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.