Monday, November 5, 2018

My Report Q4 2018


My Report Q4 2018. I bear sole responsibility for its contents.

It is early November, and already I am writing a report. Events compel me. One of Jeff' Hewitt's donors hosted a party for volunteers last night. The energy there opened my heart. Talented, energetic, passionate young people filled the house. Fireside stories had us all laughing and proud of what we had accomplished together. The Hewitt campaign brought organizing to a level beyond anything I have experienced before in campaign activism. To a level that has the moneyed establishment afraid and lashing out. Just being at that one gathering validated all my investment in Jeff's campaign, and then some. I can't keep quiet about it. This is what positive political change looks like.

One of our own, a passionate libertarian and former LP officer is on the cusp of winning one of the most powerful elected offices in Riverside County. That County is bigger than a lot of countries. The Supervisors control a multi-billion dollar annual budget. Jeff is in a classic David-versus-Goliath fight, a grassroots campaign against a big money candidate supported by developers and public employee unions. But his campaign has real traction, and many pundits are thinking Jeff has a decent chance to win a close race. I'm so proud of that whole crew. Every vote counts. To help out or just get your name on the list of supporters, sign up at www.votehewitt.com.

Another close race of a similar type is the race for Mayor of Oxnard. Aaron and Alicia are shaking up the Oxnard establishment. Again. But now, the people might win for a change. Sign up at www.starrforoxnard.com

The Starr and Hewitt campaigns are both grassroots campaigns against establishment money-backed politicians, for offices powerful enough to attract serious money. These two will stick around. Whether they win this cycle or next, they have already raised effective challenges to Big Money. Once they prove Big Money can be beat, watch out! We'll see more successful challenges following similar campaign strategies. Cracks in the Big Money dam are springing leaks.

Many other campaigns are going on. Hewitt and Starr are the only two I know running close races for prominent offices in Southern California. Other races are more "Phase One" type campaigns, raising public awareness but far behind in the polls. These campaigns can still succeed by bringing new members, making their campaigns as appealing as possible to the widest diversity of potential libertarian voters while exposing the electorate to libertarian principles of non-aggression in governance.

Whatever type of campaign you are running or supporting, it's great that activists are putting aside their differences and focusing on campaigns. When the campaigning is over we need to get back to the job of repairing our networks.

In any endeavor we will face frustrations and setbacks. Work is work, and the biggest obstacle we face is ourselves. One of our senior members for whom I have much respect made a remark in an online forum. Something to the effect that the LP has its own legislature, which is the executive committee, its own administration, which are the officers, and its own judicial system, which is the judicial committee. I hope that's not an unfair characterization; if you think me wrong please point out my error in the comments. Perhaps I misunderstood her meaning.

For whatever reason the remark stuck with me--as an object lesson, helping me realize that our members aren't here to subject themselves to another layer of government. Our members are here to network and do activism for liberty under a state-sanctioned banner with access to the ballot box. It's the only essential purpose of having a Libertarian Party in the first place. Fulfilling that purpose is our highest duty as officers. 

We can't fulfill our purpose with respecting different viewpoints. Sometimes that requires pointing out differences, with respect and humility. We have to understand and respect one another to work together. 

Another discussion on the Ex Com message board stuck in my head. I made a remark about officers not being more important than other activists. Others disagreed with passion. Perhaps I misunderstood the intent, but the notion (intended or not) that non-officers need to shut up and obey officers triggered me. Not only because I favor individual responsibility over authority. Also because in a democratic institution run by Robert's Rules, the notion is exactly backwards. Members do not serve the officers. Officers serve the members.

Our officers' job is simple. Keep house so we don't lose our political party status under the California Election Code. Hold a great convention every year that attracts new members and builds networking connections. Avoid power plays and actions that divide the membership. Don't use our offices as personal fiefdoms. Remain neutral in the performance of the office and help make the LPC a safe and rewarding place for everyone who advocates for liberty. Leave our activists alone to run their own activism and campaigns.

Sometime we lose sight of our purpose, and get distracted by conflicts between members. The worst thing we can do is get involved as officers, trying to determine winners and losers in personal contests for dominance and validation. We abuse our offices when we use them that way, and undermine the purpose of the Party. We will not succeed by emulating the top-down strategies of the parties in power.

Ignoring our own mistakes is a losing strategy. Apologizing is important and effective, and so is cleaning up the messes we make. Let's clean up one of those messes now.

At LPC's last Ex-Com meeting, we passed judgment on actions of former officers of an affiliate--activists who were out working on campaigns. They weren't there, we hadn't invited them to our meeting nor had they asked for our input. We can pretend we never made a ruling, or minimize the outcome by calling it "just a recommendation." Either would be a mistake. Our recommendations enable fair solutions, or they are a waste of time, a liability for the Party, an invitation to future conflict, an injury to our dedicated activists, and a frustration of our purpose. Our motion did not enable any solutions.

So let's retract our last motion on the San Bernardino controversy. Acknowledge that the process and result were wrong. Nullify our own edict. Apologize to the membership.

What do you think?





Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Emergency Report

To the hypocrites who have been accusing me of bias in the performance of my duties as Southern Vice Chair:

I take your accusations seriously, and will work to sharpen my bias in favor of the Southern California membership as a whole. Officers owe the membership an even hand in the performance of their duties. To my knowledge, I have taken no official actions against any member, and have been careful to avoid speaking ill of anyone, limiting my protests to what I believe are violations of bylaws, Robert's Rules, or the non-aggression principal by Party officers in their official duties, always focusing on the conduct without ad hominum attacks. I have not held or consented to any secret trials, moved meetings for the express purpose of excluding members and muting dissent, written new bylaws without the consent of membership, sought to ban, censure or exclude any person by edict or vote, spread falsehoods about activists, interfered with relationships between members, brought any action to a judicial committee, sought to overturn the will of any affiliate as expressed in their bylaws or votes, inserted myself into the internal affairs of affiliates of which I am not a member, or impaled anyone with my pointy hat. All you my accusers have done at least one of these things, some in very recent days.

You will not cow me by your hypocritical attacks into withdrawing my support and affection for good activists and exemplary Libertarians. I will not divert our activism by bringing motions to the Judicial Committee. The members shall decide what is to be done with me or my motions at our public meetings and assemblies conducted in accordance with our bylaws, insofar as Party business is concerned. I pledge my undying loyalty to those who would obey the non-aggression principal and Golden Rule in pursuit of greater liberty and justice for all, and my eternal scorn for hypocrisy, including my own should I be so blind, so help me God or Cosmos.

To all:

Nobody is perfect. Please give me your critical feedback in good faith and not without self-examination. My door is always open to members for private consultation regarding Southern California Party business, if you will only ask. Be well.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

SVC Report Q2 2018

California Libertarian Party
Southern Vice Chair Report
June 9, 2018

Events: Los Angeles Libertarian Party Annual Convention held Saturday June 2nd 2018 at Taix French Restaurant in Los Angeles. Officers were elected as follows:
Angela McArdle, Chair,
Kevin Shaw, Vice-Chair
David Bowers, Secretary
Manny Robledo, Treasurer

Southern California Libertarian Conference, Saturday June 23, 2018, 12pm-4pm program, 4pm-shutdown after party. Geezers, 12120 Telegraph Rd, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670. Confirmed speakers include Aaron Starr, Alicia Matson, and Boomer Shannon. And more!

Election results in So. Cal. or Statewide from So. Cal.: Oxnard Recall Election May 1, 2018 Starr, Aaron, City of Oxnard Mayor shook up the City of Oxnard with his crusade of civic reform, winning a resounding 47%. He battles on. 

California Primary June 5th 2018 [Work in Progress] 
Brown, Autumn (write in) 69th CA Assembly, On To November!
Ferreira, Tim, CA Lt. Governor 1.5%, 9th of 11.
Gibbins, Ben, 52nd Assembly, 2.6%, 4th of 4. Jonathan Director, Tehachapi Cummings Water DIstrict, [unknown] Hancock, Joshua, CA 49th Assembly Herd, Mark Matthew, CA 26th Senate, 3rd of 3. (Baron Bruno as NPP took 2nd!) Hewitt, Jeff, Riverside County Supervisor Dist. 5, 24.9%, 2nd of 5, On To November! Lewis, Michael, 53rd CA Assembly, 7.8%, 3rd of 4. Lightfoot, Gail, CA Secretary of State, 2.4%, 5th of 8. Mahoney, Michael, Orange County Supervisor Dist. 3, 12.3%, 3rd of 3.
McArdle, Angela 34th Congressional (U.S.), 8.5%, 3rd of 3. Reid, Derrick Michael, US Senate, 0.9%, 17th of 34. Reiser, Brandon, 48th Congressional (U.S.), 0.5%, 14th of 16. Robson, Honor, 70th CA Assembly, 17.4%, 2nd of 4, On To November!
Stare, Chris (write in) 51st CA Assembly, On To November! Tomolak, Josh, San Diego City Council [unknown] Wildstar, Nikolas, CA Governor 0.2%, 18th of 27.

Several write in candidates were on the ballot. I lack information about their races at this time.

Overall a relatively high level of energy was out there, and four candidates broke through to November! Thanks to all the candidates and their supporters who put themselves out there as an option for liberty. 2020 is shaping up to be a busy year. Get out there and do some good!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Vice Chair Report Q1 2018

California Libertarian Party Southern Vice Chair Report Q1 2018

Events: San Diego Libertarian Party Annual Convention held Saturday January 27th at the Green Dragon Tavern in Carlsbad. A new slate of officers was elected listed at www.sdlp.org . Executive Chair, Brad Richardson, chair@sdlp.org Vice-Chair, Carlos Morales, vicechair@sdlp.org Treasurer, Unfilled, treasurer@sdlp.org Secretary, John Brandmair, secretary@sdlp.org Membership Chair, Alan Ritter, members@sdlp.org Publicity Chair, Joseph DePaul, pr@sdlp.org Campaigns Chair, Paul King, campaigns@sdlp.org Spokesperson, Don Deangelo, spokesperson@sdlp.org San Bernardino County Libertarian Party Annual Convention held Saturday February 10th in Upland. https://sbclp.org/ . Chair: Tony Tyler Vice Chair: Brian Ryman Treasurer: David Holman Secretary: Ben Gibbins At-Large: Dr. Matthew Pautz California Libertarian Party Annual Convention scheduled for April 27-29 2018, Long Beach Marriot 4700 Airport Plaza Dr Long Beach, CA 90815, https://ca.lp.org/convention/ .
Los Angeles County Libertarian Party Annual Convention scheduled for June 2, 2018, at Taix Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, time TBA.
Southern California Libertarian Conference, Saturday June 23, 2018, 12pm-4pm program, 4pm-?? after party. Geezers, 12120 Telegraph Rd, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Candidates Running in So. Cal. or Statewide from So. Cal.: Oxnard Recall Election May 1, 2018 Starr, Aaron, City of Oxnard Mayor https://www.starrforoxnard.com/ California Primary June 5th 2018 Ferreira, Tim, CA Lt. Governor https://crm.tim2018.com/ Gibbins, Ben, 52nd Assembly, http://www.bengibbins.com/ Hall, Jonathan Director, Tehachapi Cummings Water DIstrict, http://votersedge.org/ca/en/ballot/election/area/42/contests/contest/14372/candidate/134264?election_authority_id=15 Hancock, Joshua, CA 49th Assembly www.votejoshuahancock49th.us Herd, Mark Matthew, CA 2th Senate https://sites.google.com/site/herdforcd5/ Hewitt, Jeff, Riverside County Supervisor http://www.votehewitt.com/ Lewis, Michael, 53rd CA Assembly https://www.facebook.com/lewisforassembly/ Lightfoot, Gail, CA Secretary of State Mahoney, Michael, Orange County Supervisor ElectMahony.com/ McArdle, Angela 34th Congressional (U.S.) http://angelamcardleforcongress.com/ Reid, Derrick Michael, US Senate www.derrickmreid.com/ Reiser, Brandon, 48th Congressional (U.S.) https://www.brandonreiser.com/ Robson, Honor, 70th CA Assembly https://www.honorrobson.com/ Shaw, Kevin, 38th CA Assembly https://www.facebook.com/KevinShaw4Liberty/ Tomolak, Josh, San Diego City Council www.tomolak4sd.com/ Wildstar, Nikolas, CA Governor http://governorwildstar.com/ This may be the most Libertarian candidates running in a primary in or from Southern California since Top Two. If I have missed anyone or anything let me know and I’ll update the list. For updates or information about candidates in or from Northern California, check out https://ca.lp.org/2018-whos-running/ . To see a video of me delivering this Report, it’s near the beginning at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoGK8mADDAs . Issues: The aftermath of Dovner v. LPLAC is still causing real trouble in LA County. We’ve had officers cooperating to create a zero-sum game where none existed before, to quash activism in the County. Members have expressed serious grievances that have gone unresolved, and alleged actionable torts. Officers have escalated the conflict instead of defusing it. LPLAC will resolve the issue internally. It is fortunate that the victims are dedicated libertarians who are committed to resolution using libertarian principles. They are not likely to sue the Party, but do not expect them to bury the wrongs done to them. I hope that they will continue to expose the wrongs until those responsible take action to make amends. It's so much better than walking away hurt or embittered.
Officers of the Party should be peacemakers, not factional warriors. Our party will only grow by accepting diversity. We can’t build lasting consensus by quashing dissent. When members can’t work out disputes among themselves, the option most consistent with non-aggression is to agree on a process for resolving their differences. Where all are free and equal, only a neutral process acceptable to both parties can resolve questions of fault and set remedies for wrongs. If not the bad feelings continue and past mistakes can’t be fixed. So if you’re a party member and are aware of a grievance against you, reach out and discuss the issue privately with the member who has the grievance. If the other member is offering to meet you, accept the offer! So much the more if you are an officer. Otherwise you are declaring war. The other side can only conclude you have no interest in peace.
Affiliate Support: The LPC has budgeted support for the Southern California LP Office, to be supervised by the S. VIce Chair. Please contact me (jonathan@jaech.net) if you need materials, equipment or other support for LP activism in the region. The budget is large enough to make a difference for grass-roots activism.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Vice Chair Report Q4 2017

December 2, 2017

We in the movement for liberty in the Southland are fortunate to have many bright lamps to talk about. I apologize for having to be so brief, due to press of other business and the lack of a speechwriter.

One of the bright lamps is in Santa Barbara, where Chair Pro Tem  Brandon Morse is organizing a convention set for January 13 at the Rusty Pelican, 270 Stork Road, Goleta CA 93117 starting around 6 PM. That’s when students are coming back from break so an opportune time. Brandon is looking for pocket constitutions, libertarian brochures, and other friffage for political outreach. If you would like to contribute I can put you in touch with him. Let’s give Santa Barbara County a very warm welcome from a long absence, and show up on the 13th with our hearts and wallets open.

Chuck Hamm and Aaron Starr are kicking it in Ventura County with the recall campaign.

Tim Ferreira is running for Lt Gov. and had a successful fundraiser about a month ago. His campaign just kicked off, already he has raised five figures. He has some interesting first hand insight into how deregulation in the Energy industry led to a better environment. He is serious, a center line libertarian, and has gathered a strong team. Please take a moment to check him out at Tim2018.COM right now.

I hope that you will move today and recognize that the body would vote to do the same, as you endorse his campaign.

Nicholas Wildstar is continuing his campaign with freshness and flair. I’m enjoying following his campaign. You should check out his website at governorwildstar.com and endorse him, too.

Our own Kevin Shaw has won acknowledgement from the U.S. Justice Dept., Jeff Sessions of all people, for his fight against free speech restrictions at CSU Northridge.

There has been no news from San Diego to my ears. Riverside and Orange and San Bernardino have been going about their business. I wish I had time for a fuller report.

The JC opinion in Dovner v. LPLAC continues to sow destruction and danger in LA County. I pointed out key concerns in my last report. Briefly, there are allegations and credible evidence that the JC held a secret trial and colluded with officers to deny those under attack the right to represent themselves and confront their accusers. These are serious issues. We should all be concerned about being complicit in any political attack under the guise of Party justice. Our reputations and our Party are at stake. For some of us, more than our reputations.

I asked you in my last report to reach out and listen, to understand one another instead of attacking. Some civil discussion has happened, but not enough in LA County. At least one officer has escalated attacks on those perceived to be weak. Attacks have raised serious threats to the safety and well-being of members, not to mention risk of legal liability. Business meetings have been rancorous with no bridging of differences. Officers have resisted calls to investigate alleged misconduct.

If it were up to me, this body would repudiate the JC opinion that has driven so much of the friction in LA County. It has no moral force, and came out of a corrupt process. I would repudiate not only a single opinion but the pattern it reflects. That pattern being repeated abuse of Party offices and Bylaws to attack our members. I will not be complicit in it. Details are not a fit topic for a Vice Chair report. If you have questions, contact me. I am sorry I could not be with you today to discuss in person. Reach out to the members of Alive Free Happy who have been targeted. Listen, learn, and respect your fellow laborer.

See you next time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

12 Activist Things To Do To Change The World

1. Make a bunch of digital 3D models of political figures, and distribute the models widely at obscenely low prices for use in computer games, ads, parodies, farces, and the like.

2. Program a powerful AI to analyze all the non-essential legislation in the world and figure out a way to make all the B.S. self-nullifying.

3. Start a social promise community.

4. Write a best-selling story about how a band of dedicated activists peacefully conquered evil across an empire. Then sell the movie rights to a major movie studio.

5. Found a thriving mutual aid society for ex-felons.

6. Contribute to the growing movement for building a political coalition for liberty by mutual acceptance of differing opinions.

7. Convince the Ex-Felon Mutual Aid Society to organize a sister society for homeless people.

8. Brilliantly defend the mutual aid societies from attacks by centralists and fascists.

9. Host a regular party to celebrate liberty and reinforce connections with like-minded people.

10. Pass legislation legalizing psychedelics for psychiatric uses.

11. Run a powerful campaign for U.S. President on a platform of Liberty, that unites conservatives, liberals, moderates and radicals, achieving groundbreaking results.

12. Do one less banal thing, and one more profound thing, on a fairly regular cycle.

Vice Chair Report Q1 2017

This is the first quarter after our 2017 convention April 28-30, so I'm calling it Q1. We got a nice energy boost from the convention. After the fatigue of hard work passed, people turned to their activism business, thinking ahead to next year or to building infrastructure and relationships for liberty. Our new Secretary and Treasurer have been diligent and hard working - not that others haven't been. We are fortunate to have such committed and capable people joining us.

There's no way I can report on all the swirling political currents, but here's a few. Jimmy Gomez ended up plastering false-Democrat Robert Lee Ahn by a 20% margin for the 34th Congressional District. It's pretty much a one-party state here in the Metropolis of Southern California, with just a few Republican enclaves holding on. The Commissariat is moving to take any further semblance of control over our own health care away from us, with California single-payer. In exchange they offer an illusion of adequate care for all. LA County passed a sales tax increase to fund special interests claiming sovereignty over homeless people. Darkness increases all around us, but we must nonetheless be sustained by genuine hope for true and lasting liberty.  

More towards the navel, Boomer made a trip to a recent San Diego supper club gathering. I'd like to hear his report after I'm done, if he's willing. If anyone else here was there, let's hear from them too. Michael Warnken is still considering the job of Chair Pro Tem in Santa Barbara. He needs to join the Central Committee first, we'll get that done if it's meant to be. If you know of anyone else interested in the job, let me know. If I understood her correctly, Gail Lightfoot hinted that the Ex Com should consider rescinding any prior disaffiliation of the last SLO County affiliate chaired by Gail. I will let Gail speak for herself because I am not sure I understood her meaning correctly. I'd prefer to see local activists hold an organizing convention in each of those Counties, after we help them by reaching out to libertarian voters with some of our newly exercised capabilities. The first part of that has to happen before the second can. The first ain't happening yet, apparently due to lack of interest.

The affiliate-organizing-by-convention business is putting the cart before the horse, if it lacks local support. Before visible affiliates can organically emerge, grassroots support must be cultivated. We need informal clubs that identify as libertarian and support one another. Just groups of friends, really, who identify with us and include members of our central committee. Friends will collaborate on ways to make friends and support one another without getting thumped by the powers-that-be. Once we have a friends network doing grassroots activism, the visible affiliates with spending power will emerge when they are needed. I'd like to hear your ideas and plans about how you are going to build your own libertarian club, and make it thrive wherever you are. And I encourage the Ex Com to support people who are doing such things without trying to control them. Let's set an example of mutual respect, non-aggression and group effectiveness for others. Let's make the Ex Com a group we are all honored and privileged to be a part of, because of the remarkably good things we accomplish and the great friends we make while working together.

There's a million other things to say, but I'm out of time.