Thursday, September 29, 2016

Radical Reaction


Darryl Perry today announced that he was running a write-in campaign for President of the United States.

Mr Perry did not discuss his plan with the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus Board of Directors.  We were ambushed with the news.

The bylaws of the Radical Caucus provide for resigning from formal membership in the Radical Caucus simply by publicly supporting another party's candidate against a Libertarian Party candidate:

"E. Resignation / 3) The LPRC shall automatically presume a non­-voting or Annual member who self­-represents as a member of a political party other than the LP, casts a vote in the internal affairs or elections of another party, or who publicly endorses the candidate(s) of another party, has ipso facto resigned as a member of the LPRC effective as of the date of such representation or endorsement."

This is a resignation according to the bylaws of the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.

While some within the LPRC are arguing this doesn't apply to independent candidates, I am proceeding on the fact that I am the person who wrote the automatic resignation provision and I know damned well what I meant. Running against the Libertarian nominee qualifies. He's publicly endorsing himself inviting others to vote for him, against the LP nominee.

Call him a "party of one".

Mr Perry certainly knew this action would be in conflict. He knew the bylaws and knew that provision. He also knew this would be unacceptable to a lot of us.

Yet he ambushed us with his announcement and did it anyway.

Regarding the reaction to his announcement, I find it truly disappointing that most Libertarians -- even among us Radicals -- know what "being held responsible for one's actions" supposedly means. But when it comes time for us to actually hold anyone responsible for their actions within the Party, they all go limp.

Regardless, Mr Perry's announcement was his resignation from formal membership in the LPRC.

He is welcome to rejoin at any time by following the LPRC Bylaws procedure for doing so.

Now that I have stated my position on the matter as one of the Founders of the LPRC and as a member of the organization's Board of Directors, let me state my personal position on his announcement:

In some ways I expected something like this. For many years we've tried to convince our fellow members of the Libertarian Party that better, more consistent candidates must be nominated. Yet while gladly accepting money and time from radicals and anarchists, often with annoyingly fake smiles, the opportunist, minarchist majority hasn't listened to a word.

Johnson could have spent the last four years becoming a better libertarian, and a better candidate. Had he done so, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. Instead of studying up and doing a bit of basic philosophical homework, he has chosen to flip a giant middle finger in the direction of the Party's most faithful members and the Party platform.

Ron Paul made a political earthquake happen with one word: Blowback.

Well, Mr Perry's actions are a predictable blowback to a Libertarian candidate who can't bring himself to address the concerns of a number of LP stalwarts.

For me personally, regardless of my feelings about it being a clear violation of the LPRC bylaws, I would consider casting my vote for him if my state permitted doing so; and I also support his right to seek the votes of Libertarians.

It is worth pointing out that it is very likely that the votes Perry can take from Johnson will be minuscule. As D. Frank Robinson opined: "I think Johnson has a realistic shot at 5 million votes or less than 4 percent of an estimated 129 million votes." Perry will not attract more than a handful of those Johnson votes.

On the other hand, Perry's announcement may indeed speak to two other groups:

a) There are libertarians who are so upset with Johnson that they have said they will vote for Trump.

b) There are libertarians who are so uninspired with Johnson that they would have stayed home and just not voted.

If there is a chance at recapturing those votes, it is entirely possible that Mr Perry's announcement may do that.

So, my position is two-fold:

1) By his act he is no longer a member of the LPRC; and

2) I wish him all the best and would greatly prefer my state offered the ability to cast a vote for him if I so desired.


[This author wishes to note his gratitude to the following individuals for suggesting some perspectives about this which I found worth repeating: Keith Thompson, D. Frank Robinson, Rocky Eades, and several others.]

-- end --

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Should there be a government "No Fly" list?

In a recent interview with Reason Magazine, Gary Johnson voiced his support for the continued existence of the federal "no fly" list.

This is problematic for many reasons.

Perhaps Mr Johnson does not realize that all it takes to get on the No Fly / Terrorist Watch List can be something as simple as angering a Flight Attendant?  And once you're on there, there is no defined procedure for getting off of it: You're hosed -- and by what standards nobody can say -- until some bureaucrat feels like removing you.

If they can do that for the 2nd Amendment, they can do it for the 1st.

This is one of many issues that sounds simple.  Certainly, we must have security in the air.  But since when has any government program ever worked as advertised?

With government, nothing is simple.

The real-world effect of giving government money and power -- in this case, air travel -- is actually quite disturbing.  You can end up on the no fly list for just about any reason, and no justification is necessary: mistaken identity, or by angering a flight attendant, or perhaps annoying a government official for something completely unrelated to flying.

Let's put it this way: If Chris Christie will shut a whole bridge down in retaliation for one guy's refusal to support him, imagine what games officials play -- or might play -- with the no fly list.

Now Clinton and Trump are talking about stripping you of other Constitutional rights if you're on the No Fly or Terrorist Watch lists?

Johnson said he wants accountability in the process; and fast recourse for those who are on the list who shouldn't be.  But there will never be accountability; there will never be transparency, and there will never be recourse.  That's not how things work with government; there is no incentive to make them work that way.

The actual Libertarian position is: Yes, there *should* be a no-fly list. Two of them, actually:

1) If the airline doesn't want to sell you a seat, they shouldn't have to; and

2) Incarceration.  If you've committed a crime so egregious that you can't be entrusted with a gun, or to be on a plane, then you should be in prison or otherwise prevented from hurting others in peaceful society.

If you like Clinton, would you trust Trump with protecting your right to travel (and your freedom of speech)?

If you like Trump, would you trust Clinton with protecting your right to travel (and your freedom of religion)?

If you're suspicious of either one, consider that if you grant the government the power to do what *you* want, one day that same power that you gave it will be used to take everything you have.

So, No, Gary -- the No Fly and Terrorist Watch lists maintained by the government are ineffective, counterproductive, and unconstitutional, and they must be abolished.  Instead, Finking Feddie should concentrate on strengthening the ability of security firms and local law enforcement to get truly dangerous individuals off the street, and allow people and airlines the freedom to decide whether to associate with them.

Wikipedia has an excellent review of the No Fly program.


Thursday, May 05, 2016

Getting up to Speed as a New Libertarian in Virginia

Welcome to the Libertarian Party!

Whether you're new to Virginia or new to voting, we would love to help you get 'tuned in' to Virginia Libertarian politics!

Would you like more information to be sent to you about the Libertarian Party?  Just fill out or "Inquiry Form", and we will send you sample copies of our newsletter and get you connected with the local chapter representatives nearest you.

Do you need to register to vote in Virginia?  You can register online directly with the State Board of Elections.  Need to check your registration status?  That can also be done online, directly with the State Board of Elections.

Are you interested in registering as a Libertarian?  No need in Virginia -- we do not have partisan registration for any party.


Would you like to help out with the drive to get the Libertarian Presidential candidate on the Virginia ballot?  Then check out our "Petitioning Instructions" page.  You will find downloadable petition forms and other ballot-drive resources and information.

Are you interested in getting more involved with the state or local Libertarian Party?  Then fill out the "Volunteer" form and we will do our best to get you connected.

Ever thought about running for office as a Libertarian?  Then fill out our "Candidate" form and let us know.

Ready to support the LP and call yourself a "card-carrying member"?  You can join both the national and state parties with one visit to our "Membership" webpage.

There's lots more to be done.  Some ideas are listed on our "Take Action" page.

If you have special skills that you'd like to put to work for liberty, then please let us know!

Tips for Potential National Convention Delegates / 2016

So You Want to Be a National Convention Delegate!
By Marc Montoni, LP Radical Caucus

1.  BE A MEMBER OF YOUR STATE **AND** NATIONAL LP.

Really, in most states, being a supporting member of your state and national Libertarian Party costs $50 or less for both.

I am in favor of all delegates being allowed to do their jobs without being required to pay a floor fee; however, I am also in favor of requiring **every** delegate to be a dues-paid member of **both** the national and state parties (at least -- in many areas they could also be supporting a local committee as well).

You can help us eliminate the Deformer's "freeloader" argument by making sure you have made at least the basic dues donation for both your national and state membership.

2.  REGISTER.
 http://www.lp.org/convention

You are not required to purchase a package to attend only the Business Session.

BAD IDEA: Forget to register.

3.  MAKE SURE YOU'RE CREDENTIALED.
Your state LP sends its delegate list to the Credentials Committee, and it is the members of the CC who decide who is qualified to take part on the convention floor.

DO NOT fail to verify that the Credentials Committee has credentialed you, especially if you're planning to attend only the Business Session.

BAD IDEA: To forget your colleagues are human.  Trust, but verify.

4.   RESERVE YOUR HOTEL ROOM!
http://libertarian.nationbuilder.com/location

The convention website says the LP convention rate is sold out.  However, there are people looking for roommates, and there are alternative hotels nearby.

If you seek roommates, begin seeking them now.  The below page was established for the '14 cnvention but people are still using it for this one:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LNC2014Roomshare/

or perhaps: http://www.easynest.com/

BAD IDEA: Waiting until the last minute to make your travel plans.

5.  CARPOOLING
The above Facebook group has rideshares offered & needed also.

BAD IDEA: Failing to figure out how you're getting there.

6.  FIND OUT HOW TO BECOME A DELEGATE FROM YOUR STATE
Find out what the procedure will to seek a delegation seat with your state LP.

If you don't win a delegate seat this year, then start working on the next cycle.  Have some accomplishment behind you.  Don't wait to organize a booth, do a fundraising round for the Party, recruit candidates and members, or organize your home precinct.  DO IT NOW.  Next week is too late; next month is too late.  Do nothing and show up at your state convention and those who have done their homework will be first in line for those precious delegate seats -- ahead of YOU.  Get away from the computer, get off the couch, and engage in a real political act.

BAD IDEA: Ignoring your state party's convention call.

7.  SHOW UP AT YOUR STATE CONVENTION, AND SEEK ELECTION TO A DELEGATE SEAT.
SHOW UP at your state LP convention, with your LP activity resume in hand, and do what you need to do to be among those considered for a delegate seat.  This is a fairly complete schedule:

 http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/01/libertarian-state-conventions-january-june-2014/

 http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/2014-state-conventions

BAD IDEA: Failing to show up.

8.  STUDY NATIONAL'S RULES AND PROCEDURES.
Do a thorough read of the Delegation Chair's Manual.

- https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libertarian/pages/87/attachments/original/1461872272/2016_Delegation_Chairs_Manual_v2.pdf?1461872272

Study up on the Convention Committee structure:

- http://www.lp.org/bylaws-mandated-committees

Here are the Delegate Allocations by state:

- http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2015/12/libertarian-party-convention-state-delegate-allotments-announcement/

BAD IDEA: Remaining unfamiliar with or clueless about convention procedures.

9.  GET FAMILIAR WITH THE LP NATIONAL PLATFORM
Read through the current LP Platform, such as it is:

- http://www.lp.org/platform

It's a lot shorter that it used to be, and it says a lot less.  Not a bad idea to pick a couple of previous platforms so you understand what used to be in it:

- http://www.lpedia.org/Platform

BAD IDEA: Not being fairly familiar with what the Party actually says.

Take anything said about the LP platform and how it "compares" with the platforms of other parties with a grain of salt.  Review the opposition's platform(s)for yourself:

- https://www.google.com/search?q=2016+PLATFORMS+OF+POLITICAL+PARTIES

BAD IDEA: Remaining ignorant of what our competition has in their platforms.

BAD IDEA: Allowing the individuals on the Platform Committee -- some of whom want us to say nothing about anything -- to make up your mind for you.

10.  KNOW YOUR PLATFORM COMMITTEE
a)  Check out who is on the Platform Committee:

- http://www.lp.org/bylaws-mandated-committees

b)  Review what the majority on the Platform Committee has planned for the Platform; and keep in mind that a majority of the Platform Committee wants the LP platform to say very little:

- http://libertarian.nationbuilder.com/2016_platform_committee_report

c)  This committee had a meeting in March:

- http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/03/libertarian-party-platform-committee-agenda/

d)  Minutes from that March meeting:

- http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2016-Platform-Committee-Minutes.pdf

11.  LP BYLAWS
Familiarize yourself with the current LP Bylaws:

 http://www.lp.org/bylaws

BAD IDEA: Remaining unfamiliar with the current LP Bylaws.

12.  BYLAWS COMMITTEE
a)  Check out who is on the Bylaws Committee:

- http://www.lp.org/bylaws-mandated-committees

b)  Study the Bylaws Proposals from the Bylaws Committee, and be sure to review any comments on each proposal:

- http://libertarian.nationbuilder.com/2016_bylaws_and_rules_committee_report

BAD IDEA: Taking every idea in the Bylaws Committee Report at face value.  Some items will have a hidden agenda.

13.  Get yourself a copy of Robert's Rules:
 http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780738203072&itm=1
 http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780306813542&itm=3

Watch "Parliamentary procedure made simple: how to conduct a meeting".  Available at most large-ish public libraries.  Example:

 http://catalog.henrico.lib.va.us/uhtbin/cgisirsi/EVmqRegnAx/Z-HQ/213070085/9

If you can't find it at your local library, don't forget your municipality's law library, as well as school and college libraries.  I saw a few university copies available on this search:

 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=video+parliamentary+procedure+library&btnG=Search

BAD IDEA: Complaining when parliamentary tricks are used to silence and bypass you, and you don't know how to counter them.

BAD IDEA: Relying on the advice of "Registered Parliamentarians", who can't seem to understand the part of their training that dictates they must recuse themselves from offering opinions if they have a stake in what they are interpreting.

BAD IDEA: Relying on the advice of witch-doctor shamans who want you to believe they have special insight *you* could not possibly have.

14.  HAVE A GREAT TIME!
I don't go because I think all of my ideas, candidates for LNC positions, or whatever will all win.  I go because I want to see that crazy remnant I enjoy spending time with so much.  Go for the drinking games, the parties and the socializing, and have a good time.

See you there!
-- end --

------------------------------------------------------------
Originally written January 2008, by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@yahoo.com>, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  This version released 2016.  License to use hereby granted under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ .  All use of this or derivative works must include an unedited copy of this attribution statement as well as an unedited copy of the above original article (if used in a derivative work).
------------------------------------------------------------
For more information about the Radical Caucus, see www.LPRadicalCaucus.org or see the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497146127/  .
------------------------------------------------------------