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Saturday, April 6, 2013

2013 LPCA Convention Day 1

Libertarian Party of California delegates began their convention in Sacramento this morning with a keynote speech by Steven Greenhut, a Libertarian journalist well-known for exposing abuses of government power in California. Greenhut described the rent-seeking practiced by the two incumbent parties, and said that the LPCA "can be one important vehicle for saving the state" if it unites around libertarian common ground. He cited the 19th-century Free Soil Party as an example of an alternative party that influenced public policy without winning the highest elective offices. (The Free Soil Platform had significant overlap with geolibertarian ideas.)

56 delegates were credentialed as Kevin Takenaga began his Chair's report. He celebrated Gary Johnson's impressive results in California, and two Libertarian wins in city council races: John Inks in Mountain View (pop. 74K), and SusanMarie Weber in Palm Desert (pop. 48K).  He credited some of the 15% pre-election spike in LPCA voter registration to the introduction of online registration, and noted that due to campaign finance laws the LPCA "didn't really have an active voter registration campaign".  Takenaga also cited press coverage of the recent move of the LPCA office: Libertarians move in as CA GOP scales back in Sacramento.

C. Michael Pickens gave the Northern Vice Chair report, and noted that he recently became the executive director of the LPWA.  He cited cloud-based call centers as an example of an LPWA innovation that he hopes to set up for the LPCA.  He hopes that the LPWA bylaws will be changed to allow Libertarian endorsement of candidates from other parties.

The Southern Vice Chair is empty. Treasurer Brian Darby was questioned closely on dues revenue and how dues are split between the LPCA and its county affiliates.  Darby asked the delegates to approve a Bylaws Committee recommendation to simplify the state/county dues split formula.

Inks and Weber joined two Libertarian water district directors (Jim Hoerricks and Brian Holtz) in a panel about Libertarians' service in government office.

Delegates approved all five of the Bylaws Committee recommendations:
  • Make the LPCA membership pledge against force initiation match that of the LPUS, by changing "I do not believe in or advocate" to "I oppose".
  • Require the Secretary to maintain a manual that compiles all procedures created by the Executive or Operations Committees.
  • Remove the route to LPCA membership via government-hosted elections to the State Central Committee.  Because of the new Top Two law, the government no longer hosts such elections anyway.
  • Change the state/county dues split to 50/50, in place of a 60/40 split in favor of whichever side processed the dues.
  • Limit nomination of NatCon delegates to those who have confirmed to the Secretary their acceptance of their nomination.
Tomorrow will be all officer elections, and consideration of the Platform Committee's sole recommendation (about increasing the size of the state legislature).

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