Tuesday, July 17, 2007

If this doesn't make you proud to be a Libertarian .. .

Dear LNC members and State Chairs:

I was just scouring Google News before hitting the rack and came across the following story that is going to keep me up for another few hours out of sheer pride for our elected Libertarians.

This handful of Libertarians down in Florida remind me why we’re all in this. I am damn proud of and sincerely grateful for these guys.


Shane Cory


Government wants to give you money (honest)

By Charlie Whitehead contact

Monday, July 16, 2007

Your government wants to send you a check.

It’s a small part of your government, and it’s a small check, but members of the Lee Soil and Water Conservation District hope it sets a big precedent.

The district made headlines early this year when the five-member elected board voted to eliminate its one major expense and axe its Mobile Irrigation Lab. The board, driven by a new Libertarian Party majority, decided the service was too inefficient and too expensive.

Lee County commissioners considered saving the lab, but voted 3-2 against it. The Collier Soil and Water Conservation District stepped in to save the lab and now collects the grant funding from the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County and the City of Cape Coral to keep the program going.

“It’s the same people sitting at the same desks doing the same thing,” said Jack Tanner, chairman of the Lee district. “We sold their vehicles so Collier must be providing them.”

Tanner said once the expense of the lab was off the books, the district found it had around $100,000 in its accounts.

“It’s been building up for years,” he said. “Like many government agencies we have money in a lot of places. When we got down to terminating the money coming in we looked at the money we had and what to do with it. We figured the property owners could use it better than we could.”

The lab was eliminated after the Libertarian majority came into power at the beginning of the year. Tanner was already serving on the board, as was fellow party member Kim Hawk. Tom Clark, the Libertarian party chairman in Lee County, was elected in November.

Hawk is currently vice chairman of the county party. Tanner is treasurer. The district vote to return the money was 4-0, with one member absent.

Tanner said the district couldn’t figure out how to split the money between the hundreds of thousands of property owners in Lee County. The board opted to send it back $10 at a time on a first-come, first-served basis.

As of the weekend, 86 checks had been sent.

“I think people are filling out the form just to see if it works,” Tanner said.

There are conditions. You must be a property owner in Lee County, since past funding for the district came from property taxes paid to the water management district or to the county. Only 200 checks will be sent out per month, because after 225 bank transactions a month the district has to pay.

And you have to ask. To do that, go to http://leeswcd.homestead.com/CHECK.html

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Libertarian Lists Survey results

Libertarianlists has conducted a survey recently and they are still working on analyzing the data.

To look at the raw results for the survey, simply visit libertarianlists.com/surveyresult1.

There are also a couple of blogs that are discussing the results (gordonunleashed, freeliberal, Kn@ppster and lastfreevoice) and you can see from the “comments” on these different blogs that there are two divided camps in the LP. One that thinks RP is helping the libertarian movement – one thinks he is hurting the movement.

My personal take on the results was: OK, no surprises here.

If you are active at all in the LP (as I am), these numbers are simply a verification of the overall feeling that I have had anyway.

The info from this survey points out that LP’ers in general are excited about Ron Paul’s presidential campaign (duh) – and that the RP campaign has basically sucked the life out of all the announced Libertarian presidential candidates campaigns.

Many people are waiting for the RP campaign to play itself out before they really take a good look at the LP candidates. I understand that perspective. (I hope that RP pulls out early in the spring and does not pull a Kucinich and run a protest campaign all the way to the R convention)

No LP candidate has been able to break through the RP hype and that, to me, simply means they are not worthy as a national candidate. If they cannot break thru the Ron Paul hysteria, how are they going to compete against viable candidates from the R & D’s?

As a State Chair, I have met many of the LP pres candidates (and have read up on and will meet the others) and if I had to vote today to decide the LP Presidential candidate, I believe that “none of the above” would get my vote.

Maybe someone will step up in the next 10 months before the convention in Denver and fire up the base and pull the party together as a presidential candidate. Aaron Russo’s campaign in 2004 took off the January before Atlanta – maybe there will another person out there that can fire up a group of supporters (as Russo did) with a late start. We will see.

Friday, July 13, 2007

KS republican unity pledge

For those off you in the LP **like me** that think the usefulness of the non-initiation of force pledge that the LP uses is way out dated – a blogger for the Kansas Republicans (at least those from the right/wing-nut coalition) have decided that it is time for a new oath for the silly republicans that cannot think for themselves.

The party of Ron Paul is showing its true colors.

There are republicans in Kansas actually worried enough to list the Libertarian Party as one of the “not available to switch to parties”, which means we must be making some headway in the KS political scene, and that more republicans are considering the LP rather than the democrat party. (We did have one elected (R) official change to the LP in 2004 – Anderson County Attorney Fredrick Campbell)

As the republican party continues loosing its grip on Kansas politics, we will see more and more of the republican “purists” spout off in this fashion. It is only a good sign for Kansas LP’ers that the R’s continue to try to self-destruct.

Do you agree with me - Isn’t this oath just precious?


GOP Unity Pledge

I, _______________, promise never to abandon my present Republican Party affiliation for the purpose of political gain. The Republican Party, both nationally and domestically, was founded on sound and principled ideals, that include but are not limited to, personal liberty, individual freedom, responsive and citizen-based Government, life-affirming values, economic growth, strong and cutting edge military, low taxes and a mutual respect for fellow Republicans. Because of that, I will, at no point in my political or personal future, find cause to transfer my Party loyalty to any other affiliated organization.

I will not, at any future moment, become a registered Democrat for the purpose of seeking any political office. Additionally, I will not change my Party affiliation to that of any peripheral political party, such as the Reform Party, the Green Party or the Libertarian Party. Such a move would be not only opportunistic, it would be an unjustified trampling of everything that I previously claimed to stand for.

I care far too deeply about the previously espoused Republican ideals as well as the thousands of hard-working Republican citizens all over the State of Kansas to ever consider changing my political Party affiliation. I look forward to a life of citizen-serving, Republican political involvement. I thank the Kansas Republican Party, including all of the registered Kansas Republicans, for their years of service, good will and friendship.

I solemnly pledge to always be a Republican, no matter what promises are made by external forces seeking only to undermine the Republican values I stand for. I can have reasonable disagreement with members of the Republican Party; however, at no point will ‘Party switching’ or quitting of the Party be tolerable.


X __________________________________

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


by Chuck Muth

Cook-outs, fireworks, parades. For all too many Americans, that's what Independence Day is all about. Oh, excuse me. The 4th of July. Don't want to be caught promoting actual "independence" on a government-sanctioned holiday.

Still, for those who today celebrate the Declaration of Independence - NOT the Declaration of July 4th - it's important to reflect not only on the epic battle for freedom our Founders fought and won on our behalf, but the slow erosion of those freedoms ever since, an erosion fully anticipated by the Founders.

Thomas Jefferson, you'll recall, warned us that "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." In other words, if we don't keep our eyes open and stay on guard constantly, we could well end up losing the freedoms way too many of us now take for granted.

And Ben Franklin famously replied, when asked what type of government the Founders had established for us at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, "A Republic, if you can keep it." The key words, of course, are "if you can keep it." Franklin, too, realized that eternal vigilance and hard work would be necessary to keep a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

So how goes our eternal vigilance these days? Not so hot.

Columnist Steven Greenhut of the Orange County Register reminds us that the government established by our Founders isn't quite the same government we have today. As you grill up those burgers and oooh-and-ahhh the fireworks tonight, you'd do well to consider the Founders' historical warnings and Greenhut's modern-day observations. Eternal vigilance demands it, lest we lose our Republic. From Greenhut's column this past Sunday...

"Clearly, by comparison with most countries, Americans do pretty well. There's no Gestapo, dictator or prison camps for dissidents. There's talk of building a wall at the border, but to keep people from coming in, not to keep them from getting out. Still, I think Americans would benefit from thinking more closely about the state of our liberty. Every few years, I write a column that updates the erosion of our freedoms. It mostly deals with simple, everyday stuff, but it's rather telling. Here is my latest installment:

"If I want to build a new house, I need to petition any number of government agencies and commissions, and can build only what they allow. Those agencies decide not only if my project conforms to some basic, easily understood rules, but whether it conforms to their own preferences regarding style, color, historical influences, size, number of stories, and so forth. If I ever want to add on or improve that house, I must wait until a government inspector approves it. If I am a developer, and want to build a larger number of properties on a site, I must fight for years to get approvals - and usually the final project will bear little resemblance in style or design to my original vision.

"If I want to start a new business, I not only will have to pay a large portion of any earnings to the government, but I must first get all the necessary approvals from myriad governments. I must pay my employees a minimum rate determined by the government. They may only work the number of hours set by the government. If it's a restaurant or business that serves the public, I must get a conditional-use permit - a long list of conditions that micromanage exactly how I run the place, from the hours to the number of tables, based on the whims of the commissioners who must approve the business.

"The government can, at any time, take my home or business and give it to someone else if officials, for any reason, prefer the new use to my use. The government can, at its discretion, steal all the value from my property by declaring it a wetland or by finding on it some 'endangered' rodent or other species. No compensation need be paid as long as I still have any use of the land.

"The government's officers can launch a 'no-knock' raid of my home (if they get a tip about, say, a drug deal) and can shoot and kill me if they say that they viewed me as a threat. Abusive federal agents or local police officers can, by law in California, keep all their disciplinary records secret. Those same agents can arrest me and throw me in jail for decades for possessing those 'drugs' that the government determines to be illegal. Meanwhile, the government maintains files on all my personal and financial data and will use them to assure that I pay the amount of taxes the government determines that I must pay.

"If I refuse to pay the full amount, I will become a ward of one of the biggest growth industries in the country: the government-run prison system. I am free to pay about half of all my earnings to the government, which will use those taxes to erect a multitude of offices and pay its workers salaries and benefits that are far more than most of us will ever earn. The government's 'child protective services' workers are free to take anyone's children away from them based on their discretion. Parents are then forced into a totally secret court system, in which they must prove their innocence rather than having the government being forced to prove guilt.

"We are all free to travel where we choose after government agencies search, poke and prod us. We can drive on government roads, pay government tolls, fly out of government-owned airports and pay for government-issued bond debt. We are free to pay for the government schools, which teach our children what the government wants them to learn.

"The government can seize our personal property and not give it back even if we are cleared of any crime, and even place us in permanent detention, without any hope of legal representation, if the government determines that we are an enemy combatant. The government can bomb any government it chooses, based on any shoddy pretext (i.e., weapons of mass destruction). We are free to speak and write as we choose as long as the government doesn't decide that we broke campaign-finance laws or engaged in 'hate speech.'

"The 18th century German poet Johann Goethe said: 'None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.' Am I off-base to wonder whether we are careening down that road?"

As Yogi Berra might say, if Jefferson and Franklin were alive today they'd be rolling in their graves.

Kansas Libertarian Party Report for the LNC July 2007 meeting

The Kansas Libertarian Party has what I believe will be some wonderful opportunities to reach out to the disenfranchised voters in our state in the next three months.

The KSLP elected two people (in non-partisan races) to office this spring – Larry Manes, Allen County Community College Trustee and Mike Wilson, Saline County School Board Member. At our state convention in April, I was unanimously re-elected to be the Kansas State Chair for two more years of duty. Our state convention was well attended (especially for an off election year) and we had an attendance at the business meeting of around 35 members.

In the next few months, we are doing more OPH booths than we have ever done. One big event is the Kansas State Fair in September, where if I have my history accurate, we will staff a 10-day long booth for the 18th year!

We will also be working (thanks to Travis Nicks - Colorado Chair) the Vans Warped tour event when it comes to Kansas City on Aug 15th. We are also staffing at least 5 other (new to the KSLP working a booth) venues for outreach.

We are in the process of creating a new tri-fold brochure that is specific to the KSLP – the staff at LPStuff (Webb Garlinghouse business in Topeka) is the creative and printing help for us to upgrade the brochure we have today. The old one was 2-color piece on plain white paper – the new one will be a 4 color glossy brochure.

Earlier this year we started a “subscription club” donor program via the LPKS.org website (using Paypal). I believe that like all LP organizations that our donations are slower than I would like, however this new program is starting to take off for us. I am lucky (depending on your view I guess) that as a state party we were very small when I took over as chair 2 ½ years ago - so our expenses have been very low – while we are not cash flush by any definition – were are financially sound today.

I am very pleased that we are going to start a new “local” group in a rural area of Kansas; the inaugural meeting will be July 28th. This is a new opportunity for the KSLP in that all of our local groups today are in urban areas and this will be the first chance in a very long time to start to reach people that we have not spent much time attempting to reach. Having grown up in “God’s Country” I know we will do well as a political party once we get a foothold there.

We have already started our push to recruit candidates for the 2008 election and my personal goal is to shatter our record of LP candidates in Kansas. We are off to a good start in this regard – due to the Kansas government ethics committee (GEC) rules, I am not at liberty to announce names yet – I do however already have many verbal commitments and that give us a solid base to build the 2008 election numbers on.

One other thing I am working on – I have started the process of putting together a multi-state convention in 2008 for the 4 states of Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska & Kansas to be held in the Kansas City area. A date is still being pinned down and the other states must approve that date and whether or not they will participate. I have hopes that it will work as well as the 3 state convention we did in 2004 (lead by Bob Sullentrup, which means I have high goals for the quality of the event).

Rob Hodgkinson
Chair - The Libertarian Party of Kansas
Individual Liberty -- Personal Responsibility

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."

Sunday, July 01, 2007


The Kansas State Fairgrounds are in Hutchinson Kansas.

The dates will be - Friday September 7th thru Sunday September 16th.

I believe that this will be our 18th year to have a booth at the state fair!

More voters than ever are upset with the current R's and D's and their continued legislative failings at all levels of government. Are YOU ready to help continue our growth in Kansas and help build our continued inroads to change the political monopoly?

Two years ago, we had 2 people working nearly every shift of the fair and that is much better as everyone needs to take a break (food bathrooms etc.) You will also want time to walk the fair and see all the other booths, food, concerts and carnival action yourself.

I have some plans to "upgrade" our booth this year with new banners, brochures and other things.

For those of you that worked the booth last year - we have been moved down the wall from the location we were at last year (we will NOT be in front of the knife guy and his speaker system) It should be easier to talk to new people this year.

I really enjoy working the fair as you meet people from all over and very seldom are they rude! I have personally put in over 200 hours working the state fair in the last 6 years - I mean it when I say it is enjoyable!

I know it seems to be a long way's away, however it is coming quicker than you think --- plan to work at least a couple days & shifts and go to Hutchinson and help us out.

Start to let me know ** SOON ** when you can work this booth so we can fill the staffing schedule!


Rob Hodgkinson
Chair - The Libertarian Party of Kansas
Individual Liberty -- Personal Responsibility

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead