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Long-time LP Petitioner and Activist John Robertson Dies

Staff at LP Blog:

John Robertson, who was best known for his petitioning work over many years in the Libertarian Party, died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 12, 2012, at his son’s home near Point Arena, California. He was in his seventies. Word of John’s passing came from LP Oklahoma member Robert Murphy, who was about to travel to a party with John on Saturday afternoon, when John suddenly collapsed. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital but died enroute.

John had retired to Oregon after his petitioning days, but had been living with his son in California since 2011 after suffering a heart attack, followed by a bout with pneumonia, last year.

In 1984, John was National Petition Drive Field Coordinator for the Bergland/Lewis presidential ticket.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, John traveled with his beloved dog, Goldie, to work LP petition drives. They were a very effective petitioning team. John will be cremated and buried next to his beloved dog, Goldie, and her offspring on his son’s property in California.

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  1. Richard Schwarz Richard Schwarz May 16, 2012

    I’ve never met anyone in my life who is even close to being like John Robertson. He was truly one of a kind.

    Little did I know what was in store for me back in the autumn of 1989 when I traveled up to Massachusetts to help out on a petitioning drive (my first) and I was paired with JPR to show me the ropes. A lifelong friendship ensued and I soon found myself petitioning with John in North Carolina, Illinois, Washington, Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, among a handful of other places, spending many a night sleeping on the floor of the Silver Bullet (an old airstream John had “renovated”) with Goldie and Sweetie (his 2 dogs).

    John had an incredible personality. He was instantly liked by just about everyone with whom he came in contact and which made him an incredible petitioner. I had an ear to ear grin whenever in his presence as his stories, and philosophy, on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were so engaging and left you in sheer wonderment as to how he could come up with all this!!

    I last saw John 2 summers ago when I was able to visit with him briefly in Eugene Oregon. He was in great spirits, as always, and still living, and proud, of his bohemian lifestyle. So many stories!

    John had many sayings, and little tenets to share, and my favorite, which only a true road warrior like JPR could fully understand and appreciate, but that I’ve too often found to be way true is, “Never Trust a Local.”

    John used to proudly proclaim he had a contract to live for 250 years with an option for an additional 250 he could choose to exercise. I’m certain this is true and that JPRs spirit will be very much alive for at least the next 428 years.

    RIP JPR!


  2. Andy Andy May 16, 2012

    I never met John Robertson, but I heard good things about him from those who knew him. Sorry to hear that he passed away.

  3. Paulie Paulie May 15, 2012


    I didn’t know him, he was retired from ballot access before my time, but I know several petitioners who knew him pretty well.

  4. Carol Moore Carol Moore May 15, 2012

    Johnny boy! Now I know why I hadn’t heard from him in last 8 months or so. Found a photo of him and me 1993 in activist garb – which someone said they’d post here. Seems to me I have a couple more funny ones I’ll search around for…

  5. George Whitfield George Whitfield May 14, 2012

    RIP John Robertson. That 1984 ballot campaign was a real challenge and you helped keep us going.

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