Document:Letter 22 August 1979 from David Koch to Convention Delegates
New York, N.Y.
August 22, 1979
I'm writing to offer my candidacy for the Libertarian nomination for Vice President of the United States. Having been a libertarian since 1965 I have watched with increasing interest the growth of the Libertarian Party these past seven years. Beginning with Roger MacBride's campaign I have contributed funds to the party on a regular basis. The progress you and other have accomplished is something in which all libertarians can take great pride. I perceive the Libertarian Party as being at a stage in its development where it could become a very significant force in this country -- a truly effective vehicle for rolling back the coercive power of government.
It may turn out that the only factor preventing us from realizing our potential is that very power government has. In 1974 the Democrats and Republicans passed the Federal Election Campaign Act. It should have been entitled An Act to Preserve the Two Party Monopoly. Not only does it attempt to prevent a third party from making headway, but it blatantly subsidizes the "major" arty Presidential candidates with approximately $25 million in tax money while simultaneously preventing our campaign committee from accepting contributions in excess of $1,000!
I am fortunate enough to have the means to make a substantial contribution to our Presidential campaign. The law says I can't have that right. You, of course, know differently. I have the right to spend whatever I choose to promote what I believe. This law is, I suppose, no different in principle from the thousands of other statist infringements on voluntary human action. But its ability to stifle the progress of the best hope for individual liberty in the past two centuries absolutely makes my blood boil.
You, the Libertarian activist, have done the painstaking work required to make the LP a serious threat to the established order. I'm in a position to help make sure millions of Americans have an opportunity to learn about the alternative we are offering. When the Libertarian Party joined Eugene McCarthy and Jim Buckley in their suit against the FECA, the Supreme Court ruled parts of this totally unconstitutional law to be invalid. Perhaps the best "loophole" the Supreme Cout gave us was its decision that the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of a party are not subject to the $1,000 spending limit to which the rest of the American public is. They can contribute whatever they please.
So my proposal is basically as simple as this: As the Vice Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party I will contribute several hundred thousand dollars to the Presidential campaign committee in order to ensure that our ideas and our Presidential nominee receive as much media exposure as possible. I have no particular expertise in politics, campaigning, or runni8ng a campaign. I would propose to turn my contribution over to the Presidential campaign to be employed by the people who know best how use the funds.
In that regard I should make clear that I would not be in a position to camaign, myself. This might be raised as a reasoanble objection to my nomination. It seems to me, however, that it will be difficult enough to get our Presidential candidate's name and program well known without committing resources to our V.P. candidate. The "major" party V.P. nominees receive hardly any publicity, so there would appear to be little need for us to spend funds trying to promote ours.
I hope this proposal is taken in the right spirit. I have no desire for publicity or for influence within the Libertarian Party. My objective is simply to promote a philosophy I am deeply committed to. I look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles.
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