Last weekend, the second annual Politicon convention was held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Los Angeles County, CA. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson gave the keynote address on Saturday morning, and local Libertarians plus others from across California came to rally for Johnson and work the Libertarian booth in the exhibit area.
We received quite a bit of attention from the media.
From a public radio station called KPCC:
Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson told a small, but enthusiastic group this weekend that they may be looking at the next U.S. president given the upheaval of this year’s campaign for the White House.
Speaking at the Politicon convention in Pasadena, the former Republican governor of New Mexico spoke in favor of policies that included legalizing marijuana, protecting women’s abortion rights and reducing government spending.
“Government tries to do too much, it tries to accomplish too much. When it does that, it taxes too much and that’s money out of my pocket that I could be spending on my life,” he said during the convention’s opening speech on Saturday.
Johnson’s chances of defeating the two presumptive nominees for the mainstream parties, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, are virtually impossible given his third party status.
Johnson nonetheless drew cheers when he suggested it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
“Is this the craziest political election that you have ever seen in your life?” he asked. “And you know how crazy it is? You might be looking at the next president of the United States.”
Jill Pyeatt of Monrovia showed up at the political convention to see Johnson. She said the main principle of Libertarians is a strong belief in small government.
“We don’t care who you sleep with, we don’t care who you fall in love with, we don’t even care what you smoke just don’t bother somebody else,” she said.
In California, Johnson was backed by about 18,000 voters, according to preliminary primary election results as of Saturday. By comparison, Clinton received more than 2.6 million votes and Trump received about 1.6 million.
But Pyeatt, who is the Libertarian Party chairperson for the Pasadena group and a former Republican, said she’s seen more people signing up as Libertarians as they reject Clinton and Trump.
“People seem to really be taking us seriously,” she said. “I notice now people want to hear my take on something and they seem interested in what I have to say instead of just like laughing and [saying], ‘Oh, she’s crazy.'”
A young man named Joshua Glawson, who is involved with the local Students for Liberty group and is vice-chairman of the Libertarian Party of Pasadena/Glendale, showed up in a costume that looked a lot like George Washington. His picture has shown up many places, including the front page of a few websites and some local papers:
Jeffrey Tucker of Liberty Me had an article published in Newsweek and featured a photo of several California Libertarians. Holding Gary Johnson signs from left to right include Alex Appleby, a recent candidate for state office, Mimi Robson, a current candidate, and Wendy and Jeff Hewitt, who are both on the CA Libertarian Party’s Executive Committee.
A group of southern Californians we refer to as the “black shirts” (LA County and San Bernardino County members) set up a booth in the exhibit/vendor room. It happened to be the largest exhibit there, and drew lots of interested visitors throughout the weekend who took “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz” and looked at some some new, colorful brochures about the Libertarian Party. This writer observed that our exhibit was by far the most popular and attended booth, at least on Sunday when I was there. I was told that Saturday was even busier.
This was truly a well-spent weekend for getting our message out. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make it happen!
Here are some photos taken from my new Iphone: