The Libertarian Party of Florida will convene its annual meeting this weekend in Cocoa Beach, Florida where party members will vote in new leadership while also conducting other party business. I rarely, and may have never publicly endorsed anyone for party offices. And frankly, until yesterday, I was going to continue that tradition. But things have gotten so fractured within the party, that I feel compelled to express for whom I expect to vote.
Much like the Democrats and the Republicans, the Libertarians have their own internal party conflicts. But what I particularly despise is when people make conclusions of fact based on assumptions. I have seen this with people who are not a friend and with those I consider friends. How one can come to a conclusion about a subject, an issue or a person without having all the facts is hard for me to understand. There is certainly nothing wrong with questioning things that seem odd, but to conclude without all the information can be reckless, especially when reputations and furthering a cause is at stake. Then when those assumptions are presented to others as fact, it creates a group of people operating under those false assumptions. This is simply not right.
I am not here to clear the air. While others may throw arrows, naming names and going down the conspiratorial road, that ain’t my style. I am here in hopes of moving the Libertarian Party of Florida forward in a positive direction while having the party taken seriously in Tallahassee and across the state. I am going to be voting for those who I feel are interested in devoting their time and soul to our cause of freedom and I will not be voting for those that cause conflict or detract from our cause.
I am going to be voting for those who I feel are interested in devoting their time and soul to our cause of freedom and I will not be voting for those that detract from our cause. DISCLAIMER: This is my own opinion and not that of any organization I am involved. Specifically, this is not the opinion of the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County.
With that, the following are people I feel would be best for their respective offices they seek:
Libertarian Party of Florida Chair
There are two (well three) people who are running for Chair, Char-Lez Braden, Marcos Miralles and of course NOTA (None of the Above).
Char-Lez is the incumbent who has proven himself to be someone that can be fair and knows how to run a meeting. He is doing a better job at running meetings than when I was Chair of LP Florida. He’s a likable guy; though I rarely talk to him and we disagree as much as we agree on things, he is fair and skilled at being Chair. He has led the state party through a few serious rough patches.
Marcos, I do not know as well, because he and the LP Miami-Dade affiliate for which he is Vice-Chair, chooses not to participate in many LP Florida activities. He is a nice guy, seems competent and I like the idea of bringing “new, young blood” to LP Florida leadership. His team at LP Miami-Dade are doing great things and would like to see that translate to the state level. I would have liked Marcos to have been more involved with the state party before jumping in to run for Chair.
For the reasons stated above, I expect to vote Char-Lez Braden for Chair of LP Florida for the next term. If I were to offer Marcos a suggestion, it would be that if not elected, that he run again for Chair after being more involved with the state party.
Libertarian Party of Florida Vice Chair
There are three people that I am aware are running to be the Vice Chair of LP Florida, Dana Moxley-Cummings, Omar Recuero, and Joseph Wendt.
Dana is a fabulous person with a great family and has experience serving in various capacities with LP Florida in addition to serving as Chair. Although she was kind of “thrown into” the position of Chair, she adapted well under quite a bit of pressure. She clearly cares about liberty and I believe she cares about moving LP Florida in a positive direction. I can’t remember the last time we spoke, but I do enjoy her social media posts and her relentless medical marijuana activism.
Omar is an incredibly knowledgeable person about LP Florida. He is its current Vice Chair which entails serving on all its committees. He knows the By-Laws, Standing Rules, and the LP Florida Constitution like I used to recite Bible verses when I was a teen. He deeply cares about LP Florida which I believe is why he is, by far, the one with the most questions during LP Florida Executive Committee meetings. I do not know how much time Omar regularly spends on LP Florida business (let alone other LP business) but it has to be a big number each week. But Omar can be divisive at times which I wish is something he is able to overcome in the future. An email I saw overnight to a local “adversary” showed that I think he can do so. I rarely see or speak with Omar except during LP Florida EC calls and seeing him at LP Broward events.
Joe has the amazing ability to get a convention together like no one else. I have truly been impressed with his organizational capabilities — they certainly surpass my own. And though in the past, I have taken some of his “off the cuff” remarks to some other Libertarians as simple “joking around,” I may have been wrong. Recent events for which I am still looking into, lead me to believe this may be the case. I hope what I discover is incorrect because Joe is a very likable guy.
For the reasons stated above, I expect to vote for Omar Recuero for Vice Chair of LP Florida for the next term.
Libertarian Party of Florida Director At Large 1
The two people I am aware running for this position are Alison Foxall and Thomas Knapp.
Alison has proven herself to be a talented and dedicated soul on LP Florida’s Executive Committee. Her work ethic may outmatch my own which I had thought impossible. Between the different committees she works and her involvement with other LP business, it is impressive. She has helped LP Florida standardize our branding, made us look incredibly professional, and cares deeply about our cause. I was searching for something that I could find she could improve but came up blank. I can think of at least a dozen negative things to say about myself or ways I could improve regarding LP Florida, but nothing comes to mind regarding her and her work with LP Florida.
Thomas is somewhat a legend in LP circles, nationwide and here in the state. Like me, he is a radical, though we differ on many things and he may be a bit more radical than myself. Though he can be brash, it is not done so unfairly, nor without cause. He’s an impressive individual I would desperately want to see on LP Florida’s Executive Committee. Though like Omar, we may butt heads, he is fair and smart. He would be a tremendous asset to the EC which is why I was hoping he would run for another position as I think Alison may carry the vote on Saturday.
For the above reasons, I expect to vote for Alison Foxall for LP Florida Director At Large 1.
Libertarian Party of Florida Director At Large 3
There are two people running for this position and they are Greg Peele and Rob Tolp.
Greg is a newbie to me, only met him a couple months ago in Lakeland. Seems like a good guy, smart, capable. He seems to get along with the different factions of LP Florida which I like immensely which speaks positively of a man with great character.
Rob, I have known a while and would feel comfortable him being on the EC. We seem to agree on most, if not all issues. He is dedicated to our cause, he is capable and passionate.
It’s a tough choice here, so I am going to temporarily reserve who I will vote for Director At Large 3 until the day of the convention. I am leaning toward Rob, but Greg may be able to convince me otherwise. Greg, send for my Bitcoin address 🙂
With that said, the other positions are all Regional Representative positions, for which, I am one (region 13). Most are uncontested, I only know of two that are contested and frankly, I do not know the people well enough to endorse any. It’s best to leave it up to those regions to elect who they feel can serve them best.
There is a move afoot to get rid of the current EC and as for my position, if there is a better person people in my region (Broward, Hendry, and Palm Beach Counties) would like to elect, then that would be great. I have no ego in any of this. My only desire is to see Florida become a freer state and it is for that I base all my decisions.
It is no secret that I was against Jeff Sessions being confirmed to be America’s top cop via President Trump’s nomination of him to be our Attorney General. There are many reasons for this and the most prominent, is his anti-freedom attitude toward drugs as he clearly has a strong, uninformed bias. He even wants to go back to the failed Nancy Reagan era of “Just Say No.” While failing to acknowledge that there are thousands of legal things available to Americans that harm them, he has chosen to demonize cannabis (marijuana).
While many Americans were out protesting the election of Trump, they should have been taking action by calling and writing their U.S. Senators to stop the nomination of Sessions, but few did. I predict Sessions is going to be the single worst person and impose the worst actions of any Trump nominees.
While failing to acknowledge there are thousands of legal things available to Americans which harm them, Sessions has demonized cannabis and recently said that it is “only slightly worse than heroin.” He is either lying, grossly misinformed or a complete idiot — one or more of the three. One does not have to smoke, vape or bake cannabis to be in favor of the freedom for others to use the plant. Nor does one have to use the plant to know the science behind the positive benefits of ingesting it.
One does not have to smoke, vape or bake cannabis to be in favor of the freedom for others to use the plant. Nor does one have to use the plant to know the science behind the positive benefits of ingesting it.
But for the Attorney General of the United States to make public statements which are clearly false is irresponsible. It has been scientifically proven that cannabis can help with a large number of ailments and as research continues, I believe we will find many more. Heck, even the federal government holds a patent showing the plant has health benefits.
And while there are many positive health benefits of ingesting cannabis, some choose to take it for fun and to help with their creativity — and it is their right to do so. It is their right to do so, for so long as I am not (or any taxpayer) footing the bill for any (if any) of its effects. What I, as a taxpayer am paying for today, is for the prosecution and jailing of millions of Americans who are not harming anyone else. This needs to end and many states have taken the steps to end this harmful domestic policy.
This needs to end and many states have taken the steps to end the failed “War on Drugs” yet we have a hard right Attorney General who apparently thinks the movie Reefer Madness is a documentary. Please, stop the madness!
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A new study published by The James Madison Institute by DeVoe L. Moore Center Policy Analyst Matthew Kelly and Center Director Samuel Staley explores two examples of crony capitalism in Florida’s government policy: sports stadium subsidies and film tax incentives. The authors urge Floridians to remain vigilant over the spending of their tax dollars by government officials and prevent the enrichment of special interests at the public’s expense.
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This past week, author Charles Murray was shouted off the stage at a Vermont college before his speech could begin. Murray is often portrayed in the press and with some in the public as being a libertarian; however, many Libertarians would disagree. Murray is really a conservative and not necessarily a Libertarian.
It was shortly after joining the Libertarian Party in 1996 and I began exploring Libertarian circles that Charles Murray’s book What It Means to be a Libertarian came out (1997). With many of my new Libertarian friends, the book was met with dismay, as it was thought to confuse the public as to what it meant to be a Libertarian. There are many valid Libertarian points brought forth in Murray’s book; however, there are more which are clearly non-Libertarian. It is also important to point out that this was his own personal interpretation of what it means to be a libertarian.
While Murray is no stranger to controversy and contrary thinking, it is important to note that disrupting his speech is inexcusable. It is the opposite of what should have happened this past Thursday in Vermont. The “protestors” should have let him have his say, then hit him up during the Q & A with tough questions or comments. The students could have been prepared with contrary arguments; instead, they chose a far less productive means of influence. Contrary ideas should be challenged and met with skepticism; this is the best way to find whether those ideas hold water or are full of holes. But to shout down those ideas indiscriminately does a disservice to all.
It is because of people like Murray and yes, those students who protested on Thursday in Vermont, that there is such confusion about Libertarianism. It is why I am sometimes stupidly called a racist for being a Libertarian when racism is the antithesis of Libertarianism. It is because people do not take the time to sit down and have a civil discourse that we have this divide.
This is not to say Murray does not have some valid Libertarian views, most Americans do as well, it is simply to say, that Murray is not a straight up Libertarian.
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