I sure hope this debate is more interesting than the presidential debate.
Not surprisingly, there don’t seem to be anywhere near as many people in attendance.
It’s the same moderator, hopefully he won’t mess this one up.
Candidates are Ruth Bennett, Ernie Hancock, Bill Redpath.
Asked them what they saw in the presidential debate that the LP should go forward with.
Bennett: Could support any of them enthusiastically.
Hancock: Libertarian principles upheld as trait to be admired.
Redpath: Unusual year, very bright and talented straight-talking forthright people. Great presentation, everybody knows LP much different from Rs and Ds after that debate.
How can people use internet better as a tool?
Bennett: Need to build personal relationships, internet can be powerful tool but is no substitute for personal relationships.
Hancock: Set high standard, provide central resource for people to do it on their own. Allow people to do what they want and to act in own self-interest.
Redpath: Will be using it better very shortly. Revamped website in a week. Will be using internet better.
Moderator: Federal government is not paying for LP convention.
Question: What would you do for fundraising?
Bennett: Increased membership is most important through state and local organizations. “Unhidden Agenda” (previously posted on LFV).
Hancock: Be the can opener. If we build it, they will come. Audience just stared at him, LOL
Redpath: Fundraising harder than for Rs and Ds (duh).
Question: Ballot access.
Bennett: Involved in litigation in Washington state to end initiative (not sure on what). Has been active in ballot access in her state. Bill Redpath good on ballot access. Must work with state legislators to get ballot access passed. Learn how to lobby successfully. President of 100,000 member not-for-profit. Ran for office 5 times.
Hancock: If we had 50-state ballot access, will put us in the debate? No. Talk show host on Air America affiliate. Many politicians in Arizona try to be libertarian in votes. Did Ron Paul money bombs. Let people know on state and local level that they are being supported. Chastising no-compromise libertarian should never have happened. Being libertarian is a good trait.
Redpath: Worst ballot access laws among established democracy worldwide. On board of Fair Vote. People don’t realize it will take change to get away from two-party monopoly. Legislators have conflict of interest in ballot access issues.
Question: Redpath explain instant run-off voting, then get response from Bennett and Hancock.
Redpath: Eliminate least votes, does away with spoiler problem, allows people to vote conscience. People like it. In short term doesn’t make libertarians more electable, but will get libertarians into debates etc.
Bennett: Have it in Pierce County, Washington, called “rank choice voting” there. It’s a way to save money on primary, go right to general election. Has people from all third parties in her speed dial, proposing to put that statewide, working with legislature now, can’t promise it will happen. Is involved with Compassionate Choices, which allows death with dignity, big believer in initiatives because it lets the people decide issues the legislature won’t touch.
Hancock: Told background. (Boring) Blah, blah, blah. Party system gives special privileges. Libertarians sought him out. Talked on and on before coming to his point that he already has that in his county. Will not allow people to be chastised for being too libertarian. Says there is election fraud because cannot compare paper ballots to electronic ballots. He seems to go on and on without even really making a point. He suddenly jumped to talking about restaurants, believe it or not.
Q to Hancock: what was it like to run against John McCain.
Hancock: Didn’t address voters until after voting started. Makes fun of media. Never did really answer the question, moderator finally just cut him off.
Q: How do you fix the media
Bennett: Ran for office five times. Several newspapers treated her like a major party candidate. She’s a lesbian, did an article on her partner called “First Mates”. Hancock has passion, but we’re talking about chief officer of non-profit organization. Has worked with non-profits and led boards into new directions. She is competent leader who likes to build coalitions to get things done.
Redpath: New website, mentioned Andrew Davis (boo!), going to have helluva presidential campaign this year, will introduce new people to LP, field more candidates.
Question from audience (Starchild): Ideological drift in national office, LP news not helping in education, website shows presidential race for sale. Embarrassed to see Imperato on party website.
Bennett: Need more education through LP News. Considers self pragmatist and radical libertarian. Need to do outreach, re-radicalize LP News with pragmatic twist.
Hancock: National party shows preference, that’s not their job. Job is to defend libertarianism and national office has failed in that. Tired of explaining away actions of national party which is non-libertarian.
Redpath: Hiring new Executive Director, defended Liberty Decides and Ron Paul letter because they brought in money. I guess that puts an end to the rumor that Shane Corey is going to be rehired.
Thank goodness this is over, but it was more interesting than the presidential debate. I don’t have a favorite, but I don’t like the way the LP has been handled at the national level, so I think Redpath should be replaced.
At 10:30 am (EST), two elected Libertarians from Colorado will speak. At 11:30 am, the presidential nomination process starts. Viguerie will be on at 7:30 am to talk about his speech, I’m sure we’ll all wake up early just to watch that (not).