libfest 2023

Unity Caucus Libby Awards with Promoter Ryan Brennan and Spokesperson Leah Daily. Bradley Hunt's Libby is on the table to the left.

Promoter of Liberty Ryan Brennan (left), Spokesperson for Liberty Leah Daily (Right). Producer of Liberty Bradley Hunt’s award is on the table to the left.

Unity Caucus Gives Thanks to Defenders of Liberty

By Scotty Boman

South Lyon, MI – The Libertarian Unity Caucus of Michigan presented the annual Defender of Liberty Awards to three carefully selected Michiganders who made notable contributions to the libertarian cause, or the Libertarian Party. The presentations were at the 2023 Defender of Liberty Award Banquet on Saturday November 25th. The venue was the South Lyon Hotel. 201 North Lafayette Street. South Lyon, MI  48178.

A Thirty Year Tradition

The tradition has its roots in the 1993 Libertarian Week Banquet at which the Libertarian Party of Michigan presented the Freedom Fighter Award to famed “Medicide Doctor” Jack Kevorkian. Each year there-after the Party would honor someone with an award. Award banquets were hosted by affiliate groups or the state party. This year the Unity Caucus hosted the event in an effort to transcend the factionalism that has afflicted the Michigan party for the past year.

Initially Liberty Festival Banquets were held as distinct events near the end of calendar years during which award winners earned them. However, it was often a challenge for activists to organize a festival while campaigning on even years, so Defender of Liberty Awards were eventually bestowed upon winners during the early spring convention of the following year. So if an award was handed out in the spring, it was for the previous year. But since the 2023 event was so late in the year, the award committee considered activists based on their work in late 2022 or 2023.

Unity Caucus Banquet Speaker

Our Speaker for the 2023 Defender of Liberty Award Banquet was  Angelique Chaser-Thomas. She was the 2018 Libertarian Party nominee for Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor.

Angelique Thomas was the LibbyFest speaker.

Angelique Thomas was the LibbyFest speaker.

She holds a BS in Political Science and Jurist Doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy, an MBA from Northwestern University, and a Certificate in Strategic Change Management from Eli Broad School of Management at Michigan State University.

In 2010 she co-founded Manufacturing and Design Electronics (“MADE”) and took on responsibility for strategic growth initiatives. Located in Auburn Hills, and formerly named CI Lighting, MADE designs and manufactures specialized printed circuit boards.

Her perspective is one that rises above the fray and focuses on a hopeful future for the Libertarian Party. She prompted guests to wonder if this our time to move voters from the time of the “wasted vote” to the “Why not?” era? Hence she pointed out that voters are more open to an alternative to the biopoly, but that we need to be ready to seize the moment and stop turning on one another.

Angelique spoke extensively and answered several questions from guests. Scotty Boman posted video of her speech here on Rumble:

Unity Caucus Libby Award Presentations

Scotty Boman was the Master of Ceremonies for the award presentations, but selected nominators presented the awards to the winners. The author posted a video of the award ceremony here:

Spokesperson for Liberty

Spokesperson for Liberty Award: To a member of the community whose patriotism and conviction have inspired contributions to the cause of liberty.

Bret Cashman presents Spokesperson for Liberty Award to Leah Dailey.

Bret Cashman presents Spokesperson for Liberty Award to Leah Dailey.

Former Superior Township Parks Commissioner (Partisan 1996-2004) Brett Cashman presented the Spokesperson of Liberty Award to Leah Dailey. In his nomination statement he wrote:

Leah has worked tirelessly to promote the Libertarian Party and ideas of freedom. She has been a campaign manager, local party leader and state party leader. She has tried to find common ground for all members in this time of division. Unlike many long-time members she has not become bitter or confrontational but has peacefully tried to bring members together. She has been a perfect example of the kind of Libertarian we would all like to know.

Leah played a major roll in organizing the event, but this came as a complete surprise since the award committee (Gregory Creswell, Alice Freebornhall, and  Mark Ashley Price) kept their decisions a secret, and information was only shared on a need-to-know basis.

Promoter for Liberty

Promoter of Liberty Award: To a libertarian whose efforts have done the most to promote the LP and Libertarian principles.

Jami Van Alstine Presented the Promoter of Liberty to Ryan Brennan.  In her nomination statement she wrote:

Jami Van Alstine presents Libby to Ryan Brennan.

Jami Van Alstine presents Libby to Ryan Brennan.

Ryan has driven efforts, such as March to Defend Lives, that have garnered both attention and support for libertarian ideals. He included and got support internally from members on both sides of the current party divide. While he has taken a position, he continues to publicly advocate for full inclusion of membership in party spaces.

In 2023 Ryan Brennan worked to organize demonstrations in Lansing, the Upper Peninsula and Detroit. Here are links to articles and media clips that show the effectiveness of his efforts through March to Defend Lives:

Capitol Rally

Detroit Rally

March to Defend Our Lives also held a protest in the UP via the UPLP and Ryan Roberts

Producer of Liberty

Bradley Hunt's Libby

Bradley Hunt’s Libby

Producer of Liberty Award: To a dedicated, behind-the-scenes Libertarian whose quiet labors over the years exemplifies the backbone of the LP.

Leah Dailey presented the Producer of Liberty award to Bradley Hunt. In her nomination statement Leah wrote:

Bradley has been working with Students for Liberty and started a non-profit to get libertarian literature and publications into prisons to inspire those held captive by the state.

An Students for Liberty published the following article about Bradley’s work:

Bradley has the rare distinction of being a two-time Libby winner. That was in 2015, the most recent efforts are much more recent.

Charitable Proceeds

The Unity Caucus donated $70 to the Libertarian sober caucus.

The Unity Caucus donated $70 to the Libertarian sober caucus.

The Libertarian Unity Caucus of Michigan donated $70 to the Libertarian Sober Caucus. This balance remained after Libby Fest organizers covered expenses. While Libertarians support legalizing vices, they also support voluntary solutions to the disease of addiction.

Also, in the spirit of volunteerism, some of the attendees brought food to the event to be donated to local food pantries.

A list of past Libby Award Winners is available In the historical archives:

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter