With nearly 60% of the vote, Vermin Supreme is victorious in a closed primary vote held by the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire! The entertaining, longtime satirical candidate has run for President of the United States under both the republican and democrat parties over the year and this time has thrown his boot in the Libertarian party’s primary ring for their 2020 nomination.
Supreme has spent a lot of time campaigning in New Hampshire, including an epic, armed pony march on Concord’s state house last month. His New Hampshire campaign manager and national chief strategist, Richard Manzo said this about his decisive win in an exclusive interview for Free Keene, “I think this is very much a proof of concept, that recruiting younger members to the LP is possible with the right messenger. I think the young people we recruited to the party tipped the scales in Vermin’s favor.”
For the last three presidential elections, the national Libertarian Party has put forward terrible presidential candidates. Bob Barr, the former republican congressman, was their embarrassing choice in 2008. The national LP’s selection in 2012 and 2016, former republican governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, was barely an improvement on Barr. These choices were bad enough because they propagate the mistaken idea that libertarians are somehow right-wing. However, if Barr or Johnson actually had embraced the non-aggression principle and were communicating it during their campaigns, I could forgive them. At least they would have been on-message. They weren’t.
Today at their annual convention in Concord, the LPNH tallied up the votes that were mailed in by their membership in a closed party presidential primary. Using ranked choice voting, 44 of their 110 members cast votes in the primary, with 26 of the 44 voters choosing Vermin Supreme. That’s over 59%! It was a decisive victory.
Maybe there’s hope for the national Libertarian Party, as even the satirical Supreme is a better presidential nominee than former republicans, simply for the entertainment factor alone. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if they choose another former republican governor, this time Bill Weld, as their nominee. In 2016, Weld was given their vice-presidential nomination and went on to promote Hillary Clinton during his campaign appearances. The only time Weld ever addressed the non-aggression principle during his campaign was when I asked him about it at his appearance at Keene’s Central Square.
Good luck, Vermin. In a world where LP members appreciated good satire and had a sense of humor, you’d win nationally. Sadly, I don’t expect to see that happen. Kudos to LPNH’s members for sending a message to national with their nomination.
Last Friday, future president of the United States Vermin Supreme and his supporters donned ponies, guns, signs, and masks to march on Concord New Hampshire’s state house on the final day to file to be in the Libertarian NH presidential primary for 2020.
Nicholas Sarwark, LP Chair Moving to New Hampshire ASAP.
When the national Libertarian Party‘s Chairman Nicholas Sarwark found the idea of migrating with other libertarians to New Hampshire, it was just an idea. Now, with thousands who have migrated here to the Shire since 2003, it’s no longer an idea but a successful proof of concept. We’ve had incredible, unprecedented activist successes, and it’s still early in the migration of the Free State Project.
In case you’re unfamiliar, thousands of the Free State Project‘s pro-liberty members decided in 2003 to migrate to New Hampshire over all the other states. Here are 101 reasons why they chose New Hampshire. Sarwark had heard about this back then and signed up. Then in 2016, the Free State Project reached its goal of 20,000 signers of their pledge to move libertarians and voluntarists to New Hampshire where our activism can be concentrated and have an actual impact. It has. As a result of our high concentration, a real liberty community has developed, unlike anywhere else in the world.
Despite being a signer from way back, it was my first time attending. The experience was incredible, a sense of community, caring, cooperation, and peace. It’s not easy to describe, but it’s amazing to experience.
For a long time we early movers to New Hampshire envisioned a day when it would become so obvious that liberty is on the rise here that liberty-loving people would no longer be able to ignore our success and feel they needed to join in the fun. It appears we have reached that threshold. Sarwark’s public announcement is some of the biggest news that the FSP could really hope for in this area. In his post, he also says this:
The Libertarian Party Logo
Having stepped away from day-to-day operations of the car dealership here in Phoenix, I realized that there’s nothing stopping me from moving now. Valerie and I discussed it, talked to our kids about it, weighed out the pros and cons and decided together that we are moving to New Hampshire.
Assuming all goes according to plan, next month we will start our next chapter in the Granite State, surrounded by an intentional community of liberty lovers from all walks of life and I will trade my 17 year-old signer number for a brand new mover number.
Live free or die.
It’s a decisive move for Sarwark, who clearly had the experience at the Porcupine Freedom Festival that it was intended for – to let you experience what life is like when you’re literally surrounded by more liberty-loving people than you could possibly get to know.
Hopefully his decision will prod other libertarians to realize how futile it is to continue doing what they’ve always done, that we’re stronger when we concentrate our efforts in one place, and that the idea of concentration of activism is now a proven concept. Sarwark’s move is smart and should be seriously considered by anyone who cares about liberty. Kudos.
Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis Announces Run for NH Governor in 2018
The 2018 election is over and Jilletta Jarvis, the Libertarian candidate for Governor of New Hampshire has failed to reach the 4% required for the Libertarian Party of NH to retain ballot access, which it achieved in 2016 for the first time in two decades. I want it to be clear, I really like Jilletta and she was a much better candidate than the 2016 offering from the LP, Max Abramson. Jilletta ran a good campaign and was much more active than Abramson, but didn’t even come close to Abramson’s 4%. She got 1.46%. What happened?
It’s pretty clear that 2016 was a fluke. I’d speculated then that Abramson, who barely existed as a candidate, and other “Libertarians” like Gary Johnson at the national level had benefited from people’s frustrations with Trump and Hillary being their main presidential choices. It’s pretty clear this palpable frustration benefited all third parties in 2016, with the Libertarian and Green presidential candidates getting three times their vote totals from 2012. People weren’t voting for the Libertarians and Greens, they were voting against Trump and Hillary.
Add to that the fact that major media entities WMUR and the Union Leader set their debate rules to exclude the Libertarian candidates like Jilletta, and it’s pretty clear she didn’t get a fair chance from all New Hampshire media. Shame on WMUR and the Union Leader for excluding their viewers and readers from knowing about their third choice.
Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College
Of course, the two-party duopoly has long been complicit in excluding libertarians politically. In the 90s when the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire got ballot access for the first time by getting over 3% of the vote, the Republicans and Democrats voted to raise the bar 33% higher to its current level of 4%.
Not all the blame can be placed on the media and government, however. While Jilletta is a wonderful person and a far better candidate than we had in 2016, she wasn’t the most principled libertarian. Doubt my claim? Even the Keene Sentinel knows what a libertarian is supposed to sound like. In a recent piece in the Sentinel, opinion page editor Wilfred Bilodeau said:
She seems enthusiastic and smart, but we were struck at how her libertarian vision differs from some of the party’s more orthodox candidates. She says she’s for smaller government but outlined several programs that would necessitate spending more money. To improve education, she pitched the concept of centralizing public education, with the state collecting all education taxes and determining how to best spend them. That strikes us as anything but a libertarian approach. Overall, we feel Jarvis has some worthy ideas, but her vision for the state seems unfocused, perhaps due to the pressure of trying to appeal to enough voters to garner the 4 percent of the vote needed to keep the party on the ballot.
The good news is the media, at least in Keene, has learned what a libertarian is supposed to say. A true libertarian should be advocating the non-aggression principle and applying it consistently across all government programs. That means eliminating coercion from the system, or eliminating the system entirely. That’s it. If Jilletta believes in some government coercion, she really shouldn’t be the party’s nominee. Watering down the message does not win over votes. Staying true to principles is what the LP is supposed to be about. Hopefully the LPNH will offer more principled state level candidates in the future so we can see how their vote totals compare to Jilletta and her similarly – as the Sentinel described it – “unfocused” predecessors. (more…)
Of the three candidates in the race for NH Senate District 10, I was the only one to receive a recommendation from the Marijuana Policy Project, while the Republican and Democrat in the race received a middle “unknown, uncertain, or less favorable” rating. You can see MPP’s full state senate voting guide here.
For those unaware, libertarians believe in the non-aggression principle which says we don’t support the use of aggressive force. Prohibitions should therefore be ended and people who want to own/produce/sell weapons and chemicals or plants should be free to do so. Live free or die.
As part of my near-zero budget campaign for NH Senate District 10, I’ve been posting my responses to the various candidate questionnaires that I’ve been receiving. Now, on the eve of the election, I’m surprised that neither of my opponents, Republican Dan LeClair nor Democrat Jay Kahn have yet replied to the League of Women Voters’ questionnaire, as shown on their VOTE411.org voters’ guide website. I received their questionnaire over a week ago and it’s relatively short so I was surprised that when I submitted my answers that I was the first candidate in the race to respond and now a week later am still the only candidate to respond!
There’s not a direct link to my answers I can share with you, but if you’d like to see them, just put in an address in Keene, like 63 Emerald St, Keene, NH 03431 in their VOTE411.org website. Then it will show you the races and issues on the ballot for the address you put in. Choose “State Senate District 10” and you’ll see me there.
Also curiously, Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis is the only gubernatorial candidate to respond to the LWV and in the Keene-wide house race for Cheshire 16, Libertarian Darryl W Perry is also the only candidate who responded to the LWV survey.