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Entries in Libertarians (147)









What: On Tuesday, September 29, a lawsuit will be filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia charging that the exclusion of qualified candidates from the general election presidential debates by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) violates federal anti-trust laws.


When: 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Where: United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 400 Constitution Avenue NW, DC.


Who:  Bruce Fein, attorney representing the plaintiffs, will file the complaint, and will be available for interviews with the media outside the Courthouse.


Plaintiffs are: 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson; Jim Gray, 2012 Libertarian vice-presidential nominee; Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party presidential nominee; Cheri Honkala, 2012 Green Party vice-presidential nominee; the Libertarian National Committee, and the Green Party of the United States.


About: The lawsuit challenging the exclusion of candidates from CPD-sponsored debates is backed by the Our America Initiative, a not-for-profit advocacy organization, through the Fair Debates project, Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson is the Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative.


Our America - Coalition for Fair Debates Announced 


September 3, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT -- Our America Initiative today announced the formation of the “Coalition for Fair Debates”, comprised of political parties, media outlets and advocacy groups who oppose the exclusion of qualified candidates from nationally-televised presidential debates.


Fair Debates (, is a project of the Our America Initiative (, a national advocacy organization, which has long supported opening the general election presidential debates to all candidates who are constitutionally eligible to serve and who appear on enough states’ ballots to potentially achieve a majority in the Electoral College. In 2012, those criteria would have allowed participation by the Libertarian and Green Party nominees in addition to the Republican and Democrat candidates.


The private Commission on Presidential Debates, created by the Republican and Democratic Parties in 1987, uses polling criteria that effectively limit participation in the nationally-televised debates to only the Republican and Democrat nominees.


Joining in the Coalition for Fair Debates are the Libertarian and Green parties, as well as organizations ranging from the Liberty Roundtable to Downsize DC. Independent media outlets joining the coalition include Truth in Media, the 1787 Radio Network, Ballot Access News and others.


The complete list of coalition members, along with background information regarding the presidential debates, can be found at


Announcing the coalition, Ron Nielson Senior Advisor said, “For more than 20 years, the Commission on Presidential Debates -- a private organization created by the Republican and Democratic national parties -- has monopolized the nationally-televised general election presidential debates. They have intentionally excluded other qualified candidates from participating by applying arbitrary polling criteria that are virtually impossible to meet by independent or ‘third party’ candidates.


“Today, a majority of Americans do not believe the Republican or Democrat parties represent their views, and are more ready than ever to consider alternatives to the status quo. They deserve the opportunity to see and hear from all the viable candidates -- not just the Republican and the Democrat. The Our America Initiative is fighting for fair, open debates, and we are proud to have such a diverse group of organizations, political parties and others joining that fight.”


In addition to a major grassroots effort to achieve reform of the presidential debates, the Our America Initiative is leading a legal challenge to the “monopoly” on televised debates exercised by the Commission on Presidential Debates.


FreeKeeneNews - Responding to Vandalized Rainbow Benches, Keene Church Launches Selfie Contest! 

Responding to Vandalized Rainbow Benches, Keene Church Launches Selfie Contest!

This morning, Christopher Cornell of the United Church of Christ at the head of Central Square in Downtown Keene announced a really cool selfie contest in response to  continued vandalization of their rainbow benches in Elsie Priest Park, just behind the UCC on Church St.

At least one unknown vandal in her sixties has been caught in the act of painting the rainbow bench in red.  She ran to her red compact car and took off.  The bench was subsequently painted rainbow by more volunteers, then attacked by the vandal(s) again, and so on.  The church has plenty of paint and volunteers.  Love will win over hate.

UCC administrator Mark C. Harris explained in a post to the church blog that the benches were painted rainbow this summer by volunteers and that they represent that, "We want everyone to feel welcome to use the park. This is in good keeping with our belief that all of God’s children are beloved, no matter who they are, or where they are on life’s journey. All are welcome, no matter their gender, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, sexual orientation, difference in abilities, religion or absence thereof."

Today the benches are rainbow and people who side with love have been invited by the UCC to visit them and take a selfie, and post it on social media tagged with #onthebench.  there are prizes, and the contest for the best selfie ends Saturday September 5th, at 10pm, which coincides with the end of the Keene Music Festival.

Speculation abounds as to the motivation of the vandal(s) - it's easy to jump to a conclusion and say it's someone with an anti-gay sentiment, but longtime readers of this blog will also recall the controversy back in 2009 when local entrepreneur Dorrie O'Meara launched her Mexican restaurant Pedraza's.  Some people around town were upset because O'Meara painted her building yellow!  Certain grumpy people in this area seem to hate colors besides brick red and gray.

Cornell said in an interview for Free Keene that he thinks the first time the the vandal(s) struck, the benches were fully painted red, but that since then the vandal(s) have only painted over the yellow part.  He's losing track of the amount of times the benches have been vandalized, but thinks it may have been at least six times, all since the beginning of August.

Smart move on the UCC's part to make this into a hopefully-viral phenomenon.  The vandals, whatever the hate they carry in their hearts, probably weren't expecting these benches to turn into a movement!

The Shire Free Church is joining in solidarity with the UCC and all those who support love over hate, so I went out with Renee Kate and Jazzy the Studio Dog for a photo shoot this afternoon.  Remember to tag your bench selfies with #onthebench on your social media posts.

Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on this controversy. Last year it was chalk causing controversy, this year it's rainbows!

To reach UCC Keene Minister Christopher Cornell, please call him at 603-352-4136 or email

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BAFC response to Federal Court ruling in LPNH v Gardner 

In 2014 the New Hampshire General Court passed a new restriction on minor party access to the general election ballot by prohibiting a political organization from collecting petitions before the election year. The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire filed a lawsuit challenging this new law. A similar law in Rhode Island was struck down in 2009 because the sole claim by the Rhode Island government was “reducing the number of 'false positives'.” In New Hampshire, that was the initial reason given for passage of the new law, however William Gardner changed the reasoning the rationale to prevent ballot clutter and to ensure that political parties have a current modicum of support.

On August 27, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro upheld a 2014 New Hampshire law claiming “[the new law] imposes only a reasonable burden on ballot access that is outweighed by the State’s interest in avoiding ballot clutter.”
This is absurd! Richard Winger of Ballot Access News reports, “The New Hampshire party petition has existed since 1996 and only twice has any group ever managed to use it. It is one of the most difficult petition requirements in the nation, 3% of the last gubernatorial vote. Both times it was used, the party that used it, the Libertarian Party, took approximately a full year to get the job done. Now the circulation period has been cut in half.”
Here are some of the lowlights of NH ballot access over the past decade:
In November 2014, New Hampshire was one of only five states with a Democratic-Republican ballot monopoly for all the statewide offices (the others were California, Alabama, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania).
 In 2006, New Hampshire was one of only four states with a Democratic-Republican monopoly for all the statewide offices.
 And in 2004, Libertarian Party presidential nominee Michael Badnarik was on the ballot in every state except New Hampshire and Oklahoma. The only non-Democratic-Republican statewide candidate on the ballot in 2004 was Ralph Nader. New Hampshire is also one of only ten states in which the Green Party has not been able to place its presidential nominee on the ballot in any of the last three presidential elections.
The ruling also seems to completely ignore the fact that Republican and Democratic Party Presidential candidates are filing candidacy forms in the year before the election; however the Libertarian Party and other parties seeking ballot access are barred from circulating nominating petitions during that same time period.
One thing is clear, New Hampshire voters are being harmed when alternative candidates and the ideas they represent are kept off the ballot!

Darryl W. Perry
Founder, Ballot Access Fairness Coalition

The Ballot Access Fairness Coalition seeks to reform the ballot access laws in the State of New Hampshire so that all candidates are treated equally for ballot access purposes.

CEI Today: National Employee Freedom Week, libertarians, EPA spill, access to capital, and more 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
In the News Today




Weigel: The Libertarian Moment is Over, or Is It?

“The question is not whether the libertarian moment is over but whether libertarians can agree on a single national candidate,” says Lawson Bader, the president of the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute. > Read Dave Weigel's report in the Washington Post




Forced Union Fees Do Not Have to Go to the Union – You Have Other Options


Unfortunately, many workers are unaware of their workplace rights. That is where National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW), a nationwide coalition comprised of nearly 100 organizations, provides needed help. From August 16 to 22 the campaign spreads the word that workers have more choice when it comes to paying union dues than their union tells them. > Read more

> Interview Trey Kovacs



Rivers of Gold and Energy Poverty

The irony with the Gold King Mine spill may be thicker than the toxic waste. The same EPA, that apparently didn’t know what happens when you blow a hole in a dam, claims clairvoyance when it comes to predicting the future climate. > Read more

> Interview an expert



Liquid Capital Was the First Killer App

Despite near-zero interest rates, new regulations from regulators like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have severely restricted the issuance of new mortgages and credit cards. Access to capital is harder to obtain. Three forms of deregulation would improve matters. > Read more 


> Interview Iain Murray

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