How Much for Just the Election?

After 4 years of changing the rules, ignoring the Ohio Constitution, dragging their feet, spending an estimated $575,000 on lawyers and legal shenanigans, the Ohio Republican Party has succeeded in thwarting choice at the ballot and discouraging competition.
Ohio voters deserve better than political dynasties and empty promises.
Get the Libertarian Party back on the ballot!
Sign the Minor Party Petition Today!

Why Johnny Can’t Debate.

In 2014 the Republican controlled Ohio legislature passed Senate Bill 193 (amending ORC 3501.38). This bill was designed and timed to prevent the Libertarian Party of Ohio (LPO) from appearing on the ballot in 2014. At the same time, the Ohio Republican Party (GOP) spent an estimated $575,000 to represent a “guileless dupe” in challenging the candidate petitions for the Libertarian Governor Candidate. With both avenues for ballot access denied the Libertarian Party of Ohio moved forward with placing our candidate for United States President on the 2016 ballot. Even after achieving better than the required 3% of the general vote the Secretary of State denied LPO Minor Party Status on the grounds that the POTUS candidate did not appear on the ballot as a Libertarian. Taking the matter to the Ohio Supreme Court the LPO was denied justice again, with the dissenting justice, William O’Neill observing that the ruling was “circular reasoning.”
The Libertarian Party of Ohio must now collect 50,000 validated signatures from registered Ohio voters to qualify for Minor Party status and place our candidates on the ballot.

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Johnny Miller answers the Candidate Forum Questions.

Planned Questions for Candidates – Johnny Miller

Ohio Congressional District 15 Candidates Forum this Sunday, March 18th, from 2pm to 4pm.

  1. What do you think can be done realistically to address the epidemic of gun violence in America?
    1. In 2012, 64% of all gun-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides. Maybe we should focus on mental health a little more
    2. Ostracize media outlets for unscrupulously using bad poll results as accurate depictions of public opinions to push a political agenda
    3. Murder is horrible plain and simple. Let’s stop romanticizing it and start looking at how to actually make people safer instead of just focusing on gun control
  2. What do you think would be the optimal healthcare system for the country?
    1. Free Market
  3. Over 3 million women marched on January 2018 for various reasons. What do you think are the top 3 issues concerning women’s rights? What do you plan to accomplish to address these issues?
    1. The feminist movement as it is today is a blight on women’s rights in America
      1. Education should be a priority here instead of governmental interference
    2. The mental health issues go widely untalked about despite women taking more than twice as many suicide attempts as men with a much lower success rate
      1. Education reform
    3. The concept that wearing a costume shaped like female genitalia is somehow empowering
      1. Let us educate our children to be functioning members of society instead of crying foul every time our feeling get hurt by something someone said
  4. According to some sources, parts of District 15 are being devastated by the opioid addiction epidemic. Do you believe that drugs, particularly opioids, are a problem in the district? If so, should it be addressed at the federal level? If not, what is your perspective?
    1. I don’t believe drugs to be the root of the problem
    2. I do believe that the lack of a regulated drug supply to be A problem but still not THE problem
    3. The descheduling of cannabis at the federal level is the first step in combating the opioid crisis
  5. If your party is in the minority, what can you do to be an effective member of Congress? What issues do you think are available for cooperation between Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and Green Party representatives?
    1. Present legislation designed to make life better instead of trying to push a political agenda
  6. Do you believe that humans are causing climate change? If so, how would you balance the increasingly imminent concerns of climate change against the energy needs of the economy? What would you be able to accomplish that would move the country toward that policy?
    1. Are we causing it? No…but I would like to get politics out of the scientific community and let them do their thing and find out if we are influencing it
    2. The bias in this question is noteworthy
  7. With competition from natural gas, solar and other forms of energy, the Coal industry is on the decline.  As a significant employer in southern Ohio, including some counties in this District, what is your strategy for addressing the coal industry and employment?  Do you support the expanded subsidies for the coal industry?
    1. I do not support subsidies to push political agendas nor do I support intervention from the government to manipulate the market
  8. Healthcare facilities and providers are difficult to maintain in rural areas. Does the government have a role in shoring up rural healthcare and, if so, what would you advocate?
    1. No, I do not believe the government has a significant place in our healthcare
    2. Yes, I do believe that many if not all of our healthcare woes can be attributed to failed government intervention
  9. What are your three biggest priorities and what tangible ways will this impact the district?
    1. Deschedule cannabis
      1. This would let us create a legitimate business out of an already booming industry
    2. Abolish the IRS
      1. Eliminating the income tax would allow local money to stay local instead of the federal government siphoning money out of small, local, separated economies
    3. Bring the troops home
      1. We are a proud district and bring our troops home would be a great benefit to the morale of the people within the district
  10. What specific methods will you commit to for acquiring input from your constituents? Describe specifically how you will obtain input and provide information on an ongoing basis as well as how you will do so for major legislation that is before the Congress.
    1. Beings that this is the tech age I will have a much more connected approach and while the specifics are not set in stone I will do MUCH more than our current representative
  11. How big of a problem do you think the deficit, and the debt that is growing out of it is? What, if anything, should we do to bring this under control and how would you accomplish that?
    1. The deficit is a huge problem and the $21T in debt will be my generation’s problem…we are spending away our children’s futures for our political fortune and fame
    2. We need to cut spending by more than just a couple percent…
  12. Do you believe we need to strength the Social Security program?  If so, how would you do so? If not, what is the alternative for elderly and disabled Americans?
    1. Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme and needs to be abolished in a manner as to not jeopardize the lives of our elderly and disabled
  13. If your party is the majority in the House, what will your priorities be for legislative action?
    1. Corruption and transparency, ending the ongoing wars, auditing the governmental agencies, enforcing constitutional limitations, etc
  14. The great recession has not ended for the rural areas of our district.  Is it appropriate that Congress help the rural economy recover?  If so, what goals would you have for that effort? If not, what other things would you do as a representative to help these areas?
    1. I would support efforts by local organizations to improve the area…I do not believe federal intervention is necessary or beneficial
  15. What is your position on the minimum wage (and upon what is it based)?
    1. End it…allow people to decide for themselves how much they want to pay employees
  16. What, if anything, do you think that Congress can do about gerrymandering across the country? Would ending partisan gerrymandering help voters? Help other political parties than Democrats and Republicans?
    1. The gerrymandering is a more relevant issue in election manipulation than the incessant Russian probe…but because the DNC is equally at fault, the amount of media coverage it gets is limited to independent outlets or in reports not usually viewed by normal voters
    2. Most voters have no idea what gerrymandering even means
  17. What, if anything, do you like about the new income tax law that was passed at the end of last year? What, if anything, would you change and how would you accomplish that?
    1. I like that it reduced taxes a bit
    2. I would’ve reduced taxes further and along with that defunded many aspects of the federal government
  18. Do you believe that there is a problem with voter fraud in the US? In Ohio? If so, what steps should be implemented to address it? If not, what of the current anti-voter fraud actions do you believe are the most damaging to access to voting?
    1. I have a skeleton plan for implementing a comprehensive voting procedure reform that I will release at a later time
    2. Yes I do believe there is voter fraud and vote manipulation
  19. How will you balance priorities of the different demographics of the rural, suburban, and urban areas in the district? What ties them together and what is unique for specific areas?
    1. We are all Americans, most of us want to have a successful life and are constantly bombarded with legal red tape and the fear of fines
  20. What is your opinion of farm subsidies in their current form? If you think that changes should be made, how would you accomplish them?
    1. I do not support subsidies
  21. What do you think is the best approach to dealing with marijuana in the United States? What would you be able to accomplish that would move the country toward that policy?
    1. I think the most reasonable answer to this is to deschedule it and allow the states and individuals to exercise their 10th amendment rights

Johnny Miller will attend Ohio Congressional District 15 Candidates Forum this Sunday, March 18th

UPDATE: Libertarian candidate Johnny Miller will be attending the Ohio Congressional District 15 Candidates Forum this Sunday, March 18th, from 2pm to 4pm.
Mr Miller will making a short speech and then be available at an event provided table to listen to your concerns and discuss our opportunities in moving Ohio toward liberty.
The organizers of the forum are still declining to allow Mr Miller to participate in the moderated forum. We are disappointed with this and continue to press for inclusion.
Please join us at the event and show Ohio we stand together for a brighter tomorrow.
https://www.facebook.com/events/452759418471622/

LP Updates!

By way of Michelle MacCutcheon,

During the past month:

– we got our first Libertarian statewide officeholder, who is now running for U.S. Senate

– the New Mexico Libertarian Party was recognized as an official major party

– an ex-Democratic state legislator joined the party to run as a Libertarian for Secretary of State

– the Nevada party is on the cusp of achieving official status by exceeding 1% of all registered voters

– our Libertarian state legislators in New Hampshire introduced a bipartisan marijuana legalization bill, and other bills relating to ballot access

– our Libertarian state senator in Nebraska got her occupational licensing bill through committee with the enthusiastic support of both the ACLU & the state’s biggest conservative think tank

– Libertarians in Oxnard, California successfully gathered enough signatures to recall the mayor and three city council members

– the Libertarian mayor of Calimesa, CA attracted national press attention for the massive savings, and butting heads with the unions, over his fire department reforms

– the Ohio Libertarian Party passed over 81,000 signatures on its party petition, working toward the ~55,000 valid signatures needed, and according to Richard Winger, the most gathered by any third-party in any state since 2008. ( currently at 48K+)

Good job, guys.

– Michelle MacCutcheon

Two epiphanies that can change the world!

An epiphany is “an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking.” Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Bruce Jaynes shared with me two epiphanies that could radically change our understanding of politics.

The first came from talking with a friend who is a Republican elected official. The friend was saying that he ran against a Libertarian who just “stole” votes from him. Bruce corrected him, saying that Libertarians don’t steal votes, they just earn them. On reflection, his friend agreed that he was right, but that Republicans train their candidates and officials to believe that.

The second came from Bruce learning from a psychologist that Americans are politically dysfunctional. In our natural desire to avoid pain, we have allowed ourselves to be conditioned in two dysfunctional beliefs. Changing those beliefs is painful for us. They are: “American government can never change” and “All politicians are corrupt once elected.”

We Libertarians cannot get our message across until we make others aware that all three beliefs are false. Here is the truth:

  • Libertarians cannot steal votes. The only way to steal a vote is through some highly sophisticated election fraud – and the systems in place make that almost impossible. Libertarians earn votes with strong candidates and sound beliefs.
  • Governments at all levels can and do change when enough people believe that change is needed. In the last fifty years, we have ensured that people of both sexes, and all races and sexual orientations, can enjoy basic civil and voting rights; increased transparency in government through information access (“sunshine”) laws; taken the first steps to end the drug wars; and ensured districts are equal in size for legislative and congressional offices. Change is hard, but it is not impossible. We ended one war (Vietnam) and greatly cut back the scope of two others (Afghanistan and Iraq) through protests and political action.
  • Too many politicians do look after their own interests once elected, but not all. Some refund all or part of their salaries to government – others work tirelessly for the people at a time in life when they could enrich themselves far more in the private sector. Some even make good on promises to serve only one term in office.

Political change sounds like a lot of work. And it is. But we can make that work easier once we show people how their preconceived notions are untrue, and how our ideas will lead to better lives for all of us.

 

  • Harold Thomas

A Message for 2018

Now that 2017 had come to a close and 2018 has begun we at the Franklin County Libertarian Party would like to give all of our supporters a word of thanks and a wish for a happy new year.  We have big plans for 2018 and beyond and they will require support from all of our friends, not just financial but in volunteering as well.
We plan to continue our ballot access petition drive as well as petitions drives and support for any Libertarian candidates who choose to run for office.  For these efforts we will need “boots on the ground” as it were.
We plan to continue with our monthly Social Meetings at various locations around the Columbus area along with a few special events in the works.
It is our sincere hope that you will continue to stand with us as we continue to fight for all of your freedoms all of the time.

Tax Levy Vote

The Franklin County Libertarian Party, in their December 19th Executive Committee Meeting, expressed its disappointment with the Franklin County Commissioners for their recent vote to make permanent a five-year tax levy passed in 2013. The Party believes that if the County Commissioners need the levy extended that they should make their case to the public and have it voted on in another referendum. To do otherwise, they maintain, is to break a promise made when the levy was originally proposed in 2013.
“We can see that the Commissioners are compassionate people — with other people’s money,” Said Harold Thomas, Executive Committee Chairman. “If they have managed the county as well as they would have us believe, renewing the tax should be an easy sell. As taxpayers, we have the right to decide if that tax should be extended. Franklin County Libertarians will hold them accountable for taking that right away from us.
As a result of the Commissioners’ actions, Harold has been asked to chair a coalition of several different groups including Liberty Republicans, Tea Parties and others to put the sales tax levy to a referendum.

Candidate Quick Start Guide Video

Franklin County needs energetic people to run for office! Libertarian elected officials get to make policy that reduces the scope of government and increases personal liberty.

We encourage first-timers to run for local offices in odd-numbered years. Because the Libertarian Party lacks ballot access in Ohio, candidates running this year will run either for non-partisan offices or as independents. To run, you must file a declaration of candidacy with the Franklin County Board of Elections, with completed petitions containing the number of signatures required for the office you are seeking.

Local offices include city and village council, township trustees, and school board members. With a term or two of local office, you will have the experience and credibility to run a successful campaign for county, state, or federal office, but if you have the qualifications to run for a different office, we won’t turn you down!

We can help you. Please complete this form, and our Political Director will be in contact with you.

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GET THE LP BACK ON THE BALLOT!

We need your help to get the Libertarian Party regain ballot access in Ohio. This article helps explain what ballot access is, why it is important to us, and why the Libertarian Party of Ohio does not currently have it. To volunteer, check the “Circulate Petitions” or “Validate Petitions” box on the Volunteer form.

What is “ballot access”?

“Ballot access” is the right to put a political party label under a candidate’s name on the ballot. Having ballot access also enables a party to hold a primary. Under Ohio law (ORC 3501.38, amended in 2013 by Senate Bill 193), a political party must get 3% of the vote for Governor or 3% of the vote for President to gain ballot access for four years. The party must again get 3% of the vote for President or Governor to renew its access for another four years. Supporters of SB 193 designed and timed this bill to prevent the Libertarian Party of Ohio (LPO) from appearing on the ballot in 2014. To correct this injustice, the LPO filed several lawsuits. The federal district court in the first case,  Libertarian Party of Ohio v. Husted, ordered the Secretary of State to keep the LPO on the ballot in 2014 (Court documents).  This case went to the Supreme Court of the United States, which decided to let stand a federal appeals court ruling against the LPO. A suit filed in the state court system in 2015 challenged the constitutionality of SB 193 on the basis of Article V, Section 7 of the Ohio Constitution.

In the most recent case, State ex. rel. Fockler v. Husteddecided January 20, 2017, the Court ruled that Gary Johnson’s 3.17% vote for President did not qualify the Libertarian Party to get on the ballot, despite the clear wording of Section 3517.01(A)(1)(a) of the Ohio Revised Code. The dissenting justice, William O’Neill observed that the majority ruling involved “circular reasoning,” The LPO filed for reconsideration, which is currently pending in the Ohio Supreme Court.

Why the Party needs to circulate petitions now

The short answer

The short answer: The law requires us to circulate petitions containing more than 55,000 valid signatures (with at least 500 each from eight of Ohio’s 16 Congressional Districts), and file them by August 2018 to allow our candidates to show the Libertarian label on the ballot. Because petition gathering usually results in a large number of invalid signatures, the state party will attempt to gather at least 110,000 signatures statewide.  The Libertarian Party of Ohio office will be open throughout this year to receive and validate signatures using a method proven successful in our effort to get our 2016 Presidential candidate Gary Johnson on the Ohio ballot as an independent. Volunteers are validating the signatures in a process so laborious that — to do the process correctly — it would take a full-time employee over a year and a half to validate the petitions.

You can help us get back on the ballot by circulating petitions and validating them. This link will let you download petition forms and inform you of state validation events. The Franklin County Libertarian Party is planning additional circulation and validation events. For dates and times, see our Facebook page. For additional information, contact Tricia Sprankle, state political director and petition coordinator.

The long answer, including juicy details

In 2014, Charlie Earl, Libertarian candidate for Governor, submitted petitions containing 1,478 signatures, far more than the 500 signatures required by law. After Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office unofficially indicated that the petitions were acceptable, it received a protest that some of them did not include a properly completed statement naming the employer of a paid circulator (who in fact was an independent contractor). This statement is required by law, but was never enforced. Following that protest, petitions containing over half of Charlie Earl’s signatures were invalidated, disqualifying him from the ballot. Because the protest was filed at the last minute specified by law, Mr. Earl had no opportunity to respond to the protest or to take any corrective action. It therefore became impossible for the Libertarian Party to secure the 3% vote for governor required to stay on the ballot. This was one of the issues in Libertarian Party of Ohio v. Husted, which the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously decided in favor of the Secretary of State (Source).  A second suit filed at the same time, State ex. rel. Linnabary v. Husted, was filed by Attorney General candidate Steve Linnabary, whose petitions was rejected on the same grounds.

The Ohio Republican Party’s involvement

Ohio law requires that a protester must be a member of the same political party as the candidate. The protester in this case was Gregory Felsoci, a carpenter and registered Libertarian living near Akron. The judge in an opinion referred to Mr. Felsoci as a “guileless dupe,” whose testimony “lacks even a basic understanding of the nature of the protest he agreed to sign.”

Testimony revealed that an operative in the Kasich for Governor campaign, Terry Casey, with the help of a local Republican, found Mr. Felsoci and persuaded him to sign the protest. Despite having very limited means, Mr. Felsoci was soon represented by the high-power Columbus law firm of Zeiger, Tigges & Little. Mr. Casey testified in September that he took responsibility for paying Mr. Felsoci’s legal bills, and would look for donors to pay them.

The “donor” turned out to be the Ohio Republican Party (ORP). In a filing to the Ohio Elections Commission at its hearing May 8, 2015, the ORP admitted to spending $300,000 to pay Zeiger, Tigges & Little the costs of representing Mr. Felsoci (newspaper story). (This figure is now estimated to be greater than $575,000).

The extraordinary timing of the protest was made possible by e-mails and texts made between Mr. Casey and two employees of the Ohio Secretary of State, Matt Damschroder (Director of Elections) and Jack Christopher (General Counsel), which began two weeks before the protest was filed.

These facts make it clear that the Ohio Republican Party and Gov. Kasich’s campaign conspired to keep Charlie Earl off the ballot, fearing that the Libertarian vote in a close race would have resulted in a Democratic victory for governor.

 

There is no evidence to suggest that Gov. Kasich had any personal knowledge of Mr. Casey’s or the ORP’s activity. This is to be expected. Campaign operatives take great care to hide such operations from their candidates, to give them “plausible deniability.” However, it would be fair to question the Governor about the character of the people he retained to work for his election.

Help us get back on the ballot by circulating petitions and validating them. This link will let you download petition forms and inform you of state validation events. The Franklin County Libertarian Party is planning additional circulation and validation events. For dates and times, see our Facebook page. For additional information, contact Tricia Sprankle, state political director and petition coordinator.