The upcoming convention in May will see the election of new officers and at-large committee members for the LPM, as well as the judicial comittee. Many people are currently considering whether they want to run for any of these positons. If you have decided to run, the best way you can let us know is by posting an announcement in this newsletter.
Each affiliate has someone with access to posting articles in this letter, you can have them post your article or send it to me at .
Make sure to include what your qualifications are for the job and what your plans are for the LPM if elected. Thank you.
As part of our new web hosting service for the LPM, we are able to set up a number of easy to remember e-mail addresses for various positions within the LPM. To do this, we had to setup an additional domain name of lpmich.org. Thsi means that you can reach our website at EITHER www.mi.lp.org or www.lpmich.org.
Use the following e-mail addresses to contact various
people in the organization:
As different people are elected or appointed to these positions, the address will transfer to those new people. That means you will always be able to contact the current person in those positions. All of these addresses are now posted in the Leadership Directory online at www.mi.lp.org/lpmdirec.htm. Others may be added when needed or upon suggestion.
One other important address to remember is firstname.lastname@example.org. A message sent to that address will go to all 9 members of the Executive Committee. Please, only use this address to send something of importance to the entire committee, try not to use it for "chit-chat" or for discussions with individual members of the LEC.
One of the growing trends in technology is the use of small handheld devices such as Palm or Pocket PC computers and even cell phones to access the internet. These devices can't really handle elaborate websites with graphics and multicolors very well but they are great to use to view more text based material.
With this in mind, I have created a new area on the LPM's website. This area will have basic information about the party including the platform, bylaws, and leadership directory. It will also include the three most recent press releases and Tim O'Brien's op-ed articles in addition to the current LPM Online newsletter.
You can view this site at www.mi.lp.org/pda/ It won't be very impressive on your standard computer's web browser but it will be very helpful on your handheld device.
If you use a handheld device and need a web browser, I recommend looking at www.avantgo.com. They have a browser that works offline, you select which sites to browse and everytime you "sync" your device it goes online and retrieves the most current data.
I've created a new website for libertarians...and I need the help of libertarians in your state. Would you please ask them to go to www.libertypapers.com, where you should see the new website. I'm proposing to collect articles written by libertarians all over the world that have been published in one form or another, such as letters to the editor, op-ed, general interest, etc. My problem is that I currently lack material. It doesn't matter whether it was published in Newsweek, your local weekly newspaper, or online on a website somewhere. So long as the author still retains the rights to resubmit it for publication, I want it. I want to turn this into a formidable datasource for libertarian thought, for the benefit of the entire movement.
If your members have an article, letter-to-the-editor, or anything else that has been published somewhere in the last five years or so, please submit it through the website. Multiple submissions are welcome. All will be reviewed for inclusion in the database. I want to grow the database ASAP. Right now, it just has one article I wrote recently on California Deregulation.
Emailed feedback at email@example.com about the site is appreciated.
The Loudoun County, Virginia, Libertarian Party has recently waged a successful campaign of guerrilla warfare against the political establishment in the state of Virginia. I would like to share with you that experience because I believe it serves as a model for the future success of advancing liberty and libertarianism, not just in the Libertarian Party but in the libertarian movement as well.
The issue involved the Commonwealth of Virginia's much-hated tax on currently owned automobiles. A couple of years ago, the governor and legislature enacted a gradual repeal of the tax. But this year, the legislature is balking and is trying to suspend the scheduled repeal of the tax, arguing that the oncoming recession is going to hurt the state government with reduced tax revenues.
Time was of the essence because the legislative session was about to run out. The Loudoun County LP, led by a young man named Jason Willency and the county chairman, Paul Minor, went into action with a guerrilla campaign that would have made Virginian John Mosby of Civil War fame proud. Through their leadership, the Loudoun LP initiated a "Keep Your Word" campaign that called on the governor and legislature to keep their word and proceed on schedule with the repeal of the car tax.
Step one in the campaign was an email to all Loudoun LP members that included: (1) A request that they send letters to the editors of the local newspapers asking the governor and the legislature to "keep their word"; (2) A model letter, but a request that they rewrite it in their own words. Members were reminded to include after their name "Member, Loudoun County LP (www.lploudoun.org)"; (3) The email links to each of the newspapers, to make it easy to send the letters; (4) A reminder to send the letters to the editor separately rather than as a group email, on the assumption that a newspaper would be more likely to publish it if it doesn't know that another newspaper has it also.
Step 2 was a demonstration at the courthouse in downtown Leesburg, Virginia, which was organized and coordinated by Willency. Emails were sent to Loudoun LP members asking them to participate in the demonstration. Willency sent out a press release announcing the demonstration to all of the local media. On the appointed day, seven Loudoun LP members showed up, along with several members of the local press. Willency brought with him the "Keep Your Word" protest signs (which he himself created) that had "Loudoun LP" on the back of them. Many people driving by honked their horns and gave us "thumbs up."
Step 3 was a "Keep Your Word" resolution of the Loudoun County LP that was signed by Minor and sent to the governor and to our local elected representatives and to the governor.
The results of the campaign are listed below in an email from Willency to Loudoun LP members.
This type of strategy obviously requires swift "hit-and-run" action. The advantage of it is that it enables a political party or a libertarian organization with limited resources to raise its profile in the community in a positive way and possibly even sway the outcome of a public-policy debate -- and at minimal cost. I am convinced that this type of guerrilla warfare is the political strategy that is most likely to bring prestige and success to the Libertarian Party and the libertarian movement in the future.
If you would like more information about the Loudoun
County Libertarian Party's "Keep Your Word" guerrilla
campaign, you can contact Willency at:
The Results of the Loudoun Libertarian Party's "Keep Your Word" Campaign by Jason Willency
1. One resolution adopted by LPLC and sent to local media and to Governor Gilmore.
2. Nine published letters to the editor, including Loudoun County Sunday insert in the Washington Post. Would have been higher had one paper not had problems with its e-mail system.
3. Seven Libertarians and one canine at our Monday demonstration in downtown Leesburg.
4. One TV news report near the top of Loudoun Channel 3 newscast.
5. Other news accounts in local media, including WAGE Radio, Leesburg Today and Loudoun Times-Mirror.
6. E-mails from Delegate Black and Supervisor Delgaudio lauding our efforts and reaffirming their support for the scheduled repeal of car tax.
Partial retreat by Senator Mims on his previous vote to extend the car tax rebate from 47.5 percent to 50 percent this year. Now he is on record for a 55 percent rebate, and insisted that he opposes budget bill on grounds of "insufficient car tax relief." Keep the heat on folks!!!
7. Increase in attendance at Loudoun LP monthly meeting from 6 to 15.
8. Total cost: $36 for materials used to make signs for demonstration.
Moral of story: a handful of citizen-activists can have a real impact on the public policy debate, without the benefit of a lot of money.
The legislature ended its regular session in late February without resolving the car-tax issue. The battle will resume at a special legislative session in March.
It is with great joy that I announce my intention to run for Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan. We are on the threshold of relevancy and serious political change. Our wave of local candidates, which I am proud to be a part of, has the potential to more the double the number of Libertarian office holders. This type of success at the local level must be the foundation of our party.
As Vice Chair I would work for local organization. I co-founded and currently chair the Ottawa County Libertarian Party and the District 2 Libertarian caucus. I’ve personally seen, in places like Allegan, Kalamazoo and Ottawa, that new groups can organize almost over night with a little hard work. I believe that the state party can have an important roll in this.
The Libertarian Party of Michigan spends almost nothing on affiliate support. This must change. A portion of our state budget should go to supporting current affiliates and recruiting new ones. s.
If elected to the position of vice chair, I would personally visit every Libertarian affiliate in Michigan. I will go to at least one of your meetings and learn what it is that you do better than anybody else so that we can share our knowledge and successes. Perhaps more importantly, I will take these ideas to new affiliates.
Starting new affiliates is a real possibility. We must identify potential areas based on population, LP membership, or proximity to a current affiliate that can help them get organized. As Vice Chair I would personally attend the first meeting of a group and help organize the effort to bring potential leaders and members to the first meeting.
I would also like to see our party grow faster than ever. I believe that youth outreach can be an important part of this growth. As the youngest Libertarian in public office (I serve on the Hudsonville Parks & Grounds Advisory Board), I know that young Libertarians can make a difference. I would use the position as Vice Chair to speak to as many classrooms as possible and also continue to work for a comprehensive youth outreach program – something that the current LEC has yet to adopt.
I urge you all to attend the state convention in Frankenmuth. There you will elect the officers to run our state party and plot our course for the next election cycle and beyond. Your choice is simple. Your choice is between building a party that the Republicans and Democrats fear or a party that will cling to its irrelevancy. Your choice is between the centralization similar to that we dislike within the government or a party that focuses upon building active, thriving groups at the grassroots level. I sincerely hope you will make the best choice.
Jason C. Miller
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