Libertarian state conventions in Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico this weekend

According to the LP.org listing Libertarian state conventions are being held in Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, and New Mexico this weekend. I’m on the ground in Arkansas and will try to liveblog the convention here in the comments on this post.

https://action.lpar.org/lpar-2017-convention/:

April 8th at the Burgundy Hotel in Little Rock!

We’re pleased to have as our keynote speaker Arvin Vohra, Vice-Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. We will also have a special presentation from Brenda Vassaur Taylor and Joe Maynard of Conduit for Action.

TENTATIVE AGENDA:
– Business Meeting, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
• Reports from Committees
• Ballot Access Plans
• Election of Officers
– Luncheon, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
• Keynote Speaker: Arvin Vohra, Vice Chair, Libertarian National Committee
– LPAR Business Meeting, Continued, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
• Platform and Bylaws discussion
• Special presentations
– Informal dinner and drinks, 5:00 PM – ?

Caryn Ann Harlos is going to the NM convention, but she will be there as a speaker and region rep so may not have time to blog anything. However if she does she is welcome to either use this post’s comment section or create another one, whichever works best. If anyone on the ground in any of these states would like to provide live or semi-live coverage of their conventions, or links to where such coverage is being provided, please also feel free to use the comments on this post. If you are not an IPR writer/editor and want a separate thread so as not to mix up the liveblogs between states let us know and we’ll set you up one (after you verify that you are able to do the coverage where you are). And again, if you are good with using the same thread, I am too.

After the fact coverage, links to news stories and social media coverage elsewhere, links to videos and photostreams, all welcome as well.

98 thoughts on “Libertarian state conventions in Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico this weekend

  1. paulie Post author

    IL “Our 2017 state convention will take place on Friday night, 4/7/17, through Saturday night, 4/8/17. Our keynote speaker for the Saturday night banquet will be 2016 LP Vice Presidential candidate Larry Sharpe. The ever-popluar Libertarian Jeopardy game will be back on Saturday afternoon. We’ll also have speakers in the afternoon educating us about medical marijuana laws and the judicial system in Illinois.

    Friday night is free of charge. You’ll be entertained by two musicians and a comedian. Appetizers will be served. There will be a cash bar.

    Our annual business meeting will take place Saturday morning.

    In addition to our keynote speaker Larry Sharpe, the Saturday night banquet will also include a live auction and awards.”

  2. paulie Post author

    http://mslp.org/2017-state-convention/

    Join us at the Annual State Convention for the Libertarian Party of Mississippi!

    Location: Hyatt Place Columbus
    Address: 101 Hospital Drive
    Columbus, MS 39705
    Date: April 8, 2017
    Time: 9:00 AM
    Price: $30.00

    Agenda for the day: (Times subject to change):

    8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Breakfast
    10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Party Business (Agenda TBD)
    12:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Break for Lunch
    2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: “Foundational Libertarian Leadership: How to Increase Choice, Opportunity, and Prosperity in Your Local Communities” with C. Michael Pickens of the Libertarian Leadership Institute
    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Meeting of the Incoming Executive Committee
    6:00 PM – Until: Liberty on the Rocks

  3. paulie Post author

    http://lpnm.us/2017-04-08-asc.html

    Suggested Donation

    The suggested donation to help cover costs of the event is $30 per person.

    Dates and Time

    Pre-Convention Social Gathering — Friday, April 7, 2017, 6:00-9:00 PM

    Marriott Uptown — 2101 Louisiana NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110

    Convention Proper — Satuday, April 8, 2017, 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM

    University of New Mexico School of Law, Room 2401 — 1117 Stanford NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131

    Speakers: Nick Sarwark, Caryn Ann Harlos, past state chairs Mike Blessing and Ron Bjornstad.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1657097564611583/

  4. paulie Post author

    And reposting the post for the people who only read the comments and not the posts….


    According to the LP.org listing Libertarian state conventions are being held in Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, and New Mexico this weekend. I’m on the ground in Arkansas and will try to liveblog the convention here in the comments on this post.

    https://action.lpar.org/lpar-2017-convention/:

    April 8th at the Burgundy Hotel in Little Rock!

    We’re pleased to have as our keynote speaker Arvin Vohra, Vice-Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. We will also have a special presentation from Brenda Vassaur Taylor and Joe Maynard of Conduit for Action.

    TENTATIVE AGENDA:
    – Business Meeting, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
    • Reports from Committees
    • Ballot Access Plans
    • Election of Officers
    – Luncheon, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
    • Keynote Speaker: Arvin Vohra, Vice Chair, Libertarian National Committee
    – LPAR Business Meeting, Continued, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    • Platform and Bylaws discussion
    • Special presentations
    – Informal dinner and drinks, 5:00 PM – ?

    Caryn Ann Harlos is going to the NM convention, but she will be there as a speaker and region rep so may not have time to blog anything. However if she does she is welcome to either use this post’s comment section or create another one, whichever works best. If anyone on the ground in any of these states would like to provide live or semi-live coverage of their conventions, or links to where such coverage is being provided, please also feel free to use the comments on this post. If you are not an IPR writer/editor and want a separate thread so as not to mix up the liveblogs between states let us know and we’ll set you up one (after you verify that you are able to do the coverage where you are). And again, if you are good with using the same thread, I am too.

    After the fact coverage, links to news stories and social media coverage elsewhere, links to videos and photostreams, all welcome as well.

  5. paulie Post author

    Packed room, about 50 people at Arkansas convention and a few people standing due to lack of chairs. Pakko says he is willing to serve 2 more years if reelected.

  6. paulie Post author

    Arkansas ballot access petition is going on. About 1200 in hand and at least 600-800 more that we know of collected by paid team (myself, Andy Jacobs and Glen Schwarz in Little Rock area, Lee Evans and Ashley Ewald in Ft Smith/Fayetteville area. Volunteers starting to come on board. Andy just got here. Got til late June to collect 10k valid (15k raw), expect to be done about a month earlier. Drive started Mar 27 with 90 day window.

  7. paulie Post author

    Issue brought up about definition of membership. More expansive definition will be used today. May be addressed during bylaws. Treasurers report is next.

  8. paulie Post author

    Ed (Forzel? – sp) speaking about proposed fair voting initiative constitutional amendment first.

  9. paulie Post author

    Says Democrats and Republicans will also have to collect signatures if it passes. Blockchain ballot.

  10. paulie Post author

    Andy’s headcount is 39. I don’t know if anyone besides me and Andy is from out of state (Arvin was going to be here but flight was delayed, will try to address by video). At least one kid.

  11. Nicholas Sarwark

    Lots of turnout at New Mexico convention, they are still in line for credentials.

    Caryn Ann is working the registration line to sign up new national party members.

  12. paulie Post author

    Thanks for the update Nick. If anyone gets a chance in NM make an announcement, maybe we can recruit someone to liveblog that one too.

  13. paulie Post author

    Whitney Bilyeu of TX, region 7 LNC rep is also here.

    Said Danny Bedwell, LNC alternate for the region, is at his own state convention in MS also today. Mentions in passing there is infighting in TX but did not mention specifics.

  14. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I will post as I can from the NM convention. Sitting here next to Nick. Registration line is still going – most people here are already National Party members. Signed up two.

  15. paulie Post author

    Thanks Caryn Ann. Keep in mind if you can recruit someone there who is less busy than you are to help with it that would help too. Also looking for photos, videos, links to coverage elsewhere etc.

  16. Nicholas Sarwark

    Convention called to order at 11:21 am. It looks like I am speaking after the first presentation.

  17. Caryn Ann Harlos

    NM Convention called to order at 11:21am.

    Accomplishments of State party being given by Elisheva Levin.

  18. Caryn Ann Harlos

    NM Convention – dispute over agenda. Agenda moved, and an amendment on the floor.

    It wasn’t originally on the agenda to have the agenda considered to until later.

    The essential dispute is whether or not business should happen before speakers.

  19. Caryn Ann Harlos

    There is a confusion in the agenda with two calls of Order. It was ruled that the agenda could be amended. Business was moved first. Concerns were raised that absent members might have relied upon the fact of business being in the afternoon. Others present stated they would be prejudiced if later and they showed up at the early time and should be able to vote in business.

    The vote was strongly in favouring of moving business forward.

    Credentials count was at 47. Quorum is 24.

  20. Caryn Ann Harlos

    NM Convention: Bylaws and Constitution was moved forward on agenda. The same objections were raised about possible prejudice to absent Party members.

  21. Caryn Ann Harlos

    A current item of contention in the Party was requirements for Party officers that had a requirement of three year party membership and one year prior service on central committee. A more relaxed requirement was put forward of just party membership and good standing.

  22. Caryn Ann Harlos

    These changes passed to relax restrictions for Executive Committee.

    (correction to what I said above – the restrictions were not for the Central Committee but for the Executive Committee)

  23. Caryn Ann Harlos

    The pro-change group in general has a great deal of support at convention.

  24. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Debate is now talking place about proportional delegate representation (having a bit of trouble following as I am not intimately familiar with New Mexico) but the concern seems to be Albuquerquerunning roughshod over other counties.

  25. paulie Post author

    AR: Getting back from lunch, will try to stream Arvin in next.

    NM: My understanding is that the pro-change group is led by Tom Mahon and Debbie Dean from the Johnson campaign and the more radical libertarian, long term members are the anti change group in this case.

  26. paulie Post author

    Says opponents of liberty know people get addicted to the familiar. Relates to the education system.

  27. paulie Post author

    AR: Debbie Wilson (formerly Standiford) will also try to get me photos. Andy has been having trouble getting into his email so he has not been able to send them to me yet.

    AR: Awards ceremony

  28. paulie Post author

    Campaign leadership award: TJ Campbell, recently moved back to AR. Previously active in CA and MI LPs.

  29. AC

    “NM: My understanding is that the pro-change group is led by Tom Mahon and Debbie Dean from the Johnson campaign and the more radical libertarian, long term members are the anti change group in this case.”

    Points of information: Tom Mahon has been an active Libertarian since the early 1980s, and several of the others involved in seeking change are also long-time party members from long before Johnson, who have made a point of that. And the issue as I understand it is less radicalism vs. less-radicals as it is complaints of mismanagement and ineffectiveness. I’ve even seen Radicals complaining against the incumbent in-group because they supposedly have conservative leanings and are disinterested in issues other than the 2nd Amendment. So I wouldn’t peg this as a rads v. prags fight so much as issues more specific to New Mexico (like the incumbent-protectionism rule they passed at a previous low-attendance convention that makes it effectively impossible for almost anybody other than themselves to be eligible for officer positions).

  30. paulie Post author

    AR Candidate of the year award: Mark West, congressional candidate

    Outreach award: Michael Vaughn, outgoing chair of Pulaski Co LP. Booth at almost every farmers market, door to door campaigning

    Volunteer of the year: Gary Lynn Baker, webmaster among other things. Currently in the middle east.

  31. paulie Post author

    Chairman’s award for extraordinary service: Stephen Wait

    Standard Bearer of Liberty: Frank Gilbert, Gov Candidate

  32. AC

    correction: the rule in question *would have* restricted eligibility. It’s my understanding that it’s been overturned or repealed somehow, but I don’t have the details on that or how.

  33. paulie Post author

    Stephen Wait elected Treasurer with one vote for NOTA. At Large (1) will be voted on after 1st thru 4th congressional district reps elected by district caucus.

  34. Andy Craig

    “AR: So far everyone nominated for Secy declining”

    Smart folks there in Arkansas.

  35. paulie Post author

    Brooke is Stephen’s girlfriend… she kind of got roped into it. “It’s only for one year, right?” (my understanding is that it’s actually for two years).

  36. paulie Post author

    At Large nominations – TJ Campbell, John Bowers, several others who declined. Bowers withdraws after Campbell says he can make all the meetings. Michael Williams also nominated.

  37. Nicholas Sarwark

    Coming back to order after a lunch break in New Mexico, officer elections being held now.

  38. Caryn Ann Harlos

    12 votes for Elisheva Levin and 40 votes for Burly Cain. Cain is now Chair of LPNM.

  39. paulie Post author

    40 votes for Burly Cain. Cain is now Chair of LPNM.

    That name sounds familiar. Has he been chair previously?

  40. paulie Post author

    discussion of how internal elections will be done in the future.

    Correction, actually nomination for public office. It has to do with restrictions being imposed by the state and how to best address those.

  41. Nicholas Sarwark

    He was previously the digital director for the Gary Johnson campaign.

  42. Andy Craig

    Among other things, Burly is also the former development & then digital director for the Rio Grande Foundation, the state’s free-market think tank. He also worked on policy at the state legislature for a while, plus some big-campaign and political-organizing experience besides just Johnson’16. He’s an excellent choice and a good libertarian, and I think the NM party will now go a long way to capitalize on the Johnson vote totals and build on that with new growth, in a way they sadly haven’t previously.

    As I said on Facebook, this may well give New Mexico the most practically-experienced state chair in the nation. Very welcome in the state where almost 1 in 10 voted Libertarian for President last year.

  43. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Vallancourt wins treasurer.

    Nominations for secretary are David Clements and Mike Blessing.

  44. paulie Post author

    AR: proposal to allow all national party members living in AR to be automatically AR members

    Looks like a popular idea. These discussions are advisory to the exec comm, not formal bylaws votes.

  45. paulie Post author

    AR: Gave out a few radical caucus brochures, plugged this liveblog and gave out my number for anyone who wants to go out with me to petition. Andy is pushing t-shirts, bumperstickers, and looking for help with a lawsuit he wants to do over petition rights in Jonesboro, where he was arrested for petitioning at the university last time we did the LP petition (charges have been dismissed). Convention has been adjourned. Some people still milling around.

  46. paulie Post author

    Dropped off the rest of my stash of Radical Caucus literature that I was supposed to distribute in Alabama with the Arkansas caucus chair, Mark West. Thanks Caryn Ann for sending, we finally used it 🙂

  47. Elisheva H. Levin

    Elisheva Levin from New Mexico here. I think some clarifications are in order. I am biased, but I believe that New Mexico Libertarians are very good at coming through conflict and uniting on the other side.

    First, not all of the young Turks are pragmantists or moderates. There were a few wearing “Taxation is Theft” and other radical buttons. Most of the old Turks are radicals, but not all.

    Secondly, this old Turk was happy to see the numbers of people from outside the Albuquerque-Santa Fe corridor almost equal those from inside it. Members of the old Turks are on the Central Committee under a new model, that probably needs some tweeking, but does provide rural areas like mine with more representation.

    The young Turks recognized and thanked the old Turks for paying the $55,000.00 bill and keeping the party alive through the lawsuit. They were also quite right that the experience by-law was too restrictive and ambiguous. And not all of the old Turks were against the change, but also have reasonable concerns about protecting the party. It was their baby that they brought through a very difficult time, and paid thousands of dollars each out of their own pockets to keep it alive.

    At the end of the convention, there were members of both the young and old Turks on the Central Committee. As for me, a young Turk moved that I run in my State House District for 2018 which was approved unanimously by the convention without vetting. They know my libertarian creds, even if we do not always agree.

    It never ceases to amaze me how the Facebook libertarians talk about individualism, but cast individuals into groups that they assume are diametrically opposed–and one all good, and the other all evil. Our resulting amicable die-hard dinner together following the convention, full of that libertarian talk that we all crave, must surely be a disappointment to them.

  48. paulie Post author

    Press release https://lpar.org/lpar-elects-officers-honors-award-recipients/

    At its annual State Convention on Saturday, April 8, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas elected new officers and Executive Committee delegates, and honored a number of its members with awards.

    The new slate of officers and Executive Committee members is as follows:

    Chair – Michael Pakko
    Vice-chair – Christopher Olson
    Secretary – Brooke Million
    Treasurer – Stephen Wait
    First District Rep. – Chris Lutterloh
    Second District Rep. – Shane Knight
    Third District Rep. – James “Woody” Woodall
    Fourth District Rep. – James Michael Hood
    At-Large Rep. – TJ Campbell

    This year’s award recipients were

    Standard Bearer of Liberty – Frank Gilbert
    Chairman’s Award for Extraordinary Service – Stephen Wait
    Volunteer of the Year Award – Garry Lynn Baker
    Outreach Award – Michael Vaughn
    Candidate of the Year Award – Mark West
    Campaign Leadership Award – TJ Campbell

    The LPAR thanks its officers and award recipients for their dedicated service to the cause of liberty.

    # # #

    More about the LPAR Executive Committee: https://lpar.org/about-the-lpar/leadership/

    More about LPAR award recipients: https://lpar.org/about-the-lpar/lpar-awards/

  49. Wang Tang-Fu

    new MS ex com

    Chairman – Denise Cranford
    Vice Chair – Jerry Ainsworth
    Treasurer – Sheri Bedwell
    Secretary – Vicky Rose
    Dist 1 Rep – Rick Feingold
    Dist 2 Rep – Taylor White
    Dist 3 Rep – Jon Withers
    Dist 4 Rep – Ric McCluskey
    At Large – Daniel Wise and Derrick Tapp

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