In their blogger conference call today, Bob Barr’s campaign manager announced that they were “on track” to be in the ballot in all 50 states despite continuing problems in Oklahoma, West Virginia, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. Barr himself joined the call to talk about presidential signing statements, toll roads, the economy, and shrinking government, but the ballot access update was the main focus of the call.
Russ Verney reported that the Barr-Root Libertarian ticket was already on the ballot in 34 states. They have or soon will be turning in signatures for South Dakota, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Signatures will be turned in for Maine on Friday. They are engaged in legal action about the number of signatures required in Oklahoma and the American Civil Liberties Union is suing to get Barr on the ballot in Massachusetts, where the secretary of state is said to have told them they could gather signatures for a substitute candidate before the Libertarian National Convention but has since refused to allow substitutions.
On other topics, Barr said one of his first priorities if elected would be to establish a “Grace Commission on steroids,” referring to President Reagan’s special commission to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending. Barr’s proposed commission would go further: it would determine “the constitutional basis” of every agency, see which federal functions could be devolved to state and local governments, and also perform a cost/benefit analysis on all federal activities. Barr also said he would meet with his military commanders “both in Washington and in primary locations” to reduce “the American economic and military footprint” first in Iraq and then elsewhere in the world.