Liberarian Party

3 Libertarian Party Races to Watch (Besides the Presidential Ticket)

Lily Tang Williams, for Senator from Colorado; Thomas Simmons, for House of Representatives from Massachusetts; Mark Miller, for Texas Railroad Commission


Nearly all the national media attention for the Libertarian Party (L.P.) this year has gone to its presidential ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld. But the L.P. has over 600 candidates running for other federal, state, and local offices.

Here are profiles of three candidates who many Party officials and activists are particularly excited about this year.

Lily Tang Williams, a candidate for federal Senate from Colorado.

Williams, an immigrant from China, achieved the difficult-for-the-L.P. goal of appearing in a public debate with her competitors, Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Darryl Glenn. She won entry into the September debate because the Party in Colorado commands a full percentage point of registered voters in the state.

Lily Tang Williams Flickr

In her estimation, she said in a phone interview this weekend, that experience "was great. People gave me the loudest cheers, and it was a 70 percent Republican and 30 percent Democrat crowd. People like my amazing personal story and my principles. I explained to them that we need to have government more limited to guarantee our own liberty" and that the two major parties will not do that.

Williams details how and why her experience growing up in China shapes her admiration and dedication to American liberty on her campaign bio.

She tells people that she came here from communist China "for freedom and prosperity and the American dream. I am not partisan; I would just like to see my country be the free country I came here for.

"I tell people I am not a career politician, I will always tell the truth, and the only thing I care about is freedom, not special interests, not partisanship, not any of the things the two parties are about. I will impose a two-term limit on myself and promise to never be a paid lobbyist when I leave. My slogan is: Lily for Liberty, and Not For Sale."

Her issues page gets in the weeds of a wide range of libertarian policy stances, from spending to the environment to marriage and corruption.

"My husband is a libertarian and he played an important role to convince me" to join the Party, Williams says. "Because I used to tell him, 'You guys are too small, you cannot win.' And people are telling me that now! But after 2008 [and the bailouts] I didn't care. I have to stay true to my principles," so she joined the L.P.

Williams has been active with the L.P. since then, volunteering as local district coordinator for Gary Johnson's campaign in 2012, testifying in the state capital against gun control measures, and running for the Colorado state House in 2014 and getting 6.4 percent in a three-person race, unusually good for a Libertarian candidate. (Republican Jack Hilbert won with 63 percent.)

This was even though, Williams says, "nobody knew who I was. I was recruited at the last minute by [Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark] who said 'you need to run.' I said, 'I'm not ready, I'm still learning,' and he said 'You're ready and we need you.'"

Williams found that "I enjoyed campaigning" and also served for a while between 2014 and 2016 as state chair of the Colorado Party. (On most measures of state Party strength—candidates run, votes earned, registered voters with the Party—Colorado excels.) She left the state chairmanship in January to dedicate time to her Senate run. One of her goals is to "recruit young people during the process, people are telling me it's the first time in their life they are voting for Libertarians. It's very encouraging."

Williams talks a bit about some of her specific issue messaging; "people ask about Social Security and health care and I tell them big government is not capable of managing our money; they've created trillions of dollars of debt, why do we trust them to run health care and run our retirement? People under 20 should have the opportunity to opt out of [Social Security] entirely, and when it comes to health care, I lived under single payer [in China] for 24 years and it was horrible, long lines, poor quality, and corruption. A real free market [in health care] would reduce costs."

The L.P., she believes, "needs to go out and actively communicate with the public and speak their language; we cannot be purists, we want to welcome all sorts of people and educate them about what libertarianism is, show we are nice, educated, cool, that we care about the country and care about freedom and are not too wacko and strange. We need to use simple language to communicate with the public. And we need to be organized and show up and do things and we need leaders to get people excited. Too many libertarians tend to not be active, some don't even vote."

Strategically for this Senate race, "I have been shamelessly knocking on doors; I did more radio interviews than my major party opponents. I have talked to almost all the major newspapers, go to community events, talk to conservative students on campuses, issue press releases, livestream, I spoke at the Free and Equal presidential debate."

Williams did university events with the Green Party candidate in her race as well. Her appearances tend to feature "telling my personal story, from tyranny to liberty, and how I'd hate to see the country I love become more like the country I left. I'm comfortable talking to left, right, center, it doesn't matter, I stick to the message, respect people, communicate with them, calmly try to persuade. I try to explain that government is force, and they don't think that way."

She knows that left and right have different reasons to feel uneasy with Libertarians. She likes to ask them: "Why do you trust the government so much? They are not angels and not supermen. Why do you want to give them so much power?"

Williams has not been included in any polls that she knows of; the existing ones show the incumbent Democrat Bennet winning. "It's very frustrating," she says. "I've gotten three [polling] phone calls asking about my race, and I could not choose myself. The only third choice they gave was 'not voting.'"

She expects to have a long history with the Libertarian Party. "I want to be the person who makes history, who becomes the governor of Colorado or a senator of the United States" as a Libertarian.

• Thomas Simmons, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives (1st District), Massachusetts

Simmons is running against Richard Neal, a 27-year Democratic incumbent. "All politics is local," Simmons said in a phone interview this weekend, noting that his district went strong for Bernie Sanders in the primaries, and that he is proud to be supported by some "Berniecrats" as a "progressive Libertarian." (Simmons' strong opposition to common core education requirements, he says, helps win him support of many progressive-leaning teachers.)

Thomas Simmons campaign website

The district was recently reapportioned and it "took in large chunks of rural areas in Western Massachusetts that [Neal] never paid attention to and hasn't spoken to; they don't know who he is." Neal ran unopposed in 2014. Simmons has been reaching out to these new areas of the district, promising to be a more locally based and less D.C-based representative.

Simmons is proud of his level of community involvement. "I've been a community college business teacher for the last 20 years, I'm in the Coast Guard auxiliary, on a conservation committee in the town of Shelburne…in the district I'm a known entity."

There is no Republican running for the House seat, and Simmons says he can appeal to potential GOP voters because "I'm with them on issues like fiscal responsibility, Second Amendment rights." He also thinks he appeals to disaffected Bernie Sanders voters because he's "anti-establishment, anti-Import/Export Bank, something Neal is very much in favor of."

Simmons had been an L.P. member for about 10 years, though prior to this "my activity has been low level, supportive but not throwing myself into it like now." But "people in the Massachusetts Libertarian Party had been working on me for a while" to become a candidate. Simmons found his first national convention experience this year in Orlando heartening, discovering "the vast majority" of fellow delegates were "pragmatic and serious" and not the media cliche of "tinfoil hat wackjobs."

Still, he isn't a 100 percent behind every element of the L.P. platform. "I tend to be a stronger environmentalist than the Party platform," he says, though his campaign website doesn't emphasize such issues. "And I've been a public school teacher my entire life and I'm not calling for the elimination of public education." He's part of a new "Libertarian Pragmatist Caucus" (their slogan: "because freedom won't happen magically overnight") and says that if he wins "I am representing first and foremost the voters of western Massachusetts and not the Libertarian Party, and no one tells me how to vote."

The Libertarian Party's candidates, in the Party's current cash and manpower environment, are in most respects on their own. Simmons recognizes that "the state party does not have access to many resources so are not able to provide many resources, but they did send me $3,000 total, and a number of people in the state party have helped me immensely with grunt work, signatures (to get on the ballot), coming to rallies. My website was designed by John McAfee's 'Vote Different' initiative."

The national Party also set him up with some radio interviews but, though he asked for it, no cash. (Simmons nonetheless hat-tipped to the Party's national chair Nicholas Sarwark as being in his estimation "one step below God.") He wished he could have afforded to double his signs and his TV ads. His money pull was around $18,000, the majority in amounts below $25, and a lot of it from outside the district.

An unscientific poll "broadcast out to Internet lists" that got over 600 responses from his district, Simmons says, tried to find what percentage of respondents voting for specific presidential candidates were also intending to vote for him. Those results give him a rough hope he could be pulling the vote of 30 percent of Clinton's voters, and 85 percent of Trump's. This sort of left/right dichotomy was obvious in his campaigning, Simmons says. On a given day of "working my tail off," he says, "first I met with College Republicans and then went to a gay bar for a LGBT meet [Simmons is himself gay, with 6 adopted children], then I spoke to a gun owners' group one day and senior citizens the next."

It's important, Simmons insists, "to not speak libertarianese to the general public. It's not being dishonest to talk about one issue with one group and another with another; if speaking to seniors, I'd take Social Security by the horns….when speaking to sportsmen, speak about the Second Amendment. I never spoke the same way twice or gave the same address twice. [Once] I was talking to a bunch of area sports fanatics and launched into a discussion of how the Libertarian vision of government is akin to an umpire, just to lay out ground rules and apply them fairly, not be a coach or be the secret owner of one of the teams. But that was the only time I used that particular metaphor."

Simmons thinks "It's been a libertarian mistake all along to advertise the tools they want to use to change society, like get rid of income tax, privatize Social Security—instead of trying to come to agreement on goals" with voters. "What I have consistently done is discuss end goals, then talk about different road maps to get to that goal. I find even if people disagree [at first] about the tools to get there, there can be agreement and [potential voters] can walk away satisfied.

"For example, before senior citizens I never use the words 'privatization of Social Security.' That's a death knell.

"But we can agree that they ought to have more say and control of their [retirement] money and how it's spent and whether to take some of it upfront or not, say you paid into it all your life and you should have a right to control how to use it. [Then] I get 100 percent agreement and all those are advantages of privatization but I never say 'privatization.' Because they hear that and think it means take their money and give it to Wall Street."

He'll be doing retail campaigning through to the last day. Simmons summed up his campaign efforts in a letter to his campaign workers this weekend, also posted on his Facebook page. He wrote that he and his campaign "collected 3,000 signatures to get on the ballot; run 325 radio and TV ads on 6 local radio stations, ESPN, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and the History Channel; shaken hands at county fairs, sportsmen's rallies, art festivals, and antique car rallies in Blandford, Cummington, Easthampton, Pittsfield, Belchertown, and North Adams; handed out 1,000 balloons at the Palmer Pumpkin Palooza; spoken to groups of senior citizens, chambers of commerce, and labor meetings; mailed more than 10,000 direct mailers to targeted towns….posted 100 campaign signs throughout the district…met with local farmers in Ashfield, Shelburne, and Lee; been featured on Frontier Community Access TV, WUPE, NPR's Congressional Roundtable, Coalition Talk Radio, the David Webb Show on Sirius-XM, and C-Span; spoken at the National and State Libertarian conventions, and a rally in Worcester; sponsored a GLBT Meet-n-Greet; handed out close to 4, 500 palm cards; met with College and Springfield City Republicans…."

I told Simmons that his list of efforts made, media obtained, money raised and spent, made him quite unusual for the typical Libertarian candidate for non-presidential office.

"I have to tell you, I would expect nothing less. If someone says they are running for office didn't do [all that] I'd be pissed off," he says. "When I said I was running for office, I meant I was running for office, not just putting my name on the ballot to be a placeholder and get 1-2 percent of the vote. I am in it to win it."

• Mark Miller, candidate for Texas Railroad Commission

First thing you must understand about the Texas Railroad Commission: it is actually the regulatory body for oil and gas industries in the state. Miller has been a petroleum engineer and teacher of petroleum engineering for decades.

Mark Miller website

Miller has been registered to vote with the L.P. since 1972, though this is only his second run for office. He also sought the Railroad Commission slot in 2014, but got only 3.2 percent of the vote. The commission has three members with staggered six-year terms, so one slot is up for election every other year.

Miller thinks this is really a year in which people are prepared to take Libertarians more seriously. "In 2014 [the media] would hardly talk to me" but this year he's in the rare position of having multiple major newspaper endorsements (including the Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle) for a position in which the Libertarian has both a Republican (former state Rep. Wayne Christian, the frontrunner, and a past winner of Texas Monthly's "worst legislator" prize) and a Democratic rival (Grady Yarbrough, who is reported to have raised and spent no money).

Miller also credits the obvious lack of meaningful experience of his major party opponents as helping buoy his reputation. Miller has even written a book on the issues he'll be regulating if he wins. He would very much like to rename the agency to reflect what it actually does, since Texans should care about oil and gas but the race gets less attention than it deserves since "only 5 percent of voters" likely "know it doesn't deal with railroads."

Lots of interesting-to-Libertarians wrinkles arise in Texas regulatory law over issues such as the frequent separation of surface property rights and mineral property rights under the surface, and whether fluid injections by the industry are responsible for earthquakes and how to deal with that. Miller notes it can get tricky when Libertarians have to deal with rights actually in conflict; he also wants to rein in the profligate use of eminent domain by pipeline builders and operators to get their rights-of-way.

The particularly Libertarian aspects Miller tries to bring to the campaign, and would try to bring to the Commission, is "to make it a Commission whose sole role is to protect our property and our rights."

While Miller if he wins could conceivably find himself forever the one vote in 2-1 votes, Miller thinks "the press will cover 2-1 votes, they don't cover 3-0" and so he can at least draw attention to aspects of the Commission—especially the way they pretty explicitly operate as both supporters and regulators of the industry, and like most industries the oil and gas industry in Texas "don't like real free markets"—that Libertarians want to curb. The TRC is part of the executive, but in practice they do extensive rulemaking and even influence actual legislative action regarding the industry. Miller wants to start sunsetting the decades of regulatory accretions that may not make any sense now.

Miller raised what he recognizes as an "unprecedented" amount of money for a Libertarian non-presidential race, $125,000, much of it from two large donors, Michael Chastain and Chris Rufer. (Texas has no state finance regulations limiting the amounts they could give.) He also got a rare $20,000 from the national party given how important ballot access for Texas would be and the unusual momentum his campaign already achieved.

The money allowed him to run radio ads and billboards across the state. If he can get 5 percent, he'll lock in petition-free ballot access in Texas for the next election. There has been no polling that he knows of, though he runs into plenty of voters "who have heard of me through other than Libertarian outlets" so he's optimistic. He hope it will be part of a trend he sees in greater professionalism and success for the Texas state Party, which is already very good at fielding candidates at least. Miller would like to see actual intra-Libertarian competition for who would get on the ballot for statewide and local races.

He did the usual campaign things: distributed 30,000 door hangers, "went to every event" to spread the word and once was challenged with some of the worse aspects of the Libertarian brand, asked point blank: "aren't you guys just pot-smoking anarchists?"

Miller would rather the larger brand be that "for 40 years we've been the party of peace" and that in many respects the country has come in the Party's direction on tolerance.

Especially if he wins the coveted ballot access, Miller thinks the Party's next task begins "November 9": to find and recruit a great slate of candidates to run next time. "Candidates have always been key. You have to put up candidates people will like and pay attention to."

NEXT: Seattle Animal Control Accessing Grocery Purchase Data Looking for Evidence of Unlicensed Pets

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  1. Texas Railroad Commission

    Something something Ayn Rand

    1. OT: Drudge is reporting that Janet Reno is dead.

      1. CNN was reporting that at 8:00am.

        1. Somebody reported it in the Brickbat, around 5AM.

          1. 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. Always on top of things, that one.

        1. He had a hat-fitting this morning.

      3. Is it selfish to hope this becomes a Lou Reed-type of thing?

    2. Something something Richard Olney.

    3. Lily Tang Williams. Would. In the dark, if she carried a Hello Kitty AR-15.

  2. We did this one before, didn’t we?… I seem to remember about 400 tang jokes

    1. I don’t remember seeing it, so if it’s a reprint I’m glad. I was gonna say that one day before election seems a bit late…

    2. I believe that was when they were trying to keep her out of the debate, because they said the L party only had .99% registration and not 1%.

    3. Only 400? Must’ve been a holiday.

    4. Yeah. Tang jokes mixed with lots of admiration.

      We should have her for president. But I guess she was born in the wrong place.

    5. I’s what astronauts crave.

    6. The Tao of Poo Tang

    7. It’s what astronauts crave.

  3. I’m still bouncing back and forth on one vote. Do I vote for Ron Johnson or the L candidate for senate? Every time I think going L I remember this and switch back to Johnson

    1. That’s my problem at this point too…vote closer to principle for Phil Anderson, or try to beat Feingold and go Johnson….

    2. Fellow Wisconsinite who was also considering voting Republican for senate. I’ve decided to cast my vote for Anderson. Even if Johnson loses, at least Feingold is strong on privacy and war.

      1. But “campaign finance reform” which inevitably translates to “eviscerate the first amendment”.

        1. Yeah, that’s a problem for me, but it’s something all Democrats support. It’s not unique to him, he’s just been outspoken about it. I still think that Johnson is the lesser evil. It’s just that I’m not convinced Feingold is evil enough to make me vote Johnson. As far as Dems go, he’s ok-ish.

          1. Agreed.

            For me, I’m actually more interested in the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate elections. It would be nice to see one of the marijuana pieces of legislation actually moving forward since we don’t have referendums here.

            1. That’d be nice, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m convinced we’ll be one of the last states to legalize. At least one of the last states that isn’t consistently red. Maybe that’s just because of where I live. My city just passed an ordinance banning the sale of “drug paraphernalia” like glass pipes, etc.

          2. it’s something all Democrats support

            Because it deflects from Regulatory Capture.

  4. From Lily’s website:

    Born in the Sichuan province of China, Lily Tang Williams grew up in conditions of unfathomable poverty, oppression, lack of privacy, economic freedom and civil liberties thanks to the disastrous policies of Chinese communist revolutionary and autocrat Mao Zedong under whose regime she and her family lived.

    That’s very cool. I kid my wife about eating cockroaches. Yet Chinese Americans vote in block for Democrats.

    1. Is there any data on how it breaks down by actual Chinese immigrants vs, say, third-plus generation born in US?

  5. The district was recently reapportioned and it “took in large chunks of rural areas in Western Massachusetts that [Neal] never paid attention to and hasn’t spoken to; they don’t know who he is.”

    Unfortunately, those areas are greatly outnumbered by the people who do know Richie. Those hicks don’t know Richie because he doesn’t need them.

    I wish him the best, but he’s dreaming if he thinks he has a shot.

    1. Unless my impression is dead wron, Western Mass would be more likely to go full-blown communist than abandon the Democrats.

      1. Only the heavily populated areas. A large portion of Western MA is fairly rural and fairly conservative. Unfortunately there are a couple large (for MA) population centers that make that irrelevant.

        1. Yeah, I suppose I’m just thinking of places like Northampton, which seems to be where you go when Cambridge is too conservative for you.

          1. Take away Boston, Worcester and the Northampton/Amherst sort of area and Mass. wouldn’t be very liberal.

          2. Northampton isn’t in the district.

    2. Supposedly some poll data had him at 41%.

  6. When you say “Lilly Tang Williams” you have to yell out it in your Chris Rock voice. I do.

  7. I voted for Mark Miller. Gladly–which isn’t an adverb that often applies.

      1. Thank both of you! The eyes of Texas are proudly upon you.

    1. I’m voting for him tomorrow. I reckon that I got about a dozen votes from others for him. It’s really easy to advocate a vote for Mark Miller. Phd Stanford in petroleum engineering plus UT Austin professor in petroleum engineering versus a Republican hack twice named as Texas worst legislator. It’s a no-brainer.

  8. CNN has now devolved into predicting the weather for election night.…..index.html

    1. If Clinton loses, it’s climate change’s fault?

    2. No. Really?

      Why does that remind me of Russian weather report related to Syrian air strikes?

      1. Talk about a Russian bombshell!

  9. “It’s been a libertarian mistake all along to advertise the tools they want to use to change society, like get rid of income tax, privatize Social Security?instead of trying to come to agreement on goals”

    Pragmatists always insist on goals rather than methods to achieve those goals. The method always ends up being the use of force.

    “We all agree that things should be better. I’ll use any method to make things better”. That’s the formula for tyranny. There’s a reason that Mussolini wrote for an Italian pragmatist journal.

    The connections between pragmatism, progressivism and fascism are well known to most libertarians. Simmons is either a jerk or a fraud. Neither bodes well for liberty.

  10. He’s a Ken Shultz libertarian.

    1. Nice…

      Should have been a reply to Bob Meyer ^ there.

      1. My friend, Bob Meyer, is doing life for first degree murder Could you clarify a little?

    2. “It’s been a libertarian mistake all along to advertise the tools they want to use to change society, like get rid of income tax, privatize Social Security?instead of trying to come to agreement on goals”

      Getting rid of the income tax is my number one goal.

      Pragmatism is about using realistic means to achieve what seem to be unrealistic goals.

      Pragmatism is getting recreational marijuana legalized by agreeing to subject retailers to zoning laws.

      Refusig to win out of a misguided sense of ideological purity isn’t unpragmatic. It’s just stupid.

      I’m still against zoning laws. I’m still fighting against them, but if I can get half of what I want in the short term through delayed gratification on the rest, that just makes me a grown up.

      There are some things I won’t compromise on, but using Bill Weld to help with market penetration and brand image isn’t like compromising on the Eighth Amendment.

  11. Don’t blame me, I voted for Ming the Merciless.

    1. His incredibly hot daughter, Aura, convinced me too.

      1. + one dozen bore worms

      2. C. J. Wright might be crazy more-Catholic-than-Pope believer who thinks Reformation was the true Dark Age and we should go back to 13th century, but when he’s right, he’s right.

        In that same spirit, I would like to announce my own literary movement and literary manifesto: THE NEW SPACE PRINCESS MOVEMENT.

        The literary movement will follow two basic principles: first, science fiction stories should have space-princesses in them who are absurdly good looking. Second, The space princesses must be half-clad (if you are a pessimist. The optimist sees the space princess as half-naked). Third, dinosaurs are also way cool, as are ninjas. Dinosaur ninjas are best of all.

        Although of course, all Space Princesses are but pale shadows of their literary progenitor, the Incomparable Dejah Toris.

        1. J. C. Wright is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors.

          1. His genre instincts are bang-on. He got Tolkien and why second Hobbit movie sucked like no one I’ve seen.
            His politics are a mixture of “OK, yeah” and “holy shit, dude, what are you on? Oh, St Thomas Aquinas. Got it.”
            His personal journey from libertarian atheist to hard-core Catholic fascinates me, due to “well, maybe that could have been me if…”
            His writing is a bit too flowery. I think I called him “poor man’s Gene Wolfe”, which isn’t a terrible thing, necessarily. It did work really well in his Mallory pastiche, but Somewhither is a bit of hard going right now. Though I’m sticking to it – name your hero Ilya Muromets and you have my attention.

            1. I found Awake In The Night Land to be haunting. Really has stuck with me.

        2. I just checked her out. I think I’m in love.

          1. She’s buck naked and lays eggs. Cloaca ftw!

            1. How is that not a superior method? No hormonal disturbance, no baby bump, and the job of gestation can be shared out to multiple people, rather than overwhelm a single person. Plus, egg really does most of the work, so you can leave it alone. And at the end, they come out mostly functional rather than as helpless little things you have to watch over for a decade plus.

              1. I just don’t want Bob going in without all the facts. He might get penguin-slapped to death.

                1. I appreciate the advice but some things are worth the risk.

                  Years ago there was a shampoo commercial where a man is looking at an extremely attractive woman who scratches her head and he thinks to himself “Yeww, she may have dandruff!”. My thoughts were “I don’t care if she’s got the clap, a night with her would be worth it.”

              2. nanoo nanoo!

        3. Anal or GTFO.

      3. She was very hot in 1980 but she wasn’t bad at all in 1940 either.…..–02-g.jpg

        1. Priscilla Lawson and Ornella Muti were both great eye candy and decent actresses too.

    2. Statist scum! Prince Vultan is the only correct choice!

      1. Vultan is too flighty for me. He’s got his head in the clouds.

      2. But Barin is the rightful heir.

  12. Janet Reno died today. You would think Reason would have something to say about the death of the person responsible for the most deadly use of law enforcement against Americans in the last 50 years.

    1. PM links. I’m sure of it.

      Oh, you want an article? That takes time to write. Probably tomorrow, except it’s election time. Richman on Sunday?

      1. You know Richman thinks the Waco people had it coming. He wouldn’t be Richman if he didn’t think something amazingly offensive and stupid.

        1. Yes. I want to see the “amazing” part. If we gotta have stupid, let’s have some really original stupid!

          1. Richman will give you that. Is by far the most original idiot writing in a publication full of them.

        2. You know Richman thinks the Waco people had it coming.


          1. I would be surprised if he didn’t. It is possible, but when it comes to Richman the offensively stupid position is always the safe bet. It is not like he has ever defied expectations before, so why think he would on this?

            1. The Branch Davidians weren’t Jews, John.

              1. You got me there Crusty.

    2. Oh and how democrats love immigrants not named Elian Gonzales who escaped from a communist hellhole

      1. I was actually fine with him going back to his father.

        I’m less fine with the fucking SWAT raid they used to take him from his family in Miami

      2. Democrats hate anyone who escapes from tyranny. Escaping from a communist hellhole makes you a traitor to the revolution and gives hope to other counter-revolutionaries.

    3. Unfortunately, she can only die once. I hope that it was very painful.

  13. The questions about Gary Johnson aren’t “Did he blow it?”, or “Would Austin Peterson done better?” or even “Will Johnson do better this time than last?”

    The real question is “If Gary Johnson had been in a coma for the last six months, would he have gotten more votes?”

    Yes, he will do better this time than last time but how much did he hurt his own campaign? Bill Weld turned out to be disastrous. He didn’t merely water down liberty, he poured gasoline on it. If Johnson had been comatose there would have been no Weld, no “Aleppo moment”, no “Fiscally conservative and socially liberal” and no “Nazi wedding cakes”.

    Simply not being Clinton or Trump should have been worth 10% of the electorate.

    1. If Gary Johnson had been in a coma for the last six months, would he have gotten more votes?

      We will never know, but it is a good bet he would not have received any fewer votes.

    2. Maybe. But I don’t think most normal people really care about the stuff that people around here rip on Johnson for. At least in my personal experience, he’s by far the best known and most supported by non-libertarians of any Libertarian candidate in my memory.
      And for libertarian-inclined people who think Trump is a better choice (in the non-strategic voting sense), I don’t know what to say. Even if you think that baking cakes for homos is the greatest danger of our times, Trump isn’t going to be changing the public accommodation laws either.

      Anyway, Deez Nuts is getting my vote.

      1. We needed someone who could explain that the public accommodation section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act attempted to solve a problem of free association by the use of force. Using force against bigots ultimately led to a situation where the owner of a restaurant may be sued for insisting that only biological males and females use the bathrooms marked “Men” and “Women”. Taking a shit now demands equal protection under the law and can be regulated as a commercial activity?

        The use of force to compel action inevitably leads to abuses far beyond any that the force was supposed to eliminate. Once it is established that the feds can regulate something, the scope of regulation will necessarily increase to lunatic levels.

        This is not a difficult concept, just one that isn’t brought out in political campaigns because of fear.

        Getting people to favor gay marriage wasn’t achieved by “pragmatic” means. No one was saying that gay marriage is cheaper or will raise more revenue for the government or will lower the costs of psychotherapy for indigent homosexuals. The culture had to change and it changed because of a basic concept of fairness that Americans generally accept.

        1. All of what you say is true. I would love to see a candidate articulate that well. I’m not sure it would make for a more popular candidate, though.

          All I’m saying is that Johnson is the better candidate, as lousy a libertarian as he may be. The things that he is particularly weak on are not things that any of the other candidates are good on.

          1. I like Johnson and I voted for him. I just don’t think he did as well as he might have.

            Maybe if he had articulated things better he would have gotten even fewer votes from the people who voted for him because he’s “not as nuts as Trump or as corrupt as Clinton.”

    3. Yawn… yowsuh marse Mussolini suh… Y’awl be shoor to gib our regards to massa Trump now, hear?

  14. OT: Bill Weld in regards to the Comey letter:

    “I think Clinton got a raw deal.”

    Best LP VP nominee, ever.

    1. For some reason, I formed this crazy opinion that Libertarians were generally opposed to law enforcement agencies spreading innuendo about people without actually charging them with a crime….

    2. Except for Jesse Ventura.

  15. Oh. My. God.

    Bill Weld is Tulpa!

    1. Shit, I Brooksed it. Should have been reply to FS above.

  16. I’d rather get a prince albert than see Hillary win.

    1. Republican National Socialists would probably divert more votes to fascism by trolling Rolling Stone or Salon than hanging around here.

  17. Janet Reno is still dead.

    1. I hope she suffered.

      1. Unless he burned to death, she likely didn’t suffer enough.

    2. When will they release the long-form death certificate?!?

    3. I’d check to be sure. It would be pretty creepy if she came back from the grave. Zombie Reno!!!

      1. The zombie would have more personality. Same as a zombie Al Gore.

    4. Janet Reno. Rest in Hell.

  18. So some doofus at the Huffpost got into it with Nate Silver because he says Trump has a 35% chance of winning and Huffpost thinks anything over 2% is being irresponsible and just can’t be true.

    Reading Silver’s response, which got the better of things by far, it got me to thinking about the polls and predictions and such. Silver and the rest of the pollsters try and base their polls on what they think the electorate is going to be. And they do that based on the past Presidential elections. And obviously the last two are the most important component of that. So, the question is is the 2012 electorate what Presidential electorates look like now or is it what Presidential electorates look like with Obama at the top of the ticket?

    If it is the latter, Hillary is in a lot of trouble and the Democrats have a huge problem. The Democrats have basically written off the white vote on the theory that if they get enough minority votes, they don’t need anymore than the white Prog gentry vote. In 2012, this is true. What if it is the case that without Obama or someone from a protected racial group at the top of the ticket, minorities don’t turnout in high enough numbers to overcome the advantage the Republicans have with whites? If that is the case, the Democrats have a big problem.

    1. What you are saying, the election turns on the question of Where the white women at?

    2. The thing that’s different about this election is that it’s almost completely devoid of issues–it’s all about personal attacks.

      Various demographics may react to the candidates in predictable ways, but few are voting for or against Trump or Hillary because of the Iraq War, gay marriage, bank bailouts, ObamaCare, or any other issue.

      Even pro-immigration voters can’t articulate how Trump and Clinton differ on immigration. They just say Trump is a monster.

      That’s different this election.

      And yeah, despite me despising the guy, a lot of people thought Obama was charismatic. They genuinely liked the guy. No one likes Hillary. The people who say they do are either on her payroll or lying.

      A lot of this is going to be about getting her vote out. The question is going to be about whom is more hated. Nobody’s going to the polls because they like Hillary. It’s because they hate Trump. Trump supporters hate Hillary too, but a lot of them genuinely like him. i’d say for turn out, that’s advantage Trump.

      1. Trump definitely has the enthusiasm advantage. That’s probably the best thing going for him at this point.

      2. Here is the thing about the effectiveness of GOTV, if it is so effective, why have the Democrats had such a dysmal track record in every election since 2008 except ones that had Obama at the top of the ticket. Starting with Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts, the Democrats have lost every statewide election that garnered national attention and money except for the 14 VA governors race.

        Look at the millions they threw at Scott Brown. They made Brown win three elections in two years and face the full might of the Dem GOTV machine in every one. And he won them all.

        The Dems have been getting hammered at the state and Congressional level since 2008. The explanation has been that it is just because their minority base doesn’t show up unless it is a Presidential election. And it is possible that is true. I think it is also possible that they don’t show up in sufficient numbers if Obama isn’t at the top of the ticket no matter what the election.

        1. The scream about it because they’re so bad at it.

          Tea Party people were so enthusiastic, they didn’t even have a party to begin with. They still got together and voted anyway.

          1. “They still got together and voted anyway.”

            Until the two major parties discovered that the Tea Party’s Achilles heel was religion and drove a wedge between the libertarian group and the religious conservative group. Look at what happened to Indiana governor Mitch Daniels when he suggested concentrating on critical economic problems and temporarily putting social issues on the back burner. He was pilloried as a turncoat. That marked the beginning of the end of the Tea Party.

            Without the strong pro liberty segment many social conservatives drifted to Trumpism although that certainly wasn’t the intent of the Republicans.

      3. The election is absolutely about the Kleptocracy party platforms. God’s Own Prohibitionists AND the Dems want the IRS to rob you at gunpoint, and State troopers to do the same and call it asset forfeiture. The difference is the GOP pledge to ban contraceptives and reinstate coathanger abortions while the Dems promise to offset the subsidies medical profession prostitutes extort from their victims by subsidizing population control (look at a population chart). Are they here to brag about those tawdry things that set them apart from the LP? Hell no! So all that remains is the usual character assassination and smothering of dissenting alternatives using the Nixon anti-libertarian law of 1971. Tomorrow, remember what our opponents said about each other…

        1. You’re talking about the politicians and their lackeys.

          I have never seen an election in my lifetime in which issues played a lesser role than they did in this election.

          That’s mostly because Hillary and Trump are indistinguishable on almost every issue–even immigration, despite what you may have heard.

      4. Even pro-immigration voters can’t articulate how Trump and Clinton differ on immigration.

        I missed the part where Clinton said she would categorically prohibit Muslims from immigrating to the United States….

        1. Did you see the part about how she subjects refugees to two to three years worth of screening? How much of a difference are we really talking about here to average Americans?

          She didn’t say she’d build a wall either, but in the real world, what’s the difference between deporting 400,000 illegal aliens a year and patrolling our southern border with drones and jeeps–and deporting 400,000 illegal aliens a year and building a wall?

          The cost of the wall? Is that really the big immigration issue? The COST of the wall?

          Hillary doesn’t care about that!

          Point is that they’re virtually indistinguishable on almost every issue, and that’s probably why issues played such a small role in this election.

          This election has been about, “He’s a monster!”

          “No, she’s a crook!”

          1. They’re both assholes

      5. The people who say they do are either on her payroll or lying.

        Bill Weld hardest hit.

  19. Simmons is running in my district, and I did not know he was running until I read this. I hope he does well, but if someone who leans libertarian like me doesn’t know him, I doubt most of the people who vote for Neal every year will get the message.

  20. “My husband is a libertarian and he played an important role to convince me” to join the Party, Williams says

    Smart woman – she listens to what her husband says.

    She is awesome, though. Kick ass, LTW.

    1. Smart woman – she listens to what her husband says.

      This is why we can’t have nice things.

  21. I hope lilly can get a sizable chunk of votes tomorrow

  22. Lily reminds me of the question Ragnar put to Hank Rearden: “Do you know the conditions of existence in those People’s States?” That part was edited out of an “abridged” Atlas Shrugged audio, doubtless by clueless non-traveling gringos. Mark reminds me of the question I interpreted for an Angolan delegation… “Why Railroad?” The answer, it turned out, was that the Commission was really there for Bryanesque extortion from whatever produced and had money to rob. As an oiltranslator, I am really hoping he wins.

  23. Now this is the sort of thing we should be focused on. A LP president is a pipe dream for the time being. The presidential ticket should consist of two people who are able to articulate the liberty message to the people. (Which is why picking Johnson and Weld was a bad choice). Meanwhile, the real fight should be on state and local levels to try and get some libertarians in office. Target districts with weak incumbents with a weak Democrat/Republican opponent. Promote these people constantly. Quite frankly, we should’ve seen articles about people like Tang Williams far more than we’ve seen articles for Johnson. Worry about the presidency after people get used to seeing some L congressmen and senators.

  24. Is John Wilkes Booth warming up in the bullpen?

  25. Mark Miller is Exhibit #1 in the case to prove public choice theory.

    Here’s a guy who is running for the commission that regulates the most significant industry in the State of Texas: the oil and gas industry. He holds a PhD from Stanford in petroleum engineering; he’s a retired UT-Austin professor of petroleum engineering; he has decades of experience in the oil and gas industry. His Republican opponent is a political hack who has been named as Texas’ worst legislator by Texas Monthly magazine two years in a row. Not one of the worst; the worst. (His induction into the rolls of Texas worst legislator was for amending the Texas Open Beaches Act to exempt his own beach house.) He’s a career politician of the very worst sort from central casting. The Democrat opponent is an octogenarian retired school teacher who shares the name of a famous political family (Yarbrough). He is totally ignorant of oil and gas issues, and is opposed to fracking. The Green opponent is a really nice woman (seriously) but her background in no way prepares her to be one of the three commissioners who regulate oil and gas.

    1. Despite the fact that Miller is — objectively — several orders of magnitude more qualified than his opponents, he got 4% of the vote last time around and will be lucky to get 10% because voters are rationally ignorant. Not merely ignorant, but utterly ignorant. They haven’t a clue who they’re voting for. This should be dispositive evidence of the public choice theory’s concept of “rational ignorance”. Of course, if Miller were to win, I’d be happy to say that it’s evidence against public choice theory. But he won’t.

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