LP Nominates Barr/Root, Chooses Officers

Rep. Bob Barr defeated Mary Ruwart 324-276 on the sixth ballot to win the 2008 LP Presidential nomination. Wayne Root won a close race with Steve Kubby to win the Vice-Presidential nomination.

Chair Bill Redpath received 49% on the first ballot, compared to about 30% for Ruth Bennett and around 15% for Ernest Hancock. Somewhat surprisingly, Hancock’s voters did not go overwhelmingly for Bennett on the second ballot, and Redpath was re-elected with 57%.

Presidential candidate Michael Jingozian was a surprise last-minute opponent to otherwise unopposed Vice Chair Chuck Moulton. Jingozian apparently rode his celebrity status to a first-ballot win of over 60%, perhaps assisted by a nomination speech by Secretary Bob Sullentrup. (Moulton declined to run for an at-large LNC seat, citing his recent matriculation at George Mason University in pursuit of a Ph.D. in economics, having just completed his Master’s five days ago.)

Aaron Starr received more than 60% of the vote over Carol McMahon to remain Treasurer, and Secretary Bob Sullentrup was re-elected by acclamation.

Radicals won three of the five LNC at-large seats, as Dr. Mary Ruwart and R. Lee Wrights join returning incumbents Angela Keaton, Admiral Michael Colley, and Pat Dixon. Well-known and principled Libertarians were elected to fill the seven Judicial Committee seats: Ruth Bennett (subsequently elected Chair), David Nolan, Nick Sarwark, Allen Hacker, Tom Stevens, Travis Nicks, and Joe Cobb. Thus the LNC and Judicial Committee seemed well-prepared to ensure that our new presidential ticket will hew to the comprehensive principles of our repaired Platform.

Vote counts for most of the officer elections are here. The convention passed one substantive resolution, a brief one offered by Bruce Dovner citing Bush’s “lies” and “cronies” and demanding immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

41 Responses to “LP Nominates Barr/Root, Chooses Officers”

  1. Peter Orvetti Says:

    I was also surprised by how the Hancock supporters broke. As for Jingozian—I like the guy, but starting in a leadership role could be a bit much. These things get pretty heated, I hear.

  2. ninja six Says:

    I’ve noticed that 23 of 25 topics on the main page are libertarian related. So is this ‘LP Watch’ now?

  3. Ayn R. Key Says:

    So, for President and VP, the Reform Caucus beat the Libertarian Caucus.

  4. paulie Says:


    the LP just had a convention. I plan on covering the Green convention in Chicago.

  5. LPiberty Says:

    I believe the first vote for Chair was just a friendly message.
    Most realize that Redpath would win re-election and will likely do a superb job. His explanation to why he was running again was helpful.
    He supports continuity. The movitivation to run again was not his own, but was by the request of others. And Barr nominated him too.

    We would be very fortunate in 2010 to have Ruth Bennett or Ernie Hancock as Chair. Both are excellent. Styles are different.
    If we did not have Ernie raising hellish fun, this would be far less of a party. Ruth is an underappreciated hero, IMHO.

  6. LPiberty Says:

    ps in November, which state will get the highest percentage of the vote?
    GA ? AZ ? ...

  7. David K. Williams, Jr. Says:

    Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party

    Bob Barr is the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States

    Some members of the party are less than enthusiastic by his nomination.

    I am enthusiastic, and I hope to turn some of the unenthusiastic into converts.

    Barr himself claims to be a convert.

    He converted from a big government Republican to Libertarian.

    Most of the unenthusiastic are doubtful about the sincerity of Barr’s conversion. I understand that.

    That is certainly a legitimate concern. I shared it. But I have chosen to believe in Barr. Perhaps I am naïve. Perhaps I have been duped. I don’t think so.

    I ask the unenthusiastic to believe, too.

    The Concerns

    Let’s address the primary concerns about Barr, and I think that dividing his positions pre-conversion and post-conversion is critical. I took part in a Rocky Mountain News online chat

    ( http://blogs.rockymountainnews.com/rockytalklive/archives/2008/05/post_32.html )to ask Barr some questions about his prior positions and his current ones. Let us look at his answers:

    1. Pre-conversion: Barr supported the Defense of Marriage Act.

    Post-conversion: “I believe each state should be free to establish its own definition of marriage, and the DOMA protects the right of each state to do that. I would consider repealing that portion of DOMA that establishes a federal definition of marriage.”

    2. Pre-conversion: Barr supported the Patriotic Act.

    Post-convesion: “My vote in favor of the PATRIOT Act was probably the worst vote I cast in the Congress. Without going into the many reasons I did vote for it, I have spent the last 5 years since leaving Congress, working to undo the damage it has wrought. I believe it should be repealed and would work to that end as President.”

    3. Pre-conversion: Barr’s PAC donated money to Republican candidates even when they had Libertarian opposition. Specifically, his PAC gave money to National LP Chair William Redpath’s Republican opponent, Jim Gilmore

    Post-conversion: “The PAC contribution to Jim Gilmore predated Bill’s entry into the race, and I am giving Bill a contribution for his candidacy today.”

    I spoke with Redpath, and he confirmed that Barr followed through on his promise, and that the check was bigger than the one Gilmore received. And of course, Barr gave a nomination speech for Redpath’s nomination for reelection as national LP chair. If Redpath and Barr are cool on this issue, so am I.

    4. Pre-conversion: Barr was a drug warrior.

    Post-conversion: “Regarding the drug war, I’ve been there, done that, and know first-hand our current strategy is not working. Continuing to have the Federal Government run roughshod over the states, even if the citizens of a state decide they wish to legalize medicinal marijuana, for example, is wrong. As President I would completely re-orient federal law enforcement priorities, that currently are skewed far too much against marijuana possession, and would consider all – and I do mean all – options.”

    Finally, as to some calling Barr a “neo-con,” either before or after his nomination, that simply shows a misunderstanding of the word. And if there is any question about Barr’s position on the Iraq War, here is his answer from the online chat:
    “As President, I would begin immediately to significantly reduce the US economic and military footprint in Iraq. We should not be occupying Iraq or any other nation. So long as American taxpayers are footing the bill for propping up the Iraqi economy, political system, and security apparatus, there’s no incentive at all for Iraq to assume responsibility for its own affairs. Similarly, it is not appropriate for the US military to maintain a massive presence in Afghanistan. I would not make a blanket statement that there should be no US troops anywhere in the world, but the stationing of major US forces in countries around the world is not appropriate or necessary.”

    The Road to Redemption

    Like Saul on the road to Damascus, conversions can and do happen. Somewhere along the line, Barr became a believer. Even the unenthusiastic should welcome him, give him a chance, and lets get even more converts into our party.

    Don’t dwell on his past. Emphasize the present. Emphasize his conversion, not his troubled past. Use his conversion as a tool to get more converts.

    Like former gang members that tell teenagers to avoid gangs, Barr can tell of the dangers of his former gang, the Demopublicans. He was there. He was in the gang. Now he has left the gang and seen the error of his ways.

    Like fervent anti-smoking zealots that use to smoke three packs a day, Bob Barr used to partake of the poison inherent in the Demopublican Party.

    He quit. Now he is in an ideal position to spread the gospel of liberty.

    Let us help him.

    We have a great opportunity: More press, more voters, more people interested in what the hell the Libertarian Party is. And when they ask what the LP is, we can either tell them how much we hate what Barr did in the past, or we can tell them why he joined us and why they should too.

    I think the choice is easy.

    David K. Williams, Jr.
    Legislative Director, LP of Colorado
    Originally published on BlueCarp.com

  8. Major Reformist Mocker Says:

    Hard Men for a Hard job!

  9. Ayn R. Key Says:

    David K. Williams Jr.,

    You forgot a concern. He doesn’t believe in freedom of religion.

  10. Harold S Says:

    Barr is no friend of Liberty. He is a fraud. Barr will get 400,000 votes. The masses will not be converted. I will not vote for Barr. I have voted Libertarian since 96. Barr is no Libertarian.

  11. Major Reformist Mocker Says:

    I’m an optimist. I think he’ll get 700,000 votes!! Unless Chuck Baldwin gets 300,000 of them….

  12. Viverrid Says:

    I can’t see Barr getting any less than 2,500,000 votes. Hopefully it will be even more than that, though.

  13. Stewart Flood Says:


    Very well written. You are absolutely correct: we must focus on where Bob is now, not where he was in the past.

    I know both Bob and Wayne quite well and believe them both to be fully dedicated to libertarian principles and entirely committed to running a campaign that will adhere to those principles.

    During our drive from Denver these past 17 hours, we have made several stops where we have mentioned where we we coming from. Not only have people heard about our convention (even at a Waffle House in Bonney Springs, Kansas), but they like the message and they are talking about supporting us.

    Whether you call it a revolution, an awakening, or simply a realization that enough is enough, America is starting to think.

  14. Ayn R. Key Says:

    It’s sad that the revolution is alive everywhere in the USA except in the LP. While Ron Paul causes pain to the GOP even though McCain is already the signed, sealed, and delivered candidate, the LP nominates Barr/WAR.

  15. Chuck Moulton Says:

    Thanks to everyone who supported me for Vice-Chair! I will run again for LNC a future year.

  16. Carl M Says:

    During the debate, Barr spouted the LP line rather faithfully, I thought. The only candidate to show any real independence was Mike Gravel. Unfortunately, Gravel deviated from the libertarian creed in exactly those areas where I would prioritize getting the government less involved.

    Barr is the most qualified candidate the party has ever run. For the very first time, the LP candidate is less scary than the major party candidates! (Read Ed Crane’s interview in Liberty years after he left the LP. He considered the prospect of an Ed Clark actual victory to be quite scary.)

    Unfortunately, the VP candidate is not so qualified. He has not done the requisite door-knocking that a candidate must go through to round off the rough edges.

    I have not noticed any local enthusiasm for Barr as yet. I’ll ask the local Ron Paul folks at some point. My own enthusiasm is limited. If I thought Barr had a chance to win, I would be fired up. But I am not interested in supporting a spoiler. (And I strongly opposed the “spoiler strategy” that the LP came up with, which included its attack on Barr. Even then, Barr was more libertarian than the average congresscritter [which isn’t saying a lot].)
    The radicals have not lost. The oath remains. I remain politically homeless.

  17. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    I really liked Ruth Bennett. Redpath will do.

  18. Freeman Says:

    Thanks for the quotes, David Williams. Though I’m dissatified with Barr’s slithery centrism and will write in Paul/Napolitano, it’s good to have something verbatim. He’s got a real least-of-evils feel to him. Anyhow, may he get lots of votes off disenchanted followers of the ruling parties. I wish the same for Baldwin and McKinney.

    And remember, it’s anti-semitic to say something bad about the U. S. government.

  19. Freeman Says:

    I believe McCain will get his ass kicked by well more than the Barr+Baldwin total.

  20. Geno Canto del Halcon Says:

    I believe the Barr candidacy may send a clear message to the Republican Party: you have completely abandoned your conservative, small government, limited spending position – and its going to cost you an election. If Barr/Root campaign effectively, they’ll pick up much of the Ron Paul support, and perhaps even some of the disgruntled conservative base who don’t care for the hundred-years war guy. The bad news is that unless the conservatives really switch parties and go for Barr/Root in a big way, Barack Obama will probably be our next President. Given past history of the “sucker choice” that Ds and Rs have foisted on gullible voters, I predict that this is likely.

  21. Alistair Says:

    With the Barr/Root ticket Neveda will be in play!

  22. Donna Says:

    Regarding Pres. nominee, Bob Barr. The following is what I have heard and/or read. Will it make a difference? I don’t know. He claims to be pro-life, but took his wife for an abortion. He claims to be “non-interventionist” but has worked for the CIA (what could be more interventionist than the way they operate?), and he voted for the Iraq War, which I believe is not a war – it is an occupation. It is UN-constitutional and can be referred to as Bush’s “privatized war for profit”. His campaign slogan is “Liberty for America”, but he voted for the Patriot Act. He claims he is for secure borders and against illegal immigration, but he supports guest workers and is weak on employer sanctions. How did he vote on Amnesty last year? Some call him a fraud and say he could well be labelled the Libertarian Party’s John Kerry because he has flip-flopped on so many issues. He looks and acts professional, but can he be trusted? I worked with Russ Verney when I was a Congressional District Coordinator in Sacramento, CA for Ross Perot and United We Stand America. (before the Reform Party) He was not to be trusted back then – hopefully, he’s learned from his mistakes. I’ll stop now. Like it or not, guess I’ll vote for Baldwin. At least his message has never changed. He may not have a voting track record in Congress, but that’s probably a good thing.

  23. disinter Says:

    So is this ‘LP Watch’ now?

    No, this is Bob Barf Watch now.

  24. disinter Says:

    He converted from a big government Republican to Libertarian.

    Then why is he financially supporting statist Repugs that are running against LP candidates? He is a traitor that should at the very minimum be removed from the LNC.

  25. disinter Says:

    more voters, more people interested in what the hell the Libertarian Party

    Average voter: Hey look, it is that guy that voted FOR the patriot act, FOR the illegal Iraq war, was a drug warrior/prosecutor and former CIA employee, another Republican, let’s vote for him!

    Can anyone figure out why he was adamant about impeaching Clinton, but not a word about impeaching Bush?

  26. disinter Says:

    It’s sad that the revolution is alive everywhere in the USA except in the LP.

    Good point.

  27. texpat Says:

    Redpath will do.

    Yes, but he advocates proportional representation (PR) in addition to instant run-off voting (IRV). IRV makes sense. But although PR might get some libertarians elected, it would also lead to minority governments and therefore permanent middle-of-the-road compromise. Pass.

  28. Jeff Kendall Says:

    Twenty years ago the LP nominated Ron Paul to be the Presidential candidate after a bitter contest between Paul and Russell Means. The Means supporters at that time sounded very much like the Ruwart supporters today, proclaiming the Paul candidacy the end of the LP and claiming the LP should just change its name to some derivitive of Republican etc.

    I’m not sure what lies in store for the Barr campaign and we have a little over 5 months to see if he will be a genuine Libertarian, but hopefully he will follow in Paul’s direction and please us all. We are taking a chance, just like we did 20 years ago.

    Lets not forget that just 4 years ago we nominated the hard core, bad to the bone libertarian; the guy who refused to carry a drivers license. How well did that work for us?

    We don’t know what the results of the Barr campaign will be but I believe its worth the chance. And if Barr fails us we can always go to the obscure Super-Libertarian again in 4 years. But frankly, after the Badnarik campaign I believe that the Barr supporters deserve their turn.

  29. disinter Says:

    Certainly, it seems ironic that the man who was once congress’s greatest champion of the “War on Drugs” is now the leader of a fringe party devoted to opposing it. A man who rails against overspending in Washington himself voted for No Child Left Behind, which libertarians hate. A man who was one of the main movers and shakers in the impeachment trial of President Clinton, which most libertarians opposed. A man who voted for the Patriot Act, but has now spent the last five years speaking out against it.


  30. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    Redpath really supports Proportional Representation? That’s part of the Fringe Alliance Strategy!

    Maybe there’s some hope after all!

  31. David Tomlin Says:

    I appreciate Barr’s strong repudiation of the Patriot Act. His other responses leave much to be desired.

    Before discussing them, I want to make the general point that a candidate’s past record is certainly relevant. If a candidate has changed his position that should be duly noted. Both his past and present positions should be taken into account. The demand some are making for wiping the slate clean is ridiculous, and insulting to the intelligence.

    In the interview cited above Barr says the U.S. should not ‘maintain a massive presence’ in Iraq or Afghanistan. He stops carefully short of calling for complete withdrawal from either, and in other interviews he has explicitly said that ‘only a fool’ would make such a commitment.


    Of course that means Barr thinks Ron Paul is a fool.

    At Barr’s website I couldn’t find a position statement on Iraq. All I found was an article celebrating the ‘good news’.


    On drug prohibition, Barr says nothing about the right of individuals to choose for themselves what substances they take into their bodies. He says current enforcement efforts have failed and he will consider ‘all options’ for replacing them. Obviously ‘all options’ includes less libertarian ones as well as more libertarian ones.

    In a response not quoted above, Barr indicates that he will keep drug enforcement personnel in Latin America, and if they get in trouble he will send the military to support them.

    Barr is still a drug warrior, and to suggest otherwise is obviously false. That alone should disqualify him as the standard bearer of the Libertarian Party.

  32. David Tomlin Says:

    In another response not quoted above, Barr says:

    ‘Voters likely to vote for Bob Barr as President would not come from McCain supporters. Sen. McCain is an establishment, big-government Republican, and there would be very little reason for his supporters to vote for Bob Barr, a small government Libertarian.’

    I wonder how Barr is going to get millions of votes when he starts out conceding roughly half the electorate.

  33. Jonathan Says:

    wow people here are still whining

  34. Stewart Flood Says:

    I was extremely disappointed to see Chuck lose his position on the LNC. Nearly all of our delegation (SC) voted for him—at least those of us who were still there Monday morning.

    I’m not sure how Chuck lost by such a huge margin. He should have had more support from delegates who instead chose to wimp out and not come to the convention floor Monday. We had barely enough for quorum.

  35. Keith Deschler Says:

    “and Saul was there, giving approval to his (Stephen’s) death”..(Acts 8:1). Sounds a lot like the pre-Libertarian, paleo-conservative Bob Barr. I agree with those who can see clear evidence of the dramatic changes on the issues for BOTH Barr and Root. There may well be some degree of pandering and positioning by both these men, to “aim to please” the restless natives in Denver. However, they wouldn’t have come over to a third party that has never gotten more than 1.1% of the presidential vote (once) if they wanted an easy route to winning an election! There HAD to be some heartfelt conviction that the “power party” that they were active, dedicated members of for many years had gone astray from its smaller government reputation, and was not returing to it. The “purists” should remind themselves that most of them were a LONG ways off from constitutional minarchy, objectivism, or anarcho-capitalism. The majority of them probably were some type of Marxist or socialist liberal, before they “saw the light” on the Damascus road to liberty. They need to encourage and help Barr/Root, along with other recent converts to the cause, to continue learning why liberty works much better than statist coercion and control, even in those areas that are more difficult to understand (such as social issues like drugs and marriage). The positions taken by Barr are not incompatible with the mainstream Libertarian positions. They are baby steps in the direction that we all want to go, and are much easier for a skeptical, uninformed public to swallow. The broad themes of less government, lower taxes, more consumer choice in education and health care, less intervention overseas, greater local/state control, medical marijuana, and fewer regulations will resonate with a broad range of voters, just like it did with Ron Paul. Barr/ Root should do much better than the usual obscure, hard-core pablum pukers who have mainly been a footnote in American electoral history, with little interest created among even sympathetic independents or non-voters. I will be replacing my Ron Paul bumper sticker as soon as I can get a Barr/Root one. Hope that Ruwart and the “purists” realize that libertopia is not an option now, but moving in that direction is very achievable with this ticket and platform.

  36. Ayn R. Key Says:


    If only Barr would respond to questions from the other side, instead of ducking them and only talking to and with the Reform Caucus, then you words would be wise words. But we cannot encourage in a more libertarian direction anyone who refuses to talk to us the was Barr and WAR do.

  37. disinter Says:

    Stewart Flood cries:

    I was extremely disappointed…

    That’s nice Stewie. A lot of us are disappointed in you:


  38. Dan Fitzgerald Says:

    Interesting. I’m among those who started showing up at local Republican events in support of Ron Paul. I saw the resistance – Saul Anunzis, Ed Faillor, Faux news, etc. As I return, I’m bringing as many as I can with me. For years, Republicans have been begging us to join with them rather than be “spoilers”, because “we’re for limited government”. When I actually came over, the reception was less than heartwarming ;) .

    So… with a base of around 1%, aren’t we in the business of converting people? Haven’t we been asking people like Barr to come over & see the light? I admit that it’s hard for me to trust him, but if it gets more people to hear what we’re selling & check us out, it’s worth a shot. Remember Santayana’s definition of insanity – this would be trying something different. I don’t know the exact value of Bob Barr’s name recognition, but I’d bet it was well into the millions, if not tens of millions. Think of how much it would cost to make Dr. Ruwart as well known as Bob Barr. We would not have funded her that well, although we certainly should.

    So, I think nominating Barr will be a solid plus for us, but I also admit that this is the first time we’ll have a candidate about whom I won’t be proudly informing my friends. I’ll petition for him in Virginia, and I’ll send him a few hundred dollars, but I won’t be as proud of our candidate as I would have been had it been Ruwart or Kubby.

  39. Daniel Mosier Says:

    All those gleeful about Barr’s greater name recognition and believing that LP vote totals will be enormously greater for that reason appear oblivious to the fact his name recognition often stems from unpopular stands. Most people would recall him as a GOP pitbull during the Clinton impeachment for which they are hardly likely to appreciate him. Otherwise, he’s mostly known for his hardcore right-wing stands: anti drug, anti gay marraige. Americans seem to be waking up to the threat the Bush regime poses to civil liberties and here to they see Barr voting with Bush. Unlike Ron Paul, Barr has lost the support of the LP libertarians and is scorned by Democrats. Those LP sell outs who traded liberty in favor of the promise of more votes deserve neither – and neither is what they are likely to get.

  40. ralph Says:

    “Lets not forget that just 4 years ago we nominated the hard core, bad to the bone libertarian; the guy who refused to carry a drivers license. How well did that work for us?”

    The latest BS 1984 propaganda from Viguerie’s TPW and his pet LRC.

    Badnarik was a right-wing constitutional conservative and LRC supporter known for his rants against anarchists, wiccans and atheists on his Presidential website. He seemed more interested in bashing ‘purists’ than running a candidacy.

    This is as nutty as West’s attempts to portray Dasbach as an anarchist failure.

    Moulton lost for a good r4eason: people despised his rants againsst Nolan as a ‘ranter’ and worse, and it got around the Convention, along with his broken promise to get the LP minutes and other documents back on the website. Now he wants to play economist and screw us up on the intellectual field as a ‘Libertarian’ economist, I bet.

    4 more years of financial corruption, attacks on local activists, vanishing memberships, non-functional d-bases, LRC thugs disrupting local meetings, phony ballot signatures, and re-writing the minutes, and doing everything they can to keep Libertarians from being elected or appointed, I suspect.

  41. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was the biggest opportunist fraud in religious history.

    Barr’s similar conversion has its parallels, so of course I tend to be highly suspicious. Way too much baggage which just tossed the disaffected left vote away.

    Redpath, he doesn’t know how to run a meeting. That was pretty apparent all weekend, what with it being impossible to hear a lot of things from him letting the side conversations go on. Not to mention his selective hearing on division calls from the floor and his blatant ignoring the Orders of the Day on Sunday.

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