Revolution

Tamara Clark

Tamara Clark is a Libertarian Party activist who has been prominent in the Libertarian Party of Nevada and the Libertarian Party of Arizona, having been Chair of both organizations, as well as a Libertarian National Committee representative. In February 1996, she resigned her LNC post and withdrew from LP activity after being disgusted with other Libertarians' personal attacks and innuendos against her.

In 1992, Clark ran a high-profile campaign for Nevada State Senate, garnering major endorsements and eventually winning 46% of the vote. In 1994, Clark started two campaigns before finally withdrawing from the races. The Libertarian National Committee censured her when she refused to provide them an accounting of her contributors, which she believed would be used by her opponents to harass her supporters.

From a February 13, 1996 post by Clark to Libernet:

I participated in - eventually becoming vice chairman of the campaign - the first referendum ever in the country that put the question of abortion choice to a vote of the people. Not only did I help organize the successful statewide Nevada petition drive (1989-1991), but we also faced highly active opposition from "Operation Rescue," with clinic blockades almost every weekend for a year. So, we launched the lawsuit that also became the first ever in the country to stop Operation Rescue and others from blocking the clinics by making the blockers pay restitution to the clinics each and every time they walked onto their property.

Finally, the voters of Nevada had to cast ballots on our referendum in two successive elections, since we were amending the state constitution. ... we won with 84 percent of the vote.

... Then there was the business Employee Head Tax (a tax levied against business owners, penalizing them for each new hire, though with a "cap" which benefitted the state's largest employers, the hotel-casinos - thus falling heaviest on small businesses.) From the first months the Democratic governor proposed this to the Democratic Legislature, I was the chair of Nevadans for Lower Taxes, an organization of small business owners.

... There was my state Senate race in 1992, in which I became the first Libertarian ever to win the endorsement of the state's largest newspaper (the Las Vegas Review-Journal, circ. 160,000), not to mention the first Libertarian ever endorsed for such a race by the Chamber of Commerce. I also interviewed for and received endorsements from 18 other organizations. It made big news that a Libertarian was doing so well. Then, starting the very day after the election, there was the front page in the Las Vegas Sun (the Democratic daily) about what a great candidate I had been and about how there might have been some "problems" in the election.

"Problems"? The fraud had many aspects. Start with the stories about all the candidates who were going to challange the results - several Republicans as well as me. (Although midday exit polling on election day - admittedly based on small samples - reported me ahead, and although the first live network affiliate TV report of the just-opened absentee ballots announced me leading 56-44 in a two-way race, the computers "had to be shut down" for more than an hour just after counting started. When they came up again, I was losing 56-44, a mirror-image reversal which turned out to be the final official tally.)

Then there were all the stories about how I and some of the other candidates were in the election department every day finding all kinds of problems with how they processed the absentee ballots. Then there were the stories about the grand juries that the state Legislature requested to look into the election problems. The county Registrar of Voters was demoted, then fired. I was appointed to a committee to search for a new registrar - and I was clearly identified as a Libertarian in all these stories.

... In September of 1993 I became front page news again, for reasons I hope none of you ever have to go through. I lost my pre-school aged son in an auto accident that happened in my front yard.

... My run for a 1994 office in Nevada was aborted. I started campaigns for two different offices in turn, but the Republicans and Democrats had become much more savvy about blocking me from another two-way race, shifting candidates into races against me at the last minute before candidate registration closed, to create three- and even four-way races which I considered unwinnable -- a waste of contributors' money. This, combined with our financial straits, meant that by September of 1994 I was already in Arizona, where that affiliate party offered me a much-needed temporary salary to manage a number of very strong campaigns.

What I did was refuse to provide detailed information on my 1994 Nevada vendors to the National Committee. That's what I was censured for. So far as I know, I'm the only candidate in the history of the party who's ever been asked for such information.

Appearances in Revolution:


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