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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:

  • Judge Jim Gray: Jan retirement party and fundraiser in SoCal, Feb fundraiser in Monterey
  • John Inks joined Mountain View City Council
  • Junior Statesman of America - tabling at 3 or 4 conventions 
  • Coalition w/ Free And Equal Foundation
  • Chris Agrella special congressional election
  • Campus Facebook groups
  • Southern California Regional Libertarian Conference
  • Visalia follow-up meeting in Central Valley
  • San Diego fundraiser @ Richards'
  • Incumbent parties' registration slipping, LP edging up in absolute numbers:
  • 2006: 84465 (0.53%) 2008: 81548 (0.52%)  2010: 84462 (0.50%)
  • Open rate of LPCA email blasts is 20%
  • Challenges: Prop 14 top-two primaries; "competition with other freedom-oriented movements"; "internal matters"
  • Capitol candidate rally Apr? 2010

Mike Seebeck was elected Southern Vice Chair over Matt "Boomer" Shannon, 27-23. Dan Wiener was elected to be the LPCA's regional rep on the Libertarian National Committee, while the outgoing rep Mark Hinkle is running for LNC Chair.  Scott Lieberman defeated Seebeck 46-29 to remain the LPCA's alternate rep to LNC.

ExCom incumbents TJ Campbell and Jesse Thomas did not run for re-election.  Elected to ExCom terms were the following, with the top five being elected to two-year terms by the 68 registered delegates:
  • 55 Flavio Fiumerodo - built the LP Ventura County web site
  • 54 Dana McLorn - incumbent, and Chair of LP Ventura County
  • 51 Chris Agrella - prolific LP candidate
  • 49 Alan Pyeatt - incumbent, LP member since 1981
  • 48 Paul Darr - Chair of LPSBD
  • 47 Dave Bowers - Secretary of the LPLA
  • 46 Jill Pyatt - an appointed incumbent who had recently resigned
  • 45 Glynda Perrotte - Treasurer of LPSBD
Rich Vanier and Savva Vassiliev won the alternate ExCom seats.  Judicial Committee incumbents Mark Hinkle, Alan Hacker, and Rick Nichol did not run for re-election. Incumbent Dan Wiener finished two votes out of the running, and those elected were:
  • 37 Bob Weber
  • 37 Mike McMahon
  • 33 Less Antman - incumbent, reportedly new JudCom Chair
  • 26 Ray Fostore
  • 26 Rick Bronstein

Treasurer Brian Darby reported that the California Freedom newsletter had been suspended until it can be operated without losing so much money. He projected a $70 profit in the 2010 budget. The convention spent 90 minutes in executive session to hear a report from the Judicial Committee. The convention also heard interviews with LNC Chair candidates Mark Hinkle, Wayne Root, and Ernie Hancock, as well as with Vice Chair candidate Carolyn Marbry and Treasurer candidate Aaron Starr.

Delegates adopted Platform provisions defending the right of political parties to nominate or endorse candidates of other parties, and opposing the mandatory use of body-scanning technology in airports.
The convention also adopted one Bylaws change, specifying that anyone convicted of a felony against a person or property shall not be an LPCA officer or endorsed candidate without the consent of 2/3 of the Executive Committee.

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