Thursday, January 24, 2008

Big Tent KSLP

I have been amazed at the reaction to the information posted on a couple blog’s about Kansas Libertarian - Bennie Lee “Ben” Ferguson.

Kansans in general are very tolerant of others - not counting Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist clan; however, we even let them spout their nonsense while we vehemently disagree with their approach to gaining media attention.

I believe that Ben is one example that shows that the Kansas Libertarian Party is “the big tent” party that is needed and severely lacking in the Kansas political arena. Ben’s choice of clothing may indicate he has a unique personality to many in Kansas, however, I think that is a plus. Who wants to be just like everyone else?

Another thing that I think these postings show is the fact that issues are also not a dividing factor in the KSLP; we can civilly disagree without getting personal. Ben is a supporter of the Iraq war. I would bet 80% + LP’ers will disagree with that position, (I do) but, we get along fine being on opposites of this specific issue debate. I have worked side by side with Ben at our state fair outreach booth many times – because Ben and I have differing opinions it gives us a great opportunity to discuss the Libertarian Party with whomever walks up to the booth. If someone walks up to a LP booth that supports the Iraq war and you immediately tell them they are a fool – what do think will happen? They get defensive and will walk away thinking “what a bunch of SOB’s. With Ben and I both working together if someone comes to the booth and they believe that the Iraq war is a proper use of the US armed forces, they have someone who can empathize with them. What happens then is they tend to drop their initial defenses to a new concept (libertarianism) and are able to “listen and hear” all the benefits (outside their position to current war policy) that make us right for America. If someone walks up that is opposed to the war – the same empathy with my position happens. By working together to grow the LP we can cover the wide range of issues that are important to the voters of Kansas.

Does all the KSLP get along perfect in our membership? Not hardly, we (just like all LP organizations) have our group of “purists” who believe they are the only people that have the correct stance on various issues. They are a minority and have not held back the overall growth of our membership, volunteers and effective lobby efforts we have been doing the last three years.

Ben is not the first or last LP’er to have differing opinions of either a platform position or others in the LP.

Mike Kerner, our 3rd District Coordinator and voting member of the Excom and I disagree on another possibly personally divisive issue – abortion. Mike is Pro-Life and I am Pro-Choice. Mike as a LP candidate has received the endorsement of Pro-Life groups. Mike and I also have worked well together, side by side at outreach events and we also gain the same ability to talk to anyone that walks up to us and asks about abortion. We have someone on both sides of (what could be or in reality is) a divisive issue for the person to get comfortable with initially – and then we really have the ability to reach and teach that person about the LP and how much better we are from the two big bozo parties overall.

I am so proud to be part of the freedom movement with the KSLP as my main venue to express the need to positively change the direction of our government.

The Kansas Libertarian Party is the big tent party we need to make major change for the future!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Atlas!Liberty Awards Twelve Political Scholarships

I am the Advisory Board Chair for Atlas!Liberty and below is one recent project that we are doing and can use your help with.

Please help us by donating soon - as you can see below we are spending the money wisely to help people from across the nation get political training to help the LP grow!

-- Rob --

Atlas!PAC has changed their name to Atlas!Liberty. Their mission is to give Libertarian candidates the tools they need to win elections. Atlas!Liberty is committed to educating their members in contemporary campaigning technology and techniques. Toward this end, they have awarding scholarships to the Campaign and Elections annual seminar “The Art of Political Campaigning”. The scholarship covers the registration fee, transportation to and from Washington, DC, hotel and some incidental travel expenses. Here’s a list of twelve recent scholarship recipients:
  1. Whitney Allen, Plainfield, Indiana,. Senior business major at IUPUI. Hired by MTV as part of a special program the network is launching to cover politics through the 2008 presidential elections. Created web site for Libertarian Timothy Maguire for Indianapolis City-County Council At-Large in 2006.
  2. Jaenelle Antas, Rochester, Minnesota, part-time employee with Libertarian Party of Indiana. Full-time student at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Plans to attend law school in Wisconsin. Volunteer co-coordinator Tim Maguire for Council 2007.
  3. Jeremiah Arn, Columbus, Ohio, VP Business Development, First Ohio Home Finance, Ohio LP Communications & Media Director and Fundraising Director . He has a background in marketing, managing budgets and overseeing customer experience projects – both short-term and long.
  4. Emily Cowan, Austin, Texas. Former Cato intern and then Director of Intern Program. Campaign Staffer for Michael Badnarik in 2006 Congressional run. Founder and leader of the Libertarian Longhorns at the University of Texas.
  5. Marc Goddard, Denver, Colorado, relocated to Colorado from Washington, D.C. seven years ago. Managed Libertarian gubernatorial campaign of Dawn Winkler. Currently fundraising director of Colorado LP, working on several fundraising events and is the volunteer coordinator for a City Council election for the town of Golden.
  6. Allison Maguire, Indianapolis, Indiana, administrative assistant, candidate for Libertarian office, At-Large City Council in 2007, key volunteer for Tim Maguire campaign.
  7. Tim Maguire, Indianapolis, Indiana, financial planner and small business owner, candidate for Libertarian office, including At-Large City Council in 2007.
  8. Michael C. Munger, Durham, North Carolina, Chairman of the Department of Political Science at Duke University. For the last several years he has published four essays per year on libertarian economic principles at the Liberty Fund web site. He has been active in the Libertarian Party of North Carolina since 2004, working on obtaining signatures and fundraising on ballot access. He is seeking the Libertarian nomination for Governor of North Carolina in 2008.
  9. Richard Shepard, Tacoma, Washington, attorney Shepard Law Office, P.L.L.C. Member of the LP since 1980. In 1986 helped organize the LP national convention in Seattle. In late 1980s ran for the state legislature 3 times as an (L). In the early 1990s served as State Chair for the LP of Washington State. In 1996 and in 2000 ran for State Attorney General as an (L). Has representing the LPWA for seven years in a continuing battle over Washington's primary election system. (Cases cited in the resume). He has been fully involved in all phases of the case, including most strategy sessions with the D & R attorneys, and attending US Supreme Court arguments on 10/1/07. For the 2006 election cycle he advised the Washington candidate for US Senate regarding FEC requirements.
  10. Jessica Mears, Lima, Ohio, student at University of Cincinnati majoring in communications. Currently working to organize a University of Cincinnati Campus Libertarians. Actively supporting a Libertarian presidential candidate at UC.
  11. Matthew Robinson, Springfield, MA, Vice-President of the Ohio State Libertarian Studies Organization before graduating with Master's in Physics in 12/06. Worked on 2006 campaign of the Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Ohio. Moved to New Hampshire with the Free State Project and started getting involved politically by attending city council and state legislature meetings. Change if jobs and moved to MA in 7/07. Organizer for the Springfield, MA Ron Paul Meetup. He’s looking to move back to NH and hopes to run for political office in next few years, starting at the local level.
  12. Mike Smitley, Van Wert, Ohio, has served the Libertarian Party of Ohio as NW Region Chair, Van Wert County Development Coordinator and as Treasurer. Ran as a libertarian Republican for Congress in a special election in 2007. Attended two Leadership Institute seminars in 2007. Wants to focus Libertarian efforts on local development and creating new county parties with the means and training necessary to elect Libertarians.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Libertarian's New Year's Resolutions

A Libertarian's New Year's Resolutions

by Harry Browne

1. I resolve to *sell* liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each
prospect, rather than *preaching* to people and expecting them to suddenly
adopt my ideas of right and wrong.

2. I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose is
to inspire people to want liberty -- not to prove that they're wrong.

3. I resolve to *listen* when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I can
help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.

4. I resolve to identify myself, when appropriate, with the social goals
someone may seek -- a cleaner environment, more help for the poor, a less
divisive society -- and try to show him that those goals can never be achieved
by government, but will be well served in a free society.

5. I resolve to be compassionate and respectful of the beliefs and needs that
lead people to seek government help. I don't have to approve of their subsidies
or policies -- but if I don't acknowledge their needs, I have no hope of
helping them find a better way to solve their problems.

6. No matter what the issue, I resolve to keep returning to the central point:
how much better off the individual will be in a free society.

7. I resolve to acknowledge my good fortune in having been born an American.
Any plan for improvement must begin with a recognition of the good things we
have. To speak only of America's defects will make me a tiresome crank.

8. I resolve to focus on the ways America could be so much better with a very
small government -- not to dwell on all the wrongs that exist today.

9. I resolve to cleanse myself of hate, resentment, and bitterness. Such things
steal time and attention from the work that must be done.

10. I resolve to speak, dress, and act in a respectable manner. I may be the
first libertarian someone has encountered, and it's important that he get a
good first impression. No one will hear the message if the messenger is

11. I resolve to remind myself that someone's "stupid" opinion may be an
opinion I once held. If *I* can grow, why can't I help *him* grow?

12. I resolve not to raise my voice in any discussion. In a shouting match, no
one wins, no one changes his mind, and no one will be inspired to join our
quest for a free society.

13. I resolve not to adopt the tactics of Republicans and Democrats. They use
character assassination, evasions, and intimidation because they have no real
benefits to offer Americans. We, on the other hand, are offering to set people
free -- and so we can win simply by focusing on the better life our proposals
will bring.

14. I resolve to be civil to my opponents and treat them with respect. However
anyone chooses to treat me, it's important that I be a better person than my

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Reply to a Kansas City Star Op-Ed

This is written by the Vice-Chair of the Kansas Libertarian Party - Jason Peck


In an editorial that appeared under the "as I see it" section of the 1/3/08 edition of the Star, Brandon Keing extols the virtues of our two party system.

He claims that the system is the best way for a representative democracy to function. Unfortunately, he ignores some of the facts in his argument.

First and foremost, the two party system does NOT represent everyone. The growing number of independents and third parties is proof that voters are becoming increasingly disenfranchised with both of the two major parties. Secondly, the two major parties that currently seek to represent us are supposed to have distinct philosophies, which are the left vs. the right. The reality is they represent one ideal, and that is to get themselves re-elected.

During the few times in which their philosophies truly conflict, the left tends to believe in civil liberties and social freedom but not as much economic freedom, whereas the right tends to believe in financial freedom but not social freedoms. Many, if not most Americans are neither left nor right, but believe in freedom of all kinds. Some Americans actually believe in less freedom of both kinds, and yet more consider themselves "centrist".

The fact is the two party system is a power monopoly controlled by the elite. They have, over the years, created an unlevel playing field thereby protecting their common interests by excluding any real dissent.

I would like encourage Mr. Keing, and all Americans to consider an alternative to our current system.

The Libertarian Party is the 3rd largest and fastest growing 3rd party in the nation. It seeks to promote a free market economy, civil liberties, and a foreign policy of peace, free trade, and non-intervention. We are neither left nor right, and we believe our solutions are the most effective and compassionate in the political realm today.


Jason E. Peck
Vice Chair
The Libertarian Party of Kansas