We have a real opportunity to reach new voters in the D.C. area this year and raise issues Muriel Bowser and David Catania are not discussing, like the need for expanded school choice, more freedom to work and for ending regulations that make it difficult to expand the supply of housing in DC. Libertarians have been receiving a lot of attention recently and we can build on it. In 2012 we won permanent ballot status in Washington, D.C., when my Congressional campaign received 6% of the vote and 16,700 DC residents voted Libertarian! Then in 2013 Robert Sarvis ran a fantastic campaign for Governor in neighboring Virginia (I was honored to do volunteer work non-stop for that campaign for its last two weeks), shocking many by winning 7% of the vote.
We have 9 (nine!) candidates running – the only party other than the Democrats with a full slate! Two of us have already participated in debates and we are pressing to get more included. Washington, D.C. is a major media market, and we want journalists and opinion makers who live here to see Libertarians running for office in their neighborhoods so they will then be more likely to cover them nationally when they are at work. We’ve already received coverage in the Northwest Current, Washington Post blogs, the Washington City Paper, the Washington Blade, MetroWeekly, the Daily Caller, RedState, Breitbart.com, Roll Call and WAMU (NPR affiliate) website. In September and October I will have interviews about my campaign published in the both the Washingtonian and Washington Blade.
And I am appearing in more debates: before the National Capital Area ACLU, the DC Youth Alliance, the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. The two largest debates use a financial rule and will only invite candidates who have raised a certain amount of money. So I need your help!
I’d like to be able to blanket D.C. with “Majors for Mayor/Vote Libertarian” streets signs and go door to door to every home with our candidates’ brochures on our support for radically expanded school choice. We are also planning on producing a Pranav Badhwar for Ward 6 street sign and others as funds allow.
So we need your help! I thank you for your past contributions to Liberty and ask that you make another one to our campaign. (I’m enclosing a return mail envelope for you to do so. Make checks, from $10 and $25 up to the $2000 legal maximum, to “Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor. Our financial reports are on file and on line at the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.)
D.C. is unusual – by city charter, two of our city council At Large seats are set aside for a candidate NOT in the majority party. In the past this has sometimes been won by Republicans (who are only 6% of DC registered voters) or Greens, and sometimes by faux “Independents” who had lost a Democratic primary and ran as “independents” complete with yard signs that read “Independent Democrat.” Our candidate, Frederick Steiner, is getting great coverage, and this is a seat the D.C. Libertarian Party plans to take in an election soon. So we need to keep growing our party (which is currently the fastest growing party in DC) and maintain permanent ballot status so we can take that seat!
D.C. also has a problem in its ruling party, the Democrats, with political corruption. For the past several years elected Democrats have been routinely indicted and convicted, and our incumbent Mayor, who lost his primary, is under FBI investigation. Indeed back in 2012 some local wags created a website that counts how many DAYS it has been that a D.C. politician was indicted: w ww.dcwithoutindictment.com/. Of the two other mayoral candidates who are incumbent city council members, the Democrat, Muriel Bowser, has already been connected by the Washington Post to several corruption scandals via her major donors and supporters.
Washington, D.C. also has some interesting libertarian developments and some interesting libertarian prospects. Voters here as elsewhere seem to be changing their minds about the rationality of the War on Drugs. They are also abandoning traditional government monopoly schools for charter schools and other forms of school choice – about 45% of D.C. students are now in charter schools, with thousands more leaving the government school monopoly annually. Only Libertarians are likely to point out that we don’t need to maintain empty schools, and we need to be emptying out jails. These properties, along with sports stadiums, convention centers, and other D.C. properties could be taken off the books and auctioned off to the voluntary sector, with the savings returned to the taxpayer to stimulate job growth in the private sector. We hope to do some white papers analyzing D.C. specific policies with the extra lead time we have since we don’t have to spend time petitioning to get on the ballot. Both of the incumbent city council members running for mayor, independent David Catania and Democrat Muriel Bowser, have virtually no ideas and simply support minor tinkering with our current policies. Instead, DC needs a radical expansion of and protection of choice – from school choice, to defending Uber and other innovators and job creators, to getting rid of licensure and other regulations that keep people from getting jobs. That’s what we are offering, aiming to shift the Overton window in DC politics.
We’d also like to do outreach to the 18% of voters in D.C. who, somewhat amazingly, take the time to register to vote, but register No Party, rejecting both the Democrats and Republicans. This is one fifth of all registered voters, who reject the two establishment parties, even though it means they are then locked out of primary voting (D.C. has closed primaries). We’d like to canvass door to door and do mailings to these voters, prospecting for the Libertarians among them. (We’ve done around 5,000 homes so far this year, but are now flat out of supplies.) The D.C. government really only got around to printing the new voter registration forms with a “Libertarian” option last March, since then 20-30 have registered Libertarian every month (and 50 in April! — either because of the primary or because of tax day). Our minimal goal is to maintain permanent ballot status (so we never have to have another time and money consuming ballot drive), by getting enough votes in November. But getting more publicity, proposing libertarian solutions to local problems, and registering more Libertarians are goals as well.
But all these plans and projects for making a Libertarian splash in what is a major American media market take money, and volunteers. We need you! (And even if you gave before April during our primary period you can give again now in the general election period!)
We have more people than ever willing to volunteer, more candidates, and more time — since we are on the ballot a year before the election, not condemned to collect thousands of signatures for each candidate in July-August, only finding out if we’ve made it onto the ballot two or three months before the election.
We’re now being included in media coverage and candidate forums much earlier and more often than ever before. Our Libertarian for Ward 6 (Capitol Hill) City Council candidate, Pranav Badhwar (a 2nd generation libertarian whose mom is a philosopher who knew Ayn Rand), has been in two debates with 2 Democratic opponents who hadn’t even made it through their primary yet. And Bruce Majors (me!) our Libertarian mayoral candidate, was in a debate with all the Democratic Party candidates before the ACLU – National Capital Area Chapter and another before the D.C. Statehood Committee and has been invited to more.
So please help! $25 helps us go door to door to 250 homes with door knockers or brochures. $50 helps us put up 30 street signs. Early money is like liberty! If you are like me, and want to scale back government, change the conversation, and see a major media market, maybe the most important major political media market saturated with signs and mailings, will you please consider a generous donation today?
Your in Liberty,
Libertarian candidate for Mayor
Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor, 1200 23rd Street NW, Washington DC 20037