There will be hundreds of non-partisan offices on the ballot in November 2005. That's right, 2005 (about 22 months from now). In keeping with our Operation Farm Team plan these are the races we want to target. Non-partisan races give us a chance to espouse Libertarian ideas without the Libertarian label. Experience shows that voters like our ideas and will vote for them when they look at the ideas alone.
This is our chance to get freedom-minded, fiscally responsible people elected to local city councils where they will become the Farm Team of experienced politicians that someday move up to the state legislature. The first step is to get appointed to a board or commission in your city, township, or village.
In Oakland County, we are encouraging as many people as possible to get appointed to local boards/commissions. There are so many positions open, that any person willing to serve their community is likely to get appointed. It really is as simple as contacting your city clerk-generally a very friendly person-to find out what openings are available.
The paperwork is as simple as filling out your name and address. Upon being selected, you will be given instructions on just exactly what your responsibilities are and what you need to do. The folks in the city administration are so grateful for your volunteer help that they will bend over backwards to help you. This is too simple.
Michigan's problems were not created overnight. And fixing the problems in Michigan will not happen overnight. As Libertarians we need to understand that we need a grass roots level movement to correct all of Michigan's ills. This is going to start by getting responsible people appointed to serve on local boards and then getting them elected.
Greg Dirasian, 1/3 of the very successful Oakland County Troika campaign team says, "If you really want to create a free society, this is where to start. You will have great fun, get to know some genuinely wonderful and caring people, and influence them without ever realizing it. Whether you decide to move on to higher/elected office or not, I guarantee that you will find this a fulfilling experience."
On February 25, at the Oakland County General Membership meeting at Sila's Restaurant in Berkley, Lloyd Sherman will be our guest speaker on how to get appointed to a local board/commission. Mr. Sherman serves on FIVE boards in his city. Sample forms will be available for anyone interested in finding out how the system works. Other councilmen and board members will also be available to answer questions.
If you can't attend the meeting and would like to find out how simple this process is, contact Lloyd Sherman at: LSherman@LpocMi.org, or, (248) 398-4739.
The Executive Committee of the LPM on Sunday endorsed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative...... This broad-based effort is led by past LPM Chair Tim O'Brien and hopes to capitalize on the backlash against years of government which showed racist and sexist favoritism in employment, college admission, and many other programs..... Due to the lack of political courage by the Michigan Republican Party, we expect many fair-minded Republicans to join our cause...... This is a great opportunity to step forward and get involved. This will be THE bellweather issue for our Party and our Candidates this year. Here is an article that ran on January 6 about the effort which ran in the Ann Arbor News: The battle for a ballot spot Anti-affirmative action drive starts Monday, but finances uncertain Tuesday, January 6, 2004 BY PATTY MAHER News Staff Reporters Organizers of a drive to place an anti-affirmative action question on November's ballot may have trouble drawing financial support in Michigan, but political experts say the movement to ban racial preferences could be successful even without major funding. ... So far, financial supporters don't appear to be flocking to the drive, led by University of California Regent Ward Connerly. .... According to a letter on file with the Michigan Secretary of State, Connerly's ballot committee, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, had raised nearly $20,000 by late October. Connerly won't say how much the group has now, and Michigan doesn't require campaign finance reports to be filed until the summer. Monday the group starts its 180-day drive to get 317,757 registered voters to sign petitions to place the issue on the Nov. 2 ballot, and Connerly says the checks are beginning to flow. He visited Michigan about two weeks ago on a fund-raising trip and said it went well. ... Affirmative action is so controversial in Michigan that both sides may have trouble raising money, said Barry Pyle, Eastern Michigan University associate professor of political science and constitutional law. ... "A lot of these things depend upon whether people can donate without having their names attached," Pyle said, noting that corporations may be afraid of boycotts. The Michigan Republican Party has shied away from the issue, despite polls that show more than 60 percent of voters would favor it. Even if the ballot issue has 60 percent support, that means a significant number are against it, "and a corporation doesn't really want to be associated with that," Pyle said. Connerly is being sued in California for keeping secret the names of people who donated to his nonprofit group called the American Civil Rights Coalition. The organization contributed 80 to 90 percent of the money for a campaign for Connerly's latest California race initiative, Proposition 54, which was defeated in October. The constitutional amendment, would have stopped most public agencies from collecting data about race and ethnicity. Connerly was successful in promoting anti-affirmative action measures in California in 1996 and in Washington State in 1998. No trial date has been for the lawsuit, which was filed by California's Fair Political Practices Commission, a state agency that monitors elections, and by some groups that opposed Proposition 54. Michigan petition drive leader Tim O'Brien said fund-raising will swing into full gear after Monday. O'Brien said he is encouraged by a growing coalition against affirmative action, including 22 legislators, the Young Americans for Freedom and the Libertarian Party of Michigan. "The biggest challenge for us in this drive is just going to be the logistics of collecting that many signatures in the time frame," O'Brien said. "All the surveys and polls show that it is very popular." .... Connerly says hundreds of people have volunteered to circulate petitions, and he thinks such volunteer labor will offset any fund-raising advantage the opposition might have. ... "The level of volunteer support ... is unbelievable," he said. "Some of them are very annoyed with their Republican Party for not being out front and supporting us." .... State Republican leaders last year came out against the ballot initiative, spurred by last June's U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the use of race as a factor in University of Michigan admissions. The initiative was also denounced by the state Democratic party. Opposing the ballot issue is an alliance called Citizens for a United Michigan. ... Connerly said he is used to raising less than the opposition. "Voters are going to support it whether we have $1 million in the bank or $10 million," he said. "It touches their lives and it touches their grandchildren." .. Ed Sarpolus, vice president of Lansing-based consulting and research firm EPIC-MRA said that historically, passage of ballot initiatives in Michigan is directly tied to fund-raising. However, he said, opinion poll results favoring an end to affirmative action indicate Connerly's camp may not have to raise as much money as opponents. ... An EPIC-MRA poll taken between Dec. 17 and 23 found that 63 percent of 600 Michigan voters said they favor or are leaning toward supporting an amendment to the state Constitution prohibiting preferences for individuals based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. Twenty-nine percent said they would vote against it or were leaning toward voting no, while 8 percent were undecided. Sarpolus said that since affirmative action is so controversial, Connerly likely will have to raise money from out of state. Although the public doesn't know the origin of much of the $2 million behind Connerly's most recent California initiative, considerable funding came from two out-of-state donors, said Jim Knox, executive director of the political watchdog group California Common Cause, one of five organizations involved in the lawsuit about campaign finance disclosure. Beer magnate Joseph Coors loaned the campaign $250,000 and another, less-prominent donor gave $190,000.... Opponents of the defeated proposal collected more than $5 million and the support of now-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. ... Michigan Secretary of State Elections Bureau spokesman Ken Silfven said the state sets no limit on the amount an individual or organization can donate to a ballot committee. Sources of ballot committee donations must be disclosed, but Silfven said he is not certain if disclosure is necessary for contributors who give to non-profit organizations that support the committees. ... Meanwhile, the Citizens For A United Michigan continues to build a coalition to fight the proposal, said retired Brig. Gen. Michael Rice, the group's leader. ... The coalition includes the Michigan Catholic Conference, the NAACP, union groups such as the AFL-CIO, and Detroit Renaissance, a nonprofit organization of Metro Detroit businesses including the Big Three auto companies. ... "We find it's a divisive effort put upon Michigan by people from outside of the state and will have consequences yet to be fully known," said Rice, a former deputy director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. ... Another opposition group, By Any Means Necessary, plans to boycott any Michigan politicians, companies, or institutions supporting the initiative, said co-leader Luke Massie. ..... Already under a boycott is the Lansing-based National Petition Management, which will circulate petitions for the drive, Massie said. .... While BAMN will work with Citizens For A United Michigan, Massie said BAMN is launching a "Decline to Sign" campaign and will follow those collecting signatures and try to convince people not to sign. ... "We're celebrating the 50th anniversary this year of Brown vs. Board of Education (the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that desegregated public schools)," Massie said. "Southeast Michigan is one of the most segregated areas educationally around the country, and now is not the time to attack integration measures." ...
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