Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Following the Barr money trail.

The Atlanta Constitution-Journal has an interesting article about the Right-wing ex-Congressman from Georgia: Bob Barr. As you no doubt know, if you have read this blog. Barr is currently trying to pretend he is a libertarian in order to secure the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president. As a lifelong libertarian I’d rather vote for pond scum.

We have previously discussed how “libertarian” Barr has been raising funds which he donated to conservative Republicans, many of whom were running against Libertarian candidates -- so much for his loyalty to the new party he joined. But the Constitution-Journal now raises some serious questions about the money Mr. Barr has been raising from Republican donors. It looks to as if Mr. Barr is running a major scam. That is how it looks to me but then you know what I think of this man.

The Atlanta paper starts out with how Barr is raising funds as a “conservative”. Remember when he shows up at Libertarian events he says he is really a libertarian. Is Mr. Barr lying to Republicans or is he lying to Libertarians. A conservative and a libertarian are not the same thing. Never have been, never will be. So when Barr fund raises to finance conservative campaigns is is showing the world that he is NO libertarian. Now if some of the Barr pimps in the LP would figure this out the party would be in better shape.

The Constitution-Journal notes that since 2003 Barr’s little Political Action Committee has taken in $4.3 million dollars. To quote the film character Jerry McQuire: “Show me the money.” Always show me the money. What happened with it.

Barr gave $110,000 to conservative Republicans running for national office and $81,875 to local conservatives running for office. He gave $12,000 to the National Committee of the LP but nothing to Libertarian candidates. The candidate who got the most money from Barr’s fund raising appeal was Barr himself. He got $10,000. Now this interesting. Barr is raising money for “conservatives” and the biggest donation goes to himself. Barr also used the PAC to pay for him giving speeches in different places. And his son collected $41,000 in salary from Barr’s PAC. Some money also went to fly Barr's most recent wife to an event as well -- perhaps it was when he was promoting his "one man-one woman" marriage concept and discussing why gays are a threat to society.

But what is crystal clear is that of the money raised only about 5% actually went to any candidates. The rest was eaten up by the PAC itself. Would Barr run a presidential campaign the same way he runs his PAC? If so then expect that if he raised $2 million in campaign funds that only about $100,000 would actually be spent on the election. The rest would go to expenses to raise funds. In fact, if he spent the same way, his son would get $1 for every $5 spent on the election.

The Constitution-Journal did try to ask Mr. Barr about what appears to be deceptive fund raising and poor management but told them, “I won’t be cross-examined.”

I’m not saying I want him to spend the money more wisely either. After all Barr is rather Right-wing and very much opposed to libertarian thinking. The people he funded are not the good guys. They are big government, theocratically inclined Republicans. And I guess I’m glad that Barr is wasting most of the funds he raises in order to raise more funds to pay for more fund raising. I certainly don’t want the Statist on the Barr donation list to get more money. But remember that if Barr somehow manages to bamboozle enough Libertarian Party delegates into thinking he is a libertarian and ought to be the LP presidential candidate then he’ll get his hands on the party mailing list as well.

There is already a shortage of funds for good libertarian causes (FEE, ISIL, CATO, Reason, etc). We certainly don’t need a con man like Barr sinking his teeth into the LP fund-raising list and exploiting the same way he has ripped off Republicans.

NOTICE: This blog may be a little quite for the next few days as I leave for Denver for the Libertarian Party convention. Certainly, in my private capacity, I will doing my damn best to see to it that conservative cretins like Barr and Root are not nominated by the Party. If they are then I might have to wear a suicide vest to closing session. : ) I hear they are the chic rage these days. My problem is, where do I find shoes to match?