Friday, March 31, 2017

Registered Libertarians top 10,000 in Nebraska

Libertarians see proposal as chance to continue growing party | Nebraska Legislature | - Zach Pluhasek, Lincoln Journal & Star:

March 29, 2017 - "Nebraska's growing ranks of Libertarian voters could see more of their candidates on local ballots if a proposal that is working its way through the Legislature succeeds. The bill would allow any political party with 10,000 or more registered voters to remain recognized in the state, regardless of how its candidates perform in statewide elections.

"In recent years, Libertarians have been forced to run 'sacrificial lamb' candidates for statewide offices in hopes of securing 5 percent of the vote, the minimum threshold for the party to maintain its officially recognized status.

"'If this passes, that whole sacrificial lamb mentality goes away and we can focus on growing the party,' said Gene Siadek of Omaha, treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Nebraska. 'We can maybe focus on elections that might be more winnable for us.'

"Sponsored by Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, the proposal (LB34) received first-round approval Wednesday on a 30-0 vote.

"The change would apply to any third party that qualifies, but so far the Libertarians are the only ones who come close.

"Their party has hit some major milestones in the past year, including Ebke's decision to ditch the GOP and register as a Libertarian. She became the state's highest-ranking Libertarian elected officeholder and the only Libertarian in the officially nonpartisan Legislature.

"Last fall, the party topped 10,000 registrants for the first time, which Siadek attributed in part to Ebke's switch and also to Donald Trump securing the Republican presidential nomination."

And this year, the party submitted its first financial statement to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission after exceeding $5,000 in donations for the first time."

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