A provocative take on politics and culture from a skeptical, libertarian point of view

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Friday, January 05, 2007

NY Libertarian Leader Has Mixed Reaction To Spitzer’s State of the State Speech

Contact: Richard Cooper, State Chair

Libertarian Leader Has Mixed Reaction To Spitzer’s State of the State Speech

Albany, NY 1/5/07: After reading Gov. Spitzer’s first State of the State speech, Libertarian Party State Chair Richard Cooper had a pleasant surprise. He actually agreed with some of what Spitzer advocated. Not that the Libertarian leader was pleased by everything said or not said.

Spitzer called for political reforms. Cooper liked nonpartisan redistricting and lobbying reform. But Cooper derides Spitzer’s call for "public" financing of elections. Cooper declares "We already have taxpayer financing of elections. We find it in the state budget in general and the so-called member items in particular. Taxpayer financing of elections means they get to pay for the promotion of opinions and people the taxpayers reject. Libertarians see that is unjust and unfair, just as Thomas Jefferson did in connection with a state church." Cooper asks "What about nonpartisan elections? What about easier ballot access for independent and minor party candidates? What about instant runoff voting? What about approval voting? What about initiative and referendum? What about term limits? "

Cooper praises Spitzer’s call for an end to the "culture of spending", reform of the state’s public authorities and consolidation of multiple layers of local government. But Spitzer then moved to propose massive spending on health care, education, infrastructure and economic development. Cooper charges "We will continue to see as we did under Pataki the assault on taxpayers, property owners and tenants represented by eminent domain schemes such as the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, which Spitzer has already endorsed. We should abolish the Empire State Development Corporation, rather than expanding it as he seems to. His speech was silent on any sort of eminent domain reform. Not a big surprise." Cooper was disappointed about Spitzer’s silence on the Rockefeller drug laws.

Cooper reports that the Libertarian Party of New York State Committee will be meeting this Sunday and he will suggest to them that they endorse a legislative agenda to be outlined later. They will hold their State Convention on Saturday, April 28th in Suffolk County. –30-

Monday, January 01, 2007


Richard Cooper, Chair of the Libertarian Party of New York ( talks with Joseph Dobrian, Chair of the Manhattan Libertarian Party ( about eminent domain. Originally aired November 6, 2006. Taped October 24, 2006. Buy a high-resolution copy of this program at the program's web site above.

Topics include: the infamous Kelo decision; the case of St. Luke's Pentecostal Church in New Cassel, Long Island and their fight with the Town of North Hempstead; the owner and tenants at 99 Orchard Street in Manhattan versus the Lower East Side Tenement Museum; the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards/Nets Arena project to seize land and the New York Times headquarters scheme that Cooper calls Time$cam.

Cooper notes that both GOP gubernatorial candidate Faso and his Democrat rival Spitzer, who was later elected Governor of New York, support the Atlantic Yards/Nets Arena scheme.