Posts Tagged ‘Bob Barr’

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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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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