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Adam Kokesh, a 2020 Libertarian presidential candidate, holds his book "Freedom!" while in New Orleans on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

When Janine Hayes looked through the flyers and other mailings sent to her Gentilly home last week, she found a typical scattering of credit card offers, sale brochures and other random advertisements.

But included among the deliveries was a small black paperback book, just under 100 pages, with “Freedom!” stenciled in white capital letters across the top. That made Hayes one of the first city residents to receive the manifesto of Adam Kokesh, an anti-government activist based in Arizona who is sending his self-published tract to every home in New Orleans.

The distribution of 204,453 free copies — which cost around $131,000 and was raised mostly from cryptocurrency companies — began Jan. 4. Residents in many neighborhoods have already received the book, which aims to open New Orleanians’ eyes to what Kokesh sees as the oppression of "statism," unwarranted state-sponsored violence and government control through the distribution of propaganda.

The books are being sent via the U.S. Postal Service.

“This is the catalyst for fundamental change in this city,” Kokesh, 36, said of his book in a recent video post. “There’s a lot of beautiful expression and celebration in the city of New Orleans, and yet you seem to have the greatest contrast between that and the political reality.”

New Orleans citizens aren’t known for their ready embrace of outsiders bearing answers to the city’s problems. Many residents have quickly tossed the books, with some posting pictures on social media of the black book atop their trash bins, with others offering to just give theirs away.

“You can have mine,” Desier Galjour and Paul McMahon said in separate social-media posts.

But some, like Hayes, say they’ll at least check it out.

“I find political propaganda and conspiracy theories amusing,” she said.

Kokesh, an Iraq War veteran, political activist and unsuccessful Republican primary candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, chose New Orleans as the first of potentially several cities for the giveaway because he loves the city despite what he says is overly aggressive law enforcement there.

He arrived in New Orleans early this month to promote the book and set about drawing the word “Freedom!” on streets and sidewalks throughout the city using a power washer and a stencil.

But his plans were delayed by a four-day stay in jail after a New Orleans police officer caught him and a friend parked on the side of the Pontchartrain Expressway, trying to tag a barrier on the side of the highway.

He live-streamed his arrest and attributes the length of his stay to a complete lack of cooperation with authorities. The arrest is one of more than three dozen he counts across the U.S.

“I’m so good at getting arrested I can do it without even trying,” Kokesh said.

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Adam Kokesh, a 2020 Libertarian presidential candidate, next to one of his water stencils on Canal Blvd. in New Orleans on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Originally from San Francisco, Kokesh lived in New Mexico and received a psychology degree from Claremont McKenna College in California before joining the U.S. Marines and getting deployed to Iraq.

In 2007 he joined the group Iraq Veterans Against the War and ran unsuccessfully for a New Mexico U.S. House seat. He launched an online talk show, "Adam vs. The Man," in 2011, that became popular among libertarians.

He now lives in Arizona and recently registered to run for president in 2020. His plan, if elected, is to abolish the federal government and then “leave and get a real job.”

“Honestly, I think with the presidential campaign, winning in 2020 is not realistic,” he said.

The total shipping cost of what Kokesh calls the New Orleans “book bomb” was primarily funded through cryptocurrency-related businesses that bought advertising in the book, he said. The bulk-mail company he hired to send out the book said the mailings should all arrive this week.

Local political consultant James Hartman called Kokesh’s efforts “admirable,” adding that he’s never heard of a political campaign sending out books to an entire city.

“Non-traditional candidates have to do non-traditional things,” he said.

Still, it’s not something he would advise a candidate to undertake, especially since “Freedom!” has no indication on either the front or back that Kokesh is the author or a presidential candidate.

Kokesh got the idea for his book while reading other libertarian tracts during a previous jail stay. He envisioned the book as more appealing to the general population than more lengthy texts.

In addition to denouncing what it sees as government overreach, the book advocates for the use of cryptocurrencies and claims that the safest populace is a well-armed one.

To promote the book, Kokesh and members of his campaign put up signs and made “water stencils” of their logo across the city, many in the French Quarter.

Kokesh said he chose water stenciling instead of sidewalk chalk because of the uproar over chalk ads that Coca-Cola stenciled on New Orleans streets without permission during the Final Four tournament in 2012.

But Erin Holmes — executive director of the Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents and Associates — said that water stenciling could break the same rule against placing a sign on public property. She’s waiting on a response from the Department of Safety and Permits on the issue.

Kokesh said he’s not worried about people being unhappy with his efforts, though. In fact, he expects it.

Hartman agreed that a mass-mailed book and a stencil campaign are probably not going to sway many voters.

“He’d probably get more votes if he sent a king cake to everyone,” Hartman said.

Follow Nick Reimann on Twitter, @nicksreimann.