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The candidate’s comments on news or life

On Sagebrush Rebellions and State Sovereignty


The longstanding conflict between Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has recently erupted into the news, as the BLM enforces a Federal court order ordering the removal of Bundy’s cattle from his ancestral grazing lands, over which the BLM claims management authority.  I have not tried to analyze all the legal issues at play here, but the heart of the matter is apparently a conflict between the Federal Endangered Species Act and Bundy’s private property rights.  In short, Federal power against private property.

Most modern State Attorneys General would not deign to involve themselves in a conflict between Federal power and private property, especially if the Federal actors are acting under the authority of a Federal court order.  I see the proper role of a State Attorney General differently.

In the U.S. constitutional system, there is no effective check against expansion of Federal power except for State power and the power of the masses to ignore Federal edicts — as explicitly reserved by  the Tenth amendment.  Under natural law, private property rights arise out of local activities, and one of the key justifications for State power is to support institutions for orderly recording, protection, and disposition of real property rights within its borders.  Any Federal property claims that are not enforced through the State’s own courts are by definition foreign and antagonistic to State sovereignty.  Therefore, as the top law officer of the State, the Attorney General is obligated to check and balance any independent assertion of property rights within its borders, whether by the Federal government or any other foreign sovereign power.

That does not necessarily mean that the Attorney General should order officers to intervene in Federal enforcement actions, guns blazing.  I do not advocate for civil war.  But neither does it mean that the Attorney General should roll over and allow Federal agencies to enforce their own property claims within the State without any check or balance provided by State power.

Enforcement actions such as the BLM’s highly public thieving and wasting of Bundy’s cattle are both unseemly and unnecessary.  Such naked displays of aggression undermine public confidence in State sovereignty and property laws, besides inflaming public anger and feeding contempt for governments generally.  It is in the interests of both the general public and government at all levels to prevent such incidents from occurring.

State intervention against Federal trespass of State-based property rights should begin in the courtroom, extend through the public police agencies, and absent the direst of circumstances, should never involve violent confrontations between groups of State and Federal officials.  For example, the State should seek to intervene on the side of property holders in selected cases enforcing Federal power against property interests of State residents, train State officers regarding proper and effective means for protecting private property rights within the State against Federal claims, deprive Federal agencies who seek to take property without State authority of the benefit of using any State resources in support of their enforcement actions, and promote public understanding and support for private property rights based in natural law.  If elected, I would seek to allocate a reasonable portion of the resources at my disposal towards fulfilling these and similar objectives.

Posted in News & Views, Preventing Wrongful Aggression

When Oppression Masquerades As Law And Order

Those who defend and enforce unjust laws are oppressors and criminals.  Most people can understand that.  Why then do so many in law enforcement take the position that every law, no matter how stupid or oppressive, must be enforced?  One of my Republican primary opponents, David King, recently affirmed that he would enforce and defend laws that criminalize drugs, whether or not he thinks they are a good idea:


I disagree with David King on this issue.  Each person’s right to control her own food, medical treatment, and personal possessions is a fundamental human right.  The exercise of fundamental human rights is not a matter of social policy for legislators to criminalize.   Officers who enforce criminal laws against mere use or possession of a substance — whether it be cannabis or some other substance — are themselves committing immoral acts of aggression against the alleged drug “criminal.”

As Attorney General, I will refuse to enforce anti-drug laws against peaceful users and traders so long as no violence, threat of violence or fraud accompanies the use or sale of the thing in question.  I will not willingly order the officers under my supervision to commit immoral acts — even if by so doing I expose myself to threat of impeachment or lawsuit.

Above, King states that he would “defend and enforce” victimless crime laws “until a court directs otherwise.”  Not I.  If elected, I will exercise prosecutorial discretion and refuse to prosecute cases in which the only chargeable crime is possession or distribution of a substance or thing, whether that thing be a drug or a constitutionally protected weapon.  The Attorney General should defend the basic human right to right to control what you put into your own body – and to defend yourself by keeping and bearing arms responsibly.

In contrast, based on his position on substance criminalization, King would be willing to confiscate everyone’s weapons and put gun owners in jail, so long as the legislature passes the law.  If he would make an exception for guns, he is either unprincipled on the issue of whether the AG should refuse to prosecute immoral laws, or he does not believe that people have any fundamental human right to control what goes into their own bodies.  If he believes you have no right to control what goes into your own body, he would hold your body to be the property of the state.

So ask yourselves, “law and order” Republicans: does the law serve basic human rights, or is law enforcement free to violate human rights so long as supported by legislative process?  If the government can do whatever it wants “until a court directs otherwise,” who will protect you from the government?  If David King were Attorney General, certainly not him.

Protecting human rights does not mean being soft on true crime.  On the contrary, focusing police resources on actual dangerous criminals while allowing responsible sellers to operate makes things far tougher on the illegal cartels and unethical dealers.  Those who enforce prohibition on everyone facilitate profitable exploitation of the public by unethical dealers.

As Attorney General, I will enforce drug laws against violent cartels and dealers, those who sell drugs to children without parental consent, and those who intentionally push addictive and destructive drugs in a manner reasonably expected cause harmful addiction.  All of these activities are examples of criminal aggression against which defensive force is justified.

Posted in News & Views, Preventing Wrongful Aggression, Protecting Freedom

LPC Endorses Jaech for AG 2014


The Libertarian Party of California (LPC) has officially endorsed my candidacy for Attorney General in the California June 3rd 2014 primary race.  The endorsement was by action of the Central Committee comprised of all delegates attending the convention, without opposition.

The same body nominated and elected me as Southern Vice-Chair.  I’m honored and humbled by both the election and the nomination, and look forward to working with people inside and outside of the Libertarian Party to advance the cause of justice and freedom in California.

The Libertarian Party of California is the only organized political party in this state that requires, as a condition of membership, affirmation of the non-aggression principle renouncing initiation of violence for  political or social goals.  For more information, please visit our website.

Posted in Endorsements, News & Views

Uncertified Candidate List Released Today

The California Secretary of State released the not-yet-certified candidate list for the June 3, 2014 statewide primary election today.  Copy here.

I’m pleased to be on the list, but unhappy to be the sole Libertarian candidate on the ballot this year.

Congratulations to the Green Party, which managed to field five (5) candidates.  And to the Peace and Freedom Party, which fielded three (3).  Perhaps that is appropriate for parties that unabashedly condone the exercise of state power; after all, many libertarians are ambivalent about electoral politics, or despise it altogether.  Or perhaps these parties are just better organized than the California Libertarian Party.  The Americans Elect Party also has one candidate on the ballot.

Based on voter registrations, the largest third party in California is the American Independent Party, with 2.66% of registrations, based on the Secretary of State’s latest count.  Voter registrations do not equate to fielding candidates, necessarily.  The next largest party based on registrations is the Libertarian Party, at 0.66%, followed closely by the Greens at 0.64%.  The Peace & Freedom Party, which more truthfully should call itself the Socialist Worker’s Party or Communist Party, follows at 0.43%.

The Libertarian Party platform is far more radical, inclusive, and forward looking than any other party.   For example, the American Independent Party platform resembles a more conservative version of the Republican Party platform.  This party hardly needs to run candidates to promote their views; they need only look to the past.   The political society that the Libertarian Party would peacefully bring into being is radically different than anything that exists or has been tried in the modern world, and from anything proposed by competing political parties, including the Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and Communists/Socialists.  All of these other parties believe in the forcible exercise of state power over peaceful, voluntary behavior.   They all believe that the ends justify the means, effectively.  Libertarians renounce the initiation of force for political or social ends, unlike all other parties.

Spreading radical new ideas requires persistent, principled, and energetic marketing.  No social change that opposes violent oppression can happen without principled believers willing to make sacrifices.

Participating in electoral politics should be part of that principled opposition — even if inconsistent with our underlying beliefs.  We need not be concerned about winning elections; we do not seek power or authority over anyone.  This frees us to spread our principles truthfully.  By running, we must seek to teach those who are ignorant of our platform, and persuade those who reject it.  We must enter the debate, listen to the criticism of our fellows, and respond persuasively.  We must help create space for Liberty to exist in our increasingly authoritarian society, by presenting the electorate with compelling alternatives based in non-aggression.

By neglecting to field statewide candidates, we are missing a large opportunity to do those very things.  Let’s turn that around.


Posted in News & Views

San Bernardino LP Endorses Jaech for AG 2014


At its monthly business meeting last Saturday, the San Bernardino County Libertarian Party endorsed my candidacy for Attorney General.  I’m very proud to receive their endorsement.  As is often the case, San Bernardino is leading the way.  If you are located in the “Inland Empire” or anywhere in Southern California and interested in political activism for a freer society, you must attend one of their meetings.  Make some new friends and allies, it’s a lively group!  I am scheduled to speak at their May business meeting on Voluntary Law and will no doubt provide an update on the AG campaign, as well.

Posted in Endorsements, News & Views

On the Ballot!


It may not be official yet, but everything that needed to happen to get a Libertarian on the ballot for AG has been completed.

There was lots of last-minute support, and we exceeded the fundraising goal. Donations varied in size, but the small donations count as much as the large ones. Your support let me know that you cared about the goal too, and I’m not out here doing this practically all by myself.  I needed to know there were others that cared too, and you’ve proved that you do.  So thank you.

I look forward to using the primary race as a opportunity to reach voters with a powerful, compassionate message of liberty. I’ll be working on demonstrating and convincing others what a Libertarian Attorney General can do to make California more prosperous, happy and free, for everybody.  I’ll also do a lot of listening and learning — that goes together with convincing.  Reaching as many voters as possible with a pure and persuasive libertarian message is the goal, from now until June 3rd.

Send me your memes, photos, videos and stories!  I’ll post as many as possible here.

Posted in News & Views

Let’s Restore Jury Nullification In California

The right and responsibility of a jury to judge both the facts and the law is a critical protection against government oppression that has been recognized in common-law countries for centuries.  Over 150 years ago, Lysander Spooner wrote of the importance of jury nullification, and warned of government efforts to restrict it, in his “Essay on Trial by Jury.”

Today, having been under assault in the United States for at least 150 years, jury nullification is almost forgotten by the general public.  Prosecutors don’t like it, because it reduces their ability to threaten defendants and coerce plea deals in marginal cases.  Judges don’t like it, because it reduces their power in the courtroom.  The police and prison industries don’t like it, because it reduces the number of criminals in their systems.  Jury nullification is not only helpful for preventing misuse of the law and unjust convictions, it also reduces taxpayer burdens and spurs healthy economic activity by preventing unnecessary imprisonments.

It’s far past time to end the hostility of the California justice system to jury nullification.  As chief law officer in the State, the Attorney General can have a tremendous impact on acceptance and use of jury nullification.  If elected, I would do everything in my power to ensure that every jury in California is instructed concerning its right and civic responsibility to judge not only the facts of the case, but the justice of the law applied.


Posted in News & Views, Preventing Wrongful Aggression, Protecting Freedom, Seeking Justice

AG’s Odious Motion To Intervene in Peruta v. County of San Diego


A few days ago, the incumbent AG moved to intervene in the case of Peruta v. County of San Diego. This was done only a few short days after the Ninth Circuit, guided by recent Supreme Court precedent in the Heller (2008) and MacDonald (2010), effectively granted Peruta’s motion for summary judgement in the District Court, holding that San Diego’s “good cause” permitting requirement infringed his Second Amendment right to bear arms in self defense.  The AG moved to intervene only after the County of San Diego announced that it would not take any action to overturn the ruling.

In a nutshell, two of the three justices on the panel held that because California does not allow open carry of firearms and restricts concealed carry to special circumstances at the discretion of the police, this infringes the individual’s right to bear arms in self-defense.   By so doing, the Court came to a common-sense result fully in accord with recent Supreme Court cases.  There was one dissenting justice.  Had the Ninth Circuit gone the other way, the case could have been appealed to the Supreme Court.  As the case fails squarely in the cracks between Heller and MacDonald, the Supreme Court would likely have taken the case and reversed the Ninth Circuit.

By intervening now and petitioning for a rehearing en banc, the AG is increasing the probability that a rehearing will be granted, by throwing the full weight of the State of California behind the petition.  A rehearing will only inject delay in ultimate resolution of the case, which given the continuing reign of Obama and state of 2nd Amendment jurisprudence, favors those who oppose 2nd Amendment rights.  By the time the case is ripe for hearing by the Supreme Court, perhaps another 2nd Amendment-friendly Justice will have been replaced by an Obama appointee hostile to the 2nd Amendment.  Heller and MacDonald might be ignored or overturned before this case reaches it, and Californians may never have the opportunity to learn first hand that the legal right to bear arms responsibly makes communities safer, not more dangerous.

It need hardly be pointed out that this action by the incumbent AG is extremely prejudicial and hostile to the individual right of self-defense.  It is not the action of a law officer sworn to uphold the California Constitution, which recognizes the right of self-defense explicitly.  If California needs any AG, if needs one that respects this right as well as other individual rights.  A Constitutional-compliant AG would not have intervened in Peruta.

Posted in News & Views, Protecting Freedom

Now Accepting Bitcoins

I suspect that it will prove harder to part people from their Bitcoins than from fiat FRNs, but hope springs eternal. I’ve added a page for Bitcoin donations here.

Fundraising has stalled. Making the fundraising goal of $3000 by March 7th is starting to look iffy. If you’d like to see a Libertarian on the primary ballot for AG, now is the time to give. It’s not going to happen without donations. More than $2500 to raise still.

All that is needed is 100 people to give $25 each. Peace to you all.

Posted in News & Views

Orly Taitz, John Haggerty In AG Race

In addition to Kamala Harris (incumbent, Democrat) and myself, Orly Taitz (independent) and John Haggerty (Republican) have submitted candidate statements for the June 3rd primary ballot.

Therefore it is likely that there will be at least these three printed on the ballot in June.  Whether I am on the ballot as well depends on whether or not I am able to raise enough to cover the filing fee by March 7th.  If you would like to see a full-blooded Libertarian printed on the ballot for AG, please donate to my campaign fund.  Donations of $20 or more will be returned if the fundraising goal is not obtained.


Posted in News & Views