Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bernier says no to merger with Libertarians

‘I am not a communist’: Maxime Bernier doubles down on People’s Party name amid criticism - National | - Katie Dangerfield:

September 19, 2018 - "Maxime Bernier said his new conservative party — the People’s Party of Canada — has nothing to do with communism, but about putting the 'power back in the people.'

"This comes after the leader of Canada’s Libertarian Party, Tim Moen called the name of Bernier’s party 'a bit too left wing for me' and described Bernier’s policies as 'milquetoast' and not daring enough.

"'Everyone who knows me, they know that I am not a socialist. I am not a communist,' Bernier said in an interview with Global News’ Morning Show on Wednesday. “It’s a name … the People’s Party, I am working for the people and we want to put the power back in people.'

"Although criticizing the name of Bernier’s party, Moen has also reportedly said he may be interested in merging parties. However, Bernier said it will not happen.

"'It’s not the first time the Libertarian Party wanted to have me as their leader. As you may remember at the end of their leadership they offered me their party, I said no at that time and I am saying no right now also,' Bernier said....

"Bernier vowed the People’s Party of Canada would be competitive in time for the 2019 federal election. But when asked how he expects to compete with the Liberals and Conservatives, Bernier said ...he’s raised around $140,000 in a month....

"'People are giving money to our party because they believe in our ideas so I am pretty confident that we will be competitive,' he said."

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Nevada LP keeps ballot access via registrations

Nevada becomes fourth Libertarian state affiliate to exceed 1% of voter registration | Libertarian Party - Bob Johnston:

September 9, 2018 - "For the first time in party history, the number of Nevadans registered to vote as Libertarians exceeds 1 percent of the state’s total voter registration.

"Therefore, the Libertarian Party (LP) of Nevada will retain ballot access as long as it maintains its share of at least 1 percent of the registered voters, in which case it will not have to rely on any specific election results in order to retain its party status.

"Thanks to Richard Winger for bringing this news to our attention. (See his Sept. 5 coverage at the Ballot Access News website.)

"Nevada is the fourth LP state affiliate to have garnered at least 1 percent of a state’s registered voters. Alaska, Colorado, and Nebraska can also claim a share of over one percent.

"This November, ten Nevada Libertarians are seeking the votes of those registered Libertarians and their fellow voters in races for federal, state, and local office.... Learn about the 2018 Nevada Libertarian candidates at the LP Nevada website:

"The Nevada slate is part of the approximately 800 Libertarians running for office at all levels of government this November. Learn about them at

"As of Sept. 5, the LP has ballot access in 48 states plus the District of Columbia."

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

LP of Canada to vote on merger, Moen tells CBC

Libertarians considering a merger with Bernier's People's Party | CBC News - Catherine Cullen:

September 17, 2018 - "Tim Moen may not like the name of Maxime Bernier's new party ('a bit too left-wing for me'). He may not think the former Conservative minister's policies are daring enough ('milquetoast libertarian' is how he described them). But the leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada is still considering a merger with Bernier's new political venture.

"'If party membership votes to merge [with The People's Party of Canada], I look forward to standing as a candidate and preaching the gospel of liberty in a principled manner like I've always done,' Moen told party supporters in a recent video.

"A spokesperson for Bernier's People's Party said 'merger' might not be quite the right word for what's being discussed — it could be something of a takeover of the Libertarian party structure by Bernier....

"Bernier is continuing the process of gathering signatures and completing the other steps required to obtain official party status, said his spokesperson Martin Masse.

"However, Masse said Elections Canada rules require a party to run a candidate in a by-election before that party can start handing out tax receipts to donors. By taking over the Libertarian Party and renaming it, he said, Bernier's venture might be able to take a shortcut to that lucrative step. But Masse said the new party isn't counting on the Libertarians....

"Moen acknowledged that there are many policy areas where Libertarian members would like to go farther than Bernier. Many Libertarians believe in legalizing all recreational drugs, for example — an idea in which Bernier has shown no interest.

"Historically, Moen said, Libertarians also have favoured fairly open borders and distrust letting government handle immigration issues. Bernier has said he wants to decrease immigration levels and argues Canadians need to talk about how to maintain Canadian values against the alleged effects of immigration.

"The merger could still be worthwhile, said Moen.... 'The biggest thing is that we see some level of commitment to restraining government and the principles of liberty that we think Canada and Western Civilization is founded on,' he said."

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Florida Libertarians run no statewide candidates

A new strategy for Libertarian Party of Florida: no statewide candidates - WMNF 88.5 -  Seán Kinane:

July 19, 2018 - "Four years ago the Libertarian Party of Florida ran candidates for statewide office, placing third in races for governor and attorney general; but something changed this year: there are no Libertarian candidates running for governor or any cabinet office in Florida....

"Ryan Ramsey, the Bradford County chair of the Libertarian Party of Florida ... says it’s a new strategy by the party to focus on winnable local elections and building a team of experienced campaigners....

"'A governor’s campaign or an attorney general campaign, if you have a great candidate — even if you know you’re going to get a low percentage of the vote — is a good way to get your message out there.... Adrian Wyllie was an excellent candidate for governor (in 2014). He ... got me interested in the LPF by seeing him out there. So, it can be beneficial, but for the most time it’s not. If your candidate is not really charismatic and good it could almost hurt you.

"'[T]he goal of the Operation First Step is to run large amounts of candidates for smaller offices: counties, localities. And also to put an eye on unopposed seats, or even vacant seats. I’ve actually got some guys I installed on the Bradford County Soil and Water Conservation District because it was vacant seats... They ... met with the body ... and ended up getting appointed [laughs] by the current Soil and Water Conservation District. So, on June 22nd [closing of qualifying for candidates in the 2018 election] ... basically they’re going to be elected....

"'I’ve got a mayor of Newberry, Florida, over in my Alachua affiliate. I’ve got all sorts of county-level candidates. That’s basically the reason that you’re not seeing a lot of these statewide races. We’ve got a few guys running for [State] House.

"'The idea: we want to build a cadre of qualified candidates for statewide offices and House and Senate races in the state.... The idea is to get more people involved, let the cream rise to the top, empower people in their local communities where 70% of the laws that affect your business and your life really happen.

"'The big difference you’re going to see is: you’re probably going to have a local campaign that you can support and go meet the people and get yourself involved in.... And that’s another thing ... if we have dozens and dozens of campaigns for smaller offices, all those people are going to gain experience in being a campaign treasurer or doing the social media outreach for the campaigns or all these various things that campaigns need to succeed. So, it’s basically  training a cadre of both candidates and staffers to really build the party and take it to the next level....

"'So basically we have a plan to focus locally over the next couple of cycles. And then we’re going to break into the State House and then a couple of cycles later start trying to break in to the Federal government.'"

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

U.S. gun laws disarm cannabis users (I)

Guns or marijuana? Firearm-owning cannabis users facing a choice - Mark Scolforo, Associated Press:

January 15, 2018 - "As gun-loving Pennsylvania becomes the latest state to operate a medical marijuana program ... authorities are warning patients that federal law bars marijuana users from having guns or ammunition ... but the reality of how the policy might be enforced in Pennsylvania and other states is a little muddier. That includes the question of whether people who already own guns might have to surrender them, instead of just being prohibited from making new purchases....

"State laws allowing medical or, more recently, recreational use of pot have long been at odds with the federal prohibition on gun ownership by those using marijuana. But the government has traditionally taken a hands-off approach. Since 2014, Congress has forbidden the Department of Justice from spending money to prosecute people who grow, sell and use medical pot....

"The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [ATF] has left no doubt where it stands. Last year, the ATF spelled out the marijuana prohibition in boldface type on gun purchase forms.

“'Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medical purposes … is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition,' ATF spokeswoman Janice L. Kemp said in an email to The Associated Press....

"The gun-ownership ban has withstood at least one legal challenge. An appeals court in San Francisco, reject[ed] a challenge on Second Amendment grounds ... in 2016.... Meanwhile, some state and local officials, particularly in law enforcement, have sought to crack down.

"William Bryson, chairman of the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council, told state lawmakers in December that people who use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes should be required to have a designation on their driver’s licenses. That would make it easier, he said, for police to enforce the ban.

"And last month, a police chief in Hawaii publicized and then quickly rescinded a directive that medical marijuana patients had to give up their handguns. [However, the department continues to deny new gun permits for cannabis cardholders.]...

"The issue has been largely theoretical, but there would be quick pushback if the federal government took a more aggressive stance, said Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

"Between 1998 and 2014, nearly 100,000 prospective gun purchasers went home empty-handed because they were flagged as using illegal drugs, according to the ATF. But the agency could not say how many of those used medical or recreational marijuana."

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

U.S. gun laws disarm cannabis users (II)

Pot Prohibition Makes Self-Defense Illegal - - Jacob Sullum:

September 12, 2018 - "When a stranger forced his way into her apartment, tackled her, punched her repeatedly, and tried to cover her mouth with a cloth, Krissy Noble says, she did what she thought was necessary to protect herself and her unborn baby. She grabbed a handgun from the coffee table and shot the man three times, then ran to a neighbor's apartment and asked her to call the police.

"Although local prosecutors agreed that the shooting was justified, Noble faces charges that could put her behind bars for years, thanks to a marijuana conviction that made it illegal for her to possess firearms. Her case shows how drug prohibition and indiscriminate gun laws conspire to deprive people of the constitutional right to armed self-defense....

"'It is the opinion of this office that Krissy Lenae Noble was justified in her use of force and that this is a justifiable homicide, which does not merit the filing of criminal charges with regard to the homicidal event,' Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue said in a statement issued last month. Noble, who had pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana with intent to deliver in February 2017, was nevertheless arrested for violating a state [of Arizona] law that bars felons from possessing guns.

"That offense is a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison. Noble, who is 21 and now the mother of a baby boy, may also have to serve time for the marijuana offense, since staying away from guns was a condition of the five-year suspended sentence she received....

"Most states have similar laws, and the federal government forbids gun possession by cannabis consumers as well as people convicted of marijuana felonies. Violating that ban is itself a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

"The upshot is that people who have never violated anyone's rights or demonstrated any violent tendencies can go to prison for exercising a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Constitution. That is true even of people who were convicted of doing things that are no longer crimes under state law, unless they manage to get their records downgraded or expunged.

"Ten years ago, when the Supreme Court recognized that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep guns for self-defense, it said 'nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons.' Yet if the right to protect oneself against aggressors is 'fundamental,' as the Court said it has long been considered ... it cannot be treated so lightly that proximity to a bag of dried vegetable matter leaves a young pregnant woman defenseless in her own home."

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Friday, September 14, 2018

13 NH candidates backed by YAL win primaries

Libertarian student activists win 13 New Hampshire primary races in one night:

September 14, 2018 - "Last month, a libertarian activist group announced their involvement in 16 New Hampshire state house elections. On Tuesday night, 13 of the 16 candidates they supported won their primaries.

"'This will be an evening that I will never forget,” said Cliff Maloney, president of Young Americans for Liberty, on Facebook. 'We launched Operation Win at the Door this year as a bunch of rag-tag kids trying to fix America's woes and restore true freedom. Tonight, we bring our win count to 21 wins with 13 wins in New Hampshire this evening'....

"'YAL is on track to endorse a total of 50 candidates for state legislative races in 2018 and knock on over 1,000,000 doors,' YAL said in a press release. 'Ultimately the goal is to build a bench of liberty legislators and give a microphone to the principles of limited government. YAL aims to elect 250 liberty state legislators by the end of the 2022 cycle.'

"Candidates must go through an extensive vetting process before they are chosen for a YAL endorsement. Just to apply, individuals must first fill out a questionnaire to explain their position on issues ranging from taxes to the legality of red-light cameras. The goal of the survey is to filter through candidates, finding people who will remain ideologically consistent after they win office.

"'Every Operation Win at the Door race that YAL mobilizes door-knockers for is an opportunity to send principled, liberty-minded individuals to state legislatures across the country,' the press release stated. 'Every candidate we endorse and deploy for is slated to become a champion for our ideals in every chamber they enter. We are building the future bench of liberty candidates for federal office.'

"Just in New Hampshire, YAL deployed 25 door-knockers, hitting more than 75,000 houses throughout the course of one month, the press release stated....

"'YAL specifically targets primary races in districts that will not need our help in the general election,' Maloney said.... YAL may come back to help if something changes, but ... nearly all of their endorsements have a clear path to victory."

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