Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Some campaign notes


[Note: This is not an official communication from the Steve Kubby for President campaign. Yes, I'm working with that campaign. Yes, this is most definitely pro-Kubby propaganda. But it's just me talking here. The candidate hasn't authorized or approved of anything I say here - TLK]

Two years out from the 2008 election, the campaign for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination is in full swing. As most of you know, I've endorsed Steve Kubby for that nomination; as I may or may not have mentioned here yet, I'm now working as a volunteer on his campaign. Time for an update on what's going on and a little more of my hypnotically persuasive argument about why Kubby deserves your support. But first, a disclaimer:

There are a number of candidates for the nomination. Don't let me choose yours for you. Check them all out. See what they're doing. Think long and hard about who would best represent your party versus the candidates the duopoly puts up. For a reasonably comprehensive and regularly updated list of declared and prospective contenders, point your browser at Politics1.

I endorsed Steve Kubby on the basis of several key factors: Personal charisma. A firm grasp of libertarian ideas and how they might be translated into public policy. Political experience and success. Life history and "credentials." Name recognition. Roots in constituencies outside the LP. What I didn't have to go on was personal acquaintance. I'd met Steve once and heard him speak once (at the LP's national convention in 2000); we'd briefly corresponded a few times, but that correspondence was not about a prospective presidential campaign.

Since endorsing Steve, I've had the chance to talk with him a number of times and begin working with him to make his campaign a success ... and I have to say that I'm more impressed than ever.

As I write this, Steve is on the ground in Colorado, where he'll be campaigning with SAFER for the passage of Amendment 44 (a marijuana legalization proposition), as well as with Daniel Ong, the LP's candidate for Colorado University Board of Regents, and possibly other candidates. The schedule is in continuous flux, but it looks like he'll be in Denver and Aurora today, and probably Fort Collins and possibly Boulder tomorrow.

One reason for telling you this is simple promotion of the fact that we have a candidate who's out there already ... who's campaigning to voters, not just inside the LP ... and who's already reaching out to constituencies beyond the existing LP base. But there's another reason:

This campaign is just getting started, and money's not exactly rolling in yet. When the possibility of doing something productive in Colorado came up, there just wasn't money to make it happen. Many candidates would have said, "no problem -- we'll get there sooner or later. Let's wait until the fundraising takes off."

Not Steve Kubby. After he had looked over the situation and decided that he might be able to contribute to a win for freedom, he said "I'm going. If the money's not there, let's figure out how to get it there."

I roughed in a budget. I set a fundraising goal, and we started contacting prospective donors. An angel donor came through for us in a big way, but we still stalled at half the rough budget. This is where some candidates would have balked and decided to write the thing off.

Not Steve. The money was now there for airfare and for gas for a campaign volunteer to drive him around -- so he booked the flight and told Kristen Peskuski when he'd be arriving so she could pick him up and get him into the fray. He's wading into said fray at this very moment.

Listen now, because this is important. There are different kinds of candidates. There are different kinds of campaigns. Some candidates seize opportunities; other candidates wait for opportunies to seize them. I had no doubts about which kind of candidate Steve Kubby would be, but it's energizing to see my judgment confirmed so early in this campaign.

Steve is the kind of candidate who doesn't mind sleeping on an activist's couch instead of in a comfy hotel bed (as a matter of fact, he prefers it!). He's the kind of candidate who does the difficult jobs instead of waiting and hoping that they'll get easier. Like Vincent, Ethan Hawke's character in Gattaca, who beats his brother in a desperate swim for an ocean buoy: "You want to know how I did it Anton? I never saved anything for the swim back."

This early in the race, with no scientific polling and insufficient data to make valid comparisons, it's impossible to tell who's "ahead" or "behind." But in my opinion, Steve Kubby is leading in the most important way: From the front.

If you agree, there are all kinds of ways to support Steve's campaign. The most obvious is with a financial contribution -- you can do that here.

In terms of "Internet buzz," a few minutes of your time can make a big difference:

- Vote for Steve (or the candidate of your choice) in the straw polls at The Next Prez. The polls are in the right sidebar. Steve won last month's LP nomination poll, and appears this month in both that poll and the "overall" poll versus the most popular candidates from other parties. He debuted on The Next Prez's "top five third party candidates" list in October at number 5 and moved up to number 4 last week.

- If you're a MySpace member, visit Steve's profile and add him as a "friend." We also have a MySpace Group for the campaign. Sign up!

- Several LP candidates for various offices have done well in the "My Rockin' Profile Awards" in past months; we're just getting started there. You can vote for Steve up to once an hour.

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