Tag Archives: elections

Bill Weld Sues to End Winner-Take-All in Massachusetts Presidential Elections

Former Republican Massachusetts Governor and Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate Bill Weld filed a suit Wednesday in Boston federal court challenging the constitutionality of Massachusetts’ winner-take-all election system. He says the system disenfranchises third and minority party voters.

Under winner-take-all rules, which exist in 48 U.S. states, the presidential candidate that obtains the most votes in a state then receives all of the state’s electoral votes. In Maine and Alaska, electoral votes are attributed to the winners of each congressional district, allowing supporters of candidates who lost the state to get a degree of proportional representation in the Electoral College.

“The winner-take-all system under the Electoral College is at the heart of the unhealthy duopoly that plagues our national politics. It causes candidates and campaigns to ignore all but the ‘battleground’ states. It discards millions of votes for president every four years. Getting rid of the winner-take-all system will help Americans enjoy a broader range of choices for president than the narrow ‘either/or’ choice with which they’ve suffered for too long,” said Weld according to The Dallas Observer.

Weld’s Massachusetts lawsuit claims, “The predominant method in America for counting votes in presidential elections violates the United States Constitution; it also distorts presidential campaigns, facilitates targeted outside interference in our elections, and ensures that a substantial number of citizen voters are disenfranchised when their votes are tallied in early November, only to be discarded when it really counts in mid-December.”

According to The Republican, Weld’s suit comes as a part of a nationwide movement to end winner-take-all, with suits also filed in California, Texas, and South Carolina. The California version of the lawsuit includes Republican actor Paul Rodriguez as a plaintiff. The Texas suit names the League of United Latin American Citizens as a plaintiff, who argue that Texas electoral votes have not gone to a candidate supported widely by Latino and African American voters, who make up around 40 percent of the state’s population, since 1976.

The Boston Herald notes that in Massachusetts 9.6 million citizens have cast votes for non-Democratic candidates in the past 8 presidential elections, but all of the state’s electoral votes have gone to Democrats.

The plaintiffs of the lawsuits in four states have indicated that they do not intend to overturn the entire Electoral College system, just individual states’ winner-take-all methods of allocating electoral votes.

Weld’s suit claims that winner-take-all causes general election presidential candidates to avoid campaign stops in highly-partisan states such as Massachusetts. “As a result [of winner-take-all], candidates from major political parties rarely hold campaign events in Massachusetts once they are selected by their parties in the primary,” it reads. “This results in a reduced opportunity for all Massachusetts voters to interface with and petition the candidates for major political parties in person, and ‘to express their ideas, hopes, and concerns to their government and their elected representatives’ as is also protected by the Petition Clause of the First Amendment.”

Socialist Party Loses Control Over Venezuela

VENEZUELA, Dec. 10, 2015– On Wednesday, Venezuelan election authorities confirmed the crushing defeat of the United Social Party of Venezuela (PSUV), currently led by President Nicolas Maduro who succeeded Hugo Chavez, by the hand of opposition party Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD). Voters turned out in mass with more than 74 percent taking to the polls to demand an end to socialist policies.

Maduro swiftly declared he would block “the counter-revolutionary right” from taking over the country. “We won’t let it,” he said.

The defeat of Venezuela’s socialist controlled Congress is the first in 16 years. Opposition leaders promised to address socio-economic turmoil in the country created by the socialist revolution. Currently, unemployment is near 20 percent, inflation has increased 100 percent, the GDP shrunk 10 percent in 2015 alone, and food and utilities shortages plague the country.

Venezuela’s National Assembly is the country’s legislative branch. It consists of 167 members sitting in one chamber. Wednesday’s confirmation gave the opposition party a super-majority in the Assembly. The new party will not be sworn in until January 2016, but leaders urged swift action.

“We’re just a few weeks away from a very serious problem in terms of food,” Democratic Unity coalition leader Jesus Torrealba said at a news conference. “We urge the government to start working.”

The opposition also promised to force amnesty laws in order to release political prisoners. While Maduro defiantly promised to block any such actions, the President has limited veto powers under Venezuela’s Constitution.

While the opposition’s new-found power gives them the opportunity to completely oust Maduro, some prominent opposition leaders want to give him a chance to change.

“If Maduro doesn’t change we’ll have to change the government. But the opposition’s response to the economic crisis right now can’t be more politics,” said Henrique Capriles, who lost to Maduro in the 2013 presidential elections.

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‘Vote or Die’ Founder Diddy Changes Stance, Calls Voting ‘a Scam’

Rapper, entrepreneur, actor, and record producer Sean “Diddy” Combs expressed feelings of disenfranchisement and called America’s system of voting “a scam” during a question-and-answer session at the Revolt Music Conference in Miami, Fla. earlier this month.

According to The Grio, Combs was asked how young people can express their voices in upcoming elections and he replied:

[pull_quote_center]See the things that’s tricky about politics is there’s so much bullsh*t with it. We started Vote or Die and… and from the community we’re in, we’re not with hearing too much of the bullsh*t. So that’s why we get disenfranchised, [we’re] disconnected because nothing that they’re saying actually relates to us… So Vote or Die, and getting out the vote, those things [were] laid out there so people could understand about the process. We started Vote or Die, and the whole process was all full of sh*t. The whole sh*t is a scam.[/pull_quote_center]

At the end of the day, I’m not telling you not to vote. But I’m saying be a realist and know that they’re motherf*cking kicking some bullsh*t up there,” said Combs.

[RELATED: Donald Trump Says He Hopes to Run for President Against Kanye West]

In 2004, Combs founded Citizen Change, a celebrity-backed get-out-the-vote campaign targeting youth and minority voters with the slogan “Vote or Die.” His recent comments indicate a change in attitude following his time working with Citizen Change.

The Associated Press notes that Combs said in a speech at Milwaukee Area Technical College in October of 2004, “I want y’all to bum rush those polls if you’re registered, and let them know we have the power. So that the next election that comes around, instead of them speaking to the NRA, AARP, soccer moms, NASCAR dads, they’ll be speaking to you, the forgotten ones, the one they turned their backs on.

IVP to Challenge Taxpayer Funding of Party Central Committee Elections

In light of recent court precedent that insulates political parties from any form of regulation by the state, the Independent Voter Project (IVP) is challenging the public funding and administration of party central committee elections.

California state law provides that a county registrar shall conduct party central committee elections at the request of any qualified political party (see e.g., California Elections Code sections 7230 and 7425).

However, as the political parties have successfully argued in court, a party’s county central committee does not perform any governmental functions and membership in the committee is not a public office (see, Wilson v. San Luis Obispo County Democratic Central Committee 175 Cal. App. 4th 489, 500 (2009), holding that California Election Code provisions that seek to govern the composition of a party central committee violate the First Amendment rights of political parties and their members).

The California Supreme Court has also held that taxpayer funds shall not be disbursed unless “a direct and substantial public purpose is served and non-state entities are benefited only as an incident to the public purpose.” (California Housing Finance Authority v. Elliot 17 Cal. 3d 575, 583 (1976).)

In light of this precedent, the Independent Voter Project is asking all county registrars to refrain from expending any public resources for the administration of party central committee elections unless each political party requesting such administration first agrees to reimburse taxpayers for the full and fair public costs related thereto.

Read a draft of the letter HERE.

If you are from California and would like to sign the letter, CLICK HERE or fill out the form below.

If you are not a California voter, but would like to support similar efforts in your state, CLICK HERE.

Pollsters Criticize Use of Polling Minimums to Exclude Candidates from Debates

Amid widespread dispute over the usefulness of polling in determining who should be allowed to appear in presidential debates, a survey of top pollsters suggests that some leading professionals in the polling industry believe that their product is not an effective tool for that purpose.

The issue of minimum polling requirements being used as a qualifier for debates is currently causing significant controversy in both major political parties’ primaries, as both of them now use ever-changing polling minimums to narrow down the number of candidates throughout the election cycle, and in the general election, in which the Republican and Democrat controlled Commission on Presidential Debates requires independent candidates to meet a nigh-impossible 15 percent minimum threshold of support in national polls.

Politico conducted a survey of the opinions of top pollsters and found that many of them believe that public opinion polls lack the precision to measure the small-scale changes in support that determine the rankings between candidates.

Rutgers University professor and former president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research said, “Polls are being used to do a job that they’re really not intended for — and they’re not as qualified for as they used to be. It’s like asking a scale that can only tell pounds to measure ounces. They’re just not that finely calibrated. … I think polls can do a good job talking about tiers of candidates in name recognition. That’s all that polls can do. But they can’t tell the difference between Bobby Jindal, who’s not in the [Republican primary] debate, and Chris Christie, who is.

Pew Research Center associate director Jocelyn Kiley cautioned, “These numbers all have a margin of error around them. We try very hard, as do most of our colleagues in the field, to make clear when there are significant differences and when there aren’t.

In a packed Republican primary, the differences between the amounts of support obtained by, for example, a fourth place candidate and a sixth place candidate often fall within the survey’s margin of error.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Worse still, some otherwise-eligible candidates are not included in nationwide polls in the first place. Presidential Debate News notes that Democratic presidential candidate and Harvard Law School professor Larry Lessig is on pace to be excluded from CNN’s October 13 Democratic presidential debate due to the fact that he has not obtained at least 1 percent support in a specific set of polls that do not include him as a response. Lessig did garner 1 percent support in a September Public Policy Polling survey that is not included in the Democratic National Committee’s list of qualified polls.

Politico’s Steven Shepard pointed out the fact that Senator Rand Paul’s ability to qualify for CNBC’s upcoming October 28 Republican presidential debate hangs in the balance over a statistically-insignificant “0.25 percent — essentially, a matter of two respondents in all the [qualified] polls put together.

[RELATED: Petition: A Joint Town Hall with Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders]

Marist College Institute for Public Opinion director Lee Miringoff suspended GOP polling in advance of Fox News’ first Republican presidential debate of the season in protest as he objected to excluding candidates on the basis of early polls. “It’s a problem when it’s shaping who gets to sit at the table,” Miringoff told Politico.

The issue is particularly alienating for independent voters, who are forced through taxation to fund the primaries of the Democratic and Republican parties. The top two parties’ nominees automatically qualify for general election presidential debates. However, independent candidates must obtain 15 percent support in nationwide polls to qualify for participation in presidential debates, fifteen times the level of support required for entry-level qualifications for many Democratic and Republican party presidential primary contests. That minimum 15 percent requirement effectively blocks independents, like Green and Libertarian Party candidates who lack the wealth to promote themselves to celebrity status but who sometimes qualify for nationwide ballot access, from appearing in even one presidential debate, preventing them from having an opportunity to share their platforms with voters.

For context, the Truth in Media Project released a Consider This video earlier this year highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Rand Paul Favors Boycott of Saudi Arabia

In New Hampshire on Saturday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul took aim at Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation’s mega millions in donated foreign money.

Appearing at the BeanTowne cafe, Paul said, “Anybody here think it’s a good idea for Hillary Clinton to be accepting money from Saudi Arabia? Anybody here think that she ought to send it back to Saudi Arabia?”

“This is something we should be organizing a boycott of,” said Paul. “Do you remember how when South Africa was misbehaving, we organized a boycott of South Africa? We should be boycotting Saudi Arabia, not taking money from Saudi Arabia’s government.”

Paul said that Clinton should return the money from countries with anti women’s rights policies:

“In countries that stone people to death for adultery and imprison people for adultery, this is the kind of thing you would think someone for women’s rights would be standing up against, instead of accepting thinly veiled bribes,” said Paul to Politico.

“There has been much talk of a war on women. There is indeed a war on women — in Saudi Arabia. When Hillary Clinton claims she will support women’s rights, ask her why she accepted millions of dollars from.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Clinton Foundation received $7.3 million from Saudi Arabians from 1999 to 2014, based on contributions of more than $50,000.

Paul didn’t mention in this speech the House of Saud’s funding of terrorism, although he mentioned this previously (see video here).

As reported previously via BenSwann.com, according to Clinton, ISIS has received funding from the Saudis.

Eight years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Clinton, wrote in a cable leaked by WikiLeaks that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan) and other terrorist groups.”

Senator Bob Graham, the co-chairman of the official inquiry into 9/11, has said the Washington has turned a blind eye to the Saudis support.

“I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions and particularly its involvement in 9/11 has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the U.S. – and in particular their support for Isis,” he said.

 Saudi and foreign influence on American elections should not only raise eyebrows but should be condemned by both Americans and the media.

Obama Takes Netanyahu ‘at his word’ In His Promise To Prevent Palestinian Statehood

On Friday, President Obama addressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State in his attempt to garner support for a fourth term as Prime Minister.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Obama said he took Netanyahu “at his word” when he said that a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine would not be reached under his watch.

We’re going to make sure, regardless of disagreements we have on policy, that our military and intelligence cooperation to keep the Israeli people safe continues and that cooperation also helps the American people stay safe,” Obama said. “But we are going to continue to insist that, from our point of view, the status quo is unsustainable. And that while taking into complete account Israel’s security, we can’t just in perpetuity maintain the status quo, expand settlements. That’s not a recipe for stability in the region.”

Reuters reported that despite the “the urgency of renewed, structured and substantial efforts towards peace” expressed by the European Union, the United States will not speak at the annual United Nations debate on Israeli violations in Palestinian territories on Monday.

During an interview with Israeli news website NRG last week, Netanyahu promised that if re-elected as Israeli Prime Minister he would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

“I think anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state and to evacuate territory is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

With opinion polls prior to the election showing Netanyahu’s Likud falling behind Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union, he urged citizens to vote, claiming that the right-wing government is in danger, due to the fact that “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls,” and “Left-wing organizations are busing them out.”

Netanyahu won in a narrow victory on Wednesday with his Likud party winning 30 seats and surpassing Herzog’s Zionist Union, which won 24 seats.

Obama told the Huffington Post that when he called Netanyahu on Thursday to congratulate him on the Likud party’s victory, he said that given Netanyahu’s statement prior to the election, “it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible.”

We indicated that that kind of rhetoric was contrary to what is the best of Israel’s traditions,” Obama said. “That although Israel was founded based on the historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland, Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly.

Nancy Pelosi has been reelected as the House minority leader

House Democrats have reportedly reelected Rep. Nancy Pelosi to the position of  minority leader for the next two years.

The election has been confirmed Tuesday by NBC News.

Sources told the Associated Press Pelosi, 74, was reelected in a closed-door meeting of House Democrats by a voice-vote.  Pelosi ran unopposed for her reelection, despite Democrats saying their party needs new blood to be elected to leadership positions.

The unrest in the Democratic Party comes after the party lost the Senate in the midterm elections, and many Democrats are saying the unpopularity of President Obama has turned many voters away from the party.

However, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-NJ, said, “We need a full-blown discussion of who we are, where we’re going, what are our priorities. If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority…It’s all of our faults, not just the leadership.”

Despite a call for new leadership, many Democrats still think Pelosi is a great leader and laud her for the financial assets she brings to the party.  Over the past two years, aides for Pelosi say she has raised about $101 million for Democrats in the House, while she appeared in over 115 cities for about 750 campaign events.

Pelosi, after her reelection addressed her fellow Democrats, saying, according to Politico, house Democrats are the “strongest team on the field.”  She also called for a refocusing of the party’s attention on “middle-class issues.”

Pelosi is not the only Democratic leader to retain their position.  Many sources are saying the entire Democratic leadership team will be reelected, many of whom are running unopposed as well.

VIDEO: Ben Stein calls Obama “the most racist President” in American history

WASHINGTON, D.C., November4, 2014 – On Sunday, in an interview on Fox News’ America’s News HQ, economist Ben Stein accused President Barack Obama of being “the most racist president there has ever been in America” and blasted democrats for race baiting in elections.

Stein stated, “What the White House is trying to do is racialize all politics and they’re especially trying to tell the African-American voter that the GOP is against letting them have a chance at a good life in this economy, and that’s just a complete lie.”

The author and former presidential speechwriter went on to state, “I watch with fascination, with incredible fascination, all the stories about how the Democratic politicians, especially Hillary, are trying to whip up the African-American vote and say, ‘Oh, the Republicans have policies against black people in terms of the economy.’ But there are no such policies.”

“It’s all a way to racialize voting in this country,” Stein continued, “This president is the most racist president there has ever been in America. He is purposely trying to use race to divide Americans.”

You can watch the full segment here.


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Rand Paul visits Ferguson, urges people to vote

After another shooting a few days ago of a second black citizen by police officers, Sen. Rand Paul went to Ferguson, Mo. Friday, to meet with black leaders in the area, including leaders of the local NAACP chapter.  

While in Ferguson, Paul took part in a 45-minute “listening session,” which has been described as a more informal question and answer session.  Paul was joined by local pastors, business owners, and representatives from other social change groups, such as the Urban League, at this session.  

“I came to Ferguson today to listen to leaders in the community and to learn more about how we can fix the problems of criminal injustice together,” said Paul, according to the Daily Caller.

During the session, one person asked Paul if he thought a more diverse policing force would help with the issue of racial tensions between police and black communities across the country.  Paul responded by saying if people wanted to see change, they should vote appropriately at the ballot boxes.

“My opinion is they have a great deal of power and if they wanted an African-American police chief they’d get it in one election if they just go vote for the mayor and register people,” Paul said, according to Politico.  “Violence gets nowhere and it actually sends us backwards… If that energy, and some anger, if that were channeled into registering voters and getting people out to vote, then you can have constructive changes.”

After Michael Brown was shot over the summer in Ferguson, about 3,200 people in Ferguson, which is about a seventh of the population, have registered to vote in the upcoming elections.  

Liberal registration booths were setup near where Brown was shot in Ferguson, and this has made some Republicans upset, saying this has only fanned “political flames.”

Paul on the other hand, has said he is not concerned about party lines and simply wants to get more people to vote. 

Congressional candidate Mark Wichern says, “I want to expose the Federal Reserve Fraud in Congress” in exclusive interview

Mark Wichern is running for public office in Florida’s 1st congressional district. According to his campaign websiteMark started his small business with only “$500 in his pocket,” and now it is a successful business with more than 20 employees. 

Wichern is serious about ending the Federal Reserve system and replacing it with a sound monetary system. 

Wichern told BenSwann.com’s Joshua Cook that he believes the Federal Reserve system is causing inflation which is essentially a hidden tax on the American people. (Listen to Mark Explain the Federal Reserve system here.)

Cook asked Wichern, “Why did you want to run for U.S. Congress?”

“I had a choice, my business was doing really well. I had the choice of sitting back and watching my business prosper and at the same time watching our entire country go under. Let’s face it its not going in the right direction,” said Wichern.

“…I understand what the problems are with this country and more importantly how to fix it. So I had a choice: sit on the sidelines and be prosperous myself, or do something and go fight for our country.”

Though Wichern was inspired by Ron Paul’s Republicanism and Austrian economics, he decided to run as an independent candidate. He believes that the duopoly of the Two-Party system is part of America’s problem.  Wichern identifies with the Tea Party which advocates for lower taxes and limited government and recently received the endorsement of the local Libertarian Party.

According to the Northwest Florida Libertarian Party’s website:

“After meeting with members of the NFLP and completing a questionnaire, it became apparent Wichern’s support for individual rights, free markets and limited government largely coincides with Libertarian views of the same topics, and the NFLP wishes him luck in his quest to reach the Congress.”

This was the first time in history that the NFLP endorsed a candidate other than a member of the Libertarian Party.

Mark Wichern on the Issues. (Click link to jump to each section.)

What are “free markets?”

On the IRS

Wichern on Ron Paul / END THE FED

The Problem of the Two Party System

“I’m a 2nd Amendment guy.”


Listen to full interview here and check out Mark’s Facebook page.

Kansas sees Republican moderates fight back

The GOP in Kansas has turned against itself as Republican Moderates from the state have turned their support away from the current Republican governor, Sam Brownback, and have instead endorsed the Democratic challenger Paul Davis.

More than 100 Republicans, including current and past officeholders according to Politico, are said to be showing support of Davis in the upcoming November election.  These supporters have given Davis, what is being called a “surprisingly strong shot,” in the election.

Some of the supporters for Davis include former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, former president of the Kansas Senate Dick Bond, and former legislator Steve Morris.  “It’s a big step for every one of us,” says Bond, “and a major departure from our Republican roots.”

Former state Representative Charlie Roth is also supporting Davis, saying he has “nothing but positive things to say,” about Davis.  Roth continues his support by saying, “I found him to be thoughtful, smart, and always open to suggestions. He is a natural leader and will bring Kansans together. He will be a tremendous governor.”

Many thought the state’s strict abortion laws would come under fire from Davis, but the up-and-coming challenger said he had no intention of changing the abortion laws and would leave them in place.

Davis has said he wants to implement planned tax cuts and use funds to improve the education system in the state, according to Newsmax.

According to a press release from the Davis campaign website, Davis for Kansas, many say the Republicans left Brownback because of the “experimental” tax plan he had put in place, which saw severe cuts to the education system, as well as “fiscally irresponsible budgeting.”

“All of us are proud Republicans,” reads another endorsement from former GOP lawmaker Wint Winter.  “We came together because of our common love of Kansas, our commitment to Kansas families, and our belief in moderate, commonsense leadership.”

David Brat’s Success Due to 19,000 new primary voters

According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s pollster, Cantor’s defeat was due to thousands of Democrats in Virginia who voted in Tuesday’s primary.

But according to David Brat’s campaign that wasn’t the case.

“We were polling a universe of people who voted in one of the last three Republican primaries and said that they were likely to vote in this Republican primary,” said John McLaughlin, a New York-based pollster quoted in Campaigns & Elections magazine.

Winner David Brat’s campaign didn’t spend any time targeting Democrats.

Steve Adler, founder of Voter Activation Network (VAN) and  rVotes  said Brat’s campaign used rVotes to expand its universe beyond the traditional Virginia GOP primary voters being targeted by Cantor’s campaign. Adler also said several Tea Party campaigns had donated their data to Brat to allow him to expand his targeting universe.

“Now, suddenly he had access to hundreds if not thousands of different codes,” said Adler. “Funky stuff like anything from ‘voter owns only American cars’ to ‘known patriot group member’ to ‘voter flies a flag’ or ‘voter has an NRA sticker on their car.’ They were aggressively using the system to microtarget.”

Brat paid only $1,500, or 1 percent of his campaign budget, to use rVotes, the targeting software. Cantor, on the other hand, spent more than $5 million on TV ads, consultants, lawyers and fundraising.

McLaughlin pointed out that turn out two years ago was 46,000. Tuesday’s turnout was more than 65,000. “Untold story is who were the 19,000 new primary voters? They were probably not Republicans,” said McLaughlin.

A story in the Washington Post cited that high voter turnout was another thing that did not work in Cantor’s favor.

Brat’s successful strategy is definitely a model for Tea Party and Libertarian activists to use going forward.

Ukraine Govt Ready to Declare Martial Law in East

This article was written by guest contributor Jason Ditz.

The loss of several key military/national guard bases in the northeastern Luhansk Oblast has Ukraine’s interim government on edge about their ongoing military invasion of the east of the country, and has several leaders pushing for an immediate declaration of martial law throughout the region.

Outgoing Interim President Oleksandr Turchinov, who will be replaced on Saturday with the inauguration of President Petro Porchenko, urged the leaders of all security-related agencies and ministries to begin “urgently” to consider the declaration.

A statement from Turchinov’s office said martial law was needed to “stop the further spread of and put an end to an armed conflict in Ukrainian territory,” and could cover both Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

Shortly after Turchinov’s interim government took power, protests against their rule erupted in the eastern oblasts, where the majority is ethnic Russian and supported the ousted elected government. Eventually, this has resulted in a full-scale separatist movement, which the interim government dubbed “terrorists,” and a military invasion of the regions to bring them back under the control of Kiev’s central government.

The fighting has mostly centered around the cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk in the northern portion of Donetsk Oblast, and yesterday the military claimed to have killed “more than 300” rebels in Slovyansk alone in 24 hours. The mayor of Slovyansk denies the claim, and said only 12 fighters were lost.

While the military’s offensive centers of northern Donetsk, the rebels seem to be gaining a lot of ground in Luhansk, where they have taken several military bases in recent days, conducting protracted gunbattles until the troops therein were forced to flee.


This article is from Antiwar.com.  A friend in need is a friend indeed – and we need your help to fight this brazen state repression. We’re fighting to restore constitutional government in America – but we need your tax-deductible donation to do it. Please, make your contribution today!”

Another Victory for Libertarians: Libertarian Invited to Florida’s Biggest Gubernatorial Debate


Just like in South Carolina where the state Libertarian Party went to the state Supreme Court to secure third-party ballot access, there has been another major victory for liberty lovers.

This time it’s in Florida where Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie received an official invitation to the state’s largest and most watched gubernatorial debate.

Typically, invitations are given to candidates that are polling high. And, depending on which poll you look at, Wyllie is polling anywhere between 4 and 16 percent.

“The polling has been all over the map,” Wyllie told Ben Swann on The Ben Swann Radio Show on May 1.

Wyllie explained that typically polls turn to “super republican” and “super democrats,” and if that’s the case, Wyllie polls low. But when you look at undecided and disenfranchised voters looking for hope, Wyllie’s numbers shoot up.

“I think the critical key is the thousands of grassroots volunteers supporters who contacted the pollsters, contacted the media, contacted the locations hosting the debates and demanded my inclusion,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough.”

He said that people are tired of the two-party duopoly.

“The liberty movement in general is exploding right now,” he added. “People are getting fed up and they’re looking for a solution beyond the two-party system. The Libertarian Party is now in the position to provide that solution.”

According to Wyllie, the republican and democrat voting bases are in decline in Florida. “The Libertarian Party is growing at a phenomenal rate here in Florida.”

Current republican Governor Rick Scott is seeking re-election, but also, former republican governor Charlie Crist is running as well, but as a democrat.

“That’s the irony there,” said Wyllie. He said the race includes a “progressive republican governor, a progressive republican former governor and me.”

“These guys are virtually identical on policy, and those policies are not good for the people of Florida,” he added.

This race will continue to be an interesting one. Wyllie explained, “I’m in this race to win, but if I don’t, and I come up short, one thing is clear is that the republican governor is going to lose. It’s either going to be a current republican governor or the former republican governor. Either way, it doesn’t matter, the end result will be the same.”

The event, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward College, is hosted by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association, and will broadcast by WPBF 25 in West Palm Beach and will be televised throughout Florida on 11 channels.


Video: South Carolina Illegally Blocks Libertarian Party From Ballot

South Carolina has an Equal Access election law which is now being violated. The state is attempting to deny the Libertarian Party a convention in order to prevent having their candidates on the General Election ballot in 2014. The reason.. the state claims it does not have enough money to comply with equal access law.

Libertarian Candidate Uses Ron Paul Money Bomb Strategy To Rock The Boat In Florida

On Monday evening Libertarian Party Candidate Lucas Overby surprised Republicans and Democrats by raising the required $10,440 to file for Florida’s 13th Congressional District’s Special Election on March 11th. Overby’s campaign raised the needed funds shortly after finding out that they ended up being 19 petition signatures short from earning ballot access.

“What we decided to do at that point was run a fundraiser over the weekend to be able to buy our way onto the ballot,” said Overby. “We had about $150 in the bank Friday night when we started and we had to raise $10,440 over the weekend.”

Overby’s campaign was able to raise the needed funds by collecting mostly small donations of about $63 on average through the three day money bomb and then the Libertarian Party of Florida donated $3,000 in order to make sure that the goal was reached.

According to Overby, “We raised about $9,000 on our own through the money bomb and only one person that donated maxed out their donations.”

Lucas Overby
Photo by: Jamie Roocke-Sherman

When Overby was asked if he was surprised that there was so much support he said, “I was thankful that the year’s worth of work paid off.”

The Overby campaign began the race last February to challenge Congressman Bill Young. Shortly after Congressman Bill Young passed away, those running had to enter the race through a special election cycle where candidates were given 2 weeks to either submit the filing fee or turn in the petition signatures needed to get ballot access.

Could Lucas Overby Become A Spoiler?

Overby became a member of the Libertarian Party when he was 17 years old. When asked about why he would join one of the two major parties he said, “Neither party quite represents where I am as an individual or as a candidate. The Libertarian Party allows me to present who I am as a person a lot better than the other two parties.”

This news comes in just weeks after Libertarian Candidate Robert Sarvis made headlines for being a spoiler in this year’s election for Governor in the state of Virginia.


You may remember that BenSwann.com posted a video on November 8th titled, “Are Libertarians creating “Chaos” in Elections?”. The question we have now is how many times will the Ron Paul money bomb strategy be used help third party candidates get ballot access?

When Overby was asked about where he first learned about the money bomb strategy, he immediately mentioned the historical Ron Paul money bomb during the 2008 presidential campaign.

The History of the Money Bomb Strategy

Many still remember that back in 2007 the first campaign money bomb in history put together for Ron Paul by a 37-year-old music promoter named Trevor Lyman. The money bomb on November 5th raised $4.2 million for Ron Paul’s campaign and greatly surprised many in the Republican Party who were hoping that Dr. Paul would not be able to raise the funds needed to run a serious campaign.

Lucas Overby Website: www.LucasOverby.com
Lucas Overby Facebook Page: Facebook.com/LucasOverbyForCongress

Census Bureau Faked Employment Numbers During 2012 Election?

Hey there guys, Ben Swann here, a remarkable story is developing claims the Census Bureau faked employment numbers prior to the 2012 presidential election.

This is a story broken by the New York Post. The claim by reporter John Crudele is that “reliable” sources the Census Bureau knew that at least one and maybe more employees were fabricating data that went into the unemployment report.

Again, according the New York Post, the Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by the Post.

Buckmon reportedly told the reporter this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census. And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee. That it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

So here is how it works. When the Department of Labor releases jobless numbers, they pull the data for the Census Bureau. In order to pull from census, labor requires 9 out of 10 households targeted to have reports back on their job status.

Interviews with some 60,000 household go into each month’s jobless number, which currently stands at 7.3 percent. Since this is considered a scientific poll, each one of the households interviewed represents 5,000 homes in the US.

So where were the numbers reportedly faked?

According to the Post, Julius Buckmon was conducting three times as many household interviews as his co-workers. Sources claim that Buckmon was creating people out of thin air, and giving them jobs and that he may have been able to lower the stats on the jobless rate. The Census Bureau was reportedly aware of this and never disclosed it to the public, nor did it inform labor that the data was tainted.

The reporter on this story, along with his sources say they will testify before the Labor Department and Congress about what they know and are waiting to hear back.

Sen. Lee Bright Schools MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Common Core

When Chuck Todd interviewed South Carolina Senate candidate Lee Bright about Common Core, it quickly became clear the MSNBC host had no understanding of citizens’ criticisms of the program. His arguments clearly reflect the pro-Core talking points which are emerging in the face of increased scrutiny of the national education standards. The focus of the interview was not just Common Core, but also Monday’s “Don’t Send your Child to School” protest.


Todd’s most predictable point was insinuating that Lee Bright’s speaking at a protest rally while his own children were in class at their public schools was hypocritical.  He also argued that a protest involving pulling children out of class for one day was detrimental to the children’s own education.  Bright had never advocated that parents pull their children out of school, though he has been one of South Carolina’s most vocal CCS opponents.

Regarding the standards, themselves, Todd insisted that the program was an initiative which sprung from the states, and that the federal government had almost nothing to do with the program.  That’s not true, though, as the initial push for the standards came from the National Governors Association, meaning that it was a centralized, national organization with relatively few people and no state-by-state legislative input.  The Federal Government has played a crucial role in pushing CCS forward by bribing states to implement it with the chance of Race to the Top funding.

Todd also indicated that Common Core raises standards, though it has actually significantly lower them in the majority of states. Dr. Duke Pesta argues that Common Core creates “competent drones” instead of free thinkers. Students are voicing their concerns about the program’s lowered standards, potential politicization, and unconstitutionality.

Todd asked Bright if he thought there should be no federal baseline at all, at a time when the U.S. seems to be falling behind educationally, “especially in science.”  When Bright said that a federal baseline would not help, Todd responded by asking “So you would be ok if one of the fifty states essentially said ‘Math is optional’?”  The argument was, as Bright said, absurd, but it’s also ironic given the criticism that CCS math standards place little emphasis on finding the correct answer to problems.  That is certainly not the way to make America competitive in math on the international level.

Instead of centralizing education in the way that many other state responsibilities have been unsuccessfully centralized, Lee Bright advocates adding competition to the education system.  Todd argued that private schools are competition because people can choose to go to them instead of public schools, but Bright countered that it’s not true competition because those schools don’t receive government funding.  Essentially parents have to pay for public schools regardless of where their children go to school, but they can choose to also pay for private schools with no government assistance.  Many people cannot afford that.

States which have implemented this type of voucher system have actually raised their test scores.  Thirteen states, plus Douglas County Colorado and the District of Columbia have implemented voucher systems, and those states and districts have gotten higher standardized test scores at a lower cost than other areas of the country.  Even other countries, like Sweden, have successfully implemented voucher systems.

Chuck Todd seemed to intend his interview of Lee Bright to show that Bright was a hypocrite for sending his child to school while speaking at an anti-Common Core rally on a day some parents were choosing to keep their children out of school in protest of the program.  To the contrary, it revealed the dishonesty of CCS supporters’ arguments in favor of the program. On Monday, Bright showed voters in South Carolina that he is willing to take on issues that families care about and has a voting record that matches his rhetoric.

It was obvious that Chuck Todd did not understand the issues centered around Common Core other than the talking points from his producer, but at least Todd has heard of the program. Bright’s opponent, Sen. Lindsey Graham never even heard of the Common Core program until he was asked about it in September.


VIDEO: Sen. Graham Faces 4th Opponent

Benswann.com was the first to break the news that Lt. Col. Bill Connor was considering running against Sen. Lindsey Graham. This week Bill Connor officially announced his candidacy at a Veteran’s Day event for the Myrtle Beach Tea Party.

According to Connor’s official Facebook page, he is a resident of Orangeburg, S.C. He is a decorated Army Reserve LT. Colonel (Airborne Ranger), and is an expert in counterinsurgency combat.

He served as Senior US Advisor to Helmand Province, Afghanistan where he received the Bronze Star. Connor is a graduate of The Citadel and the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Law. He is a former candidate for S.C. Lieutenant Governor (making the runoff election in the Republican primary 2010.) Connor served as National Security Advisor for presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Connor told Javan Browder from South Carolina Conservative Dot Com that many factors have led him to enter the race against Graham, such as Graham supporting Obama’s nomination of extreme leftist Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.  Connor adds that defeating Graham must be the top priority of conservatives, not just in SC, but from across the nation.

“It’s not only going to take the support of people here in S.C., but also the support of conservatives in states like California who have little chance of electing a conservative to Congress in their state, but who can send us support and help us defeat Graham,” Connor said.

He added, “This is a nationwide effort, for conservatives to reclaim the GOP.”

Connor is the only candidate who has combat experience and this gives his an advantage over other candidates, even Graham himself.

FitsNews, a political news site in SC, explains Graham’s Achilles’ heel:

“While campaigning for Congress – and on his official website as a then-member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the mid- to late 1990s – Graham repeatedly referred to himself as “an Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran.” He also repeatedly referred to himself as a “Gulf War veteran.”

Graham’s problem? He’s not a Desert Shield veteran, nor is he a Desert Storm veteran, nor is he a Gulf War veteran. While real soldiers were shipping off to fight in these engagements, Graham was a military lawyer whose closest brush with death came in preparing the wills of departing military personnel. Not only did he never see any action, he never even left South Carolina.

Asked to explain himself, Graham told The Hill it was all okay because he “never intended” to lie.”

Graham continues to sink in the polls as candidates chip away at his liberal voting record.

Despite Graham’s dismal voting record and decline in poll numbers, he still has a $7 Million war chest at his disposal. He also has strong support from the Republican establishment that controls South Carolina politics. The former SC GOP’s Chairman Chad Connelly and Graham supporter dropped out of a lawsuit the day before he resigned that sought to close Republican primaries.


The current SC GOP chairman Matt Moore refused to enter back into the lawsuit even though the work was done pro bono. Moore was asked to rejoin the lawsuit by attorney Steven Brown, but Moore told him that he didn’t believe in judicial activism and would not rejoin the lawsuit.


The federal judge (who Graham confirmed) dismissed the case because the SC GOP dropped out as plaintiffs and had no legal standing. Sadly, the attorney handling the case never had the chance to present the concrete evidence that Democrats do in fact manipulate elections because they vote in Republican primaries.


Open primaries help Sen. Graham because Democrats vote for him in the Republican primaries. This audacious move by the SC GOP stacks the deck in Graham’s favor. But despite the assault on the grassroots and tea party from establishment Republicans Graham challengers are optimistic on defeating graham.


Connor is the 4th person to enter into the race to unseat Graham following state Sen. Lee Bright of Spartanburg, businessman Richard Cash of Easley and Nancy Mace of Charleston.

One of the concerns with a crowded race is that it may split the vote and deliver Graham another victory. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. All the challengers are focused on attacking Graham and his record, and not each other.