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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Video: Wayne Root Speaks at LPCA Convention

2008 LP Vice Presidential Candidate Wayne Root opened and closed his LPCA convention lunchtime banquet remarks on Sunday with this message:  "What this Party is missing, what it needs is a chief salesman, a chief spokesman, a chief rainmaker, and that's why I've announced I'm running for national chairman of the Libertarian Party."

Video and more excerpts after the jump:

LPCA Convention Slideshow

Monday, February 15, 2010

LPCA Convention Hears Warning of Prop 14's "Top-Two Primary"

A dark shadow was cast on this weekend's California Libertarian convention by Prop 14, the "top-two primary" initiative on the June ballot.  Keynote speaker and Ballot Access News editor Richard Winger called it the greatest threat to independent and third-party politics in America in the last 50 years.  He warned that it would make it effectively impossible for independents and third parties to challenge the incumbent parties in November elections.

Keynote co-speaker Christina Tobin said that opposing Prop 14 will be the core theme of her campaign for Secretary of State.  Tobin previewed her speech in a posting at FreeAndEqual.org, and her SoS campaign had already been endorsed by the LPCA Executive Committee.

Kevin Takenaga's Chair's report included the following:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

LPCA Convention - Day 2

9:25 Called to order.  Attorney General candidate Tim Hannan spoke.  Says that the purpose of government is to "protect us from violence and fraud, and otherwise leave us alone."

9:33 Discussion of whether the 2nd LNC rep should be considered 1st alternate. No, because LPCA might again be part of a two-rep region.

9:39 62 delegates credentialed.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

LPCA Convention - Day 1

8:45 Lt. Governor candidate and Pierce College economics professor Dr. Pam Brown speaks at breakfast

10:00 Convened with 54 delegates

Friday, February 5, 2010

Libertarian Trustee Opposes $4.3M In Tax Money for Clinic

Excerpts below from a Feb. 4 article in the San Mateo County Journal by Bill Silverfarb. Former LPSM Chair Jack Hickey, an elected trustee of the Sequoia Health Care District, is running in the June election for county supervisor.

The Sequoia Healthcare District pledged $4.3 million to help build a new clinic in the North Fair Oaks area of unincorporated Redwood City yesterday. The district board voted 3-1 to approve the grant request from the county-operated San Mateo Medical Center. Board members Don Horsley, Kim Griffin and Katie Kane approved the grant request while Jack Hickey voted against it. Boardmember Art Faro was not in attendance.

The Sequoia Healthcare District still collects $5M/yr in taxes, despite having sold in 1996 the Redwood City hospital which the district was created to build and operate in the 1940s. Since then, two civil grand juries, the Palo Alto Daily News, and district board member Jack Hickey have all argued that the board should be dissolved and its funds returned to county taxpayers.

A Feb. 1 article in the San Mateo Daily News said "Hickey, a Libertarian activist and member of the Sequoia Healthcare District Board, contributed $6,000 to his own campaign and recently said he plans to raise slightly more than that for a countywide mailer."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

San Mateo Libertarians Oppose School Tax

From a Feb 3 article in the San Mateo County Daily Journal by Heather Murtagh:

Burlingame voters are asked to renew two taxes totaling $180 — Measure A, a $76 yearly parcel tax for eight years passed in 2003, and Measure S, a $104 annual parcel tax for six years that started in 2005 — for 10 years under Measure B. If passed, the measure would begin in July 2011 and continue generating $1.4 million annually for the district.

Opponents argue schools account for over half the state’s budget and their administrators should be able to live within those means. Parcel tax revenue is close to 7.5 percent of the district’s annual budget, said Marc Friedman, a former district trustee who is now treasurer of the Committee to Protect Great Burlingame Schools, which supports Measure B.

Jack Hickey, who signed the argument against the measure, wrote public schools consume over half the state’s budget and continue to ask for more. “We couldn’t stop Sacramento from raising sales and income taxes last year — but we can finally put an end to one long-standing ‘temporary’ parcel tax,” reads the letter signed by Hickey and Harland Harrison, chair of the Libertarian Party of San Mateo County.

Libertarian Supervisor Opposes Subsidized Rural Water Service

Libertarian Tom Tryon is serving his seventh consecutive term on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors since first being elected in 1984. From an Feb. 3 article by Dana Nichols in the Stockton Record:

Ed Pattison, the water resources manager for Calaveras County Water District, reminded the supervisors that the cost to build water infrastructure and the struggle for Calaveras County to preserve water rights has powerful influences on the General Plan. That's why the water element calls for "looking to steer growth toward city centers." Pattison acknowledged that planning to concentrate people in towns will displease private-property rights advocates who hope to carve ranch land into ranchettes.

Pattison seemed to have some support for his views. Supervisor Tom Tryon said growth in community centers should be required to have municipal water, sewer connections and streets built up to standards. And he urged his colleagues in local government to send the message that property owners should not expect agencies to provide services such as water lines to rural housing tracts whose wells go dry.

"If you want to exercise your rights to rural sprawl, you're on your own," Tryon said.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Libertarian Supervisor Skeptical of Carbon Emissions Lawsuit

Libertarian Tom Tryon is serving his seventh consecutive term on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors since first being elected in 1984. From an Jan. 28 article by Walt Cook in the Calaveras Union Democrat:

An environmental group filed lawsuits Wednesday against the California Department of Forestry that contend the agency failed to properly analyze carbon emissions stemming from 15 logging plans proposed by Sierra Pacific Industries. State law requires industries to analyze any projects that could add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and, thus, potentially contribute to climate change.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Libertarian Councilman Links MJ Dispensary To Community Concerns

The Mountain View City Council includes Libertarian Party member John Inks and economist Tom Means, a fellow at the libertarian Independent Institute. From a Jan. 27 article by Daniel DeBolt in the Mountain View Voice:

In 2005, Mountain View native Jonathan Lustig came to the City Council with a seemingly radical proposal: Let him open a medical marijuana dispensary somewhere in the city. With that the issue seemed to die, but recent shifts in policy at the federal and state level have led to a resurgence in requests to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Mountain View. So many requests are coming in, in fact, that the city manager is putting the topic of regulating such operations on the council's to-do list this spring.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Michael Seebeck Running For LPCA Rep To LNC

After a lot of consulting, consideration, and discussion with both family and colleagues within the Party, I am announcing my candidacy for LNC Regional Representative for Region 2, serving California.

These past two years have seen the LNC in turmoil and the LPCA in growth, and the next 3 years are OUR time. It is time to restore strong and principled leadership to the LNC and to continue that growth in California. As the largest state affiliate and the only single-state region, California’s role on the LNC is unique. We’ve seen their turmoil and its impacts on our state, and it is past time to end it and move forward with doing the jobs we have pledged our time, our money, our sweat, our tears, and even our blood—using the political process to advocate, create, and move towards a libertarian society. Great progress has been made, but it is time to build on that and grow nationally, and to continue our growth in California. THIS IS OUR TIME! We need to make the most of it. Voters are angry, and we MUST tap into that for our success, at all levels.

What do I bring to the LNC?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Nearly 100 LPCA Candidates Seeking Signatures For 2010 Ballot Access

Infromation below is from Ted Brown, LPCA Candidate Recruitment Chair.  Even though the LPCA is ballot-qualified, the government charges our candidates as much as $1,500 to get on the ballot.  That cost is reduced by around $10 for every registered Libertarian who signs a petition for an LP candidate seeking to represent them. Please join the Signature Circle to put LP candidates on your ballot.

Libertarians have declared their candidacies for each of the statewide offices that will be voted upon in the 2010 election. The announced candidates are:

For Governor - Dale F. Ogden of San Pedro; insurance consultant and actuary
For Lt. Governor - Pamela Brown of Northridge; Ph. D. professor of economics
For Secretary of State - Christina Tobin of Mill Valley; open elections activist
For Attorney General - Timothy Hannan of Santa Rosa; attorney at law, private practice
For Controller - Andrew Favor of Laguna Niguel; certified public accountant
For Treasurer - Edward Teyssier of San Diego; business owner and attorney
For Insurance Commissioner - Richard Bronstein of Encino; life/health insurance agent

For U. S. Senator - Gail Lightfoot of Arroyo Grande; retired nurse and veteran candidate

We have a total of almost 100 candidates who have signed up around the state. This includes all the statewide offices, 37 of the 53 congressional races, 10 of the 20 state senate races, and 39 of the 80 state assembly races. Many have run before, but many more have signed up for the first time. We had a lot of volunteers who contacted the party’s office this year, likely due to anger over current governmental policies — at both the federal and state level. Hopefully all of our candidates will succeed in qualifying for the ballot, since they need to go out and collect signatures from registered Libertarians to do so.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Watch Steven Greenhut Discuss Plunder! on CSPAN

Steven Greenhut of the Pacific Research Institute joined the Libertarian Party of California in 2008. This is C-SPAN's description of their Jan. 3 broadcast of his Dec. 10 book-signing in Orange, CA:

Steven Greenhut talked about his book Plunder!: How Public Employee Unions Are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation (The Forum Press; November 23, 2009). He took a critical look at government workers and the unions that represent them. Mr. Greenhut argued that government employees, who receive salaries, benefits, and a level of job security that far outpace workers in the private sector, have become a huge drain on state and federal coffers. He responded to questions from members of the audience.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

LPUS Lists 20 Elected California Libertarians

The LPUS has updated its list of Libertarians in elected office.  It includes the following 20 Californians. Four of them have pro-rated budget authority of at least $5 million.

Tom Tryon - Calaveras County Board of Supervisors, District 4, California - $37M
John Inks - Mountain View City Council, California - $24M
Norm Westwell - Ocean View School District Board, California - $15M
Jack Hickey - Sequoia Healthcare District Board, California - $5M
Frank Manske - Mount Diablo Healthcare District Board, California
Timothy Healey - Fair Oaks Water District Board, District 1, California
Jim Gardner - San Gorgonio Memorial Health Care District Board, California
Brian Holtz - Purissima Hills Water District Board, California
James Guadagni - Liberty Elementary School Governing Board, California
Jim Hill - Oceano Community Services District Board, California
Jonathan D Hall - Tehachapi Cummings Water District Board, California
Julie Dawson - Manton Joint Union School District Board, California
Kate O'Brien - Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District Board, California
Laurel Kieny - Esparto Community Services District Board, California
Linda Strom - Lakeside Community Planning District, California
Phillip Binley - Bolinas Fire Protection District Board, California
Phillip Leavitt - Carlotta Community Services District Board, California
Robert Dickson - Timber Cove Fire Protection District Board, California
Rodger Musso - Black Oak Mine Unified School District Governing Board, Seat 2, California
Vern Dahl - Oceano Community Services District Board, California

Saturday, December 26, 2009

LPUS News Roundup: 2004 LP Nominee Badnarik Hospitalized

An email from Libertarian Lists:

News tidbits regarding the Libertarian Party and libertarian political community:

  • 2004 LP presidential candidate Michael Badnarik suffered a heart attack while on the road in Wisconsin. “Badnarik was fitted with a temporary pacemaker and a balloon pump to ease stress on his heart, according to Libertarian Party sources,” reads one media report. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.
  • Physics professor and former presidential hopeful George Phillies has announced his intention (Note: this site frequently downloads slowly) to run for Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. He is joined as a candidate for this position by LNC member Mark Hinkle. The current Chair, Bill Redpath, recently announced that he has no intention to seek reelection. Rumors are that the LP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root may also seek this position.
  • Congressman Ron Paul’s son Rand is running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican in Kentucky. He’s currently enjoying a considerable polling lead (Note: .pdf format) over his competitor in the primary election contest. Rand was just endorsed by Concerned Women for America. He also raised $100,000 in less than 12 hours, according to CQ Politics. He’s currently under fire from the liberals over at Daily Kos. Learn more at Rand Paul’s website.
  • In our last e-mail, we let you know about (independent candidate/LP member) Joe Kennedy’s run for Ed Kennedy’s Senate seat in Massachusetts. He’s now completed his first debate and is scheduled for even more.
  • Frequently antagonistic towards Ron Paul, even the Houston Chronical is using wording like “no longer ignored” and “going mainstream” to describe the former LP and GOP presidential candidate. “Paul's proposal to audit the Federal Reserve — first introduced by the Texas congressman more than 20 years ago — recently sailed through the House Financial Services Committee,” reads one article. “His bill has an astonishing 317 co-sponsors in the House, three-quarters of the chamber's members. In the Senate, where Paul asked Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont socialist, to introduce a similar bill, the measure already has 30 co-sponsors.”
  • 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root has been compared to an Energizer Bunny more than once. Lately, he’s spending more and more time on national radio and television programs and the media is starting to notice. “He didn’t get as much coverage as, say, Dick Armey, but 2009 was a very good year for one of the more ambitious figures in conservative politics, Wayne Allyn Root. A self-made millionaire who rose to prominence as an expert on gambling — especially sports betting — Root barreled into the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential campaign, eventually becoming Bob Barr’s running mate,” writes Dave Weigel at the Washington Independent.
  • The LP has a shot at placing one of their members in the Georgia State Senate. Taylor Bryant is running in a January 5 special election for the Augusta area seat. He will face three Democrats and zero Republicans in the election. If no candidate wins a majority of the votes, the runoff election will be held on February 2. Learn more at his website.
  • Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson is rumored to be considering a run for president in 2012. This libertarian-leaning Republican just launched a new PAC called Our America. You can catch this podcast interview of Johnson for additional details.
  • Now that his campaign is over, former congressman and 2008 LP presidential candidate Bob Barr is writing for the Atlanta Journal Constitution again. Although the national LP website failed to mention that there was any federal debate over healthcare from September 10 to December 24, Barr has been paying attention to the issue. “The president told Gibson that if his health care ‘reform’ legislation is not passed quickly by the Congress, ‘the government will go bankrupt,’” wrote Barr. “Well, guess what, Mr. President – our country already is over $12 trillion in debt, and the estimated cost of your health care legislation far exceeds another trillion dollars!”
Libertarian Lists is sponsored by Forward Focus Media, LLC. Click here if you’d like to sign up to receive e-mail updates regarding the libertarian community.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Protester Pays San Diego Property Tax In $1 Bills

LPCA Executive Committee Jesse Thomas was among supporters of a San Diego tax protester who paid his $3700 property tax in one dollar bills:

In the video, the tax protesters ask government officials where they get the authority to collect taxes.

The Libertarian Party Platform says: "Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. [...] All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution."

The U.S. Declaration of Independence says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."  It goes on to say that when "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government". The protesters in the video do not say whether they plan to overthrow the U.S. government.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

California Libertarians Help Craft LPUS Platform Recommendations

The 2010 Libertarian Party Platform Committee met in Las Vegas on Dec. 12-13 and adopted a relatively modest set of 24 recommendations to the current "greatest hits" platform that the LP assembled in 2008 from language chosen from nine previous LP platforms.  That complete overhaul in 2008 came on the heels of a revolt by the delegates to the 2006 Portland convention, in which they deleted 46 out of the 61 planks of the 2004 platform and left the platform with massive holes necessitating the 2008 reconstruction.

The meeting seemed to confirm that the LP's platform wars were ended by the 2008 "Denver Accord".  That unofficial agreement transformed the Platform from 2004's detailed 14,000-word recipe for abolishing government to a 2500-word declaration of Libertarian policy principles that neither mandates nor precludes the complete replacement of government with markets.  There was in Vegas no effort to revert to a radically detailed abolitionist platform, nor did the PlatCom recommend adding any new language asserting a proper role for government.

Another sign of platform peace was in the roll-call voting.  Brian Holtz was the editor of the 2008 Platform draft that was chosen in Denver over the detailed radical platform offered by Rob Power, and both Californians are back on the 2010 PlatCom.  In Vegas they voted the same way on 22 out of the 25 platform roll-calls for which both were present.  On one of their three disagreements, Holtz in fact cast the lone "radical" vote (against language to "phase out" Social Security rather than "replace" it).

2008 Chair Alicia Mattson was elected Chair over Power, 16-1, after Power had declared the election a referendum on whether PlatCom can use teleconferencing for formal meetings (despite the absence of any Bylaws authorizing them).  Holtz was elected Vice-Chair with 12 votes to Power's 3 (and 2 for Adam Mayer).  M Carling was elected Secretary by acclamation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dec. 10: OC Book-Signing For Plunder! by Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut of the Pacific Research Institute joined the Libertarian Party of California in 2008.  From an email yesterday by LPCA Chair Kevin Takenaga:

The Forum Press is pleased to announce the 1st Southern California Book Signing Event for Steven Greenhut, author of  PLUNDER! How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries Controlling our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation. The event will be filmed by CSPAN.  Steven Greenhut was on the OC Register Editorial Board for eleven years. He is now Director of The Pacific Research Institute Journalism Center in Sacramento

"Greenhut has performed a great service for ordinary citizens and taxpayers with Plunder! With clarity and a compelling writing style, he reveals how public employees have, indeed, become 'America’s Protected Class.'”—Jon Coupal, President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Thursday, December 10, 2009
6:00 PM
Barnes and Noble
791 S. Main Street
Orange, CA 92821

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rob Power Running For LPUS Secretary

An announcement from LP San Francisco Chair Rob Power:

San Francisco, California, December 4, 2009. Rob Power today announced his candidacy for Libertarian National Committee Secretary.

“The time is right for us Libertarians to adopt a new strategy,” Mr. Power said. “Our Party is unique in its longstanding rejection of perpetual war, central planning, and government favoring certain classes of individuals over others. After nearly a decade of war for which most Americans now realize there was never any national security interest, and years into a recession prolonged by federal government policies, voters have caught up to the Libertarian Party’s longtime understanding about the nature of big government. Even those who have long shared our skepticism of Washington DC’s ability to solve society’s problems have recently come to the realization that their former ‘allies’ – the religious right – cannot be trusted to oppose the growth of government, especially when their operatives are elected to office. If our message of individual liberty and personal responsibility is to gain any traction in these key demographics who are most open to our recruitment, the Libertarian Party must have a new generation of leadership, rejecting social conservatism and reaching out in their own terms to those voters who may have lost their faith in big government only very recently.”

LPCA ExCom Mtg + Candidate Training Sat/Sun in Sacramento

From a Dec. 2 email from the Libertarian Party of California:

California's LP presents a day of candidate training for our Libertarian candidates Sunday, December 6th, in downtown Sacramento.

Candidates for public office plus their campaign staff should bring their questions and learn from experts. Get the complete Libertarian perspective about California's most pressing issues -- vital knowledge for creating effective sound bites -- plus all the do's and don'ts of campaigning in California.

Make a weekend of it! Be our guest at Saturday's Executive Committee meeting. Watch your elected officers tackle our end-of-year business and prepare for the Party's annual convention of delegates in Long Beach next February.

BONUS! Join your California LP Executive Committee at Sacramento's Fortune House Seafood Restaurant for on-your-own dinner in one of the private dining rooms. It'll be a great way to wrap up the final Executive Committee meeting for this year, so just ask for the Libertarian Party when you arrive.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Carolyn Marbry Running For LPUS Vice-Chair

An announcement from Carolyn Marbry. For more from and about Marbry, see the IPR discussion of the announcement.

Ontario, California - Libertarian activist Carolyn Marbry today announced that she is a candidate for Libertarian National Committee Vice Chair.

“This is such an exciting time to be a Libertarian,” Ms. Marbry said. “The coming decades will bring tremendous opportunities to the party as Americans grow more and more disillusioned with bank bailouts, the flagrant destruction of the right to marry for an entire group of Americans, attacks on our second amendment rights and never-ending wars, among other things. To reach out to these people and help our activists make real changes in policy, the party needs a new generation of leadership, one that welcomes and supports all Libertarians.

“We still have a lot of the same problems we’ve always had as a third party. Lack of ballot access, media “black out,” absurd representation of our ideas, mission creep… It’s time for new solutions to our old problems. Those new solutions start with leaving behind the old paradigm and focusing on new technologies and new ideas to build membership, activism and fund raising.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

San Jose Considers Banning Cycling With A Leashed Dog

From an Oct. 26 article by Lisa Fernandez in the San Jose Mercury News: 

On the heels of a deadly freak accident, San Jose is exploring a law to make the city the first in California — and possibly the country — to address the issue of bicyclists riding with leashed dogs.

Councilwoman Nancy Pyle is convening a meeting Wednesday night to gauge public opinion on whether the city should clamp down in some way to prevent what happened to Beverly Head on Sept. 16. The retired 62-year-old San Jose phlebotomist died after she hit her head when she got tangled up in a dog leash while walking along a popular South San Jose trail.

"This is a horribly tragic accident, but we can't legislate accidents," said Justin Grosso, a San Jose resident. Then there's trail users like Terri Gong, who says she usually doesn't like when government intervenes in the lives of ordinary citizens. But in this case, she said, there's a need for it. "I'm darn near a Libertarian," Gong said. "But at the very least, bikers should have their dogs on the right."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Comparing Top-Two Primary Law in Washington and California

From an October posting by Richard Winger in Ballot Access News:

Washington’s “top-two” law, in effect since 2008, is quite similar to the California “top-two” proposal that will be on the ballot in June 2010, but there are significant differences. In each instance, the Washington state version is significantly kinder to minor parties than the California proposal.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Libertarian Supervisor Blocks Limits On Who Can Run For Tax Collector

Libertarian Tom Tryon is serving his seventh consecutive term on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors since first being elected in 1984. From an Oct. 28 article by Michael Kay in the Calaveras Union Democrat:

Despite the hopes of Calaveras County Treasurer-Tax Collector Lynette Norfolk, future aspirants to her office will need only a California Driver’s License, after the board voted 2-2 on half her birthday wish — establishing continuing education requirements — resulting in no action.

The requirements are laid out in a little over a page of text in the state Government Code, but adopting them is optional, according to a County Counsel opinion. Under them, candidates are required to have either a degree in a finance-related field, served three or more years in a similar position with a public agency, or be certified as an accountant, financial analyst or cash manager.

“I’m very leery of putting conditions on what the voters can vote on,” said Supervisor Tom Tryon. County Counsel Jim Jones informed the board that the requirements, even if instituted, did not define any penalty for noncompliance.

An unsigned Nov. 4 editorial in the Union Democrat cited evidence against its own position, and then feebly invoked the bad example of occupational licensure:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Libertarian Councilmen Split on Greenhouse Gas Goals

The Mountain View City Council includes Libertarian Party member John Inks and economist Tom Means, a fellow at the libertarian Independent Institute. From a Nov. 5 article by Daniel DeBolt in the Mountain View Voice:

Using 2005 levels as the yardstick, the city wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent by 2012, with gradual reductions until emissions are reduced by 80 percent by 2050.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the emission reduction goals, with member John Inks opposed. Inks said it was important to have some goals for emission reduction, but felt that the city should study what could be realistically expected from environmental measures first instead of copying the goals of other cities. He pointed out that the city's biggest polluters, gas and diesel-powered vehicles, were largely out of the city's control.

Council member Tom Means said he would support the goals because they were "voluntary and unenforceable," though some council members said the state could impose penalties in the future.

According a city staff report, 56 percent of the city's 2005 emissions came from gas and diesel emissions, 25 percent from electricity, 16 percent from natural gas and 3 percent from waste and landfill emissions. Another chart showed that 13 percent of emissions came from residences, 21 percent from commercial uses and 6 percent from industrial uses.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Placer County Outreach Yields Surge In Registered Libertarians

A Nov. 6 email from California Libertarian Party Chair Kevin Takenaga:

Placer County Chairman Roberto Leibman informs me that the LP picked up 190 new registered Libertarians over the past two months in Placer County.

How did this happen?

The Placer County Registrar of Voters does regular outreach to local high schools and registers students who are close to voting age.

As part of this effort, Robert Page (Placer County Treasurer) and other party members, make a trip out to directly talk with students about libertarianism. If you'd like to learn more about how they do their work, contact Roberto Leibman at his email chair@placerliberty.org.

Roberto also suggests that we lobby our local county registrars to start a> similar outreach program in each county.

Great job Placer Co.!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lodi Resident Moves Town Toward Separating Church and State

Picture at right is of Jane Russell, who reported on demonstrations against the Lodi city council's prayer policy. From an Oct. 20 article by Maggie Creamer in the Lodi News-Sentinel:

The person who started the debate over prayers before Lodi City Council meetings has stepped forward and said a lawsuit is still on the table. Lodi resident Karen Buchanan made the original complaint about council prayers to the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. The complaint prompted the organization to send a letter to the city in May telling the council to enforce its own policy of "non-sectarian and nondenominational prayer" and eliminate references to Jesus Christ or the foundation would sue.

Buchanan appeared on the foundation's radio show on Oct. 12 to speak about the council's decision to continue invocations and allow uncensored prayers. She said the council's decision needs to be challenged in court. "I didn't go to the council meeting to go to church, and so that whole arrangement seemed just totally out of place," Buchanan said on the show. "I felt uncomfortable with being in a church service and being asked to bow my head and to stand and to show respect to a God who is not part of who I am."

The council voted Sept. 30 to broaden its prayer policy to allow religious leaders to offer uncensored prayers and to be more inclusive. The policy also includes opening up the invocation or "Call to Civic Responsibility" to all religious and secular groups.

Buchanan, who has lived in Lodi for at least three years, had originally remained anonymous, but she decided to come forward after receiving support from groups in the area including Lodi United, which resident David Diskin formed to protest the council allowing prayers. "I was just bowled over because I had felt as though I was alone," Buchanan said on the show.

A Nov. 5 article by Maggie Creamer in the Lodi News reports on the first invocation under the new policy:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lawrence Labs Discovers Heaviest Element: Governmentium

Lawrence Livermore Labs in Lawrence, California has just announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Governmentium".

Governmentium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Audio: Lochner and Constitutional Protections For Economic Liberty

Timothy Sandefur of the Pacific Legal Foundation spoke last month at Orange County's Chapman University School of Law on the subject of Lochner and of constitutional protections for economic liberty in general.  The mp3 audio is 55 minutes long:

Based in Sacramento, California, Pacific Legal Foundation is a public interest legal organization that fights for limited government, property rights, individual rights and a balanced approach to environmental protection.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Articles Contrast Governments of California and Texas

From an Oct. 17 article by Kate Galbraith in the New York Times:

Texas’s secret, besides strong winds and lots of land, is its lack of regulation. Wind developers rave about the fact that, in essence, they need few state permits to build a turbine farm. They deal mainly with local officials, who are generally permissive (energy, after all, is a well-loved commodity in Texas).

California, by contrast, has all but stifled wind developers. The state built several big wind farms in the 1980s — but has added very few since, because of the cost and delays of complying with stringent state environmental regulations.

Such snags are a key reason California has turned to solar power. It’s more expensive than wind, but plastering rooftops of homes and businesses with panels takes up no extra land. There is still plenty of paperwork involved, but rooftop solar largely avoids regulatory snarls (although there is the occasional only-in-California court battle between tree lovers and solar-energy lovers).

Here is the entirety of a must-read article by William Voegeli in City Journal:

The Big-Spending, High-Taxing, Lousy-Services Paradigm
California taxpayers don’t get much bang for their bucks.