This is a topic I wish I didn’t feel the need to write on. This topic is addressing a campaign that ended nine months ago and a primary that happened a year ago.
The fact is, Gary Johnson & Bill Weld won, I voted for them, I respected them, I still respect them, I am happy with how I cast my vote and, while they ended up getting more votes overall than other Libertarian Party (LP) tickets combined, they still didn’t do as well as I’d have liked by miles.
With that though, the talk of the convention, despite it being a year now since it happened, is still not dying down and it’s holding the liberty movement back, just dwelling on the past.
Recent articles and interviews have attacked friends of mine and tarnished a campaign I respected. These rogue insults make me sick to my stomach. I am talking about of course the insults from libertarian photographer (and former running mate to the McAfee Campaign) Judd Weiss.
I’m just going to open up and say I view Judd Weiss as a friend. Friendships aren’t something which should be torn apart over things this trivial; I like and have a lot of respect for him. I’ve known the guy since I was about sixteen years old and have always had a positive view of him for being a friendly faced and very cool guy who has this passion for presenting the liberty movement in a positive manner.
I really never thought I’d develop any reason to write an article doing anything but praising him, but I just think it’s time. I’ve seen so many podcast and articles with him speaking poorly of people I’ve known and respected just as long as I have known him and the accusations are, at this point, cheating, poor sportsmanship, lying and fraud.
It is a spree of false accusations and it’s nothing more than what feels like attention seeking over movement building,
So let’s just dive into this.
First off, let’s say where Judd Weiss started in this campaign process.
Judd, for years now, has built a name for himself in three areas. One being the real estate space in Southern California, as well as another business (I believe it’s a limo service). The second is photography for events and parties in L.A. doing some pretty damn cool imaging. The third is making very cool black and white photos which pretty much have been the profile picture of anyone to ever attend a Student’s for Liberty conference. Judd has always been a cool guy and has had a pretty loved place in the liberty movement.
It starts with a man named John McAfee (a.k.a that dude who likely killed someone in Belize). John was someone who ran for the LP nomination, coming in third place. He really ran as a random tech legend entering the primary, one who had a pretty shady past.
He’s personally made almost a half a billion dollars in the tech sector where, now, about 99% of his earnings in it are gone.
He lived a party life in Belize, where he was accused of using hard drugs. It was also shown publicly that he was living with seven underage girls who are speculated to have previously been involved in the sex trade, and to put a cherry on top of this typical Mormon life he was living, he also just happened to have probably killed a man over some incident with his dogs getting poisoned. So, with that, he ran for president.
As for the McAfee campaign, he was originally my second choice with Gary Johnson being number one and Marc Feldman being number three. By the time we hit the convention in Orlando however, he was fighting Darryl Perry to be number six on my list. My opinions of him collapsed for the following reasons.
His flip-flopping: I interviewed McAfee (with Justin Moldow, of Liberty Hangout) right after he announced his run and I really liked him. He said things that made sense and I felt would challenge typical libertarian purism.
He said it was dumb to just cut spending and lay people off, that we needed a severance package. He talked about moving our defense department to focus on cyber security. He mentioned privatizing roads was dumb (I actually disagree with that), he didn’t know what the NAP was or seem to care, and he seemed to fight against purism in the name of real ideas. However, he quickly just made his campaign an overuse of the word freedom trying to harvest anarchist votes.
His campaign itself: I researched the campaign pre convention and found out he apparently had not even raised $10,000 for the campaign. It seemed less like a real campaign and more like something he just took casually.
He launched a likely “pump & dump” mid campaign: McAfee, while he had some media backing, just randomly decided, while running for president, to become CEO of a dead penny stock, the share price of which magically rose as he used his social media infrastructure and campaign to talk about him taking over the company.
Judd Weiss: Sorry again Judd, but you announced you were the running mate on April Fools’ and well… I think it should have just stayed as an April Fools’ joke.
This isn’t a personal attack for Judd, but when I see a candidate, I want a Bill Weld or Meg Whitman. I want a person of legitimate accomplishment who has made a name, had success in life and is qualified.
Judd, while being an awesome dude, just isn’t really like that.
He’s preferable to someone like Austin Petersen on the account Judd has friends his own age and not just teenagers he meets online, but that’s not really what we need in a candidate for VP.
I wanted McAfee to find a blue collar businessman who’s built a company, that way we could have John represent the tech industry and another guy represent blue collar industries. Instead we got gimmicky slogans and no real message on how this makes America better.
He’s a huge flop flopper: Before McAfee ran with the “disabled-at-birth” Libertarian Party, he ran with the “dead-at-birth” Cyber Party. There he advocated things such as free internet, (arguably) single payer medicine and government investment in public projects as well as other non libertarian things – and I was told Bill Weld was the death of the party.
In all this I went from holding McAfee in high regard to wanting to throw up over the idea of this guy being the nominee. In leaving, he handled himself like someone who deserves to be wanted in South America.
He publicly attacked Gary Johnson in his concession speech.
He had the nerve to post on Facebook about how upset he was over Marc Feldman’s passing away, despite Feldman having posted in libertarian Facebook groups two weeks prior that he thought McAfee was a scam artist.
Even in this act of trying to mourn for Feldman, he was still a child.
He posted a photo with himself, Daryl Perry, Marc Feldman and Austin Petersen. Someone commented, asking where Gary was and he replied “Gary was never really part of us.”
As I read that comment, I just sat there thinking, “you know Marc endorsed Gary on the second ballot and not you, right?”
While he seemed to love the others, Dr. Feldman publicly spoke poorly of McAfee online. When McAfee announced, Austin Petersen posted, calling him a murderer, drug addict and predator.
However, Gary Johnson being one of the only guys to never call him a murdering human trafficking drug addict, is the evil one?
He had the nerve to say Dr. Feldman killed himself on Facebook when asked how he died.
Marc’s death was reported as natural causes and McAfee made that comment before anything official even came in. He was such a drama queen; he’d just mark something as an assumed suicide and act like a sore loser.
I think I’ve bashed the McAfee/Weiss ticket enough and it’s time to talk about these accusations Judd has made. So let’s just list some of the basic ones and why I find them either dumb or disturbing.
Number One: Being Libertarian Was a Shill Page For Gary Johnson.
I am a co-founder of Being Libertarian and I did support and vote for Gary. If I had to guess, I’d say our team of founders, writers and admins, probably had a 70% support for Gary Johnson. However, we posted pro-Austin Petersen articles. We posted anti-Gary articles. We posted articles supporting McAfee, Feldman, Perry and more. The fact Judd would make that accusation which is so easily proven untrue about a group I helped start is insane.
Number Two: Johnson/Weld Bought Tickets to Orlando
Now this is just the saddest one of them all, because it’s a lie. All evidence goes against it. The claim is that the Johnson/Weld campaign, which at that point has raised maybe $120,000, managed to fly a ton of delegates to a convention and house them, despite them already being seen as very likely winning. They were beating the other campaigns by a margin of over 2-1. Some people went as far as accusing the campaign of having bought all the rooms in a hotel, which would have cost millions to book up for a weekend, to stop delegates from the other campaigns from coming.
The truth is tickets were just hard to find, because there was a comic book convention across the street and sadly cosplayers book earlier and have more money than libertarians.
Judd has provided no proof at all and constantly brings up this complaint. He has made his “proof” in Facebook comments, even tagging people who were involved in the campaign that said they tried to convince the campaign to buy tickets and organize trips, but got turned down.
There has been no receipt for a hotel paid for by the campaign, not one person raising their hands and saying they were paid for by the campaign, and just no evidence of real value either.
Instead, this is just some very rude and childish insult to the hundreds who did vote Johnson/Weld and flew in on their own dime.
…And another point, paying for travel accommodations on campaigns is a practice as old as this country. Even if it was done, it still wouldn’t be a freaking big deal.
Two rooms were booked, by the campaign, in the hotel the convention was held at in Orlando. One was for a man who beat John McAfee. The other was for a man who beat Judd Weiss.
Number Three: Chris Thrasher
Chris Thrasher was a person who was involved in the McAfee campaign and ended up going to work for the Johnson/Weld campaign later in the election. Judd has publicly bashed the guy as being bribed to quit the campaign and go work for Gary.
This is just a reality check for Judd, but this freaking happens every single day in politics.
If a campaign staff member doesn’t see a future in a campaign, like for example a campaign with no money using slideshows that look like they came out of my middle school English class as advertising, and they go book it for another campaign.
If you follow the Republican or Democrat primaries, this happens every single day. A person doesn’t like the direction things are going, they see a better road and they jump. This being seen as some underhanded strategy is just a freaking joke.
Number Four: Ron Nielson
For this one, Judd has actually said something’s I agree with. Ron (while being someone who I like personally) probably shouldn’t have been the chair for the campaign.
Realistically, Johnson/Weld, after Orlando, should have opened the checkbook and gotten someone like Michael Steele, Cliff Maloney, Chip Englander or that guy who ran Cruz’s campaign whose name I’m too lazy to Google.
Ron really doesn’t have the best resume and clearly could have done better, making some prime mistakes regarding certain endorsements, use of tech, use of infrastructure and states. He just wasn’t the guy for the job.
However, Judd just takes this and begins to call him a thief.
There is this claim that Judd made publicly, saying Ron had paid himself over a million dollars for the campaign. When looking at stamps and records, it looks like his company did just pay for services with that money and the report on it hasn’t been released yet. Also, there was a publicly known debt from the 2012 campaign which was resolved via the 2016 campaign.
This is the sort of complaint that deserves to have some conversation around it. Judd just took it though and made it this fantasy, basically turning the Johnson/Weld campaign into a 15 million dollar scam.
He has publicly degraded a lot of people involved which is just the icing on the cake of insults made by the campaign. People came to that campaign, because they had passion and believed in the message. Most of them got paid very little for the work they did and could probably have made a lot more with Trump or Clinton. Hell, most of them could have made more just asking people if they want fries with their meal. Also, a ton of people flew out and volunteered for free.
Judd however is making it so their sacrifices are ignored and overlooked saying everyone was involved in a scam.
This is just sad and not even looking at the facts.
Reason Five: Johnson/Weld Was Mean To Him
This is the saddest part that I’ll bring up and I’ll bring it up like I’m talking to Judd directly.
Judd… I love you buddy. But you were part of a campaign that lost so badly Austin Petersen (who is a 35 year old, uneducated, failed actor with no real experience at anything) beat you guys royally.
Your campaign did so poorly that Marc Feldman, who didn’t even bother to get a booth at the convention, and Daryl Perry, who is arguably insane, almost beat it.
You had a campaign which raised under $10,000 and made a bunch of garbage videos using copyright songs and movie clips.
You worked for a guy I just recently watched a 20/20 special on with my grandparents, talking about if, or if not, he “offed” someone; and you’re confused by why people didn’t vote yes?
You, as a VP candidate to a guy seen as the man to make second or third place, failed to make the VP debate at the convention, losing to bat-shit crazy Will Coley, Tony Robbins clone (number 4,567), Larry Sharpe, and Alicia “I-never-heard-of-her-before” Dearn.
So I say this politely. You lost because you and your campaign were not good enough and not due to anyone being mean to you.
Of these four men, only Austin and Marc publicly attacked McAfee once. Gary never did it in a single speech, single post or anything. He didn’t really view you guys as relevant enough to attack, nobody in the campaign did.
John is wanted in South America for murder and you have had previous private incidents out of respect to you I will not talk about. There were no memes from the campaign or people in it going “Murder/Insert obvious joke here 2016.” There were no underhanded attacks on you guys. There was no ploy to box you guys out. The truth is you guys weren’t really players in the game, so you didn’t get attacked.
If any podcast would like to have me on with Judd, I’m game if he agrees to talk about this.
If Judd wants an interview to talk about this, I’ll be happy to give him that with me directly. However, let’s just end this discussion. It’s been a year. We have people running around talking about a convention that happened a year ago like anyone besides the people who attended it will ever really even care.
We can move on and focus on bigger challenges and races ahead or fixate on petty fights from the past.
If the readers see articles or interviews with Judd on this topic, I ask them to take everything he says seriously if not regarding the 2016 campaign. That deserves to be taken with a grain of salt.
This post was written by Charles Peralo.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.
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