Friday, September 28, 2007

1996 & 2000 - The Harry Browne – Emerling (Cloud) – Willis Campaigns



A meeting of need and opportunity
"Why did you decide to run for President?" "It was my wife's idea." -- Harry Browne
"I have no temptation to vote, to campaign, to try and stop a candidate who promises new follies." -- Harry Browne, "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World", 1973

Harry Browne wrote, “How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation,” in 1970. The book sold well because of the instability of the market and was soon followed by, “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World.” The two books were self-help books that appealed directly to those who were concerned about the state of their finances and about ways to detach themselves from the control of both government and the constraints of society. 

While “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World,” purports to be about freedom this is not really true. It is actually about avoiding the constraints that human culture devised to protect those who are vulnerable from manipulation. For example, marriage by contract or agreement is an institution that precedes government but today has become an instrument of government, asserting control into the personal lives and relationships of men and women. Freedom as envisioned by the Founders mandates informed consent and mutual benefit, each acting without constraints imposed by the State. 
 
Harry Browne was well known throughout the Libertarian Party and Movement as an adherent of the “non party' faction, meaning he did not approve of political process. Other long time adherents of that viewpoint, including Kenneth R. Gregg, expressed shock when they learned he was seeking the Libertarian nomination for President. Browne had been influenced by the work of Andrew J. Galambos, an astrophysicist living in Los Angeles who began giving workshops in the ideas of freedom around 1960. 

Galambos is one of the few prominent Libertarians who died without having written at least one book. Students taking his workshops had to sign a contract guaranteeing they would not use his ideas. His structural understanding of freedom was based on the idea of private property, and whether Browne had already accepted this as a basis for his own ideas or borrowed it from Galambos it became central to his own work. Those thinkers who came through the Galambos workshops in large part were nonpolitical. Browne remained nonpolitical up until the time he decided to run for President. 

Running for office was Browne's own idea. Harry Browne contacted John Hix, the respected expert in internal political events, and paid $1000.00 for a days advice in how to secure the nomination. 
 
The reason for this change is clear. Browne's book sales were falling, each one selling less than the one before and he had accustomed himself to a lavish life style. 
 
Soon after he announced Browne had acquired a supporter who was very enthusiastic about a possible Browne candidacy. That was Michael Emerling Cloud who would have the help of those then in control of the Libertarian Party, the Berglandista. 
 
The Long Tour of the Book was about to begin. It would prove to be lucrative for all involved. Browne's venture into politics yielded $100,000.00 a year from his campaign or the LP from 1995 – 2001 just for him personally.

Securing the nomination for Harry Browne began in August of 1994. To secure the nomination the Berglandista were prepared to do anything necessary. Perry Willis, then National Director but covertly working for the Browne Campaign, did all within his power to ensure that other candidates had no access to mailing lists or other Libertarian resources. 
 
Crane would have admired the means and the outcome. Browne secured the nomination handily and those who had helped him were set to profit. Later, Perry Willis would write a 30 page letter, “confessing” to but justifying his actions. The hope of a campaign and LP that would support and empower local organizing again fizzled. 
 
Both Browne campaigns and those in control of the LP during what became known as the Brown Cloud Years, were actively hostile to local organizing. Perry Willis, in particular, discouraged serious local campaigns. 
 
Perry Willis had begun his career as an activist in San Diego in the wake of a highly profitable state convention run there by the local LP. He approached the San Diego leadership with the proposition that they hire him as their paid executive director. They did so. A year later he moved on, having exhausted the money in their treasury. The pattern would repeat. 
 
Eventually, having worked his way up the food chain and building heavily on personal charm, Perry met Michael Emerling Cloud. The synergy developed in the wake of the Marrou for President campaign. The two men clicked. During his early years as a Libertarian Emerling had openly admitted that he was a con artist with activists such as Gail Lightfoot of California. This only stopped when he became involved with a woman in Massachusetts named Carla Howell. Carla, a professional women who owned her own home, became Emerling's significant other. For her he needed to be respectable. Howell was connected to a moderately old New England family and moving towards respectability meant that Emerling had to publicly reform. 
 
Therefore Emerling reinvented himself, manufacturing organizations and a presence in the LP that spun him as the Great Communicator of Libertarianism. The two Browne campaigns and those carried out in Massachusetts served to profit him personally while avoiding the possibility that any local organization would arise to challenge his hegemony. The Berglandista planned to run Howell for President in 2004 began even before the 2000 Libertarian Convention in Anaheim. This would whimper to a slow death as activists in Massachusetts began the process of retaking their state party. 
 
In effect, the LP had been converted into the private property of the same clique who had ousted the Crane Machine. The group followed the same patterns of self-dealing, top down management, deceptive practices, and overweening arrogance. Another round of the same behavior would be repeated in the largest State organization of the LP, the Libertarian Party of California. That continues to this day.

The following is just one incident in a reaction against the Berglandista that eventually ousted then entirely from any positions of respect in the LP.


=====LP of Pa. Board of Directors resolution passed 3:01pm 9/23/2001====
"Whereas, certain individuals associated with the Libertarian Party conspired to violate National Libertarian Party policy, libertarian principles, and normal standards of business ethics, and

Whereas, we have in the past supported, promoted and endorsed these individuals by our official actions and in our publications and appeals, and

Whereas, we have an obligation to keep our membership informed;

Therefore, we the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania withdraw any expressed or implied endorsement of any of these individuals or organizations or projects in which they are involved. The individuals are, in alphabetical order:
Sharon Ayres
David Bergland
Harry Browne
Michael (Emerling) Cloud
Jack Harris Dean
Perry Willis

The grip of the Berglandista on the LP was finally wrested away by a determined coalition of activists at the 2002 Convention in Indianapolis. The Berglandista candidate for National Chairman, Eli Israel, went down to defeat, opposed by Jeff Neale from Texas and George Phillies of Massachusetts. George, a professor of physics, would be the central force in excising the Emerling influence from his own state several years later.

Today, four years later, the LP remains disjointed and without a strategic vision that connects to a plan of action. However, it remains an effective meeting point for people seeking personal freedom and political alternatives and, as with all life, there is yet hope. If the LP assembles a strategically sound plan, taking into account the need for governance and began building at the most local level, becoming itself a model for the solution, anything would be possible. 
 
Through its origination of 'idea tools,' the LP changed the direction of politics in America. Those tools include privatization (Bob Poole of Reason Foundation), outsourcing, deregulation, and others intended to make the process more efficient. However, efficiency is neither a substitute or equivalent for freedom though many have confused these things.

Additionally, these ideas were not used as originally anticipated because, as with all ideas, they were sold through such outlets as Cato as tools that actually served to decouple profit and accountability and applied through legislation. These did not, therefore produce the benefits of a free market but rather allowed for the optimization of profit by corporations that also used the legislative process to minimize or even eliminate their potential for liability. 

The issues of Global Warming, which is now acknowledged to be supported by overwhelming evidence was evaded for the last 30 years in large part through the actions of Cato, which assumed the role of objective third party while accepting most of its funding from the oil industry. Cato performed similar services on issues related to women, dismissing all issues that go to the foundational, Constitutional difference between the rights of women, which are only supported through legislative action, and of men, which are guaranteed through the Constitution.

Just because you feel like someone is not proof they aren't trying to do so. 
 
This was probably not all by design. The underlying mythology of Objectivism is pointedly pro-business and anti-woman, ironically enough since Rand was herself a woman. Ideas always have consequences, which is one of the reasons we need to be careful about how well the ideas that represent action match the action to be taken. To this day libertarians bemoan the absence of women who are willing to invest time and money in the LP. Never have they thought to question if this decided preference might reflect a real problem internal to the LP itself. If the car doesn't run better check the engine. 
 
On the issue of global warming it is curious that a movement that endorses accountability ignored the need to ensure that if global warming was real when the consequences would impact all uf us while the profit for creating the conditions would be specific to certain industries and individuals.

That doubtless comes from romanticizing business and ignoring the deceptive and unethical practices so prevalent in large corporations today. Bill Hunscher and Roger Mac Bride, both now deceased, would not be surprised.

Life is itself a joke on all of us.

(Author's Note)
I noticed the tendency to turn the Libertarian Party into a hierarchal, for profit, institution in at the time of the Clark Campaign. I also noted the behavioral strategies and the disconnect between rhetoric and reality. Libertarianism was supposed to make us freer. I strongly objected to it instead being used to make a few richer.

Until you give freedom to everyone none of us are free.

1992 - The Howie Rich Front for Corporate Control of America



The Crane Machine launches a stealth campaign, using initiatives – 1992

After probing around in the Republican Party and working to get visibility for themselves through Cato with Congress for nearly a full decade the cadre of people around Crane, which was pretty much unchanged since their exit from the New York Convention in 1983, acquired a new toy. 

That was an organization that the Koch Brothers had not been able to use effectively, this was the Citizens for Congressional Reform. Acquiring this not for profit spawned an incredible proliferation of identical not-for-profit organizations, each dedicated to doing pretty much the same thing and many created by the same web designers. That was to use a stealth approach to employing the initiative process to change the laws in states where this was allowed. This fit in exactly with the original game plan of the Crane Machine. Crane had always viewed local activists as an obstacle to action within the LP unless those acting locally were directly under his control. 
 
In employing this growing collection of nonprofits for the Kochs Crane had extended that approach to Americans as a whole. The first of these organization, U. S. Term Limits, focused on limiting the number of terms for any elected legislator. It would be followed by initiatives that promoted an end to eminent domain, school choice, and spending caps by government and eventually measures such as legislation relating to end of life issues raised by the Terry Schrivo Case. 
 
Many individuals in various states had worked for these kinds of measure; the problem was not the use of the initiative process, a tool introduced by the Populists to allow local people to change government, making it responsive to their needs. it was the means that made the Crane – Rich strategy questionable. 
 
The initiatives themselves often caused problems because they did not reflect the needs of those who had to live with the resulting law. Even more egregiously, the initiatives were deceptively run as 'grass roots' efforts to potential donors outside the state when they had not real support within the state and left no body of local expertise or enhanced organization in their wake. It was a reprise of the Crane – Clark Campaign, this time run at a profit. Unused funds were transferred into the accounts of those who Crane and Howie had known and worked with since the 70s. 
 
But worse than this pilfering of funds was the lack of goals and a consistent strategy to achieve goals that advanced the cause of freedom and local control. 
 
In the original vision of American government the Founders had assumed that local towns and the people who lived in them would make their own rules in how they structures their lives. This could be seen as a multitude of small experiments in living that would allow for a learning curve, helping a free people develop the means of reducing conflict as they learned to live outside of a traditional hierarchy imposed from the outside. 

 The model for local government had fallen victim to the centralization of power both by states and by the Federalizing of power. Presumably, returning to this original model should have been on the agenda for all libertarians, both those within the Party, those in think tanks like Cato, and those who were in the non-party movement. It was not. Instead these variously followed strategies of conquest, disinformation, and withdrawal into insulated groups that ignored the mainstream entirely. Only a few individuals within the movement as a whole followed strategies that served to focus their activism on local organizing on issues that then could serve to develop the skills of small governance using persuasion and consent. 
 
Sometimes things are just too obvious to grasp, especially, perhaps, when those making the decisions have a very different conception of what freedom means. 
 
Through the next 15 years the Crane Machine would produce cookie cutter nonprofits by the dozens hat only served to develop local organization when their activities antagonized local people so much they organized to oppose the initiatives that the Crane Machine fielded, using out of state contractors, signature gatherers, and outside millions. In some cases the Crane – Howie Machine would outspend local activists six to one to get their measures passed into law. Those who provided the funding would be, ironically enough, the same corporations who had become of entrenched subsidizers of big government who demonstrably had strong economic incentives in this serial campaign that changed law without educating or empowering local people and grass roots democracy. 
 
This leaves the question of whether or not the Crane Machine intended to sell its services to Big Government to the judgment of the reader. It is possible they were blinded by their own ideology, which was founded in the naive, bodice ripping unreality of Rand. The Richs especially had come to the movement through the NBI in New York and through wealth and age had become elder statesmen in this micro cult. 

See the 2006 articles by Hart Williams.  Index is HERE

Michael Emerling-Cloud




Emerling's financial habits caused problems both within his marriage, which ended in 1990, and for the LP, though this never became known at the time. 

Emerling-Cloud first made him self known in the Libertarian Party through a speech, which was then turned into a book, titled, "Essence of Political Persuasion." Trainings followed, beginning around 1976.  

Emerling-Cloud was also responsible for first committing the The Late Great Libertarian Macho Flash and then telling Libertarians this was not an efficacious way to persuade people to the ideas of Libertarianism.  

Nothing about Michael spoke of a person who was ethical, only one out to take advantage of others in any way possible.   
 
Over the years Emerling-Cloud had borrowed money from friends and supporters. He declared bankruptcy, including in this a debt to a woman who had loaned him her life savings believing that they were about to start their lives together. When Marrou began his campaign for vice-president he was called and warned by Ed Clark that having Emerling-Cloud as his campaign manager was a mistake. 

 Clark was clear about the personal habits and questionable ethics Emerling-Cloud had demonstrated over the years. Marrou chose to ignore this advice – but most probably knew Marrou did not know perfectly well what Emerling-Cloud was about. 
 
The irregularities in accounting for funds began immediately along with slip shod campaign scheduling. According to Emerling's then wife, Vickie Emerling, Michael's attempts to cut corners on their IRS return in 1987 caused them to be confronted with an obligation and penalties of around $40,000.00. Michael negotiated this down to $15,000.00 of which he forced Vickie to pay $500.00. The rest most likely was taken from the money then coming in as funds raised for the campaign because while no money went out of their joint income when Vickie asked she was told that the obligation had been handled. 
 
The campaign was run out of a house in Las Vegas and later moved to Marrou's own home. During the campaign period Marrou fired Emerling-Cloud. Andre said this was because Emerling-Cloud insisted on putting out fundraising letters that made promises of which he, the candidate, was unaware. 
 
Money from the campaign was routinely used for personal purposes by both Marrou and Emerling-Cloud, according to their wives. The Marrou Campaign became the means for Emerling-Cloud relaunched himself into a career his own behavior had destroyed. His campaign to remove Marrou from the ticket caused some in the LP to characterize him as, “an enemy of freedom.” But with the facility of the cat with nine lives Emerling would be back. For Marrou the ride ended with election day, 1992. 

Michael's personal life also included conspiring to deny me a fair marital share from my marriage to Craig Franklin, who included Emerling-Cloud in the conference calls held to strategize on how to ensure I died from an inherited heart condition during the divorce.  

The document below refers to a filing for bankruptcy by Morgan Pillsbury in which she provides information to the court about Craig and the conspiracy mentioned above.  The rest of the documents are available on the Morgan Pillsbury Gell website.  

From:  Morgan Pillsbury Gell

On May 23, 2001 Craig filed a COMPLAINT to stop her from clearing the issue of the coerced promissory note.  In the motion he mentions more money he gave Morgan.  Since we know from Anne Fisher  Craig routinely hands over about $5,000 a month to multiple women who he wants to be available to him sexually this was not a large amount to him.   
Morgan believed the money was payment for the assistance she was giving Craig to defraud Melinda and also kill her.  

Craig never gives away money without expecting to get something of value to him but in Morgan's case he wanted both sex and services for destroying Melinda and securing all of the marital assets was of enormous value to him so it seems petty that he would also insist on getting sex.  But Craig is a psychopath and so this was a natural move for him.  

Morgan was part of the conspiracy which Morgan admits to in the response below.   This is an example of what happens when psychopaths collide instead of cooperating. 
 

On August 27, 2001 Morgan responded to a RESPONSE filed by Franklin to stop her from declaring bankruptcy on the promissory note she had signed under duress.

This document is well worth reading for the shock value.  The document names Dan O'Dowd, Michael (Emerling) Cloud as co-conspirators with Craig.  The document was produced by We The People, a legal service in Santa Barbara at the time, using statements from Morgan.  The document is signed by Morgan, the Debtor and Defendant.  





From:  Independent Political Report

Libertarian Party: More Questions Surface About Michael Cloud’s Payment As Vendor 

This was posted by Starchild as a comment to an IPR thread re: the Updates on Libertarian National Committee, Bylaws and Platform Committee, Budget and Audit

For background, please see here .
December 6, 2013 at 12:11 am

As I would expect is normal for an organization with a number of full time employees, a large portion of the matters we deal with on an ongoing basis in our operations concern staff in one manner or another.

There are concerns that we shouldn’t discuss certain personnel matters publicly lest we expose ourselves to legal liability, and while given the out-of-control legal system in this society I believe these concerns sadly have merit in certain specific situations, it is clearly unrealistic and detrimental to the interests of our party for everything that relates to staff to be kept secret.

I have attempted to get advice from our general counsel and input from other LNC members about which specific types of information regarding staff need to be kept secret, but no one who knows or claims to know has volunteered this information to me. MORE

 More covert ugliness by Emerling-Cloud 

From:  Last Free Voice

Dr. George Phillies: “Arizona, Land of the Two Libertarian Parties”, Part Two
 In Libertarian on June 2, 2008 at 9:37 pm
 
I am honored to have been given permission by Dr. George Phillies to post a full chapter from his excellent book, “Funding Liberty” , right here on Last Free Voice. I will be posting Chapter 17, “Arizona, Land of the Two Libertarian Parties”, in multiple entries. This is part two.  Part one is here.

Dr. Phillies has a doctorate in Physics from MIT, and is a Professor of Physics and Game Design at the prestigious Worcester Polytechnic University. A longtime Libertarian activist, Dr. Phillies is currently the Chairman of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party, and was a popular candidate for the Libertarian Presidential nomination for 2008 where his concession speech – pointing out that the enemy is outside the Libertarian Party – has been hailed as one of the greatest moments (and most inspiring speeches) of the 2008 Libertarian Convention.
A link to purchase this book, as well as to purchase other books by Dr. George Phillies, is at the bottom of this entry.
_______________________________________
Historical Notes on Arizona Libertarianism
The Libertarian Party of Arizona was founded in 1975, and put its first candidates on the ballot in 1976. One of these was Michael Emerling (Cloud), who ran for U.S. Congress in Tucson and received 2.4% of the vote. The Party progressed and grew. Its 1989 State Chair was Peter Schmerl, who was a Pima County activist. By 1990, one can identify early strains of the disputes between the Party’s two factions. An article written by Michael Cloud and distributed by the Marrou campaign explained why Party candidates should take matching funds if available. Other Libertarians have expressed the contrary view. The issue refers back to the Non-Initiation of Force statement, which will be discussed in this Chapter’s Appendix.
The Arizona Party continued to grow. Cloud moved to work for the Marrou for President (Libertarian, 1992) campaign. On September 1, 1991, Cloud appeared in Chicago before the Libertarian National Committee, reiterating the campaign’s desire to work closely with the National Party. In particular, addressing the LNC he indicated that ‘the campaign’s books are open for our (the LNC’s) inspection at any time’ and ‘all new names obtained during the campaign would be considered the co-property of the LNC and would be turned over to both the national and state parties’. In 1992, Cloud and the Marrou campaign went their separate ways.
By 1996 the Presidential Campaign which Cloud had for a time directed was associated took a different stand. The 2300+ names and addresses of Browne donors cost the Libertarian National Committee more than $58,000 dollars to acquire.
In 1994, Arizona Libertarian John Buttrick ran for State Governor. He was later a Libertarian National Committee member and in 2001 was appointed as a judge by sitting Republican Governor Jane Hull. The Phoenix Party by this date was vigorous and active. It opened its own office, and covered expenses in part by raffling off a series of assault rifles and other weapons. The choice of raffle items gained significant public attention. The first conflict between the Phoenix and Tucson disputes reportedly happened in late 1994, with a dispute over ownership of a bank account held in the name of the Arizona Libertarian Party. The money eventually returned to the Phoenix group. MORE
 
For Emerling-Cloud the ride continues.  

Find out about Michael's best friend, Craig Franklin, a sexual pervert whose goal is incest with little girls related to him.  

Marshall Fritz - Died November 4, 2008



Marshall Fritz, a computer salesman from Fresno, California, first learned about the Libertarian Party while living in Torrance, California from a bumper sticker. He commented to the driver that the only place the Liberal Party was on the ballot was New York. He then learned that the LP was not the Liberal Party and received literature, including the State Newsletter, CalLiber, the newsletter for Los Angeles County, then edited by Sandy Webb, and a brochure titled, Uninflation, by Murray Rothbard. 

He went on to read Rothbard's, “For a New Liberty,” and was hooked. 1980 found him living with his wife and many children in Fresno, where he began becoming active for the Clark Campaign, making calls to registered Libertarians, an innovation in Fresno, and passing out literature. In 1982 Marshall ran for office and after election night he knew that he wanted to sell Libertarianism for a living. 
 
Encouraged by such figures as Murray Rothbard, Sharon Ayres, David Bergland and others he decided to apply for the post of Executive Director for the LP of California. His long time friend and mentor in politics, John Hix, the man whose ability to win floor elections were unparalleled, helped him put together a proposal which was accepted in February of 1983. Marshall's tenure in the position lasted until June, 1984. The separation had come about because his position depended on raising the money to fund his position and this had never happened and because his work failed to result in any growth for the Libertarian Party in California and loss of productivity by the existing LPC. 
 
In the immediate wake of his resignation Fritz received a call from Paul Grant, then National Chairman of the LP, asking him to come to work as a ballot drive consultant. After a consultation with John Hix, Marshall accepted, service to start when his first month's salary was in the bank. Over the next three months Marshall learned the business of signature collection on the ground, from Georgia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Missouri. 
 
After a brief consideration of the position of National Director, Marshall founded The Advocates for Self Government in January of 1985. Its mission was to take the educational functions of the LP and focus on these, thus supporting the LP. Unfortunately, as was the case in the earlier incarnations of Marshall's activism, the wishful motive of making a living selling Libertarianism, became the goal. Others, including Students for Individual Liberty were already selling educational materials and programs. 

Eventually, Advocates would recycle the Nolan Chart idea, originated by founder David Nolan, into the World's Smallest Political Quiz, which made the transition onto the internet and is now used in many forms. Previously, the best known use of the Nolan Chart had been, perhaps, when it was rendered into an electronically switched machine for use in Los Angeles County. That small, trusty, device, built by activist Ed Ogawa, was used at the LA County Fair from the late 70s until the late 80s. Fritz's use of the Nolan Chart concept sent it into the Computer age. 
 
The lack of strategic planning, connecting the ultimate goal to the means through well thought out, rational steps, again took the LP and its Movement in directions that failed to advance the cause. Political action is undertaken by a group to accomplish specific ends and these were not taken into account by those who were then running the Libertarian Party.

It had been their overlooked duty of the LP to oversee the management of the Libertarian Party of California and should have foreseen the consequences of hiring someone whose salary needs outstripped the resources of their organization. 

This, they failed to do.  

Marshall went off on his own, continuing to try new approaches, again without thinking these through adequately.  

The two organizations which he founded are: 

The Advocates for Self-Government
The Alliance for the Separation of School and State

Marshall died peacefully at home Tuesday, November 4, 2008, after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.

1988 - The Ron Paul Campaign


 

The Family Doctor, and Congressman, from Texas

Ron Paul made the ballot in 46 states, which is not at all bad for a campaign that is, as always, underfunded and without its own personal billionaire. The Paul Campaign, coming as it did, in the immediate wake of the defection of Dick Randolph in Alaska provided a shot in the arm – but again failed to focus on strengthening local organizations. This time the problems with top down management came from the State Parties, however.

It had become a fact of life for the LP that those willing to run normally did so because there was some other motive that could be served by the monumental investment of time and energy necessitated by a campaign that could take most of two years. With Hospers this had not been an issue because he was not asked to invest the time. For Mac Bride his independent wealth made this possible and justifiable. 

Clark had promised and delivered a very limited period of time to the active campaign and returned to work. Bergland's campaign marked an alteration on how presidential campaigns were run. The potential for such campaigns to serve secondary agendas was a natural development and potentially allowed candidates to run who would not otherwise have been willing to make the necessary investment possible candidates. This alteration came with hazards that were never openly discussed. 
 
In the case of Ron Paul running for President also allowed him to augment the mailing list for his gold investment business, according to various gold bugs. There was no essential conflict between the two goals but this sea change, carefully watched by those who had run the Bergland campaign and working with Marrou, enabled future use of the ticket that would prove to be hazardous to the integrity of the Libertarian Party as a whole. Andre Marrou, first running for the nomination, accepted the nomination for vice president.

Again, the lack of a clear vision for goals and a well thought out plan for achieving those goals impacted the course of action; the LP was off course without even realizing it. It was about to get worse.

1983 - 1984 The Burns/Bergland/Ravenal Campaign




The Crane Machine leaves, the Berglandista fills the niche

At the beginning of 1983 all was quiet in Libertarian Land. A popular talk show host had declared to run for the Libertarian nomination and all sides expressed satisfaction with the candidacy of Gene Burns. It was the unexpected announcement by Gene Burns that he would not be seeking the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party in the summer of 1983 that eventually resulted in the exit of the Crane Machine from the battle for control of the LP. 

Burns, a popular radio personality who had come out publicly as a Libertarian, had been up for the idea if there was enough money to run a creditable campaign. Unlike Mac Bride, Hunscher, and Koch, he was not independently wealthy. Also, taking the nomination would have had an impact on his ability to work as a radio talk show host, something of which the station management made him very aware. 
 
Told over and over again by David Bergland that money would not be a problem, he discovered that this was not the case. The money was an issue because those who had persuaded him to seek the nomination were unable to raise any for him. Therefore just a scant month before the nominating convention he dropped out. This caused shock waves through the LP, naturally. The waves resulted in two candidacies, that of David Bergland from California and Earl Ravenal, a professor at Georgetown solicited to run by Edward H. Crane, III. 
 
The Bergland candidacy began the day the Burns announcement was made when a friend of Bergland's answered the phone with, “Bergland for President Headquarters.” 
 
At that time a group of individuals were meeting for leisure and dialog at the seashore home of Roger Mac Bride in Biddeford Poole, Maine. The vacation turned into a strategy meeting. Various members of the cadre associated with Crane met and discussed the nomination. 
 
To the surprise of many Mac Bride and Bill Hunscher supported Earl Ravenal while Ed Clark supported David Bergland. There had been a gentleman's agreement that no matter who won the sides would shake hands and work on the campaign. That ended the moment David Bergland achieved nomination. 
 
The Crane machine walked out, in mass, leaving only Howie Rich to report back on further developments. But was not to be the last word from Crane and Company. 
 
Bergland's vice presidential nominee was Jim Lewis, a tax protester who had spent time in prison in support of his beliefs. The campaign would be run by Williamson Evers, a long time Libertarian from California, his wife, Mary Gingell, a former Chairman of the California LP and Perry Willis. The campaign for the nomination had been run not out of enthusiasm for Bergland as a candidate; David was generally acknowledged to be a lackluster public speaker. It had been run because no one who had experienced the Clark - Crane Campaign could tolerate the idea of what was bound to be another Crane candidacy. 
 
Therefore from the beginning actually running a campaign was an after thought and the realities of raising money, planning a national strategy, and ballot access were slipshod. The Bergland/Lewis ticket were on the ballot in only 39 states. The Crane Machine had run the ballot drives previously; Howie Rich, acting as commissar. The expertise had not been shared.

The personnel had changed but the world view had remained the same. The next two decades would be controlled by the Berglanista as the past had been by the Crane Machine.
 
Dave Bergland's campaign was hampered by his insistence that fundraising be handled by someone flown in for each event. Since the designated pitch man, Dick Boddie, was teaching twice a week at a college in Southern California, this meant that the cost of airline tickets was increased dramatically with Dick flying to and fro and costing more in transportation than the candidate himself. Dick was an excellent pitchman. It was an unnecessary cost. Bergland's personality and eccentricities drove decisions that should have been made of a more professional basis. Campaign staff was drawn from a small circle of personal friends and competence was ignored. 
 
During the Clark campaign there had been a flawed campaign strategy. During the Bergland campaign there was no strategy. The campaign failed to take advantage of issues then receiving national prominence. The campaign book was not as good as either previous book and available only late in the campaign period. The campaign staff insisted on running the campaign from the top down. Little local grown was achieved. 
 
However, several libertarians who wanted very much to be employed as professional libertarians got the opportunity to hold jobs that provided national titles. As had been true with the Crane Machine credentials and previous experience were ignored; those hired were close friends of the candidate. 
 
Chief among these was Perry Willis, who would make the LP his career for the next decade.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, a state with a population of only one million and an unusual set of circumstances due to the Alaska Pipe Line things had been developing. They continued to develop, but in very different directions. Several people had been elected to the state legislature as Libertarians. No matter what the size of the legislative body this was a major accomplishment.

It began with a guy named Dick Randolph, who had served two terms as a Republican state legislator in 1974 and 1974. After that he dropped out and did some thinking. Then he ran again, but this time as a Libertarian, in 1980 and then in 1982. This caused an explosion of popularity for Libertarianism in the Far North. Dick was the kind of guy who was well liked and thought of in his community. Dick encouraged another Libertarian, Ken Fanning, to run in his district in 1982 and Fanning squeaked in, too. 

Then Randolph decided to run for governor as a Libertarian in 1984. He lost, naturally. But Alaskans were happy that Randolph had managed to rescind the state income tax. It looked like anything was possible. 
 
In the wake of the Alicia firing of O'Keefe, Eric O'Keefe and another youngish Libertarian, Duncan Scott, were dispatched to Alaska. Both worked on the gubernatorial campaign there and then Duncan Scott was hired as state Executive Director. Randolph managed the floor campaign for Earl Ravenal and, along with the rest of the Crane Machine, walked out of the LP. 

 Back in Alaska another Libertarian legislator had been elected to serve from 1985 – 1987. That was Andre Marrou, an MIT graduate who had spent several years living in the wilderness. Randolph had committed to another run for governor and then suddenly, in March of 1986, he changed his registration back to Republican and ran and lost in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Duncan Scott resigned as Executive Director and moved to New Mexico, changing his registration to Republican. He also became a Republican activist. 
 
At the same time a long time associate of Crane and company called and urged another long time activist in California to re-register Republican. The man had worked as Crane's political operative in California during the run up to the Clark campaign. His name was John Fund. While John Fund has been sold as a Libertarian he, in fact, was never registered Libertarian even when he was paid staff for California. 
 
The LP in Alaska sputtered and died. At the time no one considered the possibility that a campaign to move activists into the Republican camp had been going on. But this is the case. Crane was handling this for the Kochs, who wanted to clear the political field for their continued attempts to create a power tool for big oil in the political arena. See Koch Truths

Andre Marrou moved down to the lower '48. Although in most cases candidates needed to be coaxed in this case no encouragement was needed.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

1971 - 1977 The Early Libertarian Party




 

Most Americans know now that there is a Libertarian Party and associate it with marijuana legalization, yearly tax protests on April 15th, and no longer quite young men who live in their mother's basements, sleeping on Star Wars sheets. While it is politically incorrect to engage in stereotypes it is also true that stereotypes exist because they contain a grain of truth.

But the above ignores the real significance of the Libertarian Party and the movement that preceded it Third parties have driven the evolution of political thinking since the calcification of the two party system which effectively reformatted American politics in the aftermath of the Civil War. 

So third parties, while they do not elect do direct the political dialog and so exercise far more power than is normally ascribed to them. This was how the Socialist Agenda became adopted by the Democratic Party in the first half of the 20th Century. But the impact of the Libertarian Party and Movement has far more directly impacted politics as we see it today. How that happened shows just how connected those in power really are. 
 
You will see parallels here that will remind you of those who now control the Republican Party. That is not a coincidence. The Libertarian Party, as are all organizations, is a tool people use to carry out action working together. This is equally true for a political party and the Girl Scouts. However, with organizations that fail to agree on their goals or how to achieve those goals more than cookies can be sold. This was the case with the Libertarian Party and, for that matter, with all political parties. 
 
The Libertarian Party, referred to as the LP by much of its membership, started in a living room in Denver, Colorado on December 11th, 1971. While the LP remains small in numbers that Movement has taken over the Republican Party, displacing the previous ideas with their own through a process of slow but steady adoption. 
 
The tail is wagging the dog and the dog was asking for it. This has been true of the relationship between the Green Party and the Democratic Party, also.

Nixon and his politics must be credited with the surge of popularity that swelled the ranks of the Libertarian Party for the last two years of the Nixon Administration beginning with that auspicious moment in the living room of David Nolan then the LP was founded. 
 
David Nolan, a graduate from M. I. T., had been a member of Young Americans for Freedom and Students for Goldwater and a leader or active in similar groups since the heady days of the Goldwater Campaign. The bubbly bottles of 'Goldwater' were not alcoholic but the ideas were intoxicating, firing their proponents with zeal. 
 
In early 1971 David Nolan was a candidate for Vice Chairman of the National Young Republicans and missed winning that office by one slim vote at their national convention. Emil Franzi, who Nolan would later know well in the Libertarian Party, had suggested that the California Chapter 'Unit Vote' , meaning that the delegation be polled and vote as for a single candidate. If this had happened Nolan would have received at least 10 additional votes and been elected Vice Chairman of the Young Republicans. 
 
So do the accidents of time determine more than we know. Soon, Nolan was working on the article for the Individualist, a libertarian oriented magazine. 
 
Individuals across the country had been debating and making attempts to establish a base of operations since election day, 1964. Their hero, Senator Barry Goldwater, lost but they did not give up. 
 
In August of 1971 the Nolan article appeared in one of then three publications that knit the nascent movement together. "The Case for a Libertarian Political Party," appeared in the Individualist; it had been in process for several months prior. Within a few days of Richard Nixon's television appearance on the 15th of that month to announce his Wage and Price Controls Republicans all over the country had dropped out, disgusted. Young, intelligent, and activist oriented Republicans signed off on the party of Nixon. 
 
In New York an attorney named Ed Clark called his wife, Alicia Cabo Clark, to vent his rage. Alicia, the daughter of a former Mexican Senator and the CEO of a multinational Corporation, sympathized. One of the things that had brought them together was their shared belief in the ideas of freedom. The Clarks also left the Republican Party. Clark would become the third Libertarian candidate for President and Alicia would eventually serve as National Chairman. 
 
The article written by Nolan had called for the creation of a political party not primarily to elect candidates but to become a voice for the unadulterated ideas of individual freedom. It was aimed at a group of people who shared many of the same ideas about how the world should be, ideas that started with Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein, and Ludwig von Mises for their generation but which resonated with the ideas of Thomas Jefferson. 
 
Wage and Price Controls would prove to be an absolute failure. The controls did not stem inflation and yet, with the logic of other government programs, continued to be used as a tool until 1980.

Similar scenes played out all over America as young people who had worked feverishly for Goldwater and burned their draft cards as members of the Libertarian Caucus of Young Americans for Freedom, began to coalesce into a group.
 
As Nixon settled into a grumpy retirement in Yorba Linda, California on August 8, 1974,
the newly fledged Libertarian Party was experiencing a surge of growth and excitement along with internecine warfare. 
 
The LP began as an organization that looked to individuals to take action themselves because the moral structure for individual rights viewed these as existing before any government people might adopt. This was the mission statement of the Declaration of Independence; it was not the structural reality of American politics. As the structure of the organization congealed a conflict of visions began, pitting the top down style of traditional American political parties with the spontaneous, local organizing that had characterized its first several years. 
 
The Libertarian weapons of choice in their war for the soul of America would be ideas; these activists believed in the concept of individual rights; they assumed the battle would be won in their lifetimes but did not account for the need to translate the ideas and words into behavior that sent the same massage. The fact that words mask behavior as well and as often as they match action was a slow lesson to sink in. Thirty years later the lesson would remain yet to be learned. 
 
Even in those early years all was not sweetness and light and unanimity. Libertarians come in several varieties and these fell, roughly, into two categories, limited state or minarchist, (which has nothing to do with Rhode Island but with the eventual size of the government envisioned as necessary to the smooth functioning of American society) and anarchist; anarchists are those who think you can realistically return control to individuals using only cooperation and consent. Note that used in this way 'anarchy' does not mean the lack of order but spontaneous order or dynamic, quantum, ordering for human action. 
 
Disagreement on this issue nearly destroyed the LP at its third convention. A convention had taken place the year before in Strongsville, OH from June 8-10
 
At the 1974 Libertarian National Convention, held in Texas, the issue of planks to be added to the platform erupted into vitriolic debate on whether the platform would reflect the minarchist or Anarchist viewpoint. 

From this threat to the very existence of the LP the Dallas Accord was born. This mutually useful and gentlemanly agreement mandated that planks would all allow for how a state would function if it existed and not assume the existence of a state. Thus peace was restored in Libertarian Land. 
 
It was at the 1974 Convention that a young guy not long out of college was elected National Chairman. That was Edward H. Crane, III. The man who managed Crane's floor campaign would also manage all the significant floor campaigns for the first decade of LP history. That man was John Hix of Fresno. Hix's involvement with the LP was fortuitous for Ed Crane. 
 
Over the next several years more young people left the Republican Party, propelled by the ideas on individual freedom and economics expressed by Libertarianism. Ideas have always been the building blocks of human society and Libertarians believed they were building a new world forged from the unrealized vision of the American Revolution. Those ideas included personal accountability, control of their own lives, and free markets. Libertarians viewed these ideas as their distinct heritage. The existence of the Libertarian Party provided the medium for popularizing those ideas and served as a meeting place for like-minded individuals.