Friday, September 10, 2004

Jet Setting

DC two weeks ago, where to next? Denmark!

I never would have considered Denmark as a destination if it were not for Ame's Danish heritage. I still haven't been to England, after all, and would probably have chosen Italy, Switzerland, and Germany first. No matter. We fly to Copenhagen on Tuesday and will relax and meet extended family members she has never seen before.

It will be good to leave the politics behind for a short while prior to the big dance on November 2. As a county chair and state secretary, it's easy to get caught up in the action on a daily basis. As a non-candidate, I can't help but recognize that it comes at the expense of other things.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Good Stuff From Gividen Campaign

Libertarian Kenn Gividen is running a fine campaign for Indiana Governor. For a third party candidate, the usual major obstacle is ballot access. Just ask Ralph Nader. Of course, here in Indiana, the LP has managed that issue. The next greatest obstacle is inclusion.

Kenn is being included in the only gubernatorial debate, along with incumbent Joe Kernan (D), and fellow challenger Mitch Daniels (R). Indy Star article. The debate will be held at Franklin College on Tuesday, September 28 at 7pm. They will air on WFYI-TV and WFYI-AM.

Interestingly, the Kernan campaign is taking credit for lobbying on behalf of Kenn:

"Kernan's campaign, (campaign manager Bernie) Toon said, insisted on Gividen being included, since Libertarian candidates were included in debates in 2000 and 1996."

Of course, the conventional wisdom is that any Libertarian candidate takes votes away from an Republican candidate, so I'm sure that this is the real motivation. That's fine. We'll take it.

Gividen's opponents take their own inclusion for granted. Being Coke and Pepsi will do that for you, I suppose. So what do they do with their own automatic inlcusion and dominance? One of today's Star editorials reveals that Kenn is the only gubernatorial candidate to have completed the Project Vote Smart's National Public Awareness Test. It isn't that the other guys are too busy. They're afraid to answer. Per the Star:

"It's not that either side claims bias in the survey or partisanship on behalf of Project Vote Smart. Political consultants in both parties, however, are advising their clients not to be specific about issues for fear of alienating voters or providing fodder for their opponents.

Such a dodge is unacceptable. Candidates must be willing to answer questions that reveal their stands on key issues. Voters should demand it."

Then again, voters should demand total inclusion. Alas... It takes time. A third party has to be three times as good in order to overcome the usual two-party-system biases held by the average American just to get to credibility. Kenn has done some things to help gain credibility with people that usually don't look to LP candidates to back.

Prime example is on the issue of new terrain I-69. Both Kernan and Daniels are in favor of it, while Gividen is against it. Environmental supporters are furious with Kernan for his position, and many are turning to Gividen.

Third parties with ballot access offer the opportunity to shake up the status quo. If not for Gividen, I-69 would be a dead issue. Sure, the Greens could try to make it a live one, but they lack ballot access, so Kernan and Daniels can ignore them out of hand. In league with the LP, the opponents of I-69 have a voice- one that must at least be observed and weighed carefully before being dismissed.

I'm still looking for Gividen to hit a home run on an issue where D's and R's are in agreement. I'm afraid that while I-69 is a good issue to build new bridges on, being seen as a regional issue, it does not hit home with all Hoosiers. In the meantime, I'm delighted with the new ground his campaign is covering.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Running in '06!

It may seem incredibly premature, but I have declared my candidacy for Secretary of State in 2006.

Why so early? This is the single most important race to the Libertarian Party of Indiana, as it is the ballot access race. The LP's SoS candidate must earn at least 2% of the vote in order to assure automatic ballot access for the subsequent four years. I have no doubts about the ability to get 2%, either for myself or my party. After all Rebecca Sink-Burris got 4% in 2002.

My top objective is to become the prohibitive favorite to win the nomination as early as possible. In this way, the efforts behind this race become unified and focused as early as possible. No sense diverting time, energy, and dollars just in an attempt to win the nomination at the April '06 convention. I'd like to make it so that none will take an interest in facing off against me. To secure it early, I will have to built a top-notch team and build a formidible war chest. I can do these things now without interfering with current campaigns, looking for support from family and friends who are not involved in '04 campaigns.

First blush campaign goals: New records for an LPIN candidate in a statewide race: Minimum 10% finish, minimum $100,000 raised, minimum 10 new county affiliates brought aboard.