“I was like, ‘Wow, this free-market stuff makes sense to me. I really like it,’” Mr. Dondero said. “Then I found out that the Libertarian Party was in favor of free-enterprise economics and wanted to legalize drugs. I said, ‘That’s me right there.’”
The series, Mr. Dondero recalled, was broadcast on public television.
“There’s some irony there,” he laughed. “If it wasn’t for PBS, I probably would not be a libertarian today.”
Bye-bye, Bon Jovi
On election night, Mr. Dondero was too nervous to watch television. Instead, he clicked back and forth between four different conservative websites, going from early-evening optimism to mid-evening despair as Florida and Virginia were not called for Mr. Romney.
“Man, I cried, and I don’t even remember the last time I cried,” he said. “I know liberals will sit there and giggle at me, but I bawled for an hour.”
The morning after the election, Mr. Dondero sent out a mass email announcing his decision to no longer associate with Democrats. Richard Winger, a San Francisco-based ballot-access specialist and Libertarian Party consultant, was one of the recipients.
“I considered [his boycott] not really mature, but I didn’t feel like arguing with him,” Mr. Winger said. “It wouldn’t do any good. Eric is very passionate about everything he does. I was sort of hoping he was over that by now.”
“Then I laid it on. ‘Oh, this store is going to start laying people off because of the Obama economy!’ I think she got scared.”
As for music, Mr. Dondero said he is a major rock ‘n’ roll fan but has “literally thrown out half” of his collection of compact discs — including albums from Jon Bon Jovi, who campaigned for Mr. Obama.