Steve G.

Ruth Bennett’s “Unhidden Agenda”

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics on May 20, 2008 at 10:09 pm

From Ruth Bennett for LNC Chair:

Ruth Bennett, candidate for LNC Chair, today released her “Unhidden Agenda” highlighting her plans for the LNC and Libertarian Party if elected chair.

“Too many campaigns for office involve hidden agendas,” said Bennett. “That’s why I thought it was to turn things on their head and present an unhidden one.”

“These are the areas where I would like the LNC to focus its attention.”

1) Elections. So much of the material I see coming from Libertarian candidates is, well, just not very good. I would like us to develop a “Candidate in a Box” with a CD of basic brochures, principled text on a wide variety of issues, sample press releases, buttons/stickers/yardsigns, etc. We have some incredibly talented artists and designers and writers in the LP. When I was State Chair we produced two brochures that I will be distributing around the Convention. Take a look and see if they are the kind of thing you’d like the National LP to produce. Let’s engage the talented people we have in our Party to help make it easier for candidates to have a professional, polished appearance without a huge cash outlay!

2) Election and Ballot Reform — I support freer and fairer ballot access across the country. I have worked with and lobbied the state legislature for a better ballot law in Washington and am willing to carry that issue to any state that needs help. Ranked Choice Voting, IRV, and proportional representation are all possible antidotes to our election problems and we need to build on the small successes we have had to get more jurisdictions to expand their ballot access and reform their elections.

3) Lobbying — Lobbying at every level is an important part of our election process and should never take a back seat to just getting Libertarians elected. Toby Nixon, a Life Member of the Libertarian Party, was a Republican State Representative in Washington. Toby told me that he was surprised that when he really explained the consequences of a particular piece of legislation, he could often change a fellow Representative’s vote. We need to be lobbying our state and local legislative bodies on all kinds of issues to explain the consequences. This is a way to slow down or stop the increase of government in our lives and a great opportunity to show that Libertarians can actually accomplish something! Lobbying usually takes place outside of the election cycle, so it is a good way to keep volunteers involved and engaged. It is a fantastic outreach tool. It shows that we care about the same issues that others care about. I have successfully lobbied my state legislature and regulatory boards on issues related to the rights of families to care for their own dead. Sounds depressing, but it was exciting to help keep the state from taking power from families and giving it to funeral directors. Now I have a reputation in the community for being a person who cares. That, too, will help me should I run for office again. I also have a much better understanding of the legislative process and that is useful information.

4) Ballot States — without ballot access, the Libertarian Party becomes irrelevant. While this is Bill Redpath’s passion, he told me that the current LNC has not been as supportive of ballot access as he thought necessary. I want to make ballot access a top priority, so it is up to you, the delegates, to send a loud message to the LNC that you want ballot access support! Be sure to ask candidates their position on ballot access, take notes, and then hold them to it!

5) Outreach and grassroots activism — Fair booths, Google ads, and meet-ups; there are many ways to reach out, to educate, and to engage. I would like the National Party to seek out best practices from around the country to make them available to state and local affiliates. I also want to encourage Libertarians to get more involved with their communities. Join your local community council, fraternal or civil organizations, churches, and/or non-profits. We will gain contacts and learn about the issues from the ground up. As much as I consider myself a “principled” Libertarians, not everything is as black-and-white as some Libertarians seem to believe. Getting involved in your community is a way to see how the “real world” works… and it makes us better candidates! I had a full-page article about me and my work to get a cremation tax removed on the front page of the local homeless newspaper, “Real Change.” Do you think this will be valuable should I again decide to run for office? You bet it will!

“These are the issues I will work on over the next two years to set a better stage for the Libertarian Party in election season in 2010 and beyond. This is my Unhidden Agenda. Will you join with me?”

  1. I could not agree more! Just the getting out better lit would be a big help. It might stop so many who have other ideas about what we are in their tracks.


  2. Gee, it sounds like Ruth Bennett actually wants LP members to do some hard work. Of course, most of the past chairs have too, yet state parties wax and wane, and Libertarianism goes unremarked in most communities until someone agrees to run for some trivial office. The LP needs to be active 24/7 in every city and town large enough to have a newspaper and a group from “the other side.”

  3. I was delighted to discover tonight that Ruth Bennett is running for LNC Chair and I enthusiastically endorse her candidacy. Please read my full endorsement here:

    Unfortunately I was not paying attention to the LNC Chair race or I would have begun campaigning for her sooner.

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