Monday, January 31, 2011

Chuck Donovan on A Real Right to Travel

Hot outta the in-box, a missive from Libertarian Chuck Donovan!

Sure, the hot buttons last week were Sunday sales and Speaker Ralston's European vacation but here's a little bit of info on HB 7.

I especially like the idea of 


I have spoken many times on how government has forcibly intervened in nearly every aspect of our lives. Nothing represents more completely, the full control of government in our lives, than the issue of public roads.

Every year, tens of thousands of Americans die on our roads. Look at the death toll from more than 15 years of the Viet Nam war, and you will see we kill a greater number every two years on our roads. Only private innovations in vehicle technology and engineering have made it safer for us to drive. Government has done nothing to improve road engineering, signal technology, traffic management, and especially nothing to improve driver licensing, training, or education.

The time has come to find better ways to make ourselves, our families, and our fellow Americans safer on our roads. We have to honestly admit what has not worked and terminate those wasteful programs. Driver licensing has not made us safer. It has not stopped incompetent and dangerous drivers from operating their vehicles next to us on our roads. What licensing has done is to increase the size, scope, and the cost of government. Driver licensing is a failed program and it should be terminated.

As I said in my campaign, I believe Georgia has what it takes to be a leader to the rest of our country and to the world. Eliminating needless and failed bureaucracy will allow us to better use limited fiscal resources in programs that would better serve the safety of our families and our fellow Georgians.

Below is a letter written by Bill Evelyn, Director of the Georgia State Tea Party. I know that Bill has the best interests of his family and fellow citizens at heart, as well as the best interests of our state. I agree with him that this is the kind of legislation we should pass quickly.

Bold action and leadership are necessary to move Georgia during these difficult economic times and the far more challenging times I predict in our near future. HB7 is that kind of bold, forward reaching action.

In liberty,


The mission is liberty,The vision is now.


Subject: HB7 Right to Travel Act

To: The Right and Honorable Georgia General Assembly,

When I was young and pestering my grandfather to allow me to drive his truck, he told me a very interesting story. My grandfather had moved from a farm in Virginia in 1929 to Pennsylvania for work. His farm had failed and he was broke. He managed to get a job driving a commercial dump truck for Samuel McAdam constructing the Pennsylvania Turnpike. He got that job with the experience of driving a vegetable truck to the Richmond Farmers Market. My grandfather taught himself to drive and he drove for 35 accident free years before he was required to get a license or test to get that license. He taught my father to drive in the 1940′s before a license and test was required. My father started teaching me to drive when I was ten. At the age of fourteen he cleared me solo and I drove down the street to a friends farm. On my 16th birthday we drove to the testing station and I earned my license.

You will note that not one bureaucrat had any input on my driving instruction. Both my grandfather and father made the decision to turn over the family car to their son when they were comfortable they could drive safely. Do you honestly think passing HB7 will make the killing lanes of I-285, I-85, and I-75 more unsafe?

Rep. Franklin’s Bill only returns us to a time before the big government people started requiring a license and testing. In the 1930′s and 1940′s you mailed for a license in Georgia, no testing was required until the 1950′s.

If you pass HB7 you can eliminate a huge bureaucracy, free up officers for the beat, and free up real estate to be sold off to the highest bidder. That should help you balance the budget. I really hope that you consider voting YES for HB7.

Bill Evelyn
State of Georgia Tea Party, LLC

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Will Costa Video from the Gwinnett Forum Last Monday Night

OK, it's not American Idol or Biggest Looser but it is real local politics. All of the players were on hand and the boys and girls over at the Gwinnett Republican Party put on a fine show with a professional announcer and everything. If you're interested in the race for the next Chairman of the Gwinnett County Commission then invest about an hour of your life and give this video a look-see. 

My take? 

Will Costa is the best candidate for the job. Go ahead, see for yourself.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The First Debate for the Contenders for Gwinnett County Commission Chair is Monday Night

Let's see how many candidates show up.

Big news folks, tomorrow night the Gwinnett GOP is hosting a two hour forum at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center for the candidates for the vacant County Commission Chair. Libertarian Will Costa and the rest of the crew will be there to participate.

The shindig starts at 7:00PM but the doors will be open at 6:30PM so the public has an opportunity to speak with the candidates prior to the start of the forum. I have absolutely no idea if audience questions will be permitted but don't let that deter you from attending this first debate/forum.

The event will be moderated by ex newscaster Mike Moore and according to the event Facebook page there are 77 people attending. I note a few Libertarians in the crowd. I'll be there with flipcam in hand to record selected moments of the exchanges between candidates and will post them up here for those of you who can't attend.

As this is the first election of 2011, be advised that Will Costa needs the support of every Libertarian in Georgia. I urge everyone that cast a vote for me in last years general election to support Will Costa in this campaign with your time, talents or treasure.

Vote for Will Costa for Chairman of the Gwinnett County Commission!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trivia Question: Out of 800 Libertarian Candidates Nationwide in 2010, Which one finished in 50th Place?

That would be me.

Big ol' hat tip to the National Libertarian Party for publishing an Excel spreadsheet with the nationwide results from our efforts in 2010. And the kicker is that some Libertarians even won!

If you've got some time to waste on looking at the entire layout head over the the LP National blog and take a gander. All of the Georgia candidates placed  in the top 80 range with Kira Willis leading the way at # 38.

The top voter getter nationally was Richard Sanders out of Washington State with an astounding 971,803 votes in his race for the states Supreme Court and as the spreadsheet clearly shows, running unopposed is always a good idea.

Finishing 50 of out 800 nationwide, I can live with that for my first effort at political office. I wonder if there's a spreadsheet that shows who was the anchorman for least contributions nationwide? 

I know I won the Hawaiian shirt category.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Supremes Decline to Hear Coffield vs. Kemp

Add another effort to the list.

Ballot access in Georgia got another slap in the face yesterday when the US Supreme Court backed out of hearing Coffield vs. Kemp so the two party system in Georgia is safe for a while longer as a result. The readership might remember some of the work that's been presented here at Bludgeon & Skewer concerning the tortuous path that Ms. Coffield's case has taken since her attempt to gain ballot access wayback in the wayback in 2008 in an attempt to run against democrat Hank Johnson in Georgia's 4th US congressional district. If you're having difficulty searching here, then head over to Ballot Access News or Independent Political Report for some pretty good recaps.

Her complaint was simple. Georgia's 1943 Jim Crow ballot access laws are so onerous that no one can meet the standard aside from our democrat and republican brothers and sisters who crafted the system and have enjoyed it's blessings for the last 67 years. And that's true. There were 9 independents here in Georgia last year, none of whom survived our state's petitioning requirements and made it on the ballot. The end result for all Georgians was that their choices were limited, competition was squashed and the current market price of this years crop of politicians was artificially inflated.

The failure to hear the case at the national level is good news for the Georgians enmeshed in republican or democrat politics, not so much for the rest of us. If you're one of the 50% of Georgians who are registered to vote but don't bother to participate it's no news at all, not on the radar screen and absolutely not important. There is no reasonable expectation that the half of Georgia that doesn't vote is going to wake up anytime soon and if they did they would only be able to pick between two choices anyway, except in elections that include the 10 statewide offices the Libertarian's can run candidates for.

So a big old hat tip to Georgia's 1943 legislature for passing a restrictive law that has stood the test of time. It's nice to know that the prejudices of the past are alive and well here in 2011.

Are we in the 21st Century?

Not quite yet.

Monday, January 17, 2011

You Can Go with This, Or you Can Go with That

Technology marches on.

Big ol' hat tip to That's Just Peachy for todays firearms photo oddity. According to the Augusta Chronicle, this intriguing little rig was parked on a utility right of way covering a food plot designed to attract wild hogs.

Neat idea, but a little static. The hogs have to come to you.

Here at Bludgeon & Skewer, we value mobility and offer the following concept for mobile varmint control.

This sleek tracked mobile gun platform can plow right through the palmetto bushes and move to contact with the varmint of your choice. It's multi-modal, completely robotic and offers an incredible range of weapons options. 

Sure, it's pricey but start checking out what three Bennelli Super 90's go for and then try reverse engineering the weapons station from photo #1. Definitely not a game for fellows with short pockets.

The ALCC Meets this Wednesday Night at Dantanna's Cigar Club Lounge

Come on Down!

From the Chairman of the Atlanta Libertarian Cigar Club, David Chastain:

More than merely a "smoke,"
cigars are a symbol of earned relaxation -
a smoky elixir of salvation that allows
your mind to wander and your heart to dance.
                                             - Alyson Boxman

Dear ALCC Members and Friends,

Please join us this Wednesday for our first ALCC gathering of 2011.  The weather forecast is on our side; sunny with a high of 49 degrees. Expected humidity in the Buckhead Cigar Lounge's 300 sq. ft. walk-in humidor to be Perfect. And, as always, the drinks will be cold and the conversation warm and friendly.

For first-timers, we meet in the back room at Dantanna's Buckhead Cigar Lounge. All we ask is that you purchase your smoke from the BCL humidor. Tell Mike at the register you are a Libertarian Cigar Club attendee and get a 10% discount.

ALCC meetings are the third Wednesday of every month and annual dues are $25.00. Our treasurer is Roxanne Karnick.

David Chastain
770-630-8294 cell/text

Tuesday Night's DeKalb LP Affiliate Meeting Will Feature Dr. Bill Greene, Author of HB 3

Hot off the presses from DeKalb LP Affiliate Vice Chair David Montane!

This month is a CAN'T MISS meeting of LP DeKalb!

Dr. Bill Greene

Author of HB-3, the Constitutional Tender Act

Will tell us how he hit on the idea of writing sample legislation to have gold and silver coins be the only form of payment acceptable to a sovereign State, why this will attract business and jobs to whichever state is first to pass such an act, how he found a sponsor here in Georgia, and what we have learned from the first two years of attempting to get this bill passed.

As usual, we gather at The Famous Pub in the Toco Hills shopping center at the SW corner of LaVista Road and North Druid Hills Road (2947 NDH Rd) at 7:00 PM on the third Tuesday of each month except December.  This month that day falls on the 18th, which is this Tuesday.

Please Sign Up on our website so that future announcements and news about the party will come to you automatically, and especially so that more activity on our website will boost our ranking on the search engines.  Here's the link:  You will NOT need to e-mail me when you sign up - an alert will come to me!

Should be a good time so come on out and hear Dr. Greene's thoughts on constitutional tender!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

State of the Race for Gwinnett Commission Chair

The first snowmageddon of 2011 is almost done, on to local politics!

The only race of interest at the moment is the contest for Gwinnett County's next Commission Chair that features Libertarian Will Costa, Charlotte Nash (presumed republican), Larry Gause (rumored Libertarian, sometimes republican) and Gerald Duane Kissel (political orientation unknown). It's a hearty mix of unknowns at the moment and in the interest of shedding some light on Will Costa's opponents, Bludgeon & Skewer offer the following information gleaned from the World Wide Web.

Will Costa 
FaceBook Campaign page? Check. 111 likes as of today, up from 61 likes on 12 DEC 2010.
Campaign Website? Check.
Press Coverage with name mentions? Check.
Goggle page rank, last 30 days: Page one, #1 ranking out of 589,000 returns. Of the first 10 returns, Will has 2 headlines linking to him or stories about his campaign.

Charlotte Nash
FaceBook Campaign Page? Check.  Fresh off the presses as of 10 DEC 2011. 228 friends as of today. One photo, no active discussions. No link to a campaign website. No donate button.
Campaign Website? Still Nada.
Google Page rank, last 30 days: Page 1 ranking out of  1,130,000 returns, 5 of the first 10 returns mention Charlotte in the text of the return.

Larry Gause
FaceBook Campaign Page? None up for the Gwinnett Contest, Still has the old FaceBook page up from his attempt at the 4th Congressional District race.
Campaign Website? Nuttin'.
Google Page rank, last 30 days: Page 1 ranking out of 9,740  returns.

No clearly attributable pictures
Gerald Duane Kissel
FaceBook Campaign Page? No.
Campaign Website? Still Bupkis.
Google Page rank, last 30 days: Page 1 ranking out of 21,00 results.

The Yard sign front has seen the Costa Campaign surge to a dominating lead in early January with examples littering the FaceBook landscape. Due to the absolutely crappy weather this week, I have not ventured forth into the land of the Gwinnettians to check out any Nash or Gause sign sightings. I'm thinking the Nash signs will bloom sometime late this month, the Gause variety will likely be very rare, although not as rare as yard signs for my Insurance Commissioner campaign last year.

That's the wrap up as of today. I'll try to get some flipcam videos of Will Costa up before the end of the month if time permits. 

Remember to head over to Will's Facebook page and participate in the first election of 2011 in Georgia. Vote for Will Costa for Gwinnett County Chair!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Did Governor Deal Really Say "Free the Weed" At the Swearing In Ceremony? Nah!

Remember Prohibition? Neither do I.

We're all living in a day and age that has it's eerie similarities to those fabled times of speakeasy's and Chicago Mobs and a wink and a nod towards a bad law. And Governor Deal actually talked about it today at the radically under attended swearing in ceremony down to the statehouse today.

Not that I was there as I do not circulate in those rarefied circles, I was safely ensconced at Casa Del Bruce in Decatur building snow forts and seeing if the mighty Honda Spree scooter could navigate our frozen roadways up to the local CVS for some emergency chocolate chip cookies. After several narrow escapes I concluded my journey on foot.

But I did read Big Jim Galloway's account over to the AJC's Political Insider and was struck by the following quotes: 

“Presently, one out of every 13 Georgia residents is under some form of correctional control. It cost about $3 million per day to operate our Department of Corrections. 

As a State, we cannot afford to have so many of our citizens waste their lives because of addictions. It is draining our State Treasury and depleting our workforce…..”

Sounds like a caveat to me. Could this be evidence of an attempt to test the waters for De-Crim? That thought is echoed in the article's comment trail by folks like hypocrites, Freedom Lover and several others. As a Libertarian, I believe my party has a solution to this issue. Namely our platform plank:

Libertarian Party of Georgia Platform

We believe the so-called "War on Drugs" is more accurately described as a war on freedom and the U.S. Constitution. It has provided a rationale by which the power of the state has been expanded to restrict greatly our 4th Amendment right to privacy, and poses an especially grave threat to individual liberty and to domestic order. Therefore, we call for the repeal of all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the manufacture, use, or sale of drugs. We wish to see an end to "anti-crime" measures that limit our rights to keep and bear arms and that restrict individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property. Furthermore, the ‘War on Drugs’ serves as a subsidy for illegal drug dealers by driving up their profit margin, and has the unintentional effect of increasing crime in our society.

One of the stated goals of last years run for office by my Libertarian brothers and sisters was to influence the debate on as wide a range of issues as we could. We're solidly for De-Crim and hopefully the republicans will co-opt this issue on the cost saving basis alone. Time will tell.

Why I Read Poli-Tea Everyday



There's a damn fine post up over at Poli-Tea on the current state of the endless war between our democrat and republican brothers and sisters. The focal point is the turmoil generated by the Tucson Massacre and the subsequent reverberation through the nations political and media classes as the incident has been front and center for the last several news cycles.

D.Eris and the rest of the crew at Poli-Tea are absolute brainiacs. One of these days I'll be a functioning writer on that level, but not today. In the interim I invite the readership to head over and read a post entitled "The Coming War on Violence: Vitriol, Violence and the Politics of the two Party State", it's thought provoking and provides another angle on recent events and unintended consequences.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's Official, The Shane Bruce for Insurance Commissioner Campaign is Terminated

It was a blast.

I've filed my final report with the guys and gals down to the State Ethics Commission and am now done with my brief political career as a Libertarian Candidate for office here in Georgia. My once mighty campaign coffers are depleted, no vendors or contractors or consultants were left hangin' in the breeze and I'm out a couple of bucks in the end. Overall, I feel pretty good about it.

The Libertarian Party will get back the bulk of the filing fees it put up for all our candidates last year and as a result should have some maneuvering power for the year ahead as it continues to grow the party base in Georgia. Money is the mothers milk of politics and as my personal experiment in democracy so aptly shows, no amount good intentions hold up in the face of well funded opponents.

Not to say that a determined individual cannot succeed in politics without cash, I just can't imagine it happening in todays political environment. The future is a nebulous place and so it may actually happen one day, just not today. 

If you're Liberty minded and you really don't like the idea of 26% of the registered voters in Georgia calling the tune for the rest of us, perhaps you should look at your options and consider the Libertarian Party. The $25 a year for a state membership is a bit steep compared to the freebies offered by our democrat and republican brothers and sisters but just remember that you get what you pay for. And we don't ask you to sign any loyalty oaths to our party, just not to initiate force to achieve political goals. To me, that's pretty solid.

I want to take this space to say thank you to each of the 96,000 Georgians that cast their ballots for me last year. I'm continually running into folks that did that and it's nice to hear that some of my message resonated with citizens of all stripes. it's also a shame that we live in a state that robs those same people of their voice by our stubborn adherence to the current two party, winner take all system. We Libertarians earned an average of 4% of the vote last cycle and should have 4% of the statehouse and senate instead of a big fat goose egg. But I digress.

Later on I'll do a post on my erstwhile opponents termination reports just for kicks, right now the snow is falling here in Decatur and I have some sledding to do in a little while.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Libertarian David Shock is back in the News

Ballot Access, baby, Ballot access.

Atlanta Progressive News has an in depth interview with Libertarian David Shock about his role in SecState Kemp's new Elections Advisory Council. Reporter Matthew Cardinale provides extensive quotes from Prof. Shock on the sorry state of ballot access in Georgia and his hopes for the Council's work to be a success.

Regular readers are well aware that ballot access has been a driving force in Libertarian politics in Georgia for quite a while. In spite of our efforts, Georgia's Jim Crow era ballot access laws continue to stifle competition in political matters by very effectively reserving the political battlespace for democrats and republicans only. All other interested parties are required to jump through the arduous hoops of petitioning to acquire a spot on the ballot and the hoops are usually set on fire.

I'm looking forward to attending one of the Council's public sessions and seeing what the public at large thinks of the state of ballot access here in Georgia. With Prof Shock on the panel, you can rest assured your input will be heard.

The Will Costa Campaign for Gwinnett County Chairman rolls out Yard-signs

Get 'em while you can!

Libertarian Will Costa has procured the first wave of yard-signs for the impending special election in Gwinnett County's Commission Chair race. His remaining opponents continue to be hard to to locate via the world wide web, but there's no indication that any of them have moved up to physical campaigning as of yet.

The Costa Campaign is ready willing and able to provide interested voters in Gwinnett county with these symbols of support by simply contacting Will via FaceBook or his campaign site.

Don't delay, call today!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Last Nights Friends of DeKalb Schools Meeting a Smashing Success

There's hope for DeKalb County Schools.

I attended last nights Friends of DeKalb Schools meeting honchoed by Libertarian David Montane and was simply astounded by newly elected DeKalb School Board member Nancy Jester. I wish she was a Libertarian.

Somehow we finally got it right here in DeKalb county and managed to elect someone who's smart, motivated, educated and capable. How'd that happen? And major kudos to the Friends of DeKalb Schools for hosting the event and providing the attendees with a face to face opportunity to present their concerns to one of DeKalb's newest commissioners. 

If you'd like to get involved with their efforts to put the School System check register online or become a member of this new group, buzz over to Friends of DeKalb Schools and get on board.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The DeKalb County LP Affiliate Starts 2011 off with a Bang!

Think money, real money, hard money.

The first meeting of the Libertarian Party of DeKalb County will feature Professor William Green as it's first speaker of 2011 thanks to the indefatigable DeKalb LP Vice Chair David Montane. Professor Green is the prime mover behind HB 3, the Constitutional Tender Act that's  sittin' in the hopper down to the statehouse for this years session.

Want to know more about HB 3 and it's possible impact on Georgia? Then head over to and check it out! Better yet come hear the man himself speak at the DeKalb LP's meeting on 18 JAN 11 at the Famous Pub in Toco Hills. The shindig starts at 7:00PM!

Important Friends of DeKalb Schools Meeting this Wednesday at the Famous Pub

Wouldn't it be cool if the DeKalb County School System published it's check register on line?

Libertarian David Montane and the Friends of DeKalb Schools think it'd be cool too. So much so that they're featuring incoming District 1 school board member Nancy Jester at the groups monthly meeting this Wednesday at the Famous Pub in Toco Hills to discuss this advance of liberty and information and best of all, it's open to the public.

OK, there's just not enough seating at the Famous Pub to accommodate every citizen in DeKalb County, but there's certainly enough seating to accommodate a hundred interested persons. Maybe you're behind the power curve on this? Then check out this link to DeKalb County School Watch and start learning about some of the benefits that accrue to the public in other states that already make this financial info open to all.

Remember, this Wednesday night, 5 JAN 10, at the Famous Pub in the Toco Hills Shopping Center starting at 7:00PM!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Georgia's Draconian Ballot Access Laws are Back in the News!

Most suitable for the first post of 2011.

Matthew Cardinale over at Atlanta Progressive News gives us an extremely detailed update on the progress of Coffield vs. Kemp as it winds it's way to the Supreme Court. Maybe. The readership might remember several posts here at Bludgeon and Skewer that discussed Coffield v. Kemp and it's potential impact on Georgia's 1943 Jim Crow Ballot access laws. Mr. Cardinale does a fine job of boiling all the elapsed time and legal maneuvering into a easily digestible story that should elevate the blood pressure of any citizen in Georgia that reads it.

Some of the more pertinent bits focus on the absolute failure of last elections cycles independent candidates to achieve ballot access through petitioning. Quote:

In the amici curiae brief, the organizations argue that while the State does not collect data on how many candidates have tried and failed to gain access to the ballot, that in 2010 alone, no fewer than nine independent and political body candidates tried and failed to get on the ballot [a political body is a political organization that is not recognized as a political party in the State of Georgia].

The article also cites Libertarian stalwart Brad Ploeger's run for State house in addition to  Guvna Purdue's handpicked State School Superintendent Brad Bryant's inability to satisfy the petition requirements despite the support of Georgia's sitting governor and the republican party apparatus shilling for signatures for him. 

The last bit of the article compares similar action in Ohio that occurred three years before Jenness vs. Fortson, in which the US Supreme Court overturned Ohio's ballot access laws. Quote:

However, the organizations argue that in fact, Georgia's petition requirements were actually higher the ones struck down in Ohio in 1968.  Ohio's requirement was 15 percent of actual voters.  Georgia's requirement was 5 percent of registered voters.  However, because most registered voters do not vote, Georgia's law actually required more signatures.

So let's see what the guys and gals down to the statehouse do this session about ballot access in Georgia. Since we're effectively a one party state again, will our current crop of grandees continue to shut out other political voices and maintain their grip on power by keeping the sandbox all to themselves or will they broaden the playing field?

Bets, anyone?