Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jobs, Negativity, and Party Control

I talk to a lot of people. Most of them aren't involved or even really interested in politics. They want to know how their bills are going to get paid and if they'll get work. I tell them the truth. I can't give you work. What I CAN do, is create an environment conducive to business, so someone else can put you to work without jumping through endless hoops and cutting through miles of red tape to do it.

Although "Dover" isn't one of the examples given in the video, I've attended Kent County Levy Court public sessions and Dover City Council sessions. I've seen first hand some of the red tape an entrepreneur needs to cut through to get the job done.

The owners of the Lakeland Mobile Home Park in the 32nd District are maintaining a couple of outdated lots with old infrastructure and non-standard homes. Rather than spend a ton of money upgrading this infrastructure, replacing the homes, or leaving the area to blight and deteriorating property values, the owner decided they wanted to redevelop the front of the park to serve a commercial purpose. That is, to create jobs.

What they COULD have done, perfectly within the bounds of the law, is raise the lot rent to an exorbitant amount and indirectly forced the residents out of their homes. Instead, they developed a TWENTY YEAR, that's 2-0 year plan to gradually move the residents to other parks, other parts of the Lakeland Park, or wherever the residents chose to go. They also offered to pay part of the cost of relocating, up to a certain amount. Sounds super reasonable, right?

One of the Levy Court Commissioners voted against the plan. Even those that voted in favor of it spent about an HOUR grilling one of the developer's representatives about the details. All of this so they could re-zone the property, that belonged to the developer anyway, so they could do with it as they please, and create jobs for the Dover area.

In another example, the Dover City Council was asked to consider the rezoning of another property from Manufacturing to a certain kind of Commercial property. This would have limited the number of employees that could have worked on the property, but removed a great deal of the licensing and development requirements to occupy what was, at the time, a vacant lot.

Hmmm...destroy a community through rent increases, leave the area to blight, or do the right thing by the residents and create jobs for the Dover area. No brainer. Quit wasting the man's time and money.

Hmmm...rezone a property so it can be occupied and...guess what? Create jobs? Or don't, leave it unoccupied, and create nothing. Also a no brainer.

These are just TWO specific examples of government interfering with the private sector as they try to find the most efficient use of their assets and ultimately create work opportunities for those in the Dover area. What are these people doing? Why are we reelecting petty tyrants who get off on getting in the way? Why do business owners FUND the campaigns of the politicians who will only obstruct their operations?

That is my promise to the 32nd District. I will not get in the way. I will get out of the way. Beyond that, I will serve my constituents by standing up for their property rights, and their right to create jobs and develop the community whenever someone is standing in their way. I won't demand "campaign contributions" in exchange for my services either. I'll just do it. Because it's the right thing to do by them and the right thing to do by the 32nd District.


The negativity continues. Almost every day, my parents, who live in the 32nd District and whose address is listed as the official address for my campaign, receive some nasty piece of mail or another attacking one of my opponents. I don't know what they hope to accomplish. I'm pretty sure my parents are voting for me...

The mail attacking the incumbent is anonymous. It's not coming from me, and I doubt the incumbent would attack himself, so I bet I know where it's coming from. I've also seen a mailer attacking my Republican opponents. I will give credit to the incumbent. At least he put his name on his attack. Good job. I guess.

The people I talk to are fed up with this too. Why do the incumbent party politicians always resort to attacks? Don't they feel strong enough in their own convictions to stand by themselves? Must they always invoke fear of "the other" in order to gain votes? I don't know what of this nasty mail is true and what is not. What I do know is that I am telling you about me, and what I believe. If you support it, I hope I will earn your support on the 2nd of November. If the nastiness is true, well, I guess be thankful that I am not either of them.


Finally, before I end what is quickly becoming a very long article, I saw an editorial today in the Dover Post by a friend of mine, Mr. Dick Cook. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Cook and he has proven a wellspring of good advice throughout the course of this campaign. I must, however, disagree with him on the subject of his editorial. He says that this election, and every election, is about deciding "which" party will control the legislative agenda.

Anyone who's been paying attention to my articles, statements, and outright rants over the course of this campaign knows that I find the very concept of any ONE party controlling the legislative agenda abhorrent and a source of the problems facing the state and the nation. This is the primary reason I have refused to commit to caucusing with either Democrats or Republicans if I am fortunate enough to be elected, and why Brent Wangen has done the same.

I will INSIST on a consensus candidate for leadership positions within the Delaware State House, and Brent would do this also. We have all seen what happens when we elect the "most senior" party hack politician to Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, or whatever. They've been there the longest because they have the safest, most effectively gerrymandered district. They have the most insular, and extreme constituents.

A consensus candidate, not owned by any one party, would not suffer from these weaknesses. They would allow members of either party or no party to offer amendments. They would allow all bills worthy of consideration to face an up or down vote of the entire body. They would not seek to schedule votes to aggravate the most extreme and dangerous passions of the people in the lead up to election day to drive turnout of their base. They would seek to unify us around common sense solutions to our problems. They would seek to satisfy the vast majority of the population which does not closely identify with either party. They would hold all members, from all parties, accountable to the ethical and procedural rules without showing favoritism to members of their own party. If they didn't, the independent legislators would swing away from them and demand new leadership. It wouldn't take two years and a new election to throw the bums out.

In a two-party system, elections are indeed about which party will control the agenda, but they need not be. Vote for alternative party candidates and change the status quo. If the voters don't do it, the politicians certainly won't.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just the Facts, ma'am.

It was 2005. I was a junior at the University of Delaware. For those of you who attended UD or have been there at all recently, you know parking is a problem. It was a big problem for me...largely of my own making.

I had more than a few unpaid parking tickets.

Eventually, they caught up with me, and booted my car.

It was homecoming weekend. I was impatient. I was arrogant. That's just who I am, but I certainly wouldn't do this again. What I did, was take the boots off. Turns out, it's not really that difficult. All you have to do is let some of the air out of your tires, use something like...say...a soda bottle to protect the tire, and pry the boot off. You won't damage the boot, but you will have to replace the air in your tires.

Here's where I screwed up. I put the boots in my car to return them to the police station up the road. If I hadn't, and just left them on the side of the road to rust, this whole incident would have inevitably played out differently. But I did, and I headed up to the Newark Police Department. Unfortunately, there was no air in my tires. So I stopped to remedy that. While I was stopped, just as I finished, two cars from the Newark PD pulled over at the same gas station and demanded that I open my trunk. Turns out, someone had seen me remove the boots, and called the 5-0.

I knew what they were after. I could have asserted my rights or played a similar game, but I didn't bother. I opened the trunk and let fate take its course. They saw the boots, and put on the bracelets. They said I was "stealing" the car boots. Because apparently there's a huge market for locked boots.

Side note. I worked as a delivery driver for Wings to Go on Main St. in Newark. Since the Newark Police Department occupied itself with arresting kids for "stealing" car boots instead of prosecuting criminals, a number of the other drivers had been robbed. One of them had her car stolen. For this reason I was carrying an extensible police baton in my car, near the driver's seat.

Now, when I was arrested, I was not in the car. I was outside the car, refilling my tires. During the search of my vehicle, the baton was found, partially obscured under my seat. When I was charged, a felony charge of carrying a concealed deadly weapon was added to the misdemeanor charge of theft under $1000. I was eventually released later that day on a bond of $1500, which I did not have to pay. If I had failed to appear in court, I would have, but I it didn't matter.

When I appeared in court, I had no attorney. I was a poor college student...I couldn't afford one. So I filled out the paperwork and got myself a public defender. Now comes the "Preliminary Hearing". At this phase in the proceedings, a judge determines whether there is sufficient evidence to move on to the arraignment phase. The arraignment is the part where you actually plead "guilty" or "not guilty". We hadn't gotten that far yet. My public defender recommended that I waive my right to a preliminary hearing, as they are usually formalities that are upheld by the judge. By now I was feeling a lot more ornery and like I was being mistreated by a petty and vengeful Newark Police Department. The judge agreed, as far as the felony charge went.

"He wasn't carrying it, it wasn't concealed, and it wasn't a deadly weapon. Charge dismissed." Those were her exact words. I remember them vividly. I was pretty happy. The theft charge was better substantiated as it really was a question of "what I would do next". Whether I was actually returning them to the police or taking them to my buddy who fences locked car boots for tons of cash. Note to the literal: This friend does not exist.

So I had to come back a few weeks later for an arraignment. My public defender, once again, recommended that I forgo my rights and plead guilty in exchange for "Probation Before Judgment". This meant I would pay a bunch of money and be on probation for a few months, then the charge would be expunged and not entered as a conviction on my criminal record. I didn't have a bunch of money, I certainly didn't want to give what I had to the state, and I didn't have any intention of keeping the car boots or selling them to buy Ramen noodles. I dug in. I told them I was going to plead "not guilty" and demand a trial before a jury of my peers.

The prosecutor balked. He didn't think his case was that strong, because seriously, kids...who steals car boots? That's just ridiculous. He decided not to prosecute and dropped the case.

There's no shady deal. No buyoff. No dirty tricks. Just an innocent man, demanding his rights, and finding justice.

Any questions?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Politics of Fear.

I am a Libertarian. We don't have a huge organization in the state of Delaware. We have no incumbent politicians. The party has less than $2000 to its name.

All we have, is justice and liberty.

These aren't popular concepts with the two-party monopoly. They have money. Lots of it. They've paid off bloggers, radio hosts, and teenagers on Facebook to spread their message and try to convince people they've "changed". Seems to me like they're still buying people off. Seems to me like they're still holding their agendas before the Constitution and before the rights and freedoms of the people they claim to serve.

The most egregious thing they are doing this election cycle, is silencing dissent. I can't tell you how many people I've spoken with or that my campaign has spoken with who support me but admit that they can't say so publicly. Some of them are even getting into "trouble" with the two-party establishment for mentioning me.

This is shameful.

The only option remaining is for the people of the 32nd District to rise up and declare that they will not be told who to vote for. They will not be silenced. They will demand their freedoms and set an example for the rest of Delaware and the rest of the United States.

I hope they will exercise that option. Please, don't feed the animals.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Anonymous Attacks, Dirty Tricks, and Empty Threats

As the last days of this election cycle pass by, agonizingly slowly, you can't watch TV or listen to the radio without hearing an attack ad. You can't go to your mailbox without getting a piece of nasty hate mail about this or that politician. You probably can't even answer your phone.

The worst part, in my mind, about most of these ads is that they don't come from anyone. The mail is anonymous. The ad is paid for by some shadowy group or another. You can usually assume the nasty stuff is from "the other guy" since most elections are two-way races.

But some aren't.

If you get nasty mail about anyone in the 32nd District, I can promise you I didn't send it. Even if I did, I'd have the guts to put my name on it. I've even gotten nasty letters addressed to me personally. I don't know what they hoped to accomplish, but anonymous mail from a coward does not intimidate me.

To be perfectly frank, I can't afford to send out a new piece of mail every week telling you what a scumbag my opponent(s) are. I have better things to do than to send nasty-grams to my opponents. The only mail I'm sending out is a single post card to as many people as I could on a 5000 piece run. It's just the front of my flyer, shown above. I can only hope enough people look at it, come to the website, and like what they see.

It's also easy to spread lies about the other guy. Most of what you read or see in the media about the 32nd District race is true. Most of the stories, if they do mention the 32nd District, manage to forget I'm in the election, but other than that, they're true. Some of what gets posted on the websites and Facebook pages of the candidates, on the other hand...not so much. I don't think I've said anything controversial, but I know for a fact that at least one of my opponents has posted an outright lie on their Facebook page. If you say, during a political campaign, that a candidate has acknowledged they're going to lose, that candidate's supporters may not bother to participate in the election. Let me state, unequivocally, again, I have NOT acknowledged anything about the final result of this election. The election isn't over until November 2nd. No polls are being conducted. It is IMPOSSIBLE to know what the result will be.

In addition to the anonymous attacks and dirty tricks, I have also been threatened with criminal charges for telling people I was running. Those of you who have been following my campaign from the beginning no doubt remember this video:

Obviously, the threat was ridiculous, and was supposed to intimidate me into backing off.

I'm sick of this stuff. It's the reason I couldn't associate myself with the "official" Republican or Democratic parties and insisted on running as a Libertarian. Sure, I filed in the primaries, but I did that to go AROUND the "official" party and appeal directly to the voters of the 32nd District.

If you're sick of nasty, dishonest, disgusting political ploys, for me on November 2nd and send the incumbent parties a message that nonsense like this doesn't work, and doesn't appeal to the voters of the 32nd District. I think you deserve better, and I hope you'll vote for it.

It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over...

It has come to my attention that someone thinks I've acknowledged my upcoming loss in this election. That's ridiculous. I've acknowledged I have a built in weakness in that I have no organizational, financial, or political backing from any incumbent politicians. I've acknowledged that even if I do lose, I will have made a big dent. I've acknowledged that this will not be the last election I participate in no matter what happens. I have NEVER said I know I'm going to lose and I'm giving up. That is absolutely not true and anyone who says otherwise is lying, stupid, or both.

The votes don't get counted until after the polls close. The 32nd District has never seen a 3-way race in recent history, or possibly ever. As far as I'm aware, no one is polling to try and guess what the result will be in this district. It ain't over 'til it's over...

Please offer any support you can. There's a big donate button

<==== Right over there.

My phone number and email address are ^ up there. Please call or email me and ask what you can do to help. Please donate. Please tell your friends. Please "Like" my Facebook page and suggest it to others. PLEASE VOTE ON NOVEMBER 2ND!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Compromise and Moderation.

My dad likes to share a quote from Mark Steyn about compromise. He says if you take a scoop of ice cream, and a scoop of dog s**t and mix them together, the mixture just tastes like dog s**t. This is supposed to mean that liberals and conservatives can't compromise, because liberals want to destroy America or some such nonsense. I suppose it works just as well for liberals in their belief that conservatives are knuckle-dragging throwbacks to an era of discrimination. Likewise, Barry Goldwater said, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

I agree with both of these quotes, but I disagree that they mean liberals and conservatives can't come together and agree on solutions to the country's myriad problems. For the record, I also disagree with the idea that liberals want to destroy America, or that conservatives are knuckle-dragging throwbacks.

Liberals favor a big government, according to the understanding in the conservative zeitgeist. Conservatives favor a big government too, if you listen to liberals. Each camp thinks the opposite about themselves.

They're both right.

The question is on which issues? Conservatives favor a government just small enough to fit in your bedroom, according to a popular saying on the left. While they are in favor of economic deregulation and lower taxes, they are vehemently opposed to treating homosexuals and other minorities equally, and allowing people to make their own decisions about what they do with their own bodies. Liberals are just the opposite. They are against deregulation and reduced taxation, but are in favor of personal liberty and equality before the law.

The compromise is to take the best of both worlds. Why not reduce taxes, regulations, AND allow people to make their own decisions about their own lives? Why not have a GENUINELY small government? That's called libertarianism.

Vote Libertarian on November 2nd!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Campaign Finances, Free Speech, and Buying Your Vote.

I've had two conversations today on the same subject. The subject was the recent US Supreme Court decision allowing corporations to contribute to political campaigns. Each of the two people I was talking to began with the premise that this decision was a bad thing and only aggravated the tendency of money to matter more than principles in elections for public office. While I agree that money should not be the factor that determines the winner of an election (otherwise I'd lose), I do not agree that corporations should be prohibited from spending whatever they want to try to influence an election. The primary reason why is Freedom of Speech. Corporations represent their shareholders in the same way that trade unions represent their workers. Trade unions have always had free reign to fund political campaigns, so I think it is only fair that their bosses be given the same accommodation. Free Speech is the better, more principled argument, but the practical effects of a balance of terror also make sense to me.

That being said, I do not think that money should have such an outsized influence on politics. This is not the fault of the politicians or of their wealthy financiers. It is the fault of the voters. Watch me as I make a huge "political mistake" right after another. First, I'm going to hold voters to task for allowing themselves to be bought, then I'm going to mention the names of my opponents...twice.

Campaign finance reports are public. The FEC requires Federal candidates to report all of their donations and expenses at regular intervals once they reach a certain threshold. Brent Wangen, the Libertarian candidate for the US House of Representatives, has been filing his reports this entire election cycle in the interests of transparency and OVER-disclosure, though he has only recently met the threshold requiring him to do so. Delaware state candidates must file these reports annually, as well as 30 and 8 days before a primary election if they're participating, and then at the same intervals before a general election. These reports are required if the office pays more than $1000 or if more than $2000 is raised during the election cycle. Obviously, I have filed my first report already as we are less than 30 days out.

My opponents have also filed theirs:
Brad Bennett
Beth B Miller

Have you read them? Do you know who has bought and paid for the candidates seeking to represent you in the Delaware House of Representatives? If a candidate is bankrolled by party organizations, incumbent politicians, trade associations, and PACs, who do you think they'll call first when they are deciding how to vote? If a candidate's website doesn't allow comments, doesn't include regular updates of their own thoughts, and doesn't provide direct contact information, how much do you think they care what you think?

Brad Bennett's website
Beth B Miller's website

On the other hand, if a candidate not only accepts comments on their website and Facebook page, but publishes updates regularly without running it through an extensive staff of party hacks, and lists his direct email address and phone number, how likely are you to be able to bend their ear? If a candidate gets funding from his parents, his grandma, a college buddy, and then an assortment of small dollar contributions dropped in a can at open forum campaign events, along with a hefty sum of his own money, who do you think he'll answer to?

If a candidate is relying on a statewide turnout machine from an incumbent party like the Democrats or Republicans, who will they ingratiate themselves to at every opportunity? If the candidate is instead relying on walking his district and talking to constituents, begging them to consider an alternative choice, answering questions until you're ready to kick him off your doorstep, and asking you personally to come out to vote, does that candidate have the same divided allegiances?

I'm done yelling at you now, my dear voters. Please promptly forget the names of the candidates opposing me I dared to name above.
will mcvay
Do not forget the party machines who have been corrupting and controlling your legislators for the last 150 years. Do not forget who will always take your calls and do everything possible to answer your questions. Do not forget who is one of you trying to get by compared to who lives in a disconnected fantasy world where a tribal party label trumps a neighborly relationship. Do not forget to vote on November 2nd.
will mcvay
Thank you. Don't mind the subliminal messages. will mcvay

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Marxist and the Witch - Elevating the Tone of Politics

Delaware is in the national spotlight following the upset primary victory of Christine O'Donnell over Mike Castle in the Republican Party. Leading up to the primary, many Republican voters were deeply upset with Mike Castle's voting record with respect to a number of issues from Financial Reform to Cap 'n' Trade. Mike Castle also refused, repeatedly, to meet his primary opponent in a debate, either considering her beneath him or too much of a threat to face in an uncontrolled forum. Either way the anti-incumbent mood sweeping the country and the fire of conservative activists was too much for the Delaware state GOP machine backing him.

Democratic candidate Chris Coons did not have a primary challenger. The Delaware state GOP's endorsement of Mike Castle was supposed to be enough to make Castle a shoo-in for the Republican nomination, and there was widespread speculation that Coons was a sacrificial lamb to allow Castle an easy general election win. The primary result has clearly changed that calculation if it was ever the case.

Now, the race is a madhouse. Videos have surfaced of a much younger and presumably much more naive Christine O'Donnell speaking out against everything from masturbation to evolution, admitting to associating with "witches", and declaring that mice were being bred with human brains. Coons authored a paper in college in which he admitted to being a "bearded Marxist" and Harry Reid has said Coons is his "pet".

Given the anti-incumbent mood and Harry Reid's complete lack of popularity, I have NO idea why he would think it's a good political strategy to refer to anyone he wants to have any success in an election in so disrespectful and domineering a fashion as to call them his "pet". Nevertheless, this is not something Coons said himself but something a clearly out-of-touch politician said about him. It also turns out that Marx himself had a beard so qualifying any "Marxist" as bearded may be redundant!

All of this is terribly exciting, but you'll notice the one thing that has not come up yet in this elaborate discussion of the Delaware US Senate election is anything issue related of any kind. Members of the O'Donnell campaign are bragging that they will soon "come out of the gate swinging" to "portray her a Marxist elitist" while the Democratic machine has come out in force using O'Donnell as a foil to raise money across the country in light of these 10-15 year old videos.

Lost in all the name calling are the issues important to the people of Delaware and any coherent presentation of how either candidate will defend the Constitutional rights of Delaware and its citizens from Washington. I may only be speaking for myself, but I don't much care what Chris Coons wrote in college. I'd be surprised if anything I wrote in college still existed outside a few rotting pages in a landfill somewhere. I've also met Christine O'Donnell in person and heard her express support for libertarian-Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky as well as endorsing state sovereignty with respect to the "War on Drugs". These positions do not seem to align with the expressed views of the anti-masturbation evolution doubter from these videos. I also don't see anything wrong with exploring other religions whether it's Buddhism, Wicca, Sikhism, or Atheism.

Therefore this history does not concern me. What concerns me is that both candidates are trying to manipulate me with name calling and cheap attacks. What concerns me is that neither candidate is talking about the importance of holding the Federal government accountable to its Constitutional boundaries. What concerns me is that while the media has a feeding frenzy over all of this nonsense, the one serious candidate in the election who is not trying to manipulate me and is advocating the Constitution above any partisan agenda is being ignored and excluded from "non-partisan" debates. I am fortunate to know Jim Rash and my direct involvement in Delaware's electoral politics has made me keenly aware of his candidacy for the Delaware US Senate seat and the principles he advocates.

While the Democratic and Republican candidates tear each other down and appeal to the most extreme elements of their base, I hope that all OTHER Delawareans will join me in voting for Jim Rash and show the incumbent parties that we are tired of bickering, name calling, and mindless partisanship.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spoilers and Wasted Votes

So often on the campaign trail, voters sympathize with my message and agree with the policies I would advocate from the state legislature if I am elected, but they insist that a Libertarian candidate cannot win and alternative party candidates merely act as "spoilers" for the D/R incumbent party politicians.

The premise is that there are only two sides to any one issue, that there is a fixed number of people who will vote, and this election is the only election that matters.

I'm very tired of hearing this. I'm very tired of voters in a free country giving up and voting for a candidate they don't fully support because they don't think the candidate they do support can win. Let me tell you why.

Most importantly, Libertarians are not Ross Perot. We are not Ralph Nader.

Libertarians are most simplistically described as fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. This means that Libertarian politicians can appeal to both Republicans AND Democrats. We are against big government. We are against increased taxes. We are against heavy-handed regulations. We are ALSO anti-war, anti-discrimination, against corporate welfare, and against subsidizing the tyranny of the many foreign governments the US Government props up with your tax dollars. We have a genuine "bipartisan" appeal.

Here's the other big difference. We MEAN it. Republicans campaign on smaller government and lower taxes. Some taxes are reduced, many of which benefit the super-rich more than the average taxpayer. Government, however, is ALWAYS expanded. Even Ronald Reagan, the exemplar of conservative values, grew government and the federal deficit while he was president. A Republican president, George W. Bush, passed TARP and began the auto bailouts. A Republican congress passed Medicare Part D. Republicans say one thing...and do another.

The same is true of Democrats. They campaign on ending the war, ending discrimination against homosexuals and immigrants, and protecting the environment. Once elected, the wars continue, Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not repealed, civil unions are not encouraged, and immigration issues are left to fester. The environment becomes an excuse for a massive subsidy to financial institutions through opaque and ridiculous schemes like "Cap 'n' Trade" which do very little to address the very real environmental concerns citizens face.

Libertarians have an instinctual abhorrence of government. George Washington said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." SOME Libertarians will take that to the extreme and demand privatization of police and roads. Most just aim to stop digging the big-government, big-spending hole we've dug for ourselves and begin moving the country in the opposite direction towards more freedom and smaller government. Not only will we reduce taxes, we will spread the burden equitably to ensure that every voter is also a taxpayer with a stake in the size and influence of government. We won't just campaign on eliminating wasteful government programs. We will vote, alone if necessary, to eliminate these programs and others not in conformance with the US or state constitutions. We won't just campaign on ending discrimination, we will vote, alone if necessary, to end it in a responsible way. We don't just campaign on ending the wars. We VOTE for ending the wars.

The point of all this is that many voters are so disgusted with the grandstanding, exaggerations, and outright lies of the incumbent parties that they have given up on the political process. Rather than voting for the lesser of two evils, they turn their back on evil all together and don't encourage either of them with their vote. This means that by offering a principled alternative to the D/R monopoly, we can mobilize voters that would otherwise stay home. I am a perfect example of this. I did not vote in the general election of 2008 for president. I did not believe Obama was genuine in his campaign for a "post-partisan" future. I don't think he really understood why "small government" was important. I voted for him in the Democratic primary because Hillary Clinton didn't even go through the motions, but I did not follow through in the general election. I tried to defend John McCain as a small-government conservative because he refused to jump headfirst into the culture wars of the Republican Party. I gave up when he expressed his support for TARP and the Federal government's actions to artificially prop up the housing bubble. His support for unconstitutional restrictions on free speech through the McCain-Feingold Act were another sore spot.

If Libertarian candidate Brent Wangen were not running for the US House of Representatives, I would not vote in that election either. The Democratic and Republican candidates for that position are both big-government, unprincipled party hacks that I have no interest in encouraging. The Libertarian Party has the ability to bring the 60-70% of Americans who don't bother to vote out to the polls, because we offer a clear alternative to the failed policies of the "left" and the "right", and we don't have an elaborate party machine that we REALLY have to answer to once the campaign is over. We only have our conscience, and our constituents.

Finally, even if we don't win, many of the debate venues adhere to an arbitrary standard that any candidate whose party did not receive at least 10% of the vote cannot participate. This is a self-perpetuating cycle whereby no one votes for Libertarians because they've never heard of us, and they've never heard of us because no one votes for us. Voting for a Libertarian, even if the candidate loses, has the potential push our candidates past that 10% threshold. Once that happens, there aren't any more excuses for excluding our legitimate candidates from the debate and the D/R incumbents will have to answer for their intrusive, big-government agendas. These votes also demonstrate a constituency concerned with protecting liberty that will influence the incumbent parties to reshape their message and their organization so they can mobilize those votes for themselves.

Vote Libertarian. It is not a wasted vote, and we are not spoilers. We can appeal to both Democrats and Republicans. We mobilize voters too disgusted with either incumbent party to encourage them. Even a losing Libertarian campaign can shape future elections. Vote Libertarian, and make a difference.