Scott Williamson: Thoughts on the Tennessee LP Convention

Posted by Scott Williamson at Liberty for All
http://www.libertyforall.net/?p=4062

This past weekend was the Tennessee Libertarian Party’s state convention. Friday night was our meet and greet reception. While talking to old friends and making new ones I met a Democrat who had found out about our convention and stopped by. He was running for Davidson County Juvenile Court Clerk. With a crowded field in the Democratic primary he was searching out support from those not inside his own party. This Democrat commented to me how impressed he was with how so many individuals could come together, talk politics, and be so respectful of each other. After listening to our libertarian philosophy he was hooked, proving that we can gain converts when we reach out to the left or the right and not compromise our libertarian principles.

During our business session Tennessee nominated thirteen people to run for public office and filled all twenty delegates to our national convention. In years past it has been difficult for some states to fill all its delegates, even in presidential election years. It was exciting to see that we not only filled all of our delegates, but also filled nearly all of our alternates as well.

During the business secession delegates passed a budget that emphasized campaigns and activism. Over 70% of the total budget went to candidate support, affiliate support, outreach, advertising, etc. Money was set aside to pay for the 2012 convention. The remaining budget went to administrative, web site, and new member mailings totaling about 23% of the budget.

Tennesseans were proud to have Sharon Harris of Advocates for Self Government as a guest speaker and celebrate with her the 25th anniversary of Advocates for Self Government. Leah Patrick from Ladies of Liberty Alliance and Austin Newman also gave passionate talks about liberty and activism. Delegates also had a chance to listen to Bernard Ellis speak on the issue of medical marijuana.

After the lunch break an unofficial poll for national chair was taken. The vote was choice ranking allowing those who participated to rank each candidate from their first choice to their last. We dropped any candidate who received no votes or the lowest vote in any round and adding that ballot’s second choice to the remaining.

Here were the results for the First Ballot. Hancock 6 votes, Phillies 5 votes, NOTA 3 votes Hinkle 2 votes, Myers 0 votes and Root 0 Votes. On the second ballot; Hancock 6 votes, Phillies 6 votes, and NOTA 0 votes. Some ballots only ranked their first choice leaving the rest blank. That afternoon Ernie Hancock came and gave a rousing speech. It is important to note Tennessee invited all the candidates for chair to come speak. After Hancock spoke a third ballot was taken. After speaking to the convention Hancock gained 5 votes for a total of 11, Phillies gained 2 votes totaling 8 and NOTA gained 3 votes.

Special thanks go to Kelly Wall who organized a wonderful convention in a beautiful hotel that included a great lunch all for just $30.00 per attendee. Tennessee seats all of its delegates, not requiring the payment of the $30.00 to have access to the business session. With careful negotiation with hotels, budget for conventions, and generous donations by members, our convention not only breaks even, but year after year it makes money.

It was enjoyable to be with so many liberty lovers in one room. I am looking forward to attending other state conventions and hope to see all of you in Saint Louis for our national convention.

Scott Williamson is a candidate for LNC Regional Representative and can be contacted at scott.williamson01@comcast.net

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