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MAY 30, 2004 - Atlanta, Georgia
Nolan V. Russo Mudslinging -- and a great Badnarik debate performance --
allows relatively unknown MICHAEL BADNARIK to get the nomination!
  Also see Carol's Full Convention report | Check out SECESSIONISTS FOR BADNARIK!



Nominees for Libertarian Party 2004 Convention
Last Revised July 31, 2004
Nolan Info and Opinion
Russo Info and Opinion
Nolan v. Russo on
Nolan & Russo in MD May 8
Report on Russo VA Talk  March 28
Russo Statement on Matching Funds
Insider Lance Browne's Links On Russo
Russo's $20 million HBO Film Flop & His Response
Ilana Mercer's Bad News Endorsement
Russo "Belt Incident" AUDIO File
Email About Russo Inappropriate Actions
Russo Campaign Denies He's "Manic Depressive"
Russo Campaign Last Minute Attack on Nolan
Convention Leaflet: Is Aaron Russo Fit to Be the LP’s Candidate?

      Russo and Nolan are not the only candidates for the Libertarian Party nomination, but since one of the two is the most likely candidate, I will focus my limited energies on them.  For other candidates see this site (or recommend a better one if you know one.)
     Second, my prejudices.  None of the candidates is my ideal candidate since none of them are promoting MY preferred strategy -- political decentralism through community-based secession.  (See description.)
  In my first draft of this page I said I see advantages and disadvantages in both candidates.  However for reasons that will be clear to anyone, especially if you read the details of Russo's performance on May 8, I have decided that Russo is an unacceptable candidate.  However, I am not officially endorsing a candidate and probably will vote NOTA on the first ballot.
    Note: I sell a couple Gary Nolan buttons, like the one above at TOPICALBUTTONS.COM, with the campaign's permission.

LibertyforAll.Net Interview
     Overall Impression:  I find Nolan personable, he can be fiery and hardcore in person (which I like) but has not been consistently (like on his March FOX News appearance where he was too passive).    I gained my impressions of him from hearing him speak three times, seeing him on television, and bugging his campaign every time I had a concern -- always getting a prompt and polite response.

     "Libertarian Principles":
Nolan is surrounded by longtime activists who will make sure he doesn't wander too far off the reservation so I assume he won't be going around PROMOTING his less than perfect positions like invading Afghanistan or making outlawing abortion a state issue.  I don't have a problem with candidates disagreeing with the platform IF they do NOT promote that position and ONLY refer to it when asked, and then ONLY after repeating the party platform -- assuming the platform hasn't been changed to some pro-state position (i.e. like if Women's RIghts is stricken from the platform or abolishing FBI/CIA are not put back in the platform).

      Staff and Organizing Abilities: Neither campaign lists who the staff is on the web pages, and that would be helpful.  From what I know of them, Nolan's staff and volunteers have been through many LP Presidential campaigns and are realistic about how hard it can be and what takes, given scarce resources.  Yes, in 2000 some Harry Browne staff and advisors made out like bandits with their "professional fees" (the apparatchik affect, see my controversies page) -- but I do think this was in part a case of buying their own hype during the good times when people had lots of money to throw around.  Nolan's staff knows they won't make much money on this campaign!

      Fundraising Ability:  Nolan is surrounded by libertarians with a realistic view and relevant experience of what they need to do to raise enough to do the basics, i.e., what Gary Nolan has been doing for the last year -- getting around the country to campaign events, large media events and interviews to get free press.  Just paying for those will be a stretch, so I can understand why they are not willing to commit 50% of their money to advertising.  And I think they probably can do enough fundraising to pay for basic local television and radio and national cable television ads.

      My Personal Suggestions:  
I think it's fine he emphasizes positive solutions -- but he should do so after a good hard analysis of how government causes the problem.   If he wants this campaign to help his radio talk show career he's got to go controversial and hardcore libertarian, IMHO.  Since many people like television advertising, obviously Nolan's campaign should put together some sort of draft commercials before the convention -- it's easy to do nowadays on one's computer -- and prove to libertarians they will take television advertising seriously.

      Bottom line: I feel that Nolan is a safe, if not always electrifying, candidate, with good credibility.  He just as to keep working on his "act."

LibertyforAll.Net Interview
     Overall Impression:   I was initially prejudiced against Russo because of concerns his bladder cancer would reoccur under the stress of a Presidential campaign and he would quit the race as he did his 2002 race. Then I was annoyed by his PROMOTING anti-immigration in his campaign platform on his web pageWhen I met Aaron in Virginia March 28 I was more enthusiastic. I like flamboyant, "in your face" candidates!  However, over the next month I became annoyed by his constant boasting, so when I learned he actually lost film companies $20 million in the early nineties, pretty much ending his film producing career, I couldn't keep it to myself.  And then when I saw Russo in Maryland May 8 my concerns about his heath returned - he acted exhausted and then he mentioned the week before he'd had blood in the urine and had to run to the doctor.  Additionally he was verbally abusive towards questioners and the other two candidates who appeared.  (Listen to audio file.) A few days later I learned from several witnesses that in February at the California LP convention he had joked about Gary Nolan Lebanese heritage, calling him "Arab" and said, "Let's kill him!" I also heard a few more stories about his inappropriate behavior towards women.  Russo's words and actions show he is an out of control and potentially highly embarrassing candidate.  For the short overview of his failings see my leaflet distributed to undecided or uninformed delegates at the convention Is Aaron Russo Fit to Be the LP’s Candidate?
     "Libertarian Principles":  Aaron needs to read through and study the Libertarian Party platform just so he'll be familiar with a lot of concepts he probably would agree with if he knew about them. In part just so he doesn't get blind sided by some reporter who HAS read the platform!  
     Although he took immigration restrictions out of his first draft television advertising, I believe he would make it a big issue after he got the nomination.  While he claims in person that he is open to immigration once we get rid of welfare, neither his web page nor his brochure mentions individual welfare at all (only corporate welfare) and both clearly link immigration to security issues (bring troops home/protect borders).

This is a contentious issue among libertarians.  All the more reason to avoid it!  (To read more on the libertarian perspective see the Libertarian Party platform or Jacob Hornberger's "Defending Immigration Socialism" (2003) and "The Benefits that Immigration Brings" (May 2000).
       Happily, the Libertarian Party Bylaws provides a way delegates can disapprove of a candidate promoting immigration restrictions--if not stop him/her from doing so!  In addition to the above, I think Russo is unacceptable as a candidate until he promises to take the issue out of his campaign.

      Staff and Organizing AbilitiesHe does have a lot of volunteers, some are known libertarians, others are unknown quantities.  However, too many of the volunteers are star struck and don't want to admit that Russo is a loose cannon who could embarrass the party.  (One libertarian called it the "Dean Factor" - referring to his embarrassing rant in Iowa.) 

      Fundraising Ability:   Russo admits he will not try to raise money unless he gets the nominatin, has no idea how much money he can raise and mostly is using his personal fortune to fund the nomination race and buy advertising on national cable television to impress libertarian delegates.  However, when I asked him in Virginia if he was willing to put one or two million dollars of his own money in the race if he couldn't raise it, he said "I don't want to go broke on this." He speaks extensively of this in the May 8 presentation. 

      My Personal Suggestions:  Russo and his supporters should realize Russo doesn't have the physical stamina or the emotional maturity to be our candidate.

      Bottom line:  Russo makes a lot of promises.  However, many libertarians feel they have been burned by hype before -- and that was by amateurs. 
Russo is a profession hype-master and his campaign would probably be a disaster, whether or not he makes it all the way to the end of the campaign.   Let's not be so "star struck" we get stuck with a candidate who can't deliver on most of his promises and/or makes the movement itself a laughing stock. 

For an inside look at Russo campaign tactics read former staffer Lance Brown's analysis released just before the convention.  Part 1    Part 2    Part 3
+ + + + + + +

Party Bylaws and Convention Rules  ARTICLE 5: THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN PLATFORM
The National Campaign Platform of the Libertarian Party shall serve as the campaign document of the Party during presidential election campaigns. This platform shall consist of proposals consistent with the Statement of Principles and the Party Platform. The National Campaign Platform shall focus on issues important to the electorate. Each candidate seeking the presidential nomination of the Party shall provide the delegates with a copy of a proposed National Campaign Platform at least 48 hours prior to the delegates selecting the nominee. Immediately following the nomination of the presidential candidate, the delegates shall, by majority vote, ratify each plank of the National Campaign Platform, without amendment. If the convention fails to ratify any plank of the National Campaign Platform, that plank will not be used. The National Campaign Platform of the candidate nominated by the convention shall be in effect until the next presidential nominating convention

RUSSO V. NOLAN ON AMAZON.COM has a page linking to Presidential Candidate Biographies and Allowing Contributions. 
Gary Nolan has been on for several months.  Aaron Russo joined in late April.

Aaron S. Russo
Party Affiliation: Libertarian
Date of Birth: 2/14/1943
Education: University of Tampa
Military Service: U.S. Coast Guard
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Hometown: West Hollywood, CA
Family: 2 children
Current Job: Commodities trader
Prior Job(s): Celebrity manager, film producer

Since 4/30/2004 (As of 5-7-04)
Contributions raised at $$468.75
Number of contributions received at 9
Average contribution: $17.78
(How does this work?)

Official Web Site:

Candidate's Statement

America's in crisis and we're facing great danger from our own government. I've identified twelve points every American should be alarmed about. Let's examine what they are, and see what our government is doing:

1. Both political parties lie to us, and neither can be trusted.

2. Our economy is a disaster.

3. We're losing our right to free speech.

4. Both parties passed the Patriot Act, a crime against all Americans.

5. Both wage war against medical marijuana and alternative medicine.

6. Both attack our right to bear arms.

7. Both parties overtax, overspend, and overregulate.

8. Where is the gold owned by the American people? Neither party will address this issue and we need answers.

9. Both parties station our troops around the world rather than protecting our borders from terrorism and the abuse of social services by illegal immigrants.

10. Both parties are guilty of starting the war in Iraq.

11. Both parties want to keep our troops there indefinitely.

12. Both parties are equally guilty for America's youth dying there for no reason.

If you continue to vote for one of the two major parties, nothing will change, and you're wasting your vote. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil and not an answer. Don't waste your vote! It is time for the American people to rise up and put an end to our corrupt government, and I will be proud to lead the way.

I will bring our troops home from every corner of the globe. I'll revoke the Patriot Act, I'll cut taxes, cut spending, I'll cut the size of government. I'll stop corporate welfare. I'll engage all nations in trade and commerce. I'll protect our air and water, and I'll protect our borders, but most importantly I will protect our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

My campaign is not about any single issue, it's about government's proper role in your life. Do you want to live in an America where government is your master, or your servant?

The choice is yours. The decision is momentous.

We can clean up this government right now, but I need your help! Please forward this message to everyone in your address book.. and please donate. I'm Aaron Russo, and I'm running for President. Thank you, and please join me.


Charismatic Personality

Finally, a Libertarian candidate with a charismatic personality.

Aaron Russo brings the magnetic properties of Jesse Ventura and Ross Perot together with the soundness of Libertarian philosophy. Russo is the missing ingredient for Libertarian political success.

Proven Success

Beginning with his early promotion and production of rock shows like Led Zeppelin, the Who, and the Grateful Dead, to managing Bette Midler's career to stardom, to his production of movie hits like Trading Places, Aaron has contacts within the entertainment industry which will bring his campaign considerable public exposure. Aaron has credibility with the media and celebrity publicists. Jack Nicholson made radio ads for Aaron's 1998 governor's race. The list of Oscar®, Golden Globe, Tony, and gold and platinum record nominations and awards earned by Russo is truly impressive.

Proven Campaigner

In his 1998 run for governor of Nevada, Aaron built a massive grassroots effort, electrifying large crowds. Aaron won 26% of the vote in a four-way primary race. He will bring this experience and talent to his Libertarian campaign for president.

Seriously Committed

Aaron is committed to a serious campaign. His goal is to get 1,000,000 people to contribute $50 each. He has proven his financial commitment to make the changes that America needs. Aaron donated more than $1,000,000 of his own money for his 1998 campaign. Because of the likely dynamics of the campaign, there is tremendous potential for major fundraising from Hollywood.

Gary P. Nolan
Party Affiliation: Libertarian
Date of Birth: 6/13/1954
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Current Job: None--campaigning full-time for president
Prior Job(s): Nationally syndicated radio talk show host, president of Capitol Watch

Since 1/23/2004 (As of 5-7-04)
Contributions raised at $17,891.58
Number of contributions received at 513
Average contribution: $34.88
(How does this work?)

Official Web Site:

Candidate's Statement

My campaign for president cuts across traditional political divisions like Republican versus Democrat by appealing to the desire of all Americans for liberty and equality under the law.

As long as government has virtually unlimited power to tax and regulate, I believe that special interests will control policymaking. As president, I will protect the American people from special interests by sharply reducing government's ability to take our money, tell us what to do, and restrict our liberty.

I will work to take money and power from government and return it to you, so together we can build a free and prosperous America.

The Economy, Government Spending, Taxation, and Social Security:

Federal spending is ballooning out of control and deficits are exploding. Democrats would raise our taxes to pay for more spending--Republicans would raise our children's and grandchildren's taxes instead. Neither is acceptable in a free society.

I believe we should limit the federal government to protecting our lives, rights, and property, as outlined in the Constitution. This would enable us to cut spending, balance the budget, and ultimately get rid of the income tax and the IRS.

I believe it's time to replace the bankrupt Social Security system with individual retirement accounts and honest accounting. It's time to downsize the federal budget and upsize the family budget.

I will work to cut taxes and bureaucratic red tape, which will empower businesses, especially small businesses, to create jobs and boost wages.

Letting Americans keep the money they earn is the best cure for an ailing economy. Letting the people of each state and community decide for themselves how much government they want, and are willing to pay for, is the best way to make that government accountable to the people.

National Security and Foreign Policy:

National security is the primary constitutional function of the federal government. We must maintain a strong defense against potential aggressors and be prepared to respond to attacks like those that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Equally important, we must refrain from intervening in the quarrels of other nations and from making enemies of oppressed people who would otherwise look to America as a beacon of hope and freedom.

We must stop supporting authoritarian regimes and dictators around the globe. We must remember that our own government helped arm and train the military of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. We must not allow something similar to happen again.

U.S. troops are stationed in more than 140 countries. It's time to bring them home. It is especially ludicrous for America to be subsidizing the defense of wealthy nations like Germany and Japan, as well as providing 60% of the world's foreign aid.

Friendship, nonintervention, and trade with all nations is a time-honored prescription for an America that is at peace with the world. It was the policy recommended by America's Founding Fathers--one that I would restore as president.

Civil Liberties and the War on Terror:

We must resist the temptation to sacrifice our liberty in the name of security. These tactics undermine our national security instead of enhancing it; they have no place in a free society that values human rights and individual liberty.

I will work to restore our full civil liberties as a key component of enhancing our national security, beginning with the repeal of the USA Patriot Act.

Drug prohibition has created a gigantic black market, empowering criminal gangs that terrorize our cities and funding terrorist organizations like Al Qaida. It's time to repeal federal drug laws, enabling the people of each state and community to choose alternatives to this failed policy.

In a truly free society, neighbors watch out for neighbors. They don't resort to profiling based on stereotypes, they don't feel trapped and unable to travel. They work together in a positive way to keep their own communities safe. This is the America we deserve.

Take a stand--get involved--make a difference.

If you're tired of voting for Democrats and Republicans who say one thing to get elected and do the opposite in office, then stop wasting your vote. Vote Gary Nolan for President.

If you believe that the federal government has grown too big, too expensive, and too intrusive, then stop supporting the politicians and parties that made it grow. Support a candidate who is committed to downsizing the federal government. Support Gary Nolan for President.

Doing what you've always done and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. This election, do something different. Vote Libertarian. Vote Gary Nolan for President.

Russo and Nolan both spoke to about 30 Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia delegates. I audio taped the presentations.  Some of this is paraphrased and some verbatim. I have put “quotes” around verbatim comments that were particularly noteworthy for whatever reason.  I note my questions, for full disclosure’s sake, and include a few explanative notes. The Nolan section is shorter in large part because Nolan used a lot of solid libertarian-oriented examples of his points which it didn’t seem necessary to report, whereas Russo spoke a great about his controversial campaign strategy.  I note where I ask a question.

                                      Nolan Speaks to Crowd.                                Russo and his belt.
(Nolan spoke first)

I want to concentrate on the benefits of liberty and libertarian solutions, not just that big government is bad. National security?  Stop invading other countries, trade and friendship.
Don’t scare people into the party, have to show benefits of liberty.  Have to draw people a map, paint them a picture. 

The only way fiscal conservatives can send a message to Congress is to vote for Nolan.  Congress only understands losing elections.  This is the right time because the Republicans are spending like drunken sailors.  We have to set a new course for the world and show them liberty is not impossible.  Open the doors to freedom, elect libertarians to federal office. I dare to dream and to believe.  Seize the day. Carpe diem.

Q: Have you tried the “dare to dream” approach on regular Americans?
A: I’ve done it on the radio and reaching out to right with fiscal conservatives and then to the left on all the good issues we have on the left.  We need to talk about libertarian solutions to corporate personhood, pollution, the horrible Patriot Act.  66% of people don’t vote.  We can change the whole spectrum if we have the right message.

Q: What’s you position on overturning Roe V. Wade?
A: I want it to go back to the states to decides, just like we will gay marriage and everything else, to the state level.

Q from Carol: Would you use military force against secessionists who are not using force or fraud against anyone else?
A: No.

Q: What are your plans to get on national TV?  I know it costs lots of money.
A: First of all you have to have credibility. If you don’t have credibility, they are going to laugh at you, they are going to make fun of you.  That’s what we’ve been working at.  In last couple months we’ve done 60 radio and television interviews a month, 27 public appearances in 15 different states. That’s creating credibility and reaching out to voters.

Q: But last time no one saw Harry Browne commercials cause they don’t watch talking head TV shows.
A: Jesse Ventura didn’t run any tv adds in Minnesota until the month before the convention.  Every campaign and election is different, we don’t know how much have to devote to tv, radio, ads, etc.  Neither do Democrats or Republicans.

Q: I was bothered in 1984 when Pres candidate David Bergland tried to answer a question about secession and civil war, so we shouldn't mention this issue in public.
A: What we need to do is focus on the issues that the voters care about.  I care about legalizing drugs and guns, but people care about health care and jobs, so before I can explain those other issues to them, we’ve got to bring them in.

Q: How is your strategy different from Harry Browne?  Not only didn’t bring in results but he did worse the second time around.  People think your message and strategy very similar to his.

A: No, mine is different.  LP candidates have been talking about why government doesn’t work from the beginning.  Forget big government. Talk to them about something they understand - the benefits of liberty. Gives amusing examples of how government hurts small businesses that people want to start.  Imagine what happens if we get rid of social security and income tax and people have twice the income they have now.  Jobs will be created.  We can keep jobs in the country.  We can make them know life is better for them.  If you tell some guy with two cars in the garage the government is going totalitarian and the world is falling part and he’s got TVs, computers, he’ll think you’ve lost your mind. 
       I have more media contacts that either of my opponents or any of the presidential candidates who have run before me.  I’ve done a radio talk show.  I’m known for my political views. No body can come close. We’ve done CNN, Fox, MTV, 2 Road to the White House, Washington Journal (CSPAN), ABC did an interview.  We’re getting out there.

Q: Is it practical to talk about getting rid of the income tax?
A: Yes. Can we do it overnight? No.  But we can do it fairly quickly.   There’s something called the federal excise tax. If the federal government outspends that they apportion the bill to states and the bureaucrats will start screaming and stop federal spending.

Q: Have you been elected to public office?
A: I’ve been in the public eye for years.  Have had Cato people on my show many times.  Worked on Capitol Hill for Capitol Watch.  Worked with legislatures. I’m more qualified than George Bush or John Kerry will ever be.  Was it Harry Browne who said, I don’t have any experience spending your children’s money?

Q: What are your main issues?
A: We have three core issues, the ones Americans care about.  The first is spending, taxes and the economy.  The second is national security.  If you want a secure nation, you don’t go invading other countries.  We are not the world’s police man - Cato Institute says we have a military presence in 144 countries.  We have to bring them home.  That’s what makes a secure country.  Not putting tyrants in power we are going to have to deal with later.  We put Saddam Hussein in power, the Shah of Iran, Osama Bin Laden.  Look at the Treaty of Versailles we helped create, though we didn’t sign it, and that’s what later brought Hitler to power.  Let’s stop resources by putting Art Garfunkle in jail for smoking marijuana and use those resources to root out Al Queda in this country.

Q: You are focusing on these issues?
A: Yes.  When it comes to health care (his third issue), Congress passed prescription drug benefits, etc. that just cost a lot of money and hurt people.  We have to explain to people we don’t just want to abolish these benefits but how can replace them.  It doesn’t come off as radical when you explain the alternatives. (Gives examples.)

Q: Will you explain your education policy? Public funded schools?
A: Get the federal government out of it.  Turn it over to local communities.  Let them figure it out.  But he favors home schooling and government doesn’t have the right to take money from any body and give it to anybody else.  (Examples of why public schools bad.)

Q: Are you going to be in the debates?  Are you going to fight for an invitation?
A: I’ll beat them in debates, but we know they’ll try to keep us out.  We have to go out and talk to people, to small business, etc.  Put coalitions together, start showing up in the polls, then we’ll be in the debates and if I’m in the debates I guarantee I’ll be the next president of the United States.

A: What’s you stance on enemy combatants?
Q: We have to go back to the Geneva conventions.  Congress should have declared war to go to Afghanistan so now we have to make sure they have adequate representation so they can defend themselves. What the administration is doing is wrong. The US citizens held have to have their constitution civil liberties respected.
     If you look at the war issue, the whole thing is coming our way. The polls are showing more and more Americans think we should not have gone into Iraq, it costs too much in money and lives. Too many Americans dying, coming home in pieces.

Q: What do you recommend for local candidates?
 A: Go to small businesses and tell them how liberty helps them.  Find out what the issues are in YOUR community and work on those.  Buy ads on local talk radio and tell them you want to be on the show.  Carpe Diem.  Seize the day.

Applause from the group gracefully accepted.

* * *
Later, I gave Gary Nolan one of my “FREEDOM IS FOR EVERYONE Even Immigrants” buttons.

Where Russo pretty much repeats the speech I heard him give in Virginia on March 28 I refer to that link.  VA/March 28

     Hello, everyone, I’m Aaron Russo. 
      (Sees me.) I see Carol the troublemaker’s in the front row. What do the buttons say, Nolan Badnarik?  (I should have mentioned the one reading "FREEDOM IS FOR EVERYONE - Even Immigrants.")
      Reviews his show biz successes. Talks about endorsement from a big Gun Rights group. (See his web page.) Is now on MPP Board with Jesse Ventura and Jocelyn Elders. 
      (Speaks softly because he’s obviously very tired.) To me this campaign is about viability and who can bring the Libertarian Party to the forefront.  Freedom being the essence of being.  Spent $2 million of own money fighting for freedom.  Libertarian Party  has to look forward and not same old, same old.  Talking about taxes and small business and health care, we’ve done that forever.  Harry Browne did it, every candidate before did it.  The difference between me and my opponent is I’m a lot more in your face.
       Woman in middle of the room (not me) calls out: "LOUDER!!" General laughter.  (“More flamboyant!” says Carol, referring to exchange at
VA/March 28.)  (Note: The hard of hearing Doris Gordon sitting in the front row called out louder again later in the presentation.)
        America is like a red Ferrari about to go over a cliff unless we veer away.  We are losing all our freedoms.  I refuse to stand for that. Libertarian Party  only party that stands for freedom.  Imagine if Jesse Ventura or Ross Perot were libertarians.  We have to bring that attention to the party.
        Repeats allegation past Libertarian Party campaigns were used to make money for campaign organizers and
and his challenge to other candidates on pledging 50% of contributions to TV advertising. VA/March 28
       My TV ads starting next week.  On O”Reilly, Hannity & Colmes, Larry King, Meet the press.  May 17th TV ads start in Georgia, first city we’re doing is Atlanta so people can see it during the Convention.
       Makes same snide comments about Nolan on Fox as
VA/March 28.
       To have a strong voice you need three things: ballot access in all 50 states, or 49 states (?).  You need television advertising and you need polls.  Do the polls our way so we frame the questions the way we want to.
        I am a master of marketing, in movies, theater, record albums, hundreds of millions of dollars. I want the Libertarian Party  to be known, respected because our ideas correct.  Gary Nolan right about that.
         Have to talk to more than just libertarians.  Television is everything.  Without television there is no campaign. To be credible need television.  The message I’m sending is the two parties are the same.
         I’ll spend 25% of money of first million on ballot access.  I’m the only one doing that.
          Last night I was out with John Stossell. One of my supporters “handles” Chris Matthews, John Stossell, Chris Mathews, Tom Brokaw, Rather.  One of my supporters. One of my people.  If there’s anyone who has access to media, it’s me.
        Philosophy doesn’t matter unless we get it out there.  Like next week when tv ads start.  We have highest viability web site of the three candidates.  Jack Nicholson endorsed me when I ran for Governor in Nevada.  I don’t know if he’s going to do it again.  Frankly, I don’t know.  I don’t know how much money I can even raise since I haven’t started doing it yet.  I am not going to raise money until the nomination is in hand and I’ve said that repeatedly.
         It’s true I haven’t raised as much money as Nolan and most is my money.  But once the nomination is in hand, I have a track record, I ran for Governor, in the movie industry. I have access to the stars.  I’m not promising anything.  I’m talking to Kurt Russell now about coming down and doing something.  I have access that no one else has.  So I am not going to make any false promises because people are accusing me of saying I say all these things that I never said.  But I do have access. And I intend to use the access. 
       I believe in principles of the Constitution and only we the people can change the Constitution.  We each own our own life as long as don’t do violence, theft or fraud vs. others.
       Then he does variation on his “the government is the one who is radical” rap per
VA/March 28.
(Tape stops here for a short time during this rhetoric and I turn it over.)  Encourages people to sign his anti-draft petition.
        Richard Campagna, VP candidate walks in and Russo jokes loudly, “Hey, Richard, you can’t be my VP. Get out of here.”  Later during "Q&A" Russo "joked" that Campagna was "chickenshit" because he would not endorse Russo.  
        Russo continues rhetoric as in
VA/March 28.
       Doris Gordon interrupts and starts asking about abortion, some more unintelligible side talk. Russo says the question period is coming soon, “I’ll take as many questions as you like, except from Carol Moore.” Carol replies: “He’s afraid.  He’s afraid.” General laughter.
       Rhetoric from
VA/March 28. about America becoming a police state. Tries to get us all to chant ALL OUR FREEDOM’S ALL THE TIME, but he doesn’t have the energy to rev us up like he did in VA.  He’s in race to fight for freedom and reviews his career and successes.  (Voice gets lower as he runs out of energy.)  We’re in trouble if either Bush or Kerry win the election.

Q: The network TV’s won’t sell you time.
A: They have to legally.  All those talk shows are nice but to win the election we need a persistent campaign of advertisements on TV.  80% of marketing has to be TV advertisements.  I’m out to win this sucker.  Harry Browne.  The other candidates.  It’s not that they’re bad people.  They just don’t know what they are doing.  We can do what Perot and Ventura did if we have the right guy in front who knows who to market and how to lead.  I may not be the president but I will create a presence. That’s the bottom line.

Q: Only the actors have been elected, like Reagan and Arnold.  Why don’t you find a libertarian who’s been in front of the camera?
A: I agree.  I’d get out if Clint Eastwood came in.  I’m talking to Kurt Russell right now.  I’d get out if someone better came along.  I’ve had business meetings with Clint.  I’ve not heard back from him.  This is not about Aaron Russo. This is about freedom for this country.

Q: Isn’t Kurt Russell a libertarian? Why can’t you get him?
A: I called my friend Rick Necita (sp) and told him I want to get Kurt to run for office to take my place. He told me to write up a letter and give it to him just last week and I’m waiting on an answer.  I have access and I intend to use it.  It’s worked in the past.  Most of the things I’ve done I’ve been successful. I’m the only proven track record here.  I’m the only one in my view who has qualifications to be president, that the American public could vote for and say “This guys reached the pinnacle of his career.”  And has the right message. Without that, I don’t know how you expect to do well?

Q: What do you think about Disney blocking Michael Moore’s movie?
A: They have the legal right but I don’t think it’s correct.

Q: Question about gold standard.
A: Long spiel about the gold standard that shows he is unaware libertarians do not believe in the government imposing a gold standard but in free market money.

Q: Isn’t abortion murder? (Doris Gordon, of course)
A: Russo says he doesn’t like it and its up to the women who owns her own body, but he agrees with Gary it’s a states rights matter.  (Doris starts ranting about abortion, arguing with him about abortion being murder, etc. until moderator tells her to quiet down.)

Q: I’m glad you pledged $250,000 to ballot access but this is the first time I heard you say you weren’t raising any money until the convention.  There are some ballot access drives going on now that need money desperately.
A: I have always said that.  Admits hasn’t given “much” money to ballot access. Asks questioner how much he’s contributed argumentatively.  It’s simple, when I get the nomination, I’ll raise the money. It’s not my onus to raise money for fundraising, I’ll just contribute it after I get the nomination.  But I am willing to put my own money up.

CLICK for Russo Belt Incident AUDIO File -Transcript Below
Q from Carol Moore:
Russo:  Yes, Carol.
Moore: If you don’t want to answer questions about Cinema Plus, that’s fine...
A: I already answered those questions.
Q: Well there are more, but we don’t have to...cause it’s technical and...
A: Ask them...
Q: So you weren’t involved in any of the fundraising for Cinema Plus?
A: No.
Q: And then basically they wouldn’t ...what happened with the films? mean they wouldn’t...
(Russo starts to approach me quickly unbuckling his belt buckle saying: “Will you fix this buckle here.” It's a little scary and I yell out: “You get out of here!”  He comes closer saying the obvious double entendre: “I can’t get the hole.” I yell: “Sexual harassment” He says: “That’s sexual harassment? You led a very tame life.” 

Continuing my question:  So they basically didn’t like your films and didn’t release them and that’s why they ended up getting their money...
A: I can’t speak for them.
Q: They wouldn’t give you any reason?
A: Excuse me. I have no idea why they wouldn’t release them.  That’s up to them.
Q: One more question.  So would you use military force against American secessionists who were not committing force and fraud?
A: No.

(My batteries died right after this. I said something like: "If you DO get all the publicity you talk about it's time to start the Secession Constitution Amendment to take advantage of it!" See my sites Secession.Net and my LP & Secession article. I change batteries, while catching most of what he says below. I lost about 5 minutes of taping.)

Questions about the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party.  He says he formed the Constitution Party, did the MAD AS HELL video (note: which was a pilot for a TV talk show that never came off) and let Kevin Phillips have control of the party. (NOTE: I'm sure he said Kevin, but Howard Phillips eventually started his own Constitution Party, so evidently he made two factual errors there.)  But Phillips turned it into a right wing Christian party. 

Russo didn’t like the Libertarian Party and held off joining because libertarians argue too much about philosophy.  “Do gnats have rights?”  Didn’t want to have to deal with that sort of thing.

Also, as confirmed by two other participants, and doubtless remembered by at least half: During this period Russo asked for and got a glass of water and talked about his bladder cancer. He graphically talked about the fact that his doctor wanted to remove his whole bladder and his prostrate but he would not allow that because it would interfere with his ability to "climax," without which life would not be worth living.  Instead he used holistic means to shrink the tumor before he had it removed.   He then revealed that he had blood in his urine last week and went to the doctor who said he was fine.  He was obviously very relieved by this.  Nevertheless, he was much lower energy than he was when I saw him on March 28.  My very first concern ever expressed about Russo, before I knew much about him at all, was that his cancer would return under the strain of a presidential campaign and he would drop out of the race.

(Tape starts up again.)

Q: Why haven’t you contacted your friends to prove to the rest of us that you can really get that sort of support?
A: I did the same thing when I ran for Governor.  I don’t know how much money I can raise. I didn’t make any promises.  I have a simple principled idea – I won’t ask for any money til I get the nomination.  When I ran for Governor I didn’t know if I could do anything.  So I wasn’t asking my friends to throw money down a black hole.  When I get the nomination I’ll go to everyone I know and start asking for money.  I have no idea how much money I can raise. I have no idea.  But I have access to lots of money.  I don’t know. I think it’s immoral of me to take money from people. I think what Howard Dean was wrong, spending 50-60 million of other people’s money and going no where with it.
     I have a track record of success in my life.  Look at my opponents track record and make the same measurement.  You are welcome to.  Then you make a decision.  Gary’s a fine man but I care more about freedom than Gary.  I’m not raising money til I get the nomination.
     My track record should prove that I’ve been mostly successful. I have access to these people.  I don’t know how much more evident it could be.

Q: Doris Gordon wants a follow up question on abortion, but moderator discourages her.

Q: How much money did you raise in your gubernatorial race from other people?
A: I don’t know.  Probably $400-500 thousand dollars.  But I didn’t even try then, that just came in.  I’ll take money, but I’m not calling up people now.  It’s expensive what I’m doing.  I’m running TV ads next week.  I’m spending thousands of dollars on TV ads next week.  Where’s the money coming from?

Q called out from naughty Carol: Where is the money coming from? Is it yours or someone else’s?
A: What do you care? Did you raise your hand?

Q: What will be your policy on matching funds?
A: I’ll take em.  I’ll take ‘em.  A lot of libertarians don’t like that idea. I’ll take ‘em.  If they give me money to fight for freedom, I’ll take it.  I want to win.  That’s all it’s about.  If the government is going to give me money, they give it to everyone else, I’ll take it.  And then when I become President we’ll stop matching funds.  We’re at enough of a disadvantage. So I’ll take the money. I want to win. I want to win. I want to stop what’s happening in this country.

Q from supporter: You don’t go asking for money if you don’t have something to offer, right?
A: You are right, I can’t sell a script til have one. Can’t get money til have nomination.  I’ll fund this myself, if I have to put in 40 - 50 - 100,000 dollars.  I’ll put it in.  Whatever it takes.   That’s why we’re running TV ads.  You know where the money’s coming from, from my pocket.  That’s OK with me.  All that matters is getting free.  Not whether I made a movie that didn’t work.
Q called out from Carol: What about the TV show that didn’t work out?  (MAD AS HELL)
A: Not everything I produced was a big hit, but I sure had a lot of them.  A very high percentage. I never said everything I did was a success. I just said it came in on time and on money.  I’m really smart with money.  I know how to do it.

Q: Do you have experience with political debates?
A: I work well.  My passion and my seriousness and my knowledge comes out.  I’m serious. I believe we are heading down the drain.  I’ve been in debates, of course.  We’ll chew them up.

Q: What do your Hollywood friends think of your running?
A: Some think I’m crazy, but they are my friends.  They offer me money and I’ll take it when the time comes.  This one and that one has said can raise $50,000.  I don’t know what I can raise.  But I can spend smart.  I can turn a few million dollars into $20 million dollars.  The party can have all my skills to use if they want me to be the nominee.

Q: Will you help with marketing if you don’t win the nomination?
A: Only if the nominee will pledge to spend his money on television, then I will help.  If they are not willing to make that pledge, then I think it will end up in people’s pockets. That’s what I think.  I’m sorry to say it.  I don’t think the money will be spent properly. There’s no reason not to make that pledge.  I’m not going to help for no reason. Thank you very much.

People clap and Russo responds: “Where’s the standing O?”  (Ovation) A couple people stand and clap.

* * *
     I had two private exchanges with Russo after the talks. 
     First I offer Russo a signed copy of my book THE DAVIDIAN MASSACRE and after thinking about it he takes it.
     Later I tell Russo that coming at a woman with your belt undone is not a very smart thing for a presidential candidate to do.  "Would you do it to a woman reporter who was asking too hard questions at a press conference?" He responds: "My buckle got unhooked!  It wasn’t anything bad!"
     I tell him that I wasn’t happy about all the boasting and hype on the site and he said he didn’t even know what was on the page. 
      He complains about my email about the $20 million dollars his movies lost.  "Why did you have to send that email around, why couldn’t you just ask about what happened with the film company?" I said: "I haven’t been able to get a straight answer on whether you are going to keep using #  9 on immigration." He replies: "Immigration. Immigration. THAT’s what this is all about!"

     Outside the room, another person’s question to Russo as we stood around after the talk was: “I’m afraid of the Dean factor.  You might do something really wild and embarrass the party.” 
     I didn’t hear Russo’s response, but I told the person that Russo’s coming at me unbuckling his buckle cause he didn’t like my question was pretty wild.  Again I asked: "What if he did that to a female reporter who was asking him tough questions?"  Since then I have learned he has acted inappropriately with women at other events as well.  While most women may not to prefer to speak out about such incidents, one woman complains below.

Notes and Commentary

These notes are taken from my audio recording of the event.  The personal exchange at the end comes from memory.  I left out a lot of jokes and banter and summarized ,non-controversial repeatedly asserted or rhetorical points. Controversial or important points are pretty much verbatim.
Notes on Russo Talk
Russo shows first two drafts of his first online and television commercials. One says that Russo thinks the two parties are the same. He wants to stop war in Iraq and bring troops home; stop government overspending; enforce immigration laws; abolish the Patriot Act; restore personal freedom. "Aaron Russo, all your freedoms all the time." Other one shows check lists of how Kerry-Bush the same.

Russo says he is going after Bush and Kerry as being same person, as when on Fox. My opponent, Gary Nolan, was on Fox News – I was on so they gave him a chance to go on. Announcer says, Mr. Nolan, you sound just like the Democrats and the Republicans. He says, “Yes, that’s right.” What kind of Libertarian would say, “Yes that’s right.”

This is end of America as we know it and he wants to return to a constitutional republic, constitution and bill of rights.

Dismays me I see many libertarians using the Presidential nomination as a cottage industry to make money. I don’t mean my two opponents. But the last Presidential campaign we raised $2.7 million dollars. Less than 5% or $125,000 was actually used for tv commercials. It’s a joke, it’s wrong. Cause we’re gonna make a difference with wise tv advertising and we must get publicity. I’ve been on Fox News, CNN, Time Magazine did an interview coming out soon. Howard Stern has me on this Weds. AM. Jack Nicholson endorsed me in an ad when ran for Governor. And hopefully some of my Hollywood friends will endorse me. They are terrified of Bush.

The reality is Bush and Kerry are pretty much same on issues, even though people think its polarized. Only nuances between them.

The day before Russo made this statement he debated Gary Nolan in Richmond and Nolan read what he actually said on FOX NEWS.
ASMAN: But Gary, so far, you have said nothing that the other two candidates are not saying.
NOLAN: That's right. They're all saying it, but only the Libertarian party can deliver.
ASMAN: What do you deliver that the other parties don't? Let's put it that way.
NOLAN: How about really reducing the size of the federal government? I'm not talking Washington speak. I'm talking really reducing the size of the federal government. If we do that, David, and we get rid of this cumbersome and burdensome income tax, imagine what happens to the economy and to the middle class?

So the last campaign only $120,000 were spent for ads. So I’ve been pressing Gary Nolan to commit — cause he’s got the same people backing him as backed Harry Browne. So I said, Gary, if someone gives $1000 to your campaign, will you spend half on TV advertising??

Badnarik agrees he would put 50% of money into tv advertising. But Gary Nolan still refuses to. People said I shouldn’t bring up this dirty laundry; I’m not politically correct. All I care about is freedom. No matter who wins I want to see that we get TV advertising and publicity. Definition of insanity is doing same thing over and over again and that’s why I came into this race. I figure of anyone running I’m most high profile, have most connections, will get most media attention. I’ve reached pinnacle of my career, I’m a master of marketing, I received almost 30% of the vote in Nevada in a four way race. I’ll stop pounding this issue when all the other candidates agree to give up half their money to advertising.

Another reasons for running -- I want to win. I don’t do things small. I do things big. I will create a presence in this party for America. We are the last best hope of America. He will attack Kerry from marijuana and gay marriage issues and Bush on the immigration and overspending issues.

Russo has to provide a campaign budget that PROVES that he can afford to do what he says. Is he underestimating the cost of overhead, travel, ballot access, etc?

Some people complain to me about my stance on immigration. As long as America is a welfare state, you cannot have open borders. You are welcome to disagree with me but I refuse to let other people from other countries come in here and live off Americans. I don’t believe in the redistribution of wealth. If we get rid of the welfare state I have no problem with open borders. Immigration problem is really a welfare problem.
Neither Russo's web page nor his brochure mention getting rid of individual welfare (schools, hospitals, medicaid, food stamps, the dole, medicare, social security), only corporate welfare. Both leave the impression that this is a SECURITY/PROTECT BORDERS and not a WELFARE issue.
Laws of physics don’t change and principles of our constitution don’t change, unless we the people decide to change them. No bureaucrats, executive orders, etc. What’s radical is two parties lying to us, printing money at will, keeping us all in debt, taxing us, taking money the back. We need hard money, gold and silver. Housing, health care, labor all too expensive because of money devalued. Government borrows money and you pay back all the interest.

What is radical is preemptive war against a country that did us no harm. Encourages any country to attack any other and blame it on terrorism. Shock and awe was disgusting.

What is radical is the Patriot Act which is a crime against all Americans. What is radical is the welfare state that makes it impossible to open our borders. What’s radical is two parties created $45 trillion in unfunded liabilities. National debt has increased by trillion dollars in one year. Dollar is a piece of junk. Need sound money and fiscal policies. Have to shut down the government and get rid of all these debts. They gave the BATF 13 sidewinder missiles!!

It’s radical to arrest people for bearing arms. What’s radical is free speech zones. What’s radical is bringing back military draft for men and women 19-26. Radical is arresting sick people for marijuana use. FDA tells you what treatments you can use for cancer. When I had bladder cancer I mostly used alternative medicine, a little surgery, but under FDA rules I could be in jail. What’s radical is erosion of rights. The worst is yet to come.

Bush-Kerry agree on Iraq, skull and bones, Patriot Act, gun control, war on drugs, destruction of bill of rights. The structure of totalitarian government in place and only need situation where we will blindly submit. What will you tell you kids about what you did to prevent it?

People have right to do as please as long as not violence, theft, fraud, vs others. I own my life; you own yours. We are not property of life.

Government and media work together to take away basic human rights and they must be challenged. If you see a police car coming up behind you does that make you feel secure or scared?

If they want to get you they’ll find any reason to get you and put you away. When government is afraid of the people, that’s freedom.

Government brainwashes people with propaganda about criminalizing Marijuana and guns. Alcohol prohibition happened with constitutional amendment, but not prohibition of drugs. They don’t have authority; just taking it. That’s tyrannical. They have to be challenged. They are using tyranny vs. us. Sending sick people to jail for smoking pot. We the people are the enemy of the government. If you believe in freedom you are the enemy. Must never compromise freedom.

He wants to win. Have to dedicate selves to living in a free country. No more (list of bad things).  We must stand up to the powers that be by issuing a demand: all of our freedoms, all of the time; all of our freedoms, all of the time; etc. chant. We need new leadership that fights for principle.  We must rise up etc. We have a choice - go along with status quo or commit to defending ideals.

Lots of good points and rhetoric in this section.

Q: Shouldn’t you attack Kerry Bush on gun issue more?

A: Government has no right to know about guns we own and we have right to have them. The strategy about campaigning doesn’t mean that have to do guns right away. Will have different ads. Going to have lots of ads about government abuses. Like with Marijuana, not leading with chin, so talking about medical Marijuana. All my principles don’t have to come out on first ad.
I don't have a problem with a strategy that focuses on a sub-issue of a larger issue, as long as the candidate is honest about the whole position when asked by citizens or the press or other candidates.
Q: What about Bush and Kerry agreeing on medicare prescription?

A: Not something I’ll focus on. Gary Nolan can put in his ads. I’m coming from more primal place.

Health care is one of top 2 or 3 issues for citizens, it's a welfare issue (medicare, medicaid, national health care proposals) and libertarians do have a good solution -- end all government involvement.  It is important for a libertarian candidate to address this to be taken seriously.
Q: How much money raised?

A: $40-50 thousand so far. No going to really start til get nomination. When ran for Governor put 1.5 million of own money in cause didn’t know how would do and didn’t want to ask people. This time won’t ask friends til know nomination is mine. I don’t feel comfortable asking for money til I know I’m serious. I got a few thousand dollars in contributions so far.

He should at least have a ball park minimum, be it $500,000 or $2,000,000.
Q: How many primaries have you won so far?

A: In LP it’s conventions that matter and the national convention. But I won the straw poll in California. I’d been in 8 weeks, my opponent’s been running for a year. The reason I entered cause no one running who would take in Libertarian Party further than went before and feel I can elevate the party further than gone before. If Clint Eastwood said he’d run, I’d back off. But right now I think I’m the best guy. All that matters to me is freedom, not getting elected. Who ever can do the best job. It’s about turning country around. It’s about waking up people before we go over a cliff.

Q: How much expect to raise?

A: I can’t tell you. I don’t have any idea. But I guarantee money will be used on advertising. Will target NY, CA and NV right away.

Q: Would you campaign more in those states?

A: Yes, but I intend to use TV as my primary, TV ads on the internet, tv ads all over the country. I’m a master of marketing. Effective ads that are repetitive. TV will be core of marketing campaign.

Nolan won the California and Massachusetts LP primaries.
Q: How can you convince people you have qualifications like Bush and Kerry? You don’t want to be like Howard Dean who was too flamboyant? Are you going to be like that? Have other actors do ads for you? What you do in front of friends different than on national tv.

A: I can get Jack Nicholson to do an ad for me. Maybe get other friends. The most important thing is my heart is in the right place. I could have gone the other way. I’ve been asked to enter the Council on Foreign Relations. I’ve been asked other things. I’m self made. Made lots of money on my own. (Gives impressive biography.) Never gone over time or budget; skilled on budgeting. And I do things big. I ran for Government of Nevada. (1998) I was 47% in the polls in a four way race. I was over 50% of the polls when running for Governor in 2002. I’m an optimist. I believe that there are 10s of millions of people who have no where to go and don’t know what to do and sick and tired of the system. We can reach them and kick butt. IF you want me, here I am.

I want to hear more about the Council on Foreign Relations!
(This thread of questions from C. Moore)
Q:  I like flamboyant!! If you run vs. immigration, first you are going to look inconsistent because you are saying troops at the border, keep them out.

A: No I don't say anything about troops at the border. No I don't.  

Q: Oh, one of your staff said he forgot to put a comma in and it is two different issues.  But you have to provide statistics that all immigrants, legal and illegal, are net recipients of welfare.

A: I don’t have to show statistics

Q: But the biggest thing is, what will be your quota system? Who are you going to let in? Africans? Asians? Arabs? People with money? Here’s the "guilt" question: let’s say that someone drops a small nuke on the Dimona nuclear facility in Israel and suddenly 3 million Jews are homeless, they have to leave, because the whole area isn’t going to be livable for 10,000 years, I‘d let those 3-4 million Jews in America, will you??

A: I doubt it. You asked me a question that I cannot answer because I have not really thought about it. But my view is that as long as long as America is a welfare state we can’t have illegal immigration coming in here. We have immigration laws. Get rid of welfare, the cost of illegal immigrants schools and medical care, etc., and the problem goes away, they can come in. You are asking me a question presuming there would be welfare. I’m saying there would be no welfare. Every one should work.

Q: It’s one thing to answer the question that way. It’s another to make it one of your main points.

A: I think it is a main point. I think at this moment in time welfare is creating hardship on Americans and people should not come in this country and come to American hospitals, American education systems and take from Americans here and live off everyone else.

Q: But people are going to take it as, don’t get rid of welfare, keep out immigrants, cause people don’t want to get rid of welfare.

A: I think I’m clear on what I’m saying. I say get rid of welfare all the time. I believe immigration laws must be enforced. It’s so obvious to me.

Q:  Well, it seems from everything you've said, you are not a freaking right winger like I feared.

A:  No, I am not a freaking right winger!

I went to Russo's web site again and it doesn't have a comma and clearly says: "9. Both parties station our troops around the world rather than protecting our borders from terrorism and illegal immigration." This clearly infers put the troops on the border.

Thank heavens!

Q: How can you win?

A: It’s matter of reaching plateaus. First win the nomination. Then get in the debates and kick their butts. I’ll get to debates, mark my words.

Q: Can you reach people from other parties, like Greens?

A: Many Reform Party people like me on a lot of issues, they like me on guns, small government and immigration, is a big issue for them. To me it’s about welfare. For them it might be about something else.
      When I ran as a Republican, I signed up 20,000 people for the (Republican) party who hadn’t been signed up before. (Dissertation on republics vs. democracies.) I want to get electoral votes for the LP.

Q: Won’t you lose free traders on being against NAFTA and GATT? Why focus on medical Marijuana?

A: NAFTA and GATT aren’t free trade they are managed trade and I’m for free trade. I don’t need a majority, I only need 35% to win. And if we don’t, we’re sitting pretty for the next election. I’m not advocating use of drugs, but I am promoting medical Marijuana. What others want to do with bodies free to do.

Q: What about gay marriage?

A: He didn’t need license to get Bar Mitzvhed, why does he need one to get married? Government shouldn’t be involved.

It's great to get their votes, but given what happened in the Reform Party, I think we have to be careful about letting them become active in the LP unless they fully agree with the principles.
(Semi-private comments between Moore and Russo)

CM: You gotta realize there are a lot of crazy right wing Jews in the LP who want to kick the Arabs out (of Israel-West Bank), or kill all the Muslims and they yell Islamofacist and anti-Semite all the time. It makes some of us paranoid about Jews and Israel. Now that I meet you seem more liberal and compassionate and not right wing.

AR: I’m not like that. I’m more a liberal libertarian.

CM: Why don’t you make Gary Nolan your VP?

AR: He wouldn’t take it.

CM: How much money of you own are you willing to put in? 2 million? 3 Million?

AR: Want to raise money this time, not just put in my own. Don’t want to go broke doing this.

CM: If you are going to spend most of your time at home doing TV then you don't have all those big travel expenses so you can afford to give half your money to advertising.  Nolan has to spend a lot of money going all over the country.

AR: No.  I do intend to go out on the road, too.  I'm just going to raise more money.  A lot of people will be attracted to my campaign and want to give.

CM: Focusing on immigration restrictions makes libertarians nervous and might lose you the nomination. Learn from your critics.

AR: He restates that it’s important to him and he believes it and says: Plus the other two candidates are coming over to my position on immigration. I've heard them say it in debates.

CM: That's bad. Then you are undermining libertarian principles and that's wrong. That's what I have the biggest problem with.  But otherwise I think you would be a good candidate.  Good Luck!

Russo's $20 million HBO Film Flop and Russo's Response
Ilana Mercer's Bad News Endorsement
Russo Statement on Matching Funds  (See Russo Will Accept Matching Funds AUDIO File)
Email About Russo Inappropriate Actions
Russo Campaign Denies He's "Manic Depressive"  (See Russo "Belt Incident" AUDIO File)

Russo Film Evidently Lost $20 Million Dollars for HBO
       As we can see above, Aaron Russo boasts that he is so charismatic and such a big success he can bring the Libertarian Party to unknown heights of success. Needlesstosay, this kind of boasting just invites people to find out if he's exaggerating his skills in order to obtain the party's nomination. Members of real political parties check this sort of thing out! (Actually, the press usually does it for them.)
       After doing a search on I found the first story below, which led to finding others. In short, it is alleged that in the early 1990s Russo brought in one film late and the other not at all. This debacle cost HBO $14 million ($20 million with interest) which they had to get by suing completion bonder Film Finances Inc. (This is an insurance company that covers independent films that go bust because producers don't finish them, the stars drop out, all the film burns up in a fire, etc. Whatever the reason HBO claimed, Film Finances evidently was balking.) The suit almost killed off Film Finances. There also was an interesting lawsuit as well by investors in the producing company Cinema Plus, whose partners were HBO Film Management, Inc. and Entertainment Finance Services, Inc. It was against both those companies and Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc. and Smith Barney, Inc. who allegedly marketed interests in Cinema Plus to the public by hyping the Big Lie that Michael Douglas and Michael Phillips (The Sting, Taxi Driver, Close Encounters) had already signed to direct films for them. Russo evidently had signed and did go on to direct the two films mentioned above.
      The promoters used promises like "Investors `could more than double [their] money' or `earn a multiple of their investment' in three years through films produced by Michael Douglas, Michael Phillips, and Aaron Russo." It is unknown if Russo was involved in Cinema Plus at this point as anything more than a hired producer. One part of the lawsuit was a precedent on class action suits, so it's on a number of sites.
       All this would seem to conflict with what Russo writes on his webpage "In an industry known for severe budget overages, Russo has managed to complete every film, TV, Broadway, and music production, on budget and on time." He was asked about this -- and also whether the problem was that the movies were NOT considered fit for promotion and distribution. Below the articles is Russo's response. Also, I include his answers to two other important questions as reported from his May 8th Maryland presentation.

May 24, 1993 - The Hollywood Reporter
In an effort to avoid a lengthy trial regarding its year-old legal claims against Film Finances, HBO filed a summary judgment motion Friday afternoon in Los Angeles Federal Court hoping to recoup over $14 million advanced toward two Aaron Russo films.
Film Finances on the mend
Matt Rothman Paul Noglows
Jul 21, 1993
     Beleaguered completion bonder Film Finances Inc. said things are looking up for the company, if not for the insurance business as a whole.
     Speaking to the Century City Chamber of Commerce, Steven Ransohoff, Film Finances senior veepee for legal and business affairs, said his company recently signed a new reinsurance agreement with Lloyd's of London and a group of other insurers and bonded "Lightning Jack," the new Paul Hogan starrer that is budgeted at $ 24 million and set to go before the cameras Aug. 7.
     Industry sources say the bonder has struggled over the past year as a direct result of problems at Lloyd's, its longtime reinsurer.
<See link for redacted non-relevant mid-section.>

HBO looks for $ 14 mil

      HBO is trying to recoup $ 14 million (interest and lawyers fees have pushed the figure to about $ 20 million) it advanced for two Aaron Russo films --"Off and Running" and "Paradise Paved"-- which it claims weren't delivered on time.
      Reinsurer Lloyd's has posted a $ 12.5 million bond according to a prejudgment attachment made by the court last September.
      But if HBO is successful, the difference (about $ 8 million) looks like it will have to come out of Film Finances' pocket. Ransohoff would not comment on the pending litigation.
      The industry consensus is that Film Finances would have a very difficult time singlehandedly covering that amount.
      Copyright © 1993 Reed Business Information  

May 6, 2004

From Tom Knapp:

To whom it may concern:

Aaron Russo has asked me to forward this letter regarding recent
questions about his performance as a film producer. I'm sending it to
all lists where I know those questions to have been raised. I hope
that, if anyone knows of any other venues in which the discussion is
taking place, you'll forward it there, or let me know.

Tom Knapp
Communications Director
Russo for President

Dear fellow Libertarians,

My name is Aaron Russo. I am a candidate for the Libertarian Party's
2004 presidential nomination.

I am also a producer of films, television programs and stage shows.
I've been successful in that career, both by my own reckoning and by
that of the industry, which has recognized my efforts with an Emmy
and a Tony and my films with six Oscar nominations.

I believe that my experience in the entertainment industry,
particularly marketing films, is a considerable asset to me as a
candidate and to a political party which, for years, has needed and
sought such skills in its candidates.

By having said as much, I've put my career on the table. It's there to
examine, and I would never discourage anyone from examining it.
Libertarians should determine for themselves if the claims I make are
true, and whether the skill set that I offer as a candidate is unique
and worthy of their support versus what my opponents have to offer.

At least one activist within the Libertarian Party, based on her
reading of an article in an industry magazine, has questioned my
claims of performance as a producer. Her question deserves an answer.

I have claimed that every project I've produced has been delivered on
time and on budget. I stand by that claim.

Some years ago, I produced three films for HBO. Each of those films
was delivered on time. Each of those films was delivered on budget.
HBO did not choose to accept all of those films for release in the
United States, but the films were delivered as promised and saw
overseas releases.

Subsequent to the completion of these films, litigation occurred
between HBO, investors in one of its partner companies called Cinema
Plus, and a completion bond company called Film Finance. In that
litigation, two of my films were cited in claims by HBO against Film
Finance. Litigation against myself and my company, Aaron Russo
Productions, was filed and then withdrawn -- precisely because I had,
in fact, delivered the films on time and on budget. There is no
question as to whether I performed the terms of the contracts, nor is
there, so far as I know, any outstanding claim to the contrary.

It is always healthy to question the claims of candidates, and I thank
the Libertarian in question for raising the issue, but I stand by my
words. Every film I've made has been delivered on time and on budget,
a claim that only a handful of producers can make.

To my fellow Libertarians, thank you for the time and care you're
taking in choosing our party's presidential nominee, and thank you
for your willingness to consider all sides of claims that may be made
by, or about, the candidates for the nomination. I look forward to
working with all of you to make this the most successful election
year in the Libertarian Party's history.

Yours in liberty,
Aaron Russo
Libertarian for President

Russo's Responses on May 8, 2004 -
[Q: is Carol Moore, A: is Russo]

Q: So you weren’t involved in any of the fundraising for Cinema Plus?
A: No.
Q: And then basically they wouldn’t ...what happened with the films? mean they wouldn’t...
......So they basically didn’t like your films and didn’t release them and that’s why they ended up getting their money...
A: I can’t speak for them.
Q: They wouldn’t give you any reason?
A: Excuse me. I have no idea why they wouldn’t release them.  That’s up to them.

Moore's Response to Russo, May 7, 2004 (revised)

       Russo's quick response was welcome and frankly unexpected, given his refusal to tell us if he is going to continue promoting a national sales tax and asserting "Both parties station our troops around the world rather than protecting our borders from terrorism and illegal immigration."
    His response provides enough details to make it more easily verifiable, should anyone choose to verify.  However, Russo did not reveal why the films were not released. Since Russo hasn't claimed the films were rejected for political reasons, they likely were rejected on artistic merits. 
        Of course, other questions remain. Why did money raised on the strength of better known producer's names end up producing only Russo films?  How did HBO managed to parlay bad films into a lawsuit against Finance Films, especially if some versions of them were eventually released overseas?   What was the outcome of the HBO suit or the Investors' suit and what other details were revealed in them? If there's any real dirt there, it surely will come out if Russo gets the nomination and gets all the press attention he keeps promising.   On the other hand, libertarians will be MAD AS HELL if Russo's hype turns out to be just that, with no delivery.


Ilana Mercer is infamous in the libertarian movement for having accused well known libertarians of being anti-Semitic Israel haters because they have done studies of or opined against Israel's 56 year history of stealing land from Arab private property owners, as well as other human rights abuses. In April 2004 Mercer endorsed Russo. Many think this is one endorsement that should be rejected by libertarians. For more details about Mercer's ugly accusations see IS APPLYING LIBERTARIAN PRINCIPLES TO ISRAEL ANTI-SEMITIC?

Rough Transcript of his May 8th Comments:
Q: What will be your policy on matching funds?
A: I’ll take em.  I’ll take ‘em.  A lot of libertarians don’t like that idea. I’ll take ‘em.  If they give me money to fight for freedom, I’ll take it.  I want to win.  That’s all it’s about.  If the government is going to give me money, they give it to everyone else, I’ll take it.  And then when I become President we’ll stop matching funds.  We’re at enough of a disadvantage. So I’ll take the money. I want to win. I want to win. I want to stop what’s happening in this country.

Clarification:  Matching funds are the money that any third party candidate can claim during the nomination period.  To qualify, a candidate must raise $5000 in each of 20 states -- only the first $250 from a given individual counts. Since Russo has raised much less and is not likely to raise that in the next two weeks, it is a moot issue. General election funds are available to the nominee of any party that got 5% of the vote in the last election.  Since the LP did not, it is not eligible.

Russo's Response on Matching Funds:

May 14, 2004
Fighting Fire With Fire: An Open Letter From Aaron Russo

Dear fellow Libertarians,

I'm Aaron Russo. Given recent questions, it's time to talk about
matching funds, what they mean to an LP candidate, and what my actual
position on them is. The issue of campaign finance is of critical
importance to the Libertarian Party and to the American electorate.

Last week, at the Maryland LP's delegate convention, I indicated that
I would accept FEC "matching funds" when my campaign qualifies for
them. That's not the first time I've said so.

For the most part, this issue is moot. My staff has researched the
issue and determined that no such funds are available during the
campaign. They are only available afterward, and only if I receive
more than 5% of the popular vote in the presidential election.

I do indeed hope to poll more than 5%. However, since I do not intend
for the campaign to end in debt I would have no use for, and would
not seek, such funds.

It still bears talking about, however.

As a potential presidential nominee, I want you to know that I don't
duck the issues, and that I won't lie. Not even to win a nomination
or an election. It is important for you to know that I will make the
hard decisions even though it may be the difference between victory
and defeat in this nomination race.

Should I receive over 5% as your presidential nominee, the LP's next
presidential candidate will have the opportunity to use matching
funds. Accepting those funds is something he or she should consider
for reasons that I believe are compelling. I'm going to lay out those
reasons -- because I want this to be the beginning of renewed
dialogue within the party.

I don't have to make the philosophical arguments against "matching
funds." We all know them, and we all agree with them. It's taxpayer
money -- stolen money -- and the whole point of our party is to bring
an end to this corrupt way of doing things. On that we agree.

It's not as simple as that, however.

First, of all the uses to which taxpayer money can be put, the one
single use that is open to the discretion of the taxpayer is whether
or not the money goes to providing "matching funds" for presidential
candidates. There's a little box on your 1040. You check it, or you

If you don't check it, your honestly earned money might be used for
any number of things. It might be redistributed to parasites,
corporate or individual, as welfare. It might be used to pay the
salaries of the jack-booted thugs who kick down doors to drag
marijuana users off to jail. It might be used to buy the cruise
missiles that rain down on Baghdad, Kabul or Belgrade. You have no
control over what it's used for.

If you check that box, however, you actually get to personally direct
that your money goes to a particular purpose. I don't like the
program, but at least it has that going for it. If a taxpayer wants
his or her money to support presidential campaigns, why should we say
"no -- keep the money and let the politicians spend it on bombs,
bullets and welfare checks?"

Secondly, the Libertarian Party is the only party offering candidates
who would, given the opportunity, get rid of the very program we're

If I offered you the job of Secretary of Education, would you accept
it in order to eliminate every last vestige of the department?

The public roads are built with tax money. Yet there is no discussion
of Libertarian candidates driving down those roads. The airwaves and
broadcast wavelengths are held hostage by the FCC, which leases and
licenses their use. Where's the debate over Libertarian candidates
appearing on talk radio and broadcast television, or for using cell
phones? We disapprove of the FEC guidelines for reporting financial
contributions as well as the limitations they impose. We oppose
ballot access requirements on principle, yet we work very hard within
the system to meet them.

The fact is that we live in a system in which nothing can be
accomplished without eating the poisoned fruit of finance via
government theft. If we are to effectively fight the system using
peaceful means, the best solution I see available is to take the best
advantage of the options available.

I consider the following questions important from the perspective of
any Libertarian candidate:

What if taking this money could make the difference between ending
the police state, ending the war in Iraq, eliminating the IRS,
restoring our right to keep and bear arms, and even ending the
practice of matching federal funds?

Do we reach half as many voters, and console ourselves with the
proposition that we're somehow making a difference by setting an
example that we set in no other area of activity?

Do we run half as many television commercials, in order to, in one
instance and one instance only, make ourselves feel principled? A
result of taking this money could be that the presidential
candidate's television commercials could be aired in every community
in America -- including yours. Consider how many local Libertarian
candidates might be elected as a result. The impact of this is

It is clear that we all do things with which we don't agree in order
to bring about political change by peaceful means. The question
remaining is, "Where do we draw our line in the sand?"

When fighting a fire, it often becomes necessary to build a firebreak
in order to stop its progression. Frequently, the most practical way
to create this firebreak is to fight fire with fire. Do we allow the
system we oppose to remain in place, by refusing to use it against

The answer I've arrived at is that if taking matching funds in one
election cycle will reduce the possibility that money will be stolen
in succeeding cycles, then it's a gain for liberty. If the "third
party" candidates take matching funds and use them effectively, guess
how the major party politicians are going to feel about continuing to
offer them? The only way to ever end the concept of matching funds
may be to use them to that end.

One thought of mine is to use these funds specifically as a theme of
commercials, making the very public point in them that your tax
dollars were used to create this ad -- exposing the system for the
theft that it is.

The answer I've arrived at is that the money is going to be stolen,
whether Libertarians then accept it for their use or not. If taking
it represents the actual wishes of taxpayers with respect to how
their money is used versus other uses it might be put to, then we're
not only acting within the parameters of principle, but in the most
principled way possible.

We are not -- or at least should not be -- in these races to create
gridlock; we are fighting tooth and claw to win. In guerilla warfare,
there is no shame or dishonor in picking up the weapon of a fallen
enemy and using it to defend one's life or property. Likewise, there
is no shame in using the tools of the state to fight the true enemy
-- our current government. Make no mistake about it, we are at war
with our government!

My mind is open. I am always willing to have it changed. As a direct
result of your advice, I've reconsidered my stance on issues in the
past. If the moral arguments I hear persuade me, I'll acknowledge
that and I'll bring myself into accord with what I believe is right.

On a practical level, I'm also willing to hear the LP tell me "we
just don't want to do this," absent a prevailing moral argument. The
matter can be handled just as easily as "Russo, wear the red tie
instead of the green one" or "Russo, turn to the left -- it's a
better camera angle."

If a majority of my fellow Libertarians, on practical grounds, want
campaigns that refuse matching funds, I am willing to strongly
consider their sage advice -- even though I think that taking them
would be the better route.

I'm not going to sit on the fence or float little trial balloons
until someone has to stand up and scream "say it! say it!" at me to
get a straight answer. My beliefs are firm -- and, as I state above,
the issue is moot in this particular election -- but I want to
resolve this issue, and I'm willing to listen.

Now it's your turn to talk.

Yours in liberty,
Aaron Russo
Libertarian for President


    This is a response to my mere e-mail speculation during group discussion on a couple of libertarian yahoo groups about the reasons for Russo's hostility towards those who opposed him and generally out of control behavior (see the "Belt Incident" audio files tape).  I did not even get around to mentioning his history of failed projects ($20 million film flops, the Constitution Party debacle, his frequent disappearances in his four years of Nevada activists, his dropping out of the 2002 Governors race for cancer, some of which could be signs of a depressive condition, in contrast to his obvious more manic behavior.) This heavy duty response makes one wonder if there is something to the speculation.
    Please note that Ms. Gordon is the wife of Russo's campaign manager Stephen Gordon.
Subject: [russo-volunteers] Rebuttal of statement regarding Russo's
mental health
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 00:02:51 -0000
From: "Deborah Gordon" <>

This message is in response to a recent, and in my opinion incorrect, statement about Aaron Russo's mental health was made by Carol Moore:

"Bill Clinton could have used Russo's excuses for all the women he groped. What Bunk. Do you really think we are that stupid?? I remain supremely confidant he will prove himself out of control at the convention. As for medical records, he can't release them if he hasn't sought help for an undiagnosed illness. Say, manic-depression?? We've all seen the maniac. The depression is likely to set in the day after he (doesn't) get the nomination when he suddenly goes AWOL for
we shall see how long. Wish we had more Nevada people speaking up on that issue. CM"

For those of you who do not know me, I am a medical doctor and board certified psychiatrist in full time private practice. I received my training in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center. I am very well-versed in the diagnosis and treatment of many mental disorders, including Bipolar Disorder (the clinical term for "manic depression"). This is a condition that I see in my office on a daily basis.

Over the past three months, I have had the pleasure of attending numerous campaign activities with Aaron. I have spent many hours around him and was delighted to have him as a houseguest. During this extensive time in Aaron's presence, I have observed absolutely no evidence that Aaron suffers from Bipolar Disorder, or any other mental disorder. Since Bipolar Disorder is characterized by extreme mood states, typically in a cyclical pattern, I most certainly would have observed some signs of this disorder were it present. Aaron is, without a doubt, an extroverted and boisterous person with a personality that I have described as "larger than life". His personality type clearly fits into the 'Hollywood scene" and has been an asset in his success as a film producer. In my experience, this personality type is also very common among the many successful politicians whom I have met.

It is my hope that members of our party will refrain from using this type of irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric, as I believe that it is damaging to our common goal of fighting for liberty.

In Liberty,
Deborah S. Gordon, M.D.

Important points in Italics - with permission of the author
(Note that there is more updated or accurate information on some of her concerns elsewhere on this page)
From:  Leslee Kulba <lesserantillesandcolumbia@y...>
Date:  Mon May 3, 2004  6:27 pm
Subject:  Russo and Corrosion of Libertarian Credibility

A few months ago, I arrived home to find a message on my answering machine from my mother with an urgent request that I call her. When I finally got through to her, she said, “Tell me you’re not voting for Russo,” and then proceeded to relate her impressions from a television interview. This came on the heels of a most unfavorable, to put it mildly, character sketch of Russo I received from a Badnarik supporter which, of course, I took with a grain of salt.

Amidst continuing complaints, I offer the following reasons against letting Aaron Russo represent the Libertarian Party.

• Mental Coercion
I finally met Aaron Russo at the North Carolina state convention. I had been warned about his high-energy come-on. I have long been intrigued by techniques of mental coercion and support the efforts of people trying to educate the masses about the tricks being used on them.

We’ve all seen the in-the-know wannabes who do back-to-back 180s with the latest news flashes. However, I was quite disturbed to see a room of highly-intelligent, independent thinkers sucked into Russo's high-energy display of malarkey. A straw poll the day after his pitch indicated that 75% of people present at our convention were leaning toward Russo as the party’s nominee. The few people I questioned about their pro-Russo votes defended their stance by saying he was the most electable. Again, this is disturbing because it represents an abdication of one’s own best assessment in favor of some surrealistic impression of what the collective ignorant masses are going to want.  (See Ayn Rand - Please!)

I emailed Douglas Rushkoff, author of the highly-recommended, easy-read, ‘Coercion’ to ask for help. How does one get people to think for themselves and not fall for the technique of frenzy-and-polarize? He sent his regrets: There’s not much you can do to get people to think for themselves when they don’t want to.

• Thoughtless, Insensitive, and Degrading Remarks and Behavior
After Russo’s speech, my friend and I chased him down in the hall. I wanted to get some follow-up on some of his assertions made at the podium. (See below.) As six or seven of us badgered him with questions, Russo kept staring at my skirt. I would simply take this as a personal problem if I hadn’t learned that other women had been complaining about the same treatment.

People who have had a chance to meet with Russo describe him as a loose cannon. Delegates from one state actually approached Badnarik to ask if he’d be Russo’s running mate in order to “keep him under control.” I will not relate the stories of women who have been personally offended about intimate matters by Russo’s undisciplined wise cracks. A little asking around at the national convention will probably expose you to some of them. A classic instance of Russo’s insensitive remarks would be his statement made of Gary Nolan in California, “Kill the Arab!”

• People Skills
I asked Russo if he really meant what he said about getting rid of the IRS and pulling out of Iraq the day he took office. He then took a milder stance and said, “not the very day.” I asked if he had a plan, and he said he’d get his people to look into it. I contrast this to the hour-and-twenty-minute interview I had with Badnarik in which I asked all the hard questions you’d want to ask of a Libertarian Presidential candidate. Much to my surprise, Badnarik had really given serious consideration to the matters and had some pretty good answers.

I asked about four more questions, which Russo only deflected with defensive, smart aleck one-liners. Days afterward, my friend continues to talk about the way he arrogantly declined to directly answer my questions and those of others. At last, I decided to offer a conciliatory statement, which Russo also deflected defensively.

• Lies, Lies, and . . .
I mentioned my concerns to a friend and mentor, who I admire for his success in politics while maintaining a firm commitment to ethics and principles. He told me to get past the emotion and look straight at the facts to see if my sense of alarm was justified. Last weekend, still trying to chill out, I dropped in on the South Carolina convention with the hope of getting objective information from all three Presidential campaigns. Russo was not there for medical reasons, but I did speak to Badnarik’s and Nolan’s people, as well as many wonderful SC Libertarians.

One person requested that I not disclose his name. As mentioning all other names would in all likelihood reveal the identity of the unidentified, I will not disclose any names. The information I am presenting, however, is verifiable via internet sources. To his credit, Badnarik’s assistant told me to do my homework and verify anything I intended to post. Please compare what you may have heard Russo say to the following:

a) Russo claims to have the most support of the three candidates. A visit to reveals that as of March 31, 2004, Russo had only raised as much as Badnarik. Nolan had raised three times as much (in case you’re still looking for a bandwagon). Nolan’s and Badnarik’s campaigns are in the black. Russo’s was $13,222 in debt.

b) Russo overstates his success in the motion picture industry. He undeniably skyrocketed to millionaire status, but since “The Rose” and “Trading Places,” he has not had much success. His TV series “Mad As H***,” was only a pilot before going to video. Visit, and type in “Aaron Russo.”

c) Russo claims to have started the Constitution Party. Purists balked because Russo could not pin down the year in which he started the party. I performed a Google search on “’Constitution Party’ founder” only to find Howard Phillips getting the honors. It turns out Russo started A short-lived Constitution Party in California. It was libertarian-leaning to his credit.

d) Russo claims that his opponents have the same people working for them that lined their pockets in the Harry Browne scandal. As Badnarik has only two people working for him, Nolan’s people took this as a jibe at them and pressed Russo for the name of said party. Russo said it was David Bergland. Bergland is not working for Nolan.

e) Russo says he’ll have a lot of backing from Hollywood once he gets the nomination, but this support was not in evidence when he was running as an independent.

f) Russo alludes to swinging a deal with Chicago government for his nightclub. Uh oh. Chicagoans?

g) I would like to add to this my personal experience with the evasiveness and “well not reallies” I received for my questions.

• Bottom Line
I am content to be a “Losertarian,” for while we lose elections, we shine the light reminding people where we ought to be - even if it is out of reach today. By firmly standing our ground, we present a voice that leads the other parties, on occasion, to run their guys a little more toward our ideals. We are the ideal. To compromise our principles is to soft-peddle what America was meant to be.

To advocate getting anything with an (L) after its name in office, whether it be a crass wise cracker, a political plant out to destroy the party, a tinkling symbol, or anything but a libertarian in principle - is a sellout.

While others hype, flock, and fall-for, may Libertarians continue to think.

Russo Campaign Last Minute Scurrilous Attack on Nolan
On May 21, 2004, less than a week before the LP convention opened, Aaron Russo's "Communications Director" Tom Knapp sent out a scurrilous attack on Gary Nolan via email.  Such late attacks, of course, are made in hopes that the candidate will not have time to respond. While most of it is charges of "guilt by association" for past associations of an admitted former Republican, one section alleging bigoted comments against Native Americans was blatantly untrue.  Not only did the person making the charge confuse Gary Nolan with another talk show host named Gary, but it turned out Nolan himself was part Native American.  Knapp sent out a retraction to some, but not all, of the lists he'd originally posted to but never apologized.  Neither did his "boss" Russo.
That excerpt from the post, and the campaign's reply (made at the cost of valuable time in the last week of the campaign), are included below.

Excerpt from full message which is at:

-- Nolan on American Indians (reference)

"Last nights presentation just by coincidence was The Jim Bohannon Show from the Westwood One Broadcast Services ( ). I got an earful of Racist Diatribe from a guest host (Gary Nolan [EMAIL PROTECTED]) who really was a misplaced DJ.

" He ranted on about Native peoples only wanting Casinos from the white man. He talked about war drums, referred to smoking a peace pipe so Indians would know he didn?t mean
any harm, and spoke in Pidgin English about Native people. He then made fun of a Young Native woman who called in to express her concern with his opinions, he pretended to search through a garbage can for a
story that he threw away that she was referring to, all the time while he was chuckling at her, and after she hung up he said she made no sense. "

However, Tom Knapp never checked his facts or he would have discovered the author had gotten Gary Nolan confused with another talk show personality who had hosted the show, Gary Arnell.  While Knapp retracted the statement on a couple of the many lists he posted on, he never apologized.  And he was not disciplined or fired by the Russo campaign.

Forward of Nolan Campaign Response

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: FW: Jim Bohannon Show
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 20:57:18 -0400
From: Gary Nolan for President <campaign@g...>
To: 'Carol Moore' <news@c...>


You wrote:

>>Making fun of indians
>>The -- question is -- is it same Gary? He wasn't a "DJ"

to which I responded:

>Gary does not remember EVER substituting for Jim Bohannon. Jim's show is on
>from 10p-1am, immediately after Gary's show (7-10pm) and broadcast from a
>studio across town.
>Gary has calls in to Jim Bohannon and Gary's former producer to obtain
>outside confirmation that Gary didn't do this show.
>Finally, Gary says this is not something he would have said, especially
>given that he's part Native American (on his father's side).

We have obtained confirmation from the Jim Bohannon show that Gary Nolan did NOT fill for Jim. The substitute host was Gary Arnell. The email from Kevin DeLany at Westwood One is appended below.

I hope that this addresses your concern.

Steve Dasbach
Campaign Manager

-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin DeLany [mailto:Kevin_DeLany@w...]
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 6:19 PM
To: campaign@g...
Subject: Jim Bohannon Show


Our records indicate that Jim Bohannon hosted his own show on the night of February 7, 2002. Additionally, we show that fill-in host Gary Arnell presided over Jim's show on February 6, 2002.

Kevin DeLany
Director, Network News & Talk Programming