Ruwart: The Future of the Libertarian Political Movement

Posted by Mary Ruwart on the Libertarian Party blog on May 23, 2011:

The Libertarian Parties of New Hampshire and Massachusetts present a National one-day political conference “Future of the Libertarian Political Movement”.

Hear the first Libertarian Presidential debate of the 2012 season:

R. Lee Wrights vs. Roger V. Gary. The New Hampshire and Massachusetts Libertarian Parties are each giving a first-round delegate vote to the winner of the post-debate straw poll.

Lead speakers include Guests of Honor Judge John Buttrick, Ernie Hancock, Angela Keaton, Joe Kennedy, Mary Ruwart, Bonnie Scott, John Walsh and Special Guest Don Gorman.

The conference is June 19 at the Highlander Inn at the Manchester Airport in New Hampshire. All meals will be served. If you’re flying to PorcFest, come a day early and get two events for the travel costs of one.

Conference Schedule

Highlander Inn at Manchester Airport

Registration opens — 9 A.M. (Coffee, Pastry)

9:20 A.M. Welcoming Remarks (Rich Tomasso — LPNH; David Blau — LPMass)

9:30 Session A: Guest of Honor Mary Ruwart “Future of the Libertarian Political Movement”

10:30 Session A: Guest of Honor Ernie Hancock “Future of the Libertarian Political Movement”

Session B: Outreach to Young People (Alex Peterson, Loren Spivack)

11:30 Lunch

(Buffet: Caesar salad, Chicken Piccata or Chicken Saltimbocca, pasta,

12:30 Keynote Speaker: Guest of Honor Judge John Buttrick “Future of the Libertarian Political Movement”

1:30 Invited Speaker Panel: “Future of the Libertarian Political Movement” (Ruwart, Hancock, Buttrick, Keaton)

2:15 Session A: Electronic Politics (Bonnie Scott, Mark Edge, Dan Reale, Ernie Hancock)

Session B: Libertarians and GLBT Outreach(Angela Keaton, Carol McMahon)

3:15 Session A: New Hampshire Politics (Don Gorman, Seth Cohn, Joel Winters, Rich Tomasso)

Session B: My First Run For Federal Office (Joe Kennedy, Bob Clark, Dan

4:15 Session A: Libertarians and the Antiwar Movement (Angela Keaton, Alex Peterson, John Walsh, Will Hopkins)

Session B: Candidate Recruitment (Alwin Hopfmann, Dave Blau, Rich Tomasso)

5:30 Dinner

(Buffet: clam chowder, salad, maple glazed pork tenderloin, London broil, rice, seasonal vegetable, dessert)

6:15 Presidential Candidate Debate: Roger V. Gary, R. Lee Wrights,
Moderator: George Phillies)

7:30 Straw Poll to Award Delegate Votes & LPNH Reception

9:00 Convention Ends

For more information: or


Read the original LP blog post here.

35 thoughts on “Ruwart: The Future of the Libertarian Political Movement

  1. Catholic Trotskyist

    I will also go, schedule and support permitting. I would like to present on the possibilities and limitations of cooperations between Catholic Trotskyism and libertarianism.

  2. AroundtheblockAFT

    How many conferences with this theme have we had over the last 40 years? One hopes the conclusion will be to try something different.
    Instead of major emphasis on presidential and state races, how about the LP focuses on local issues where it can be visible in the community on a year round basis? Stuff like uncovering and fighting Bell, CA type corruption. Stuff like reviewing and revising SWAT tactical operation guidelines. Stuff like revising asset forfeiture policies, and absurd legal protection for police that overstep their authority? Or making common cause with charter and homeschooling parents who are under attack by teachers’ unions and school boards? Do local libertarians meet regularly with the state legislators to discuss upcoming legislation and previous votes? Can state LPs work to change eminent domain clauses in the state constitution that permit Kelo-like takings? Look for opportunities to make common cause with single issue groups who may then see Libertarians as active friends instead of posers?
    A group to emulate would be boy and girl scouts – you always read about what the local troops are doing, and leaders care about what the local council is doing with little or no thought about what is happening at “national.”
    Time to try an LP focused on something different from which of eight or ten obscure
    people is more pure to put up as our presidential candidate.

  3. Steven Wilson

    Is that debate going to be shown somewhere?

    Would like to see how Wrights can handle the media.

  4. Michael H. Wilson

    re # 4 good points. One issue that we could support at the local level would be opening the urban transit market. Most U.S. cities have a government agency that runs the buses/streetcars/subways/light rail/etc., or whatever we care to call it. In many cities it is big expense and offers transit to a small segment of the population and does a poor job at that.

    Opening the market to all providers, or at least contracting out the services might save money and improve services for low income people while reducing air pollution. Better services might result in more job opportunities and in turn that means lower poverty rates, reduced taxes and lower social problems associated with poverty.

    It could be a winning opportunity all around.

  5. George Phillies


    How many…? To my recollection, none, but I am less confident about things more than 15 or 20 years ago. And a conference in 1980 would have had a whole different perspective. For example, no one in 1980 would have described Republican conservatives as the Christian Taliban (ignoring that the Taliban had not yet been formed); the same is not true today.

    As the fellow who will be questioning the Presidential candidates, and based on the questions I have received so far, not to mention my questions ‘purity’ is not on the charts.

  6. Michael H. Wilson

    A bit more to on my comment above. This issue can be wrapped as a green issue, and an opportunity to help low income people. These are two issues that we are not usually identified with and the LP should take advantage of them.

  7. AroundtheblockAFT

    #7, I don’t have access to all the programs of all the LP conventions, but I seem to recall any number of navel-gazing panels and workshops over the years. No, probably no a day-long event, but it is not like the Party hasn’t had strategy discussions. One led by Alicia Clark, when she was Chair, took place over several NatCom meetings. As you say, times were different. As the moderator, you can make this effort meaningful. But LPers have to implement the best ideas. And, my take on things, is that the best ideas for the present time are those which focus on local issues and grass roots organizing so the LP can be a daily presence in community life.

  8. George Phillies


    Also, you might correctly note that sometime around 2002 the LNC invested a huge effort in a strategic planning effort whose outcome was a bit limited.

    On the other hand, that effort was for the Libertarian Party, not the Libertarian Political Movement, of which the national LP is only one component.

  9. LibertarianGirl

    Alicia Mattson chaired our State convention , and she was as fair as anyone Ive ever seen run a meeting. Im pretty sure she has a “side” she favors but you wouldnt have known it by her performance…

  10. Robert Milnes

    Alicia Mattson is a known associate of rightists & was directly involved in the transmutation of The Original Nolan Resolution into the Amended Nolan Resolution, its exact opposite.
    A purge is in order.

  11. NewFederalist

    Transmutation or transubstantiation? Major difference. Let’s be clear.

  12. Register by June 14!

    The Registration deadline is June 14. We are not planning on at-the-door registration, because we must turn in a plate count for the meals five days in advance.

    And note we are now offering half-day registrations for $50.

  13. Robert Milnes

    All I need is a few volunteers for campaign team & a few contributions & file FEC online. & register.
    Maybe I could take a bus. Or vanpool from NJ/Phila.. Meet some people there.
    It could be done.

  14. Hobart Tilnes

    A purge is in order.

    Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, Milnes.

    On second thought, do let it hit you, so we can all get one last laugh at your expense.

  15. Robert Milnes

    @18, 19, LOL!
    Did you get orders that any comment by Milnes must get at least one pond scum counter-comment?
    Which species of vermin are you anyway?

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 20,

    What’s so “pond scum” about suggesting that you ride a bicycle?

    I seem to recall that there’s some guy riding a bicycle from Oregon to New Hampshire to join the Free Staters, stopping to give talks on voluntaryism along the way. And he’s not even asking anyone to make him president.

    You don’t like Ron Paul very much, but I remember that a large group of people rode bicycles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2008 to hear him speak and to rabble-rouse along the way.

    Why should anyone do anything for you if you think you’re too good to do anything for yourself?

  17. Robert Milnes

    Tom, you have a point but I am responding to the evident tone of derision of these comments. In the context of numerous such comments over years. In the context of decades of surveillance and dirty tricks by the FBI et al. Including a bicycleless forced at gunpoint incarceration in the facilities of the FBOP for a maxed out 2/3 of 5 years.

  18. Robert Milnes

    There are many examples of bicycling, walking, running in cases of campaigning, charities, fundraising, education/rabble-rousing etc.
    I envy their ability to do that. I on the other hand am in no such position. I’m broke & depressed & swamped by chores etc. to maintain my precarious position by myself here where I am. Fortunately my prick landlord died & has been replaced by his minor partner who is not nearly so bad.
    Maybe I’ll get a further break in life should Ron Paul drop dead.
    Yes, I am THAT bitter.

  19. Orderly

    “Did you get orders”

    Yep. That’s why the doctors call me “orderly.”…..

    Now, it’s time for your electroconvulsive therapy…

  20. Robert Milnes

    There is nothing wrong with me. I am reacting quite normally & with incredible patience & stamina to the toxic society we live in.
    One in which progressives can be repeatedly duped into supporting reactionaries. $1 BILLION with a B!!!!!
    One in which fools can act like lunatics by sending @35 million to a diseased counterrevolutionary like Ron Paul while I get kicked to the curb(fortunately figuratively not literally-yet).
    One in which a good man like me-& I’m not the only one-can go lonely while misogynists & wife beaters & rapists & abusers etc. seem to have an endless supply of women & children.

  21. Steven Wilson

    Someone who openly admits to a mental condition that requires either therapy or medication that alters brain chemistry, the idea that a person would vote for such a person would also require medication.

    Whatever your on, pass it around. Those who take it will eventually help you help yourself.

    Harry Browne didn’t beg/complain. Cisse Spragins didn’t beg/complain. Arvin Vohra didn’t beg/complain.

    You earn votes here.

  22. Robert Milnes

    The guy riding a bicycle from Oregon to NH-to join the Free Staters, Great!
    But, wouldn’t that mean he’s MOVING there? & now i.e relatively decent weather-not in the dead of winter. So he had his stuff loaded into a moving van and/or sold or gave away stuff?
    Giving talks on voluntaryism on the way. well, I guess he believes in it strongly.
    Sounds do-able on an individual basis.
    Not do-able for me.

  23. Michael H. Wilson

    It would be great if this is taped since I’d like to hear what Judge Buttrick has to say. It also might be useful to ask the membership what they think about the future of the Libertarian Political Movement.

    This thread might have been a chance to get a small idea of what people think, but it quickly went downhill. Facebook is not a platform for having detailed discussions, so I guess asking others what think think ain’t gonna happen.

  24. Robert Milnes

    @28, go ahead & ask.
    & while you are at it go ahead & tell people that just because I comment on a thread doesn’t mean I own it or they cannot comment.
    If they don’t want to read my comments, just skip them.
    I personally skip comments quite often. Especially ones on a Wayne Root thread. I have enough mind pollution, thank you.

  25. Johncjackson

    I’m broke and depressed, too, but I’m not running for president. ( As I said 3 years ago) Milnes, you have more important stuff to work on. Then perhaps you will find better ways to contribute to the cause.

  26. Don Gorman to Speak!

    I am pleased to report that Don Gorman has been added as a speaker to The Future of the Libertarian Political Movement conference.

    Don will be appearing with New Hampshire Liberty Alliance Political Director Jowl Winters, LPNew Hampshire State Chair Rich Tomasso, and New Hampshire State House of Representatives Majority Committee Whip Seth Cohn on the panel “New Hampshire Politics”.

    For more on the conference, including the new half-day rates, see

  27. JT

    Steven: “Someone who openly admits to a mental condition that requires either therapy or medication that alters brain chemistry, the idea that a person would vote for such a person would also require medication.”

    There’s nothing wrong with someone getting therapy or medication to function optimally. There are many different reasons why that might be the case, and it doesn’t necessarily imply anything negative about their intelligence or professional competence.

    There IS something wrong with refusing to get help if you need it and/or constantly bitching about how you’re a victim of forces beyond your control and/or demanding things from other people other than respect for your rights (not to mention hoping that someone who hasn’t been abusive or violent would die).

  28. Final financial results

    We had 45 people paid or attending as speakers. People were in and out, or attended for half days. There were 31 or 32 at the lunch and dinner events.

    The Conference came very close to breakeven:

    The conference cost $2364.70.

    There were $2200 in admission receipts.
    LPNH paid $58.50 for its reception.

    George Phillies made a gift in kind of $108.20, which corresponds to the nominal ‘loss’.

    Hitting that well on costs in my opinion in really good, especially for a first convention.

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