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.
The Libertarian Party is now a recognized party in Maine, as the Secretary of State’s office announced that more than enough Libertarian voters had been registered.
The law was changed in 2014 so that a new party would need at least 5,000 registered members by December 1 in the year prior to a general election to become recognized. Maine Libertarians submitted more than 6,300 registered voter forms by the deadline last year, but almost 2,000 were thrown out so that the party would not appear on the 2016 ballot. A judge later ruled that 4,513 registrations were valid and that the Maine Libertarians would have until July 12 to submit the remaining 487 registrations to become a party.
To retain party status in Maine, the party will have to have at least 10,000 registered voters participate in the November election.
The LP presidential and vice presidential nominees are now on the ballot in 35 states.
The Libertarian Party currently has ballot access for the 2016 Presidential candidate in 35 states. We’re working to get on the ballot in all 50 states plus DC.
Green: on the ballot
Blue: process underway to get on the ballot
Libertarian Party of Florida candidate for Florida House District 90, Artie Lurie, came out this morning, July 1, 2016, with an endorsement of Americans for Prosperity of Florida’s “Five for Florida” plan. Lurie is in a head-to-head competition with Democratic Party incumbent, Lori Berman.
American for Prosperity Florida’s (AFP) “Five for Florida” is a five point plan:
- Make taxes fair and end political favoritism through crony capitalism and corporate welfare
- Don’t make financial promises taxpayers can’t keep
- Be stewards of good, transparent government
- Empower students with the best education
- Free entrepreneurs to pursue the American Dream
Lurie stated in his official endorsement this morning of AFP’s Five for Florida, “As the Libertarian candidate running for Florida State house of representatives in district 90, I am the only candidate that is running on a platform of liberty and small government, and it is with great enthusiasm that I endorse your Five for Florida plan! It is without question, the only way we can greatly reduce the size and scope of our state government. It is imperative that we point out how big our state government is and how much money it is wasting to our taxpayers every year. There is no doubt that our state government doesn’t work. It can’t educate our children properly, it can’t keep our streets safe, it can’t keep our environment clean, it can’t do anything well except recklessly spending our tax dollars. We must get our state government out of all of these areas immediately! Once we get government out of the way, we can repeal the state sales tax and cut property taxes in half, a savings of at least $5000 to the average family. The end result will place much more control over our own lives. Services like health care and education will improve dramatically, and will be much more affordable than it is now.”
Americans have long tired of the favoritism shown through crony capitalism and corporate welfare to billionaires by their elected officials. The Federalist used a Common Dreams article as the basis for calculating the real cost of corporate welfare to the average American citizen and it isn’t pretty. It is a practice that both Republicans and Democrats regularly participate in the supposed promotion of “economic development” which rarely offers a net positive return to taxpayers. Rather than allow the free market to thrive in Florida, bureaucrats from Tallahassee all the way down to the local level interfere by creating unfair competition among businesses, essentially picking winners and losers. Democrats and Republicans alike seem addicted to this unethical method of “economic development” even when shown how it actually costs taxpayers in the end.
Last night, Tradition Tattoo shop owner Rebecca Loveless had a quasi-judicial hearing with the Delray Beach City Commission regarding whether she could move her Boca Raton tattoo salon to the City of Delray Beach. She won! For your reference, I wrote an article on the issue this past Monday. Many members of the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County (LPPalmBeach) both wrote the city commission and appeared at last night’s hearing to support Loveless and her small business effort. Although I was the only Libertarian who spoke in favor of allowing Loveless to open, several members showed up to show their support, including (but not limited to) LPPalmBeach Chair Shane George, Vice-Chair Marc Tancer, and Treasurer Larry Stone. No one at the meeting spoke out against Tradition Tattoo. But don’t get too excited, as city commissioners didn’t want Delray residents to have too much freedom because they restricted Loveless to only doing tattoos, no piercings allowed!
Loveless, who lives in Delray Beach, had signed a lease for a space in the south end of Delray after meeting with Delray’s planning and zoning earlier this year who recommended she open up shop there. So, she signed a lease and had to stop renovations once some members had concerns about Delray having its first tattoo shop. Loveless has now been paying rent on both spaces, even though the Delray location has remained empty. The city commission refused to give her final approval even though there was nothing restricting a tattoo shop from opening in the city. No one spoke against the tattoo shop from opening and ultimately, last night, all the city commissioners did the right thing by voting in favor of Loveless. After stating earlier that the case would be determined based on fact and not the character of tattoos or tattoo recipients, the mayor finished the quasi-judicial hearing with a long list of derogatory statements concerning tattoo shops and their effect on surrounding neighborhoods. A video of last night’s meeting can be found here: http://delraybeach.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=938
Unfortunately, it was only a half win for Libertarians as, even though city commissioners voted to permit Loveless to open Tradition Tattoo in Delray Beach, last night they voted on at least a 90-day moratorium of future tattoo shops from opening until the city can update their zoning regulations as they pertain to tattoo shops (Reso 26-16 Zoning in Progress ResolutionTattooStudio (1)-Delray). As mentioned earlier, there is nothing in the city’s code that restrict a tattoo shop from operating in the city limits.
Libertarians are not for or against tattoo shops and are free marketers when it comes to individuals transacting voluntary business with others. This is especially true in Loveless’ case because her business has the added benefit of artistic expression which is protected by the U.S. Constitution.