Liberarian Party

Libertarian Party Achieves "Major Party" Status in New Mexico


Thanks to a combination of native son and former governor Gary Johnson's extraordinarily high (for the Libertarian Party) 9.3 percent of the presidential vote in the state in 2016, and state Party registered membership reaching at least one-third of one percent of state voters (it is now at .62 percent, or 7,593), the Libertarian Party in New Mexico is now officially characterized as a major party just like the Democrats and Republicans in the state.

The Santa Fe New Mexican explains what this good news means in practical terms for the L.P.:

"The Libertarians had previously…had to collect a sometimes substantial number of signatures to get on the ballot….As a major party, candidates will still have to get signatures for the nomination process but not nearly as many, offering its slate easier access to the ballot. A candidate for U.S. Senate or governor, for example, would need at least 230 signatures from registered Libertarian voters."

According to state law for retaining that major party status, "A qualified political party shall cease to be qualified…if two successive general elections are held without at least one of the party's candidates on the ballot or if the total votes cast for the party's candidates for governor or president of the United States, provided that the party has a candidate seeking election to either of these offices, in a general election do not equal at least one-half of one percent of the total votes cast for the office…."

According to the New Mexico L.P.'s list of current New Mexico Libertarian candidates for office in 2018, no one is yet committed to running for governor with the L.P. in 2018. The state's filing deadline is looming, on February 6.

Two prominent state politicians in the past month announced their defection from the Democratic Party (Sandra Jeff, a former two-term state representative) and the Republican Party (Aubrey Dunn, a current state land commissioner). Both are reported by the L.P. to be seeking office as Libertarians this year, Jeff as secretary of state and Dunn as U.S. senator.

According to the national L.P. office, New Mexico now joins 22 other states (or the District of Columbia) in essentially having the same requirements for ballot access for the Libertarians as for the Democrats and Republicans. Those states are Alaska, California, D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. (State election ballot access law is complicated and nuanced and singular, part of what makes running for office without the protective coloration of a major party such a pain.)

As reported at the indispensable Ballot Access News site, New Mexico's ballot access laws for non-major parties are among the most stringent in the nation. From 2016, a list of what states base ballot access on achieving certain percentages of the state vote for presidential candidates (or sometimes other statewide elections) for third parties.

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  1. As a libertarian, I have mixed feelings about the LP’s place in contemporary American politics. If the Democrats and Republicans were equally bad, I could justify voting Libertarian as a form of protest. However, with the GOP being taken over by white nationalists, and with Democrats agreeing with us on our two biggest issues (immigration and reproductive rights), the LP counterintuitively might hurt libertarianism more than it helps if it draws too many votes away from Democratic candidates.

    At least until sensible conservatives like David Frum regain control of the GOP, libertarians should forget about third party protest voting and just support Democrats.

    1. and with Democrats agreeing with us on our two biggest issues (immigration and reproductive rights)

      Your two BIGGEST issues?

      1. Would “our two most important issues” have worked better? Or perhaps “our two non-negotiable issues”? I thought my post was clear.

      2. David Frum, libertarian icon.

        1. No, I called him a “sensible conservative.” He’s not the only one, but it will be an uphill battle for people like him to reclaim the party from Drumpf supporters.

      3. It is hard to support liberty when you need a police state to check everyone for papers and proper womb regulations.

        And gay marriage – let those fuckers marry.

        Really, all the GOP and Dems do is argue about a point or two on the top tax rate.

    2. OBL.

      I’ll bite, though. Libertarians should forget committing to any party, including the LP, because candidates vary between elections, and our prioritization of issues is individual.

      This is generally excellent news. My state isn’t on that list, but we often have an LP candidate. I’m glad there are a couple of major party defections. I didn’t research the two mentioned politicians, but I’m wary of LINOs. I guess that’s silly because there’s no reason to be a LINO since it’s pretty much a guaranteed way to lose. We’re certainly gaining traction, and this election was of great benefit to us. The article a while back by Mr. Steele recommended that we find a charismatic candidate, even if he/she isn’t totally aligned with the issues, and I think that’s prudent.

      I doubt anyone will step up by February 6th, so that’ll be 1 strike already.

      I don’t even know if I can register as a libertarian. Should I do that? Would it help?

      1. Depends on where you live as regards to how open the primaries are. You’ll probably want to vote in a major party primary even if you plan to vote LP for president. Your state may allow you to do that regardless of how your registered.

        1. I do vote in major primaries. I can vote in either one (but as I found out one year, only one … that was an embarrassing goof). If I had to register, then I’m registered as an independent, so I don’t know if that influences whether I can vote in both primaries. Long ago in North Carolina registered Democrats could vote in either, but Republicans could only vote in their own. I’m fairly sure it doesn’t matter how I’m registered.

          1. Nope. Doesn’t matter a bit how you are registered.
            The Russians are going to change your vote anyway, so why bother?

    3. the LP counterintuitively might hurt libertarianism more than it helps if it draws too many votes away

      Oh, fuck off. We’ve been hearing that same line of Ruling Party bullshit for generations now. “The other faction of the Ruling Party is too horrible to contemplate, so we MUST support the lesser evil!”

      Gary Johnson was the anti-war candidate. I supported him for a clear conscience.


      1. Absolutely. New Mexico is a start. One state at a time. One more house seat at a time, one more senator at a time. Then we will have real influence on issues for those that love liberty.

    4. You hooked a lot with this post.

    5. You must be joking. Voting libertarian hurts libertarians by weakening democrats? Wonderful logic there!

      And you know what? I hope they weaken and die. Dems and GOP alike. Fuck both of them. Screw choosing between two varieties of corrupt, vile, power-hungry excrement.

      Wake up and stop voting for slavers.

    6. LOL

      Abortion should be allowed, not arguing that. But it’s also not going anywhere. It’s one of those non existent wedge issues the Dems use to rile up morons who don’t understand that it literally CAN’T be made illegal. 99% of the things Dems fight for on it are non libertarian. They mostly just fight for government funding/subsidizing it. That’s not libertarian.

      Immigration is a far more serious issue. But I side with a skills based system anyway, because this is the 21st century. We don’t need more janitors and lawn guys in a 21st century post industrial economy when we have the lowest labor force participation rate in decades. Half or more small L libertarians seem to feel the same. AT LEAST until the welfare state is dissolved it is sheer insanity to have open borders. Even then IMO it would destroy our culture, and in fact hurt libertarian causes to have too many foreign born people who don’t “get” freedom according to how they all vote. So can’t agree here either.

      You crack me up though. You call yourself a liberal-tarian, but you’re clearly not libertarian at all. You’re definitely just a progressive, perhaps one that is a little more sane than Elizabeth Warren, but definitely not libertarian at all from any of your posts I have read.

      Do you even support lower taxes? Smaller government in any sense? I haven’t seen you support even those things, and if you prefer Dems to Rs you certainly value those things less than BS issues like abortion, which is nuts IMO.

    7. You are no Libertarian. Democrats want to micromanage every bit of business and personal decisions. The blatant anti-freedom party. Obamacare not an important issue for you? The CFPB, not an issue for you? Higher taxes? Confiscating state and private land? At one time they were strong on civil liberties but threw that out when they renewed the Patriot Act as is when they controlled all 3 branches of government.

    8. “…and with Democrats agreeing with us on our two biggest issues (immigration and reproductive rights), the LP counterintuitively might hurt libertarianism more than it helps if it draws too many votes away from Democratic candidates.”

      For those looking on, there you have it in a nutshell. From the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Make no mistake, it’s a popular and long-advocated voting strategy among a significant number of so-called libertarians.

      It’s why the state continues to grow in size since the two issues mentioned have no bearing on the power and reach of government. Immigrants vote for Democrats just like many libertarians do, and it’s why ICE agents don’t stumble upon stacks of well-thumbed Libertarian Party pamphlets when conducting raids.

      Voting Democrat because of immigration and reproductive rights doesn’t qualify you as a libertarian, it qualifies you as a Democrat voter; it doesn’t lend a hand to reducing the size of the state, it actively encourages its growth.

    9. You’re not a libertarian if you propose blanket support for a party that doesn’t know a big government program that it doesn’t love.

    10. You can’t have open borders and a welfare state – Every rational libertarian

  2. New Mexico Libertarians? Gale Boetticher did not die in vain!

  3. Jacking around in a leather jacket in New Mexico can get damned uncomfortable. Just say’n.

  4. That’s cool. Someday maybe it’ll be that way in all 50. I still think if the Libertarian party got just a touch more squishy on purity test stuff it might actually go somewhere some day. Time will tell.

  5. “libertarians hardest hit” – rejected subtitle.

  6. “…Gary Johnson’s extraordinarily high…”

    I’m sure he is. Party on.

  7. I heard Johnson & Weld speak on their policies when running in 2016 & I could not believe some of the crap I heard….They were for forcing bakers to bake homo wedding cakes, for increasing some powers of the FBI & still wanted to execute some of our immoral & illegal wars, but, in a different lesser manner…It was clear they were phony panderers!…I wanted to vomit after hearing them!

    The only good Libertarian is a Dr.Ron Paul type……A Libertarian-leaning Conservative Constitutionalist…..Libertarianism tempered by the Constitution is the best way to go!

  8. People scoff at Johnson’s 2016 electoral achievements. Sure, the LP ticket could have done better. But the LP navigated its little raft through a “perfect storm” campaign season, to end up with notably better ballot access nationally, capped by Johnson’s share in his home State, which guaranteed his party “major” status there for the next couple of election cycles, at least. (Compare with the excellent, grassroots race that the late Ed Thompson ran for Wisconsin governor awhile back. Thompson not only left the Libertarians with Wisconsin’s equivalent of “major party status,” but his vote total was high enough for the law to require that a Libertarian sit on the State elections commission for several years.) The head start that this gives the LP in 2018 and 2020 is huge, worth MILLIONS of dollars, which can now be put toward funding campaigns, instead of the mere attainment of a ballot line. We’re all disappointed that Johnson/Weld didn’t get into the debates; if they had, the 2016 results might have been even more favorable to Libertarians. But the results we are now enjoying are still very favorable, as long as we can maintain momentum and build on Johnson’s legacy. The hardest thing will be to run candidates who are at least as qualified for the jobs they seek as Johnson/Weld were for POTUS & Veep, respectively. Even though the LP candidate may be an underdog, people must not doubt that he or she is a credible, even excellent choice for the office in question.

    1. Everyone knows they have to be perfect. Any misstep whatsoever and they’re done. Hillary could’ve crashed her car into the DNC building and still be considered a candidate. Donald had the benefit of not being taken seriously by Hillary-media, and of course a strong funding base.

  9. The LP is a poor conveyor of libertarianism. The movement would be better of if the LP vanished.

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