Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle Opposes Proposition 14

The first press release to come out of the Libertarian Party headquarters in the aftermath of the 2010 National Convention is about opposing Proposition 14, signaling that the new administration intends to make Proposition 14 an issue in the coming week before the June 8th California primary.

WASHINGTON – Mark Hinkle, newly elected chair of the National Libertarian Party, and former chair of the Libertarian Party of California, issued the following statement today about California’s Proposition 14, the “Top-Two” elections measure:

“Californians, please vote NO on Proposition 14. This is not the change we need. This Top Two system will shut out all but two voices in our November elections, which are the elections that count. Now more than ever, we need more political voices and broader representation on the November ballot, but this proposition will do just the opposite.

“Today, I’m putting out a call to all Libertarians, and everyone who values having ballot choices, to help us fight Proposition 14 in California. The Libertarian Party of California has organized a volunteer effort to make thousands of personal calls to California voters encouraging them to vote NO on Proposition 14. This drive will continue until the June 8 election, and the National Libertarian Party has pledged to give financial support to efforts opposing Proposition 14.

“I also want to call attention to, a website with much more information about the bad effects that Proposition 14 would have. This website was created by Free And Equal, an organization led by Christina Tobin, who is also the Libertarian candidate for California Secretary of State.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.


27 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle Opposes Proposition 14

  1. Luke McKellar

    @1 according to the Stop Top Two website, the Democrat and Republican Parties in California are against top 2. (So are the Libertarian, Green, and Peace and Freedom Parties of California.)

    The Libertarian Party of Ohio just voted to endorse “Stop Top Two” as well. There has already been discussion on bringing it to Ohio, and we hope that sending a resounding “NO” voice in California will stop it dead in its tracks.

    Luke McKellar
    Central Committee Chair
    Libertarian Party of Ohio

  2. Gene Berkman

    @ #1 – the leadership of The Democrat and Republican Parties both oppose Prop 14 – Top Two. Supporters of Prop 14 have made the opposition by party leaders their main issue, and popular revulsion against the leaders of the Democrat & Republican Parties is what is driving popular support for Prop 14.

    Of course as an active LP member I totally oppose Prop 14.

  3. Doug Craig

    We need more people calling people The Lp has a website set up so anyone can call people in Calf. and ask them to vote no.
    I believe only about 50 people have sign up to call we need action not talk. it is easy to do please help Thanks

  4. Stewart Flood

    That’s right Doug. We’ve got a few volunteers, but only a few of the few are hitting the phones hard.

    We need more volunteers.

    Turnout in early absentee voting is very low so far, which is a good indicator for our side. The ads that start running tomorrow and the phone banking will make a difference — but only if people get moving and do it!

  5. "What have you been smoking ????" ......... Don Lake

    Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Vote-By-Mail Now Available for June 8 Primary Election
    … who have opted to vote by mail, and as an email sent out by the office of Secretary of State Debra Bowen notes, it has become “an increasingly popular choice” here. … ……..

    Election Day, vote-by-mail, or absentee voting, there are now 5.8 million registered users of the service in California. Says Bowen ………….

    Live Chat: Blue America Welcomes Back Marcy Winograd, CA-36
    Crooks and Liars
    …. Monday is the first day of absentee voting in California. More and more frequently, elections are being won and lost based on … early voting

    ………. In CA-36 approximately a third of the voters will vote by mail. And among older voters that number … rights and equality under the law… …

    Samples of West Coast Absentee voting …..
    Vote for Dave Jones for Insurance Commissioner!
    Big Education Ape
    … getting ready to vote on Election Day. Some are already returning absentee ballots ……. …

    [a] six million here, six million there, pretty soon, Like Proposition 8, you have an election

    [b] 30% here, 30% there …………..

    [c] the inter mediate future ………

    Steward Flood, if you are correct and Don Lake is wrong, I willlllllllll apologize ………

    but ………….

  6. Stewart Flood

    I was told that Richard Winger has reported that absentee voting is very low. I was just commenting on it.

    No, I do not live in California. But I have been in constant contact with the leaders of the LPCA through this process and they sent me a message that absentee voting turnout was much lower than expected so far.

    I’ve just searched through my email to see if I could cut/paste the exact comment, but I’ve got hundreds of them on this subject in just the past few days and I can’t put my finger on it right now.

  7. Bruce Earnheart

    I fail to understand why this election scheme is so detrimental. Libertarians are much more politically motivated than the typical republicrat Zombie. Thus, libertarians are much more likely to vote in primaries than Rs and Ds are.

    Secondly, with a primary ballot filled with four Democrats, three Republicans and a Libertarian, we might actually stand a chance of polling high enough to garner meaningful news coverage. And with that, we might place high enough occasionally to make the run-off.

  8. CAProp14VoteNo

    “Thus, libertarians are much more likely to vote in primaries than Rs and Ds are.”

    I would ask you to reconsider this assumption, and look at actual voter turnout in CA primary elections. And even if Libertarians are more motivated, it doesn’t mean the R Zombies still don’t outnumber and ourvote us. Prop. 14 should be rejected and a better system introduced in its place. How about multi-member districts with Proportional Representation and a one month long general election and something that undoubtedly would help libertarian candidates instead?

    Currently, Libertarians are ON the ballot for the November elections where they run. If Prop. 14 passes, few, if any, Libertarian or any other candidates besides an R and D, two Ds or two Rs will ever be on a November ballot with no write-in option.

    “Secondly, with a primary ballot filled with four Democrats, three Republicans and a Libertarian..”

    I would also ask you to reconsider this assumption. Currently, we are already in what will become the run-off, so might be able to get to the run-off is already a huge June to November when it matters most downgrade.

    The California Republican Party has already announced they will adopt “in party” rules, similar to a party member only caucus, to endorse their ONE candidate for the June election. (The June election can no longer be called a primary, because it isn’t a primary, it the first round of voting, with the top two run off in November.) Who knows how the Democrats will handle it internally, BUT the Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party said this to the Sacramento Bee this week.
    Washington State Democrats Chairman Dwight Pelz said that dynamic created “more backroom politics” in a system proponents said would bring more openness to primary politics.

    “I, as party chair, have to go and talk people into not participating, and I think that’s really unfortunate,” he said.


  9. CAProp14VoteNo

    You know what, Milnes, you are half right about that. But the winners are the ones who will be using PLAS. Democrat or Republican, it won’t matter, because they will still be bought, so they run as mushy “moderates” saying anything and doing nothing, like Obama, to get elected. If Prop. 14 passes, Rs and Ds will be colluding, just as they have always done, to turn the USA into more of what they want instead of what WE deserve. VOTE NO on Prop. 14, June 8th, Tuesday.


  10. CAProp14VoteNo


    “But the winners and the ones”

    should read

    “But the winners, IF Prop. 14 passes, are the ones”

    And that is a big if. Polls went from 60% to 52%. Voter turnout is light on early balloting, and that favors NO big time. Party faithful, R and D, and being told to vote No like good zombies. If we can hit some more independent minded folks with ads the last few days, we have a real shot. A few 5 figure donations may decide this thing. And it was an uphill battle from day one, when this was put on the ballot without any chance for even a legislative hearing or any public discussion in a backroom budget deal that included the biggest tax hike in the history of any state.

    There really is nothing to like about this, except that it pisses everyone off who has half a brain. And we will have that.


  11. OK IDEA

    Post or give out the numbers and flyers VOTE NO on 14 at Gym Clubs, Malls, DMV if you can, grocery stores, post comments on different blogs to get this all out there.

  12. Geno Canto del Halcon

    We already have top-two in Washington State. While the Libertarian Party of Washington State continues its existence, its largely in name only. We may not have a single candidate on the ballot this election season. Many jurisdictions are already one-party dominated. Our denouement is well underway, even though state chair Rachel Hawkridge works almost full time, frequently seven days a week, for the party.
    It doesn’t have to be this way, because ballot access is easier than it has ever been in Washington. All a candidate must do to appear on the primary ballot is pay a filing fee and file with Elections and the Public Disclosure Commission.
    However, parties have no control over whose name appears on the ballot over their name, either, so the party labels are increasingly meaningless.
    Our thanks goes out to the major news media and the Grange, who helped bring us ever-more meaningless elections.

  13. Prop 14 is not so bad

    If the Libertarian Party of California was actually effective in the public policy arena and elected at least one partisan candidate, then perhaps a case could be made to oppose Proposition 14. As it stands, the LPC is grossly ineffective and focuses most of it’s energy inward with party building and putting out numerous fires, such as the recent pedophile case.

    No rational case can be made to argue that having Libertarian candidates on the general election ballot will help stem the growing tide of statism. In fact, the LPC’s existence bleeds much needed money and time away from real libertarian activism that confronts The State.

    Let’s hope that if Proposition 14 passes, it will be a wake up call to the Libertarian Party of California to get serious about liberty and stop obsessing over playground squabbles that interest nobody but themselves.

  14. June

    Just heard this morning that the D’s have made 250,000 robo-calls urging D’s to vote No on 14. They’ve also gotten that message on 250,000 Democratic slate guides including the widely distributed (and misnamed) “Voter Information Guide”

    As to the early mail vote, there seems to be some indication that its the Post Awful’s fault that things are coming in slow. We really won’t know the impact of vote-by-mail until election night.

    Per top-two vs. IRV, top two guarantees that the two major parties will discourage all but their top choices from entering the race in order to avoid splitting the party line vote. Only candidates with enough personal wealth will be able resist party pressure to withdraw. The combined total that Whitman and Poizner are spending on their campaigns will likely reach over 1 billion just for the primary. That’s why has been focusing their ads on the “big money” pushing 14.

  15. Alan Pyeatt

    @20: “No rational case can be made to argue that having Libertarian candidates on the general election ballot will help stem the growing tide of statism.”

    Not true. I ran for Congress in 2008 against a Dem incumbent, and was able to raise issues that the GOP candidate didn’t even seem to notice. Those issues would not have been raised otherwise, and even the GOP candidate’s staff complimented me. Didn’t get me in office, but at least it gave the GOP some ammo to use in future elections, which means that the next GOP candidate in that race may be more libertarian than the last one.

    As our vote totals increase, both parties will try to capture some of those votes. So yes, a rational case CAN be made.

  16. Alan Pyeatt

    Oh, and props to Mark Hinkle for jumping on this right away. This is a nationwide fight, and California is merely on the front lines right now.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    “No rational case can be made to argue that having Libertarian candidates on the general election ballot will help stem the growing tide of statism.”

    Perhaps not.

    However, a rational case CAN be made that the passage of Proposition 14 would make it more difficult for ANY third party to prospectively help stem the growing tide of statism.

    Saying that the LP hasn’t accomplished X so far is not a case for making it more difficult for [insert name of hypothetical party, LP future included, here] to accomplish X in the future.

  18. paulie

    I thought this was interesting and unusual (coming from a third party supporter, presumably):

    *Former* is the key word there.

  19. paulie

    Oh, and props to Mark Hinkle for jumping on this right away. This is a nationwide fight, and California is merely on the front lines right now.


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