Libertarian Crusader Diaryimage00320



2000 Presidential Election Era

Published by Gary L. Fincher

Volume IV, Edition II – October 4, 1999

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts



 Kay readies to delivery a motor home to the far reaches of North America




Winnebago Crusader Diary?


Winnebago Crusader Diary?  Well, not exactly.  Kay end I are still strong, outspoken advocates/activists for the Libertarian Way.  It’s just that sometimes, especially when it comes to earning and providing for your own little personal economy, you have to diversify.  Get too one-dimensional and you’re vulnerable to losing your economic leverage, bosses and clients take you for granted, monotony and burnout begin lurking on the horizon – all kinds of bad kinds of bad things can happen.  And we don’t want that, do we?


So we diversified.  Starting this year, between select political projects, we get paid to deliver brand-new recreational vehicles to customers all over the continent.  These vehicles can’t be shipped from the factory by any other means except to pay someone to deliver them to customers who could happen to be anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.   Kay and I know our way around the continent pretty well and we’re used to driving all over the place anyway, so why not?


One of our Libertarian friends in the Chicago area, Roger Pope, introduced us to the idea and guided us to that particular market.  Roger Pope himself had delivered new motor homes and had gotten the idea from a book sold by Loompanics, the libertarian book club based in Port Townsend, Wash., by Craig Chilton.  In the spring, we met with Roger and his girlfriend Shena at their suburban Chicago home and they took us out to dinner and gave us pointers on delivering RVs.


For most of the summer, it wasn’t a circulator’s market on petition drives, and all was pretty quiet on the Libertarian campaign front, so we spent most of our summer travelling and enjoying the sights while getting paid (An LCD special is tentatively planned for later this fall, free to all paid subscribers, which will cover our summer travels more in-depth, and with photos).   Northern Indiana happens to be the “motor home capital of the world”, so most of our deliveries started from there, although a few originated from elsewhere.  This year our delivery destinations included Lynnwood, Wash.; Fresno, Calif.; North Conway, N.H.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Mesquite, Tex.; Long Island, New York; and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Santa Fe Update


In the last issue of Libertarian Crusader Diary, I covered the arrest and subsequent prosecution of Kay and me, simply for wearing our own clothing bearing the name and logo of our political party.  Last winter found us working on a ballot drive in Alabama but we nevertheless focused a lot of time, energy – and money – on our case back in New Mexico.
Daniel Bartholomew trustee of the Fincher Legal Defense Fund, discusses the fund’s financial status with his secretary in his office at Los Alamos National Bank in Los Alamos, N.M. in March

Daniel Bartholomew trustee of the Fincher Legal Defense Fund, discusses the fund’s financial status with his secretary in his office at Los Alamos National Bank in Los Alamos, N.M. in March



Earlier this year, Kay and I had set up a legal defense fund to pay for attorney fees and costs related to court appearances. Daniel Bartholomew, who had served as treasurer to the 1998 McDonald for Commissioner of Public Lands campaign, agreed to come on board as our trustee.  Within two months of setting up the fund, Kay and I had raised over $5,000 (A complete list of acknowledgements of contributors appears on the last page of this issue.)


The first attorneys we approached, Paul Kennedy and Mary Han who Albuquerque attorneys referred to us by former state senator and Libertarian Party operative Duncan Scott inevitably couldn’t find the time and so declined to work on our case.  But Paul referred me to his brother Joe, also a practicing attorney in Albuquerque, albeit younger and less experienced.  Joe Kennedy saw this as a “free speech” issue that cried out for justice and so eagerly took on my case.  Mr. Scott referred Kay to another attorney, Troy Prichard, and Kay retained his services to defend her.


On Feb. 17, we had to make a fast trip from Alabama to New Mexico for my first court appearance.  Before magistrate judge Bill Dimas in Santa Fe, I entered a “not guilty” plea to both charges, “electioneering and “disorderly conduct”.  On March 19, we made another fast trip from Alabama to appear, but my case had been set for trial on May 21.  Joe Kennedy would represent me there.


Meanwhile, Kay hadn’t had any court appearances during that lime, or the dates been continued.   Even as of press time, Kay still hasn’t made a court appearance.  Moreover, it seems that her attorney Prichard is botching the defense job by – at least so far – refusing to give her a straight-ahead defense and instead insisting she agree to a plea bargain involving community service (can you believe it?!).





My trial took place on May 21 at magistrate court in Santa Fe.  I was represented by Kennedy, while one of the arresting deputies acted as prosecutor.  Kay was summoned by Mr. Kennedy as witness for the defense, while the prosecution’s sole witness was the other arresting deputy.   As the case got underway, the deputy made opening statements, which included several false statements relating to my reaction upon being asked to “take my shirt off”.  While the “electioneering” charge, for the most part, involved no dispute of the facts, but rather centered around the interpretation of the statute (is wearing a garment considered ‘campaigning’?)  or even, in Kennedy’s idealistic vision, the constitutionality of the statute, the “disorderly conduct” charge involved a bitter dispute about what happened while I was being confronted about the original issue.  The deputies first tried to frustrate my defense by throwing in the bogus “disorderly conduct”, then tried to bolster their case by lying, a tactic that produced mixed results in the end, since I was acquitted on “disorderly” but convicted on “electioneering”.  But it will always be a mystery what, if any, effect having two charges leveled against me had on making at least one of them stick.  One curious outcome of my case:  After the judge was preparing my sentence (1 year of unsupervised probation) my impromptu exclamation, “Hey, what about my getting my vote back?!”, which I wanted everyone to hear, was met by Judge Dimas with, “Perhaps you should vote twice next time.”  Indeed, if the outcome of this appeal is not satisfactory to me, voting twice is exactly what I intend to do in 2000, per Judge Dimas’ instructions.


My attorney is appealing the verdict, and I’m told a trial in District Court is expected for late fall.  Kay is still wrestling with her lawyer over how her defense should proceed.


Alabama Drive Successful


The last issue of LCD found us in Montgomery, Ala., working to get the Libertarian Party ballot-qualified in the Heart of Dixie.  It was nice that, during the cold winter months, we were able to mostly bask in the warmth of Alabama’s Gulf Coast.  When we first arrived, just before Thanksgiving, we hung out in the sleepy bayou country down on Mobile Bay, then moved around to universities at Tuscaloosa and Auburn and then settled into Montgomery for the onset of spring.


Circulating the petition to get the LP on the ballot in Montgomery was particularly easy, as the black student population at Alabama State University there signed at a rate of 110 per hour, our best rate ever.  As cities go, it seemed to us that Montgomery was the best LP petitioning we’ve ever encountered.  And it helped the Alabama party get over the top, the 36,000 signatures they needed for major party status.  Then it was off the New Mexico to register 250 New Mexicans to vote Libertarian in early April…

Kay combs the beach at Gulf Shores, Ala. (top photo) looking for registered voters, while she tackles the easier “table method” of gathering signatures on campus at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. (bottom photo)
Two methods of petitioning: Kay combs the beach at Gulf Shores, Ala. (top photo) looking for registered voters, while she tackles the easier “table method” of gathering signatures on campus at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. (bottom photo)




A Postal Problem


Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night…

The local Girl Scout troop sells their yummy wares outside a post office in Oxford, Ala., in March pursuant to the postal regulation prohibiting commercial solicitation
Unequal protection of law: The local Girl Scout troop sells their yummy wares outside a post office in Oxford, Ala., in March pursuant to the postal regulation prohibiting commercial solicitation

Will keep the post office from doing their best to shut down the democratic process?  A problem that’s been nagging me my entire political career is the U.S. Postal Service’s willingness to step all over Americans who attempt to defend themselves from being disenfranchised from the political processes of this country.


Take my 1991 arrest at a post office in Miami for collecting signatures, for example.   A Supreme Court ruling in 1990 had established that while the post office could prohibit commercial soliciting on their property, that regulation could not be construed to apply to First Amendment petitioning activity.  Yet that was exactly what activity I was engaged in when, after being asked to leave the premises and I had refused, I was arrested end jailed and even held on trumped up charges.  I was even ordered to refrain from circulating petitions for one year following the adjudication of my case, a gross violation of my supposed civil liberties.


In the years since Kay and I have, on numerous occasions, been harassed by postal officials for just doing our job of getting candidates, parties or issues on the ballot.  This in the absence of clear-cut regulations against our activity.  In fact, many times we had been told that while petitioners to qualify initiatives and referenda were welcome on “their” property, our collecting signatures to qualify the LP and its candidates were considered “campaigning”, and were thus prohibited, even though we pointed out to them that the petitioning activity was in fact simply our carrying out state law that imposed the requirement in the first place!


Time and time again, when attempting to do our petition duty on postal property, we’re told the same story:  we’re not welcome.  Suddenly in 1998, along with the long standing regulation against commercial soliciting, comes a regulation specifically aimed at all types of petition circulating.   Then, to our surprise in 1999, while working in Oxford, Ala., we come across the Girl Scouts selling cookies at a table right in front  of the post office (see photo below)!   Go figure.



Janet Reno prosecuted me for petitioning at a post office in Miami, Fla., in 1991, despite that 1990 court rulings upholding the right to petition on postal sidewalks

West Coast Wandering


Gary at the historical Pruneyard in Campbell, Calif., in August 1999

Gary at the historical Pruneyard in Campbell, Calif., in August 1999

Late this summer, we got wind of the second petition drive to protect tribal gaming on the reservations in California.  Kay and I had worked on that the first time around in the spring of 1998.  The Indian tribes themselves, of course, sponsored the petition, and compensated us for our work very nicely.  We also carried a couple of other petitions that voters could sign, while they were at it.  Back then, we worked in the San Joaquin Valley area, south of Fresno, in Visalia.  This time, we based ourselves in the Bay Area, living in San José and working mostly in San Mateo County, the peninsula south of San Francisco.  The photo above right shows me standing at The Pruneyard in Campbell, Calif. (near San Jose).  The Pruneyard was the subject of a landmark petitioning case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980.







Earlier in the summer, we delivered a motor home to Arizona, which gave us the opportunity to swing by my home state of Texas and pick up my soon-to-be 15-year-old daughter Jenny and take her to see southern California for the first time.  The plan was to hang out for a couple of weeks and see the sights – the beaches, the stars on the Hollywood sidewalks and, of course, every teenager’s wish…Disneyland!  On Jenny’s 15th birthday, I played the doting dad and walked her around the world-famous theme park from morning till midnight, returning with souvenirs, memories and yes, plenty of blisters on my feet.

Jenny finds her star on the sidewalks of Hollywood, Calif. In July 1999

Jenny finds her star on the sidewalks of Hollywood, Calif. In July 1999





Gary stands against a totem pole dockside in Victoria, B.C. on Canada’s west coast in late summer

Gary stands against a totem pole dockside in Victoria, B.C. on Canada’s west coast in late summer





Kay hangs out on the waterfront in scenic Port Townsend, Wash. In June 1999

Kay hangs out on the waterfront in scenic Port Townsend, Wash. In June 1999








Jenny Fincher takes it all in at California’s Disneyland in Anaheim on her 15th Birthday, July 9, 1999

The many faces at Disneyland: Jenny Fincher takes it all in at California’s Disneyland in Anaheim on her 15th Birthday, July 9, 1999



In addition, she got to splash around at the swimming pool at our Anaheim motel pool, jump in the huge Pacific waves on Malibu Beach and, as the photo lower right shows, get dazzled by the gold stars on the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.


It wasn’t only southern California that we got to hang out in on the west coast.  We made sure we saw ample share of the Pacific Northwest, too.  We had wanted to see Washington’s Olympic Peninsula for a long time and this year, we finally got our wish.  We explored the driftwood on the Pacific shores, the rainforests farther inland, the crystal-blue lakes surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks, the wonderful forest-rimmed waters of Puget Sound and, across the deep blue waters of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the charming little flower garden city of Victoria, British Columbia.




Autumn in New England


History repeats itself, they say, and here we are again, in merry olde New England for the autumn, leaves changing, pumpkins, hayrides, apple cider, all those romantic associations with this part of the country this time of year.  Two years ago we were here in Massachusetts working on a tax cut petition and we’re now doing the same.  In fact, we’re working in the same area – New Bedford and southeastern Massachusetts – as we did in ’97 and for the same coordinator, John Michael from Maine.  Last time it was a memorable petition drive given all the factors and we’re looking forward to it this time.  We do like Massachusetts.  Just a few weeks until close to Halloween, though, because we have to get back to Indiana, (our new base of operations) to take care of some health related business of mine.


Political Commentary


Kay and I spend a lot of time making fun of the BS you hear from the media, both in print and electronic, when talking about the government and all its machinations.  It’s rarely spoken about from a true tell-it-like-it-is slant, as libertarians would.  We libertarians like to talk about government and its players for what they’re really up to and are all about, generally playing mischief with our lives.  After all, those in government are just people, full of the same flaws and defects as the people they attempt to control and regulate.  There’s no magic there, no all-knowing wise men ordained to oversee our lives.  So it shouldn’t be surprising that the rhetoric spouted on TV news programs are pretty much transparent to Kay and me, as this little piece I wrote not too long ago reveals.  This is called GovernmentSpeak, but Kay’s favorite moniker fro it is Government Babble:


Washington (AP) – President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton, chief executive and commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces met with Pentagon authorities in the best interest of law enforcement and the greater good of society.  The White House, on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, issued a statement by its press secretary and White House Chief of Staff calling the president’s poll numbers entering the stratosphere and the bi-partisan American people in approval of the economy as the “best it’s ever been, ever”, according to Alan Greenspan and the Consumer Price Index and the Gross National Product.  Meanwhile, the Fed adjusted interest rates while implementing new controls designed to help Democratic lawmakers to impose economic sanctions on rogue third world nations.  The Justice Department today announced they will start cracking down on right-wing extremists and anarchists who commit acts of terrorism by calling for an end to the Cuban embargo.  Authorities at law enforcement arrested the offenders and scofflaws as administration officials hinted that a censure deal was in sight in the Senate’s bureau of foreign policy.  But the House committee on appropriations and deliberations with compunction served notice that unbridled capitalism gouges prices and undermines the Social Security Trust Fund and national security well into the next millennium.


Meeting up with her ex-husband  Don & present wife Diane in Riondel, B.C., Canada in August

Meeting up with her ex-husband Don & present wife Diane in Riondel, B.C., Canada in August












by Karen “Kay” Fincher


We’ve crisscrossed the continent multiple times since the last LCD arrived at your door.  Twice we were numbed by awesome mystical vistas of the British Columbian Rockies and the dense horizon of skyscrapers and beaches of cosmopolitan, multi-cultured Vancouver.  I had always wanted to see and sense the fairytale European flavor of the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, a 2-hour car ferry ride over the Juan de Fuca Strait from Port Angeles, Wash., since the fateful Summer of ’70 when I first tromped the Vancouver Island rainforests and beaches.  I had caught a giant starfish in a lobster trap off a dock in Port Alberni, watched whales blow their spouts up and down Barkley Sound, hiked down a beach and cooked fresh shrimp over a driftwood fire, and even got trapped on a cliff at nightfall by a fast ebbing evening tide, but I had never seen Victoria.  Vancouver Island still has that wild allure, which makes Victoria, on its southernmost tip, a city of over-flowering flower gardens, large moss-covered, turreted 19th-century British buildings, double-decker tour buses, horse-drawn carriages, giant totem poles, water fountains and luxurious yachts packing a harbor warmed by Japanese currents, all the more incongruous and marvelous.  Outside Victoria, where tea and crumpets are served customarily at 4:00, large parts of British Columbia are still throwbacks to an age when timber and mining were the sole industries and even now, backroads on Vancouver Island and on the mainland post warning signs to beware of logging trucks careening around curves.  My grown daughter was born in the interior of British Columbia, so winding through the many mountain chains east of Vancouver is a tripful of memories.  Our most recent ride by Kootenay Lake we met up with some old friends and relatives “on holiday” (as Canadians say in lieu of “on vacation”) who just by coincidence were visiting that same day from Alberta (wild rose country).  They gave us some stimulating tips on Mexico and asked us to meet them there this winter.

Gary poses at North Cascades National Park in Washington (top photo);  Kay at Tofino on Vancouver Island in Canada (bottom photo)

Gary poses at North Cascades National Park in Washington (top photo); Kay at Tofino on Vancouver Island in Canada (bottom photo)


Whether RVing or tenting, we traveled “on a shoestring” (the subtitle of our campground guide) and communed with so much natural beauty our minds are soothed and composed.  Within months we stood over the eerie emptiness of the Grand Canyon (Arizona), sailed by the hundreds of giant power-generating windmills outside Palm Springs (California), basked in the sunshine over the aqua waters pounding the cliffs at Big Sur (Calif.), picnicked in the deep shade of the Avenue of the Giants redwoods (Calif.), wound by wild mountain streams (Idaho), raced into Portland traffic cradled by the sparkling calm Columbia River Gorge on the right and towering waterfalls on the left (Oregon), lost our way in the lush swamp forests of South Carolina and dawdled amongst the long rows of look-alike plump beach umbrellas outside the swank hotels on the expensive white sands of Myrtle Beach (S.C.), a modern Coney Island attracting a crowd of young sun-worshippers.


Along the way we caught up with many loved ones and, thankfully, they are all healthy and still fired up with their various endeavors.  We met the editors of Liberty magazine, tucked away in an old second-story office on the main street in Port Townsend, Wash., and exchanged party building ideas with Libertarians in Alabama, New Mexico and Massachusetts.  Political initiative drives in California tested our activist resolve but also honed our signature-collecting skills into “water off a duck’s back”.  Hopefully, some larger political challenge looms next year.


Days before our arrival in quiet old New Bedford, Mass., I was speeding down the Taconic Parkway in upper New York, trying to make a deadline to pick up Gary on Long Island, praying I made no wrong turns on the route I’d mapped out on my maiden voyage over the Throgs Neck Bridge into the crushing rush hour traffic of New York city.  I just met the deadline much to the surprise of a grinning Gary.


As Billy Crystal says, “Dahling, it’s mahvelous, simply mahvelous.”  We’re nearer the Holy Grail defined by New Hampshire’s motto “Live Free or Die” and still trying to do our small part to ensure “freedom for all”.


I miss all of you and pray to see each one of you again.  This year we’re going high-tech with digital phones and laptops to improve communications with you.


All my love…Kay



Don’t forget…paid subscribers will receive soon after completion the yet unnamed copy of the Finchers Summer ’99 travel chronicles, a special to Libertarian Crusader Diary.  Not yet a paid subscriber?  Send your donation to:  Libertarian Crusader Diary, c/o Fincher, P.O. Box 1252, Goshen, IN 46527.  Get on the list!











Acknowledgements of Contributors to the Fincher Legal Defense Fund


Daniel Bartholomew, Los Alamos, NM; Leonard Karpinski, Anchorage, AK;  Robert Willis, Mendon, MA; Richard Freedman, Newton, MA; J.B. Verplanck, Clifton, NJ; Frank Clinard, Los Alamos, NM; Richard Eaton, Westbrook, ME; David Rizzo, Littleton MA; Kevin Shutt, Lawton, OK; Ralph Mulligan, Lima, 0H; Howard Rubin, El Rito,NM; Leah Wesolowski, Madison, AL; Frederic Glatter, M.D., Highland Park, NJ; Richard Winger, San Francisco, CA; Alston Lundren, Santa Fe, NM; Christian Faith Ministries, Houston, TX; Francis Martin, Santa Fe, NM; Law Offices of Scott & Kienzle, Albuquerque, NM; William Forman, Albuquerque, NM; Wynnette Epp, Albuquerque, NM; Shirley Jones, Sapello, NM; Walter Johnson, Socorro, NM; Mark Cenci, Portland, ME; C. Alton Coulter, Los Alamos, NM; John Hix, Montgomery, AL; Charles Stuppy, Albuquerque, NM; Nancy Hust, Moriarity, NM; Carol Palesky, Topsham, ME; William J. Clark, Windsor, ME; Eric Gross, Albuquerque, NM; Elke Mikalian, Roswell, NM; Jack McCarthy M.D. Albuquerque, NM; Lewis Hanchey, Belen, NM; Sharon Williamson, Chaparral, NM; Martin Belkin, Brooklyn, NY; Bonnie Richardson, Ruidoso Downs, NM; Paula Deets, Alto, NM; Congressman Ron Paul, Lake Jackson, TX; Dr. Eugene Mallove, Bow, NH; David Overmieer, Albuquerque, NM; Dr. Jerry Serafino, Roswell, NM; Howard McConnell, Miami, FL; Cecil Bohanon, Muncie, IN; John Homa, Las Cruces, NM; Charlotte Levin, Espanola, NM; Norman Van Gorder, Carrizozo, NM; Dr. Mary J. Ruwart, Villa Hills, KY; Janet Walker, Silver City, NM; Steve Givot, Barrington Hills, IL; Ed Nagel, Santa Fe, NM; Elias Israel, Burlington, MA; Philip Hedrich, Albuquerque, NM; Austin Moyer, Havertown, PA; John Michael, Auburn, ME; Celina Jones, Albuquerque, NM; Charles Keihl, Versailles, OH; Michael Kennedy, Panama City, FL; Leonard Epstein, Derry, NH; William Discipio, Hampstead, NH; Grant Kuhns, Carlsbad, CA; Dennis Kurk, Roseville, MN; Stephen Nagle, Bellmawr, NJ; Brian Mulholland, El Cajon, CA; Roberta Lasley, Provincetown, MA; Mendel Bernstein, Deerfield Beach, FL; Robert Lockhart, Pasadena, TX; Ted Sputh, Indianapolis, IN; Harvard Zago, Katonah, NY; Peter Meister, Elk Grove Village, IL; Jeff Daiell, Houston, TX; Marie Angell, Houston, TX; Christina Groth, Hobbs, NM; Charles Cunningham, Caldwell, TX; Brett Wilhelm, Greenback, WA; Jeffrey Bentley, Greensboro, NC; John Pasqua, Thorntown, IN; Miriam Luce, Windham, NH; James Larsen, Wilmington, DE; Ronald Crothers, Ocoee, TN; Gary Wood, Farmington, NM; R.T. Perry, Ph.D., Los Alamos, NM; Pamela Hsienping Kung, Palo Alto, CA; Jim Smith, Biloxi, MS; Jack Cashin, Alpharetta, GA; Kenneth Kirkmeyer, Longmont, CO; Gordon Feige, Lancaster, TX; Daniel LaFavers, Ypsilanti, MI; Multex Automation, Boston, MA; Larry Dodge, Helmville, MT; Audrey Carlan, Palos Verdes, CA; Mark Tuniewicz, Sharon, MA; Elizabeth Quaintance, Downers Grove, IL; John Addiss, Lansing, MI; James Sewell, Racine, WI; Jeanne Bojarski, Kansas City, MO; James Blacic, Los Alamos, NM; Jean-Paul Gravell, Punta Gorda, FL; Jim Morewood, Santa Fe, NM



Many thanks go out from both of us to the individuals above who helped out on our legal defense.  We’re doing our best to not let any of them down and are planning on fighting the charges vigilantly.  One note, however; I am in need of a smaller amount of funds to use on my appeal.  If anyone can help, please send a small contribution to:  Fincher Legal Defense Fund, c/o Los Alamos National Bank, Daniel Bartholomew, Trustee, P0 Box 60, Los Alamos, NM 87544.  And thank you in advance.


Next Edition (August 22, 2000):








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