Open Thread for Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania’s 2016 Convention


Today is the 2016 Convention for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. Please leave comments and postings about the event here.

68 thoughts on “Open Thread for Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania’s 2016 Convention

  1. Jed Ziggler

    Apparently McAfee might not be coming to the debate. Caryn Harlos has some more information on that, I just heard this from Darryl Perry.

  2. NewFederalist

    Jed- just for clarification… does the LPPa plan on an all volunteer ballot access effort in 2018 or do they plan to hire petitioners if needed? The 2014 effort was a dismal failure even though the number of signatures required was very low by historical standards. Thanks!

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Why did the LPPA nominate proxy candidates? What does this mean?”

    In some states, ballot access petitions have to be circulated before the parties actually nominate their candidates, so they are allowed to use proxies/stand-ins.

    The LNC’s bylaws prohibit proxies/stand-ins from being nominated at the national convention, so the obvious practice is to pick a couple of people who are not running and not considered likely to suddenly decide to run.

  4. Jed Ziggler

    Apparently McAfee told our party thathis flight was cancelled. It was not. He can totally make it here if he wants to. We’ll see if he does.

  5. George Phillies

    McAfee-I understand that there was a flight delay, and the connection would not work. He will perhaps be able to reach the LPTN convention.

  6. Jed Ziggler

    I should mention that some candidates were nominated for congressional races. I missed poating them, I know Betsy Summers is running for state house 121.

  7. Andy

    “Darryl W. Perry
    March 19, 2016 at 13:55
    Proxy candidates are needed for petitioning, and will be substituted for the candidates nominated at the national convention.”

    The LP of PA could have legally started gathering petition signatures on February 17th. I tried to get them to start then, but they were too disorganized.

    Really, considering all of the problems that the LP has had with ballot access in the past, particularly in Pennsylvania, one would think that there would have been a concerted effort to make sure that the petition was ready to go in Pennsylvania on February 17th. This is what I’d have pushed for if I had been on the LNC or on the State Committee in Pennsylvania.

    The major party candidates in Pennsylvania have to collect ballot access petition signatures between January 27th and February 16th. Minor party and independent candidates can start collecting ballot access petition signatures in PA the next day after the major party deadline, which is February 17th.

    I was in PA in 2008 collecting signatures for Ron Paul, and I contacted the LP of PA and they got me their petition within a day or two after the major party petitions ended, and I had already collected a bunch of signatures for the LP of PA by this point in time.

  8. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    March 19, 2016 at 14:19
    “I was in PA in 2008 collecting signatures for Ron Paul”

    Mercenary work, huh?”

    No, I supported Ron Paul (and note that even though he was running as a Republican, he was still a Life Member of the Libertarian Party, so technically, I was helping to place a Libertarian Party member in the Republican primary).

    If a person supports whatever it is they are working on they are not a mercenary.

    I strongly supported the Ron Paul rEVOLution of 2007-2012.

    The vast majority of petitions that I have worked on have been things that I agreed with or where I was at least neutral.

    I have done pure mercenary petitioning a few times (that is a petition for something that I did not agree with) and I do not enjoy doing that at all. The few times I’ve done it I basically got roped into it. Fortunately I never did it for a long period of time.

  9. Andy

    If the only petition work available was for causes in which I did not believe, or where I was only neutral, I would have quit doing this a long time ago, and for that matter, I probably never would have done any petitioning in the first place.

  10. Jed Ziggler

    Missed the candidate break out sessions because my idiot friend decided to pretend he was Rocky and collapsed. He’s fine now, but EMTs were called.

  11. Shawna Sterling

    Just wanted to say hi to everyone! This Presidential debate was in my schedule and I was looking forward to attending it, but then I got sick! I’m in bed today, and really wishing I could be there instead! I was looking forward to this debate in PA.

    I’ve participated in the Libertarian Presidential debates in Mississippi, Georgia, Illinois, and Colorado and they have all been awesome. The states have been amazing and it has been evident that they have put a lot of work into these debates! I think it all helps our party tremendously, when other Americans can see that the Libertarian Presidential Candidates are also debating.

    I’m pretty sure McAfee was on a very tight schedule trying to make the PA debate right after his own TN convention. If something happen with the plane, even a delay, it could have caused him to not be able to make it.

    When I did the debate in Illinois, I had to drive 3 hours after the evening debate to get back to the airport to catch an early morning flight to Colorado.

    It’s very difficult to try and get in multiple Presidential debates when so many are planned on the same day or even the next day. I think overall the Presidential Candidates want to attend as many debates as possible and they would have a better chance of doing so if they were spaced out even a little bit more.

    I did see McAfee at the Mississippi and the Georgia debate, but he was not at the Illinois or Colorado debate, now that I think of it. He did send a representative to the Colorado debate but he did not have anyone representing him at the Illinois debate! I hope he is ok!

    Anyways, I love reading all your comments on IPR! – Shawna Joy Sterling Libertarian Presidential Candidate

  12. Jed Ziggler

    Debate will be livestreamed at Marc Feldman showed, so participants will be Johnson, Reid, Feldman, and Perry.

  13. Krzysztof Lesiak

    The debate just ended. The audience was asked to rate the candidates by applause. Good for Feldman, better for Johnson, great for Perry, and it was all boos and a “boring” for Reid.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    The high points, in my opinion, were:

    1) When the candidates were asked about their position on “intellectual property,” two of the four (Darryl Perry and Dr. Feldman) came out against the whole idea, and one (Johnson) at least mused about cutting back on state monopoly grants over ideas. Reid, being both a patent attorney and batshit insane, supported IP.

    I know that IP has actually been a point of debate within the libertarian movement for a long time (I seem to recall that Wendy McElroy and J. Neil Schulman debated it at an event in the ’70s or ’80s), but it’s really only been the last few years that it seems to have become a major issue, and this is the first time I recall hearing it addressed in an LP presidential debate. It’s encouraging that of the non-batshit-insane candidates, two of the three got it right and one got it partly right.

    2) One of the moderators challenged Gary Johnson to show that he actually knows anything whatsoever about the “sharia law” he’s always melting down over. Turns out he doesn’t, unless “Google it” constitutes knowledge.

  15. NewFederalist

    Given the make up of the LPPa I am not surprised Perry got the most support. Too bad he is so intent on not taking FRNs and also too bad he is not independently wealthy.

  16. Jed Ziggler

    I do question how pointed some of the questions toward Governor Johnson were in relation to the other candidates, but overall it was a very fun debate. Three candidates did well, one at least made things entertaining.

  17. Andy

    A PAC or Super PAC could be set up for Darryl Perry that would accept Federal Reserve Notes.

    Also, if people really want to donate to him now, just get some cryptocurrency online, or pay an online precious metals dealer to send precious metals to Perry. These are not insurmountable tasks.

  18. George Phillies


    The LNC is allowed to make unlimited uncoordinated activity in support of a Presidential candidate, so given competent leadership on the LNC a Perry or Feldman campaign is not problematic. The money just flows through separate pockets. For that matter, i have a Federal PAC.


  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    The questions for Johnson were not pointed ENOUGH.

    He needs to be publicly asked why he defrauded the LP in 2012, lying about the size of his campaign debt in order to get the nomination.

    And he needs to be publicly asked why he should be trusted again after doing that and then running a campaign that makes Barack Obama and Harry Reid look like paragons of fiscal responsibility.

  20. Andy

    George Phillies said: “, so given competent leadership on the LNC ”

    This is not a given.

  21. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    March 19, 2016 at 23:58
    The questions for Johnson were not pointed ENOUGH.

    He needs to be publicly asked why he defrauded the LP in 2012, lying about the size of his campaign debt in order to get the nomination.

    And he needs to be publicly asked why he should be trusted again after doing that and then running a campaign that makes Barack Obama and Harry Reid look like paragons of fiscal responsibility.”

    Do you plan to ask him these things at any events?

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    If I have the opportunity to, yes.

    And whether I get to ask him these things myself or not, I intend to make damn sure that every delegate in Orlando is presented with the facts. Will those delegates pay attention? I don’t know. As a party, we have a pretty poor record of getting stars in our eyes and letting things slide that we shouldn’t.

    I’m optimistic. I do not think that we are going to have a coronation this time.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    If possible, I hope they’ll do something with Johnson’s audio. Presumably it was a mic problem, not a low voice on his part. On the live stream, at least, he was often difficult to hear (I was mostly listening from another room and had to come in and get close to the speakers whenever it was his turn).

  24. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m glad he was audible in the room, and figured it was probably something with the audio patch into whatever device the stream went out on (if for no other reason than that if the audio in the room had been problematic, it would have been fixed, or one of the other candidates would have shared a mic with him, or whatever).

    I know they did an informal straw poll by audience applause volume, but I was under the impression there was also a formal poll. Any results available on that?

  25. Richard Winger

    It’s possible we won’t need to petition at all in Pennsylvania this year. We are awaiting a decision from the US District Court in Philadelphia that struck down the challenge procedure. Technically he invalidated everything for general election petitioning, and will just need to show that we have substantial support in the state. Obviously we do, because we have 48,075 registered members in Pennsylvania, more than in any other state except California.

  26. Andy

    “Richard Winger
    March 20, 2016 at 13:44
    It’s possible we won’t need to petition at all in Pennsylvania this year. We are awaiting a decision from the US District Court in Philadelphia that struck down the challenge procedure. Technically he invalidated everything for general election petitioning, and will just need to show that we have substantial support in the state. Obviously we do, because we have 48,075 registered members in Pennsylvania, more than in any other state except California.”

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I know that Democrats and Republicans still have to gather petition signatures to get on the Pennsylvania ballot. Also, last year, there was an independent candidate for State Supreme Court who had to gather petition signature to get on the ballot.

    Pennsylvania having 48,075 registered voters indicates to me that the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania has the potential to be much larger than it is right now in terms of dues paying membership. Also, consider the fact that they have that many registrations in spite of the fact that the LP of PA has gone downhill over the last 8-12 years, so just imagine how many more registrations they’d have if the state party really had its act together.

  27. Richard Schwarz

    Andy wrote:

    “I was in PA in 2008 collecting signatures for Ron Paul, and I contacted the LP of PA and they got me their petition within a day or two after the major party petitions ended, and I had already collected a bunch of signatures for the LP of PA by this point in time.”

    Please allow me to remind everyone what actually happened in 2008. It is true, Andy collected a bunch of signatures for Pennsylvania very early during the petitioning period. He was paid by the national party for these signatures. However he did not actually release the petitions to the Libertarian Party of PA in a timely manner. We kept hearing about all these signatures that had been collected but they were being held in Harrisburg and we did not have them. Andy was trying to get even more money from the national party before releasing the petitions to us. Eventually the national party met his demands and paid him the additional money he was seeking. We received the petition pages at the last possible minute only to discover the affidavits on the back were all filled out incorrectly with no time to amend them. So all those petition pages were tossed into the trash.

  28. Andy

    Whoh, that is a complete distortion of what happened.

    I will come back and post a response to this in a little while, but I am surprised that Richard would post something like that.

    Quick rebuttal to one of the things Richard said: These signatures were notarized in MAY, and they were submitted to the state party in JUNE, nearly two months prior to the deadline.

    Second of all, we called the sitting State Chair of the LP of PA, Mike Robertson, while sitting with the notaries, who were members of, or family members of, people in the LP of PA, and then Mik Robertson walked us through the notary process OVER speaker phone, with the LP of PA notaries in the room.

    So IF there had been any problems, they would have been the fault of Mik Robertson or the LP of PA notaries.

    I was not told about any concern with what the notaries had done until LATE July, weeks AFTER the signatures had been turned in to the LP of PA, and i in fact told Richard Schwartz that we could send somebody to fix it (the concern was whether the right county name was written in a particular box), and Richard said not to bother, because if it was wrong, he did not think it would necessarily disqualify the sigs, plus he said there were bigger problems with the sigs collected by Bonner & co. In Philadelphia.

    Anyway, like I said, it was LP of PA members who directed the notary process, and these sigs were submitted WEEKS BEFORE the August 1st deadline, so if there was a problem with which county was written in a box, they had ample time to deal with it.

  29. Andy

    Also, the pay dispute happened because of then LP Political Director, Sean Haugh, wanted to pay us at a rate that was LOWER than what we had agreed to work for, and lower than what Darryl Bonner and co were getting (even though we had higher validity), and he wanted to RETROACTIVELY cut our pay on sigs which had already been collected. I had turned down work in other states so I could work LP in PA, so no way I was going to let Haugh get away with that. The pay rate we got was exactly what was listed for PA in the LNC booklet for the ballot access plan, and had in fact already been approved by the LP of PA Chair, and LNC Chair Bill Redpath. Haugh was just playing favorites with Bonner and being the petty jackass that he was. The signatures were turned in as soon as Bill Redpath sent an email guaranteeing that we would get paid at the originally agreed upon rate.

    What would you do if you accepted a job, and while in the process of it somebody who was not even a part of the negotiations stuck their nose in and tried to pay you less than what you had agreed to work for, and less than what other people on the same job were getting (who were bringing in lower validity – Bonner & co in Philly)?

    I called Bill Redpath the day I found out Sean Haugh was trying to pay us a lower rate than we had agreed to work for, and what Bonner was getting, ad I told him we were going to quit and leave the state if Haugh did this. Bill said we should keep work and that he would tell Haugh to not change our deal. I asked Bill ifhe would send this to me in writing, because I was worried that Haugh would pull something. Bill said that he would, but he was busy, so it took him a while to actually get around to doing it, but the sigs were turned in right after I received the confirmation email from Redpath.

    Incidentally, Bill said we would get paid within a few days of the sigs being turned in, but it ended up taking a month to get the money.

  30. Jed Ziggler

    To follow up, the calls for applause for the various candidates was the straw poll. Gary Johnson won, followed by Darryl Perry, Marc Feldman, and Derrick Reid.

  31. Richard Schwarz

    Let me first say that i don’t want to get into a pissing match with Andy. I like Andy. I have met and spoken to Andy many times and he does quality work and I hope he will be able to assist again in PA as needed.

    My only beef is that Andy is very quick to point the finger and criticize everyone else while not accepting the fact that he is by no means perfect and has made questionable decisions and mistakes himself. We all do. For the most part we are a volunteer organization reliant on limited resources and even more limited manpower. We do the best we can.

    OK, so Andy had his reasons for holding off getting us the petitions in a timely manner in 2008. But for me, who took over doing the turn in late in the game, it was very frustrating because all I kept hearing was that we had these batch of petitions that were at Andy’s Dad’s house (I believe that’s where they were) and we couldn’t get them. Well as anyone who has organized petition drives knows, that unless and until you actually have the filled out petitions in your hands, you can not be certain they even exist. There are dozens and dozen of episodes of people claiming they collected a batch of signatures only to see them never materialize.

    The fact is I did not finally receive these pages of petitions that had been circulated in February and March, until July which is when I discovered the affidavit errors with no time to amend them, as Andy and the crew that he had used were scattered across the country. Some of the pages we did stick on at the end of the petition (where they were unlikely to be seen) while there were a bunch of others where the errors were so egregious, we just ended up tossing them. So it’s a little frustrating to read Andy tooting his own horn for the early start in 2008, when at the end of the day, those signatures he collected were worthless to us.

    Andy is correct, that Bonner was the bigger problem in 2008 and again in 2012. But that is another story.

    And here’s the point: Andy says we are disorganized this year. Actually we are not. We are more organized now than we were in 2008 and we have people who really know what they are doing (like myself and others) involved now whereas we did not in the early stages of 2008 and 2012 which is what caused both of those drives to be shit-shows. We are working to avoid the myriad of mistakes that were made in those years and we made the conscious decision to hold off starting our drive until this week so that we could produce a correct petition at our state convention, have the actual statewide candidates names on the petitions and have proper oversight from the get-go. And it was wonderful yesterday at our convention to have a notary public there and to properly authenticate our 20 presidential electors and statewide candidates.

    We are tired of paying for worthless signatures.

    And so I repeat what I said in the beginning. I do not mean any disrespect to Andy. He does gather quality signatures and if the funding comes through I hope we will be seeing him in Pennsylvania soon. I would just encourage him to not be so accusatory.


  32. Mark Axinn

    Congrats to friends Jim Baab and Roy Minet.

    These guys continue to work tirelessly to promote freedom in an unfree state.

  33. Jed Ziggler

    That’s how I heard it too, but some were saying Johnson won. IMO there should have been paper ballots, but the straw poll was a last minute addition.

  34. Jed Ziggler

    Interested to see how Nikki Allen Poe does in the Attorney General race. I have my concerns as do a number of members, but his candidacy is an opportunity to bring some media attention to an often ignored and boring race.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yeah, Reid got booed during the “applause measurement straw poll.” And yeah, he’s still saying that he’s the only one who can win and that if we nominate him he’ll sweep all 50 states because his answers are just soooooooooo good.

    Regarding the “applause straw poll”:

    Initially, the announced deal was that after the debate there would be a real straw poll. Then at the last minute it became “hey, let’s do this by applause.” I thought that meant there would be both, but apparently not.

    I’m kind of guessing there was a reason for that. Perry had the best debate performance by far, and seemed — at least by volume over live stream — to have edged Johnson on the “applause” straw poll. So it seems to me that the reason to not have formal voting was to save Gary the humiliation of coming in second.

  36. Jed Ziggler

    Derrick Michael Reid. Where do I begin.

    When I arrived at the Montgomery County Hospitality Suite Friday night, Derrick was already there and I got to meet him. To give him credit, he is genuinely passionate and truly believes he can and will win the election if nominated. That said, the entire time he was there he spent bashing Gary Johnson. When someone did press him on a policy question, in this case the drug war, he starts launching into this diatribe on states rights. I decided to ask him the philosophical question, do states have rights or do people have rights? His response was that people’s rights don’t matter, and he’s running to restore the constitution.

    Before the debate, he, Darryl W. Perry, and Dr. Marc Feldman are on stage, Gary Johnson as of yet is not (I assume he was changing into his suit, he arrived at the convention in a track suit). While we’re waiting for the debate to start, Reid stands up and starts grandstanding that he can win the election, and rips into Gary Johnson as a “loser” who’s responsible for every ill in the LP, and kept at it even as Gary entered the room, until finally Charles Peralo stepped in and said “okay, that’s enough of that. They rearranged the seating so Gary wasn’t next to Derrick.

    To say that Reid was not well received would be an understatement. His attack on Gary during the debate received boos. The guy seated next to me would laugh or guffaw at nearly all his answers (as did others), and at the straw poll he received mostly boos and hisses.

    He seemed to take it in stride though, when I looked over to where he was standing he was smiling and seemed pleased with himself, so I guess ignorance is bliss.

  37. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Wow, Jed, thanks for the rundown on Reid.

    I believe he’s attended almost every debate. If he doesn’t has family money (Laguna
    Beach is an affluent community), then he has some donors somewhere.

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