News & Opinion

Celebrate Pride and Libertarian Party History

Since our founding in 1971, the Libertarian Party has held true to the platform of promoting civil liberties which inherently include same-sex marriage and individual expression and relationships. Our statement of principles reinforce and remind us of our primary purpose, liberty in our lifetime.

“The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. The government is instituted to protect individual rights. The government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself.”

In our first national convention the Libertarian Party nominated the openly gay John Hospers to be our candidate for President of the United States. Hospers, and running mate Tonie Nathan, received an electoral vote by a faithless elector from Virginia, making him the first LGBT candidate (and Nathan the first female) to do so.

The 1976 presidential campaign further expanded on this position calling for a repeal of all laws governing consensual sexual relationships between adults.

After 40 tireless years promoting equality in opportunity the Libertarian Party is pleased to see so many of its positions adopted and enacted to protect and embrace our wonderful LGBTQ community.

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


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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.


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For The People By The People

Despite its hypocrisy on many levels, the American Government’s stated principles are a great design for managing the necessity of government.  It facilitates a “free market” while keeping the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of its citizens the primary purpose.  We have lost that primary purpose of the American Government.  The American Government is now just a king, his court and the rich “nobility” (aka large corporations) trying to figure out how to make themselves richer.  The average citizen no longer has any rights other than to support the cause of the rich getting richer.

We have been lulled to sleep and distracted by America’s newest scandal (The Apprentice- The Presidential episodes) while the actual pillars that make America great have crumbled only to be replaced by the same system of inequality and injustice America was “created” to avoid.

Every politician in the state of Ohio is among the rich and elite.  In Ohio the estimated net worth of the richest politician was $23,005,561 in 2015 with a median net worth of $3,813,525 (according to opensecrets.org) .  Meanwhile, the median household income in Ohio is less than $55,0000  and the median net worth for US citizens is $81,850 (2014).  This means that from a financial point of view, we no longer have a government of the people.  Our government now serves the needs of large corporations with huge market value and rich political donors, exclusively.  This includes the lobbyist-regulator-lobbyist revolving door.

How can we demand a government provide a free market system that works for and protects citizens when the people who make up the government, financially, only reflect the top 10% of the population?   Didn’t we have a revolutionary war to fight against the tyranny of kings and the filthy rich who tax, extort and abuse everyone else?

Protecting the citizens is not an obstruction to free markets but rather it is the essential essence of free markets.  Our country is knee deep in an economic conflict that will determine if the principles of our country remain consistent for generations to come.  It is imperative that our elected officials truly reflect the citizen population they represent and in 2019, they do not.

In conclusion, we need to return to the small government, representative democracy: for the people, by the people.  That’s what truly Makes America Great! The new “American Oligarchy” run by the unholy trinity of the elite, Big Business and Big government does not make America Great, it makes America suck.  This new oligarchy only serves its own interests and hinders the prosperity of the American people.  It traps the freedom and wealth of America in the top 10% causing the 90% to struggle to make ends meet with subpar wages and the nearly impossible task of navigating through miles of red tape and astronomical fees (with no mention at all of the capital needed) just to start a small business and actually participate in the free markets.  We need to return to real free markets and the small government, representative democracy spelled out in the Constitution of the United States of America. A democracy where WE THE PEOPLE of the United States govern ourselves.

Vote Libertarian!

By James and Jira Simpson, FCLPO At-Large Member 

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

The Freedom to Reject the Best

Posted to Mises.org 08/08/2006

A new study suggests that private schools are not inherently better than public schools. Surprised? Enough people were such that the study, funded by the US Department of Education, has created a stir in the education arena, as well as in the national news. But I want to argue that the results are meaningless, and for reasons not having to do with the methodology employed in the study.

The authors of Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling analyzed math and reading scores of nearly 7,000 public schools and more than 500 private schools on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress at the fourth and eighth grades. NAEP was the chosen assessment tool since it is considered to be the national achievement test and is used to assess student academic performance against national standards.

Though the title sounds impressive, the findings simply suggest a conclusion. Nothing has really been proven and no new truths exposed. I could begin by questioning the whole concept of empirical studies that suggest this or suggest that. I could ask, “What truths have been brought to light by any study that is couched in such a vague qualifier?” I could attack all the assumptions that went into the model and then list those that did not. Had I gone that route, I hopefully would have raised enough doubt in the reader that the study would be discarded as worthless.

But the real error here is more philosophical than empirical. Studies such as these simply show that a deeper ill exists, a malaise caused by government interventionism.

Consider Consumer Reports

The popular magazine reviews consumer goods based on a proprietary set of standards. They test, analyze, test, analyze, etc., until they are satisfied as to the quality of the products under review. CR then assigns individual product ratings and notes one product as a best buy. Though most Americans accept CR’s results as being of excellent quality, the noted best buy is not usually the market best-seller. Yes, I will occasionally look at CR prior to purchasing a good, but I almost never buy the best buy. I agree that the CR results are scientifically valid based on their standards, but that doesn’t mean I am in the market for the scientifically valid, CR best-buy product.

Though it may only last six months, I want the new hairdryer complete with the latest features, bathed in the hottest colors. That’s my choice. My preference rank for features and colors is above that for durability. Who is to say that I am wrong? In a free market, anyone. But, they cannot force me to act otherwise.

What would happen if Consumer Reports had legislative and regulatory authority akin to government? We would all be forced to purchase the best buy and we would all spend our lives unsatisfied. On the surface it sounds great to have a leading research organization controlling the market for “the general good and welfare,” but consider your own actions vis-à-vis CR’s best buys.

The same holds for a government-run education system. Even if the federal government mandated a set of standards that were scientifically valid according to the DOE national outcomes, the set of standards and outcomes would not be the standards and outcomes most Americans would choose as acting individuals.

Scientific research can create goods that are bigger, smaller, faster, slower, etc. But just because research can create the good doesn’t mean that there is a market for it. No one wants a hypodermic needle that is rougher, wider, longer, etc. The superlatives associated with improvements and innovations from scientific research are not always desired by consumers.

In education, the best that DOE could be is a truly benevolent authority. It could gather the nation’s greatest thinkers to divine standards of education outcomes and employ the top psychometricians, statisticians, etc., to create assessments that are mapped to those standards. At its hypothetical best, this brain-trust would simply function as CR does in the products market. The assessments would be scientifically valid and could rank achievement and note the educational best buy — based on the arbitrary set of DOE standards. But parents and students, as well as community members, teachers, and radicals, etc., would be unsatisfied; just as the consumer would be unsatisfied having to always purchase the CR best buy.

So, what’s the solution? Simply, let the market reign. [1] A free market system of education would create for those who seek different options a system that encourages the implementation of the spectrum of educational choices — best viewed as experiments, just as each new product, service, store, etc., is a market experiment. The successful experiments become the market standard that new entrepreneurs seek to surpass.

These choices would involve all aspects of education — including pedagogies, methodologies, etc. — which would afford all parents the ability to satisfy their desires for their children’s education. Each idea would be evaluated by the parent, the education consumer, ex ante over the summer according to individual preferences and ultimate goals, and once again ex post at the end of each school year.

Parents would choose their standard of results and they would seek out entrepreneurs who would then hire teachers and administrators that could deliver the parents’ vision. The entrepreneurs would purchase products to implement the vision and the science community would be engaged to improve old products and innovate new ones — all due to the market pressures of the freely acting parents, the consumers. This is the proper direction of improvements and innovations, from the consumer back to the scientist, engineer, researcher, etc.

The standards set by the parent would drive the research that would deliver the product, not the reverse. [2] Currently we have a system where the standards are set by a myriad of governments and agencies — standards no one wants or agrees with — and we have a spectrum of research whose real goal is to drive the standards and grab the tax dollars.

There are scientific winners in the field of the delivery of quality, basic education, such as Direct Instructions, etc., but we know a significant number of parents, teachers, and administrators don’t give a hoot about reading, writing, and arithmetic. They want affective learning — the feel-good, Progressive educationist-babble currently in favor — and long for the ideal child, the product of the latest version of Trotsky’s proletarian paradise .

I disagree with them, but their solutions may actually end up being correct, or they will fail. Only a market can show whether a solution is right or wrong.

That said, we have to keep in mind that Consumer Reports creates valid ratings that we mostly ignore, and we are all better off because we continue to make our own choices. Our individual wants drive improvements and innovations to provide for our greater satisfaction. Why should education be any different?

Notes

[1] The free market is the only economic system where we can disagree yet live peacefully. My wife likes Coke while I prefer Pepsi. In fact, I’d rather drink a glass of baking soda than a glass of Coke (OK, a little hyperbole for effect). Due to the free market in soft drinks, my wife and I can live happily ever after. Under interventionism, or plain socialism, the fight becomes which bland flavor will be served by the scowling apparachik wearing a faded Babushka. Choose freedom every time.

[2] Certainly a scientist could act as an entrepreneur prospector and create a product even though no current desire exists. But if they fail to meet future needs, they will suffer financial loses. The current system does not discipline the scientist since government purchases the product whether the education consumer wants it or not.

Reprinted with kind permission from original source.

Posted to Mises.org 08/08/2006

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

Opioid reliance is health matter, not criminal.

Volunteer, Donate and Get Involved.

We cannot continue to treat opioid reliance as a criminal matter.

This is a public health crisis brought on by  decades of reckless pharmaceutical companies, overwhelmed doctors and a trusting public just looking to manage extraordinary and daily pain.

People who are addicted to nicotine are encouraged to quit smoking, but can buy cigarettes, vape, chew gum or get patches at convenience stores and pharmacies on every corner.

People who are addicted to alcohol are encouraged to join Alcoholics Anonymous, but can buy beer or liquor in restaurants,  convenience and grocery stores in every neighborhood.

People who are addicted to caffeine are promoted as hard workers, go-getters, celebrate their addiction in popular media and can buy coffee, soda, chewing gum and even infused soap in every store, everywhere.

People who are addicted to opioids are ostracized, humiliated, and left to manage their addiction through street dealers, violence, uncertain quality, police harassment, crippling fines, jail time, possible overdose and finally, death.

Prior to Mike DeWine’s crackdown on “pill mills” 4 years ago people addicted to opioids could go to a doctor, have a candid conversation about their pain and receive a prescription for medicine they could fill at any corner pharmacy.

Now doctors are terrified of writing opioid prescriptions, threatened by careless, clueless and heartless Ohio bureaucrats who care only for being “hard on crime” and punishing anyone who falls outside their framework of the perfect taxpayer.

Just let people talk to their doctors again, and just let doctors do their jobs again.

This is all we need to pull this crisis back from the horror it has become.

This is what we need to let people live their lives.

Let Doctors be Doctors.

Let people live their lives.

Volunteer, Donate and Get Involved.

Donate just $3 a month to help grow a strong county party, allow volunteers to participate in community events and support liberty minded issue development and candidates. (More is always welcome as well. 🙂 )

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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