That would be the Libertarian Party which, for the first time one could argue, actually has a chance to make a real difference in a Presidential election. That’s what happens when the two major parties put up candidates both of whom have massively high “unfavorable” ratings, am I right?
Anyway, the Libertarians are having their convention this coming weekend, and there is a fair amount of energy about it. From The Hill:
The unpredictable political climate that has led to the rise of insurgents or outsiders like Trump and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has provoked upheaval in both major parties, leading to what Libertarian Party leaders are describing as unprecedented interest in their cause.
According to Federal Election Commission filings analyzed by The Hill, the Libertarian National Committee took in $205,000 in April, its largest monthly haul since 2004.
“We are seeing a surge of support monetarily, and new memberships are skyrocketing,” said Nicholas Sarwark, the chairman of the Libertarian National Committee.
“In previous conventions, if you wanted to attend from Ohio and you couldn’t get a delegate spot in Ohio, there would be plenty of delegations with open seats you could fill. This time around, it’s crazy. We will approach our theoretical maximum.”
Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of deep-blue New Mexico, is the favorite to win the nomination. He was also the party’s standard-bearer in 2012, when he won 1.3 million votes.
Johnson has formed an alliance with former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who hopes to serve as Johnson’s vice presidential candidate, although the party elects its presidential and vice presidential candidates separately.
Gov. Johnson is probably one of the best known of Libertarian candidates (more on him below). And Gov. Weld did a good job of governing Massachusetts. I lived there while he was the Governor, hence how I know, though I wouldn’t have said so at the time since he was a *GASP* Republican.
One issue in particular stood out with Weld, and that was his willingness to grant new hearings and commute the sentences of a number of women convicted of murder for defending themselves against their batterers. I worked on a couple of the commutation teams for the Framingham Eight, so know of his involvement on this issue personally. That Gov. Weld was willing to do so was no small thing as the Battered Women’s Defense was still a very new concept. So there is that.
There is more from The Hill about the rise of the Libertarians in 2016:
But all of the delegates to the convention will arrive unbound, so neither man is a lock to win on Sunday in a party known for its fierce independent streak.
The increased focus on the process could give an additional level of volatility at the convention. Sarwark said about 600 to 700 delegates attend in a normal presidential year.
He’s expecting at least 1,000 this year, plus at least 300 alternates and about 500 independent observers.
Missouri businessman Austin Petersen has mounted a credible challenge to Johnson. He has a big online presence and this week won the endorsement of veteran GOP strategist Mary Matalin, an adviser to both Bush administrations who recently switched her party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian.
Petersen is a rare anti-abortion Libertarian who believes he’s best positioned to attract support from Republicans.
“I will be the only pro-Constitution, limited-government conservative on the ballot,” he told The Hill. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
I am all for a legitimate Third Party candidate. Heaven knows, I cannot stomach the thought of voting for either Trump (ugh) or Clinton (blech).
But I also don’t know much about Gov. Johnson OR Austin Petersen. I am operating on the assumption I am not alone. Here is a little bit about both Johnson (here is a link on where he stands on the Issues) and Petersen with links so you can read more.
First up is a recent interview with Gov. Johnson:
And if you want to read more about where Gov. Johnson stands, you can click this link to OnTheIssues.org. That should tell answer questions on a host of questions you may have on where he stands.
Next up is Austin Petersen. Here is a recent interview Petersen did with Glenn Beck:
Who knew that Petersen was a Producer for Judge Napolitano? Interesting!
Petersen’s comments on squaring being a Libertarian and being Pro-Life was particularly compelling given recent revelations in this country regarding the harvesting and selling of fetus parts. And that was just the beginning of the conversation.
If you want to see where Petersen stands on the issues and what his platform is, you can click here to get answers to those questions.
I was particularly interested in what Petersen had to say about Illegal Immigration considering where Johnson stands on that issue (two year grace period for illegals before getting work visas, allowing some to stay). Petersen’s response that the laws that are on the books must be upheld was a good answer, in my opinion.
There are many more issues that are of importance with these two candidates (like Taxes), and choosing the right one so that there is a VIABLE third party alternative to Clinton or Trump.
What are your thoughts on these two men? I know some have expressed concerns about Gov. Johnson, so feel free to enumerate those concerns, and if the same concerns apply to Petersen. Or, have you already decided which one you like? Please feel free to share.
This is an Open Thread, so you can discuss any of the above, or whatever else is on your minds today. Have at it!