Murray Sabrin’s acceptance speech for the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s U.S. Senate nomination, Rutgers University, University Inn, March 24, 2018
Twenty-one years ago I had the honor of being the NJLPs nominee for governor. Our ambitious goal in that campaign was to raise enough money to be eligible for the state’s matching fund program, which would entitle me to be in three debates with the two major party nominees.
With the support of libertarians in NJ and around the country we raised the $150,000 we needed in the weeks before the early September deadline to put us over the top, and we became the first third-party candidate to receive matching funds. Although our application was initially denied, an Administrative Law Judge ruled in our favor, and on September 19, 1997 the election commission approved our application.
For the next six weeks we crisscrossed the state with the libertarian message and when all was said and done we received nearly 5% of the vote or about 114,000 votes, even though a week before the election some polls had me at 10% and 12%.
What did we accomplish? For starters we campaigned on increasing the state speed limit to 65 mph while my opponents were against it. The incumbent governor who was narrowly reelected raised the speed limit to 65 mph soon after the election, and undoubtedly New Jersey motorists received fewer speeding tickets, saving them millions of dollars in fines and higher insurance premiums. We proposed deregulating the automobile insurance industry to get more competitors into New Jersey, which would lower automobile premiums for motorists; and after Jim McGreevy was elected in 2001 he deregulated the automobile insurance market. We supported ending the prohibition of medical marijuana and now that has become an acceptable mainstream idea. We also supported ending marijuana prohibition completely and more and more states have been legalizing marijuana. Even the current Democratic governor of New Jersey supports legalizing marijuana.
During the gubernatorial campaign I put a Sabrin for Governor sign on my lawn. Upon coming home one afternoon there was a hand written note from a police officer stating I was in violation of a town ordinance prohibiting such a sign. Needless to say, we went to court and struck a blow for free speech… Political lawn signs on your property have been legal in New Jersey since 1997.
So today I humbly accept your nomination… this time for US Senator.
What can we achieve together from now until Election Day? Besides, the obvious of giving New Jersey voters a real choice at the polls in November.
Our goal is to run a competitive campaign against the incumbent senator, a career politician who is wrong on virtually every domestic and international issue. His views are diametrically opposed to our campaign’s message of peace liberty, prosperity.
In addition, our senior US senator has supported an Iranian Marxist-Leninist terrorist group known as MEK that has killed Americans overseas that operates, and you cannot make this up, in Camp Liberty.
This fact alone makes Senator Menendez unfit to be reelected, let alone be a United Sates Senator.
Our strategy contains a path to victory—yes there is a path to victory, if every NJLP registered voter does his or her part. We are running against an incumbent senator who was made a career in the US Senate of spending most of his time representing a Florida physician before federal agencies who was convicted of defrauding Medicare, in effect the American people, to the tune of nearly $100 million, and is now serving a long prison sentence.
Before I get to the details of our message – Peace, Liberty, Prosperity, let me outline the details of our campaign.
In addition to accepting donations to the Sabrin for Senate campaign, we will ask our supporters in New Jersey and pro-liberty Americans across the nation to make a donation to their house of worship and/or favorite charity in their communities.
One of our campaign proposals is to end trickle down welfarism. The unsustainable welfare programs that have been so entrenched in America, and the corporate welfare programs that redistribute income from low and middle-income families to businesses. Businesses must stand on their own two feet in the marketplace without taxpayers’ subsidies.
To end trickle-down welfarism I propose that taxpayers receive a dollar tax credit for every dollar they donate to any IRS recognized institution or organization. Donations eligible for a tax credit would be gifts to houses of worship, colleges, universities homeless shelters, food banks, health centers, and any other 501(c)(3) organization.
My tax proposal will allow every working American to increase their philanthropic donations at no additional cost to them.
As Peter Drucker recognized nearly three decades ago in a Wall Street Journal essay, “government has proved incompetent at solving social problems,” and therefore the nonprofit sector is best way to deliver social services. Phasing out trickle-down welfarism as soon as possible will be one of the greatest social achievements of our lifetime.
Last year my wife and I created the Sabrin Family Trust in order to make charitable contributions to organizations we have been supporting for years and are doing important work in our community and around the nation. During the campaign I will issue a challenge to New Jersey voters in every congressional district. If I come in first in that district, we will make a donation from the Trust to the most effective charity that residents determine is worthy of our support.
So how do we run a competitive race against two major party nominees who will each pour millions of dollars to con voters that there are differences between a Democrat or Republican? Both parties embrace the same agenda – maintaining the welfare – warfare state, which means taxing, spending, borrowing, regulating, printing money, spying on us, and bombing countries around the world that are no threat to the American people.
I am asking all our New Jersey supporters and the tens of thousands of pro-liberty Americans across the country to make a nominal contribution of $80 to our campaign. Today or spread out over the next two or three months. Tens of thousands of contributors would allow us to run the most competitive Libertarian campaign in history.
Why $80? It is arbitrary just as the tax rates that we are forced to pay to Uncle Sam. I live near Interstate 80 so I thought that would be an appropriate amount to ask for. And, 80 is probably the average economic IQ of career politicians.
As a US Senator I believe I will raise the congressional economic IQ markedly.
We have assembled a great group of volunteers who are taking time from their busy careers to achieve a great victory for the liberty movement, which means the people of New Jersey and throughout America will benefit from our proposal to bring the troops home, protect our civil liberties, and promote financial independence.
Let me stress… to have a competitive campaign we must show the voters and the media we have widespread grassroots support. In today’s political climate that means sufficient funds to get our message out from Bergen to Burlington and Sussex to Salem so that voters will have a real choice in the November election.
If our campaign is well funded ASAP, the media will take notice and pollsters would include us when they poll voters for the U.S. Senate race. By showing strength in the polls, we will be invited to attend US Senate candidate forums and be included in the official debates.
Here is the arithmetic to win the election in November. There are approximately 10,000 registered Libertarians in New Jersey. If on average each NJLP registered voter can get 20 people to the polls in November that will give us be 200,000 votes. If in turn these 200,000 voters can on average get only five people to the polls that will give us a million votes in November, which should be enough to win the election in a competitive three way race.
On a personal note. The candidate who will be elected the next US Senator in November will take office in 2019. 2019 is a special year for me. It is the 60th anniversary of my becoming a US citizen. In June 1959 I raised my right hand in a Manhattan federal courthouse and swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Ten years earlier I arrived in America with my older brother and parents who were the only ones in their families to survive World War II in their native Poland.
This year, my wife and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary in August. I would like to give her a wedding anniversary present on November 6 that she would very much appreciate. To see me in the US Senate debate the authoritarians of both major political parties. And Florence really likes the thought of being married to Senator Sabrin for the next six years….or longer.
By having a competitive campaign this fall, we would spread our message throughout New Jersey that ending the financially unsustainable and morally indefensible welfare-warfare state is crucial for the future prosperity and restoring all the liberties of the American people. By having a competitive campaign, we also would drive home the point that the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of interest rates, which enriches the 1%, is the major cause of income inequality in America, and destabilizes our economy.
A victory in November, which sounds inconceivable, is as inconceivable as Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination and then defeating Hillary in the presidential election. And who could forget Bernie’s tenacious effort to snatch the Democratic nomination from Hillary two years ago. And he probably would have been the presidential nominee if the system were not rigged.
In the presidential campaign two years ago there were at least two “firsts.” Hillary Clinton was the first female major presidential party nominee, and Donald Trump was the first billionaire elected president. History is full of examples of individuals being the “first.”
So who were some of the pioneers in history? Let me rattle off some names, the Wright Brothers, Louis Brandies, Roger Bannister, Thurgood Marshall, Tonie Nathan, Bella Abzug, Sarah Palin, Sandra Day O’Connor, JFK, Neil Armstrong, and thousand of others.
We have the solutions, we have a great campaign staff, we have the determination to win, and with our collective efforts we will achieve what the pundits will say is impossible—elect the first Libertarian senator in US history. There is a first for everything in life.
My fellow Libertarians, will historians in ten, 50, or 100 years write that the journey to end the welfare/warfare state began in earnest on March 24, 2018 at the NJLP convention in New Brunswick on the campus of Rutgers University? Or, will they briefly mention, if at all, that the Libertarian nominee was not a factor in the US Senate race against an ethically challenged, enthusiastic proponent of the welfare/warfare state, Bob Menendez who received finical support from the presumptive GOP nominee, Bob Hugin. Welcome to New Jersey politics.
My fellow Libertarians, now is our time to shape history. Now is our opportunity to take a giant step toward creating a more peaceful world, a freer economy and a just society. Now is our moment to achieve a great victory for Peace, Liberty, Prosperity.
Let us resolve from this day forward we pledge ourselves to do the hard work of achieving liberty in our lifetime.
Thank you very much.