I stand on principle, that principle being freedom. That is why I take the time and money to come to events like the Libertarian National Convention. This is my 3rd national convention, my 2nd as an adult. I’ve been to more sate conventions that I can remember. I am a libertarian and I support those people that support the libertarian platform most closely. When it came to the race for President that was without a doubt R. Lee Wrights, who wants to end income tax, end government education, end the fed, and end social security. Gary Johnson on the other hand wants many of these things to stay. He believes social security is salvageable and should continue to exist, he wants to end the department of education…. and give education to the states. I say give it to the parents! He claims he is anti-tax, yet he proposes a large national sales tax.
Somehow, he managed to woo everyone (apparently with his “electability” which means nothing to me) and is our candidate. ANOTHER REPUBLICAN. I’m not sure if he will get my vote this fall. It will depend on many factors.
When Lee lost the presidential nomination he threw his hat in the vice-presidential race, and lost (by a much smaller margin) to Judge Jim Gray. Besides one issue (jury nullification), Gray is very much a libertarian. In fact I think he would have made a good VP for Lee… But we’ll leave my dreams out of this.
After those races were voted on and wrapped up fairly quickly and cordially we moved on to the race for National Chair. I was not expecting this to turn into what it did. I was unhappy with the choices, but I really thought someone else would step up at the last minute and I’d have more libertarian choice. I refused to vote for anyone already on the LNC (besides Mary Rewart) because they allowed the travesty that is the “floor fee.” That is, this year it cost $94 just to go on to the floor as a delegate and vote. It is basically a poll tax, that in effect, makes the libertarian party not open to all libertarians. This to me is just unacceptable. Getting to the convention is hard enough already, but even those with low funds manage to do it by driving to the convention and staying at budget hotels or even camping (though I haven’t heard of anyone doing that this year. Maybe those folks couldn’t afford the floor fee). The convention is the one event that needs to be open to ALL members! What is the party with out the regular people? They argue this is to cover costs, but the basic convention costs should be covered by donations, dues, special packages, etc…. The convention is the most important event of the year, its worth paying for.
I was NOT The only one who refused to vote for the two people running, the current chair and the current vice-chair. It was suggested that someone speak for NOTA, None of the Above, an option that is on every ballot at the Libertarian National Convention.
You can see what happened here http://reason.com/blog/2012/05/05/anarchy-at-the-libertarian-party-convent But be aware the story in the article isn’t exactly right. Reason seems to have an issue with getting their facts straight (see my previous post). None expected Lee to run or accept a nomination until AFTER Mark Hinkle was eliminated and it was clear just how little support the two candidates had. I still haven’t heard directly from him, but even if he doesn’t I still expect someone better than the status quo to step up.
I voted for and supported NOTA because I don’t support those who think its OK to keep libertarians out of the convention. We need as many here as we can get and this “floor fee” has been a disaster from the beginning. When the LNC had the chance to get rid of it (after many complained) they didn’t. If they don’t listen to us and represent us they need to go.
After several votes and re-votes and recounts. We ended the day with Mark Rutherford one vote shy of what he needed to win.
In the morning we will vote again on Rutherford vs. NOTA. I hope NOTA wins so that that we can re-open nominations and other people have the chance to step up and serve the party. I do believe that the message sent today was strong enough to get Rutherford’s attention though. Personally, if I were him, I would step down and let others enter the running, but I doubt he will do that. It is my hope that the message was loud and clear that he better start listening to what people want and making sure it happens and that because of that he will be a little more libertarian in the way he is running the party.
Today was incredibly exciting and I was glad to be a part of it.