Monday, October 27, 2008

Libertarian VP candidate Wayne Root on ‘the battered voter syndrome’

“He lies to me all the time. He takes my money and tells me that I can’t spend it as well as he can. I’ve watched him spend us into financial ruin, giving money to his friends. Wasting money on irresponsible schemes. We’re so far in debt, we’ll never get out.”

“I work extra long hours to support him. I bring home all the money, yet he tells me what to do all day long. He winds up controlling almost every aspect of my life. He even tells me that I don’t know how to properly raise my own children.”

“When he needs me, he’s nice to me. He tells me how he wants the same things I do. After he gets what he wants, he goes back to his real personality. The truth is that he couldn’t care less about me. He couldn’t care less about anyone or anything. He only cares about himself. He uses the rest of us to get what he wants.”

“He keeps hurting me and I don’t know what to do. I’m really scared. But he has me convinced that anyone else would treat me worse. He’s probably right. So I stay.” “It’s probably all my fault. I just need to show him that I support him 100%. Maybe than he’ll treat me better.”
Everyone has heard of “battered spouse syndrome.” Battered spouses lack self-esteem or confidence, and actually choose to stay in disastrous, depressing, dangerous, and even deadly relationships. In many cases, the more loyalty they show to their abusive spouse, the worse they are treated and the more abuse they absorb. Most of us cannot understand how someone can choose to stay in a relationship with someone that torments them, hurts them (physically or psychologically), or threatens to kill them (or their children).

But the tale of woe you just read above is not from a battered spouse. This person is suffering from “battered voter syndrome.”

Both Republicans and Democrats fall victim election after election to such abuse.
Let’s start with battered Republicans. How many times can conservative or free market libertarian voters be lied to, without waking up to the deception? Year after year, at election time Republicans trot out candidates who portray themselves as libertarian conservatives standing for free markets, smaller government, lower spending, lower taxes, and more freedom. But after they are elected, they govern very differently than they promised. The reality is that Republicans talk about smaller government, but once elected, they expand government just like Democrats. They treat us like battered voters.

Even one of my heroes was guilty of this offense. Remember when Ronald Reagan said, “The nine worst words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” Then he was elected and oversaw a dramatic expansion of government. Reagan also said he’d eliminate the Department of Education. It is still standing almost three decades later- not only standing, but growing at an alarming rate. The budget of the Department of Education is $80 Billion dollars almost 3 decades after Reagan pledged to eliminate it. Eighty billion dollars.

Remember when George H.W. Bush (daddy of W) said, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Then after his election, he promptly raised taxes.

Remember George W. Bush’s promises to cut government and reduce spending. Then he was elected and went on a spending rampage that would embarrass a drunken sailor. The first veto of his Presidency was against stem cell research. But earmarks, pork, waste and bloated budgets never seemed to bother W.

Now we have John McCain- yet another Republican Presidential candidate promising to be a conservative free market libertarian. But in his prior political life McCain voted against tax cuts; supported amnesty for illegal aliens- whose demands for government spending and entitlements threaten to bankrupt our nation; supported more government regulation, more bureaucrats, and higher taxes in the name of global warming; supported violations of our civil liberties (like warrantless wiretaps); and created a campaign finance bill (McCain Feingold) that eroded our free speech.

And that was all BEFORE McCain joined with Barack Obama to support the trillion-dollar government bailout- the greatest rip-off of taxpayers in American history.
Yet the specter of socialist radical Barack Obama has once again been used by Republican campaign consultants and strategists to frighten conservatives and free market libertarians reluctantly into the arms of McCain and Palin. I keep hearing those sad, pathetic words (that are trotted out every 4 years by Republicans), “well they are the lesser of two evils.” But is that good enough? Republicans threaten us with the specter of bigger government- then they get elected and give us bigger government. Should anyone be surprised when President John McCain governs in much the same way as prior Republican Presidents once elected? Any fiscally conservative, small-government advocate that votes for John McCain is certainly suffering from battered voter syndrome.

But it isn’t only Republicans who suffer from battered voter syndrome. Democrats have spent their fair share of time being abused by their own heroes too. Democrat politicians promise responsible government that will help “the little guy,” and then give us Congressman Barney Frank to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while his lover runs the very programs that put the housing market and financial system into crisis.

Then there is Obama- the man of “change.” Well he has raised over $600 million dollars in change- smashing all-time records for campaign contributions. Who gave him $600,000,000? What do they expect in return? How did he do that in the worst economy in our lifetime? Does this ring any alarm bells in your mind? When Obama promises to “spread the wealth around,” to whom will he give your money?

Is Obama really for the “little guy?” He has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of contributions from Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. All of them were at the very center of our credit crisis, investment banking meltdown and Wall Street bailout. Why did they choose to give so much money to Obama? What did they expect in return? Did all that campaign cash prevent Obama from speaking up about the looming financial meltdown?
Obama comes from the Chicago political machine- a modern day Tammany Hall. The economy of Chicago and the state of Illinois have been wrecked by this corrupt Democratic machine- with bloated budget deficits; out of control spending; unfunded state government employee union liabilities; among the worst public schools in the country; among the highest taxes in the country; the highest murder rate in the country; and one of the biggest population exoduses in the country.

If you like Chicago, you’ll love America with Obama as President. If you think Obama is the man of change, you are a battered voter.
Do you see a pattern? Republicans promise smaller government and more freedom from Big Brother. But once elected they bring us bigger government and the Nanny State. They expand government in order to help their friends- defense contractors, oil companies, pharmaceutical companies and agribusiness (billion dollar farm conglomerates). The small business owners that Republican politicians talk about at election time are thrown overboard in favor of corporate lobbyists.

Democrats promise to take care of the “little guy.” But once elected they throw the little guy overboard and hand the country over to trial lawyers, teachers unions, federal and state employee unions, radical environmentalists, and entitlement addicts. Democrats swear they will raise taxes only on the rich in order to spread the wealth around. But once elected, you become “the rich.” The reality is that Obama wants to spread the wealth around from those who work hard, achieve success and create jobs to those who don’t- because those are his voters. His economic philosophy isn’t about “fairness,” it is simply about BRIBERY.

Polls show that 90% of Americans now believe we are on the “wrong track” as a nation. That’s the highest rate in history. Yet if you’ve been voting for the same 2 choices- Republican or Democrat- for the last 20 or 30 or 50 years…if you’ve been voting all these years for “the lesser of two evils”…perhaps it’s no coincidence why we are on the wrong track. You’ve been voting for the wrong track.

Voters who choose the same 2 flawed choices of Republican or Democrat year after year are starring in “Groundhog Day.” You make the same choices election after election, yet you keep expecting different results! You fall for the same deceptions, lies and fraud year after year, yet you’re shocked that nothing changes. You still believe it when the politician offers “CHANGE” without asking what is his track record, and exactly what is the change that is he now offering? You are a battered voter.

But there is another choice. There is a way out. There is a right track. The Libertarian Party is here to end the abuse. As “America’s Third Party” we offer you the relationship with government that you’ve always desired.

We don’t deceive or lie or defraud voters. We support smaller government, reduced spending, lower taxes, school choice and more freedom. We do not support special interest pork-barrel spending or corporate welfare. We don’t just talk about these principles of limited government. We don’t just trot out actors (known as “candidates”) to portray a love of these principles every election day. We live these principles every second of every day. And once elected, Libertarians have a proven track record of actually doing what we said we’d do.

The Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Root could never hope to raise the $600 million dollars like Obama. Doesn’t that tell you something? Follow the money. Whoever gets the big corporate contributions is expected (or required) to return the favor- only one thousand times bigger (with taxpayer’s money).

Barr/Root isn’t bought or paid for by special interests or large corporations. Our campaign and convention were not funded with your tax money. We don’t owe anyone anything. Our only interest is you- the American citizen and taxpayer.
Isn’t it time that you supported a candidate who actually cares about you- the taxpayer? A candidate who actually says what he or she means- not just at election time, but after the election too. Isn’t it time you supported a candidate who is actually committed to a set of principles- not just to using principles as a “marketing tool” to get elected. Someone who actually pledges to make their own office less powerful, less important- so they can give the power back to the citizens and taxpayers.

The Libertarian Party and the Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root want a long-term healthy relationship with you. Together, we will build a future that is better for our children and better for our country. No, we’re not going to win this Presidential election. Not this time. But we have achieved all-time Libertarian Party records for media appearances and exposure to mainstream American voters. We are building a foundation of credibility for future victory at the national level. And it’s what that foundation is built upon that should be most important to you. We offer you the unique opportunity to take power back from the politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, lobbyists and special interests.

We don’t batter our voters. We better them.

I started my campaign 18 months ago by announcing a 16-year detailed plan to win the White House. A small businessman and home-school dad from low-tax Nevada, who has never collected a government paycheck, or been corrupted by the “Beltway Insiders” or special interests in Washington D.C., is now the Vice Presidential nominee of a major third party ticket. I’d say that’s one heck of a successful start for my plan. November 4th isn’t an end, but rather the beginning of my long-term vision to give power back to the citizens.

Join us in starting the process of recovery from battered voter syndrome. You can do it. You can leave. You can change the self-destructive pattern. You can stop wasting your vote on the two parties that 90% of American voters agree have led us in the wrong direction. It’s never a wasted vote to choose a candidate that you really like, instead of someone you neither like nor trust. You actually have a choice. A third choice- the Libertarian Party is “America’s Third Party.”

Stop accepting the battering and abuse. Stop accepting the lies and deception. Choose a positive, healthy relationship with Bob Barr, Wayne Root and the Libertarian Party. On November 4th, come home to us.

Make your vote count. Go to and join us today.

Wayne Allyn Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Candidate forums and answers to questionnaires

Rob Hodgkinson campaign update:

I have been busy with forums, going door to door, putting up yard signs and answering questionnaires for my campaign in 2008. I have had mailers go out to the "Unaffiliated" *likely voters households * in my district - when I get a chance I will post a copy on my web site - feedback welcome!

*Likely voters households are those that have voted in the last two general elections - in Kansas you can choose no party by registering to vote unaffiliated.

We also have a mailing going out to ALL 19,000 likely voter households regardless of voter registration soon. Still can use donations to pay for postage!

Here are a couple links to some of the forums and questionnaires that have been posted. (more will be posted as they become available)

Video of a forum recently taped (45 minutes in length)

Advance voting in Kansas starts Wednesday Oct 15th.

All the hard work should pay off when the votes are counted on Nov 4th.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Brothers Combine Resources, Ideology in Separate “Senate” Runs

For: Hodgkinson for Kansas Senate
& Hodgkinson for U.S. Senate
From: Christopher Carter (913) 980-0401
Release verification and candidate availability…
Rob Hodgkinson/ (913) 980-9269

Brothers Combine Resources, Ideology in Separate “Senate” Runs

Stilwell & Topeka, Ks. -- How opposed to wasteful spending are brothers Rob and Randall Hodgkinson? Enough that yard signs for the two simply say “Hodgkinson, Senate.” Never mind that Rob’s run is to represent the 37th Senate District in Kansas, while Randall’s aiming for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Pat Roberts.

“One large allotment of signs cost less than two smaller ‘customized’ orders,” said Randall, at 41 the younger of the Hodgkinsons, “so there seemed little point in spending more when the signs work equally well for both.”

It’s typical of the common sense approach the two Libertarian candidates are highlighting as they woo voters for the November 4th general election. A core message that Libertarians today are not the party of radical, offbeat ideas that’s kept them on the political “fringe” in the past.

“We, that is Libertarian candidates and leaders, are redefining the party rather than allowing it to define us,” said Rob, whose 37th Senate District encompasses a sizable portion of southern Johnson County. Moreover, Rob would know -- he’s chair of the Libertarian Party in Kansas, as well as a candidate.

“My stance on many issues reflects general population sentiment,” said Rob, “and most Johnson Countians are surprised when they hear me speak to the need for strong public education, less taxation and a sensible approach to the social issues, a common sense approach that gets much less attention than it deserves.”

Most startling of all, to many mainstream voters, according to Rob, is the willingness -- enthusiasm, even -- of Libertarians to work within the system as they try to change it. “The notion that Libertarians are anti-government to the point of anarchy simply is outdated and has been for some time,” Rob continued. “I believe in government, but small government,” he said, “and dissatisfaction with programs such as ‘No Child Left Behind’ among both Republicans and Democrats underscores how the country is moving in the same direction Libertarians always have promoted.”

Taxation (Rob supports the repeal of sales tax on food, calling it “regressive”), local control of schools, and limiting the power of eminent domain (for private use) lead Rob’s 37th Senate District profile. Brother Randall’s issues are of national, rather than local, scope, but the “less is more” brand of Libertarianism marks his approach to governing, too.

“Libertarians, as a party, were the first to oppose U.S. involvement in Iraq,” Randall said. And he noted that the Party’s new progressive stand on many issues -- making the Internet tax moratorium permanent, decoupling health insurance from employment (he sees a role for government in providing healthcare) -- were touted by Libertarians, and the Hodgkinsons, long before being embraced by many in the traditional parties. Randall’s call for federal involvement in protecting the environment speaks to the open-mindedness about the role government can play.

Randall’s principal issue is one of, well; principle…and one that’s particularly close to his professional passion: the “Rule of Law,” which he asserts has been seriously undermined by the current White House administration.

An attorney employed by the State of Kansas, Randall expressed concern about a wide gamut of Fourth Amendment and human rights issues brought to the fore by recent Justice Department decisions. He pointed to allegations of torture in U.S. treatment of foreign detainees, and to what he calls “arbitrary” application of the Patriot Act. But most important to Randall is the “disconnect” he believes exists between such actions and the public.

“Too little attention is paid to how these uses -- abuses, really -- of power affect you and me,” Randall said. “One can, and should, be concerned about the specifics of how domestic spying can affect individuals in a real, day-to-day way,” he continued, “but equally important is the ‘culture’ of government abuse that can take root. We have accepted government intrusion into our lives far too easily.”

On that point and others, such as the need for greater fiscal responsibility at all levels of government, the Hodgkinsons do hearken to the Libertarian tradition. It’s in evidence when Rob calls personal freedom his “true North.”

It’s an independence honestly founded. Fifth-generation Kansans (growing up in Hutchinson), the Hodgkinsons share a family history of “doing for oneself,” including a great-grandmother who wrote about the family experiences and importance of true local support of a community school, when none was readily available in the family’s rural community.

As for seeing the possibilities of winning election, the brothers agree that Libertarians in Kansas are moving past the point where just “spreading the message” is enough. Current polls place Randall at a level that would officially guarantee “major party” status for Libertarians by the state in 2010 if the candidate for Governor garners the same support levels.

It would be an important milestone, according to Rob. “While we rarely aspire to patterning ourselves after Republicans and Democrats,” he said, “major party status is one similarity we would welcome.”

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Why Wayne Flaherty is Voting No on the Triangle Tax

I am in agreement with Wayne on this one - Rob


October 4, 2008

There is an old adage about a political mess, “The more you stir it the more it stinks.” And so it is with Johnson County’s Triangle proposal. The more I learn about it and the people pushing it, the more it stinks. I began my objection to the tax based on 2 simple concerns; it is another (the third) “forever” tax in Johnson County and there is no meaningful governance. I had planned to just vote no on this tax proposal but as more details are brought out in the open, I can no longer sit in silence.

Now, I find that my 2 primary concerns are closely intertwined since any “forever” tax basically has no governance. Once it is passed, that’s it. As with the Triangle tax, there may be some kind of yearly accounting by the spenders but there is nothing a taxpayer can do to hold the spenders accountable. Remember Enron and the S & L scandal. Those companies were audited yearly and produced the required yearly accounting reports – and look what happened.

The “Subprime” mess is an excellent example of inadequate accountability. When the federal law was changed to decrease regulations on the Wall Street money changers, it was like giving them a license to steal. Couple that with government pressure on lenders to make “subprime” housing loans to people who could not afford them and you have a formula for disaster – a $700 billion disaster. Warren Buffet pointed this out last week in an interview with Charlie Rose when he told Charlie that all you had to do with some of the financial instruments Wall Street was selling was to plug in any numbers you wanted to show any profit you wanted. Buffet also pointed out that AIG was a sound, well managed company before they got into derivatives. Then he said, “If AIG had never heard of derivatives, they would still be in excellent shape.” (NOTE: Derivatives are financial instruments whose values depend on the value of other underlying financial instruments.) When the derivatives are based on housing loans to people with no money or people who overextended themselves to buy a lifestyle they really couldn’t afford, there will certainly be a day of reckoning. Today is that day and I reckon its you and me who will have to pay for it. To learn more about your government’s involvement in the subprime crisis, read the Boston Globe article at and the Fox News article at,3566,432501,00.html.

We have been told, “An appointed board will oversee the Triangle project.” Loosely translated this means the spenders and their friends will appoint some of their own kind to examine what each other are doing. The board will answer to no one – not even the regents of the colleges involved. We are also told the board will be made up of elected officials. That’s true but they will not be elected to the board and they can not be removed by any action of the people. We have a board like that now. It’s called MARC (Mid America Regional Council) and, it too, is immune to any action by citizens, voters, taxpayers, etc. Since there are no consequences, there is no accountability.

I recently spoke in opposition to the Triangle tax before an Olathe group where Senator Karen Brownlee spoke for the tax. During the Q and A session someone asked the senator, “What happens if the tax fails?” Her reply, “The Triangle will still get built. It will just take longer.” I find it interesting that the purpose of the tax is not to make the project possible; it’s just to speed it up. This is not a conditional tax. You and I will continue to pay this tax “forever” even if the Triangle never comes to pass or if it is created and produces little or none of the pie in the sky promises its promoters have been shouting about. In fact, if it is created and becomes wildly successful, you and I still get nothing tangible. We don’t share in the profits. They will pay little or no tax. Nothing tangible comes back to the county. Olathe is donating 80 acres of the people’s park land to the project and then giving them a tax abatement. I thought I had heard everything – but I was wrong.

One of the leaders on the push for the Triangle is Bob Regnier of the Bank of Blue Valley. His bank has just been downgraded to a D minus, which is like being wheeled into intensive care. Today, in the Kansas City metropolitan area, there are 24,000 homes on the market (it’s usually around 15 or 16 thousand). The average time on the market now is 11 months. With a glut of houses on the market few homes are being built so banks are hurting. The “forever” Triangle tax would be like a shot in the arm, providing cash they so desperately need. Ol’ Bob is taking no chances. He is over in KCMO with the Greater KC Chamber hustling the light rail tax just in case Johnson County comes to its senses and votes this Triangle Turkey down. The light rail tax is another boondoggle with lots of taxpayer cash to go around. I take no pleasure in the misfortunes of anyone but neither do I feel any responsibility to provide them with tax money to fix their problems – which brings up another point.

Triangle spokesperson Mary Birch recently told a neighborhood group that if they (the Triangle) needed more money, they would be back. They don’t even have the tax but are already planning to pick our pockets again. I bet you thought “forever” would be long enough for them.

Lets look at the tally sheet: A third “forever” tax, free land that used to be a park, tax abatements, plans to ask for more money, no sharing of any profits, no accountability, save a bank that’s in trouble, and only 2 guarantees – we’ll pay and they’ll spend. And just in case you think that’s the end of the story, I’ll give you 8 to 5 that everyone who builds in the Triangle will want a TIF, and why not since it seems to be open season on us taxpayers.?

Now I’m absolutely certain I will vote no on the Triangle tax.