The LPM State Convention is coming up on Saturday, April 5 at the Eagle Crest Conference Resort in Ypsilanti. We are pleased to announce that LP National Chairman Geoffrey Neale and his wife Nancy will be attending our convention. Mr. Neale will be participating in the day's activities and will moderate the Drug Policy Forum at the evening banquet.
Several new speakers have been added to the day's lineup. Jon and Renae Coon will lead a discussion on Land Use Policies during the morning roundtable session starting at 10 a.m. Also added to the evening program's Drug Policy Forum is Clifford Thornton, Founder and Director of Efficacy, a non-profit organization based in Hartford, CT that works for peaceful solutions to social problems. Mr. Thornton will discuss the issue of race and the drug war.
If you want to stay overnight, don't forget to reserve your room at the Marriott by March 14 to get our special rate.
For more information about the convention, visit our presentation on the LPM website at www.michiganlp.org.
The Smart Growth Network has been succesful in pushing its agenda at the Federal and State level in this country, and now we are seeing it at the County level. This is a very large, well organized top-down initiative with international, not local origins. Find out what groups on both sides are saying about 'Smart' Growth, Urban Sprawl and Farmland Preservation. Learn about the loss of local control in Pennsylvania - an example that our new Michigan Governor is encouraging us to follow. Your land use rights are under discussion. If you believe, as we do, that we should keep all of our existing land rights, then please join us at the convention for a round table discussion hosted by Jon and Renae Coon (10am-11am). Allow us to share our experience and let us solicit your input for land use liberty.
*A note from the Convention Committee: We hope you will join us on the morning of Convention-Day for unofficial Roundtable Discussions (they are not part of regular convention business). In addition to Jon and Renae's Land Use discussion, Ron Crickenberger will be available to discuss the state of the national LP; Greg Stempfle is seeking your input for the LPM newsletter; and current LPM Chair, James Hudler will discuss the state of the LPM. These informal discussions are your opportunity to have a dialogue with other Libertarians on issues of interest to you. Space is available for other discussions as may be desired. We're looking forward to seeing everyone there -- remember: dialogue takes two, so we need you! For more information on the convention, which is being held on Saturday, April 5th in Ypsilanti, please visit www.michiganlp.org.
Troy MI--In the recent Council of Troy Homeowners Association (COTHA) television debate candidate Cristina Pappageorge thought she had a free shot at one of her opponents, councilman Martin Howrylak. She used her two-minute closing statement to blast the three-year incumbent for his membership in the Libertarian Party.
Calling the local issues that had been the subject of the 1 ½ hour debate "a smokescreen," she charged that Howrylak's reelection would encourage children to use marijuana, justifying their behavior to their parents with: "Mr. Howrylak is a city official; Mr. Howrylak is a Libertarian; Libertarians say it's okay to do drugs. So what's your gripe, if you voted for Mr. Howrylak?"
She went on to cite as "proof" a plank from the state Libertarian Party platform dealing with vice laws, telling viewers that a copy of a page from the party web site substantiating the allegation would be distributed to the studio audience on their way out.
Having already given his two-minute closing statement before the attack, Howrylak had no opportunity to respond to the "pot shot." However, the Libertarian Party of Oakland County has responded. The LP affiliate has filed a slander suit against Pappageorge.
"The very web page she distributed clearly states our view that the law should be used to protect citizens against force and fraud, and not in an effort to protect individuals from themselves," said Libertarian Communications director Greg Dirasian. "Nowhere does it say that we believe 'it's okay to use drugs.' This is a slanderous misrepresentation of our position and we intend to fight it."
"Libertarians are second to no one in our concern about the plague of drug abuse," added Oakland County Chairman, Nathan Allen. "That's why our platform calls upon lawmakers to repeal prohibition and end the failed War on Drugs. However, we simply demand that laws be changed," he said. "We certainly do not encourage people to break the law. But, of course, none of the viewers at home would have any way of knowing that."
Howrylak himself is not a plaintiff in the lawsuit. "This has nothing to do with the city council race," Dirasian noted. "That election ought to stay focused on issues of concern to Troy residents, not on state laws that can only be changed in Lansing," he said. "This action is being taken by our county party on behalf of Libertarians everywhere. We are law-abiding people, who seek change through the political process. And frankly," he concluded, "we've had enough of being slandered. We will no longer permit these derogatory allegations to go unchallenged."
The lawsuit was filed in Troy 52-4 District Court. No hearing date has been scheduled.
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