DuPage Libertarians Profile
Chapter Contact: Brian S. Lambrecht
Mail: PO Box 5324, Bloomington, IL, 61702
Where We Meet:
The American Tap Pub & Grill @ 701 W. Lake St. in Addison, IL
When We Meet:
7pm every 3rd Thursday of the month
About Our Chapter:
We are the DuPage County Chapter of the Libertarian Party of Illinois.
We host Chapter meetings @ 7pm every 3rd Thursday of the month @ The American Tap Pub & Grill @ 701 W. Lake St. in Addison. Everyone is welcome to join! We have a "meet, greet and eat" that starts at 6pm if you want to show up early, shake some hands and have a drink.
Our next meeting is on Thursday, August 17th.
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DuPage Libertarians Events
E = outreach Event B = Business meeting O = Other
SEP - 2017
DuPage Libertarians - Winfield Parade
Time: 12pm noon
Location: Near downtown Winfield, IL - details below
SEP - 2017
DuPage Libertarians Monthly Meeting Sept. 2017
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: The American Tap Pub & Grill @ 701 W. Lake St., Addison, IL
OCT - 2017
DuPage Libertarians PVSA Gun Show Oct. 2017
Time: 8am - 1pm
Location: DuPage County Fairgrounds @ 2015 Manchester Rd., Wheaton, IL
OCT - 2017
DuPage Libertarians Monthly Meeting Oct. 2017
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: The American Tap Pub & Grill @ 701 W. Lake St., Addison, IL
NOV - 2017
DuPage Libertarians PVSA Gun Show Nov. 2017
Time: 8am - 1pm
Location: DuPage County Fairgrounds @ 2015 Manchester Rd., Wheaton, IL
NOV - 2017
DuPage Libertarians Westmont Holiday Parade
Time: 4:30pm - 6pm
Location: Westmont Library parking lot @ Cass and Traube Ave.
DEC - 2017
DuPage Libertarians PVSA Gun Show Dec. 2017
Time: 8am - 1pm
Location: DuPage County Fairgrounds @ 2015 Manchester Rd., Wheaton, IL
JAN - 2018
DuPage Libertarians PVSA Gun Show Jan. 2018
Time: 8am - 1pm
Location: DuPage County Fairgrounds @ 2015 Manchester Rd., Wheaton, IL
DuPage Libertarians Blog
Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention Recap, posted:2016-04-29 16:55:38
By Jennifer Floyd
Election years often see new members flocking to alternative parties and the Libertarian Party is no exception. Opening night of the 2016 Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention hosted over one hundred attendees in a standing-room-only event to watch seven of the party’s presidential candidates debate before the nominating convention in April.
The candidates who participated were; Dr. Marc Allen Feldman, Cecil Ince, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Austin Petersen, Derrick Michael Reid, Rhett Smith, and Shauna Sterling. The event was moderated by Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green, video blogger Julie Borowski, and talk radio host from WMAY 970 AM in Central Illinois Greg Bishop. The event was live-streamed via YouTube and is available for viewing through the Metro East Libertarian YouTube page offering a second look at the alternative options in leadership.
Saturday featured a luncheon presentation by Julie Borowski and her topic “Why You Should Be Optimistic” speaking about how libertarian ideals are gaining traction and the strides we have made to be a more tolerant society. Other events included a presentation honoring the memory of Mark Agnini, a pivotal member of several northern chapters who died in a car accident last fall, workshops on interviewing and petitioning, and entertainment in the form of Libertarian-themed Jeopardy.
The convention closed out with the annual business meeting and the nomination of state party candidates. Claire Ball secured the nomination for Comptroller and is the only trained and active accountant seeking the position. Scott Schluter was nominated for the 117th District in the Illinois General Assembly, and Jake Leonard will be running for the 95th District of the Illinois House. Finally, by a narrow margin, Kent McMillen won nomination for the US Senate candidacy over Chris Michel.
All the candidates must now begin to petition for the right to be on the ballot this fall in Illinois. Libertarians, as “new party” candidates, according to state law, must gather a minimum of 25,000 signatures to gain ballot access whereas Republicans or Democrats must only gather 5,000. This year, however, has seen a small change with the recent court decision striking down Illinois’ full slate requirement, opening the door to the Libertarians and other parties in running for election.
Libertarian Party of Illinois 2016 State Convention, posted:2016-02-21 11:43:41
While the media might be focused on the antics of Clinton, Trump, and Sanders, parties like the Libertarian Party are quietly gathering their supporters and prepping their candidates. One such group is the Libertarian Party of Illinois which will host their annual State Convention on March 11-12th, 2016 in Springfield, IL.
Just like the Republicans and Democrats, the candidate pool for president is quite large. At the time of writing this article 4 of the 8 presidential candidates will be participating in a debate. Slated to attend are Dr. Marc Feldman, Cecil Ince, Steve Kerbel, and Austin Petersen. The debate will be moderated by Julie Borowski, a blogger, writer, award-winning YouTube host, and Policy Analyst for FreedomWorks.
The convention, while a fantastic way for members to network and grow, also serves a very important purpose; the nomination and selection of candidates for state-wide offices and delegates to the national Libertarian Convention. This fall, the positions of U.S. Senate and Comptroller will be up for election. Current announced candidates for nomination; Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller and Chris Michel for U.S. Senate will be presenting. The party will also recognize candidates for local elections seeking endorsements from the Libertarian Party in their run for office. Unlike other parties in Illinois, Libertarian candidates are nominated directly at the conventions and approved by vote at the annual business meeting.
However, when a group of Libertarians get together, there will also be entertainment and education. Julie Borowski will be the luncheon keynote speaker, presenting her topic “Why You Should Be Optimistic.” The trivia contest dubbed Libertarian Jeopardy makes its return, there will be an auction to raise funds, and a regional beverage competition. Two workshops will be held on Saturday; “Who’s Driving?” a simulated interview to hone the presentation skills of candidates, and a Petitioning Workshop to help educate members who will participate in signature collection to get Libertarian candidates on the ballot.
One of the hot topics for discussion this year will be the recent court decision striking down the “full slate” requirement imposed on third party (or “new party” as they are referred to in IL) candidates in Illinois. Originally imposed in 1931 probably to keep communist party candidates off the ballot, it was declared unconstitutional in an order on February 12 by U.S. District Court Judge Andrea R. Wood. This created a massive obstacle for new party candidates running for local office since they would have to find people to run for every open spot in local elections and diluting the efforts of the state party when they would have to run 7 candidates just to run for governor.
The Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention will be held on March 11-12th, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3100 S Dirksen Pkwy, Springfield, IL. Attendance is free and open to the public on Friday, March 11th. Attendance at the Saturday workshops and luncheon requires registration available at LPIllinois.org.
It’s Officially An Election Year, Now…, posted:2016-01-31 21:11:18
First off, I would like to congratulate Steve Dutner on being elected as the new Vice Chair for the DuPage Libertarians. Continuing to serve in the other roles are Jennifer Floyd as Secretary, Todd Zimmerman as Treasurer, and myself as Chair.
So there were plans to have a huge blog written and ready for the beginning of the year, but that didn’t pan out, because we have been WAY too busy. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I don’t know yet; everyone is too exhausted to make a judgment call…
The biggest event coming up is obviously the state convention in March. On Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th, the Libertarian Party of Illinois will hold its annual state convention at the Hilton garden Inn in Springfield. The event includes some pretty amazing highlights, including the Friday night debate between several of the leading Libertarian presidential candidates, including Steve Kerbel, Austin Petersen, Marc Allan Feldman, and Cecil Ince. Attending this event means you may have a chance to personally ask a question from one or all of these candidates.
The keynote speaker for Saturday is Julie Borowski, who (as the rumor mill goes) may also be moderating the debate on Friday night. You can also expect to hear speeches from Claire Ball and Chris Michel, and as a state party member, have an official vote in making them the official Libertarian Party of Illinois candidates for the November general election.
The next big event is the one occurring right after the convention, and the one that requires the most help – our Petition Drive. The good news about the petition drive is that you can get ALL the information from your source right here, or at our Facebook page. That information includes weekday and weekend events where candidates and volunteers will go out to collect signatures. We can pretty much guarantee that there will be an event going on every weekend through the 90 day period, and that we will be reaching out to volunteers to help us collect as many signatures as we can from registered Illinois voters. You are all invited to help us out.
The Petition Drive will be made up of multiple smaller events throughout the state, such as kickoff parties, campouts, and festivals that you can join in on.
So yes – we haven’t been bored. Everyone has been working tirelessly to put these events together and to coordinate our efforts to make it all happen. If you are someone who would like to get involved, this is a damn good year where we could definitely use your help.
Leaving Behind 2015, Here We Come 2016…, posted:2015-12-21 21:43:44
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, I first want to thank all the members of the DuPage Libertarians, and surrounding chapters, who came out and made our charity holiday dinner party the huge success that it was. We filled several large boxes and bags of canned and dry goods to donate to our charity of choice, the local affiliate of Loaves and Fishes, a charity that ensures 97% of all it raises goes directly to those who need it, while getting less than 1% of their funding from government. Our members are awesome and generous; thank you all.
So… what is happening now?
A lot. Way more than we were anticipating; quite frankly.
On Sunday, December 13th, Chairwoman of the College of DuPage board of trustees Kathy Hamilton surprised everyone by announcing that she was stepping down from the board, for personal reasons.
Whatever those reasons may be, the board of trustees at COD is now in chaos – worse than usual. Two days after Hamilton made her announcement, the college was put on academic probation by the Illinois Higher Learning Commission. This probation period lasts two years, in which time the board must prove that they have made the necessary corrections to the issues at the college… or the college could lose its accreditation.
The remaining six board members are split with regards to how to handle issues, stemmed from the incident over the last 18 months with ex-president Robert Breuder. They now have less than 60 days to appoint a seventh trustee to the board, or the Illinois Community College Board will appoint someone.
Before you ask, the answer is yes – many have been reaching out to ask if Claire Ball will apply for the position, and many have been publicly calling on her to step forward.
So what has been her official response? As of this point, she has not decided if she will apply or not. With a brutal campaign over the next ten months for Illinois Comptroller, combined with wrapping up her studies to earn her CPA, the girl is a bit overwhelmed at the moment – and we here at the DuPage Libertarians do not want to stretch her too thin, as her race for Comptroller will be a hard one.
However, taking on the role of trustee at COD would be a great way for her to directly make a positive impact on the community, while also helping demonstrate to the state of Illinois just how honest and effective a libertarian in office can be. The opportunity is one to not let slip away.
So as you can see, there is a lot happening with the DuPage Libertarians, and volunteers have been coming from everywhere to help support us in the election next year, including working on the campaign teams for Chris Michael and Claire Ball. There is always room for more, and all our members and readers are more than welcome to jump in at any point and help us along the way to make Illinois a better place to live and do business.
Claire has made one thing clear; if she does decide to apply for the position and is chosen by the board (also a long shot), she will continue to be the Libertarian Party of Illinois candidate for Comptroller. As soon as she earns her CPA early next year, she will be a force to be reckoned with.
No wonder the two parties are terrified of her.
So Many Local Libertarian Events Going On In November!!, posted:2015-11-03 07:12:30
With Halloween out of the way, and autumn now firmly established in Illinois, we are getting back to focusing on the events we have booked for November… which are a LOT.
Coming up early next week, the Chicago LP is hosting a meet-n-greet with candidates Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller and Chris Michel for US Senate. This event, taking place at Wills Northwoods Inn @ 3030 N Racine Ave. in Chicago, will allow voters to meet with and ask questions from both candidates on all the issues that matter to them. The event is free, open to the public, and starts at 6:30pm.
The following week on Wednesday, Nov 18th, Claire Ball will have a table set up at the Heartland Institute for the Women In Politics event , which includes State Rep. Jeanne Ives and radio host Amy Jacobson. It starts at 6:30pm at the new location 3939 N. Wilke Rd in Arlington Heights, IL.
Thursday, Nov. 19th @ 7pm will be our usual scheduled monthly meeting for the DuPage Libertarians, where we will be getting crafty as we make decorations for our sponsored Christmas Tree in Westmont, which we will be decorating a few days later at noon on Sunday, Nov. 22nd followed by all of us going out to grab lunch shortly afterward. Anyone who wants to jump in on this is welcome!
Oh, and we have two parades to march in on the weekend of Thanksgiving! The Festival of Lights Holly Days parade in downtown Westmont kicks off at 6pm on Saturday, and the Woodstock Christmas Parade at 2pm on Sunday. Help us carry banners and flags, or hand out candy and business cards to onlookers. These events are always fun, and as usual, we all get together for food afterwards.
Also, don’t forget the PVSA Wheaton Gun Show on Sunday, December 6th at the Dupage County Fairgrounds. It is $5 admission to get in, unless you show up early with us and help work the table – then you get in for free AND you feel the satisfaction of helping your local libertarians out.
There are some changes to this year’s Annual Holiday Party. Instead of a gift exchange, we will be holding a food drive for Loaves & Fishes located in Naperville, IL. They are a 501(c)(3) organization in operation since 1984 which provides food and other services to the poor of DuPage county and surrounding areas. The majority of their donations comes privately with only 1% of their budget from government funding. They put what they are given to work as well, passing 97% of their donations to those they serve.
Those coming to our December event are encouraged to bring canned or boxed foods to donate. In addition, Loaves & Fishes also accepts household items such as paper towels, 1 gallon Ziploc bags, toiletries, and diapers. For a full listing of what they accept and what their current needs are, you can visit their website and check out the Most Needed Items list. Our event is registered with Loaves & Fishes and we will also pass along any monetary donations we receive for them. Donations also can be made directly to the organization at their website.
The location for this year’s event will be at Cozymels Coastal Mex @ 311 E. Loop Rd. in Wheaton, IL. It starts at 6:30pm; special guests include candidate Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller, and Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green. Awards of appreciation will also be given out, and we will cover usual group business, though it generally takes very little time at these events.
If you’ve never been out to a DuPage Libertarian event before, there are plenty of opportunities right now to jump in on – take your pick! If you are a long time member but haven’t been active in a while, don’t hesitate to jump in whenever you get the urge to see all the old members and meet the newer ones. We hope you all enjoy the rest of autumn and Thanksgiving. See you soon…
Remembering Mark Agnini, posted:2015-10-23 08:50:20
Last month, on the morning of Thursday, September 24th, Mark Agnini passed away. At the age of 67 years, he had the passion and dedication of a career-driven person in their thirties, the energy and motivation of a college student in their twenties, and the dirty joke-telling humor of a high school kid.
In a single conversation, Mark could enrich you with philosophical conversation, right before he makes a witty comment that makes you and everyone standing nearby laugh out loud.
He had a warm heart and a cheerful attitude. You always felt better when Mark was around because of his jubilant demeanor, regardless of how bad of a day you were having or how stressed you were about a situation. Not many human beings who grace their presence on this small globe have that ability to charm people and evoke positive emotions. His optimism was unmatched, and his smile infectious.
As for his dedication to the philosophy of libertarianism, and the party in Illinois that he was part of, you’d be hard pressed to find many who were more dedicated to increasing awareness and helping to get candidates elected.
Mark and I had lunch together just two weeks before his passing. It lasted several hours, and involved a lot of note taking, as him and I planned out the projects each of us would be tackling, along with a step by step guide so we could follow each other’s progress and offer assistance when needed.
He was an active member in three different chapters, was working to help develop two more, and had roles in candidate campaigns for the 2016 election.
He regularly attended meetings for the Fox Valley Libertarian Party, the Libertarian Party of Lake County, and the DuPage Libertarians – and was once the Chair in DuPage. He even assumed the role of the State Organizing Committee representative for Lake County, and actually attended the monthly phone conferences, which is more than can be said for most other chapters in the state.
The night before his passing, Mark had driven out to DeKalb County to visit with some college students to discuss plans on starting a chapter out there. He was THAT dedicated to spreading liberty and freedom in Illinois, and was willing to take on any and all projects that he could to help out.
His robust character and charming humor will be greatly missed at all three chapters that Mark regularly attended. His insight and intellect during the campaign meetings cannot be replaced. His 22 years as a Theology professor at Elmhurst College had sharpened Mark into a person who could easily hold his own in a debate, while applying myriad tactics to educate others throughout the discussion. Luckily, plenty of us learned from him, and can put that education to great use in the coming years.
Thanks, Mark, for everything.
2015 Libertarian Party of Illinois Convention Recap!, posted:2015-08-18 15:34:50
Oh yes, the Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention this weekend was full of just the right kind of freedom loving enthusiasm you would expect to encounter. We had watchdogs groups tell tales of how they thwarted local corruption, party leaders give speeches that motivate and inspire the best in all of us, candidates making their announcements heard loud and clear, and of course entertainment and fun that come in official forms like Libertarian jeopardy and unofficial forms that go on until 4am. The weekend was magnificent.
Nicholas Sarwark is the Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, and has an impressive record, previously serving as chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland and as vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, where he played a key role in recruiting the state's 42 Libertarian candidates in 2014.
Friday night at the convention saw Nicholas and Libertarian Party of Illinois chair Lex Green kick back, each holding a beer in one hand and a microphone in the other, as they entertained the crowd with stories and answered questions. Afterwards, the night rounded out with an R rated comedy routine by the state party Deputy Treasurer and dedicated member from the Will County chapter Mike Weinberg. The official festivities ended just after 10pm, though I spent time with the more active members till almost 4am. Yeah, you read that right. Not the brightest move when you consider the State Organizing Committee meeting was at 8am, but it was a blast.
The SOC meeting and annual meetings went smoothly, with little changes in the party structure, and a minor change to the state party bylaws.
Crystal Jurczynski hosted a workshop titled “Who’s Driving?” which is designed to help candidates get experience in dealing with interviewers while receiving feedback in real-time as they conduct the interviews.
Jacob Huebert with the Liberty Justice Center spoke on “The Prospects for Liberty in Illinois” and Jan and Don Stover from the Owl Creek Gazette gave a presentation on “Communicating Libertarianism to the Self-Reliant Movement.”
A group that we know very well in DuPage is the Edgar County Watchdogs, who were instrumental in bringing down the corruption at College of DuPage, of which Claire Ball ran as a trustee in April of 2015. Kirk Allen and John Kraft gave, quite possibly, one of the best presentations ever at a state party convention, discussing their victories and sharing their strategies with members.
Just before dinner, yours truly hosted the popular Libertarian Jeopardy! With new categories like “Give Me Subpoenas and Cracker Jacks,” “Animals In the White House That Weren’t Elected” and “Give Me Liberty Or Grope My Junk!” players had opportunities to score big points in topics ranging from modern terrorism to the Civil War. Chris Madden from the Champaign chapter was the winner AGAIN this year, after cleaning house last year. Congrats.
State Chair Lex Green gave away awards just before Nicholas Sarwark gave an amazing presentation titled “Show Up, Be Nice, and Win” to those in attendance on Saturday night. It was very uplifting and highly inspiring – it became very obvious why Nicholas was elected to be the National Party Chair, and we were glad to have him.
The most prominent event of the weekend was the announcements from candidates both statewide and local.
The big surprise and highlight of the candidates was the announcement from candidate for trustee at College of DuPage Claire Ball to run for Illinois Comptroller. Being a full-time working accountant with a Master’s Degree in Accounting, Claire is pursuing earning her CPA this summer while building her campaign.
Chris Michel, who announced his candidacy for the nomination to be the libertarian candidate for US Senate in 2016, also gave a speech discussing his plans to “Fix it with freedom” regarding the problems we have in our nation today. Chris is a small business owner and is married with four children, and was the candidate for Secretary of State for the Libertarian Party of Illinois in 2014.
Also appearing was former Republican candidate for Illinois Comptroller William J. Kelly, who announced on Friday at the state capitol his plans for “exploring a race for US Senate against Mark Kirk” though made no specific references to running for the libertarian nomination in March. He also did not mention this intention at the convention.
Of the local candidates, Christopher Hicks is running on the Libertarian Party ticket for the 95th representative district, and Scott Schluter is running to represent the 117th district in 2016 for the Illinois House of Representatives.
On behalf of the DuPage Libertarians, we would like to thank Lupe Diaz for putting together an amazing convention this year, and look forward to what he has in store for 2016. What a great year!!
Chris Michel Announces Nomination for US Senate, posted:2015-07-11 16:22:21
The first candidate to announce their nomination to be the 2016 Libertarian Party of Illinois candidate for US Senate is Chris Michel, who made his announcement a few weeks back at the DuPage Libertarians 45th Anniversary Fundraiser on Saturday, June 20th.
Michel was the 2014 candidate for Secretary of State, who traveled across Illinois, from East St. Louis, to Mount Vernon, to Chicago and back south, marching in parades, attending candidate forums, and speaking to local groups.
Often traveling with Attorney General candidate Ben Koyl and Treasurer candidate Matthew Skopek on the campaign trail, Michel attended events hosted by the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and the Chicago Polish Alliance.
He also took part in an editorial board review with the Chicago Tribune with Koyl and Comptroller candidate Julie Fox.
Whether it is dealing with high taxes, struggling with red tape to get a small business off the ground, or dealing with meddlesome foreign policy from Washington, Chris believes we can “fix it with freedom” by applying basic libertarian principles to each issue, from maximizing freedom, minimizing government, to maintaining a non-interventionist foreign policy.
Chris lives in Romeoville, IL with his wife Andrea and their four boys. Technically residing in Will County, Chris is considered an active member of the DuPage Libertarians, though he frequently visits multiple chapters throughout the year. Chris plans to visit as many chapters as possible over the next few months to garner support for his campaign while also hearing out what fellow Illinois libertarians have to say and what they want in their candidate.
Other candidates are expected to announce their nominations at the upcoming state convention on Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st in Springfield. Anticipated statements are expected from former candidate for College of DuPage trustee Claire Ball, and former Chicago candidate for Mayor William J. Kelly.
Tickets for this year’s state convention are still available at the state party website www.LPIllinois.org and early bird discount rates are still in effect till July 12th. Guest speakers include Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark, Jacob Huebert with the Liberty Justice Center, the Edgar County Watchdogs, and a slew of workshops for everyone to be involved in. Also, there will be the big return of the ever popular Libertarian Jeopardy.
Busy 2015 Summer for DuPage Libertarians, posted:2015-06-04 09:13:03
A lot has been happening since the nonpartisan elections, and plenty of things have been planned for the summer. With there being no more elections until the general next year in 18 months, we plan on doing a lot of outreach and having a lot of fun in the process.
For starters, Claire Ball, the Libertarian Accountant who ran a feisty campaign for trustee at College of DuPage earlier this year, has been asked by the current board to sit on a special Budget Committee created for the college. While the details are still unknown, it looks like a great opportunity to help bring about real change and fiscal responsibility to a great community college that has been plagued by nefarious practices as of late. Congratulations, Claire!
We also marched in the Itasca Memorial Day Parade again this year, and yes – it got wet! We are a small, tough, and brave batch of loyal and dedicated troops, and we made our presence known, handing out candy and business cards to everyone along the route, who seems enthusiastic (even more so than last year) to see independents out and about in the public.
On Saturday, June 20th at 7pm, we encourage everyone to attend the DuPage Libertarians 45th Anniversary Fundraiser at the Rockwood Tap @ 3131 Finley Rd. in Downers Grove, IL. There is no cover for this fundraiser – simply donate whatever you wish, and take part in the festivities, which include short presentations from College of DuPage trustee candidate Claire Ball, 2014 Secretary of State candidate Chris Michel, Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green, and long-time founding member and self-titled “den mother” of the DuPage Libertarians Fran Holt.
Of course, we will also be marching in the Downers Grove Independence Day Parade again this year. The parade kicks off at 1pm, though the lineup starts at 11:45am in the North High School parking lot along Sherman Street. Any and all volunteers are welcome to join us, as we always like to have a large presence in these parades. We will be handing out candy and business cards again, and will also (hopefully) be debuting our new banner.
The DuPage County fair is also on the agenda, as has always been a staple of this group for decades, and we will be looking for volunteers to help staff the booth during the five day event. More information will come out as we have it available.
Don’t forget that the Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention is the weekend of Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st and will be held in Springfield this year. We will have more on that in our next update.
In the meantime, enjoy the warm weather as it slowly takes its time settling in. Thank you to everyone who has helped us out this year so far, and to everyone who will be stepping up in this busy summer season. Holding politicians accountable, and keeping government open and honest is never easy work, and it starts at these local levels. Once the summer is over, we will begin the process of recruiting people to be possible candidates in the next few election cycles, so if you have ideas of running for a school board, or want to help out on someone else’s campaign, start thinking it out now.
Have a great summer, and we hope to see you all soon!
What To Do Over the Next 18 Months!?, posted:2015-04-28 21:18:13
With the April non-partisan races out of the way, many people have been asking what next big projects are on the horizon for us. The general election isn’t until November of 2016, and the Libertarian Party of Illinois won’t be nominating our candidates for US Senate and state Comptroller until next March. So, what do we do??
Glad you asked!
There are plenty of opportunities for people to get involved on all different levels, from working a booth at a festival, to running for local office in their own community. It is up to you to decide how much time and effort you want to put towards increasing freedom and cutting down debt and government interference in our lives in Illinois.
The first big event coming up is Monday, May 25th – the Memorial Day Parade in Itasca, which was a ton of fun last year. It’s an easy setup, and a short distance with a good amount of people in attendance, and is a great way to kick off the spring and summer activities. The parade starts around 9am, and we are usually setting up by 8:30am in the usual place. When the details are confirmed again, you can bet they will be on the Events page here on our site.
On Saturday, May 20th we will host the DuPage Libertarians 45th Anniversary Fundraiser at the Rockwood Tap House in Downers Grove. There is no cover, as it is simply inviting members, friends, and family out to dinner for entertainment, a short auction, and a few speakers, along with a MAJOR announcement. Donations will be accepted all night long, and are entirely up to those giving. This will be a fun event, and hopefully a chance to raise some money to help pay off costs for our outreach events.
July brings us to both the Independence Day Parade in Downers Grove, and the five-day long DuPage County Fair, of which volunteers are needed to help staff the booth.
In the meantime, we are also recruiting candidates for our Precinct Committeemen Project in DuPage County, and also anyone who wants to run for a local office. We are a great resource to help you muddle through election law to get your petitions in order and your paperwork filed properly. Although the next elections are still a long ways down, this is the best time to start thinking about running for office, and making early plans if you choose to do so.
You can learn more about these events and projects at our next meeting on Thursday, May 21st @ The American Tap 701 W. Lake Street in Addison, IL at 7pm. All are welcome. If you’ve never been to our meetings before but were always curious as to what we do, what are you waiting for?!
Post-Election Message From Claire Ball, posted:2015-04-18 21:16:21
I want to offer my most sincere congratulations to Kathy Hamilton’s Clean Slate; Deanne Mazzochi, Frank Napolitano, and Charles Bernstein. You ran an excellent campaign unmatched by anyone else, and earned yourselves seats on the troubled College of DuPage board of trustees. I have confidence that you will help to turn around the troubles at COD and get the college back on course to do the best for the people of DuPage, and I look forward to following your progress at the school in the coming years.
This campaign was my first effort in running for office, and 10,413 people decided that I was a candidate worthy of their vote. It is a humbling experience and I am honored to have earned votes from so many people in my home county of DuPage. I knocked on doors in twelve neighborhoods, met people at 16 train stations, and gave more speeches than I can remember over the past three months. Quite a feat for someone not used to public speaking!
This 32-year-old accountant was quoted numerous times in the Daily Herald, and had her photo printed in the Chicago Tribune. How exciting was that!? I’ve received help from close friends and total strangers. Kind words and encouragement came from people who were Republicans, Democrats, members of the local Tea Parties, Constitution Party members, and of course, from my fellow Libertarians.
There are too many people I know I won’t remember to thank them all, but a good place to start is with Jennifer Floyd, who helped with just about everything and whose graphic art skills are like a typhoon, blowing away anything Herricane Graphics could come up with. Steve Dutner, who came out to every one of my literature walks – even in the rain. Crystal Jurczynski, Linda Foertsch, Mark Agnini, Lex and Karen Green, and Matthew Skopek, for each of their particular brands of support, you have no idea how much you helped me. So many others but too many to name here. I also want to thank fellow Libertarian, accountant, and three-time candidate for Illinois Comptroller Julie Fox for inspiring me to run for this office.
I could go on but I’ll stop at the most important person. My loving husband and dedicated campaign manager, Brian. Without you I never would have had the courage to run, to push myself to go out there and be so bold. You are my motivation to do better, to go farther, to strive for more. If those of you reading this only knew how much time and energy he spent doing all the little things, handling all the little nuances of running a campaign that I couldn’t do alone. Plotting, planning, executing – he proofread my speeches, reached out to people on my behalf – he did it all and made me breakfast every morning on top of it. Most importantly he gave me the love and dedication that I needed the most.
I’ve met so many wonderful people over the last three months, people who are genuinely concerned with what’s going on at COD and I thank you for your support, even if you didn’t vote for me. Thank you to my fellow candidates, for your encouragement to this newcomer and for making this one heck of a race.
I treasure every kind word, every tip and suggestion, even the raised eyebrows at my libertarian principles. Thank you all for making this a fantastic experience. And don’t count this gal out just yet, you may hear from me sooner than you think….
Claire Ball for College of DuPage Trustee, posted:2015-02-03 11:36:11
While the DuPage Libertarians plot out our event calendar for 2015, we’ve been supporting our candidate for the College of DuPage board of trustees, Libertarian accountant Claire Ball. Perhaps you've heard about what has been going on with the board of trustees at COD in the last week from the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun-Times? It's a story that goes back for years and shines light on a growing problem that has rooted itself in a way that makes is hard to eradicate.
The board has been very active in the last week; so active, that the College Board has been in the media more times in the last several days than in probably the last two years - and we've been part of it. Just yesterday at a press conference in Springfield, Rep. Jeanne Ives mentioned libertarians by name with regards to the COD debacle.
Last year, we saw FOIA requests that showed receipts of lavish spending habits from the President and board, along with other FOIA requests that went unanswered. There was $110,000 used to purchase wine and alcohol for the school restaurant… a restaurant which took a $500,000 loss last year.
This year, the board voted to give the corrupt President Breuder - whom taxpayers have paid for plenty of dinners, hunting trips, and a gun club membership for – a $762,000 buyout for stepping down early into retirement. The board pushed this vote illegally, by not releasing the details of this buyout within a proper time frame for the public.
The public and media backlash was so intense, combined with a lawsuit being filed by the Edgar County Watchdogs and For the Good of Illinois, that the COD board held a special meeting the following week to hold the vote again and cover all the legal loopholes.
Despite several hours of commentary from the public, including a wonderful response from Claire Ball, the board still voted 6-1 (with Kathy Hamilton again being the lone dissenter) to give the President his golden parachute. The 500+ crowd of students, taxpayers, teachers and candidates made sure their voices were heard.
The original pool of 14 candidates for the three open seats has been whittled down to 12 that will appear on the ballot. It is a very diverse list, including three candidates endorsed by the lone dissenting COD trustee Kathy Hamilton, a former board member, the father of a current board member, a union-backed washed up Republican, and two of the incumbents (the third incumbent not running for re-election).
After the Chicago elections on February 24th, this race will most likely be the BIGGEST and most talked about in the state for April 7th, and there is a strong libertarian candidate in it. A candidate with a master’s degree in accounting and finance, plenty of experience, and an independent political record that keeps her free from internal pressures of either of the two political machines that run the state and county, Claire Ball is the best option to save the College of DuPage, help put it on the right track, and show the county and state of Illinois just how an elected Libertarian works for the taxpayers.
Please check out Claire’s website and Facebook profile, and consider making a donation to help pay for informative materials, banners, and advertising. Also, come out to our DuPage Libertarians meetings and get directly involved with the campaign. We have just over two months to go, and we have a lot of work to do!! Thanks for all your support!!
Not Slowing Down – DuPage Libertarians On Fire in 2015, posted:2015-01-15 12:35:43
You know that with a loaded headline like that, we couldn’t possibly let you down.
In my last blog, I talked about all of our achievements in 2014, of which I am very proud of. This group has always been primed to do awesome things, and all I wanted to do was help be an igniter for all the fuel that has been waiting to be put to use.
Now that 2015 is here, it is time to see what we have on the agenda.
My first big goal was to actually run a candidate in a local election, and we are already underway with the election of Claire Ball for a College of DuPage trustee seat. As of now, there are 14 candidates running for three seats. Six of them are well-connected liberals, and seven are tea party conservatives. That leaves Claire right in the middle as the lone libertarian – and we like it that way.
With no big political party breathing down her neck, she can operate entirely off of her values and principles of fiscal responsibility and open transparency without anyone behind her telling her to do. She has already earned an endorsement from the Illinois Herald, combined with a great interview that can be read here:
Other goals include being involved in more booth events, marching in five parades (up from last years’ four), fighting corruption that we come across in all facets of government, and starting the process to bring a referendum to a ballot in DuPage County to eliminate red light and speed cameras once and for all.
As I’ve said many times before, we are NOT slowing down.
Of course, we always need financial help; some of the events we do have an entrance fee for renting space, and promotional materials also get used up. Don’t hesitate to click that button in the top right and contribute what you can, if you can. If you are low on funds and can’t contribute (which we understand) then contribute in other ways, like helping run tables at our shows, marching in parades, and going door-to-door to help our candidates promote themselves.
I want to end this update by sharing a photo with you of Ron Paul, taken when he came to visit us in Illinois during his run for the presidency in 1988.
We have a great history here in Illinois, and a greater one in DuPage County. Help keep that history going. Thanks, and I hope to see you soon.
Dupage Libertarians 2014 Year In Review, posted:2015-01-06 05:22:39
After almost 4 years of being a fairly inactive member of the DuPage Libertarians and meeting up in the back room of a pancake house, I decided to take up an offer from the previous year offered to me by then-Chair Josh Hanson.
I really didn’t think I was in much of a position to lead a group, but I was hungry to get involved in a way that was greater than I had been in previous years, and the only way to do that was to have more influence. As libertarians, we generally don’t like to be told what to do, or enjoy ordering others around – but to be honest, I needed more control over the group and a greater voice.
So I agreed to take on the Chair position a year ago, in December, where I began writing up a list of things that I wanted to do and objectives I wanted to achieve. Once January kicked in, I would start my term by moving our location from the back of the pancake house, to the current location at the American Tap – a pub and grill that served alcohol but was still all ages, had a large room we could use in the back, and had a great name.
I had a list of goals laid out for 2014 that I read out loud to everyone that cold January evening; goals that I hoped to meet or surpass by that same time the following year:
– To attend all 12 meetings (done)
– To double our followers on the Facebook page from 285 to at least 570 (we more than doubled, currently standing at 672)
– To awaken and use our ignored Twitter account (started with 1 follower, we now have 358, which includes many journalists and other members of the media)
– To publish at least one article per month on the DuPage Libertarians website (not only did we achieve this, but often we get two articles published in one month when things are very active)
– To release at least one newsletter per month to our members and subscribers (we now generally send out two newsletters; one every two weeks)
– To actively use our YouTube account and publish at least one original video of some kind this year (okay, we actually published over 20, and they were on a variety of things including candidate ads – we probably won’t publish nearly that many in a non-election year)
– To march in at least one parade (we did four – Memorial Day in Itasca, Independence Day in Downers Grove, Cornfest in Morris, and a Holiday Lights Parade in Westmont)
– To host some kind of statewide event for the party (we ended up hosting three candidate workshops and spearheaded the Springfield press conference in the Capitol Building – we also hosted a petition drive fundraiser)
– To double our average attendance at our monthly meetings (done)
– To operate a booth at a local event other than the DuPage County Fair (we did five gun shows and a Lt. Governor primary debate)
– To gain some kind of media presence (we had our name in both print and on television)
On top of that, we also were the chapter to bring in the most signatures for the Petition Drive, earning us a trophy and bragging rights. This list of achievements is not only above and beyond what I had hoped for, but makes me weary of how I could be expected to match or surpass it next year!
It’s quite daunting.
I have already started compiling a list of gains and achievements for the DuPage Libertarians to strive for in 2015 which I will publish in the next blog, and it is both humorous and encouraging to note that as I write out the list now, there are already things planned out on the near horizon whose goals have already been met.
Why? – Because we never slow down. We will always keep moving and we will always keep fighting for the spread of liberty, accountability, and personal freedom in Illinois, starting at home in DuPage County. Join us in 2015, and be part of our movement. We need people, and we need money. Donate at this website, if you can, to help us fund all the things we want to do next year, and then join us and take part in those things! If you can’t contribute finances, contribute your time and talents. With all the projects we have going on, there is always something for a new volunteer to jump on of their choosing.
Thanks to everyone who already helped make 2014 as successful as it was. We will continue this in 2015 and as the Chair of the DuPage Libertarians, I will do my best to keep this group a powerful voice in the community. Have a great New Year, everyone.
Ending 2014 With A Bang; Candidate Announcement for COD!!, posted:2014-12-21 17:23:37
The DuPage Libertarians have had an outstanding year, and I am glad to say I was part of it and instrumental to it. These past few months, I have been doing research into the history of this little group, speaking with members that go all the way back to the national beginnings in 1970. The Libertarian Club of DuPage, as it was called back then, was highly active in the community, ran candidates in local elections, and had a voice in the local media.
Today, we continue that movement. At our last meeting, it was formally announced that DuPage Libertarians member Claire Ball will be running for the board of trustees at College of DuPage on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015.
The board at COD has been under heavy fire from watchdog groups for reckless spending habits and transparency issues. The board, in response, has been very defensive – in some respects coming off as unhinged towards the notion that someone would dare challenge their authority to spend money in the ways they see fit.
Local Tea Party groups have already begun scanning the landscape for their own candidates, causing a backlash from the more liberal COD board. Luckily for us, libertarians excel at being much more liberal than most college liberals are, and are also known and respected for sticking to our balanced budget ideals than most conservatives.
It also helps that Claire Ball has a master’s degree in accounting and has been working in the accounting field for over 8 years. No more lawyers or politically connected family members – let’s bring in qualified people who can act in the best interests of both the taxpayers and the college students, as opposed to elitist politicians working for themselves.
We hope everyone enjoys the holidays in whatever way you celebrate. As the chapter chair, I want to thank everyone for your support in 2014, and for your continued support in 2015.
'Tis the Season To Be Active, posted:2014-12-01 18:06:03
With the election over, a lot of people tend to fall into a political hibernation, where you begin to pay less attention to the issues and slowly start to fade out of the political groups you used to be active with.
Well, that doesn’t generally happen with libertarians, who seem to always have a reason for keeping our bodies active and our blood pressure up! While we don’t generally get worked up over politics during the holiday season, we do like to get involved in the community in multiple ways.
In the town of Westmont, located in the township of Downers Grove in the south-eastern corner of DuPage County, you can visit Veteran’s Memorial Park and see all the decorated holiday trees that surround the seasonal ice skating rink. The DuPage Libertarians sponsored a tree and decorated it with simple gold ornaments and pine cones that we sprayed with glue and dusted in blue glitter. There was also a Food Drive for a local food pantry that several of us brought canned goods and other non-perishable foods to, and an arts and craft bazaar to peruse in.
The following week, we marched in Westmont’s Frosty and Friends Night Parade, where we decorated a car with lights and marched down Cass Avenue, waving a flag and handing out candy to the kids and Libertarian Party of Illinois pamphlets to the adults. We got a great reception from the crowds of cold but dedicated people who wanted to see Santa Clause, Frosty the Snowman, and all the local businesses and community groups who were willing to put on a great display and march through downtown Westmont. This was a blast! Can’t wait till next year when we REALLY master the art of lighting up the car!!
Some of us also joined the Fox Valley Libertarians the following day as they marched in the downtown square of Woodstock. Giving out candy and information about their group, they also had a great response from the crowd.
Doing these things is FUN. Getting involved in the communities and their events is a great way to promote your group while also being a part of that community and having a good time with everyone involved. Why sit in the bleachers, watching all the action happen in front of you, when you can be part of the action – leading the way in a parade, talking to like-minded people at a gun show, or fighting through a townhall meeting in an effort to lower property taxes or eliminate red-light cameras in your neighborhood?
We hope you all have a great holiday this year with your friends and family, and we can’t wait to see you in 2015!
So, How Has the Campaign Been Going?, posted:2014-11-30 07:40:07
Glad you asked! With less than two weeks left in the campaign, I figured now would be a good time to sum up everything we’ve been going through since being confirmed on the ballot. Keep in mind that there WILL be an official Election Night Party at the American Tap @ 701 W. Lake St. in Addison, IL starting around 6pm and going all night, and everyone is welcome to stop by and chat with us and our candidates.
The Chicago Tribune held their usual round of endorsement interviews with the two-party candidates for each office. While the Libertarian party candidates were not invited to participate along with their 2-party counterparts, we did manage to sneak our way into a couple editorial board reviews. Candidate for Governor Chad Grimm spent a good 45 minutes with the editorial board in the Tribune Tower answering questions on everything from gun control, to health care, to the pension crisis.
A few days later, we managed to get another solid 90 minutes to be split up between three more candidates; Julie Fox for Comptroller, Chris Michel for Secretary of State and Ben Koyl for Attorney General. Julie talked about her experience as an accountant and controller in the private sector making her more than qualified for her office, Chris discussed his ideas on lightening the load for business owners and future entrepreneurs in Illinois to get through red tape, and Ben brought in printouts of the Attorney General’s budget with his own ideas for how to save money while redirecting the efforts of the AG office into a libertarian approach for justice.
Despite our efforts, we didn’t snag any of the endorsements, but that wasn’t entirely the goal; the goal was to be included and to be set on equal ground with the other parties. On a side note, Julie Fox did get a VERY honorable mention from the Chicago tribune about her qualifications, despite not getting the endorsement, which is a huge victory in itself.
Julie Fox also did some radio ads for AM560 in Chicago and the suburbs, and has moved a huge effort to deliver campaign materials door-to-door in the suburban towns. She also snatched up an endorsement from radio personality and former Congressman Joe Walsh, and the Illinois Herald. Go Julie!!
Other candidates kept themselves busy, including Matthew Skopek for Treasurer, who hosted a fundraiser at the Village Tavern and Grill in Schaumburg to help raise money for Libertarian yard signs that can be used well after this election cycle.
Matthew also traveled to East St. Louis with Ben Koyl, Chris Michel and me (I’ve been at almost all of these events, really) to take part in a candidate forum hosted by the NAACP East St. Louis Branch, the Pan Hellenic council of East St. Louis, and the New Life Community Church. No other candidates from the other major parties attended, so our Libertarian candidates had a good opportunity to explain our philosophy and demonstrate our ideas to people in Central Illinois.
The Fall Festival in Mt. Vernon in Southern Illinois was also attended by Chris, Ben, and Matt as well as Lt. Governor candidate Dr. AJ Cummings. The candidates were incredibly well received by almost everyone in attendance, who were thrilled that statewide candidates running for office would come down that far to visit and talk with them. They were cheered in the parade that they marched in, they were approached at their booth, hosted by the new Southern Illinois Libertarian Party, and even later in the evening discussed politics at the local taverns in town with voters. The folks in Southern Illinois were happy to have statewide candidates visit them and discuss their concerns, and our candidates were excited to take part in their events and to listen to the people who are often overshadowed by Springfield and Chicago. Kudos to the volunteers in the Southern Illinois Libertarian Party for getting organized so quickly!
Grundee County’s annual Cornfest is always a big hit, and we joined in on the CornFest parade which draws over ten thousand people every year. Hosted in Morris, IL right off of the highway, candidates Matthew Skopek, Chris Michel, Ben Koyl and Sharon Hansen candidate for US Senate joined the DuPage Libertarians along with members from both the Will County and Lake County chapters.
A few high schools were also visited by Libertarians. Chad Grimm, joined briefly by his Lt. Governor candidate Dr. AJ Cummings, spoke all day long to history and social studies classes at Jacob High School in Algonquin, while I, Brian Lambrecht, Chair of the DuPage Libertarians, spoke to a few AP Political Science classes up in Mundelein. I spoke to high school kids about politics, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and failures among the two parties – and they loved it. They asked questions, and they engaged me in discussion.
The kids admitted that they don’t know much about how things work in the political world, and they were admittedly cynical about it. Even the 18 year olds said they don’t want to vote because they don’t trust anyone (though I think I secured their vote). I openly told them that “hey, don’t ever trust someone in politics – not even me. Hold me accountable.” Kids know when they are being lied to, as opposed to most adults, who can watch a speech full of lies and passionately re-post it while talking about how great the person is lying to them. I didn’t even have to spend much time talking about libertarians; I spent most of it talking about how politics exists today. I related it to them, their personal lives and framed it in a way so they could see and understand it. I made them laugh repeatedly because the stupidity and corruption is so obvious that they couldn’t help but laugh.
Kids really are the future, because you can help them open their minds and keep it open before some useless political hack comes along and welds it shut for them for the rest of their lives. Not on my watch. This was one of the greatest moments of this year for me, and I didn’t have anyone with me to grab a photo.
I also did an interview for CLTV about our ballot access struggle and managed to sneak in mentioning in the names of all 7 of our statewide candidates. You can see the video at the link HERE. Chad also did some interviews for the Sun-Times, FOX News, WGN, and CLTV. Other candidates appeared at the Junior League of Chicago candidate forum and the SWAN candidate forum in Elgin.
In a nutshell, for a group of independent-minded libertarians who don’t have many resources to exploit, a small group of volunteers and not much money (despite Chad Grimm getting some big bucks for his particular campaign) we’ve done extremely well. Regardless of how everything turns out on Election Day, every Libertarian in the state of Illinois has something to celebrate. And if you are an active member of the state party, you should bask in the glow of all the great accomplishments we’ve made so far, and what there is to come. This Election Day isn’t the end – not by a long shot. Once we get past November 4th, the time begins to immediately start planning for next year, the year after that and the year after that.
We will not slow down and we will not lag behind. We’ve learned too many great tactics, indulged in great experiences, and gained a lot of ground. To everyone in the Libertarian Party of Illinois and all her Chapters around the state, you have great reason to celebrate. And don’t forget – you can celebrate with us on Election Day at the American Tap @ 701 W. Lake St. in Addison IL starting at roughly 6pm throughout the night. Stop by and celebrate with us.
And for the rest of you who aren’t members… what are you waiting for?!? We have such BIG plans for 2015, so jump on it and GET INVOLVED!!
Farming, Agriculture, and Libertarians, posted:2014-11-29 05:55:52
Written by DuPage Libertarian member Andrew Lencioni
March 31st, 2014
Farming, like any business, faces a mountain of paper work and regulation every day. While regulations involving food safety are somewhat understandable, many regulations go far beyond the simple mandate. As Henry Kissinger once said, “If you control the food supply, you control the people.” The federal and local government has taken that sentiment to heart in its legislation. Ironically many aspiring farmers are drawn to the “simple” life of farming only to find regulation and restriction that would make a Sarbanes-Oxley audit look fun. Farm bills and subsidies are common terms in the modern era, but many don’t realize just how long farming has been this way.
Back during World War II, an era often romanticized by modern Americans, a tragically abusive interpretation of the Constitution was taken by the government and challenged in the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the verdict stood, paving the way for generations of abuse of the commerce clause. It was the first time that the commerce clause was used in such an unorthodox way. It essentially justified government control of virtually any activity that could affect commerce in anyway regardless of how indirect that might be.
Imagine if a small farmer were fined for growing a crop for personal use. No, I am not talking about marijuana, I am talking about wheat. That’s exactly what happened back in the early 1940’s to a farmer named Roscoe Curtiss Filburn. Mr. Filburn had a small 95 acre farm where he raised wheat for both sustenance and to feed his chickens. At the time, the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1938 regulated the sale of wheat on the open market under the authority of the interstate commerce clause. The act allotted a maximum quota of wheat that could be produced and sold. Excess could be grown, but had to be stored and kept off the market. The balance of the crop could be sold the following year but had to be added to the quota allotment of the next year’s crop.
The marketing quotas set in 1938 are no longer in place, but were never invalidated. Most farm bills today involve subsidies and other “voluntary” controls, but the marketing quotas set in 1938 are permanent law. In fact, if a farm bill expires and is not renewed or replaced, the Agricultural Act of 1938 would automatically return as the law of the land.
In the legal case of Wikard vs. Filburn, Mr. Filburn was fined $.49 per bushel past quota for a total fine of $117.11. According to http://www.usinflationcalculator.com, that would be a little over $1600 today. While not an astronomical sum, it would certainly hurt a small farmer regardless of the point in history – but the amount of money that the farmer lost is not the heart of the story. The real consequence of this decision is that the government can tell farmers how and what to grow even for their own purposes.
In law, precedent is very important. Once a case has been decided, the findings of that case can influence other cases to come. In this case, the precedent set allows for nearly unlimited interference, not just on the sale and trade of various crops but on nearly any production at all. In Mr. Filburns case, the wheat was not sold but was fed to chickens that were his. This weak logic is all the government needed to claim justification of the interstate commerce clause. In more modern times the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is justified in part by citing Wickard v. Filburn.
Bills directly affecting the right to produce goods could still be written and would be difficult to void thanks to Wikard v Filburn. Laws could conceivably restrict any activity that is commercially available. It opens up a lot of questions about personal freedom. What other laws could be written citing the interstate commerce law in this way? Could a law be written that prohibits making your own clothes? Could a law ban other DIY activities and force people to hire a “professional” for any normal task? Wikard v Filburn has the potential to directly affect all areas of American life.
Complex regulation is a fact of the modern world and has been for some time. The effect of all this regulation is hotly debated on all sides. More than a few experts have noted that large businesses generally benefit from most regulation. They have more available resources to deal with the additional overhead of compliance with complex laws. As many small businesses do not have a legal department, legal compliance can sap time, energy and resources already in tight supply.
Ultimately, a farm is just another business. Wikard v Filburn tells us this too. If additional government regulation tends to favor large business over small, would it not do the same with farms and for the same reasons? I make no attempt to hide my bias against big government. It should surprise few that I find direct connection between many of the ills of the farming industry and the regulations and laws regulating it. The old cliché, “the path to hell is paved with good intentions” couldn’t be truer with agriculture.
As my interest in farming has grown, I have met many people who complain about big agriculture. The complaints range from ruining rural life to poisoning the environment. There is a growing awareness of the dangers of mono-cropping. Mono cropping, such as corn and soy farming, is the mass production of a single crop to the exclusion of all other life on the field. There are many environmental problems related to this that I will not get into in this article. Other complaints are about big chemical companies like Dow and Monsanto poisoning ground water with pesticides and most recently polluting the very DNA of our crops with GMO.
I find great irony that most of the proposed answers to these problems are more government regulations. Organic producers and environmentally minded groups all clamor for more restrictions and government regulation to stop these big corporations from ruining the environment and our food supply. I am amazed at some people who just can’t see the connection between big government and big AG. Monsanto is my favorite example. The have taken in billions of dollars in subsidies from the government. There are few fans of Monsanto, and yet all of us have been paying them through our taxes. Forget stopping Monsanto, I’d like to simply call on us to stop helping them. I wonder if Monsanto could have created GMO products without the R&D funds provided by the US tax payer.
I think people don’t see the problems with the regulation of farming simply because it has been going on for so long. That is the point of this article. We take for granted subsides and farm bills because there have always been farm bills and regulations in our life. It’s not easy to question long standing policy without seeming “radical” even if those policies themselves are radical. Perhaps someday our children will see these types of regulations as being unusual. I guess that’s just the optimistic libertarian farmer in me.
Libertarian Election Smashes Previous Records, posted:2014-11-07 07:42:12
Let’s get it out of the way now; no, the Libertarian Party of Illinois did not achieve Established Party status as none of our candidates garnered 5% of the vote. In our main objective of this election, we failed. However, when looking at the results, we achieved more than ever before in our forty-three year history in Illinois, and in many ways have blown away all expectations and proven to the state that we are a force whom attention will be paid.
A quick glance at our vote totals and percentages demonstrates how we easily smashed almost all previous records for each office this year.
2014 Chad Grimm / AJ Cummings 118098 3.40%
2010 Lex Green / Ed Rutledge 34293 0.90%
2002 Cal Skinner / Jim Tobin 73794 2.09%
1994 David Kelley / Robert Moldenhauer 52388 1.68%
1986 Gary Shilts / Gerry Walsh 15646 0.49%
1982 Bea Armstrong / David Kelley 24417 0.66%
1978 Georgia Shields / Maggie Kohls 11420 0.36%
1976 F. Joseph McCaffrey / Georgia Shields 7552 0.16%
SEC OF STATE
2014 Christopher Michel 102873 2.90%
2010 Josh Hanson 114065 3.10%
2002 Matt Beauchamp 78830 2.24%
1994 Joseph Schreiner 38074 1.23%
1986 Steven Givot 17566 0.56%
1982 Roger Hosbein 19216 0.52%
1978 Ed May 9104 0.29%
1976 Ellyn Powelson 10461 0.23%
2014 Ben Koyl 96637 2.80%
2010 Bill Malan 53954 1.50%
2002 Gary Shilts 87949 2.51%
1994 Natalie Loder Clark 57104 1.85%
1986 Natalie Loder Clark 24068 0.77%
1982 Natalie L. C. Stason 28074 0.77%
1978 Sheldon Waxman 11917 0.39%
1976 John Reis 9165 0.20%
2014 Matt Skopek 141795 4.20%
2010 James Pauly 68093 1.90%
2002 Rhys Read 66593 1.92%
1994 Kati Kroenlein 53108 1.77%
1986 Jay Marsh 19875 0.64%
1982 Walter Edge 32452 0.90%
1978 Everett Moffat 17496 0.59%
2014 Julie Fox 165448 4.80%
2010 Julie Fox 119863 3.30%
2002 Julie Fox 144066 4.23%
1994 Michael Ginsberg 113071 3.85%
1986 Donald Morris 22428 0.73%
1982 Stephen Johnson 36856 1.02%
1978 Mark Wallace 21645 0.72%
1976 Mark Wallace 13788 0.31%
2014 Sharon Hansen 130762 3.80%
2010 Mike Labno 86325 2.40%
2008 Larry Stafford 50228 0.94%
2004 Jerry Kohn 69253 1.35%
2002 Steven Burgauer 57382 1.65%
1996 Robin Miller 41218 0.96%
1992 Andy Spiegel 34527 0.69%
1986 Donald Parrish 13891 0.44%
1984 Steven Givot 59777 0.64%
1980 Bruce Green 29328 1.25%
1978 Bruce Green 16320 0.51%
The closest we came to achieving our goal came from Julie Fox, the Certified Public Accountant who was outstandingly more qualified for the job over her Republican and Democrat opponents, and the one who campaigned harder than anyone else in the party. Earning endorsements from Taxpayers United of America, Free and Equal’s Christina Tobin, former Congressman Joe Walsh and former Governor and Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, it’s no surprise that Julie lead the pack in votes. When she first entered the room around 8 o’clock after the party had been well under way for a couple hours, the room lit up and she received a cheer from the crowd!
The Chicago Libertarian Party had a small get together in the city, while the Chad Grimm camp had a slightly larger gathering in Peoria with both the Peoria County and McLean County chapters in attendance. Of course, the DuPage Libertarians hosted the big Election Night Party, as gracious and loving as we are, at our monthly meeting location The American Tap, where many of us stayed well past midnight enjoying our successes and taking in our loss. Our Election Night Party included members from seven different state chapters; DuPage, Fox Valley, Chicago, Lake County, Will County, Peoria County and Southern Illinois. At one point in the middle of the night, we had well over sixty people in attendance, with several new members coming out for their first time to visit us and meet the candidates.
While voter turnout in DuPage County was low this election, the libertarian vote was high. We even beat the state average in many races, with DuPage County giving Julie Fox 5.29% and Matthew Skopek 4.34% of the total votes. Thank you, DuPage!!
We also got lots of media love from multiple sources that included several journalists from Chicago Talks as well as a Chicago radio station who broadcast live interviews throughout the entire night from our location. Since we had representatives from seven different chapters, members from each one were interviewed, describing their particular chapter and all the individual fun projects they work on. Many high ranking party members and chapter Chairs also spoke, telling stories and laying out our plans for 2015.
Overall, we’d like to thank everyone who came out to our Election Night Party and helped make it a blast. We’d also like to thank the candidates for doing an awesome job of getting the word out, their campaigns for rising to the challenge, and every member and volunteer who donated their time, money – or both – to helping make everything happen. Despite not reaching our ultimate goal, we reached others that we never expected, and also helped pave the way for what we need to do in the future. Many mistakes were made, and plenty of lessons were learned. Not having the Established Party status means that we will have more work in certain areas, but also that we still retain much freedom that we otherwise would have lost. There is much to celebrate, and much to plan for. Time to get moving!
Libertarian Party of Illinois Convention 2014 Recap, posted:2014-09-16 06:26:52
The 2014 Libertarian Party of Illinois Convention was a huge success in so many ways, and I was glad to be a part of it. Despite my four years in the party, it was the first one I attended. I also helped out by being part of the Convention Committee, along with Karen Green, Kent McMillen and lead by Lupe Diaz. Everyone worked really hard to make this event happen, and there was plenty to see.
Everything kicked off on Friday night, September 12th in the lobby of the Holiday Inn in Bolingbrook, where the previous convention also took place. Tables were set up with candidate information and books up for donation, people were getting registered to get in the dining hall, and Libertarian Party members from all across the state mingled and shared stories about everything from our recent ballot access struggles to what was happening in their local chapters.
The night provided plenty of entertainment, including the Convention Committee Chair Lupe Diaz egging on the crowd to bid money in an auction to sit at prize seats during the Friday night dinner with candidates and special guest speakers, and myself showcasing some of the video ads for many of our candidates that are being released this week. Of course, the highlight of the night was the candidate forum, where all seven of our candidates fielded question from Political Division Director and former Libertarian candidate for Governor Lex Green. It was the first time in a long time that all seven candidates had been together in the same room.
Candidate for Governor Chad Grimm was hit with some of the hardest questions, leading to some responses about government spending, his pension reform plan and what he plans to do within his first several days in office. Alex “AJ” Cummings, Chad’s friend and our Lt. Governor candidate, sat by his side and backed up Chad with his own statements on fiscal responsibility, putting emphasis on his support for 2nd Amendment rights in Illinois and putting his own experience as a medical doctor in front of his arguments for why we still need real health care reform. US Senate candidate Sharon Hansen gave her thoughts on federal questions involving everything from immigration at home to why we should be staying out of wars and entanglements around the world.
Julie Fox, our candidate for Comptroller, restated her qualifications, being the ONLY candidate running for the office to be a Certified Public Accountant with actual accounting experience, and challenged the status quo in Illinois to come clean with their spending. Matthew Skopek, also a working accountant with degrees in both finance and economics, talked about his qualifications and how he plans to implement greater transparency in the office of the Treasurer.
Ben Koyl is a lawyer who put his skills to work for the Libertarian Party of Illinois as he passionately fought to help us secure ballot access for 2014, demonstrating that he is indeed qualified for the office of Attorney General and that he has his own plans for cutting spending in the department. Hailing as a small business owner, our final candidate Chris Michel knows what small businesses have to go through in Illinois to get started, stay afloat and succeed, and he wants to bring that experience with him to help streamline the Secretary of State’s office while lobbying for better practices to help support small business owners and other entrepreneurs in Illinois by removing obstacles in their path.
If you didn’t get to meet your candidates or pose for pictures with them Friday night, you had plenty of chances to do so on Saturday. The day kicked off with a live morning podcast from The Side Project hosts Jim Goebel and Eric Ferguson, who spent some time speaking with Matthew Skopek, Sharon Hansen and special guest Wes Benedict, the Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee. Wes was only warming up on Jim and Eric’s show, as he shortly afterwards gave a great speech on “Today’s Libertarian Party Heroes” while offering great stories on how we can more effectively spread our message and grow our party. I snagged a copy of his book “Introduction to the Libertarian party” which Matthew Skopek was nice enough to buy for me (thanks, Matt!) and Wes was kind enough to sign. Wes sold plenty of copies of his book after his speech and then (after signing copies of our books for us) he donated all the proceeds to help cover the cost of our convention. What a guy!
Other presenters throughout the afternoon included Dan Linn, Executive Director of IL-NORML, who spoke about cannabis prohibition, the drug war and other liberty based values. Illinois State University professor Dr. Terry Noel gave an excellent presentation on Bitcoin. Both of these topics are very popular with libertarians, and I caught both men wrapped up in multiple conversations afterwards in the lobby.
During lunch, Sharon Hansen spoke about her campaign for a bit, and was then followed by Lex Green, who awarded his wife, Karen Green, with the David Nolan Award. In a very touching speech, Lex spoke about his wife at length and all the hard work and dedication she has done for the party, both at Lex’s side and on her own initiative. If anyone were to deserve the award for hard work above and beyond what is required, it was Karen – congratulations!
Julie Fox was the keynote speaker, and took some time away from speaking about her campaign to talk more broadly about the party as a whole and our individual part in it. After a wonderful introduction by her campaign manager Thomas Hill, Julie delivered an exciting message under the title of “Compromise or Divide – Where Do We Go From Here?” which was very well received from everyone in the audience.
Orchestrated by Communications Division Director Crystal Jurczynski, there were several workshops that took place, designed to help both candidates and members looking to develop their campaigns or local chapter.
“What’s In Your Liberty Outreach Toolbox?” was a panel discussion of members who have worked or contributed to the Communications Division who hail from all over the state. Diana Visek from Champaign spoke about the best ways to develop and promote print media, Jennifer Floyd from DuPage talked about video making and using film as a tool to promote ideas, Jim Goebel from Grundy County – who earlier that day hosted his podcast program The Side Project – discussed radio broadcasting, Andrew Wikel from the Rockford chapter talked about web design and how instrumental it is to spreading messages of liberty for recruiting members for libertarian chapters, and Paul Clark, the chair of Will County, spoke on the many uses of social media and the many ways they can be of service to your promoting your group and ideas.
Crystal, with the help of Lex Green, also put a few candidates up to the challenge in a session called “Who’s Driving?” where the candidates must develop their interview skills in dealing with hostile media interviewers. This included audience participation to help measure how well or poorly the candidate was doing as the interview went on.
After a lively (and hilarious) game of Libertarian Jeopardy hosted by yours truly, and an endorsement ceremony for Comptroller candidate Julie Fox from the Libertarian National Campaign Committee, it was time for dinner, which was accompanied by a rousing speech by candidate for Governor Chad Grimm. Awards were given out to members from across the state, including Kent McMillen, Jenifer Floyd, Diana Visek, Crystal Jurczynski, Julie Fox, and me, Brian S. Lambrecht (which, by the way, I might say is a GREAT honor).
Afterwards, our keynote speaker for the evening was none other than award winning journalist Ben Swann, whose speech was themed on the premise of “How Liberty Wins Over Fascism.” It wasn’t as much of a speech as it was a lively lecture about how libertarians can better address our ideological adversaries and help set the narrative and change the landscape of debate for our side. It was fun and refreshing, and Ben was kind enough afterwards to stick around and pose for photos with everyone who wanted one.
Oh, and as a side note – he said to me that our game of Libertarian Jeopardy was “the most creative and funniest thing” he had seen at a libertarian event… and he’s been to a lot. What a compliment!!! DuPage does it!!
After auctioning off some interesting items and socializing some more, the Saturday event closed, only to have dead tired libertarians show up early the next morning for the annual business meeting – which included making changes to the state party bylaws – and the State Organizing Committee meeting – and included electing new members for the executive board as well as the directors. All of those positions are listed at the Libertarian Party of Illinois website, though all of us here at DuPage would like to offer a congratulations to Lex Green on being elected the new State Chair, Jonathan Parker as Vice Chair, Jasen Howard as Secretary and Matthew Skopek as Treasurer.
Finally, after most of the members and supporters had left before or during the business portion of the day, Evan McMahon, Executive Director at the Libertarian National Campaign Committee, worked for almost four solid hours with most of the executive board members, chapter chairs, and statewide candidates. Less of a speech and again, more of a workshop, this QandA session was very helpful for people looking to develop their libertarian presence on the local level in their communities, and to help draw in more members who want to serve long term purpose and be active in changing the political landscape in their towns, counties and state.
After all is said and done, this tired and exhausted chapter chair couldn’t wait to get home and sleep off the rest of the weekend. There was a lot of fun, but there was also a lot of learning. So many new ideas and projects to digest and work out later as the weeks and months go on. Of course, most of that can wait, because with roughly six weeks to go till the election, it’s time to get out there and promote our candidates! Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this year’s convention the massive success that it was!!
Bruce Rauner, It’s Time For You To Come Clean, posted:2014-08-30 06:24:47
I, Brian S. Lambrecht, Chair of the DuPage Libertarians and the top volunteer signature collector in the state who personally testified at the State Board of Election this past month, am demanding that you, Bruce Rauner, come out and explain how your campaign can operate such disgusting and reprehensible tactics against another political party under your own nose without you being aware of it.
By now, we all know about the strong-arm tactics used by the GOP in their effort to throw us off the ballot. We are also aware of the armed private investigator that stalked petition circulators and visited the homes of registered voters who signed our petitions. Morrison Security, who was hired to provide the private investigators, is owned by Sean Morrison, who is also a Cook County Deputy Chairman, Palos Township Republican Committeeman and member of the Republican Party’s State Central Committee. The ties are pretty obvious to see.
Yet somehow, Mr. Rauner, you were never aware of this. After we turned in almost 43K signatures to the State Board of Elections on June 23rd, 2014, we were challenged for almost two straight weeks to defend them. When we survived that, you then went after petitioners themselves and the registered voters who signed our petitions.
You only denounced the activity after your camp had lost its battle with us at the Board of Elections and were called out by the tactics used, stating: “I’m appalled by the behavior I read about. I absolutely reject it and would never condone it. It’s terrible. I don’t know if it’s true, but I would never accept it. I’m outraged by what I’ve read.”
Your own spokesman Mike Schrimpf said that “Bruce wants as many people engaged in the political process as possible.” On that issue, we agree.
While the idea of you being oblivious to your own party’s actions is a bit hard to swallow, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. If you stand by the things you’ve said, and you expect us to honestly believe that you are appalled by the actions that were undertaken to remove us from the ballot, then step forward and explain how this all happened unbeknownst to you. Further Mr. Rauner, I call on you to publicly join the Libertarian Party in demanding a full criminal investigation of this shameful conduct by law enforcement. If you are truly “outraged” and “appalled” as you say, then joining our call for a full investigation should be easy for you.
As you’ve stated many times, you are not a career politician; you are a businessman. Being successful in business requires building solid relationships on a foundation of trust. If you want to prove that you will “shake up” Springfield and clean up the corruption, then start with your own party and your own campaign. I am opening up to you and willing to listen.
You should be forthcoming with a clear explanation of how this has happened. You owe an explanation to us, to the citizens and voters of Illinois and to anyone who ever wants to get involved in the political process anywhere in America.
Details on Our Fight for Ballot Access, posted:2014-08-16 06:22:25
On Friday, August 15th, the Hearing Officer assigned to our case RULED IN FAVOR of the Libertarian Party, turning in her report and stating that our petitions “are sufficient and therefore the Libertarian Party does qualify as a new political party at the 2014 General Election and all of the Candidates’ names for the Libertarian Party should be printed on the official ballot at the General Election to be held on November 4, 2014.”
The fight isn’t over yet. The details laid out here should infuriate every American who believes in a fair, just system. It should anger taxpaying citizens of Illinois as well, though as Election Day results show, the anger never lasts long. Here is the basic outline of what we have gone through, including many things you may have not heard.
First, we turned in 42,986 signatures to the State Board of Elections on the morning of Monday, June 23rd, several hours before the Green Party or Constitution Party would deliver theirs. Political Division Director Lex Green handled the paperwork while I took some photos of the four candidates who joined us; Julie Fox for Comptroller, Sharon Hansen for US Senate, AJ Cummings for Lt. Governor and Chad Grimm for Governor.
Afterwards, we met up with candidates Ben Koyl for Attorney General and Matt Skopek for Treasurer at the capitol building in Springfield for more photo taking and a press conference. We knew that our petitions would get challenged by gutless Republicans terrified of competition on the ballot, and we wanted to bring that out in our press conference in advance.
The challenge came. Two Republican supporters requested copies of our petitions from the State Board of Elections and quickly had teams of hired interns go through them with a fine tooth comb, scouring them to find as many address errors and messy signatures as they could find. They challenged 23,667 of our signatures.
What followed were 7 full days (many of them ten hours in length) at the State Board of Elections in Springfield, defending signatures in a line by line defense. Libertarian volunteers came from all corners of the state – even some from across our state borders – to help us defend those signatures.
The Republicans were busing in young interns and students to challenge us. Most of these kids were decent people who had no idea just what they were doing there. Having been prompted by their bosses about us being fraudsters who wanted to steal an election from Mr. Rauner, we talked with them, made friends and eventually opened their eyes to who we really were. Many even admitted to being very libertarian in their philosophy. After the first hour or so, the majority of them stopped fighting our signatures, and most even began helping us track down a few. We won them over by being honest and real.
Of course there were a few of the dedicated, angry type who tirelessly worked to eliminate our signatures – we watched on as they berated the younger interns for not being tough enough. In the end, we were successful. They eliminated 12,789 of the signatures we had – but that left us with 30,197 signatures – more than enough to qualify for ballot access… but it didn’t stop there.
Usually, this is where the process ends. The Republicans have a millionaire candidate with a lot of money to spend to win this election. This is when things began to get ugly.
DuPage Libertarian member Warren Bent brought to our attention a visit he had from a young Republican intern who came to the front door of his home on a Sunday. The young man was carrying copies of the petitions with him, and he tried to convince Warren that he had been defrauded on a petition. Obviously, this person had no idea that he was speaking to a member of the Libertarian Party. Warren declared that he did indeed sign that petition, and then began to ask questions of this kid that made him uncomfortable enough to scamper away and drive off in his car.
That’s right. The Republicans were going door to door to confront people about their signatures and intimidate them into backing down from those signatures. They even brought affidavits and got a few people to sign them, claiming that they did not remember ever signing our petitions (did they have notaries running around with them at the time?) and wanted it legally stated so. Because the Republicans weren’t able to eliminate enough signatures in the line-by-line verification process, their new tactic was to discredit petitioners themselves in hopes of getting entire groups of our signatures thrown off at once.
These affidavits turned up at the State Board of Elections in front of a hearing officer. One was against me, which I personally testified against. A woman claimed she couldn’t remember me, after being confronted by someone at her door with a photo of me! For those of you who have never personally met me… I am not the kind of guy you easily forget. I even made this joke while testifying, eliciting many laughs from everyone in the room, and did exceptionally well defending my standing as good, honest petitioner. In her report, the Hearing Officer stated that “the Objectors fail to meet their burden of proof in demonstrating any of their objections with regard to Mr. Lambrecht” and found “Mr. Lambrecht’s testimony credible and therefore recommend that the objection regarding Mr. Lambrecht’s petition sheets be overruled.” Damn straight.
The Republicans initially issued subpoenas against some of our biggest petitioners, but neglected to call any of them to the stand on the first day. Our lawyers, however, still brought one of them up – a girl who claimed that over the last several weeks, she had been confronted by an armed private investigator multiple times, who had made her “frightened” each time.
This girl, who was our second biggest signature collector in the state, was scared – but not scared enough. She knew the work she did was honest and legal and she refused to give in, so she testified on our behalf about the confrontations with the private investigator. That testimony helped our case..
This is what we are up against – and yet still, almost two months after turning in our signatures, we don’t have a definite answer on our ballot access. In the end, our total of 42,986 signatures had been beaten and whittled down to 25,989 at the final count. And as you can see, we survived by barely a thousand signatures – which is why every person reading this who helped collect signatures is owed a debt of thanks from the Libertarian Party of Illinois and our candidates for your hard work – because as we’ve always said, EVERY SIGNATURE COUNTS.
This still isn’t over, but it is very close to being over, and things are looking very good for us. Of course, we are Libertarians and this is Illinois, where anything can happen. Regardless, a victory is a victory. We came under intense scrutiny from a major party headed by a wealthy candidate who had endless resources to throw everything they could at us, and we lasted through it. Some of the young Republican interns bragged about how great and important it was for them to be working with Mr. Rauner’s campaign. I responded by asking them, “why?” What is honorable or worth bragging about when you are one of thousands of workers in a campaign with millions of dollars? I would think it more honorable to be defending the people who are NOT millionaires, who are not entrenched politicians – to be with the few hundred people with little to no money on on our side who put up a defense against one of the hardest fought election battles in Illinois history – a battle most people will never read about – and come out victorious.
We still must wait for the actual board of directors – four Republicans and four Democrats – to vote on whether we will be printed on the ballots, but having the Hearing Officer rule in our favor will be very helpful. That vote should take place next week on Friday, August 22nd.
Red Light and Speed Cameras, posted:2014-08-05 06:19:20
Libertarians candidates have taken on issues big and small all across the state in their latest campaigns, and this is one of the bigger ones that most being forget about. Chicago has more red light cameras than any other city in America, currently topped out at 352. They have been wrought with fraud and abuse since their implementation, when company Redflex installed and operated the cameras.
Unexplainable spikes in tickets being issues combined with the tinkering of yellow/red lights themselves in order to generate more tickets and bribes being paid out to Illinois insiders prove that this has never been about public safety and has, as was always believed, to be nothing more than a way to extort money from taxpayers who are already stretched pretty thin.
Most people don’t think about these red light and speed cameras until a ticket shows up in the mail, and unless you have plenty of free time or the right connections, it is easier to simply pay the fine and make it go away. City officials, however, are always exempt from them and the fines that they accrue, most famously from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s personal driver who amassed a few thousand dollars worth of tickets which were then paid for with tax payer dollars.
Of course, Chicago got greedy and continued to install more of these dangerous revenue-siphoning machines, which have since appeared in the many suburbs outside of Cook County.
If you want to get involved in some protests in Chicago to help end red light and speed cameras, and eventually eliminate them from DuPage County and rest of Illinois, then consider attending one of the following protests hosted by Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras. All these protests start around 11am and run until about 2pm. DuPage Libertarians member David Kaufman is a staunch supporter of the group Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, and attends their gatherings whenever he can. Here are a couple of their next protest dates:
8/9 – Northalsted Market Days
8/16 – Gods on the Block Block Party 7800 S Indiana
Our candidate for Secretary of State Chris Michel has also made it part of his platform to support ending red light and speed cameras in an effort to end the theft of money from citizens. For more information, check out www.banthecameras.com
Petition Challenges in Springfield; Ballot Access, posted:2014-07-24 06:17:40
The political process, for most people, is nothing more than enduring weeks and weeks of political ads before an eventual election day arrives where there will be record low-voter turnout anyways, followed by taxes being raised and maybe some politician going to jail on the nighttime news.
Of course, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes that usually requires two things: endless volunteers and a boatload of cash. You can already see the problem for third party candidates. In Illinois, it is particularly bad.
First, we struggled for 90 days to not only reach the 25,000 signatures needed for ballot access, but to gain almost 43,000 because of the challenges we knew we would be hit with to knock us below the 25,000 threshold, which happened immediately.
Then we spent 7 full business workdays in Springfield defending those signatures. Volunteers from all over the state came out on their own time – missing work and using up vacation days to defend our signatures in a line by line verification process that is designed to eat up our resources.
Who challenged us? The Republican Party, worried that we take away votes from them that could cost them an election – despite the fact that we actually earn more votes from Democrats in Illinois than we do Republicans. No matter. We stepped up and brought our A game.
Of course, the Republican Party leaders themselves didn’t come down to fight in the long and tedious process – they sent kids, some of whom aren’t legally old enough to drink, to do their dirty work for them. These young and bright kids showed up ready for a fight – and we weren’t what they expected.
They were coached early on to look at us as fraudsters and thieves – as though participating in the democratic process in Illinois somehow violates some right that they feel entitled to only for them. Once they began talking to us, they liked us. We would ask them, “Why are you here today? Why do you feel it is right to kick someone off of the ballot in this manner?” We told them our struggles, showed them photos of our stack of signatures and shared stories of our petitioning. Before you knew it, these kids began to sympathize with us, and in most cases actually stopped putting up a fight or even helped us identify some of the registered voters!
The Republican “generals” in charge at these challenges began to notice this, and would lecture the kids about why they were there, ordering them to not talk to us. I made a joke about one of them being their bossy dad, gaining laughs from the kids and angering the uptight conservative.
They would bus in new kids every day, and every day we would talk to the new group and educate them on who we were and what we believed – and every day we came through. When your only strategy is to lie and deceive your volunteer supporters (some of whom we learned were paid to be there) in order to get their loyalty, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you can’t win elections. It is at points like this when you learn first-hand that the Republicans and Democrats are no different from each other when it comes to power.
By the end of the seventh day, our 42,986 signatures had been whittled down to 30,179 which is still well more than what we need to be on the ballot.
Of course, they won’t stop there. There are STILL challenges against the petitioners themselves, including the author of this article. I was accused of everything from fraud to not even living at my own address. This is laughable. I even took photos of myself at every petitioning event I did and posted them live on social media, multiple times a week.
But none of that matters. When a chance to gain political power is at stake, even conservatives who claim they love freedom of speech and think competition is a great thing will throw all of those rules out the window in a desperate gasp for winning the governorship.
The Libertarians should be on the ballot in November in Illinois. For that matter, so should the Green Party, the Constitution Party and any independent candidate who wants to peacefully take part in the political process by running for office. Everything wrong with Illinois, from corrupt politicians who rewrite district maps on the fly to support certain candidates over others to ballot access laws that prevent good people from running are at the heart of why Illinois has people and businesses fleeing the state.
Citizens of Illinois deserve better. If the state and its political parties will not provide that, then eventually there will be no one left to vote for anyone and no one to tax to help pay for all those bad ideas.
Supporting Local Libertarians Has Never Been Easier, posted:2014-06-17 17:15:00
There is something for everyone to do with the DuPage Libertarians, and I do mean EVERYONE. You don’t need to have specialized technical skills, huge finances to run a campaign, or super-human powers to be an active member of a local political group. All you really need is a little free time and the willing drive to have some fun with like-minded people.
Being concerned about our state running up massive debt, the county abusing property rights or your village raising taxes doesn’t mean that our work is boring and complicated. Our meetings are not full of angry people rioting against the system and wrought with heavy discussion about Constitutional law. On the contrary – our meetings are generally full of fun discussions, craft beer and lots of laughter. Everyone who wants to be heard at our meetings has a voice.
So what have we done in the last month? Well, first there was the HUGE Petition Drive Fundraiser, where people from across the state came to meet our candidates and bid on unique and interesting items in an auction, while enjoying good live music. You can read all about it in our last blog.
There was also an antique weapons show, full of collectors of all kinds checking out guns from WWII and swords from the American Civil War to much of the modern stuff of today. We had a booth where we greeted people, introduced ourselves and even managed to score some signatures in these final weeks of the Petition Drive.
Members even met up for small petitioning events; a race in Darien, a train station in Downers Grove, a farmer’s market in Frankfort. Spending an hour or two with friends and fellow members to help out the party can be a great experience.
A few of us even met other local politicians, including Representative of the 11th Congressional District of Illinois Bill Foster.
The easiest and most fun filled event was hands down the Memorial Day Parade in the Village of Itasca. Four of our candidates came out and marched with us down the side streets of beautiful Itasca to greet her citizens. If there was ever an event for friends, members and volunteers to jump on board with, this was it. It doesn’t get much easier or more fun to promote your local political group than this.
Candidate for Lt. Governor AJ Cummings and candidate for Comptroller Julie Fox rode comfortably in the back of a convertible, waving to people and saying hello. Candidate for Attorney General Ben Koyl walked alongside the car, carrying signs and greeting people on the curb, while candidate for Secretary of State Chris Michel walked with his wife and three children – two of whom were on their bikes, whizzing around decorated in red, white and blue.
The rest of us supported them when needed and promoted the group – David carried our banner at the head of the fleet, Jay and Steve carried signs to support our troops, Thomas kept the American flag held high and I spoke directly with the people about who we were and what we stood for.
Claire and Linda, each who hold a title of Chair for their respective townships in DuPage, made cute matching outfits promoting the DuPage Libertarians and stuffed their pockets with candy to hand out to the kids. They barely had enough, running out just as we hit the end of the parade route.
Afterwards, a group of us met back at my place where we grilled some food and talked about the entire weekend, which also included a parade in Dundee with Julie Fox and the Fox Valley Libertarian Party. We all accomplished a lot.
We have more parades coming up on Independence Day, and in several towns increasing the chances of one being close to you. At the end of June, we have a press conference in Springfield inside the capital building. The five-day long DuPage County Fair is also coming up in late July. These are all great events to join in on and help spread the word of peace, liberty and honest government through the libertarians.
Come out and get active; our next meeting is Thursday, June 19th at the American Tap Pub & Grill @ 701 W. Lake St. in Addison, IL. The meeting runs from 7pm – 8:30pm, but the “meet and greet” starts as early as 6pm. Grab some food, have a drink, find out what projects and events we have coming up – and get involved!
Downers Grove Independence Day Parade, posted:2014-05-23 06:16:13
After warming ourselves up with the Memorial Day Parade in Itasca back in May, the DuPage Libertarians decided to step up our game and tackle the Independence Day Parade in Downers Grove. With our good friend Jason taking the lead with our banner, we were ready!
Just like in Itasca, we were joined by four candidates. Candidate for US Senate Sharon Hansen rode in the back of the truck along with candidate for Treasurer Matthew Skopek. Paul Clark, the Chair for the Libertarian Party of Will County and campaign manager for Sharon Hansen, was kind enough to bring his pickup truck and ferry our candidates through the parade.
Candidate for Secretary of State Chris Michel preferred to ride his bike throughout the parade with his son Joshua, catching a lot of attention and cheers from the crowd – the beautiful American flag that waved from behind him helped a lot, too.
Our last candidate was Ben Koyl, running for Attorney General. Ben is the local hero, living in Downers Grove and representing the hometown guy. At his own expense, he printed up a banner for himself, designed by DuPage Libertarian member Jeni, and carried by members Josh and Noah.
We also had three gentlemen, all named Steve, carrying signs and a flag straight through the center of our crew. The flag always gets a big pop from the crowd, and we always have it carried by someone who keeps it held high.
It couldn’t be a successful parade without candy, and we had Claire, Meaghan, Nazli and Natalie passing out plenty of it to kids all along the route.
After having taken such a long hiatus of parade marching, it seemed appropriate to keep things as simple as possible while still being effective at broadcasting our message. Our message, which I loudly orated from the front of our group, was simple: we are your local Libertarians, we have candidates on the ballot in November, we are not millionaires or career politicians, if you want change then you need to change the way you vote, and if you want to break the two-party system then we are your only third option in Illinois.
Keep following our progress here at our blog. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, and everyone is welcome to join us for all the fun. We hope everyone had a great Independence Day. Thanks again to the 19 volunteers who came out and helped make all of this possible.
DuPage Libertarians More Active Than Ever!!, posted:2014-05-23 06:07:16
The DuPage Libertarians have been much more active this year. We started out by producing several videos that depicted the importance and challenges of the Petition Drive, we hosted several Candidate Workshops which proved very beneficial to the candidates and the state party as a whole for a multitude of reasons, we’ve done several outreach events that include everything from gun exhibitions to attending debates, and we’ve been leading the way in signature gathering in the state (as of the date this was published).
One more recent thing that we did was host a Petition Drive Fundraiser to help raise cash for the Petition Drive in Illinois. Collecting signatures for third party candidates in Illinois is such a daunting task, that while many signatures are gathered by volunteers, others are collected by paid professional petitioners. That requires money. So the DuPage Libertarians set up an event at Club Amore, a bar in River Grove, IL just outside Chicago, with live music and an auction of many nice things to raise money.
The event was a success! Five statewide candidates attended, as well as one local representative, who all gave speeches, conducted interviews and worked the crowd talking to supporters and potential voters. Candidates included Chris Michel for Secretary of State, Julie Fox for Comptroller, AJ Cummings for Lt. Governor, Chad Grimm for Governor and Sharon Hansen for US Senate. Jonathan Parker, running for the 37th district in the Illinois House of Representatives, also gave a speech and greeted voters.
Jim Goebel brought out recording equipment and conducted interviews with most of the candidates for his podcast program The Side Project hosted at RadioFUBAR.com – you can hear it live every Saturday morning at 9am Central time.
The live music of the night was performed first by acoustic musician Jason Kluss, followed by the much louder alternative punk rock stylings of NatureDevil. At one point, Lt. Governor AJ Cummings joined NatureDevil onstage from behind the drums, and the Illinois Libertarian 2010 candidate for Governor Lex Green played the bass.
Money was raised by the auction of many unique items, some of which were rare, others being unique to libertarian politics, while others were fresh baked and delicious. Ron Paul posters, economics books and an autographed graphic novelization of the first Constitutional Convention were popular with libertarian-minded buyers, while fresh baked cookies, cinnamon bread and even sugar-spice bacon were won over by the more hunger bidders. A few guitars, a pair of zombie slippers and Cubs tickets rounded out the auction to help with the overall fundraiser.
We would like to thank everyone, and we do mean EVERYONE, who came out and made the night a success. If you would like to get involved in more of our projects, don’t hesitate to contact us, follow us on twitter @DuPageLiberty or attend our meetings every third Thursday of the month at the American Tap Pub A Grill @ 701 W. Lake St. in Addison, IL at 7pm.
Libertarian Press Conference at the Capitol in Springfield, posted:2014-04-29 06:13:33
This past weekend was one of the busiest and most productive ones for the Libertarian Party of Illinois – and the DuPage Libertarians were involved throughout the process.
Monday, June 23rd was the deadline to turn in petitions to the State Board of Elections for ballot access for our seven statewide candidates in the Illinois November election for 2014. Political Division Director Lex Green and his wife, Membership Director Karen Green, hosted a weekend of petition gathering that involved everything from signature verification to punching holes and stamping numbers.
Collecting petitions from petitioners all across the state is laborious and tedious work. It cannot be overstated how much the Libertarian Party of Illinois owes to Lex and Karen for taking charge in the organization and implementation of this task.
Public Relations Director Steve Bosak wrote and published three press releases over the past few weeks to entice journalists in Springfield to attend a press conference that we had scheduled for 1pm in the media room inside the capitol building. Part of the offer promised a free Jimmy John’s lunch to those who attended, partially as a representation of our “freaky fast” press conference and also as an omen to large businesses who are leaving the state. Steve worked with our Communications Division Director Crystal Jurczynski to help put together all our information and talking points, with copies available to the attending journalists.
The second press release included this photo of our promised visual aid – our large petition stack along with representations of the petty requirements from the other two main parties in the state. It gained some traction and created quite a buzz, eliciting many comments of curiosity as well as the nickname “shroud of turn-in.” We would unveil our surprise at the conference.
On the morning of the deadline, the giant stack of petitions that we turned in to the State Board of Elections contained 43,921 signatures, gathered from all across the state of Illinois. It was large, it was heavy, and it was a lot of work! Everything went smoothly – there was no one else in the lobby, so we spent some time taking pictures while state officials worked through our paperwork. Candidate for Governor Chad Grimm, Lt. Governor AJ Cummings, Comptroller Julie Fox and US Senate Sharon Hansen were on site for the turn-in.
Afterwards, we headed toward the capitol for our 1pm Press Conference. After meeting up with candidates for Attorney General Ben Koyl and Treasurer Matthew Skopek, we were then greeted by nine journalists in the media room. All photos were taken by DuPage Libertarians Chair Brian Lambrecht and Secretary Jennifer Floyd.
Our “freaky fast” press conference was planned to be brief and to the point, but journalists wanted to ask questions about ballot access and our lawsuit with the state on election fairness, and then proceeded to question our governor candidate about his vision for Illinois. At one point, our Attorney General candidate Ben Koyl was asked about his qualifications and what he thought about Lisa Madigan.
As you can see in the above photo, our visual aid was a representation of the signatures we are required to collect in comparison with those of the two major parties in Illinois. The striking contrast helps us illustrate how the rules are unfairly written to keep third parties out of the political arena in Illinois, and shows a perspective many people may have never realized about the political process in our state.
Almost 45 minutes later the press conference came to an end. Candidates were asked a few questions individually, business cards were traded and networking took place. Within hours half a dozen articles on our press conference were online.
Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this happen. None of this could have been possible without the help from volunteer petitioners, members of our chapters, donors, those who helped assemble the petitions and paperwork, those who reached out to the media, our candidates for tirelessly working to get themselves out there, and everyone who was with us in Springfield. Thanks again.
Now, on to the campaigns!!
Petition Drive Fundraiser on Saturday, May 10th, posted:2014-04-29 06:03:12
Hello DuPage Libertarians! It’s been a pretty busy spring so far for all of us. Our candidates are out there, hitting the campaign trail, meeting with voters and talking to the media – but we still have to get over that first big hurdle, the Petition Drive. As you may or may not know, Republicans and Democrats need 5,000 signatures to get on the ballot in November, but due to heavily slanted rules, we need 25,000 signatures for that same privileged. That is not an easy task. There are two big ways you can help us.
The first is to is to go to http://www.LPIllinois.org and download a copy of the petition form and collect signatures on our behalf. You can watch the videos on the site to learn how.
The second way is to donate money to help us with paid petitioners who collect signatures for us to help us reach our goal. You can either click on the link to the right to donate directly to your DuPage Libertarians, or you can come out to our Petition Drive Fundraiser and participate in the fun while contributing to our cause!
On Saturday, May 10th from 7pm till midnight, the Petition Drive Fundraiser will take place at Club Amore @ 8166 W. Grand Ave. in River Grove, IL just 3 blocks east of the River Grove Metra Rail station.
There is no cover charge, but all donations are GREATLY appreciated. There will also be a silent auction throughout the night as we auction off some great prizes, including a practice guitar, delicious baked goods and a comic book version of the Constitution (historically accurate in every way with the founding father drawn in great detail) autographed by the artist!
You can also meet our candidates running for office, ask them questions and even take photos with them. In attendance will be Chad Grimm for Governor, AJ Cummings for Lt. Governor, Chris Michel for Secretary of State, Julie Fox for Comptroller and Sharon Hansen for US Senate. Candidates will also speak on stage and give interviews to media in attendance.
And of course, throughout the night, music will be provided by acoustic artist Jason Kluss who will open the first several hours, followed by rock alternative band NatureDevil later in the night.
This is a great event that you won’t want to miss, and your time and contribution will be greatly appreciated and will go a long way to help ensure that we get our candidates on the ballot in November. Hope to see you there!
Petitioning in Illinois - Ballot Access, posted:2014-03-08 14:39:15
Here is our first video from the DuPage Libertarians, the first in a three part series on petitioning Illinois. This first video focuses on the challenges we face as a third party in a state where the two major parties have crafted laws to keep us out of elections and off of voter’s ballots. The second video in the series focuses on the rules we must follow for petitioning, and the third is all about strategies and tactics for collecting those signatures. Keep an eye out for those videos early next month – they’ll be posted right here on our page.
If you liked this video and you’d like to see more like this that helps spread information about helping the Libertarian Party of Illinois grow, please consider joining us, attending our chapter meetings, or donating to us using the tab on the right. Thanks again for all your support.
The Fight to Keep the Definition of Capitalism Definite, posted:2014-02-12 15:30:11
Too often these days, I find myself in conversations explaining to people that the things they are angry at aren’t quite what they are angry at. Whether this is caused by massive ignorance or a targeted campaign to deceive and confuse people is a mystery to me.
Capitalism is generally thought of as an economic system based solely around making profits. While that goal may be true, there is a lot unsaid for what lies behind that statement. A profit in capitalism is only a true profit when gained through the free trade between private businesses and private people. Millions of free people making millions of decisions all at once in a system where free trade is protected leads to a growing and prosperous nation. Fair trade involves healthy competition and even trading outside national borders with other businesses or nations themselves.
The problem arises when government starts to take on bigger and more imposing roles in that market. Many of the things government does, or affects, change the market and send signals to people and businesses which may change their behavior in the market – and this is NOT capitalism.
While this is obvious to any libertarian, it isn’t so with much of the public. Take this response I received from a person when discussing capitalism:
"There is no such thing as a morally upright capitalist. True capitalism does not recognize religion, political affiliation or common human decency... the banks got bailouts while homeowners with ridiculous upside down mortgages got nothing, the automakers got bailouts while autoworkers had their pensions cut, eminent domain is being used against landowners throughout Kentucky right now to build a natural gas pipeline that no one wants, and corporations throughout the nations are getting billions in subsidies while working families are seeing foodstamps cut. All of these are examples of capitalism trumping the rights of people.....and all the products of capitalism."
There is a lot to digest in there. While the statement of a nonexistent “morally upright” capitalist is both ridiculous and irrelevant, the rest is very backwards.
Stating that true capitalism does not recognize religion, political affiliation or “common human decency” has no basis in reality because true capitalism IS the people themselves. Unless you believe that all human beings are corrupt and evil, then you can’t possibly carry that to the next logical conclusion - that those who get elected to higher office are immune to the corruption.
A free people participating in free trade inherently recognize all of those things. Television stations that court people of all cultures and languages will exist if there is a demand for it. Specialized religious bookstores, gluten-free grocery stores and websites that sell only film noir movies can flourish because there is a demand combined with desire for making a profit (though non-profits can exist as well for alternate reasons). Only two things can prevent that; not enough demand from consumers and government decree.
The rest of the response goes on to list plenty of complaints that all of us can agree with. The problem is that NONE OF THOSE THINGS are products of capitalism; just the opposite, they are wealth redistribution schemes that are part of the inner workings of socialism.
Banks getting bailouts is NOT capitalism. Bailouts are not part of capitalism, nor are the perks or subsidies that those businesses received in the first place. Same goes for the auto industry. Both of those industries were propped up by decades of smaller bailouts combined with government subsidies that allowed those businesses to make bad decisions that lead to them needing a bailout. None of that is capitalism. In a capitalistic environment, none of those businesses would have received any special treatment, grants or subsidies in the first place... and if the inevitable failure were to come, then capitalism would have allowed it to happen.
With regards to homeowners, of which I am one with an underwater mortgage, the government spent decades giving banks below average interest rate loans (cheap taxpayer dollars) to support people buying homes - more homes than could have been fulfilled by the public. Thus, with there being such a demand for home ownership (one propped up by taxpayer dollars) the price of homes skyrocketed (as is basic economics). Then when the "bubble burst" (more than 10% of people defaulting on their mortgage payments) the banks crashed out and the value of everyone's home plummeted. Suddenly banks needed bailouts. There is NO CAPITALISM anywhere in that equation.
A business cannot be accused of taking anyones “rights” away – only one institution exists that can do that. Businesses may spend their money and use their resources to their advantage in any way they can – but as soon as they start lobbying government, they create the relationship that changes from capitalism to socialism. As soon as a Congressman issues a bailout, supports a subsidy or crafts a law to give one business an advantage over their competition, you leave the realm of capitalism.
The confusion of these two economic theories cannot be allowed to happen. When a populace believes that a bank bailout happened in a free market and screams for the solution of more government to stop it, the problems will only persist and grow over time. Our ruling class is always finding new ways to change terminology, making bailouts a more permanent structure written into law so that they can’t technically be called a “bailout” anymore.
If we fail to be honest with ourselves about government’s role in our economy, then we’ll only have ourselves to blame. As libertarians, part of our duty is to keep this debate fresh in people’s minds and to make sure people know what they are seeing and know where to direct their anger.
All the President's Lies, posted:2014-01-20 19:28:37
Catching a politician in a lie should not be groundbreaking news to anyone. Making promises during an election can almost guarantee a reversal somewhere down the line. Entire websites are dedicated to sorting out these little fibs, broken promises, and outright lies.
As the President, lying is much more serious because an entire nation, as well as the opposing political party, are all paying attention. Chasing interns around the Oval Office to the Benny Hill theme makes some great nightly news coverage, despite what lie the Commander-in-Chief has lined up to cover himself. But many of the lies these leaders give us are much more serious and have long lasting effects whose costs cannot be easily quantified.
No one knows exactly what Richard Nixon knew, or when he knew it. George H. W. Bush famously asked us to read his lips as he promised no new taxes… before eventually signing new taxes. Lying about inhaling marijuana is trivial and seemingly not worth the effort, until you look at the millions of lives ruined throughout the country from zero tolerance laws regarding marijuana.
Other kinds of lies have larger effects. President James K. Polk lied to Congress about Mexico invading the United States in an effort to begin the Mexican-American War and the eventual confiscation of the southwest from Mexico.
John F. Kennedy said in 1961 that "I have previously stated, and I repeat now, that the United States plans no military intervention in Cuba” all while secretly planning to invade Cuba.
Many people claim that George W. Bush lied about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to spearhead the invasion, but it is actually much worse than that – he operated under the “truth” of bad intelligence from the US, the UK and France – which paints an even scarier portrait.
President Obama has made lying an art form. His biggest and most famous lie will probably be this claim on the Affordable Care Act: “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.” Yet almost immediately on college campuses he seemed to get away with rebranding Obamacare, adding appendages to this Frankenstein legislation (that, quite frankly, everyone who had been paying attention knew wasn’t true) even after repeating his claim again and again, which is forever enshrined on YouTube where the Internet never forgets.
He creates Red Lines in Syria, but then he doesn’t. He is outraged to learn that the IRS has been targeting citizens for their political philosophy, but then acts annoyed by the media for supposedly making up something out of nothing.
Claims that a video is responsible for protests in Benghazi from his own administration have proven false. His rough relationship with the truth has led us to believe his own Attorney General had no idea about gun trafficking to Mexican drug cartels or his Secretary of Health and Human Services kept him out of the loop during the rollout of Obamacare.
The President claimed “lives have been saved” and “at least fifty threats” have been averted by the NSA surveillance programs just before a review panel from the White House claimed they could not find one single incident where a terrorist threat had been thwarted by the program. Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor who was part of the panel which analyzed the information, said after looking through the evidence that “We found none.”
President Obama not only lies about the big things, he lies about the small things – the kind of things you wouldn’t think worth trying to cover up. From statements he makes to the press to stories he has written in his autobiographies, he has lied about girlfriends who do not exist, stories about his parents during the Civil Rights movement that never happened, his time in school and his work afterwards which have been proven impossible.
More recently he said he had never met his illegal immigrant paternal uncle, Omar Obama; a man who was charged with almost hitting a police car while driving intoxicated. Not only had he met his uncle and spoken with him on several occasions since, but he actually lived with him for several weeks while preparing to start Harvard Law School. You would think a man from Harvard law would know how easy it is to fact-check in the Information Age.
In his fifth year as President, it is now almost a self-parody to hear Obama give speeches where he throws his usual tag lines “Let me be perfectly clear” and “Make no mistake about it.” Whenever he takes a strong stance on an issue, you can bank on him meaning the exact opposite. So why do we put up with this new low standard in truth telling from the highest office? Why have Americans become complacent?
The libertarian philosophy doesn’t end lying. Believing in freedom and individual liberty combined with a strong but limited government can’t prevent people from fibbing about what executive orders they have waiting in the wings or what they had for lunch. But it CAN greatly limit the effect a perpetual liar can have on our lives.
It is instinctive for most people to (wisely) not trust politicians, and yet we concede more power every election cycle. By limiting the power a politician can gather, it forces them to be more honest with us. The checks and balances built into the separation of powers help ensure liars aren’t given free passes to get what they want, regardless of truth. Through technology, people and the media have greater and faster access to information on a global scale, the opportunity for miscommunication, faulty information or flat out deceitful conduct can be greatly reduced and mitigated.
Instead, our media seems to yawn and get bored with each new scandal that breaks along with the lie attached to it. There is no justification for giving so much power to be abused by politicians in the first place.
When the lying is tolerated and eventually accepted, why bother holding elections? The libertarian platform is dedicated to keeping those restraints on politicians, and as a wonderful side effect – helping to keep them all a bit more honest.