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LPM News Release
Editor’s note: This article concerns a candidate seeking the Libertarian Party nomination through the primary system. The Michigan Libertarian provides fair coverage of any Libertarian Party of Michigan member who is seeking the nomination through this process without endorsing one candidate over another, or the candidate’s views.
Lansing, MI – For the first time in Michigan history, there will be a contested gubernatorial primary election for a political party other than the Democrats and Republicans.
On April 19, 2018, John Tatar, a retired US Army Reserve Lt. Colonel, construction contractor and school teacher from Redford, became the second Libertarian candidate for governor to file petition signatures with the Bureau of Elections for the August 7 primary election. This sets up a contested race for Michigan governor in the first ever Libertarian Party primary election, as Grand Rapids businessman Bill Gelineau filed his petition signatures for governor last month. The Tatar campaign delivered petitions containing 18,521 signatures to the Bureau of Elections. 15,000 signatures of registered voters are required to qualify for the ballot. The Tatar campaign is confident they comfortably met that threshold.
The Libertarian Party qualified as a “primary” party, eligible to nominate its candidates at the August 7 primary election just like the Democrats and Republicans, because 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson polled 172,136 votes in Michigan. Gelineau and Tatar are the first non-Democrats or Republicans to qualify for a gubernatorial party primary in almost 50 years, and only the second and third since 1932. And the Libertarian Party will be the first political party in Michigan history other than the Democrats and Republicans to host a contested gubernatorial primary election.
Candidates Gelineau and Tatar plan to actively campaign across the state for votes in the August 7 election.
Many candidates have also filed to run in the Libertarian Party primary for Congress, State Senate, State Representative, County Commissioner and Precinct Delegate, and many more are expected.
Unlike Democrats and Republicans, Libertarians support personal freedom and responsibility in both economic and social matters, and oppose foreign wars. Libertarians believe people should have the freedom to follow their own dreams in their own ways without government interference. That translates into support for cutting government spending, lower taxes, deregulation, free trade, a strong defense, gun rights, social tolerance and protecting personal privacy and civil liberties.
By Greg Stempfle
At least 42 Libertarians filed their paperwork to run for public office in the upcoming August primary election. Two candidates filed for Governor, two for US Congress, 15 for State Senate, 15 for State House, seven for County Commissioner and three for Township Trustee. This is the first time in state party history that most of our candidates are nominated via the primary method. The winners of these races will advance on to the November general election.
The race for our gubernatorial nomination will be the first time in the history of Michigan that a party, other than the Democrats and Republicans, have had a contested primary for Governor.
Thirteen additional statewide candidates may be nominated at the Libertarian Party of Michigan Fall state convention, which will be held after the primary election. Thanks to everyone who filed for office and good luck on the campaign trail!
By Greg Stempfle, Political Director
Last week John Tatar filed his petitions to run for Governor, setting up a contested Libertarian primary against Bill Gelineau. I wanted to find out when was the last time such an event happened. When was the last time a party besides the Democrats and Republicans had a contested primary for their governor nomination? It turns out this is unprecedented in the history of Michigan.
The morning Tatar filed, I went to the Library of Michigan in Lansing and looked up old primary and general election results in the Michigan Manual, a very exhaustive source of state government information published annually by the Michigan Legislature. From previous trips, I already knew that since 1932 only six times has a so-called minor party qualified to run candidates in the Michigan primary election, and only twice, has one of these parties run a candidate for governor. The first was the American Independent Party (AIP) in 1970, who qualified for the primary based on the strength of Presidential candidate George Wallace in 1968. Their governor candidate, James McCormick, won his party’s uncontested primary with 100 votes against 21 write-in ballots. The second time will be the Libertarian Party in 2018.
Before 1932, all political parties in the state ran candidates in the primary election. This would mark the first year that political parties were divided into so-called major parties who nominate candidates in the primary and so-called minor parties who nominate candidates at a caucus or convention. I went through these results looking for contested governor primaries as far back as 1906, and found none. In 1906 and earlier, there are no results from primary elections. I did an internet search to see if 1908 was in fact the first year there were primaries in Michigan. An article from 1916, “The Operation of the Direct Primary in Michigan” written by Arthur C. Millspaugh, confirms there were no gubernatorial primaries before 1908, except for an uncontested Republican primary in 1906 .
During the 12 elections from 1908 to 1930, the following third parties ran candidates for governor in the number of primary elections indicated, all of whom were nominated in those uncontested primaries: Prohibition (12), Socialist (11), Socialist Labor (9), Workers (3), National Progressive (2), and Farmer-Labor (1). Note the term in office for Governor used to be two years and would not become four years until the 1963 Michigan Constitution.
Including Tatar and Gelineau, 44 Libertarians filed to run in the 2018 primary, including county and township races. The 34 Libertarians running for state and federal office surpasses the 26 candidates the AIP ran for state and federal office in their 1970 primary. The last time before 2018 that a third party had a primary was the Reform Party, which qualified based on Perot votes during his second run for President in 1996. However, they fielded only seven candidates in their 1998 primary.
By Emily Salvette, Secretary
Bath, MI – At the March 10 Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) convention in Bath Township, 35 delegates and 14 alternates were elected to represent Michigan at the Libertarian Party’s upcoming national convention July 1-3. State Chair Bill Hall is an automatic delegate per our Bylaws and will lead the delegation of 36 in New Orleans.
Fourteen alternates were also elected and ranked by number of votes received.
Bob Broda has already moved up to a delegate spot as Ken Proctor finds he cannot attend the national convention. Delegates, please contact the LPM secretary right away if your plans change and you cannot go to New Orleans.
If you are an LPM member, weren’t on the ballot at the convention and would like the Libertarian Executive Committee (LEC) to consider naming you as an alternate, please advise me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t have to be a delegate or alternate to attend the national LP convention. There are many educational and networking opportunities outside the business sessions that Libertarians can enjoy. And, of course, there’s much to enjoy in New Orleans! More information can be found at www.libertarianconvention.org.
More details about the convention are in this article.
By Bill Hall, Chair
We need a Deputy Editor, ideally with writing, editing and SEO experience, to assist Scotty Boman in editing the Michigan Libertarian, including posting articles on MichiganLP.org. Please contact Scotty Boman (email@example.com) and Bill Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about how you can help. Our current Deputy Editor, David Dumas, has resigned due to job demands. Many thanks to David for his work helping revive the Michigan Libertarian!
Periodically, the Libertarian Party of Michigan issues news releases promoting Libertarian issues and candidates. We need a Media Coordinator with writing and technical skills to work with our Libertarian Party of Michigan and issue experts to draft news releases, and to distribute those news releases via our MailChimp media database. Please contact Bill Hall (email@example.com) to learn more about how you can help.
Yes, some people still do use the mail to communicate with the Libertarian Party of Michigan. We need a volunteer to check our post office box at 4800 Collins Road, Lansing, at least weekly, and scan or forward what you find. Please contact Jason Brandenburg (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bill Hall (email@example.com) to learn more about how you can volunteer to help.
By Scotty Boman, Editor
Editor’s note: This article concerns a candidate seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for President. The Michigan Libertarian provides fair coverage, without endorsing one candidate over another, or the candidate’s views.
While at the Michigan Libertarian Summit, I took a few minutes to interview Adam Kokesh and his dog Baloo.
When asked why he was running for President, Kokesh restated his platform “Dissolve the Federal government in a peaceful, orderly manner. . . .” Since this isn’t business as usual for a presidential campaign (even a Libertarian one), I was very interested in the nuts and bolts of how he intended to do this. Since the Constitution is the supreme Federal law, I naturally asked if he would use his office to push for an Constitutional amendment to this end.
Here is his response,
“It’s funny to hear so many Libertarians ask the question, ‘Would you, like, have the authority to do this? Would the Crown be okay with your revolution, sir? Is it Constitutional to dissolve the Federal government with an executive order?’ My answer is, no, it isn’t Constitutional. That’s kind of the point… and many Presidents (in fact pretty much all of the Presidents we’ve had recently) have done plenty of things outside of the bounds of the Constitution, and gotten away with it because they have had at least tacit consent of the American people, and we are invoking the higher authority known as the Declaration of Independence . . . , which says, ‘We have not only a right, but a duty, to alter and abolish systems of government that no longer serve us.’
Now it’s very important to point out that I’m really not running for President in order to be President, because the first thing I’m going to do is resign. The executive order I will sign will declare the Federal government of no authority in order to put it into a bankruptcy proceeding. So I would essentially be serving as bankruptcy agent and my title will be, ‘Custodian of the Federal government of the United States.’ So what I am doing with this campaign, what we are doing with this election, is turning it into a referendum on whether or not the Federal government should be allowed to exist at all. And when the American people make their voice clear (decisively and irrefutably) through the election process, that we are not gonna put up with the existence of the Federal government any longer, no jerk in a suit (in Washington, DC), no Congressman, no Supreme Court Justice, not even this jerk [Adam points to himself] could possibly stand in our way.
So what I’ve told people is, even if you don’t think you can trust me, it ultimately doesn’t matter because this election is based upon a paradigm shift about the role of government, and that it should be as local as possible, that we should get it ultimately down to the community level (in an orderly process; one step at a time). First dissolve the Federal government to a point of stability, dissolve the state governments, get them down to the counties, and at that point we’re pretty much done . . . , counties being pretty much imperfect approximations of communities. At least at that point you can see people break off into their own areas; you can see people separate and declare independence on their own property; and you can turn government into a voluntary institution or completely replace it with none. “
After discussing some controversial internal concerns, I asked the question everyone was dying to hear answered, “How is your dog Baloo?”
Adam perks up with a bright smile, “Doing well. You can meet him! You can get him on video; he’s way more fun to do interviews with than me.” He went on to say, “I have to point out that my dog’s a Great Dane mix purebred shelter dog, and he’s survived some pretty serious police encounters with me. When my home was raided in 2013, he had a flashbang grenade thrown at him, and it went off right under his butt. It actually saved his life because it was a Parks Police SWAT team.
Now remember this is United States Parks Police – federal law enforcement FBI academy dropouts. These are the dregs of the Federal law enforcement barrel. And they were using me to justify a lot of their budget, with two helicopters over my house, an armored vehicle, and a full SWAT team raid.
So they knocked down the door, they threw a flashbang grenade as Baloo was walking towards the door, and because it went off right under his butt, it scared him so bad . . . now I’m at the top of the stairs and in front of the front door foyer in my house, and you know what happens when police raid homes and there’s a dog – the dog gets shot. And in this case the flashbang grenade actually saved his life, because he was so scared that he ran up the stairs towards me, and by the time he got halfway up the stairs, I’m standing there like this [Adam holds his hands up], with three green lasers pointed at my chest, going, ‘Baloo bed! Bed! Bed!’ as in ‘Go to your crate.’ And ‘Go to your bed and don’t get shot.’ And he did, and that’s what saved his life.”
Adam said, “He was the only person in the vehicle with me, and as smart as he is, he’s not a very good driver. And the police weren’t comfortable with him driving the vehicle away. So they took him to doggie jail, and he had to be bailed out the next day by one of our supporters in Texas. But he has now got more police interaction under his belt, than (I think) most party activists, and I’ve got to hand it to him; he has always handled it with grace and diplomacy.”
Apparently, Adam has been upstaged by Baloo: “[B]ut when we got arrested in Texas recently, there were ten times as many inquiries about his well-being and safety than about mine, and very appropriately so.” Adam also cleared up some confusion about the arrest, saying he knew early on that Baloo was bailed out since the Wise County Jail makes a lot of money off their phones, so they are happy to have prisoners use them.
[There is more to this story. Stay tuned for Part B in a future issue.]
After the interview with Mr. Kokesh, I took a walk over to “No Force One” to meet Baloo. He was there with Stacy (who stepped onto the World stage when she posted some early videos on Adam vs. the Man about his recent arrest). Adam showed that Baloo could count saying, “Give me ten!” Baloo slapped both of Adam’s open palms with his front paws. He said “Can’t you give me five?” with his right hand up, and Baloo slapped that hand with one paw.
I asked Baloo, “What do you think is the proper role of the Federal government.” Baloo said nothing and turned his head away, indicating a that there was no good answer. When I asked if there were any restrictions on personal liberty he would support, Baloo turned his head from side to side in disapproval.
Kokesh also addressed the convention delegation. The video is posted here: https://youtu.be/-qljAREiNJM
By Scotty Boman, Editor
Bath, MI – For only the third time in over a decade the Brass Roots Plaque was put on public display. Brass Roots legacy members positioned the monument just outside the Eagle Eye Golf Club on March 10th, 2018, where the Libertarian Party of Michigan hosted their Summit. The event attracted Libertarians from all parts of the state.
“We are in great need of a statewide movement to place this monument at its intended home,” said Brass Roots legislative liaison Scotty Boman. "Bills to have it placed on Capitol grounds have been introduced on a few occasions in recent history. Each time they died in committee. If only we had activists who lived in the same districts as committee members, we could get the bills before the full House.” In 2005 the Michigan House voted 108 to zero to have the plaque placed on the Capitol grounds, but there was no companion bill in the Michigan Senate.
The plaque is of special significance to Libertarians, because the founder of the Brass Roots organization was Libertarian US Senate candidate Jon Coon, who organized the first Brass Roots rally at the Michigan Capitol in 1994. Coon received 4.2% of the vote in that election.
The plaque was placed on display during the Summit’s lunch break, which punctuated the morning candidate training session from the afternoon National Delegate Nominating Convention. It remained up until the conclusion of the annual Liberty Festival Banquet (BKA Libby Fest) which concluded the Summit.
In addition to the plaque, Libertarians were treated to a glance at photo albums and maps chronicling the journey the plaque has made around Michigan over the years. While the plaque has remained attached to a trailer for portability, this mounting was designed to be temporary and has been used well beyond it’s intended lifetime. “I met Libertarians at the Summit who were among the more than 10,000 at the rally in 1994. They want their kids and grand kids to see this monument on display,” said Brass Roots Executive Director Mike Hoban.
The plaque was built from brass cartridges that were placed in buckets at the 1994 rally. Each gun owner was invited to bring a spent cartridge from a gun he or she wouldn’t give up. The promise was that the brass would be melted into a plaque to be presented to the people of Michigan. Fulfillment of that promise was hoped to include some form of permanent display at the Capitol Building. With the need for placement being ever more acute, legacy members may settle for a compromise proposal of having it on display outside the capital museum, near the Capitol Building.
“There are thousands of people from all over Michigan who have brass in that monument. It’s beautiful and the message is powerful,” said Hoban.
Brass Roots legacy members are corresponding with legislators on reloading legislation to give the plaque a permanent home. When it is loaded, Libertarians can join with others around the state and fire off emails, phone calls and letters to legislators and committee members. When that time comes, an action alert will be posted at: BrassRootsPlaque.com.
By Leonard Schwartz, Congressional Candidate
Editor’s note: This article concerns a candidate seeking the Libertarian Party nomination through the primary system. The Michigan Libertarian provides fair coverage of any Libertarian Party of Michigan member who is seeking the nomination through this process without endorsing one candidate over another, or the candidate’s views. I seek volunteers to hand out my campaign flyer at parades, concerts in the park, and other community events.
To pick up my flyers, please come to the LP Wayne or Oakland meeting.
LP Wayne County meets at 7:00 PM on the first Thursday of each month at:
Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen
Detroit, MI 48228
west of Southfield
For more information, go to www.MichiganLPWayne.wordpress.com
LP Oakland County meets at 7:30 PM on the third Wednesday of each month. Go to www.lpocmi.org to find location.
If you want to volunteer, but can’t come to a meeting, contact me: Leonard@LeonardSchwartz.us.
Saturday, May 19th
Highland Founders Day Festival
parade at 10:00
Sunday, May 20th, at 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Wixom Founders Day Festival
Monday, May 28th, Memorial Day parades in:
Also, on Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4th, parades in:
Reminder: I will match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. I chose district 11 because it will be easiest.
With your help I can be the first Libertarian Party candidate elected to Congress.
By Greg Stempfle, Political Director
Convention delegates also passed bylaw amendments to add a dissolution clause, to eliminate county membership dues, and passed resolutions thanking outgoing officers (Jim Fulner, Tim Yow, and Stephanie Cole). Congratulations to our new board members and thank you for volunteering your time to the cause of liberty! The main focus of the LPOC, this year, will be on voter outreach to promote our candidates and party.