1997-07 Newsletter
Home Up


The Libertarian Party of Brevard

July 1997

Liberty Logo

In This Issue:

Scott Ellis Speaks
Environmental Fraud
LPB contact info
CRC Assistance Needed
Nothing Accomplished at General Meetings!
New location for LPB meetings
Nuts & Bolts
Time to Register Libertarian
LPB statistics
Jacksonville CRC scouting trip report

Scott Ellis at July Meeting:

The LPB was honored by the presence of Scott Ellis, former Brevard County Commissioner. Mr. Ellis was kind enough to speak at our July meeting and answer audience queries at length. In reference to his last minute defeat by Patsy Kurth for a State Senate seat, he was primarily beaten due to fear mongering by the opposition. Mr. Ellis was actually ahead in the polls for the majority of the race. As a desperation move the Kurth campai gn blanketed elderly voters with an out of context Ellis quote favoring eliminating Social Security. The quote came from a previous Ellis bid for the U.S. House of Representatives where he stated that he would favor an approach of phasing out Social Security and allowing individuals to eventually plan their own retirement. The Kurth campaign took a portion of the quote that appeared as if Mr. Ellis favored an immediate abrupt end to the program. More importantly, why should his views on Social Security have any bearing on a state race?

While he had some personal disdain for the various appointed positions in the cities and counties, due to their unrewarding bureaucratic nature, he did say that pursuit of these could be a good source of learning how government functioned.

He stressed running on principle and spelling out your intentions. He is convinced that many people in local government have few real convictions and no real plan. He stated that many become officials for the title, something to do or just like being in charge of something.

He cited examples where people won city council seats spending no more than the cost of the filing fee. In other words it is possible to get into elected office without a huge war chest. Finally Scott Ellis was asked if he would consider running as a Libertarian. He was frank in stating that he did not believe we had the capability of winning, however did not reject the idea totally.

Scott Ellis was a Brevard County Commissioner whose voting record showed strong Libertarian leanings. Mr. Ellis has had contact with the Libertarians in the past and is well versed in our philosophy.
Return to Top

Environmental fraud!

Did you know more than 70% of our used newsprint is sold to Japan and Britain at a financial loss, thus few trees are spared from future paper making? Did you know most plastic collected for recycling is burned? Did you know that many lucrative uses for recycled material are generally prohibited? Recycling programs are considered successfu l if the aluminum recovery pays for the disposal of the other recovered materials. Since Brevard residents pay for recycling, we mustn't be very successful. Stop subsidizing failure, donate your aluminum to the Libertarians. Aluminum for Liberty!
Return to Top

Need Info on LPB activities?

Phone: 255-2105
E-Mail: LPBrevard@aol.com
Our Website:
Return to Top


The Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) will be making its closest pass to Brevard County Sept. 4th and 5th. The purpose of these public hearings is to listen to citizen's inputs for making changes to the Florida State constitution. This event happens only once every 20 years. The CRC's recommendations to the Florida constitutional convention generally carry heavy weight. We will live with the results, good or bad, for a long time.

The LPF has teamed with other like-minded groups in Florida and formed the Constitutional Liberty Coalition (CLC). The CLC has drafted a series of proposed constitutional revisions and additions on such topics as minor party ballot access, eminent domain, asset forfeiture, property rights, and taxes.

The Libertarian Party of Brevard (LPB) will send a team to the CRC hearings in Daytona Beach on Friday, Sept 5th. Our optimum goal is to set up an Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) booth and to have as many speakers to cover most of the CLC proposals as possible. If you want to make a difference and do something of consequence, now is the time. We do not have enough volunteers to make a good showing at this time. You don't have to be a professional speaker to talk to the commission; there are many average citizens speaking who don't even go up with a clear topic. You are limited to 3 minutes to cover your topic. For those who want to help but don't want to speak, we will need help with the OPH booth.

The LPB's CRC Committee will meet at 3 PM on August 16th to plan the trip and review our speeches. Call 727-2660 to volunteer and receive directions. An overview of the LPB scouting trip to Jacksonville is at the end of this newsletter.
Return to Top


Have you ever asked yourself when are we going to start "doing something" at the monthly membership meetings?

The truth is, nothing "gets done" at these meetings--all the meaningful work is done by the committees thoughout the month. Can you imagine how long our meetings would be if we planned every event there at the meeting? We wouldn't have time for guest speakers and socializing, the best part of the night! The committees set up OPH booths, decide what events the LPB will participate in, what government offices we will decide to run for, who will speak at our meetings, etc.

If you want to be in on the action, you need to get on a committee. If you have an item you want to do but aren't sure what committee does it, talk to your officers. Committee members set their own meeting time, place and agenda.

So what are the monthly meetings for? Basically, it allows for information exchange between the officers, members and committee chairs. It also gives all LPB members an opportunity to propose action, vote on issues, and share ideas and announcements .
Return to Top

Next Meeting: Aug 25th 7:00 PM NEW LOCATION

Cantina Dos Amigos in Indian Harbor Beach.
1924 Highway A1A, in the Shoppers World Plaza, 1 mile north of the Eau Gallie Causeway.
This is a restaurant and they do hope we will eat; entrees are very reasonably priced, many under $5.
BEWARE: There is another Cantina Dos Amigos further south on A1A in Indialantic.
Return to Top

Nuts and Bolts Seminar in Orlando

Three LPB members attended a "Nuts and Bolts" Seminar held at the LPF Exec Committee Business Meeting in Orlando. The seminar was designed to help county affiliates get better focused and organized and included lots of crossfeed between county and state attendees. Brevard must have made an impact of sorts--the LPF ExComm has tentatively decided to hold it's next meeting and seminar in Melbourne on Oct. 25th! This is a good chance to meet our leadership and offer some good ideas to the other county affiliates, not to mention learn something ourselves.
Return to Top

Time to Register Libertarian:

Some people are under the impression that you cannot register Libertarian in Florida. That is incorrect. Often when a civil servant is confronted with a confusing situation, like a multisyllable word, they will either say you can't do what you are asking or will do the next best thing that they do know. Tell the clerk the three letter code for Libertarian Party is "LBN". If they won't register you or try to list you as unaffiliated/independent ask to speak to their supervisor.
Return to Top


Attendees of more than 1 meeting:
On the mailing list (both e-mail&snail): 
Attendance at last meeting:

Return to Top

Report from the Jacksonville Constitutional Revision Committee (CRC)

  1. Overview:
    Carol and I made a visit to the Jacksonville leg of the Florida CRC tour. Our primary reason for going was to get an overview of their procedures so that the Libertarian Party of Brevard (LPB) could be fully prepared when the CRC arrives in our area.
  2. Format of Meeting:
    First the committee introduces itself. All claimed to have some sort of roots linking themselves to the city; should be interesting if they all make the same claims in Daytona Beach. Several of the committee members weren't present or arrived late. Then the primary speakers talk to the selected topic, the first being "Education". After these speakers talked at length, the floor is opened up to the public. The members of the public are invited by name to the podium. The order is determined as you fill out a card upon entry, first come first served. Each speaker is supposed to stay within a 3-5 minute timeline. The enforcement of this timeline is sporadic and selective. State officials, industry representatives and influential lobbyists are allowed to speak until they are finished. Citizens are randomly allowed to speak their full dissertations or are abruptly cut off. No "official" clock was kept. Time was determined entirely by the committee chair. The meeting broke one hour for lunch and then continued with their chosen topic of "Ethics and Elections", again followed by public testimony. Public testimony does not have to follow the chosen topic and most did not speak to the topic.
  3. General content of discussions:
    The Education speakers really didn't mention anything about education at all. Their entire topic was devoted to the antiquated tax code of Florida "that was designed in the 50's and wasn't adequate for running a modern state." They claimed that all our education woes are due to a lack of funding. They stated that they were not advocating an income tax, but certainly seemed like the prospect wouldn't upset them. They advocated eliminating "all" the exemptions in the state sales tax. They also wanted to "bond" the state lottery and other state income sources. I know what a bond is but I'm not sure what they meant in this context. They made a big show of doing a comparison of Jacksonville to 10 other "comparable" cities in the US. Apparently, comparable meant size and demographics. They pointed out that the average amount spent on a Florida student is $4800 annually which is $800 less per year then the "comparable" cities. When queried on what ten cities were used, there was a moment of silence followed by, "Las Vegas" and several other cities that have an abnormal high source of income.

    Apparently the fishing net ban has been a hot topic this year. The committee alluded to hearing about it at length in the other cities. We were approached by lobbyists asking if we were planning on speaking on the net ban.

    In the 1980's a privacy clause/article was put into the constitution. Apparently the courts opted this to allow minors to receive abortions without parental consent. There were many speakers on both sides of this issue. The representative of the Christian Coalition was allowed to speak at length.

    An odd adjunct to privacy. Whenever anyone mentioned computers or the internet, no matter how obscure the reference, the committee head would inquire about "internet privacy issues in relation to commercial providers." Generally the citizen at the podiu m had no information to offer the committee. It appears that the CRC has an interest item with net providers, AOL's attempt to sell phone numbers to a solicitor was mentioned, and does not know how to deal with the issue due to lack of information or lack of public input. What they think they might do to "help" concerns me a bit.

    Several retired state workers requested protection for their state pension fund so that it did not get "invested" in government projects like several other sates did e.g., Clinton and Arkansas. A member of the Retired Teachers Association (may not have the group name right) was held very firm to the 3 minute rule. She was the only person I saw that was held to the standard. It's possible that she may have attended another CRC in a different city, but no indication was given why she was singled out.

    Common Cause wanted redistricting to be handled differently. They suggested a seven member commission that would be appointed by the state government. The members could not be party officials nor run for election in a redrawn district for years. They also recommended that all judges be appointed and subject to recall elections.

    Numerous environmental groups spoke. They all requested that the constitutional article dealing with the environment be expanded greatly. Half the groups requested the state increase their efforts to buy up land to protect, while the other half asked th at the government stop converting the previously purchased state lands into golf courses and softball fields.

    A representative of the paper industry spoke at length on how taxes were unequally carried by industry and that the citizen referendum initiative process was way too easy in Florida.

    There were 2 Libertarians present speaking to the Constitution Liberty Coalition (CLC) proposals. Carl Strang from Winter Haven gave an eloquent appeal to allow third party participation in the electoral process. He cited that Florida had one half of all uncontested races in the nation (in the '94 election) and that Florida was humiliating itself by not being in line with the Helsinki Accords dealing with elections processes. Randy Graves, LP Chair in Jacksonville, gave a personal story dealing with eminent domain and how it's increasingly becoming a tool for the well-connected to get property taken from those who aren't. He also spoke to the CLC proposal on zoning.
  4. Important things learned:
    There is no method of signing up to speak prior to the event. All citizen speakers must fill out a card when they enter the meeting hall, first come first served.

    Do not have people list themselves as being from the same group! List yourself as speaking for yourself. "In the interest in saving time" speakers from an organization or group will be lumped together and one will act as spokesman.

    Do not have members of your group speaking to the same topic sign in within a couple minutes of each other. Several times the CRC chair "noticed that people speaking on the same topic had signed in consecutively" and merged them into a single group and had one speak for all.

    We were warned that speakers were being tracked. If a speaker showed up at more than one CRC site, they would be automatically moved to the end of the list so that newcomers could speak first.
    Return to Top


This page was last updated 07/02/00 01:50 PM