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By Scotty Boman, Editor
Detroit, MI - Libertarian Presidential candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen appeared in Detroit on Monday, September 28th. She spoke to Supporters on that rainy night at Riverside Park, near the Ambassador Bridge. The event started around 5:45 PM and ended around 7:00 PM as part of her 'Real Change For Real People' campaign tour.
The event started with an opening membership pitch by Jess Mears she mentioned some critical milestones. Jorgensen will be on the ballot in all 50 states, Washington DC, and Guam. She is the first woman in the United states to appear on the ballot in all states plus DC twice.
Three endorsed Michigan Libertarians took the stage ahead of Dr. Jorgensen: Connor Nepomuceno, Tim Yow, and Jami VanAlstine.
State Representative candidate Tim Yow briefly introduced himself and expressed support for other local and regional candidates. He served as MC of the event. He then introduced Oakland County Executive candidate Connor Nepomuceno.
Nepomuceno opened by recognizing the legacy of L. Brooks Patterson then talked about going in another direction. This included presenting his plan to create a more business friendly constitutional sanctuary. In this sanctuary licensing and many regulations would be lifted, including an end to the "War on drugs."
Yow then introduced County Commission candidate Jami VanAlstine. She spoke about reducing barriers to housing and economic opportunity.
VanAlstine focused heavily on problems in criminal justice and law enforcement. She cited recent tragedy's from police related shootings, including the killing of Breonna Taylor. She called for an end to qualified immunity, the militarization of police and "the racist war on drugs." She also acknowledged local Detroit activists. The county commission candidate concluded with reaffirming key planks of the Libertarian Party platform like returning troops from abroad.
The crowd cheered as Dr. Jo Jorgensen stepped up to the lectern. Dr. Jorgensen shared some memories of her grandmother who was from socialist Denmark and how people couldn't keep what they gained with hard work. So, she wanted to make her grandmother's vvision of the American Dream a reality. She said,
"We need decision making power back in your hands, because you know how to spend your money better than any special interest, lobbyist or bureaucrat in Washington can."
Condemning mass incarceration, she reported that we have about 5% of the world's population, but house 20% of it's prisoners. She called for an end to prohibition and mandatory minimum sentences. "What we have now is not a drug problem. What we have now is a prohibition problem." So she argued for a harm-reduction approach and pledged to pardon Federal prisoners who were sentenced for consensual adult activity.
Jo Jorgensen would end no-knock raids, qualified immunity, and the transfer of military equipment (like tanks) to the police.
Jorgensen's attention to some of these topics caught the attention of Detroit Police Commissioner Willie Burton who commented:
I'm honored to stand with Dr. Jo Jorgensen; a fellow fighter for transparency and police accountability. Regardless of party, we can agree that police should not be using facial recognition to spy on us. We can agree that no-knock raids, and the shooting of innocent black people by police, must end. We can share a common desire to end the militarization of police and mass incarceration. It is our time to come together and solve these problems, regardless of partisan differences.
Also, she took on COVID-19, citing South Korea as a country that was able mange the problem without lock-downs. She also pointed out several examples of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) impairing efforts to combat the virus.
Other topics she addressed were insurance reform to bring price competition into the process. She also argued that a free market would make catastrophic insurance available for unexpected problems while routine medical services could be paid for out-of-pocket at competitive rates.
If elected President, Jorgensen pledged to bring troops home. It would be "... one giant Switzerland: Armed and neutral."
Ann Arbor, MI - Long-time libertarian activist and retired attorney David Howard Raaflaub died on September 5th after suffering, for the past few years, from the effects of a stroke. He was a highly involved activist in the Michigan Libertarian Party during the 1980's, 1990's, and turn of the century. This was especially true of Washtenaw County where he lived.
Long-time activists can remember his colorful sense of humor and his serial efforts to re-write the Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) Bylaws, along with the parliamentary tactics of Tom Jones. Later in life, he redirected his activist spirit to the TEA party movement around 2012, and more recently suffered from the affects of a stroke.
The usual Jones-Raaflaub proposal to restructure the by-laws involves having mail ballots choose party officers to give all Party members the power to elect such officers (and not just the small minority who have the time and money to attend Conventions), having separation of legislative and executive powers to avoid potential tyranny in the party, having proportional representation in the LPM's legislative body (noting that the party platform calls for proportional representation for the election of public legislative bodies), Having one ballot to elect officers (using Number Voting, 1,2, etc.) and having Party members have the power of initiative (for By-laws amendments and resolutions), the referendum and the recall...
David's name would pop up in the local press throughout his life, as he took on a number of issues. Perhaps the earliest occasion was in 1972 when he was spokesperson for the University of Michigan Tenant's Union.
In the March 1988 Michigan Libertarian former Chair Virginia Cropsey reported:
The Ann Arbor News carried an excellent story on the event complete with illustration of Bill Krebaum et al in action. The event sparked such interest from the paper that they did an additional story on the impact the LP might have on the election complete with picture of David Raaflaub conducting his one-man crusade against the city's obsession with parking tickets as a revenue source (he travels along the street just ahead of the meter maid putting nickels in those meters which are about to expire and leaving a note on the windshield explaining the crusade and asking for donations in lieu of the ticket the motorist would otherwise have found on his windshield).
David served the party in a number of positions including Secretary in 1986, LPM Central Committee in 1988, and Development director in 2006 and 2007.
He ran for office as a Libertarian on a number of occasions. David ran for Second Congressional District Representative in 1988, and in 1991 he ran for Ann Arbor Mayor. He also ran for the Michigan Board of Education in 1994. After this he ran for Michigan Supreme court in 1996, 1998 and 2000. He ran for State Representative in District 54 in 2004 and 2008. In 1990 and 2006 he ran for Michigan State University Trustee.
His last political activities were outside the LPM. In 2010 he ran for the Washtenaw County Commission and did so again in 2012 (with an R after his name). He also organizes a recall effort against state Senator Warren in 2011.
He wore different hats in supporting the LPM. For example, in 1986 he lobbied the legislature to refrain from raising the signature requirements for ballot access. In 1992 he organized a creative attempt to separate the Ann Arbor Ecology Center from the local government by urging libertarians to become members and achieve a voting majority. Much of the effort was motivated by a desire to stop the City of Ann Arbor from weaponizing the center against private businesses like Gelman Sciences. He attempted to join the Ann Arbor government in 1995 as a representative of it's Fourth Ward.
In the 1994 election cycle he worked with the "John Hancock-We want yours" Committee to restore ballot access, and used his legal skills to push WKAR (a public broadcasting affiliate) into having a more inclusive senatorial debate. In 2000 David helped the Washtenaw LP with legal aid by suing the City of Ann Arbor to put a medical marijuana proposal on the ballot.
He didn't believe in license requirements for practicing law and involved himself in some civil disobedience.
Many people knew David on a more personal level than those who only saw him at LPM events. One friend, Elizabeth Ann Belcher, commented "David was a good friend. I helped him with petitions for the Libertarian Party at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. Also I helped with cleaning and sorting papers in his home after he suffered several strokes."
Intrepid activist Gregory Creswell said, "From me and my family, I am sad to read of David's passing. May God bless him, his family, friends, and all those who knew him."