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No Honor Amongst Thieves - by Barry Hess

Written by Subject: Philosophy: Libertarianism
No Honor Amongst Thieves

By Barry Hess

Are these the “unintended” consequences we’ve heard so much about? Because if they are, I could have told you they were not “unintended”, they were “dis-regarded”, at best. Who could have thought that a thief might also be tempted to cheat?

There’s no way to tell if there is some chicanery afoot, but that’s the question on everyone’s lips as the number of “odd” incidents keeps growing.

It started with the immediate past Chair of the Arizona Libertarian Party revealing that his wife had received an e-mail from Janet Napolitano, thanking her for filling out the Clean Elections $5.00 Contributors Form. This was odd, because not only had she not filled out such a form (she’s a Libertarian, too), but it was sent to a private e-mail account, and oh, they’ve been in New Zealand for some time now.

After the topic hit the main Libertarian discussion boards, mysteriously, an “Oops! We’re Sorry” message comes from Janet’s campaign. That was odd.

Next, another Libertarian reported the same phenomenon to the Barry Hess’ Gubernatorial campaign, along with his reply to sender…

Now, it seems, the same e-mails are also going out to Republicans (See Today’s Blog entry at who have never had anything to do with Janet.

Why is this happening? Who knows if we will ever know the truth, but just such events point to yet another fatal flaw in the inappropriately named “Clean Elections” Law. It presupposes the candidates are actually honest in qualifying to get free (publicly financed) money. All candidates have to do is show up with a specific number of these forms accompanied by $5.00 bills and the Commission will pronounce them “Clean Candidates” eligible for dirty money.

Recently, Governor Napolitano announced that she would attend 50 parties in 50 hours to solicit the 5,000 forms she wants to qualify for your funding her campaign to the tune of $3 or $4 million. If she were to come up short, that wouldn’t look good.

Some candidates in such a position might try to cheat just because they can. Could a normal person actually believe that all of the forms ever turned in were “legit”? After all, in every single case the “Clean Elections Institute” has brought against “Clean” candidates, it has been for cheating in some way with the public’s money. And they’ve brought a lot of them. Could a normal person actually believe that the threshold for qualifying should not be set in relation to the same requirements for ballot status? After all, that might just level the playing field—if the candidate would even knowingly accept money stolen from their fellow Arizonans.

I won’t. Any candidate who just wants to run an honest campaign and refuses to participate in the “Clean Elections” scheme should know ahead of time that the cost of refusal could be high. That candidate automatically faces another opponent—the Clean Elections Commission itself, in addition to other candidates from other parties.

So, who knows what’s behind the mysterious “Thank You” e-mails? I don’t know for sure, but I do know what it looks like.

Do you really think a candidate who would take public funds wouldn’t cheat to get public funds? It’s all just too slimy for me, so I’ll have to content myself with being the only Gubernatorial candidate who’s running on the issues, not other peoples stolen money. Call me the “Cleaner-est” Candidate.

Barry Hess is the vice-chair of the Arizona Libertarian Party and a candidate of Governor in 2006. He can be reached at AZGovernor@Earthlink.Net