving that goal

    1. As someone who has actually run for office: he might want to have some money on hand for the final GOTV push before the election.

      And someone advising them might have noticed that they aren’t actually gonna get into any of the debates no matter what they do.

      1. Get out the Vote killed Edgar Allen Poe!

      2. Setting up a rainy day fund in July/Aug for a future GOTV push, when his whole campaign has relied upon getting into the debates as the basis for springing him up into relevance, would be stupendously idiotic.
        funding for that final GOTV push should have come from future fundraising in Sept/Oct. the priority in July/Aug should have been on name recognition.

  11. “the General Services Administration rebuffed the campaign’s request for regular national security briefings, citing Johnson’s low poll numbers.”

    That’s OK, Johnson can just get his national security information from the newspaper like Obama does.

    1. Spin as “feds refuse to give Johnson national security briefings” as a perfect excuse next time GJ flubs a foreign policy/terrorism question.

      1. ^This.

        Also, one candidate not knowing the location of a single city – disqualifying. Another candidate not knowing what it means to “wipe a server” – not a problem.

    2. So Trump and Hillary can be trusted with National Security but Johnson can’t? That makes a lot of sense coming from the government.

  12. Gary Johnson Shatters Monthly Record for Fundraising; Cockfighting And Ancient Pinup Industries Hardest Hit

  13. OT, but congratulations to the looters in Charlotte for giving Trump the polls lead in NC.

  14. Alt-text: No

  15. How many puppies do Clinton and Trump have to strangle on live tv for Johnson to win the presidency?

    I actually asked that question of my liberal, Bernie-supporter GF about a month back, escalating the questions each time she said she’s gonna hold her nose and vote for Clinton:

    1) What would Clinton have to do or say for you to go, that’s a bridge too far, can’t vote for her after that?

    2) What if she publicly killed a sackful of puppies while being filmed?

    3) What if she killed YOUR dog on TV?

    Nothing but increasingly terse “this is who I’m gonna vote for”.

    1. I’m guessing that Hillary falling over dead won’t be a deterrent either?

      1. I would like to point to the long record of dead people winning various US elections, including examples from this year, where the guy under indictments for corruption killed himself and still won the primary in NY.

        1. Yep. The late Mel Carnahan was elected to the US Senate in 2000. Admittedly, it was Missouri…

        2. It’s NY, so it’s probably the corruption that sealed the deal for him.

      2. I’ve lived in a state where the voters knowingly elected a dead Democrat, so they could have a special election and nominate a replacement.

        Here they’d get their VP nominee in, depending on the timing of the death.

        And frankly, the Dem VP guy is likely much better than Trump or Hillary. But not as good as the corpse of Hillary being president, grinding the machinery of government to a slower pace.

      3. If Hillary kicked it before Election Day, she’d get my vote. Far and away the least dangerous candidate then.

    2. It’s got to be embarrassing to be a former Bernie-supporter at this point. They were so gung-ho about their “political revolution” or whatever, trashing big money in politics, crony capitalism (or all capitalism, really), Wall Street/big banks, the politics-as-insiders’-game, interventionist foreign policy, and so on, but now their idol is urging, nay begging, them to vote Clinton because “she agrees with us on 90% of the issues.” I guess it’s true if you consider everything I listed in the previous sentence to be 10% and not being Trump to be the other 90%….

      1. Let’s be honest, Herself not being Trump is at least 98% of her appeal to the Bern Ward, and quite possibly higher.

      2. New bumper stickers that were sighted in the wild in the People’s Republic of Cambridge:

        Bernie has my heart; Clinton has my vote.

    3. I try to avoid ridiculous hypotheticals like your questions #2 and #3 because those would never realistically happen, and such questions may be easily deflected on those grounds. But asking them to articulate limits is always a winner because it puts the burden on them.

  16. You’re right Matt. That Wired article is embarrassing.

      1. Seems like the article was a massive exercise in cognitive dissonance.

  17. opened its pages to Johnson

    Heheh….more ladies should open their pages to Johnson, amirite?

    1. If you ask Mark Foley, plenty of pages are already open to Johnson.

  18. Reason endorses Hillary in 3…2….

  19. There’s a movie?

    Aw, man.

    /quietly puts treatment for the sequel to ‘Snakes on a Plane’ titled ‘Libertarians on a Plane’ away.

  20. If GJ really wants to be more than an “also ran”, he needs to quit whining about the debates, not getting transition funds, or NSA briefings. Focus on the VOTERS and remind them that he:

    1. Has actual governing experience, unlike Trillary.
    2. Does not want to start/continue any wars, unlike Trillary.
    3. Does not want to throw them in jail for drug possession or petty crimes, unlike Trillary.
    4. Wants to roll back the surveillance state, unlike Trillary.

  21. Take the $5 million and straight up buy the debate committee. Free market principles apply when buying politicos.

    1. That wouldn’t be anywhere near enough and he would quickly be outbid by the two established parties, who would make a joint purchase.

  22. It might actually be good that the FEC is playing the bogeyman role here. It distracts from the campaign’s shortcomings and gives provides something external for supporters to rally around. I’m being a bit cynical but not sarcastic – from a strategic point of view, keeping momentum in the fight and having an external excuse for any failures is valuable.

    1. I’ve commented a few times on these CPD articles that the absolute best case scenario would have been for Gary to get to an unambigious, undisputable 15 percent and then have the CPD exclude him anyways. In terms of legitimate potential to win electoral votes, the outrage and media coverage over that would have been a hundred times better than the small to moderate name recognition bump he got from “who’s that guy with bug-eyes on the stage with Clinton and Trump?”

  23. Not so far-fetched: Suppose polls start showing that Johnson’s millennials, leading in 3 or 4 states, also convince their elders to turn off the TV and support Johnson ahead of election day. With headlines like “Clinton and Trump Can’t Win,” maybe those voters afraid to vote for Johnson will grow a backbone.
    It’s all about the polling, and not just the polling done by the CPD five.

  24. Isn’t that enough to buy them off?

  25. Shouldn’t he be getting Secret Service protection now?

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