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Rob Power Announces Candidacy for Libertarian National Committee Secretary

San Francisco, California, December 4, 2009. Rob Power today announced his candidacy for Libertarian National Committee Secretary.

“The time is right for us Libertarians to adopt a new strategy,” Mr. Power said. “Our Party is unique in its longstanding rejection of perpetual war, central planning, and government favoring certain classes of individuals over others. After nearly a decade of war for which most Americans now realize there was never any national security interest, and years into a recession prolonged by federal government policies, voters have caught up to the Libertarian Party’s longtime understanding about the nature of big government. Even those who have long shared our skepticism of Washington DC’s ability to solve society’s problems have recently come to the realization that their former ‘allies’ – the religious right – cannot be trusted to oppose the growth of government, especially when their operatives are elected to office. If our message of individual liberty and personal responsibility is to gain any traction in these key demographics who are most open to our recruitment, the Libertarian Party must have a new generation of leadership, rejecting social conservatism and reaching out in their own terms to those voters who may have lost their faith in big government only very recently.”

“We’ve heard that several internal problems, with our Platform, our Bylaws, or certain interest groups, have been what’s holding our Party back. Thus, great internal effort has been expended to gut our platform, centralize executive power in our Bylaws, and purge certain longtime constituents from our Party. It didn’t help us at all. Our true obstacles are a lack of ballot access, indifference or even hostitility from the mainstream media, caricatures of Libertarians and our principles – often by those within our Party – and a focus on making our Party look more and more like the less successful of the two major parties. Nothing about the obstacles we face has changed in four decades. These are old problems, and it’s long past time for new solutions. We must stop scapegoating our own Platform, Bylaws, and respected Party Founders, and instead realize that the opposition is outside, not inside, by implementing new technologies and new ideas to bypass media and ballot access roadblocks and recruit new members and activists. We also must learn that donors like to know where their money is going, and reliance on blind generosity is an unwise strategy for fundraising. Finally, we must ‘walk the talk’ and actively campaign to stop and reverse the trend of increasing obstacles to ballot access.”

“Outside our Party, instead of burning bridges, we should be building them, with issue-based affinity groups and a brain trust of think tanks to back up our policy recommendations in the media.”

“We need to advance beyond keeping an expensive infrastructure running without any liberty-increasing benefits coming from that expense, and instead create budgets and policies that include resources and time for real politics – supporting candidates and issues. Fundraising to maintain infrastructure dedicated to fundraising for instrastructure is like a snake eating its own tail, does not promote liberty, and is not a winning strategy. Similarly, internal parliamentary games and McCarthy-style witch hunts of longtime Libertarian activists have not won us a single office, overturned a single tax or regulation, or made any of us more free in this country.”

“I’m an efficiency expert. One of my Master’s degrees is in Industrial Engineering. I’ve done a root cause analysis, and I think I’ve discovered why these non-value-added activities are consuming all of our time that should be going to real politics. The root cause is that a technocratic mentality has taken over the Libertarian National Committee. While I do have an MBA and the technical and organizational skills required to serve as Secretary, let’s not forget that the officers on the National Committee also cast votes where sound Libertarian ideology is far more important than how many Parliamentary certifications or business-related degrees one holds. Our organization is unfortunately not large enough to require a CPA as Treasurer, an MPA as Secretary, and PRPs as Chair and Vice-Chair. I think the debates in past officer elections over who has the most acronyms following their name have not served our Party well, so you will not hear me questioning any opponent’s technical skill to serve as a Libertarian Party Officer. It may be hard work, but it’s not rocket science. Though did I mention that my undergraduate degree was in Aerospace Engineering?”

“When electing Officers in St. Louis, I hope the Convention Delegates realize that ideology matters far more than degrees and certifications. It’s just as important for Officers to subscribe fully to Libertarian principles as it is for the other Representatives to the National Committee, if not more so. Wouldn’t it be more efficient just to elect Officers who already are comfortable with Libertarian principles, letting them direct all of their effort at real politics instead of watering down our Party’s principles and messaging to match their beliefs?”

“The most important task for those of us elected to leadership within the Libertarian Party is to facilitate grassroots action instead of building roadblocks and stifling grassroots creativity and progress. Our activists and candidates give us their time, resources, and visibility, and we need to honor their commitment with our support. The support of campaigns is the very reason why political parties exist, and I will do everything in my power to advance that goal.”

“I’m proud to have the support of dedicated Libertarians, from the members of the ‘Draft Rob Power for LNC Secretary’ group on Facebook to the endorsers below:

Carolyn Marbry: “Rob Power, the national chair of Outright Libertarians and chair of the LP of San Francisco, would make a fantastic secretary for the LNC. I’ve never seen anyone with the kind of energy Rob has devoted to activism. He’s exactly what the LNC needs. ”

George Phillies: “Rob’s years as a Massachusetts Libertarian activist were marked by effective outreach to liberty-leaning special-interest groups, positive, active participation in volunteer work, and highly competent participation in the back-office efforts that keep an organization running on an even keel. Rob Power is an ideal choice for National Secretary.”

Rob and his husband Kai reside in San Francisco. Rob is the Director of Engineering for a Software-as-a-Service firm in Oakland, CA and volunteers as Lead Program Chair and Executive Board Member of the Commonwealth Club of California’s INFORUM division. Rob cast his first Libertarian vote at age 20 for Harry Browne in 1996 and has been a member of the Libertarian Party for over a dozen years, serving in capacities at local, state, and national levels.


  1. paulie paulie December 8, 2009

    Verry good poster available from LPSF for free. This is the type of message the LP needs to communicate more of and a presentation style we need to utilize more.

  2. Rob Power Rob Power December 8, 2009

    Thanks for the kind words everyone. Sorry I can’t be more engaged here on IPR. Thanks to Carolyn for letting me know people had posted comments here.

    I’m busy closing out my last term as LP San Francisco Chair (elections are Jan 9, and I’ve been busy sending out the required notices to the current and lapsed members). Also, I’ve been busy preparing for this weekend’s Platform Committee meeting in Vegas. And I just signed onto an 8-week consulting gig for work, leaving me only lunches and evenings to catch up on email.

    Long story short, I’ll be more available to do the whole blog comment thing in February. Until then, feel free to email me via or with any specific questions you’d like answered.

  3. paulie paulie December 8, 2009

    Lake, what is it that I do that does not conform to what I say?

  4. paulie // Dec 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Lake, Why would I be giving Rob any shit [????]

    “[Rob Power] has very little patience with those who will say one thing but act another ……”

  5. paulie paulie December 7, 2009


    Why would I be giving Rob any shit?

    You make no sense, again. Par for the course…

  6. Carolyn Marbry // Dec 6, 2009:

    “…… he [Rob Power] has very little patience with those who will say one thing but act another, which has caused him some strife along the way with those who are less ethically minded.”

    …… sounds like a great guy. When is he going to start posting and get his share of #&@%$& from Milnes, paulie, Quirk, Grundmann, and Last Conservative!

  7. Lonnie Holcomb Lonnie Holcomb December 6, 2009

    To: Thomas M. Sipos
    Ref: Angela for the Chair, I already asked, sadly we’ll have to wait.

    However, Rob, You’ll have my vote in St Louis in May!

  8. Richard Cooper Richard Cooper December 4, 2009

    I had some communication with Rob Power when I was LPNY chair. Seems like a reasonable guy.

  9. NASCAR Fan NASCAR Fan December 4, 2009

    I want to apologize to Mr. Power. I do not know him well enough to make the kind of judgments I made and inferrred in #8. A frriend I really truts says he is really a good guy; just a little hard to work with ’til you get to know him. But sshe says she isn’t going to meetups any mmore either though so…

  10. NASCAR Fan NASCAR Fan December 4, 2009

    I wish I had read this before I read the Carolyn Marbry post. I did not make any connection. Now I remember, Mrs. Marbry was the one at the fateful Barr NatCom in the pretty red dress and the two high school boy toys. She nominated Mr. Phillies with Mr. Power. Very Sexy indeed!

    I do not know what things look like now because I stopped going to our meetups shortly after Mr. Power became chair. I am told that I do not understand the history in the LPSF well enough to really judge what was going on. What I know is that it was never very much fun dealing with the fights between him and Starchild. I hear the meetups are empty now.

    You should check out our discussion groups if you want a feeling for Mr. Power’s leadership skills. He is a capable person, but some would argue that it is only as long as everyone sits down, shuts up and does things his way.

  11. Clay Barham Clay Barham December 4, 2009

    Republicans have been split since WWII, with the emerging conservatives threatening the leadership of established republicans like Nelson Rockefeller, Scott, Heinz, Nixon and even Earl Warren. Republicans have always been the moderate party, from Hamilton, Clay and Lincoln to Teddy Roosevelt. The 19th century Democrat was the conservative and libertarian. The 20th century Democrat follows Rousseau to Marx, threatening individual freedom to the point they invite greater numbers of conservative Republicans to emerge past and swamp the establishment republicans like McCain and Graham to save America from returning to Old World elite few ruling the many.

  12. robert capozzi robert capozzi December 4, 2009

    Good luck, Rob.

    I am curious if you will be supporting the St. Louis Accord Resolution in convention, as its open and pluralistic intent seems to be in accord with your views.

  13. robert capozzi robert capozzi December 4, 2009

    hmm, what’re the metrics for integrity and philosophical understanding?

  14. Aroundtheblockafewtimes Aroundtheblockafewtimes December 4, 2009

    Good talkers vs. good doers? Hmmm.
    Let’s get both. And yeah, the metrics are vague but most of us will know it when we see it.

  15. Thomas M. Sipos Thomas M. Sipos December 4, 2009

    Shouldn’t national delegates be choosing national officers from among those who have demonstrated leadership, growth, and progress in their state party first?

    “Growth,” I get. You can measure that by membership numbers or vote totals.

    But “leadership” is a vague metric. It can mean anything to anyone.

    “Progress” is also vague, unless you mean “growth,” in which case it’s a redundant metric.

    But no, I don’t care about “leadership, growth, and progress,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’m more concerned with philosophical understanding and integrity, and the courage to speak unpopular truths.

    And I don’t give a damn what state a person comes from. I don’t care if the entire LNC is from the same state, provided they’re principled and courageous libertarians.

  16. Aroundtheblockafewtimes Aroundtheblockafewtimes December 4, 2009

    Yeah, let’s make it an “all California” officers block because California LP has made such tremendous progress in the last few years.

    With all due respect to candidates from any faction: there are 50 state parties that can serve as a model incubator for the proposals, etc. that you advance. Shouldn’t national delegates be choosing national officers from among those who have demonstrated leadership, growth, and progress in their state party first?

  17. Thomas M. Sipos Thomas M. Sipos December 4, 2009

    Carolyn Marbry and Rob Power. That’s two good people running.

    Now, if we can just get Angela Keaton to run for Chair…

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