On September 5th, in Daytona Beach, the LPB appeared with what may have been the best showing for Florida Libertarians in front of the Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC).
The CRC is a public forum that, per the Florida Constitution, must travel throughout the state to get public input on proposed changes/additions to the constitution the year prior to the actual revision process. The commission is made up of 40 appointed members which must accept and cull all proposals made by the public. They recommend what may go before the voters in 1998.
The Libertarian Party of Florida joined up with the local variant of the Taxpayers Party and the Southern League and formed the Constitutional Liberty Coalition (CLC); the CLC submitted 20 proposals which covered many Libertarian topics including: ballot access, property rights, jury rights and property tax abatement.
Six members of the LPB linked up with a Volusia County Libertarians and Janet Hawkins, Secretary of the LP of Seminole County. Some of the LPB members included Mark Gibb, Ross Nordeen, Larry Reid and Glen Pinfield. Topics covered ballot access, limited government, adding None of the Above (NOTA) to the ballot, asset forfeiture, making sure counties (like Brevard) abide by the constitution and the use of police-state tactics by county officials.
The question is, will it have any impact? During a lull in activity we were approached by a committee member who remarked (without prompting) that it was wrong to curtail the political process and that he was going to see that equal ballot access was going to be a CRC recommendation.
So is there anything else you can do?
The LPB's trip to the CRC accomplished more than shoring up our CLC proposals. It was also the site of our first Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) Booth. This is the bread and butter of any affiliate.
The OPH was developed by the Advocates for Self-Government, a non-profit educational group. Its purpose is to find Libertarian leaning individuals and make them known to local Libertarian organizations. It also presents an opportunity to break the public paradigm of left-right political spectrum.
The booth consists of two tactics. The first is to find people displeased government. The booth table has 4 jars in the open, each with a label that corresponds to answer the question, "Does government do a good job?" The answers range from "most" of the time through "rarely." The corespondent answers the question by dropping a penny or chit into the jar. Those who answer "most" are sent away with a smile. Those who show more disdain for government are asked to take the Nolan test (World's Smallest Political Quiz). Their answers are plotted on a large Diamond Chart, familiar to most Libertarians, depicting a liberal-centrist-conservative-authoritarian-libertarian spectrum. We then try getting the "Libertarian's" names and addresses. NOTE: There is a fifth jar labeled "never" but it's hidden--so when that rare person comes up and says, "You don't have the right jar out" you can pull it out from under the table and say, "Is this the jar you want?" That person doesn't even need to take the quiz! As a matter of fact, ask him if he wants to help you run the booth!
The various CRC attendees took turns manning the booth throughout the day, but Dave Hobbs, LPB Vice-Chairman, sat at his post for the entire eight hour stint. He's an OPH booth pro now!
We had over one hundred people stop to talk and take literature. 62 people voted on government performance and 48 took the Nolan Quiz. We picked up ten prospects for the state party and at least 20 more possible prospects who took cards containing our website information.
The OPH at the Daytona Beach CRC almost didn't happen. The LPB asked permission from
Daytona Beach Community College (DBCC) and were rebuffed by their president. He wouldn't
allow a political party to set up at "his" college. Funny we thought since DBCC
was a community college it belonged to "us." Dan Walker of the LPF played white
knight for us and reposed the question. DBCC asked him to show evidence that other
community colleges had allowed us to set up. Mr. Walker asked them to prove that we
couldn't . Lesson learned: Don't take no for an answer and never quit.
The LPB has permission to set up an OPH booth at the Melbourne Auditorium Gun Show on
October 4th and 5th. Ideally, the booth should be run in two-hour shifts, with at least
two people per shift. That means we need several volunteers. This is a lot of fun folks.
There's no debating the issues either--just get them to vote, then take the quiz. Please
call 255-2105 or email LPBrevard@AOL.com to volunteer.
Two of our LPB members went to Philadelphia for the Victory 2000 convention to act as
representatives of Florida. This convention was a "how to" workshop for getting
a Libertarian elected into office. Do these guys know what they're talking about!!! V
ictory 2000 was sponsored by The Liberty Council (a political action committee for
grassroots Libertarian candidates), the same people who brought Murray Sabrin, Libertarian
candidate for Governor in New Jersey, from $60,000 to $250,000 in 15 days! Pennsylvania
was heavily represented at this workshop. They have 53 candidates running statewide! The
Liberty Council dedicates its time, money, and personnel to winnable, high-profile
elections. A full report of this convention we be given at our October meeting.
After some contentious debate, worthy of a room full of Libertarians , those present at the August Meeting amended and accepted a motion defining LPB membership, jointly drafted by the Membership and Executive Committees (ExComm). To be a voting member of the LPB you will need to be a registered Libertarian voter, take the non-initiation of force oath, and pay yearly dues. The dues are $15 for non-national/state party members, $10 for national/state party members and $5 for students under 18 years of age. The registration requirement is automatically waived if an individual is unable to register to vote by law. There is also a provision for members who feel they have special circumstances warranting a waiver on any requirement. They may request to have the membership vote on their request.
These rules take effect at the November meeting. If you have attended a meeting in the
past, are already a registered Libertarian, or are a national/state party member, you are
a voting member for the purposes of the September and October meetings. So what's a voting
member? It means you can make motions, second motions, vote on motions, vote in officer
elections, become an officer or committee chair, and receive the party newsletter. What if
you don't join? You may still attend meetings, debate motions and make announcements in
the "announcement" section of the monthly meetings.
Monday, Sept 29th 7:00 PM
This is a restaurant and they do hope we will eat; entrees are very reasonably priced,
some under $5.
There's a lot of things the Libertarian Party should be doing, both local and national. You probably have a good idea of something we should do, but it just isn't happening. There's an old Libertarian comic strip where a person is asking how things would be handled under a Libertarian system and is rebuffed with "the market will handle it" for every response.
The bad news is that there is no market that will cause anything to happen within this party. The unseen hand that economist Adam Smith described starts with one individual who has a demand or someone creating a demand that others didn't envision wanting. That individual is you.
The good news is that it doesn't take much work. If you are willing to set aside your computer games, surfing the net, your television or a book you are reading for 2 hours a month, you can help propel the LPB to excellence. Two hours? One hour to meet with a committee and another hour to complete a task you or they recommend. That's all it really takes to get things done and build momentum.
Do you like making phone calls or have an innovative idea to reach people? Join the membership committee. Have you ever been involved in any sort of fund raising? Then join the Fund Raising Committee. Want to rub elbows with the general populace and bring Libertarianism to the attention of people for the first time? Join the Activities Committee. Think you have a talent as a writer? Then join the Media and Public Relations Committee or the Letter to the Editor Board. Thinking of running for office or would like to help someone get into office? Join the Electoral Victory Committee. Got something completely different in mind? Talk to someone on the ExComm and they'll find a place for you. Search out the committee chairs at the next meeting.
Two hours a month is a small price to pay to help get us to the Libertarian society we
all dream of and deserve. If we who call ourselves Libertarians are unable to shoulder
such a small burden, how can we expect society at large to do it for us?
David Dunn, Vice-Chairman of the Brevard Homeschooler's Association, was our guest
speaker at the August meeting. Mr Dunn spoke about the ups and downs (mostly ups!) of
homeschooling in Florida, why he homeschools his children, and how homeschooled children
are in demand at Florida colleges. We asked David how he thought most homeschoolers would
feel about a property tax abatement for parents of privately schooled or homeschooled
children (this is one of the Constitutional Liberty Coalition's proposals to the CRC). He
seemed open to the idea and felt it would be accepted by most homeschooling property
owners. They, along with Libertarians are disgusted with government schools.
This page was last updated 07/02/00 01:50 PM