These opinions warrantied for the lifetime of your brain.

Loading Table of Contents...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Different Standards For Joe Kennedy and Bob Barr

Here's a message from David Nolan to Bob Barr campaign manager Russ Verney that Dr. Phillies printed in his Liberty For America journal in 2008:

Yesterday, I received a fundraising appeal from you that quotes a news release concerning Bob Barr's remarks on the "Bailout from Hell." The first sentence reads as follows: "Today on Fox News, former Congressman Bob Barr called the taxpayer bail out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a "BOFH" -- the "bailout from hell." FORMER CONGRESSMAN Bob Barr ??? Shouldn't that be LIBERTARIAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Bob Barr ???  I find it odd and dismaying that Mr. Barr's party affiliation is nowhere mentioned in this. The word LIBERTARIAN is also conspicuously missing from the Barr '08 website, the campaign brochure, the bumper sticker, and virtually all campaign material. Why is this? Is Mr. Barr trying to hide his party affiliation? A lot of longtime Libertarian activists, myself included, find this pattern very disturbing.

It turns out that Liberty For America got some facts wrong.  First, the Sep. 30 Verney email that I got did describe Barr as a "Libertarian". Second, the description of Barr as a former congressman is actually embedded in a paragraph that is clearly identified as a quote from

Also, note that the obscure Verney email appeal was triggered by a 4-minute Barr appearance on nationwide Fox News, in which Barr was introduced as the "Libertarian" nominee, thanked at the end as the "Libertarian" nominee, and labeled prominently on-screen for much of the interview as the "Libertarian" nominee.

Some of Nolan's other charges were true, at least at the time. However, note that the word "Libertarian" is completely missing from
  • the front page of Joe Kennedy's web site
  • all three of Kennedy's videos
  • the yard sign offered on Kennedy's front page
  • every one of the 56 campaign items offered for sale on Kennedy's Cafe Press store
In fact, Google Search finds the word "Libertarian" on only three pages of Kennedy's site -- and it's now been removed from one of them.  (The Donation page apparently changed "As an unknown and a Libertarian" to "As an unknown".)

We've heard that Massachusetts law makes it cheaper for Kennedy to eschew the LP ballot line.  But does Massachusetts law prevent him from promoting the brand that the LNC is trying to grow?  As an LP donor, I'd prefer that the LNC target any money that it gives to candidates -- if it in fact every does so -- to candidates who promote the Libertarian brand. Like this.