Document:LP News Number 21 (July-August 1974)
Dallas Convention Attended by 300
Well over 300 delegates and interested spectators attended the national Libertarian Party convention in sweltering Dallas, Texas, during June 12-16. The Texas LP sponsored the event which was only the second "official business" convention in the Party's short history. Despite early disputes over the Credentials Committee report, the convention was marked by a remarkably high degree of camaraderie and cooperation between the various factions of the libertarian movement.
An enlarged and improved platform was hammered out by the delegates during long sessions lasting well into night and, on one occasion, early morning. Debate on the platform was often prolonged and always serious but rarely did animosity rise to the surface. As with the founding convention of the Libertarian Party in 1972 delegates seems genuinely interested in each others' comments and argument as they unto the difficult task of applying libertarian principles to contemporary social problems.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the three convention committees, Credentials, Constitution and Bylaws, and Platform, met to prepare their reports to the general sessions of the convention. The Platform Committee, chaired by California LP Chairman Ed Clark, attracted the most attention with over 100 people sitting in on the proceedings. The Platform Committee set the tone for the entire convention as its members worked around the clock developing planks that were acceptable to all elements of the Party.
Bill Westmiller chaired the Constitution and By-Laws Committee which recommended some major changes in the LP Constitution. Most of these recommendations were approved by the convention with relatively little debate once the Credentials report was accepted. The most significant amendment to the LP Constitution changes the business LP convention from even-numbered years to the fall of odd-numbered years. This was instituted primarily to allow for the nomination of Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates early enough for the LP to qualify for the ballot in those states where a later convention would have prevented us from doing so.
One offshoot of the new odd-year business convention is that this years' Party officers will have a one-year term rather than two-year term of office. The alternative of a three-year term was debated and narrowly defeated with many delegates option for the one-year term simply because it will provide a check by the Party on how the national officers are carrying out their responsibilities.
Business Meetings To Be On Odd Years
Other changes in the Constitution call for a doubling in the size of the National Executive Committee and an increase in the number of delegates to the regular convention to approximately 400. Also, alternate delegates to the conventions may number as many as the respective states choose.
Numerous changes were made in the LP Platform (the LP is the only major political party to adopt a new platform every two years rather than once every four years). The debate on the taxation plank was the longest and most heated of the convention. The text of this plank was ultimately unanimously adopted and it reflects the spirit of cooperation among the delegates in Dallas:
"Since we believe that all persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor, we are opposed to all government activity which consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individual rights. Specifically, we support:
a) those who challenge the payment of taxes on legal and constitutional grounds; and b) the eventual repeal of all taxation.
"We oppose as involuntary servitude any legal requirements forcing employers or business owners to serve as tax collectors for federal, state, or local tax agencies."
The convention adopted strong planks favoring emphasis on reparations in criminal cases (as opposed to emphasis on punishment) and in opposition to involuntary commitment to mental institutions. Two proposed amendments to the United State Constitution, the Liberty Amendment, was also endorsed.
The race for national Chairman of the LP was a spirited one and continued on an informal but active basis from the beginning of the convention on Wednesday through to the election on Saturday afternoon. The two candidates, Ed Crane of California and Scott Royce of Virginia, along with their supporters campaigned continuously, meeting with state delegations and individuals in an attempt to win support. A major debate in the campaign centered around the proposed location of the national headquarters of the LP.
Crane eventually won the Chairmanship, garnering over 80% of the vote. In other elections Andrea Millen, former Chairwoman of the FLP in New York, won an unopposed term as Vice-Chairwoman. Bill Westmiller of California defeated Abby Goldsmith of Florida for Secretary, and John Draft ran unopposed for Treasurer.
Although 14 individuals ran for the 7 at-large posts on the national Executive Committee only one ballot was necessary. Top vote getter was Ed Clark. Others elected were Fran Youngstein of New York (FLP mayoral candidate in '73), Karl Bray of Utah (noted tax rebel and LP Congressional candidate), Scott Royce of Virginia (author of the Royce Report on Congress), Dave Nolan of Colorado (co-founder of the LP), Frank Robinson of Oklahoma, and Bob Meier of Illinois.
Regional Executive Committee members were chosen at regional caucuses. They are: Region 1 (West) – Pat Artz, Washington, Lynn Kinsky, California, Bill Susel, California; Region 2 (West Central) - Eric Westling, Colorado; Region 3 (Southwest) – Porter Davis, Oklahoma, Bill Howell, Texas; Region 4 (Central) – Winston Duke, Illinois; Region 5 (East Central) Martin Jahn; Region 6 (Southeast) – Brian Donerly, Florida; Region 7 (Mid-Atlantic) – Phil Manger, Maryland, Jane Rehmke, New Jersey; and Region 8 (Northeast) - Dave Long, Massachusetts, Lee Schubert, New York.
Unquestionably, the social highlights of the convention were provided by the delegation from New York. Two slide shows produced by Ad lib Communications, one featuring Fran Youngstein's mayor campaign and the other a pictorial history of the libertarian movement, were enthusiastically received by the delegates. On Friday night a major fundraising show for Jerry Tuccille was presented by Adlib and John Doswell.
Speakers at the convention included Tuccille, Roger MacBride, Willis Stone, John Hospers, Woods Jenkins and Sandy Cohen. MacBride, the Virginia elector who cast his vote for LP candidate Hospers instead of Nixon, delivered a rousing keynote address that was frequently interrupted by applause.
Describing at the conclusion of his speech how he viewed the future of the Libertarian Party, MacBride said, "I have no reluctance in telling you that this great political enterprise of ours-this new baby giant of a party-must inevitably influences and alter the course of human events, but if and only if Libertarians show "by every work and deed" that they are adhering to our principles.
Stone, author of the Liberty Amendment, spoke at some length of the achievements of his Committee and the renewed interest and support his proposed Amendment has been receiving. He credited the Libertarian Party with partial responsibility for that development. 1972 Presidential candidate Hospers delivered a stirring, emotional address at the Saturday night banquet. He cited numerous examples of the tyranny of big government and the human suffering that has resulted from the arbitrary actions of bureaucrats at all levels of government.
Cohen, the publicity-generating Congressional candidate from Poughkeepsie, talked of his success in getting media coverage and the favorable impact his candidacy already has had on the voting record of Republican incumbent Hamilton Fish (R.R. 23%).
Jenkins, though a Democrat, is one of the few libertarians actually holding office in a state legislature. He discussed his influence at the recent state Constitutional Convention in Louisiana and the pro-liberty clauses that were adopted at the convention. Jenkins later informally discussed campaign tactics with delegates.
Two special sessions were held during the convention. One on campaign techniques was held by Fran Youngstein and Gary Greenberg and featured Youngstein's television commercials. The other session was on the problems and opportunities existent in our tax laws and included discussions by Karl Bray, Hank Hohenstein and Ken Kalcheim.
Hospers Runs For Calif. Governor
John Hospers, 1972 LP candidate for President, is on the campaign trail once more, this time as the California Libertarian Party's candidate for Governor. "Actually, John is running two campaigns," said Jack Willis, Hospers' campaign manager. "One is an educational campaign, and the other is a ballot campaign."
Willis explained that the election strategy developed for Hospers centers upon an attempt to expose libertarianism to businessmen, professionals, and special interest groups. "We are essentially after opinion-makers, said Willis, "people who are looked up to by their peer groups. If we can plant the seed of libertarianism in the minds of these leaders we will have gone a long way toward achieving the goal of the education campaign.”
Hospers spoke recently before the Los Angeles County Medical Association and has a meeting scheduled for August 29 with a dozen prominent San Francisco businessmen.
The Hospers campaign seeks to raise enough money from the contacts made in the early part of the race to finance one or two mass mailings just prior to the November election. These mailings will be sent primarily to conservatives who Hospers' campaign staff feel have been disenfranchised by the nominations of Jerry Brown and Houston Flournoy by the Democrats and Republicans. Both men are anti-philosophical, "Mr. Clean" candidates who believe in big government and "restoring America's faith in politicians."
While the California LP is unquestionably one of the most active and well-organized of the state parties, they face the most onerous election laws in the country and thus have not been able to achieve ballot status. "That's where the ballot campaign comes in," Willis continued. "If we can get 120,000 write-in votes for Hospers we'll have achieved a permanent spot on the California ballot."
The odds against getting such a large number of write-in votes might appear overwhelming, but the California LP thinks it is at least worth the effort.
Ed Clark, LP state chairman, explained that the enthusiastic reception that Hospers was accorded at the July national YAF conference in San Francisco convinced many people in the Party that an intelligently-run campaign might just be able to get the necessary votes. "Besides," said Clark, "our alternative is to collect 700,000 signatures by assembly district." Citizens for Hospers, the official campaign organization, has hired a professional fundraiser who believes the Party's target of $100,000 is well within reach. The success of the ballot campaign will depend mainly on the ability to raise the necessary funds for the last-minute mailings. It is hoped that over one
Hospers has recently been contacted by a number of prominent conservatives in southern California, some of whom Willis hopes will provide the campaign with endorsements. "Two or three well-known conservative endorsements could make all the difference," he said. Anyone wishing to donate time or money to the campaign should write to Citizens for Hospers, P.O. Box 71383, Los Angeles, CA 90071, or call southern California headquarters at (213) 345-3733 or northern California headquarters at (415) 986-1834.
Tuccille's Aim: 50,000 Votes
The most professional political campaign in the history of the Libertarian Party is underway in New York State this summer. Using the gubernatorial candidacy of 36-year-old author Jerry Tuccille as the vehicle, the Free Libertarian Party of New York has as its objective nothing short of gaining permanent ballot status for the Party. To do so will require 50,000 votes this November.
To complement the political expertise garnered from Fran Youngstein's mayoral campaign last year, the FLP has obtained the services of a professional campaign manager Laura Wertheimer. Ms. Wertheimer has drawn upon the talents of the FLP to form a large and effective campaign staff which she calls the "most creative group of campaign workers, amateur or professional, it has ever been my pleasure to work with."
The campaign strategy calls for Tuccille to appeal directly to those voters who are simply tired of paying high taxes year in and year out-regardless of the government programs involved. As an inducement to get these people to vote for Tuccille-a candidate who admittedly has little chance of winning-the staff has adopted the campaign slogan of "Send them a- message they can't ignore: 50,000 votes."
In his first venture into elective politics, Tuccille appears relaxed and confident on the campaign trail. He received almost universally good media coverage on a recent four-day tour of upstate New York that took in 14 cities. Accompanying him on the trip was Roger Lea MacBride the well-known ex-Republican.
According to MacBride, “the media was very receptive to Jerry. They may have been skeptical at first, but as the interviews progress, it was evident that Jerry was getting his point across. He’s a very articulate individual, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if his candidacy really caught fire before long.”
At a kick-off press conference Tuccille said, "The time has come to tell the standard politicians to stop playing games with our paychecks and our lives. The only way to end the irresponsibility that has characterized the bureaucratic machine in Albany for decades is to send the politicians a message they can't ignore. A vote for me is a protest vote. A protest against high taxes, high prices, and high political gamesmanship."
While Tuccille concerned himself with the campaign, hundreds of libertarians were swarming the streets of New York to gather the necessary 20,000 petition signatures to place his name on the ballot. Petition coordinator Howie Rich indicated that the drive was coming along well and that the objective was to get 40,000 signatures in order to discourage a rumored challenge by the Conservative Party.
We’re very confident about the petition drive," said Rich, "if for no other reason than the fact that everyone realizes this will be the last time we will have to petition if we can get those 50,000 votes for Jerry."
The rust "media blitz" of the campaign is scheduled for September 16-23 with over $15,000 of radio and television advertising being used to introduce Tuccille to the citizens of New York. In addition, a Tuccille-for-Governor booth will be manned by the FLP at the upcoming state fair in Syracuse.
Tuccille, who is the author of Radical Libertarianism and has written for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, thinks his campaign is anything but an act of futility. "The response I get from people in all walks of life has been remarkably positive," he says. "People are upset," according to Tuccille, "not only at the blatant corruption that permeates both major parties, but at the politicians' insistence that the way to solve the people's problems is to spend the people's money. Bureaucracy is rampant, and it is time to say 'Stop.' "
Contributions to Tuccille's campaign should be sent to Tuccille for Governor, 15 West 38th Street, Suite 201, New York, N.Y.10018.
Interview With New Party Chief
Q. I was very interested in your two recent Reason Letters to the Editor [May, July 1974] in which you stated that Congressman Steve Symms is a "conservative, not a libertarian" and that because of his "statist positions," we, as libertarians, should "disassociate ourselves with the political philosophy of men like Congressman Symms."
A. This is a difficult question because I admire Steve Symms very much. If his philosophy were the only one in Congress I dare say I'd not be involved in politics at treacherously close to a situation in America that could lead to a total dictatorial state in a very short period of time.
The present trend in politics is no longer a gradual phenomenon that allows us time to cajole and spar with Congressmen to try to get them to see the light. It's like inflation - it's accelerating. The only way to stop it is to fight it with principle.
We've got to say look: human beings have the right to live their lives as sovereign individuals - which means our lifestyles are our own to choose, and the products of our labor are ours (and no one else's) to consume. Period. No ifs, ands or buts.
So long as Steve Symms is opposed to amnesty, so long as he is in favor of subsidies to farmers or spending our tax money on the bicentennial celebration he is saying that the concept of the sovereignty of the individual is not absolute. All of which means that those positions he is taking in Congress that are correct are not based on principle.
And until we bring the debate down to one of principle we will forever be arguing about which approach works best. Efficacy is not the basis of right or wrong. The fact that liberty leads to a maximization of prosperity obviously works to our advantage but it should not be the basis of our arguments. The statists can always make "something for nothing" sound attractive to the average voter.
When Steve Symms refuses to compromise (and I might say I think he is coming close to that point), I will be the first to praise and defend him. But until he comes to that point we must clearly indicate that he is not a libertarian. The cutting edge of this movement is our principles. Once we compromise them our effectiveness is blunted and our cause is damaged.
Q. What is your definition of a libertarian?
A. A libertarian, from my perspective, is someone who believes in the sovereignty of the individual and who applies that principle consistently.
Q. As the new LP Chairman, what do you think is the function of the LP? Is there any role besides running Presidential campaigns?
A. I strongly believe that the purpose of the Libertarian Party is 100% educational. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to elect people to public office. Clearly we should. What it means is that we must never forget that freedom will not be won in Congress but only in educating the populace to the ideas of liberty. There is no conflict between political action and education as long as getting elected does not become the primary objective.
A sad fact of American life is that elections are about the only time people listen to ideas. It's a mistake to pass up an educational forum just because you have to enter politics to gain that forum.
The national party should constantly be looking for opportunities to spread libertarian ideas - through press releases, literature, demonstrations or whatever. The presidential campaign is the best opportunity we have to do this but not the only one.
Q. Many anarchists criticize the Libertarian Party for involving itself in politics. Is the LP strictly a political organization?
A. Any anarchist who believes in the right of self-defense cannot be morally opposed to political action. Now, if he wants to say that politics is tactically wrong - o.k. - I disagree with him but that's a legitimate opinion. It's the idea that political action automatically identifies one as less than pure that I find illogical.
Q. How does (or should) the National LP relate to all the state LP's? Strictly informational? Help in organizing?
A. The relationship of the national LP to the states is an important issue. I believe in a policy of decentralization but not because there is anything inherently libertarian about a decentralized organizational structure.
As long as an organization is voluntary, the most efficient structure for that organization may be centralized or decentralized. I agree with Rothbard that only when we are talking about government can we assume, a priori, that decentralization is preferable.
In the case of the Libertarian Party we have a situation where our primary purpose is to spread ideas. The more decentralized the responsibility for that objective is the better it will be carried out.
Certainly the national LP is responsible for assisting in the organizing of the state parties. This is rapidly becoming an irrelevant issue, I am happy to report, because there are only 10 states where we still don't have an organization functioning.
Ultimately the national party may have a responsibility to choose between different organizations within a single state when challenges come up. So far we have been fortunate to have only one or two such incidents arise.
Q. Does (or should) the anarchist-limited government controversy have any bearing on actual politicking?
A. No. Those anarchists who have joined the LP are for the most part keenly cognizant of tactics and the desirability of gradually eliminating the state. Those who wish to kick the props out from under our society and hope that freedom will arise from the ashes are naive at best. Most are nihilists who have little understanding of what our struggle is all about.
Q. Is there a conflict between wanting to win elections (and hence make changes in the government from within) and getting enough support from people in the form of votes to actually win? In other words, are you worried about the LP's principles being diluted "just a little bit" so that we can WIN? If so, how can this be re-invented for both now and the future?
A. This relates to what we have discussed previously. Ultimately the only way to prevent dilution is constant vigilance on the part of LP members. I think a rule of thumb that will help is not to get involved in endorsing candidates of other parties. To do so almost always means either compromise or at least the subjugation of education to winning elections.
Q. What do you see as the future of libertarianism and/or the Libertarian Party?
A. The future of libertarianism is the stars. The future of the Libertarian Party is also exciting, to say the least. Not since the American revolution have so many bright, committed individuals joined forces in the fight for liberty. We have the talent and the commitment. The timing is good. The Republicans, as MacBride said in his keynote speech in Dallas, are dead whether they know it or not. The Democrats look healthy only by comparison.
The American people are ready for libertarianism - this has been obvious to me over the past two years in talking to non-libertarian groups. Media recognition of the LP and acceptance of our legitimacy is remarkably high. In sum, the stage is set for us to have an immediate and major influence on the course of history in this nation. It's now up to us. The cost of liberty at this late stage runs high but I am convinced that libertarians are prepared to pay it.
Political Perspectives: Post-Nixon Politics by David F. Nolan
And so, after two years of breast-beating and public recrimination on all sides, the impossible happened. An American President was forced out of office not merely discouraged from seeking re-election, ala LBJ, but actually forced to step down., And not just any President, either; the man expelled from power had pursued that power with an intensity and single-mindedness rarely if ever before witnessed in American history. There is an ironic justice of sorts that the first man ever to become an un-President (as opposed to simply an ex-President) is the man for whom being President was the major reason for living. It couldn't have happened, as they say, to a nicer guy.
In all fairness, however, it should be observed that while Richard Nixon richly deserved his unique fate, he was by no means the only President who deserved that fate. His immediate predecessor was almost certainly equally impeachable, and might well have had to face that eventuality, had he been confronted with an opposition-party-dominated Congress. Too bad he wasn't; it would have been fun watching old welfare-warfare Lyndon go down in flames.
Fall From Grace
But to turn to the present, the facts are that Milhous was the first (hopefully, there will be others), and his fall from grace has many ramifications. Some will become known only with the passage of time; others can be guessed at even now. And herewith are some guesses.
The most immediate result of Nixon's departure, of course, is the Presidency of Gerald Ford. And, while the two men are almost diametric opposites stylistically (Nixon was a megalomaniac, while Ford verges on humble), there is little if any ideological difference between the two. Ford, after all, was Nixon's hand-picked successor.
Ford’s Royce Rating for the first half of 1973 was an average (i.e., bad) 36; his second-half score, had he finished out the year, would probably have been lower, judging from his performance through November. From a libertarian viewpoint he will not be a lot better than Nixon; he gains a few points for his relatively greater opposition to welfare spending, but loses them back because of his militarism. In sum, Ford is perhaps a half-notch to the right of Nixon, but in the same plane.
Nonetheless, having Ford as President will probably bring some slight improvements over the Nixon regime. By virtue of his situation, Ford will be too weak to embark on any grandiose schemes of his own, as Nixon would have loved to do, following his "mandate" in 1972. On the other hand, Ford will probably be able to use the veto power, and have his vetoes stick, if the Congress gets too carried away (and it may well, next year). Nixon, in contrast, had effectively lost his veto power.
In sum, with a non-elected President in the White House, we are likely to see a more balanced relationship between Executive and Legislative power than we have seen in decades. The march toward Executive despotism has been temporarily halted-perhaps even set back a step or two. Indeed, the power of The State as a whole been dealt somewhat of a blow-although we should not disillusion ourselves that this is more than a temporary respite.
Still another benefit of Tricky Dick's fall from grace is that there is now some hope that the reign of Dread Ted may well be postponed for four years. If Ford does a fairly good job of pleasing the public between now and November of 1976, he has a good chance of being elected to a term of his own. This puts Teddy Bear on ice until 1980, and, given the unpredictability of the world these days, perhaps forever.
There are other political implications to this thing, however. One is that the Republican Party has been given at least a temporary "new lease on life." The GOP was in very, very deep trouble prior to Nixon's resignation; now, there is a measurable chance that the GOP may not fare too badly in this year's elections.
Undoubtedly, the Republicans are still far worse off than they were before the beginning of the whole Nixon-Agnew (remember him?) scandal of 1973-74, but they're not nearly as badly off as they would have been with Nixon still in office and going through impeachment this Fall.
The GOP's gain is not necessarily our loss, however. For one thing, there was a very real danger that a too-early demise of the.GOP would have left us with a one-party system, rather than the multi-party system we aspire to.
In addition, I think this whole debacle has caused a lot of people to become dissatisfied with both major parties to a previously unprecedented degree, and I honestly believe we're going to see increasing numbers of third-party and independent candidates elected to office in the next few years. In fact, I now think there's a slim chance that one or more of our Congressional candidates might actually win, this November.
Perhaps most importantly, however, I think the events of the past year or two have made the American people much more receptive to proposals for limiting the power of government, and changing the way in which we choose our political representatives. Specifically, I believe the time is now ripe for us to push for two important Constitutional amendments which could greatly aid our cause-that of limiting government power.
Rotation In Office
First, I think there's a good chance that the American people would be receptive, at this point in time, to the idea of limiting Presidents to one term in office (perhaps a six-year term). They might even go for the idea of limiting Senators and Congressmen to a set number of terms, as well.
Second, I believe the time is also ripe to push for an amendment to change our electoral system. I am currently working on a proposal (which, when refined, will be sent to all members of the next Congress) to eliminate the cumbersome system of state primaries we now have, and substitute a nationwide, three-stage election system: an open, non-partisan primary in June, with the top four runners to go into a secondary election in September, and the top two from that election to face off in November.
Due to space limitations, I cannot go into details on this proposal here. I invite all interested readers to write me for more information; please enclose a couple of bucks-or more, if you can spare it-to help finance printing and mailing costs. My address is: 15063 East Stanford Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80232.
(David Nolan is a co-founder of the national Libertarian Party. This is the seventeenth in his series of regular "Political Perspective" columns.)
News From State Libertarian Parties
The past few months have seen a great deal of Libertarian Party activity in different states. Below is a state-by-state round-up:
ALASKA The Alaska LP plans its Second Annual Gathering on September 13-15 in Anchorage. John Hospers and Tonie Nathan have been invited, and it will include meetings, parties, auctions, and perhaps the movie, "The Fountainhead."
ALABAMA Things are moving in Alabama, where Harvey Crumhorn has been appointed temporary State Chairman, and is being assisted by Dr. W.K. Allbritton, State Chairman of the Liberty Amendment Committee. Crumhorn reports that an organizational meeting is in the offing, and that enthusiasm is strong in the Huntsville area.
CALIFORNIA Libertarian Hal Jindrich received 200,560 votes (that's not a misprint) in his race for the non-partisan office of State Superintendant of Public Instruction in June. Jindrich stressed a totally non-coercive educational system in his campaign. A large number of parties, picnics, and rallies are scheduled or have been held throughout the state, and strenuous efforts have been made to present Libertarian replies to radio and television station editorials. One such reply, opposing a bond issue in Los Angeles, is credited with helping defeat the issue.
COLORADO Party activity here has centered around the campaigns of Libertarian Party candidates. (More about these in the Campaign '74 section of this issue.)
FLORIDA Fort Lauderdale was the scene of South Florida's Libertarian Party convention on July 27, according to its newsletter. Their Chairman, John Bailey, joined with Grant LaPointe, former Alaska LP Chairman, for a two-hour appearance on a Miami radio station talk show.
GEORGIA The Georgia LP is growing in the Atlanta area, and appears to have qualified for the state ballot. Regular meetings have featured candidates and discussions, and the dissemination of Libertarian publications to newcomers.
HAWAII Hawaii's newsletter, "FREE!", indicates heavy statewide activity, especially on a major radio station KHVH, where Libertarian Commentary is heard each Monday. In addition, a 3½-hour talk program on the same station featured LP Chairman Jerry Dickson on foreign aid.
KENTUCKY The Party structure is shaping up in Kentucky, where a membership drive has started on college campuses. Strategy has been mapped to separate hard-core Libertarians from sympathizers.
MASSACHUSETTS Recent activities in this state have included talks by Roger MacBride and David Brudnoy, which have been heavily publicized in the Boston area, and participation by newsletter editor David Owen Jones and others in the New England Conference on Tax Reform.
MINNESOTA The Minnesota Party newsletter is called "The Reasonable Answer," and it announces a number of meetings in the Minneapolis area. In addition, preparations for an all-out blitz of the state fair are underway.
NEW JERSEY Libertarians in New Jersey are giving close scrutiny to the tax programs of their newly-elected governor, and are actively supporting the candidacies of some of their New York FLP neighbors. Their newsletter is prospering, and several general meetings of the State Party have been held.
NEW YORK There's a lot going on in New York, mostly having to do with efforts to get the Free Libertarian Party on the ballot through the gubernatorial campaign of Jerry Tuccille (for news about Tuccille see page one; other candidates are reported on in page five's campaign news). New York Libertarians are organizing into county committees, with Kings County having the first chartered FLP Committee.
OHIO Libertarians in Ohio are excited over a full-fledged U.S. Senate campaign, and they're busy filling up regional chairmanships and getting organized. Their newsletter, "Ohio Libertarian," is 12 pages of news, announcements, and opinion articles by Ohio LP writers.
OKLAHOMA The LP in Oklahoma got things started with a "Get Acquainted" party held in Oklahoma City. Most of the guests were newcomers - out of 90 in attendance. Speakers included state chairman Thomas Laurent and national Executive Committeeman D. Frank Robinson. The state convention was August 24 and 25.
OREGON Libertarians in Oregon have been getting a great deal of newspaper and radio coverage on such topics as oil industry nationalization and economic shortages. Meanwhile, they've elected new officers, involved themselves in several campaigns, and offered a series of Nathaniel Branden tapes to the public.
TENNESSEE The Tennessee LP has formed, with its headquarters in Nashville. It received favorable TV coverage during its convention, and members are taking advantage of that through newspaper and TV ads. They've also formed a registered lobbying group to fight in the state legislature against increased government power.
TEXAS Party activity centered around the National Convention in Irving this June. Elsewhere, organization is progressing in Houston and Dallas, with the election of new officers in both regions. The Dallas LP newsletter has featured original libertarian fiction and cartoons as well.
UTAH LP members in Utah have gained considerable publicity from their state convention and the candidacies of libertarians for Congress and sheriff. Editorials as well as news articles have dealt with libertarian issues; looks as if the LP is taken seriously in Utah.
WASHINGTON The Washington LP has scheduled its nominating convention for September 17 in Seattle. Its latest statewide activity was to obtain signatures for a ballot initiative which would have removed the state sales tax from basic necessities - 92,000 signatures were obtained. Their newsletter, "Shockwave," is now published monthly.
Has your state been left out of the list? Have we forgotten anything? If so, tell us - we don’t want to leave anyone out.
Ford’s Policies Threaten Liberty by Bill Evers
President Gerald R. Ford has a political career that stretches across more than a quarter of a century. His public record in the course of that career contains many indications of his personal philosophy and includes numerous policy stands of interest to libertarians. Ford has a history of opposition to the exercise of full civil liberties. Best known is Ford’s attempt in April 1970 to engineer the impeachment of semi-libertarian Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
Among Ford's major concerns was the fact that Douglas' writings had appeared in pornographic magazines, namely Evergreen Review and Avante Garde.
Ford opposed Lyndon Johnson's 1967 proposal to ban most governmental and private wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping. He spoke in favor of wiretapping in debate over the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and the D.C. Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970.
The preventive detention provision of this D.C. Crime Act received Ford's endorsement (15 July 1970 Congressional Record). Ford was the sole sponsor of a 1971 Nixon administration bill that would have provided for pre-trial detention of so-called dangerous persons charged with certain crimes. Under the provisions of this bill, a U.S. Attorney would have been able to make a written motion to arrest someone for the purpose of holding a pre-trial detention hearing. A judge could hear the motion without the accused or his attorney being given an opportunity to respond. Then the judge could order the person arrested and transported to the place of the hearing. Once arrested, the person could be kept in jail for several days before the hearing. Once arrested, the person could be kept in jail for several days before the hearing. at the hearing itself, the usual rules of evidence in criminal cases would not have applied.
On matters of freedom of speech, Ford was one of the major proponents of legislation that made it a crime to travel from state to state to incite "violence." This was the law that was used to indict the Chicago 8 for conspiracy at the 1968 Democratic convention.
Ford also spoke out in favor of the no-knock entry provision of the D.C. Crim Act (15 July 1970 CR).
Interestingly enough, Ford at one point in his career took a strong and forthright stand in favor of equal political rights for blacks. The occasion was a House Republican substitute for what became the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Here Ford in alliance with Midwestern Taft Republicans (Bill McCulloch and Clarence Brown of Ohio) proposed a substitute measure that was stronger than the Johnson Administration bill in the areas of securing honest elections and opposing poll taxes. In this effort, Ford and the others opposed that wing of their party that wanted to draw white supremacist Southern Democrats into the Republican party. (See House Judiciary Committee, Hearings on the Nomination of Gerald R. Ford as Vice President, p. 239; also see July 1965 CR.) In matters of economic liberty, Ford has favored compulsory arbitration since at least 1967 to settle labor-management disputes in the transportation industry. (See also 9 Dec. 1970 CR.)
Ford went along with President Nixon's program of wage and price controls. He said of the Phase II program: "Let me emphasize that our price and wage controls are working." (2 August 1972 CR.) One of Ford's first acts as President was to apply government pressure in the form of a revived Cost of Living Council and nationally-publicized jawboning to interfere with the free movement of prices and wages.
In addition, Ford seems to be intent on actively pushing for early passage of a socialized medicine bill through Congress. Many libertarians would be interested in Ford's attitude toward the possibility of a more isolationist foreign policy stance for America.
Ford first entered politics with the backing of isolationist-turned-inter nationalist Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg, R-Mich. He gained his seat in the House by defeating the incumbent, isolationist Bartel J. Jonkman, in the Republican primary.
On 9 Dec. 1973, Ford said: "I'm a reformed isolationist who, before World War II, was mistaken like a lot of people .... I have become, I think, a very ardent internationalist." Ford has strongly supported U.S. involvement in Indochina and in the Middle East.
As a final matter, since the President can launch nuclear war, many libertarians are concerned with Ford's record on wartime policies that mean that violence or the threat of violence will be directed against noncombatants. Ford was in the forefront of those urging aerial bombardment of North Vietnam, including urban areas, even before such bombing became official U.S. policy.
Legal Gold, No-Knock Victories
by Scott Royce
Strangely enough, there is some good news from Congress which can be reported. First, it has passed (as a rider to the International Development Association authorization, unfortunately) legislation allowing private citizens to own gold as of Dec. 31, 1974. The IDA bill also contained a useful provision instructing the U.S. governor there to vote against loans to nations developing nuclear explosive devices unless those nations were signatories to the non-proliferation treaty. Second, both houses of Congress have now passed legislation to repeal the federal "no-knock" law. Sen. Ervin, leading the fight for repeal in the Senate, noted that "We ought not to sacrifice on the altar of doubt and fear ... what is the proud boast of our law that every man's home is his castle." He continued: "The Bill of Rights applies to everyone, even drug peddlers. If our standard is going to be that if a constitutional guarantee serves to protect criminals we are going to be free to disregard it, then we are in trouble."
With Ervin and Sen. Charles Percy, R-Ill., leading the charge, the Senate overcame opposition from the likes of Sen. Roman Hruska, R-Nebr., and voted, 64-31, to repeal the federal and D.C. statutes. The House repeal motion, accepted by voice vote during routine debate, only repealed the federal law, however. the difference will have to be ironed out in conference, but it is safe to predict that the federal "no-knock" law passed during the GOP's crime-hysteria period in 1970 looks dead at last. The Senate has twice firmly resisted attempts to invoke cloture (limit debate) on the bill to create a Consumer Protection Agency, a piece of legislation that columnist James Jackson Kilpatrick calls the worst of the year. The bill -would create a vast new bureaucracy to harass businessmen before other federal agencies and in the courts. The House has already passed a similar bill, and only a filibuster led by Sens. Ervin, William Scott, R-Va., and James Allen, D-Ala., is protecting us from this new bureaucratic monster.
On July 30 the House killed 221-181 on a motion by Rep. Chalmers Wylie, R-Ohio, the conference report on a bill to provide massive amounts of funds for urban mass transit subsidies. The bill would have authorized $800 million for fiscal 1975 alone to states and localities.
Turning to the negative side of things, the House gave the country a real example of the cause of inflation when it passed a concurrent resolution on July 31 calling for a six month study of the subject by the Joint Economic Committee. More taxpayers' money down the drain ...
Also on the spending front, a number of Senators have recently been attempting to trim appropriations to various government agencies. Little progress has been made, however. For instance, one such motion by Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., a leader in the f1ght, failed by 42-56 to cut back the Treasury-Postal Service appropriation by roughly 3.3%. GOP votes split 24 for the move and a depressing 16 against it. A motion by Dole the next day to cut 3% from the Public Works-AEC Appropriation did little better. But the worst news of all is passage, after only two days debate, of a "campaign reform" measure by the House. Blatantly unconstitutional, the bill calls for public financing for presidential contests, sets ridiculously low spending limits for Congressional races, and severely limits the size of contributions.
On public financing, however, the bill is better than the version passed several months ago by the Senate. That bill calls for public financing of Congressional races, too, a proposal that was rejected in the House by a decent margin. Only 51 Members had the guts and principle to go on record as being against final passage of this pseudo-reform measure. Our best hope is that hard-line proponents of full public financing in the Senate will not be willing to make concessions to the House in conference on questions like Congressional financing. Unless one side compromises substantially, the campaign bill may still be killed. Write your Congressman and urge him t
Libertarian Candidates Contest Elections
Paul Beaird, LP state chairman, is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Beaird is currently national director of Citizens for Quality in Medicine, a libertarian consumers' group. Campaign activities so far have included newspaper, television, and radio interviews. Also planned are a debate with Beaird's Democratic rival sponsored by the Taxpayers Defense League, two booths at state fairs, and the appearance of income-tax opponent Willis Stone in two of Alaska's largest cities. Donations to support these activities should be sent to Alaska Libertarian Party, P.O. Box 2724, Kodiak, Alaska 99615.
The Party's standard-bearer is gubernatorial candidate John Hospers (see story on page one).
William C. White, candidate for U.S. Senator, spoke at Monterey Peninsula College on gun control and drug control last May and spoke to the staff of a Sears, Roebuck store in Orange County on individual liberty and morality in government, in mid-July. He intends to participate actively in the Sears' meet-the-candidates program.
White has also addressed several taxpayers' groups, meeting with a favorable reception. He has had an article published in the newsletter of the· Citizens for Marijuana Reform in Santa Clara County. The White campaign has also completed• the important technical step of filing for election in all 58 California counties, thus alerting county clerks to count write-in votes for White.
Make checks payable to White for Senate, 11811 Larnel Place, Los Altos, CA 94022.
David Bergland, LP candidate for attorney general, told a rally in Wilmington on July 18, The list of victimless crimes is so long and comprehensive that almost everyone is guilty of something."
Bergland noted that the broad scope of these laws plus the limited resources available for law enforcement means that victimless crime laws were usually enforced against "unpopular groups," especially homosexuals and persons with long hair. The Bergland campaign can be reached at 6832 Silver Beach Circle, Huntington Beach, CA 92648.
John B. James is running for Representative in Washington of the 1st district (Denver). He is concentrating on the issues of taxation and inflation, which he calls "a heavy and unnecessary burden on all of us. James, a former state LP vice-chairman, has produced what looks to be an effective leaflet to promote his candidacy. Contributions should be sent to Committee for a New Liberty, 411 Cook St., Denver, Colorado 80206.
In late July, Dr. Jeremy J. Millett, former LP state chairman, announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives. He would represent the 7th district (Acadiana). In his announcement, Millett said that the present incumbent has "voted for big spending bills, for more restrictions on the lives of us all, for further Presidential irresponsibility in foreign wars." There must be equal rights for all special privileges for none," Millett said. "I believe individual liberty is our great political heritage and opportunity."
Contributions can be mailed to Libertarian Party of Louisiana, P.O. Box 2932, Lafayette, Louisiana 70501.
The Party is also fielding Jeff Daiell for Commissioner of Public Safety in Shreveport. The Daiell campaign can be reached in care of the Libertarian Society of Shreveport, Box 1023, Shreveport, Lousiana 71163.
Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Richard Kleinow is past chairman of the state LP. In his campaign he has called for a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment would prohibit Congress from passing "laws restricting the activities of production, exchange, and consumption or any other human activity which does not involve the initiation of force or fraud."
Kleinow points out that the state usury law is not only a violation of individuals' economic rights. Such setting of legal maxima on interest rates simply drives loanable funds into states which do not have such restrictions.
Kleinow has been interviewed by the St. Paul Pioneer Press and by a smaller alternative newspaper, the Daily American. He has been invited to appear with other gubernatorial candidates in October at the University of Minnesota to answer questions from members of the faculty.
Campaign contributions can be sent to P.O. Box 774, Minneapolis, Minn. 55440. Checks should be made payable to Kleinow For Governor.
James Bums, the founder of the Nevada chapter of the Society for Individual Liberty and temporary Nevada state LP chairman, is running for Congress. Burns has run as a Republican because of the restrictions of the state election code. His campaign literature nonetheless features the LP and protests the ballot monopoly of the Democrats and Republicans. Campaign contributions can be sent to Bums for Congress at either 234 W. St. Louis, Las Vegas, NV 89102 or 7474 Sandstone, Reno, NV 89502.
Arthur Ketchen, the vice-chairman of the state LP, is in the race for the Republican nomination for Representative to the General Court (state legislature) from District 12.
Ketchen hopes to orient his campaign toward the young who have not so far been encouraged to participate in New Hampshire politics (Ketchen is 23), toward the old and the childless who are exploited by heavy taxes for education, and toward middle-class taxpayers who are hit hard for local taxes to fund services they don’t get.
For information and contributions send to: Arthur W. Ketchen, Candidate for Representative to the General Court, Arthur Ketchen, Fiscal Agent, .3 Proctor Hill Rd., Hollis, New Hampshire 03049.
Robert A. Steiner, past chairman of the state LP and first vice-president of the Federation of New Jersey Taxpayers, is putting in a bid to represent the 12th Congressional district. His campaign literature stresses his links with the revolt of the fed-up taxpayers. Please mail contributions to Bob Steiner for Congress, P.O. Box 112 - Dept. A, Westfield, NJ 07091.
The major LP effort in the Empire State is the struggle to obtain 50,000 votes for the party's gubernatorial candidate Jerome Tuccille. (See story on page one.)
Percy L. Greaves, Jr., author of the recently-published book Understanding the Dollar Crisis, is the party's challenger to liberal Republican Jacob Javits, the senior Senator from the state. Send contributions c/o Free Libertarian Party, 15 W. 38th St., Suite 201, New York NY 10018.
Sanford Cohen of Poughkeepsie is trying to replace Republican Rep. Hamilton Fish, Jr. The Cohen campaign has now collected three times the petition signatures required to be placed on the ballot. Cohen, who got an early start in the campaign itself in order to facilitate public recognition, has received extensive coverage in the local media. His campaign staff also has been issuing a campaign newsletter filled with fascinating how-to information on electioneering. When Cohen accepted the nomination of New York State's Free Libertarian Party, he said, "It is time to return to the 'Spirit of '76.' It is tim to give America back to all the people. It is time to restore property rights, individual liberties, and the free enterprise system." Make all contributions payable to Citizens for Cohen, P.O. Box 1776, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.
Joseph Gentilli is the candidate for Representative from the 16th Congressional District in Brooklyn. He has received the endorsement of the Republican and Conservative parties.
Other FLP candidates include Virginia Shields Walker, a state assembly candidate who has made condemnation via-eminent domain a politi_cal controversy in Suffolk County, and veteran campaigner Guy Riggs, an assembly aspirant from the Pougkeepsie area. Walker's address is P.O. Box 444, Shirley, NY 11967.
Riggs says in a lengthy but readable campaign statement: "No_politician, of course, would come right out and say, 'I want to do things for you guys at the expense of those guys by taxing them; restraining their peaceful behavior or both.' Yet for decades now the successful politician has been the one who could propose just that - but in words making him sound like a champion of decency." Riggs concludes his statement by telling his prospective supporters: Send me to Albany in '74 so you '11 have something to celebrate in '76!" His statement is available for twenty-five cents from Guy W. Riggs Campaign Fund, 32 Saddle Rock Drive, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603.
The FLP has also endorsed Louis Sicilia for lieutenant governor, Leland Schubert for attorney general, Dr. Robert Flanzer for comptroller, Alan Le Page for the 70th assembly district, Stewart A. Feigel for the 20th state senatorial district (also backed by Republicans and Conservatives), and Lawrence Penner for a seat on the New York City Council (also backed by the Republicans).
Kathleen G. Harroff candidate for U.S. Senator running against astronaut John Glenn, appeared in a talk show in Cincinnati. On the program she came out against all foreign aid, in favor of isolationism and neutrality in foreign policy, for pulling all U.S. troops and equipment back into this country, for getting Social Security out of the hands of the government, and in opposition to any national health care program. She said, jn answer to a question, that the state's 55-mile-per-hour speed limit was absurd, that compulsory school attendance laws should be ended, and that taking from the rich to give to the poor was theft. One person there, a Democrat, said she sounded like a "Populist."
Harroff has been busy addressing ethnic groups (Irish-Americans, German-Americans, etc.), prison reform groups, and numerous talk shows. The headquarters of the Harroff for Senate Committee is at 204 Solon Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44146.
Paul Pferdner is campaigning for a seat in the state legislature representing district 18. His literature asks Oregonians to "vote for a tax reducer, not a tax user."
On the issue of mass transit, Pferdner says, "The present system of franchises and common-carrier licensing stifles creative and innovative solutions to transit problems. A free enterprise approach would allow mass transit to develop to meet the consumers' needs with greater efficiency and less cost." Contributions can be sent to Citizens for Pferdner, P.O. 14901, Portland, Oregon 97214.
Dr. Ron Paul has decided to take on the Democratic incumbent of 16 years in a race for U.S. Representative from the 22nd district in Houston. Paul says that if the policies of welfare-warfare spending are not halted, honest work won't be worth anything but pain shortly. Paul has also been backed by the Republicans.
Karl J. Bray will be running for U.S. Representative from the 11-county 2nd district, which includes Salt Lake City. Bray, who was the choice of one-tenth of the Republicans polled on their choice for the GOP nomination, has become well-known to the public because of his leadership as a tax rebel. Reviving a question that has potential in many Western states, he also favors opening all federal lands to homesteaders.
Bray told the state LP convention in July that the Party is "the first and last political hope for men who want to be free of political and economic bondage."
In the House of Representatives, he said he would "figure out how as quickly as possible to disband our monopolistic, predatory, destructive government." Send all contributions to Bray for Congress, 150 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102.
Jeannie Trevathan has entered the race to unseat the incumbent sheriff in Salt Lake County. A decorating consultant, she calls for adopting a recall act making all Utah officials subject to recall and says that if she is elected sheriff no more officials will interpose their ideas of law, when such law would violate the rights guaranteed in the U.S. and Utah constitutions.
LP state chairman Skip Barron from the Olympic Peninsula and Richard Dyment from Queen Anne district in Seattle are seeking seats in the state legislature.
Executive Committee Plans For LP's Future
Barely two hours after the formal closing of the 1974 Convention, the newly-elected national Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party met to discuss plans for the future. As a result of an amendment to the LP Constitution the Ex Comm's size has been increased to twenty-five members including the five national officers, the past Chairperson, seven at-large members and thirteen chosen from regional caucuses.
One of the first actions of the Committee was to approve a proposal by Chairman Ed Crane to create a fund for the purpose of establishing a national headquarters in San Francisco. Crane reported that he already had commitments of $7000 for the fund.
Another fund was created to enable the Party to hire a full-time salaried Executive Director. This position was established primarily for the purpose of building new LPs in unorganized states and to coordinate national fund-raising activities. The Executive Director will also have responsibility for overseeing national headquarters activities and media releases. The Ex Comm heard a report from Gary Greenberg of New York on the chances for 1976 ballot qualification in various states. There are approximately 20 states in which the LP has a reasonable chance to get its Presidential candidate on the ballot, according to Greenberg. New York, Michigan, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon were mentioned as states with relatively-fair ballot qualification laws. The LP is already on the ballot of Utah.
In other actions, the Ex Comm created a Publications Committee and elected Andrea Millen of New York as Chairwoman. On the Committee with Ms. Millen are Pat Artz of Washington, Lynn Kinsky (Editor of Reason magazine) of California, Bob Meier of Illinois, and Phil Manger of Maryland. . The Publications Committee will be responsible for having new LP literature developed. The Ex Comm expressed its desire to have more specialized literature that can be used effectively with "right" or "left" groups. In addition, position papers will be written by experts in different areas.
Frank Robinson of Oklahoma presented a concept for coordinating congressional campaigns which he called "LINC '76." The LINC proposal was discussed at some length and tabled until the next Ex Comm meeting at which Mr. Robinson was invited to make a detailed proposal. Washington, D.C., was selected as the site of the next Ex Comm meeting which will be held on November 30. Before adjourning the Ex Comm passed the following resolution: "Be it resolved that the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party expresses its appreciation to Susan Nolan for her outstanding job as 1972-73 Party Chairwoman."
Royce Report on Congress
The only libertarian evaluation of every Senator’s and Congressman’s voting record. Lets you keep track of your state’s delegation, and often contains many surprises.
Published twice annually, a new edition has just been released. Single copy, $1.50. Or get a four-issue subscription (covers a full two-year Congressional terms) for just $5.
Libertarian Information Service PO Box 31638, Aurora, CO 80011.
National Headquarters Fund
With the change of administration from Denver to San Francisco a special fund has been created to help finance the LP's new downtown office. Over $9000 has been contributed to the National Headquarters Fund to date, with the money going to pay for rent, office furniture and equipment and clerical staff salaries Located in the 550 Kearny building in the heart of San Francisco's business district, the 600 sq. ft. of office space is packed with LP literature, posters, files and all of the necessities for operating a national political party. The objective of the Fund is $20,000 which is believed sufficient to adequately staff and equip the headquarters as well as make it presentable for pre conferences and meetings with officials from other organizations.
No money from the general revenues of the LP is being used for this headquarters project. Those interested in contributing to the HQ Fund should specifically identify the purpose of their donation. Send all contributions to: Libertarian Party, 550 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.
LPs Develop In Canada, Australia
Prompted by the remarkable success of the two-year-old Libertarian Party in the United States, similar parties are now functioning in Canada and Australia. The second convention of the Libertarian Party of Canada on May 24-26 in Ontario apparently laid the foundation to ensure that the LP will be an enduring force in Canadian politics for many years to come.
An inspiring speech by Phil Spicer of Ontario (combined with an inspiring financial contribution) encouraged the delegates to take the initiative in the battle with the state and not be discouraged by the seemingly large odds against a successful libertarian political movement in Canada. By the end of the Convention the LP had a strong libertarian platform and no less than twenty-four candidates from three provinces running for federal office.
While there was not enough time to allow the LP of Canada to achieve ballot status, the results from the July 8 elections showed that they received more votes in the ridings in which they fielded candidates than the Marxist-Leninists, the Communist Party, and the Social Creditists combined. "We fully intend to become the major opposition to the statist Conservative and Liberal parties within four years," said newly-elected Party Chairman Michael A. Blake. The other new officers are Chuck Lyall, Party Leader; Sieg Pedde, Deputy Party Leader; Maria Tchir, Vice Chairwoman; Ken Freeman, Treasurer; and Judith A. Herman, Secretary.
The recent election of the Labor Party government in Australia has prompted a group of Sydney businessmen to request that a few local libertarians make plans for establishing a Libertarian Party of Australia. Patricia Brookes and Bob Howard are spearheading the project and are using Libertarian Party, USA literature. Howard expects that the new party can be running candidates in local elections by early next year.
Libertarianism is even making an impact in Great Britain where the respected journal of opinion, The Spectator, ran an article by Philip Vander Elst entitled "Libertarianism -an alternative." Says Vander Elst, "Freedom will not long survive in this country if the Tory Party does not provide a libertarian alternative to the socialist state by failing to curb its own paternalistic and technocratic tendencies." A Libertarian Party of England ...?
Ford Signs Gold Bill
On Aug. 14, President Ford signed into law a bill allowing American citizens to purchase and sell gold bullion after Oct. 31 for the first time in 40 years.
The gold ownership provision was a rider attached to a larger bill allocating funds for the "soft loan window" of the World Bank, which makes loans to the governments of poor countries at virtually no interest.
Legalizing gold ownership had been opposed by U.S. Treasury Department officials, economist Paul Samuelson, and the New York Times.
But constituent pressure had created a bloc of Congressmen ready to repeal the ban on gold (enacted as an emergency measure by President Franklin Roosevelt). Representatives and Senators from mining districts, those with free market sympathies, and those who saw the gold ban as a civil liberties violation joined together. Gold legalization has long been advocated by libertarians, who have organized lobbying and educational groups like the National Taxpayers Union and the National Committee to Legalize Gold. Lobbying efforts by libertarians within and outside of the Republican Party placed a gold legalization plank in the 1972 Republican platform.
- National affiliation pending
FACTS OF INTEREST ... Bet you thought the prime rate was around 12%. Well, it is - for those of us in the U.S.A. If you're the Portuguese government, though, you've just managed to get a 7% loan from our government to support an airline. The amount? $25.8 million ... And if you're the Yugoslavian government, you've just gotten a $176 million loan at the same rate ... And if you 're the Israeli government, you've just been forgiven $500 million worth of debt outright.
BULL-WHAT? ... A man was fined $10,000 and given a 90-day jail term for smuggling bull semen into the United States. Smuggling bull semen is a federal crime, you see.
WITHERING AWAY ... The Department of Consumer Affairs was formed to handle consumer complaints. A spokesman for the Department, however, says that such complaints are "down to a trickle." What's a bureaucracy to do? "We are actively soliciting complaints," continues the spokesman.
VOTING WRONGS ... Ralph Nader recently proposed that voting in the United States be made mandatory, this after the 1974 primary turnout was the lowest in recent memory (can't imagine why). Voting is mandatory in many other countries, of course, notable Australia where you're fined $10 if you don't vote ... In Guatemala, you have to vote if you're literate, but if you're illiterate, the option is yours ... In the Netherlands, it only costs $280 to put up a slate of candidates in an electoral district, resulting in 28 political parties listed on the ballot last year ... In Kenya, there are three primary qualifications for voting. If you meet only one of them, you only get one vote; if you meet two out of three, you get two votes; and you get three votes if you meet all three ... Bankrupts may not vote in Trinidad and Tobago ... Police and soldiers may not vote in Kuwait ... Up until 1961, people receiving public assistance in Denmark were barred from voting.
POST WASTE ... The Postal Service is considering raising first-class rates again, to 13c, while elsewhere in the same department, they're advertising stamps that will never be used.
NOW HEAR THIS ... The House Communications Committee has approved a bill requiring that most radios be equipped to receive FM as well as AM. What's the reason? Who needs a reason? Next question ...
FOR OTHERS, THEY SING ... The government of Quebec spent $100,000 to build a home for 1000 pigeons, who decided they didn't like it, and never moved in. The real pigeons, of course, were the taxpayers ...
NOW I UNDERSTAND ... The Semanticist of the Month Award goes to Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, whom U.S. News and World Report quotes as follows: "Even the proclamation of martial law and the setting up of a corresponding crisis Government is a part of democracy and in accordance with our Constitution ... Some call it dictatorship; I call it authoritarianism… Oh. Thanks for explaining the difference.
CAPSULE WATERGATE ANALYSIS ... The American People have witnessed a series of events which every day erodes their trust in Government." - Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, D-Minn.
UNPRINCIPLED OPPORTUNISM ... Back in July, Gerald Ford told a conference of the Urban League that "the progress you hope to make in the future will rest on the ability of blacks and other nonwhite leaders to become successful, pragmatic politicians." Of course, what did you expect from Nixon's vice president?
AND NOW THE GOOD NEWS ... Business Week of August 3 featured an article on the Austrian School of Economics, giving prominence to Israel Kirzner of NYU, Walter Grinder of Rutgers, and, of course, Murray Rothbard of New York Polytechnic Institute.