Should You Vote Today (Primary Day)?

And now for the post no one asked for: how Primary Day election law works. Primary Day is a selection and not an election. So should one vote tomorrow?

When a voter walks into the polls on Primary Day they are asked to to select a Republican, Democrat, or nonpartisan ballot. A nonpartisan ballot lets a person vote on referendum, school board, or other measures. A party ballot contains those PLUS inter-party races for public office.

Indiana has a closed primary. Republicans and Democrats are private organizations like all political entities. These private organizations select their candidates and not the public. Essentially, Primary Day is a selection and not an election. These private organizations ask taxpayers to fund their closed party business. The option of a primary is achieved by reaching 10% in the Secretary of State race. Automatic ballot access for all of the party’s candidates can be achieved with 2% in that same race.

In 2014, Libertarian Karl Tatgenhorst received 3.4% of the vote. This entitles the Libertarian Party of Indiana to four years of automatic ballot access, but not primary elections. Their candidates are selected at a closed convention for their membership. It is funded by convention attendees. A Hoosier voter will not find a Libertarian option on Primary Day. No other political party in Indiana has achieved ballot access or primary access.

Libertarians define their candidate selectors through convention delegates. Republicans and Democrats do it through election code. So when selecting a ballot tomorrow, a voter should pull a party ballot if:

A voter may vote at a primary election:
(1) if the voter, at the last general election, voted for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election; or
(2) if the voter did not vote at the last general election, but intends to vote at the next general election for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election;
as long as the voter was registered as a voter at the last general election or has registered since then.

One could make the argument that knowingly pulling another party’s ballot falsely, as in Operation Chaos, could be considered a criminal act. Can it be a crime if no one is ever arrested or prosecuted for it?

There can be ramifications. Many “Operation Chaos” voters tried to run for leadership or precinct committeeman spots in 2012 and were ineligible because the law and parties considered them Democrats besides having a long record of voting as a Republican. Why?

Hoosiers don’t have party registration in Indiana. They register to vote, but not for a party. In the eyes of a political party and their candidates, one is a registered Republican or Democrat if they pull their ballot. Who they vote for is private, but what ballot is pulled on Primary Day is not. If a person votes in a party primary they should expect to receive party mailers! This information can be used against a candidate for inter-party or public office as a sign of lackluster party loyalty.

The Republicans and Democrats have crafted a huge data advantage using taxpayer funds to help keep their control of the political process. Combined with gerrymandering and straight-ticket voting, Indiana remains a two-party state with this ability to identify supporters.

Political data companies and campaigns take this data and resell it. Campaigns, special interest groups, and parties look at hard, soft, or independent voters when canvassing. If a person pulls a Republican ballot in every primary faithfully, they are considered a “hard R.” If a person pulls an R ballot occasionally, then they are a soft R. A person can switch parties.

As a former Libertarian Party of Indiana official, I haven’t selected a party ballot since 2008. I pulled an R ballot that year to vote for Ron Paul. I had voted in all three primaries and was considered a “hard R.” Since then, I’ve skipped Primary Day. I went once in the last 8 years to vote against a ballot measure and pulled a nonpartisan ballot.


Should a person vote in their primary? It depends on their principles, partisan beliefs, and  passion for or against a candidate. Or don’t vote. There is nothing wrong with skipping a primary.

A Different Libertarian Experience at A Trump Rally

(Be sure to check out Greg Lenz’s impressions here.)

As anyone listening to the podcast knows, I’ve been very critical of Donald J. Trump. I find him boisterous to the point of banality. He’s a master marketer with no real product to sell.

But I’m a fair-minded person. In 2007 and 2008, I saw many of the POTUS candidates when Indiana mattered as it does once again. My impressions about candidates, their supporters, and the state of the race were often shaped or changed by seeing their rallies. When you visit a rally as a member of the media, you see a different side of the campaigns.

First and foremost, you’re in direct contact with staffers of the campaign. I was once told that if you walk into a restaurant and see a disorganized or dirty server, then there is a problem. It is the same with a media staff. Trump’s team was moderately organized. Assigning passes seemed liberal if we got a set. It was an easy process, as was check in. There were staffers around, I think. Normally they are a little more visible in case of questions, especially when it is a campaign’s first stop in a place.

The Crowd

A Trump fan waves off the media in disgust.

A Trump fan waves off the media in disgust.

The demographics of the room surprised me. My previous notion of a Trump supporter was a low-education, poor, Baby Boomer with dirty clothes and a southern accent. While a few folks fit that description, it was mostly Generation X and Millennial, 60% white-collar, 70% male to 30% female, and 98% white.

They were far less nazilike and blood-thirsty than advertised. The crowd was a very happy, gentle, and calm crowd. They had the demeanor of a comedy club crowd than a Nazi rally. But this is Indiana. None of this should surprise a native Hoosier. For what it is worth, the reporters in the pit said this crowd was far more docile than other locations. While kicking a protester out, Trump remarked that it was a very polite crowd. “You say get out, and they get out.”

The crowd did have it out for the media. It wasn’t hostile. It was more humorous jabbing from the crowd and candidate.

The Candidate

Honestly, I was bored. I was expecting a far more exciting experience from the political P.T. Barnum. The speech was long, stream of consciousness, lacking in anything I’ve not heard before. Michael Savage once described his own style of radio as the quirky Uncle.  You are very excited to see him, but after ten minutes, you’re ready for him to go. Trump was that way. He basically said a lot of things, and I don’t remember them.


Black Lives Matter protesters speak to the media.

The Protesters

A small contingent of “Black Lives Matter” protestors were here. A few were removed. The reason I don’t remember what Trump said is because the crowd and the media were paying attention to those distractions. Trump talks over a small hum of distracting activity as his security and local police remove protesters.

This is the warning played before every speech:

The security is trigger happy. I watched the two polite girls the entire rally to see how the crowd interacted with them. They were well received. Until Trump security noticed their shirt. Their crime was wearing a T-Shirt. The group around them stood up to Trump security and said they weren’t doing anything. The protesters and their defenders were all removed for not obeying. The guy with the Tom Brady sign was far more disruptive.

To sum it up, I am glad I went. It wasn’t serious. It was not a Klan rally or Nuremberg 1934. It was pageantry. While I may have the same view of the candidate as before, I was glad to have my view changed of the average Trump supporter.

It still will not stop me from pretending to be Larry:

Arthur Brooks – A conservative’s plea: Let’s work together

Description of this TedTalk: “As president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks is changing the way conservatives think about poverty and opportunity. Conservatives and liberals both believe that they alone are motivated by love while their opponents are motivated by hate. How can we solve problems with so much polarization? In this talk, social scientist Arthur Brooks shares ideas for what we can each do as individuals to break the gridlock. “We might just be able to take the ghastly holy war of ideology that we’re suffering under and turn it into a competition of ideas,” he says.”

Who is Gary Johnson? What does Gary Johnson Believe?

Who is Gary Johnson? What does Gary Johnson Believe? In a speech recorded at the 1st Annual Dinner of the Libertarian Party of Bexar County in San Antonio, Texas, in January 2014, Gary Johnson explains his background, his record as Governor, and what he would do as President of the United States. Learn more at his website:




Video Playlist:

Get our Gary Johnson for President Podcast.

A collection of speeches and interviews with Gov. Gary Johnson, a Libertarian candidate for President. Feed provided by We Are Libertarians. This is not in association with any campaign or committee.

More Information on Gary Johnson:

Governor Johnson, who has been referred to as the ‘most fiscally conservative Governor’ in the country, was the Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1994-2003. A successful businessman before running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994, Gary Johnson started a door-to-door handyman business to help pay his way through college. Twenty years later, he had grown that business into one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico, with more than 1,000 employees. Not surprisingly, Governor Johnson brings a distinctly business-like mentality to governing, believing that public policy decisions should be based on costs and benefits rather than strict ideology. Johnson is best known for his veto record, having vetoed more than 750 bills during his time in office — more than all other governors combined. His use of the veto pen has since earned him the nickname “Governor Veto.” He cut taxes 14 times while never raising them. When he left office, New Mexico was one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget. Term-limited, Johnson retired from public office in 2003. An avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist, he has scaled the highest peak on each of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest. In the 2012 presidential election, Johnson placed third and garnered more votes than any other Libertarian candidate in history. Johnson was raised Lutheran. He has two grown children, a daughter Seah and a son Erik, and currently resides in a house he built himself in Taos, New Mexico.

Biography of running mate William Weld:

WILLIAM F. WELD was raised in Smithtown, New York. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in classics. A year later, he received a diploma in economics and political science, with distinction, from Oxford University. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1970. After serving one year as a law clerk with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, he worked for 10 years at the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow. In 1974 he served as associate minority counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during its Watergate impeachment inquiry. Prior to becoming governor, he served as Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., emphasizing white-collar criminal investigation and prosecution. He was the United States Attorney for Massachusetts during the Reagan administration, emphasizing public corruption prosecutions and affirmative civil litigation. He also practiced law for 13 years, concentrating in securities and antitrust litigation as a partner for two major Boston law firms. As governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997, Gov. Weld was credited with improving the business climate in Massachusetts by reducing taxes and state regulations on business. He also served as national co-chair of the Privatization Council and led trade missions to numerous countries in Asia and Europe. Weld stepped down as governor in an apparent miscalculation of the prospects of the Senate confirming him as President Clinton’s ambassador to Mexico. After this fiasco, Weld signed on with an international law firm, where he focused on litigation and financial issues.

Must Watch: John Oliver on Donald Trump

A very boring and low rated show takes on the back mole of America. “We cannot keep getting blinded by the magic of his name. We need to see him through fresh eyes. Don’t vote for him because “he tells it like it is.” He is a bullshit artist. Don’t vote for him because he is tough. He is a baby with even smaller fingers. Don’t vote for him because he is a builder. He is more of a shitty lifestyle brand.”

I work around standup comedians and I have never seen anyone more insecure than Donald Trump. He nails the hollowness of Trump’s company and vocalizes what I haven’t been able to effectively say. The guy sounds tough, but he is OBSESSED with people that hurt his ego. He is an emotional midget with zero self-awareness. He was obsessed with his loss in Iowa. He just could not handle it. It is 20 years later, and he is writing some journalist that said he had stubby fingers. He is literally a phony, mentally ill man.

Ron Paul’s Reading List

In the back of Dr. Ron Paul’s book The Revolution: A Manifesto. Dr. Paul originally posted this at

In The Revolution: A Manifesto, Dr. Paul recommends this freedom reading list.

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

Copyright © 2008 Ron Paul