In absolutely minor news of personal peevishness, Steve Novotny, who portrayed himself last spring as sufficiently loyal to the Libertarian cause to deserve their nomination for Governor, deserted the ultimate Libertarian nominee and gave $2,000 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem:
Novotny thus joins CJ Abernathey as a “Libertarian” who tried to get that struggling party’s nomination but then supported the Republican nominee instead of sticking around to provide cash and sweat to build your party, if not actively campaign for your nominee.
Libertarians, I love the new alternative-party opportunity to nominate gubernatorial and Legislative candidates at convention as much as you do, but Novotny’s nom-tease and Kristi-snit suggest that new-party-builders need to use that convention nomination process with caution, specifically with more rigorous and preferably public vetting to ensure that we weed out mere noisemakers, fame-seekers, and party-sneakers and make sure that everyone who gets to take the mic at convention is willing to stick around and help build the party, even if the party picks someone else bear the party banner on the ballot.
What might that process look like? I know alternative parties have a hard enough time finding a Pizza Ranch meeting room to hold their convention, but maybe a test of viability, absent a primary, is to ask the candidates to participate in at least three public forums pre-convention, with at least two of them in towns other than the convention site. Combine those events with voter registration drives: invite the candidates to go door-to-door, work the sidewalks downtown, whatever, but hand them a packet of registration forms and party flyers, give them two hours, and see who comes back with the most new voter registrations. (Bonus points for bringing back registrations in your new party, but sheer volume of new voters, regardless of party, is still a pretty good metric of a candidate’s ability to go door-to-door and get people to engage in the process.)
Libertarians, you’re always had trouble picking winners. But mission #1 for 2020 needs to be picking people who, even if they are losers, will remain loyal losers who stick around to help after convention, after election, and on through the next elections.