LPM Online

May 29, 2001

Contents

  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Child Support and Responsibility
  3. MCUL 2001 Campaign School
  4. OTTAWA COUNTY LIBERTARIANS JOIN HISTORICAL DISTRICT FIGHT
  5. Lady Liberty wins award

  1. Upcoming Events

    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 11, 2001 - 7:00 PM
    Clare-Gladwin Libertarian Party Meeting. Topics covered will be petitioning, the Clare County Fair, Summer Parades and getting the Freedom 2001 Banquest in October put together, refreshments provided.
    Location: Grant Township Hall, 1 mile West of Jay's Sporting Goods on Surrey Road.
    Contact: Ghazey Aleck Phone: (989) 386-2699 E-mail: aleckfamily@voyager.net

    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

    June 21, 2001 - 7:00 AM
    Regular monthly meeting of the Berrien County Libertarian Party.
    Location: Conference room of the Berrien Springs Public Library, located across from the Old County Courthouse in Berrien Springs MI
    Contact: Glenn Whitt, Secretary Phone: (616) 473-2764 E-mail: trombonist1@juno.com

    June 24, 2001 - 1:00 PM
    The Libertarian Party of Shiawassee County would like to invite you to join us for a Celebration of Summer! Not a Fundraiser! Not a Political Event! Just an opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of friends! What to bring: Your choice of beverage; your choice of meat to throw on the barbie (hamburgers will be provided); any other food you want; your friends; your kids; your neighbors... Cards, Frisbees, Fishing gear.... Itís up to you! Letís have some fun! Call for directions. (Participation in event is purely voluntary; the LPSC assumes liability for NOTHING)
    Location: Shiatown Park in rural Shiawassee County
    Contact: Ben Steele III Phone: (989) 288-5616 E-mail: bsteele1@tir.com

    June 28, 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

    More
    For more events, see the online calendar at:
    http://www.michiganlp.org/lpmonline/events.php

  2. Child Support and Responsibility 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 May 23, 2001 in the Detroit News and can be viewed on their web site at: http://www.detroitnews.com/2001/editorial/0105/22/a09-226830.htm


    The sound and fury continue over the problem of what self-proclaimed children's advocates used to alliterate "Deadbeat Dads," but have now politically corrected to the much less lyrical "Deadbeat Parents." (Mere posturing, really -- only 3% are "Deadbeat Moms.")

    The federal government has been pressuring our state to create a unified database to administer child support payments. The state has in turn threatened the ten counties that haven't yet joined.

    Convinced that centralization is the solution, the latest is a federal edict that all states incorporate Social Security numbers into their drivers licenses to create a national ID (something the original proponents of the Social Security system absolutely swore on the Bible, the Constitution and their sainted mother's memory would never, ever be done) to facilitate tracking across state lines those who are under child support orders.

    Ironically, we wouldn't have nearly the magnitude of the problem if the government hadn't abdicated one of its most fundamental responsibilities -- providing a forum for dispute resolution -- by adopting a seriously flawed "No-Fault" divorce law back in 1972.

    The catalyst for the change is easy to understand.

    Social institutions in general were beginning to crumble as the "If it feels good, do it" generation transmogrified into the "me" generation, just as its members started coming of age.

    And, despite the fact that marriage is often called a "contract," it isn't. One of the basic criteria for forming a valid contract under centuries-old common law is that it must be enforceable.

    While two people might promise one another eternal love and devotion, as a practical matter there is no way to make a legally binding agreement to that effect.

    So, the law was modified to allow for "No-fault" divorce, eliminating the need for a merely dissatisfied spouse to specify grounds in order to be released from his or her marriage "contract."

    Since by legislative decree a showing of fault is no longer necessary, either party may breach the putative contract and incur little, if any, liability.

    This situation, already both unfair and profoundly life-altering for the innocent spouse, becomes truly traumatic when there are also dependent children.

    At least, it does if the defendant is the husband/father. This circumstance is in fact the first blow in the knockdown that presages virtually every "Deadbeat Dad."

    A plaintiff wife/mother comes into court suing for dissolution of her marriage contract, stating no grounds whatever beyond the incontestably vague assertion that "there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed."

    Then, since the contemporary social presumption is that "the best interests of the child" are to be raised by mom, she is almost always granted full, physical custody.

    Thus, she lays claim to the innocent defendant's children. And, in order to facilitate raising those children, his home and all of their (previously, jointly held) property, as well.

    In other words she essentially retains his life. She merely has him forcibly removed from it.

    Needless to say, this sometimes provokes just a bit of resentment from the dispossessed and banished husband/father.

    Next comes the "two-punch."

    The fact that mom is not even financially capable of supporting his home and children is remedied by compelling him to continue to pay many of his erstwhile family's bills -- his own (now separate) needs, notwithstanding -- handing over a third or more of his income for as much as the better part of the next two decades. He is, incidentally, legally prohibited from demanding any kind of accounting of what becomes of the money.

    Unsurprisingly, some in such circumstances are less than enthusiastically cooperative.

    But, any objections are met by the indignant accusation that he is attempting to shirk his responsibilities. Of course, in point of fact, "Deadbeat Dad" was never actually offered the option of retaining them.

    Now, there's really not much we can do about people -- male or female -- who will selfishly turn their spouse and children's lives upside down by ripping apart a family without even offering a coherent reason. A contract to love someone is, as previously observed, unenforceable.

    However, we could greatly reduce the child support collection problem by simply amending our no-fault divorce law to give the (rebuttable) presumption of custody of any minor children to the defendant, regardless of gender.

    It is, after all, not unreasonable to presume that "the best interests of the child" will be better served by remaining with the parent who does not abandon commitments for frivolous reasons and wants to maintain the family.

    The spouse/parent who still wishes to leave may, of course, do so -- with his or her clothes and any other personal belongings. The more dedicated, responsible party should keep the children, home, property, and claim on future child support.

    The immediate effect of such a change would undoubtedly be a plummeting divorce rate, thereby reducing the necessity for child support orders to begin with.

    The difficulties of collecting in the few remaining cases would be significantly reduced since the only parents who would incur such obligations are those who have voluntarily taken them on in exchange for being released from the marriage "contract."

    And the rest of us could skip getting a national ID.

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  3. MCUL 2001 Campaign School by Todd Stabenow

    The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) is proud to announce our 2001 Campaign School. The MCUL Campaign School is designed to provide candidates, potential candidates, or just political activists who like to volunteer, with the tools needed for political advancement.

    You can view the complete agenda, register online, or print out a form to fax/mail in at the following URL:

    http://www.mcul.org/mcul_campaign.htm

    Experienced national and state leaders will lead MCUL Campaign School. Highlights of the attached agenda and registration information: John Truscott, former Director of Communications to Governor John Engler; U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow; former State Representative and current Co-Director of the Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) at MSU, Lynn Jondahl; and Jim Sype, Director of Constituent Relations for the House Democratic Caucus.

    From the national ranks, we are proud to present former National Political Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Jeff Butzke, named one of the "Top Political Action Leaders in America" by Campaigns and Elections Magazine, and CUNA's Vice President for Political Action and Grassroots, Richard Gose.

    Please use the attached URL to register via mail, fax or online and let us know if you will be able to join us on June 14. If you have further questions regarding MCUL Campaign School, please contact me.

    Feel free to forward this on to anyone who may be interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.

    Todd Stabenow
    Grassroots Coordinator
    115 West Allegan, Suite 910
    Lansing, MI 48933
    Phone: 517.482.1062
    Fax: 517.482.3762
    E-mail: tds@mcul.org
    Web site: www.mcul.org

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  4. OTTAWA COUNTY LIBERTARIANS JOIN HISTORICAL DISTRICT FIGHT by Jason C. Miller

    For immediate release:
    May 27, 2001

    Fore more information:
    OCLP Vice Chair Tim Campbell
    (616) 738-6033

    OTTAWA COUNTY LIBERTARIANS JOIN HISTORICAL DISTRICT FIGHT

    HOLLANDóThe Ottawa County Libertarian Party officially joined the fight to halt the expansion of the Holland Historical District at their Tuesday meeting in Holland. OCLP Vice Chair Tim Campbell, filling in for Chair Roger Bouwman who was out of town on business, described the historical district as an ďExample of everything wrong with local government. The historical district expansion will strip residents of their property rights and place control of their homes in the hands of bureaucrats.Ē

    Campbell went on point out the hypocrisy of the proposed expansion. ďMany of this expansionís proponents donít live in historical houses. Letís see the city commission live up to the standardís it wants to put on other people.Ē

    Libertarians arenít opposed to history, Campbell added, they are opposed to taking away property rights. Libertarians believe that people should voluntarily organize to keep homes historic, rather than forcing it on others.

    The Libertarian Party joined the fight after Bill Leonard, a resident of the area affected by the expansion proposal, attended their meeting and asked for their support. Libertarians plan on starting a letter writing campaign, aiding in protests, and helping to purchase NO HISTORICAL DISTRICT yard signs.

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  5. Lady Liberty wins award by Jason C. Miller

    Jamestown -- The Van Buren County Libertarian Party's lady liberty statue took second place in the Jamestown Township Memorial Day Parade. Jason Miller entered the float on behalf of his school board campaign. Libertarians from Ottawa and Allegan County helped with the float as well as several people from the Hudsonville School District.

    Contact Bill Bradley if you would like to use Lady Liberty.

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