RE: LIBERTARIAN PARTY STATUS CHALLENGE – FRANKLIN COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF OHIO
DATE:  MAY 29, 2019

The Franklin County Board of Elections met on May 28, 2019, at 2:00 pm to consider a challenge to the candidacy of Libertarian candidate Rob Bender for Reynoldsburg Ward 3 City Council Representative.

The pretext of the challenge to Mr. Bender is the validity of his candidate petition signatures and the Minor Party status of the Libertarian Party to field candidates under Ohio law. The Ohio GOP has a long history of challenging Libertarian candidates in order to preserve the two-party system.

The Administrator for the BOE verified, in the May 28 hearing, that the signatures are valid and sufficient for the candidacy. Unhappy with that answer, Board Member Doug Preisse (R) asked his employee if he would like to “change his mind.” The answer was, “no.”

Too bad Mr. Preisse.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio gained Minor Party status in July 2018 after submitting over 100,000 petition signatures as required under Ohio law. Minor Party status remains valid if either the party’s gubernatorial or presidential candidate earns at least 3% of the vote. Ohio law allows a Minor Party two election cycles to reach this threshold.

The 2016 Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 3.17% of votes in Ohio, yet was ruled to not have achieved the required 3%.

Libertarian Party attorney and Capital Law School professor Mark Brown represented Mr. Bender at the hearing. He directed the Board to the facts that the challenge on ballot access was made outside the time allowed for such challenges and the elector bringing forth the challenge is not a Libertarian. The challenger to the petition was not present at the hearing.

Franklin County Libertarian Party Chair, Michael Sweeney, said of the challenge,

“We know the law is on our side, but the Republican and Democratic Board Members are not. They appeared unprepared for this hearing, baffled by their own rules, and casually claimed the benefit of ignorance that they zealously deny others who come before them.”

The BOE will meet again on Monday, June 3, 2019, at 3pm to consider this matter, which was continued at the request of BOE attorney to review Ohio law.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio annual Conference will be held in Toledo on May 31 – June 1 and is open to the public.

For more information on ballot access laws or the GOP history of ballot censorship contact:

Franklin County Libertarian Party  614-412-2026

Political Director, Kryssi Wichers 740-808-2158


Our activism is only possible with your support.

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Franklin County Libertarian Party strongly opposes Ohio House Bill 6.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRANKLIN COUNTY LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF OHIO
DATE:  MAY 29, 2019

Ohio House Bill 6 will negatively impact Franklin County residents and businesses by raising electric bills and unjustly subsidizing corporations with taxpayer money. It is for these reasons that Franklin County Libertarian Party strongly urges the Ohio House and Senate to reject this legislation.
House Bill 6 intends to repeal Ohio’s current clean energy Renewable Portfolio Standards and create a new program; the Ohio Clean Air Program.
This bill will increase electric rates for consumers by $1.00 per month to supply The Clean Air Program’s fund. This “Clean Air Fund” would then use its revenue to subsidize two unprofitable nuclear power plants in Northeast Ohio.
House Bill 6 also intends to legislate permission for two coal plants, one in Southwest Ohio and one in Indiana, to charge Ohioans in their regions an additional $2.50 per month fee to ensure the plants’ profitability.
The Franklin County Libertarian Party stands for free market principles, and this bill is in direct contradiction to our beliefs. This bill artificially inflates electricity costs for consumers and businesses. This bill also artificially props up unprofitable energy producers who have spent years lobbying for government subsidization. Taxpayers should not be held responsible for poor business decisions that have led to these four power plant’s financial trouble.
We urge our members and partners in opposition to speak out against this harmful legislation, and we urge legislators to stand against cronyism and vote against House Bill 6 and it’s Senate companion.


Our activism is only possible with your support.

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FCLPO Endorses Candidates

Franklin County Libertarian Party of Ohio Central Committee, at the recommendation of the Executive Committee, is pleased to endorse the following candidates for election in Franklin County.

Tricia Sprankle, running for the office of City Attorney for Gahanna, Ohio

Jennifer Flower, running for the office of Trustee for Prairie Township, Ohio

Rob Bender, running for the office of City Council Ward 3, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

If you are interested in donating or volunteering for these candidates you can fill out our volunteer form, and we will forward you to the appropriate campaign resource. You can also donate directly to FCLPO using the link below and indicate a preference for the candidate we should forward your support.

Donate to FCLPO

Endorsement for Thomas for LPO Executive Committee Chair

My fellow Ohio Libertarians, we have found ourselves at a new moment in the history of our state party. For the first time in a long time our foundation of volunteers, members and candidates did not implode or vaporize after a major election.
We did not turn on each other with sharpened knives, bicker over fault or point fingers over mistakes made. We did not disappear into the mist of disappointment or compromise our principles for the promises of opposition rhetoric. We have stayed the course, stayed true to our ideals and shown that our courage is more than convenience.
We have calmly reviewed our lessons learned, assessed our strengths and weaknesses and identified where we need focus.
This may seem a minor accomplishment, however, I can assure you it is a monumental tribute to the momentum we have gained and the confidence we have grown. Both for ourselves and the silent witnesses still on the sidelines.
At the core of this achievement is a quiet and resolute leadership. An unwavering commitment to showing up, working harder and assuring that mundane details are in order.
It is with this accomplishment in mind that I am privileged to endorse my friend and mentor, Harold Thomas, for re-election to the role of Chair for the Libertarian Party of Ohio Executive Committee.
It has been my honor and benefit to learn all I can from Mr. Thomas and pay forward his patience, persistence and perspicacity.
When things were at their darkest, Mr. Thomas provided a clear and simple plan, steps for accomplishing growth and building that allowed even our small group to seem like giants. We were emboldened to keep coming back, keep asking “What’s next?” and take seriously our own big ideas. Without the certainty of Mr. Thomas’ support and sounding board of experience, I do not think our investments would have matured as well, or at all.
Mr. Thomas has demonstrated an unswerving ability to collaborate, coordinate and conduct business in a professional manner with all measure of amateurs, dilettantes and gadflies. (I do not use these terms as rebuke for any missing qualities of fellow colleagues and activists, I found myself having fallen through portions, or the entirety, of their definitions over the past 3 years. We have each grown with honest guidance, and given the space needed to spread our wings.)
Mr. Thomas has diligently laid the groundwork for new initiatives and endeavors that put our principles into action and demonstrate the practical benefits of our philosophy.
I encourage each LPO Central Committee member to seek qualities for the role of Chair that reassure our volunteers, donors and candidates, strengthen our alliances internally and without, and communicate clearly when times are good and times are hard.
We have a new kind of opportunity ahead of us, to keep steady our momentum, double down on our investments and prove to ourselves we are here to stay and working to win.
Safe journey.

Michael Sweeney,
Chair, Executive Committee, Franklin County Libertarian Party Of Ohio

Co-Signed,
Chad Harris, Vice Chair, Executive Committee
Pat Hoffman, Treasurer, Executive Committee
Ken Holpp, Secretary, Executive Committee
John Stewart, At Large, Executive Committee

FCLP Endorses Wichers for LPO Vice-Chair

It is my honor to endorse Kryssi Wichers for the role of Vice Chair for the Libertarian Party of Ohio.

In her ten years of liberty activism Kryssi has been a tireless force for positive change and growth. Mrs. Wichers exemplifies the best attributes of libertarianism: compassion, selflessness, loyalty, thoughtfulness and forthrightness.

Working with Mrs. Wichers professionally I have found her to be an excellent communicator, reliable and persistent.

Franklin County Libertarians have benefited greatly from Mrs. Wichers’ political acumen and insight, working closely and collaborating with other county affiliates and development groups.

Mrs. Wichers’ credentials as an established liberty activist, planning, coordinating and executing marches, rallies, campaigns and clean ups, are well known locally and nationally, providing an unprecedented level of earned media exposure on a regular basis. While many activists that receive media attention find themselves reluctant to share the spotlight, Mrs. Wichers possesses that rare quality combination of honesty, humility and grace under pressure.

Progress requires action. As a political party we can only move forward by putting our principles into action with an unwavering commitment to integrity.

Elections come and go, issues wax and wane, volunteers, candidates and leaders find and lose enthusiasm, but the flame of liberty must be carried on.

I encourage all LPO Central Committee members to look at the public record of action, and not only potential, when deciding their conscience.

Michael Sweeney,
Chair, Executive Committee, Franklin County Libertarian Party Of Ohio

Co-Signed,
Chad Harris, Vice Chair, Executive Committee
Pat Hoffman, Treasurer, Executive Committee
Ken Holpp, Secretary, Executive Committee

Celebrate Our Year Past And Look Forward

The past year has seen magnificent gains for our county party.

We just celebrated our wonderful volunteers with our annual Volunteer Appreciation Night, and it was a smashing success. We have a lot to celebrate.

2018 saw the Libertarian Party of Ohio return to the ballot after nearly 6 years.

We ran multiple state-wide candidates, supported local candidates across the state and proved the value of our outreach platform.

We’ve sent out thousands of emails, this monthly newsletter and in-between updates, kept our website up-to-date, hosted guest speakers on important topics and delivered candidate yard signs across this county and next!

Many thanks to Ron Hood, Kirsten Pomales and Jim Fedako for their gracious time educating us on topics about right to work, school choice and education funding in Ohio.

We planned, organized and executed a successful Libertarian County Convention with guest speaker Michelle Darnell, conducted county and state party elections, participated in the Stonewall Pride Parade and Festival (our Pride balloons were a big hit!), walked in the DooDah Parade (with an awesome truck!), walked with another great parade float in Canal Winchester, promoted our cause and candidates at the Franklin County Fair, gun shows and helped out with other county and street fairs.

 We raised money to pay for these events, bought t-shirts for consistent volunteer appearance, and acquired a smart looking table cloth!

It might seem mundane, but these events, t-shirts, table cloth, this monthly newsletter, the Executive Meetings and monthly socials are all critical elements to building beyond politics and policy. We are building community.

We are serious about working to make things better and put things right.

As we step forward again, with a new year ahead of us, we invite you to join us for a social, post a comment on Facebook, or submit your own commentary for this newsletter. We can’t do this alone, no matter how well intentioned. We need boots on the ground, voices on the phone and hands to wave signs.

Contact us by form, contact us on Facebook or call our volunteer phone number, (614) 412-2026.

Don’t be surprised if you hear from us first!

Safe Journey!

—-
Michael Sweeney
Chair, Executive Committee, Franklin County Libertarian Party of Ohio

The Unknown Future

The election has come and gone and, despite all our efforts, we fell short of 3%.  In fact, the combined total of both the Libertarian and Green Parties fell short of 3%.

What does this bode for the future?

Unknown.

By a strict reading of Ohio Election Law we should still have access until the 2020 Presidential Election, but when has government ever followed the law?

Should they deny us access yet again, what then?  Do we roll over and play dead?  De we surrender to the politics of fear that drive the mainstream Parties?

In a word, NO!

A friend of mine majored in History, with a particular interest in Church History.  One night, several months ago, he spent almost an entire hour explaining in great detail his belief that the worst thing that ever happened to the Christian Church was it being not only legalized by the Emperor Constantine but being made the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Until that time, he argued, believers had to be committed to the cause because their very lives were at stake.  Afterwards, as a legally recognized religion it became fat, lazy and corrupt in just a few generations.  He argued that the loss of religious liberty feared by so many today might be the best thing that could happen to the church because the dead wood would be cut away and only those most committed would remain.

So, if we lose ballot access will that spell our doom?

Again, NO.

Some might be tempted to walk away from the Libertarian Party in frustration, believing we will never have a chance, but those who remain will be those most committed.  And those most committed can work wonders.

Ballot access or no, our core message of liberty will remain the same. Others will say that our votes are doubly wasted and all we’re doing is shouting at brick walls, but walls have been known to crumble.

All the loss of access will mean is our task will be a little bit harder.

But worthwhile causes usually are.

Ken Holpp, Communications Director, FCLP

Ready, Set, RUN! 2019 Election Starter!

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. 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. See what county, city, village and township elections are in your area.

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! Before starting your campaign, take a quick look at our “Candidate Quick Start Guide” video (27 minutes).

Franklin County Libertarians offer free tools for outreach through our Contactshelper platform. Organize volunteers, donors and voters with tags and create campaigns for easy instant phone and text banking. Import your own personal contacts to get a jump start on organizing, and import voter records from your local Board of Elections to identify walking lists and likely voters.

We also highly recommend getting copy of “How to win a local election“, or one can be provided to you (you just have to promise to read it!).

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

Contact Information * Required
Name: *
Phone:
Email: *
What office do you want to run for? (required) : *

2019 Local Elections around Franklin County

The following city, county, village, and townships have local elections in 2019! Are you interested in running for office and supporting your community? Get started today!

CITY OF BEXLEY
4 city council
2 school board

CITY OF CANAL WINCHESTER
Mayor
3 city council
2 school board

CITY OF COLUMBUS
Mayor
4 city council
4 school board

CITY OF DUBLIN
3 city council at large
2 school board

CITY OF GAHANNA
Mayor
City attorney
3 city council at large
2 school board

CITY OF GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS
Mayor
3 city council
2 school board

CITY OF GROVE CITY
Mayor
City council at large, ward 2 & ward 4

CITY OF GROVEPORT
Mayor
2 city council
2 school board

CITY OF HILLIARD – partisan
Mayor
3 city council
2 school board – non partisan

CITY OF NEW ALBANY
Mayor
2 school board

CITY OF REYNOLDSBURG – partisan
Mayor
City attorney
President of council
4 city council – all four wards
2 school board

CITY OF UPPER ARLINGTON
3 city council
3 school board

CITY OF WESTERVILLE
3 city council
2 school board

CITY OF WHITEHALL
Mayor
Treasurer
City attorney
President of council
3 city council at large
2 school board

CITY OF WORTHINGTON
3 city council
2 school board

VILLAGE OF BRICE
Mayor
2 city council

VILLAGE OF HARRISBURG
Mayor
2 city council

VILLAGE OF LOCKBOURNE
Mayor
2 city council

VILLAGE OF MARBLE CLIFF
Mayor
2 city council

VILLAGE OF MINERVA PARK
Mayor
2 city council

VILLAGE OF OBETZ
Mayor
2 city council

VILLAGE OF RIVERLEA
Mayor
Clerk-treasurer
2 city council

VILLAGE OF URBANCREST
Mayor
2 city council
Board of public affairs – 2 spots

VILLAGE OF VALLEYVIEW
Mayor
2 city council

BLENDON TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

CLINTON TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

JACKSON TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

MADISON TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

MIFFLIN TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

NORWICH TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

PERRY TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

PLAIN TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

PLEASANT TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

SHARON TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

TRURO TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
Fiscal officer
Trustee

EDUCATIONAL SERVICE CENTER OF CENTRAL OHIO
Franklin county sub-district

Regarding the 2018 election and moving forward

From the Chair, Franklin County Libertarians

Another election come and gone.

We are so very proud of every candidate, volunteer, donor and supporters. We cannot adequately express our sincere thanks and admiration for all of your hard work.
Without your tireless efforts none of this would be possible.

Elections are hard on everyone involved. Someone always wins, lots of people lose. When we win we get to point to the victory, whatever the cost, and say it was worth it. Without a win to wash away all the sacrifice and pain, we only have our imagination to wonder what went wrong.

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.”

Take a break, be sad, be mad, and be ready to move forward.

After The Election

At this point the Ohio Secretary of State has published unofficial election results and they are not flattering for the Libertarian Party of Ohio.

At last update our campaign for Ohio Governor earned 77,184 votes for 1.79%. This is shy of the 3% widely publicized as required to maintain ballot access for a Minor Party. (Other sources cite higher numbers, notably NBCNews.com at 108,886 with 2.5%) The final count from each county board of elections will be certified in 30 days.
Link: http://vote.ohio.com
Link: https://www.sos.state.oh.us/globalassets/elections/directives/2016/dir2016-26_eom-ch_13.pdf
Link: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3517.012
Link: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2018-election/midterms/oh

What has not been widely published is the fact that as a newly formed Minor Party, only 118 days old, we are covered by additional rules in the Ohio Revised Code, specifically, Chapter 3501.01 section F, 2, (b).
“A newly formed political party shall be known as a minor political party until the time of the first election for governor or president which occurs not less than twelve months subsequent to the formation of such party, after which election the status of such party shall be determined by the vote for the office of governor or president.”
Link: https://www.sos.state.oh.us/media-center/press-releases/2018/2018-07-12B/
Link: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3501.01v1

Emphasis ours. “_which occurs not less than twelve months subsequent to the formation of such party_”

What this means, in plain language, is the Libertarian Party of Ohio is an official Minor Party until after the next Presidential election in 2 years, when our status will be reviewed again under the results from that election.
Whether the incoming Ohio Secretary of State decides to follow the law as written, or ignore it again as politically inconvenient, depends entirely on how politically ambitious they are as newly elected to the role. (This particular uncertainty is why we chose to focus so entirely on the 2018 election Nov 6th as our first best option for retaining ballot access.)

What’s next?

The next party primary is May 7th, 2019. It is currently expected that we will be included in this primary and participate as a political party. We are moving forward on this assumption, and will recruit, plan, and fundraise accordingly. This will be the first concrete opportunity to force the issue of party status and we intend to do so.

Anything sooner?

We live here, we like it here and we are working together to make it better.
We are members of our local communities and there are opportunities every day to be involved.
We invite you to join us and prove to everyone, we will not stand down, we will not go away, and we will not stop fighting for liberty.

Look for our upcoming Legislative Committee Meeting announcement and agenda.

Join us at our next Executive Committee Meeting, Tuesday Nov 20th at 7pm, LPO Office, 6230 Busch Blvd, 43229

Join us for our Volunteer Appreciation Social, Wed Dec 19th at 6:30pm at Eclipse Ultra Lounge at The Continent 6240 Busch Blvd, 43229

Your friend in liberty,
Michael Sweeney
Chair, Franklin County Libertarian Party of Ohio