TPW editor running for Congress

I wouldn’t support Tom Knapp if he was running for dogcatcher, primarily because he’s not running for dogcatcher. He is running for US Congress in Missouri’s Second Congressional District, though.

Here’s a bit about who Knapp is and why he’s running in a district where he doesn’t reside (there is no constitutional requirement to live within the district):

I was born on 10 November, 1966 (the 191st birthday of the United States Marine Corps) in Memphis, Tennessee. I spent most of my formative years in southwest Missouri, graduating from Lebanon High School in 1985 and living in the Lebanon and Springfield areas until 2000, when I moved to the St. Louis area.

I joined the US Marine Corps Reserve immediately out of high school and served as an infantry NCO in Southwest Asia in the 1991 Gulf War with my unit, Weapons Co., 3rd Bn, 24th Marines (the battalion is headquartered here in St. Louis). I left the Marine Corps as a Sergeant with an honorable discharge in 1995.

In civilian life, I worked at various factory and construction jobs until 2000, when I became a full-time writer, editor and political activist. I live in Greendale with my wife, Tamara, and our sons Daniel (9) and Liam (6). I also have a daughter, Caitlin (17), who lives with her mother in the Kansas City area.

I serve as the St. Louis County Libertarian Party’s Normandy Township committeeman, and as a federal appointee to my local Selective Service System board.

Why am I running for Congress in a district I don’t even live in?

The easy answer is that I stepped in to offer the 2nd District’s voters a Libertarian alternative when another candidate was unable to file his candidate paperwork due to a family emergency.

But I’d like to offer you a better answer than that.

I believe in America.

While his website obviously isn’t completed yet, I thought his foreign policy page was very well written and worth checking out, even if you don’t live in Missouri.

Knapp’s website is here and his campaign Facebook page is here.

35 Responses to “TPW editor running for Congress”

  1. Jeremy Young Says:

    Tom Knapp, my favorite TPW writer, running for Congress. Sweet!

  2. UMSL will never be the same Says:

    Go Riverboatmen! ———DonLake@sbcglobal.net, ROTC 1972

    [a] Why has the LP [so terrific on many of it’s Ichronograhy/ symbolism] still not adopted the 1776 Fort Mountrie Flag? You know, the one with the striking white block LIBERTY on dark blue back ground! Come on guys, public domain! Like the Liberty Bell, Thomas Jefferson, and the Statue of Liberty, there for the taking!

    [b] Same for Donald R. Lake’s 1990 21st Century Peace Sign? The Three Bladed Electricity producing wind mill is a energy flavored natural evolution in the half century of the peace symbol. Both the 1950s ND and 1960s B-52 are passe. Again: there for the taking!

    [c] Libs are ‘smaller government’? Prior to the trillion dollar Iraqi Occupation what is/was the worst run agency in local, state [CALVETS!] and national government? Mismanaged and even lethal veterans programs! The Libertarian response, since first being contacted by Citizens For A Better Veterans Home in 1998? Under whelming!

    [d] [Tom and [Steve] Kubby need to get automatic email responders, pick up the telephone now and again [if just for practice] and answer a sliver of their mail. The LP has SUCH a reputation of running ghost candidates and Tom and Steve seem hell bent on taking it to the national level!

  3. Peter M. Says:

    Awesome. Best of luck.

  4. Dave Williams Says:

    Yawn, stretch, zzzZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  5. NewFederalist Says:

    Having been the campaign manager for the most successful Libertarian congressional candidate in 1980, I can tell you that running a highly visible campaign is a LOT of work! It is also a lot of FUN and unless you are a real jerk, you really get to know your opponents and can have an impact on them that lasts well after the election. Good luck!

  6. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Mr. Lake,

    If I had to guess as to why the LP hasn’t adopted the Fort Moultrie flag and the 21st century peace symbol, I’d guess that that has something to do with the fact that political parties normally don’t have flags and that the LP already has a symbol.

    I’ve been looking around for a copy of the “21st century peace symbol” to possibly use on my campaign site and maybe even on Kubby’s, and haven’t found one yet.

    To the best of my knowledge, the Kubby campaign has yet to receive so much as a single email or phone call from Citizens for a Better Veterans Home. When we do, if the message is in coherent English such that it can be understood, it will be answered.

  7. John C. Jackson Says:

    The (lack of) residency requirement thing is interesting. I was wondering how he and his wife could run in different districts ( I assumed they lived together, but who knows. My wife and I even live in separate states.)

  8. UMSL will never be the same Says:

    U of Misery, May 1972,,,,,,

    Numerous emails, letters [California], and phone messages [California].

  9. Chuck Geshlider Says:

    Another useless LOSERtarian!!

    I will be surprised greatly if Knapp finishes with 3%.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    John,

    The “lack of residency thing” is simple—it’s what the Constitution says:

    No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

    The states don’t get to impose additional qualifications.

    Chuck,

    I’m generally past being surprised by anything, so I won’t gainsay your prediction.

  11. Dave Williams Says:

    ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

  12. disinter Says:

    Will he get 1% or 2%.... perhaps Root can take the bets.

  13. NewFederalist Says:

    His percentage will depend on whether there is a popular incumbent or an open seat with tons of outside interest in the race. If the former, his totals will be higher.

  14. Dave Williams Says:

    Hey Knapp, I’ll make sure that that “Piss off, troll” comment of yours that was directed at me from a few threads back makes headlines. Of course I’ll spin it and you’ll come to be known as the ‘PISSED OFF TROLL’ candidate. lol, Semper Fi

  15. Dave Williams Says:

    Yeah WAR, what are your odds?

  16. BillTx Says:

    Dave:

    Are you still mad about Tom’s “troll” comment? Why are you so
    sensitive? Are you on you period or has your boyfriend Wayne
    Allyn doof been cheating on you?

  17. Dave Williams Says:

    Was that BillTx speaking…or did a dog fart?

  18. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Dave,

    Hey, as long as you spell my name right.

    Seriously, dude—if you think telling a troll “piss off, troll” is going to make headlines, you’re even more clueless than your support for Root immediately indicates.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  19. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    NewFederalist,

    You write:

    “His percentage will depend on whether there is a popular incumbent or an open seat with tons of outside interest in the race. If the former, his totals will be higher.”

    Very perceptive.

    My opponent (Todd Akin) is a four-term Republican incumbent. He inherited the seat from another four term-Republican incumbent (Jim Talent) when Talent went off to run unsuccessfully for governor. Talent won the seat from a Democratic incumbent after the district was gerrymandered “Republican-safe” for the express purpose of keeping two other districts Democratic.

    The Democrats generally don’t bother trying to recruit a high-profile “serious” candidate in the 2nd District—none of the Democratic primary filers this year look especially more qualified than, say, me—nor will they likely put any significant party money into the district, especially this year when there’s an open seat (the 9th) which may potentially be switched from R to D, and when the governorship is also up for grabs.

    I am not, I repeat NOT, advertising this race as “winnable for a Libertarian” this year, nor do I intend to attempt to raise huge money for it, nor do I have any “secret plans” for using what money I do raise.

    On the other hand, the prospects look decent for perhaps pulling more than the usual LP 1-3%.

    Unless I’m missing something big, it isn’t going to be a tight race between the incumbent and the Democrat. There are a lot of loose voters rolling around out there—voters who don’t like Akin, but who aren’t going to be especially impressed by his Democratic opponent.

    IF I can get in those voters’ faces to some degree, with a message they like, I’ll have the opposite of “wasted vote syndrome” working for me—they’ve got nothing to lose by voting Libertarian, and they can send a message by doing so.

    Right now my campaign plan is just starting to gel, but it looks something like this:

    – A mailing to all LP contacts (and some other affinity lists I expect to have access to) in the district, inviting them to a campaign launch event where they’ll be able to pick up yard signs and literature to share with their neighbors, etc. Also at that event, I’ll try to sign up volunteers to help with precinct walks and Election Day polling place work and such.
    – “Meet and greet” ops at local events starting in the late spring or early summer.
    – Continuous issues pokes at the incumbent via the web site (with “look at this” notes to local media). Hopefully between that and the “meet and greets,” I can get some talk radio going.
    – Primary Day polling place “meet and greet” work to boost the LP primary vote and get my name/mug in front of the voters.
    – Immediately after the primary (the Democrats have a contested one), a debate challenge to the incumbent and the Democratic nominee. At that point, we’ll see whether the incumbent is worried enough that he thinks he has to come out and fight. Unless I do extremely well, I don’t expect that … but I’ll be happy to debate the Democrat and put a silent cardboard cutout of the incumbent on the stage with a “where’s Todd?” sign around its neck.
    – Starting in September, precinct walks / lit drops in neighborhoods that seem likely to produce good non-GOP turnout. More “meet and greet” at public events (including at least one major festival in a key district town).
    – Working backward from election day and as far into October as possible, as much radio and newspaper (and possibly TV) advertising as I have money to do.
    – On Election Day, “Tom Knapp, Libertarian for US House” signs in front of as many polling places as possible. Myself and volunteers with literature in front of as many polling places as possible.

    There’s more than that, and some of it may change, but that’s the basic approach. I’ll probably only go with 100-200 yard signs, but I’ll work on placing them in high-traffic areas. There’s no way I can compete with the incumbent on numbers, but I don’t have to—I just have to get my name in the mix for those who don’t like the incumbent.

    Right now, I’m leaning toward a “less than $5,000” campaign, so that I don’t have to mess with FEC paperwork. If, after the primary, it looks like I’m having an impact, I might go for a $10k campaign, with the other $5k going entirely into paid advertising.

    If I can do the things I want to do, I believe I can make a real impact. But I guess we’ll see.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  20. NewFederalist Says:

    Tom- Your strategy looks very sound to me. A debate would be great free publicity. I wouldn’t advise poking the incumbent too hard in the eye if he doesn’t show up. Since he is going to win anyway I would try to maximize my vote totals to get leverage with him AFTER the election. If things stay cordial and you pull over 5% you might be surprised how responsive these folks can be when asked for their support on a few key issues. By the way, $5000 should be adequate to run the kind of campaign you seem to be planning. Inflation adjusted that is about what we spent in 1980. Again, good luck and have fun with it!

  21. Alexander S. Peak Says:

    Good luck! :)

  22. Not Yet a Lib Says:

    Unanswered question[s] by Steve Kubby’s FORMER Communicatons chief:

    [c] Libs are ‘smaller government’? Prior to the trillion dollar Iraqi Occupation what is/was the worst run agency in local, state [CALVETS!] and national government? Mismanaged and even lethal veterans programs! The Libertarian response, since first being contacted by Citizens For A Better Veterans Home in 1998? Under whelming! Why the self imposed silence by Libs when a real issue comes to fruitation [like Bush Junior’s privatization of Social Security]?

    [d] [Tom and [Steve] Kubby need to get automatic email responders, pick up the telephone now and again [if just for practice] and answer a sliver of their mail. The LP has SUCH a reputation of running ghost candidates and Tom and Steve seem hell bent on taking it to the national level! Kubby was nationally known as being ‘unresponsive’. Tom was his Communication chief!

    The LP in general [and through out Southern California] is known for paper candidates. Time after time I have observed the one empty chair at public forums. Time after time I have contacted local libertarians for endorsement[s] by Citizens For A Better Veterans Home only to be told that their only obligation and goal was to get their [Libertarian] name on the ballot. [Unfortunately this does not come to fruitation in ‘Non Partisan’ contests. Duh! Hey but it is better than ‘nothing’——but not as good as real, serious candidates!]

  23. Alexander S. Peak Says:

    Since when did Bush want to privatise Social Security? Last I checked, all he wanted to do was socialise the Stock Market.

  24. Dave Williams Says:

    KNAPP (An outstanding citizen who’s running for U.S. Congress) WROTE: “Seriously, dude—if you think telling a troll “piss off, troll” is going to make headlines, you’re even more clueless than your support for Root immediately indicates.”

    LOL, I rest my case. I’m just making an observation…a guy that runs for U.S. Congress engaging in ‘verbal mudslinging’ & calling potential constituents ‘trolls’? Who’s the clueless one here? Milnes is sharper than you.

    If some guy you’ve never met can draw your sorry ass out into the open and ambush you, you won’t last 10 minutes on a stage against a real political opponent. In fact, I’d like to see some of the video’s of your ensuing defeats…the ones that send you back to the lumber yard or where ever it was you were working before you became an ‘activist’.

    Oh…you were a Marine…they remind me of banana’s…starting out green, turning yellow and dieing in bunches…looks like you’re about to fulfill your destiny.

  25. Dave Williams Says:

    “IF I can get in those voters’ faces to some degree, with a message like, you’re all a bunch of stupid little ‘TROLLS’...bow down unto me and do my bidding.”

    hahahahha I love this site.

  26. Dave Williams Says:

    NEW FED WROTE: “Tom- Your strategy looks very sound to me.”

    Yeah, except the part where he’s a pompous ass….

    The peanut gallery rulez!!

  27. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Mr. Lake,

    I’m not Kubby’s “former” communications director, and so far as I know, neither I nor the Kubby campaign have ever received a phone call or email from you. Can’t respond to that which doesn’t happen.

    Dave,

    “Potential constituent,” eh? Where in Missouri’s 2nd District do you live? I didn’t know you were local. If you are, I’ll be glad to buy you a beer and let you call me names to my face instead of making yourself look like an idiot on the Internet.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  28. Dave Williams Says:

    “Potential constituent,” eh? Where in Missouri’s 2nd District do you live? I didn’t know you were local. If you are, I’ll be glad to buy you a beer and let you call me names to my face instead of making yourself look like an idiot on the Internet.”

    And now the invitation to a good old fashioned playground fist fight…you are a scumbag Knapp.

  29. Dave Williams Says:

    From the ‘Root fireside chat’ thread…

    1. Dave Williams Says:
      March 30th, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Hey Knapp,
    Here’s how a real candidate carries himself, notice Root’s not out here on the threads butting heads with or calling the general voting public ‘trolls’. Root’s rolling with the punches and staying on message. Kudos to Root.

  30. Dave Williams Says:

    For that matter, most of the other candidates, not just Root, take criticism and heckling in stride…some even learn from it (which thickens their armor)...it must be your basic Marine instinct to kill that will not allow you to be justed by a mere mortal…

  31. Dave Williams Says:

    ...so I pity your ‘future’ constituents, all 100 of them.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Dave,

    If I invite you to a fistfight, I won’t pussyfoot around about it. What I invited you to was a beer. Furthermore, I didn’t call “the general voting public” trolls. I called a troll—you—a troll.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Dave,

    I’ve been doing some thinking about this, and would like to attempt a re-set. Let me throw a few things at you so that you understand where I’m coming from.

    First and foremost, I didn’t ask Gordon to post a story about me running for Congress. Gordon posted the story because he thought it was interesting that a TPW editor is running.

    Secondly, I’m not advertising myself as an ideal candidate. I am absolutely certain there are better Libertarian candidates than me running for elected positions all over the country. I’m absolutely certain that some of them are right here in Missouri. I ran because the candidate I recruited had a family emergency and couldn’t make it down to file the paperwork. I was there anyway (Tamara was filing for a different seat), and I made the decision then and there to ensure that we didn’t leave that ballot line blank. Now that I’ve filed I’m going to try to do a good job, but ...

    ... you’re right. I’ve got a certain amount of baggage. I stopped running for office after 2002 because I wanted to get on a different track—start helping other people run for office, start working issues, etc. And doing so gave me the freedom to say what I wanted to say, in precisely the way I felt like saying it, without worrying what anyone thought about it. Now that I’m a candidate again (something I never expected to do), I’m sure that some of the things I’ve said will be pulled out on me IF I make enough noise to attract real attention.

    No problem—I don’t say things I don’t mean, and if I’m taken to task for things I’ve said, I’ll defend myself as best I can. I wouldn’t dream of considering myself immune from criticism, and you’re welcome to take your best shot, as is anyone else. I’m comfortable with my ability to take it—and to dish it out.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  34. Dave Williams Says:

    zzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZ

  35. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Dave,

    Hey, I tried. As the student replied when the teacher told him to create a sentence using the word “horticulture,” you can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make him think.

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