‘The Insulting Treatment of Ron Paul’

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Libertarian Party cofounder David Nolan offered a resolution at the 12/6/08 Libertarian National Committee meeting in San Diego. They stomped on it, of course, but his passionate denunciation of the recent campaign reflects a lot of grassroots discontent. On Ron, David notes

The Barr ’08 campaign team repeatedly and deliberately dismissed and insulted Congressman Ron Paul, who demonstrated an unprecedented amount of support in the months prior to the Libertarian nominating convention. When TV personality Stephen Colbert interviewed Bob Barr shortly after he received the nomination and asked why previous Libertarian candidates had not received higher vote totals, Barr replied that “The Libertarian Party has never had a good candidate before” – thus insulting Ron Paul and all of our previous Presidential candidates. In September, Barr agreed to participate in a press conference organized by Ron Paul, but failed to show up. This understandably enraged Dr. Paul and led to his eventually endorsing fringe candidate Chuck Baldwin for President. As a result, the enthusiasm and potential financial support of Dr. Paul’s thousands of avid supporters were lost.

See the entire resolution:RESOLUTION SUBMITTED FOR LNC CONSIDERATION
Author: David Nolan

Whereas Congressman Bob Barr obtained the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination by holding out the prospects of tens of millions of dollars in campaign funding and as much as five percent of the popular vote for President, and

Whereas the Barr/Root campaign failed totally to deliver on those promises, and

Whereas the failures of that campaign were due substantially to incompetence and lack of understanding of libertarian principles on the part of the campaign’s management, as summarized in the attached Bill of Particulars,

Therefore be it Resolved that the Libertarian National Committee hereby expresses its extreme disappointment at the mismanagement and ineptitude of the Barr/Root campaign, which resulted in the same 0.4% of the vote that previous Presidential candidates have achieved, even as libertarian principles were denied, downplayed and obscured by that campaign. Be it further resolved that we condemn the actions taken by Russ Verney and Shane Cory which resulted in the failures of the Barr/Root campaign, and specifically disavow any LNC responsibility for any debts incurred by the Barr/Root campaign or its agents and employees.

BARR/ROOT CAMPAIGN – BILL OF PARTICULARS

Specific shortcomings of the Barr/Root campaign which contributed to its failure to achieve its stated goals and disqualify it from receiving any financial aid from the Libertarian National Committee.

AVOIDANCE OF THE WORD “LIBERTARIAN”

The Barr /Root campaign went to great lengths to avoid using the word “Libertarian” wherever possible. The Barr ’08 website did not display the word “Libertarian” in a prominent fashion, and campaign material rarely included mention of the Libertarian Party. Our party was not mentioned in the Barr ’08 campaign brochure, on most signs or bumper stickers, and in many press releases. Often, Bob Barr was described only as a “former Congressman,” with no mention of his party affiliation. Campaign Manager Russ Verney has admitted that this was a deliberate strategy, stating that his goal was to build awareness of Bob Barr only, with no concern for building the Libertarian Party brand.

MISDIRECTION OF FUNDS

The Barr/Root campaign raised more than $1.3 million in contributions, but spent almost nothing on advertising to the voting public. Campaign staffers were paid inflated salaries; money was spent on refurbishing Bob Barr’s Atlanta offices; “political consultants” were paid at least $100,000; $19,000 was spent on limousines. But almost nothing was spent on promoting Barr or the Libertarian Party via paid broadcast or print advertising.

BALLOT ACCESS

Despite raising slightly more money than any other recent Libertarian Presidential campaign, the Barr ’08 team achieved ballot status for our ticket in only 45 states – the lowest number since 1984. This failure is due largely to ineptitude and arrogance on the part of Shane Cory, who began ballot drives late and refused the services of experienced petitioners. Some petitioners were not paid for services rendered, leaving the LNC in the embarrassing position of being dunned by those petitioners.

INSULTING TREATMENT OF RON PAUL

The Barr ’08 campaign team repeatedly and deliberately dismissed and insulted Congressman Ron Paul, who demonstrated an unprecedented amount of support in the months prior to the Libertarian nominating convention. When TV personality Stephen Colbert interviewed Bob Barr shortly after he received the nomination and asked why previous Libertarian candidates had not received higher vote totals, Barr replied that “The Libertarian Party has never had a good candidate before” – thus insulting Ron Paul and all of our previous Presidential candidates. In September, Barr agreed to participate in a press conference organized by Ron Paul, but failed to show up. This understandably enraged Dr. Paul and led to his eventually endorsing fringe candidate Chuck Baldwin for President. As a result, the enthusiasm and potential financial support of Dr. Paul’s thousands of avid supporters were lost.

1:46 pm on December 13, 2008