Open Thread for Libertarian Party of CA Convention

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91 thoughts on “Open Thread for Libertarian Party of CA Convention

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Okay, finally got some Internet access! I’m back to Internet Explorer, but it’s working! Our keynote speaker isn’t here yet. Our Master of Ceremonies, Richard Boddie, is here and speaking. He= ;looks and sounds good!

  2. sparkey

    Question. Since there are 2 Senate candidates this time, will the CA LP consider endorsing one over the other? Will they debate?

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    i don’t believe the Senate candidates will debate. I think all the candidates will have a few minutes to introduce themselves.

  4. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Someone named Heii introduced herself and read a lwetter she wrote as to why she’s running for President. She’s new to our party, and didn’t even becaome “political” until April 2015.

    Angela Keaton from Anti war.com is the keynote speaker, and is about ready to start.

  5. Jacque Donahue

    I made it in last night, just in time to watch the ending of the debate at the reception and have some nibbles.
    All three Candidates looked so presidential up there. They did a nice job with the set and staging, also the audience was nice and diverse.

    I came up to my room to watch the whole thing on you tube. Very exciting stuff.

    This is my first convention so I hope to meet lots of people throughout the day. i am a new libertarian so it’s ok to correct me if I say something stupid or too liberal. I am from Sonoma County after all 🙂

  6. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Isn’t that cute that Jacque and Jill are live-blogging???

    Jacque, are you a bit short with dark hair? I’m wearing a black and bpink dress tomorrow.

  7. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    andy, I guess you didn’t make it here? I still have no idea how many people are expected. More than 50, for sure.

    M Carling is here, fior some reason. I didn’t recognize him, and introduced myself! He was shocked, and not tremendously warm and fuzzy. He’s living in Washington State now.

  8. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    There are half a dozen people fr0m Nevada, including Pojunis.

    Starchild has a bare midriff and some animal ears. I’ll try to get a photot.

    Joy Waymire and Derrick Reid are here.

    I met Chris Thrasher last nigfht! I liked him very musch and am looking forward to meeting McAfee. None of the Big Three have made an apparearance yet.

  9. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Anglea is using appropriate verbiage. She called Hillary Clinton a “war criminal”. She’s chiding the LP for not being mor involved with the anti-war movement (she’s absolutely right!)

  10. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Q & A with Angela: There have bee a few nonsensical questions about defeneding ourselves. She’s putting things into a proper perspective.

    Question from Starchild, then Lily Williams. (Lily is a sweetheart. I met her last night).

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    We’ve had a break. I met McAfee; was in line to meet Petersen, when McAfee took him away. Austin said “Hi, Jill”, as he awalked away, so apparently he knows me. Good thing, or bad thing??

  12. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Southern vice chair’s report (Jonathan Jaech): Generally, we’re moving forward. There are six strong regions in LA County; Ventura County has a new website; the Alive Free Happy group recruits and thrives (AKA the “:Black Shirts”.)

    San Diego County has suffered a terrible loss recently with the loss of Mike Benoit.

  13. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Northern Vice-Chair’s (Brian Thiemer) report: They’re fighting some large bills in the San Francisco to raise money for assorted expensive projects; Fresno has a new chair; a few candidates; they support the “Jefferson State”.

    I am near-sighted, but I think that’s Brian Holtz in the back of the room. Alicia Mattson is salso here, for some reason.

  14. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I also see Dr. Feldman . I didn’t know if he was coming out here to the debate.

    So far, for the debate tonight: Johnson, Petersen, McAfee, Reid, Waymire, Feldman, Heidi Zeman, Rhett Smith (although I haven’t see him)

  15. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Secretary’s report: He is reporting on things I don’t think are not appropriate for him to tell us, such as things we should be hearing from the Treasurer. Apparently, this is more important than posting minutes than posting minutes.

  16. George Phillies

    Perhaps someone will challenge Johnson on his campaign management record:

    Johnson’s two Presidential campaigns show that he is unfit to be our candidate again. Issues are interesting, but campaign management matters. I have a series of these, but I will do these in chronological order:

    Johnson’s Republican Campaign: In 2011, Johnson ran for the Republican Presidential nomination. While his campaign did not succeed, its financial management could reasonably be read as showing how he would run his Libertarian campaigns. Of course, a lack of timely disclosure meant that people choosing our 2012 nominee had no way to know how his 2012 campaign had been managed, but 2016 delegates reading this book (Oh, yes, there is a book forthcoming) do not have this challenge.

    For 2011, Johnson raised $578,124. On December 31, 2011, his campaign had $18,012 cash on hand and $858,458 in debts. That’s a lot of debt, more than the income, which had already been spent. Where did the money go? Staff salaries came to nearly $800,000. Fundraising was close to another $200,000, plus $28,000 in fundraising commissions — an effective rate close to 5%. Back office and bank charges were over $113,000. There were outside subcontracts and miscellaneous costs. The grand total: more than 1.2 million dollars.

    What about reaching the public? Candidate travel was over $90,000. Other outreach efforts, mailing, shipping, web ads, etc. were over $50,000. The web site came to nearly $30,000.

    Being generous, less than one dollar in seven went for direct campaigning; the rest was swallowed by what the military terms the Rear Echelon. Buried in there was spending for “media”, a total of $478.41.
    .

  17. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m quite distressed because things got a bit acrimonious before lunch. There is apparently a Northern CA vs Southern CA factional fight. I’m disappointed. Apparently, we don’t all haver tohe same goal of growing the LP CA.

    Enough about that! .We’re trying to get started after lunch. Surprise, surprise! The secretary and treasurer aren’t here.

  18. Brian Holtz

    Apparently there was a recent controversy over the Chair spending more (or sooner) than the ExCom had authorized. The Judicial Committee issued a Mar. 26 opinion supporting the Treasurer against the Chair. The delegates voted to reimburse the Chair for the funds he personally spent on a mailer to 2500 LPUS members living in California. The mailer cost him $1700 but raised $3000 and gained us 50 new members.

    Gov. Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray had breakfast in the hotel this morning.

  19. Brian Holtz

    Delegates passed PlatCom proposal 1 opposing bans on e-cigarettes, and proposal 2 opposing Top Two. Delegates rejected PlatCom proposal 3 opposing any and all “gun free zones” on government property. Because prisons.

  20. Brian Holtz

    Delegates passed PlatCom proposal 4 opposing bans on ride-sharing services, and amended form of proposal 5, asking the Attorney General to investigate when local prosecutors fail to indict peace officers who violate peoples’ rights.

  21. George Phillies

    Assuming I understand him correctly, Mark Herd reports on the uncensored libertarian facebook location that the Presidential debate will begin soon and will be livestreamed.

  22. Brian Holtz

    Delegates rejected proposal 7 advocating the validity of pre-nuptial agreements. Not sure why. Aaron Starr said that the existing plank is “schizophrenic”, simultaneously advocating abolition of marriage law and changes in those same laws.

  23. Brian Holtz

    The delegates voted 28-13 in favor of the 1st sentence of proposal 8, opposing the death penalty. But 33 votes were needed to reach a majority of registered delegates, so the proposal failed.

  24. Andy

    What does Gary Johnson engaging in athletic activities have to do with his political positions? I thought that we were selecting a candidate to run for President, not somebody to be captain of the football or basketball team.

  25. Andy

    LOL! Reid is wearing the 1800’s cavalry uniform. I’ve got to wonder if somebody is paying him to try to make us look back.

    LOL! Austin Petersen says he’s inspiring activism, but I suppose that this does not apply to people who advocate the NAP or who talk about conspiracy theories.

  26. Andy

    I heard that Darryl Perry is at the LP of Vermont Convention today. He should have made going to California a priority, way more delegates there, plus he lives close to the Vermont border and he could go to Vermont any time.

  27. Andy

    Jill Pyeatt said: “San Diego County has suffered a terrible loss recently with the loss of Mike Benoit.”

    Mike Benoit passed away. Sorry to hear this. I bought a book from him when I was in San Diego a few years ago.

  28. George Phillies

    7th Cavalry. I am assured — militaria is not my specialty — that this is the post war uniform of General Sheridan’s Army. As readers will recall, it was his unit and uniform that President Grant sent to the Carolinas, when he suspended habeas corpus and ordered the army to suppress that seditious conspiracy, the Ku Klux Klan. — or so an article on iirc Slate described.

    I gather I have moderated more Libertarian Presidential debates than anyone else — so far, three. I salute the dedication and heroism of whoever is moderating a ten-candidate debate. Fortunately, I have never had to do that. Strive to be fair to everyone on stage. Give all of them the same question, and then the next question. Ask about campaign strategy.

  29. George Phillies

    Jill, did you mean that Sam Sloan has announced his Presidential campaign?

  30. George Phillies

    The Johnson 2016 filings list at fec.gov does not show that he has filed an FEC form 2 for his 2016 campaign. This is the form that validates the Johnson 2016 campaign committee as the official committee. However, Johnson has a form 2 from 2012 that says he is running in 2012 and points to his 2016 committee. Apparently the FEC has to do a piece of this manually, and something went wrong. I have from a highly reliable source that Johnson 2016 has pointed out the issue to the FEC.

  31. Michael H. Wilson

    Do I understand correctly that there are only 42 or so delegates there?

  32. Brian Holtz

    The delegates convened at 11:10 am with 51 present of the 64 then registered. No credentials updates announced since then.

    If the ratio of candidates to delegates were not much different, then the delegates could have sat on the stage, and the multitudes of candidates could have filled the seats facing the stage.

  33. Andy

    “Brian Holtz
    April 3, 2016 at 00:22
    The delegates convened at 11:10 am with 51 present of the 64 then registered. No credentials updates announced since then.

    If the ratio of candidates to delegates were not much different, then the delegates could have sat on the stage, and the multitudes of candidates could have filled the seats facing the stage.”

    That is pretty low turn out for the most populated state (California has 38 million and something people), and the 2nd most populated city and metropolitan area (the city of Los Angeles has around 3.9 million people, and the metropolitan area has over 12.8 million people) in the country.

    Back when I was active in the LP of California I was a delegate at a state convention that was held in Los Angeles near the LAX airport and there were a few hundred people there.

    It is really disappointing to see how the LP of California has gone down hill.

  34. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    There were more delegates, something closer to 60 something, which was low for a big state but an improvement over that last couple years. I’m sure there were well over a hundred people that for the debate. The CA LP has a long way to go, but does seem to be on the upswing.

  35. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I was granted an interview with Governor Johnson tonight. I asked maybe half a dozen questions. I did have a question about campaign debt, and I also asked him who he’d like to have as his candidate. I’ll probably post most of the interview next week some time.

    I appreciate that he took the time to speak to me, and I do think you’ll appreciate the answers he gave.

  36. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt Post author
    April 3, 2016 at 01:22
    There were more delegates, something closer to 60 something, which was low for a big state ”

    Yes, 60 is still bad for the highest population state in the country.

  37. George Phillies

    Jill, yes, the filing has now taken place, so whatever the issue was, it has gone away.

  38. Brian Holtz

    The LPCA conventions had more delegates credentialed both last year and the last presidential election year. Hoping we’ll get an updated/higher credentials report today.

    2012 78 Ventura
    2013 59 Sacramento
    2014 46 Visalia
    2015 72 Las Vegas
    2016 64 Los Angeles

  39. Darryl W. Perry

    Andy,
    When I confirmed for VT, I did so because of funding. A couple of weeks later, I had the funds available to attend CA, but wanted to keep my word on attending VT.

  40. Andy

    “Brian Holtz
    April 3, 2016 at 09:19
    The LPCA conventions had more delegates credentialed both last year and the last presidential election year. Hoping we’ll get an updated/higher credentials report today.

    2012 78 Ventura
    2013 59 Sacramento
    2014 46 Visalia
    2015 72 Las Vegas
    2016 64 Los Angeles”

    The last LP of California convention which I attended was in 2005. Attendance was higher at that one than any of the ones mentioned above.

  41. Starchild

    I just counted 57 people present in the main room this morning. Lily Tang Williams is still speaking – telling her story about growing up in China, facing oppressive climate, coming to the United States, marrying, going back to China with her husband to visit, etc. It’s a moving and compelling story.

    Sorry didn’t blog yesterday – lots of other stuff to pay attention to, and didn’t figure out how to get online right away.

    The debate last night was well attended – I didn’t do a count, but might have been 100 people. I was allowed two minutes at the beginning to speak for Darryl Perry, but not take part further in the debate after that. It seemed like a fair compromise since he wasn’t present, although of course I would have liked to represent him more fully. No other candidates had a proxy to speak for them, but there were a good number of candidates present. I think this was the list:

    John McAfee, Rhett(?) Smith, Heidi Zemin, Austin Petersen, Gary Johnson, Derrick Reid, Kevin McCormick, Joy Waymire, Marc Feldman… can’t think now whether I’m missing anyone else.

    After the first round, all the delegates present were each given four tokens to allocate as they chose among the candidates (you could give all to one person, or distribute them among multiple candidates). The top four candidates receiving the most tokens then came back for a second round of debate. The top three, predictably, were Johnson, McAfee, and Petersen. Tokens were not counted for these three, so not sure on the order of popularity, but they clearly had the most. Marc Feldman came in fourth, by a somewhat narrower margin ahead of Kevin McCormick; I think they may have each had around 50-60 tokens. Other candidates had fewer. Perry wasn’t offered as a choice for tokens.

    I was quite favorably impressed by Petersen. Although he hasn’t sold me, I had come in thinking it was very unlikely I’d support him, based on his reputation here (on IPR) and reported dissing of the Non Aggression Principle, but after seeing him debate twice (Friday night on the Stossel video, then yesterday in person), and having a chance to talk with him at lunch, I’m thinking he’s much better than I’d expected. Will try to type more later.

    Lily Tang WIlliams done speaking, Ted Brown now talking; credentialling/delegate stuff.

  42. Brian Holtz

    At-large Ex-Com voting (top 6 get seats):

    35 Eric Vaughes
    31 Jason Wu
    29 Bill Haidu
    28 David Bowers
    28 Susan Marie Weber
    27 Alex Appleby

    25 Wendy Hewitt
    25 Starchild
    24 Gail Lightfoot
    23 Barbara Englehardt
    15 Mark Herd
    14 M Carling

    In the runoff for alternate, Hewitt got 27 and Starchild 17.

  43. Andy

    Starchild said: “I was quite favorably impressed by Petersen. Although he hasn’t sold me, I had come in thinking it was very unlikely I’d support him, based on his reputation here (on IPR) and reported dissing of the Non Aggression Principle, but after seeing him debate twice (Friday night on the Stossel video, then yesterday in person), and having a chance to talk with him at lunch, I’m thinking he’s much better than I’d expected.”

    Starchild, keep in mind that Libertarians have fallen for slick talking hustlers before. Remember Wayne Root?

    I will give Petersen credit for being a good public speaker (but once again, I thought Wayne Root was a good public speaker, but not a good candidate for the Libertarian Party), but I am leery about him being the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President for the following reasons:

    1) His open repudiation of the NAP, and mocking of those who support the NAP. The Non-Aggression Principle is what I’d call the guiding principle of the party. It is an end goal for what we are trying to achieve.

    2) He attacks people who talk about government conspiracies. I think that it is very naive, or even outright dishonest, to say that people with in government do not engage in conspiracies. I’m not saying that a candidate necessarily has to make talking about government conspiracies a big part of their platform (I’d leave this up to the discretion of the candidate), but a Libertarian Party candidate should not attack people who talk about government conspiracies, because by doing so they are alienating a lot of their base, and a lot of their potential base, as people who question what the government says are more likely to be open to the Libertarian Party than people who believe everything that the government tells them to believe.

    3) His personality. I don’t know Austin Petersen. I’ve never communicated with the guy, and I’ve never even seen him in person. I have seen and heard about him getting into some nasty flame wars with people. Lots of people, myself included, have been in some debates that have gotten nasty, but Petersen strikes me as being troll like, as in somebody who is practically trying to “pick fights” with people. It is one thing to passionately debate an issue, and while in the heat of the debate some name calling ensues, but from I’ve seen and heard from Petersen, it is as if he enjoys trolling people. I don’t know if he thinks he is being funny or what his deal is, but this does not strike me as somebody who should be a candidate for the party.

  44. NewFederalist

    I have had nothing but bad vibrations about Petersen until now. Starchild is nobody’s fool. If he is willing to consider Petersen then I will listen to what he (Starchild) has to say. I respect Starchild although I am probably his complete opposite. I want to hear more about his opinions of Petersen, Johnson, McAfee and Perry. Perhaps even the $5.00 doctor as well.

  45. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Even though Petersen did well in debate last night, he still comes across to me as a theater major who has memorized good lines. I want to like the guy and get over his juvenile behavior, but I think he just did too much damage.

    He does speak well, though, or at least he did last night.

  46. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Today was another long day, and I just sort of stopped blogging. Things went well today, I think, and I actually have quite a bit of news, including the straw poll we took. I’m very tired and have tons of email to catch up on, but I’ll try to post some of it tonight.

    I feel very good about the weekend and the direction of the party. Plus, as usual at a convention,it was great to see so many old friends, and also to make some new friends.

  47. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    A highlight for today was the talk by Lily Tang Williams. Her story about growing up in Communist China was fascinating and astonishing.

  48. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt Post author
    April 3, 2016 at 22:30
    Even though Petersen did well in debate last night, he still comes across to me as a theater major who has memorized good lines. ”

    BINGO!

  49. Jose C

    I proposed the “marriage” planks. One plank concerned pre-nuptial agreements and the other concerned abolishing the community property laws of California. Judges in California are invalidating pre-nuptial agreements saying they are not “fair” to one of the party’s (usually women).

    Also in an experience I have dealt with, knowing someone who is related to me and was married, the community property laws in California effected the distribution of property in a negative way. If you live in California and are married some judge will decide something you bought, even if you bought it while living in a non-community property state, if you get divorced your spouse will get half of what you bought even if that goes against your wishes.

    I thought these proposals were uncontroversial but to my surprise some want the status quo to continue.

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