Then they fought us…
As you likely know, this time around it’s been the Republicans who have caused the greatest impedance to our getting things all up and operating for the election cycle, that’s a switch! It makes me think of Gandhi’s great quote:
“First they ignored us; then they laughed at us; then they fought us–and then WE won!”
Republican leadership cowed to their Washington masters (Carl Rove and Nathan Sproul are suspected) and rammed through HB2305 in the middle of the night. HB2305 was an overt attempt to control different facets of the elections process, and to force libertarians off the ballot. They think that if they didn’t have to compete with us on the campaign to match up ideas, and ideals in front of the voting public, that our supporters would ‘automatically’ vote for one of their characters if they couldn’t vote for us. They actually think that libertarians are susceptible to the now debunked idea of voting “for” the lesser of two evils”. If the non-evil candidates are not allowed to be on the printed ballots, we write in who we want; or N.O.T.A. (none of the above)–but we don’t waste our vote on any candidate who doesn’t measure up. They just don’t get it; and their attempts to try to “win” by exclusion amount to nothing more than simple-minded cheating, and nothing else. You wouldn’t believe all the dastardly little things that were going on out of the public’s view, but I can say that I felt like I was stuck in some junior high contest.
When the Governor thoughtlessly signed HB2305 (at the behest of her handlers, no doubt; because even Jan would have been smarter than that) into law. They literally snickered and laughed when I told them directly that I would see it through to the ballot. They laughed even louder; after all it’s been over 30 years, and as many attempts, since anyone has been able to do all the work, and get all the signatures necessary to send bad law to the Voters to decide through our Citizen’s Referendum process.
I guess I can’t blame them, after all, ‘who’ was I to worry about? Just a ‘nobody’ in the smallest* of the ‘Major’ Parties. I didn’t have much to work with, in terms of reaching the voters, to get the 87,000 valid signatures necessary to send HB2305 to the ballot, and to set it aside until November, when Voters would decide that it was bad law. What I did have, was a cause; and the cause was making sure that we, as Citizens got to choose from all of those people who would offer themselves up for public service–not just the ones a few people want you to choose from.
Well, evidently, the People kinda like to have more choices than just the two sparring partners (Republican-Democrats), so much so that it did not take long before my phone was burning up with calls to and from the most unlikely folks. They, ah, ‘we’ all rose above those differences which usually separate us in the on-going political wars, and we formed a coalition. It turns out that a lot of regular folks also realize that having only a choice of two parties, like we do now, pretty much, can only guarantee more of the same circumstances that we are suffering now, what with the Depression and all.
Inside of 2 weeks we had formed the largest, and most politically diverse coalition in Arizona’s history, and they were/are rallied around protecting your right to choose who you want to run your servant government, without restriction, or unethically manipulated. Imagine getting libertarians, the Greens, the Democrats, the ‘Constitutionalists’, 39 or 40 different interest groups, and half the Republican Party (About half the members are still honest, and ethical) all together to do the hard work that had to be done. It was exhilarating to be part of, and not something I will forget. I realized that I was actually the common point for all the other groups and individuals. that was amazing to me; I realized then, that ONLY a libertarian can bring diverse groups together so progress could be made. I knew then that I had to offer myself to the People of Arizona once again.
When I say ours was a diverse group, it wasn’t just a political party thing, oh no, it was everybody else, too. Clint Bolick from the Goldwater Institute, fmr.Sen. Karen Johnson (R), fmr. Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson (I), Democrat activist Mikel Weisser, conservative Sheriff Richard Mack, Democrat Executive Director D.J. Quinlen and, the League of Women Voters, are just a few of the members of our committee. When Republican leadership saw this, they got nervous enough to pull all kinds of sneaky and devious schemes to thwart our efforts; we only had a couple of months to get our signatures.
I deliberately sand-bagged the media about our progress, but word still got out that it was looking very good for us, so one of the 16 Republicans who put their name on HB2305 called and asked me to meet him at his office. I agreed, and things unfolded as I predicted, he thought he could dissolve our coalition by offering to ‘give’ us a repeal of that part of HB2305 that we didn’t like. I laughed because he just doesn’t understand the depth of a libertarian’s loyalty, and told him. “We don’t want you to think you ‘gave’ us anything; we’d rather take it from you!”, and we left his office. Now they were really scared.
There’s a lot more to it, that would blow your mind, but suffice it to say that we made history by turning in over 147,000 signatures on September 11th, 2013, a day ahead of the deadline! Because we had stacked the boxes from floor-to-ceiling and had almost double the number we needed, Republican leadership could only manage a few attempts to try to keep the question of HB2305 off the ballot, so Secretary of State, Ken Bennett (R) certified it as qualified! We were going to the People!
But the Republican leadership knew they were going to suffer for their lack of ethics and integrity at the elections, if too many of the People were to find out what they had done, so they did what all cowards do–they slithered in, and with the same exact (all Republican) votes they used to pass HB2305–they REPEALED HB2305 as a last-ditch effort to hide the deviousness in trying to cheat the People out of their political choices. I would have preferred it went to the ballot, but a win is a win.
As one might imagine, those 16 Republicans weren’t real happy with me because I had embarrassed the lot of them, and I knew I had to be on the alert for their vengeance. I didn’t have to wait a long time, either. They do not want me on the ballot to compete with their nominee for Governor, so they conned some ‘throw away’ member of their club to actually file a challenge to the signatures I had to turn in, in order to qualify for the Primary ballot. Now this may not seem like a big deal at first, but when you consider that they had to pay $319.00 to file the suit, another $80,00 or so to serve the Secretary of State, and pay for one of the most expensive law firms in AZ to file it for them (We figured for all they did, and easy $10,000.00 was spent), it should set off some alarms in your head. Do you really think that some ‘nobody’ (politically speaking), who is a registered Republican, but not a wealthy man, would spend that kind of money to meddle in the affairs of another party? It seemed clear from the git-go that the real party behind the challenge was GOP leadership, and doggone it, they failed again. I easily survived the challenge, and true-to-form, the GOP retreated, again and withdrew the challenge the day before I’d get my day in Court, where I could call them out.
I have no illusions that those will be the only attempts to try to get me out of the way the bad guys will try to pull, but so far they’ve learned that pulling these kinds of shenanigans with a libertarian is a little like punching a porcupine. We’ve gotten far more good press from their attempts to get rid of us than we otherwise would have, but that’s politics.
Now I tell you all this, just so that you know that I didn’t just get my signatures and spend all my time lolly-gaggin’ around at all of the forums I’ve been speaking at, and sippin’ tea. Far from it, a lot of my time is consumed in responding to candidate questionnaires and surveys, and fielding calls from supporters. It’s amazing how many elected representatives of other parties are coming out publicly in support of my efforts. These are some unpredictable times, and I can sense a huge opportunity for advancing the liberty and equality message among the regular folks. That’s who I stand up for.
I do my best to ‘walk-the-walk’, and represent our beliefs and positions in a responsible and honorable way, and to try to add some value for the Voter’s consideration, but I cannot do this alone. I’ll stand up for you, will you stand up with me?
It’s always been a matter of my personal integrity with me, to make sure that I did the work to secure my place on the ballot, before asking for contributions to support our campaign. Well, the efforts to keep me off the ballot may have slowed us down a bit by distracting us, but now we are “in the game” for real, and I have to come to you, to carry this through to victory. So, yes, I am asking you to contribute funding, if you can (I’ll give details below), but what would be just as helpful would be for you to make up some home-made signs and put them around, or to call up and e-mail to Olde Media sources that leave us out of their reporting, calling in to your favorite radio shows and telling them you want them to have me on, and talking to your friends and neighbors to persuade them to consider really changing Arizona for the good this time, and to visit our campaign site at www.HessForGovernor.Com, and join us on FaceBook at: www.facebook.com/pages/Barry-Hess-for-Governor-2014/325144590717, and post comments on your own page to direct them to our campaign. It all adds up to victory!
As funds come in, we’ll be printing up yard signs and road signs, and we’ll even set up templates on our website that you can download and have printed without involving the campaign directly. The same will be true of our radio and TV commercials, of course we’ll make them available on YouTube as well. A great thing about being a libertarian is that the philosophy, the principles and the message appeal to every normal human being–we just have to let them hear it.
Fortunately I don’t have any of the usual non0libertarian carpetbaggers making fools of themselves by challenging me in the Primary, so your generous contributions will go straight for the General Election. That’s where the action is.
So, please, give what you can, and/or do what you can to make this ‘your’ campaign, the one where you’re demanding to have ALL of your Freedoms–ALL of the Time! That’s what I’m doing.
If you can contribute, the individual limits are $2,500.00 (each), for the Primary, and for the General; you MUST be an American (no foreign contributions), and if you can give over $50.00, you’ll need to include your name, address, occupation and employer and send it to: HessForGovernor 2014, P.O. Box 6011, Glendale, Arizona 85312. Or you can contribute directly from our campaign site (www.hessforgovernor.com/contribute), or even donate directly through PayPal (Send to: AZGovernor@Earthlink.Net) and make sure you specify that it is a gift / donation, and not payment for services. (We are now also setting up to accept BitCoin for those forward thinking folks!)
*Those who contribute $50.00 or more will get a free copy of Louis Carabini’s, excellent book, “Inclined to Liberty”–a modern equivalent to Bastiat’s “The Law”. It’s 108 pages of brilliance, and I’ll be signing them with a personal message just for you. For those who contribute $100.00 or more, I’ll also throw in a copy of my own book, The PeaceMonger (see more at: www.ThePeaceMonger.Com). In any case, I’m sure you’ll find great some great thoughts to ponder and share in both of them.
*Right now, the Republican and Democrat Parties are bleeding members because of what they’ve done, while the Libertarian Party has grown by 20%! We’ve gained less than they lost–they’re desperate. Only registered Independents are growing faster. You’re at the forefront of the next American revolution, and with your help, we’re going to win this one, too!
Thank you, for being part of this! It’s gonna be BIG!
I remain at your service,
Vice-Chairman/ Communications Director
AZ Libertarian Party
Candidate for Arizona Governor 2014