William Weld’s Past Involvement With Unity08 Brings Ethical Shadow To Libertarian Ticket
Former Republican anti-environmentalist Gary Johnson was selected as the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party for 2016 over the weekend. He wasted no time in announcing his choice for running mate – another former Republican, William Weld.
Like Johnson, William Weld has gained notoriety for downplaying the gravity of environmental problems, as when he jumped into the Charles River, fully clothed, to try to prove that the river wasn’t really polluted. In Weld’s mind, if he could jump into a river and then climb out without dying in the process, there must not be any problem with pollution.
Concerns about William Weld’s suitability for high office go far beyond environmental issues, though. Weld brings to the Libertarian ticket a good deal of baggage on the issue of ethics as well.
One instance of Weld’s questionable judgment on ethics comes from his involvement with the Unity08 scheme. In the 2008 presidential election, Unity08 was set up by a team of wealthy investors trying to promote the privatization of Social Security and the defunding of programs that help working Americans cope with increasingly desperate conditions of income inequality as they’re squeezed by greedy corporate bosses.
Unity08 quickly gained a reputation for doublespeak, simultaneously insisting it was not a political party while it submitted legal applications for the status of a political party. Unity08 also infamously promised its rank and file members that they would have the power to decide the political agenda of the organization through an online voting process, even as it crafted bylaws that gave the power to a shadowy elite group of Unity08 insiders to overrule all rank and file member decisions.
Among that group of Unity08 elites was William Weld. How did William Weld gain his position on the Unity08 Advisory Council? Like every other member of the Council, he had given large amounts of money to Unity08. There wasn’t a single member of the Unity08 Advisory Council who hadn’t made big payments to the organization.
In Unity08, the only ultimate decision-making power was given to extremely wealthy political insiders who had purchased their influence within the organization, in an unethical pay to play arrangement. Unity08 claimed that it was going to challenge the political establishment and stand against corruption, but it ended up representing no one but the political establishment, through a corrupt system of financial influence.
When Unity08’s members discovered that William Weld and the other members of the Advisory Council had engaged in a power grab to deprive regular voters of their promised role within the organization, the scheme quickly fell apart. William Weld went on to become a prominent supporter of the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, the ultimate establishment Republican.
Unity08 had kept none of its promises and met none of its political goals. Elite insiders from the group tried to resurrect the organization under the new name of Americans Elect in 2012, but that effort didn’t even get as far as Unity08.
So, as its vice presidential nominee, William Weld brings to the Libertarian Party a history of involvement in failed unscrupulous schemes to deceive working Americans into supporting a political agenda devised by a cabal of financial elites. For those who are paying attention, William Weld’s place on the 2016 Libertarian ticket will only confirm the political party’s reputation as a cynical effort to promote the interests of the rich and powerful under a false veneer of “liberty”.