Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Platform Committe: There's an App for That

You heard it here first:

On January 14, I announced my candidacy for the Libertarian Party's 2020 platform committee.

This morning, I received an email informing me that the Libertarian National Committee is seeking applicants for that committee. My application as filed (with one typo correction -- I left an "s" out of "accessible" and feel really bad about it) appears at the very bottom of this post.

How You Can Help:
  • If you believe I belong on the committee, contact your LNC officers, at-large representatives, and regional representatives to recommend me.
  • If I'm selected, I'll be back to ask for your help getting to the in-person meetings and the national convention ... and regardless of what amount or form (I've slept on couches before and am willing to again), I'll do what I have to do to show up for those things.

And now, the aforementioned application ...

How long have you been a dues paying member of National?
I don't remember -- since at least 2015, but also at times for 20 years before that
Are you involved with your state or local party? How so?

When I lived in Missouri (until 2012), I served as a local party committee member (and sometimes officer, up to and including county chair), served on the state committee, and on the state executive committee, and ran for city council, school board, state legislature, and Congress as a Libertarian, and was appointed to a federal position (draft board) as a Missouri Libertarian.

These days, living in Florida, I am older, fatter, poorer, busier, and not as physically outgoing. I served on the Libertarian Party of Florida's rules committee in 2016, but since then haven't done much in terms of activism (I am also a dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania).
Have you ever served on a similar committee before? Do you have any reports or finished products you can refer the LNC to? What are your specific qualifications to serve on this particular committee?
I served on the national platform committee (as appointed by the Libertarian Party of Florida) in 2018, so I'll refer the LNC to that committee's report.

I'll also boast that I initially drafted, proposed, helped hone, and advocated for the first amendment to the platform that the 2018 national convention considered and passed (to section 3.4, Free Trade and Migration).

As for specific qualifications, there's that past committee service, a term on the Judicial Committee in the early 2000s, and more than 20 years of party activism including seven national conventions as a delegate. I'm also, by occupation, immersed in the political news cycle with an ear toward issues that are trending such that they deserve attention in the party's biennial reconsideration of its platform.
What changes, if any, are you interested in proposing (please submit a sample proposed change).
2.11 Labor Markets

Delete the phrase "and these contracts should not be encumbered by government-mandated benefits or social engineering" in the first sentence of the plank.

As a platform committee member, my emphasis has been and will continue to be on making the platform continually more clear, understandable and concise rather than proposing substantive changes. This does not mean I OPPOSE substantive changes as such (I don't), just that I mostly look for ways to make the platform more readable/understandable/accessible to the voting public.
Have you read the Statement of Principles? Do you agree with it?
Yes, I've read it many times and I agree with it completely.
Will you commit to show up and actively participate in committee email discussions and any in-person meetings?
Yes (I attended all online meetings and in-person meetings of the 2018 platform committee).
Which national conventions have you attended?
2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2016, 2018
Please give a brief (a few sentences) summary of your understanding of Libertarian philosophy.
I understand Libertarian philosophy as rooted in the constraint of non-aggression. That is, no one (including government actors) has a right to initiate the use of force against another, and those against whom force is initiated are entitled by right to defend themselves. Society and politics, under libertarian philosophy, must be governed by consensual relations and personal responsibility in every area.
(optional) What is your position on committee transparency (should all meetings and emails be open to observation by Party members or should there be limitations)?
I support 100% transparency. Committee email lists should be archived in viewable form online, and committee meetings (online or in person) should be open for viewing/attendance by party members.
(optional) What are some of your most important accomplishments?
My most important personal accomplishments are my kids :)

Occupationally, I'm inordinately proud of things I accomplished in the Marine Corps, of the fact that mainstream newspapers and non-libertarian political publications publish my libertarian op-eds more than 1,000 times per year, and that I'm the publisher of the oldest daily libertarian news/commentary roundup on the Internet (founded in 1991).

Vis a vis the Libertarian Party, I am proud of my own campaigns for public office and my appointment by President George W. Bush to the Selective Service System in 2004, but more so of the party work I've done at all levels and of the campaigns I've worked on (to name two, the WINNING campaign of my wife, Tamara Millay, for local office in 2004 and serving as media coordinator for Michael Badnarik's post-nomination 2004 presidential campaign).
(optional) What kind of people annoy you the most, and how do you deal with them?
Parliamentarians. I fight them when I think they're wrong and work within the strictures of their rulings when I lose.

Also, Yankees fans.

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