Libertarian Steve LaBianca Will Not Run for Florida Governor After All

From a previous IPR thread, posted today: 

While I am certain that Mr. George is . . . to put it kindly a lightweight libertarian in terms of his dedication to the NAP, I say, run.

I will NOT be running; the main reason being that the LPF Platform on education is statist in that it calls for “community decision making” in education. My position is complete separation of education and state, and that education belongs in the free market, where each and every individual who participates in market activity does so without state, or even “community” control.

LaBianca went on to criticize gubernatorial candidate  and former Libertarian Party of Florida chairman Adrian Wyllie in his comments:

LOL! Adrian Wyllie characterizes himself as a “a traditional Libertarian”.

I suggest that if Mr. Wyllie is true to those words, he’ll speak to and address as strongly, “leftist” concerns, as he does for “Tea Party” concerns…

…I cannot run under a statist LPF Platform. The truth is, Mr. Wyllie, who calls for community control of education is FAR more commensurate with these statist positions than I am.

Mr. Wyllie does in fact, represent the LPF platform plank on education. I however, represent the “traditional” libertarian position of complete separation of education and state, which it seems quite clear to me, is no longer the position of the LPF.

IPR reported on LaBianca’s entry in the Libertarian Party of Florida’s gubernatorial nomination race in an August 25th article.

36 thoughts on “Libertarian Steve LaBianca Will Not Run for Florida Governor After All

  1. Steve LaBianca

    “LaBianca went on to attack gubernatorial candidate and former Libertarian Party of Florida chairman Adrian Wyllie” . . .

    So, calling support for “community based decisions” in education, “statist”, is an attack?

    I call it fundamentally the truth – statism and statist is collectivism, regardless of how large or small the collective is.

    As a strategy, and a strategy only, I COULD support the move away from the State of Florida control (including the funding from the feds) of education, with that move going to counties and cities, then to neighborhoods, then ultimately to a completely market based education, but I don’t support community based decision making, philosophically. That Mr. Wyllie does (or seems to), makes his position on education, statist.

  2. Joe Wendt

    It’s sad to hear you won’t run, and I hope you keep fighting the establishment both inside and outside the LPF.

  3. Adrian Wyllie

    Below is the LPF’s platform position on education. I support it.

    1. Education is a parental responsibility and best handled at the most local level.
    2. Because parents/guardians are best situated to decide what is in their own children’s best interests, we support all measures that enhance the educational choices available, such as charter schools, vouchers or tax credits for private school tuition, and home schooling. We support individual and community based decision-making where people and entities freely decide what is best for their students or children.
    3. Compulsory attendance and truancy laws should be repealed. Students cannot be forced to learn, and teachers should not be forced to act as juvenile delinquency officers.
    4. All individuals, regardless of age, are entitled to the protections of the constitutions of the United States and Florida. Random drug tests, locker searches without probable cause, censorship of student publications, or any similar actions violate those rights.

  4. Steve LaBianca

    Joe . . . sorry. But the basic problem is, the Libertarian Party of Florida has become fundamentally tolerant of statism. The LPF platform plank on education isn’t nearly as sound as the LP national platform. At least the LP platform calls for zero interference from the state in education. The LPF Platform calls for “community based decision making”. I cannot support that, and as the cornerstone of what my campaign would have been about (completely market based education), I simply cannot run under the LPF banner because of this.

    My plan would have been to allow for the opening up of minds again, without any collective control of education. Until and unless free markets are embraced by citizens, such broad based support for libertarian ideas and liberty itself, are impossible to achieve.

    Any idea of actually WINNING the Governorship of Florida, is, as Cosmo Kramer of Seinfeld said, “that’s kooky talk”!

    Achieving, or RE-achieving liberty in America will take at least decades, if it is ever to happen. Politics (for libertarians) can only be effective to this end, if libertarian ideas, in non watered down fashion is promoted.

    When talk of “winning” and vote totals triumphs over the basic, unadulterated ideas and solutions of achieving liberty happens, well . . . all one need do is look at the Republicans and Democrats to see what happens.

  5. Steve LaBianca

    Mr. Wyllie says, “I support it. It is not a reach to assume that he supports this as well, “We support individual and community based decision-making where people and entities freely decide what is best for their students or children.”

    Entities??? Community??? Sine when does an”entity” (presumably corporations or other businesses) make decisions which the LP (national) platform says is for PARENTS?

    excerpts – “we would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. ” . . .

    and, “We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals”

    NOWHERE, and I mean NOWHERE is “community” or “entities” mentioned as the decision makers regarding education.

    The LPF Platform is statist . . . pure and simple.

  6. Steve LaBianca

    “Probably not the greatest word choice. Changed it to criticized.”

    Inappropriate is the best characterization of your choice of words. Adrian Wyllie is free to promote anything he so desires; I bear and promote no personal ill-will for him, I simply disagree that his positions are libertarian.

  7. Eric Sundwall

    If the main reason you are not running is some minutia in a platform, you were never that serious about it to begin with. A strong willed and good candidate can shrug off some silly platform issue.

  8. Steve LaBianca

    Nick . . . the LPF promoting libertarianism is what is resting in peace. The moment I realized it, was the moment I withdrew. (I’ll show where I indicated my shock upon fully reading the LPF Platform in the next post)

  9. Steve LaBianca

    OK, I’m looking for it – not sure now, if I publicly indicated my shock regarding the LPF Platform on IPR or the “Libertarian Solutions for Florida” FB page.

    No matter, I was shocked to see that the LPF Platform plank on education calls for “community based decision making”.

  10. Steve LaBianca

    Eric, I was very seriously making “education” my sole platform position, but certainly it was going to be my MAIN position, by far.

    Without going into the reason for that positioning, when I discovered that the LPF Platform was contradicted my position, I couldn’t run under the LPF banner.

    That you want to interject YOUR value structure into mine, and then say I wasn’t serious, because YOU or others might just “shrug off some silly platform issue” . . . well, I take offense to that. How dare you interject your values as if they were mine.

  11. Richard Winger

    Steve, if you won the Libertarian gubernatorial primary in 2014, that would send a strong signal that most active Libertarian registrants support your position on education, and that would have provided a powerful tool to change the platform.

  12. Adrian Wyllie

    Just to calm any fears that the LPF is experiencing some “crisis,” allow me to explain the reality of the situation. The LPF has never been stronger or more unified. The loud voices of the dissenters in this forum represent an extreme minority of opinion. The vast majority of the membership is fully on board with the new, more active and more effective direction of the LPF.

    I’ve been a Libertarian in Florida for over 20 years, and I’ve never seen anything like what we are accomplishing today. LPF membership has grown by 1200% in the last year. LP voter registration is up. Our members have become an influential force in the state legislature, and have written and introduced several bills in the 2013 and 2014 sessions. In fact, the Florida anti-drone bill which passed in 2013 was written by the LPF. And, we are leading the charge for an end to cannabis prohibition by introducing both a medical marijuana bill and an industrial hemp bill in 2014.

    Libertarian candidates are experiencing a huge surge in both public opinion and the media. I am currently polling at 8.7% against Rick Scott and Charlie Crist in a three-way race. In the past 10 days, I’ve done multiple radio interviews, five major newspaper interviews, and two network affiliate TV interviews. In each, I discussed both my campaign and the Libertarian Party philosophy behind it.

    We are winning the public relations battle by promoting true Libertarian values, and the people of Florida are beginning to like what they hear.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    So now that we’ve heard what Florida LP leaders think is going on with the LP in Florida, here’s my “from the outside looking in” perception:

    I’ve now lived in Florida for eight months and one week. In that time, I have:

    – Seen one LP bumper sticker;

    – Run into one LP member (whom I knew before I moved here and who has since moved out of the state);

    – Noticed a little bit of LP media action. Not a lot, but some — and it appears that Mr. Wyllie is the one making that particular rain. My “day job” is following media “of interest to libertarians,” so I’m actively looking for that kind of stuff. I don’t know how noticeable it is to people who aren’t.

    I’m in Gainesville, which seems like a natural place for a pretty strong LP presence. Is that presence here and I’m just missing it, or is there some reason I haven’t grokked why Gainesville wouldn’t be “low-hanging fruit” for the LP?

  14. Tom Blanton

    LPF membership has grown by 1200% in the last year.

    At that rate, Florida will have 8,478,309 LP members by 2024 by my calculations.

    That’s a boatload of Dog Catchers and Soil and Water Conservation Committee members.

  15. Tom Blanton

    And, we are leading the charge for an end to cannabis prohibition by introducing both a medical marijuana bill and an industrial hemp bill in 2014.

    How about introducing a I-Want-To-Get-High-Just-For-Kicks bill?

    It sounds like the LPF is actually leading the charge for a continuation of cannabis prohibition for recreational use.

  16. Steve LaBianca

    Then its a foregone conclusion . . . Mr. Wyllie WILL WIN the election by a landslide!!!! Can he get MORE than 100% of the vote?

  17. Steve LaBianca

    See Tom, the modern LP’ers aren’t interested in “pushing the envelope” or letting people know that ultimately, libertarianism is about liberty – the autonomy of the individual who has the right to live his or her life as they choose without interference from the state. They DO however, think that support for a medical marijuana bill will get votes! Enough votes to WIN the election for governor!

  18. Steve LaBianca

    Well . . . whether or not I am jumped on for these comments, all I can say is that THIS, Wyllie and Company is a perfect example of the “new LP” . . . one that dumps the more difficult task of getting people to understand true libertarianism – both the philosophical basics AND the consequences of it, for the MUCH EASIER task of sounding like Republicans and Democrats, by picking the issues that (to borrow a phrase from Tom Knapp, said earlier) are the “low hanging fruit” issues that is likely to get only minor, and possibly just token opposition. Funny how these “new” LPers pick the low hanging fruit issues, but not the low hanging fruit constituents.

  19. Steve LaBianca

    Sad really . . . that even Ron Paul, for his shortcomings in a few areas, at least talked about . . . actually CAMPAIGNED on ENDING drug prohibition . . . ending Social Security, ending the income tax and the IRS, ending foreign military intervention, etc while also talking about the transitions over time, to achieve those ends. So far, I’ve heard nothing from Wyllie and Company about those ends . . ending drug prohibition, etc . . . but only about medical marijuana, etc. Are THESE issues, the ends?

  20. Steve LaBianca

    Richard Winger, I don’t disagree with your point. I do have strong reservations however, about running on a campaign platform for the LPF nomination, which is in contradiction to the LPF platform itself, ESPECIALLY since the first, and thus far only vetted candidate TOTALLY agrees with the LPF platform. My other, strong inkling is that the majority of registered Libertarian voters in Florida agree with the kinder, gentler statism of the “new LP”.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steve @ 22,

    As I stated when it looked like you would be running, if I still voted I’d gladly vote for you, and you would have been my pick in an LP primary.

    But to be fair, that’s because I know you and don’t know Mr. Wyllie, and tend to agree with your more radical policy prescriptions versus what I perceive as a more moderate approach on Mr. Wyllie’s part.

    As to the rest, while I think an open, bottom-up process is preferable to clique-based “vetting” and so forth, I’m also disinclined to assume personal perfidy on the part of your opponents in the LPF.

    To all appearances, they’re trying to “do politics” as best they know how. My guess is that they’re naively over-optimistic as to results, and that that will damage their future credibility when the votes get counted next fall, but that’s not unusual nor necessarily a sign of dishonesty.

  22. George Whitfield

    Hi Thomas, #17, I think I read that Alexander George lives in Gainesville so maybe you will bump into him sometime.

  23. Rick Adams

    I know this is off-topic, but I’m curious as to what our LPF friends think about how Robert Sarvis is doing in his LP run for Governor of Virginia.

  24. LPF_Useless_Troll

    That’s the spirit, LPF Member! Find ONE picture of Adrian that doesn’t have the LPF logo in it and insinuate that it means he isn’t a real Libertarian. You know, because OF COURSE, a candidate MUST use the party logo in every piece of literature, pictures, memes, and more. I mean, by having that requirement… it doesn’t make us COLLECTIVISTS. It just means that we want all our candidates to be the same! That is, we want them all to LOSE so we don’t have to be guilted into doing hard work!

    This is why I love the book club faction. We can think of ANY excuse not to do any work!

    Keep up the good work!

  25. Dana Cummings

    Tom Blanton, The only vacant region we have on the LPF EC is the Region including Alachua County. There is no Alachua affiliate established yet, However, when it comes to registered Libertarians Alachua pulls in at one of the highest. If you would be interested in affiliating Alachua County I can put you in contact with one of our At-Large reps. Just email me at

  26. Danielle Alexandre

    Actually this is Adrian’s latest campaign photo. The campaign puts out a meme just about everyday. So yes, I guess there is no use of an LP logo but I think the whole “Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Florida” is pretty clear on what party affiliation he is. His position of choices being made by parents and teachers seems to fit right in with Libertarian ideals. I’m failing to see the big problem.

    The description says:

    Florida spends an average of $12,000 per K-12 student per year. Why is there no budget for music, sports, and clubs? Why are teachers forced to purchase classroom supplies out of their own pockets? Why does a system that spends so much, provide so little for our kids?

    Only a small fraction of our massive education budget ever reaches the classroom due to multiple layers of government bureaucracy, waste and mismanagement. Politicians and bureaucrats in Tallahassee and Washington have failed our children. And now, Common Core curriculum and standards are threatening to silence parents’ voices in our education process, and stifle creativity and critical thinking in our kids’ classrooms.

    It’s time we rethink education in Florida. Let’s spend money smarter. Let’s eliminate the waste, mismanagement and fraud. Let’s reject the federal takeover of our schools, and return control of the classroom to local parents and teachers. Let’s find creative and effective alternatives to big government education in Florida. Let’s take a stand as parents, and decide what is best for our own kids.

    You deserve a voice. You deserve a choice. Our children deserve better.

    ~Adrian Wyllie, Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Florida

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    DC @ 32,

    I’m not sure Tom Blanton’s from Florida (he may be, I don’t know). If it’s me you were intending to address — I’m in Alachua County — thanks, but I’m no longer an LP member.

  28. paulie

    Community doesn’t necessarily mean government, and even if it does, it’s meant as a contrast to centralizing control at higher levels of government (state and federal or even global). A candidate running to separate school and state could easily run on that platform and then, if need be, explain that he or she prefers voluntary communities as opposed to coercively run ones. That in itself would be educational. Why put the most negative possible spin on it? The vast majority of individuals can’t and don’t want to live as hermits. That means communities will exist whether monopoly government exists or not. And communities can provide for education through charity, parents non-profit cooperatives and…who said for profit enterprises are not part of the community? I don’t see that as necessarily part of the definition. Don’t cede “community” to statists.

    “It sounds like the LPF is actually leading the charge for a continuation of cannabis prohibition for recreational use.”

    That’s just silly. Supporting making a crack in the dam is not the same thing as supporting maintaining the dam, which is being maintained without our help. And pushing for an incremental measure in the here and now in no way precludes pushing for larger steps when they become politically possible. Would you criticize a bill that would legalize cannabis for recreational use because it does not cover other currently banned substances?

    Some people have claimed that passing medical marijuana laws would make it harder to make recreational marijuana use legal. Well, we now have two states that have done the latter, and they were both medical marijuana states. The next several states to make recreational use legal will probably also be states that previously passed medical marijuana laws. And why should patients suffer in the meantime?

    “I’m not sure Tom Blanton’s from Florida ”

    He is from Richmond, Virginia.

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