Thursday, October 08, 2015

John and Ken Show Mocks Libertarian Candidate Augustus Sol Invictus

Augustus Sol Invictus, the Florida Libertarian Party's candidate for U.S. Senate, is attracting national media for his loopy statements and behavior. Invictus admitted to drinking goat's blood during a pagan ritual sacrifice, has predicted a coming race war, and has expressed pride in associating with skinheads. (Invictus is a criminal defense attorney.)

Invictus's antics have recently caught the attention of KFI's John and Ken Show (starring John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou; see photo), 640 on the AM dial. Broadcast from Los Angeles, John and Ken's show is the most popular local radio show in the U.S., attracting 1.2 million listeners during its afternoon drive-time slot.

Last Monday, October 8th, John and Shannon Farren (who was filling in for the vacationing Ken), discussed Invictus. John said that while the LP largely reflects his political views, he could never support the party because they seem to nominate the craziest of candidates. He and Shannon joked about how the LP must have found Invictus by shaking the Crazy Tree. 

You can hear the portion of their show where they discussed Invictus by clicking here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

José Castañeda for Libertarian Party of California Secretary

I've met José Castañeda several times, back when I was more active in libertarian circles. (Not so much since 2009.) José and I both reside in Los Angeles, so our paths crossed in local as well as state and national LP activism.

José has announced that he's running for Secretary of the Libertarian Party of California in the LPC's upcoming 2015 state convention (ironically -- and idiotically -- being held in Nevada; yet another reason for regime change).

I've already endorsed Ted Brown for LPC Chair. I know Ted Brown. And I know Jose. They're both good libertarians and would make better LPC officers than the current bunch.

Here is José's campaign announcement, which I found on Independent Political Report:

I am running for state Party Secretary. Sadly, the Libertarian Party of California (LPC) has been going in reverse and the Party leadership seems to have no clue as to the way to reverse the decline and as the way forward to success.

Proof of the decline is easy to see. Examples:

• From the 1980s to the 2000s the LPC (Party) regularly had 100+ candidates every two years. The last two elections, the Party only had about 10 candidates. This is a drop of 90%. I feel so strongly we should have candidates, I ran for State Board of Equalization District 3 last year, and assisted two others to get on the ballot.

• From the 1980s to the 2000s the Party regularly had five candidates for statewide office. Last year we only had one candidate. (He ran ran for Attorney General.) This is a drop of 82%.

• From the 1970s to 2000s the Party had attendance at Party conventions of 100+ delegates. The last six years, attendance has dropped, and last year only 46 delegates attended the convention. This is a drop of 54%. Last year's convention was the worst attended convention since conventions held in the 1970s

• In September 1998, membership was 5,848. Currently, membership is about 800. This is a drop of 86%.

• In the past, the Executive Committee had four meetings a year. The last six years, the Executive Committee under the current Chair has had, on average, one meeting yearly. This is a drop of 96%.

Who is responsible for the decline? Our current leadership. The Party operates with a lack of transparency, lack of communication, and lack of trust. The lack of transparency, communication, and trust flows from the Chair, other officers, and Executive Committee Reps, down to the region officers and membership.


As I have visited regions, I have been made aware of the disconnect between the region membership and the Executive Committee of the LPC. Region officers have asked for help from the Party Chair, Treasurer, and other Executive Committee Reps, and their requests for help are not responded to. Members of the Executive Committee have been asked questions by region officers, and questions are not answered. I have been told by region officers that because of the lack of communication, and lack of customer service from the LPC, and lack of success of the LPC, the state Party is irrelevant.


The use of executive session (closed session) by the Executive Committee has increased and been abused. Once the Treasurer threatened to resign if the budget was not discussed in executive session. The Executive Committee then decided to discuss the budget in executive session, and members attending the meeting were required to leave. Meetings will be open to all members. I will end the abuse of the use of meeting in executive session. Meeting in executive session will be reduced.


Officers of the Party who have attempted to use the LPC office have not been allowed to. The previous Secretary attempted to use the office and she was not allowed to. I will end the policy of having the office only used by the Chair and office manager. When delegates trust someone to hold Party office they should be allowed to use the office. Officers will be allowed to use the office.


Last year there were requests of the Executive Committee by candidates for assistance in getting on the ballot. The requests were denied. I was told by some from the Executive Committee that it is not important if the LPC has candidates and the LPC does not need to have candidates. I will end this practice. The Party will have candidates and the Executive Committee will assist and support candidates.

More examples of the lack of Communication, Transparency, and Distrust

Questions have been asked by members as to the process used to select the city for the state convention, and the reason that city was chosen, and those questions go unanswered. Questions have been asked as to how many members have registered to attend the state convention. These questions are not answered. Requests have been made for region membership lists by officers of regions, and there have been delays in getting the region membership list to the officers. The requests have been caught up in the bureaucracy of the Executive Committee. Assistance has been asked of the state Party by county officers concerning county websites under the control and ownership of the state Party, and no assistance is given.

In the classic business bestselling book, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies, Peters and Waterman discuss successful companies as being transparent, communicative, and trustworthy. They say:

"We see that time and again in the excellent companies. They are obsessed about widely sharing information and preventing secrecy [between management and employees]. They willingly trade any marginal loss of competitive information for the added commitment [by employees]."

The current officers of the LPC and Executive Committee operate under the opposite principle than that stated by Peters and Waterman. The current Executive Committee seems to be obsessed with not sharing information, not communicating, and keeping their activities and decisions a secret. The Executive Committee’s current practice of operating in secret must end. I will end it.

My goals

Candidates -- The LPC will have many candidates. I, other officers, and Executive Committee reps will assist in this effort. Having only 10 candidates is unacceptable.

Conventions -- Conventions will be held in major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Having conventions in those locations will help increase attendance. Decisions concerning the location of Party conventions will be made at least one year in advance which is not the current practice.

Customer Service/Communication -– I, other officers, and Executive Committee Reps will improve customer service to regions, members, and public. We will communicate with region officers and members which has not been happening recently. We will answer their questions, respond to their concerns, and assist them as needed. Meetings that include the Party chair and region chairs will be started, will be conducted via electronic means, and will be held as needed.

Meetings -- Executive Committee meetings will be held at least four times a year and will be open to members. The use of executive session will be reduced. Between regular Executive Committee meetings, the use of meetings via electronic means will be started, and will be held as needed.

Newsletter -- The LPC has not published a newsletter in many years. This will change. The LPC will publish a newsletter every month. During the election season extra newsletters will be printed, or a special election newsletter will be published, and the extra newsletters or special election newsletter will be used to communicate to members, and for outreach to voters.

Visiting regions -- I believe officers of the Party should visit regions (counties) as part of their duties. As one of my duties as Los Angeles County Vice Chair and Chair, I have gone and visited region meetings. Visiting regions gives me an opportunity to talk to members, officers, and public. I communicate and hear their concerns, requests, ideas, and so on. I will continue to visit regions and I will share what I hear with the Executive Committee.

Website -- The website has information that is out of date. The website will be updated and information useful to the regions, members, and public will be added. Links will be added that will allow members and public to communicate via email with officers and Executive Committee Reps.

And we must paint a picture of a California that stood for something noble once, and that can stand for something noble again. We must communicate that the Libertarian Party is the organization that will return us to those noble times, and will return us as a state to greatness, liberty, freedom, peace ... these are the concepts we must be known for.

As Secretary I will insist on a culture of transparency, communication, and trust. Such openness will help lead the LPC to growth, success, and victory, and will reverse our decline. Customer service will improve, membership will increase, we will again have candidates, attendance to our conventions will increase and we will again have 100+ delegates, the number of meetings held by the executive committee will increase, and communication between the executive committee and region officers and members will improve. 

I ask for your support. Together with your help, the LPC will grow and achieve a new era of success.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rand Paul: U.S. Won Iraq War

My enthusiasm for Ron Paul never extended to his son, Rand. While I was hoping that Senator Rand Paul might morph into a younger Ron, I never expected it. Ron enjoyed being Dr. No, a lone voice in the Congressional and establishment wilderness. Rand, however, seemed too ambitious -- his ambitions heavily relying on pleasing the GOP establishment.

The latest bit of disappointment from Rand comes from a radio interview he give to the Iowa-based Jan Mickelson. Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch quotes Rand Paul as saying:

"We won the war in Iraq. Why would we be giving political asylum to people to come from a country where we won the war? It's one thing if you're trying to escape Castro or trying to escape Communism in Russia or Vietnam or somewhere else or China. I can understand asylum. But when you win the war, why would you give people asylum? And if the 60,000 coming here are friends of the West, wouldn't you want that 60,000 to be in Iraq helping to form a better country over there?

"...If you let the better people, the people who like the United States leave and come here, then aren't you diminishing the numbers of folks that would make that country a better place to live? So I think the whole idea of resettling 60,000 people from Iraq over here was a mistake. But I also think that the refugee program as well as the student visa program are some of the highest risks for us to be attacked."

Rand Paul's comments will displease libertarians for several reasons. Some might be upset because Rand opposes open borders. Or that he rattles the saber against Muslims, implying that Muslims in general -- many or even most Muslims -- are a serious threat to Americans.

But what I find most disturbing is Rand's claim that the U.S. "won" the Iraq War (implying that there was anything to win), and that because of America's military "victory," the people of Iraq are much better off and should have no reason to want to leave Iraq. That the United States and Iraq are both better off because of the war. That somehow the Iraq War was a good thing.

In preparing for his presidential run, Rand is flirting with Republican Neocons and Islamophobes.

You can here the interview excerpt here:

You can also read Brian Tashman's report on Alternet (May 19, 2015).


Friday, March 20, 2015

Ted Brown for Libertarian Party of California Chair

Pasadena libertarian activist Ted Brown plans to run for chair of the California Libertarian Party at the upcoming state convention in May.

Kevin Takenaga, who's been chair since May of 2007, will likely run for yet another term. But after eight years, he's been in there long enough. And it's not like his tenure has been a great success. His long tenure is the result of inertia and apathy. California state conventions have attracted ever fewer delegates -- and ever fewer qualified candidates for LPC office.

I believe a Ted Brown-led LPC will reinvigorate the party. Here are Brown's own words, announcing his candidacy:

Dear Fellow Libertarians,

I have decided to run for Chair of the Libertarian Party of California. The state convention will be held on Sunday, May 31, in Las Vegas, Nevada. I urge you to attend and to support my candidacy.

The California LP has fallen on hard times over the last few years. Membership hovers around 800, where it once stood at 7,000 or more. Fundraising and new member recruitment at the state party level have slowed to a tiny trickle. There has been no newsletter for quite some time, and very little communication with members, so it's difficult to find out what's going on in the state party.

Or, perhaps we hear nothing because nothing is happening, which is even less acceptable. Transparency is #1 with me.

It's time for a few changes. Libertarians need to regroup and show that we are still on duty -- fighting for personal freedom, economic freedom, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. If we won’t do it, who will?

I have been an LP member for 36 years, and have held almost every job in the party during that time. I was chair from 1988 to 1989, served on the Executive Committee for 20 years, served as Los Angeles County chair, and newsletter editor. I handled candidate recruitment for over 20 years, personally signing up hundreds of LP candidates. I have also run as a Libertarian candidate myself 15 times.

I took a break from activism about 7 years ago to build my business, though I have attended most conventions and currently serve as chair of the Judicial Committee and as secretary of my local group in Pasadena. It's time for me to come back and work to revitalize the California LP.

This will be a tough job and I need your help to do it. I'm looking for Libertarians who are interested in the following areas (not a complete list):

* Membership Recruitment

* Fundraising

* Newsletter

* Candidate Recruitment

* Being a candidate (partisan or non-partisan)

* Speaker's Bureau

* Website design

* Press releases & media relations

* Initiatives (like repealing Top Two)

* Testifying at the state capitol

* Student group organization

* County LP organizations (where we don't have any now)

* Liaison and outreach to other libertarian-oriented groups

* Convention 2016

Please e-mail me at with your support, ideas, and areas for which you wish to volunteer. You have strengths which you can share and the party can use. Help the cause of liberty forge ahead, not fizzle away. Thanks in advance for your help, and see you in Las Vegas!

For liberty,

Ted Brown

PS: If you want things to turn around for the Libertarian Party of California, you need to make your voice heard and your vote count! The state convention on May 31 is your chance to do just that. (Go to for details.)