Friday, June 05, 2009

Best Wishes, Andy Horning

With Andy Horning departing Indiana for Texas, after so many mostly Libertarian campaigns for office, we're seeing many nice tributes to the man, several of which go, "I'm a Libertarian because of Andy Horning".

Well, I can't say that's my story too. I was a Libertarian back in Ohio, when it became apparent in mid-2002 that I would be moving to Indianapolis with Ame. I didn't know anybody in Indy. I didn't even have a job lined up, so I was looking to make associations right away. So, I called the Libertarian Party of Indiana's office, talked with then-Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein, asking where I could get active upon arrival.

No hesitation. Brad directed me to Andy's campaign for Congress.

I was most impressed. I was leaving a state where the Libertarian Party lacked ballot access. I was never deeply involved with the LPO, because it was scarcely like a political party at all. If you can't get on the ballot, you essentially don't exist. But Andy Horning fulfilled everything I expected a Libertarian candidate for Congress to be: He is something of a statesman. His positions are well-reasoned. His delivery smooth and sure. His temper even. I felt great about my move, politically. Everything that Ohio couldn't be, because of the repressive ballot access laws, Indiana seemed to be. Before I even knew my neighbors, I was delivering the Hoosier Libertarian newspaper to every door in my neighborhood, in an effort to promote Andy's campaign.

Andy Horning is one large reason I ran for Secretary of State, beginning in late 2004. Yes, by then he had jumped ship and was running for the Republicans, but the purpose for my running was established: to preserve the ability of Libertarian candidates to have the ballot access.

I was delighted when Andy came back to the Libertarians, and accepted the 2008 nomination for Governor. He was running with us, on the ballot access I helped preserve. That was a private observation and pleasure, until now.

The last political thing I did with Andy was to sit down with him for an interview for the Libertarian party of Indiana's Weekly Podcast. He was working in Louisville, and when the issue of state sovereignty began to arise in Indiana and several other states, there was no other person I wished to interview on the subject. Andy answered as sometimes only Andy can- with a somewhat confounding, surprising response, but one that was wholly consistent with his view of the US and Indiana Constitutions. He was speaking off the cuff, but he was as scholarly as a university professor... and he was truly just gabbing on his lunch break.

So, I'll miss you, Andy. Indiana's loss is Texas' gain.

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