“Here Am I; Send Me!”

Election season is on us again and we have a problem: unopposed seats.

By last count, at least 12 seats were running unopposed.

Those being:

Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas
Franklin County Coroner
Franklin County Recorder
Franklin County Sheriff
Franklin County Treasurer
State Representative Ohio House District 01
State Representative Ohio House District 02
State Representative Ohio House District 03
State Representative Ohio House District 05
State Representative Ohio House District 07
State Representative Ohio House District 08
State Representative Ohio House District 09

This in intolerable.  This is not democracy.  Surely, we can do better.

During last year’s election, I was appalled at the number of unopposed seats on the ballot.  I would love to see fewer.

Letting seats run unopposed is giving up.  It’s saying we no longer care who makes the decisions that affect our lives.

Surely, there must be some among those reading this who are willing and able to run for public office and at least give the voters a choice.

Well, I am.

I just so happens that I live in District 8, and I don’t like unopposed races either so I’m tossing my hat into the ring.  I’m entering the race for State House Representative for District 8.

Do you live in any of the other Districts?  Will you consider running?

If you are interested, See the Run for Office section at the end of this newsletter.

Hope to see you on the ballot.

Ken Holpp, Secretary, Franklin County Libertarian Party and District 8 Ohio Statehouse Representative candidate.

Choosing Our Lords And Masters

“Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, is has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”   
Winston Churchill

Democracy has been called many things: 
“The rule of the ignorant” 
“The tyranny of the majority”
“Two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for supper”

While it is all that, unless something drastic happens, it’s the system we have to work with, and I’m not sure I’d have it any other way. 

It’s messy and open to all kinds of corruption, but it is participatory…for those who choose to participate.

Or are allowed to participate.

I would love to recommend a slate of Libertarian candidates for office this election cycle, but Ohio no longer recognizes us as a political party, nor the Greens, nor the Constitutions, nor anyone else that’s not a Republican or Democrat.

But that’s not going to change on its own.

Perhaps the worst thing about democracy is that it takes work, and people who are willing to work – especially to break the two-party system. Let’s get the word out about the Two Party Lie and do our work to ensure that there are more than two candidates available for the races. And then vote for them.

And running for office would also be helpful.  In my own district, with the exception of City Council and the Board of Education, all other candidates are unopposed. 

There is no excuse for that.

We need to get more involved to make the changes we want and not just sit back and let other people make those decisions for us. 

Ken HolppSecretary, Franklin County Libertarian Party


Every now and then I go on social media to remind myself why we deserve extinction. My most recent example is something that’s been going asking if people have noticed that every couple that appears in television commercials is interracial. And the typical response is that it’s the work of woke corporations trying to push diversity on the general public. 

And there’s the outcry every time a black actor is cast in a Star Wars project.

Bob Jones University, a Baptist college, used to have rules against interracial dating until they were dropped following a media outcry after George Bush spoke there during the 2000 Presidential Campaign. They now allow interracial dating, provided both parties bring notes from their parents saying they give permission for their adult children to date someone of another race. Without said note, the university will respect the wishes of the parents (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

Now what does this have to do with Roe vs Wade? 

When Roe v Wade was struck down on June 24th some people hailed it as a victory; some people decried it as a step backwards for women; others said the issue was merely sent back to the States where it should have been all along. Some states will keep it legal; some states already have trigger laws to criminalize abortion the moment Roe v Wade is overturned.

But does anyone think it will end there. 

Justice Clarence Thomas, in his written opinion, cited several other decisions he would like to see reversed using the same justification used to reverse Roe, these include the the decisions legalizing same-sex marriage, same-sex activity, and contraception. The Texas State Republican Party just condemned all three as part of their State Party Platform. They’re already talking about bringing those issues back before the Supreme Court. 

But there’s a decision Justice Thomas didn’t mention, the decision that legalized interracial marriage. 

And that brings me back to the beginning. 

I’ve seen too many people decrying interracial couples on social media not to think they wouldn’t jump at the chance to have that decision reversed too. I’ve seen too many people jump on the bandwagon of religious extremism to justify their own hates and fears.

We, as a people, need to step up and protect our freedoms from being eaten away by those who always believe they’re doing the right thing. 

Otherwise Roe will be only the first domino to fall.

Ken HolppFCLPO Communications Director 

Ludo Fore Putavimus

A lot of exciting things are coming in the next couple of months – both the State and National Conventions and the Central Committee elections.  I highly encourage you to participate in as many of these as you can.

As the Republicans and Democrats increasingly turn to their fringe groups for support (and battle their influence at the same time) it is ever more important that we stand up and show people the better alternative we offer.

As the world spins ever more out of control it is important to show people that the cause of liberty is the best path to sanity.

So donate or get involved and help us grow our movement.

You might just have fun doing it.

Ken HolppCommunications Director – FCLPO

A Tale Of Two Conflicts

In March of 2003, the US invaded Iraq on the flimsiest of pretenses. 

In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, also on the flimsiest of pretenses. 

We hailed our invasion as brave and valiant and necessary for our security. 

We condemned their invasion as barbarous and the work of a power-hungry tyrant.

I’ve been wondering just what the difference is between the two.  The only thing I’ve come up with is, when we invade a country it’s good; when they invade a country it’s bad.

But wait, you say, we were attacked on September 11, 2001.  We were…but not by Iraq.  They didn’t even have the stockpile of weapons of mass destruction we claimed they had.

So, again, what’s the difference between the two?

I see people all over social media praising the Ukrainian citizens fighting against the Russian military as brave and noble.  But some of these same people also condemned the Iraqi people as evil and cowardly for doing the exact same thing against our military. 

And don’t even get me started on Central America. 

If an action is right, shouldn’t it always be right?  If an action is wrong, shouldn’t it always be wrong?

In V For Vendetta, V was the hero for assassinating the leaders of a currupt government and blowing up Parliament.  In The Batman, The Riddler is the villain for doing the exact same thing. 

Is it not the height of hypocrisy to determine the morality of an action based on who it is performing said action?

It seems to me that invading countries that have done you no harmshould always be wrong, and citizens of said countries should always have the right to defend themselves.

Better still, let’s stop trying to play the world’s policemen. 

Ken HolppFCLPO Communications Director

What Was It All For?

Some years ago there was a science fiction series called Babylon 5. As one of the many running storylines, one of the alien races called the Centauri invaded and occupied the homeworld of another alien race called the Narn.  In exchange for help from the former Narn ambassador in eliminating the insane Centauri Emperor, the Centauri ambassador promised to end the occupation of the Narn homeworld.

As the Centauri were withdrawing, the Centauri ambassador’s aide, one of the more sympathetic characters in the series, looked out a window to watch the Narn celebrations and said, “What was it all for?”

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, watching our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban, the group we invaded to overthrow, retake control of the country, I have to ask myself the exact same question.

What was it all for?

The government and military we put it placed couldn’t surrender fast enough to the Taliban. Every gain women made in the last 20 years evaporated seemingly overnight as the pre-invasion status quo reasserted itself.

What was it all for?

Trillions of dollars spent, thousands of lives lost or maimed just for everything to go back to the way it was.

What was it all for?

Or better yet, what can we learn from it?

Maybe countries don’t like being occupied, even if it’s “for their good.”  The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 and eventually declared it unwinnable and withdrew with their tail between their legs. We just did the same after 20 years.  Even the great and glorious British Empire tried their hand at it a few times in the 1800s and eventually decided to finally withdraw after the third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919. 

(It’s telling that Dr Watson from the original Sherlock Holmes stories was wounded during Britain’s war in Afghanistan, and the Dr Watson from the recent modern-day Sherlock was also wounded in the modern-day war in Afghanistan.)

I joked recently that Afghanistan must be a pretty impressive country having fought three global super powers to a standstill. 

I also found it interesting when President Biden recently remarked that citizens with guns wouldn’t stand a chance against a government with F-15s.

Apparently, they can.

“But what of the Afghan citizens?” You may ask, “What about all the women who had a taste of freedom and, overnight, are back to the world of The Handmaid’s Tale?”

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s sad and tragic, but what is the alternative?  The speed with which the country fell and the speed with which the Afghan army rushed to surrender tells me that whatever “gains” Afghan society made under our occupation would not have survived our eventual withdrawal whenever that may have been.  I really don’t want to say this, but, from firsthand reports from the ground, it almost seemed like all the men couldn’t wait to be back under Taliban rule.  That doesn’t say a whole lot for a country we “liberated”.

There is a line from another television show that seems germane to the situation, “Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose.”

Ken HolppCommunications Director, FCLPO

It’s That Time Of Year

Once again we reach that time of year where we are given the privilege of participating in the governance of our communities.  Once again candidates promise the voters things they can’t possibly deliver.  Once again voters believe them.

Also, once again, you will be told that you only have two choices, Republican or Democrat.

Once again, that is a lie.

I have never seen anywhere outside of police state efforts directed solely to limit voter’s choices at elections.

The State of Ohio has already knocked the Green Party off the ballot and tried to knock one of our own candidates off but were thwarted by the Ohio Supreme Court (thank you Rob Bender).

I’ve no doubt they will try again in 2020.

The only way to stop that is to make our voices heard and on Tuesday, November 5th, we will have the chance to do just that.

We have three endorsed candidates running for offices in Franklin County in this election: Tricia Sprankle, running for City Attorney in Gahanna, Jennifer Flower, running for Prairie Township Trustee, and Rob Bender, running for Reynoldsburg City Council for Ward 3.

If you live in these communities you can help put these three into office, but only if you actually vote.

To quote a line from Babylon 5, “If we don’t create the future, someone else will.”

Ken Holpp, Communications Director, FCLPO.

Enough Already!

It’s been a rough weekend around here.  In the span of just a couple of days we’ve had two, two, mass shootings leaving in its wake dozens of families now having to think about planning funerals for the ones they lost rather then spending the time with them that they never will again.

And already the gloves have come off.

Almost instantly, people from both sides of the gun control issue have begun shouting their views and pointing their fingers and raging against each other.

Can we not stop for just a moment and let the families grieve before tearing at each other’s throats?

But I’m not here to talk about guns.

I’m here to talk about people.

I’ve watched in recent years as the rhetoric in our country has descended from civil debates to the level of drunken bar room brawls. Politicians, in their bids to gain support, constantly paint “The Other” as the source of society’s problems.

“If you have a different skin colour and espouse different views, you should go back to where you came from!”

“If you have a different skin colour, I’m going to call the police every time you walk your dog through MY park!”

“If you protest MY President I’m gonna jump out of my truck and punch you repeated in the face! I don’t care if you are 61 years old!”

Seriously? Is this who we’ve become?

We can debate guns until we’re all blue in the face, and I’m sure we will, but that’s going to solve our problem. The only way to solve our problem is to start treating people like people again.

We need to recognize the mental health issues that drive people to commit these acts and address them before hand…and that means getting involved in each other’s lives. Get to know the people who live around you and talk to them and with them. Treat everyone with the same kindness and compassion that you wish to be treated with.

If everyone did this, maybe you’d see incidents like ths weekend’s go down and possibly even stop altogether.  And the beauty of it is no governments need apply.  People being kind to people, people looking out for each other, people caring for each other enough to step in when they see a potential problem requires no special funding, no special agencies, no government oversight.  Just simple human kindness.

It’s time those who wish to lead us preach hopes and dreams and not hate and fear because hate and fear can only lead to violence.

And I’ve had about enough of that.

That’s my two-cents.

Ken Holpp, Communications Director, Franklin County Libertatian Party.

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?


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

The Two-Party Lie

In a world where we have an abundance of choices everywhere:
Paper or plastic? Or did you bring your own?
Would you like fries with that? OR salad, soup, apple, yogurt?
Combinations of sugar-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, allergen-free or sugary, wheaty, nutty, irritating selections are available.

Yet we are often told there are only two choices in an election.

There are many parties to choose from. And even before the mainstream options become unpalatable enough, people should be aware of them. In addition to the more colorful, impromptu organizations, there are a number of solid, established parties that struggle for visibility to the public.

The two-party conundrum is a lie propagated by both major parties to avoid a coalition-style government based on compromise. Mind, there’s enough gridlock in legislation with just two parties refusing to compromise. But with more parties, there should be more motivation to make things work. Because when you don’t have the majority unless you work together, you have to work together, not just bitterly wait it out until the next election where the tide may turn on the popular vote. If there’s never a 50% majority, then there’s no excuse for stalling.

Even today I’m told I’m just throwing away my vote and ensuring that [any candidate’s name here] will lose to [that candidate’s opponent’s name here].  My response is always “Voting for what you believe in is never a wasted vote” and that “If I wanted [said candidate] to win I’d vote for [said candidate]”.

The legacy parties still try to keep us Libertarians out of play.  The Republicans kicked us off the ballot in 2014 to ensure the reelection of John Kasich and did everything to keep us off for four years.  The only reason we’re back on the ballot now is because we turned in twice the number of required ballot access petition signatures. The bar for third-party petitions is even set higher then for the legacy parties.  Even with that our candidates are still often excluded from public debates. Just last month and attempt was made to disqualify Kryssi Wichers not only from running for office in Fairfield County but also from voting.  Fortunately the Board of Elections saw through this attempt and unanimously voted in her favor.  Nevertheless the opposition continues.

On November 6 we have a chance to step up and speak out and say we will no longer buy the two-party lie anymore.

Jeanette Holpp, contributor

Ken Holpp, Communications Director, FCLP