News and Events
“Shawn Quinn waited patiently for over an hour Saturday morning for his chance to address a nearly empty hall at St. John Baptist church in Columbia.
“There were barely two dozen people in the 120 seats at the candidates forum by the African American Coalition of Howard County when the Libertarian candidate for governor briefly laid out his platform of lower taxes and school choice.
“He said in a brief interview afterward he is often the only candidate for governor to show up at the many forums he is invited to.
“This is Quinn’s second run for governor. He got 25,382 votes in 2014, the highest vote tally a Libertarian candidate had ever achieved in Maryland, losing of course to Republican Larry Hogan.
“Quinn, 56, is a 20-year Navy veteran and a truck driver. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Montgomery County and currently lives in Lusby, Calvert County.
“‘I plan on changing a lot of policies,’ Quinn told the forum.
“He wants to cut Maryland’s sales tax in half to 3%, and eliminate all income taxes on retirees.
“He favors ‘100% school choice,’ having the education dollars follow the student to any public or private school they wish to attend — in essence a total voucher system.
“He says he was the first candidate in 2014 to be discuss the environmental problems from the Conowingo power dam on the Susquehanna River.
“Quinn is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment rights of gun-owners, and in fact, was rushing off Saturday to a bowling pin shoot out at a local gun range. He says Gov. Hogan has completely lost the support of 2nd Amendment advocates by his signing of the red flag law, allowing guns to be taken from people who might be a danger to themselves or others, and legislation banning bump stocks that can turn rifles into automatic weapons.
“Quinn denies that voting for him is a wasted vote. ‘You should be voting for the best people to do the job,’ he said.
“‘Even if we lose, it’s going to be a blast,” he said.
Click here to read the full article.
Behind-the-Scenes Player Takes Unconventional Path Into Politics
September 23, 2018
by Josh Kurtz
A year ago, David Lashar was a high-ranking bureaucrat at the Maryland Department of Health, a faceless if important cog in the Hogan administration who has also worked in the tech sector and on Capitol Hill.
But on this night, Lashar is the center of attention in an opulent Potomac living room, with a nationally known political maverick on hand to endorse his most audacious career move.
The living room belongs to Sam Malhotra, another former Hogan administration official and tech executive. And the celebrity political endorser is ex-Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld, whose most recent foray into politics was as the 2016 Libertarian nominee for vice president.
Lashar is now the Libertarian candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District, running against six-term Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D) and Republican Charles Anthony, an Army veteran who has been all but invisible on the campaign trail.
Libertarian congressional candidate David Lashar speaks at a campaign event in Potomac last week. Photo by Josh Kurtz
“It’s a formidable task,” Lashar concedes during an interview in Malhotra’s kitchen the other night, before he addresses the 40 supporters who are mingling and munching nearby. “It’s a big peak to climb. But I’m definitely enjoying it.”
Lashar’s decision to run for Congress roughly traces his own disillusionment with the two-party system.
“I tried to become the candidate I was seeking but not finding,” he says.
After years as a Republican policy professional – most recently as the chief information officer and then chief of staff and chief operating officer at Hogan’s Health Department – Lashar watched in dismay as his preferred presidential candidate in 2016, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was rejected by Republican voters and faced great hostility from certain party leaders.
“If that’s how the Republican Party feels about a candidate like that now, that’s how the Republican Party feels about me,” Lashar remembers thinking. “I think we need a multi-party system. That was my ‘aha!’ in 2017.”
Lashar switched parties in February and became a candidate a few months later, after leaving the Hogan administration. “The Libertarian Party has a set of principles that allows for a lot of interpretation on issues,” he says.
Lashar argues for a more socially tolerant and fiscally responsible government. His literature highlights four guiding principles: liberty, accountability, justice and prosperity.
“I wanted him as a candidate after talking to him for 30 seconds,” says Bob Johnston, the state party chairman.
Lashar also attracted the attention of Weld; they were introduced by syndicated columnist George F. Will, a mutual friend, and they bonded further when they discovered that Lashar had been a classmate of one of Weld’s nephews in the Russian Studies program at Dartmouth College.
“He’s a really good candidate,” Weld tells Maryland Matters. “The guy’s really serious-minded. He’s not shallow. And his attitude is perfect. As a Libertarian, you have to be” realistic.
Weld’s journey says a lot about the state of American politics – and it informs Lashar’s candidacy to a degree. He was elected governor as a moderate Republican in 1990 following an unsuccessful run for state attorney general, several years as U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, and a brief stint as a high-ranking official in the Reagan administration Justice Department.
Weld was reelected overwhelmingly in 1994; lost a bid for U.S. Senate against Democrat John Kerry in 1996 in a campaign that was widely praised for its high-mindedness; then resigned as governor in 1997 after he was nominated by President Clinton to become U.S. ambassador to Mexico. But his nomination was held up by right-wing U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), and he eventually withdrew.
Weld ran for governor of New York in 2006, but dropped out before the GOP primary after being outmaneuvered by party conservatives and failing to get the official designation of the state party. He re-emerged to run for vice president in 2016, with former New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson at the top of the Libertarian ticket.
These days, Weld, 74, is traveling around the country, speaking at state Libertarian conventions and boosting Libertarian candidates as a prelude to a possible presidential bid in 2020.
Like Lashar and other third-party and independent candidates – including Neal Simon, the businessman who is spending heavily on an independent U.S. Senate bid in Maryland – Weld sees a great hunger from voters for alternatives to the two-party system.
“The question is how genuine, how broad is the appetite for the third party?” he says.
Weld acknowledges that the Libertarian Party is not perfect, and often gets defined in the media by its fringe elements — or as he puts it, “the 36 people at the Libertarian convention who want to hold sex toys aloft.” But he says the fact that the party has hundreds of thousands of volunteers nationwide and ballot access in all 50 states makes it a potent force from which to build a movement.
A David Lashar campaign T-shirt. Photo by Josh Kurtz
“I’m in favor of the Democrats winning the House this year,” he adds. “It’s a crack in the monopoly.” Later, Weld tells the crowd, “I think the odds of a third party winning in 2020 are better than the odds of Donald Trump winning.”
But challenges abound for candidates like Lashar. He’s raised about $30,000 for his campaign – Sarbanes had more than $1.2 million on hand as of June 30. It’s hard to go door-to-door in such a sprawled out district that takes in portions of Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery counties.
In fact, Lashar says he’s having a hard time convincing the League of Women Voters and other civic groups to host candidate forums in part because the district is so spread out. Small wonder he’s selling T-shirts that say, “Slay the Gerrymander” at his campaign events.
But Lashar believes the Libertarian message, which he distills to “the sanctity and dignity of the individual,” can prevail.
“It’s an educated and persuadable district,” he says.
David Lashar’s campaign website: Lashar2018.us
Maryland Libertarian Party candidate for Governor Shawn Quinn and US House first congressional candidate Jenica Martin will appear at the Queen Anne’s County Library on Saturday, September 15, from 2 to 4 pm.
The library is located at 200 Library Circle, Stevensville, MD 21666.
Click here for the map and directions.
Subject: Special Central Committee Meeting
Date/Time: June 7, 2018 (Thursday), 7:00 pm
What: Libertarian Party of Maryland Central Committee meeting
Location: 3213 Patmor Rd, Owings Mills, MD 21117 (Robert Glaser’s home)
Agenda: Candidate nominations for public office
Note: MdLP dues expired earlier this year for some recipients of this email. Your membership status must be current to retain voting ability in the Central Committee. You can make payment at this meeting.
Parking is challenging along the semicircular driveway, so just pull all the way forward and we’ll have to leave FIFO. If the ground is dry you can park partly on the grass along the road itself and halfway off of the driveway to let others exit around your car. Please walk around the left side of the house to the rear downstairs entranceway.
Directions from I-695 to 3213 Patmor Rd, Owings Mills, MD 21117
1: Take the MD-140/REISTERSTOWN RD. exit, number 20, north
2: Keep RIGHT at the fork in the ramp if leaving westbound 695; or turn left at urban diamond if leaving eastbound 695.
3: Merge onto REISTERSTOWN RD. for 1.1 mile
4: DO NOT turn right onto CRADDOCK LN. Turn right at the seventh traffic light onto GREENSPRING VALLEY RD.
5: at stop sign, turn left onto GARRISON FOREST RD. for 1.1 miles
6: at stop sign, Turn RIGHT onto CAVES RD. for 0.1 miles
7: at SPRINKLE LN. and mailboxes on right, veer slight RIGHT uphill onto PATMOR RD. for 0.2 miles 8: 3213 on right, blue reflectors, and LED address sign
From the Reisterstown direction:
1: Go south on Reisterstown Road.
2: Go straight at the traffic signal at Painters Mill Road.
3: Pass the divider lane wall at St. Thomas Lane, in between re-opened Krispy Kreme and Popeye’s: can no longer turn left here, across from Wegman’s
4: Turn left at the next traffic signal into Garrison View Rd.
5: Turn left at Woodkey Ln.
6: Turn right onto St. Thomas Lane.
7: Proceed to the dead end and turn right onto Garrison Forest Rd.
8: Go down the hill to stop sign; turn left onto Caves Rd. for 0.1 miles
9: Follow steps #7 & #8 above.
From the Owings Mills Metro stop:
1: turn left onto Painters Mill Rd.
2: turn right at Reisterstown Rd. and follow from step #3 immediately above. or,
1: take Owings Mills Blvd. towards Reisterstown Road.
2: turn right onto Reisterstown Road and follow “From the Reisterstown direction” instructions.
The Maryland Libertarian Party will again be working with legislators and advocacy groups to advance pro-freedom legislation.
Libertarian volunteers, candidates, and supporters: please join us for an election night party to watch the returns, socialize, and celebrate the rising tide of libertarianism. Free admission, free appetizers sponsored by the state party, and a cash bar will be available. The party will be held at Tubby’s Diner and Liquors at 5701 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel, Maryland 20707, from 8 p.m. to midnight.
We will have a big screen TV for the returns and there is wifi for internet updates.
Localized Driving Instructions:
From 29 North: Take MD- Rt.198E Tubby’s will be less than 2 miles down, on your right!
From 29 South: Take MD- Rt.198E Exit. Go straight through circle. Turn left on 198E. Tubby’s will be less than 2 miles down, on your right!
From 95 North/South: Take MD- Rt.198W Tubby’s will be less than 2 miles down, on the left hand side of the road!