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Free Patriot Press Q & A with LNC Chair candidates

Posted by Darryl Perry at Free Patriot Press:

As a service to the Delegates to the LP Convention in St. Louis this coming weekend, I sent a candidate questionnaire to the 5 declared candidates for Chair of the Libertarian Party. The candidates full answers are below, a slightly condensed version will be available in hard copy at the convention.

All candidates were asked:

1) Why are you running for LP Chair?
2) What are your qualifications?
3) Why should someone vote for you?
4) Do you support a top-down or bottom-up approach to political activism? How will this affect how you act in your role as Chair?
5) Would you be willing to work with the BTP (the Boston Tea Party, the political party formed in 2006 by Thomas Knapp with the one sentence platform “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.”) on press releases and events that promote the general ideas of freedom & liberty?

Mark Hinkle

1) I’m running for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I have the background to turn around the LP so that it is once again, the premier organization within the broader libertarian movement. We need to end the infighting that’s plagued the LP for the last 4 years. I’m the only candidate that has any hope of doing this. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. I’ve done it before here in California.

The LP needs to set goals, create plans to achieve those goals, and then execute. Simple to say, hard to follow through. However, that’s just what I did as the Chair of the largest state party between 1997 and 2001. I set 3 goals: 5,000 dues paying members, a budget of $150,00, and hire an Executive Director. We focused on those goals until they were accomplished. Simple, but not easy. We had a team of paid professionals and dedicated volunteers that made it happen.

2) I have 36 years of leadership experience in the Libertarian Party. That’s more than all of my competitors combined. I’ve served in just about every role in the LP, from County Chair, Campaign Manager (the first one after California achieved ballot status in 1980), Newsletter Chair, Northern Vice Chair, candidate 8 times (6 partisan and 2 non-partisan), 6 years as Chair of the LP of California (LPC), and served a total of 10 years on the National Committee. I’m the only candidate for LP Chair who has ever served on the LNC.

3) Libertarians attending the LP convention in St. Louis, MO should support my candidacy if, and only if, they want any or all of the following: 1. membership growth (it tripled under my leadership while LPC Chair), 2. increased revenue (quadrupled under my leadership), 3. regular and timely issues of LP News (the LPC newsletter was published every month while I was LPC Chair), 4. more elected Libertarians to office (while LPC Chair, we ran Operation Breakthrough which elected a record number of Libertarians to non-partisan office, 5 (where allowed by law), a record number of registered libertarians (increased due to record levels of activities, not through any voter registration drives).

4) Both. There’s a division of labor within the LP that must focus our energies where it’ll do the most good. For example, staffing an Operation Politically Homeless booth is a local activity. Running candidates for non-partisan races is a local activity. Opposing statewide bond measures would normally be done by a state affiliate, not the LNC or by the local LP. Likewise, there are areas where the LP HQ can shine. Under project Archimedes, the LP membership (and revenue) soared to record levels (twice today’s membership numbers). Massive membership growth has only occurred via a top-down plan. In the history of the LP of California there were two times where massive membership growth occurred (once doubling in just over a year and the other time (under my leadership) it tripled to over 6,300.

If someone discovers that he or she is a libertarian after taking the World’s Smallest Political Quiz at a Operation Political Homeless table (a local activity), someone needs to follow up with an inquiry package (the state affiliate or the LNC) and a membership solicitation. But, what if there’s no local organization? Then, perhaps the state affiliate will step in to provide seeds money and training to get a local organization up and running (top-down). Or perhaps the state affiliate is defunct and the LNC needs to step it and find new blood and provide organization help or to help them gain ballot status (top down).
All levels are needed to growth the Libertarian Party and to expand our influence on the body politic.

Anything less and we fail.

5) I’ve worked with Greens, Democrats, Republicans, Union Activists, and Religious leaders to successfully pass an anti-Patriot Act (SJR 10) through both houses of the California legislature. I’ll work with just about any group that shares a common interest with the Libertarian Party and who are willing to work with us to achieve our mutual goal(s).

John Jay Myers

1) I didn’t think that either of the likely candidates who could win would be good for the Party. The party needs someone who represents both the left and the right, someone who is an activist but also a concerned with the politics of getting people elected. I would like to have the warring factions work together: 1 set can be the activists, 1 set can be the educators and 1 set can get those activist educators elected.

2) I am small business owner (my business has been profitable for the last 7 years), the Vice Chair of the Dallas County Libertarian Party (a county that raises more money than most states) I am on the Texas Executive Committee (our budget in Texas is 1/3 the size of national).

I am running for Congress against Pete Sessions, and I believe I have the personality that will bring the Party together around a common goal…. liberty.

3) To save the Party. We can not afford to be divisive at a time when 80% of the public is fed up with government. We can not afford to tag along with the Tea Parties so at any time the GOP rug could be pulled out from under us.

Now more than ever it’s time to mobilize our own grass roots agenda. It is time to let our message be heard which resonates well with both the left and the right . We also can not afford to make our issues page look like the national enquirer. Anyone should believe what they like, but our message should be simple regardless of what you believe the answer is less government and more freedom.

4) Bottom up, I think establishing a site that connects County, State and National that will act as a county chairs hand book and allow us to attract a chair to every county in America is crucial. The site would also create template websites for candidates and guide them through their local election processes. It will also serve as a way to share information gathered at either of the 3 levels.

5) Why wouldn’t we? Yes.

George Phillies

1)Our National Party has great opportunities, but it is facing an existential threat. In the last ten years, we’ve lost 75% (real dollars) of our income and more than half our dues-paying members. We cannot go on as we have. We therefore organized the New Path Team, people being deployed in places appropriate to their background, experience, and special skills. My place, as a long-time libertarian strategic thinker, former state chair, and former candidate for our Presidential nomination, was to run for Chair. We as a group constructed a program, a party business plan, the plan I am pledged to put into place as Party CEO if I am elected. That plan is about us helping you, not you giving to us. Most recently we have been advertising our program, our web pages, and the team that stands behind them.

2) Libertarian Association/Party of Massachusetts: State Committee Member. Former Executive Director (1996). Former State Chair. State Treasurer. State Membership Secretary. Reversed long-time decline in the size of our organization, so membership has almost doubled since Summer 2009 and treasury has roughly doubled since 2008.
Candidate for Congress, 1998. Had a dozen debates and joint appearances; press said I won. One rebroadcast coast to coast on CSPAN.

Editor-in-chief, Liberty for America magazine. Editor, Let Freedom Ring! Editor, Libertarian Strategy Gazette. Editor — Mass Liberty (LPMass magazine). Editor — (my older web site).

Co-founder: Pioneer Valley Libertarian Association, Liberty for Massachusetts, Freedom Ballot Access 527 organization, Liberty For America Federal PAC

3) We have a team and a program, not a one-man show about me. The team (and the friends we support for At-Large) includes candidates for almost every LNC position. The Program was developed with zero-base planning methods, and represents an entirely fresh look at how to build a strong national party. We talk about operations, not platform stands. As candidate for Chair — that’s party CEO — my contributions to the program, team recruitment, and the nominating campaign were a keystone for our results to date.

4) We need BOTH! We absolutely need top-down *and* bottom up organizing. The national party cannot do bottom up organizing, though it could have a staff of community organizers if we had enough money, but in can supply materials and organizer training to make things easier for people working from the bottom. You can see downloadable trifolds and a downloadable candidate web site available right now at My opponents talk about downloadables; we are giving out samples.

5) I am happy to be agreeable, but have reservations about whether we can make it work. Negotiating the contents of a joint press release sounds like a bear — perhaps agreeing on certain topics and dates would be less painful to the planners. Events are more a state/local issue, up until we try a march on Washington — or perhaps ‘join the Libertarian March from Washington’, a March starting at the Washington Monument and heading out of town.

Wayne Allyn Root

Responded by saying he wouldn’t answer, “I cannot find 5 minutes. I answered I think all of these in LP News…and at IPR on numerous occasions. My schedule is that of a busy media personality, business owner, father, husband and candidate. I cannot answer any more questionnaires. I host a huge radio show all next week. If I can spare 15 minutes I’ll try- but doubtful. I’m sorry but no candidate can answer everything multiple times…and have time left to campaign too.”

Ernest Hancock

Didn’t respond

For many more questions/answers to and from LNC candidates, and links to numerous IPR posts by and about the various LNC candidates, see the post and comment thread here.

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  1. Andrew Andrew May 27, 2010

    A Note From Ernest Hancock to LP National Delegates
    (BTW – I am writing from a small caravan going to St. Louis and we are east of Gallup, New Mexico on I-40 right now, 10:00pm Wednesday. We plan on driving straight through so that we are at the hotel in time for the Suns/Lakers game Thursday night)

    Those that know me, and others that have witnessed my previous efforts, likely understand why I do the things that I do and what I aim to accomplish in St. Louis.

    Very soon (if not already) the vast majority of Americans (along with the rest of the planet) will come to the realization that they are all victims of the largest swindle/robbery in human history,… and they will be searching for an accurate explanation. Libertarianism provides a very useful road map to what happened, who/what was responsible and how to avoid the same mistakes in the future. But ‘off ramps’ to detours that take us meandering through the same unprincipled wilderness that got us in this mess will be of no use to a ‘Generation Next’ that has a detailed 3D online map in their hip pocket.

    This decentralization of information is only beginning to be felt by a liberty starved planet and attempts to negotiate our principles for a place at the establishment’s media table will backfire just as it did in the 2008 presidential election cycle.

    Another election cycle of LPUS’ documented compromises on libertarian principle will make it very unlikely, as a political party, we’ll legitimately be able to compete at a national level in the future as a standard bearer for libertarianism. I am of the opinion that information availability is so ubiquitous now, that the ‘Liberty Nexus’ that was the best trait of the LPUS will be replaced by too many sources of contacts and information to keep track of. Politics is about to be replaced with communities that will attempt to create the freedom denied them by layers of government,… without asking permission.

    What if I really really believe that the future will have fresh young minds embracing libertarianism as the only consistent and understandable path to peace and prosperity? Then positioning ourselves so that we are the obvious destination for those seeking exactly what we offer is a very good idea. Since many (enough) that I associate with are also of this opinion, we chose to make our advocacy of no-compromise libertarianism a blazing torch everywhere possible.

    In the near future, freedom communities will likely be virtual and without borders or boundaries. Governments, states, countries and even languages will have less and less to do with an individual’s interactions than a simple listing on the contemporary cousin of craigslist with servers based in orbit or on the Moon.

    Libertarianism is ‘the philosophy for the stars’ and to think in smaller terms is an abandonment of the future for the LPUS. The future is why St. Louis is so important to many that support my effort. The economic tragedy coming, that is only in the early stages, provides a rare opportunity to help many millions,… not just when they need it the most, but when they are also seeking it the most. And they have already abandoned the ‘lame-stream media,… the media that is soooo last century’ in search of the truth.

    We have done our best to make our advocacy clear, and our long track record of principled activism has accomplished several things; government abuses of individual rights have been exposed while branding us as defenders of individual freedom, available resources in support of such advocacy are directed towards the most effective uses of those resources, inspiration of an entirely new generation of freedom activists have been continually nurtured.

    I am prepared and eager to represent the future and inspire a flood of fresh and energetic activists, that are already experienced and networked with each other, to come and make use of the Libertarian Party at a national/international level to free as many minds as possible in as short a time as possible to save as many lives as possible. But should the LPUS’ words/silence and actions/inactions allow the perception of it being less effective a tool as the many others available, then it will continue to wither.

    My documenting of all LNC chair debates and appearances across the country of every candidate participating has been a deliberate act of making it very clear to future freedom activists that the choice in St Louis was a fully informed one. These documented discussions will be of much greater importance months, years and even decades later to those needing to determine where and how best to direct their time and resources to expand human freedom. I’m working very hard to make that investment the Libertarian Party of the United States.

  2. Steve Steve May 27, 2010

    Well, Bob, you should have used your losing campaign for president to build up a list of supporters that you can turn out to follow you and help you change the LP. After all, if you have a strategy that can win a general election then it could certainly tip an internal race one way or the other.

    Then again, did you even have a supporter? I mean even Imperato got one.

  3. Luke Luke May 27, 2010

    Robert, are you even an LP member? Wow. What are you trying to accomplish?

  4. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes May 27, 2010

    Radicals & anarchists-Root is stacking the deck. We need VOTES=BODIES. Every radical & anarchist in USA show up at convention & PARTICIPATE when called for. Whatever whenever.
    Takeover the LP.

  5. Luke Luke May 26, 2010

    Better answers than I expected! Looking forward to St. Louis. IPR – know what would be really helpful? Another article on the front page listing who all of the declared candidates are for the LNC with a link to their website or other info about them. I’m sure you had that planned out already, but I’m getting ready to leave in 15 hours or so and getting anxious (and excited, I love national conventions, meeting with old friends and making new friends).

    I’m looking through older posts to find this, I think someone posted it but unsure if it was an article or in the comments.

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