LPM Online

January 15, 2008

  1. Upcoming Events

    January 15, 2008 - 00:00 AM
    Michigan Presidential Primary Election. This is your opportunity to send a message to the Republican and Democratic establishment.
    Location: All across Michigan.
    Contact: Libertarian Party of Michigan Phone: 1-888-FreeNow

    January 23, 2008 - 7:30 PM
    Libertarian Party of Oakland County annual convention & election of officers. Optional dinner starting at 7:00.
    Location: Sila's Restaurant, 4033 W. 12 Mile, 2 blocks east of Greenfield, in Berkley
    Contact: Adam Goodman Phone: 248-765-3213 Email: goodman582@hotmail.com

    February 03, 2008 - 11:00 AM
    LPM LANSING OFFICE LIQUIDATION The LPM will be auctioning off its office equipment and furniture by silent auction. Viewing starts at 11 am, bidding closes at 1 pm. No Minimum Bids! Open to the public! See inventory list at www.mi.lp.org. Cash and Carry--bring your checkbook and your truck! Snow date: Feb 10.
    Location: LPM Office, 2722 E. Michigan Ave., Suite 22, Lansing. Park and enter in back.
    Contact: Emily Salvette, LPM Secretary Phone: 734-645-5809 Email: salvette@umich.edu

    February 03, 2008 - 2:00 PM
    The Libertarian Party of Michigan Executive Committee will meet to address party business. LPM members are welcome to observe. Park and enter from the back of the building, which has a Xango juice company in front. Proceed up the stairs to the conference room on the right side of the hallway, behind Xango juice company.
    Location: LPM HQ, 2722 E Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI
    Contact: Bill Hall Phone: 616-460-9516 Email: chair@michiganlp.org

    February 12, 2008 - 7:30 PM
    Capital Area Libertarian Party regular monthly meeting. Election of officers and delegates to state and national conventions, review of the Voters Bill of Rights forum. Bring your own beverage and food if desired.
    Location: Lansing office at 2722 E. Michigan Ave., Suite 22 (or main floor conference room depending on turnout). Park and enter from back of building.
    Contact: Will Tyler White Phone: 517 349-3806 Email: whitewi5@msu.edu

    February 15, 2008 - 00:00 AM
    Libertarian State Leadership Alliance annual conference, February 15-17, 2008. A great national training event for Libertarian activists. Go to www.statechairs.org for more information.
    Location: Station Casino Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
    Contact: Beth Duensing Phone: 702-967-0763 Email: BethDuensing@lpnevada.org

    March 08, 2008 - 09:00 AM
    2008 Campaign Conference, free to all interested candidates and activists. Includes assistance completing filing paperwork and training in campaign basics. Will also serve as a forum for signing up and rallying our delegates to the Libertarian National Convention in Denver in May, for a Libertarian Presidential Straw Poll and to announce our Defenders of Liberty Awards. You won't want to miss it!
    Location: Best Western - Livonia
    Contact: Greg Stempfle, Erin Stahl Phone: 313-929-1789, 586-524-6289 Email: MichiganLibertarian@gmail.com , vicechair.lec@earthlink.net

    For more events, see the online calendar at:

  2. Don't Forget the LPM Office Inventory Sale — by Emily Salvette

    Planning to pick up a bargain at the LPM Lansing office inventory liquidation on Feb. 3? We now have pictures to go along with our inventory list. See them at http://www.michiganlp.org.sp003.alentus.com/Pictures/inventory.office.pics.doc. Remember, the bidding starts at 11 am and will close at 1 pm. The LEC meeting follows the sale at 2 pm. Questions? Contact me at salvette@umich.edu. See you there!
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  3. LSLA Conference in Las Vegas

    This year's Libertarian State Leadership Alliance conference is in Las Vegas, NV, President's Day weekend, February 15-17. This is a great national training event, where you can meet Libertarian activists from across the country. Currently, Michigan Libertarians Emily Salvette, Dan Grow, Bill Hall and Andrew Hall plan to attend. For more information, go to www.statechairs.org To register, go to http://www.lpnevada.org/stateparty/lsla.php
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  4. At Large LEC Member to Be Appointed

    After several years’ service on the Libertarian Party of Michigan Executive Committee, Will White recently resigned. At its meeting on February 3, 2008, at the Lansing office, the LEC plans to select a replacement to serve the balance of his term (through June 8, 2008) as an At-Large Member of the LEC. The LEC is seeking a passionate and responsible libertarian eager to pitch in and work hard and well with others to make our party a success. Any LPM member interested in the appointment should submit their request for appointment and a resume setting forth their qualifications to LPM Secretary Emily Salvette at salvette@umich.edu no later than Wednesday, January 30.
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  5. Become a National Convention Delegate!

    The 2008 Libertarian Party National Convention will be held in Denver, Colorado over Memorial Day weekend, from May 22 to May 26, 2008. During the convention, nearly 1,000 delegates from around the nation will gather to select the Libertarian Party's Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. In addition, delegates will elect new national LP officers and debate possible changes to the national Platform and Bylaws. If you haven't attended a National Convention in the past, be prepared for an incredibly exciting event, packed into a convention hall with a thousand exuberant Libertarians meeting to chart the Libertarian Party's future course and launch its 2008 political campaign. Outside the Convention hall you'll have the opportunity to schmooze and party with delegates and others from all across the country, and meet our prospective Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and national LP leaders personally. Whether or not you want to serve as a voting delegate at the Convention, this is a great opportunity to have some fun. For more information or to register, go to http://www.lpconvention.org/

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  6. Vote to Close Office Prompts LEC Resignation

    The December 2 teleconference meeting of the Libertarian Executive Committee resulted in a 6-3 vote to close the state office in Lansing. One of those casting a dissenting vote, Will Tyler White, resigned in protest at the close of the meeting. He will continue as office manager until the office, now on a month-to-month lease, is officially shut down.

    White says the LEC action was “shortsighted and ill-conceived, considering 2008 is an election year and our state convention is only six months away. After having a state office for more than a decade, this can only be perceived as a giant step backward” White said, “and in politics, perception is reality”.

    White claimed that while the closure was ostensibly made to save $250 a month in rent (about 14% of the annual $21,000 budget), no cost/benefit analysis was done and other options were not considered. Two-thirds of the LEC did not agree, relying on LPM Treasurer Nicole Michalak's research showing that elimination of the office would save not only rent, but also monthly Internet connection fees, much of the current telephone charges, and incidental charges such as insurance premiums, at a time when the LPM was behind budget in fundraising. The action was taken after Secretary Emily Salvette and Vice Chair Erin Stahl traveled to Lansing and made a detailed inventory of the office, with the help of Capital Area Libertarian Chair Bob Broda. Salvette concluded that the office contained little necessary for the day-to-day functioning of the LPM.

    LEC members considered the fact that using the office building conference room for a few LEC meetings a year, a candidate training seminar, and potentially another function or two is a benefit of office rental, but decided that for the few times it is actually used, alternative locations could be found. A majority of the LEC rejected White's claim that the availability of the conference room for such functions, or possibly even a state convention, could save thousands of dollars.

    “I felt this body was not acting in good faith with the membership, and I could not continue as a member of the LEC in good conscience” White continued. “Nothing was in the newsletter, and the membership was not told this would be on the agenda. There is no reason this could not have waited for the state convention and the next LEC to ponder, after full disclosure to the membership. That is how the controversial decision to move the office from Hazel Park to Lansing was made.”

    LPM Chair Bill Hall reports that, in fact, as reflected in the minutes, he announced to the LEC at its July 29 meeting his intention to have the LEC consider whether the lease for the LPM office should be renewed when it expired December 31. Delaying the decision to the next convention would have meant delaying the office closing a year and a half, to December, 2008. Hall says he discussed the possibility of closing the office with several activists over the Summer and mentioned it in a speech to the Oakland County LP in October. Specifically, he says: "This was a very difficult decision for the LEC. In the final analysis, the few benefits of keeping the office could not outweigh the fact that the office itself is located in a windowless basement room with seven-foot ceilings, ill-suited to be improved into professional-looking office space, and certainly not presentable to the media, or even prospective members. We were using it for storage space, and little else. We are a political party, and two-thirds of the LEC thought our members' money could be spent better on supporting our candidates."

    White urges others to ask the LEC to reconsider their decision and keep the Lansing office open. If enough interest is shown by monthly pledgers to specifically fund the state office, then there should be no question of its future. In December, White pledged $50 to keep the office open and urged in an issue of LPMOnline that others do the same. Unfortunately, only one other member called the office to pledge another $50, for a total of $100 pledged towards a year's rent.

    The LEC has recently discussed the options for renting a "virtual office", which could fulfill the need for presentable office space, available only when the LPM needs it. Treasurer Nicole Michalak is currently researching such a possibility.

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  7. LPM a Plaintiff in Primary Suit Filed by ACLU — by Will Tyler White

    The Libertarian Party of Michigan joined the Green and Reform Parties as plaintiffs in a complaint filed in US District Court Friday, January 11, 2008, asking the court to find Michigan's Primary law unconstitutional.

    After being invited to join the original suit led by Mark Grebner of Practical Political Consultants (who filed in Ingham County Circuit Court in October, 2007), the LEC agreed it was worth pursuing. Chair Bill Hall, who is also our political legal adviser, edited and approved the legal work prepared by Mr. Grebner's attorney so the LPM was ready to go when the time was right. Since Mr. Grebner was paying the attorney fees, our only cost was the time and energy expended by Bill Hall and our Lansing liaison Will White.

    At a half hour session in Mason on November 11, Judge Collette ruled in favor of Mr. Grebner, asking several times whether the voter lists would be desirable or beneficial to the Libertarian and/or Green party. The value of the lists to Mr. Grebner, whose vocation is selling such lists, was obvious. Some of the talk in the courthouse lobby afterwards was about how the case was being argued from the Libertarian and Green party perspectives (although none of that made it into the media).

    Judge Collette's decision was then sent to the Michigan Court of Appeals, as the defendants did not agree with his ruling. In another short session with similar arguments, this time in the impressive Supreme Court chambers, Judge Collette's ruling was upheld by a 2-1 decision.

    This of course did not satisfy the defendants, who appealed to Michigan's Supreme Court. As expected, they overruled Judge Collette. Some suspect it may have something to do with the fact that those who wrote the law are also those who controlled the nominating process for most of the sitting Supreme Court justices.

    At this point the ACLU stepped in to the fray, seeing a blatant violation of our State Constitution regarding private ownership of public property and the Freedom of Information Act. The ACLU has agreed to represent the plaintiffs pro bono. No telling how far it will go from here -- maybe all the way to the US Supreme Court!

    Whatever the outcome, we can all be proud of the stand taken by the LPM to uphold our Constitution, hold our legislators accountable, and advocate for an open election process.

    Read the ACLU press release and complaint at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MichiganLibertarian. or www.calparty.org.
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