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Kokesh Campaign Manager: Demand an In-Person Convention ASAP

The campaign manager for 2020 Libertarian presidential candidate Adam Kokesh, Elijah Jon Gizzarelli, sent out the following statement today, demanding the Libertarian Party hold its National Convention in-person and as soon as possible, despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

My fellow members of the Libertarian Party,

The LNC will be holding a meeting on Saturday, May 9th, in order to decide the fate of our National Convention.

I strongly recommend you contact your LNC representatives and tell them you demand an IN-PERSON Convention as soon as humanly possible.

We CAN accommodate social distancing at an IN-PERSON convention. We can provide hand sanitizer, masks and even have a designated area for people who want to minimize physical interactions.

I wouldn’t say that the internet counts as a place as per our by-laws, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that we cannot have faith that our votes will be secure, private and accurate in the event of online voting.

Maybe if they ran tests months ago, but from a party that often calls for paper ballots nationally, it’s a little silly to not be assured of a secure voting system in our own process.

Has anybody ever heard of something called a “hacker”? You should google that word; might be relevant.

I haven’t always been sure an in-person convention was the right solution because I was worried about the possibility of disenfranchising sick or elderly members, but at some point somebody will be disenfranchised no matter what we do.

I haven’t seen the povertarian memorial plaque at the National Headquarters commemorating all the hard-working activists who have been unable to take time off of work and travel across the country for a 4 day convention at a fancy hotel.

An online convention disenfranchises others. People with poor internet connections might not even be able to follow along with the business in any credible manner.

“Worried about disenfranchising older delegates? An online convention will fix that!”

-Really???

If my grandfather were a delegate for an online convention for an organization I wasn’t even a member of, I would be voting for him, I assure you.

Our convention must be IN-PERSON and it must happen ASAP!

The Democrats know they are going with Biden and have known for 2 months. The Republicans know they are going with Trump and have known for 4 years. We are already behind. If you knew you had to run a race with an unbelievable handicap (fundraising), you would think you would want to start it as early as possible, no?… If we nominate NOW, we will have 5 months to campaign… roughly 2 less than somebody who will raise a billion dollars more than us (give or take $100 million).

If we wait for July, we lose 40% of the campaign time. We must act now and we must act in good faith.

When our delegates were selected at the state conventions, they agreed to go to an IN-PERSON convention. ALL possible, personal risks were included in that agreement.

Sure, we didn’t know COVID-19 was coming… I remind you that delegates of the past were unable to see into the future as well… That’s why we have alternates and other ways to fill delegate spots at the National Convention.

I make this argument in good faith. Please urge your Representatives at the LNC to make it an IN-PERSON convention at the earliest possible date. No votes for anything before that convention.

Sincerely,
Elijah Jon Gizzarelli
Libertarian

7 Comments

  1. Anthony Dlugos Anthony Dlugos May 8, 2020

    Actually, I was in the Libertarian Happy Hour tonight on Zoom and I thought it went pretty smoothly.

    I think it could work for elections only.

  2. paulie paulie May 8, 2020

    I missed it. How many people were there? From my experience the smoothness tends to go down quite a bit as the numbers get larger.

  3. Thomas Knapp Thomas Knapp May 8, 2020

    Is this guy speaking on behalf of Kokesh, or just for himself?

    Either way, it’s fucking stupid.

  4. William Saturn William Saturn Post author | May 8, 2020

    Kokesh shared the message with those on his email list so evidently he endorses it.

  5. Fred Stein Fred Stein May 9, 2020

    What STATE is going allow a gathering of 500 people? New jersey restricts the number to 10 even for funerals. The state of Rhode Island just opened up today for retail , but they are limiting gatherings to five people. Maybe The LP can sneak 500 people into Galt”s Gulch,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Who Is John Galt?

  6. Thomas Knapp Thomas Knapp May 9, 2020

    Fred,

    True … but it’s worse than any individual state restriction.

    There’s a crazy quilt of ever-changing state AND local restrictions such that finding out what locale would let us have such a gathering RIGHT NOW, and which states would allow people to travel to and from that gathering RIGHT NOW, tells us nothing reliable about the situation two weeks, a month, or thee months FROM now.

    At the moment, long-range travel/accommodation/activity planning is impossible. Not just for groups of up to 2,500 people, but for individuals and families.

    Normally the venue/travel aspect of planning an LP convention is “unless something really bizarre happens, it’s not likely that more than a few delegates will have problems attending (car breakdowns, medical emergencies, whatever).”

    This year, the venue/travel aspect of planning an LP convention is “we have no earthly idea where we could have it or when we could have it in a reasonable expectation that any significant percentage of the delegates would be able to get to it, participate in it, and get home from it.”

  7. Anthony Dlugos Anthony Dlugos May 9, 2020

    paulie,

    I think there were like 80 people in there.

    I would agree with you about the size factor.

    A couple sample votes were taken, where you were able to choose yes or no icons. It worked pretty good I thought.

    Some people in there made a good point: the more practice we do, the smoother I think it would get. Just keep running quick, 60-minute long practice sessions.

    Mind you, platform debates could not happen. This would be strictly about elections. That could work reasonably well.

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