Why I left the LP

As you know, I identify myself as a Libertarian.  I am, in fact, a crazy Libertarian.  But I’m not a member of the Libertarian Party.  I was, once.  But I watched the money and time I spent on the party get wasted supporting candidates incapable of getting a message across to anyone, candidates who are criminals, and candidates who came across (or were) lunatics.

The Maryland LP, though, typically does a pretty good job.  There are some goofballs involved in the party (but then, so are there goofballs in every political party), but all in all, the folks leading the party are reasonable, well spoken, intelligent, and fairly well-organized.

Today, though, I saw a great example of why I’m no longer involved.  The Baltimore Sun ran an article with profiles of the lesser known candidates running for Governor.  They included the primary challengers on the Democrat and Republican sides, the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian Party.

One little thing.  For the one great opportunity to get some Classical Liberal philosophy in the newspaper; one of the few chances this election season anyone will pay attention to what the LP candidates have to say, the LP candidate for Governor “could not be reached”.


Susan J. Gaztanaga has a normal job.  She goes to church.  She’s able to speak clearly on the subject of Liberty.  The other third-party candidates are not anywhere as impressive.

Maria Allwine, the likely Green Party candidate, is making her fourth bid for an office, though this is her first time running for governor. She received 17 percent of the vote when she ran for Baltimore City Council president in 2007. She is a 57-year-old legal secretary with no experience as an elected official —but plenty of experience in rankling them.

A Baltimore resident and prolific newspaper letter writer, Allwine was an active Iraq war protester, sometimes standing on street corners in a black robe to portray the infamous image from Abu Ghraib prison.

“Our state is in dire straits. They talk about closing the budget deficit, but they won’t close corporate tax loopholes,” she said in response to a question last week about why she is running for governor. “They just won’t do it. They want to be a friend of business at the expense of ordinary people.”

Before her name can appear on the ballot, the Green Party must officially nominate her because there’s another Green governor contender. But party faithful say Corrogan Vaughn, who until last Tuesday was filed to run for U.S. Senate as a Republican, is simply trying to take advantage of the Green Party’s ballot slot.

Vaughn wrote in an email that recently “a number of businesspersons and friends” had suggested he could be “more effective” as a governor than a Senator. “After prayerful consideration, and counsel of those we respect, we believed they were right,” he wrote. He wants to help build the Green organization as a credible third choice in Maryland. The state now has 8,200 registered Greens.

Maryland’s tiny Constitution party will be represented by Annapolis bartender Eric Knowles, 32, who said that he’s running because he does not believe O’Malley is upholding the U.S. Constitution. Asked for an example he said: “I can’t come up with one off hand.”

What a grand opportunity, wasted.  The Greens want to increase taxes on businesses, and the Constitution Party has a guy who can’t articulate his position.   So with that, this is all anyone knows about the LP candidate.

Susan J. Gaztanaga, from the Libertarian Party who lives in Baltimore, could not be reached. An occasional author of letters to the editor, she protested an increase to the city’s income tax and expressed dismay over the federal government’s handling of the Waco disaster.

Not exactly the message the LP should be sending in an era where Tea Parties and Independent voters are looking for people who represent them.  I guess another run with 2% of the vote is the goal this year.


About Paul Stagg

Husband, lifter, MBA in Baltimore, MD. Will post about Powerlifting, politics, Classical Liberalism, Economics, building wealth, self improvement, productivity, heavy music, wine, food, beer, and almost anything else. View all posts by Paul Stagg

One response to “Why I left the LP

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