By Bill Hall, Chair
Under our Bylaws, the state convention delegates from each Congressional District select a representative to the Libertarian Party of Michigan’s executive committee at each odd-year state convention. If a representative resigns before the end of their two-year term, then the caucus meets at the next scheduled convention to elect a replacement to complete their term.
Since the last convention, Tiffany Hayden from the 13th congressional district, and Tim Coon from the 4th Congressional District, have resigned. Hence, delegates to the March 10, 2018, convention from each of those districts will caucus to elect a replacement. If you reside in one of those districts, please consider running for the office, or encourage someone you support to run.
By Scotty Boman, Editor
For many Libertarian activists, the National Party exists for one weekend every two years. We have a lot of fun, attend workshops, vote on bylaws and the platform, and then elect new officers. Every other convention we nominate our Presidential ticket.
But plenty happens in-between. The people we elect keep the Libertarian Party going. They comment on policy and do research. They fund ballot access efforts. They plan conferences including subsequent conventions. They also vote on a number of resolutions and even on which of their colleagues remain on the LNC.
So how do we know what they’re doing? Do we have any say in this process? Before reaching out to national officers on an issue of interest to me, I had no idea how transparent the process really was. To stay current on official LNC correspondence one can visit this google group. Conversations between officers are readily available for anyone to read:
In case you are wondering what you missed, detailed minutes are archived here:
and final drafts are archived in PDF formant here:https://www.lp.org/lnc-meeting-archives
So what if you want to contact an LEC member to express your opinion on an upcoming vote, or to thank them for past work? Their email addresses are right here:
Many of the officers are regional representatives. They are each responsive to members of their own region. Michigan is in Region 3, so our Regional representative is Elizabeth Van Horn ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). There is a Region 3 facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/247371102053321
So there it is! Our National leadership is no further away than your cellphone, tablet or computer.
By Greg Stempfle, Political Director
Editor’s note: This article concerns candidates seeking the Libertarian Party nomination through the primary system. The Michigan Libertarian provides fair coverage of any Libertarian Party of Michigan member who is seeking the nomination through this process without endorsing one candidate over another.
Two members of the Libertarian Party of West Michigan filed their paperwork this week to run for State Representative in the August 2018 primary election. This brings the total number of Libertarians running for the Michigan State Legislature to six, with over three months left until the filing deadline.
Jamie Lewis is running in District 72 which covers, in Kent County, the City of Kentwood and Gaines Township and in Allegan County, the City of Wayland and the Townships of Dorr, Leighton, and Wayland. Jamie is a skilled tradesman in the Grand Rapids area, and has been active in Libertarian politics since volunteering for the Jon Coon campaign in 1994. He currently serves as the 3rd district representative on the LEC and has twice been the party's nominee for Secretary of State.
Patty Malowney is running in District 77 which covers the City of Wyoming and Byron Township in Kent County. Patty is an editor and social media consultant for a popular website for moms. Her website was acquired by a multi-million dollar company in 2008. As an entrepreneur in the internet business, she knows the value of networking and personal connections. She intends to use her networking skills and connections to run a competitive campaign in the 77th district.
Good luck to both candidates!
By Scotty Boman, Editor
Editor’s note: This article concernes a candidate seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for President. The Michigan Libertarian provides fair coverage, without endorsing one candidate over another.
Wise County -TX. Presidential Candidate for (“Not”) President Adam Kokesh spent over a week in a Texas jail without seeing any charges. He was arrested by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers shortly after formally announcing his decision to seek the Libertarian Party nomination for President on January 16th. This early announcement coincided with him being the first to file a Statement of Candidacy with the FEC. The Texas troopers who made the arrest told Kokesh he was pulled over for speeding, and they told the press he was arrested on marijuana charges after a police dog signaled the presence of marijuana. Sources close to Kokesh don’t believe any contraband was found, and he insists that he doesn’t travel with contraband. His video shows a dog sniffing the vehicle, but not the discovery of specific items.
Law enforcement officials also charged him with tampering with evidence, even though the entire stop was recorded by Kokesh. A full recording of the events leading up to his arrest is available here: https://youtu.be/k6TKONVs7kw
The recording also features Kokesh’s dog Baloo. Sources close to Kokesh initially told the Michigan Libertarian that friends picked up the dog, and that he was safe. Some early information was released by his girlfriend Stacy Cook, who broadcasted YouTube updates.
On Monday a judge set his bail at $76,500 and Kokesh was told $6,000 would be needed for him to be released from jail. He called that “ransom,” and refused to pay on principle. A district judge reduced the bond to $21,500, and insisted he pay $2,000 to be released. Campaign contact Marcus Pulis said Kokesh hadn’t actually seen the judge, and that he was getting information about the bail amounts second-hand.
Kokesh has repeatedly asked to see the charges in writing, as well as other documentation pertaining to his detention, but has not received it. A writ of habeas corpus was sought by his attorney, but was not honored in the time leading up to his release.
On January 24th Kokesh issued an open letter from jail directed to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin, who is in charge of the jail where he is being held. There he complained about the lack of information available to him, “I would tell you more about the incident; the charges, the circumstances, and the full name of the arresting officer. But although I have been locked up for more than a week and despite my repeated demands, I have yet to receive a single piece of paper from the government regarding the incident of my unjust imprisonment. As the county sheriff, you have the ability to set things right in this case. I intend to help you." He also asked for the return of his property and his dog Baloo. Campaign contact Marcus Pulis told the Michigan Libertarian that the dog had been “bailed out” by a friend of Kokesh, but he didn’t know this when he penned the letter, citing the limited information being passed along to detainees. He said Kokesh and Baloo would probably be reunited over the weekend.
On January 25th (5:37 PM EST) the Michigan Libertarian called the Wise County Sheriff Department, and the Deputy answering said “He has been bonded out.” According to a news release by the “Adam Kokesh American Referendum Project”, he was bailed out for his own safety. According to the news release, “…there have been numerous threats made via social media that have been traced to what appears to be local law enforcement and today Kokesh received a note in his cell stating, ‘GET OUT NOW’.” While Kokesh didn’t request that his bail be paid, his campaign manager, Angela Fisher Owens, bailed him out over concerns for his safety in light of these threats.
The Michigan Libertarian asked Pulis if the state troopers actually had any contraband that they alleged to be found in Kokesh’s vehicle or on his person. He said he was not aware of any and said the authorities had not presented Kokesh with any charges, or an arrest report. When asked how there could be bail without charges, Pulis indicated that there were a lot of problems with this case, but they needed to get him out of the jail. He also said Kokesh was legally permitted to possess some vegetation for ceremonial or display purposes, and that, if any was found, officers might try to call it contraband even though it was held lawfully.
By Greg Stempfle, Political Director
Precinct delegates are a quirky aspect of Michigan election law that the Libertarian Party of Michigan, our affiliates, and party members will have to deal with in 2018.
Under state election law, precinct delegates are elected officials whose sole responsibility is to attend and vote at political party county conventions. The laws about precinct delegates only apply to those parties qualified for the primary, which includes Libertarians for the first time.
There are three county conventions called for under Michigan election law (except for Wayne County).
Note: Wayne County does not hold a post-election convention. Instead, it is divided up by Congressional District and each district elects it’s own officers at a caucus held during the Spring State Convention.
The precinct delegate system is rather archaic and not rigidly adhered to by the Michigan Democratic Party, and to a lesser extent, the Michigan GOP. When drafting our so called major party bylaws last year, to bring them up to date with state law, the issue of precinct delegates was a challenge. The LPM largely chose not to adhere to election law where it applied to our officer elections and executive board makeup. Precinct delegates, while an internal party position, do play an indirect role in the nomination of statewide candidates at our Fall convention and therefore the party felt it was necessary to incorporate them into our bylaws. Precinct delegates will be on the August primary ballot regardless of whether the party wants it or not.
The LPM bylaws permit affiliates to opt out of the post-election county conventions, allowing affiliates to set their own dates for officer elections. The LPM bylaws do however require affiliates to accept precinct delegates to their county conventions as long as the party is qualified for the primary election. Being a precinct delegates is not a requirement to be a delegate to any state convention or county convention. The bylaws of the LPM, as well as the Michigan Democratic Party, allow party members to vote at state and county conventions even if they are not precinct delegates.
Any registered voter can become a precinct delegate including candidates for other public offices. The only requirement is filing a notarized Affidavit of Identity for Precinct Delegates by May 8, 2018. Each affiliate should encourage their members to sign up to become precinct delegates to ensure party members comprise most of the elected delegates to county conventions.
Affiliate chairs are supposed to let county election officials know how many delegates they want allotted to each precinct by April 1, 2018 otherwise, they will make that determination themselves. There will be a minimum of one delegate per precinct and the number of delegates per precinct is supposed to be apportioned based on how well Gary Johnson did for President in each district. Considering he got 3.6% statewide and the LPM allows non-precinct delegates to vote, there is questionable utility in determining this apportionment.
Here is the law which describes this process. I encourage all affiliate leaders to read it and decide for yourselves how to proceed.
MCL 168.623a Mailing or delivering certificate showing number of delegates to county convention; time; notice; failure to forward certificate; allotment and apportionment of delegates; election of delegates by direct vote.
By Bill Gelineau
Editor’s note: This article has been submitted by a candidate seeking the Libertarian Party nomination through the primary system. The Michigan Libertarian provides equal access to any Libertarian Party of Michigan member who is seeking the nomination through this process without endorsing one candidate over another.
As was discussed in the prior newsletter, the campaign made a strategic decision to forego any attempt to file by the end of 2017 (our early planned goal) in favor of obtaining a few more signatures to ensure an acceptable margin for our filing. If you’re still collecting signatures for the campaign, please mail them in by February 1.
We do expect to obtain the 800 (approx.) signatures we need by that time and will file sometime in February. We expect to be well over 20,000 signatures at that time.
On the 17th of January, Bill had the opportunity to speak to the LP of Oakland County. There was a great turnout at their new location in Troy – and a lot of enthusiasm and new volunteers came out of that event. The campaign continues to have great outreach success. Our social media team continues to exceed expectations with new followers, promotion, and interaction with like-minded groups. While the winter has slowed the pace of appearances – that will pick up in early Spring.
Drop an e-mail to the campaign if you’d like to help out. email@example.com
The Libertarian Party of Michigan is happy to welcome Straits Area Libertarians as an official local affiliate. The party Chair Andy Evans, Vice Chair James Johnson, Secretary Nancy Shutes, Treasurer Jim McKindles and Board Advisor Dana Carver put in a lot of hard work to establish a meeting place and create an atmosphere to accommodate Libertarian party members in the top central part of the lower peninsula.
Straits Area Libertarians serve Emmet, Cheboygan and Otsego counties. If you reside in these 3 counties, be sure and join them for their next meeting at Great Lakes Grill in Cheboygan. For details on their February meeting, go to this event page.
By Norm Peterson, District #7 Rep.
Lansing, MI – On January 4, 2018, Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he is rescinding the current Department of Justice policy which places a low priority on enforcing marijuana prohibition in States with laws that have legalized the growing, possession and use of marijuana. The current policy, now rescinded, led to an explosion in the growth of the medical marijuana sector and legalization for medical purposes here in Michigan. Over half of the States now have legalized medicinal marijuana and eight states allow recreational use.
The Libertarian Party of Michigan strongly opposes this action by the Donald Trump administration. Federal prohibition of marijuana use violates both individual rights and States’ rights.
Libertarians believe that individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and must accept the responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. We also believe that laws should be limited to protecting individuals from the initiation of force and fraud. Therefore we support the repeal of laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as Federal and State laws limiting or prohibiting the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.
The “war on drugs” has been a spectacular failure. Though billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent, usage remains almost unchanged. What has changed is that an enormous number of individuals have been imprisoned, ruining their lives and the lives of their families. Marijuana prohibition has resulted in increased crime, official corruption and deaths. Drug cartels and related criminal activity are a direct result of prohibition. The Libertarian Party supports initiatives in Michigan that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults.
The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that the powers not granted to the Federal government or prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States, or to the people. Nowhere does the Constitution grant the Federal government the power to prohibit the growing, distribution and use of marijuana. Thus, decisions regarding marijuana are clearly reserved to the States and the people. The Libertarian Party supports Federal legislation that would implement the Constitution by repealing Federal marijuana prohibition laws.