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.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Southern Vice Chair Report, 2017

It’s been an honor to serve as your Southern Vice Chair for the past three years. I hope you’ve been satisfied or happy or even proud to be a part of this ‘rockin So Cal PARTY, where “you can be different, and still fit in.” I’ve tried my best to be supportive, and to do the activism that I can.

2016 was a good year in Southern California, by many measures. The presidential numbers were more than three times higher than our previous record. A lot of folks were busy campaigning. Our membership grew. Our members were at peace with one another. We found ways to support one another despite our disagreements.  People patched over old wounds, and moved on. When the vibe is good, when we follow our own principles of non-aggression, a lot of good activity blooms.

So there’s a lot to report and I don’t have much time. 2016 was a huge energy pulse that infused new members and a new positivity. I am so grateful to Gary Johnson and Bill Weld for attracting such fine members to us. Let’s multiply that gift, that positivity! Let’s grow those new members!

Aaron Starr fought a dramatic battle in Oxnard that is still ongoing. Susan Marie Weber (on the ExCom) won re-election in Palm Desert. Jeff Hewitt was all over the place for Calimesa. Our Chair Ted marshalled write-in candidates all over the state. Several made it on the November ballot. 4 of them right here in Southern Cal. Mimi Robson got 22% of her state senate district, with a tiny campaign chest. 22%! Baron Bruno ran an inspired, committed campaign in a three-way race in heavily Democrat territory. Both Mimi and Baron volunteered for the ExCom after their campaigns. Mike Everling was also on the November ballot, for state assembly. Alive Free Happy was all over the place, just doing a tremendous job, sending crews to staff booths at colleges and fairs, collecting data, building up infrastructure, building websites for local campaigns, leveraging the Johnson campaign to build up the local Party, too many things to mention. Judd Weiss ran for VP with John McAfee. Alicia Dearn ran for VP and became Chair of the San Diego LP. Angela McArdle ran for US Congress with a team of supporters. Jay Jones and Jill Pyeatt kept working hard to grow regional supper clubs. Mark Herd ran for LA City Council.  I could go on, but you get the picture.  

It’s great to see all that activity, and more than awesome to feel the good vibrations! Something new is blowing in the wind! But if we’re honest with ourselves, we face a long road ahead before liberty prevails over tyranny, before we conquer all the obstacles holding us back.

So let’s start with the fundamentals. If we want to make the world a better place, we’ve got to start by making our party a better place. We’ve got to avoid the venom, de-toxify our environment. I could see that happening all over the place last year. Not that everything was perfect - perfection ain’t possible, folks. If there was infighting anywhere, I didn’t hear about it. A lot of us had a great time campaigning, and doing other stuff together. I already talked about that.

The point is, we win by making this party a nicer place to be. By that metric, we are winning! People will come to a nicer place to be. When that happens, our movement gets bigger and more cohesive. As it swells, we gain political power, and the adversaries of freedom step up their attacks.

Sure, we have a long way to go before the ugly game of electoral politics gets better. But we are winning the culture wars, if you look at the long-term trending. The millennials are far more libertarian, as a group, than the generation before them. California legalized weed. The Cannabis industry is booming, festivals and commerce springing up everywhere. All those people are with us. The crypto movement, open source, gamer, sci-fi, fantasy, maker movements are growing. Take a look at Burning Man. Those people are all with us. The moderate sensible middle class people who liked Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, are with us. The organic natural food, live off the earth people are with us. The homeschoolers and unschoolers are with us. The religious freedom people are with us. The true conservatives are with us. Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach are with us. A lot of people in the entertainment business, a lot of musicians and artists are with us. In the cultural sense. We’ve got to let them know that we are with them.

And we’ve got to build a compelling culture. A culture of mutual respect, first. Add to that mutual support in the game of politics. With that ethical foundation, we’ll win respect for our words and deeds. Activists will have a reason to join, and do their activism with us. Candidates for public office will find meaningful support here. Our politics will be open, fresh, inspiring, respectful, winning!

There’s one very important fundamental that we can’t overlook.  Practice what you preach. We must make this party a nicer place for good people to be. Nicer than any other party; nicer than people imagine a political party can be. By doing that, earn the people’s trust. So people know that we can and will use whatever office we run for to make their home better now and in the long term.

So I’m happy to report that the state of affairs for libertarians in Southern California over the past year was . . . nice. And the forecast for the year ahead is for that niceness to continue and grow. As we become nicer, we will attract new volunteers and allies to help us out in the great work ahead. That great work to make our party the nicest club one could ever hope to join. And by doing that, to win!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

8th Annual Southern California Conference of Libertarian Parties


Last week (this past Saturday, actually) I had the privilege and pleasure of emceeing the 8th Annual Southern California Conference in Santa Fe Springs, California.  It's not a huge affair yet, but there are already more interesting people to meet than time to meet them all, and the speakers typically bring a raw passion to their efforts that is infectious for the types of people who typically attend.  The speeches are always unique; in some years none have been heard elsewhere before and so it is for most of the speeches in the remaining years.  People of all types are welcome and it doesn't cost much.  There's a "linger longer" in the bar and often an after party.  It's a good energizing, fun time.

The speeches this year had an outstanding synergy and sizzle for an event of this size.  Unfortunately, the fates decreed that the spoken words would go unrecorded, so far as I know.  This leads me to record a few of my impressions before time fades them, as a way of remembering the event and honoring the efforts of those who participated.

I made a few opening remarks to kick off the day.  Apart from the thank-yous, those remarks went something like this:

Today we are going to hear from a uniquely inspiring group of speakers.  Each of them was deeply invested in a political campaign last Fall.  Each will tell a different story, and relate lessons learned, from a different perspective.

It was an interesting and high-energy campaign season, with a shocking ending.  Have you gotten over the shock of regime change yet?  Not sure that I have.  It's nice to see a new skepticism of federal power from the Democrats and the left.  It might not last, but there's been nothing like it since the Vietnam War and Nixon.

 On the right, things are cloudier, if not darker.  We are waiting to see if the lower-tax, less-regulation nationalist wall-building crony capitalism pushed by the Trumpers will make up for the oppression of all the people they dislike, plus maybe World War III.  

It's a mixed bag.  There are little impulses towards liberty on both sides.  We'll cultivate those impulses and help them grow, harvesting new comrades in the fight for liberty and justice without aggression.

TRIGGER WORD WARNING! Close your ears if emotionally sensitive.
Trump! Obama. Hil-a-ry. China!China.China? . . . ALLEPPO.

Let's put those words and the negative emotions they provoke out of our minds and focus on softer, more healing phrases: Building communities - FREE communities based on equal justice.  Building interpersonal trust. Empowering citizens to thrive. Ensuring that future generations will have no less opportunity for the pursuit and enjoyment of happiness than we have enjoyed ourselves.

Those objectives (maybe we can call them activities, or even industries) are at the core of true liberty and human thriving.  Those objectives are what we achieve when we campaign together according to the principles we hold.  Increase in those industries is the greatest victory that any political campaign can ever achieve.  So let's hear some stories from campaigns like that!
 
I have no notes to bolster my memory of the speakers' remarks, so here are some impressions purely from memory, with fervent apologies to everyone mentioned:

Robert Imhoff told a story about how he got involved in the Johnson-Weld campaign.  Robert had no real experience in politics, but did understand how to reach people, and had access to some modest amounts of capital.  He was bitten hard by the campaign bug, and threw himself whole-heartedly into campaigning.  California was not a "battleground" state for Johnson-Weld, so the national campaign mostly ignored him, especially early in the campaign.

Ted Brown introduced three local candidates who made the November ballot via a write-in campaign in the June primary, Baron Bruno, Honor 'Mimi' Robson, and Mike Everling.  Baron and Mimi were first-time candidates.  Mike is one of the old guard who ran to fill an empty ballot line with the libertarian label, being nearly the only registered libertarian in the district.  Mimi is now Secretary of the California Libertarian Party and Baron is contemplating running for the national Libertarian presidential nomination in 2020.

Dan Fishman from Boston Massachusetts told stories of his experience as Northeast (Connecticut to Maine) Regional Director for Johnson-Weld.  The Northeast was a battleground region, so there was more involvement with the top echelons of the campaign, than Robert experienced.  His frustrations were unique, and many opportunities that Dan labored on ultimately went unused.  It's difficult to unravel the full picture in the Northeast hearing only from one perspective, but it is clear that there are stories to tell and lessons to learn from what was experienced there. 

Nick Sarwark,  LNC Chair, led off his talk with an analogy about lobsters and for the most part avoided talking about the campaign.  He exhorted the audience that to grow the party, we are going to have to break out of old comfortable shells.  We are going make room for new kinds of people, who view liberty from a different perspective.  Our party is not about right and left, it's about up and down.  If you are for human liberty, you are a libertarian, whether you are liberal or conservative.  Increase human freedom and love one another.

Matthew Barnes finished up the conference with a short talk about Alive Free Happy and its participation in the Presidential campaign and local campaigns.  By that time, my head was full of what I been hearing all day, but I remember Matt showing pictures of some of the Alive Free Activists at campaign events, talked about tabling with the Nolan chart, building infrastructure by reaching out to voters during the campaign, and not missing the little victories that passionate and persistent effort will undoubtedly keep winning.