By Greg Stempfle
The Libertarian Party of Michigan held a National Delegate Selection Convention during the afternoon session at the March 10th Libertarian Summit at Eagle Eye Golf Course in Bath Township. The main item of business was the selection of delegates to the Libertarian National Convention in New Orleans over the Fourth of July weekend. Michigan was allotted 36 delegates and 50 alternates. Our chair automatically fills one of those delegate slots under our bylaws.
There were 82 credentialed delegates from across the state in attendance at the time of voting for the national convention delegates. An initial list of 35 national convention delegates was approved by voice vote then an additional 15 people were then nominated for alternate and ranked by voting delegates.
During the vote tallying, three candidates for Libertarian National Committee Vice Chair spoke; Joe Hauptman, Tim Yow speaking on behalf of Alex Merced, and James Weeks II. Prior to the state convention business, Presidential candidate Adam Kokesh also addressed the crowd.
Party officers then gave their reports covering what has been accomplished since the last state convention in July. Chairman Bill Hall spoke about technology improvements, reviving the state party newsletter, and volunteer opportunities. Affiliates Vice Chair Tim Yow discussed the membership committee, web team, and the newly formed Jackson-Hillsdale and Straits area affiliates. Political Director Vice Chair Greg Stempfle discussed candidate recruitment, training, and plans for party support for those running. Treasurer Jason Brandenburg discussed our current budget and addressed the email scam that cost the party over $1,600 and the fundraising efforts that went into more than replacing that money.
The officer reports which were presented at the convention can be found at this link:
Several other items of business were conducted after the vote for national convention delegates. Delegates who lived in the 13 Congressional District caucused to fill a vacancy on the state executive board. Adam Zientarski of Detroit was chosen to be the new LEC District 13 Representative.
Under our new bylaws, delegates had the opportunity to “pre-endorse” a candidate for Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Justice of the Supreme Court. This bylaw change, borrowed from the Michigan Democratic Party, was made because these candidates will not be nominated until the end of summer. Receiving an endorsement early on allows candidates to campaign more actively with the general public earlier in the year given the reassurance from party members that they will still receive their support when the actual nomination occurs.
Two statewide candidates received the pre-endorsement from convention delegates. Greg Stempfle received the pre endorsement for Secretary of State and Kerry Morgan for the Michigan Supreme Court partial term seat currently held by Elizabeth Clement.
Two resolutions were passed by delegates. Since anyone can run under our party banner this year for the first time, a resolution was introduced by Greg Stempfle regarding proviving party resources to candidates, citing as justification the dilemma posed to the GOP when an actual Nazi won the uncontested GOP primary for Illinois third congressional district.
The LPM shall only provide party resources to candidates who have filed paperwork with the appropriate election officials and are members in good standing of the LPM.
Party resources, include but are not limited to: access to state party membership lists, access to the LPM website for candidate blogs and website hosting, and the state party newsletter.
These resources shall be made available to the candidate unless the LPM decides to withdraw support or “unendorse” a candidate by either a 2/3rds majority vote by members of the LEC, or by a vote of a simple majority of delegates at the Fall LPM State Convention.
At the LPM’s Fall State Convention, delegates may also officially support or “endorse” candidates running for a nonpartisan office, as write-in candidates, or as candidates with no party affiliation.
The second resolution was introduced by Bill Gelineau addressing the recent crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan and passed unanimously.
Resolved, that the Libertarian Party of Michigan opposes local community ordinances that interfere with the right of any citizen to have access to marijuana in their community.
After the convention adjourned, the LEC held a brief meeting followed by the annual Defender of Liberty Awards banquet and keynote speech by Nebraska State Senator Laura Ebke. You can read about the banquet and award winners in other articles in this issue of the Michigan Libertarian.
The next LPM convention will be held after the August 7th primary, in accordance with state election law for primary qualified parties. At this convention, we will nominate our other statewide candidates for the general election including Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Justice of the Supreme Court, State Board of Education, and the three public university boards. This convention will likely be either August 25 or September 1. After the primary but at least a week prior to the state convention, each affiliate will hold a county convention to select delegates to the state convention.