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Libertarians Convene April 14 to Nominate Candidates; Please Find Alternative to Fringy Abernathey

The Libertarian Party of South Dakota holds its convention just two weeks from today, on Saturday, April 14, at the Sioux Falls Clubhouse Hotel, just off I-29 at the 26th Street exit. Thanks to Judge Lawrence Piersol and House Bill 1286, the Libertarians can now use their convention to nominate candidates for U.S. House, Governor, and Legislature in addition to the seven statewide offices chosen by nomination by all parties.

The Libertarian convention agenda lists seven candidates (four of whom have earned ballot positions by petition) who will speak at the convention:

The agenda leaves room for other Libertarian candidates who may enter, like Gideon Oakes, who has Facebookily declared his candidacy for District 30 Senate.

But the marquee event listed is a one-hour gubernatorial debate between Abernathey and “Other Soon to be Announced Candidate.”

For the Libertarians’ sake that Other Candidate should announce as soon as possible, because CJ Abernathey appears to be toxic.

CJ Abernathey has daddy issues. His Facebook profile says he operates at Disgusted Dads and manages Americans for Parental Equality, both of which appear to be code for men griping, my marriage broke up, I lost a child custody case, so now I hate women and the government. APE (they stick the f in their abbreviation, but come on…) equates social workers and family courts to Hitler. This Pischkeism makes for unhealthy, one-note politics not suited for effective governing.

Abernathey plans to take his Pischkeism to the Attorney General’s office in Pierre this July with an event marking the 1500th day of his daughter’s “Kidnapping” and the illegitimacy of all courts:

Cj Abernathey, Facebook event, screen cap 2018.03.31.
Cj Abernathey, Facebook event, screen cap 2018.03.31.

While the city of Pierre or Hughes County could bust Abernathey for open burning, Abernathey would get the chance to challenge SDCL 22-9-1, South Dakota’s unconstitutional ban on flag-burning. I would enjoy covering that trial.

What should burn serious Libertarians is Abernathey’s pushing of the Admiralty Law Flag kookery, a surprisingly prominent conspiracy theory that says courts put flags with gold fringe around them to turn establish an absolute yet illegitimate authority over whoever comes before judges. The American Legion says this is bunk. So do the courts that have had to dismiss the wild arguments of anti-taxers and other Bundyesque anarachists who try to cover their inability to win in courts of law by dismissing the authority of courts of law. Among the relevant cases debunking this kookery is U.S. v. Greenstreet et al. (1996) in which the defendants defaulted on land financed through the Farmers Home Administration, then filed bogus financing statements against FmHA employees, then tried to get out of any obligations by claiming that a citizens common law jury of the Republic of Texas held all authority over the illegitimate claims of any federal agency or court. The fringy flag was part of the defendants’ sham arguments:

Finally, Defendant Greenstreet’s response to Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment identifies this Court as an “Admiralty Court” without further discussing his allegation. If his reference is to be construed as a jurisdictional challenge, his motion is denied. Others have attempted to persuade the judiciary that fringe on an American flag denotes a court of admiralty. In light of the fact that this Court has such a flag in its courtroom, the issue is addressed. The concept behind the theory the proponent asserts is that if a courtroom is adorned with a flag which happens to be fringed around the edges, such decor indicates that the court is one of admiralty jurisdiction exclusively. To think that a fringed flag adorning the courtroom somehow limits this Court’s jurisdiction is frivolous. See Vella v. McCammon,671 F. Supp. 1128, 1129 (S.D.Tex.1987) (describing petitioner’s claim that court lacked jurisdiction because flag was fringed as “without merit” and “totally frivolous”). Unfortunately for Defendant Greenstreet, decor is not a determinant for jurisdiction [Judge Mary Lou Robinson, Order, United States v. Greenstreet et al. 912 F. Supp. 224 (1996), United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Amarillo Division, 1996.01.18].

The last thing the Libertarian Party of South Dakota needs is a candidate obsessed with fringe conspiracy theories.

South Dakota Libertarians allowed fringe opportunists to hijack their 2014 convention and nominate an unqualified Libertarian in name only for attorney general who refused to comply with campaign finance law. That lawbreaking scam artist and other Libertarians won tens of thousands of votes, not through any effective campaigning but only because Democrats did not challenge the Republicans for those offices. Libertarians got no momentum from those votes and suffered brand damage from their convention snafu.

The Libertarians may have a reasonable candidate in George Hendrickson for U.S. House (he’s still watching too much Fox News, but he appears to be reducing his consumption and regurgitation of Breitbart and other right-wing extremist bunk). Saddling him with Abernathey at the top of the Libertarian ticket would distract from whatever practical policy conversations Hendrickson may be able to lead; put a cloud over the Legislative campaigns of Aylward, Baldwin, and other Libertarians; and prevent the Libertarian Party from establishing itself as a viable alternative political party in South Dakota. Bring back one of your good 2014 candidates, like John English or Ken Santema. Tap Bob Newland’s experience, wisdom, and wit. Don’t surrender your party again to a monomaniac pushing a personal agenda that will embarrass your party and drive voters away.


  1. John W 2018-04-01

    Toxic!!! I recognize a couple more names on that list that are not only toxic…… They are just out and out political gang bangers without skill or critical thinking skills……. The import from Clear Lake aught to just scare the living daylights out of anyone interested in the rule of law and a unified, orderly society.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-01

    John, what evidence have you seen from our Clear Lake friend that he’s skilless, thoughtless, and scary?

  3. CJ Abernathey 2018-04-01

    Thanks for the free advertising. Just google Admiralty Law and you’ll see what I am talking about. Bring your forks and your marshmallows. We will make s’mores, history, and you all will get a much needed history lesson on Flags. All are welcome.

  4. edmund welch 2018-04-01

    Speaking as founder and CEO of Disgusted Dads, for Disgusted Dads, there are no “daddy issues” on this platform. There are Daddy advocates and warriors. The issue is Family Court corruptions and abuses. The incentive driven defathering of this countries children for the benefit of federal funding embezzlement and misappropriation.
    We are not gripping. We are exposing the criminal and unethical practices in Americas Family Courts. Some may have suffered failed marriages. All of us at minimum had sex with a woman, and there was a birth of a child, that resulted in appearances in Family Courts. Some even have custody, after years of courtroom extortions and engineerings. We are more justified than you.

  5. John W 2018-04-02

    Cory: Got a friend request from him a couple years back on FB. Purportedly after some comments I made on another friends page about the Bundy clan sedition in the SW and then again in Oregon after the Malheur Refuge debacle. He’s a gun toter that thinks he’s a hunter conservationist…. No where close…… Some of the stuff he advocates with regard to public lands, natural resource law, constitutional interpretation etc. (my individual liberty Trump’s your constitutional rights) is just plain scary…….. In my estimation, it easily transitions to anarchy…. About a years worth of exchanges before he decided to unfriend me. Apparently didn’t like the counter argument………. Look where he comes from and what type of background he has to be a reasoned and objective representative of the people……….

  6. John W 2018-04-02

    Cory: Also,,,,,,,,, just about the same attitude as Goodwin.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-04

    John W, that’s disappointing to hear. I understand the impulse toward smaller government, but from your account, it sounds like Root takes that principle to an impractical extreme.

  8. John W 2018-04-05

    As an after thought, it might be interesting to put some data together on where some of these people come from and what history has informed their political philosophy. Our friend from Clear Lake isn’t the only one I’m aware of that moved into SD for whatever reason and brought their twisted political ideas with them…. I note the fragmentation in the Libertarian party that is featured in this meme and I would suggest that there is a lot more of it just under the surface. It is the same thing as the Republican party both here in SD and on a National Level… They can’t get on the same page if they wanted to and all it does is confuse people and further cement simplified partisan voting into elections. That is to say; “It really doesn’t make any difference what a candidate thinks, says or does.” “If there is an R, D, or L in front of their name, it’s all good.” What this meme tells me is that Libertarians are no more settled on their beliefs or platforms than Republicans are and while I understand that it is healthy to have disagreements and debates on matters of importance, the public doesn’t need or want to be subjected to all the internal irrational banter in forums intended to develop reasonable solution and compromise to bona fide problems. Frankly, these Libertarians scare the hell out of me…. From Weiszorek who is a LaRouche worshiper along with a Russian Sympathizer to the candidate mentioned in this meme, it all reminds me of southern network of “cock fighting” for fun and profit.. There is no resemblance to Gary Johnson that I seriously considered voting for. They are all over the map, no different than Republican’s or at least those people who call themselves republicans but have so many off the wall factions that they couldn’t decide what’s for dinner much less reasonable and responsible governance policy. Frankly, I don’t think the Democrats are a whole lot better in some circumstances but at least it seems they have more respect for the public than to continually air their disagreements in public forums.

    What also concerns me is a lot of these people seem to move to South Dakota with all these “alternative” political ideas and find out that they can’t get elected to office unless they are a Republican so they change their affiliation and then try to insert their brand of conservatism into what use to be a fairly reasonable and credible group of moderate conservatives that one could talk to and make a point. Try Daron Nikki Petit on for size to see what political misfits the Eastern US has sent us. To these folks, our low population, open space, relatively uncomplicated and less burdened life style are elements that seem to enliven their theories of freedom, liberty, authoritarianism and small government. They look at Pierre as an opportunity to overwhelm machinery that was too large, convoluted and complicated where they came from. It’s hurt our state in many ways.

  9. George Hendrickson 2018-04-05

    Wow, John W said a mouth full, I would not disagree with much in his last statement. Cory, I appreciate you putting me in the “reasonable candidate” category. I got into this race not because of personal political aspirations, but because our personal experience was that no one in Conservative politics really seems to care what is happening on the ground here where people live and where their hearts are.
    You are right, I do listen to less Fox news, and have not posted anything I find funny from Breitbart either. Actually I removed them from my news feed. Not because of your chastising me for it directly, but I recognize that even with my conservative background I have gained a much larger perspective of how our friends and neighbors feel about what is going on by having the one on one conversations with them. I find that even though I list my core beliefs on my web site, I am constantly reevaluating positions that I had held as Dogma, now that I have been seeking conversations with people that I would have dogmatically ignored prior. Ignoring or dismissing us is what most of our politicians did to us, and I will be damned if I am going to do it to someone else.
    I realize that it can be dangerous to say something so unfiltered, but true growth comes form struggle. The last 5 years have categorically changed almost everything I thought I knew. I fit in a category that none of the other candidates running for this position fit in. I face the same decisions and struggles that the vast majority of people face. Last year I had surgery for my lower back because it finally got to the point that I could no longer walk without help. I had put off the surgery for more than a year because I new I could not afford the deductible when so much money is needed for our household bills and the care for our disabled son. I had the surgery, and I am still trying to pay off the portion that was not covered that is so high. Many of our fellow neighbors live in a world of having to decide to either pay the electric bill or buy food for the kids. They choose not to go to the Doctor because they need the extra $40 from the copay to buy groceries until the next pay day.
    I am not looking for sympathy, we made a choice for me to be a full time care giver for our son rather than put him in a specialized care facility. That was just not an option for us. I remember even our ex Priest telling me that it is okay to let him go, as in it was okay to let him die, “it is the Church’s position that you don’t have to put your family in financial peril to try to save one that may not make it.” he said. We did not give up, he is now stronger than ever, doing better than ever expected and that has given me the ability to try to go and be a refuge of salt of the earth common sense in Congress. As someone that has lived on both sides of the fence I understand the daily struggle clearly, as well as the need for our government to get fiscally sound. The process must start.
    For many, politics is a blood sport. I can hold my own, but that is not what I am here for. It will not do any good for those that I wish to represent, the people of South Dakota.

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