Thoughts From the Outgoing Libertarian Party of Michigan Chair

Thoughts From the Outgoing Libertarian Party of Michigan Chair

Gregory Stempfle (Left) setting up for one last convention as Chair. Andrew Chadderdon (Right). Photo by Breanna Arold.

Link to the July 2021 Michigan Libertarian

By Greg Stempfle, former Chair

This article will highlight some thoughts I have on the topics I talked about, during my chair’s report, at last month’s Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) state convention I will also share thoughts n events of the day.  I first started off by discussing some of the highlights of the past year.

  • The LPM ran 56 candidates for public office in Michigan in 2020. Our candidates faced unprecedented challenges trying to campaign during a lockdown with nearly all public events cancelled. Despite these challenges, four candidates were elected in November; two partisan Libertarians and two nonpartisan Congratulations to Donna Gundle-Kreig, who won a spot on the Mancelona Township Board of Trustees, for becoming only the second Libertarian in Michigan’s history to be elected to public office by beating a major party opponent.
  • When the ballot proof went out in August, we discovered that the Libertarian Party and its candidates were listed in the 5th position on the ballot, rather than 3rd We were entitled to that spot based on the results of the previous race for Secretary of State. With the help of Bill Hall and the election law specialists at his law firm, we were able to convince the Bureau of Elections to change the ballot order without litigation.

Membership up Amidst Lockdowns and Blowback

  • We experienced a significant bump in membership and contacts following the events at the United States Capitol on January 6th. Many people who contacted me were finally fed up with the dysfunctional two party system and wanted to get involved in a different party. However a couple people, who reached out to me, were disappointed that we did not want to help their efforts to overturn the presidential election.
  • The lockdown orders persisted through early 2021. This made planning the 2021 State Convention difficult. This was actually our second attempt at planning a convention this year and it turned out to be our biggest in years. Thank you to Andrew Chadderdon, Dan Ziemba, and Connor Nepomuceno for organizing this three day event!

Thoughts on Things the LPM did well last year

  • State party membership is up and more organized thanks to Jeff Pittel and the membership committee. The team is utilizing the CiviCRM database set up by the national party to it’s full potential and have created LPM membership cards.
  • We have seen a major increase in our Social Media outreach on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to Connor Nepomuceno and the Social media team for their efforts.
  • We continue to publish the monthly newsletter “Michigan Libertarian” with content written by party members. Thanks to Editor Scotty Boman and to Catherine Filus and Jeff Pittel for distribution.

Thoughts on Things we need to do better in 2022

Delegates elected the new executive committee last month. They will have a lot of work ahead of them, and can use all the volunteer help you, the party membership, can offer. There are a couple of areas that need the most attention that I encourage people to get involved with.

  • Media outreach and press releases. We need to develop a better relationship with traditional media outlets.
  • Re engage in public outreach efforts. COVID made it difficult for doing public outreach last year and much of this year as well. With an election season right around the corner, we need to start planning for events in 2022 and later this year.

Lessons from the Libertarian National Committee / New Hampshire Dispute

After the events in June involving the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire and the Libertarian National Committee, I gave a lot of thought to how we can prevent a similar situation in Michigan. My thoughts, moving forward, are to encourage the next Libertarian Executive Committee (LEC) to take two steps.

  • Better understand the security and ownership of our membership data and other assets.
  • Develop a social media policy with safeguards so nobody can abuse the platform.

I would like to thank all of the officers I served with the past two years. I also thank the LPM membership for entrusting the leadership of the party with me. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as state party chair.

Link to the July 2021 Michigan Libertarian