Monday, April 20, 2009

Good times

The Missouri Libertarian Party held its 2009 state convention on Saturday in Jefferson City -- a nicely done event with 40-50 attendees and topical breakout sessions and talks with LP leaders including Mark Rutherford of ATLAS PAC, Libertarian National Committee vice chair Michael Jingozian and Austin Peterson of LPHQ.

Since I'm new at this county chair business, I attended the breakout sessions on county committee matters conducted by state chair Glenn Nielsen. The state party has been building some fantastic infrastructure to make it easier for our county parties to maintain a seamless organizational existence: County subdomains on the server, a VOIP phone system that forwards calls to county party contacts so that "the number" doesn't change just because the contact people do, etc. Cool stuff.

Then, of course, there was the business session, i.e. state committee meeting. Under Missouri law, the Missouri LP is governed by a state committee consisting of two representatives from each state senatorial district. In practice, that committee meets once a year and delegates a good deal of its authority to an executive committee the rest of the time.

On the agenda this year were a couple of amendments pertaining to "getting our papers in order" so that our bylaws match our incorporation papers. Those passed without controversy.

Two other bylaws amendments which I opposed -- see here for the details -- were discussed at length and with a little heat at times, and failed to secure the 2/3 vote needed for passage.

The party then elected new officers ... or, rather, re-elected the sitting chair (Glenn Nielsen), vice chair (Cisse Spragins) and treasurer (Paula Benski) with no opponents seeking to unseat them. Secretary John Schultz declined to run for re-election, and Barry Albin ran unopposed to fill that seat.

We also caucused by US House District to select the new executive committee reps. I don't have a full list of those results handy just yet. I'm now a full representative from the 1st District (I was an alternate last term), along with St. Louis County vice chair Julie Stone.

Many of the attendees chose to drive home rather than stay Saturday night, but by my count ten Libertarians hung around long enough to drop into the Knapp 2012 hospitality suite for beer, food and political chat. I had also liberally salted the event chairs with campaign literature during the day's business.

I don't know if I came out of the weekend's activities with any delegate votes I didn't have going in, but it was a good time in any case -- it's always fun to re-connect with fellow Libertarians from around the state whom I work with on a regular basis but usually only get to see once or twice a year.

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