Friday, March 09, 2018

Columbus, Ohio, May 13-14 -- Libertarian Party Platform Committee Meeting


When I ran for platform committee, and was eventually chosen as a state alternate, I told you that I would make the effort to attend any in-person meetings of the committee, but would probably ask for assistance in meeting the expenses.

Well, we have a meeting scheduled -- starting at 11am on May 13 at the heaquarters of the Libertarian Party of Ohio in Colulmbus, and likely ending (there's an email ballot on setting a "hard" end time so that people can schedule flights, etc. in expectation of getting to the airport on time) by 2pm on the 14th.

I've been looking at the expenses, and the number I'm coming up with is ~$500.

Going by budget airlines, I can probably fly for about $200 if I don't check a bag ... but the schedules aren't daily, which would mean I'd spend at least a day more than necessary in town, with the attendant expenses.

Going by major airline, the cost will be $300-350, including checked bag. I can do without the bag if necessary, but it would be nice to be able to take a suit and so forth instead of just cramming a couple of light casual outfits in a carry-on. And I can make up the airfare difference by spending 1 or 2 nights at a hotel instead of 3 or 4 nights.

Uber to and from the airport looks like $25 or so each way, so that brings the total cost up to $350-400.

As far as hotel goes, my three priorities are 1) near the meeting venue (so I can walk instead of paying Uber or cab fare), 2) cheap, and 3) acceptable to one or more roommates to split the cost (I've already got a rideshare/roomshare thread going on the platform committee email list). My best guess is two nights at $50 per night (there are nearby hotels starting at ~$65 per night, but I'm figuring on it being more with taxes, and on probably splitting out a slightly more expensive room with more than one bed, or perhaps even a cheap suite).

So that gets it to $450-$500.

I'm going to eat whether I'm in Gainesville or Columbus, of course. If I can afford to go out for a nice ($20 or less -- I understand there's a Waffle House near the LPOH HQ!) meal with some fellow Libertarians, I will.

I may look at flights into or out of other cities where I might meet a local committee member and share a car ride. But I'd expect any airfare savings to be spent on helping with gas.

Of course, I plan to go whether I get much assistance or not -- but your help will make it much easier.

For those who care:

  • I voted against having an in-person meeting. It's 2018, not 1988. Electronic meeting facilities are well developed and they don't cost $500 or more per person for meeting.
  • I specifically voted against meeting in Columbus. Not because I have anything against Columbus specifically, or Ohio generally, or of course against the state's Libertarian Party, which generously offered its offices as meeting space to save the LP facilities rental costs, but because Columbus is not a major airport hub and that means higher fares and less accommodating schedules. Which, frankly, is the reason it was proposed (by a guy who once put a state LP convention on a cruise ship to keep the "povertarians" from attending).
So, if it matters, I didn't just say "hey, I think I'll take an opportunity to hit Libertarian activists who support my work up for more money." I had hoped for no in-person meetings except a day early at the national convention, and if we had one my personal recommendations were for Chicago or Atlanta. But Columbus it is, and so to Columbus I shall go.

I do hope that any Libertarians who can make it to Columbus to visit with the platform committee will do so. We'd love to hear your thoughts, and to have you keep an eye on our work. Or at least I would :)

Anyway, ways to support me are in the sidebar, and please feel free to drop a note designating anything you send for the specific purpose of getting me to this meeting, as opposed to financing a visit to a casino or something.

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