Today’s Freedom Report podcast looks at the lawsuit filed by Governor Gary Johnson against the Commission on Presidential Debates. Johnson and attorney Bruce Fein are filing an anti-trust lawsuit, claiming that the CPD is in restraint of trade, and arguing that the debates are a monopoly.

From Johnson’s Our America Initiative:

With the filing of our complaint,  the CPD will finally be forced to reveal the secret agreements, the plans, and the plotting that the Republican and Democratic parties have used to monopolize the debates and keep voters from seeing that there really are alternatives to the worn-out, business-as-usual “major” party candidates.
Our lawsuit makes the case that this monopoly is not only wrong, but illegal.
Governor Johnson has alluded to the fact that if he loses the lawsuit, he might not be willing to seek the LP nomination for president, as writer Bruce Majors claimed:
But Johnson’s advisers (who included former Trump guru Roger Stone back in 2012) and campaign staff say he is unlikely to be the sacrificial victim for a quixotic Libertarian campaign unless the Libertarians are assured at least the possibility of being in the post-primary presidential debates.  Hence Johnson’s law suit.
Estimated to run up $800,000 in legal bills, the suit has been put together by Reagan administration Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, whose work on opening up political debate includes getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine – an FCC policy which had the result of coercing broadcasters into presenting only two centrist viewpoints, liberal Democrats and Rockefeller, establishment, Republicans.  Fein’s Johnson suit will be an anti-trust suit, alleging that the Commission on Presidential Debates, populated and controlled by only establishment Democrat and Republican Party operatives, limits the candidates allowed to debate only to the nominees of those two parties – even if other candidates like Libertarians or Greens have managed the extremely difficult task of being on the majority of state ballots so they could earn enough Electoral College votes to win an election if voters knew they were running and considered them viable because they were presented in the same way on television and in the debates as the GOP and Democratic candidates.  Fein further alleges that the Debate Commission is a business in restraint of trade, since the Republican and Democratic consultant class raise billions of dollars now to pay themselves during the campaign season, and raising the money is dependent on excluding independent competition for donor dollars.So though most might still think it unlikely, Courts may be deciding within a year whether the Presidential Debates will for the first time include a Libertarian or a Green.

Should libertarians be using anti-trust laws to force private parties (Republicans and Democrats) to associate with another party? Doesn’t that fly in the face of everything we believe? Or do sometimes the ends justify the means? All that and more on today’s Freedom Report podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, and leave us a 5-star review!
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Meet the hosts

Austin Petersen is the chief executive officer of Stonegait LLC, a for-profit consulting firm specializing in photo and video services. Stonegait also provides social media advice, political campaign expertise and grassroots organizing strategies to candidates for office or to brands looking for more exposure. Petersen is the editor in chief of The Libertarian Republic news magazine, one of the most read political news sites in the United States. He also hosts The Freedom Report podcast, which has 30,000 daily listeners. Petersen is the former Director of Production at FreedomWorks and was an Associate Producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show, “Freedom Watch” on the Fox Business Network. Petersen built Judge Napolitano’s social networks boasting over 600,000 fans and millions of clicks a month. His work has appeared in Getty, Reuters, the LA Times, NBC and Time Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor on television appearing on Russia Today and on dozens of local radio shows. Austin grew up on a farm in the Midwest in a town called Peculiar, Missouri. Graduating from Missouri State University with a degree in the Fine Arts, Petersen moved to New York City after graduation to a pursue a career in media.


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  • Hey Everyone, I’m new to but not to the Liberty Movement. I was paying attention to it in 2008 and finally drank the kool-aid in 2012. I’m posting here because I’ve been bootstrapping the development of a legislation alert app and I am hoping that it helps grassroots movements in shutting down bad legislation and getting good candidates elected. The basic idea is to connect our nation’s outspoken political activists (10% of the population roughly) with the remaining interested bystanders (about 49% of the population, representing people who care but prefer to remain anonymous) so that their combined leverage can shut down bad legislation or help get good legislation passed. Opinion data on pending bills is filterable by district and can be used to hold representatives accountable to the will of their constituency. Come election time, users can also easily compare their private voting history with a representative’s public voting record in order to make a much more informed vote than normal. There are two types of accounts: Mobilizers: These are public accounts that can be followed by other users and can post alerts on pending State and Federal legislation. This account type logs in via web browser and requires an invite code currently. Apptivists: These are private accounts that follow public accounts and vote on the bills they are alerted to by the Mobilizers. This account type logs in via a simple phone app and is open to anyone with an iOS device (Android coming soon!). Much more detailed info on the project can be found by scrolling down the homepage of our website: We’ve recently launched our MVP of the application and I’ve set up an invite code that can be used by people from if anyone here would like to register as a Public Mobilizer account. As this is my attempt to help promote liberty in our country, we have decided to make Apptivism free to use for both account types. Also, this app is meant to work together with other social media services like FB and Twitter. It’s not a replacement. That’s what is for. 😉 If anyone here has any questions, I’d love to answer them and I’d love to get feedback on the whether this type of system is something that could be useful to the liberty community. Thanks in advance! Cheers! seth PS: Here’s a brief video explaining the system:

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  • Over the past five months or so, I admit I’ve been intrigued—indeed, perhaps obsessed—with the American elections. More specifically, I’ve been fascinated by the Trump phenomenon and by the stunning hordes of people that either support him and hate him. The time I’ve spent learning about American Democracy has made me realize that my previous opposition to statism as a whole, as well as my rejection of voting on principle, was founded on abstract and philosophical discussion alone. I had an utter lack of experience and interest in politics. Throughout my whole life, the political process has seemed hopelessly corrupt and out of reach. It was easy for me to conclude that voting was hopelessly pointless and probably immoral. Today my views have changed, not much, but enough that I feel compelled to talk about my thoughts and not just keep them to myself. This is an exploration of a self-defense case for voting that is consistent with Voluntaryist principles, as well as a discussion on the potential merits of voting for Donald Trump to advance the cause of liberty. Before I make that case however, let me lay down two essential facts that have propelled me to this point. The Voluntaryst Self Defense Case for Voting Trump

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  • It’s the federal election year in Canada. What are your thoughts on the Libertarian Party of Canada’s platform? Too radical, just right, or not radical enough?

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