- Source: Post-election report, November 2004, to the Libertarian National Committee.
The political campaign was to make the Libertarian Party a "player" in national politics. To overcome the hurdle of irrelevancy, as identified previously.
We chose the key state strategy as the one most likely to achieve the goal. The aim was to concentrate limited resources on "key states", in an effort to affect the outcome. They did NOT concentrate resources on "safe states" in an effort to increase vote totals.
- Target states: New Mexico, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Arizona was considered safe for G.W. Bush by a 5% margin. The perception of "costing" Bush a "safe" state was real. The candidate spent time in these states.
- In New Mexico, spent $85,000 on TV ads and $10,000 on radio ads. Spent eight days campaigning across New Mexico. Distributed huge quantities of lawn signs, bumper strips, and literature. We polled over 5% at one point.
- Bush changed his plans and made a "previously unannounced" campaign swing through New Mexico in the middle of a ten day advertising and campaign tour. His arrival effectively grabed attention away from us. A New Mexico's thrill was watching the media demand that the Bush campaign talk about how they were going to deal with "Michael Badnarik, and the Libertarians."
Bush and Kerry had commercials running daily for five months. The Libertarians had 14 days and matched the frequency. The total of additional ads produced by the 527s for the others was unmatched.
- No money.
- No organization.
- A polarized, disillusioned support base.
- A Presidential candidate who was unprepared to accept the nomination.
- A Vice-Presidential candidate who was a fraud.
- A management team with zero experience running a national campaign.
- A national party just barely emerged from near-bankruptcy.
- No political director.
- No national fundraising director.
- A national director with no political party experience.
- Virtually no institutional memory.
- Mediocre ballot access with minimal support for achieving ballot access among the membership.
- Biggest obstacle was the successful strategy of the two major parties to effectively shut down 3rd parties:
Create the following belief in the electorate: Not: "My guy is the best", but "If (fill in the blank) wins, it will be a disaster for the things you hold as important."
Used effectively in 2000, and coupled with the continued promotion of how Nader "cost" Gore the election, the majors have developed a winning method of creating an intense fear of voting for anyone other than the lesser of the evils, depending on the individual's definition of evil.
We can expect this strategy to be used effectively in 2008, and beyond, as it is far too subtle for the average voter to comprehend. This coupled with a national media blackout made our uphill battle even steeper.
Every time the national media talked about the race, the only 3rd party candidate mentioned was Nader. Every poll mentioned Nader. Our polling in states where Nader was not on the ballot showed Badnarik at the same level of support or higher, but still no mention. The few polls not commissioned by this campaign where we were included showed Badnarik neck in neck with Nader, yet still no coverage.
One example - in St. Louis, just before Michael and David Cobb were arrested for trying to crash into the CPD debates, they gave a joint interview to three local TV stations introducing themselves and explaining what they were attempting to do and why they were doing it.
The next morning, when they reported about the debates, they ran footage of Michael crashing through the police line. The reporter said "At the front gate two other Presidential candidates tried to force their way into the debate". They knew Michael's name and they knew what party he was from but they would not speak them. Stories of this type could fill a book.
The Libertarian Party is still not considered, by the general population, or by the media, as a genuine political player. There is, however, ample evidence that the major parties consider us to be a real threat. We did not seriously impact the votes in any of the key states, nor did we achieve a significant vote increase over previous presidential campaigns.
We did, however, energize our base, create a substantial increase in national awareness of the Libertarian Party, generate substantial leads for potential new members, and cause the President of the United States to change his plans and tactics in order to respond to us.
Our National TV buys on Fox News, CNN, and CNN Headline News were to provide three things:
- Energize our base - and clearly there was nothing that got people more excited than seeing those commercials on their own TV's, across the country.
- Additional fundraising. Libertarians saw the commercials and went to the web site and donated. The campaign raised 27% of all funds from the web site.
- Show the American people that there was another choice in the election.
Our polling showed that we achieved a dramatic increase in overall recognition of the LP - from less than 50% in our initial polls to over 76% in the polls of the final days.
There was also some additional local TV and radio buys made by local parties, or made with funds contributed by local parties specifically for that purpose, but this does not represent a significant outlay, nor was it part of the strategy.
Comparative Results of Key State Strategy: In New Mexico: Increase of 24%. In Nevada: decrease of 4%. In Wisconsin: we pulled 6,456, virtually tying the 2000 result of 6,440.
In Arizona: we did a small buy ($21,000) to see if we had a better effect in a three way race, but because Harry Browne wasn't on the ballot there in 2000 we can't really say if we did better or worse and numbers older than that have no real value. But in a small state 10,678 (.6%) is respectable under the circumstances.
When the numbers came in it was clear that the key state strategy may indeed be sound, only if we can generate the resources to really implement the full plan. Between all interested parties there was $600 million spent on TV ads in 2004 on the Presidential race. Our portion, between the Libertarian National committee and Badnarik/Campagna 2004, was about .05% of the total spent.
To say that our message was lost in the white noise is a gross understatement. If we had spent our entire TV budget in just one state, perhaps we could have offset that kind of frequency. The campaign spent $318,000 on TV ads and $17,000 on radio ads. We distributed 15,000 lawn signs, 40,000 bumper stickers, and 200,000 literature pieces.
When you add in the TV and radio paid for from the Combined Federal Account, the only conclusion is that we ran a national race on what would be a reasonable budget for a campaign in one medium sized state.
We now have a pretty good understanding of our base and we were able to hold onto it with some very stiff competition. In fact, every other third party's support collapsed this year, including Nader. With just a little over 400,000 votes, the Libertarian candidate represented a modest increase in our total from 2000. The Greens tanked and they beat the Constitution Party.
Nader's total was less than 20% of what he had in 2000. Thus, even a modest increase in vote totals can be viewed as success at a time when support for third parties everywhere declined dramatically, as a result of the strategy of fear implemented by the major parties and discussed on page one of this report.
Every member of this party has a right to stand tall and say Michael Badnarik was our candidate for President of the United States of America. We started from zip and made a real campaign that this Party can be proud of.
However, it is just not possible to compress four years of outreach into five months, no matter how good the plan. Simply put, the party should start working on the 2008 election in January 2005. We need ballot access handled before we pick a candidate.
We need the Presidential nomination from the Libertarian Party to be sought after by viable candidates who are politicians, not pseudo Libertarian teachers.
This is not a criticism of Michael Badnarik. It is a criticism of our Party. Michael was the best choice of the available candidates for the nomination.
Michael Badnarik was perhaps the most dedicated, energetic candidate we have ever had. He averaged 4 hours of sleep per night, getting up at 3 am to do an early morning interview on the opposite coast, while on his way to the airport. We kept him on the road campaigning in state after state, flying the cheapest coach fares we could find. He averaged 7 to 12 interviews per day. He would light the fires of liberty with any group, large or small, that was willing to hear him.
His dedication, determination and stamina were beyond comprehension. His unfailing patience and good humor was incredible. His warmth and personality won converts wherever he went. If we had been able to provide him with the chance to meet and talk one-on-one to every American, there is no doubt he would be choosing his cabinet at this very moment. But we could not give him that chance.
Evaluation of some of the other challenges.Edit
Fraud by our VP candidate:Edit
Richard Campagna, and his manager, Ed Noyes, promised the delegates that they had pledges in excess of $200,000, and "endorsements" from 24 current or former congress people. Mr. Campagna raised less than $4,000, and the only endorsement they ever presented was a proposed press release claiming that Richard was endorsed by Mahatma Gandhi. (They subsequently became offended when we refused to allow them to send out the release)
No presidential campaign should have to go into the race without knowing where/if the candidate will be on the ballot. The party has to decide if they want to have a Presidential Campaign. If the answer is yes then we must commit to ballot access. You can not have one without the other. Either we do it correctly or we stop doing it.
We know all of the arguments for both sides, and this is not a position, it is simply a statement of fact. If we have a campaign we need to have access. When the national party ran out of ballot access money, the campaign had to pick up the slack - and spent $40,000.00 that we should have had for advertising.
Ballot Access in states where there are no problems was also a huge headache. There was neither a person, nor printed documentation, detailing the requirements for certifying our candidates on the ballot in each state.
E.g.: Washington DC had 4 different forms that had to be filled out by the nominees and notarized. Hours of valuable time was wasted, and hundreds of dollars spent shipping nomination documents around the country. Each state has a different requirement for certifying our presidential ticket. This should be figured out prior to convention, and the appropriate forms onsite to be completed immediately after the nomination. Leaving this in the hands of the state chairs is clearly a mistake.
Funds Raised for "support" at the National Convention:Edit
We never received a complete accounting of what the national office did with this money. We were told that it was spent on ballot access, but when we asked for an accounting of which states received how much (so we could check and make sure that there was no "double dipping") the report we received said that of the $46,000 raised at convention, $27,000 was charged to "depreciation." This is extremely personal for Barbara, who only agreed to do the convention fundraising IF she was guaranteed that the monies raised would be spent as promised to the donors, and received a guarantee that it would be. Where did the $46,000.00 go?
National Party Lists.Edit
We purchased the national party list twice. When we requested an additional use, we were instead offered a list of potential organizations with whom the national party claimed to have "trade privileges" and thus could offer to us. Among these were Reason, Citizens Against Government Waste, Ed Thompson for Governor, Institute for Justice, etc. Utilization of these lists became part of the fundraising plan.
However, when we attempted to implement, suddenly, the lists were not available. We were given excuses like "Reason said they don't owe us names - they said we owe them names." Using the Ed Thompson list had been a key component in deciding to target Wisconsin, so the implementation of the Wisconsin plan suffered. Thus, an important part of our fundraising plan was shot because the national party failed to fulfill their commitment to the campaign.
Lack of Support from the National Office It took almost six weeks, and numerous phone calls, before the national LP website even linked to the Badnarik site, or noted any information about the candidate, beyond the announcement that he had received the nomination. Indeed, when checking the LP site, and clicking on "presidential campaigns" the user got an overview of the Harry Browne campaign.
Six weeks, with our candidate giving out the LP website address during interviews, and users not being able to find anything about the candidate when they got there. How many leads were lost during this time?
George Getz was the shining exception at the national office. He clearly worked his heart out to get us media, put out releases, provide the candidate with additional training at the Leadership Institute, monitored the national advertising fund, making sure that the money raised for advertising actually went for advertising, and working closely with the campaign.
As far as the campaign could see, George did the job of the media director, political director, and national director. He was the only one we could count on for a straight answer in a timely manner.
Editorial from Fred and BarbEdit
Question: What kind of political party: Goes into national election with a National Director that is clueless about politics? Has no Political Director?
Takes six weeks to put their presidential candidate on their website? Has a National Chair that doesn't contribute a dime to the presidential candidate?
Prints an editorial from the National Chair dismissing the importance of the presidential campaign at the height of the campaign? Has a National Treasurer who thinks the level of support is debatable? Fails to provide promised fundraising lists? Diverts money raised for campaign support to other uses?
Answer: One that is destined to fail.
If the LP is going to survive as a national political party, we need to make some dramatic changes in the way in which we approach presidential years.
Our Nomination Process
Our nomination process is exciting, and makes us feel like we are really playing at politics, but it is a self-indulgent waste of our very limited resources. It is also the political equivalent of pissing on yourself while wearing a dark suit - it gives you a warm feeling but nobody notices.
The party needs to completely revamp our nomination process, to provide us with the best possible candidates (the backgrounds and qualifications of whom have been thoroughly researched).
We need to be prepared to hire political consultants experienced in national campaigns. We need a National Committee that is committed to making the presidential campaign successful. We need a National Director who is politically astute.
or we need to make a conscious decision not to run a presidential ticket.
We attempted to provide all necessary support for the campaign at a minimum of cost. We feel, overall, that we succeeded. Our cost factors for providing the necessary logistical support, data entry, financial reporting, promotional material distribution, etc. were quite low, and allowed a significant amount of total revenues to be directed to media and outreach efforts.
The biggest hurdle we encountered was taking a campaign with nothing to a fully functioning operation in a very short period of time, with very limited capital resources.
As of June 1st, we had no organization, and no facilities. We located an office that we could move into on July 1st. By July 5th, we had a fully functioning telephone system, internet and network capabilities, and were processing payments in house.
By August 1st, we had every element of the operation fully functional. Part of the success was due to the choice of using "found" equipment where possible (donated or loaned by Austin locals), renting a minimal amount of equipment (copiers and some furniture), purchasing a bare minimum of other equipment (less than $3,000 worth), and finally, by choosing to go with a business cable and voice over IP (VOIP) phone solution.
However, a great part of the success was due to the large pool of dedicated volunteers that filled the gap. The number of people who helped out is far too large to mention here, but I specifically want to identify Mike Burris. Mike not only donated $1,800 to the campaign, but spent an average of about 30 hours a week working in the office. That's what I call dedication.
Badnarik/Campagna 2004 Campaign by Stephen P. GordonEdit
The Internet was perhaps the most influential tool throughout the campaign. For the last two months of the campaign, typical Internet traffic was over 50,000 unique visitors per day, with 150,000 to 200,000 page views for a total of around a million hits per day. Peak days would see over 100,000 unique visitors with over 600,000 page views for over 5 million hits.
Initially, Internet activities were managed by Greg Dirasian. There were significant problems as a result of his management. The site was criticized for lack of responsiveness, poor design, and was referred to as "the clown site" by members of the Internet community.
Two key staff people (Seth Cohn and David Rostcheck) resigned over Dirasian's management of the site. This led to what could almost be described as a Coup D'etat attempt on the campaign management team. Dirasian accused one person of fraud badnarik.org/supporters/blog/2004/06/09/beware-offraud/# comments) for running a Yahoo e-mail group: He eventually resigned.
A team of Stephen Van Dyke, Eric Laneheart, Lance Romanoff, Rock Howard, James Carter, James Jones, Gary DuVall and a few more people, under the direction of Stephen Gordon, developed and managed the new site.
In addition to greatly improved site traffic, online contributions peaked. The approximate amount of online contributions during the last six weeks of the campaign was around $300,000. It is recommended that the next presidential candidate maintain a team of around seven technical specialists and ten content providers for his/her website.
The Libertarian Party could greatly improve its fundraising, membership, and volunteer activities by adapting 21st century technologies and Internet public relations concepts.
The Badnarik campaign had no problem obtaining more minor media than it could handle. There were approximately 350 scheduled post-nomination interviews of the candidate, with an average of 2-3 daily unscheduled interviews.
Stephen Gordon handled approximately 150 interviews, and other members (Fred Collins, Barbara Goushaw-Collins, Geoffrey Neale, Thomas Knapp) of the key campaign team handled some, as well. Thomas Knapp handled most of the information requests from members of the media. Jeff Frazee scheduled most of the media interviews and appearances.
The campaign was ignored by the major television media though most of the campaign. The O'Reilly Factor had scheduled Badnarik for an appearance on the program, but dropped the interview while Badnarik was en route to the studio. Dean Ahmad was once scheduled to appear on the same program, but Ahmad refused when they would not allow him to mention Badnarik's name or the word "Libertarian" on the air.
Badnarik was on the new upper-band ABC News channel twice and on one afternoon Fox News program once. The Fox interview was brief and hostile.
Badnarik did not provide his best performance for this interview. He was covered several times by C-SPAN, generally doing very well in interview settings.
Newspaper coverage was never a problem. Both major and minor papers covered Badnarik throughout the campaign. A few major publications (Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Times) provided minimal coverage of the campaign. Badnarik did appear in papers like the Washington Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Examiner, New York Sun, Chicago Sun Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and LA Times, and Wall Street Journal.
For the most part, major programs and networks were not interested in Badnarik. We hired a national PR firm (whose name may not be reported here IAW our contract with them). They had a lower level of success in obtaining interviews than we did. The following quote from an internal memorandum outlines the situation:
- Another example of media resistance to this campaign comes from the political director at CNN when he stated they did not have the resources available to provide a moderator for the first presidential debate - which was in NYC during the Republican Convention.
I just had a long conversation with [the PR firm], and we truthfully discussed the possibilities. She said she spoke with the people at the Daily Show and Real Time w/ Bill Maher a , even with a 14th rank book on Amazon.
She honestly said that the chances of getting MB on a high dollar show were not great and that it would be best to spend the money on advertising. I asked her what kind of response do you get from these shows that refuse to give air time to a legitimate candidate that has a best selling book, and she said that they don't view MB as legitimate and more of a distraction than anything else. As unbelievable as that sounds, that is the truth.
The media sees this election as one that will have such a great historical impact that they feel they do not have the time to "waste" on anything other than Bush/Kerry. The sad truth is, this is how the LP is viewed in mainstream politics. Before we can make serious run for the White House, we have to be viewed as head and shoulders above the rest of the 3rd parties.
This is our challenge for the next 4 years. Right now, in the eyes of the mainstream media, we are no greater than the prohibition party. This truly is a challenge that will be difficult, but one the LP must overcome in order to ever see a Libertarian president in the white house.
As normal, the toughest coverage came from sources like Liberty Magazine, Reason Magazine, and Carol Moore.
Approximately 40 press releases were written and distributed during the campaign. They generally were distributed using a paid distribution service, a "blast fax" list of around 1800 journalists and media outlets, and 1,100 e-mailed versions. Virtually all of them were covered, but never at as high a level as we had desired. My telephone, cell phone, and e-mail volume were totally unmanageable. We brought on Kathryn Weitzel and Jessica Caplan to help control the volume.
There were days where I received no sleep as a result of this volume. A typical day would last 18-20 hours. Two key issues to be addressed for future campaigns are:
1) It needs to be made more difficult for people to get though to the primary press contact. However, there needs to be reasonable accessibility and responsiveness from this contact. The balance is hard to maintain. However, some telephone number needs to go onto press releases and reasonable availability for a campaign has to cover a greater period of time than 9-5 M-F.
2) It needs to be tougher for supporters, party members, LNC members, etc. to get through to this person. A typical day would contain dozens of calls where people were offering me campaign advice, criticism, asking inconsequential questions, or demanding to speak to me because of their relatively small campaign contribution or position in some Libertarian body.
The consequences of these calls are that considerably less media was earned than could have been, hundreds of thousands of dollars were not raised which could have been, and I was deprived of any semblance of a reasonable lifestyle for weeks on end.
The greatest problem with this campaign, from my perspective, was Richard Campagna. Though the campaign, the press reported that Campagna said that he prefers Bush to Kerry as president, that he was polling at zero percent (untrue), that he had driven for over 100,000 miles this campaign (untrue).
His political acumen is summed up with this quote about PPPPOP:
- "I developed the above-referenced acronym in the course of making a flurry of speeches to colleges and universities throughout this great nation. It refers to Personal, Paradigmatic, Philosophical, Platform, Other Parties. I will elucidate same before election day but the acronym represents the unique campaign approach we have taken over the past two (2) years."
He and Ed Noyes tried to send out a press release indicating the endorsement of Mahatma Gandhi and could not understand why this would be tantamount to political suicide.
Campagna stated several times he planned to provide approximately $200,000 in donations. After being confronted about this, he would sometimes respond that some of this came from in-kind contributions, some from pledges, and some from other sources. While no transcript occurs of most of these conversations, the following (Ed Noyes nomination speech) was recorded at the LP Convention:
He told me yesterday, check this out, after his speech last night, he goes, well, heck, I know about twenty-five [former] or current senators, I'm friends with twenty-five senators. He never even told me that! He's got a million people on his email addresses, active email addresses. Now what Richard did is unique. He went to his associations, he went to the people that he's known, these people, these, these wealthy people, these people that are of prestige and status in society and he said to them, you know what? If I get the nomination for vice president of the United States, will you consider what I have to say? And they said to him, yes, if you get that nomination, I will seriously consider. And not only that, he obtained over $200,000 in contingent pledges from these people! (applause)
Richard Campagna has been campaigning full time for almost a year now and is committed to continue to campaign full time between now and the election. There's no question we're at a crossroads. I want to say that I am thrilled that Michael Badnarik is our presidential nominee.
I'm absolutely thrilled. But I want to tell you that when Michael Badnarik talks about the Constitution, (monitor static) That's time? I'd like to offer Richard Campagna, to nominate Richard Campagna as vice president of the United States. (applause)
To be sure, I never had or heard of contact with even one senator or saw evidence of a million e-mail addresses. The campaign could have used either. The $200,000 in contingent pledges never materialized.
While I have not yet gone over the books, I suspect Campagna brought in less than $5,000 and the campaign over $10,000. It should also be noted that most of the contributions attributed to Campagna were the work of other people.
There was a strong disconnect between Campagna, Noyes, and the rest of the campaign team. For the most part, the communications team tried to avoid covering his $200,000 commitment lest that be exposed publicly.
After the pattern of inaccuracies in virtually ever interview he conducted became clear, Stephen Gordon put out the word that under no circumstances was Campagna to be interviewed unless first cleared by himself or Fred Collins. Fortunately, there was little media interest in covering Campagna.
Had we a more visible and viable VP candidate, it is clear that contributions, exposure, and vote totals would have all increased. My recommendation is that the LP take the VP nomination process more seriously in the future.
It is imperative that future LP VP candidates be able to work well with the presidential candidate and his/her campaign team.
A Libertarian's assessment of Campagna's debating skills follows:
Campagna crashes and burns in BereaEdit
by Jeffrey Quick
Last night I saw the historic Vice-Presidential debates. No, not the "disgRACE at CASE" between the old spook and the trial lawyer (though I saw that too), but the debate between all the other serious contenders for the VP spot (or what would have been so if Peter Camejo had managed to actually get there as planned) at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea OH.
Winner: Pat LaMarche, hands down. She was poised, attractive, generous, connected to people's real needs, often funny. She articulated a vision, was in command of data, and used it well to support her arguments. Perhaps her data sometimes flew in the same airspace as black helicopters, but she HAD data. If this woman had run as a Democrat, with the institutional advantages of the Democratic candidates, she would have Kerry's spot; she's THAT good of a candidate.
Loser: Richard Campagna. I have been involved in LP politics since 1979, and this was, bar none, the worst public presentation I have ever seen from an LP candidate for ANY office. This man could bore the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste shaft, just by opening his mouth. He totally lost his audience, to the point where even I was hissing him.
He did not make one concrete public-policy proposal all night, nor even any real concrete criticism of government. He simply hammered home the talking point "bottom-up, not top-down. No command and control" without sharing a vision of how that would work in the specific area under discussion. His answers were filled with "time-marking" phrases, and he often went overtime.
If this is the result of direct nomination of LP candidates who campaign for the position, then the LP needs to re-evaluate that procedure. Badnarik can communicate; I don't think he would have willingly saddled himself with this robot. If being "the party of principle" means we have to discuss principles without references to the Real World, count me out..
If Campagna had appeared [at Cheney-Edwards debate], he would have set the LP back 20 years. Not only would the three have made Chenwards look more competent, but they would have softened Chenwards' image by making it harder for them to attack each other.
Arizona Libertarian Party v. ASU and the CPD While the injunction portion of the suit was lost, the grounds are established for the case to move forward on the with respect to of the use of taxpayer funding and 14th Amendment due protection arguments.
That this suit received relatively little mainstream media attention seems to indicate the attitude of the media towards this campaign.
Badnarik was arrested at the Bush-Kerry debate in St. Louis. Badnarik picked up some new supporters over this, while he lost others. While no polling was done, it appears to have been a net gain. That this suit received relatively little mainstream media attention seems to indicate the attitude of the media towards this campaign.
The Badnarik campaign conducted several state and national surveys. This was of considerable benefit to the campaign, as it provided evidence of our failures and successes in many areas. It also provided some polling numbers to the mainstream media which would not have been available had we not conducted such polling. Full disclosure of all of the campaign polling data will be made under separate cover.
Badnarik Specific ProblemsEdit
From the perspective of dealing with the media, the most significant problems the communications team had to dal with were:
- Badnarik holds no college degree
- Badnarik was running for an executive position with no executive experience
- Badnarik has no political wins under his belt.
- Badnarik's income tax status. We buried a reasonable response to this on the website, and never had a problem with the issue after this was completed.
- Badnarik's previous comments about prisoner atrophy and blowing up the UN building. We generally played these off as jokes, but they did come back to haunt us from time to time.
Operation Wisconsin BlueEdit
This Internet campaign to obtain Democrat money to run anti-Bush ads in Wisconsin was a financial loss of around $1,000. It did gain mention on MyDD, DailyKOS, slashdot, and other Internet locations. Robert Novak wrote an article on the topic in Chicago Sun Times. The first contribution was from noted Howard Dean and myDD.com blogger Jerome Armstrong. The press and Internet attained was worth more than the $1,000 lost. However, the potential of significant Democrat donations was never realized.
With a final list of around 20,000, this was a useful tool though the campaign. It should have been considerably larger, but I ran out of time and personnel resources to complete this project
This gained some and lost some supporters. I suspect most of the people it lost were merely looking for an excuse, anyway. It did pull in thousands in contributions - including a couple of near maximum donations. The story was covered twice in Wall Street Journal and once in the Dallas Morning News.
Badnarik went to Central Park in NYC to engage in an act of civil disobedience and did receive some press. The concept came from the Manhattan LP, who is to be applauded for their effort. The slogan (and t-shirt concept) of "We don't need no stinkin'permits" was locally popular. There was no arrest; therefore no major media coverage was obtained.
Third party presidential debates were held in NYC, Austin, Ithaca, and Miami. There was some C-SPAN coverage, as well as Pacifica Radio and Internet streams. Coordination between campaigns was no significant problem.
We don't generally expect to receive Bob Barr Penn Jillette Doug Stanhope Jimmy Vaughn Lance Lamberton Alan Bock.
The three notable GOP strategies to combat (as opposed to marginalizing) the Badnarik campaign included a concerted effort to get Nader on the ballot in NM after our successes there, running a significant amount of television commercials wherever we were running them, and to run a string of Libertarian endorsements (including John Hospers) during the final week of the campaign.
External Financial SupportEdit
Some ballot access assistance was provided by the new PAC Freedom Ballot Access. Some ballot access and television commercial support was paid by the Libertarian Party. The amount of financial support by the LP to this campaign was abysmal.
Ballot access was a considerable problem this election cycle. Something needs to be done about the situation in OK. The problem in NH needs to be investigated. The Badnarik campaign tried to investigate, but was given the runaround from senior members of the NH LP. Texas Libertarians, Freedom Ballot Access, and Bill Redpath deserve special recognition for going well beyond the call of duty with respect to obtaining the level of ballot access we did achieve.
In addition to the advertising done by the campaign in Arkansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, and nationally - various states raised money to run their own campaign commercials. This list of states includes (but is not limited to) Alabama, Pennsylvania, Texas, Louisiana, Michigan and Virginia. Most of these advertisements were on television, but some were radio spots.
The Impact of the War in IraqEdit
This topic has not yet been analyzed. Consideration of the Boortz factor was important for the last Harry Browne race. With vote totals lower in GA this election cycle, it seems that Boortz had a detrimental effect this election cycle. Certainly many LP votes were lost over our foreign policy position.
This topic has not yet been analyzed as full data is not yet available. A higher LP vote total was achieved than in the last presidential race. Nader seems to be pulling the #3 position - but vote counts are not yet complete. There are several recount processes which have been started during the writing of this document.