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Message from the Chair – 11/11/18

Over the last year we have all put a lot of time and energy into the Midterm Elections, and I know that on Wednesday many Libertarians were discouraged, but we shouldn’t be. I have spent the last few days reflecting on this and realize we actually have a lot to be proud of! Nationwide we have 16 newly-elected Libertarians and had 833 Libertarians run effective campaigns. Here in California, even with our top-two “jungle primaries,” we had five partisan candidates on the November Ballot for State Assembly.

We have proven that a Libertarian CAN progress past the primary in a contested race; I was the first third-party candidate to make it to the General Election, beating a Democrat and a Green Party Candidate to go head to head against the Democrat incumbent. This prompted my opponent to face off with me in a candidate panel, which traditionally wouldn’t have happened. If I can do it, so can others!

We had four additional candidates, Brandon Nelson in the 4th District, Justin Quigley in the 21stDistrict, Christopher Stare in the 51st District, and Autumn Browne in the 69th District, that ran as write-in candidates against incumbents that were running unopposed and they all progressed to the General Election as well.

All of our State Assembly candidates did exceptionally well with most garnering close to 30% of the vote, which is higher than most Libertarians throughout the county. Brandon Nelson was able to get approximately 40% in two different counties in his district. And this was with campaigns that had limited financial support; our candidates raised and spent a collective total of about $40,000, and collectively our opponents raised about $3.9 million and spent about $2 million.

We have also proven that Libertarians running in non-partisan races can do amazing things! Jeff Hewitt is currently within 600 votes of winning the Riverside County Supervisor, 5th District election, with 40,000 votes still to be counted. He was able to raise close to a half million dollars and ran an outstanding campaign.

In addition, between September 7 and October 22 the number of registered Libertarians increased by 5.5% which means we’ve grown 6.5% since January! The Libertarian Party is the only party to increase in registered voters this year, but the number of No Party Preference voters has increased 14.4%, up to 5,419,607 voters. This tells me the #WalkAway movement is working, and many of those leaving the two major parties are finding a home in the Libertarian Party.

So what does this mean? It means we have an amazing opportunity to grow the party in California! It also means that we need to use that growth to raise money to support our candidates. If we had the funding to truly go up against the incumbent candidates who knows what could have happened last Tuesday.

So my first priority is to reach out to the registered Libertarians in the state to increase our donors! In the next few days I will be sending an email to over 50,000 registered Libertarians, and from there I hope to raise the money necessary to be able to reach out to all 150,000 as well as the 5.4 million No Party Preference voters.

I’ll also be working closely with the Convention Committee to get the best speakers that will resonate with people that don’t yet know they are Libertarians. My goal is to have people come to hear what we have to say and leave as registered Libertarians and members of the Libertarian Party of California. To do that we need to focus on our message; people need to know what LIBERTY means and how our party intends to bring liberty to all of the people in California.

My next priority will be to start working with the candidates that will be running in 2020. We need to identify races where we have a good chance of winning and focus our volunteers and money on those so we get the wins! Many of these may be non-partisan local races, such as city and county councils and boards, but will also include partisan state senate and assembly races.

I am going to need everyone’s  help in making these things happen. If you’re not already involved in the state or county organizations, please think about giving us a bit of your time. We have several committees with openings for volunteers at both the state and local levels. If you would like to get involved please don’t hesitate to contact me directly, and I will work with you to find the right fit for your efforts. If you are unable to volunteer, please think about helping us with funding, either to the state party or the candidate support committee. As little as $5 or $10 a month will go a long way in getting us to the place we need to be; a place where we’re taken seriously as a viable political party.

Also, be sure to attend our 2019 Convention in Concord California. The Convention will be held April 5-7, 2019 and there are still discounted packages available until the end of the year. You can find out more at https://ca.lp.org/convention/.

That’s all for now, but I will be keeping you updated on the progress as we approach the Convention.

In Liberty,

Mimi Robson,

Libertarian Party of California

chair@ca.lp.org

The post Message from the Chair – 11/11/18 appeared first on Libertarian Party of California.

My Report Q4 2018


My Report Q4 2018. I bear sole responsibility for its contents.

It is early November, and already I am writing a report. Events compel me. One of Jeff' Hewitt's donors hosted a party for volunteers last night. The energy there opened my heart. Talented, energetic, passionate young people filled the house. Fireside stories had us all laughing and proud of what we had accomplished together. The Hewitt campaign brought organizing to a level beyond anything I have experienced before in campaign activism. To a level that has the moneyed establishment afraid and lashing out. Just being at that one gathering validated all my investment in Jeff's campaign, and then some. I can't keep quiet about it. This is what positive political change looks like.

One of our own, a passionate libertarian and former LP officer is on the cusp of winning one of the most powerful elected offices in Riverside County. That County is bigger than a lot of countries. The Supervisors control a multi-billion dollar annual budget. Jeff is in a classic David-versus-Goliath fight, a grassroots campaign against a big money candidate supported by developers and public employee unions. But his campaign has real traction, and many pundits are thinking Jeff has a decent chance to win a close race. I'm so proud of that whole crew. Every vote counts. To help out or just get your name on the list of supporters, sign up at www.votehewitt.com.

Another close race of a similar type is the race for Mayor of Oxnard. Aaron and Alicia are shaking up the Oxnard establishment. Again. But now, the people might win for a change. Sign up at www.starrforoxnard.com

The Starr and Hewitt campaigns are both grassroots campaigns against establishment money-backed politicians, for offices powerful enough to attract serious money. These two will stick around. Whether they win this cycle or next, they have already raised effective challenges to Big Money. Once they prove Big Money can be beat, watch out! We'll see more successful challenges following similar campaign strategies. Cracks in the Big Money dam are springing leaks.

Many other campaigns are going on. Hewitt and Starr are the only two I know running close races for prominent offices in Southern California. Other races are more "Phase One" type campaigns, raising public awareness but far behind in the polls. These campaigns can still succeed by bringing new members, making their campaigns as appealing as possible to the widest diversity of potential libertarian voters while exposing the electorate to libertarian principles of non-aggression in governance.

Whatever type of campaign you are running or supporting, it's great that activists are putting aside their differences and focusing on campaigns. When the campaigning is over we need to get back to the job of repairing our networks.

In any endeavor we will face frustrations and setbacks. Work is work, and the biggest obstacle we face is ourselves. One of our senior members for whom I have much respect made a remark in an online forum. Something to the effect that the LP has its own legislature, which is the executive committee, its own administration, which are the officers, and its own judicial system, which is the judicial committee. I hope that's not an unfair characterization; if you think me wrong please point out my error in the comments. Perhaps I misunderstood her meaning.

For whatever reason the remark stuck with me--as an object lesson, helping me realize that our members aren't here to subject themselves to another layer of government. Our members are here to network and do activism for liberty under a state-sanctioned banner with access to the ballot box. It's the only essential purpose of having a Libertarian Party in the first place. Fulfilling that purpose is our highest duty as officers. 

We can't fulfill our purpose with respecting different viewpoints. Sometimes that requires pointing out differences, with respect and humility. We have to understand and respect one another to work together. 

Another discussion on the Ex Com message board stuck in my head. I made a remark about officers not being more important than other activists. Others disagreed with passion. Perhaps I misunderstood the intent, but the notion (intended or not) that non-officers need to shut up and obey officers triggered me. Not only because I favor individual responsibility over authority. Also because in a democratic institution run by Robert's Rules, the notion is exactly backwards. Members do not serve the officers. Officers serve the members.

Our officers' job is simple. Keep house so we don't lose our political party status under the California Election Code. Hold a great convention every year that attracts new members and builds networking connections. Avoid power plays and actions that divide the membership. Don't use our offices as personal fiefdoms. Remain neutral in the performance of the office and help make the LPC a safe and rewarding place for everyone who advocates for liberty. Leave our activists alone to run their own activism and campaigns.

Sometime we lose sight of our purpose, and get distracted by conflicts between members. The worst thing we can do is get involved as officers, trying to determine winners and losers in personal contests for dominance and validation. We abuse our offices when we use them that way, and undermine the purpose of the Party. We will not succeed by emulating the top-down strategies of the parties in power.

Ignoring our own mistakes is a losing strategy. Apologizing is important and effective, and so is cleaning up the messes we make. Let's clean up one of those messes now.

At LPC's last Ex-Com meeting, we passed judgment on actions of former officers of an affiliate--activists who were out working on campaigns. They weren't there, we hadn't invited them to our meeting nor had they asked for our input. We can pretend we never made a ruling, or minimize the outcome by calling it "just a recommendation." Either would be a mistake. Our recommendations enable fair solutions, or they are a waste of time, a liability for the Party, an invitation to future conflict, an injury to our dedicated activists, and a frustration of our purpose. Our motion did not enable any solutions.

So let's retract our last motion on the San Bernardino controversy. Acknowledge that the process and result were wrong. Nullify our own edict. Apologize to the membership.

What do you think?





My Report Q4 2018


My Report Q4 2018. I bear sole responsibility for its contents.

It is early November, and already I am writing a report. Events compel me. One of Jeff' Hewitt's donors hosted a party for volunteers last night. The energy there opened my heart. Talented, energetic, passionate young people filled the house. Fireside stories had us all laughing and proud of what we had accomplished together. The Hewitt campaign brought organizing to a level beyond anything I have experienced before in campaign activism. To a level that has the moneyed establishment afraid and lashing out. Just being at that one gathering validated all my investment in Jeff's campaign, and then some. I can't keep quiet about it. This is what positive political change looks like.

One of our own, a passionate libertarian and former LP officer is on the cusp of winning one of the most powerful elected offices in Riverside County. That County is bigger than a lot of countries. The Supervisors control a multi-billion dollar annual budget. Jeff is in a classic David-versus-Goliath fight, a grassroots campaign against a big money candidate supported by developers and public employee unions. But his campaign has real traction, and many pundits are thinking Jeff has a decent chance to win a close race. I'm so proud of that whole crew. Every vote counts. To help out or just get your name on the list of supporters, sign up at www.votehewitt.com.

Another close race of a similar type is the race for Mayor of Oxnard. Aaron and Alicia are shaking up the Oxnard establishment. Again. But now, the people might win for a change. Sign up at www.starrforoxnard.com

The Starr and Hewitt campaigns are both grassroots campaigns against establishment money-backed politicians, for offices powerful enough to attract serious money. These two will stick around. Whether they win this cycle or next, they have already raised effective challenges to Big Money. Once they prove Big Money can be beat, watch out! We'll see more successful challenges following similar campaign strategies. Cracks in the Big Money dam are springing leaks.

Many other campaigns are going on. Hewitt and Starr are the only two I know running close races for prominent offices in Southern California. Other races are more "Phase One" type campaigns, raising public awareness but far behind in the polls. These campaigns can still succeed by bringing new members, making their campaigns as appealing as possible to the widest diversity of potential libertarian voters while exposing the electorate to libertarian principles of non-aggression in governance.

Whatever type of campaign you are running or supporting, it's great that activists are putting aside their differences and focusing on campaigns. When the campaigning is over we need to get back to the job of repairing our networks.

In any endeavor we will face frustrations and setbacks. Work is work, and the biggest obstacle we face is ourselves. One of our senior members for whom I have much respect made a remark in an online forum. Something to the effect that the LP has its own legislature, which is the executive committee, its own administration, which are the officers, and its own judicial system, which is the judicial committee. I hope that's not an unfair characterization; if you think me wrong please point out my error in the comments. Perhaps I misunderstood her meaning.

For whatever reason the remark stuck with me--as an object lesson, helping me realize that our members aren't here to subject themselves to another layer of government. Our members are here to network and do activism for liberty under a state-sanctioned banner with access to the ballot box. It's the only essential purpose of having a Libertarian Party in the first place. Fulfilling that purpose is our highest duty as officers. 

We can't fulfill our purpose with respecting different viewpoints. Sometimes that requires pointing out differences, with respect and humility. We have to understand and respect one another to work together. 

Another discussion on the Ex Com message board stuck in my head. I made a remark about officers not being more important than other activists. Others disagreed with passion. Perhaps I misunderstood the intent, but the notion (intended or not) that non-officers need to shut up and obey officers triggered me. Not only because I favor individual responsibility over authority. Also because in a democratic institution run by Robert's Rules, the notion is exactly backwards. Members do not serve the officers. Officers serve the members.

Our officers' job is simple. Keep house so we don't lose our political party status under the California Election Code. Hold a great convention every year that attracts new members and builds networking connections. Avoid power plays and actions that divide the membership. Don't use our offices as personal fiefdoms. Remain neutral in the performance of the office and help make the LPC a safe and rewarding place for everyone who advocates for liberty. Leave our activists alone to run their own activism and campaigns.

Sometime we lose sight of our purpose, and get distracted by conflicts between members. The worst thing we can do is get involved as officers, trying to determine winners and losers in personal contests for dominance and validation. We abuse our offices when we use them that way, and undermine the purpose of the Party. We will not succeed by emulating the top-down strategies of the parties in power.

Ignoring our own mistakes is a losing strategy. Apologizing is important and effective, and so is cleaning up the messes we make. Let's clean up one of those messes now.

At LPC's last Ex-Com meeting, we passed judgment on actions of former officers of an affiliate--activists who were out working on campaigns. They weren't there, we hadn't invited them to our meeting nor had they asked for our input. We can pretend we never made a ruling, or minimize the outcome by calling it "just a recommendation." Either would be a mistake. Our recommendations enable fair solutions, or they are a waste of time, a liability for the Party, an invitation to future conflict, an injury to our dedicated activists, and a frustration of our purpose. Our motion did not enable any solutions.

So let's retract our last motion on the San Bernardino controversy. Acknowledge that the process and result were wrong. Nullify our own edict. Apologize to the membership.

What do you think?





Jason Ditz:”Jeff Bezos Puts the Pentagon on His Monopoly Board”

Speaking at the Wired 25th anniversary last month month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company will continue to accept Pentagon contracts. That includes a very controversial cloud-computing contract that Google and Microsoft have already backed out of due to vocal employee opposition to working with the U.S. military.

Amazon was long considered the front-runner for this contract, but Bezos’s rationale for taking it goes well beyond its being low-hanging fruit. He’s argued that the government’s job is to “make the right decision, even when it’s unpopular,” and that large tech companies should support those decisions irrespective of politics.

The $10 billion tied to the contract can’t hurt either. Whatever his motivation for sucking it up and taking one for team tech, Bezos’s public justification is a poor one, and it isn’t hard to see why. The Pentagon has a long history of immoral and reckless behavior, actions that objectively aren’t beneficial to the defense of the United States. Any company that blindly works with them does so at its own peril.

Employees at Google and Microsoft have already made a powerful case for why tech giants shouldn’t collaborate with the Defense Department. They don’t want to be responsible for developing technology that causes substantial harm, surveils others in violation of international norms, or contravenes human rights. The Pentagon can be counted on to do all three, and more.

Furthermore, the Pentagon’s growing interest in artificial intelligence (A.I.), particularly as it relates to warfighting, sounds out of the preamble for a dystopian novel. Hence why Google employees forced their company not to renew a controversial Pentagon contract in June involving A.I. While Amazon will be signing on to cloud computing, not A.I., it’s still more than a little concerning that Bezos was so adamant about the virtues of the DoD. (For what it’s worth, Amazon already works with the CIA.)

But Amazon has an interest that extends far beyond this single deal. The real prize is to become the military’s sole procurement source for off-the-shelf components. Disdainfully labeled Amazon.mil by critics, this initiative is a result of a congressional mandate that the Pentagon shift procurement to a single online marketplace.

The mandate is supposed to save the Pentagon money when buying run-of-the-mill items like bottled water. It would also give Amazon, the presumptive facilitator, a virtual monopoly on selling a vast array of items to a government department with nearly limitless money that’s notorious for overpaying for things.

Amazon is one of very few online companies that could even claim to provide this sort of service. In eagerly contracting with the Pentagon elsewhere, Bezos is laying the groundwork for this much bigger relationship.

Full Commentary by Jason Ditz @ The American Conservative https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/amazon-joins-the-military-to-further-its-dominance/

Ron Paul: Liberty Is Still Popular

Listening to the media, one would be forgiven for thinking that the “Libertarian Moment” has passed. After all, few candidates are running on a platform of limited government, individual liberty, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Instead, both parties push expansions of government power, whether nationalized health care, increased surveillance, or tariffs. And for all the partisan invective coming out of D.C., both parties are more than willing to work together to increase spending and debt.

However, a poll from last month conducted by Liberty Government Affairs and Gravis Marketing, shows that liberty is still popular. It also shows that a growing number of Americans are rejecting the D.C. consensus on many issues.

For example, the foreign policy establishment insists that America must stay in Afghanistan for as long as it takes to achieve victory—even though no one can define what victory would look like. The Liberty-Gravis poll found that 46.1 percent of Americans favor withdrawal from Afghanistan. Only 29.1 percent of Republicans support continuing to stay, while 37.4 percent of Republicans disagree with President Trump, and agree with candidate Trump, that the U.S. should end its longest war.

The drug war is another issue where grassroots Republicans disagree with most Republicans politicians. Forty-seven percent of Republicans in this poll support ending the war on marijuana, compared to 34 percent of Republicans who support continuing marijuana prohibition. Ending the federal war on marijuana is also overwhelmingly popular with Democrats and Independents. Legalizing marijuana is yet another issue where voters side with candidate Trump over President Trump—or at least his authoritarian Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The poll does not just contain bad news for the authoritarians of the right. The survey found that 46.6 percent of Democrats answered “yes” to supporting politicians who would “seek to reduce the size of the federal government, lower federal taxes, and end continuing conflicts abroad.”

Full Commentary by former Congressman Ron Paul @ Reason https://reason.com/archives/2018/10/29/liberty-is-still-popular

Gravis Marketing Poll @ https://www.libertygovernmentaffairs.com/news

Libertarian Party of California Voting Guide

The Libertarian Party of California has posted recommendations on the propositions on the California Ballot.
The Libertarian Party calls for a No Vote on the bond issues – Propositions 1, 2, 3, & 4:

Proposition 1: Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018 Vote NO
Proposition 2: No Place like Home Act of 2018 Vote NO
Proposition 3: Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 Vote NO
Proposition 4: Children’s Hospital Bond Act of 2018 Vote NO

The Libertarian Party urges a Yes Vote on Proposition 5 & Proposition 6
Proposition 5: People’s Initiative to Protect Proposition 13 Savings Vote strong>YES
Proposition 6: Voter Approval for Increases in Gas and Car Tax Vote YES

The Libertarian Party has no position on Proposition 7, concerning Daylight Savings

The Libertarian Party urges a No Vote on Proposition 8, Proposition 10, and Proposition 11
Proposition 8: Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act Vote NO
Proposition 10: Affordable Housing Act Vote NO
Proposition 11: Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Vote NO

The Complete Libertarian Voting Guide to the California Propositions includes explanations of the
Propositions on the Libertarian Party stand on the issue: see the Guide @ https://ca.lp.org/voting-guide/

South Bay Libertarians Monthly Dinner/Meeting

photoGreater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

6:30 pm:Social Hour & Dinner

8:00 pm: Meeting, Speakers, Discussions

Our featured guest this month is Mike Alexander of the California Taxpayers Union who will present "Making California Golden Again". He has a radio program, "Radio Free L.A.", every Sunday on 870 AM from 8 to 9:30 PM.

Here is a link to our website: http://www.lplac66.wo...

San Pedro, CA 90731 - USA

Thursday, November 15 at 6:30 PM

1

https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/255816521/

South Bay Libertarians Monthly Dinner/Meeting

photoGreater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

6:30 pm:Social Hour & Dinner

8:00 pm: Meeting, Speakers, Discussions

Our featured guest this month is Mike Alexander of the California Taxpayers Union who will present "Making California Golden Again". He has a radio program, "Radio Free L.A.", every Sunday on 870 AM from 8 to 9:30 PM.

Here is a link to our website: http://www.lplac66.wo...

San Pedro, CA 90731 - USA

Thursday, November 15 at 6:30 PM

1

https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/255816521/