NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF MICHIGAN
CONTACT: Ghazey Aleck
LIBERTARIAN PARTY BACK ON BALLOT FOR 2002
EXPECTS RECORD NUMBER OF CANDIDATES
The Libertarian Party of Michigan received notification on February 1, 2002 from the Michigan Secretary of State that they have turned in the requisite number of valid petition signatures to be on the ballot for the 2002 general election--although the Board of Canvassers will be the one to make it official by certifying it in about a month.
The Libertarian Party completed an expensive and time consuming 6 month petition drive at the end of October 2001 to keep their party on the ballot after losing ballot status solely because their presidential candidate did not get an arbitrary number of votes required by Michigan election law--a law Libertarians call outdated and unfair since all of their other statewide candidates did get enough votes to keep them on the ballot.
Their focus now is to engage the Republicans and Democrats in the 2002 election by recruiting a record number of candidates providing voters with a viable alternative choice. According to current statistics, over 60% of Americans want more than just two choices on the election ballot. Making matters worse, oftentimes incumbents go unchallenged in national, state or local elections throughout the State of Michigan leaving the voters even more frustrated. The Libertarian Party expects to be that second or third choice voters have been looking for.
Even though the Libertarian Party was forced to use significant resources and manpower just for the opportunity to nominate candidates for office, the process has brought party members together and made them stronger. According to the state party chairman, Ghazey Aleck, the Libertarian Party expects a record number of active candidates for 2002.
Aleck said, "Even though we were temporarily off the ballot after the 2000 election, the Libertarian Party saw five libertarians elected to non-partisan offices. We also expect a record number of candidates to be running competitively for local and State partisan offices this year. This is an extraordinary set of accomplishments especially since we were also conducting a 6 month petition drive that collected in excess of 45,000 signatures to restore our ballot status."
Since 2000, four libertarians were elected to city council. On January 7, 2002 libertarian Bill Bradley was appointed to the city council of South Haven. He joins Fred Collins (Berkley), Andy LeCureaux (Hazel Park), Martin Howrylak (Troy) and Mark Owen (Owosso) previously elected to city council. Also, in 2001, libertarian Jeff Steinport was elected to the Grand Rapids School Board. All of these offices were non-partisan races.
In the 2000 election, the Libertarian Party fielded 110 candidates statewide. This was clearly more than any other third party. They expect to not only emerge this year with more candidates, but to start winning partisan elections. The Libertarian Party is fighting to restore individual rights while insisting on personal responsibility. The cornerstone of their beliefs comes from the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
Michigan's third largest and most active political party now has its sights aimed at winning partisan offices in this year's elections. Chairman Aleck summed up his party's chances by saying, "we expect to be the political story of 2002 because this will be the year that a third political party will start winning partisan races in Michigan."
Appointments to the bylaws chair and platform chair was offer to last year's chairs first and then posted. As such, appointments are now made for this year's LPM Convention and are as follows:
Bylaws Chair: Bill Gelineau firstname.lastname@example.org
Platform Chair: Richard Jozwiak email@example.com
Please contact them with any proposed changes to the bylaws or platform. Thank you.
At the February 3rd LPM Committee meeting (LEC)the position of vice-chair was filled as well as 2 vacancies. The following are the persons chosen by the LPM Committee to fill those postions.
Vice-Chair: Diane Barnes.
At Large Member: Ben Bachrach.
At Large Member: Bill Gelineau.
They will serve until the LPM Convention May 17-19, at which time, the delegates will vote again on officers.
The Committee of the LPM has approved a plan for a 5 month long membership drive.
You will be hearing more about this coordinated and ambitious plan in the coming weeks and months. This is extremely important as our membership has fallen 30% in the last 6 months. Some of the loss is normal, some may be attributable to other factors like the economy or September 11, but regardless of the cause, I am asking for your immediate attention to this matter!
You can help by first talking to your friends and family. The cost of membership is only $25 per year. You can also help by talking to local libertarian party members. Some local members have elected not to join the State and National party. It's only $25 per year and even if these local members are disappointed in the way the Libertarian Party has handled different issues in the past, it is the only structure we have and failure to help is a close second to helping the opposition as we are weakened as a result. Does anyone really want us to go into the 2002 elections weaker than we were in 2000?
The LPM will be doing mailings, phone calls and coordinating the membership drive with the affiliates at the March 9 Leadership Conference. But until things start taking off, I am asking you to help early and jump start the drive.
The LPM has set a reasonable goal of getting 400 members by July. Personally, I see nothing wrong with daring to think big. If each person that receives this request recruits only one new member, we will exceed the 400 member goal. If that happened before the mailings and phone calls start, then there is no reason why Michigan could not become the largest Libertarian Party in the country!
Thank you for your help.
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