LPM Online

February 20, 2001


  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Civics Lessons
  3. District 2 Libertarians to hold caucus
  4. Ray Kirkus Gains More Local Support

  1. Upcoming Events

    February 20, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    The Libertarians of Allegan County will hold their monthly meeting at the Blue Heron. Our special guest will be Ray Wilson from Allegan County based Citizens for School Accountability (http://www.geocities.com/stoptaxes/) Ray will talk to us about the upcoming 2.8 millage vote to give KVCC special access to Allegan County. We will have information about the statewide petition drive to put the LP back on the ballot for 2002 elections. Also on the agenda will be news from the Feb 4 LPM conference in Plainwell and the LPM convention coming up the first weekend of May.
    Location: The entrance to the Riverfront parking is at the corner of Hubbard and Chestnut. Drive down and park behind Dockerty's. The Blue Heron is right next door to Docherty's, entrance on the riverfront. All interested in the Libertarian Party are welcome.
    Contact: Rick Dutkiewicz Phone: (616) 673-5503 E-mail: rdoogie@datawise.net

    February 21, 2001
    Monthly meeting of the St. Clair County affiliiate.
    Location: Figaro's is located at 1503 11th Street, Port Huron, MI 48060. TX: (810) 987-3588. Join us for dinner at 6:00 PM. Business begins at 7:00 PM.
    Contact: Richard Friend Phone: (810) 982-7178 E-mail: rfriend@advnet.net

    February 27, 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

    February 28, 2001 - 6:30 PM
    LP of Oakland County General Membership Meeting. Public welcome. Meet for dinner at 6:30PM, business begins at 7:30PM.
    Location: Sila's, 4033 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley. Sila's is located 2 blocks east of Greenfield on 12 Mile Rd.
    Contact: Chris Pellerito Phone: (248) 373-9411 E-mail: chair@lpocmi.org

    March 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

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

    March 12, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    Clare-Gladwin Libertarian Party meeting. Refreshments provided. Business: Annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Clare, the State Convention and Fundraising.
    Location: Mid Michigan Community College
    Contact: Ghazey Aleck Phone: (517) 386-2699 E-mail: ghazey@alecklawfirm.com

    March 13, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    LP of Oakland County Executive Committee Meeting All dues paying members are welcome. Business begins at 7:00PM.
    Location: LPM HQ, 619 East Nine Mile in Hazel Park, just east of I-75
    Contact: Chris Pellerito Phone: (248) 373-9411 E-mail: chair@lpocmi.org

    March 14, 2001 - 6:30 AM
    Libertarians of Macomb County monthly meeting. Drinks and dinner at 6:30 PM, business begins at 7:00 PM.
    Location: Miles World Resturant, 17689 Masonic, Fraser, MI 48026, 810-415-4500.
    Contact: Diane Barnes Phone: (810) 774-1625 E-mail: dbarnes98@aol.com

    March 15, 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 or postponement due to inclimate weather conditions
    Location: Chili's Restaurant, Hilltop Road at Washington St, Saint Joseph MI
    Contact: Glenn Whitt Phone: (616) 473-2764 E-mail: trombonist1@juno.com

    For more events, see the online calendar at:

  2. Civics Lessons by Tim O'Brien

    The following article is the latest in a series of Op-ed articles written by LPM Executive Director Tim O'Brien and submitted to news outlets across the state for publication. This current article was published on December 18, 2000 in the Detroit Free Press and can be viewed on their web site at:http://www.detnews.com/EDITPAGE/0102/16/obrien/obrien.htm.

    A group of Allen Park high schoolers got a wonderful, real-world lesson in how government works when they went on a field trip to a recent meeting of our city council.

    As luck would have it, there happened to be an item on the agenda that was of particular interest to these young citizens.

    In response to complaints by a retiree about the volume at which certain motorists played their radios while passing his home, a new ordinance was being proposed that would empower the police to issue traffic citations in such circumstances.

    Rather than investing in the equipment and training necessary to employ a decibel meter to scientifically measure the magnitude of the offense, the standard to be imposed was whether the officer could hear the radio from 50 feet during daylight hours or 15 feet at night.

    Needless to say, the teenagers immediately perceived that they were the obvious target of this proposal.

    Knowing that this class of potential victims could use a bit of adult support, I took up their cause during the citizen comment time.

    I began by observing that traffic court is widely perceived to be more a supplementary source of income to local government than a forum for unbiased resolution of legal disputes. This is especially the case for defendants under the age of twenty.

    Then there was the arbitrary and utterly subjective nature of the proposed standard. Who could say what a particular officer can or cannot hear from some particular distance on some particular occasion? Much less disprove it (since the burden of proof in traffic court is as a practical matter on the defendant, legal pretensions notwithstanding).

    Finally, this was clearly an attack not on noise pollution generally but on the customs of young people particularly. Did the police intend to ticket large semi-trucks that routinely shake our windows and rattle our walls as they go rumbling by? Or the trains that roar through the city, their whistles heard from distances measured not in feet but in miles? Or the jetliners that pass overhead whenever conditions put us under flight patterns into and out of Metro Airport?

    The measure was tabled and referred to a committee for further study. The students applauded.

    But that wasn't the lesson.

    The lesson came a half hour later when a question arose among council members as to whether they had violated a provision of our new city charter for not yet having appointed a board of ethics within one year of adoption as required.

    Our city attorney opined that the clock started ticking on the time limit not from the date of the election at which the charter was adopted (Nov. 2, 1999), but rather from the date on which it was officially recorded and certified by the Secretary of State's office in Lansing. No one could say exactly when that was.

    In any case, counsel advised, the ordinance establishing the new committee was quite complex, running to nearly a dozen pages, and he would have no qualms about arguing in court -- if it came to that -- that the council was "making a diligent effort to comply."

    Everyone in the room but me accepted the logic of these arguments without question or hesitation.

    I couldn't help but wonder how these same defenses would be received if proffered by teenage musical motorists: "I wasn't sure exactly what time the sun set, your Honor. Or whether the standard for radio volume was 15 feet or 50 feet. And anyway, my new Pioneer sound system is very complicated and I was searching for the volume control at the time -- making a diligent effort to comply."

    Do you think the judge would be dazzled by the penetrating legal argumentation of this future Clarence Darrow?

    The important lesson these students needed to take from their experience watching government in action was this: Officials will hold you to standards of behavior that they it would never even cross their minds to apply to themselves.

    Somehow, I doubt that their government teacher made this real world observation.

    And there's an interesting postscript to this little tale. It now turns out that the one-year time limit for setting up Allen Park's new board of ethics is nowhere near expired. It seems the new charter was never received in Lansing.

    Our local officials were a bit chagrined, but explained that to save money they always sent such documents via first-class mail, rather certified or registered mail, and the filing must have gone astray in transit.

    Now here's a way out of traffic ticket difficulties that doesn't even require a court appearance: "I sent in that ticket, your Honor. It must have got lost in the mail."

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  3. District 2 Libertarians to hold caucus by Jason C. Miller

    WEST OLIVE -- Libertarians in Michigan's second congressional district are meeting to form the area's first district caucus. State law allows for political committees at the state, district, and county level. The purpose of this district committee will be to fund and support candidates throughout the region using the entire region as a funding base. Lakeshore Libertarians have high hopes for 2002.

    The caucus will be formed and officers will be elected November 27 at 7:00 at the Yellow Jacket Inn in West Olive, MI. All members from throughout the district are encouraged to attend and be a part of this historic event.

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  4. Ray Kirkus Gains More Local Support by Glenn Whitt, Camapign Coordinator

    It appears that certain city leaders of New Buffalo, Michigan are not talking much to Mr. Ray Kirkusf these days. He is officially on the municipal ballot for city council of New Buffalo. He submitted 28 signatures of New Buffalo registered voters, which were all validated by the city clerkfs office. He only needed 25.

    Mr. Kirkus, who is chairman of the Berrien County LP, has blasted the city council on a proposal to increase the spending limits of the city manager without requiring city council approval. He has also expressed strong disapproval for raising the dollar amount requirement for comparative prices for sales or purchases. He has made several promises which indicate that he plans to try and persuade the city council to protect the taxpayersf money and property, and to be more accountable of every penny to be spent. Mr. Kirkusf position on these and other issues won the support of the local Lithuanian community. They are planning a fundraiser in his behalf, and want to help him get the vote out in his favour.

    If any would like to help Mr. Kirkus financially, please send contributions to him at:

    Ray Kirkus
    c/o Libertarian Party of Berrien County
    P.O. Box 9142
    Benton Harbor MI 49023-9142

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