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.