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Candidate Slate for 2009 Convention
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RoderickLong



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Auburn, Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never cast any such aspersion. All I did was make a fairly obvious joke that if Steve was the worst etc. etc. you'd met then you couldn't have met many libertarians. It was a joke about the party, not a slur against you.
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RoderickLong



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Auburn, Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To anyone who's puzzled about what captruss is talking about, he's referring to a joke I made here:
http://alabamalibertarian.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=68&start=15
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PoliticsAlabama



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven’t been following this thread, but I just got caught up on all the discussions. I’d like to weigh in here with my view on things.

A political party exists to make an impact in the world of politics. This can be done through electing candidates and advocating issues. Pushing bills and helping get them through the Legislature is a perfect example of the latter.

Oh, sure, there are other things we do, such as voter education, fund-raising, and membership drives… but those are done in support of our main goals. If a political party doesn’t contribute to the political scene in some way, then regardless of the name on the letterhead it isn’t a political party. At least, not an effective one.

I agreed to be part of the slate of candidates as Vice-Chair because I agree with the basic stance endorsed by the slate. In hard times, the party must decrease expenses, and we must focus on realistic and achievable political goals. I intend to put in most effort in the areas I feel strongest about: political activism. As a party, the LPA needs to recruit candidates for office, obtain ballot access for them, and support those candidates with manpower and money. We need to support bills that promote libertarian ideas. We need to author bills, find sponsors/co-sponsors for them, and help lobby for passage. If we make a difference in the world of politics, if we can point to bills that WE wrote, candidates that WE got elected, then we will attract more people and more financial support. If we get those results, we can generate growth that the party needs to not only survive, but also to flourish.

Personally, I have authored several bills in my time… though none have been passed. I wrote a bill for a constitutional amendment limiting eminent domain in the wake of the Kelo decision, and it was sponsored by David Grimes. This year I wrote a state sovereignty resolution which was introduced by Rep Canfield and eventually died in the rules committee. I hope next year to get the same resolution introduced, this time with multiple co-sponsors.

That resolution is a prime example of what can be done. I wrote it and asked my blog readership to help search for a sponsor. I contacted several legislators on my own, as well. We found one man willing to sponsor it. We even found some members of the Rules committee who liked it, though Guin refused to schedule it for a hearing. One man with a blog got that far. How far can hundreds or thousands of activists get?

Ballot access is critical, but at this point in time I don’t think statewide 2010 access is an achievable goal. The last time I was involved in getting statewide access, it took us 17 months and a LOT of manpower, money, and support from National (in a Presidential election year) to achieve. By my count, we don’t have the same level of support for the effort, and we’re about a year away from the filing deadline… which is insufficient time to achieve statewide ballot access. There are also no major elections scheduled in the meantime that we can piggy-back on to collect signatures. (Elections are our best opportunities to collect signatures.)

It is my opinion that we need to select Legislative and local races, recruit viable candidates for them, and then use our manpower to obtain ballot access for those candidates. We can obtain ballot access for numerous (and TARGETED) legislative districts MUCH easier than we can for the entire State. (And even if they lose, I believe that a 20% result in a legislative district earns us ballot access for that district.) Then we must formulate a plan, organize volunteers, and use the 2010 election cycle to obtain signatures toward statewide ballot access for the 2012 elections. We definitely have the time to achieve 2012 access, and we need to take the actions and show the results that can generate the support we need to obtain it.

I have not discussed my views on ballot access with the rest of the slate, so I don’t know exactly what they think about it. But it is my opinion that a political party must make efforts in the political arena, and that is what I will advocate as Vice-Chair.

If I have a “vision” for the LPA at this time, that is it.

Matthew Givens
Candidate for LPA Vice-Chair
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RoderickLong



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Auburn, Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't speak for the rest of the slate either; but speaking for myself, I certainly favour trying to get people elected! I do think of additional forms of activism as worthy for the LP to pursue in their own right and not just as subsidiary to electoral activism, so that may be a difference of emphasis between me and Matthew, but I don't think it's an especially substantive difference.
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PoliticsAlabama



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now don't get me wrong, I believe that education and other efforts are important. But in the context of a political party, they are means to an end, not an end themselves. In other words, you don't need a political party to host educational efforts and do other forms of activism.

But I think you're right. We're pretty close on the major issues.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you finally weighed in and I tend to side with you as you probably surmised by reading the posts.

I do disaree with you when you say there are no major elections to help gain ballot access. All the statewide races including Governor ar up and there will be no incumbent. This is the Alabama state party and we should be participating in Alabama elections, not waiting around for the Bob Barr's and Ron Pauls of the world to come and give us money.

Impotence is unbecoming and not likely to attract followers.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Rod; I just got tired of being accused of not knowing anyone.
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PoliticsAlabama



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ,

Yes, the 2010 elections are major... but we can't gather signatures during the 2010 elections FOR the 2010 elections. Prior to that, there are no major elections we can use to help us get 2010 statewide ballot access. So we need to get 2010 ballot access for targeted districts, and use the 2010 elections to gather ballot access signatures so that we can have a statewide slate of candidates in 2012.

Matthew
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point is that there are no state offices up for election in 2012. With your plan the next opportunity is 2014, a lifetime away. No one will pay any attention to us whatsoever until we run someone, as a Libertarian, for Governor again.

I just can't abide throwing in the towel on 2010 ballot access and getting signatures. Frankly, the hill on that is not too steep to climb. I've done the math and we can get the signatures from professional gatherers and volunteers for about $75,000.00.

We have got to stop thinking like that is hitting the lottery. While present members of the party might not have two nickels to rub together and can't see how we can raise $350.00 a month for an office, my God, don't we have any dreamers?

This constant defeatism and we can't do it attitude is the cancer that eats us from within. There are many ways to say it. Grab for the brass ring, reach for the stars, get off your butts and do something, dream the dream, go for it, git r done.

I'm willing to give you a chance to do it but I tire quickly of lack of hope and effort.

Don't do it to me for another 5 years until 2014 for pete's sake. Read my plan for ballot access and execute it like I would if I were Chairman. Is that so hard?

As my mother would have said, don't make me come down there! You guys are all young and energetic. Don't give in to mediocrity and good enough.
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PoliticsAlabama



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ,

Don't dismiss my opinions as "defeatism", please. I have looked at the situation and reached a conclusion based upon past experience. This is my honest opinion. Labeling it as "defeatism" may be emotionally satisfying, but it doesn't really help.

I do not claim we cannot achieve ballot access for ANY office, merely that statewide access is beyond our reach for 2010. If we shoot for statewide access and miss, as I believe likely, we run no candidates at all. If we target legislative races and aim there, we are quite likely to run several legislative candidates. My dream is to get at least one legislator elected in 2010... and what I have outlined is, I believe, the best way to begin realizing that dream.

We apparently disagree on that point, and for that I'm sorry.

Matthew Givens
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RoderickLong



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Auburn, Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
With your plan the next opportunity is 2014, a lifetime away.


A lifetime away? It'll be here before we know it!

Again, I worry that this short-term thinking is potentially suicidal. It's awfully hard to gain any kind of leverage if we're constantly sacrificing solid growth toward longterm success in order to grab at the elusive wisp of immediate success; it's like consuming our seed corn.

And as I noted in this piece --
http://praxeology.net/nextelection.htm
-- the exclusive focus on the next election is precisely the kind of thinking that leads people not to vote Libertarian in the first place.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tsk, tsk. All is lost if your slate is elected. Very discouraging to put it mildly. I'll do what I can to help you but I probably won't live long enough to see a Libertarian Governor on the ballot again. The next EC election is in 2010. If you win this one there will be a report card and I am busy developing a long list of I told you so's for 2010. I'm thinking you'll all be long gone by then though.
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Last edited by captruss on Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RoderickLong



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Auburn, Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm more interested in seeing a Libertarian Governor elected than just seeing one on the ballot. And if squandering our resources to get one on the ballot in the short run means decreasing our chances of getting one elected in the long run, that seems pretty self-defeating.
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PoliticsAlabama



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll ask this question because I honestly don't know. The last year I was associated with the LPA, we ran more than 60 candidates in the general election.

How many candidates did we run in 2004, 2006, and 2008?

I am proposing a focus on getting candidates on the ballot, with an eye towards getting more on the ballot than we've had in recent years. We can certainly run candidates for the Legislature in 2010, and my focus isn't merely on getting Libertarians to RUN, I want them to WIN.

The next Libertarian in the Legislature will be the first, to the best of my knowledge. Let's see if we can make that happen.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that is a little closer to the tune which keeps replaying itself in my head.
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