Eshoo Challenger Bets Voters $2 Each

From: Brian Holtz, Libertarian for Congress Text/Voice/Video chat: brianholtz1965 Day: 408-349-7240
For Immediate Release Eve: 650-654-6589

Sunnyvale, CA - May 3, 2004 -- The Libertarian challenger to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) is betting $2 each to voters in Silicon Valley's 14th congressional district that if they read his web site they'll vote for him.

Brian Holtz is a Yahoo software engineer running for Congress against 7-term incumbent Democrat Eshoo in a district that stretches from Saratoga to Belmont and Scotts Valley to Half Moon Bay.  Holtz is trying to shake up an election which threatens to be a replay of 1998, in which Eshoo outspent her the same Republican opponent $450K to $35K and out polled him 69% to 28%. Republican Chris Haugen, a teacher at a Christian private school in Sunnyvale, had $4K on hand in January compared to Eshoo's $320K.

The offer on Holtz's campaign site ( says "If you can pass a short quiz on my positions, and still say you won't vote for me, I'll send you $2."  Holtz is currently capping his payout at $5000, but doesn't rule out raising that limit. To claim the $2, a voter in the 14th district first has to answer twenty multiple choice questions on Holtz's positions, with each question linked to the campaign web page that answers it. If after passing the quiz the voter can deny she will vote for Holtz, he says he will return her stamped self-addressed envelope with a Jefferson $2 bill in it.

Holtz explains that "Thomas Jefferson was a classical liberal, meaning he believed in limited government that respected personal and economic liberty.  Libertarians are the modern heirs to classical liberalism, so Jefferson is a natural fit for our views. And it doesn't hurt that his bill is $2 and not $20."

When asked to explain his peculiar marketing tactic, Holtz asks "what other advertising can I buy where I only pay if the voter actually considers my message? At Yahoo we're strong believers in pay-for-performance advertising, except here I cut out the middleman and pay the voter a direct bounty in exchange for her attention."

The Libertarian describes himself as a fiscal conservative and social liberal.  "The Democrats want government to be our nanny. The Republicans want government to be our chaperone. I want government to be just our referee and lifeguard, and treat us like grownups."  If elected, Holtz says his priorities would be "market-based reforms of bankrupt entitlement programs, eradication of corporate welfare, and protecting the environment by legally recognizing its economic value."

Predicting he will only win about 4% at the polls, the long shot challenger denies that a vote for him is a wasted vote. "The incumbent has won four straight elections by a 2-to-1 margin. Which vote is more wasted, a vote that ratifies a predetermined outcome, or a vote for the principles you believe in?" 

Holtz claims that the two major parties buy votes from special interests. "My infant daughter Shannon already owes $94,000 in government debt and unfunded liability. 98% of Congress gets re-elected, and they buy re-election with debt and promises that Shannon will be paying for when these politicians are just a bad memory."

Payments to voters might itself be considered a form of illegal vote-buying, but Holtz doesn't think so. "42 U.S.C. 1973i(c) forbids 'payment for voting', but I only pay if they sign a statement promising NOT to vote for me. If they say they'll vote for me, then they won't win $2 -- but they might just win a free country."

Holtz's 2004 campaign site is Rep. Eshoo's campaign site is Chris Haugen's 2004 campaign site is

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