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Libertarian Party to Convene in Frankenmuth

CONTACT: Jim Fitzpatrick

HAZEL PARK. The Libertarian Party of Michigan will hold its 2001 convention the weekend of May 4-6 at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth.

Aside from electing an executive committee for the coming year, the most important event at the convention will be the kick-off of the party's petition drive to restore its ballot status.

"Despite having 115 candidates who received an aggregate of more than 1.5 million votes, we lost our status as a ballot-qualified party last fall," lamented state chair Stacy Van Oast.

Overall, the Libertarian Party actually did far better than all of the other so-called "third parties" put together -- including the Reform and Green parties, both of which retained their place on Michigan's ballot.

"The problem was the combination of our relatively poor showing in the historically close presidential race and Michigan's unique ballot access law that puts the fate of an entire party on the success or failure of its 'Top-of-Ticket' candidate."

The convention will also give LP members an opportunity to amend their bylaws and platform.

Among the social events will be a Friday night welcome party, a Saturday luncheon with Mackinac Center for Public Policy president Lawrence Reed, and a Saturday evening banquet featuring Liberty magazine editor (and Michigan ex-patriot) R.W. Bradford.

The party's petition drive will formally commence on Saturday, May 5, from which date LP members will have 180 days to collect 30,272 signatures of registered voters, according to Ballot Access Restoration Committee chair Nancy O'Brien.

Press credentials for the convention may be obtained by contacting convention chair Jim Fitzpatrick.

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