Category Archives: LPAR

Candidate Mark West: Seven Libertarian Steps to Gun Control

Congress has been looking at four pieces of legislation aimed at gun control in an attempt to symbolically “do something” after the tragedy in Orlando last weekend. So much fact, fiction, and conspiracy surround gun control talks that the American people don’t get a clear picture of everything involved.

Let’s take a moment at look at the gun control issue from a more libertarian perspective with these steps to pulling off gun control in America.

  1. Define “assault weapon”

I don’t think President Obama, or anyone else using this word, really has any clue what it means. Every time I hear a politician say “assault weapon” I want to hear a definition as well. If by “assault weapon” we are referring to fully automatic weapons, guess what, they’re already banned and illegal. Mass killings using fully automatic weapons wouldn’t happen if criminals obeyed gun laws.

If politicians want to expand this to semi-automatic weapons then most of the modern guns in America would be illegal, including most hand guns. However, if the pols are just after the scary-looking, military-style weapons then it just further exhibits the absolute idiocy of the argument.

Is it about the “power” of the weapon? Who knows because no clarity exists on a national definition of what is considered to be an “assault weapon”. The vernacular is now being changed to “military-style” which again seems to imply that they are concerned about a symbolic gesture dealing with scary-looking guns.

  1. Fix the tools we already have in place

The Orlando shooter (I’ll never say or type his name) was investigated by the F.B.I. on more than one occasion. If suspicion existed, couldn’t we use the court system, due process, and technology to find some means of flagging the guy? If he decides to build his arsenal the Feds would be alerted and could begin a tighter surveillance and possibly event prevent what happened at Pulse.

In using a flagging system, with due process and redress, we can maintain gun ownership rights while at the same time gaining a better tool to stop future events of this type.

  1. Fix the “No Fly List” loophole

Most of us have heard the mass media talking point that surrounds the alleged “Gun Show Loophole” but few of us have heard of the loophole involved in restricting Constitutional rights by virtue of being on the “No Fly List”.

What’s the loophole? It is the complete lack of transparency, due process, and redress. This loophole must be closed before Congress should ever consider taking gun ownership rights away from anyone.

A person can be put on the list without their knowledge, without having committed a crime and without the opportunity to redress the issue. We can do better than that in America!

  1. Close the black market

All legislative attempts at gun control will fail so long as a black market exists for these products. One of the biggest contributors to this black market excess of automatic weapons is the U.S. Government. Whether it’s arming allies in the Middle East or operations closer to home like Fast and Furious, our Government is arming our enemies with better weaponry than it legally allows its’ citizens to own.

Let that marinate for a while.

  1. Promote culture of life

If we really value human life then we need to encourage life from the womb to the tomb. Be an advocate for life at all stages. Put your money and your time where your mouth is. Encourage people to care about people again.

Engage the sociological and psychological communities to find out what crazy, hateful, evil, people have in common that attempt mass killings. Learn to care enough about those you love to notice warning signs and get them the help they need.

We have to acknowledge that unstable people do unstable things so we can’t blame stable, law-abiding people for the hate and evil in society. We must promote love and compassion in everything we do. Be the change you want to see.

  1. End “Gun Free Zone” fallacy

How many more lives must be lost in “Gun Free Zones” before we realize just how deadly and dangerous this idea is? If a business or organization or government entity is going to make a place a “Gun-Free Zone” then it should be liable for securing the premises in such a way that peoples’ lives aren’t at risk when visiting that establishment.

If any such group is unwilling to assume that responsibility, then they shouldn’t be allowed to declare themselves “Gun Free” and prevent patrons from securing their own self-defense. If you are going to restrict someone’s right of self-defense then you had better certainly make sure they are safe on your premises when you do so.

  1. Understand and fight the real enemy

In every war, we must be fighting the right enemy. Guns are not the enemy. Law-abiding gun-owners aren’t the enemy. Ideas that involve hate and evil are! Those ideas gain credibility and recruitment as our Government drops more bombs and gets more involved in wars of intervention around the globe. Our interventionist policies are creating hate and giving cause to those who already hate.

Sometimes war is necessary, but the wars we are fighting in the Middle East right now don’t fit the bill and must be abandoned. Drones, guns, and soldiers don’t kill evil ideas.

We kill evil ideas when we demonstrate good ideas that promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all individuals.

– Mark West

# # #

Mark West is the Libertarian Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District 1
Clear Difference, Clear Direction, Clear Decision…Vote Mark West 2016
www.markwestforcongress.com

 

A Reaction to the Orlando Shootings

Horror … Sympathy … Frustration

The realm of emotions we face as a nation coming to grips with one of the greatest gun-related tragedies in our history.

Horror over the immense loss of life and the extreme anti-life ideology of the person who pulled it off.

Sympathy for the victims, their families and friends that must now endure what will be a seemingly endless nightmare of reliving the events of such a frightful night.

Frustration for the national climate that will see the authoritarian left demand more gun control while the authoritarian right demands religious discrimination when neither is anything more than a Band-Aid for a gaping wound.

My heart breaks for the unity of our great nation.

We Americans are as diverse as snowflakes and my fear is that this event will do nothing more than further the wedge that drives us apart.

This is a deeply saddening event for relations between our society and two collectives within. Unless we find a way to live love, we will see the gap of trust widen between the LGBT community and American society at-large. We will also see that same distance put between our society and the Muslim community.

However, this is our chance to prove with every fiber of our beings that love wins. Our thoughts, prayers and support will show the LGBT community our love and acceptance.

Our continued efforts to hold the individual responsible for the action can help extend the olive branch to the Muslim community in our midst with the same love. We are a nation of the First Amendment which protects their religious freedom, just as it protects our own faith or those who choose no faith at all.

Finally, we need to resist the desire to snap to judgement and restrict the rights of gun owners as well. The First Amendment is protected by the Second Amendment.

So in this time of national tragedy and introspection let’s choose the opposite of what the fear-mongering mass media and the authoritarians in the Republican and Democrat Parties will call us to do and let’s come together.

Restricting gun ownership, religious or relational freedom will do nothing to solve this problem and will not prevent other events like this from happening in the days to come.

The facts of this case are that the man who committed this atrocity at a night club frequented by people, real people, in the LGBT community was born in America. He is an American citizen, gun-owner and Muslim. Yet, he doesn’t represent all gun-owners and all Muslims any more than he represents all Americans.

He committed this act for his own reasons.

Let’s overcome this act of hate with millions of acts of love toward the victims and their families and send a statement to the entire world that in America, love wins.

– Mark West

# # #

Mark West is the Libertarian Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District 1
Clear Difference, Clear Direction, Clear Decision…Vote Mark West 2016
www.markwestforcongress.com

Voting Your Conscience

 

now what

If you say you believe in the things that Bernie Sanders has said about the current state of our country and you believe that the wars, the corruption, the injustice, and the cronyism that keeps it all running must end, then welcome to your first trial. What are you going to do if Hillary gets the nomination?

You could refuse to vote and guarantee that things will stay the same or get worse over the next four years.

You could write-in Bernie and feel good about it, but in most states that will be the same as not voting.

You could vote for Hillary, which pretty much means you’ve been full of shit for the last several months and probably just supported Bernie because the cool kids did. ORRRRRRR…

You could find a third party candidate that best represents how you really feel. We like to call it voting our conscience. The benefit here is that you will have actually behaved with integrity. You have been true to yourself when it counts.

Once every four years, you have one moment, one chance to say what kind of leader will represent your country to the world. It’s important, and regardless of anything you have said or done to “support” a candidate, that really is the only moment that counts.

– Chip Simons

Congressional Candidate Mark West: “Break Up the TSA”

Headlines of three-hour waits and hundreds of missed flights have held our national attention for weeks and have prompted action…FINALLY! Transportation Security Administration head of Security Operations Kelly Hoggard has been removed from his post as controversy swirls over delays caused by TSA protocols at major airports.

I was flabbergasted to hear a news story on CNN that promoted the need for Federal control of airport security rather than the privatization efforts that are being explored by airports. The reporter apparently dug to find the one traveler who wasn’t upset about missing a flight due to TSA delays because of safety. Couching the conversation in light of the recent EgyptAir crash in the Mediterranean Sea helped push the lack of security narrative requiring a continuation of government intervention.

Personally, I applaud efforts by airports across the country to find other private security options to replace or supplement the TSA. Especially since we know that Hoggard received $90,000 in bonuses over the last 13 months while whistleblowers have faced threats and reassignment.

Rewarding mediocrity and failure while punishing success is definitely a formula for the abject disaster the TSA has been for air travelers across the nation. The realm of government ineptitude is enhanced by the lack of incentive that comes from monopolizing the market.

Imagine, if you will, that a number of other security companies are willing to compete for the money tied up in airport security. Since we’re using our adult imaginations, in a productive manner, let us also see this competition occurring in an unencumbered free market that is absent the government manipulation that has created this absurd monopoly on security that is wrecking air travel for thousands.

Accountability is the first word that comes to mind. I don’t see private companies paying bonuses to employees who are failing to do their jobs. I also don’t see owners, driven by a profit motive, silencing whistleblowers who will help them make more money by exposing inefficient procedures that will cost them work opportunities.

Now, the counterpoint finding rounds in the media focuses on the private sector failure of 9/11. However, I must apply the “you get what you pay for” cliché to that sentiment. How much more are we spending today for a 95% fail rate? If that money were being spent in a true free market, our airports would be secure.

The stark contrast between libertarians and the duopoly (Republicans and Democrats) is remarkably evident on this issue. The duopoly will continue indiscriminately pouring funds into this failure of a program because the airports and airlines can’t “afford” to pay for it themselves. Just another example of ill-spent corporate welfare and the lack of responsibility that has come with it.

If elected, I will advocate and work to get airport security back into the private sector on both ends of the process. The government paying itself to secure our airports is both a conflict of interest and recipe for disaster.

Airports and airlines should be paying private companies to provide security. Either way we are paying for it, either in taxation or higher ticket costs.

Clear Difference, Clear Direction, Clear Decision…Vote Mark West 2016

www.markwestforcongress.com

Libertarian Candidate Frank Gilbert Calls Boozman “A Sellout”

Libertarian Candidate Calls Boozman “A Sellout” 
For Voting To Spend More Than Obama Asked For

“The U.S. Senate’s first spending bill of 2016 allocates $261 million more than President Barack Obama requested and lacks significant conservative amendments, but it still sailed to passage Thursday in the Republican-led chamber.” The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal reported this bit of bad news for taxpayers earlier this month.

Arkansas Senator John Boozman voted with the majority to spend more than even our leftist president wanted.

Frank Gilbert, the Libertarian Party nominee for U. S. Senate, criticized the vote and his opponent. “John Boozman and the GOP leadership are every bit as much a part of the spending problem in Washington as our lame-duck president,” he said. “Boozman lacks the leadership and courage to say ‘no’ to the president and his party leadership. He may have come to congress as a conservative all those years ago, but he has now sold out taxpayers.”

Even an attempt to add an amendment by Arkansas’ other senator was sabotaged by his fellow Republicans.

Tom Cotton proposed an amendment that would have prohibited the U. S. from purchasing heavy water from Iran. The amendment would have hampered Iran’s stated goal of developing a nuclear weapon. However, the amendment was opposed by President Obama so it was handled in such a way by the Republicans that required it to get 60 votes for passage. Democrats easily defeated Cotton’s amendment under that circumstance.

“To say that John Boozman is a sell-out is not too harsh,” Gilbert concluded. “He has sold out taxpayers and even the defense of our country to please his real bosses, the GOP leadership.”

Frank Gilbert is the Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate.

www.frankgilbertforsenate.com/

Choice, Change, and Challenge

The Libertarian Party of Texas recently adopted a new framework for describing three categories of Libertarian candidates. Here in Arkansas, we have followed a similar strategy, believing that all three types of candidates, when leveraged together as a campaign strategy, represent our strongest positioning on the ballot.

With our special nominating convention coming up soon, this seems a propitious time to talk about the roles of these three types of Libertarian candidates, and how they fit into our electoral strategy. I propose that we adopt the taxonomy suggested by our friends in Texas.

What used to be called Paper, Educational, and Active or Serious candidates can be re-framed as Choice, Change, and Challenge candidates. The role of a Choice candidate is to provide voters with a choice or alternative to the two-parties. Change candidates use their position to spread the message of liberty and win the hearts and minds of voters. Challenge candidates have an express goal of giving the establishment a run for their money.

Each level has corresponding expectations and responsibilities:

Choice Candidate
A choice candidate is as a placeholder who agrees to sign the paperwork and add his or her name to the ballot, but does not actively campaign. Choice candidates play a vital role in our electoral strategy. They add numbers to our vote totals while giving all voters, not just members of our party, a choice to vote for a Libertarian on Election Day. Many placeholder candidates also fill out candidate surveys to let the voters know about our positions. These campaigns cost very little, and take a very little time to run.

Change Candidate
A change candidate is one step beyond placeholder, playing more of an educational role. Change candidates appear at candidate debates/forums and provide Libertarian answers to any questionnaires they may receive. They may also produce a website, brochures, or business cards. This is your chance to advocate for change!  A great educational/change campaign can often be run for less than $500.

Challenge Candidate
A challenge candidate runs an active campaign with the intent of trying to win the election – to challenge the status quo.  Running this type of race requires a statistical chance of winning along with fierce dedication and a commitment to campaigning, fundraising, and educating voters. Nominated candidates who pursue this active level of campaigning will receive the most active support for their campaign that the LPAR can offer.

As we approach the date of our Special Nominating Convention, I urge every member of the LPAR to consider becoming a candidate—choice, change, or challenge. There are a wide range of offices where we need candidates, particularly for the state house and senate. You can file an application of interest at http://lpar.org/elections/want-to-run-for-office/

Whether or not you are able to participate as a candidate, I hope you’ll be able to help out as a volunteer on our campaigns, and that you’ll be able to attend the upcoming Special Nominating Convention, October 24, 2015: http://lpar.org/news-events/nominating-convention-2015/

Yours in Liberty,
Michael Pakko
Chair, Libertarian Party of Arkansas

A Libertarian Response to the Arkansas AG Opinion on Act 746 Part 1

By Aaron Cash
Part 1 Response to Arkansas AG Opinion 2015-064
Full Opinion: http://ag.arkansas.gov/opinions/docs/2015-064.pdf

Disclaimer: 1. The following text is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only. I am not your lawyer, and my firm does not represent you. Speak with an attorney, whom you have hired, about how these statutes and issues should be interpreted. 2. I am neither encouraging nor discouraging the reader from carrying a weapon. It is your responsibility to know what is lawful and to follow the law. 3. This post is written in blog format and is not meant to be taken as a scholarly article. 4. In the interest of time, this post may plagiarize some of my prior writings.

Two or three of you will remember me from my 2014 campaign for Arkansas Attorney General. I participated in three debates, some press conferences, took calls on a radio show, and gave a speech at the Little Rock Club. In November, Arkansas voters gave me 5.2% (43,245) of the vote on a $0 donation campaign (except for the ~$50 filing fee, which was paid by a colleague). I appreciate all of the support and kind words from everyone I met along the way. It was an awesome experience for me, and I hope I made some difference for this state.

One of the major issues of the 2014 election season is still making headlines today. I am talking about “open carry.” In 2013 the Arkansas legislature passed Act 746, which makes certain changes to the statute which prohibits “carrying a weapon.” There has been much debate as to whether the 2013 changes to the law allow for individuals to carry a weapon (hereinafter, “handgun” or “gun”) without a license. Former Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) opined that Act 746 did not allow for open carry. See 2013 Open Carry Opinion. This year, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, issued a slightly different opinion. See 2015 Open Carry Opinion.

I propose that Act 746 allows for open or concealed carry without a permit, and I have been saying so since the act was passed. At least one University of Arkansas Law Professor agrees with me, although he does call for the legislature to make changes. See Open Carry in Arkansas—An Ambiguous Statute.

What exactly are we talking about here? First, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read through the August 28, 2015 opinion issued by Attorney General Rutledge. In case the opinion is confusing to you, don’t worry, I’ll discuss some of it below.

With that out of the way, let’s dive in. What did Act 746 actually do in Arkansas? Let’s break it down.

Section 2 of Act 746
Section 2 of Act 746 amended A.C.A. 5-73-120 which prohibits “Carrying a weapon” (a specifically defined phrase):
“(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.”

The previous version of A.C.A. 5-73-120 read as follows:
“(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.”

As you can see, under a plain reading, these are some big changes. Previously, you could be convicted of carrying a weapon if you merely possessed it with the purpose to use it against another person. However, now, the prosecution must prove some additional elements, which, in my opinion, allow law-abiding citizens to carry weapons openly or concealed.

Analysis of New Statutory Elements:
To be convicted under the new version of the statute (AKA: Act 746), a prosecutor must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that prosecutor prove to a jury that the Defendant:
(1) possessed a handgun (or other weapon in the statute)
(2) with a purpose to
(3) attempt to
(4) unlawfully
(5) employ the handgun
(6) against a person

If one of these elements is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then an individual cannot be convicted of “carrying a weapon.” For example, if an individual’s purpose is to lawfully employ the handgun against someone else in self-defense, he/she cannot be convicted. If one plans to use the gun against an animal, then she cannot be convicted. However, keep in mind that one’s purpose may be inferred from the circumstances. It would be a clear violation of the statute, as well as others, to pull a gun during a heated road rage argument. This example is on the extreme end of the spectrum, but you get the idea. Keep in mind that there are other statutes which criminalize possession of a weapon in certain areas. You can find a partial list of those at the end of Rutledge’s opinion.

So, it seems like Attorney General Rutledge and I are mostly in agreement on the meaning of A.C.A. 5-73-120(a) when it comes to “open carry”. So, on which areas do we disagree?
1. Concealed carry without a license;
2. The definition of the “journey” clause as amended by Act 746 (addressed later in Part 2);
3. Ability of law enforcement to stop and detain individuals merely to ascertain their “purpose” in carrying a firearm openly (addressed later in Part 2);

Concealed Carry Without a License
Attorney General Rutledge opines, incorrectly, that an individual may not carry a concealed weapon in this state without having first obtained a concealed carry permit from the Arkansas State Police (ASP). The ASP collects Second Amendment licensing fees of $144.94 for applicants ages 21-65 and $93.44 for those over 65.
In support of her proposition that an individual may not carry a concealed handgun without a license, Rutledge cites to what she calls the “concealed carry licensing scheme” which “predates Act 746.” It can be found at Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-301 et seq. (Rep I. 2005 and Supp. 2013). She also mentions that Act 746 does not repeal the concealed carry statutes by implication. She may be right (that’s a discussion for another day). But so what? Prosecutors do not charge individuals with weapons crimes under § 5-73-301 et seq. because it does not prohibit you from carrying a weapon. Instead, prosecutors charge “carrying a weapon” under A.C.A. 5-73-120 (as amended by Act 746). This is something an experienced prosecutor and sitting Attorney General of Arkansas should know.
Let’s take a look at at the “concealed carry licensing scheme” found at § 5-73-301 et seq. and see if it prohibits carrying a concealed handgun without license and whether it provides a criminal punishment for doing so. It’s long. So, bear with me.
● 5-73-301 provides definitions of certain legal terms;
● 5-73-302 provides certain government officials the authority to issue licenses;
● 5-73-303 provides civil immunity to certain entities;
● 5-73-304 exempts certain officials from the licensing scheme;
● 5-73-305 provides the penalty for lying on the application;
● 5-73-306 states that “No license to carry a concealed handgun issued pursuant to this subchapter authorizes any person to carry a concealed handgun into” a list of certain places;
○ This section lists out certain places where an individual is not authorized by a concealed carry license to carry a handgun. This does not mean that the “concealed carry licensing scheme” provides for criminal punishment for a violation. Such criminal charges, if any, would necessarily fall under other statutes not relevant to this discussion.
● 5-73-307 provides for an automated listing of license holders;
● 5-73-308 discusses “Issuance of licenses–denial, suspension, and revocation of licenses”’
● § 5-73-309 lists the requirements for an individual to be approved for a license, such as criminal and mental health history;
● § 5-73-310 lists the requirements for the application form;
● § 5-73-311. discusses the application procedure;
● § 5-73-312. discusses revocation of licenses;
● § 5-73-313. talks about expiration and renewal of licenses;
● § 5-73-314. Lost, destroyed, or duplicate license–Change of address;
● § 5-73-315. “Any licensee possessing a valid license issued pursuant to this subchapter may carry a concealed handgun”;
○ At the time this was drafted, an individual could not legally carry a handgun due to A.C.A. 5-73-120(a), which was enacted prior to the “concealed carry licensing scheme.” So, of course the legislature authorized concealed carry here, but that is not the issue. The issue is that this section does not prohibit concealed carry without a license.
● § 5-73-316. provides for licensing fees;
● § 5-73-317. allows the director of the Arkansas State Police to draft rules and regulations to administer the subchapter;
● § 5-73-318. has rules for Instructors;
● § 5-73-319. Transfer of a license to Arkansas;
● § 5-73-320. License for certain members of the Arkansas National Guard or a reserve component or active duty military personnel;
● § 5-73-321. Recognition of other states’ licenses;
● § 5-73-322. Concealed handguns in a university, college, or community college building;
○ This section allows for certain persons to carry on college campuses but does not provide for a criminal punishment for violations. Such charges, if any, must fall under another criminal statute.
● § 5-73-323. Parole board exemptions;

So, that’s a brief overview of the entire “concealed carry licensing scheme.” As you can see, it does not prohibit concealed carry without a license. However, it does authorize concealed carry with a license. And why did it have to do that? Because in 1995 when it was enacted, it was illegal under A.C.A. 5-73-120(a) to carry a handgun. Now that Act 746 is in place, it is no longer illegal to carry a weapon as long as you do not have the purpose to unlawfully use it against another person. Rutledge seemingly agreed with me on this point when she stated:

“In my opinion, Act 746’s amendments to§ 5-73-120 mean that (1) the statute only criminalizes a person’s “possess[ing] a handgun on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by the person, or otherwise readily available for use” if he or she simultaneously has the intent “to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun … as a weapon” against a person, and (2) this unlawful intent may not be presumed simply because that person possesses a loaded handgun.”

.

Conclusion

You may open or concealed carry a handgun in Arkansas as long as you do not have unlawful intent or violate any criminal laws. The “concealed carry licensing scheme” does not prohibit you from doing so.
I will address Attorney General Rutledge’s definition of the “journey” clause as amended by Act 746 and the ability of law enforcement to stop and detain individuals merely to ascertain their “purpose” in carrying a firearm openly in part 2. Stay tuned.

A Message from the LPAR Chair

Dear Friends of Liberty,

Time flies when you’re having fun!  It’s been only three weeks since I was elected the new Chair of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas, and it’s been interesting already.

Writing to you today, I have good news, bad news, and some proposed plans.

The good news is this:  We have completed our petition campaign for ballot access in 2016 and turned our signatures in to the Secretary of State’s Office on June 2.  We will receive notification of our “new” political party status soon.

But here’s the bad news: The Arkansas General Assembly passed legislation during the recent special session that moves the primary election date forward from May to March.  Because the filing dates for Libertarian candidates have been tied to party filing dates (Act 1356, 2013), and the filing dates have been moved back to the first week in November, we must choose our candidates for 2016 by Halloween of this year.  Trick or treat!

We’re looking at all possibilities at this point, but we must plan on the calendar before us – we have only four months to recruit our candidates!

  • I am appointing an Elections Committee that will coordinate this effort. I am asking each and every one of you to consider joining the committee, volunteering to run for office yourself, and recruiting your friends to do so as well.  The Elections Committee will be organized by LPAR Vice-Chair Chris Olson: vicechair@lpar.org.
  • We must also begin preparing immediately for a nominating convention in late October. Do you like to throw parties?  Are you good at planning events?  Help out by joining our Events Committee.  Contact me at chair@lpar.org.

Other ongoing activities are communications and grass-roots organizing:

  • The office of LPAR Secretary is responsible for official party communications, so I have asked William Brackeen to serve as chair of the Communications Committee and as Communications Director. If you would like to help out here, contact secretary@lpar.org.
  • When it comes to building a political party, grassroots organizing is crucial. A major initiative I propose is a new Membership, Affiliates, and Activism Committee.  This committee will work to build our network of county affiliates around the state and encourage local political activism.  As the At-Large representative to the LPAR Executive Committee, a natural organizer for this activity is Debbie Standiford.  You can contact her at atlarge@lpar.org.  I have also asked the four district representatives to the Executive Committee to participate, and encourage all county chairs to do so as well.

The LPAR needs your support as volunteers, members and as supporters. If you are not already a member or if your membership has lapsed, please join at
http://lpar.org/get-involved/join-the-party/
And whether or not you are a member, please support us with your donations at
http://lpar.org/get-involved/donate/

Live Free!

Michael Pakko
Chair, Libertarian Party of Arkansas
chair@lpar.org

libertarian-party-of-arkansas-logo

 

More corporate handouts put Arkansans in debt

by Michael Kalagias*

Arkansas has a constitution that required a balanced budget to ensure responsible government spending and long term financial security and stability for our state. Unfortunately, that requirement has been breached over the years by loopholes like those in Amendment 82, which is now being used to justify a taxpayer subsidy to the Lockheed-Martin Corporation.

Arkansas currently has an outright debt of about $3 billion. If you include unfunded pension and other retirement debts that jumps to a whopping $38 billion! Now the Governor wants to add another $87 million to our debt as a gift to Lockheed Martin in the hopes that they might employ a few hundred Arkansans. This is a completely unnecessary expenditure of corporate welfare. Lockheed Martin has just as good a chance of winning a taxpayer funded contract to construct military vehicles here in Arkansas without Arkansas’ $87million dollar gift as they would with it. It is nothing more than a cash payout to a huge firm that employs an army of lobbyists and doles out significant campaign contributions – a quid pro quo arrangement that hurts all Arkansans not in the “political class.”  This comes just a short time after our last governor requested and got $125 million dollars of our hard earned tax dollars to give to Big River steel so they could open a new steel plant to compete with the existing Nucor steel in our state.

Bringing business and industry to Arkansas is important so that good jobs are available throughout the state. If spending is needed to improve infrastructure (roads, ports, training, etc…) for that – go ahead and budget for that in the regular BALANCED budget. I’m all for it. I’d also love to see a tax policy that lowers taxes for everyone and creates a climate for job growth that benefits everyone, not just one or two picked “winners.” Going further into debt just to give a multimillion dollar gift to one corporation, however, is outrageously irresponsible and reprehensible and should not even be considered.

# # #

*Michael Kalagias was the 2014 Libertarian candidate for State House District 96, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas.

Being a Libertarian LEO

Almost seems impossible doesn’t it? Here I am, though, serving as a Constable. Tasked with upholding the law and keeping the peace. Many of those same laws that I completely disagree with. So how do I strike a balance between my core beliefs and doing my job? That’s something I’ve asked myself since I started the process of running for office. How does a Libertarian, and ever growing An-Cap, serve in a position of power that is tasked with upholding some of the very laws that contradict my ideology? Fortunately for me here in Arkansas we are not forced to even do our jobs as Constables. While this is a double edged sword we will focus on the good aspects of that. The bad aspect being that if someone can run, take the office and do nothing then why do we even need the position? The good aspect is that it gives Constables a bit more control over what they do. Since we are generally unpaid and we have to work Continue reading