Open Thread for Discussing and/or Live-Blogging the CA and NH LP Conventions April 27 to 29

The California Libertarian Convention will be held this weekend at the Marriott in Long Beach. It promises to be exciting, busy and full of drama. I’ll live-blog as much as I can, but since I’m helping in a few areas I may not have much time to. Anyone with something to share can use this open thread.

67 thoughts on “Open Thread for Discussing and/or Live-Blogging the CA and NH LP Conventions April 27 to 29

  1. Steve Scheetz

    I am in NH for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire’s convention.. Do I blog here or can someone create another thread?


    Steve Scheetz

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Stewart, we have a rogue faction that thinks they should be able to vote anywhere and as often as they want to. No one agrees with them (including our bylaws), but for ten months now they disrupt every meeting in order to coerce everyone to accept their desire. It involves our resident pedophile who refuses to go away.

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    We have almost two hundred people registered for this convention. This is a record for us. It was only 5 or 6 years ago only 40 people showed up. Larry Sharpe and Nick Sarwark are here.

  4. Andy

    Are you sure that almost 200 is a record? I was a delegate at the LP of CA State Convention in 2005, and I am pretty sure that there was more than 200 people there.

  5. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    William Weld will be speaking. I also see Melinda Pilsbury-Foster will be here. I haven’t met her. Star child is here (autocorrect won’t let me spell his name correctly). I haven’t seen Aaron, Alicia Mattson, or M Carling. I have seen Scott Lieberman.

  6. Andy

    Yes, I have been working in California the last few months. I recently rejoined the LP of CA. I was a member here from 1998-2008. The last LP of CA State Convention I attended was in 2005.

  7. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Our state chairman, Ted Brown, will be resigning at the end of the convention because he has moved to Austin Texas. He has been a top activist in the state for over 20 years and he will be missed. We’ll elect a new chair tomorrow.

  8. Andy

    There is talk about some kind of drama/controversy that has happened, apparently involving some folks from Riverside County. I have no idea what this is about.

  9. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Jonathan Jaech, Southern Vice-Chair, is making comments pleading for schisms in the party to heal, yet is refusing to discuss why he hasn’t done his part to mend the rift (hint: he is not the victim here).

  10. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Matt Barnes is continuing his almost year-long quest to waste everyone’s time by trying to force his will on everyone else.

  11. Stewart Flood

    Wow. Sounds like a good time out there. We had about 50 last November at the SCLP convention. We’re also in a bit of local drama/excitement here as Charleston County will be in our THIRD evening of the recalled county convention. Recalled Wednesday, recessed until Thursday evening when we ran out of time. Recessed Thursday until Monday evening, when we hope to conclude nominations.

    Longest county convention in state party history. 🙂

  12. Stewart Flood

    And not to say this implying any campaigning or preference for or against anyone, but Chuck Moulton and Alicia Mattson were very helpful when I asked them for parliamentary opinions of what I expected to have transpire at the county convention.

    Great advice, but the un-thought-of event occurred. Had to recess twice and spent a good part of Thursday on the phone with the state election commission about procedure. Fortunately, with advice from Mattson/Moulton I had made the correct decision as convention president. Should be a VERY interesting outcome Monday evening when we conclude.

    Or we may end up recessing again… Who knows???

  13. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Bill Weld is speaking st our banquet tonight. He is talking like he wants to run in 2020, although he hasn’t come out and said that yet.

  14. George Phillies

    ” He is talking like he wants to run in 2020, although he hasn’t come out and said that yet.” That was the racket Barr pulled in 2008.

    Barr was a bad person who ran what was in my opinion a complete rip-off of a campaign, and his supporters should also be remembered as bad people.

  15. Andy

    George, the same can be said about the Johnson campaign (although I would not go so far as to say that all of their supporters are bad).

  16. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    If the candidate for President is Weld in 2020, I will most likely leave the party. I have serious issues with his behavior during the 2016 campaign.

  17. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    We are currently voting on a new chairman. Our resident pedophile is being quite disruptive, and is about to be physically removed.

  18. sparkey


    Do the Istvan and Wildstar campaigns both have a presence? Is the endorsement for the Gov race coming up today?

    Why isn’t Reid on the CA LP candidates site? Has there been a decision not to endorse him even though he is the only Libertarian candidate for US Senate?

  19. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Mimi Robson was elected as our new chair, which means we’ll now need to elect a new state secretary. Derrick Reid was endorsed before lunch. He is being much more Libertarian than he was was during his presidential run. I actually like him a lot.

  20. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Both Zolstan and Wildstar are here, and we’ll select someone to endorse this Afternoon. They debated last night, and it was highly entertaining. Wildstar is clearly the favorite. He is the candidate I’m supporting.

  21. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    We are voting on Secretary. The candidates are Angela McArdle and Rebecca Lau. I don’t know Rebecca, but Angela is from my region and actually was selected as Chairperson of the Pasadena region when I stepped down in January.

  22. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    We are now considering Wildstar’s endorsement. He is clearly the group fave. Zolton made some very serious errors during the campaign and alienated many people(including

  23. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I need to make a correction. Apparently, Zoltan Istvan was also endorsed for the governor candidacy.

    All in all, I think it was a great convention. We’ll all miss Ted Brown, but he can contribute his talent to the Texas LP now. Mimi Robson and Angela McArdle will be excellent
    new leaders in the state party.

    I was voted onto the Judicial Committee.

  24. Andy

    It would have been a better convention if Bill Weld had not been there.

    I voted for Jill for Judicial Committee.

  25. Starchild

    I didn’t do any liveblogging of this convention mainly because I couldn’t see any place to plug in my laptop in the room where the convention business sessions were held. My old laptop, which may soon be destined for the afterlife of electronics, won’t hold a charge any more and can only function when connected to an outlet.

    But here are a few thoughts on some of the proceedings…

    Nickolas Wildstar was in top form for the gubernatorial debate, and the attendees’ response seemed to reflect this. Zoltan Istvan got polite applause, while Wildstar’s remarks usually met with much more enthusiasm. In the end however, delegates ended up allowing a dual endorsement to stand. Apparently a motion passed to endorse all the LPC’s candidates en masse while I was out of the room, and a later motion to reconsider so as to give Wildstar our sole endorsement (as I favored) was supported by a plurality, but failed to secure the necessary threshold.

    While I can see a rationale for endorsing multiple candidates in some races, especially where they are working together to “tag team” non-Libertarian opponents, that wasn’t the case here. Although Istvan is not without his good points, Wildstar to my eyes is clearly the more libertarian and appealing candidate, and I would have liked to see his campaign get the boost of being our sole official choice. I will continue to work to support him regardless.

    Aaron Starr is doing yeoman’s work in Oxnard, California, where he is running for mayor as the latest move in an epic battle with statist incumbents who actually sued him for trying to put a stop to their attempted water rates increase. Alicia Mattson who is helping his campaign there, gave a more detailed and entertaining account of some of what’s been going on in that fair-sized city (possibly covered elsewhere on IPR?), and it sounds like he may have a fair shot at actually winning, which would make him one of the country’s top elected Libertarians. It is good for the party as well as the larger cause of freedom that his political talents are being put to a better use than trying to steer the LP in the wrong direction, and I was relieved to see that he was not reelected to his alternate slot on the Libertarian National Committee, coming in with far fewer votes than the other candidate, current Northern Vice Chair Kenneth Brent Olsen. Delegates seemed refreshingly clear on being able to distinguish between sincerely appreciating his efforts in the larger political world, while not being so keen on his internal role. One can only hope LP members will continue to be clear-sighted in this regard if he wins his election.

    Caryn Ann Harlos showed up to pitch national memberships, and chalked up a few more pink marks on her much-marked lipstick case. Prospective members were baited with a choice of Libertarian t-shirts, though she warned that individuals choosing the black one would be in danger of becoming as much of a Libertarian workaholic as she is. The connection went unexplained, but maybe had to do with not having time to shower and a black t-shirt showing fewer sweat stains? The Statue-of-Liberty-bedecked candidate for LP secretary arrived midday Sunday, having just flown across country, evidently sans much sleep and in danger of losing her voice, from the New Hampshire LP convention. While not lugging any 75-page LNC reports, she did have at least one pink suitcase full of t-shirts neatly packed in shipping envelopes, an innovation that she said had allowed her to pack them in more efficiently. I had to tease her about the envelopes not also being pink.

    Mark Hinkle pushed to let the party sell 2-year memberships, which apparently it was already doing in perhaps unwitting violation of the state party’s bylaws. He claimed it would bring in a lot more money, and two of the state officers (treasurer Steve Haug and secretary Mimi Robson) apparently agreed it would help. I was less sanguine about it – I don’t think we should be selling memberships at all, or if we do, that being a member should be divorced from voting as a decision-maker in setting party policy. There are lots of great ways we can raise money without putting the sustainability of the LP as a libertarian party at greater risk, but making people “pay to play” in order to be eligible to serve in party leadership roles isn’t one of them. Holding Libertarian Party office should require a strong belief in freedom, not a check. That larger question aside, letting people buy 2-year memberships upfront complicates bookkeeping (the treasurer didn’t think it was a big deal, but I wonder whether future perhaps less competent holders of that office and others working with the database will be able to keep it straight), and threatens to front-load revenues, which could easily contribute to the natural tendency of elected leaders to spend beyond the party’s means. Hinkle, in my experience, has rarely let lack of money in the state or national party budgets stop him from supporting additional spending (one area in which Starr, by contrast, is generally sensible). At least Robert Imhoff got the multi-year memberships capped at 2 years (Hinkle had wanted to open the door to memberships of any length, which could have hamstringed any future efforts to switch to a different membership system).

    Being in the business sessions most of the day, I as usual regretted not being able to hear some of the speakers, including my friend and sex work activist colleague Maxine Doogan, who spoke on Saturday and must have come and gone, because I never saw her on site at all. Nor did I see professor and former congresscritter Tom Campbell (who has some libertarian leanings, but is no Rand Paul, IMHO, with Rand likewise being no Ron.) In other news of similarly quasi-libertarian personages, Bill Weld was there and interviewed by Matt Welch of Reason. I didn’t care that much about hearing Weld, who has about the same chance of getting my vote to be the LP’s presidential nominee as McDonald’s has of being a Michelin-listed restaurant, but Welch is a decent journalist and I am interested in hearing what questions he posed.

    My missing that interview in person – it was thoughtfully live-streamed to the adjoining business room for those who didn’t buy the package including lunch to watch, and kudos to newly-elected LPC chair Mimi Robson (who may be aspiring to Harlosian workaholic status) and other convention organizers for that – was largely due to a run-in with hotel bureaucrats who didn’t want to let me pay to eat at their buffet without putting on a top that showed less skin than the one I was wearing. How exactly corporate functionaries are trained to maintain their unflappable pretense of reasonableness in the face of issuing unreasonable edicts is an interesting question. They couldn’t point to having received any complaints about my attire, seeming to regard reality as superfluous to enforcing what they claimed were the rules, which they never did manage to produce in writing despite my repeated requests and an initial show of going to fetch them. I noted that while sexuality is not in a “protected” legal category” with regard to the way that race, gender, and sexual orientation now are (at least in the U.S.), this was that same kind of thing. Presuming more voluminously clad patrons would be offended by my appearance, and that their irrational anti-sexuality prejudices should take precedence over my freedom to be myself, is not unlike lunchroom management in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, presuming that white patrons would be offended by the presence of black folks in their eating area. We ended up compromising, with them in exchange for me taking the trouble to walk across the parking lot and retrieve an additional piece of clothing from my car, giving me a “discount” by not charging the normally included gratuity fee, which they really shouldn’t have been charging anyone anyway given that it was a buffet with little table service to speak of. It made me feel like a sellout, and I rather regretted it afterward.

  26. Starchild

    (California LP convention notes, part 2)…

    Despite missing the formal remarks of the man who called for hiring 1,000 new FBI agents while running for VP in 2016 on the Libertarian ticket, I did chat a bit with him and his wife. She it turns out is a fiction writer, and surprised me by telling me about an interesting-sounding sci-fi book she’s written in which literary figures including a character or characters from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work, among others, come alive off the page to enter the real world. Weld, meanwhile, surprised me at least as much when he mentioned – after seeing me in the purple outfit described elsewhere in the comments on this thread – that he wore women’s clothes during the run of a burlesque show he was in (if this came up during the Johnson campaign, I don’t remember hearing about it). He said that in heels he was about 8′ tall, which I *can* believe. Although it’s a bit hard to envision him on Ru Paul’s show, I can readily imagine Weld as a stage actor in some kind of dramatic work; perhaps a Shakespearian tragedy. Speaking of which, I asked him whether he was familiar with the song “William Weld in the 21st Century”; he was not. (Has that been reported on here, I wonder? The lyrics are interesting.) I also got to witness Weld meeting Wildstar, who was a bit too complimentary of the older politician for my taste, saying he wanted to “follow in his footsteps”. I believe Nickolas was just being his usual friendly and engaging self, which is one of the things that makes him such a strong candidate, but it’s hardly the kind of thing one wants to hear from a radical Libertarian running for governor. Likewise Weld’s rejoinder – whether immediate or a few sentences later I cannot recall – about how his business fortunes have improved since running (for VP, presumably). Reading between the lines, I could almost hear him saying, “Never mind that radical saving the world stuff – seeking high office as a Libertarian can be a good career move for you, young man. Take it from a professional politician and look forward to increasing your income!”

    Regarding his call to expand the ranks of the U.S. government’s national police agency, Weld first responded to my question about that remark of his by saying it was in the context of talking about terrorism. I said no doubt it was either that, or “national security”, or “for the children”, or something of that sort. He then asserted that he does not support such a hiring move, but gave no indication of when, why, or how he came to reconsider.

    The Bylaws Committee report this year was somewhat better than such committee reports usually are, with a number of good recommendations (mixed with some bad ones). Unfortunately with rules requiring a majority of registered delegates, rather than just a majority of those present, most failed to meet the threshold necessary for approval. Perhaps the best proposal shot down would have changed the requirement for proposals from the floor to require 2/3 of delegates present and voting, rather than 2/3 of registered delegates. Current rules make it unnecessarily difficult for members to vote directly in convention to change the rules themselves, instead of having to rely on the insider-appointed Bylaws Committee to do the work. In real-world terms, this can be analogized this to having to rely on legislatures to enact needed legislative reforms because the rules make it too difficult and expensive to get citizen referendums and initiatives on the ballot.

    As usual, the “Alive/Free/Happy” crew from the environs of Riverside County and other parts of the greater metropolitan L.A. area hosted a gracious after-hours hospitality suite during which copious amounts of various intoxicating substances were consumed by some participants. This contributed, unfortunately, to my infringing on the sleep of Adam Kokesh and his girlfriend when I showed up after 2:00 a.m. to crash in his mobile home.

    This liberty-festooned vehicle, parked at the edge of the hotel lot parallel to many of the guest rooms, provided the on-property visibility for the libertarian message about making America free and so forth that the convention itself largely lacked. As with almost all Libertarian conventions held in hotels, a guest could walk in the front doors and through the lobby without seeing any LP signage alerting them to the fact of a pro-freedom gathering happening in the vicinity. Access to the upstairs parties was also inhibited by the fact that the elevators failed to work properly unless someone staying at the hotel swiped them with a room key. But while beers at the hotel cocktail reception were $8, at least the Marriott didn’t charge for parking – thank our yearly corporate landlords for small mercies.

    I repaid the 2020 LP presidential contender for his hospitality, and his interviewing me on Friday, by rescuing a large number of the “Freedom” books his helpers distributed on the convention floor after close of business, from making their way into the hotel’s recycling bins (or worse, the trash). Each convention without fail, Libertarian convention-goers allow reams of usable campaign literature and other materials to be tossed out after close of business, rather than taking the trouble to pick it up and take it home to leave at the local coffee shop, laundromat, or doctor’s office. The welcome frugality of Alicia Mattson and Aaron Starr on Libertarian National Committee matters (compared to most other LNC members) apparently did not extend to Alicia caring enough to bother recycling dozens of expensive, glossy color fliers that someone (presumably her) had distributed on the convention floor about the aforementioned fight in Oxnard. When I pointed out that these could with a little effort be reused instead of simply abandoned, she said something about how they were printed in large batches of 1,000 and these were simply the extras or leftovers.

    If people find that justification persuasive, I sincerely hope it doesn’t catch on among federal bureaucrats as a rationale for excusing relatively small but wasteful government programs on the grounds that they involve only a miniscule portion of the massive numbers of Federal Reserve Notes printed by the Treasury Department.

  27. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Thanks for your comments, Starchild. I went home feeling very good about the CA LP and our prospects, although the loss of Ted Brown will be felt.

    Sorry I never had a chance to visit with you and get updated on your life. The 2 and 1/2 days went by very quickly.

  28. paulie

    Thanks for the coverage, everyone who was there. Is a list of the delegates CA selected for the national convention available for public view anywhere yet?

  29. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    There was a handout with the potential delegates on it, and I might have it with the rest of my paperwork at home. We ended up approving everyone on the list with the exception of one person–James Weeks. I won’t be able to attend the national committee, but most of the state’s major players will be there.

  30. paulie

    Thanks Jill. Let me know if you see TE Finnegan on that list.

    Steve or anyone else who was in NH, anything more to report from there?

  31. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Paulie, I don’t believe TE Finnegan was on the list because I don’t know her to be a Californian. I think I would have noticed her name. I probably have the list at home in the big stack I brought home.

  32. Andy

    I looked through the list to see how many names I recognized, and I do not recall seeing TE Finnegan’s name on there.

  33. paulie

    Paulie, I don’t believe TE Finnegan was on the list because I don’t know her to be a Californian.

    I paid the $25 and Hinkle called her and I think told her she was good to go. I’ll need to follow up.

  34. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I had a terrible problem with my female next door neighbor for 6 1/2 years. She stalked me, which was quite easy with her living next door. It was truly a nightmare. It started when my baby was less than a year and harmed his well-being, also. Can you imagine trying to run a business, take care of a house, trying to care for a precious child alone, and tolerate that? Why on earth does someone do that to someone else?

  35. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Carol, you’re very good at your anti-war activities. With all these potential powder kegs right now, perhaps you can spend your time on those. There are just too few of us in our movement, and beating each other up isn’t accomplishing anything. We have a terrible cancer here in Los Angeles threatening to tear us apart. It should never have been allowed to get as bad as it has. Please don’t let this get any worse.

  36. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Caryn Ann Harlos has shown up for the last hour of the convention.===

    Hi Jill, I flew in from New Hampshire and was supposed to be there earlier but on my plane change in Baltimore there was a maintenance problem with the plane after we were all onboard and they had to put us on a new one. I am happy to have made even a bit of it. Lonnnggggg weekend.

  37. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Jill when women are the offenders there is very little help. No one will take you seriously.

    There are men suffering domestic violence at nearly the same numbers as women and yet the support for them is laughable.

    And when its two women with issues, the world laughs and thinks its a sexy cat fight.

    No it isn’t. It is serious. And women can be very cunning on how they go about it.

  38. Andy

    What was up with the bizarre drama from Matt Barnes at the LP of CA State Convention? He started shouting several times while people were speaking on stage. He also had this crew of people with him, who I think were from Riverside and/or San Bernardino County, Who were wearing similar t-shirts, and they seemed to be objecting and voting how he wanted them to do.

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