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"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry

A Libertarian Primary Voting Guide

Because the Indiana Primary is a closed election, meaning, a voter takes either a partisan Democratic or Republican ballot, the way I and most other partisan Libertarians vote in the primary is to walk in, sign the book, and leave.

This isn't very satisfying, so many will be tempted to participate in one primary or the other. This is understandable, as the Democrats have contested presidential and gubernatorial races, and the Republicans have contested county offices- and a libertarian named Ron Paul running for president against John McCain.

Because the Ds and Rs are clear that they want the primaries to be their publicly funded private business, they have passed this law to burden any voter outside their ranks:

IC 3-10-1-6 Eligible voters
Sec. 6. A voter may vote at a primary election:

(1) if the voter, at the last general election, voted for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election; or
(2) if the voter did not vote at the last general election, but intends to vote at the next general election for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election;as long as the voter was registered as a voter at the last general election or has registered since then.

As added by P.L.5-1986, SEC.6.
The parties are free to challenge the eligibility of any voter at the polling place. The Democrats, fearful of Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos", have indicated that they will look to challenge Republicans who cross over.

The following is opinion for those who would take an 'R' or 'D' ballot in the primary. It is not to be construed as an endorsement by the Libertarian Party of Hamilton County, but presented so that readers might begin to make a pro-liberty appraisal of the candidates. The candidates from President down to County Council are reviewed here.

Republican Ballot

Candidates for President: Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney.

Easy pick for libertarians: Ron Paul. Dr. Paul is the only libertarian in the major party field, and was the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate in 1988.

John McCain would extend the failed war in Iraq, would continue to build ever-larger government, would continue his random support for government that contributes to his personal notion of "national greatness", and was the co-author of the speech-stifling McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" law that McCain himself has sought to circumvent.

Although Huckabee and Romney have folded their candidacies, they remain on the ballot.

Candidates for US House, District 5: Clayton Alfred, Dan Burton, Bob McGoff.

Another easy pick: Clayton Alfred, who is a Ron Paul supporter, and tops his campaign website with "Less Government", "Less Spending", "Less War", "More Individual Liberty", and "No Income Tax".

McGoff wants a few things libertarians want, and a few we don't. He wants to reduce our tax burden and protect the 2nd Amendment, but he believes government has a role in health care, and supports the misguided War on Terror.

Incumbent Dan Burton, as I have stated previously, is less desirable than a can of Alpo. On the plus side, he does miss a lot of votes. When he does show up, he casts his votes in odd ways, as when he was the sole vote against ethics reform.

Candidate for Governor: Mitch Daniels is unopposed.

Candidates for Indiana Senate 20: Ken Geesaman, Luke Kenley.

No clear choice here. Geesaman is a critic of Kenley on spending and especially on property taxes, Kenley certainly didn't deliver meaningful property tax relief, but presided over a shell game that saw an increase in the state sales tax. Geesaman supports a marriage amendment and pro-life legislation. On his campaign website, Kenley touts his record on tax issues, pointing to bills he has authored that have passed. I guess if you feel your tax burden is lighter, you should vote for Kenley.

Candidates for Indiana Senate 28: Beverly Gard, Michael Terry.

No clear choice. Incumbent Gard defended Geist residents (to a point) against forced annexation by Fishers. Her website carefully avoids listing any positions she holds, and refused to answer issue questions with Project Vote Smart. Challenger Terry lacks a website (a minimal requisite for any candidate in the last 10 years) and also refused to answer issue questions with Project Vote Smart. The only item found online on Terry is a blog article that was followed up with negative comments.

Candidates for Indiana Senate 30: Teresa Lubbers, Ken Morgan.

Edge, Morgan. Incumbent Lubbers has a curious set of positions- supports charter schools, but also supports No Child Left Behind; touts a tax policy as good for business and "personal security", yet supports taxing internet sales and maintaining status quo on most other taxes- while supporting deep cuts on property taxes. I guess she knows which way the wind blows. Morgan is in support of eliminating property taxes, as a virtual single issue. If you're only going to do one thing, may as well do it right.

Candidate for Indiana House 29: Kathy Richardson is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 32: Eric Turner is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 35: Jack Lutz is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 38: Jim Buck is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 39: Jerry Torr is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 86: Adam Neilson is unopposed.

Candidate for Indiana House 87: Cindy Noe, Brian Sweeney

Edge Sweeney. Cindy Noe doesn't have a campaign website, and did not respond to Project Vote Smart on issue questions. She appears content to allow the taxpayers to fund her website at the statehouse. The only issue visible there is taxes, and with a solid anti-property tax position. It would be nice if Noe let us know about some less safe positions she might hold, rather than hide. Sweeney is in at least the same position as Noe, but lets us know on his website that he is in favor of privatizing the lottery, and loosening restrictions on Sunday liquor sales and gambling on an individual rights basis.

Candidate for Indiana House 88: Brian Bosma is unopposed.

Candidates for Judge, Circuit Court: Paul Felix, Sonia Leerkamp.
I have no opinion to offer on either. Felix's website offers non-specific info to the voter, while Leerkamp's website essentially touts her as an ex-prosecuter, with Felix not being an ex-prosecutor. Where do they stand on forced annexations? Etc.

Candidate for Judge, Superior Court 3: William Hughes is unopposed.
Candidate for Judge, Superior Court 4: J. Richard Campbell is unopposed.
Candidate for Judge, Superior Court 5: Wayne Sturtevant is unopposed.
Candidate for County Auditor: Dawn Coverdale is unopposed.
Candidate for County Treasurer: Kim Good is unopposed.
Candidate for County Surveyor: Kenton Ward is unopposed.

Candidates for County Commissioner, District 2: Steve Dillinger, David Whiteman.

No clear choice: Dillinger has been elected since the mid-1980s, enjoying the spoils of the at-large nature of the vote: He has routinely lost his district, but because the whole county votes on each Commissioner seat, the rest of the county has carried him. He gets huge campaign contributions from spouses of engineering firm principals, which looks fishy, at best, and is aggressively pro-growth. Whiteman wants to add more public trails and parks, and engage county government in recycling. Both give the nominal nod to low taxes that is expected, but without specifics.

Candidate for County Commissioner, District 3: Steven Holt is unopposed.

Candidates for County Council, At Large (Elect 3): Brad Beaver, Jim Belden, Ford Hebner, Rick McKinney.

McKinney resisted a tax: Leave some blanks on the ballot. Hebner is the challenger, while the others are incumbents, with one large, telling tax item on their records- the food & beverage tax adopted by the County to give the gift of a socialized football stadium to Jim Irsay. McKinney was the sole vote against, while Beaver and Belden caved into the pressure exerted by Mitch Daniels. Hebner didn't say much about what he was about on his sparse website.

Democratic Ballot

Candidates for President: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama.

No clear choice for libertarians. Both Clinton and Obama favor so much big government that libertarians oppose, that it's hard to single one or the other out. The big issues right now are the war in Iraq, health care, and the economy. Both have offered tepid, often conflicting answers for Iraq, each would grow the government involvement into health care that adds layers of cost and inefficiency, and each would offer policy sure to be an ever-greater drag on a slumping economy. One could debate endlessly which is more harmful.

Candidates for US House, District 5: Chester Kelsey, Mary Ruley, Kenny Stall.

No good choice, as all three feature anti-liberty policies.

Ruley could be a choice for Libertarians, as she touts her associations with libertarian icon Dr. Milton Friedman as well as Dr. Alan Greenspan. Alas. Looking beyond into issues, we find that not enough of these legends rubbed off, as Ruley supports the building of a high-speed rail network , increasing the minimum wage, and declares health care to be a patient's right.

Kelsey calls the public financing of elections "the single most important issue in America" on his website. Iraq? Health care? The economy?

Dr. Stall has the most curious way of enunciating position, promoting policy on immigration and tax reform, but then saying they couldn't advance in the Congress. So, why put him there? Also, in his "defense" of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, Dr. Stall recommends a health care premium, a tax, on gun licenses in order to fund health care for firearm injuries.

Candidates for Governor: Jim Schellinger, Jill Long Thompson.

No clear choice, as there isn't too much to get excited about. For all the complaint about Mitch Daniels from Indiana Democrats, one might have expected clear, concise policy.

Schellinger's website has identified four top issues: jobs, health care, education, and government reform. He has lengthy white papers for the three subjects, which beget hope that specifics can be contained. Alas. I've never read so much that says so little. For instance, the top thrust of Schellinger's government reform plan is essentially to form a committee and perform external audits looking for efficiencies. That's it? No ready-made ideas of where inefficiencies lie, or departments that seem outside the realm of the proper role of state government? No wonder the reputation of his campaign is that it is a muddle. Beyond that, anyone who suggests the state should be involved with education for a longer span of years than is already the case scares me greatly. Government schools are a cauldron of failure. The longer we can delay the introduction of our children to this maw of making mediocre, the better. Schellinger's plan is called "Pre K to 80".

Thompson has a plan with specifics. That's an improvement in terms of understanding what she's proposing, but it's bound to leave libertarians just as non-plussed. She wants to focus on areas outside of Central Indiana. Why alienating any segment of the state population is good strategy is beyond me. Thompson wants to attract jobs by manipulating the tax code with breaks for companies that would set up shop in Indiana. She wants to have government extend broadband service statewide to unserved areas.

Candidate for Indiana Senate 28: Mike Brinegar is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana Senate 30: Todd DeGroff is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 29: Joe Weingarten is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 35: Lee Mengelt is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 36: Terri Austin is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 38: Bob Snow is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 86: Edward DeLaney is unopposed.
Candidate for Indiana House 87: Pamela Hickman is unopposed.
Candidate for County Commissioner, District 2: Jeff Curts is unopposed.
Candidates for County Council, At Large (Elect 3): Christopher Brown is unopposed.

There are many other ballot options available, including non-partisan school board races, and arcane items that are obviously private business, such as delegates to the parties conventions and precinct committeemen.

The Libertarian Party does not take part in the primary election process. It nominates its' candidates at its' privately funded conventions.

Libertarian Party candidates are still eligible to be added to the ballot post-convention.

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posted by Mike Kole @ 12:48 PM, , links to this post