LPM Online

May 22, 2001


  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Libertarians Fight Expansion of the Sales Tax
  3. Wanted: Armchair Activists!
  4. School Board Campaign Update
  6. Affiliate Contest:LPSC Commits to Gathering 5,000 Signatures
  7. LPSC Issues a Challenge
  8. An Open Letter to LPM Members

  1. Upcoming Events

    May 22, 2001 - 6:00 PM
    Monthly meeting of the Ottawa COunty Libertarian Party
    Location: NEW LOCATION: Denny's in Holland
    Contact: Roger L. Bouwman Phone: (616) 218-2616 E-mail: chair@oclp.org

    May 23, 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 Restaurant, 4033 W. 12 Mile Rd, Berkley. Sila's is 2 blocks west of Greenfield on Twelve Mile Road.
    Contact: Chris Pellerito Phone: (248) 373-9411 E-mail: LpocChairChris@aol.com

    May 24, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    The Ballot Access Restoration Committee meets the second and fourth Thursday every month -- until we submit petition signatures to the Bureau of Elections to be certified to once again be able to run Libertarian candidates in partisan races. All LPM members are welcome to attend and help with both the planning and execution of our petition drive.
    Location: LPMHQ, 619 E. 9 Mile, Hazel Park (just east of I-75)
    Contact: Nancy O'Brien Phone: (313) 562-5778 E-mail: nobrien321@home.com

    May 24, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    Regular Monthly Meeting of the Berrien County Libertarian Party.
    Location: Chili's Bar and Grill located at the corner of Hilltop and Washington Streets, St. Joseph, Michigan
    Contact: Glenn Whitt, Secretary Phone: (616) 473-2764 E-mail: trombonist1@juno.com

    June 5, 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

    June 11, 2001
    School Board elections. Get out and vote!
    Location: Your local polling place.
    Contact:  Phone:  111-1111

    June 12, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    LP of Oakland County Executive Committee Meeting. All dues-paying members are welcome. Business begins at 7:00 PM.
    Location: LPM Headquarters, 619 East Nine Mile in Hazel Park, just east of I-75.
    Contact: Chris Pellerito Phone: (248) 373-9411 E-mail: chair@lpocmi.org

    June 13, 2001 - 6:30 PM
    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

    June 14, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    The Ballot Access Restoration Committee meets the second and fourth Thursday every month -- until we submit petition signatures to the Bureau of Elections to be certified to once again be able to run Libertarian candidates in partisan races. All LPM members are welcome to attend and help with both the planning and execution of our petition drive.
    Location: LPMHQ, 619 E. 9 Mile, Hazel Park (just east of I-75)
    Contact: Nancy O'Brien Phone: (313) 562-5778 E-mail: nobrien321@home.com

    June 20, 2001
    Monthly meeting of the St. Clair County affiliate.
    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

    For more events, see the online calendar at:

  2. Libertarians Fight Expansion of the Sales Tax by Press Release

    CONTACT: Tim O'Brien
    (248) 591-3733
    (313) 562-5778

    HAZEL PARK. "I don't think the people of Michigan are eager to start paying a 6% tax every time they go to the doctor or get a haircut," observed Libertarian Party of Michigan executive director Tim O'Brien. "But that's exactly what could happen if Senate Bill 433 becomes law."

    The bill, ostensibly intended to make Michigan's sales tax easier to apply to purchases made on the Internet, has been unanimously voted out of the Senate Finance committee, chaired by Sen. Joanne Emmons (R-23), and is said by insiders to be on a "fast track" to approval. Emmons is also the bill's lead sponsor.

    Currently, states are unable to compel businesses outside their borders to impose and remit their sales taxes because the Interstate Commerce clause of the US Constitution prohibits it. In order to get around this problem SB-433 proposes to have Michigan join a Compact with other states that would permit reciprocal enforcement of sales tax laws and authorize the use of a third party as collection agent. However, a first step in the process is to unify the various state's sales and use tax codes. This will mean allowing the broadest scope necessary to accommodate all of the member states by eliminating any caps or exemptions (such as Michigan's exemption for food and medicine) and restrictions on application (such as Michigan's applying the tax to goods, but not services).

    "As a matter of fact," O'Brien continued, "the drafters of our Constitution even anticipated the very kind of 'end run' exemplified SB-433 and included an additional prohibition against states entering into any Agreement or Compact. However, they allowed an exception if the states can get the consent of congress."

    The LPM has brought its SpeakOutMichigan.org e-mail petitioning web site back online specifically to let the public express opposition to SB-433. Visitors to the site simply type in their name and home address. The system automatically determines the appropriate legislators and sends the message -- with any personalized comments the user might care to add.

    "It may turn out that the congress won't allow this anyway," O'Brien concluded. "But we're not going wait and see. We are going to do everything we can right here and now to have our state lead the way in a drive to make Cyberspace a free trade zone."

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  3. Wanted: Armchair Activists! by Garry Reed

    My name is Garry Reed and I need all libertarians to support my new on-line column.

    "The Loose Cannon Libertarian" appears twice monthly on newsguy.com. I'm writing an opinion column that takes on political and social issues from a hardcore libertarian viewpoint. The goal of my column is to arouse curiosity, stir controversy and spark debate with the web site's otherwise general interest readership. For some people, this may be their first encounter with libertarianism.

    But the column may not survive beyond its infancy without your help. The purpose of my column, after all, is to attract traffic to the Newsguy.com web site in the hope that you'll like what you see and sign up as a member. That makes it a win-win proposition for us and for them. They get increased exposure to their web site and we get another outreach venue for libertarianism.

    This is a perfect opportunity for armchair activists. If you hate campaigning, petitioning or demonstrating and can't afford to donate money you can still support the libertarian cause by simply pointing and clicking your mouse. Go to www.newsguy.com, scroll down to the cannon icon and click it. Read the column. Click "View article archives" and read my earlier efforts. Click "Email the author" and send me your comments and suggestions.

    Then check out the whole site and sign up for a membership if you like what they offer. And visit the other features, too. They're all free, just like mine. But most of all, bookmark the site and become a regular reader of "The Loose Cannon Libertarian" and help keep it alive. I submit new articles on the 14th and 29th of each month and they're posted soon after that.

    Remember: in the war of ideas, every mouse click (and loose cannon shot) counts.

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  4. School Board Campaign Update by Jason C. Miller

    I would like to thank everyone who has supported by campaign and helped me to get this far. I am one of four non-partisan candidates for two seats on the Hudsonville Board of Education to be elected on June 11. This is a winnable race that has received some attention from Libertarian circles. I wanted to take a moment to let you know where the campaign is right now.

    We have already:

    • Created a quality website that allows voters to seek more in-depth information
    • Distributed 2100 tri-fold fliers
    • Placed a few dozen signs
    • Earned some interesting endorsements (Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Greens)
    • Registered over 200 teenagers to vote (more than the total number of voters in the last school board election)
    • Begun to secure absentee ballot for supporters who will be out of town
    • Met with private school parents and identified myself as the candidate that supports them.

    We are preparing to:

    • Distribute 1900 more fliers by June 1 and then produce a new piece to continue going door-to-door
    • Place 150 more signs
    • Enter the Jamestown Township Memorial Day parade
    • Witness two 3000 piece mailings to the likeliest voters that the Libertarian Victory Fund is doing (without our coordination)
    • Run a full-sized insert in the Advance which will reach 10,000 homes targeted to our district
    • Run smaller print ads in the Advance and the Grand Rapids Press Community Edition for the Hudsonville/Jenison/Grandville area
    • Launch a GOTV effort on the weekend before the election and on the day of

    With the continued support and enthusiasm this effort has received so far, it looks like the LP will have another victory on June 11.

    Thank You
    Jason C. Miller

    P.S. If you would like to help in this campaign, please email me -- jcmiller@egl.net

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    For immediate release:
    May 17, 2001
    News from the District 2 Libertarian Caucus

    For more information:
    Rick Dutkiewicz
    Phone: (616) 673-5503


    ALLEGAN -- The Libertarians of Allegan County unanimously passed a resolution at their Tuesday meeting opposing the expansion of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) tax district into Allegan County.

    "Libertarians are not opposed to higher education," LAC chair Rick Dutkiewicz said, "but we are opposed to higher taxes. We support the idea that lower taxes are good for every social group except politicians." Dutkiewicz went on to explain that expanding the college's authority would impose increased property taxes on everyone in Allegan County.

    "The Libertarian Party wants smaller government and so do the people of Allegan County. It's a shame that our county board is moving quickly to allow for more taxes on our residents. We are convinced that, when the people hear about the tax implications of this expansion and that most folks won't get anything out of these higher taxes, the voters will take our side."

    Dutkiewicz also discussed the Libertarian Party's plan for organizing against the KVCC expansion at their monthly membership meeting. The Libertarians of Allegan County are working with Citizens for School Accountability (http://www.geocities.com/stoptaxes/), a coalition of taxpayers that also supports smaller government and will be able to mount formidable opposition to the KVCC tax expansion.

    "Our goal is to represent the ideas of small government for the people of Allegan County. The KVCC issue is one that we had to get involved in. We must let the proponents of bigger government know that their actions will not go unchallenged."

    The Libertarian Party is Allegan County's third largest political party. Its platform advocates a smaller, constitutional government at all levels. The KVCC issue will most likely be voted upon later this year, but the county commission has not chosen a specific date yet.

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  6. Affiliate Contest:LPSC Commits to Gathering 5,000 Signatures by Ben Steele III

    The deadline for choosing and reporting your affiliate's goal for the 2001 Affiliate Contest is July 1st!

    So far, only one affiliate has reported a goal to me: The Libertarian Party of Shiawassee County. The LPSC's goal is to collect 5,000 signatures toward recovering our ballot status!

    Affiliate Chairs, please add choosing a goal for the contest to your next meeting agenda. I can't think of any reason why every affiliate should not enter this year's contest.

    Report your goal to me by July 1st at 989-288-5616 or bsteele1@tir.com.

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  7. LPSC Issues a Challenge

    As our goal for the 2001 Affiliate Contest, the Libertarian Party of Shiawassee County has commited to gathering 5,000 signatures for the restoration of our ballot status. The LPSC, being one of the smallest affiliates in the state, firmly believes that this goal is achievable and therefore issues a simple challenge to the many larger affiliates of the LPM: Get at least as many-- or more --signatures!

    If we can achieve 10% of the LPM's total goal, what can you do?

    In Liberty,

    The Members of the Libertian Party of Shiawassee County

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  8. An Open Letter to LPM Members by Nancy O'Brien, BARC chair

    Dear LPM Members --

    You may have heard rumors about potential problems with the form of our Ballot Access petition. Please allow me to put any lingering concerns to rest.

    When it was first decided to go ahead with the distribution of the petition (even though the circulator section called for providing an address including "zip code" instead of the older "post office"), the former state party chair, the executive director, the chair of the BARC committee, and the legal council to the BARC committee, were in unanimous agreement that the petition was legal despite this insignificant difference. Since then, legal council to the State Elections Bureau, legal council to the State Attorney General's office, and all four members of the State Board of Canvassers have also agreed unanimously that the form meets the legal definition of "substantial compliance" with the law.

    This is the SAME Board of Canvassers whose opinion was considered by some to be of such crucial importance that we delayed any further distribution of the petition until we got it. Now we have it. And they are in 100% agreement that the petitions are legally sound.

    We have in our possession a Michigan Supreme Court decision (Kadans v. Branigin) that ruled petitions printed on the wrong size paper, 58 pages of which were held together with a staple and only one of which included the circulator's affidavit and signature, were nevertheless legally valid.

    On the opposite side of this debate, we had a letter from a mid-level bureaucrat suggesting changes in the petition language to make it identical to wording in the law.

    Which side do you suppose would prevail if these petitions were ever challenged?

    There is no legal requirement that the petitions get approval by the State Board of Canvassers in advance of circulation. The board approves petitions in advance as a courtesy. It makes people feel better knowing their petitions have been reviewed by an authority who didn't see anything wrong with them on their face. However, that "approval" will no more protect our petitions from future legal challenge than having a priest sprinkle holy water on them.

    It is a standard tactic for the opponents of anything for which petitions are needed to challenge the signatures after they are collected. That has never happened to us in the past. There is no reason to believe it will happen to us this time. Although it always could -- with or without an "approved" petition. If it does, the petition with the slightly modified language will withstand any legal challenge. As long as we have enough valid signatures to meet the state requirements we will be safe.

    There is no need for you to tip-toe around these petitions like there is something wrong with them. There isn't. They are perfectly valid. The clock is ticking; we need to get going on signature collection. I am willing to get the other "perfect" version of the petition printed for those who want them. I will print them in rainbow colors if I think it will get people to collect more signatures.

    We have lost too much time already. Please resume collecting signatures ASAP. The future of the party is riding on it.

    --- Nancy O'Brien, Chair
    Ballot Access Restoration Committee

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