Libertarian's hold on that vote didn't last long. When informed
minutes later that Jeffrey was also pushing to reduce the minimum
age of gun ownership from 21 to 18, Carcamo looked betrayed.
tell him he just lost a vote," she said.
sense of betrayal felt by Carcamo is just the latest result of a
self-destructive political strategy employed by the Jeffrey campaign,
which has sought the support of pro-marijuana liberals and pro-gun
conservatives, pro-gay rights Democrats and anti-taxation Republicans.
In the process, Jeffrey has become a living example of how the Libertarian
Party fails: wooing both sides, earning the votes of neither.
party's embrace of both liberal and conservative issues will guarantee
its failure in today's election, said Robert Lieberman, assistant
professor of political science at Columbia University. The professor
added that if the party's platform isn't altered, it will prevent
a base of support from forming before next election as well.
clearly not a serious platform, one aimed at attracting real voters
on the planet Earth," Lieberman said. "Each individual policy position
may attract a segment of the population. But very few will buy the
it's not just city liberals like Carcamo who aren't buying. Upstate
conservatives, including members of the pro-gun lobby, have responded
with repulsion to the Libertarian package's liberal elements.
Ken Mathison in that group.
heads SCOPE, or the Shooters' Committee on Political Education,
a Second Amendment-protection group whose slogan is "What part of
'shall not be infringed' don't you understand?" Their website, www.scopeny.org,
shows "bad gun laws" being blown to smithereens.
late September, Mathison invited Scott Jeffrey to come speak at
the group's annual pig roast in Rochester, New York. Jeffrey accepted
and addressed 200 members of Mathison's SCOPE chapter.
also gave him a gun rights questionnaire, and he answered all our
questions in the terms we were looking for. He was fully 100 percent
pro-gun," said Mathison, a touch of glee in his voice.
the SCOPE president said whatever goodwill Jeffrey culled during
the pig roast could never sway the mass of SCOPE members, who couldn't
swallow the liberal strains of the Libertarian platform.
owners tend to be very conservative, and legalizing drugs and prostitution?
With the exception of guns, there's not much Libertarians and I
see eye to eye on," Mathison said. The gun-rights president said
the Libertarian party was alienating both liberals and conservatives,
and if they wanted to bring him into their camp, "well, they'd have
to change too much - change to where they'd lose their identity."
voted today for Independent Tom Golisano. He suspects most members
of his organization did as well.
Jeffrey's inability to secure the pro-gun vote doesn't bother the
national Libertarian Party, which promoted him in its June newsletter.
A spokesman for the party admitted that Jeffrey's problems solidifying
a liberal or conservative constituency is common for Libertarian
candidates. Yet spokesman Jonathan Trager dismissed those troubles,
saying more important than voters on the left or the right are those
disaffected by politics.
said disaffected voters will become the core constituency of the
Libertarian Party in the coming years. He quoted a Rasmussen Research
Poll from August 2000 that found 16 percent of Americans hold Libertarian
views, a larger percentage than those holding a conservative or
liberal viewpoint. In that light, Trager said, the party's failure
to attract left- or right-leaning voters is of no consequence.
insisted that he too held that view. But the months of sidewalk
rejection, from Harlem to Park Slope, seemed to have worn the gubernatorial
still might win," he said wearily, "but I don't think it'd be the
best thing in the world for the state. I got to be really ready
take the reigns of power."
isn't, he said, and neither is his party.
On Election Day, Jeffrey received 5,013 votes, far short of
the votes received by Democratic candidate Carl McCall and
the race's winner, Republican George Pataki.