Congressman Barr is a leading defender of civil liberties. He introduced
legislation that forces the National Security Agency's Project ECHELON to provide
a full accounting to the Congress of their covert monitoring of millions of phone
calls, faxes, and emails. He led the fight against National ID Card proposals and
introduced legislation in 1998 to check the federal government's abuse of
wire-tapping laws including the use of roving wiretaps and also
opposed governmental interception of cellular phone calls. He introduced
legislation to mandate that the federal government issue "Privacy Impact
Statements" every time it issues a new rule or regulation.
He was a chief
sponsor of a law to limit abuses of the civil asset forfeiture statutes. He
fought against OSHA regulations and to limit small business vulnerability to
frivolous labor litigation. He is a board member of the National Rifle
Association, and a staunch defender of the right of Americans to own and use
firearms. He has introduced and sponsored legislation to block litigation against
gun manufacturers for the acts of their customers and to limit any background
checks and mandate they be conducted "instantly."
Barr has succinctly
advocated the principle that while criminals must be punished to the full extent
of the law, their civil liberties must be protected with even more vigor. He is a
staunch defender of American sovereignty and opposes the executive branch's
overzealous use of our military abroad he even filed suit against
President Clinton's war in Kosovo without congressional approval. He is a fierce
critic of the United Nations and to a lesser degree NATO and has
consistently supported efforts to withdraw U.S. membership from the United
Nations. He co-sponsored a committee amendment to withdraw the U.S. from the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Since his first day in
Congress back in 1995, Barr has tirelessly fought to eliminate the Internal
Revenue Code, supported the "flat tax" proposal, and consistently supported
passage of a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds supermajority of
Congress to raise taxes. He was an early supporter of lowering the capital gains
tax and recently he introduced legislation to provide tax credits for educators:
public, private, and homeschool! More than any other member of the Georgia
delegation, Congressman Barr has parted with the Republican majority to vote
against bloated "pork barrel" spending.
He has continually fought the
unconstitutional "campaign finance reforms." Defending our fundamental rights, he
has filed a lawsuit to prevent implementation of the recently passed legislation.
Linder personally introduced legislation to ban so-called "soft money" to
political campaigns. Barr was a very visible leader of the impeachment of
John Zogby, a pollster for Linder's campaign, admits
that the race at this point is tight but thinks his client has the edge. He was
surprised to learn the Libertarian Party was targeting Bob Barr. In fact, only
two pollsters I reached were familiar with the LP's project. Amy Walter who
covers the House races for the Cook Political Report was only vaguely aware of
the effort and thinks it offered evidence that Bob Barr is "a leader in
Washington," adding that the LP opposition is "sure going to backfire."
Whit Ayers, who is polling for the Barr campaign, echoed Walter's analysis. He
could not understand why the LP would target his candidate since "Bob Barr has
more libertarian instincts than all of my other Republican clients put together."
This observation actually made him a bit uncomfortable since, according to his
polls, national security and economic insecurity were the issues that matter most
to likely Republican primary voters. He doesn't believe that the LP's plan to
target Barr on the drug war will work because the drug war is "way, way down the
list" of issues Republican primary voters care about.
I think my friends
at the LP should act like a political party and not like a PAC. We are not a
single-issue party except for the issue of liberty. We have an historic
opportunity to present ourselves as a viable alternative if we can take the
mantle as the party of smaller government from the Republicans and the party who
defends constitutional liberties from the party of Bill Clinton, Janet Reno et
The LP effort to defeat Bob Barr in the primary is, at best, a waste
of precious resources sorely needed for LP candidates in the general election. At
worst, it will contribute to the defeat of one of the most libertarian-minded
con-gressmen we have, while failing to gain any allies. The LP has a historic
opportunity to present itsellf as a viable alternative to the big parties,
instead of spending its money and energy trying to defeat one of libertarianism's
few friends in Congress just because they disagree with him on one issue.