Sunday, April 28, 2013

Breakfast At Tiffany's

Someone named Tiffany who goes to a private academy in Dallas sent me some questions about the Libertarian Party Of Texas for a school project. 
Since I'm feeling lazy this morning, I'm letting it double as today's blog post.  Thought it might shed a little light on how we work.  The rant at the end has almost been finessed into a liturgy.   


I hope these answers are satisfactory. Let me know if you need any details.

-Does the Libertarian Party of Texas's platform differ from the national party’s platform?

The platforms occasionally differ in degree or in emphasis, but seldom in principle. There are two issues for which the core libertarian philosophy doesn’t provide easy answers. Abortion (two possibly conflicting sets of rights), and immigration in the context of a welfare state.

One of the best things about being a Libertarian is that our core platform really doesn’t change, whereas the Democrats and Republicans have swapped or otherwise changed their positions on several issues over the last 50 years.

-What do you do within the State branch?

In addition to acting as Tarrant County Chair, I serve on a committee called SLEC. This is the State Libertarian Executive Committee. Our core responsibilities are to ensure that we have ballot access, that the message of Liberty is spread throughout the state, and to oversee the state conventions every two years. There are several committees within that group, and I currently chair the Compliance committee. We ensure that all actions taken by the county groups and SLEC are done according to the by-laws, and can withstand any legal challenges.

-What is the Libertarian Party of Texas's main job/function?

The purpose of the Libertarian Party of Texas is to win elections.

-How does Libertarian Party of Texas work with the national Libertarian party?

We help coordinate and host events for presidential candidates. Our most recent presidential candidate, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, was very well-received in Texas, BTW.

We also elect and send delegates from Texas to the national conventions, where they select our presidential and veep candidates.

-Which candidates is the Libertarian Party of Texas currently supporting and which elections are you all currently preparing for?

All of the “off-year” elections are non-partisan. But because of his pro-liberty stance, we’re encouraging people to support Daniel Wood, who is running for Arlington City Council. Sybil Lane is running for the school board in Crowley and she seems to have some strong libertarian support. We’re also making phone calls for John Basham, Tim Nold, and Mary Kelleher, three of the candidates for Fort Worth Water Board. These local elections are extremely important to us, even though no one runs under a Libertarian Party banner. It’s a shame that so few people vote in them, because the local races are often more likely to have a direct impact on the citizens than the national contests do.

-How much money does the Libertarian Party of Texas raise for “party activities”? How much money do they raise for specific candidates?

Fundraising is often a struggle for us. The Big Two fund their campaigns by blatantly selling exemptions to the tax, import, and tariff codes. It’s difficult to raise large amounts of money by promising to merely leave you (and your competitors) alone.

Fundraising for individual candidates has almost become a theological dispute for us, with some libertarians insisting that the national, state, and local parties not get into the business of “picking winners and losers”, and others wanting to put 100% of our limited resources into just a few competitive races in hopes of winning more elections.  At this point, the candidates are supported by their own fundraising events, with administrative and some logistical support from the county and state operations. 

-On what does the Libertarian Party of Texas spend most of their money?

Publicity for the party, administration, educational events and conventions.

-What are two recent headlines/events with which the Libertarian Party of Texas associated?

The Tarrant County Libertarian Party recently hosted a presidential candidates debate featuring the six Libertarians vying for the LP presidential nomination. We also hosted a gun rights/2nd amendment debate at TCU this past weekend.

The state party recently hosted an activists forum about dealing with the Texas Legislature. Speakers from NORML, the ACLU, a gun group, a transportation lobby and others all gave their take on how to lobby the legislature, where they’ve succeeded and where they’ve failed. Since this is an off-year for elections, the county organizations have been more active and visible than the state level operation.

-Does the Libertarian Party of Texas face any obstacles?

The biggest obstacle we face is something called the “wasted vote fallacy”. This is the belief that unless you vote for a Democrat or Republican, your vote is wasted.

Please remember that your share of the national debt is $50,000.00, and even more if you intend to grow up and be a net taxpayer to the federal government.

Your share of the government’s unfunded liabilities is more than $350,000.00

The Democrats and Republicans got you this far into debt by working together, as a team, in a bi-partisan manner.

They are borrowing billions of dollars from China, to protect the South Pacific from…..China.

We have enough people in our military (45% of the world’s military spending) to put a soldier along every 20 feet of the borders of the United States.

According to author Michelle Alexander, Barack Obama now has more black men confined in steel cages (mostly for owning or selling a weed) than The Confederate States Of America did prior to the start of the Civil War. One million government jobs could be eliminated if we were to end the Drug War (which is why so many government employees support the Drug War.)

The Federal Reserve printing press on Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth is pumping an additional 65 billion dollars a month into the nation. You’ll soon see prices rising because of this.

The only “wasted” vote is a vote to maintain this disaster.

Hope this helps!!

Allen Patterson

Tarrant County Libertarian Party Chair

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