Trent Somes III announces exploratory candidacy for Vice Chair of LNC

LNC alternate Trent Somes III via facebook:

Greetings Fellow Libertarians,

Recent statements by the current Libertarian Party Vice Chairman have troubled me greatly. I came to the Party and fell in love with the diverse people, great responsibility, and most importantly, a strong message. But more importantly, I stayed in the Libertarian Party because I felt included. People made an effort to build me up, and committed to making me a better leader. I committed my time, skills, and money in return.

Recently, it seems as if the Vice Chairman has made efforts to do the opposite. Rather than providing individuals with a welcoming organization to effectively influence policy, recent statements have made large groups of individuals feel unwelcome, and even unwanted – to the point the Party has seen numerous resignations of leaders and volunteers, and unsuccessful attempts of staff to renew some members’ memberships.

Efforts to make positive conversation, promote discussion, etc., have been met with further divisive statements – some of which are seemingly contradictory to the 2016 platform.

For this reason and others, I have decided to launch an exploratory Vice Chairman campaign. I am currently assembling a group of volunteers that will help me determine the viability of a campaign for Vice Chairman, while simultaneously spreading the issues that I think are crucial to the development of the Party, especially during a short 2 month absence during the summer.

My Preliminary Proposal:

1. The Party must develop consistent and welcoming messaging. A central problem with the party is our lack of messaging. The Party must adopt a message that appeals to a multitude of targets and peoples while maintaining our principles.

2. The Party must invest heavily in youth outreach efforts. The Party currently spends only $1000 on youth outreach annually. this is a disgrace. Millennials and Gen-Zers have the potential to be the Libertarian generations (a subject that I have spoken to a multitude of audiences). We need to invest in them and create a Libertarian Youth National Committee to administer partisan campus organizations.

3. The LNC must invest in strategy research. Every successful company does research to see how to best reach consumers. The LNC must do the same. We need to hire professionals to find out how to best craft our outreach and message.

4. The LNC must invest in staff empowerment. Our staff has a list of resources they have asked for, but the LNC has not provided. The LNC needs to take staff needs into consideration, and empower the group of hardworking individuals that we are blessed to have on our side.

I’ll commit to attempting all of those things.

My experience:

I joined the Party as a sustaining member in 2014. My first job in the party was county chairman. When I attended my first state convention, I recognized the serious lack of youth outreach present within the Party. I decided to start my own organization to do it for the party. The Libertarian Youth Caucus was formed. It has now spread into a dozen or so campus organizations and multiple states. We’re a 527 political organization and have 1 employee. Because of the kindness and forethought of C Michael Pickens, the LYC is going to be able to offer free activist training to its students through the Libertarian Leadership Academy (which will hopefully go active for us next fall or winter). At the 2016 National convention, I became the youngest to ever be on the LNC. I have since been the brainchild behind the two recent brand improvement efforts. The first, #ReRegister, was the first – ever attempted nationally – administered voter registration drive. The Party will continue this effort. The second effort would have hired professionals to do strategy research. This effort was presented through a special committee comprised of myself, Larry Sharpe, and David Pratt Demarest. I was honored to work with and be mentored by both of these motivated individuals.

During the LP Primaries I coordinated Austin’s campaign in Pennsylvania. I went on to coordinate Gary Johnson’s efforts in Westmoreland County. The Pittsburgh team and LYC developed special branding for Pittsburgh, which resulted in better voter totals than expected. The LYC also helped over a dozen downticket races in 2016.
I want this to be a success. But I need your help. If you want me to run, please send me a message, comment, and share this post. I am the committed candidate. Let’s take this party forward together.

Trent Somes III
Committed Leadership is just on the Horizon.

14 thoughts on “Trent Somes III announces exploratory candidacy for Vice Chair of LNC

  1. Great ideas

    Trent, if you read this:

    I don’t know whether I would vote for you or not but I do encourage you to run. I am impressed by your youth leadership and fully agree that we need more youth outreach, and having someone your age and chair of the youth caucus as Vice Chair would be great progress on that front. I’m much less a fan of making the message more moderate or “pragmatic”, however. And I think you made a mistake by enlisting; hopefully not one that will land you in combat. Regardless of whether you win or lose I think it will send a good message to have you in the race and you may well end up being the best candidate running.

  2. Andy

    “Greetings Fellow Libertarians,

    Recent statements by the current Libertarian Party Vice Chairman have troubled me greatly.”

    Every press release I’ve read from Arvin has been really good. I can’t think of anything that he said that I found to be troubling.

    “2. The Party must invest heavily in youth outreach efforts. The Party currently spends only $1000 on youth outreach annually. this is a disgrace. Millennials and Gen-Zers have the potential to be the Libertarian generations (a subject that I have spoken to a multitude of audiences). We need to invest in them and create a Libertarian Youth National Committee to administer partisan campus organizations.”

    I agree that the Libertarian Party needs to focus more on outreach, and especially on outreach to young people, particularly on college campuses. I have been saying this for years, and for many years, I’ve been pointing out one of the best ways to do it, which would not cost the party any more money than it is currently spending, and might actually save the party a little bit of money if anything, is by hiring mostly, or, if possibly, only, actual Libertarians to work as ballot access petition signature gatherers, instead of the majority of the Libertarian Party’s ballot access budget going to non-libertarian mercenary petitioners who are only out to make money, and who’d be just as happy working against liberty as they are to work for it, just so long as they are getting paid. These non-libertarian mercenaries do little to no Libertarian outreach, and they on average tend to bring in lower validity rates than actual Libertarian petitioners do, and some of them misrepresent the party and the philosophy to the public. The party would get a lot more bang for its ballot access buck if there was more of an effort put into recruiting more actual Libertarian activists to go out and do the ballot access work, and if it eliminated, or at least reduced, what I’d call the unnecessary over-reliance on non-libertarian mercenaries. Recruit more Libertarian activists to do this work, make sure to start all ballot access drives as early as possible, and work on breaking open access to places that carry public foot traffic (petition circulators getting run out of locations that carry public foot traffic is one of the biggest things that slows down ballot access drives).

    You want more Libertarian college campus outreach? If you have a ballot access drive going on in your state, have actual Libertarians going to college campuses to gather petition signatures. I have gathered signatures at numerous college campuses around the nation, and while on these campuses, I handed out I don’t even know how many Libertarian flyers, pamphlets, and bumper stickers, and I asked many of those who were interested to sign a contact list (which was made by another Libertarian petitioner, no party official had anything to do with this), and I gave these contacts to the state and national parties, free of charge. I’ve even help start or expand a few libertarian clubs at some college campuses.

    “3. The LNC must invest in strategy research. Every successful company does research to see how to best reach consumers. The LNC must do the same. We need to hire professionals to find out how to best craft our outreach and message.”

    I’m skeptical on this one. First of all, I’m leery of hiring anyone who is not an actual libertarian to do anything for the party or movement. Second of all, I don’t think that the problem is so much that there are Libertarians who don’t know how to craft their message or do outreach. We’ve had over 40 years of experience, and there are plenty of people in the party who know how to do these things. The problem is the too many Libertarians are too lazy, or are too pre-occupied with things that don’t really grow the party, to actually go out and do any of the things that have already been proven to work. We don’t need some high paid outside consultants to come in and tell us how to brand ourselves and how to sell our message, we need to get off of our asses and do it ourselves.

  3. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    The question is, who do you want to welcome? The likes of “revolutionary conservative” and defacto alt-right Ryan Ramsey who runs an LP “Veterans caucus” that posts joke memes about killing peaceniks and bringing guns to the 2018 LP Convention to threaten the current LP Vice Chair?

    Are you going to ask for those guys support? Do you think you’ll have much credibility if you do?

    And it turns out Ramsey manufactured phony threats against the LP Florida convention as an excuse to hire intimidating security guys. I guess false flag operations are something he learned in the military?

    Check it out: “LP Veterans Caucus”. https://www.facebook.com/groups/224257921287852/

    A “joke” threat of gun violence vs Arvin Vohra, LP Vice Chair at the next convention. See here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1746791735348004&set=gm.422097104837265&type=3&theater

    I think LP national better start confront this now. Will the LP Convention center allow OPEN CARRY? Have started to ask convention organizers.

    Hopefully LP TN will respond to all concerns that may be raised here.
    Andy
    May 16, 2017 at 10:55

    Carol Moore said: “A member just posted this “meme” that is clearly a threat of gun violence vs Arvin Vohra, LP Vice Chair at the next convention. See here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1746791735348004&set=gm.422097104837265&type=3&theater

    paulie Post author
    May 16, 2017 at 11:40

    Well, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. Ryan Ramsey apparently believes some nonexistent terrorist group, of which he alleges I am a member, is physically threatening him just because some libertarian antifascists posted his public contact info and his public social media statements. He also falsely claimed that this nonexistent group physically threatened the LPF convention and hired armed off duty police officer(s) to guard against this supposed threat. In reality of course there was not even a protest, much less physical threats, as some of us expected.

    Is it a credible threat? Probably not; chances are the threat is metaphoric or just talk. But, you do have to take into account that you are dealing with people who at the very least are in fact armed, a non-trivial percentage of whom actually have killed human beings before and who, statistically, are more predisposed to have fits of violence, post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illness than most other people. That’s not in any way to say that all or most vets are actual or would be psycho murderers, of course. Far from it. But, the possibility that the threat could be credible should not just be summarily dismissed without any concern.

  4. Shane

    It’s good he’s stepping up but we’ve all heard many of these campaign stances before. Some are flawed like research needed (been there, done that, it’s stupid), youth outreach (you have to find donors first), etc.

    The LNC needs experience over anything else on several levels. First is non-profit experience, the second is organizing experience (different animal) then marketing, Washington and finally campaigns.

    Few people who serve or have served on the LNC have had any of that experience. We’ve had plenty of enthusiasm which quickly turns into infighting and introspection when they realize they don’t know what to do.

    Folks like Moulton (diverse understanding of the above), Sumner (professional understanding of Washington), Pye (active in Washington and great with messaging) and others need to step up and run.

    That would be the start of a board we could get behind.

  5. Andy

    There are experienced people in the party (as in experienced at being on party committees) who really should not be there either.

  6. ATBAFT

    With very few exceptions, one should not be considered for an LNC officer’s post without first having been a successful local leader, then a successful state chair (e.g. grew the state party, won some elections) and then spent at least one full term on LNC. If one can sustain both enthusiasm and success for the years required, then you are worthy of consideration by the national delegates.

  7. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    My apologies above for copying a bunch of stuff from another IPR post when I just mean to get a couple links. Here’s all I MEANT to post and hopefully Paulie or whoever can delete the whole post above.

    Carol Moore/Secession.net
    May 16, 2017 at 12:11

    The question is, who do you want to welcome? The likes of “revolutionary conservative” and defacto alt-right Ryan Ramsey who runs an LP “Veterans caucus” that posts joke memes about killing peaceniks and bringing guns to the 2018 LP Convention to threaten the current LP Vice Chair?

    Are you going to ask for those guys support? Do you think you’ll have much credibility if you do?

    And it turns out Ramsey manufactured phony threats against the LP Florida convention as an excuse to hire intimidating security guys. I guess false flag operations are something he learned in the military?

    Check it out: “LP Veterans Caucus”. https://www.facebook.com/groups/224257921287852/

    A “joke” threat of gun violence vs Arvin Vohra, LP Vice Chair at the next convention. See here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1746791735348004&set=gm.422097104837265&type=3&theater

    I think LP national better start confront this now. Will the LP Convention center allow OPEN CARRY? Have started to ask convention organizers.

    Hopefully LP TN will respond to all concerns that may be raised here.

    PS. Obviously I’m going to have to go back and look at all those old IPR stories about these guys. We need a summary article. Hopefully someone will do it!

  8. Andy

    I have long thought that there should probably be term limits for the LNC. Either that, or have some kind of performance metrics in place, as in grow the party, or become ineligible to run for reelection.

    The same could go for state committees.

  9. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Well, Mr. Somes did answer my question when I posted it on FB at Radical Caucus group.

    He wrote: “Trent Somes III I’ve been outspoken against Augustus and his Clan.”

    Phew…

    Now we just have to wonder why he puts up with that little snake Austin Petersen. 😉

  10. Jill Pyeatt

    TJ Campbell of Alabama announced on Facebook today that he’ll be running for vice-President.

    I’ll be supporting Arvin Vohra 100 % if he chooses to run again.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    Okay, I’ll make a do-over for my last comment:

    TJ Campbell of Arkansa has announced on FB that he will run for vice-chairman of the LP.

    I’ll be supporting Arvin Vohra if he chooses to run again.

  12. Pingback: Vohra responds to criticism again | Independent Political Report

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