There are factions in every political party, and the LP is no exception. Referring to the convention delegates, Johnson promised to represent “everyone in this room.” That promise, the fact that Johnson has received more media attention than any other recent LP presidential candidate, and dissatisfaction withe the major parties' candidates might propel all liberty-leaning voters of all political persuasions to get behind Johnson, push him up the polls so he has a chance to get into the national debates, and vote for him in November.
C Span covered the Libertarian Party convention, and clips are on the C Span website. There are numerous articles on the Web regarding the convention; among them is one in The Washington Post which describes the issues involving the candidates well.
Gary Johnson, along with other Libertarian presidential candidates, will be on the June 7 ballot as well as the November ballot.
We have written a lot on this website about the incremental loss of control over our lives that comes with the rise in regionalism, when unelected bureaucrats take over the duties of elected officials. Voters are now being asked to give up control over their pocketbooks as well. On June 7, voters will decide the fate of Measure AA, the Clean Water, Pollution Prevention, and Habitat Restoration Measure, a proposal by the bureaucrat-let San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority. This measure is first of its kind not only because it will appear on the ballot of all nine Bay Area counties, but also because it establishes the precedent of a regional agency composed of unelected officials having the power to tax and spend.
Around 100 organizations purporting to be “saving the Bay” in one way or another stand to receive the largess flowing from the parcel tax Measure AA would implement. Thus we see much support for the proposal. However, opposition is rising from groups concerned about the spread of regionalism, opposing the ever growing implementation of parcel taxes, arguing against loss of local control over environmental challenges. Here is a sample of the opposition:
o 46-second video clip posted by Save Marinwood, in which Association of Bay Area Governments Executive Director Ezra Rapport speaks on April 6, 2016 to the ABAG Regional Planning Committee of how going to voters for tax money is “just not realistic,” so the idea of Measure AA is to “raise money regionally.” https://youtu.be/saving ABAG
o Article by Linda Koelling, former Foster City Mayor, Big Bay Area Government Costs Voters Big Money, explaining how Measure AA is “the camel in the tent.” Article is on a new website developed by Nine County Coalition. http://nine-county-coalition.squarespace.com
Gerald Cauthen and Thomas Rubin are fountains of knowledge and experience, and we are grateful that they gave so freely of their time and talent as our panelists. At this event, they also proved to be resourceful when the projector we were provided refused to work! Even though they had prepared PowerPoint presentations, they promptly switched to analog and gave excellent talks without a single prop. Speakers can only do that when they really know their stuff!
The panelists covered solid material on the subject of local transit systems.
Zelda Bronstein’s article on 48 Hills of March 29, When City Planners Treat Us Like Infants, gives an excellent account of the “public input” techniques trending with City planners. First, the fact that public engagement occurs after projects are significantly underway, puts the newly-advised and often surprised public at a disadvantage. Secondly what planners call public engagement amounts to a high-school-type science fair, where the public is invited to view pictures and graphs hanging on walls or propped on tables. A pat on the public’s head, a check mark where it says “public comments” and a project goes forward.
Those who opposed Plan Bay Area as presented, and tried to inject some accountability to voters in the Plan, were consistently met with either science fair-type events or City officials who could not have looked more bored. Plan Bay Area sailed through without ever appearing on any election ballot or carrying any future accountability to voters. (See,Plan Bay Area Adopted Under the Cloak of Midnight, Literally!)
Plan Bay Area seems to have established the precedent. Significant changes to our way of life are planned and implemented at the will of bureaucrats.
The “public engagement” offered by planners of one such change is discussed in the afore-mentioned article. Zelda Bronstein notes that the Railyard Alternatives and I-280 Feasibility Study (RAB) includes “a proposal to take down I-280 and re-route the former freeway traffic on a boulevard through the neighborhoods.” She points that although the infrastructure changes “are massive and controversial,” what is even more debatable is the manner in which public input has been sought. The community was offered a chance to comment on this infrastructure change two years into the planning, via the science-fair technique.
“There is no obvious alternative on the right to Mr. Trump, but Republicans believe that an existing minor party, like the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party, could serve as a viable vehicle, allowing crestfallen Republicans to show up on Election Day despite their distaste for him.”
Welcome to the “minor party” fold. If disaffected Republicans are serious about finding a “viable vehicle” outside of the top-two parties, they will certainly meet some karma. While Democrat and Republican candidates are automatically placed on general election ballots, Constitution, Green, Peace & Freedom, and Libertarian candidates have constantly to fight tooth and nail for ballot access. What the New York Times article means by “There is no obvious alternative on the right,” is that there are no existing conservative-leaning political parties with ballot access in enough states, and starting a new viable party or introducing a new candidate this late in the game are options fraught with impediments. Reason.com named a few on March 1:
o The Tea Party movement helped elect a lot of Republicans to Congress, but so far has done nothing to turn the tide of government growth.
o Much talk about how the economy is rebounding has failed to mask a deep dissatisfaction within the American “working class.” Workers want work not programs, services, or political correctness. Workers are willing to get behind a presidential candidate who might prove to be a loose cannon, but who himself has provided jobs for thousands (even if forced by unions and Labor Department rules to seek H-2B visas to run highly seasonal industries).
o The Founding Fathers established a Republic not a Direct Democracy in hopes that the wisdom of elected statesmen would protect the people from rash voting decisions. Is this what we are witnessing today on the part of conservative Republicans, or are we witnessing protection of a status quo that benefits the establishment class?
The interpretation of extremism becomes difficult when violence is added to the mix. “States’ rights” might sound good in light of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” However, even a modicum of morality would prompt anyone to reject the tactics of the Ku Klux Klan. What would a frank discussion of extremism in the American Civil War contain, a conflict in which 620,000 souls were claimed.
Today’s presidential elections reveal extremisms. Not violent extremism, but that bred from years of incremental visions. If the Tea Party could get droves of conservatives elected, progressives could pass the Affordable Care Act, and Ron Paul could become an icon of liberty, could conservatives not turn the nation into a quasi theocracy, progressives turn it into a socialist paradise, or libertarians/Libertarians into the small-government republic originally intended? And let’s not forget the latest vision, seemingly not yet fully understood, of "making America great again."
San Francisco is once again going through epic changes. True to its rising Phoenix, the City has survived conflagration and political sea changes. Hopefully, it will survive the current Board of Supervisors. Each day brings news of another scatty proposal. As we at the Libertarian Party of San Francisco have repeatedly noted, each proposal when turned into legislation, 1) brings consequences, which then require more legislation, and 2) should remind us of Lucy telling Peanuts this time she will hold the football still (the iconic symbol of trusting souls by the late great cartoonist Charles M. Schulz).
These two proposals illustrate the chain-reaction effect:
o Hotel tax increase of 1% over the current 14% to help address homelessness. If a hotel room rate is $300 without tax, with tax it will cost $345. High lodging costs might discourage some visitors if not from staying in the City altogether, surely from staying at hotels. So, looks like an additional fix might be needed to prevent vacant hotels rooms.