Libfest 2001

2001 Liberty Festival Banquette

Held at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn


  • Tom Crosslin
  • Csaba Csere
  • Joanne Karpinski (posthumous)
  • Nancy O’Brien

LibertyFest 2001

by Padraic Gresham

DEARBORN. About 100 LPM members and guests, including state representative Leon Drolet (R-Clinton Township), attended the party’s annual Defenders of Liberty awards banquet on Saturday, November 10, at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn.

Recognition and appreciation were given to the three LPM members who won election to office earlier in the week — Andy LeCureaux to the Hazel Park city council, Mark Owen to the Owosso city council, and Fred Collins who was reelected to the Berkley city council.

There was also special recognition for the leading contributors to the party’s successful petition drive by Ballot Access Restoration Committee chair Nancy O’Brien. The top three individuals were Al Titran, Leonard Schwartz and Sheldon Rose. The top affiliate was Shiawassee County.

The event featured special guest speaker Car & Driver magazine editor Csaba Csere who stepped in to replace Claire Wolfe (a reclusive writer who lives on the left coast and withdrew following the September 11 disaster out of concern over traveling here). The auto expert gave an enlightening and entertaining presentation on the perverse effects of federal fuel and safety regulations at a venue that couldn’t have been more appropriate for the subject.

The main event was, of course, the presentation of three Defender of Liberty awards.

The Promoter of Liberty award went to Rainbow Farm campground founder and marijuana activist Tom Crosslin who was assassinated last Labor Day by a federal sniper during a siege of the property after he and his long-time partner Rollie Rohm refused to capitulate to asset forfeiture laws. Rohm met a similar fate the next day. Crosslin family members were on hand to accept the Libby award (the only one of the three categories open not just to LPM members but to any Michigan resident who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to promoting liberty). The nomination and presentation were both made by Tim O’Brien.

The Producer of Liberty award went to ballot access petition drive chair Nancy O’Brien. She was recognized for her years of dedicated, behind-the-scenes service of which running the party’s just completed ballot drive was only the most recent example. She has, among other things, chaired a state party convention committee and a previous LibertyFest committee, as well as serving several terms on the LPM executive committee. Nominated by several people, the presentation was made by one of them — Wayne County affiliate chair Heather Pauli.

The Spokesman for Liberty award went to guest speaker Csaba Csere who has advanced libertarian ideas on the pages of Car & Driver for many years. His most recent column, for instance, roundly denounces the idea of using hidden cameras to enforce compliance with traffic signals. (For those who might be wondering, yes, Csere is an LP member.) The nomination and presentation were both made by Ben Bachrach.

Finally, a special posthumous Producer of Liberty award was made to Joanne Karpinski who recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. The presentation was made by LPM chair Michael Corliss and accepted by Joanne’s husband Ed. The nomination, made by Tim O’Brien, said:

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