65 votes

Please read. A pressing issue. Needs to be addressed. Open letter to all Paul Supporters.

My website just incase... www.traviscouture.com

Well first let me say despite some bickering here and there within our movement I am extremely proud to be politically awake and I couldnt be any happier than to be doing it with such a fine group of patriotic, intelligent, and principled people as those that encompass the many parts of the liberty community.

That being said I have a few suggestions that I rarely see or hear about, atleast here on the Daily Paul.

I am a Navy Veteran and followed the Ron Paul R3volution in 2008 casually. It wasnt until 2009 or so when I started feeling like it was time to get off the sidelines and actually join the fight. As a former political idiot, I came to listening to Ron Paul mostly due to his foreign policy, I had too many friends die in Iraq. From there I immersed myself in his book, Revolution: A manifesto. It not only opened my eyes but I felt as though it unlocked a secret part of my heart I never knew existed. The joy and simultaneous anger I felt was brimming over at the seams and was making my naval career almost unbearable.

I opposed Naval detention and torture in Guantanimo Bay, the sensless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Nuclear weapon hoarding, "humanitarian missions", and a plethera of other things the Navy is involved in. I read and read and read, faster and better than I have ever done so previously in my life. It lead me to new found inner strength, conciousness, and intellect.

In Dec of 2011 I exited the Navy, this time having been involved in Pauls Campaign since before he decided to run. I worked my tail off and I felt like I was mostly alone, no meetups listed, nobody around to help out. I decided that maybe I would some day want to run and keep the torch of liberty flickering in my area. I started learning about state politics and legislation. How the districts worked, how the political structure was set up here, and I even found out that my two state reps were some of the most liberal spenders in the state here in Washington.

The next thing I did is try to find out if someone was already running for office. The first name I found is a Republican named Dan Griffey. I dug up everything I could find on this guy, I ended up finding a video of him talking about Jefferson, eliminating departments, protecting property rights, etc. All the good stuff. So I took the leap and called the man up, I grilled him on the issues on the phone for almost 2 hours.

He was very patient and you could tell he was excited about having someone to ask him this stuff, a real political junkie. I ended up not running but instead playing it smart and learning how to run a professional campaign. Im a quick learner and us liberty folks arent known for being slack asses or lazy slobs when it comes to grass roots activism. We knocked on thousands of doors, made thousands of phone calls, stuffed mailers, went to all the debates and forums. I loved it! And still do! There was alot more than met the eye in local politics.

The most frusterating part of it all was how most people could care less. They wanted to know if you were Republican or Democrat. Or they lived there their whole life and didnt know who there 14 year incumbant democrat legislator was. Well, never fear though, we kept on trucking with our small little group, hell bent on changing the world and we said it to eachother quite often. I remember asking Dan later on what he thought about Ron Paul. He said that the Paul supporters in the '08 convention scared him away, so he never knew what Dr. Paul even stood for. I was floored! Here is a man who espouses most of the same views and never knew Ron. After a long chat and some vetting on his part he became a happy Paul supporter. This is when our local GOP started acting like the terrible ones you heard about during the caucuses. No one got hurt though.

Well it turns out in my county in liberal western Washington Paul tied Romney in the caucuses, this was after admitted fraud from our chairman, a man who will be gone officially after our re-orginization meeting this saturday. They caused many problems for us and I couldnt help but feeling like I was to blame but we kept working. The best part about caucuses was I got to find out about all the RP supporters that I never new existed anymore. We organized a PCO drive that we officially won, 16 liberty PCO's to their 10 mainstreamers.

Here is what really perplexed me. By this time I knew alot of Paul supporters, even across county lines. But of the 170 or so that caucused for Paul in our district caucuses, only about 15 ever helped out locally. Even after the National convention. Some of them refuse to show up to the meetings and will not even answer their phone or show up to a BBQ. It was one of the saddest parts of the campaign to me. We worked our selves to the bone, I gave up a part of my soul and a small fortune to scratch in the eyes of the establishment.

I then decided to try my hand at running for county comissioner. It was open and only a lesser known Democrat (turns out he worked for the UN on the presidents council for sustainability AKA Agenda 21, a big issue here in WA). So I was more than pleased to give this guy a run for his money. Well no one but a small amount of people really knew me and I did alot of work myself with my wife and Dan and his wife assisting me. Well just before filing week was over another guy jumped into my race, a former republican who went independent. This guy is a true smake oil salesman and an actual used car dealer that lost his business due to selling crap cars (think that movie matilda). He had run for a handfull of other positions before. He had been running of and on for around 10 years. Later I found out that my own party convinced him to run against me because I supported "he who must not be named amongst RINO's".

I felt betrayed, but I pushed on as usual. Only caring who I could touch with the message of liberty. Debate after debate I could sense people were coming around to what i was saying. My opponents started thrashing me on things that they just made up on the top of their heads. Well, I ended up losing the primary (we do a top two system here)by 100 votes out of 7,000 cast. Did I mention that I am 24? It was a real success even though I lost. The people that moved forward espoused alot of my policy ideas. I couldnt be anymore pleased, especially because I never expected to win. But in the back of my head I always wondered..."What would it have been like if just half of those that caucused for Paul helped me out?". I then went back to helping Dan Griffey for his general election campaign. I managed his campaign this time (for free) and we somewhat unified alot of the Paulers and the mainstreamers to work together to finish out the campaign.

We met every tuesday in a warehouse and hammered out alot of campaign stuff and taught our new PCO's how its done. A handfull of the melevolent mainstreamers never showed up. By this point no one liked them anymore and they were kind of pushed out. Well election night came and in our little county, no one cared about mitt, or the senate race, or even really our congressional race. The only thing we cared about was winning these local races, and the state races. Our rural community has been decimated by taxes and regulations, killing our timber industry, our unemployment is around 20% functional. Dan lost his race in a real close one. His opponent beat him by 2 percent or so. It was one to many striking blows.

We have since recovered and are planning for 2014's state senate and legislature races. I will always wonder what we could have accomplished with all the very intelligent and capable Paul supporters that I know we have here. The ones that participated are top notch folks.

My plea to anyone who happens to read this post, dont let this post die. If we truly believe government should be bottom up then we have to have bottom up grassroots activism. We must get more involved locally and on our state levels. The key to changing the whitehouse is changing our local and state parties, electing good local and state government officials, and above all staying active. I rarely post on the DP, I mostly just read. Mostly due to the fact that I am always doing something out in the field. Trying to wake people up. Pushing for a better tomorrow. No more presidential glam, instant gratification, politisization, or narrow mindedness. It saddened me to watch some on this site bicker about writing in RP or voting mitt or johnson. IT NEVER MATTERED! But there was excellent liberty warriors who could have used your attention in your home state or county.

Please, get involved in your party, unless it is that unbearable, run for office locally, learn the system, support your local liberty guys. we can deffinately make a difference here.

As for me I will be running for State Senate in 2014. I have a good chance this time and I have more support and backing than I thought was possible. In a legislative race here you have to raise around $100,000 just to keep up with the teachers union and "green" special intersts. Wouldnt it be awesome if we had a money bomb for local and state candidates? With the liberty movements fundraising prowess we could be a force to be reconed with. Just a little food for thought.

Thanks for reading!
For Liberty!
Travis Couture

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I read

I read the entire Essay Topic from the OP.

I read almost every response (definitely the long ones, which were serious responses).

I have a challenge to offer.

First, you may want to know that I ran for Congress in 1996, was on the ballot in California 40th district. I got on the ballot on my own dime, my own time, with the help of a co-worker who was working at the same full time (plus over time) job during the election cycle (psycho).

I can also offer to you, before I offer the challenge, an appreciation, heartfelt, for military service of the genuine, not counterfeit, kind. I do mean kind, generous, sacrifice, and not a paying job that is better than going to prison type "military service".

Genuine, generous, military service is the ultimate sacrifice as high in moral standing, in my opinion, as is parenting. There can be no parents without a POWER that keeps the bad guys from taking everything.

So, the challenge offered, with all that out of the way, is debate exercise.

This is a vital necessity for anyone seeking to fight the Liberty fight in the rigged, fraudulent, counterfeit, government apparatus.

If you do not stand on principle you will be knocked off balance.

My guess, based upon the reading I did, but this is only a guess, since there was no information concerning what exactly is the base principle (other than Liberty, which can be misunderstood easily) of the OP, my guess is that the OP's base principle is on a solid foundation, but how about testing it?

Sparing partners for Liberty?

Does that make sense?

Is it a waste of time to practice challenging a potential candidates base intentions, and challenging a potential candidates base principles, and challenging a potential candidates thinking, and challenge a potential candidates past, present, and future actions in the role of government?

To me that is the missing element, the competition, and I don't mean the counterfeit competition, I mean the genuine articles.

So...the challenge can start with standard debate questions.

Standard debate questions can be base, principles, fall back, root, where the rubber meets the road, type questions that challenge any potential challenger seeking offices which are now, in this counterfeit version of government, too POWERFUL, but none the less real positions where individual people are raised above, and given too much POWER, so obviously, there is grave error in electing (not that The People actual do any "electing") psychopaths, sociopaths, snake oil salesmen, liars, thieves, criminals, into those positions where individuals are given (or are taking) too much POWER.

Standard Debate Questions (that can uncover poor, inexperienced, and ineffective liars quickly):

What is the role of government?

As a hired employee of government what, in your opinion, constitutes abuse of your power?

What is the device, the mechanism, employed in government, as you see it, for judging you, in case you abuse government power?

List every lawful power each individual has in government as you see it.

Why, in your own mind, according to your own conscience, would any individual ever take power away from any other individual?

The offering here is along the lines of constructing a competitive litmus testing type, or acid test type, challenge for any person to ask of any other person seeking political power.

The problem, it seems to me, is that no one but me, is asking these questions, and no one but me, apparently, even considers these types of questions to be important.

I think Ron Paul is an exception, and so the idea is to find out if there are any other exceptions to the rule that currently rules, which is Blind Obedience to Falsehood without Question.


Keep it up!

I recently got involved in local politics where I live. Folks like you on this site inspired me to get off my ass and do something. We have a lot of work to do in Canada... let me tell you!

Great Work, Shipmate.

Thank you for the good work you've done, both in the Navy and after. This is a powerful post, and something we REALLY need to be paying attention to.

Here's why...

Folks, the Federal level is lost. Completely lost.

Sure, we have the occasional Justin Amash or Walter Jones tucked here or there, but overall we have placed FAR too much emphasis on winning these federal elections.

The 9th and 10th Amendments are our ONLY real hope. And simultaneously, the state and local level is where we CAN sweep to power rapidly. Just look to Nevada as an example.

Travis, I'm sorry we didn't know/do enough to put you and Dan over the top last time. But lesson learned.

I for one will NEVER give C4L a cent again, as long as Benton, Tate and crew are around. But I WILL donate to local, grassroots money bombs to get our people elected at the state and local level.

We need to think of ourselves in terms of a woman's high-heeled, stiletto shoe: It doesn't need much weight on top of it for the heel to sink into hard wood flooring. That's because all her weight gets concentrated into one tiny surface area.

We need to bring our numbers to bear in these State and local elections and in this way we will be victorious.

DPer's, I say we start a monthly grassroots moneybomb.

Each month, let candidates for any state/local election make a post, like Travis', within the first 5 days of every month. The candidate with the most compelling story, with the purest commitment to Liberty, with the very best chance of winning his/her race, becomes that month's moneybomb sponsoree.

I hereby nominate former Petty Officer, 2nd Class Travis Couture as a candidate for Moneybomb #1, in January.

I know I'll contribute.

DPer's, what say you to this idea?

Thank you!

If everyone worked on the local level our national impact would be enormous. Our movement tried to run before it could crawl. Sometimes you need to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. I agree and thank you for your kind words! Bravo Zulu shippy!

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

Agreed. I'm in your corner now.

Stay active, and keep updating the community about what you are doing all along the way to 2014. Also, may I suggest you start filming and posting these activities to youtube now... It would have the dual benefit of helping your own campaign, while being an example for others to emulate and follow in their own local races.

Fair Winds and Following Seas, Brother.

Great post Travis,

you near set a record,no down votes and not a troll seen.Keep up the good work ...ALL.



The good comments and all the support makes me not only just happy, but very optimistic about our future.

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

Thanks for sharing this, Travis!

I think you will be a huge mover & shaker in
5, 10, 20 years.

Keep on fighting the good fight for Constitutional


If that is true that means that WE will be movers and shakers in WA ST for a long time. The message is ours, I'm just the vessel. :)

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

crietmann's picture

From the Liberty Amendment


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A wonderful post! Thank you, Travis.

This is one of the most informative posts I've read on the DP. I really enjoyed hearing about your experiences and impressions of the liberty movement. Let me give you my take.

Unfortunately, the political insiders have been very successful in creating a political climate in the U.S. that makes a grassroots revival based on libertarian/constitutional principles very difficult.

1) They have made politics expensive so that way too much of our time is eaten up in fund-raising rather than educating.

2) They have gained control of the mainstream media giving the opponents of liberty candidates an automatic advantage through the free positive publicity that they can dispense.

3) They have convinced almost everyone (including a discouraging number of libertarian activists) that the only elections that count are for national office and maybe even just the presidential elections every four years. (I remember one DPer mentioning that he only came here during Ron Paul's presidential campaign and that he planned on returning to his gold bug website's forum once the election was over.)

4) They have convinced many people that ALL political activism is pointless and futile. Much of the voter "apathy" and ignorance are the results of that successful strategy.

5) They have tried to steer those still committed to political change into noble but harmless tail-chasing activities or political concentration camps like the Libertarian Party.

6) They have seeded groups like the "Tea Party" and online forums with shills to introduce divisive topics, promote self-destructive tactics, and attack anyone who seems to have a clue.

7) They have worked to destroy the middle class in America and made the rest dependent on the government for their subsistence.

Your idea about money bombing local candidates is a good one. And that is why they have worked so hard to get us to pour so much of our money down the rat hole of the presidential campaigns. It is hard to overcome the donor fatigue brought on by such an expensive endeavor. But we could and should do it. If we donated a tenth of what we raised for the RP campaigns to worthy candidates in local and/or selected congressional races we could really make a difference.

Your frustration about the "Ron Paul" supporters not contributing their time and efforts to local campaigns is probably caused by similar issues. Burnout and misplaced priorities.

But I think it is great what you are doing. Keep it up and you will go far!

The Virtual Conspiracy

just apply a lil bit of ur daily work skills to the cause

and do it like you're bad


Fancy Shmancy Fine Print:

Go Travis!

Thanks Travis for this post! Excellent job working for liberty. I'll be rooting for you sir and very much appreciate your heart and mind and taking the time to post this BEAUTIFUL message of hope. From your NEW WA state friend, Stephanie from Tacoma. Nice to meet you! =)

crietmann's picture

Bump - I need you in Washington State.

Because the Liberty Amendment needs state legislators on our side. Best of luck, and I'd be happy to promote your campaign.

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bump. Travis Couture 2014. All out for Travis!

What kind of voting system they got in your county/state? Let's make sure they can't steal your a election by a few votes if they need to. Please see my:

"First Order of Business: An Honest Vote. If We Had One Ron Paul Would Be President Now"

Release the Sandy Hook video.


It's also a mail in ballot system, I personally think it's terrible. You can technically go to the county and fill out a ballot but they aren't really set up to take in mass amounts for people. Think of it as a state wide absentee system. It works a lot like absentee ballots do.

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

It's a top two

It's a top two system so only two candidates make it through to the general. I'll check out your link, thanks for the kind words.

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

Thankyou so much


Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

OK. Different forms of activism though.

I'm more on the street side. Festivals, marches, sneaky propagandizing. Fairly regular outreach to leftist outfits and individuals. Always interested to see how we can cross over, maybe even blend or merge with the rest of society. Basically pretty experimental.

And I'm everything you DON'T want in your respectable GOP boat. In a nutshell I look like a greasy biker hippy. If I put on a suit you will be looking in the alley for the poor guy I beat up and stole it from. And I can do public speaking it's just that I'm meant for a whole other audience. I did way better with the occupy kids because in terms of lifestyle and appearance they feel comfortable with me, I understand them, I can live their lifestyle and speak their language. My family had more than it's share of hippies and bohemian artists and eccentrics. I think it's genetic.

Now as it happened last time in the booth there were a few uncontested slots and maybe just for the joke I could enter and run for what the heck ever stupid office but maybe you can honestly advise me: if you are catching my drift, do I run the risk of de-legitimizing your hard work and diligence? For I promise if elected to office I will be, hands down, that most negligent public officer you have ever seen, I honestly don't think I will ever bother showing up. This based upon the reasoning that whatever my job is it's probably something that doesn't need to be or shouldn't be done anyway. Although I could stretch the boundaries of what is known as political theatre. Get Vermin Supreme in on the action.

So I've always identified as a R3VOLUTIONARY. Having essentially jump started this whole GOP fandangle, we're working around and through it. Big emphasis on off-grid, actually building the infrastructure for a much different future. I don't hold either or any tactic to be superior to any other, my observation is this movement, like biology, is trying pretty much ALL EVOLUTIONARY METHODS ALL OF THE TIME. Nice not to have all our eggs in one basket. It is this essential ability we have to take independent initiative, gain support for an idea and just do it, no permission asked for or given.

So with all that,

guess we'll be seeing you around.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.


NO problem, every one has different skills and comfort levels. Some run for office, some mastermind those campaigns, some are just content waving the signs or just talking up there favorite candidates at the bar with friends. We need guys like you on the streets doing the tough stuff, so I think you are more valuable than you think. Also, we have some pretty awesome biker folks in our liberty group. They aren't afraid to tell it like it is and I'm always glad we have them on our side. For liberty!

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

Good for you

I have made a post before about this... I think we should focus on 2014 and those senate races as well as local elections. It would be great if the daily paul had a candidate forum by state so we can post information about candidates we support or are targeting to get rid of. Or candidits we would like to see run with their contact information listed so we can let them know they have support. Such as yourself you could post about yourself and where you are running so someone who maybe missed this post, who lives in Washington can find you easily later.


I live in Belfair, WA. In the 35th legislative district. My website is at the top of my post for more info.

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

Bump for you

for continued energy and success in 2014. Thank you, Travis. In liberty.

you should also tell people about yourself at the link below:


Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesnt want to hear -RonPaul


I will!

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

Wow does this

familiar over the last year I have helped a couple of campaigns here locally one for our county school board and the other was for state senate. The guy running for state senate was Shawn Crowell he was RP jr what a great message and good speaker but lacked money and experence for a state wide campaign,but we learned alot and I hope Shawn will run again. Then Nick ran for our county school board now in Tn the state mandates the amount of money the county will spend on (un)education. Our county spends over 60% of it`s budget on education so you can see how important it is to have control of our school board. Well we ran a very grassroots campaign with Nick and I doing most of the work and this was against a very establishment opponent who had over thirty years of entrenched establishment education background and every education insider saying he would win big. Well we covered the whole district and everyone I talked to said that we were the only campaign that even took the time to come and talk to them,well on election night with the polls closing at 7:00 pm I called everyone I knew to make sure they had voted. At around 6:00pm I talked to one of my buddies and he said that voting had slipped his mind but he would vote on his way to the gym. Well on my way home from sign holding I stopped in our town square and watched the vote count come in well at about 9:00 pm the vote was 801-800 for Nick and there were still 3 provisinal votes to be counted the next day,well we got one of those and the other two ballots were disallowed so we won 802-800.



Doesn't it just feel great! Shawn needs to run again! Maybe he should try legislature to start with, or county commissioner/city council. Congrats to nick! What a nail biter.

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek

Great Story, Dan!

Thanks for sharing it.

Local is right

Federal is lost!

Thanks for sharing your story.

Keep up the great work! You make a compelling case for concentrating our resources on winning the local races.