Looks like a snow day over here at the secret underground Libertarian Command Center (LCC), a little time for reflection and a look down the road with an eye towards what can we expect for Liberty in Georgia in 2010. First thing on the agenda is a quick review of Taylor Bryant's run for State Senate Seat 22 in Augusta. Lot's of first's happened in that race.
Taylor Bryant was the first Libertarian to get on the ballot and run for State Senate 22.
Taylor polled 9.1% of the vote in that race. Three times average for a Libertarian Candidate here in Georgia.
Taylor raised and spent about $1400 in the oh so short election cycle. Please note that all of his funds were from individuals, not lobbyists or lawyers or other outfits with business before the state.
Taylor Bryant is now an historical figure in Georgia, a member of a very exclusive club. Georgia Libertarians who have run for elected office.
The major issue with his campaign is the same issue that dogged Libertarian Allen Buckley in his US Senate campaign in 2008 and John Monds in his PSC race in 2008. And that is the fact that us Libertarians plain suck at fundraising. I know there are a lot reasons why we don't attract the kinds of funding that our republican and democrat opponents do. I think the biggest hurdle for us a political party is the fact that we don't hold any elected offices, and without the ability to steer state or federal funding to the hosts of parasitic lobby leeches we just don't get any money love from them.
That's fine with me. I'm not sure what would happen if the Libertarian party of Georgia was suddenly showered with the wads of cash that our republican and democrat opponents bathe in regularly. I have a feeling that our current free wheelin', seat of the pants flyin', What Plan?, Just Do! approach would get corporatized pretty damn quick. I don't know if I'd like that. In a monolithic party a guy like me would never be able to pitch in and try to help a guy like Taylor Bryant, I'd have to go through channels, some clown somewhere would want to vet me, a committee or a focus group would say that you can say this but not that, etc. etc. etc.
So we would turn into the very thing we constantly rail against. The political pros and the media mongers would sing their siren song about the next election and the perpetual need to raise money so you can give it to them so they can work their magic and get you re-elected. If you're always sweating the next cycle, how can you pay attention to the peoples business?
So whats the solution? I Think that Rockin' Barry O showed us the way. No, I don't mean George Soros funded Nigerian Credit Card (NCC) donations from multiple bogus locations around the world. I mean the small donations from citizens via the internet. That seems to me to be the venue we should work with a vengeance and it's a medium we have access to as a party and as involved individuals. It's a first order of magnitude problem for Georgia Libertarians, one that we need to solve.
Aside from the miserable state of our campaign coffers, there are quite a few bright spots on the horizon. The first special election in Georgia of 2010 had a Libertarian on the ballot and the next two special elections will feature them as well. We've got a boffo candidate for State Senate 42 in Decatur and can't wait to turn him loose on poor old Jason Carter. That race will break the $110,000 funding ceiling established by Hardie Davis and Harold Jones in the District 22 race in Augusta because Jason has extended networks to call on for support. I think the district 42 race will see fundraising and expenditures in the $250K range by the time all is said and done and the run off is concluded. We might get really lucky and see that race nationalized, the Kos Kids have demonstrated they can money bomb with the best of them. I also hope that the Greens get off the couch and get a candidate on the ballot, the more the merrier!
We're looking hard for a Libertarian willing to take the field in the impending special election over in the 19th House district. If you know of any Liberty minded individuals willing to give it a go, please let us know.
And of course our main focus will continue to be supporting the efforts of Libertarian John Monds in his historic run for the Governorship of Georgia, that is the single most important race in Georgia to me. It's the only race that offers all Georgians a chance for genuine change, and for that change to happen, we don't have to win, we have to break 20% of the votes cast. If John Monds can make that happen then the ballot access laws that have kept the Libertarian Party in chains will be shattered and the citizens of Georgia will actually be able to make a choice in the 140 or so uncontested races for state house and state senate in 2012.
So yeah, I think 2010 will be a breakthrough year for Libertarians in Georgia. And all the Libertarians in Georgia need to send Taylor Bryant a big Thank You for leading the way.