If you’ve hung around California Libertarian politics for long, you know Steven Kubby. His claim to fame was his support of California’s Proposition 215, which legalized medial marijuana. He’s also known for his long time use of marijuana to treat his cancer. While access to medical marijuana is something I support along with a long list of other libertarian causes, Kubby identifies with marijuana as his core value. He is the “marijuana guy” in a field of accountants and school teachers. In the minds of many libertarians, his notoriety makes him an ideal candidate for political office, presumably because he has name recognition.
He ran for Governor of California in 1998 while at the height of his fame for a drug arrest. Few people paid attention. He tried to run for vice-president in the 2000 election under the Libertarian party banner and lost on an internal delegate vote. In the 2008 election he tried for the presidential nomination and lost on another delegate vote. What does a losertairan do after all attempts at attaining political office are thwarted? He runs for city council in South Lake Tahoe. Kubby has little chance of winning.
South Lake Tahoe is on the boring side of the border with Nevada. It’s a city catering to tourists who visit for the skiing, gaming, and to play on beautify Lake Tahoe. It’s a great place to visit, but I would not want to live there (they get snow). Why would a big name like Kubby run in small-time South Lake Tahoe? And why would he do so without making the minimum effort necessary to appeal to voters? He’s not even in the Smart Voter Guide, which is politics 101 for candidates running for office. There is no excuse for this level of ineptness.
Kubby has a blog of sorts with a few articles, a YouTube campaign video (with 345 views), and an interview from a local public access station. He has virtually no visible support from his county’s Libertarian organization, and only a token link at the Libertarian Party of California’s website. Heck, judging for its blog, his county Libertarian organization is a joke. But the worst thing about his effort is his complete lack of understanding about what it takes to run for local office. You can’t run for local office by spouting libertarian ideals. Local politics are local. He’s running for city council the same way he ran for Governor,
His tag line…
Beginning right here in South Lake Tahoe, we will redefine politics in a revolutionary return to common sense and smaller government. We are going to take back our power, restore our property rights and force government to become our servant, not our master.
These classic words are used to scare away voters in election after election. Change everything, revolution, cut, slash, and burn. Blah, Blah, Blah… The message is stale and will not appeal to local voters. He’s out of touch with reality, like most libertarian political candidates, and does not know it, or maybe he in touch but simply runs for office as a hobby. You can never really tell with these guys.
Where do you go when you’ve failed out of a city council election? Run for Water commissioner, or maybe the Dog catcher? Or do you simply wait a few years and run again? The real question is, why do we let Steven Kubby run for a local city council election under the Libertarian banner? It weakens the brand.