Livingston County Michigan Libertarians

A Party of Principle

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  • Speaking Truth to Power

    Jeff Wood For Congress_1

    Speaking Truth to Power

    by Jeff Wood

    Everybody asks me the same question. Whether they’re my critics, my supporters, my friends, my enemies, or total strangers, the question remains the same.

    Why would an Anarchist run for office?

    It’s a good question, so I want to address it thoroughly. If you boil the answer down enough, it’s quite simple: Because I can. You see, unfortunately in our society, we are not granted many opportunities to challenge the cult of the omnipotent state. Most ideas that come immediately to mind that would promote the cause of Anarchy will also land you in jail. Running for office is one of the few outlets we are still allowed to use for venting our frustration with our government. I believe that the goal of bringing about liberation in our lives is too important to be whispered about in our living rooms and speakeasies, it must be shouted from the rooftops! For this reason, I choose to indict the system by the most public means at my disposal.

    Some mistake me for someone who wants to change the system from the inside, but that is unrealistic. The tracks are already laid, the throttle is maxed, the handle broke off miles back and the government is barreling like a locomotive toward tyranny. The only hope we have of avoiding it is to derail the train. I do understand the apparent conflict of interest in seeking a position you don’t believe should exist, and while I would accept the position if elected and use it to further spread the message of liberty, that is not my primary motivation for seeking the position. My primary motivation is to speak truth to power.

    “Speaking truth to power” is a phrase that some claim originated in the civil rights movement, others claim it began during the opposition of the Cold War by the Quakers. Either way, it came to mean taking a bold stance against injustice by voicing your opposition directly to those responsible for it as often as possible. That wholly describes the goal of this campaign.

    You see, your so called representatives in government actually believe that they rule over you with your consent. Even though politicians are the most despised and ridiculed class of people the world over, they think we respect their decisions. Even though less than half the eligible populace bothers to vote in their elections, they think that they have our support.

    The time has come for someone to shake them out of this daydream, to inform them that they were sorely mistaken about the docile impressions their constituents seem to have made on them previously. The time has come for their ivory towers to feel a bit less opulent and a bit more claustrophobic, so that no door might be closed in Washington DC without hearing the baying of the wolves behind it! The time has come for their fair warning that the next time a chink appears in the armor of their precious empire, whether it be financial collapse, social unrest, or political upheaval, we will be there, torches and pitchforks in hand, ready to topple their power structure, rip them from their decadent nests, and cast them out into the cold world that we know and endure.

    How can we, as lovers of freedom, stand idly by while our precious liberty is stripped away? How can we suffer this outrage in silence? Will you go quietly into the twilight of human dignity? Are you made of weaker stuff then your forebears who stood up and demanded the rights you hold dear today? I say NO! I say we can be the generation that breaks the cycle. I say we can create for our children a world free of the oppression we’ve inherited. I think that if we have the bravery to speak truth to power, that we can bring about the dawn of a new era of human freedom in our lifetimes.

    Ruth Johnson, other Republicans subvert justice to block Libertarian competition

    PR Release from the US Libertarian Party:Gov. Gary Johnson, 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for president, and the voters of Michigan were robbed last year, and the Republican Party is the thief.

    Johnson was barred from appearing on the ballot during November’s election at the behest of the GOP establishment and Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, who used their insider political power to block competition at the polls.

    Ruth Johnson, Michigan Secretary of State, subverted the law to block Libertarian competition.

    Ruth Johnson, Michigan Secretary of State, subverted the law to block Libertarian competition.

    The district court ruling blocking Johnson’s ballot appearance was a gross violation of the rule of law, and contrary to long-established precedent stretching back for 100 years during which time many candidates appeared on presidential ballots despite being in the same circumstances as Johnson during his campaign.

    The Republican Party has selectively ignored such candidates when it doesn’t perceive a threat, but Johnson’s Libertarian Party campaign had the GOP establishment running scared. Today, judges John Rogers, Damon Keith, and Boyce Martin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court decision that barred Johnson from the ballot, thereby striking a blow against ballot access and real voter choice.

    Action part of nationwide trend
    This disgraceful action by the Republican Party is part of a nationwide trend by Big Government Republicans and Democrats, who are determined to maintain their monopoly on the electoral process by restraining their competition. The Republican Party also attempted to throw Johnson off the ballot in Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. — all to prevent voters from having the opportunity to vote for smaller government.

    The Republican Party fights tooth and nail to keep real alternatives off the ballot, so they’re assured that they can continue business as usual: Spending our tax dollars hand over fist, borrowing still more that future generations must pay, passing a dizzying array of new rules and regulations, waging interventionist wars in foreign countries and on the personal liberties of American citizens, expanding the size and scope of government at every turn.

    Republicans should fear Libertarians
    Republicans have good reason to fear competition from the Libertarian Party, which offers a real choice to dramatically limit government.

    Johnson had originally sought to run for president as a Republican, but withdrew before the Michigan primary and instead sought the Libertarian Party’s nomination, which he won. The Republican Party, seeing a chance to protect their Big Government presidential candidate from competition by a truly small-government opponent, sought to have Johnson removed from the ballot under Michigan’s “sore loser” statute, which bars a candidate who loses one party’s primary from appearing as another party’s candidate on election day.

    However, it’s clear from precedent that this statute did not apply to the Johnson campaign. The “sore loser” statute has never before been applied to a presidential candidate. For 100 years, “sore loser” laws did not apply to presidential primaries, including during the presidential campaign of Theodore Roosevelt. Only in 2012, against Johnson, did a court rule that “sore loser” laws apply to presidential primaries.

    The district court judge, Paul Borman, who originally ruled Johnson would not appear on the November ballot cited the case of 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson, who first ran as a Republican and later as an Independent and set precedent that the “sore loser” statute did not apply in the presidential race. Borman asserted, however, that case did not establish precedent because Anderson had not actually appeared on the Republican primary ballot. As Richard Winger, of Ballot Access News, pointed out, this assertion is false.

    “Anderson’s name did appear on the Republican presidential primary ballot in 1980 and his votes were counted,” Winger wrote. “John Anderson appeared on the primary ballot and polled 48,947 votes, 8% of the total. And he also appeared on the November ballot that year in Michigan as a minor party nominee.” Winger also notes that a valid method for independent candidates to appear on the Michigan presidential ballot had been established by the 1976 campaign of Eugene McCarthy and the 1980 campaign of Gus Hall.

    “We have dealt with many challenges in this campaign from the major parties, who clearly don’t want voters to have a viable third option in this election, but this attack on voting rights and democracy is over the top,” the Johnson campaign wrote in an August press release, charging that the Republican Party was making a concerted effort to “deny citizens the right to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

    This decision must not stand
    The Republican Party may believe that it has to hold voters captive in order to maintain a stranglehold on the democratic process, but no matter how much Republicans try to eliminate ballot competition, voters still have a choice. The Libertarian Party will continue to fight this monopolistic behavior every step of the way, arming voters with knowledge about how freedom brings prosperity and offering them candidates who will take big, bold steps to shrink Big Government and advance liberty.

    List of public officials who subverted law
    These public officials, along with the Republican Party, subverted the rule of law by keeping 2012 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson off the Michigan ballot in the November election – in a callous display of indifference to voter rights:

    Ruth Johnson, Michigan Secretary of State
    Judge Paul Borman, Eastern District of Michigan
    Judge John Rogers,U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
    Judge Damon Keith U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
    Judge Boyce Martin, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

    Important issues on table at next Livingston Libertarian meeting

    The Livingston Libertarians have a very important agenda at our upcoming social meeting. Below is a note from our chairperson explaining what will happen:

    Greetings to All!

    Thursday March 7th is the next social meeting at Cleary’s Pub in Howell, 7PM.

    First and foremost the members will caucus for Mike Brennan. He is going for the position of county commissioner for District 5 in Howell. It is exciting to have a local Libertarian in the special election held this August.  We will caucus and then we will get his paperwork in order to be delivered to the county clerk on March 8th.

    The Livingston Libertarians will caucus at our monthly social meeting March 7th regarding the upcoming election for county commissioner.

    The Livingston Libertarians will caucus at our monthly social meeting March 7th regarding the upcoming election for county commissioner.

    In addition, there was an issue that was brought to the officers at the business meeting last month concerning the election of officers. One person came forth and admitted he should not have voted. After further investigation, we found that another person’s membership had expired and should not have voted either.

    We will present this information to those present at the March 7th meeting to see if the membership feels that we need to have a re-vote or not for the two people elected in February.

    I am sure the elected officers from February will do a good job, but we thought it should be the members as a whole to decide what to do.

    If we have time we can share a  bylaw proposal change and inform everyone it will be edited and/or decided at the next business meeting.

    Have a great weekend and I hope to see you next week!

    Pam Sanderson


    Special election announced for District 5 County Commissioner

    There will be a special election in August for the Livingston County Commissioner for the 5th district.

    This position became open when Republican Jay Drick, re-elected to the seat in November 2012, announced his plans to resign in order to accept an appointment as District Court magistrate.

    The commissioners are required by law to appoint a temporary replacement for the vacancy by February 4. county

    The person who is appointed to the Commission will serve until August 6, when a special election will be held.

    There are Libertarians who have filed letters of interest for the temporary position. In addition, the Livingston Libertarians recently voted to support Mike Brennan to run in the special election.

    District 5 includes Howell and Cohoctah Townships as well as the city of Howell.

    Candidates announced for Livingston Libertarians February election

    The Livingston Libertarians will elect officers at their February 7th meeting.

    All members can vote for the officers as long as they have a state or national Libertarian Party membership and are in good standing.

    At the January meeting, the following candidates discussed their interest in the positions:

    1)      Chairperson: Pam Sanderson, who is the current chairperson, announced that she will be happy to head the group for a
    second year if no one else is interested.

    2)      Vice-Chairperson Dan Goebel also expressed an interest in continuing to operate as second-in-command.

    3)      Treasurer Ron Sanderson is interested in continuing his position. In addition, Jeff Wood is running for Treasurer, and hopes that the group will amend their bylaws to allow non-members to be more active.

    4)      Karl Kiefer was not present at the meeting, but has said that he would continue as Secretary.

    5)      Rodger Young  volunteered to be the Political Director.

    Cleary's Irish Pub

    Cleary’s Irish Pub

    The responsibilities for each of these positions are outlined in the organization’s bylaws.

    The election will be held at 7:00 on Thursday, February 7th at Cleary’s Pub in downtown Howell.

    Michael Brennan will run as Libertarian if special election is held

    The Livingston Libertarians voted to support new member Michael Brennan as County Commissioner candidate for District 5 if Livingston County decides to hold a special election in the coming months.

    This decision was made at the January 3rd monthly social meeting of the Livingston Libertarians after party members caucused and discussed the options.

    During this meeting, it was discussed that Livingston Libertarian Rodger Young received a respectful 25% of the vote when running for this same position in November. However, Young told party members that he has decided to run for the party position of Political Director, which would allow him to give support and direction to Brennan and others.Michael Brennan

    During the party discussions, it was also agreed that the emphasis in the next two years should be to try to win local elections such as county commissioners. These positions allow Libertarian candidates to meet many voters personally, and therefore have a better chance of winning.

    For example, ideally, the Livingston County 2014 ballot will have Libertarians running in all nine districts.

    The County Commissioner position for the 5th district became open when Republican Jay Drick, reelected to the seat in November 2012, announced
    his plans to resign to accept an appointment as District Court magistrate.

    The Livingston County Commissioners haven’t decided yet whether they
    will appoint the next commissioner, or hold a special election. If they decide on an appointment, it is likely that the Republican majority would make the decision about who to appoint.

    Congratulations and good luck to Michael Brennan!

    Election Results for 2010

    For those who missed our November meeting, here are the percentages our candidates earned in this year’s elections.

    Baghwan (Bob) Dashairya, US House of Representatives District 8

    John Hargenrader, County Commisioner District 1

    James H. Lewis II, State Representative District 66 3.1%

    Todd L. Richardson, State Senate District 22

    Ron Sanderson, State Representative District 47

    Rodger Young, Livingston County Commissioner District 5

    What does it all mean? For a virtually new political party presence in our county with three times the candidates we ran in 2008, I like it. We’re not threatening to win races yet, but 2010 was a big learning year for me as a first-time party chairman and for our candidates, all of whom deserve high praise for putting their time and money on the line to defend our liberties.

    Where that learning from this year takes us is, ultimately, up to each and every one of you reading this. You have the power to participate in our monthly meetings, to help us staff our literature booth at 2011 county events, to write letters to the editor of your local papers, and to talk to your neighbors and loved ones about why you support the only political party in America that promotes both civil rights AND free markets. One of the best parts of this year for me has been getting to know fellow citizens in Livingston County who walk the talk of our US Constitution, and who live the values that our country’s founders realized. I’m proud to know them and looking forward to meeting more of you in 2011.

    Warm regards,
    Tim Keirnan, Chair