Spring Convention Delegates getting down to business. Photo by Ben Dejong

Spring Convention 2022 Draws Libertarians from Throughout Michigan

Link to the April 2022 Michigan Libertarian

By Scotty Boman, Editor

Ann Arbor, MI – On Sunday March 13th Michigan Libertarians convened at the Spring Convention to listen to speakers, announce candidacies, vote on Platform amendments, and select National Convention delegates.

The day began with a Benefactor breakfast followed by the start of business. There were officer reports, agenda approval, and open floor.  Open floor included an announcement by Co-Director of Decriminalize Nature Michigan (DNM) Myc Williams.  He informed the delegation that DNM had a ballot initiative petition ready to circulate and that they would be looking for volunteers.  In addition to decriminalizing entheogenic substances,  the initiative calls for de-felonizing all drug possession.

Looking ahead, Ben Boren said there would be two new affiliates by the next Convention.

LNC Candidates had a panel discussion at the Luncheon. Photo by Ben Dejong
LNC Candidates had a panel discussion at the Luncheon. Photo by Ben Dejong

Candidates and Speakers

The 2022 Spring Convention also featured a couple candidate announcements. The Libertarian Party of Michigan’s (LPM) 2014 candidate for Governor, Mary Buzuma announced that she would be seeking the LPM nomination for that office at the Summer Convention.  Another delegate, Bruce Jaquays, also announced his intent to seek the nomination for Governor. Also, former Chair and 2018 Secretary of State candidate, Greg Stempfle, announced that he would be seeking the nomination for that office again this year.

Spring Convention Speakers

Fenix Amunition Co. CEO Justin Nazaroff. Photo by Ben DeJong.
Fenix Amunition Co. CEO Justin Nazaroff. Photo by Ben DeJong.

Convention business was punctuated by guest speakers.  The luncheon featured a Libertarian National Committee (LNC) Candidate Panel. The convention speaker was Justin Nazaroff.  He is the CEO of Fenix Ammunition Company.  The Central Michigan University and Walsh College graduate spoke on operating his business during pandemic lockdowns, and how being on the receiving end of authoritarian policies motivated his activism.  He is also a competitive shooter, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt.

There were also legislative candidate announcements including Greg Black for State Representative and Mile Saliba for US House.

Spring Convention Platform Amendments

The Platform Committee primarily presented changes in wording, of existing planks, while not proposing significant changes in intended meaning.  Some changes brought the verbiage more in line with the Dallas Accord. The delegates had time to adopt four of the Committee’s proposals. This included minor changes to Article III Courts, Sections 8 and 11. Those changes were to enhance clarity. The revision also removed language that connected rights to the United States Constitution.

Vice Amendments

The delegates also adopted proposed changes to Article V. Vice Laws, Section 1. The adopted language brings the plank more in line with the Dallas Accord, but also contained an additional substantial change: the phrase “…and other substances” was added to the sentence calling for the legalization of gambling and drugs. This is substantial since it calls for the legalization of any substance without exception.

The Spring Convention delegates also voted to reword Article V. Vice Laws, Section 4.  While Cannabis would be included, implicitly, in Section 1, it was previously mentioned explicitly because of high-profile ballot proposals that eventually led to the legalization of Marijuana in Michigan.  In a similar spirit, the Platform Committee proposed expanding the language to include entheogenic.  Decriminalize Nature has spearheaded several local initiatives, and a statewide ballot initiative, to decriminalize these naturally occurring hallucinogens.

National Convention Delegate Nominations

One of the reasons the LPM has two conventions, in even years, is to meet early enough to nominate national convention delegates, while meeting late enough to nominate candidates after we know who the primary eligible parties have run in their primaries.  It also allows for a seamless transition to standard practices of primary eligible parties in years when the LPM qualifies as such.

The State Convention Delegates selected National Convention delegates with an approval style ballot. The convention then tabulated the votes to rank their preferences, while not imposing a minimum number of votes.  To qualify as a National Convention Delegate or alternate, the nominee had to earn more votes than None Of The Above (NOTA), but nobody voted for NOTA.  The 33 highest ranking nominees qualified as National Convention delegates, and up to the next 50 would qualify to be alternates.  So, since there were fewer than 83 nominees, all of them either won as delegates or alternates.  LPM Chairman Tim Yow is automatically chair of the Michigan delegation.

2022 National Convention Delegates

The Michigan Convention delegates chose the following people to be delegates to the 2022 National Convention:

LPM Chair Tim Yow is automatically a National Convention Delegate. Photo by Ben DeJong.
LPM Chair Tim Yow is automatically a National Convention Delegate. Photo by Ben DeJong.

Tim Yow
Luke Sciberras
Daniel Ziemba
Liz Franzago
Nathan Hewer
Joe Hartman
Connor Nepomuceno
Angela Thornton
Andrew Chadderdon
John Jascob
Ryan Roberts
Josh Smith

David Bockelman
Mary Buzuma
Greg Black

Delegates from the Mises Caucus. Photo by Ben DeJong.
Delegates from the Mises Caucus. Photo by Ben DeJong.

Leah Dailey
Bruce Jaquays
Rhett Hamel
Ryan Brennan
Jeff Lentz
Jessica  Sentman
Daniel Woike
Jason Barton
Ben Boren
Kevin Ellis
Gordon Huston
Daniel Muehl-Miller
Adam Nolin
Andrew Ranta
Andy Koons
Laine Minor
Gunther Ruck
Bill Hall
Theodore Petzold


2022 National Convention Alternates

The Michigan Convention delegates chose the following people to be alternates to the 2022 National Convention (In descending order of preference, with ties settled by a roll of the dice):

Members of the Upper Peninsula came all the way from the UP to attend this convention in Ann Arbor.
Ryan Roberts (Left) and Andrew Ranta (right) came all the way from the Upper Peninsula to attend this convention in Ann Arbor. Photo by Ben DeJong.

Ryan Henry
Jacob Kelts
Jessica Fox
Steve Fox
Mike Saliba
Lawrence Johnson
Jeff Pittel
James Hudler
Vicki Hall
Jami Van Alstine
Scotty Boman
Brian Ellison
Griffin   Hall
Leonard Schwartz
Andrew Hall
Brandon Warzybok
Jay Gillotte
Deborah Van Alstine
Jim Fulner
Will Tyler White
David Canny
Loel Gnadt
Fred Horndt
James Peace
James Weeks
Bruce Smith
Jeff Wood
Jonhathan Ettinger
Max Riekse

Social Media Director Connor Nepomunceno uploaded video of all convention business to the LPM YouTube channel here.
Link to the April 2022 Michigan Libertarian

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