Facilitating Third Party Online Outreach and Web Presence: a Libertarian and a Green Model

I recently came across two noteworthy libertarian organizations dedicated to third party and independent political advocacy that might be of interest to Poli-Tea readers. The first is the Liberty Coalition Third Party Alliance. The group is a growing informal coalition which plans to form or join a third party organization en masse once their numbers have reached a critical mass, and thus is similar in this way to the organizational concept behind the Free State Project. Their goal is to organize one million Americans. They write:
The Liberty Coalition is a Third Party movement made up of Americans who support Liberty and oppose Big Brother, Bailouts and War. We are not a new registered party. We are working outside the Two-Party System of Right/Left Tyranny.

We welcome all Americans who love Liberty and Constitutional Government, no matter what their political, ethnic or cultural background. We can disagree on minor issues while we band together for the Republic!

Our Goal: One Million Americans! We can decide to become a Third Party when one million Americans join.

As of today, they have 6,325 members. The second organization is Patriot Connect, which is geared toward facilitating the efforts and campaigns of libertarian-leaning third party and independent candidates for elected office. They describe themselves in the following way:

Libertarian campaigns have been at a disadvantage. When you advocate less government, you advocate fewer favors to give. That means less in the way of union and corporate donations. We don’t have big corporate dollars pouring in to fund massive staffs, IT departments. Most of our organizations are small (and beholden to nobody). We still need to get the word out, we still need to raise funds, and we still need to out hustle and out think the massive media machines that we’re fighting against.

Enter PatriotConnect.Com.

Now, you can have us handle the heavy lifting on web design work, getting a way to raise money cart, and building a community of like minded people online. We can help your site matter, take care of hosting and even help you comply with election laws. All of this is done for less money than you’ll find anywhere else because we want to make sure that our team has the same “unfair advantage” that the other guys have.

Patriot Connect thus offers consulting and management services, web hosting and design services, among other things. Aside from Patriot Connect's fee-based services, the group is actually quite similar to an effort by Green Party activist Matt Cleveland, called New Menu, which offers Green Party candidates for elected office a free web presence and support. From the New Menu "about" page:

Just before the 2007 election, I saw on the web site of the Green Party of the US the list of all the Greens running for office. I was shocked to see how many candidates did not have a web site or where using free sites that include unwanted advertising. Because of the critical importance of a web site for recognition and credibility, I had an idea to offer a free web page to Greens running for office.

What I am offering in a nutshell: free web presence, free email, free blog free guest book, free online calendar, free Town Hall style questions & answers, free visitor counter, free custom banner links.

These are both excellent ideas providing services that are in many ways indispensable for Libertarian and Green candidates for office. Now, the question is, is there any such group dedicated to facilitating the efforts of independent candidates for office?


Liberal Arts Dude said...

These are excellent efforts by these organizations! One thing that independents and minor parties have always lacked and which major parties have always had the advantage was the existence of a permananent communications and organizational infrastructure to support candidacies and disseminate information. I am glad to see that with these organizations that minor parties are catching up and developing their own infrastructures to compete with the majors. Per your recent post I'd love to see the formation of an organization in the U.S. similar to the UK's Independent Network.

Thanks for keeping up the excellent job tracking down and compiling this information, Damon! This is very valuable work you are doing!

d.eris said...

Thanks LAD. It is very good to see people engaged in these kinds of efforts. Actually, it's kind of surprising that there aren't more of them. Patriot Connect does not exclude independent candidates, but obviously their emphasis on libertarian-leaning candidates will exclude a lot of potential independent clients. I wonder if just a couple successful candidates will open the floodgates in this regard, so to speak.

Something similar to the Independent Network here would be a real political force. With the election called for early May in the UK, we'll really see what they can do.

Liberal Arts Dude said...

I've made contact with the UK's Independent Network via Twitter. I will see if I can get an interview with them. Stay tuned on this one.

d.eris said...

Excellent. Will do.

Chris Johnson said...

Very cool--thanks for the link and the mention. let me know if I can be of service.

We're going to focus the blog on VICTORY.