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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Standardized Libertarian Campaign Signs

Brian Holtz // Oct 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Re: “haven’t been a Libertarian for long”, touche. I’m not really a Libertarian activist at all, I just play one on TV (and the web):

@44, the candidates are also listed by state on I just said that @41.

Re: interactive map, your wish is my command: I’m about to start updating it for the current election cycle. If anyone wants to make sure that non-California candidates are included, just send me the data in lines like this:

[ "Wayne Dunlap", "U.S. Congress - CA 50", "Del Mar, CA", ""],

If you want photos, then also send me a headshot, and a thumbnail of it scaled to 39 pixels tall.

Note that this candidate map can be embedded in any website. An example embedding, zoomed to show California candidates, is at

Brian Holtz // Oct 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I’d be delighted. I’m not so much worried about credit, as making sure other LP activists know they can embed it too.

Caveat emptor: as you perhaps can tell above, the map itself tends to scroll if you use the keyboard to scroll the browser pane in which it’s embedded, if it’s not embedded as an iframe. Using an iframe (like at avoids that problem. When embedding as an iframe, there are two handy arguments you can play with, mapCenter and zoomLevel:

While we’re on the subject of embeddable for libertarian sites, here’s an easy one to use:

Warning: some Greens seem not to like some of the above stickers. :-)

Brian Holtz // Oct 27, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I’m most familiar with California, but I don’t know of a statewide or federal candidate here in recent years who seriously thought he had a significant chance of winning. I was indeed a little put off by Judge Jim Gray’s slogan in his Senate race: “This time it matters.” But he was good about L-branding his campaign, and he has continued to help the LPCA since his race.

Monotonically increasing levels of success is a pretty tough standard to meet, but I agree it should be our goal — even though politics is a multi-player game, and new levels of success would elicit countermoves from our opponents. Yes, newbie candidates too often expect the LP to provide them with money and volunteers, and that’s why we work almost as hard on “educating” candidates as we do on educating voters. However, only experience can inoculate first-timers against the idea that the press and public were just waiting for someone to finally say what the first-timer stands up to say.

Brian Holtz // Oct 28, 2009 at 9:14 am

The http and the www are always a waste of space when disclosing a URL. Also, the URL should be printed in CamelCase for readability. And ideally, the domain name should be chosen to do double-duty in name and URL disclosure. So standardized signage could be something like:

Vote Libertarian
For Senate - For Freedom
Joe Kennedy.

Even if the voter doesn’t notice that the name is the first part of the URL, ip2geo info can be used to show the voter all her nearby Libertarian candidates, thus reinforcing the whole the slate. This also lets LP candidates avoid spending money on domain names, because is already paid for and subdomains cost nothing. It also lets candidates re-use materials when they run for the same office again.