Posts Tagged ‘3rd Party’

Ron Paul Endorses Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party Candidate) for President

September 22, 2008

OK, back on September 10th, I had meant to post Ron Paul’s  “endorsement” speech, but some crazy things happened in my life and I didn’t get to it.  Well, none of that really matters now.  The basics of his speech there (which I have just below) were that he’s endorsing all of the 3rd party candidates – basically don’t vote for McCain or Obama.

Here’s Paul’s speech to the National Press Club:

The coverage of the presidential election is designed to be a grand distraction. This is not new, but this year, it’s more so than ever.

Pretending that a true difference exists between the two major candidates is a charade of great proportion. Many who help to perpetuate this myth are frequently unaware of what they are doing and believe that significant differences actually do exist. Indeed, on small points there is the appearance of a difference. The real issues, however, are buried in a barrage of miscellaneous nonsense and endless pontifications by robotic pundits hired to perpetuate the myth of a campaign of substance.

The truth is that our two-party system offers no real choice. The real goal of the campaign is to distract people from considering the real issues.

Influential forces, the media, the government, the privileged corporations and moneyed interests see to it that both party’s candidates are acceptable, regardless of the outcome, since they will still be in charge. It’s been that way for a long time. George Wallace was not the first to recognize that there’s “not a dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties. There is, though, a difference between the two major candidates and the candidates on third-party tickets and those running as independents.

The two parties and their candidates have no real disagreements on foreign policy, monetary policy, privacy issues, or the welfare state. They both are willing to abuse the Rule of Law and ignore constitutional restraint on Executive Powers. Neither major party champions free markets and private-property ownership.

Those candidates who represent actual change or disagreement with the status quo are held in check by the two major parties in power, making it very difficult to compete in the pretend democratic process. This is done by making it difficult for third-party candidates to get on the ballots, enter into the debates, raise money, avoid being marginalized, or get fair or actual coverage. A rare celebrity or a wealthy individual can, to a degree, overcome these difficulties.

The system we have today allows a President to be elected by as little as 32% of the American people, with half of those merely voting for the “lesser of two evils”. Therefore, as little as 16% actually vote for a president. No wonder when things go wrong, anger explodes. A recent poll shows that 60% of the American people are not happy with the two major candidates this year.

This system is driven by the conviction that only a major party candidate can win. Voters become convinced that any other vote is a “wasted” vote. It’s time for that conclusion to be challenged and to recognize that the only way not to waste one’s vote is to reject the two establishment candidates and join the majority, once called silent, and allow the voices of the people to be heard.

We cannot expect withdrawal of troops from Iraq or the Middle East with either of the two major candidates. Expect continued involvement in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Georgia. Neither hints of a non-interventionist foreign policy. Do not expect to hear the rejection of the policy of supporting the American world empire. There will be no emphasis in protecting privacy and civil liberties and the constant surveillance of the American people. Do not expect any serious attempt to curtail the rapidly expanding national debt. And certainly, there will be no hint of addressing the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationship with big banks and international corporations and the politicians.

There is only one way that these issues can get the attention they deserve: the silent majority must become the vocal majority.

This message can be sent to our leaders by not participating in the Great Distraction—the quadrennial campaign and election of an American President without a choice. Just think of how much of an edge a Vice President has in this process, and he or she is picked by a single person—the party’s nominee. This was never intended by the Constitution.

Since a principled non-voter sends a message, we must count them and recognize the message they are sending as well. The non-voters need to hold their own “election” by starting a “League of Non-voters” and explain their principled reasons for opting out of this charade of the presidential elective process. They just might get a bigger membership than anyone would guess.

Write-in votes should not be discouraged, but the electoral officials must be held accountable and make sure the votes are counted. But one must not be naïve and believe that under today’s circumstances one has a chance of accomplishing much by a write-in campaign.

The strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system, which in reality is a one-party system with no possible chance for the changes to occur which are necessary to solve our economic and foreign policy problems. This can be accomplished by voting for one of the non-establishment principled candidates—Baldwin, Barr, McKinney, Nader, and possibly others. (listed alphabetically)

Yes, these individuals do have strong philosophic disagreements on various issues, but they all stand for challenging the status quo—those special interest who control our federal government. And because of this, on the big issues of war, civil liberties, deficits, and the Federal Reserve they have much in common. People will waste their vote in voting for the lesser of two evils. That can’t be stopped overnight, but for us to have an impact we must maximize the total votes of those rejecting the two major candidates.

For me, though, my advice—for what it’s worth—is to vote! Reject the two candidates who demand perpetuation of the status quo and pick one of the alternatives that you have the greatest affinity to, based on the other issues.

A huge vote for those running on principle will be a lot more valuable by sending a message that we’ve had enough and want real change than wasting one’s vote on a supposed lesser of two evils.

Well, Bob Barr (Lib) didn’t like that too much, and he bugged Dr. Paul to endorse somebody, and today, Ron Paul did.  He endorsed Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.  Here’s what Dr. Paul released today:

The press conference at the National Press Club had a precise purpose.  It was to expose, to as many people as possible, the gross deception of our presidential election process.  It is controlled by the powerful elite to make sure that neither candidate of the two major parties will challenge the status quo.  There is no real choice between the two major parties and their nominees, only the rhetoric varies.  The amazingly long campaign is designed to make sure the real issues are ignored.  The quotes I used at the press conference from insider Carroll Quigley and the League of Women voters strongly support this contention.

Calling together candidates from the liberal, conservative, libertarian and progressive constituencies, who are all opposed to this rigged process, was designed to alert the American people to the uselessness of continuing to support a process that a claims that one’s only choice is to choose the lesser of two evils and reject a principle vote that might challenge the status quo as a wasted vote.

In both political education and organization, coalitions are worthwhile and necessary to have an impact.  “Talking to the choir” alone achieves little.  I have always approached political and economic education with a “missionary” zeal by inviting any group in on issues we agree upon.

This opens the door to legitimate discourse with the hope of winning new converts to the cause of liberty.  This strategy led to the press conference with the four candidates agreeing to the four principles we believe are crucial in challenging the political system that has evolved over many years in this country.

This unique press conference, despite the surprising, late complication from the Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, hopefully will prove to be historically significant.

This does not mean that I expect to get Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney to become libertarians, nor do they expect me to change my mind on the issues on which we disagree. In the meantime, why can’t we be friends, respectful of each other, and fight the corrupt process from which we suffer, and at the same time champion the four issues that we all agree upon which the two major candidates won’t address?

Many practical benefits can come from this unique alliance.  Our cause is liberty —freedom is popular and is the banner that brings people together. Since authoritarianism divides, we always have the edge in an intellectual fight.  Once it’s realized that the humanitarian goals of peace and prosperity are best achieved with our views, I’m convinced we win by working with others.  Those who don’t want to collaborate are insecure with their own beliefs.

In the past two years at the many rallies where I talked and shook hands with literally thousands of people, I frequently asked them what brought them to our campaign.  There were many answers: the Constitution, my consistency, views on the Federal Reserve, the war, and civil liberties.  The crowds were overwhelmingly made up of young people.

Oftentimes I welcomed the diverse groups that came, mentioning that the crowd was made up of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Liberals and Progressives with each group applauding.  Even jokingly, I recognized the “anarchists” and that, too, was met with some applause.  In conversations, many admitted to having been Democrats and members of the Green Party and supporters of Ralph Nader, yet they came to agree with us on all the issues once the entire philosophy was understood.  That’s progress.

Principled people are not shy in participating with others and will defend their beliefs on their merits. Liberals and progressives are willing to align themselves with us on the key issues of peace, civil liberties, debt and the Federal Reserve.  That’s exciting and very encouraging, and it means we are making progress.  The big challenge, however, is taking on the establishment, and the process that is so well entrenched.  But we can’t beat the entrenched elite without the alliance of all those who have been disenfranchised.

Ironically the most difficult group to recruit has been the evangelicals who supported McCain and his pro-war positions.  They have been convinced that they are obligated to initiate preventive war in the Middle East for theological reasons.  Fortunately, this is a minority of the Christian community, but our doors remain open to all despite this type of challenge.  The point is, new devotees to the freedom philosophy are more likely to come from the left than from those conservatives who have been convinced that God has instructed us to militarize the Middle East.

Although we were on the receiving end of ridicule in the reporting of the press conference, I personally was quite satisfied with the results. True revolutions are not won in a week, a month, or even a year.  They take time.  But we are making progress, and the momentum remains and is picking up.  The Campaign for Liberty is alive and well, and its growth and influence will continue.  Obviously the press conference could have been even more successful without the last-minute change of heart by the Libertarian Party candidate by not participating.  He stated that his support for the four points remains firm.  His real reason for not coming, nor letting me know until forty minutes before the press conference started, is unknown to me.  To say the least, I was shocked and disappointed.

Yet in the long run, this last-minute change in plans will prove to be of little importance.  I’m convinced that problems like this always seem bigger at the moment, yet things usually work out in the end.  Recovering from the mistakes and shortcomings of all that we do in this effort is not difficult if the message is right and our efforts are determined.  And I’m convinced they are.  That’s what will determine our long-term success, not the shortcomings of any one person.

The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November.   It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members.  I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman.  It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party.  Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.

I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well.  The more votes they get, the better.  I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years.

In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York.  This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats.  We need more states to permit this option.  This will be a good project for the Campaign for Liberty, along with the alliance we are building to change the process.

I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election.  I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.

Honestly, this is a detramental blow to Barr.  And it’s a huge sigh of relief for McCain.  Barr was on the ballot in 45/51 states (counting Washington, D.C. as a “state”), but Baldwin is only on 37.  He’s a write-in in Indiana, where Barr was on the ballot.  That greatly helps McCain.  In Montana, the Constitution Party rejected Baldwin and selected Ron Paul.  Who knows how this will effect that whole situation.  In North Carolina, Baldwin can’t even be a write-in, where Barr was on the ballot.  Again, this will help McCain in a state that could be close-ish.  In Pennsylvania, Baldwin will be a write-in; Barr is on the ballot.

Overall, this move helps McCain.  Baldwin will probably beat out Barr now, which will be pretty humiliating for Barr, considering that the Libertarian normally beats the Constitution candidate by 200%-300%.

I find it funny that Barr pushed Paul and Paul said, “Fine, it’s not you.”

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Ron Paul to Endorse a Presidential Candidate Tomorrow

September 9, 2008

Well, earlier today, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty put out the following press release:

Ron Paul to Hold Major
Press Conference Wednesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           CONTACT: Jesse Benton
September 8, 2008

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – Congressman Ron Paul will hold a press conference in the Ball Room at the National Press Club on Wednesday, September 10th at 10:00 am. Dr. Paul will announce his intentions for the fall presidential election and will be accompanied by several special guests.

This event comes on the heels of Dr. Paul’s historic three-day Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, Minnesota that drew over 12,000 supporters.

-30-

It has been rumored that any or several of the following Presidential candidates may be there: Bob Barr (Lib), Ralph Nader (I), Chuck Baldwin (Con), and Cynthia McKinney (Green) will be there.

Ron Paul’s spokesman apparently told reporters that Paul will give something of an endorsement [with] a real effect on this fall’s election.”

Unfortunately, I’m in class until 10:50, but I may bring my laptop with me to class (it’s a poli-sci class, so my professor wouldn’t mind).

As the press release said, thid DOES come after the Rally for the Republic, Paul’s non-RNC, in Minneapolis, MN.

I have talked with a few Paul supporters who are saying that tomorrow’s announcement may be a third party candidacy announcement, and some Paul supporters remain optimistic, but I don’t expect anything more than an endorsement of Bob Barr and  maybe Baldwin.  McKinney and Nader’s names were thrown in there for possible endorsements, but I HIGHLY doubt Paul would ever endorse either of them.

I’ll keep you updated.  If I don’t have anything up by 10:15 A.M. EDT tomorrow, expect something by 11:15.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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Ron Paul Will Be on the Ballot for President in Montana

September 9, 2008

A website called Ballot Access News has reported that Ron Paul will appear on the ballot for President in November.

The Constitution Party of Montana, which broke off from the national party back in 2006, decided not to stick with the national party’s nominee (Chuck Baldwin for President/Darrell Castle for VP), but rather nominate Ron Paul for President, and 2000 Constitution Party nominee, Michael Perutka, for Vice President.

Paul did not actively campaign for the nomination, but he also did not oppose it.  He has said that he will not object as long as he does not have to sign any declaration of candidacy and as long as he won’t actually have to do anything formal for the campaign.

Paul’s campaign manager in Montana, David Hart, told reporters, “Here in Montana, I think it’s pretty much sealed the deal that McCain will not win Montana.  If he doesn’t win, Ron Paul will probably be blamed for it.  They only need to look in the mirror and blame themselves for nominating someone who doesn’t represent true Republican values and causes like Paul. … [Paul may take some of Obama's votes becaue Paul] is really unifying in terms of liberty and freedom and that goes across the party lines. … It’s an exciting development.  People will have an opportunity to not vote for the lesser of two evils.”

However, Montana Republican Party Chairman Erik Iverson isn’t so worried.  He told reporters, “I’ve got all the respect in the world for David Hart and Ron Paul.  But I think the only candidate in Montana that it hurts is Bob Barr.  Montana voters who would vote for him (Paul) on the Constitution Party ticket are folks who probably wouldn’t have voted for John McCain anyway and they certainly wouldn’t have voted for Barack Obama.”

Personally, I think that this is going to hurt McCain more than Obama, but I’m not ready to call the state one way or another yet.  I think this definitely puts the state into play, and this could be an election where 3 Electoral Votes makes the difference.  This state has been close in the polls lately; however, all of those were pre-Palin, and Palin is going to help McCain in Montana, so I’m really undecided as to how much of a hit McCain will take here (but if Paul wasn’t running, I’d definitely call it for McCain).  I do know that Bob Barr (Libertarian) will suffer here in Montana now though.  Some time soon I’ll be putting out my prediction for the general election (I may do a weekly prediction or something like that).

I’ll keep you updated with anything more that happens regarding Montana and Ron Paul.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Jack Kevorkian Lives: the Obscure Congressional Candidate Has Started Campaigning

August 5, 2008

OK, so the title was a little cheesy.  Anyway, this is my next segement in my series on the Race for Michigan’s 9th Congressional District.  Dr. Jack “Death” Kevorkian had a town hall-type meeting with about 35 people in Birmingham last week.

He started off by saying, “Okay, so what do you want to know?”  He was asked questions about loss of freedoms.  He was asked about the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgage companies.

Kevorkian replied to that with a fitting libertarian (although he’s running as an independent) response, “What bailout?  You’re kind of sheep-like.  You’ve all been conditioned to think and act like sheep.”

Another person “asked about a scientist who believes that four countries control the equipment that controls weather and climate” (Free Press).  What kind of people were at that meeting!

Kevorkian later went on to say, “I don’t want to be a congressman.  I only want to serve two years. I’m here to educate and inform the public. … You are enslaved, but you don’t know it.  You don’t want to admit it because you’re walking around free, eating good dinners.  As long as you’re comfortable, you’re controllable.”

Again, a very libertarian (although VERY extreme) stance overall.  I’m not sure why he didn’t run as a Libertarian, whether the party wouldn’t let him, or he just didn’t want any political party connection.

I’ll see if I can get a quote from the campaign on that.

Asked if he is fit to serve, Kevorkian had the following conversation with a FOX 2 reporter:

Reporter: In 2006, one of your petitions to be paroled was that you’re gravely ill.

Kevorkian: At the time I was.

Reporter: Are you fit to serve?

Kevorkian: Well, how do I look?

And here’s the full FOX 2 story:

So, there you have it.  Kevorkian is essentially running a libertarian/limited government involvement, independent campaign.

What effect will Kevorkian have on the general election?  That depends on what he emphasizes and how much money he spends.  He’s sure to get some Democrats who supported euthanasia.  He’s sure to get the libertarian vote, but will that come from Republicans who are sick of Joe Knollenberg, or former Republicans who would’ve voted for Gary Peters?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Michigan’s Top House Race: Gary Peters vs. Joe Knollenberg (vs. Quacky Dr. Jack Kevorkian)

May 13, 2008

The following post is also being syndicated on Right Michigan, where I was offered a position to cover Michigan’s 9th District:

I would first like to thank Nick for allowing me the opportunity to cover stories on the race for Michigan’s 9th District for his site.

First, what exactly is Michigan’s 9th District?

It’s Oakland, Bloomfield, Southfield, and West Bloomfield townships; parts of Orion and Waterford townships; the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Lake Angelus; and the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills (bold indicates where Representative Knollenberg won; italics indicate a close margin; villages were not categorized since they do not vote on their own).  Or, for you visual people, it’s this:

What are the demographics?

  1. 83.1% White
  2. 8.1% Black
  3. 5.6% Asian
  4. 3.0% Hispanic
  5. 0.5% Native American
  6. 0.5% Other

So, how does the district vote?

  • The district has been given Cook Partisan Index of R+0, meaning that the district is more Republican than other average districts, but by less than 1%.
  • The district voted for George Bush in 2004.
  • The district voted for Al Gore in 2000 (although the make-up of the district was different from now).
  • The district has voted for Joe Knollenberg since 2002.

Why is this race so important?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) placed this district in the top 13 districts that they are targetting in their Red to Blue campaign.

What exactly is the Red to Blue campaign?

The DCCC put out this press release explaining the campaign:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today announced the first round of Red to Blue candidates challenging Republican incumbents. This is the second slate of Democratic congressional candidates that have qualified for the competitive DCCC Red to Blue program, the first slate was for candidates in open seats. These candidates earned a spot in the program by surpassing demanding fundraising goals and skillfully demonstrating to voters that they stand for change and will represent new priorities when elected to Congress.

These candidates have come out of the gate strong and the Red to Blue Program will give them the financial and structural edge to be even more competitive in November,” said Chairman Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The candidates for change in our first round of challenger Red to Blue are strong examples of Democrats who represent a commitment to new priorities for the families in their districts.

The Red to Blue program highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, and strategic support. The program will introduce Democratic supporters to new, competitive candidates in order to help expand the fundraising base for these campaigns.

Chairman Van Hollen joined Red to Blue co-chairs Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Artur Davis (D-AL), and Bruce Braley (D-IA) to announce the first 13 challenger candidates for change who qualified for the Red to Blue:

Kay Barnes (MO-06)
Anne Barth (WV-02)
Darcy Burner (WA-08)
Robert Daskas (NV-03)
Steve Driehaus (OH-01)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Christine Jennings (FL-13)
Larry Kissell (NC-08)
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24)
Eric Massa (NY-29)
Gary Peters (MI-09)
Mark Schauer (MI-07)
Dan Seals (IL-10)
Red to Blue was a proven success in the 2004 and 2006 cycles. In 2004, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $7.5 million for twenty seven campaigns across the country with an average of more than $250,000 per campaign. In 2006, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $22.6 million for 56 campaigns with an average of $404,000 per campaign. Red to Blue was also responsible for solidifying the structure of dozens of campaigns and making a real difference for Democrats across America.

Soon after the DCCC put this up on their website, they got some comments about these candidates not being what’s best for the party in terms of stances, but the fact that they’ll be able to raise large amounts of money:

Your only criteria for inclusion seem to be fund-raising ability, not issues.
Isn’t this what scuttled the progress of the party over the years since
you deep-sixed progressive programs and started going to corporations hat in hand?

Soon after other negative comments, the DCCC disabled comments on that press release.

What were the results of the 2006 Election?

  1. Joe Knollenberg (R) 142,290 51.56%
  2. Nancy Skinner (D) 127,620 46.21%
  3. Adam Goodman (L) 3,702 1.34%
  4. Matthew R. Abel (G) 2,468 0.89%

Is this actually close?

For Knollenberg, it is somewhat close, since he was a 14-year incumbent, but he still won by over 5%.

So, who exactly is Gary Peters?

Gary Peters is running against Representative Knollenberg.  He was a state Senator from 1994-2002, when he was term-limited out.  He then ran against Mike Cox for Attorney General in 2002, where he lost the general election.

He was the Michigan Lottery Commissioner from 2003-2007.

He was hired to teach at Central Michigan University, where he was the center of controversy (that’s a way too long story to tell, so just read The Peters Report or my category of posts on him here, or just search “Gary Peters” here on the Right Michigan website).

Who is Jack Kevorkian?

Jack Kevorkian is a doctor who was sent to jail a few years ago for assisting a patient in committing suicide.  Dr. Kevorkian hired attorney Geoffrey Fieger to represent him in that case, but obviously, he lost.  He was sentenced for 10-25 years, but only served 8, after the parole board let him out early due to his kidney illness.  He was expected to die within a year of leaving prison in May of 2006, but instead, he decided to run for Congress, against Joe Knollenberg and Gary Peters.

How will having Dr. Kevorkian running affect the race?

That is somewhat hard to tell.  I have done some calculations.  In 1998, Proposal B was brought before voters to allow for assisted suicide.  Although it failed statewide as well as in Oakland County, it did better than average in the 9th District (33.05%-66.95%).  I did some calculations, and if we assume that only 75% of voters who voted against the proposal vote for Knollenberg in 2008, Knollenberg would still come out with a win just above 50%.  Peters would received around 45%, and Kevorkian would receive 5%.

This assumes that Kevorkian only gets 5%, and I think he will get a little more from the Democrats who are unsatissfied with the direction of the party.  So, if we assume that Kevorkian gets 8%, 2% more from Peters and 1% from swing-Knollenberg-voters (libertarians), we would have Knollenberg with 49%, Peters with 43% and Kevorkian with 8%.  This leaves plenty of room for Knollenberg to lose a few voters who are mad at the Republican party an the Iraq War, but I think Knollenberg is pretty safe this election.

Again, I’d like to thank Nick for allowing me to report on this race.

Next week, I’ll be looking into some of the fundraising of this race.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Obama Wants a System “that doesn’t allow third parties to overwhelm the system”

April 11, 2008

Wow – so I was reading a news story about McCain and/or Obama taking public financing (which I did a blog post on, available here: http://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/obama-reconsidering-taking-public-financing-and-its-85-million-spending-limit-pledge), and I came accross this statement by Barack Obama to reporters earlier today:

“I would like to see a system preserved and I intend, if I am the nominee, to have conversations with Senator McCain about how to move forward in a way that doesn’t allow third parties to overwhelm the system.” (emphasis mine)

Um … wow.  If we don’t allow as many 3rd parties in as want to join, what does that say for democracy?

Obama says he wants change, but all he really wants is to keep the 2-party system the way it is, that way either a Republican or a Democrat is always guaranteed to be in power, so instead of hte Democrats having to fight off 5 parties, Obama only wants them to have to fight off 1.

This just left me speechless.  I mean, I know that 99% of Republicans and Democrats who are actually IN POWER don’t want 3rd parties coming in (because that would mean more competition for them), but I didn’t think that somebody would actually come out and say it!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Lieberman Campaign Crashed Own Site; Blamed His Opponent

April 9, 2008

So, I don’t know how many of you remember the 2006 election campaign cycle events (I do – I always said that Lieberman would lose his primary and win as an Independent.  I said it at the very start of 2006 and got laughed at, and look what happened).  Anyway, Joe Liberman and his campaign made statements that implied that joe2006.com was hacked by Ned Lamont (Dem) supporters / the Lamont campaign through a denial of service attack.

While the site was down, the Lieberman site said that Lamont should “make an unqualified statement denouncing this kind of dirty campaign trick and to demand whoever is responsible to cease and desist immediately.”

Well, the FBI office in New Haven was called in to investigate, and part of their findings were recently released:

“The server that hosted the joe2006.com Web site failed because it was overutilized and misconfigured.  There was no evidence of attack.”  The website went down after “Lieberman officials continually exceeded a configured limit of 100 e-mails per hour the night before the primary” (The Advocate).

The system administrator misinterpreted the root cause. The system administrator finally declared the server was being attacked and the Lieberman campaign accused the Ned Lamont campaign. The news reported this on Aug. 8, 2006, causing additional Web traffic to visit the site.

The additional Web traffic then overwhelmed the Web server. . . . Web traffic pattern analysis reports and Web logging that was available did not demonstrate traffic that was indicative of a denial of service attack.

New Haven will be administratively closing this investigation.

So, Lieberman and his campaign look kinda foolish now, but he still got elected, so I don’t think it’ll make him lose too much sleep.  It would’ve been interesting if the results were released before the general election though – I think Lieberman would’ve lost as a result of these results.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Ralph Nader to Clinton on His Blog: “Don’t Listen to Leahy”

March 29, 2008

Ralph Nader has even chimed in on the whole Tonya Harding Option vs. Clinton dropping out controversy.  He posted this post on his blog:

Don’t Listen to Senator Leahy

Don’t Listen to Senator Leahy .

Senator Clinton:

Just read where Senator Patrick Leahy is calling on you to drop out of the Presidential race.

Believe me.

I know something about this.

Here’s my advice:

Don’t listen to people when they tell you not to run anymore.

That’s just political bigotry.

Listen to your own inner citizen First Amendment voice.

This is America.

Just like every other citizen, you have a right to run.

Whenever you like.

For as long as you like.

It’s up to you, Hillary.

Just tell them –

It’s democracy.

Get used to it.

Yours truly,

Ralph Nader

Wow – so we’ve got House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-No endorsement), Clinton campaign donors, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT-Obama), Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT-Obama), and DNC Chairman Howard Dean (D-VT-No endorsement), AND NOW Ralph Nader (I-D.C.) has joined in.

Nader will probably send another message to Clinton after she loses the primary: “Don’t drop out.  You have the freedom to run.”  Unfortunately, I doubt she’ll listen.

But, either way, she continues to tear apart the party!  Pretty soon McCain won’t be addressing Republicans, but Democrats when he says, “Thank you, my friends…”

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Mike Gravel Endorses Green Party Candidate; Then He Becomes a Libertarian?

March 26, 2008

OK, so on March 11th, 2008, Mike Gravel (D, turned Libertarian?-AK) issued a statement endorsing Jesse Johnson (Green Party-WV).  Here’s a press release from Johnson’s campaign:

National Statesman and International Hero Senator Mike Gravel Supports Jesse Johnson’s Bid for President

In what has to be the most unprecedented cross party statement of support Democratic Party Candidate for President Mike Gravel announced that he has decided to support the campaign of Green Party Candidate Jesse Johnson running for the nomination on the Green Party Ticket.

After a meeting between the two in Washington DC Friday, Gravel stated, “My political party long ago walked away from taking the necessary steps that will safe guard our nation’s and our children’s futures. I worked dedicatedly throughout my career as a U.S. Senator to protect the precious resources our country had within it’s boundaries as well as to mitigate the negative impact our businesses and individuals were having on the planet. I have watched the ever important job of stewarding these gifts vanish from the political landscape and I hold the Democratic Party leadership responsible for giving up that fight.”

Why did Gravel choose Johnson from among the other candidates vying for the nomination in all the campaigns of all available political parties? Gravel explains, “I’m supporting Jesse because he began his political career with the determination that the environmental plundering must stop. He placed every other interest on hold to run for office, in his home state and now nationally, to challenge the corporations that destroy our national resources and then harvest from this practice a toxic energy source; coal. The mountain top mining practices devastate the landscape by blowing apart mountains and then carbon belching plants burn the coal creating a form of energy that serves as one of the major contributors for global climate change.”

Gravel continues, “We must have a voice in the political realm speaking earnestly and intelligently about all of our environmental needs. Johnson and the Green Party have that environmental credibility that we Democrats have lost.”

Senator Gravel intends to travel and campaign with Jesse Johnson as their schedule allows.

Jesse Johnson, former chair of the West Virginia Mountain Party and two time candidate for statewide office, said that this sort of cross party support “was just the kind of non-traditional, selfless act that we have come to know Senator Mike Gravel to make. When he read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional record, or filibustered to end the draft he had his eye – at all times – on the big picture and the needs of others. I am not surprised that a true patriot and advocate of the citizen as leader of our country would take such an unprecedented and bold stand. And I am honored and humbled that he has selected my campaign and the Green Party as his allies in this very important race to save our environment from the actions of humans.”

Gravel closed by saying, “We’ve seen the havoc the two parties can wreak, on a global scale, by locking out the voices of reason – by eliminating the third party voices. I want to amplify those voices to save our country from our own shortsighted and greedy actions. If we want to end the war in Iraq, provide health care to all citizens, educate our young people, we’re going to have to start not only working together with these alternate parties: but literally working to support them. That’s why I’m supporting Jesse Johnson’s campaign for President.”

So, he did that while he was STILL running for President.  Think that’s strange?

Just hours ago, Third Party Watch reported that Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory confirmed that Mike Gravel has joined the Libertarian Party.

Here is a press release from the Libertarian Party (http://www.lp.org/media/article_572.shtml):

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel joins Libertarian Party ranksBelieves Democrats are out of touch with American citizens
Washington, D.C. – Mike Gravel, a former Alaskan Senator and Democratic candidate for president, has joined the Libertarian Party.“I’m joining the Libertarian Party because it is a party that combines a commitment to freedom and peace that can’t be found in the two major parties that control the government and politics of America,” says Gravel. “My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy.”Gravel served in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1981. Most recently, Gravel was a Democratic presidential candidate, though forced out of national debates by Democratic Party leadership and the media. Gravel officially became a member of the Libertarian Party today.Gravel is the most recent former member of Congress to switch to the Libertarian Party. In 2006, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr joined the Libertarian Party.“It is a distinct honor to have another former member of Congress within the Libertarian Party,” says Barr. “Just as Senator Gravel believes Democrats have lost touch with the American public, I too concluded Republicans had lost their core principles, and could no longer associate myself with the GOP. While coming from opposite sides of the aisle, Senator Gravel and I definitely agree on the fundamental need for systemic change in our political system, and that the only way we have of effecting that change is by supporting and working in the Libertarian Party, which is the only political party in America that consistently works in word and deed to maximize individual liberty and minimize government power.”

“We’re honored to have a former member of the United States Senate join our ranks,” says Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory. “Senator Gravel has a sincere dedication to empowering the American people and eliminating the corrupting influence of the two major parties. His switch from the Democratic Party, as well as former Congressman Barr’s abandonment of the GOP, shows that the Libertarian Party is truly a big tent organization moving firmly in the direction of Liberty.”

The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting http://www.lp.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

For more information on this issue, or to arrange a media interview, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 333-0008 during normal business hours, or at (202) 731-0002 during any other time.

This has got to be one of the WEIRDEST campaigns I’ve ever seen: start off as a Democrat, endorse a Green (while still remaining a Democrat, and become a Libertarian – all while running for President.

This could make things interesting for the Democrats – if they have some ultraliberals leaving for the Green Party and moderates leaving for the Libertarian Party, it could cost them votes that they already desperately need.

Then again, Ron Paul could run as a Libertarian some say (although he’s confirmed that he won’t), which would pretty much guarantee a Democratic victory.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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“Doctor Death” is Running for Congress in Michigan

March 12, 2008

What do a felonious & murderous doctor, a former Lottery Commissioner turned (controversial) professor, a dude with a really big head, a Congressman, and a kid with a video camera accused of being “Virginia Tech dangerous” have in common?  They’re all involved in the election for the 9th Congressional District of Michigan.  This race just keeps getting wackier, so I’ll list the basics:

  • Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills) is the current Representative for Michigan’s 9th Congressional district (“Oakland, Bloomfield, and West Bloomfield townships; parts of Orion and Waterford townships; the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Lake Angelus; and the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills” – yeah, Okland county’s kinda weird like that).  (Source: The Oakland Press).
  • There’s a dude with a big paper maché head who has a blog about “Joe Nollenberg” – opposing him mainly on the Iraq War.
  • Gary Peters is the Democratic candidate running for Congress.  He was the former Michigan Lottery Commissioner, and now he is a professor at Central Michigan University who has come under heavy fire by…
  • Dennis Lennox, head of Students Against Gary Peters.  Lennox is opposing Peters because he believes that there’s a conflict of interest if Peter’s is trying to be a professor and run for office in a county that’s at least 2 hours away (and that’s if you’re speeding).  Lennox has come under heavy fire from CMU and has been compared to the VA Tech shooter. (Click on the categories for Peters or Lennox to see more of my posts about their adventures – there’s a lot of them).

And now today, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, “Dr. Death,” announced that he will run as an independent.  Kevorkian, now 80, was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison on second degree murder charges after he assisted in the suicide of Thomas Youk on September 17th, 1998.  He aired a recording of the suicide on 60 Minutes on November 23rd and was charged on March 26th, 1999.  He was let out on parole after 8 years on June 1st, 2007.

In a statement to The Oakland Press after getting petitions from the Oakland County Clerk’s Office, Kevorkian said, “I plan to [run as an Independent].  I wouldn’t do this otherwise.  We need some honesty and sincerity instead of corrupt government in Washington.”  He said that he would have more details next week and that “everything’s in a formative stage.”

Kevorkian has until June 17th to gather 3,000 signatures in order to get him on the November ballot as an independent.

Here are some responses to the news:

  • Oakland County Prosecutor Dave Gorcyca, who sent Kevorkian to prison: “I would place Jack Kevorkian’s candidacy in the same ranking with Ron Paul’s [poor Ron Paul].  It’s probably more of a publicity stunt.  To call attention to himself is standard protocol for Jack when he doesn’t have the limelight focused on him.  I would not consider his candidacy to be a legitimate one.”
  • Gary Peter’s spokeswoman Julie Petrick: “Everybody has the right to run.  Right now, Gary is focused on bringing real change to Oakland County.  Knollenberg has heaped mountains of debt on our children, disastrous trade policies that have destroyed our manufacturing sector, and gotten us into a protracted war with no end in sight.  It’s time for real change in Oakland County and that’s what we’re focused on.”
  • Representative Knollenberg has not yet commented.

I’ve gotta disagree with Gorcyca here.  The Democrats saw an opportunity to take Knollenberg’s seat when he only won with 51.5% in 2006, but now that there’s 2 liberals running, I think Knollenberg is safe.  Let me explain:

In 1998, Proposal B, “To Legalize Prescription of Lethal Medication to Terminally Ill,” was proposed and failed pretty badly.  Specifically in Oakland County, 129,649 voted for it, and 265,888 voted against it – so 67.22% voted against it.  I then looked at all of the 9th District (adding in some extra areas of Orion and Waterford, since I couldn’t figure out which precincts weren’t in the 9th District and excluding the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills, since I couldn’t figure out which precincts of the cities that they lie inside of were their precincts).  I came out with 77,776 voting for the proposal and 158,095 voting against it, so 67.03% opposed it.  So, let’s assume that Knollenberg can only pull 45% of his districts support, which is a low estimate.  That means that 55% will be split between Peters and Kevorkian.  32.97% of the district voted for Proposal B, and let’s assume that only 80% were Democrats (again, an extremely low estimate).  So, 26.38% of the 9th District are Democrats who support assisted suicide.  Now, let’s assume that Kevorkian only gets 40% of that group and nobody else.  He winds up with 10.55%, leaving Peters with 44.45%.  Knollenberg wins (and I actually didn’t mean for the calculations to turn out that close – I was just estimating numbers as I went).  So, 1) I underestimated Knollenberg, 2) I supposed that a high 20% of Prop B supporters were Republicans and thus won’t cross over from Peters to Kevorkian, and 3) I assumed that Kevorkian won’t even get half of the Prop B supporters.  I honestly think the election will fall more like:

  1. Knollenberg 53%
  2. Peters 28%
  3. Kevorkian 19%

It’ll be an interesting race, but this definitely helps Knollenberg.

Oh, and Kevorkian’s possible campaign slogan: “We slaughter the opponents” – wouldn’t that make a great slogan!

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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