December 2020

Volume 49:12

In This Issue:

Click here for details on how our new format effects the visibility of your articles!
Thank you for all of the articles. Keep them coming with careful attention to our guidelines. We are now on a monthly publication schedule. Articles for the next issue of the Michigan Libertarian must be submitted to chair@michiganlp.org, newsletter@michiganlp.org and vcpoliticaldirector@michiganlp.org no later than the 20th of each month. This allows for publication on the first of each month.

The Libertarian Party of Michigan depends on contributions to carry out it's mission Please Visit us at MichiganLP.org and scroll down to the bottom of our homepage to gain access to our contribution form.

Rise of a Libertarian Northern Michigan

By Donna Gundle-Krieg

Rise of Northern Michigan Libertarians.
Rise of Northern Michigan Libertarians.

Editors note: The rise of a Libertarian Northern Michigan is under-way in the wake of Donna Gundle-Krieg's election to the Mancelona Township Board of Trustees. Skeptics doubted a Libertarian would defeat a major party candidate in a partisan election, but she did. This wasn't an accident, the seeds were sown in the region over a year ago.

Donna first had this Opinion piece published in the Northern Express newspaper on March 9th of last year. These words are most prophetic,

...I guarantee that you'll be hearing a lot more from the Libertarian Party...
By Donna Gundle-Krieg, Mancelona Township Trustee-elect

Many people in this country are fed up with the two-party system, and the division and problems that this system has created. Nothing ever seems to change.

Recently, two separate groups of people in northern Michigan decided to do something about this. Simultaneously, these two groups decided to form official affiliates for the Libertarian Party of Michigan. Bylaws were drawn up, officers were elected, and a few candidates ran in local elections with very good results.

The energy has been contagious. With all of the interest we've found up here, I guarantee that you'll be hearing a lot more from the libertarian Party - the third largest party since the 1980's, and one that held primary party status at the last election.

Libertarian party principles revolve around freedom and limited government, both in terms of government power and government spending. Basically, this means that a Libertarian is someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

Rise of the Affiliates

The first new northern Michigan Libertarian group to form is called the Straits Area Libertarian Party (SALP) and covers Cheboygan, Emmet, Otsego, and Presque Isle counties.

The second group, the Northwest Michigan Libertarian Party (NWMLP), covers Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Kalkaska, Antrim, Charlevoix, Wexford, Manistee, and Missaukee counties. Both affiliates have the purpose of nominating and campaigning for candidates for political office, initiating or supporting ballot proposals, lobbying elected officials, and engaging in educational and other informational activities.

The Libertarian Party is growing quickly because young people and many others do not like what they see in the other two parties. According to the United States Treasury, our national debt is over $22 trillion, or $67,000 per person. Republicans, who used to boast about being financially conservative, are running up the debt more quickly than the Democrats.

Diverse Membership

Veterans also make up a large part of our membership. They have seen and experienced firsthand the destruction caused by our country's foreign policies (interfering in other countries' affairs and conflicts).

Libertarians sign an oath to the "Non-Aggression Principle." Simply put, most people live their lives and follow the non-aggression principle in their interactions. Libertarians take this further, and apply this principle to group actions, including government and military actions.

We are conservative fiscally, but liberal on most social issues. For example, our party's platform states that "sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government's treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service laws."

Right to Property

Local issues are very important to Libertarians, as citizens can often have more impact on local issues than they can on national issues. As a real estate broker in Mancelona, I run across many issues in northern Michigan involving property rights. I plan to expand on these issues in future columns.

For example, Libertarians believe that the ever-increasing number of zoning regulations are slowly eroding our freedoms. These restraints on land use stem from well-intentioned efforts to promote public safety, environmental objectives, and aesthetic goals for development. However, according to a study by the Cato Institute, in addition to taking away our liberties, "a major side effect of this growing volume of zoning rules has been to deter construction and reduce the supply of housing, including multifamily and low-income housing."

Other local Libertarian issues involving property rights include vacation property rules, eminent domain, and the government benefiting from property tax foreclosures. Eminent domain in particular is currently being debated across the country, as Trump's declaration of a so-called national emergency enables the government to take private property for the building of a wall.

Acting Locally

In addition to real estate issues, Libertarians will also be watching other local issues, such as the proposed new Antrim County jail and similar expensive government projects. We will be watching how the state and local governments implement the new recreational marijuana law. We have already impacted changes in civil forfeiture, as it is wrong for the state to seize personal property before a person has been found guilty.

Candidates Will Run

In addition to affecting local policy, our new groups' purposes involve running as many local candidates as possible in the upcoming elections. In the last election, local Libertarian candidates did very well. Robert Clark, who ran for Arcadia Township Supervisor, earned 47.2 percent of the vote, which is the highest ever for a Libertarian candidate in Michigan.

David Holmer of Manistee and Dana Carver of Onaway also received respectable percentages as candidates in County Commissioner races. Holmer is the NWMLP's new political director and is currently seeking Libertarians who want to help us run a full slate of local candidates in the 2020 election.

Back to Contents

Moving Forward Into the Next Campaign Season

By By Greg Stempfle, Chair

Greg Stempfle & Libby at a convention. Photo by Scotty Boman.
Greg Stempfle & Libby at a convention. Photo by Scotty Boman.

As soon as the polls closed on Election Day 2020, many people began to reach out to us looking to get involved with the Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) or to run for office in the next election. While all of our activists and candidates deserve some well deserved rest, after this marathon 2020 campaign season, here is a look forward at what to expect in the coming year.

Moving forward with the 2021 State Convention

The next Libertarian Party of Michigan state convention will hopefully be sometime in early 2021. At this regular state convention, delegates will select new party officers to serve for the next two years, and discuss bylaws and platform changes. Also, we usually have a luncheon and banquet with speakers and awards.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Libertarian Executive Committee (LEC) is holding off on making formal convention plans until the start of the year. With the state of Michigan facing restrictions on large public gatherings, planning a state convention is challenging. The time-frame for holding our convention, per our party bylaws, is between April 1 and July 31. Most members of the LEC felt that an earlier convention is preferable in order to seat the next board. If the coronavirus outbreak, and government response to it, still prevents us from holding a convention in the spring, they would prefer to delay an in-person convention till later in the summer (Rather than hold another online convention).

Running for Office in 2022

With the completion of the 2020 US Census, Michigan will be redistricted before the next election, so the district you live in this year may not be the same district in 2022. It's important to start planning your campaign early but keep this point in mind moving forward.

Looking forward to new boundaries

For the first time the newly created Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will draw-up new Congressional and State Legislative districts' boundaries, to be used through 2030. Normally the district lines do not change drastically every ten years, but we don't know what to expect from the Commission. To complicate matters, Michigan may loose a member of Congress resulting in district lines that could pit two incumbent members of Congress against each other.

The LPM did not qualify for the 2022 Michigan primary so our candidates for public office will be nominated at either a state or county convention sometime in the spring or summer of 2022. Candidates running for statewide office or offices that cross county lines will be nominated at the state convention and candidates running for offices entirely within a county will be nominated at a county convention.

Back to Contents

Short-Sighted Politicians Spending Big in Antrim County

By Donna Gundle-Krieg

Short-sighted spending on Antrim County Jail is money town the drain.
Short-sighted spending on Antrim County Jail is money town the drain.

Editors note: Short-Sighted thinking doesn't die of old age. This article originally appeared in the Northern Express newspaper on September 14th 2019. While the originating topic she writes about has since become old news, the author is now an elected official in the Antrim County township of Mancelona. Furthermore, the different ways of addressing problems here remain relevant as specific details change. Libertarians can get involved in the process and demonstrate their skills as problem-solvers before asking people for their vote.

By Donna-Gundle-Krieg

Four Antrim County Commissioners bravely stood up at a recent meeting and voted for a resolution to postpone moving ahead with building plans for a new jail. Unfortunately for the taxpayers, the motion failed 4-4, and the commissioners continue with plans to build the jail.

The four commissioners who voted against the delay need to stop pushing their pet project forward and be transparent to the taxpayers who are funding it. They should also continue to direct and encourage the County to move forward with alternatives to jailing citizens, especially since the County's crime rates are decreasing.

Commissioner Dawn LaVanway, who made the resolution to delay building the jail noted that there had never been a formal vote to move forward with the plan. Yet County Administrator Pete Garwood is already looking for a facilitator for a special meeting. "Lots of behind the scenes stuff going on," LaVanway told me. "People in Antrim County need to start attending meetings and holding theie Commissioners accountable."

My own commissioner Jason Helwig recently met with me and told me that "no one in his area of Mancelona wants a new jail." He said that he was surprised that there was discussion at a recent Commissioners meeting about filling new jail beds by importing prisoners from other areas. "Does Antrim County really want to become the Bed and Breakfast Center for criminals?" he wondered.

Chairman Ed Boettcher's excuse for moving forward is that the county has already "invested" $530,000 on the project. (The not-so-wise investment to which he was referring was the purchase the Merit Bank building, without any plan for its intended use, in 2017. The county neglected to maintain the building, and the pipes broke that winter. This "investment" now needs to be torn down.

There is another good reason LaVanway and the others want the construction to be delayed: The Antrim County Sheriff Department's annual report indicates that the jail is not as busy as it has been in previous years. The total inmate bookings went down from 904 in 2017 to 839 in 2018.

In fact, Sheriff Bean has stated that his desire for new facilities is "not a case of inmate overcrowding, but department operations. He said the department needs more office space ... and room for storage."

"Why would we spend $13 to $20 million on a jail to satisfy a need for office space and storage?" asked Gary Knapp, founding chair of the State Community Corrections Advisory Board, in an open letter sent to the Country Board of Commissioners.

He explained that, on top of these millions, taxpayers would have to pay large amounts for financing and debt servicing. This would require selling bonds and passing a countywide millage.

Taxpayers will also have to fund operating costs to a new jail once it is built. A 1992 study by the Corrections Compendium, the peer-reviewed, research-based journal of the American Correctional Association,found that often communities end up paying for expensive corrections facilities and then can't afford to operate them.

An even bigger problem is that more people end up in jail in the years after a jail expansion. In other words: Build the jails, and they will come.

As Jack Norton, a research associate at the Vera Institute of Justice explained at a symposium entitled "Ending Mass Incarceration Where it Began,""The expansion of carceral capacity at the county level at the very least removes the incentives for criminal justice system actors to find alternatives to incarceration."

It's bad enough that we imprison more people than any other nation. While the United States has only 5 percent of the world's population, it has nearly 25 percent of its prisoners - about 2.2 million people, according to a report published in Psychology Today.

In fact, the report found that one out of every 100 American adults is incarcerated, a per capita rate that's 5 to 10 times higher than other democracies.

Knapp explained in his letter to commissioners that the Michigan Community Corrections Act provides funding to Antrim County to develop and implement alternatives to costly jail construction while still providing for public safety.

"As our law enforcement community understands all too well, our jail also houses people who the community would be better served by referring to mental health, substance abuse, education, employment, or pre-trial diversion programs for a fraction of the cost associated with maximum security jail construction," Knapp stated.

In addition, now that marijuana is legal, the number of people jailed should continue to decrease. In fact, what if we stopped arresting people for "victimless crimes?" Prohibition does not deter behaviors such as recreational drug use, gambling, or sex between consenting adults. Libertarians such as myself believe that we should have freedom to control our own behavior as long as it does not harm others.

In conclusion, Antrim County Commissioners should delay the building of a new jail based on lower crime statistics and should not shoulder taxpayers with the expenses for both building and operating a new facility.

Instead, police should stop jailing people who commit "victimless crimes," and the County should make more effort to encourage and create alternative programs for those who do need help. These programs would be less expensive and far more beneficial for our society.

(Voting to delay building the jail were Commissioners LaVanway, VanAlstine, Watrous and Helwig. Voting against the delay were Commissioners Boettcher, Bargy, Ricksgers and Heeres. Commissioner Marcus was absent.)

Back to Contents

Officers & Staff

General Contact: Libertarian Party of Michigan: PO Box 27065, Lansing, MI 48909; Phone: 888.FREE.NOW.

Chair: Greg Stempfle. chair@michiganlp.org
First Vice Chair: Ben Boren. vcaffiliates@michiganlp.org
Second Vice Chair: Jamie Lewis vcpoliticaldirector@michiganlp.org
Secretary: Mary Buzuma. secretary@michiganlp.org
Treasurer: Norman Peterson. treasurer@michiganlp.org
District 1 Rep: Dana Carver. dist1rep@michiganlp.org
District 2 Rep: Andrew Hall. dist2rep@michiganlp.org
District 3 Rep: Jay Gillotte. dist3rep@michiganlp.org
District 4 Rep: Will White. dist4rep@michiganlp.org
District 5 Rep: James Harris dist5rep@michiganlp.org
District 6 Rep: Shane Allen. dist6rep@michiganlp.org
District 7 Rep: Jason Rees. dist7rep@michiganlp.org
District 8 Rep: Jeff Wood. dist8rep@michiganlp.org
District 9 Rep: Mike Saliba. dist9rep@michiganlp.org
District 10 Rep: Jim Fulner. dist10rep@michiganlp.org
District 11 Rep: Dan Ziemba. dist11rep@michiganlp.org
District 12 Rep: Lawrence W. Johnson. dist12rep@michiganlp.org
District 13 Rep: Andrew Chadderdon. dist13rep@michiganlp.org
District 14 Rep: Tim Yow. dist14rep@michiganlp.org

Judicial Committee Members

Kerry Morgan. judicialcommittee@michiganlp.org
Ken Proctor. judicialcommittee@michiganlp.org
Katie Nepton. judicialcommittee@michiganlp.org


Webmaster: James Weeks III. Webmaster@MichiganLP.org
Newsletter Editor: Scotty Boman. newsletter@michiganlp.org
Ciculation Director: Catherine Filus. catherine@catherinefilus.com
Social Media Director: Connor Nepomuceno cjnepo1@gmail.com
Historical Committee Chair: Emily Salvette esalvette@gmail.com

Affiliate Contacts

Capital Area: Luke Sciberras, Chair. 248-302-1064, capitalarealp@gmail.com
Genesee County: Chair James Harris, jharris@umbinc.us or call (810) 542-1423.
Huron-Raisin: James Hudler, (734) 475-9792, james.hudler@gmail.com or contact Larry Johnson at: michlibertarian@gmail.com
Jackson-Hillsdale: Norman Peterson, (269) 330-2980 norman.peterson@comcast.net
Livingston County: James Weeks II, (810) 422-8769, j.weeks@riseup.net
Macomb County: Mike Saliba, chair@macomblp.org
Northeast-Lower: Zach Boyle, 989-255-4521, livovivo@gmail.com
Northern Lower: Dana Carver, danacarver103@yahoo.com
Northwest Michigan: Peter Biskupski. nwmichiganlibertarians@gmail.com
Oakland County: Connor Nepomuceno, Cjnepo1@gmail.com or Vice Chair Ben Carr at 248-919-8152
Southwest Michigan: Jason Brandenburg. swmi4liberty@be-innovative.net
Straits Area: Chair Andy Evans, (231) 625-8403, . amevans_1968@yahoo.com
straitslp.com or facebook.com/StraitsAreaLP
Upper Peninsula Libertarian Party: Chair Ryan Roberts, (906) 420-2995, . ryan_r03@hotmail.com
Wayne County: Scotty Boman, (313) 247-2052, scottyboman@hotmail.com
West Michigan: Jamie Lewis. (616) 254-9014, Email Jamie Lewis at jkl620@yahoo.com

Back to Contents

Upcoming Events

For reasons that require no repetition, the regular meeting venues of some affiliates will be closed. Please contact local affiliate officers to learn how to get involved in their meetings.

Some events are also posted by their hosts at the Meetup.com site. The Michigan Libertarian recommends contacting an affiliate officer or check the Website (or Facebook page) associated with the meeting host (if they have one) before arriving at a meeting. Some meetings can get canceled, or locations can change with short notice. Contact information connected to most events can be found by expanding the item on the "Agenda view" of the Events page of our website.

December 9, 2020 - Libertarians of Macomb County Affiliate Meeting, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Ike's Restaurant. 38550 Van Dyke Ave, Sterling Heights, MI 48312.
FYI, LMC in addition to is meeting in place at Ike's the actual business will be conducted via videoconference. https://meet.jit.si/LMC
For more information, contact Mike Saliba at macomblp@gmail.com

December 9, 2020 - Libertarian Party of Wayne County Affiliate Meeting & Holiday event. Business 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Leon's Family Dining will probably be closed in response to COVID-19. We will meet by teleconference in that case. Please visit the Libertarian Party of Wayne County's new Website for event information about the meeting and our Holiday virtual event: michiganlpwayne.wixsite.com
For more information, contact Scotty Boman at (313) 247-2052 or email ScottyBoman@hotmail.com

December 10, 2020 - Spike Cohen's "Culture of Winning" interview with Mancelona Township Trustee-Elect Donna Gundle-Krieg, 8:00 PM.
Spike will be posting links on his "LiterallySpikeCohen" Facebook profile: www.facebook.com/LiterallySpikeCohen

December 11, 2020 - Spike Cohen's "Culture of Winning" interview with Community Advisory Councilmember-Elect Scotty Boman, 8:00 PM.
Spike will be posting links on his "LiterallySpikeCohen" Facebook profile: www.facebook.com/LiterallySpikeCohen

December 16, 2020 - Jackson-Hillsdale Libertarian Party Affiliate Meeting, 6:00 PM.
Zoom video conference: Event Facebook Post or Steves'Ranch Family Resturant. 311 Louis Glick Hwy. Jackson, MI 49201. Call ahead to verify that they are open and expecting a JHLP meeting (517) 787 - 4367.
For more information, contact Norman Peterson. norman.peterson@comcast.net https://www.jhlp.org

December 20, 2019 - Capital Area Affiliate Meeting 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
CALP monthly business meeting, to be held over Discord teleconfelerence app.
or in person at Renos North - 460 S. US Highway 27. Lansing, MI
Contact Luke Sciberras at 248-302-1064 or email lpsciberras@gmail.com for event details and instructions to join.
Times and locations of business meetings may very from month to month.

January 5, 2020 - Huron-Raisin Affiliate Meeting, 7:00 PM
Aubree's Pizzeria & Grill. 39 E Cross St, Ypsilanti, MI 48198
For more information, contact Larry Johnson at 734-475-9792 or email michlibertarian@gmail.com or call (734) 320-7237

January 6, 2020 - Livingston County Monthly Meeting, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Cleary Pub. 117 E Grand River, Howell, MI, 48843
For more information, contact James Weeks II at 810.422.8769 or email jamestweeks@outlook.com.

Back to Contents

If you are new to the Michigan Libertarian, you can link to 2016 issues here, http://michiganlp.org/category/newsletters . Other issues are preserved in our historical archives here: http://old.michiganlp.org/resources-2/newsletter.

Connect with us on social media

Copyright 2019 Libertarian Party of Michigan, All rights reserved.

The Michigan Libertarian is a publication of the Libertarian Party of Michigan Libertarian Party of Michigan: PO Box 27065, Lansing, MI 48909; Phone: 888.FREE.NOW. The Libertarian Party of Michigan website is paid for with regulated funds by the Libertarian Party of Michigan Executive Committee, Inc. d/b/a the Libertarian Party of Michigan. Not authorized by any candidate.