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By Bill Hall, Chair
The Libertarian Party’s biennial national convention in New Orleans June 30 – July 3 promises to be quite a party. It is exceeding all records for registrants, with reservations to date far ahead of our last, packed, presidential nominating convention in Orlando, and it’s not too late to sign up. Go to https://libertarianconvention.org.
The business of the convention will include the selection of national officers and the Libertarian National Committee, in some hotly-contested races. Our own Brian Ellison has thrown his hat in the ring to run for a position as our regional representative to the LNC. That race will be decided in a caucus of the delegates from the states in our region.
Delegates will vote on changes to the national party bylaws and platform. Our own Jim Fulner serves on the Platform Committee, by virtue of our status as one of the top 10 states for national Libertarian party membership. Our own Emily Salvette was selected by the LNC to continue her many years of service on the national Credentials Committee.
The business sessions are not the only reason for attending the convention. The national convention is one continuing party, from the euphoria you feel from being surrounded by and interacting with a thousand or more Libertarians, to the many social functions, hospitality suites, and opportunities to interact with like-minded Libertarians. And the location in New Orleans is a special bonus. The convention is about a 10-block walk from the French quarter and all the excitement it has to offer. New Orleans has some of the best restaurants in the world, many sightseeing opportunities, and much history to soak up.
At our March Libertarian Summit we selected 36 convention delegates and 14 alternates. We know from experience all those won’t attend. A few delegates have already dropped out and alternates moved into their positions. We may send up to 50 alternates, so it’s not too late to sign up. If you want to be an alternate, email LPM Secretary Emily Salvette right away at email@example.com, so the LEC can act on your request. You need not be a delegate or alternate to attend the convention and enjoy all of the non-business functions.
By Greg Stempfle, Political Director
There are thirteen statewide candidates that may be nominated at our August 25 state convention in Romulus. These are candidates that do not compete in the primary election. Delegates will select our nominees for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Board of Education (2 seats), MSU Board of Trustees (2), U of M Board of Regents (2), WSU Board of Governors (2), and Justice of the Supreme Court (2).
To win a primary as a write-in candidate and advance to the general election, the write-in candidate has to receive enough votes to equal 0.15% of the population of the particular area based on the 2010 census (MCL 168.582). For statewide office, such as US Senator, this figure is 14,825 write-in votes, nearly the same as the 15,000 required signatures to qualify for the ballot in the first place. For Congress, it will average 1,059 write-in votes, State Senate, 390 votes, and State House, 135 votes. The number will vary slightly district to district, depending on the population. In order to run as a write-in candidate, the candidate has to file a “Declaration of Intent” by July 27, 2018.
For comparison, in 2016, Debra Wirth won an otherwise uncontested Democratic primary for the 4th district with 2,013 votes and in 2012 Gary Johnson got 7,774 write-in votes for President in Michigan. Mike Duggan holds the record for most write-in votes received with 44,395 in the 2013 Detroit Mayoral primary.
The option also exists to qualify for the November ballot as a candidate with “No Party Affiliation”. Such independent candidates must also collect signatures to appear on the ballot; a filing fee is not an option. The signature number requirement for each office are as follows: US Senator or Governor (30,000), Congress (3,000), State Senator (1,500), and State Representative (600). The deadline to file for the general election as an independent is July 19, 2018.
There will be a limited number of nonpartisan races on the ballot this year across the state including various school boards, community college boards, library boards and city offices. Please check with your local or county election officials to see what will be on the November ballot and confirm the local filing deadline.
Write-in, independent, and nonpartisan candidates are able to receive an endorsement from Libertarian Party of Michigan delegates at the Fall State Convention, but our bylaws prohibit us from endorsing candidates running as nominees of other parties.
By Andy Evens, Straits Area Chair
On May 20th, the Straits Area Libertarian Party hosted a “Town Hall” forum featuring our two primary candidates for Governor, Bill Gelineau and John Tatar. The resulting turnout including many new faces, and the two contenders fielded a wide ranging set of topics. The audience was very engaged, and they had many follow-up questions and comments to contribute. I have rarely seen two hours move by so quickly.
For the first time in Michigan history, this event included two Libertarian primary challengers for Governor; Gelineau and Tatar both collected well over the required 15,000 voter signatures in order to make the August 7th ballot.
Our town hall was also noted in the local newspapers and radio, including the Cheboygan Tribune: http://www.cheboygannews.com/news/20180506/libertarian-candidates-for-governor-to-visit-cheboygan-may-20
We sincerely thank Bill and John for making the long trek north, and their outreach has already produced new memberships for our affiliate!
By Leonard Schwartz, US House Candidate Dist. 11
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.
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.
I’m Leonard Schwartz and I’m running in Congressional district 11 because it will be easiest. In 2016 the Republican incumbent won with only 53% of the vote. He is not running for reelection. Six Democrats and six Republicans are running in the August 7 primary. Their battle in the primary will weaken the two survivors’ ability to win in November. With your help, I can be the first Libertarian elected to Congress.
I plan to start advertising soon after the August 7 primary. I must pay for ads in advance. Please visit www.LeonardSchwartz.us and make a generous contribution. I will match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000.
My website now accepts online contributions. If you want to save me credit card processing fees, use the mail-in contribution form instead.
I also seek volunteers to hand out my campaign flier at parades, concerts in the park, and other events.
To pick up my fliers, please come to the LP Oakland County meetings on the third Wednesday of each month. Meetings start at 7:30. Meetings are now held at the National Coney Island on the northeast corner of 12 Mile and Main in Royal Oak.
If you want to volunteer, but can’t come to a meeting, contact me: Leonard@LeonardSchwartz.us.
By Bill Hall, Chair
So what does major party “primary” status mean for Libertarian candidates? So far, a lot.
As I told Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio a few days ago, the fact that the Libertarian Party will be participating in the August 7 primary, just like the Republicans and Democrats, has resulted in unprecedented voter and media attention for Libertarians this early in an election year.Earlier this month, Libertarian State Senate candidate Tim Coon posted on Facebook “11 candidate questionnaires in the mailbox today……… Unreal.” And that isn’t an isolated instance. Many of our 42 candidates on the primary ballot are receiving mailings and questionnaires from a wide variety of community organizations and public interest groups. We had wondered how much not being in the primary affected attention to Libertarian campaigns. Now we know.
And it’s not just the questionnaires. Both our governor candidates have received coverage in The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, Bridge Magazine, and on Mlive.com, Gongwer, and Michigan Public Radio. They participated in a candidate debate at Baker College in Flint. One or both have also appeared on television, talk radio and in other newspaper reports, and been invited to and spoken at a variety of public forums.
Political Director Greg Stempfle and I have issued news releases regarding our candidates and responded to inquiries that resulted in articles in the Lansing State Journal, Detroit Metro-Times and Holland Sentinel, and radio interviews.
It’s evident that our status as one of only three parties participating in the August 7 primary gives our candidates a persuasive argument for why they should be treated by the media and community groups the same as Democrats and Republicans. Why our candidates are entitled to participate in candidate forums and debates. And why our candidates should be covered in the media.
The fact that we have a contested governor primary adds an exciting element to the campaign. The votes of Libertarians will make a difference on August 7.
We have made a good start to the primary campaign season, but there is much more to be done. Here are a few ways you can help:
By Greg Stempfle, Political Director
The Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) will hold its Fall State Convention on August 25th, 2018 at a venue in Romulus or Novi. It will take place just 18 days after the primary election, and will be our first nominating convention held under the same election laws as the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Delegates to the convention will select our nominees for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General. They will also select up to two nominees for State Board of Education, MSU Board of Trustees, U of M Board of Regents, WSU Board of Governors, and Justice of the Supreme Court.
Delegates will also debate amendments to the LPM platform among other items of business.
Convention business will begin at 9:00 AM. It will be followed by a luncheon featuring guest speakers. Candidate nominations will take place during the afternoon. An evening banquet is not planned for after the convention. Details will be made available as the convention approaches.
By Scotty Boman, Editor
If you are wondering if it is too early or too late to post an article in the Michigan Libertarian, the answer is “no.” The deadline for submitting articles to be in the subsequent month’s issue is the twentieth of the month. That issue, however, is a compilation of articles that can be posted to the website at any time leading up to publication. An email blast goes out to the membership on the first of the month, containing a link to the newsletter, compiled summaries of each article, and a link to each post.
In other words, the sooner you submit an article, the sooner it will be posted on the website. Posts are convenient to share on social media, especially on Twitter and Facebook, so you can publicize them well ahead of the email blast. If you miss the deadline for one issue, consider your article an early submission for the next issue.
For example, let’s say your article arrives on June 21st. Then you missed the deadline to have your article included in the July 1st email blast and the July issue of the Michigan Libertarian. However, you will have submitted the article in plenty of time for the August Michigan Libertarian and the August 1st email blast. Furthermore, your article would be posted to the website in early July, where it would remain for the foreseeable future.
Sometimes a month early is still too late. If the above example was an article in which you were seeking volunteers for an event in July or early August, for instance, then missing the deadline would be a problem. It could still be viewed on, and shared from, the website, but would not reach as many people as it would have reached if it were submitted on time.
Event announcements not only need to be on time to be included in the Michigan Libertarian newsletter, but should be submitted as soon as possible so they can be listed on the event calendar. The process of updating the calendar takes time, and updates may not show up on the day the administrator makes the change.
If there is uncertainty about an event, it is critical to include a readily accessible contact. Phone numbers are preferred because you can be reached immediately (like when an interested new person shows up for a meeting and nobody is there). Email addresses also help. Don’t assume everyone knows everything you post on Facebook. People don’t always know where to look, and some people have chosen to boycott that network.