Showed Me Fascism

Published by the Missouri Libertarian Party May/June 1996

Libertarian wins hard fought council election

In the April 2 local elections, Brad Spangler won a three-way race for North Kansas City City Council by a vote of 53%. His main opponent was Anne C. Brandt, a Republican Committeewoman and well-known community activist. She is Chair of the city's Parks Board and an organizer of the annual "Snake Saturday" parade, a city event that is held the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day.

Spangler is 27 years old and a graduate of North Kansas City High School. He works as a material handler for Z-Label office products and is engaged to Cynthia Jackson. They have a 6-month old daughter, Zoe Morgan Spangler. Spangler is an elected Clay County Libertarian Committeeman and long-time party activist, particularly with the Northland Libertarians, which encompass Clay and Platte counties. He was a stalwart of the party's successful 1992 ballot petitioning effort.

None of Spangler's campaign literature mentioned any issues at all, featuring just his name, picture, and office sought. On one level, he won by being a "nice young man" who took the time to speak to virtually every constitutent in his district (568 voters), the vast majority of whom are retirees. However, he had to appeal to their "hot buttons" in order to get out the vote and win.

His constituents were upset because the only full-service grocery store within city limits went belly up. Having a grocery within city limits is important to them because they get subsidised cab service within those limits. The combination results in considerable savings on food expenditure for people on fixed incomes.

Spangler had to say he would do something about this. He is recommending a tax abatement for the first full service grocery which establishes itself in the city. This is not a strictly Libertarian solution but it is better than the current path the city council is following, which is to politically select a certain store.

The subsidized cab service provided to elderly residents turned out to be another fertile issue. Because the service is provided by a monopoly franchise, the service is extremely poor, with users typically having to wait 2 to 3 hours before a cab appears. Brad recommends a voucher system, with any cab that responds being able to collect the voucher payment. This would introduce competition and therefore, better service.

Spangler also won partly because the fire fighters union did not oppose him. The firefighters are concerned that they are going to be privatized or merged with the police to save money. Spangler suggested they be "spun off" into a private corporation, with 51% of equity remaining with union members, the rest being raised from outside investors. The new private company could then bid on NCK and other city service contracts.

Spangler reports that union members were rather intrigued with this proposal. He told them that the privatization that is being done by Republicans on the East coast is based on coziness with big business - it consists of letting some big corporation take over the service as a monopoly franchise. He explained that Libertarians aren't in bed with business interests and could support an employee-owned alternative.

Spangler thinks this privatization scheme has potential for wider application in Missouri and across the country. Look forward to commentary by Brad Spangler on this topic in this newsletter. Councilman Spangler will give a talk on how he got elected and what it's like to be the only Libertarian on a city council at the next monthly meeting of the Jackson County Libertarians to be held on June 18.

State Convention Held in Columbia

Over 40 party members attended the 1996 Missouri Libertarian Party convention held on Saturday, May 25. The timing of the convention was planned to meet the deadline for electing delegates and alternates to the National Libertarian Party's presidential nominating convention to be held over the July 4th weekend in Washington, D.C.

Attendance probably would have been higher had it not been for the conflict with the Memorial Day holiday, the fact that the convention hotel's rooms were booked up, and predictions of stormy weather. In fact, the lights in the convention hall went out for a few moments during the meeting, adding a bit of suspense to the generally smooth and high-consensus proceedings.

Attendees expressed satisfaction with the current party leadership, voting to retain three of the four top officers by acclamation. Chair Jim Givens was elected to a second term with only a few dissenting votes. Stories on elections, speakers and other convention business are reported inside this issue.

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From the Editor: Special Convention Issue
By Jeanne Bojarski

Welcome to the Show Me Freedom convention report issue. The print edition includes a photo gallery of speakers and attendees. The reprint of the story that appeared in the Columbia Tribune the day after the convention gives you an example of how the party is generally perceived by the press (and potential voters) at this time.

A common resolve at the convention was to work at heightening our media profile and assuring voters that the party represents a viable alternative choice. If we can start to capture the votes of those dissatisfied with how the Ds and Rs are running the state - and reach out to those who are so disillusioned they've quit voting at all - we can send a powerful message to the status quo. Maybe even win some elections.

Brad Spangler's victory in the North Kansas City city council race, following two other victories in local elections since the party gained ballot access, shows that Libertarian ideas can prevail when applied sensibly to local issues. (See story on Brad's victory on page 1)

We were glad to see so many strong candidates attend the convention. The party's full congressional slate, for example, is generally high quality and features feisty contenders such as Mike Harman in the 7th District and Tamara Millay in the 1st. Candidates like these are sure to capture media attention and help publicize our message of less government and more personal freedom and responsibility.

We're looking forward to a great election year!

A penultimate report on the "Each One, Reach One" program publicized in the last three issues: A total of 86 prospect names were submitted, the majority of them by the Mid-Missouri Libertarians and over 50 sponsored at a dollar a name by Hugh Emerson of Columbia. The last of the information packets promised for each prospect will be mailed shortly. Mailing was delayed by the need to order new stationary. The state expediting committee has been so busy sending out prospect and candidate mailings that the former batch was depleted. In the next issue, we'll have a final report on how many new members joined the party as a result of the program.

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Letters to the Editor

Shouldn't Have to Pay to Run

As a Libertarian and candidate for public office, I wish to respond to the article in the March/April SMF regarding payment of filing fees.

First, let me point out that the local Democratic party committee here in Springfield (Green County) does return the filing fee to their candidates for county office. So it can be done, without any of the theoretical problems that were reported in the article.

From the legal viewpoint, I have previously pointed out that the constitution does not give the legislature of Missouri the authority to pass a law requiring a citizen to pay money to another citizen or group of citizens such as a political party committee. If anyone thinks otherwise, please inform me where the authority lies. Should any court seek to enlarge the constitution by looking for a "penumbra" of existential rights, their decision will be null and void "ab initio."

Tom Knapp's theory that we should not have the right to have our names printed on a ballot at taxpayer expense is without foundation, since the filing fee does not go to pay for election costs anyway, but into private pockets.

Perhaps a bigger problem under the current statutory setup is the lack of equality afforded candidates, since a candidate such as myself paid the filing fee to myself - I am the only Libertarian Committee person in Webster County, and I decided to refund my own filing fee to myself! So why should Martin Lindstedt have to pay a filing fee, just because the state committee is money hungry? Doesn't this reek of the type of greed exemplified by the current roster of politicians?

Why can't the Libertarian Party be the party of difference - if we don't believe in taxes for government, we certainly shouldn't be taking money from our fellow Libertarians under the power of a statute! Let's not be hypocrites, but show the public by our actions that we really are different in a better, more noble, way.

Leon Moyer, Candidate for County Commissioner

Mistaken About Militia

I felt it was necessary to reply to the letter written by Jim Higgins to dispel any myths about the militia.

Mr. Higgins makes inaccurate distinctions between libertarians and the militia. First, the militia is not "anti-authority." In fact, the 1st Missouri Volunteers, like any lawfully organized militia in the USA, recognizes the Constitution of the United States and we also obey the Missouri constitution. Further, part of our mission of being "well-regulated" is that we follow strictly to a proscribed discipline established by Congress for the US Army. The same "regulation" is recognized by Missouri law, to which we adhere; the purpose being that we can be substituted, if necessary, to fill any vacuum by regular components of the military. We also recognize the lawful chain of command from the president, our state governor, local sheriffs and other civil authority. Like Libertarians, the militia wants to see "most of it fade away" in that we want to see a restored constitutional republic recognizing the rule of law. We too do not want to "overthrow" the government; in fact, we are sworn, like regular military troops, to protects and defend the Constitution. In his statement Mr. Higgins fails to realize that one of the primary goals of our mission statement is education of the public about our great republic and its institutions. This mission statement has been made clear at Libertarian meetings and made available in print. Our own "non-threatening" practice of education is requiring that every member of the militia be a registered voter! While we are not a partisan organization, most of our membership is among the most politically active in the area and supports a number of candidates on any number of partisan tickets as individual voters.

Mr. Higgins' last statement implies that the militia is more "violent" than the origins of the non-violent libertarians. While it is true that the militia is the "teeth" of the Constitution and can keep an over zealous government in check, one should not infer that its function is anything but self-defense oriented; a cause supported by libertarians. Having been involved in partisan Libertarian politics and as a member of the militia, I can see no conflict whatsoever in strategy between the militia and the libertarians. Their goals are very similar.

Sgt. DM Holden, 1st Missouri Volunteers

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Convention News

Elections, Elections!!!

At the Missouri Libertarian Party's 1996 State Convention held in Columbia, Missouri, on Saturday, May 25th, all of the previous year's officers were re-elected:

Only chair Jim Givens of Columbia was challenged, by Martin Lindstedt of Granby. Givens won easily.

As you can see, the chair is the only officer with no specifically delegated duties, so you can feel free address all your miscellaneous concerns to him. Since chair Jim Givens once graciously offered to have the statewide 800 number hotline connected to his home phone, you can easily and inexpensively reach him or leave him a message at 1-800-838-1776.

New representatives to the state expediting committee were also elected. The state expediting committee consists of two representatives from each of Missouri's nine congressional districts, plus the party officers. The committee usually meets monthly in Columbia and conducts the day-to-day business of the party. Columbia was selected as the usual meeting place because of its central location. However, any local affiliate party is free to propose a meeting of the committee in their city, as long as they arrange for a meeting place.

A few of these contests, which took place in caucuses of the convention attendees from each congressional district, were more heated. Alternates may be asked to attend a meeting and vote in place of a representative who cannot attend a particular meeting.

The new list of ExpCom members is available on the "officers" page. Note that the one area of the state that was not represented at the convention was the 8th District, located around Cape Girardeau. Party members in this area are urged to hold a caucus on their own to elect representatives.

Nominations for delegates to the National LP convention coming up in July were compiled by a nominating committee. Party members who wanted to be considered did not have to be present to win, but did have to commit to actually attending the convention on their own nickel. The following party members were selected as Missouri's eleven delegates:

The following were selected as alternates:

Changes to Constitution and Bylaws

At the convention, the following additions were made to the Constitution of the Missouri Libertarian Party. The most controversial was probably the issue of whether to allow proxy voting at the convention or at state expediting committee meetings. The idea was overwhelmingly rejected by a vote of 21-2 at the beginning of the convention proceedings.

Article 5. The State Convention

5.4 All delegates to State Conventions must be members in good standing of the Missouri Libertarian Party and must have been members of the MoLP for at least thirty days prior to the start of the convention.

5.5 Only delegates present on the convention floor may vote.

Article 6. Rules of Procedure

6.3 Only members present, either in person or via telecommunications, may vote at meetings of the state committee and the Expediting Committee. No absentee or proxy voting shall be allowed except that duly elected alternates may vote in place of absent district representatives.

The following changes were made to the party Bylaws:

Article 6. National Convention Delegation

MoLP delegates to Libertarian Party National Conventions shall elect a delegation chairman and a delegation vice-chairman. In the absence of the chairman, the vice-chairman shall act as chairman.

The delegation chairman may freely substitute alternates to vote in place of delegates not present on the floor provided that the total number of votes cast by delegates and alternates shall not exceed the total number of delegates to which Missouri is entitled.

Article 7. Fusion Candidates

No person shall file as both a Libertarian Party candidate and another party's candidate for nomination or election to any public office except with the approval of the MoLP Expediting Committee.

Note that although changes to the party Platform had been proposed to the platform committee and were printed in the pre-convention issue of SMF, none were brought to the convention floor. The election year platform therefore remains the same one-page, issues-and-action item summary that was first adopted in 1993 and was last modified in 1995.

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National Speakers Energize Convention Attendees

National Party Chair Addresses Convention

NLP Chair Steve Dasbach was an honored guest at the convention. Although he is actively seeking re-election at the national party convention in July, his address to the assembly stressed the party's achievement as a whole over the last two years. Our progress has been such that even The Hill, a political insiders' newsletter published in Washington, recently ran an article entitled "Libertarians Ready to Storm the Hill, Breach the Two-party System."

He announced that ballot petitioning had been completed in 34 states and that ballot access is expected to be achieved in 40 states by the time of the national convention. A few states, like West Virginia, stand a chance of obtaining permanent ballot access (like that enjoyed by Missouri) in the November election by meeting candidate vote percentage requirements.

The NLP's goal of offering candidates for a majority of congressional seats is still feasible, said Dasbach. This, like 50-state ballot access for our presidential candidate, would help establish credibility by offering at least the potential of a Libertarian majority in congress (the MoLP has candidates for all 9 of our congressional districts this year). Dasbach also discussed the presidential campaign strategy of building up party awareness through talk radio, the one media outlet which seems most sympathetic to libertarian views. The party expects over 100,000 inquiries to be processed by NLP headquarters over the next six months in response to presidential election year publicity through talk radio and other channels. Overall media attention is rising, with almost 70 calls received in the month of April alone in response to press releases and other publicity.

Dasbach stressed that the only way the Libertarian party can gain the political clout our ideas deserve is by gaining a similar number of card-carrying members as that of the Ds and Rs - around 400-500,000, vs. the 16,000 members we have today. There are no shortcuts to party building. Our fate is in our own hands, not in that of the media or anyone else. We must concentrate on the day-to-day tasks of fundraising, membership recruitment, and local media publicity. -

Keynote Speaker Chides, Inspires

Former presidential nomination contender and US Senate candidate from California, Richard Boddie, addressed attendees at the convention luncheon. "I come to bury power, not to seize it," he announced as he began his speech.

Quo vadis - where are we going? was his keynote theme. Are we just a white male debating society or do we want to become a viable political party. "This is not the dress rehearsal," he emphasized, "this is the play." If we don't start doing something different, we will be run over. This something different is the need to state our message positively, and to reach out to voters, one by one. "Voters are deceived en masse", he said, "but they are enlightened one by one."

The other parties do not offer voters the choice of smaller, more limited government. He summarized their views as, "If it moves, regulate it; if it doesn't, subsidize it; if it produces, tax it; and if it votes, pork it." He advised activists to respond to the old saw about "wasting your vote" by telling voters they are wasting their votes if they cast them for the same old parties - "that's telling them to keep on doing what they are doing to us." Libertarians need to be inside the government - so we will be able to turn the power off when the revolution comes.

In addition to delivering the keynote speech, Boddie joined attendees at an informal dinner held on Saturday night at the Katy Station. Part of the party-building brainstorming involved how to get more minorities involved in the party. This year, the MoLP slate offers one African American candidate, Richard Tolbert of the 5th District. Boddie also attended the meeting of the new state expediting meeting held on Sunday, and offered more advice on how to get the party moving, based on his experience as Chair of the Orange County Libertarians.

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Party Sponsors Contest for New Symbol
by Jim Higgins

The Missouri Libertarian Party is sponsoring a contest to design a new symbol utilizing the Missouri Mule. They are willing to award $100 for the best design submitted.

The contest was approved at the MoLP state convention in May. Mitch Moore, the MoLP candidate for congress in the 9th district proposed the idea at the convention. Moore said, "Our first choice is the Statue of Liberty, because Libertarians stand for individual liberty and the Statue of Liberty is the symbol used by the National Libertarian Party". However, the Democratic Party of Missouri already uses the Statue of Liberty as their symbol. "The Democrats have taken our liberty; they do not deserve to use it as their symbol," Moore exclaimed. The Missouri Libertarian Party currently uses the Liberty Bell as their ballot symbol.

The contest is open to any person who submits a camera ready design to any member of the Missouri LP expediting committee by July 4th, 1996. The best design will be chosen by the expediting committee at their monthly meeting in Columbia on Sunday July 21, 1996.

Any reasonable depiction of the Missouri Mule will be considered. The mule should have the Liberty Bell depicted on the saddle bags. For more details about the contest contact the MoLP Chair Jim Givens at 800-838-1776. -


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