Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Betrayal of Allen Buckley. . . .

. . . by Bob Barr.

Yesterday I covered Bob Barr's PAC contributions to the re-election campaign of Republican Saxby Chambliss at the expense of Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley, noting especially that these contributions occurred while Barr was a member of the Libertarian National Committee.

Now, it is important to recall that Barr, in running for the Libertarian Presidential nomination, is trading heavily on his name recognition, his association with Ron Paul, and his presumed ability to bring a Libertarian candidacy into the news and past the million-vote threshold.

He's been asking for all those Libertarian pennies, nickels, and dimes to be directed toward his exploratory committee, pointing out in his cute (Ron Paul-like) graphic that he needs tens of thousands of dollars just to be able to set up an office staff and get the campaign off the ground.

Switch: let's look at the persistent, low-budget campaigns of Libertarian Allen Buckley in Georgia. In 2004, Buckley ran for Senate and scored 2%. Two years later, he managed 3.6% as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

This year, however, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests that

In a year in which Democrats are floundering [in Georgia] and Chambliss has raised a pile of cash to defend himself, it’d be easy to write Buckley off.

But there’s a conspiracy of events out there that could — despite the traditional third-party disadvantage of no money and less attention — allow Buckley to make the best showing any Libertarian has ever made in Georgia.

Why? Buckley has seized on two critical issues--Saxby Chambliss's support of farm subsidies and the Fair Tax--with which he appears to be gaining some traction (especially since nobody in the Democratic Party seems at all enthusiastic about their candidates).

That's what makes Bob Barr's donations so troubling for Libertarians seeking to build state and local party organizations. Barr's PAC has given Chambliss a total of $3,500. Given that Saxby has raised over $4.4 million (including a cool million from the agri-business interests that benefit from his support for those subsidies), the Barr contribution is statistically and pragmatically inconsequential to the well-heeled GOPer.

Buckley's campaign, however, is another story. He hasn't made any FEC filings this year yet, but his filings from the Lieutenant-Governor's campaign indicate that he ran the campaign on just $5,000, and achieved more than 75,000 votes.

I can't help thinking that Barr's $3,500 would make a considerable difference to Allen Buckley this year.

More than that, imagine what might happen to Buckley's campaign if Barr either publicly endorsed him or solicited others to contribute to his campaign.

I realize that there might be personal issues of loyalty involved between Barr and Chambliss. But when you accept a position on the Libertarian National Committee you undertake the ethical responsibility--at the very least--not to hurt your party's candidates.

From that perspective, it takes a lot of damn gaul to seek the LP Presidential nomination.


tom said...

annoyingly, your Google ads widget always selects "Bob Barr for President; Advance Libertarianism. Join our team today!" as the ad for this article.

OODA said...

Since we’re 13 days out from the election, Georgians might want to ponder the special significance of our US Senate race. Let’s put up the long lens and see if we can divine a narrative for the murky future.

First, we have in Saxby Chambliss a politician that thrives on pork through the power of the purse. It’s a family affair with Chambliss as his son Bo is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s chief in house lobbyist. What does it say when the son of a powerfully positioned member of the Senate plies his trade in the same industries that his father is supposed to legislate on in behalf of the people?

Combine that fact with the illustrious Senator’s votes on Immigration, The pork laden farm bill, his attempt to sell out the American people’s energy independence with the Gang of 10 proposal and I can not see any way to justify sending him back for another term.

Second, we have Mr. Martin. A good man, a career democrat with ambition who fought a tough primary against a large field of competitors. A man who is intimately aware of the power of the run off. Especially a run off that requires democrats to turn out in record numbers.

Third, we have Allen Buckley. The Libertarian Candidate, a hard to define candidate in a country dominated by an entrenched two party system. Who are the Libertarians? What do they stand for? Why should I cast my vote for the perennial losers?

Fourth, As the national race progresses, the leadership at the DNC is starting to talk about the possibility of a 60 seat, veto proof, filibuster proof majority in the Senate. A chimera they have pursued for the last 40 years. The scent of absolute power drives them and they will use every weapon in their arsenal to achieve it. This week alone they committed $500,000 dollars to Mr. Martn's campaign and promptly shot themselves in the foot over the Fair Tax.

Which brings us to the general election on 4 NOV 08. What if the race for the US Senate here in Georgia was not resolved by a clear 50% +1 vote winner? What if the moon and the stars align in such a fashion as to deny Saxby or Mr. Martin a victory? And also left the disposition of that all important 60th seat in the Senate up in the air?

I can not think of a better way to jam my thumb in the eyes of the republicans and the democrats than voting for Allen Buckley. Enough votes to get him in the runoff. Think 34% to 38% of the votes in the general election. That’s an impossible task for a candidate with absolutely no campaign funds, no campaign staff and no major support.

Except for you.

If you’re as unhappy with the two party choices foisted upon us by the powers that be, consider the above narrative. Observe the scene and the players, orient yourself relative to your observations, decide your course of action, and act.

Large events are shaped by a series of small ones. The seemingly impossible becomes doable with resources. We have seen the effect that the internet has on political fundraising. Millions flow into republican and democratic campaign funds on a daily basis, imagine the possibilities if a fraction of that could find it’s way into the Buckley campaign.

Imagine the grin on your face on 5 NOV 08, if there’s a runoff between Allen Buckley and Jim Martin. Georgia could lead the way, the third way, and send a Libertarian Senator to Washington.

Something to consider over the next 13 days.

Anonymous said...

Im not a libertarian, but I am starting to admire some of them. Like this Allen Barkley guy.

I've known Barr was a fake for a long time.

Fairtax is an absurdity, liteally an absurdity. For one thing, it pretends to collect almost a trillion dollars FROM the government. Thats right -- everything any government spend -- from the Space Shuttle, to tanks, to highways, to medicare - would have to pay high sales tax to federal government.

And Fairtax pretends this is real income -- the government paying itself a trillion or more a year. That's a bail out every year -- forever.

Chambliss knows that. Fairtax leaders know its BS. The real tax rate under fairtax would have to be an absurd 60% to make up for not really being able to tax the government.

Wait till renters are told they have to pay 40-60% sales tax on their rent. And wait till cancer patients get a tax bill for 50,000 on their surgery and chemo.

Fairtax leaders arent about to let Fairtax pass. They KNOW its BS.

Barr wants to play patty cake with these fakes. Chambliss is one of the major fakers.

Along comes an honest guy like Allen Buckley, and Barr sends money to the fake. Why?

Could it be, Barr wants access to Chambliss after the election?