Tag Archives: Governor

Kentucky Elects Matt Bevin as Governor and First African-American as Lt. Governor

KENTUCKY, November 4, 2105– History was made in Kentucky on Tuesday night when two political outsiders, Matt Bevin and Jenean Hampton, were elected in the state’s Gubernatorial race in what was almost a landslide vote.

Hampton, Kentucky’s first African-American Lieutenant Governor, is a Tea Party-aligned firebrand.

Born on Detroit’s west side in 1958, Hampton grew up in a less than ideal financial situation. One of four daughters born to Donald and Marie Hampton, she learned to get by with very little as she watched her parents struggle to support the family.

Hampton has a diverse career. She joined the U.S. Air Force, where she spent seven years writing code and managing software such as the radar used to find enemy planes in Operation Desert Storm, where she was deployed. She then spent 19 years in the corrugated packing industry.

In 2014, Hampton ran for her first political office when she challenged the longest serving state representative in Kentucky history. Her opponent was a Democrat and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) endorsed her in that race, but she lost. That’s all the political experience Hampton had under her belt until she ran for Lt. Governor with Bevin heading the ticket.

Despite being an outsider, Bevin’s name is familiar to many in Republican politics. The wealthy businessman, backed by the Tea Party, took on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Republican primary, but was defeated.

Shortly after his defeat to McConnell, Bevin hit the campaign trail again and announced his intent to run for Governor. Eventually, McConnell was on board to support Bevin in the race.

Taking a note from Donald Trump, Bevin mostly self-funded his campaign.

“I have no favors to pay back. There’s not one person in this state who believes they are going to have a job in my administration… There’s not one person who I’ve promised anything to,” he said last week at a diner, according to The Washington Post’s James Hohmann. “Donald Trump is an interesting fellow… Part of what people appreciate about him is the very same thing. He doesn’t owe anybody anything.”

Still, the Republican Governors Association dumped millions into the race.

For weeks, Kentucky pollsters had been calling the race for Democrat Jack Conway by at least 5-10 percent. Bevin won by 9 points.

With 100 percent of the vote counted, Bevin led Conway with 53 percent of the vote compared to the Democrat’s 44 percent, which means pollsters were off by double digits. Independent, libertarian leaning Drew Curtis received nearly 4 percent.

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Jeb Bush’s Massive Email Release includes Florida Residents’ Private Info

On Tuesday, Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida and rumored 2016 GOP Presidential candidate, released 250,000 of his emails from his time as governor. Included in the release were the home addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers of several Florida residents, who are now at risk for having their identities stolen, following Bush’s “transparency inspired” release.

In the spirit of transparency, I am posting the emails of my governorship here,” Bush wrote on a website created to archive the emails titled Jeb Bush Emails.

Email kept me connected to Floridians and focused on the mission of being their governor,” wrote Bush. “Some are funny; some are serious; some I wrote in frustration.

The Verge was the first to report that while Bush’s massive email release “seems like a great idea in the name of transparency,” the emails were not redacted beforehand, and the fact that some of the messages contained the “email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers of Florida residents” was not discovered until afterwards.

Richard Harrison, a private attorney in Florida told The Verge that while Florida’s freedom of information laws are broad, social security numbers are both “confidential and exempt” from public disclosure and can only be released for “limited purposes” under Florida law.

It doesn’t matter how an agency or official obtained the information,” said Harrison. “Once obtained it is a public record and the SSNs are confidential and exempt under the law.”

According to Harrison, the blame for the release of the confidential information does not fall on Bush, but on Florida’s legal custodian of records. The Verge noted that if found responsible, the custodian “might get off with just a scratch,” due to the fact that his or her violation is considered a “noncriminal infraction,” which is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

The Associated Press reported that along with contact information, Bush’s emails “offer up potentially harmful information about Floridians’ employment disputes, health issues and legal troubles.

Given the uproar that followed over the release of the residents’ private information, Bush’s spokesperson released a statement to Buzzfeed saying that Bush and his team have chosen to redact the emails:

Last year, we requested the State specifically comply with Florida statute regarding exemptions and redactions. We have redacted personal identifying information from two emails brought to our attention. We are doing an electronic search for any additional emails that may fall into this category and will do the same.

Christie’s Cronyism? NJ Governor Gave Sweetheart Deal to Firm Owned by Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones

Dallas Cowboys fan and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was seen in sports news highlight reels hugging and celebrating in a luxury box with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last Sunday as the Texas team defeated the Detroit Lions in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Jones has been treating Christie as his personal good luck charm, flying the governor down to experience a Cowboys playoff game on Jones’ dime, and has even suggested that, if his team keeps winning, he might endorse Christie for president in 2016.

However, Chris Christie, who snubbed his own state’s football teams in order to continue rooting for his childhood favorite, is facing new corruption allegations over his lucrative friendship with Jerry Jones. The rumored 2016 presidential candidate’s reputation recently took a hit when he was accused of closing lanes on the George Washington bridge to create traffic problems in an alleged attempt to punish a political rival. Now, according to International Business Times, Governor Christie is facing additional allegations that, two years ago, he personally pushed for a firm owned by Jerry Jones to receive a lucrative Port Authority contract.

Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the lawmaker who first investigated the George Washington bridge scandal, is considering launching an additional investigation into Christie’s relationship with Jones. Wisniewski told ABC News, “The governor of the state of New Jersey should be above being influenced by that type of gratuity: air fare for his entire family and self and tickets to a game… It certainly looks really bad…. I’m not going to argue the fact that the rules he is obliged to follow may in fact create a personal exception, but what I will argue is he should not have availed himself of that because it looks bad. It set a bad precedent.”

Chris Christie’s office claims that, though his state’s ethics rules bar officials from accepting gifts from persons or organizations receiving contracts from the state, an executive order exempts gifts from personal friends of the governor from that ban. Christie argues that Jones is a personal friend and, as such, it is legal for the two to exchange gifts. Wisniewski said of the exemption, “They are friends because he happens to be the governor and therein lies the problem.”

In April of 2013, Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a deal between Jones’ firm Legends Hospitality LLC and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, granting the company a lucrative contract to run an observation deck at the top of One World Trade. The Washington Post notes that the deal is expected to earn the Port Authority $875 million over 15 years. Legends Hospitality LLC is co-owned by the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, and Checketts Partners Investment Fund. Chris Christie also gave $18 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies to the National Football League prior to receiving the free airfare and playoff tickets.

In an effort to estimate the value of Jones’ gift to Christie, USC Marshall Sports Business Institute executive director David M. Carter told NJ.com, “For games such as Sunday’s, and extending further into the playoffs, the value of any suite ticket could easily be deemed priceless by many fans for whom that game day experience would likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

California governor sends out Christmas pardons, retracts one

California Gov. Jerry Brown has upheld his Christmas Eve tradition by issuing 105 pardons for criminals being held in the California prison system, but one of these pardons was retracted shortly afterwards.

Many of the people who have received pardons have been convicted more than a decade ago of nonviolent drug offenses or charges similar to burglary, according to CBS San Francisco.  Brown and his office have said those who were granted a pardon had been previously released without committing additional crimes, and had demonstrated “exemplary behavior” by being productive in their civilian lives.

However, according to the AP, the one pardon which was retracted was supposed to be granted to Glen Carnes.  Carnes had been convicted of a drug-related crime in 1998  when he was a teenager, but in 2013, records show he underwent disciplinary actions for providing false statements to investment regulators.

Carnes did not admit guilt to these allegations, rather he signed a settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, agreeing to be barred from further financial investment.  While celebrating the holidays with his family, Carnes said he learned about his pardon retraction, and was in disbelief.

“Oh my God. You’ve got to be kidding me,” Carnes said in a phone interview.  “I cannot believe this is happening, I’ve waited 20 years for this… This is wrong.”

The pardons do not erase the conviction, rather they restore certain rights to the person.  Some of these rights include the ability to further serve on a jury and allowing a person to legally own a firearm if they were not previously convicted of a crime involving a weapon.  A previously convicted person also has the chance to work as a probation officer or a parole agent for the state.

Labor Union to Spend “Six Figures” on Libertarian Party Candidate for IL Governor

In Illinois, the 2014 governor’s race is heating up in anticipation of election day on November 4. The race pits incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn against Republican Bruce Rauner and Libertarian Party candidate Chad Grimm. The Constitution Party’s candidate, Mike Oberline, was kicked from the ballot after Republicans challenged the signatures on his ballot access petition, setting the stage for a three-way race. Currently, Quinn and Rauner are neck-and-neck, as the wealthy Republican challenger has spent upwards of $20 million on his own campaign.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, strange bedfellows have emerged in IL’s tight gubernatorial contest. While labor unions are hardly known for their staunch support of libertarian causes, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 recently spent $30,000 lining the campaign war chest of Libertarian Party candidate Chad Grimm in what has been seen as an effort to soften the Republican Rauner’s support among right-leaning politicos. Additionally, Rich Miller at Capitol Fax reports that the union intends to spend significantly more money on behalf of the Libertarian through an independent expenditure campaign of its own. Miller wrote, “Asked about rumors that his union would spend between $200,000 and $250,000 to push the pro-gun, pro-life Grimm with traditional Republican voters against the much more liberal Rauner, [International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 president Jim] Sweeney replied ‘More.’ Asked if the budget was six figures or seven, Sweeney said ‘Six.'” Miller’s report notes that the union plans to spend the funds on direct mail and robocall campaigns on behalf of Grimm.

Responding to claims that the labor union’s financial support is being given in an effort to split Republican votes, Grimm said, “I thought it was genuine, and I don’t see it as being a problem.” Considering the facts that the Republican Rauner is pro-choice and failed to garner the National Rifle Association’s support as he has yet to return the organization’s issue position questionnaire, Grimm, who is already polling at 5-8%, could pick up significant support from conservatives.

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 released a statement explaining the motive behind its plan, “While a majority of our Illinois membership has indicated its support for Governor Pat Quinn, we are committed to offer a viable choice for members who do not support Democrats. Nearly half of our members in Illinois pull Republican ballots in a typical primary election, so it is important that these members have the opportunity to back a candidate that will not attack their livelihood… The stakes in this election are too high for any union members to sit out. That is why Local 150 has actively supported the right of ‘third parties’ to be on the ballot this fall.” The union also supported Grimm’s efforts to gain ballot access in the face of Republican attempts to challenge his nominating petition and drive him off the ballot.

Grimm, a 33-year-old health club manager and business owner from Peoria, described his opponents Quinn and Rauner in comments to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Neither of them is going to do anything to fundamentally change the direction of the state.” In the above-embedded video provided by Fox News, Chad Grimm said that he decided to run for governor because he “got sick of living in the most corrupt state in the union.” If he attains over 5% support in the election, the Libertarian Party will be considered an established party in terms of achieving ballot access in Illinois’ next election.

Poll Shows Crist, Scott Tie and Libertarian Wyllie With 13 Percent


According to a recent poll, Libertarian candidate for Florida Governor, Adrian Wyllie, is polling at 13 percent.

In a new poll released by Optimus, Democrat Charlie Crist received 40 percent of votes, and incumbent Republican Rick Scott is at 39 percent.

A blog post by the Miami New Times pointed to Wyllie as a possible election spoiler. “The political press has noted Wyllie, a man with no previous elected political experience, as a potential spoiler candidate, and his percentage in the polls has only grown thanks in part to his coverage (his previous high mark was 8 percent). Though, no one can quite agree who Wyllie’s candidacy may end up spoiling,” reported the Miami New Times.

Wyllie got 13.3 percent of Republican voters, 11.1 of Democratic voters and 17.8 percent of independents.

The Miami New Times said that Wyllie appeals to the “Reddit voter-style” leanings, meaning that he’s in favor of gay marriage, pro-choice and legalized marijuana but is for small government and low taxes. That “style” appeals to youth and those disenfranchised by the negative campaigning of Crist and Scott.

Apparently, the Miami New Times is unfamiliar with the Libertarian Party and continues to use the term “spoiler” instead of highlighting the fact that voters are tired of the stagnant ideas of the two major parties.


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.”

Exclusive: Libertarian Candidate Wants To Stop Vermont’s Single-Payer Health Care


If you thought that Obamacare was intrusive, just wait until you hear what’s going on in Vermont where the government there is trying to create a single-payer healthcare system, like Canada.

Libertarian Dan Feliciano, who is running for governor, has stopping the single-payer healthcare system as one of his campaign tenants.

“I have a deep understanding in healthcare, the single payer solution does nothing, absolutely nothing to drive the primary cost of healthcare down,” said Feliciano.

If Vermont goes single-payer they will be the most taxed state in the Union and that fact isn’t lost on Feliciano.

Feliciano told Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook, “The first thing we need to do is get all the tax structure under control. Vermont is a great place to live, but we pay some of the highest taxes in the nation,” he said.

“So the key issues that I’m going to talk about are reducing spending and cutting waste,” he added.

He’s looking to this campaign as an opportunity to raise awareness for the Libertarian party: “This is an incredible opportunity for us, especially the Libertarian Party in Vermont. I mean, we have a really great party and we are really looking forward to this campaign.”

Feliciano said that he is a problem solver and he knows how to fix Vermont’s biggest issue: Healthcare. “I have over 20 years of experience and deep expertise as a business improvement consultant and strategy and change consultant. The problems we face as a state I have seen before and I know what it takes to fix them,” said Feliciano.

Feliciano faces incumbent Democrat Peter Shumlin in November, along with several other contenders.

Here is a video from his website:

Wyllie Happy About Arrest, Ready To Fight

Florida Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie told Ben Swann on his radio show Monday that he’s happy about being arrested and is ready to take the case to a jury trial.

On Friday, Wyllie was arrested for driving with a license, which is something he has been trying to do for the last three years.

“I’m out of jail. I only spent one day in jail. I was probably the only person there happy to be there since this gives us the legal standings to challenge the constitutionality of Real ID in court,” said Wyllie.

“We’re very happy that this finally occurred and we’re going to use to my benefit,” he said. I’m sure my political opponents thought that this would be damaging to the campaign.”

Wyllie surrendered his license three years ago. He said that timing of this arrest was interesting, since it was recently reported that he was invited to participate in the largest gubernatorial debate.

“It’s very interesting timing,” he added. “For three years, we heard this through the grapevine of law enforcement officers and from others within the attorney’s office, I actually had immunity. They were telling law enforcement to keep their hands off. That immunity was apparently lifted and it happened in a very interesting way. I was actually in the parking lot of Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, attending a charity event, which I was scheduled to be at. So they actually nabbed me in the parking lot as I was scheduled to walk into an event.”

Wyllie was specifically pulled over for not having a license. He received no other citation.

He has been waiting for this to happen. He said he’s actually been hoping that it would.

“We’ve actually been looking forward to this possibility in the campaign. This is something we totally embrace,” said Wyllie.

For a the political set, an arrest is most likely a career ender or at least a career changer. For Wyllie, he hopes that his arrest will better inform the public of the dangers of Real ID.

He wants to be able to challenge the constitutionality of Real ID as it relates to our 4th Amendment.

“Basically what they’re doing now when you go to the drivers license agency, you have to submit an array of documentation. Much of the documentation, law enforcement would have to submit a warrant for. But just for the simple privilege of driving, you have to surrender all that voluntarily,” he explained.

Also, he said that the drivers license picture is a biometric face scan, which is stored in a database managed by Homeland Security.

“It’s only a matter of time until we’re tracked via our facial recognition scans everywhere we go,” he said.

His hope is to take this case to a jury trial, because he said, now more than ever are people aware of their shrinking civil liberties. He believes that finding jurors that side with him and his beliefs will be easier than if he was arrested in 2011 when he gave up his license.

“Given the recent revelations of NSA spying on Americans, I think it’s going to be that much easier, because everybody now knows that we are being spied on we are being tracked our e-mails are being read, our phone calls are being listened to, and recorded and monitored and stored and catalogued.”

As of now, Wyllie will appear in court for arraignment on June 4 and at the Florida gubernatorial debate on Oct. 15.


Is The Virginia Gov. Libertarian Candidate Even A Libertarian?



Robert Sarvis, the Virginia gubernatorial libertarian candidate, has been making headlines recently. Ben Swann recently reported on how Sarvis is not being allowed to appear in the Gubernatorial debate with his opponents Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D). This is certainly a tragedy. With Sarvis polling at 12%, those who support him certainly deserve to have their man on stage.

However, is Sarvis actually even a libertarian?

It probably depends on how you define libertarian. However, there are certain comments recently made by Sarvis that seem to offer a contrary party affiliation.

During an interview with Chuck Todd, libertarians who are concerned over Obamacare raised their eyebrows at Sarvis. With regards to the medicaid expansion under Obamacare, Sarvis says that he’d like to see the state have more policy freedom before expanding medicaid. He does not rule out the expansion of medicaid. In fact, it seems that under a Sarvis governorship, he would plan to expand the program. This is contradictory to what Sarvis’ campaign website says his position on federal healthcare expansion is. States do have the option on whether or not to expand the program under Obamacare.

According to Politico, a spokesperson for Cuccinelli says that he would not expand.“It is not a good course to expand such a tenuous system, particularly when it would require tax increases under virtually all circumstances,” said Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix. “Instead, reforms must be put into place to improve the system and ensure the quality of care in measurable outcomes for those who need it most.” The same report cites that McAuliffe would not respond.

In the same interview with Chuck Todd, Sarvis was reluctant to answer whether or not he would cut taxes in Virginia. He danced around the question and only answered that there were ways to “reduce spending”. However, Sarvis’ campaign website does state that he would cut multiple taxes.

Libertarians are huge on Austrian economics. It is perhaps one of the strongest paradigms of the party. However, when Reason questioned Sarvis about his economic perspective, he responded, “I’m not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics. I like more mainstream economics…” He would later clarify that he feels there are many principles in Austrian economics, which serve contrary to sound policy. In addition, he feels that the school has not produced any new advances, and that others schools have provided newer, exciting theories. Perhaps Sarvis is not so far off base here. After all, economics is a science, and science must continue to advance in an advancing society.

Sarvis’ campaign website does offer a lot for those with a libertarian flavor. However, his recent comments during interviews seem to muddy the waters as to just how libertarian Sarvis is had there been a litmus test.

Regardless, the Libertarian Party of Virginia’s website promotes Sarvis as their candidate. Does it really matter? After all, Governor Gary Johnson (R) was the Libertarian Party’s official nominee last year after he bowed out of the republican nominee campaign.