The Libertarian Party of California has joined the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) and several other local taxpayer organizations in OPPOSITION to SB 231 (by State Senator Bob Hertzberg) which would erode the protections afforded to taxpayers under the Right to Vote on Taxes Act (Proposition 218) as they relate to fees, taxes and assessments imposed for stormwater runoff programs. Changing the longstanding definitions of sewer and stormwater will create uncertainty among municipalities, guarantee litigation and lead to thousands of dollars of new assessments on property owners who will be deprived of their ability under Proposition 218 to have meaningful input as to the nature, extent and amount of those levies.
In 1996 California voters passed Proposition 218, an initiative that imposes various voter and/or
property owner approval procedures prior to being subject to local exactions. Property related fees
for water, sewer and refuse collection services are not subject to the more stringent approval
requirements for the simple reasons that, historically, local governments imposed these fees well
before 1978 and the passage of Prop 13. Fees for “storm water runoff” were rare or non-existent
prior to Prop 13. SB 231 purports to overturn a published appellate court decision which involved the
interpretation of constitutional language In 2002 the City of Salinas decided to approve a stormwater
assessment without a vote of the people. They argued that sewer and stormwater for purposes of
treatment were essentially both sewer and decided a vote was not needed under Proposition 218.
In the case HJTA v. Salinas the 4th District Appellate Court ruled that stormwater was in fact distinct
from sewer service and thus a ballot election was required. The court used both the constitutional
language in Prop 218 as well as existing statutory language as the basis for its decision, put in place
by Proposition 218 supporters following its approval. The very same Omnibus Act language that SB
231 seeks to amend makes a clear distinction between sewer and drainage systems. Under current
law, a drainage system “means any system of public improvements that is intended to provide for
erosion control, landslide abatement, or for other types of water drainage.” It was this language that
the Court used to make its decision.
Needless to say, unsettling a published appellate court decision via state statute is not only unwise,
but in this case it violates the California Constitution. SB 231 is a solution in search of a problem.
No one denies that storm water runoff programs are a legitimate public service. Proposition 218 already
permits for municipalities to raise new revenue they need to fund stormwater programs. They simply have to put the issue to the people paying the bill. This can be accomplished either through a benefit
assessment process or even a two-thirds vote special tax. What’s the result of SB 231? A legal
quandary and a nightmare for local public agencies. Should SB 231 be approved and signed by
Governor Brown, the results will be needless litigation and potentially thousands of dollars of new
costs placed upon taxpayers. Storm water runoff programs and services should be financed with the
existing revenues of government. If that revenue is insufficient, there are ways of seeking new
revenue under Prop 218. All that is required is approval by those financially obligated to finance the
Let’s take a few moments to think about what it means that schools are compulsory and coercive environments and not consensual ones. To do this, we need to think about the many compulsory layers that exist within schools.
Firstly, there is showing up. Unless home educating, young people have to attend school. There is no choice, it is compulsory, and failing to attend is a big issue with attendance data highly monitored. School being a place that you ‘have to be’ is the baseline of a person’s relationship with their school and education.
Then there is the compulsory participation within the school day. Students have to be in certain places at certain times, as decided by the teachers and school leadership. Their time during the day is rigidly structured in terms of the places they are allowed to go, and what they are allowed to do within those places. Again…
Tyler Durden @ The Ron Paul Institute reports that 5 Democrat Senators joined with most Republicans to defeat a bill by Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Chris Murphy to stop US sales of high tech weapons to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Durden notes that 4 Republicans voted with most Democrats to block the sales, but the bill failed with 53 voting against it and 47 Senators supporting the ban on weapons sales.
Despite the failure, Politico notes that Paul and Murphy fared better on Tuesday than they did last year in a similar effort to block a Saudi arms sale under former President Barack Obama, thanks entirely to new Democratic supporters: it’s curious how ideology changes one’s outlook on lethal weaponry.
“Regardless of whether the number is 48 or 51 or 45” in favor of blocking the deals, Murphy told reporters before the vote, “this is an important message to the Saudis that we are all watching. And if they continue to target civilians and they continue to stop humanitarian aid from getting into Yemen, this vote will continue to go in the wrong direction for them.”
Paul said after the vote that he and Murphy would discuss possible future attempts to block Trump’s arms deals to Riyadh, warning that senators are growing more concerned about the civilian toll in a Yemen conflict that is pitting Saudi-backed government forces against rebel factions reportedly supported by Iran.
Libertarians kick off annual convention in
The 2017 convention of the Libertarian Party of
California (LPC) was kicked off energetically on
Friday evening with an opening reception in
Silicon Valley, land of entrepreneurship and
innovation, at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel.
Following a mixer, delegates and guests were
given a warm welcome by LPC Chair Ted
Alex Appleby, chair of the San Joaquin
County LP, introduced featured speaker Steve Bacon, CEO of Rockstar Empire. Bacon
moved the crowd with his very personal story
of achieving success and control over his life
despite an upbringing beset with economic and
familial disadvantages. Only recently had
Bacon and his wife discovered the Libertarian
Party — somewhat accidentally — and they found
that the LP platform jibes with their views,
90 percent of the time.
Bacon implored LP members to publicize
ourselves better, to reach the myriad people
who, like him, would embrace our mission of
lifting the heavy burden of government
taxation and overregulation off their
shoulders, if they only knew of the
Libertarian Party. We are, after all, the one
party who would free every individual to
pursue his or her own highest and best
Following Bacon’s speech, Brown invited three
Libertarian gubernatorial candidates to
introduce their campaigns to the attendees:
journalist Zoltan Istvan, political
activist and rap artist Nickolas Wildstar,
and consumer finance and I.T. professional Robert Griffis.
The convention runs through Sunday, April 30.
Individuals who have been an LPC member for
at least 90 days at any time in the past may
be credentialed as delegates. Registration
packages are still available for purchase at
Richard Fields of Pacific Legal
Foundation is the keynote speaker for the call
to order on Saturday morning.
The Saturday night banquet,
which will feature Patrick Byrne,
CEO of Overstock.com, Chris Rufer,
businessman and founder of the Foundation
for Harmony and Prosperity, and emcee Baron Bruno, realtor and 2016 Libertarian
candidate for California state assembly.
In parallel to business is a speaker,
workshop, and panelist track, featuring: Aaron Starr, former LPC chair and founder of
Moving Oxnard Forward; LNC Vice Chair Arvin Vohra leading a “Who’s Driving?” workshop for handling media interviews; Charles Olson on “Who is Yertle?”; David
Friedman, SCU professor of law and
author of The Machinery of Freedom; Dave Schrader on Marketing 101; Edward
Hasbrouck on freedom of movement;
Antiwar.com founder Eric Garris; Janine DeRose, executive director of the LP of
Sacramento County; Keith McHenry; Maggie McNeil, the “honest courtesan”; Matt
Kibbe, president of Free the People; as well as elected Libertarian officials Jeff
Hewitt, Mayor of Calimesa; Kent Fowler, Feather River Recreation &
Park District director, and Susan Marie Weber, Palm Desert city councilmember.
Delegate duty: Tips for a fun, productive convention
by Elizabeth C. Brierly
Many of you joined the Libertarian Party only
after having been inspired by the 2016
Johnson–Weld presidential campaign, and have
stayed because you feel right at home in this
group who shares your values. Some of you have
even been elected as your county’s chair!
I can relate: when I first checked out the LP of
Santa Clara County in person, I’d already been
voting libertarian. But being right there,
surrounded by like-minded individuals at our
local eatery, got me fired up.
Santa Clara County was holding its annual
election the week I finally found time to
investigate in person. Being a fan of both Ayn
Rand and Harry Browne, I’d already been voting
Libertarian, so I felt right at home.
Like a kid in a candy store, I couldn’t help
but get involved right away. I attended every
local discussion group and central committee
meetings; protested at the post office on April
15; and served as campaign manager for an
all–out race for state assembly against a
Democrat who had a war chest of a
Participating in California and national LP
conventions is a great joy—since joining, I
haven’t missed a one. What a blast to surround
oneself with people who reflect the rational,
moral, and practical elements of one’s values.
But the business of the convention and its pace
can be confusing, so for first-time delegates to
LPC’s convention this month, I’ve jotted down a
few handy tips.
…go! Trust me: you will not be bored.
…throw a paperback copy of Robert’s Rules of
Order in your purse, backpack, or laptop bag,
so you can bone up on pertinent meeting
protocol during the convention. This tool
really does help large conventions run
smoothly and stay on track.
…take plenty of business or calling cards for
networking. You never know when you’ll meet a
potential client or vendor — or an activist
with complementary skills to yours, and an
equal passion for the Libertarian plan you’ve
…visit convention registration and delegate
credentialing early. Check in with
credentialing if departing before the business
session concludes for the day. This will
ensure the accuracy of the delegate count,
which can influence whether the business of
the party can be effected quickly and smoothly
— or at all.
…review LPC’s platform (Ca.LP.org/platform), program, bylaws (Ca.LP.org/bylaws-and-minutes),
and of course, the convention rules — at least
so that you know the difference. Proposals may
be put forth affecting them at almost any
time, so it helps to be familiar with them.
…visit hospitality suites! See what creative
projects, decorating, discourse, costuming,
and poetry your fellow innovators are up to.
…be afraid to ask questions about the
proceedings. Also, the microphone is your
friend; if you use it, the secretary will be
your friend, too!
…be surprised if a passionate delegate asks
to suspend the rules to take up whatever this
year’s controversial issue is, or if a rousing
…watch what you say. Let loose, for a change!
(Libertarians are ever so polite and
diplomatic, always holding back how they
really feel. So sad!)
…forget to explore the exhibit area, to
learn what our nonpartisan allies in the
liberty movement are doing to shrink big
government and maximize individual freedom,
and where you might develop coalitions around
the hot issues in your region.
Most of all, enjoy yourself. Be proud of your
part in the Libertarian community and all we’re
working toward and fighting for. You’re in for a
Elizabeth C. Brierly is editor of the California
Libertarian Activist and a life member of
the Libertarian Party.
A version of this article was
originally published in the Feb. 2006 issue of California Freedom.
Monthly meeting of the LP of
San Mateo County
WHEN: Tuesday, May 23, 6:30 – 9:00
WHERE: IHOP, 510 El Camino Real in
WHAT:Dinner and conversation
begins at 6:30 P.M., followed by an executive
committee meeting. Agenda:
• Welcome new members and visitors
• Future plans: 2018 elections, candidates
• Authorize expenditures
• Fill vacant offices
All friends of liberty are welcome
to participate in general discussions.
California Libertarian candidates’ election results
The Libertarian Party of California thanks all
of our candidates for their commitment to
spreading the message of liberty, and in those
victorious cases, for their commitment to the
actual work of shrinking the size of government,
once in the trenches of elective office. Both
are challenging jobs, and these individuals
deserve our gratitude and admiration.
Here are our Libertarian candidates’ vote
counts for our two most recent election days.
April 4, 2017
U.S. House District 34
November 8, 2016
of the U.S.
State Senate 33
State Assembly 62
* Susan Marie Weber
East Bay Regional Park
District, Ward 2
Hills Water District Board
* Brian Holtz
Ramona School Board
Health Care District
Sequoia Health Care District
Tehachapi-Cummings Water District
* Jonathan Hall
Vista Fire Protection District
Read more about Angela McArdle, Brian
Thiemer,Aaron Starr, and John Roberts elsewhere in this issue of the California Libertarian Activist.
Roberts, 2016 Libertarian
candidate for East Bay Regional
Park District, Ward 2
election day and his 5.4 percent result in,
John Roberts posted this message for
supporters at his campaign web site:
I ran as a candidate for the East Bay Regional
Park District (EBRPD) – Ward 2, on November 8,
2016. The result means my future endeavors
making our parks a better place will not take
place while on the board, anytime in the next
four years. That said, I will continue to
invest time and to advocate for outdoor
confident his Fairfield City Council campaign
Following election day and his 16.0 percent result in
his race for Fairfield City Council, Brian
Thiemer posted this message for supporters
at his campaign web site:
Dear friends, family and fellow
The election results are in, and I placed
fourth for one of two seats. Although I was not
victorious, I do feel successful. Over 7,500
votes were cast for me, representing 16 percent
of the votes submitted. That sends a message
that there is a significant portion of the
population that desires maximum freedom and
minimum waste from their local government, and
is a force to be reckoned with in future
I am proud of the campaign I ran, and am
eternally grateful for the support that all of
you have provided in my quest to make Fairfield
a great place to live, work and prosper. I will
continue to fight for value and liberty in our
community now, and in the future.
Join us as we enjoy food and beverages at a
market founded by a Libertarian, good
conversation. This month’s meeting tip: Ask how
many new young Libertarians we registered in our
spring semester voter outreach effort!
Meetings are held every two weeks. To receive
meeting notices, send e-mail to LP Placer County
chair Steven Wood at PlacerCoLP@GMail.com.
files lawsuit against Oxnard, cites Prop. 218
Aaron Starr speaking during public
comment at an Oxnard City Council
meeting in 2016
Starr, a former LPC chair, ran a tremendous
campaign in 2016 as a Libertarian candidate
for Oxnard City Council.The
race was so close that on Nov. 30, the Ventura County Star was still reporting on the vote count
in progress. Although he didn’t win his
council race, Starr presses on with his
concurrent campaign to overturn the city’s
sewer-utility rate increase. The following
update is excerpted from Starr’s April 7
letter to supporters.
to follow the law … and so does Oxnard City
combing through thousands of city documents,
we uncovered an unlawful scheme that diverts
$7 million per year of yourmoney from the utilities into the City’s general
funds are supposed to be used for operations
and maintenance — not to back-fill deficits in
the general fund due to poor management.
started off speaking discreetly with city
management, pointing out this problem to have
failed to get traction, we brought up the
issue in a more public manner, backing up our
position with legal citations from court
cases. The City pushed back — insisting that
their scheme was perfectly legal.
better. We presented a legal opinion from the subject matter experts: the authors of
Proposition 218 at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers
not sway them. City Hall was committed to
continuing their malfeasance.
It’s a rude awakening to
learn that your city is overcharging you
for utilities … and then diverting $7
million of your money each year for
other purposes … all in violation of
why I asked whether it was time to sue the
City of Oxnard to make them follow the law.
collective response was intense. The rage
expressed toward City Hall was justified.
rude awakening to learn that your city is
overcharging you for utilities … and then
diverting $7 million of your money each year
for other purposes … all in violation of the
they’re doing this while planning to raise
your utility rates … again.
Overwhelmingly, you told me that they should be held
During Tuesday night’s city council meeting
[April 4] we served the City of Oxnard with a
asking the court to order the City of Oxnard
to cease its ongoing violation of the law and
compel the return of in excess of $22 million
to the utility funds. They have actually
skimmed much more than that over the years,
but a three-year statute of limitations bars
us from recovering more. It appears the City
has been violating the law (and all of us) for
Fortunately, we are prepared. I hired a highly respected
boutique law firm in California — one that
specializes in defending ratepayers from local
governments that refuse to abide by Prop. 218.
this is more than a legal fight. It’s about
holding our government to no less of a
standard than we would of ourselves. •
Aaron Starr will be a featured speaker at the
LPC convention on Sunday, April 30, at
McArdle uses Tenth Amendment as campaign theme in U.S.
Angela McArdle, 2017 Libertarian
candidate for U.S. House, District
by Elizabeth C. Brierly
Libertarian Angela McArdle ran in a field of 24
nonincumbent candidates (20 Democrats, one
Republican, a Green, and an independent) in a
special election for U.S. Congress in
California’s 34th District, which includes
most of downtown Los Angeles. The so-called
primary election was held on April 4, and
the top two vote-getters, both Democrats, are
advancing to the run-off, this June 6.
Democrat Xavier Becerra, who
last held the seat, resigned on Jan. 24 to
become attorney general of California.
active volunteer with two charities and as a
professional paralegal, McArdle was driven
to run for Congress because she’s “seen
firsthand how our government has harmed good
people while rewarding the bad.”
McArdle’s campaign platform,
with its explicit Tenth Amendment theme,
highlighted the power that states have,
against overreach by the federal government.
She had pledged, if elected, to slash the U.S.
military’s “war chest,” balance the federal
budget, eliminate needless bureaucracies,
promote free trade, fully legalize cannabis
and hemp, repeal the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act and
NDAA, and eliminate all laws criminalizing
reflected to the California
Libertarian Activist on her short but
energetic campaign, “I could
not have run this race without my campaign
team,” which included strategist Boomer
Shannon, strategist and web
developer Michael Smith, web
developer Victoria Farrow, all based
locally, along with Colorado-based
graphic designer Eric Mulder,
and, McArdle emphasized, “especially the [Marc
Allan] Feldman Foundation and their
However, the first-time candidate was surprised by
how little support she received from
the registered Libertarians in the district.
“The active libertarians in southern
California gave me lots of support through
volunteering, campaign contributions, and
general encouragement, but it seems very few
to the polls,” she observed. “I think lots of
people check the Libertarian box on their
voter registration form, without actually
knowing what a libertarian is. So general
educating of voters and consistent branding of
that word are vital to our candidates’
plain-old vote totals.”
McArdle’s advice to other
candidates: “Listen to your constituents
about local issues, even if you are
running for federal office. I am now
being sought out by neighborhood
councils to help with a multitude of
When asked what she learned from her first
experience on the campaign trail, McArdle said
she would advise other California Libertarians
running for federal office to “listen to your
constituents about local issues, even if you
are running for federal office. I didn’t win
the election, or place very high (eighteenth
of the 24 candidates),” she acknowledged, “but
I am now being sought out by neighborhood
councils to help with a multitude of local
issues, and I’ve been asked to join my
neighborhood council. So I’d consider that a
Will she run again?
“Yes; actually, I plan to run for the same
office next time, with a stronger, highly
planned-out campaign, ” she said. “And the other
goals I had set for the 2017 campaign will be
even easier to achieve, the second time around.
Those being: earn media coverage for the LP, and
of course, do my very best to win the election.”
Inspired by these
California Libertarian candidates?
Get started now on your 2018 or 2020
campaign for elective office!
The combination of Libertarian races
being run from the presidential race all
the way down the ticket — in every
election, consistently — is what lays
the groundwork for Libertarian
principles to reach both voters and
If you’re not ready to serve as a
candidate, but would like to learn how
it’s done, step by step, volunteer for
an upcoming Libertarian campaign in your
area. Connect with them through your
local LP; see the county contact list in this issue.
Whatever role suits you best in our
battle for individual freedom, thank you
for being a part of the Libertarian
LP of Contra Costa joins public outreach committee
Contra Costa County LP
member Sandra Kallander promoting
Johnson for President in 2016 at an
east bay area BART station
by Kevin Moore
The Contra Costa
County LP was thrilled to have our best
results ever in the recent elections. We had
excellent turnout at events to promote
candidates at all levels: Gary Johnson for
president, and state and even local
candidates. We held outreach events at BART
stations, through neighborhood outreach, and
on election day at sites in the county.
This year, we’ve
improved our communication and outreach
methods, and will be participating in a public
outreach committee sponsored by the Contra
Costa County Election committee. We’ll also be
connecting with local organizations to gather
support for future candidates. We’re working
hard to prepare for the 2018 election season
and get the word out about the Libertarian
Kevin Moore is chair
of the LP of Contra Costa County.
Did you ever stop and think, “Why did I join the
joined the LP back in the mid-seventies. I
was young and idealistic, and thought,
“Well, why not join the Libertarian Party? I
share their views. What else do I need to
Well, over the years, I’ve learned a bit about
alternative parties down through the history
of the United States. Aside from the
principles and idealism involved in joining
a third party, there were and are some sound
practical reasons as well.
One of the main reasons to join an alternative
political party is leverage.
the corporate world, if you want to change
the vision, the culture, or the direction of
a large organization, you’ll spend years
climbing the corporate ladder, then, after a
lot of work and with some luck, you might
find yourself in a position to lead the
company in a new direction, or create a
different corporate culture, etc.
Or, you could use leverage from the outside to
accomplish the same objective, by creating a
competing organization offering a new
vision, a new culture, or a new direction.
Then, competition in the marketplace will
make the existing organization change its
tune or it will lose market share and
perhaps even go out of business. (Unless
bailed out by congress or the president.)
The same is true in the political world.
Changing the Republican Party or the
Democratic Party from within has got to be
an overwhelming task. So overwhelming that
the only change that has occurred there is
to make them less flexible than ever before.
Both the Republicans and Democrats are losing
voters by the hundreds of thousands. Does
that give them pause? Do they think they
need to change? No: they are too
bureaucratic and too entrenched to change
from within. In case you haven’t noticed,
Libertarian Party registrations have been
Only outside competition
from a third party will compel the
Republicans and Democrats to change.
Only outside competition, from — you guessed it —
a third party, will compel them to change.
When they lose an election, then and only
then, do they reflect on what went wrong,
and how they could be successful the next
For more than 20 years, I have been addressing
high school seniors in their civics class. I
often ask them if they’ve heard of the Free
Soil Party? Most have not.
That alternative party’s slogan was, “Free Soil,
Free Speech, Free Labor, and Free Men.”
This party was a huge influence on two key
issues of the day with their anti-slavery
and pro-homesteading. They elected only 14
members to the U.S. house and only two U.S.
senators. Yet their two key issues were
adopted in 1854 — by the newly formed
Republican Party. Everyone knows about the
slavery issue, but few know that the Free
Soil Party was instrumental in the eventual
passage of the Homestead Act. So, everyone
west of the Mississippi now lives in the
United States, thanks to a political party
that most people have never even heard of.
organizations, political or not, have no
incentive to change, unless outside forces
come into play.
Libertarian Party is that force.
there is to be “Less Government, More
Freedom,” it won’t come from the R’s and
economic prosperity is to return, it won’t
come from the R’s and D’s.
the United States is to be a bastion of
peace and freedom for the world, it won’t
come from the R’s and D’s.
our government is going to respect our
individual rights to work as we please,
eat what we please, and travel where we
please, it won’t come from the R’s and
the Libertarian Party can and does provide
the leverage to move the R’s and D’s
Mark W.A. Hinkle
December, we celebrated 45 years since
our founding. Let us remember not only
our principles that guide us, but also
let us remember that only alternative
parties bring about real change in
Mark W.A. Hinkle is vice chair of the LP of
Santa Clara County, a former LPC
chair, and a small business owner. He
also served as LNC chair from 2010 to
A version of this
article was originally published in
the Dec. 2011 issue of LP News.
Plumas County LP goes old school, with coverage in
Plumas County LP meeting
announcement, including photo of
Libertarian Assembly candidate Donn Coenen, appeared in the Oct. 5
issue of the Feather River
Bulletin, under the heading,
“Meetings of Note.”
Everyone knows the newspaper industry ain’t
what it used to be, but many folks still swear
by their ritual of the morning paper with their
Shamelessly exploiting this fact, Gary
Bryant, chair of the Plumas County LP,
makes sure to submit event announcements and
letters to the editor, to promote the LP.
During election season, he promoted our state
assembly candidate, Donn Coenen, simply
by submitting in advance a notice that Coenen
would be appearing at the recurring county
meeting, along with a photograph of Coenen.
While the usual advice for letters to the
editor is to keep them to one concise point —
especially with big-city newspapers — a breezy,
more varied letter that Bryant submitted last
fall was published with virtually no edits,
managing to serve several purposes. He
managed to promote LP candidates, the couny LP’s
outreach to the community, the Nolan chart (the
World’s Smallest Political Quiz), and the first
amendment, as well as roundly refuting the
wasted vote argument. When the letter appeared
in print, its headline was, “Vote your
An excerpt of Bryant’s letter appears, below. •
Excerpted from the Feather River Bulletin (and affiliated
papers), Sept. 28, 2016 issue:
Like to thank all who came by
our booth at Plumas [County] Fair.
It never ceases to amaze me that if
folks would vote their conscience,
we would win. A total of 36 took the
World’s Smallest Political Quiz
[with these] results:
all who came by to visit, took the
quiz, and argued, and for the
support, appreciation. I’d also like
to thank the person who mentioned us
in the paper even though it was
unflattering (first amendment
right). I requested
to have our booth next to the State
of Jefferson (SOJ) booth. Was trying
to reach out to all in that booth as
well as the folks who came by. Our
location was awesome and hope to
have it again. Candidate for State
Assembly Donn Coenen and I have
concerns about SOJ which we have
very little influence. We don’t want
to have any type of conservative
tyranny on our civil liberties.
Soros, Warren Buffet, celebs, and
all other groups have been funding
crats and Republicans.
David Koch (Koch Brothers) was our
1980 VP candidate (Ed Clark for president). Funded
lots of $$$, which did help, but got
us only 921,128 votes (1 percent).
Gary Johnson broke that record in
2012. David Koch is a
classical liberal (Libertarian), not
an ultra-conservative. Yes: he left the
Libertarian Party in ’84 due to
issue on taxes. He became and has
supported R’s, but also supported D’s like
Chuck Schumer to a lesser amount.
Google “Koch Brothers supporting
D’s.” Hope this helps to clear up
we are not State of Jefferson,
Hillary Clinton will win California.
Why not vote your conscience by
voting for Gary Johnson for
President and Donn Coenen for State
Assembly? Make your vote count! I’m
living proof. In 2010, I ran for
state assembly against incumbent Dan
Logue. Got over 9 percent. Highest
percentage vs. an R and D that year.
next meeting is on Wednesday, Oct.
12, 6 P.M. at Neighbors Bar-B-Que,
Cromberg. For info call
San Diego Libertarian Party
WHEN: Second Thursday of every month,
7:00 &Ndash; 9:00 P.M.
Tremendous resources are available to
activists, candidates, and campaign volunteers
at the LP of California, as an affiliate of
the Libertarian National Committee. Many of
the tools are easily accessible at the web
site LPAction.org, managed by Andy
Burns, the LNC’s state affiliate development
In this issue, we feature LNC
Executive Director Wes Benedict’s guide to raising
funds, arguably the fuel that powers the
engine of the LP as the political wing of
the liberty movement.
Guide to Fundraising
important is to get something done. Keep
it simple. Don’t worry about being
raise funds for a specific project, but
“just please donate” also works.
state regulations, such as the
contribution limit, and what information
you may have to report (name, address,
date, amount, occupation, employer).
sure your treasurer is prepared for the
workload of processing contributions.
Wes Benedict, executive director
of the national Libertarian Party
Five ways to
1. E-mail and web site
As a state
or local party, send e-mail 4 to 12
times per year, focused specifically on
fundraising (not just part of a
candidates, send e-mail as often as you
can, but especially when candidate
announces, when you have news that will
inspire donations, and as often as
possible during the last two months
before election day (when people donate
credit cards by PayPal, Piryx,
Click&Pledge or any service. Don’t
stress over the fees.
Post a donation form that people can print
out and mail or fax in.
2. Direct-mail fundraising
affiliates, send 2 to 6 fundraising
letters per year specifically for
fundraising (not just part of a
candidates, as often as you can afford
and as will yield a net profit.
reply form and self-addressed return
Keep it simple. Get it
done. Print it at home and use First
Class stamps until you’re an expert.
Special tip: Mail to
people who have donated to the
national or state party within the
last 12 months.Otherwise you will
probably lose money on the mailing.
an expensive, labor-intensive way to
fundraise. For affiliates, don’t
organize an event just for fundraising.
But if you’re having an event anyway, go
ahead and raise funds at the event.
candidates, events are more likely to
yield results if well organized, well
promoted, and well executed.
candidate is a featured speaker at
another organization’s event where the
leadership strongly supports the
candidate’s campaign, fundraising may be
possible. Ask leaders if they will make
an appeal to their members to donate. It
may also be appropriate for the
candidate to ask for donations and
volunteers during his/her presentation.
donation form, pen, and envelope for
every person there.
some point, formally ask the entire
group to fill out the form and donate.
4. On the phone
and ask them to donate, preferably by
credit card over the phone.
It’s okay if your sales pitch is very short.
5. One-on-one meetings in
This is how
you raise large donations from your best
someone to meet with you is the hardest
part. If you get a meeting, it might
last 30 minutes, and about 15 minutes
into it, you’ve already explained what
you’re raising funds for, and you have
asked for a donation.
thousands should you ask for? Depends on
your project and the donor’s ability.
Copy what other organizations or state or
county Libertarian Party affiliates are
doing, who are successfully raising money.
Before acting on someone’s advice, find out
how much they are actually raising per year.
Monthly-pledge programs are a great way to
bring in a predictable flow of funds. Many
on-line services will provide monthly-pledge
E-mails and letters should be from one
person to one other person, e.g.,
“Dear John, I would like you to help me by
donating to the Libertarian Party.” Notes
from the chair are probably best. (Don’t
stress out about mail-merging, if that’s
difficult. It’s OK to say “Dear
You can find a fundraising package
template in your word processor, including a
letter, response form, carrier envelope, and
return envelope. Use our sample letters to
quickly put together a fundraising package: LPAction.org/sample-letter.
Bruce Eberle, chairman of the direct-mail
fundraising firm Eberle Associates, says
that one of the most common flaws in direct
mail is overuse of graphics. I say, put a
logo on the envelope and on page 1 of the
letter, if it’s convenient for you.
Otherwise, no graphics at all!
You’re not a beggar—you’re a hero! Jerold
Panas, author of Asking: A 59-Minute
Guide to Everything Board Members,
Volunteers, and Staff Must Know to Secure
a Gift, writes: “Congratulations.
You’re among the greatest and the most
privileged. You’re about to undertake what
George Bernard Shaw called, ‘The joy of
being used for a purpose recognized by all
as a mighty one.’ … Your task is vital
because without your help your organization
couldn’t exist.” People like to donate. They
know you’re not perfect. They appreciate
your effort. Give them the joy of helping
you! (I highly recommend that book for
one-one-one in-person fundraising.)
Be honest and careful with predictions.
One of the reasons I’ve raised money
successfully, year after year, is that I’m
optimistic, yet honest and realistic. I’m in
this for the long haul, and I don’t want to
make promises I can’t keep. The LP has been
around for 45 years. Our best donors have
been around for many years; they are
sophisticated, and they know what’s what.
Fundraising letters are newsletters, too!
I learned from Richard Viguerie, a
direct-mail guru, that fundraising letters
aren’t just for raising money. They are also
newsletters, advertising, and much more.
Even if a recipient doesn’t donate, and even
if your letter just breaks even, that letter
still benefits the party in many ways.
Premiums such as T-shirts, books, and
coffee mugs help boost revenue, but don’t
make them your primary focus for raising
funds. Shipping costs and unsold items cut
into profits. Also, consider the labor to
manage the materials, and space to store
Wes Benedict is the executive director of the
national Libertarian Party, author of Introduction to the Libertarian Party: For Democrats,
Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and
Everyone Else, and former executive director
of LP Texas.
Outreach at Berryessa Art
& Wine Festival on May 13
The LP of SCC is planning an
outreach booth at this year’s 40th annual
Berryessa Art & Wine Festival in San Jose.
The festival is presented by the Berryessa
Business Association and the Bay Area Community
Development Services. With art, beer, wine,
food, and entertainment, this should be a fine
opportunity for us to share Libertarian
solutions with hundreds of San Jose residents
while they’re at their most…relaxed!
WHEN: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 10
A.M. to 5 P.M.
WHERE: Berryessa Community Center and
Penitencia Creek Park, 3050 Berryessa Road, in
PARTICIPATE: To volunteer at the LPSCC
booth, contact Jennifer Imhoff-Dousharm at
408-940-5717 or via
e-mail, at Publicity@SCCLP.org.
FUTURE EVENTS: With the warmer weather, comes the chance for
outreach booths at many other events like this
one.If you know of events in your area where we could
have a booth, e-mail Activities Committee
Chair Kennita Watson, at Activities@SCCLP.org.
Libertarian Youth Caucus teams with LP for outreach to JSA
students in S.F. Bay area
Spencer Lindquist (at left), a
YLC rep and high school junior,
introduces JSA members to
Libertarian principles; April 22
LP activists from at least three counties
collaborated again at the semiannual Junior
State of America convention in Santa Clara on
The mission of the Junior State of America
and the Junior Statesmen Foundation (JSA) is
to strengthen American democracy by educating
and preparing high school students for
life-long involvement and responsible
leadership in a democratic society.
Twice a year, Monterey County LP chair
Lawrence Samuels spearheads a trek to Santa
Clara, where they are joined by activists from
other LP affiliates in the bay area, to meet
JSA members — high school students learning
and practicing every aspect of political
process. At the political fair segment
of the convention, they can meet
representatives from several political parties
and learn what distinguishes the LP from the
dominant and alternative parties. They come
away with party literature, books, and buttons
emblazoned with avant-garde liberty messages.
Aubrey Freedman, chair of the LP
of San Francisco, helps tally a
JSA student’s World’s Smallest
Political Quiz on April 22
“We have been doing the
political fair for at least 15 years,” said
Samuels, “and it’s gratifying to continually
see new volunteers turn out for the even.
One of our new volunteers this year was
Anirban ‘Ani’ Das, a member of the Santa
Clara LP, who is originally from India and has a Ph.D. in
physics. He seemed overjoyed to be
there talking with students about
Joe Dehn, chair of LP of
Santa Clara County, was also pleased with
the effort. “I thought the LP booth at the
political fair went pretty well. The
LP’s presence was enhanced this time by the
participation of two local organizers for
the Libertarian Youth Caucus (LYC), who had a chance to
explain the LP to people from their own age
Former elected Libertarian John
Inks (center) explains the
Self-Government chart to two JSA
political fair attendees; at right
is new LPSCC volunteer Anirban
The LYC team was
Olivia Clark and Spencer Lindquist. They had procured a
table adjacent to that of the LP, creating a
Former Mountain View City Councilman John Inks, a
rare, termed-out Libertarian elected official,
had some newfound free time so he volunteered
at the event. Inks remarked that “it was
inspiring to see the local Libertarian Youth
Caucus high school students with their own
table at the JSA convention.”
Dehn expressed his
gratitude to the volunteers: “Thanks to
Lawrence Samuels for organizing our
attendance, the members from several Bay
Area counties who volunteered to help, and
the LYC organizers for their ongoing efforts
to bring the LP’s message to young people in
After packing up the booth, about eight of
the volunteers continued the discussion over
dinner at Pizza California in San Jose, owned
by a libertarian.
MORE INFO: To participate at the LP booth
at the semiannual JSA political fairs, contact
Lawrence Samuels via e-mail at LawSam1951@Hotmail.com. •
Party mixer in El Dorado County
We are hosting a mixer with free pizza, for
anyone who is interested in learning about the
Libertarian Party. We will be discussing the
local county issues and platform.
SPEAKERS: Tyler Kuskie, chairman of the El
Dorado County Libertarian Party Timothy Morgan, CEO of Giver Marketing
* If your county, or county’s
representative, is not listed above, contact
your regional vice chair: Jonathan Jaech,
Southern Vice Chair: Jonathan@Jaech.net Brian Thiemer,
Northern Vice Chair: BThiemer@Ca.LP.org
LP of Sacramento County
LP Sacramento Quarterly
Business Meeting & Officer Elections
This year is flying by, and there is so much
positive activity here in Sacramento after the
Libertarian Party received so much attention
during the presidential election. We are growing
faster and building stronger, and we’d love to
find new ways to engage our community. Please
join in and help us create even more growth and
activity this year!
This year, we are forming a platform committee.
If you are interested in participating, this is
the meeting to attend.
WHEN: Monday, May 8, 2017, 5:30 –
WHERE: Bank of the West building, 500
Capitol Mall, Suite 2050, board room, in
Parking: Street parking may be available.
You may also park in the 500 Capitol Mall
(Bank of the West) parking garage (entrance
off N Street), and we will provide
This July, Lawrence Samuels, author of In
Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics,
Economics, and Human Action, and chairman
of the Monterey County LP, will share the story
of his extensive research into the political
spectrum–and the revisionist history he
encountered along the way. His findings led him
to write his next book, The Phony
WHEN: Saturday, July 15, 2017, 5:30 –
WHERE: Blue Prynt Restaurant &
Bar, 815 11th Street, in Sacramento
San Francisco LP sponsors panel discussion on
by Aubrey Freedman
The LP of San Francisco is planning its
annual political panel discussion (originally
conceived and run for several years as an
This event is always open to the public, and
this year the topic will be the controversial
choice of some cities to flout federal
immigration policies and declare themselves
While this discussion is not styled as a
debate, there will be lively speakers on both
the pro and con sides of this timely
issue. It’s sure to be a provocative
event, and will provide activists the
opportunity for outreach to those in the
community who otherwise wouldn’t attend a
Libertarian Party event.
Request to be added to the notification list
by e-mailing LPSF chair Aubrey Freedman at Chair@LPSF.org.
Aubrey Freedman is the chair of the LP of
The California State Senate has passed SB562 to create a “single payer” health care system in California. The single payer would be the State of California, which would take over the entire health care system. The Libertarian Party of California opposes SB562 and any increase in government involvement in health care.
“Do you want the same people who run the DMV to run the health care system?” asked Ted Brown, chairman of the Libertarian Party of California. “What we need is less government involvement, not more. Libertarians believe in choice, not in mandatory requirements.”
SB562 would force all Californians into a government-run health care system whether they want it or not, and put private health insurance companies out of business. A 2016 poll showed that 74% of Americans rated their health insurance coverage as excellent or good. “Most people want to keep their health insurance plans. They don’t want the government to take them away,” said Brown. There is no provision in SB562 to allow Californians to opt out of the state health plan.
Besides the issue of who should run health care, there is also the issue of who will pay for health care. Proponents of SB562 say that government health care costs less, but it’s just the opposite. Every time analysts try to predict what a government program will cost, they are always very short of the actual cost. “This plan will cause more people to demand health care services, even for minor problems, since there will be no out-of-pocket costs,” said Brown. “This will cause costs to skyrocket. California cannot afford this plan.”
There are reports that a new 15% tax would be levied on all Californians to pay for health care. “This new tax would cause many taxpayers to leave the state,” said Brown. “And these are the people who would be paying for this plan. The people who receive but don’t contribute will eventually be the only ones left in California. And then the system will fall apart – and no one will have health care.”
The Libertarian Party of California platform says that “The health and physical well-being of individuals should be matters of personal choice and responsibility. The State should not be involved in the regulation of medical care or in the delivery of healthcare… As financing of medical and health care is the responsibility of the individual, tax monies should not be used to fund it, nor should government programs force anyone to subsidize the health care costs of others…”
The proponents of SB562 say that health care is a right. Others say it’s a privilege. “Libertarians say that health care is neither a right nor a privilege. It’s actually a service, and goods and services should be provided by free-market competition, not by the heavy hand of government,” said Brown.
The California Department of Food & Agriculture is holding a series of hearings across the state to gather feedback from the public on proposed regulations for the medical marijuana industry. Since Proposition 64 passed in November, there will be continued proposals for regulating the recreational marijuana industry as well.
The Libertarian Party of California strongly supports legal marijuana, for either medical or recreational use. “Since the Libertarian Party was founded in 1971, Libertarians have called for the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, and the voting public has finally agreed,” said Ted Brown, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of California. “Unfortunately, Proposition 64 is calling for too much regulation. Libertarians oppose all of these rules as fundamental violations of the rights of adults to grow and use marijuana as they see fit.”
At the recent state convention, delegates voted unanimously to add a new plank to the party platform. It states:
“We applaud the trend toward legalization and/or decriminalization of marijuana both for
medical and recreational purposes. However, we oppose the increase in new laws and
regulations that has accompanied this trend, whether such measures are intended as a
back-door way to continue prohibition or are simply taking advantage of marijuana’s
ambiguous legal status to achieve other goals. Specifically:
We oppose measures enacted by the state or by local governments to limit the
number of marijuana dispensaries or other businesses.
We oppose the imposition of taxes or fees on marijuana cultivation or sale.
We support the right of individuals to grow marijuana plants for their own use
on their own property.”
“Libertarians will continue to fight marijuana regulations at the state and local levels,” said Brown. “Most people now agree that marijuana should be legal. Let’s not make it so difficult or expensive to obtain that it goes back to being on the black market. We need a free market in marijuana, just as we need a free market in all other consumer products.”
Our recent State Convention was a huge success! It was held April 28-30 in Santa Clara. More people attended than at any recent convention in memory, and I noted great enthusiasm among those who did. The state LP hosted compelling speakers, including economist David Friedman, Eric Garris of Antiwar.com, and Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com. The entire convention was filmed, so you will soon be able to find all the speaker presentations on YouTube. The date they’re available will be posted soon.
New officers and Executive Committee members were elected. I was honored to be re-elected state chair, and welcome both new and returning committee members. I think we have a dedicated group of activists lined up to lead the party for the next two years, which is good because we’re set to promote liberty in a myriad of ways before the 2018 elections.
Officers are Dr. Kenneth Brent Olsen, Northern Vice-Chair; Jonathan Jaech, Southern Vice-Chair; Honor “Mimi” Robson, Secretary; and Steve Haug, Treasurer. Executive Committee members are: Alex Appleby, Wendy Hewitt, Boomer Shannon, Robert Imhoff, Jennifer Imhoff, Tyler Kuskie, Zachary Scott, Susan Marie Weber, David Bowers, and Jason Wu. Alternate is Baron Bruno.
The next Executive Committee meeting is Sunday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the party office at 825 S. Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia (two cities east of Pasadena). An action-packed agenda is in the works. Note that another Alternate will be selected for the ExCom, so if you want to apply, let me know. It’s also not too soon to be planning for our 2018 State Convention, since extensive lead time is needed to arrange hotel accommodations. The convention can either be put on by the ExCom (as has been the case for the last few years), or by a local party organization or individual (as was the case in the past). If you’re interested in submitting a proposal for the next convention (in Southern California), please let me know, and I’ll send you relevant information.
Election 2018 is right around the corner. Candidates start taking out papers to run in February, but of course should plan to run a lot sooner. A dizzying number of slots are up for grabs, including all statewide offices (Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Controller, Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, and Superintendent of Public Instruction), U.S. Senator, four seats on the State Board of Equalization, all 53 U. S. House seats, all 80 State Assembly seats, and 20 State Senate seats (even numbered districts).
The best way to present Libertarian ideas to the public is during political campaigns, since people might pay attention to political issues then. However, it’s gotten expensive to run for these offices — filing fees range from $1,000 to $3,500, and candidate statements (optional) run about $5,000. And, frankly, the Top Two election system makes it very difficult for Libertarian candidates to move on to the general election. But that shouldn’t dissuade us from finding Libertarian candidates to represent our views to voters.
We have a PAC known as the Candidate Support Committee that raises money for state candidates, and we plan to set up a federal committee in the near future. A doable goal is to raise $50,000 before the end of the year to pay for filing fees and candidate statements. Dynamic activist Baron Bruno has volunteered to head this up. You should be hearing from him over the next few months. Consider rewarding his volunteer efforts with a donation for our candidates.
We continually seek qualified, principled Libertarian candidates to carry the torch of liberty. If you’re interested in running for any office in 2018, please contact me at: email@example.com.
I also hope we can transmit the Libertarian viewpoint outside the election cycle. We have a new Communications Director, Jennifer Imhoff, and I expect her to send out statewide press releases reporting our views on current issues. She’ll use Twitter to promote the Libertarian angle on social media. Be sure to look for us on Facebook, too. We have a “Libertarian Party of California” page as well as groups called “Libertarian Party of California (Official)” and “Libertarian Party of California”. Follow (and post) articles and read news of interest to the Libertarian community.
Has your membership expired? Renew it to be connected and show your support for the state LP. Go to:
http://ca.lp.org/membership/ Make a monthly pledge if you possibly can. Thank you for being involved in the Libertarian Party of California. Feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns.
DAVID FRIEDMAN & PATRICK BYRNE (CEO of Overstock.com) to speak at LPC STATE CONVENTION. DISCOUNT PRICES EXTENDED to April 4
Fellow Libertarians and Friends,
I am pleased to announce that David Friedman (economics professor and son of Milton Friedman) and Patrick Byrne (CEO of Overstock.com) are now featured speakers at the Libertarian Party of California State Convention. The convention is coming up fast – April 28 to 30 at the Santa Clara Marriott, 2700 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA (near San Jose Airport). Sign up now to ensure your seat at the table with these great speakers, as well as conduct party business and meet fellow freedom-lovers from around California.
The convention costs were due to rise on April 1, but we are extending the lower prices until Tuesday, April 4.
and then “Click Here to Purchase Registration,” or go right to the Event Brite page to make your reservations.
Also, the hotel wants to know how many rooms our attendees will be booking, and their special rates expire on April 7. So reserve your hotel room right away. Lock in the lower rate, and help us plan.
Not only will Mr. Friedman and Mr. Byrne be speaking, but we will also hear from Richard Fields from the Pacific Legal Foundation, which defends property rights and currently has a case before the U. S. Supreme Court. There’s also Eric Garris, the founder of Antiwar.com, the only consistent anti-war, anti-intervention organization around; Edward Hasbrouck from the Identity Project; Maggie McNeill – “the Honest Courtesan”; Zoltan Istvan on technology and liberty; LP national vice-chair Arvin Vohra; Aaron Starr from Moving Oxnard Forward; Calimesa Mayor Jeff Hewitt and a panel of Libertarian officeholders; and much more.
The convention opens on Friday evening with a reception featuring potential 2018 candidates for governor and other offices. Saturday and Sunday will feature speakers and party business, as well as the gala banquet with Patrick Byrne as the main speaker Saturday evening. For those who haven’t heard of Overstock, it’s an internet retail company with $1.8 billion in revenues, founded in 1999 by Byrne. He was also a major supporter of Gary Johnson for President, and has been an outspoken advocate for school choice and for Bitcoin as an alternative currency.
We will be hearing officers’ reports, electing officers and State Executive Committee members and discussing possible changes to the bylaws and platform. You can bone up on Robert’s Rules of Order if you want, but don’t worry, we should be able to get through party business without too much of a rough ride!
I’m looking forward to a great convention, and I hope to see you there! There are plenty of options for you, from being a delegate (voting on party business) at no cost, to packages that include all the meals and all the speakers. We should have something that fits your budget. Join us and support the Libertarian Party of California – and have a great time in the process!
Robert Higgs – one of our most underrated economists – wrote
In economic theory, a high level of aggregation conceals a multitude of sins. The more removed a concept is from genuine, individual, economic choice, the more misleading it is likely to be. The highest-level aggregates, such as GDP, are almost impossible to invest with a clear meaning — not to mention the great variety of measurement problems involved in their empirical estimation.
When pressed, mainstream economists say that GDP is “just a useful index,” but they can scarcely give a meaningful, straightforward answer to the question, “an index of what?” And when asked to explain how such indexes are useful, it often turns out that they are useful mainly to government planners who are trying to override and “improve” the state of economic affairs that would exist if the government simply left people alone to conduct their affairs through peaceful voluntary cooperation.
As summarized by Rocco Stanzione: “Aggregation is the distortion pedal of economics. Crank that up and you can play just about anything and people will rock out to it.”
Or, as Mark Twain put it: “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.”