Notes from the 2012 LP of Michigan Convention
by Brian Wright
Another one for the books. The 2012 nominating convention was organized this year by Renee Lewis, setting at the luxurious Embassy Suites in Livonia, 02 June 2012 (01 June, too, if you count the last-minute Senatorial debate between Mr. Scotty Boman and Dr. Erwin Haas).
Erwin and Scotty square off on Friday night to a small but interested crowd. As I recall, it was only the Wednesday or Thursday of that week—Erwin managed to get free from some out-of-town work commitments—that the candidates could make the final arrangements. The Wayne County LP put up the money for the room. There really wasn’t enough time to notify the media, Detroit area or otherwise. Here’s the Adam Kokesh video taken of the event.
Impartial reflections on debate: Both candidates have impressive credentials and knowledge of the issues, they outline their distinct strategies for the campaign and what they see as their strengths and preferences. The format enables a clear understanding of what to expect. It’s the first time this reporter remembers having two strong, solid contenders for high state office.
Nothing out of the ordinary for floor business. It seems to this reporter who is beginning to suffer from the CRS Disease that in the old days we took a full two days to perform all the work of a state convention! Can that be true?! Anyway, kudos to Chairman J. Lewis and Convention Planner R. Lewis for assembling the orders of the day. Most efficient, and for the most part we kept to them.
Voting member attendance was several dozen—seen more, seen less.
This year presents an issue with the nomination of Gary Johnson in Michigan. He was a former Republican candidate in the 2012 race, and supposedly his campaign staff did not formally notify our esteemed secretary of state that Johnson had dropped out well before the Michigan ‘sore loser’ law kicked in. So she has stated he cannot be on the Michigan ballot. Bill Hall has studied. Proposes a measure to go ahead and certify Johnson, but to tell SOS that we’re also putting up a Gary E. Johnson of Texas as standin. Passes overwhelmingly. Should make for good publicity no matter what.
[Fact is most Milpers (?!) don’t pay much attention to the LPM platform, probably because so much time and effort goes into the national one. But it’s worth a look, check it on the Website.] It’s a nice, economical statement of the nonaggression principle in the context of Michigan politics and economics. No major change this year, some clarification on language: adding a reference to sexual orientation under the opposition to government discrimination.
Nomination of Candidates
Big one is the Senate campaign. Scotty (28) defeats Erwin (17) with 5 NOTA. The other candidacies are filled without contention, we stretch a bit this year to put someone up for all the 14 Congressional districts (CDs), but manage. We have almost always nominated the full two candidates for the educational boards, but this year only the UofM Board of Regents gets two LPMers (?!)—Hudler and Stempfle. Go Blue!
So, although Scotty shows signs of a breakout season without breaking stride, we otherwise have a historically smaller number of total candidates (roughly 50 total, located here on the Website) and none with notoriety or a widely recognized bundle of fire in the belly. We do have some races where one of the older parties is not represented, such as Mary Buzuma’s in the 2d CD. Let’s also hope to see some surprises in county campaigns:
We may be encouraged that Scott Allen, Steve Afton, and David Afton are going after the current presumably police-state junkie-filled positions of Macomb County Sheriff, Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney, and Wayne County Prosecutor, respectively. Also 20-something Keith Butkovich, first-time LP candidate and LEC member, is running in a Republican-free county commissioner race. Several state rep potentials. You never know.
Special Note on the Presidential Race
This week Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son, announced he would be endorsing Mitt Romney, and the Ron Paul campaign headquarters has been as much as conceding that it does not have the delegates to stop the Romney juggernaut at the Tampa convention in late August. The Ron Paul Revolution, the Phenomenon, whatever you want to call it has had a HUGE effect on the liberty movement.
… and on the success-orientation of the Libertarian Party in particular. The lower turnout and candidate totals this year for the LPM convention are dramatically due to the hoped-for success of Ron Paul in the modern incarnation of the original American fascist-corporatist party: Elephants Running Amok. As someone who’s been around a while and has been privy to most things Libertarian for 40 years, 2012 is decidedly unique:
Not only will the Dr. Paul-fired-up Freedom Philosophy minions be inserted like a megatonic of 5-Hour-Energy and Red Bull into any similarly rational-alternative liberty movement, Gary Johnson is emerging as a singular sterling voice of common sense and passion for all the real people of the country—of any party affiliation, minor or fossilized—who want a simple, decent humanitarian government that will stamp out the police state NOW. Watch this video.
[I watch it several times a day. Thanks, Bill Hall. There isn’t much else to say. The last time I was energized by a media message of this magnitude of liberative energy was Aaron Russo’s ad during his LP nomination campaign in 2004 in Atlanta. Whoever did this, it is quite possible, likely even, that our benevolent future will be forever in your debt. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The transcript alone can free the minds of millions, particularly the young. Today.]
And there are more out there and enroute!
IMHO, the ‘Be Libertarian with Me’ video will go down in history as the final catalyst of the Freedom Philosophy that has been nourished to fruition by Ron Paul and others, ourselves included. So long, dark days and Death Star! In immediate practical terms, the LP is going to experience a surge of energy the likes of which it never anticipated. Count on it!
Gary Johnson is The One! The Oligarchy is toast and the paradigm shifts this year!
All LP candidates prepare to ride the 50-foot wave of his coattails!
Sorry, objective reporting carried away by unbridled enthusiasm. Back to the news and orders of the day: Lunch. Major snaps for the food quality at Embassy Suites. Facilities were robust, staff was cooperative. Great choice.
Changing of the Guard
Selection of a new LEC and officers follows mealtime. Denee Rockman-Moon is chosen for chair over James Lewis II; Larry Johnson wins veep; Mary Buzuma continues as secretary, and Northwood University grad Kim Moore becomes the new treasurer. The five at-large executive committee directors are Chris Sharer, Andrew Hall, Greg Creswell, Jim Fulner, and Keith Butkovich. Three judicial committee designees are Keith Edwards, Bill Gelineau, and Shyler Engel. Many thanks to the fine efforts of the departing officers… not to mention all those volunteer leaders who have assumed such responsibility over the decades.
A special thanks to James Lewis, who gave his all and will leave the party better for it. Please watch this touching and inspirational video from James taken by Adam following the banquet. It reminds me of a saying my father used to instill in me: “Never judge another Indian until you’ve walked in his moccasins for a few days.”
The banquet with Adam Kokesh was particularly stimulating and stirring. Preceded by a friendly reception. Again, food quality superb. Adam is a talk show host and antiwar veteran; he distinguishes himself with the level of sharing from his Iraq occupation experiences and observations on the Culture of War. Some portions were hard to square with smooth food digestion—particularly on the ‘dehumanization of the enemy’ he was taught… and accepted.
He has come to see in his fiery and troubled process of redemption what few of us experience so starkly: that the state is merely the institutionalization of violence for purposes of domination and control of the people for the benefit of a vicious supercabal.
Thanks, Adam. Also, be aware that Mr. Kokesh keeps body and soul together through his Adam vs. the Man radio talk show and by filming videos for YouTube. He was in fact the video man for our convention:
- Tune in here for his own heartfelt performance at the banquet.
- Once again, the James Lewis interview here.
- And Scotty vs. Erwin debate in this video. [link tbd]
Click here to support Adam Kokesh in his inspirational work with an investment.
All in all a very promising weekend, made more so by the events of the following week. The Ron Paul movement—to the extent it wishes to stay political—is now in desperate search of a home. They really have no other satisfactory choice besides the Libertarian Party. Time to Johnson up with the Libertarians for victory.
 We didn’t have personal computers until the end of the 1970s (check the Wikipedia article on PCs—Apple II and the Radio Shack TRS 80 came out in 1977). Somewhere during one of my tenures in the 1980s I remember being super proud of myself for bringing one of the first portable PCs to a convention. It was the size of a suitcase and about as useful with the actual paperwork. J