Libertarian Victories on November 3rd

From the LP blog.

The following Libertarians won their elections on November 3:

Karen Richardson was re-elected to the City Council in John’s Creek, Georgia.

Roger Fritz was elected Mayor of Roland, Iowa.

Bill Lynn was elected as an Alderman in Davenport, Iowa.

Nick Taiber got 46% running for City Council in Cedar Falls, Iowa, so he advances to a runoff on December 1.

Andy LeCureaux was re-elected to the City Council in Hazel Park, Michigan.

Dan Halloran was elected to the New York City Council in District 19 (Queens). He was cross-nominated by the Republican, Conservative, Independent and Libertarian parties.

John McAlister was re-elected to the City Council in Gahanna, Ohio.

Michael J. Robertson was elected Supervisor in Licking Township, Pennsylvania.

Berlie R. Etzel was elected Constable in Ashland Township, Pennsylvania.

Timothy A. Russell was elected Mayor in Emlenton Borough, Pennsylvania.

Larry Allen Boyle was elected Mayor in Polk Borough, Pennsylvania.

James Fryman was elected Auditor in Victory Township, Pennsylvania.

Paula L. Meddings and Chad M. Roberts were both elected to the Borough Council of Houston, Pennsylvania.

Susan Haythornthwaite was elected Auditor of Abbott Township, Pennsylvania.

Cathy A. Beeman was elected Auditor of Waterford Township, Pennsylvania.

Randall R. Schwabenbauer was elected Oil City Area School Director in Pennsylvania.

24 thoughts on “Libertarian Victories on November 3rd

  1. Mik Robertson

    Actually, I was re-elected, having been a township supervisor for almost 10 years. Another of our Libertarian township supervisors would have re-elected this year, but decided to retire instead.

  2. Richard Cooper

    Halloran was nominated amongst others by the Independence Party. There is no Independent Party in New York. Those who choose to enroll in no party are known on the rolls as “blank.”

  3. Robert Milnes

    One of the nice things about the PLAS Experiment is we don’t need no stinkin parties to succeed. If enough activists cause enough talk among the voters, they will respond favorably. Now, I wish it would be warm & sunny like CA or FL or HAWAII or there was some casinos or something. But maybe some skiing or ice fishing? BRRRRRR! Oh well, let’s try to make the best of it. Indoor target practice maybe?

  4. NewFederalist

    Robert Capozzi- I live in PA and I believe the “secret” to LP electoral success is simply fielding candidates. Many township offices on my ballot last Tuesday has no competition. In fact, there were some where there were no candidates at all. Positions like auditor have no salary and thus do not attract much interest. I believe here in PA we actually have one of the only elected Prohibition Party members in the country. He is a supervisor (I think) in some rural township. Kudos to the LPPA for organizing and recruiting well enough to win these offices (whether with opposition or not!).

  5. Mik Robertson

    @2 Mark Wicks in Upper Tulpehocken Township in Berks County.

    @7 There are a lot of factors that have to come together. One of the most important is having a positive, persistent presence in the community.

    Another is presenting a reasonable agenda that doesn’t scare people away or turn them away by being patently unrealistic. We can present our ideas without declaring we will eliminate most or all of government and end all taxation, which people correctly see as incredible.

    It takes a long time to build up credibility, and it is easily lost. It has taken us years to get to where we are now, and there were certainly ups and downs along the way.

    What we need now is to continue to develop our organization. Weak opposition political machines helped us this year, and they may continue to deteriorate. Whether they do or not, we will need to improve our organization to be consistently competitive in larger races.

    No one can expect to make one change and have everything fall into place, rather everything has to come together to make one thing happen.

  6. Mik Robertson

    @9 This is true. Another factor is that Pennsylvania has a lot of local governments, which is a good thing.

    What used to happen quite a bit was as soon as we would get a candidate on the ballot, even with no opposition, the local D or R machine would organize a write-in campaign just to keep our candidate out. In small districts this is very easy to do.

    This is where I see some progress over what has happened in the past. The other thing is that we are no longer electing mostly inspectors of elections or other members of non-decision making bodies. The governing bodies are where we need our people to be.

    When I was first elected, in my county Libertarians were pretty much seen as bomb throwing radicals. When I would walk into a county office, people would literally jump behind their desk and grab papers so they wouldn’t have to be the one to deal with me.

    Now not only are we no longer seen as three-headed monsters, we actually get invited to participate in parades and other community events, and are seen as a part of the local political landscape.

    Fortunately we have more counties where these local organizations are developing. Not just discussion group organizations, but people who are out in the community addressing issues of local concern.

    There is no question we still have a way to go to match the organizational competency of the old parties, even on the local scale. But we are making progress, and you cannot reach your goal without taking steps in that direction.

  7. Mik Robertson

    @11 There are many things that can be done to increase the visibility of Libertarians and get some outreach to and interaction with the community.

    In addition to things like having booths at local fairs, participating in parades, or providing consistent input to discussion of local issues in letters to the editor, one of the easiest things to do is attending local government meetings. The idea is not to be disruptive or aggressively question a decision, but to learn about issues and the concerns of the community.

    I was attending township meetings before I ever became involved with politics. I have also volunteered to serve on a regional planning committee, and I served on an intergovernmental board that cooperatively managed municipal activities, in my case administration and enforcement of on-lot sewage facilities.

    I know other counties where members are involved with the local fire department or other civic organizations. Also speaking at those organization meetings or to business groups are a good way to get familiar with the people and issues you would have to address as an elected official.

    These kind of things help to build local organizations by gaining contacts and opening lines of communication. Now of course it doesn’t help if the only message you bring is that D’s and R’s are evil and all government must be eliminated. That is not a good way to participate in the political process, even if it is true.

    The other thing we as a group need to learn to do better is to build coalitions, not only with members of the community and local organizations, but with D’s and R’s as well. When people see that you can play nicely AND have good ideas, things get a lot easier.

  8. Ross Levin

    They’re partisan where I live. I’m not sure if it’s the same way around the state, though.

    Where I live every race is partisan. I’m in Montgomery County.

  9. Mik Robertson

    @14 PA local races are partisan, even school board. Judges are also listed with a party ballot line, but some are allowed to be nominated by more than one party, and often are. Others can only be nominated by more than one party under special circumstances, such as winning a write-in campaign in a primary election.

  10. Ralph Swanson

    Three points.

    1) In Florida we’ve made a different approach from the rest of the LP, a point (much of the time) of abolishing offices and encouraging popular involvement via appointive office (we have fewer elective offices than e.g. NH) and direct democracy (which we put in place and is how we got ballot access. Project I’m working on at http://www.floridaliberty.com). For example, locally, we abolished our Soil and Water board for a private regime that’s working well enough.

    2) Also, some interesting stuff at our local site people might use to build a farm team while moving poilicy and building a receptive constituency. http://lpfpinellas.wordpress.com/get-in-public-office/ (I think this is the only Party site that actually makes it easy to find the local opportunities available with a link to the boards. It really helps, and also helps activists get oriented. I also think we’re the only one working to saturate the voters with Libertarian literature and so develop precinct teams, which only recently became possible in tu erms of number of Libertarian boots on the ground, which many critics don’t get…and this effort here drives the extreme conservatives in the Florida party and a few people at national up the wall…) then go to FRONT PAGE.

    3) If you’re appointed, consider running for election. If you’ve been elected, appoint as many as you can.

    I might add that a lot of this pragamtist-purist stuff comes from job confusion. People working on legislation and activism are dealing with a very different reality from people seeking election. The 2004 Libertarian platform was designed for activists and retired as an activist workbook. It MUST be vision oriented and disturbing to some. The platform for an elected official must be more process oriented and at best a step or two ahead, though its a mistake to assume people won’t get it. Only recently has the LP gotten to a point where it needs an elective approach. Most LP’s haven’t set people in office goals yet.

    Congratulations to all the winners. Pretty soon the momentum will be there so it doesn’t matter what LNC does…It’s happening, babe. Folks are getting the idea.

    Well, back to bed. Or maybe I’ll post Libertarian links at Pravda. Drives them kooky.

  11. Michael H. Wilson

    Mik congrats on the election. And many more to come.

    Where you write “It takes a long time to build up credibility, and it is easily lost. It has taken us years to get to where we are now, and there were certainly ups and downs along the way”. So very true.

    How about submitting a piece to the national news letter with what you have written here?

    MW

  12. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    A pretty hefty percentage of state house seats in Penna. are not contested. These are opportunities for LP candidates, who are gaining credibility, to run and, frankly, get badly defeated (after all, there’s a reason why these incumbents have no major party opposition).
    On the other hand, there’s a number of very competitive districts where a vigorous LP campaign can be the balance of power. It has been suggested in the past that incumbents in such districts be targeted by LP candidates unelss the incumbents agree to sponsor much less restrictive ballot access laws. If the LPP is going to play practical politics, then it is time for some quid pro quo horsetrading to make it far easier for future LP candidates to run.

  13. Mik Robertson

    This is true. Every general election there are about half of the state rep races that are uncontested. In many of the other contested races the outcome is pretty much a foregone conclusion also. If there are 10% of the races that are competitive that would be a high number.

    I recall that prior to the legislative pay raise issue that irked a lot of PA voters in 2006, the retention rate for incumbents in the state house was something like 98%. The only time there is real competition is in a handful of districts when an incumbent retires. The gerrymandering is that good.

    We do have an election reform bill in committee with nine sponsors. We can certainly use that strategy of trying to leverage support for election code reform, but there are really only a handful of legislators in committee that we need to convince right now. Not many of those would be subject to particular persuasion by that approach.

    I am more hopeful that the judicial action will spur the legislature to action on that front. With a favorable ruling, the legislature will look around for alternatives, and SB252 already in committee will be a very attractive option.

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