13 October 2006

Unlimited Terms of Endearment Part XXIII: The Secret Life of Duncan Scott

(Part the first)

Duncan Scott is a good Republican, to all outward appearances. He's the chair of the Flathead County Republican Party, and a founder and president of the Pachyderm Club. He practices law just outside of Glacier National Park.

In 2000, in New Mexico, he was George Bush's lawyer, tapped by the campaign to file suit on behalf of Bush to have all of New Mexico's ballots impounded, when it looked as though Bush had won New Mexico (he later lost narrowly in the recount). He was even a Republican state senator from Albuquerque. His Republican bona fides were beyond question.

But Duncan Scott had been quietly living a double life.


Originally a Montana boy, Scott graduated with the class of 1974 from Great Falls High School in Great Falls, Montana. That year, the top 20 hit songs were:
1. The Way We Were, Barbra Streisand
2. Seasons In The Sun, Terry Jacks
3. Love's Theme, Love Unlimited Orchestra
4. Come And Get Your Love, Redbone
5. Dancing Machine, Jackson 5
6. The Loco-Motion, Grand Funk Railroad
8. The Streak, Ray Stevens
9. Bennie And The Jets, Elton John
10. One Hell Of A Woman, Mac Davis
11. Until You Come Back To Me, Aretha Franklin
12. Jungle Boogie, Kool and The Gang
13. Midnight At The Oasis, Maria Muldaur
14. You Make Me Feel Brand New, Stylistics
15. Show And Tell, Al Wilson
16. Spiders And Snakes, Jim Stafford
17. Rock On, David Essex
18. Sunshine On My Shoulder, John Denver
19. Sideshow, Blue Magic
20. Hooked On A Feeling, Blue Swede
21. Billy Don't Be A Hero, Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods
[OK: 21, but what lover of music could possibly omit "Billy Don't Be A Hero"? - HW]

When Duncan Scott graduated from high school, Montana was 91% White, with about 6 percent Native Americans and hardly anyone anything else:

Montana US Census 1970
* White: 90.6%
* Black of African American: 0.3%
* American Indian/Alaska Native: 6.2%
* Asian: 0.5%
* Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islands: 0.1%
* Hispanic/Latino (of any race): 2.0%
* Two or More Races: 1.7%
But, to be fair, Montana was making steady progress. In 1910, Montana had been 113.2 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau*. So in a mere six decades a 23% shift in the ethnographic breakdown of the state had occurred.

[*I know this sounds crazy, but that's what the official document says: 113.2 percent, and who am I to argue with the authority of the United States Census Bureau? - HW ]

The winter of Duncan Scott's freshman year in high school, the Libertarian Party was founded a couple states down the Rockies, in Westminister, Colorado -- just outside Denver and not quite all the way to Boulder -- in the home of David Fraser Nolan on December 11, 1971 -- his original vision composed of equal parts Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand.

[Nolan is running this year, BTW, as the Libertarian candidate for Tucson, Arizona's 6th Congressional District seat - HW]

On August 8th of the summer that Duncan Scott graduated from Great Falls High Sschool, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency. (That may explain the bad pop music from that year.)

Scott went to Stanford and then worked as a staffer for Montana congressman Ron Marlenee (served 8 terms, 1977-1992). Marlenee was one of Montana's two congressmen until 1992, and was staunchly, well, a little wacky.
Sierra, Jan-Feb, 1992
The August coup - US Forest Service and timber policy
Paul Rauber

Counterrevolution in the Rockies: The timber industry flexes its muscle.

... The timber companies and their allies in Congress were apoplectic. In a May 23 letter, Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) sternly reprimanded Forest Service Chief Dale Robertson. "Dale, I am very disappointed with the Forest Service's accomplishment and accountability for timber outputs in Idaho and the nation as a whole," he wrote. "You have serious management problems that must be addressed. It is my hope you will move to assure targets are met and line officers are held accountable." Craig's complaints were echoed by Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Representative Ron Marlenee (R-Mont.).

The political heat being directed at the Forest Service is a result of the severe overcutting of private woodlands in the northern Rockies. (From the air, western Montana and northern Idaho look like checkerboards, forested areas alternating with clearcut land belonging to Plum Creek and other giant timber companies.) Having exhausted its own resources, the timber industry expects the Forest Service to increase the cut on the public lands, and is outraged when it does not.
And, Marlenee could always be counted on to stand up for traditional values:
Reintroduction of wolf is a howling success
Deseret News (Salt Lake City), Sep 3, 2003

... at another press conference [in 1989], the anti-wolf forces were also out. Former Rep. Ron Marlenee, R-Mont., threatened to call for introduction of wolves in Utah along the Jordan River, City Creek Canyon or Liberty Park.
But, while he was against wolves hunting, he was entirely in favor of hunting by humans.
Sierra, May-June, 1994
Home on the rifle range - National Rifle Association opposition to Mojave National Park

by Paul Rauber

Since the Desert Bill's introduction in 1986 [to create Mojave National Park], opposition has come mostly from the mining industry, welfare ranchers, the BLM, and off-road-vehicle yahoos. The gun buffs did not come out shooting until 1991, when then-Representative Ron Marlenee (R-Mont.) introduced an NRA-inspired amendment that would have allowed hunting in what is now the East Mojave National Scenic Area once it became Mojave National Park. Marlenee's amendment passed the House, but the bill stalled in the Senate and went no further that year.
Common Cause Magazine, Jan-March, 1992
How special interests cater to Congress
Peter Overby

[It] bought a 30-page advertising section in Sports Afield to publicize the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, a two-year-old organization that fights for hunting and fishing enthusiasts on such issues as gun control and animal rights. Jointly produced by Hearst and the foundation, and packed with ads from Smith & Wesson, Anheuser-Busch, Colt, Winchester and Remington, the magazine section featured articles by and about the caucus. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) linked outdoor sports and national oil policy to explain "Why Alaskan Sportsmen Support Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge." Rep. Ron Marlenee (R-Mont.) wrote that "America's Hunting Tradition Must Be PROTECTED FROM FANATICS."
In 1992, congressman Marlenee was forcibly retired by the voters:
National Review, Oct 19, 1992
Cleaning House - 1992 congressional elections
Michael Fredenburg

Montana lost one of its two House seats, forcing a matchup between two incumbents, conservative Republican Ron Marlenee and liberal Democrat Pat Williams. The candidates' voting records have followed their respective party lines, and Marlenee is hoping to capitalize on Williams's support for the National Endowment for the Arts, painting him as an out-of-the-mainstream liberal who is willing to use the taxpayers' money to fund pornography.
Marlenee lost the election. Evidently there were more pro-pornography fans in Montana than he'd banked on. But the ex-congressman soon landed on his feet, with his years of friendship for hunting rewarded with a job as a lobbyist for, well, let the gun fans tell you:
The Gottlieb-Tartaro Report,
$30/12 issues,
12500 N.E. 10th Place,
Bellevue, WA 98005

August, 2003


It's not often the GT Report singles out a gun rights defender for a special tribute. We do it this issue because of RON MARLENEE's decades-long record of defending gun rights in a way that deserves greater appreciation: defending the right to hunt.

Safari Club International, a leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide, recently announced that RON MARLENEE, its highly effective lobbyist, will retire in December of this year but work on retainer through January 2004.

Gun owners everywhere owe MARLENEE a lot. MARLENEE served 16 terms as a U.S. Congressman prior to becoming SCI's lobbyist in 1992.
I know what you're thinking: Didn't we just learn that Marlenee served EIGHT terms? Yes. That's right. These little errors creep in and we have to make allowances. And I know what else you're thinking:

What does this have to do with Duncan Scott?

I will cheerfully admit that ex-congressman Marlenee's actions are in no wise indicative of Duncan Scott's character or beliefs, but I include this information because this is a BLOG, and, unlike commercial writing, I don't have to play mother may I? with some glassy-eyed editor, nor do I have a deadline or space restrictions.

When I cease to delight you, you will cease reading. So. I can include ex-congressman Marlenee because he's a colorful old coot, and a bit of Montana history. I also include him because to read his testimony AS a lobbyist is just plain pure-dee bizarro world fun:
Before the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans, Committee on Resources
United States House of Representatives
on March 13, 1997
On the H.R. 39,
Submitted by The Honorable Ron Marlenee
Director of Legislative Affairs, Safari Club International

In our view, the African Elephant Conservation Act is an extremely important piece of legislation because it assists African countries in meeting conservation goals for a species that we all believe is important...


The program also teaches the game scouts to evaluate the elephant populations from the point of view of their hunting trophy quality. This is important because it maximizes the revenues that can be obtained from a use of this natural resource, while minimizing the biological impact of the program. The revenues are a key incentive to conservation, and provide much of the funding used for such conservation. I have attached a paper entitled "Returns from Tourist Hunting in Tanzania," which describes in detail the economic importance of this activity. [i.e. shooting elephants for trophies - HW] It states that foreign safari hunting (which is called "tourist hunting") had a value of more than $10 million for Tanzania in 1992....
Now, that's SOMEthing. Anyway, Duncan Scott served in congressman Marlenee's office, along with current Montana congressman Dennis Rehberg.

Rehberg, a year older than Scott, is better than just a "good" Republican. According to the Washington POST's tally of his votes, Rehberg voted the GOP party line on every bill before this congress except for two times: Once, on the Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006, he didn't vote. And once, this term, he actually bucked the party and bravely voted for the Pension Protection Act of 2005. Duncan Scott originally took a different path.

Scott came back to Montana and went to law school. In 1982, during his last year, he jumped into ballot initiative politics. He was in on the ground floor on a ballot measure, working on the language, working on the petition drive, working as the state coordinator for the bill with the Libertarian Party.

According to the Montana Legislative Research Service:
Services#: 1981-1982
Petition#: I-94
Title: Licensing - beer and wine
Sponsor: Libertarian Free Trade Commission/Duncan Scott
Reviewed by: Harrington
Status: on ballot
Vote: 121,078/For 182,724/Against
Or 39.85% of the vote.

Duncan Scott moved to Alaska, where he continued to work for the Libertarian Party.

It was now the pivotal year in LP history, 1983. In 1980, Ed Crane had run the Clark for President campaign, garnering the largest percentage that the LP ever got. Mike Arno and Rick Arnold had been the Libertarian Party's ace petitioners in drives to get the LP on the ballot across the country. Originally partners, they had separated to each found companies that specialized in petition drives that you might recognize from this year:

National Voter Outreach, and Arno and Associates [See Part II ], who handled several states for the old Clark for President machine. 1980 had been the year that David Koch bought his way onto the Clark ticket by promising to spend $500,000 of his own money as the Vice Presidential candidate, and Howie Rich, Eric O'Keefe and the rest, under the supervision of Ed Crane of the CATO Institute ran the campaign.

The LP was not happy with the Craniacs by 1982.

The Crane operatives were accused to spending too much money, and finally, Ed Clark himself retired the campaign debt out of his own pocket.

Alicia Clark, Ed Clark's wife, and an accomplished businesswoman in her own right, had been elected National LP Chair, and Eric O'Keefe was the salaried National Director of the Libertarian Party -- whose National office was then in Washington DC. And then came the donnybrook in Bozeman, Montana.

The late economist Murray Rothbard*, a founding member of the Cato Institute, takes up the tale in the July 1982 Libertarian Forum:

[* Howard Rich's wife Andrea has an interesting connection to Rothbard. From "The History of Laissez Faire Books And the People Behind It"
Andrea read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead in college and later attended her lectures at Nathaniel Branden Institute for several years. She was also very involved with the Libertarian Party, both nationally and in New York, from 1972 to 1983. During that period, she spent much time getting radicalized in Murray Rothbard's living room.]
July 1982 issue of the LIBERTARIAN FORUM, Murray Rothbard:
The LP NatCom meeting at Houston, March 27-28 was a quiet but deeply satisfying event, for it marked the distinct turning of the tide on the National committee. As we reported in our August-January issue, the Bethesda, Maryland meeting on November 7-8, 1981 was an exciting one in which a newly forged Grand Coalition of Mason and Clark forces beat back a determined attempt by the Crane Machine to seize power.


Behind the scenes at Houston there circulated two stunningly revealing memos which embarrassed and helped subdue the Craniacs and strengthened the resolve of the Grand Coalition. One was a memo by Crane himself to the various Crane Machine bigwigs, setting the line about what should be done about Ed Clark's proposal to hold a public opinion poll about the LP, and stressing the importance of keeping the interpretation of poll results in Craniac hands. In this Feb. 16 memo, Crane instructed his Machine to stop opposing the poll itself, but rather to make sure to control its interpretation. The shocker is that the memo was sent, not only to top Craniacs Tom Palmer, David Boaz, Leslie Key* [*Leslie Graves, Eric O'Keefe's wife -- HW], Chris Hocker, Kent Guida, and the Riches, but also to LP National Director Eric O'Keefe, who, as an employee of the entire Natcom, is supposed to be strictly neutral among the factions. This memo raises profound questions as to whom O'Keefe is reporting to.

The other fascinating memo circulating at Houston was anonymous, dated Feb. 16, and sent to other top Crane Machiners. Our sister magazine Libertarian Vanguard has now revealed that the author of this snide and arrogant memo was none other than Chris Hocker, publisher of Crane-run Inquiry magazine. The June issue of Libertarian Vanguard publishes the entire memo.

One important aspect of the Hocker memo is that he refers frankly and openly to the "Crane Machine" and assumes that his readers are all members thereof. This should put to rest once and for all the various naifs and Pollyannas in the Libertarian Party who have claimed that there is no Crane machine and that it is all a figment of some of our imaginations. So let us all from now on stipulate: there is a Crane Machine.


My own perspective is that the Craniacs, preppie or no, all try to look and talk like tough, cool young professionals, neo-Haldemans. Look at the Craniacs, and one gets the feeling that one is back in the Nixon White House, with all the tough, cool, obnoxious young folk -- the Cheneys, the Deans, et al., ruled by Haldeman/Crane himself.

If the Grand Coalition made any mistakes at Houston, it was in underestimating the extent and depth of our majority. Presumably that will be rectified at the next NatCom meeting at Billings, Montana on August 7-8.

3. The Audit Report

Dave Walter (Pa.)'s Audit Report was a thorough investigation of the National Headquarters, a Craniac stronghold, with some sensational implications. Most fascinating was the revelation that National Director Eric O'Keefe had made "at least a hundred" calls to the Cato Institute in San Francisco during 1981 [long-distance, D.C. to San Francisco - HW]. Since Cato, Ed Crane's base, is supposed to be non-political, what would the director of a political party be doing making almost daily calls to Cato? Unfortunately, NatCom failed to question O'Keefe in depth on this one.
And then, in Billings, Montana (it is unknown whether Duncan Scott was present at the NatCom meeting, but it seems impossible that he wouldn't have been) all hell broke loose in the Libertarian Party. Rothbard writes:
September 1982

On Sunday, August 8, in Billings, Montana, only a few miles from where the imbecile General Custer got mowed down at the Little Big Horn, the National Committee of the Libertarian Party held one of the most dramatic and significant meetings in its history. Eric O'Keefe, ex-radical turned Craniac National Director, was ousted from his long-held post by National Chair Alicia Clark. Alicia's right to fire O'Keefe was upheld by the NatCom by a vote of 17-11, after which it was approved by 20-7 Alicia's naming of former Texas LP Chair Honey Lanham as interim Director for a six-month period.


On Sunday morning, before the meeting, Alicia Clark asked O'Keefe for his resignation. Any gentleman, concerned about alleviating trouble for the Party, would have resigned without question. But not only did O'Keefe refuse to resign, he stubbornly refused to accept the Chair's right to fire him. In the tense opening hours of the Sunday meeting, O'Keefe persisted in claiming that Alicia had no right to fire him, and maintaining that he was and would continue to be the National Director, and would resume his duties in Washington promptly. Things were getting hairy. Would O'Keefe have to be ejected from headquarters for trespass?

Suffused with bureaucratic megalomania, furthermore, O'Keefe made stump speeches, virtually adopting an "I am the Party" attitude, and maintaining his own indispensability to Party success. By taking this absurd and arrogant line, O'Keefe unwittingly helped demonstrate to one and all the necessity for his ouster. What we were all seeing in action was the behavior of a runaway, power-hungry National Director, whose dismissal clearly came none too soon.

Taking up O'Keefe's preposterous assertion of his immunity from discharge by the Chair was the stunned, shocked, and apoplectic Crane Machine, led by "Mr. Robert's Rules" himself, Jim Johnston. In a claim even more idiotic than usual, Johnston asserted that the Chair did not even have a legal right to rule on his point of order. (It is said that every year the Illinois LP auctions off, at high rates, Jimmie's dog-eared copy of his previous year's Robert's Rules). Johnston even had the discourtesy to block unanimous consent to allow the NatCom to hear the arguments of the Chair's parliamentarian, I. Dean Ahmad. Alicia of course ruled against Johnston's point, and the motion went to the full NatCom. It needed a two-thirds majority to overrule the Chair, but the Chair won out on her right to fire O'Keefe by the comfortable majority of 17 to 11.


Thus, when told that Honey Lanham had been an able Texas chair and asked what Honey's occupation is, Madame DeFarge Leslie Key [*Leslie Graves, Eric O'Keefe's wife. See Part 8 - HW] burst out, with sneering contempt in her voice: "She sells cosmetics." Never was elitism more odiously displayed at an LP meeting. When Andrea Rich badgered Alicia with the question: "How does Honey Lanham make her money?", a NatCom member, a person conceded by everyone to be one of the finest and kindest gentlemen in the Libertarian Party, was moved to burst out, in a rare display of anger, "That's none of your business, Mrs. Rich!"

When one NatCom member asked about Lanham's managerial experience, former chairman Dave Bergland incisively pointed out that the three previous directors, including O'Keefe, had had virtually no managerial experience before being hired.


But the most revealing ranting of the day was emitted by Howie Rich, possibly the top Craniac straw boss on NatCom. In her explanation of why she fired O'Keefe, Alicia had mentioned that Eric had repeatedly failed to carry out NatCom and her own directives to: expand much-needed internal education, help build state parties, and assist in fund-raising. All these three vital areas of activity were grievously and consistently neglected by O'Keefe, despite Alicia Clark's repeated urgings. What he had done instead was to devote virtually all Headquarters' resources to campaigning, particularly to assisting the Craniac ventures of Howie Rich's Campaign of '82 and especially the Randolph race for governor of Alaska.

In the course of his philippic, Howie Rich thundered that all these other matters were "peripheral," that only campaigns really counted. Evidently, ideas, principles, state parties and even financial stability could go hang. There spoke the naked, sinister voice of the Crane Machine. After the vote and the ineffectual ranting were over, the Craniacs all walked out of the meeting, never (with the exception of Hocker and Palm) to return.


The ouster had been building up for months, as Alicia tried repeatedly and in vain to get O'Keefe to expend resources her (and NatCom's) way. Instead, O'Keefe had his own agenda, the Craniac agenda for the Party.


For the buildup of anti-O'Keefe evidence became overwhelming. It was these damaging revelations that sparked the final decision of Alicia on Saturday night to ask for O'Keefe's resignation for the following morning. Perhaps the most damaging disclosure was the Finance Committee report by the highly respected Matt Monroe, a report which the bored Craniacs hardly attempted to challenge.

Monroe reported that under O'Keefe tutelage, the heavy NatCom debt, instead of being paid off, had increased since the beginning of the present NatCom term in September 1981. Even more irresponsible in view of the LP's shaky financial shape was the change in the nature of the debt. For some of the long-term debt had been paid off, but only by seriously increasing the short-term debt to various vendors in Washington, D.C. Monroe wrote ominously that "this debt should be rolled back as much as possible if we are to function among vendors in Washington, D.C." He continued by warning: "Our effectiveness in the future will depend, not only on the amount of money and candidates we can raise but also on our credibility with local merchants who provide us with their merchandise and allow us to use credit. At this time there are few of those, if any, left in the Washington, D.C. area who are willing to extend us credit.

And yet, despite the seriousness of the financial situation, Monroe reported that, "My impression is that the financial and fund raising activities are low priority items at this time in the minds of the people who manage the National office." In trying to launch a monthly pledge program for the national party, Monroe found in despair that "I have requested help from Eric O'Keefe and have not received it." As a result, Monroe reported that he would instead have to do all the work in Houston with local Houston volunteers, since O'Keefe and headquarters would not cooperate. Monroe also noted that he had requested assistance from the previous Finance Chair [Leslie Graves Key], but had received no "promises or advice in matters of fund raising."


If O'Keefe & Co. were incapable of working with volunteers, they were apparently even less able to work with many state parties. Bitter letters were read into the record on Saturday by the state central committee of the Louisiana LP and by the chairman of the New Mexico LP denouncing O'Keefe, headquarters and its practices. The Louisiana Party wrote of national's "arm-twisting recruitment [of candidates] process," and declared that "at this point we don't know if we are victims of an overzealous staff, poor management, an amateur con-game, or a combination of all three." Christa-Bolden, New Mexico LP chair, wrote bitterly of "the ineptitude, incompetence and lack of trustworthiness demonstrated by the individuals purportedly in charge of National Headquarters." O'Keefe's failure to pay petitioners in New Mexico as promised, led to Ms. Bolden's conclusion: "It is up to the people running the National Party to support state organizations where possible ...


But the most damaging revelation from the point of view of libertarian principle was the June 15 memo from O'Keefe to Howie Rich on "Campaign Issue Selection," setting forth O'Keefe's strategy for the campaign. In the first place, this odiously sellout memo was sent to Rich over the head of Sheldon Richman, chairman of the outreach committee and supposedly Rich's boss, to the justifiable complaint of Richman. In addition, O'Keefe's Craniac strategy is horrendous, and represents another giant step downward in the degeneration of Craneism into blatant and total opportunism. Proposals by LP candidates, declared O'Keefe, must be confined to "proposals which voters can believe could be implemented in the near term. Like the Clark campaign's proposals, they should be essentially first Year proposals.. .


There were other revealing passages in O'Keefe's memo to Rich. One: "No particular civil liberties issue seems nationally prominent right now." So much for civil liberties. Oh really, Eric? And what about the massive assault on abortion rights looming in Congress? And what of federal drug enforcement? And grandson of S. l.? And the unleashing of the FBI and CIA, etc. And the Post Office Bill? But I suppose none of that could be handled realistically, pragmatically, in one year's time.


So what is O'Keefe's substitute for these excellent compact statements? "I can't tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats.... We need some fresh ideas and a real change." Go ahead say it, Eric: we need a new beginning. And we got one, but with Ronnie Reagan.

For this monstrosity alone, Eric O'Keefe should have been sacked, and sacked hard, and Rich and his cohorts along with him.

Alicia Clark came into the chairmanship race determined to bring unity to the Libertarian Party, and to rise above seemingly petty and useless factional disputes. When she came into office, she was open to all NatCom members and factions, and distributed committee posts and functions with an even hand. But she found that O'Keefe & Co. would not cooperate. It was their way or nothing. She saw O'Keefe and the Headquarters Staff keep to their own agenda, and so, after a long train of abuses, she finally acted, and acted with decision and dispatch. Just as we learned about Alicia, Alicia seems to have learned about the nature of the Crane Machine.

As one top Clark adviser of 1981 put it recently, with his usual wit and flair: "A year ago I believed in unity and balance in the Party, and an end to all the petty bickering and faction fighting. I'm a slow learner but I've learned, and now I make Rothbard look like a moderate on the Crane Question."
And this from the November/December 1982 Libertarian Forum:
... let us now turn to the two top Craniac campaigns in the nation. The most important, of course, was Dick Randolph's race for Governor of Alaska. In early summer, Randolph, for some curious reason, turned his entire campaign over to the Crane Machine, lock, stock, and barrel--and to Eastern preppie carpetbaggers at that. After offering the job to several others and having it turned down, the Crane Machine sent Kent Guida--fresh from his only political experience as third-place loser in a three-person race for national chair in 1981-to Alaska as campaign manager (?!) for Randolph.

Other Craniacs poured up there, including Anita Anderson and Paul Beckner, and Ed Crane himself and the Riches were much in evidence. Crane and his hireling Chris Hocker were made co-finance directors of the Randolph campaign in the lower 48. And when Craniac Eric O'Keefe was kicked out of his job as National Director of the LP in August, he was immediately trundled up to Alaska to help run the show.

For a year, the Craniacs had been trumpeting Randolph as a "winnable" candidate, and O'Keefe managed to direct a great deal of headquarters resources into the fight. Randolph put out a campaign book, Freedom for Alaskans, which was witheringly reviewed by a former VP candidate and National Chairman Dave Bergland in the October frontlines as gravely downplaying libertarian principle.

In short, a typical Craniac campaign: lots of hype, lots of splash, lots of money, opportunistically burying principle, and run by the much vaunted tough young neo-Haldeman "professionals" of the Crane Machine itself.

And what was the result? Absolute unmitigated disaster. Remember that Ed Clark got 12% of the Alaskan vote for President in 1980, and that a popular minor party candidate should do much better for Governor or Senator than some out-of-stater running for the top political job of President. Remember also that Dick Randolph was a two-term State Representative as a Libertarian, and had been a Republican State Rep in the past; he had name recognition throughout the state. And how much did Randolph get, after all the "professionalism," and tons of money? Only 15 per cent! Unbelievable.

Furthermore, the amount of money collected and spent by the Randolph campaign was enormous. At this writing, we don't know the precise figures, but various reports from Crane Machine sources range from the enormous $550,000 to a staggering $1 million. This means, that to gain his 25,000 votes, Randolph spent somewhere between a whopping $22 and $40 per vote. (Contrast this to Steiger's 8 cents a vote in a similar absolute vote range!) This is surely one of the highest dollar/vote ratios in American political history. It is true that Jay Rockefeller spent in this range in his race for governor of West Virginia, and that Tom Hayden spent something like it this year for State Rep in California. But the difference is that they won, whereas all Randolph got was a measly 15 per cent.


The Crane Machine are not only lowdown opportunists and betrayers of libertarian principle, they are incredibly inept and bumbling opportunists to boot. They sell their souls only to win a mess of nothing. But, if you look at their record, they have been successful so far in two and only two important ways: (a) in continuing to con the Koch brothers and other contributors into pouring millions into their shabby operations; and (b) in continuing to con activists into doing the foot-soldier work of getting signatures, stuffing envelopes, etc.*

[* 2006: They still don't pay their interns, and brag about it. -HW]


A grim footnote to the Crane/Randolph Alaska disaster was the equivalent Craniac catastrophe in New York. In a race where Eric O'Keefe claimed the chances to be "excellent" for FLP gubernatorial candidate John Northrup to get the 50,000 votes needed for ballot status, Northrup got a miserable 18,000 votes for 0.36% of the total. But, in contrast to Alaska, this calamity was scarcely a surprise, since it simply continues the grisly and unbroken record of disasters committed by the tiny, inept, and Craniac-ridden New York Party. The New York Party is run like a feudal fiefdom by Craniacs Gary Greenberg and Howie and Andrea Rich, and Northrup's campaign manager was the well-known Craniac operative, Bruce Majors.

But, once again, in a manner echoing the much more grandiose Alaska caper, the New York Party managed to raise the hefty sum of approximately $100,000 for the doomed Northrup, weighing in with a big dollar/vote ratio of about $5.50 a vote. Yet the Northrup defeat should easily have been foreseen by anyone familiar with the New York Party or the state's political situation.
And this grace note is found at the end of that November/December 1982 Libertarian Forum:

The Laissez-Faire Bookstore has always tried to serve impartially all sectors of the libertarian movement, and it has carried the Libertarian Forum since its inception. For several years, the Bookstore computerized our mailing list and shipped out each issue to our subscribers. Now, Andrea Millen Rich, the new proprietor of the Laissez-Faire Bookstore and a top operative of the Crane Machine, has banned the Lib. Forum from its sacred portals. Mrs. Rich's reason: because the lead article in the September issue ("Blockbuster at Billings"), which told the story of the firing of Eric O'Keefe as National Director of LP, consisted of "vile and demented lies."
From being "radicalized" sitting in Murray Rothbard's living room, Andrea Rich was now banning his magazine from her newly-purchased bookstore. Something that would shake the very foundations of the Libertarian Party was now clearly brewing.

This was only a foretaste of what was to come.

And Duncan Scott? Oh, don't worry. All the major players will converge in Manhattan on Saturday, September 3, 1983.

But Scheherazade perceived the coming of the dawn and fell silent.



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