April 29 @ 3:45 pm – 8:00 pm
The Libertarian Party of Maryland will hold its annual spring convention on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Red Hot & Blue in Laurel, Maryland. The convention commences at 4:00 PM and features Neill Franklin of LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership) as the guest speaker.
The cost for the convention is $40 if paid by April 24th, $45 thereafter or at the door. There is no charge for attending only the central committee meeting. Use the Donate Now link at the right. Note that all fees paid are non-deductible political contributions to the Libertarian Party of Maryland.
3:45 PM Registrations open outside
4:00 PM Local Groups Discussed
4:15 PM Central Committee Meeting (business includes nominations and elections of Chair and Executive Board, nomination of candidates (including Governor), voting on amendments to the party Program, voting on any party constitutional amendments).
6:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Guest Speaker: Neill Franklin (LEAP)
8:00 PM Adjournment
Address: 677 Main Street, Laurel, MD 20707.
Dinner: Appetizers include a cheese and fruit platter; spinach dip and a wing/veggie platter. A buffet of Ribettes; pulled pork; beef brisket and pulled chicken with your choice of BBQ sauces. Accompanied by a Caesar’s salad, BBQ baked beans and potato salad. Non-alcoholic drinks are included, cash bar will be available.
Please notify Stu if you plan on paying at the door so he can give the restaurant an accurate headcount and so name tags can be produced.
(Note: this is a change in venue and time from the previous posting and as published in the April 2017 Free? State Libertarian.)
The Libertarian Party of Maryland joined three other organizations in a letter in opposition to SB 970, a bill which would unnecessarily and inappropriately compromise the public accountability values of the Maryland Public Information Act by creating a dangerous categorical ban on the public release of some police body camera footage. Yesterday, the Judicial Proceedings Committee gave the bill an unfavorable report notwithstanding the House having passed the companion bill HB 767 on a 133-3 vote. We are hopeful that this will forestall passage of this legislation.
Below is a copy of the letter in opposition sent to the Judicial Proceedings Committee on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Maryland, the ACLU of Maryland, the League of Women Voters of Maryland, and CASA.
There is a balance to be struck between privacy interests and ensuring public accountability of police conduct. Body cameras have proven a useful tool to improve public accountability. The Maryland Public Information Act already provides a reasonable balance to protect body camera footage from violating the privacy of citizens. SB 970 would alter that balance and set a dangerous precedent that could further erode public transparency via the Maryland Public Information Act. We are grateful to the ACLU of MD’s leadership and tireless advocacy on this issue.
Our ballot access reform bill receives a hearing this Thursday, March 2nd, before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee. This bill would revise the way parties like the Libertarian Party of Maryland retains its legal status, requiring that we maintain at least 10,000 registered voters. Since we have over 20,000 registered Libertarians and our registrations are growing, we would effectively have guaranteed ballot access for Libertarian candidates to spread the message of liberty if this bill is passed.
What we need from you is to contact your Delegates by email to ask them to support HB 707 as soon as possible, but at least before Thursday the 2nd. Working with our coalition partners in the Coalition for Common Sense Ballot Access, we have developed a sample email that you can use. Follow this TAKE ACTION link to see how to identify your Delegates and their email links, sample language in support of the bill, and a “one-pager” that gives a basic description of the bill.
Note that support for HB 707 has been endorsed by FairVote Action and ballot expert Richard Winger.
Our party is again supporting legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that cures an inconsistency between the standards by which a political party originally qualifies as a recognized party and the standard to maintain recognition. It is this legal standard for party recognition that allows party candidates to be nominated and placed on the ballot, giving Marylanders an important additional choice when voting.
The amendment changes one of the two alternate standards for a party to re-qualify. Instead of requiring 1% of registered voters, the bill would require 10,000 registered voters, matching the petitioning requirement of 10,000 signatures necessary to form a new political party. It is a simple, two-page bill that changes one word.
Currently the LPMD is qualified to place candidates on the ballot through 2018 because our Presidential candidate received over 1% of the total votes cast in Maryland (Gary Johnson received 2.9%). Before that, we retained qualified status because our Gubernatorial candidate, Shawn Quinn, exceeded 1.5% of the vote, the first time a third-party had done this in 44 years. An alternative standard for party re-qualification is that the party have 1% of the total registered voters register as Libertarians as of the end of each year. To our knowledge, no third-party has re-qualified in Maryland through this standard. As of December 31, 2016, the registered voters necessary to reach the 1% threshold was 39,706. As of that date, Libertarians had 19,904 and the Greens 9,263 affiliated voters, so they would not qualify under that standard.
When parties do not re-qualify, they must petition to obtain 10,000 signatures of registered voters in Maryland as if they are starting anew, a time-consuming, laborious, and expensive process. The petitioning process is made more difficult because so many signatures are disqualified on technicalities, so that a party really needs to obtain around 15,000 signatures to ensure success. Our legislation makes sense because if 10,000 registered voters, who are not necessarily libertarian (in fact, most are not) can sign a petition to demonstrate that the party has a sufficient minimum level of support in Maryland, then having 10,000 registered voters affiliated with that party is more than sufficient to demonstrate that support. An affiliated voter has, by definition, demonstrated support for a particular political party. Therefore, the discrepancy between the 10,000-petitioning requirement to form a party and the variable standard of 1% of registered voters should be eliminated by replacing the 1% standard with 10,000 affiliated registrations.
We have helped form the Coalition for Common Sense Ballot Access with the Green Party of Maryland, Constitution Party of Maryland, and the Ujima People’s Progress Party. You can follow the coalition’s work on behalf of this bill on its website, Facebook and Twitter. The Coalition is seeking endorsements for this bill and has obtained its first endorsement from FairVote Action. If you have a relationship with any organizations you think might be willing to endorse this bill, please contact us.
We expect the bill to be filed by the primary sponsor very soon. It will be identical to the bills we supported in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The Maryland Libertarian Party will again be working with legislators and advocacy groups to advance pro-freedom legislation.
(But you don’t have to wait until the last minute. Really.)
The next issue of the Free? State Libertarian newsletter is planned to be out for December. Looking for articles, comments, and photos from events since the last issue. The election is over!!! Send me reports of your experiences and viewpoints. Especially our candidates (pictures too).
Please report on any letters to the editor that you had published, radio or tv appearances, or anything relevant across the state that has some connection to a Libertarian issue for the regular feature IN THE NEWS. The subsequent issue will be for March, so if you have any outreach plans between now and then, it would be beneficial to include them now as well. Anything else you can think of. County/College chair and officers’ reports, announcements, and general articles are solicited. Please send in any info on upcoming events, meetings, and get-togethers as well.
Please don’t send me a note telling me that I (or somebody else) should write an article on a favorite topic. Write it yourself or solicit someone else for the job. I don’t mind cleaning text up, but the content should be yours. Also please don’t forward me articles that have been published in some other newspaper or magazine for reprinting unless you have already secured reprint permission for the FSL. A short excerpt is fine, particularly if you are going to comment on it, but I’m not keen on making our newsletter a reprint vehicle.
Back issues can be found at http://LPmaryland.org/free-state-libertarian-newsletters/
I am also looking for advertising — do you know anyone who is willing to place ads? Or put a message in yourself to help support the MdLP. (It’s a convenient way to contribute by placing a business card, etc. — maybe you can deduct it as an advertising expense.) Ask your business associates, local vendors, etc. if they’ll at least put a business card ad in.
$100 Full Page
$60 1/2 Page
$35 1/4 Page (both sides of a business card)
$20 1/8 Page (business card)
Make checks payable to the Md. Libertarian Party, and send along with copy to PO Box 321, Owings Mills, MD 21117. (Or use the Donate Now option on the webpage to pay, select “General Contribution,” and email the copy.)
Please mention this to anyone concerned you know who is not a recipient of this email.
Robert E. Glaser
Free? State Libertarian Editor