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Libertarian Crusader Diaryimage00317

1998 Midterm Election Era

Published by Gary L. Fincher

Volume III, Edition II – September 5, 1998

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Maurice McDonald, right, Libertarian candidate for New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands, consults with campaign manager Gary L. Fincher at campaign headquarters in Santa Fe in August

Maurice McDonald, right, Libertarian candidate for New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands, consults with campaign manager Gary L. Fincher at campaign headquarters in Santa Fe in August

 

New Mexico Campaign

 

As the 1998 election season moves into full swing, Kay and I are adding another field of expertise to our repertoire: campaign management.  That’s right – we’ve mastered petition drives and voter registration and are now spreading our wings and learning the ropes of the more glamorous area of politics.   After years of drudging away at laying the groundwork for campaigns for someone else to play with, we finally got our chance this summer.

 

Trained campaign specialist Joseph Knight of Farmington, N.M., called us in late July while we were wrapping up the LP petition drive in Connecticut and offered us the chance to spend the remainder of the summer and most of the fall working full-time running a real, honest-to-goodness serious statewide campaign.

 

Joseph, who was once the Libertarian Party’s national field coordinator and onetime candidate for governor of New Mexico (1990, the same year I ran for state representative in Maine), is one of the most widely ~known Libertarian activists in the country.  We met in 1991 when we were both delegates to the presidential nominating convention in Chicago.  I once wrote a column for a nationwide freedom movement newsletter he published shortly before LCD began publication.  When Joseph was asked to chair an important statewide race in his home state of New Mexico run by a well-respected senior Libertarian, I was on his short list of campaign managers to bring in.  OK, so he didn’t know that Kay was in the picture, but that got worked out all right and everyone had a niche.

 

Joseph Knight, left, puts on pre-campaign seminar while Howard Hutchinson, center, and candidate Maurice McDonald, right, look on

Joseph Knight, left, puts on pre-campaign seminar while Howard Hutchinson, center, and candidate Maurice McDonald, right, look on

The race is for New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands, whose position it is to see that all state “owned” lands, of which runs aplenty out here in the West, are managed as pursuant to the state constitution as possible1 or (as is usually the case) as desired.

 

The candidate is Maurice McDonald, a native New Mexican in his late 50s who was a charter member of the national Libertarian Party and attended its first convention in 1972.  He’s very much a revered “party elder” in the state and was thus honored to run in this benchmark race.  Rounding out his qualifications is the fact that Maurice has vast knowledge and interest in the area of land use issues.

 

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At stake here is first-ever Major Party status for the Libertarian Party of New Mexico.  If any Libertarian candidate should capture 5% or more of the statewide vote (in this case, our man Maurice has. to get at least 5% of all those who will vote for governor this year), then the Party gets a promotion from “minor party” status to “major party” status effective immediately, though afterward voter registration levels need to be boosted to fall into compliance.

 

The dynamics of this particular race, however, are favorable.   While there is an incumbent Democrat running for re-election, the only other principal is a Green Party candidate (the Green Party is basically the political activist arm of the militant environmentalist movement), but no Republican at all.  And while the lack of Republican participation in the race will no doubt skew our percentage goals higher, it could be good news nonetheless for our campaign.  As. the so-called “left” divides itself between the Democrat and Green, our, thrust is to thread together a coalition of libertarians (Maurice’s natural constituency) and fiscal conservatives drawn to the Libertarian economic platform.

 

So I’m on board the McDonald campaign as Campaign Manager, while Kay enters as Fundraising Director.  My job as campaign manager is to manage the day to day operations of the campaign headquarters, write press releases and other communications, conduct research for use in campaign strategy, handle media and public relations, handle all booking of appearances by the candidate, coordinate local contacts in .outlying areas of the state and serve as direct consultant to the candidate on a daily basis.

 

Kay’s job as fundraising director is to head all fundraising/financing activities of the campaign.  Kay authors all the fundraising letters sent to the Libertarian Party rank and file (as well as to other targeted groups) and makes personal contacts to each member on the list for purposes of raising funds for the campaign to operate.  At press time, the Libertarians that have received the first mailing have come through very well with the first wave of contributions.

 

Preliminary research indicates that we’ll need almost 30,000 votes to surpass our magical 5% threshold, while winning is not out of the realm of possibility if we raise and spend the money, get the message out and inspire Republican voters to turn out en masse for Maurice.  But looking at the more modest goal of 5%, and considering that it will take an estimated $1 per vote as historical indications suggest, we’ll need about $30,000 for the campaign.  The bulk of that we hope to get through Kay’s fundraising efforts, while we’re hoping the national party kicks in a little bit with the understanding of what’s at stake.

 

Gary & Kay in Santa Fe

Gary & Kay in Santa Fe

 

Kay and I made the trip from Back East knowing that the deal included free housing and when we got to Santa Fe, there was, sure enough, a comfortable apartment waiting for us.  The candidate himself owns and operates the complex and was willing to give up one of the units to serve as both our abode and campaign headquarters.  The only downside to the whole thing is a drastic drop in our accustomed earnings level, but I figure we’re learning valuable expertise we might not have otherwise had the occasion to learn.  So I sort of look upon it like I’m going to campaign management school and I’ll emerge this November 3 with a “degree” and an enhanced résumé.  Kay, on the other hand, will earn commission only when the fundraising program gets completely off the ground.  Technical difficulties delayed the launch of the fundraising program by about a month, and the yield is only now starting to be realized.

 

So now we sit in the picturesque artists’ community of Santa Fe, at the foothills of the Rocky itountains, enjoying the waning days of summer doing work that’s not only meaningful and important but interesting as well.

 

Summer Escapades

 

The summer began with Kay and t returning from California and some very productive work.  Once in the East, we spent a week in Cleveland, Ohio, on a mini-project; played clean-up on the LP petition drive in Connecticut in late July and early August; and in between spent a large part of the summer working intensively on the ballot drive in Massachusetts.

 

In between, we took some time for some sightseeing and recreation.

 

In Ohio, we stopped by and saw the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland; the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton; and Kent State, where the ultimate government interference in the lives of ordinary citizens occurred in 1970: four students were shot and killed by agents acting in official duty of the State

Gary in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia

Gary in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia

Before having to relief-pitch in Connecticut, we sneaked away to the Maritime provinces of Eastern Canada for a little R & R.  This trip included sightseeing in far northern Maine, such as Mt. Katahdin at the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail; the Allagash wilderness area of northern Maine beyond the end of historic U.S. Route I; and the beautiful Gaspé Peninsula of far eastern Québec, where the Appalachian Mountains end at the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Once in Maritime Canada, we spent a few days on idyllic and storybook Prince  Edward Island, where we enjoyed camping and cookouts, lush fertile rolling farmland juxtaposed against fantastic ocean scenery, the famous Green of storybook lore, and the island’s only big city, Charlottetown.

 

After that, it was on to Nova Scotia, where we meandered up the world-renowned Cabot Trail, where the highway overlooks majestic cliffs with views of the ocean crashing up against the rocks below, a la Big Sur in California.  Then we saw green, hilly and forested interior Nova Scotia. And finally, we spent some time in the port city of Halifax, where we explored the waterfront and the harbor and learned about the city’s role in the Titanic disaster, as all survivors and victims were first taken to Halifax directly following the shipwreck in 1912.

Kay and Gary on the north coast of Prince Edward Island in July

Kay and Gary on the north coast of Prince Edward Island in July

 

En route to our new gig in New Mexico, we made a stop in the Washington, D.C., area to visit prominent Libertarian associates including former Maine LP chairman Nick Youngers, national LP chief operating officer  Steve Dasbach, national LP Communications Director Bill Winter, national LP. press secretary George Getz, LP HQ office manager Nick Dunbar, and affiliate parties coordinator Daniel Smith.  We also made stops in the Appalachians of West Virginia to camp overnight; the Ozarks of Arkansas to sightsee; and the football stadium at the University of Oklahoma to see an NFL preseason game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Gary poses in the stands of an NFL preseason game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Norman, Okla., in August.  The Chiefs won, 17-13

Gary poses in the stands of an NFL preseason game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Norman, Okla., in August. The Chiefs won, 17-13

Due to Santa Fe’s close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Kay and I took a weekend camping trip up to the Colorado Rockies and got to take in Wolf Creek Pass up on the Great Divide, the cowboy-western town of Durango, the Million Dollar Highway that passes through the wondrous towns of Silverton and Ouray, the pretty ski-resort town of Telluride high up in the mountains, the spooky ghost town of Alta even higher up and the nifty rock formation of Shiprock back down in northwestern New Mexico

Kay in Colorado Rockies

Kay in Colorado Rockies

Kay at Shiprock in New Mexico

Kay at Shiprock in New Mexico

Massachusets Correction

 

In the last issue of LCD, it was reported that George Phillies, who’s running as a Libertarian in the 3rd Congressional District, is the first Libertarian ever to be on the ballot for Congress in that State.

 

This was incorrect.  Libertarians have run for Congress in Massachusetts in 1982 and in 1988.  Special thanks go out to LCD subscribers Nick Youngers and Richard Winger for bringing this to my attention.

 

 

Kay coordinates the signing of Massachusetts voters on the Libertarian ballot access petitions outside a supermarket in Dartmouth, Mass.

Kay coordinates the signing of Massachusetts voters on the Libertarian ballot access petitions outside a supermarket in Dartmouth, Mass.

 

Wyoming Disappointer

 

In the August 3 issue of Ballot Access News, published by Richard Winger, there was information that was interesting to me.  In the roll call in the U.S. House of Representatives on Ron Paul’s (congressman from Texas who formerly ran for president on the Libertarian ticket) ballot access and debates bills, I was stunned to learn that Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo) had voted “no” on Paul’s ballot access bill.

 

During my first petition drive as a paid circulator in 1991, I was collecting signatures on, the LP petition drive for ballot status outside a Kmart in Casper, Wyo.  Barbara Cubin, who was then a state representative from Natrone County, upon hearing that I was petitioning for the LP, enthusiastically took my clipboard and signed the petition, all the while remarking on how sympathetic and supportive she was of Libertarians and hoped we made it on the ballot

 

It disappoints me to see that Cubin, now in power in Congress, has abandoned her earlier principles and has chosen to keep difficult ballot access barriers in place for Libertarians.  I guess power corrupts, as is said.

 

Political Commentary

 

To hear the government and mainstream media tell it, “the economy” is in great shape.  The talk is everywhere, all around us – on television, on the radio, in every newspaper, and in the campaigns of incumbent politicians. It’s told so matter-of-factly, in dogmatic fashion as to leave no room for debate or second guessing.  “The Economy” is as strong as ever, like Atlas on steroids, and that’s all there is to it. Period.  Case Closed.  Next subject.

 

Not so fast.

 

Propaganda, I say.  Pure gibberish. What makes me say that?  Well, how about allowing room for the possibility that I happen to know better.  That I have a somewhat firm understanding of economics, of the dynamics at play and can recognize the difference between good economic forces and bad ones.

 

I can understand how the incumbent government can maintain the position that everything’s superb in Economyland.   After all, it’s in their best interest to perpetuate that myth and have it believed by the voting electorate.  The media, on the other hand, I contend, haven’t the vaguest grip on economics and can be snowed pretty easily by the incumbent politicians.

 

Let’s look at the first myth: The Economy.  Just what is this thing they call “The Economy”?  Has anyone actually seen it?  Does it breathe?  Does it move?  Can you touch it?

 

Sorry, folks.  It’s all a hoax.  There really is no such thing as “The Economy”.  It’s not a thing at all.  It’s not even an organization or association.

 

All over the world, there are billions and billions of transactions being made between individuals and groups of individuals that consist of buying and selling, contracting and deal making and even bartering.  All of this is economic activity, and when referred to in the aggregate, is known as an “economy”.  Use of the term “economy” as a noun is, no doubt what causes the confusion.  The media and government make it sound like an entity, a thing, so that we might think it needs “controlling” or “regulating” or somehow molded into shape by Experts on the Economy.

 

But, the use of: the term “economy” as a noun shouldn’t be taken literally.  It’s merely an abstract, a term that we use as about, the only way we can describe an activity that consists of millions of occurrences each minute of every day.  I repeat:  there is no such entity as “The Economy”, so let’s stop thinking of it in that way.

 

For example:  Every minute of every day, all over the world, there are millions of instances of lovemaking, one person showing affection to another.  But do we refer to this activity as a whole in the collective, or aggregate, with a noun?  Is there somehow an entity known as “The Sex”?   Of course not.  So why are we expected to take a term such as “The Economy” any more literally?

 

Anyway, on to my real point.   The study of economic activity such as I described is called economics.   Economics is a science that seeks to explain certain forces.  There are basic laws of economics:  (e.g. supply and demand) just as there are basic laws of physics (e.g. gravity).  Understanding these forces and how they interact with each other is the key to understanding economics.  For every action there will be a consequence.  We know that in physics, if an apple falls from a tree, it will be pulled to the ground.

 

Economics is no different.  Certain actions (or government policies if you will), will definitely yield certain consequences.   The introduction of any type of force or fraud in economic relations will have a deleterious effect on at least ‘some of the participants.  Beneficial trade depends on mutually satisfying voluntary exchange.

 

Government interference in the marketplace (another abstract term interchangeable .with “economy”) can only have negative consequences.  Coercion imposed by the government in the form of taxes, regulation, inflation, price controls and minimum wage restrictions all hinder voluntary exchange, alter the fragile market ecosystem and result in a lower standard of living.

 

Some extent of government intervention in the economy has always been with us, and to whatever extent there has been, our standard of living is to that degree poorer than it otherwise could have been.  However, since the creation of the Federal Reserve and especially since the New Deal, a government policy of economic intervention has been the norm.   The economy has since been assaulted relentlessly with a barrage of new and higher taxes, mounting regulations and other business controls, and inflation of the money supply.  Everyone knows that these have not abated in recent years; rather, they’ve actually compounded.  Therefore, with each passing day – or year – “the economy” has to be getting sicker, not more robust, as the reports have been saying.

 

Suppose I’m on the 30th floor of a high-rise building and am looking straight out the window from across the room but cannot see the ground.   I can see the sky spitting out a mixture of snow, sleet and heavy freezing rain.   But the radio next to me is reporting that the ground is in fact getting drier and drier (and warmer and warmer).  I have no way of examining the ground to see if it is dry or wet.  All I can see is what’s happening with the sky outside, which is dumping out more and more precipitation.  Does my understanding of meteorology lead me to believe that heavy precipitation falling from the sky might be consistent with reports of drying earth?  Or does the circumstantial evidence move me to challenge the radio reports?

 

Yes, the reports are that the economic ground is all dry and warm and cozy.  But from my vantage point, it‘s raining taxes and regulations!

Gary with Nick Youngers in Virginia

Gary with Nick Youngers in Virginia

 

 

Communicatiosn Director Bill

National LP HQ Staff: Communicatiosn Director Bill

image0299KAY’S

O

R

N

E

R

 

by Karen “Kay” Fincher

 

Goodbye to the East Coast and its fast-paced lifestyle, humid summer days and clipped humor.  Were it not for the energy draining task of maneuvering in Massachusetts or. Connecticut traffic (where road rage-induced shootings are all too commonplace), southern New England would be prime spot to spend more time, as the people are very approachable and witty.

 

Hello to the West and its laid back, dry-as-a-bone days and dour sarcasm.  Yet here in New Mexico there is in comparable beauty.  It has enormous solitary mountains jutting up into deep blue skies with clean white clouds like see-thru cotton batting pulled out across the brilliant sun.  Occasionally, after the temperature has crept upward for hours, the sky goes dark quickly and there is a 5-10 minute cloudburst that cools the air comfortably.  Sometimes the storms last longer and over on the mountains the lightning won’t let up.  It’s different than lightning in the Midwest, which is thin bolts shooting diagonally or vertically down from a great height, or than the wide bolts that shoot horizontally mid-sky across sinister vastness on the Gaspé Peninsula of Québec.  Here in the West the lightning comes in large fistfuls, thrown down on the mountains from low-lying, smudged, dark clouds.   It’s like a strobe light, incessantly spotlighting the horizon, soundless.

 

We escaped our duties here for one weekend and visited southern Colorado, which beats New Mexico for beauty, hands down.  The Colorado Rockies must have been God’s pottery workshop, their majesty forms awesome repetitive patterns on the eastern slope and thick pine forests on the West.  We went up along the Million Dollar Highway past Durango through Silver City to Ouray arid caught the flavor of the Old West and its historic buildings.  Everywhere the earth and cliffs are bright red-orange clay, exactly that color clay we pummeled in kindergarten.  The Indian word for red is “Colorado”.

 

Surrounded by this vast, inviting new land we are distracted by our work on this Libertarian campaign to get 5% of the vote for our host, Maurice McDonald to catapult New Mexico Libertarians into the 21st Century with a decided advantage to actually, win elections.   My task is to fundraise.  No dinero – no go, mes amigos; so I have to call all my New ‘Mexican Libertarian friends to charge them up for this election.  The weight of the world’s future is on the fundraiser’s shoulders.  Ouch!

 

Luckily there’s a change in the wind’s direction.  Put your moistened finger up ‘into the worldwide recession/depression and suddenly the bottom line, which has always been “how fat is my own wallet”, is tugging open the fat lips of the politicians and the turncoats are now saying “Impeach Clinton”.  Well, we’ve wanted that all along.

 

This “good economy” thing is just an illusion, anyway.  We know that the IMF and Greenspan and the Fed’s manipulation of interest rates and the taxes that gobble up profits and the government creates economic mess with their central planning.   They strut around saying “the economy’s booming”, but they’ll have to face the consequences when it all goes bust.  Instead they impeach the president.  Ostriches all.

 

Gang, did I say I miss y’all and pray much good is happening in your lives?

 In the spirit of Dale Evans, happy trails to you.

 

Editor’s note:  Kay’s Korner, debuting with this issue, will be a mainstay in LCD from now on.  Look for it near the last page of each issue.

 

Enjoy this issue of LCD?  Then just sit back and future issues will come to you automatically.  Donations are greatly appreciated, however, due to the cost of publication and postage, which is now estimated at over $1.00 per issue.  Send donations to:   Libertarian Crusader Diary, P.0. Box 9715-502, Portland., ME 04104.

 

Don’t like getting LCD?  Want to Cancel?   Then please write me or call 1-800-206-1718 and leave an explicit message saying you want to be dropped from my subscriber base.  Unless, I hear otherwise, I’ll assume you’re a satisfied LCD reader.

 

 

Next Edition (November 4, 1998):

https://libertycrusader.wordpress.com/libertarian-crusader-diary/archived-back-issues/november-4-1998-lcd/

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