News & Opinion

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. 🙂 )

Please donate.




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I would like to : * Recruit Volunteers
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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

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