LPM Online

January 23, 2001


  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Eisenbacher Announces for Troy City Council Race
  3. Ballot Access Signature Estimates
  4. John Stossel Goes to Washington
  5. Libertarians Honor Republican L. Brooks Patterson
  6. Stop Angling to Limit Anglers say Macomb Libertarians
  7. Howrylak Files Complaint with Attorney General

  1. Upcoming Events

    January 23, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    The monthly meeting of the Ottawa County Libertarian Party
    Location: The Yellow Jacket Inn. 12011 Lake Michigan Dr. West Olive, MI
    Contact: Jason C. Miller Phone: (616) 669-2851 E-mail: jcmiller@triton.net

    January 24, 2001 - 6:30 PM
    LP of Oakland County General Membership Meeting. Public welcome. Meet for dinner at 6:30PM, business begins at 7:30PM. Election of officers and bylaws changes will take place at this meeting.
    Location: Sila's, 4033 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley. Sila's is located 2 blocks east of Greenfield on 12 Mile Rd.
    Contact: Greg Dirasian Phone: (248) 515-3675 E-mail: greg@newsnetpipeline.com

    January 25, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    Organizing meeting for the LPM's Ballot Access Restoration Committee. We will be making our preliminary plans for our ballot access petition drive.
    Location: LPM Headquarters, Hazel Park (see www.mi.lp.org/hq/ for directions)
    Contact: Nancy O'Brien Phone: (313) 562-5778 E-mail: nobrien321@aol.com

    February 4, 2001 - 10:00 AM
    LPM 2001 Winter Leadership Conference

    10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Hosted by the Ottawa County Libertarian Party.

    For more information, contact Ben Steele III at 517-288-5616 or bsteele1@tir.com or Jason Miller at 616-669-2851 or jcmiller@triton.net

    Location: The Comfort Inn, 622 Allegan Street, Plainwell
    Contact: Ben Steele III Phone: (517) 288-5616

    February 6, 2001 - 6:30 PM
    Monthly Meeting - LP of Wayne County Dinner 6:30pm. Program starts at 7:45pm.
    Location: La Trattoria Restaurant - Dearborn MI
    Contact: Joann Karpinski Phone: (313) 925-6917 E-mail: Momjoann@aol.com

    February 6, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    Kalamazoo Libertarian Party General Meeting
    Location: TGI Friday's Restaurant, 5650 W. Main Street, Oshtemo, MI.
    Contact: Tim Miley Phone: (616) 668-3951 E-mail: thmiley@yahoo.com

    February 8, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    Libertarian Party of Berrien County will hold its monthly meeting. Please contact us in case of a change of meeting location. Please tune in to designated broadcast stations in case of cancellation due to inclimate weather conditions
    Location: To be determined
    Contact: Glenn Whitt Phone: (616) 473-2764 E-mail: trombonist1@juno.com

    February 11, 2001 - 1:00 PM
    LPM Executive Committee meeting
    Location: LPM Headquarters, 619 E. 9 Mile Rd., Hazel Park. Directions: Take I-75 to Nine Mile Road. Go east on Nine Mile for approximately five blocks. The HQ building will be on the left. See www.mi.lp.org/hq/ for a map.
    Contact: Stacy Van Oast Phone: (810) 784-8783 E-mail: stacyvo@eesc.com

    February 12, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    Clare-Gladwin Libertarian Party meeting. We are collecting 2001 membership renewals, continuing our 2 year plan implementation, reviewing the January revisions to the by-laws for accuracy.
    Location: Mid Michigan Community College
    Contact: Ghazey Aleck Phone: (517) 386-2699 E-mail: ghazey@alecklawfirm.com

    February 12, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    The LP of Livingston County invites you to attend our monthly meeting. Dinner is at 7 p.m. with the meeting following. This month's agenda is election of officers.
    Location: Mexican Jones Restaurante, 675 W. Grand River, Brighton, MI.
    Contact: Matt Dickinson Phone: (810) 231-1254

    For more events, see the online calendar at:

  2. Eisenbacher Announces for Troy City Council Race

    TROY MI. Troy City Council Candidate, David Eisenbacher announced today that he has collected over twice the number of required signatures required to run for Council, and will file them with the City Clerk today.

    "I enjoyed the process of getting out and talking to my friends and neighbors so much," said Eisenbacher, "before I knew it, I had many more signatures than I needed."

    Eisenbacher will deliver all of the petitions to the clerk's office, "because everyone who signed should have their voices heard."

    This is Eisbacher's first run for City Council. Prompted by both term limits, and concern over the future of the city in light of uncertain economic times, Eisenbacher is determined to continue the trend of bringing new ideas, and new faces to the Troy City Council.

    "Troy is a great place to live and raise a family." He said. "I cannot control what happens in Washington. I cannot control what happens in Lansing. I am going to do my level best to make certain the City Council listens to the concerns of all of the people who live in Troy, and that we respect the fact that Troy is filled with families where both parents have to work to pay huge taxes and service fees. We need to do whatever we can to reduce that burden. In these uncertain economic times, I am committed to eliminate wasteful spending. I hope to restore trust and bring openness to the council. If there are tax breaks available, I want them to go to families, not just corporations. I understand that this position may cost me campaign contributions from the special interests. That's ok. I will raise what I need to get my message out from individuals. And when I take my seat on the council, I will be beholden to only the people of Troy."

    Back to Contents

  3. Ballot Access Signature Estimates by Ben Bachrach

    Starting in April, the Libertarian Party of Michigan will begin its effort to collect upto 50,000 signatures to get on the Michigan Ballot.

    To help the Ballot Access Restoration Committee, BARC, make plans I requested that people contact me indicating the number of signatures they expect to collect.

    Results to date:
    84 people responded giving a total estimate of
    11,700 signatures.

    The responses have ranged from 0 to 1,000 signatures. The mode is 25, the median is 50, and the mean is 139.

    There are still more than 1,500 members who have not responded.

    If you have not sent in an estimate, it is not too late.
    Just email Ben45@aol.com and let me know. To help you plan how many signature you expect to collect, most people report it takes about 1 hour to collect 25 signatures. Don't be left out. Respond today.

    Back to Contents

  4. John Stossel Goes to Washington


    What happens when a skeptic visits the center of government? He finds out how bad the waste, incompetence, and abuse of power can be.

    For years, ABC News reporter John Stossel was a consumer reporter, exposing businesses that ripped off consumers. In his latest hour-long special, he does a consumer report on government, exposing programs that squander money and rules that make no sense. Some government officials aren't eager to talk about the problems, as Stossel discovered when then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt walked out of an interview.

    For 150 years, America's government guaranteed liberty - and little else. But over the past 60 years, under Republicans and Democrats, government has grown so sharply - that it costs the average American $10,000 per year in taxes to pay for it. Philosophy professor Tibor Machan tells Stossel that's not what the framers of the Constitution wanted: "The Founders tended to believe that government should be restricted. It should be limited to the function of securing our rights." Instead, government has taken on countless duties, from running subways to inspecting pickles.

    Stossel looks at a typical St. Louis family and their tax burden - about one out of every three dollars they earn - and talks to tax expert Amity Shlaes, who notes that "Americans pay more in taxes than we do in food, clothing and shelter combined." Government can't even keep track of much of the money, as Stossel learns when he drops in on D.C. committee hearings and the General Accounting Office.

    Much of what government does do, it does poorly, finds Stossel. The Interior Department spent billions to help Native Americans, but Indians are the poorest people in America. Billions more have been spent on centrally-planned public housing, but instead of safe homes, low-income families often end up with dilapidated buildings where elevators don't work and security is poor. Charities complain that government rules make it tougher to help people. Today "if Jesus Christ...wanted to start Christianity, he wouldn't be able to do it," says Mimi Silbert, who runs a mutual aid network in San Francisco, "because there are too many regulations."

    Despite government's failures, Stossel points out that it continually seeks more power, whether on a local scale-such as seizing homes under the auspices of urban renewal - or on an international scale, intervening militarily in over a hundred countries.

    What's the alternative? Stossel finds private organizations taking over formerly government-run functions and doing the job better. Competition - sorely lacking in government monopolies - gives these private companies an incentive to guarantee such necessities as clean water, and flights that actually arrive on time. In Jersey City, NJ, for instance, Mayor Brett Shundler got so disgusted with high-cost, lousy-tasting water, he put the water contract out for bid. "If they blow it, we're going to give the contract to somebody else," Shundler tells ABC News.

    "John Stossel Goes To Washington" concludes with Prof. Machan's comment: "Government was intended to have a few, clearly-defined functions such as running the courts and the military, and it would do it much better if it didn't do all this other stuff that it has gotten its nose into."

    "John Stossel Goes to Washington" airs January 27 at 10pm Eastern, 9 Central

    Back to Contents

  5. Libertarians Honor Republican L. Brooks Patterson by Press Release

    CONTACT: Greg Dirasian
    (248) 515-3675

    HAZEL PARK. The Libertarian Party of Oakland County (LPOC) voted over the weekend to give special recognition to Republican L. Brooks Patterson. They will present the Oakland County Executive with an "Oakie" -- their annual award to the individual who made the greatest contribution to building Libertarian Party membership in Oakland County in the preceding year.

    "Mr. Patterson's recent pronouncement that he wants to 'reign in the far right' in his own party" observed LPOC Chair Gary Bora, "may be the best news we've had since our excellent showing in the last election. The people that Mr. Patterson calls the 'far right,'" he continued, "are really just average citizens who know a pandering politician when they see one. It's no surprise to us that Republican support is eroding."

    The LPOC chair added that he already felt indebted to Patterson for having driven former Oakland County Republican Paul Champion out of the Republican Party and into the Libertarian Party in the summer of 1999. Champion joined the LP after receiving a letter from Patterson calling him "an asshole" for even suggesting that it was not proper for the Oakland County Executive to be attempting to derail legislation (then still before the legislature) making it easier for sane, law-abiding citizens to get concealed carry permits.

    "I've never understood why those of us who respect the U.S. Constitution -- including the 2nd Amendment -- are considered 'far right,' Champion said, "but, in any case, the Oakland County Executive considers us 'assholes' who are not welcome in his gun-controlling Republican Party."

    Champion, who ironically ended up becoming the LP candidate for Patterson's job in the 2000 election, noted, "the reason fewer and fewer people in Oakland County are voting Republican is obvious. Public officials like L. Brooks Patterson and John Engler are being held up as model Republicans. Voters who want genuinely smaller government and aren't yet aware of the Libertarian alternative, are simply staying home."

    The LPOC presents their annual "Oakie" award at their January general membership meeting, this year being held on January 24, 2001, 7:30 pm at Sila's restaurant in Berkley. County Executive Patterson has not yet announced whether he will attend in person to receive his award for having made the greatest contribution to building Libertarian Party membership in the preceding year.

    Back to Contents

  6. Stop Angling to Limit Anglers say Macomb Libertarians by Press Release

    CONTACT: Diane Barnes
    (810) 774-1625

    EASTPOINTE. "If the consequences weren't so dangerous to both our wallets and our liberties," observed Macomb County Libertarian Party chair Diane Barnes, "we'd probably just laugh at the antics of our government officials."

    The Macomb Libertarians are particularly vexed with two local pols for recent attacks on both ice fishers and taxpayers.

    "First, U.S. Representative David Bonior (D-10th) gets a $100,000 appropriation of taxpayer's money to buy a special air boat -- so that authorities can more efficiently come to the aid of ice fishers in the rare instances when they become stranded," Barnes observed. "Then State representative William Callahan (D-St. Clair Shores) proposes legislation to fine anglers who have to be rescued using the expensive, new boat."

    Other local officials have joined in the paternalistic call to restrict the freedom of ice fishers for their own good. Harrison Township Fire Department Captain Robert Knapp said he supports legislation that gives local agencies authority to "order people off the lake" during unsafe conditions.

    "Obviously, for that circumstance to arise there would have to be a difference of opinion as to whether or not conditions are unsafe," added Macomb LP member and avid ice fisherman Mike Jablonski. "Knowing how government authorities think," he added, "we just might be permitted to enjoy our sport for about three days in the middle of February... when the ice is at least two feet thick."

    "I am not, myself, an ice fisher," added Barnes, "but I can certainly appreciate the frustration of adult citizens who are not permitted to use their own judgment about the relative hazards of their leisure time activities.

    "On the other hand," she concluded, "I am a taxpayer. And this situation is a perfect example of the ongoing assault on my wallet by do-gooder politicians. First, they spend a lot of tax money to prepare for highly unusual situations, then they restrict everyone's rights in order to prevent the very circumstance they claimed justified the expenditure."

    Although it is apparently too late to save the taxpayers' $100,000, the Macomb County Libertarian Party vowed to stand up for the rights of ice fishers not to be legally prohibited or fined for doing nothing more than engaging in their favorite pastime.

    Back to Contents

  7. Howrylak Files Complaint with Attorney General

    For Release January 12, 2001

    Troy City Councilman Martin Howrylak today announced that he has sent a letter to Attorney General Jennifer Granholm requesting that she initiate a formal investigation into the legality of certain closed city council sessions.

    "I am concerned in that I have seen what I believe to be a violation of the Open Meetings Act (OMA)," said Mr. Howrylak. "When I became a city councilman, I promised to uphold the laws and constitution of the State of Michigan. It is thus my obligation to report perceived transgressions to the proper authorities.

    "The Open Meetings Act was designed to ensure that the public is able to participate in public policy formation and the general decision-making process. It is essentially a law that enables the public to be a check against possible governmental abuses. It should not be taken lightly, and it did not make me happy to have to send the letter.

    "While I believe that the OMA may have been violated, I leave the ultimate decision as to whether or not there was a violation to the Attorney General. After a thorough investigation, I believe that the Attorney General will find compelling reasons to intervene and compel compliance with the Open Meetings Act and to further enjoin non-compliance."

    The OMA permits closed sessions in ten circumstances. The dates and the claimed OMA exemptions of the meetings cited in Mr. Howrylak's letter are noted as follows:

    --December 13, 1999 (Material exempt from disclosure by
    state or federal statute)
    --January 5, 2000 (Material exempt from disclosure by state
    or federal statute)
    --January 17, 2000 (Material exempt from disclosure by state
    or federal statute)
    --March 6, 2000 (purchase, sale or lease of land)
    --April 17, 2000 (purchase, sale or lease of land)
    --May 1, 2000 (Scott and Straub v. City of Troy; pending
    --October 2, 2000 (purchase, sale or lease of land)
    --October 16, 2000 (purchase, sale or lease of land)
    --October 23, 2000 (purchase, sale or lease of land)

    Mr. Howrylak does not agree with the exemptions cited by the city council. "Ultimately the discussions had nothing to do with the claimed allowances for closed sessions. "

    While Mr. Howrylak was present at all noted closed sessions from April 10, 2000 to the present, he voted against meetings that he feared would violate the OMA. Additionally, in May Mr. Howrylak was rebuffed in his request that the city council designate outside legal council to review closed session requests.

    As for why he wrote the letter to the Attorney General, Mr. Howrylak said that it is simply the right thing to do. "I was brought up to believe that it is important to do the right thing, even if it is unpopular. While the letter to the Attorney General may not win me any friends on the city council, I believe that there are many questions that need to be answered. The public has a right to know what happened in those closed sessions if they were improper. As a representative to the 85,000 residents of Troy, I have an obligation to protect their interests. Those interests include making sure that the OMA is followed and that they are able to participate in the decision-making process.

    Back to Contents

To unsubscribe, send email to markfheil@worldnet.att.net
Created with NewsNet Pipeline - The Online Newsletter Connector

Return to News Archive

Return to LP of Michigan Home Page