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Candidate Kicked Out of New Hampshire Libertarian Party Nonetheless on House Primary Ballot as a Libertarian

The controversy highlights how the party can benefit from its statement of principles, which were protected at its recent national convention.

Tom Alciere is a former Republican state legislator in New Hampshire who resigned under public pressure in 2001 after he made some public comments supporting the killing of police officers. He ran unsuccessfully for office two more times as a Republican (one time losing to a write-in). This year he appears on a primary ballot for the 2nd District's federal House seat, pursuing the Libertarian Party's nomination.

Lp.orgLp.org

The party did its best to prevent that. In 1993, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire (LPNH) booted Alciere. The party's executive committee renewed its stance against the candidate last month, noting in a resolution that "Alciere has a history of advocating violence" and "refused to take a pledge against violence as a means of obtaining political objectives." (Alciere was also arrested in 2009 for a misdemeanor assault on a 12-year-old female neighbor.)

For those reasons, former** state party chair Darryl Perry wrote in a petition to the state's Ballot Law Commission (BLC), the party "disavows, impugns, forswears and repudiates Tom Alciere as a Libertarian candidate." Perry requested the BLC "remove the name Tom Alciere from Libertarian Party's primary ballot" in accordance with a regulation that the "name of any person shall not be printed upon the ballot of any party for a primary unless he or she is a registered member of that party."

The State of New Hampshire, though, has a different definition of what it means to be a registered member of a Party. As far as it is concerned, it just means being registered to vote under that party's banner. Despite the LPNH's view of itself as a private organization that should be able to define its own membership, the state says Alciere can stay on the ballot for the September primary.

Under the law, the BLC wrote, "any legal voter" who tells the state "he intends to affiliate with and generally supports the candidates of the party with which he offers to register...shall be registered as a member of such party." Since "Mr. Alciere did so register," the commission concludes, he "therefore became a member of the Libertarian Party, as far as the statutory requirements of New Hampshire law are concerned." The BLC's decision is unappealable.

In its convention earlier this year, the LPNH endorsed Justin O'Donnell, also on the ballot against Alciere, for that House seat. Perry says they had no idea Alciere intended to take advantage of the party's freshly re-won petition-free ballot access until he did it.

Alciere's campaign website condemns the LPNH for aiming at his ballot access, insisting it has "chosen to imitate the model of the Democratic Party in how they treated Bernie Sanders; and the Republican Party, in how they treated Ron Paul for being too libertarian for them. Libertarians constantly cry foul when ballot access restrictions are used against Libertarian Party candidates, and now they use the same trick as a tool for their own political advantage."

When it comes to the politics of advocating cop-killing, Alciere said in a phone interview this week that he is the true "orthodox libertarian extremist" and the party has "watered down their message. Let's face it, [Gary] Johnson and [William] Weld [the party's presidential ticket in 2016] weren't exactly orthodox libertarian extremists," since they avoided talk of things like "getting the border open, drugs legalized."

"During a drug raid an innocent drug dealer is clearly justified in using deadly force against an intruder," even if that intruder is a police officer, Alciere says. Hence, his stance on the propriety of cop-killing.

"They claim I'm going too far in talking about the age-old principle that not only the exact same enemy pilot that dropped bombs on Pearl Harbor during that attack but also all the armed forces of a hostile government are the enemy for the duration of the hostilities. And I apply the same principles to police forces." People who choose to go to war against an oppressive government, he says, "are entitled to take out enemy officers, which is what the police force is."

When he won his Republican state legislator seat, Alciere says, "I had this false sense of some glimmer of hope of working through the system and making a difference. I resigned in frustration because it became obvious it's a complete waste of time trying to reason with all these crazy people" in politics. He adds that the abolitionists in their day were thought of as the crazy ones, because everyone around them "refused to be reasonable" in the face of the anti-slavery movement's moral correctness.

Alciere says he doesn't have the resources to campaign in any meaningful way for the L.P. nomination, but he hopes voters will seek out his website. Not just registered Libertarians, but voters unregistered with the other major parties, can vote in the Libertarian primary, according to Perry.

The question of the L.P.'s ability to distance itself from controversialists such as Alciere highlights the importance of things like the pledge the party insists all members sign on joining (part of which states "I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force") and the party's statement of principles defining what a Libertarian believes, which says in part that a party member agrees to "prohibiting the initiation of physical force against others."

As Alciere and other party members on the "extremist" spectrum, such as former vice-chair Arvin Vohra might insist, violence against government employees isn't necessarily initiatory force, but retaliatory force.

That statement of principles, for what it is worth in policing the acceptable frontiers of Libertarian thought, was protected by a vote at the L.P.'s convention earlier this month. Seven eighths of registered delegates must vote for any changes to the statement of principles; that requirement is now itself protected with its own 7/8 requirement.

Caryn Ann Harlos, newly elected secretary for the Libertarian National Committee, was an activist working to ensure that the statement of principles remained intact. In a phone interview after the convention, Harlos emphasized it more as a way to ensure the party isn't taken over by more centrist types who don't actually embrace the L.P. for being as radical as it is.

But as Perry and the LPNH say, having party members on record about the use of physical force ought to be a way to distance the party from certain advocates of violence, though the state of New Hampshire did not agree.

Alciere, for his part, thinks that non-Libertarian politicians are responsible for real-life violence against police. "They have got cops' blood on their hands, they are buying votes with the blood of cops" by sending them out to "get themselves killed trying to enforce blatantly unjust laws." Politicians and voters may not literally pull the trigger on police officers, he says, but "they are pulling the lever" as politicians and voters that can lead to their deaths.

**Correction: the post originally erroneously referred to Perry as current state chair.

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  • SIV||

    The LP has no principles. See GayJay/Weld.

  • 43north||

    The NHLP doesn't exist.
    The LPNH does.
    Darryl Perry is the former Chair.
    Obviously you've never met Darryl Perry, nor Justin O'Donnell, both of whom are nationally known as radical Libertarians.
    Alciere will not agree to the Statement of Principles nor sign onto the NAP, a universally-applied disqualification for membership.

    Furthermore it's been proven during Alciere's own arrest, his advocacy for violence against police, does not extend to putting his own self at-peril. He's totally content in inciting others to do so, under the label of the Libertarian Party.

    Nyet Kulak.

  • 43north||

    The NHLP doesn't exist.
    The LPNH does.
    Darryl Perry is the former Chair.
    Obviously you've never met Darryl Perry, nor Justin O'Donnell, both of whom are nationally known as radical Libertarians.
    Alciere will not agree to the Statement of Principles nor sign onto the NAP, a universally-applied disqualification for membership.

    Furthermore it's been proven during Alciere's own arrest, his advocacy for violence against police, does not extend to putting his own self at-peril. He's totally content in inciting others to do so, under the label of the Libertarian Party.

    Nyet Kulak.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    (Alciere was also arrested in 2009 for a misdemeanor assault on a 12-year-old female neighbor.)

    Maybe it was consentual.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Go on....

    /Roy Moore

  • Dadlobby||

    Seems a bit radical to advocate for killing cops when the problem is the "war on drugs", which should be stopped and then there would be no police kicking in doors. LP should move to Larry Sharpe as a National Candidate, https://www.larrysharpe.com.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    No, he's right in the sense that cops are violating the basic human right to control yourself and your property; the cops are the ones initiating force on behalf of the State, and therefore his violence against the cops is self-defense. Where he loses me is thinking his ideals are in any way practical.

  • BYODB||

    Pretty much exactly this Scarecrow.

    Where he loses me is thinking his ideals are in any way practical.

    Amusingly, this is where the Libertarian party loses virtually everyone. This guy is basically a microcosm of the Libertarian party, and that couldn't be more hilarious given that the party is trying to prevent him from using their name.

    It makes the 'The Party of Principle' even more amusing than it already was.

  • Zeb||

    Nobody's ideals are practical. Unless they're nihilists, I guess.

  • BYODB||

    What are utilitarian's, chopped liver? ^_-

  • IceTrey||

    Yes, we're alone in the universe.
    Yes, life is meaningless, death is inevitable.
    But is that necessarily so depressing?

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    At least he isn't a raaaacist. What more could you ask?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why can't normal Libertarians run for office instead of fringe types?

  • ||

    normal Libertarians

    Your daily oxymoron.

  • Citizen X||

    He's a reasonable man, but these are not reasonable times.

  • SQRLSY One||

    #LibertariansForAssaulting12YearOldBabes !!!!

  • Eddy||

    Are parties obliged to use the primary system in exchange for ballot access? It seems that freedom of association is a steep price to pay for the "privilege" of being on the ballot.

    Incidentally, here is another example of the benefits of freedom of association in general.

    If a baker can choose his customers, a political party can choose its members.

    Same principle.

  • Chip||

    If we could simply nominate our candidates at a convention or caucuses, we'd likely do so.

    Having ballot access in NH means that none of our candidates have to petition, but it also unfortunately means that people like Alciere can get on without our permission.

    Different states have different laws so it varies widely depending on where you are.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Just as the GOP could not stop David Duke from running as a Republican, the LP cannot stop this assaulter of girls from running as one of their own.

  • Brandybuck||

    David Duke ran as a Democrat.

  • Echo Chamber||

    From wikipedia:
    "A former Republican Louisiana State Representative, Duke was a candidate in the Democratic presidential primaries in 1988 and the Republican presidential primaries in 1992. Duke also ran unsuccessfully for the Louisiana State Senate, United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, and for Governor of Louisiana."

  • 43north||

    Well played.

  • 43north||

    Well played.

  • ||

    Just as the GOP could not stop David Duke from running as a Republican, the LP cannot stop this assaulter of girls from running as one of their own.

    Did Duke assault someone? /sarc, not sarc

  • John C. Randolph||

    The BLC's decision is unappealable.

    The hell it is. Take those assholes to a federal court, and file an FEC complaint while you're at it.

    -jcr

  • BYODB||

    Honestly, this guy seems libertarian as fuck considering most of our posters around here. I'm surprised the Libertarian party is disavowing a guy that seems to be more libertarian than the party that sports it's name. Or, maybe that's sort of the point. It seems that is verbatim what Alciere's point is, amusingly.


    Tom Alciere, 49, of 28 Mobile Drive, turned himself in to police Tuesday morning on a warrant charging him with misdemeanor assault, police said. The warrant was issued following an investigation into an incident on March 26, in which Alciere is alleged to have "grabbed" the 12-year-old daughter of a neighbor, according to a police report. Police said Alciere has been arraigned in Nashua District Court and was released after posting $5,000 bail. Lt. Robert Tousignant said Alciere's booking process took place "quietly" and "without incident." Police said Friday that the assault on the girl was not sexual in nature, but didn't have further details on what may have led to the incident, or if the girl suffered any injuries. The police report states that the girl's father reported the incident to police.


    So, no real information on what he actually did beyond grabbing the neighbors kid. Interesting, I'd actually be curious to hear what happened.

  • 43north||

    By all means BYODB invite Tom Alciere to move to your state, to run on your ballot.

    Here, in the voting public's eye, he's TOXIC AS FUCK.

    Now if YOUR goal is to have the LP never actually BE a valid political contender?
    Then you should offer Alciere, Arvin Vohra, and the writer of this blog who seemingly endorses both
    (along with McAfee, Gillespie, and Kokesh) refuge in your personal Somalian state of Muh Anarchy Brah.

  • BYODB||

    I think you missed my point, but notably I'm not a member of the Libertarian party I'm merely observing that Alciere appears to match the general perception of a libertarian. He isn't wrong, from a libertarian standpoint, that violence against the police can absolutely be justified by the NAP.

    You see, the reasoning being that one could easily define it as reactive violence given that police are stealing your money by certain definitions, and this is just one of many ways to justify it. It's one reason why I've always sort of laughed at the NAP. It sounds good, but as a practical matter it doesn't work. It's not for nothing that one the biggest problems with libertarianism is that other cultures and nations exist.

    Also, please don't make me laugh about the LP being a valid political contender. This last election revealed that it will not be a contender in my lifetime, and possibly within the lifetime of our solar system. Freedom is not popular, and last I checked you can't force people to choose freedom.

  • IceTrey||

    What do you mean by the NAP doesn't work? BTW, only one third of the people in America supported the Revolution.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    He's wrong. Killing people because they initiate force is not libertarian. There must be a credible expectation that your life is in danger.

    It's also really bad fucking advice. And that's maybe the more important part here.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "During a drug raid an innocent drug dealer is clearly justified in using deadly force against an intruder," even if that intruder is a police officer, Alciere says. Hence, his stance on the propriety of cop-killing.

    Or property rights.

  • George J. Dance||

    Why drag in poor Armin Vohra (who, as far as I know, never applauded killing police) while ignoring LP POTUS wannabe Adam Kokesh, who is on record as doing exactly that?

  • darkflame||

    So Hihn's running for office in NH?

  • darkflame||

    So Hihn's running for office in NH?

  • darkflame||

    Well shit

  • Citizen X||

    (snort)

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Lt. Robert Tousignant said Alciere's booking process took place "quietly" and "without incident."

    Nope. Not Hihn. His booking would have been filled with bold face and snorting.

  • Brandybuck||

    This is a problem for EVERY party, thanks to stupid laws defining party membership as mere registration with the state or county government. Progtards run for their fainting couches whenever they discover a racist running under the GOP banner, yet there's nothing the Republicans can do to stop it. Someone registers then pays the filing fee then they're on the primary ballot. It's not like this has never happened with the Democrats (*cough* David Duke *cough*). I'm sure it's happened with the Greens as well.

    Which is one reason I would like political parties to go back to being private organizations with closed primaries. Let the party decide their nominees. Period. Don't include party affiliation on ballots. Period.

  • Brandybuck||

    There is a convicted child molester in my district who perenially runs under the LP moniker. And ever election the local LP begs for anyone ANYONE else to run. Sigh.

  • ||

    Is the cost/risk to running that you might get elected? Seems like word of mouth and 'not a child molester' would be a slam dunk.

  • Brandybuck||

    This is a problem for EVERY party, thanks to stupid laws defining party membership as mere registration with the state or county government. Progtards run for their fainting couches whenever they discover a racist running under the GOP banner, yet there's nothing the Republicans can do to stop it. Someone registers then pays the filing fee then they're on the primary ballot. It's not like this has never happened with the Democrats (*cough* David Duke *cough*). I'm sure it's happened with the Greens as well.

    Which is one reason I would like political parties to go back to being private organizations with closed primaries. Let the party decide their nominees. Period. Don't include party affiliation on ballots. Period.

  • Brandybuck||

    Stoopid squirrels

  • Zeb||

    And make the party candidates go through the same process as any independent would to get on the ballot. It's ridiculous that the states and parties are so entwined.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Alciere, for his part, thinks that non-Libertarian politicians are responsible for real-life violence against police. "They have got cops' blood on their hands, they are buying votes with the blood of cops" by sending them out to "get themselves killed trying to enforce blatantly unjust laws." Politicians and voters may not literally pull the trigger on police officers, he says, but "they are pulling the lever" as politicians and voters that can lead to their deaths.

    It's not that you're wrong Walter. You're just an asshole.

  • Citizen X||

    Okay then.

  • sparkstable||

    Funny how the LPNH is celebrated for reinforcing it's "principles" while a candidate (excluding the event with the 12 year old... just speaking on his professed stance is all) actually takes the principle to its logical and real conclusion and he's somehow the guy without principles while the LP backs away from the very thing it says it supports.

    If the party can't take it's positions seriously, how can it expect non-members to take it seriously? They are no different than Republicans saying they will cut taxes and shrink the government... only not. Or Democrats who are "pro-choice" but don't let you choose how to live your life or run your business.

    smdh. ready to get out of this world and into the next some days.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Deadly retaliatory force for any kind of initiation of force is not its "logical end". You can't kill people for any and every transgression. To do so violates another central tenet of libertarianism, and that is due process. As shitty as it is for cops to raid people's houses for stupid reasons, there's no rational expectation that you will be killed.

  • cmcrawford2||

    New Hampshire libertarians are thoughtful and dedicated people for the most part, and many of them are quite radical. They run their state party responsibly. Anyone who wants to judge their decisions based on this brief description of the circumstances is operating with preconceptions that have nothing to do with the situation.

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