Document:LP News Number 22 (September-October 1974)

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Voters Picking Up Tuccille Message

By Art O’Sullivan

You know the F.L..P.. They’re that New York bunch who spend so much time debating how many libertarians can – or should – dance on the head of a pin. They’re also the group who picked up nine thousand voted and unprecedented public attention for libertarianism in last year’s New York mayoralty race.

They’re the gang who collected nearly forty thousand signatures to qualify for the state ballot this year; then gathered for a crucial campaign strategy meeting which ended in a frenzied balloon fight. And they’re the ones who are about to pull off a minor miracle by garnering the fifty thousand-plus votes they need to capture a permanent line on the New York State ballot.

Those who still doubt this last might be interested in the fact that the New York Times, which never devoted a single article to Fran Youngstein’s mayoral candidacy, has already printed five stories on Jerry Tuccille’s activities in pursuit of the Governorship. They might also want to read George F. Will’s Washington Post column entitled “The Chester A. Arthur Test” (unless they’ve already seen it in their local papers). Mr. Will notes in the F.L.P.’s “modest and practical goal” of 50,000 votes, lauds Tuccille and his ideas, and remarks, “We should wish him success.”

‘’’Going Fishing’’’

By the way, Chester A. Arthur was a U.S. President who actually cut taxes, spending, and the national debt, but preferred fishing to governing. Tucille and a dozen supporters gathered in front of the building where Arthur was sworn in as President, Jerry offering a rod and reel as an inducement to any politician who would emulate Arthur, or just “go jump in a lake.”

That was the first in a seemingly endless series of stunts which have attempted – with considerable success – to dramatize libertarian views in a style that makes good copy for the press and good sense to the voters. Keeping track of their press coverage has been a full-time job – they’ve already papered one whole wall with clippings from around the state.

Another gimmick had Jerry Tuccille manning a pushcart of front of City Hall, giving away hotdogs with the eight percent tax removed. The media ate it up.

People who’d do things like that might just as well print up Tuccille dollars (in denominations of 50,000) and distribute them on Wall Street to illustrate how rampant spending causes inflation; or crash East Side Manhattan singles bars, arouse the patrons and seduce them back to a libertarian watering hole to learn the facts of life; or organize clandestine expeditions to induce mysterious growths of light-colored grass spelling “Tuccille” in ten-foot letters on strategic slopes along state highways. They might do these things and have.

‘’’Pyramid Building’’’

Now they’re making final preparations to erect a pyramid at the Albany Hall project, to point up the similarity between the tombs built for Egypt’s Pharoahs by slave labor and modern-day monuments to politicians, financed coercively. And there’s even talk of re-enacting Lady Godiva’s equestrian streak, recalling that she was actually protesting His Lordship’s high taxes.

Inevitably, any serious campaign has certain characteristics, like hand-shaking tours and booths at State Fairs. But even these are enlivened by the Free Libertarian touch. Imagine kids dragging their parents half-way across the fairgrounds to the place where they’ll give you a free balloon (inscribed “Tuccille/Governor,” naturally) if only Mommy or Daddy will fill out a questionnaire – or just sign a nominating petition.

Then picture the unsuspecting Mommies and Daddies mesmerized by a sophisticated four-screen light show, hypnotically spelling out “Tuccille for Governor… Free Libertarian Party… A message they can’t ignore… Tuccille for governor…”

Then there’s a rule that any serious candidate has to have TV commercials. But nowhere does it say that you’re supposed to show a harried-looking fellow walking past desks of bureaucratic tax collectors who viciously snatch away his briefcase, jacket, tie, and inevitably, his shirt, then switch to a picture of Jerry Tuccille and the “Message” message.

To accomplish this much the F.L.P. has spent nearly $60,000. They’re looking for another hundred thousand to finish the job. Some of this will come out of a forum on the international liquidity crisis being hosted by Dr. Murray Rothbard for securities analysts. More from a theater benefit and an increasing number of small donations from around the state. There’s also the hope that dedicated libertarians nationwide will get involved by sending contributions to” Committee for 50,000 Votes, 15 West 38th Street, Room 201, New York, N.Y. 10018. That’s if you want to be part of a phenomenon.

Harroff Reaching Ohio Electorate

What Libertarian candidate running for statewide office can claim the support of 7.6% of the electorate in the polls?

Kathleen G. Harroff, that's who. Kay Harroff, the independent candidate for United States Senator from Ohio.

A figure like 7.6% is nothing to brag about, perhaps. But much smaller percentages have swung key races in countless instances. And for a candidate who is consistently libertarian on issues, it's not bad at all.

Kay Harroff's opponents are well-known in the state of Ohio, and one of them is well-known throughout the world. The former is Ralph Perk, the Republican mayor of Cleveland. the latter is John Glenn, the former astronaut who is running for statewide office for a third time, and is a Democrat.

Harroff's schedule of appearance is a monument to her energy. She has scheduled up to ten appearances per day at newspaper offices and radio and television stations, trying to get her message across.

‘’’Immediate Amnesty’’’

What is her message? Harroff has squarely faced issues such as amnesty with libertarian principles, calling for immediate amnesty for draft-evaders.

Her foreign-policy position calls for six major changes.

  1. Recall all troops and equipment to American soil
  2. Abolish the CIA
  3. Repeal the Selective Service Act
  4. Cease all foreign aid
  5. Establish total free trade and free travel
  6. Reduce military spending to defense levels only

Harroff's well-publicized positions have earned support from all sides of the political spectrum and all social levels. McGovernites and conservatives, businessmen and prisoners have sent her letters of agreement.

Not unexpectedly, her opposition, worried that she might hold the balance of power in this election, has perhaps, thrown up a few barriers to her campaign. One television appearance was stopped halfway through by a bomb scare. And there are reports that Harroff's tax situation will receive careful scrutiny before the campaign is over.

‘’’Full Dose of Poison’’’

Harroff's busy scheduled has led to some interesting situations - and confrontations. She debated with the Communist Party candidate for Senate in a ghetto. He opposed cartels, but favored nationalization. Harroff made a tell point with the audience by noting that his message was "a little bit of poison is bad, but a full dose will cure us."

Numerous newspaper editors have shown sympathy for Harroff's position, one telling her, "I don't belong to any party, but if I did, it would be yours." After one television appearance, she made her exit to the applause of the cameraman.

Harroff's libertarian principles have made it difficult for many of her listeners to reconcile their own contradictions. Many who are fairly receptive are confused by trying to label her "liberal" or "conservative."

The Columbus chapter of the National Organization for Women found it hard to understand why Harroff supported the right of abortion while opposing welfare payments for abortion.

Enthusiastic reaction to Harroff's campaign can be summed up by a man who her after reading her position paper: "I've read and re-read it seven times now and am sitting here in disbelief, semi-shock, and in full agreement."

Kathleen Harroff may poll only 7.6% of the vote in her campaign, but the reverberations from her effort may resound through Ohio politics for some time.

From the Chair: Taking Political Situation Seriously

The Libertarian Party is barely two years old, and already our ideas have attracted the serious attention of media commentators, congressmen, business leaders and the general public. Never in the history of this nation has a political movement with broad geographical support gained the respect or made the intellectual impact that the Libertarian Party has in so short a period of time.

Flush with hard-won success of this nature one would expect that members of the Party would represent optimism personified. Such, unfortunately, is not always the case.

To be sure, there is a great sense of accomplishment in what we have done, and the vast majority of us seem determined to carry the battle onward, regardless of the apparate odds. But underneath it all there still lurks in some corners of the Party an unspoken sense of futility - the idea that its fun to throw rocks at the state but what the hell, we know we can't ever win.

Well, I think we can. Maybe if were just a question of throwing rocks there would never be enough of us to make an impact on the growth of the liberty-stifling bureaucracy. But we have something better in the long run than rocks. We have ideas.

Gaining Ground

If we take the time to look around us we will find that the ideas of individualism and liberty are gaining ground at an accelerating rate. Szaz, Brenden, and Beggin in psychology; Rothbard, and Kirzner, and Hayek in economics; Nozick, Rand, and Hospers in philosophy; and Siegan in land use and urban planning. The list goes on and on. Name a topic, and you find a libertarian making waves and being listened to.

The time for a libertarian political movement could not be better. Whether we recognize this or not, other observers of the political scene do. Larry O'Brien former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was recently quoted as saying the ultimate result of Watergate would be "the emergence of a viable third party in the United States." National syndicated columnist Kevin Phillips reported the results of a poll he undertook in later September which showed that 55% of those sampled wanted a new political party.

And then there's the President of the United States, Jerry Ford. "A catastrophic defeat for the Republican Party could write the obituary of the GOP," he moaned in early October. All this, of course, is in addition to national polls which show that percentage registration in the two major parties is at an all-time low. So the political environment is deal.

Time Has Come

Libertarianism is a political philosophy whose time has come. The sooner we recognize this fact and the sooner we realize the tremendous power and potential of the philosophy we share, the more rapidly we will achieve our goal of freedom in our time.

The Libertarian Party now has organized affiliated parties in over 30 states. From the mail we're receiving at national headquarters, I'd wager (if it were legal) that by this time next year we'll be functioning effectively with organizations in all 50 states.

From my perspective we are very close to achieving the most difficult aspect of creating a viable political movement: The establishment of an organizational superstructure that is capable of generating publicity and coordinating political campaigns. We've proven that our support is substantial enough to do this. The question is no longer, "Can we get our message to the public?" but "Will the public accept libertarian ideas?" I believe, and I think most members of the Party do, that the average American will not only accept our ideas but will eagerly embrace them.

After all, we are offering people liberty and prosperity - something no political movement has done since shortly after the first libertarian revolution two hundred years ago. We can succeed, and we must recognize that we can. For if we don't take ourselves seriously, we can't expect others to.

Capitol Commentary-Rockefeller's Nomination-Eric Scott Royce

Nelson Rockefeller, long-time ruler over the people of New York, is currently yawning his way through hearings on his qualifications to be Vice-President. [written Sept. 26 - Ed.] the questioning in the Senate has been remarkably mild. Opposition is being squelched in the Republican caucuses. There are predictions in some quarters that Rocky may slip through the confirmation process, incredibly enough, with NO opposition at all in the Senate and only minimal dissent in the House.

State Parties Field Candidates


Party organizers here have spent a great deal of time at fair booth around the state. Response to Libertarian leaflets was reportedly very good. The LP was represented at the Political Flea Market sponsored by the League of Women Voters and at the state fairs in Palmer and near Fairbanks.

Paul Beaird's write-in campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives has as its main issue the Liberty Amendment to repeal the income tax. He has called for the repeal of laws that permit the U.S. government to control Alaska lands, fisheries and finances, restoring control over these matters to Alaska.

Beaird has come out for tax credits for people who educate their children in private schools. He has tied this policy proposal to the coming burden on Alaska's public schools as pipeline workers bring their families to the state for a few years.

Donations to the Beaird campaign should be sent in care of the Alaska Libertarian Party, P.O. Box 2724, Kodiak, Alaska 99615.


New LP officers were elected at a recent state convention. They are Mike Thompson, chairman; Areta Johnson, treasurer, and James T. Kirk (not the captain of the Enterprise), secretary. National chairman Ed Crane spoke at an LP conference in Phoenix on October 19.


The gubernatorial campaign of John Hospers has received an encouraging amount of publicity from major newspapers and radio talk shows. Hospers has been traveling extensively up and down the state. In addition, a libertarian ballot argument against a Southern California Rapid Transit District tax rate increase will appear in the sample ballots of four counties.

The campaign of William White for US Senator is invading the hidden recesses of the national's most populous state. Senatorial candidate Bill White visited the antelope Valley in the Mohave Desert of Southern California Sept 21-23. In the towns of Lancaster and Palmdale, he was interviewed by the Antelope Valley Press and the Ledger=Gazette, as well as KUTY radio.

White went to Santa Barbara Sept. 24 when the News-Press featured White in an article on the front page of its second section. The article quoted White as saying that Ford's clemency plan for draft resistors "fails to recognize the basic individual rights of the men involved."