Category Archives: LPAR

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

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:

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:

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.”



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:
  • 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

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
  • 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  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
And whether or not you are a member, please support us with your donations at

Live Free!

Michael Pakko
Chair, Libertarian Party of Arkansas



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

Arkansas Legislative Spotlight on Liberty – Second Installment

By: Melissa Woodall and Natalie Frye

Welcome to the Arkansas Legislative Spotlight on Liberty, Blog Post Series:

While much of the political coverage and buzz the last few weeks has been focused on big controversial bills dealing with state control versus local control on anti-discrimination ordinances, requiring doctors to be present when women take abortion pills, “conscience protection”, and “stand your ground”, there has been plenty of other less flashy action going on in the legislature.  In this second installment of the blog post series we’re continuing to shine our spotlight on a few of these less high profile issues with an emphasis on personal liberty, smaller government, and responsible spending.

Bills that Increase Liberty and Reduce Government:

HB1355 An Act To Provide Local Control Over Fluoride Levels In Water Systems, would allow cities and other public water providers to decide how much if any fluoride (up to the maximum guideline from the Department of Health) is added t Continue reading

Arkansas Legislative Spotlight on Liberty

Welcome to the Arkansas Legislative Spotlight on Liberty, Blog Post Series.

This is the first in a series of blog posts we plan to post over the course of the legislative session in which we highlight some bills that are currently being considered in our State legislature.  While big media tends to cover the flashiest high profile bills, we are aiming in this series to shine a spotlight on bills that may be getting less coverage and attention, with an emphasis on bills that directly affect personal and economic liberty.  We hope to show a few active bills each post, links to the full text of the bills, and specific contact info for the elected officials in the best spot to take action on the bill, so you can quickly and easily contact them and voice your opinion where it counts.

Bills that Increase Liberty:

HB1177, TO CREATE THE NATURAL HAIR BRAIDING PROTECTION ACT is a bill that would eliminate the ridiculous requirement to have a pricey Cosmetologist license to legally braid hair. While Libertarians would ultimately like to see an end to all government professional licensing requirements, the Hair Braiding Protection Act would be a big step in the right direction.  In addition to being pro-liberty, it would open up more opportunity for Arkansas entrepreneurs, especially for African-American entrepreneurs.

This bill is currently in the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare And Labor.  Please call or email the committee members and the bill’s sponsor Rep. Bob Ballinger and let them know you support HB1177.

SB77, TO PROVIDE THAT BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS UNDER ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS DO NOT REQUIRE AN OWNER TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF A LICENSED ARCHITECT AND DO NOT REQUIRE AN OWNER TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF A LICENSED ARCHITECT is a bill that would allow for construction projects under $125,000 to no longer be required to pay for and use the services of a licensed architect.  Private buildings (dwellings, garages, etc., not buildings that would open to the public like businesses or schools)  could be constructed using plans deemed safe by the Fire Marshall and up to building code without having to also pay for a licensed architect.  Freeing builders and homeowners to design the structure themselves or use plans available from sources like the internet is a step in the pro-liberty direction.

The bill has been referred to Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs.  Please call or email the committee members and the bill’s sponsor Sen. Hester and let them know you support SB77.

SB4, CONCERNING TERMINALLY ILL PATIENT ACCESS TO INVESTIGATIONAL DRUGS, BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS, OR DEVICES; AND TO CREATE THE RIGHT TO TRY ACT is a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe treatments that have completed phase I of FDA clinical trials but have not yet received full approval from the FDA to terminally ill patients.  This is a big pro-liberty step toward allowing doctors and patients to decide what’s best for the patient’s individual health themselves rather than forcing them to wait for the government to decide.

This one is currently in the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor.  Please call or email the committee members and the bill’s sponsor Senator Cooper and let them know you support the Right to Try Act.

Bills That Decrease Liberty:

HB1156, TO IMPOSE A TAX ON E-CIGARETTES; AND TO CREATE THE E-CIGARETTES TAX ACT is an act that would tax electronic cigarettes.  Aside from the idea that we’re taxed more than enough already, this particular tax is particularly lousy. It’s tough on small businesses. Lots of small local businesses have cropped up recently to make and sell vaporizers and juices. Alongside, targeting one particular item as a revenue source is unfair. Taxes should be neutral, not just on a product that some people don’t care for.

Libertarians believe the decision of whether something is healthy or right for them to use and spend their money is one to be made by the individual consumers, not by the government.  Even if we were going to concede to the State playing “momma” in terms of public health, we were going to use taxation to encourage healthy behavior. Vaping appears to possibly be a somewhat healthier alternative to smoking. So, it would be something that public policy should be encouraging, not making more expensive. Plus, if the government is truly concerned about public health issues from use of a product, they shouldn’t be looking to use it as an additional revenue source. You can’t both discourage use of and increase dependence on the income from a product.

This one is currently in the House Rules Committee.  Please call or email the committee members and the bill’s sponsor Rep. Blake and let them know you oppose the E-cigarette Tax Act.

HB1079, CONCERNING THE USE OF AN UNMANNED VEHICLE OR AIRCRAFT THAT CAPTURES IMAGES; TO CREATE THE CRIMINAL OFFENSE; TO PROVIDE FOR CIVIL LIABILITY is a bill that would criminalize drone photography and impose hefty fines for pictures taken with the unmanned drones. Under this law, if you were wanting to capture pictures (be it of something as innocuous as a concert, or something as noteworthy and politically charged as a protest) using a drone higher than 6 feet in the air (and of course, the purpose of using a drone would be to get aerial shots that would by nature need to be shot from higher than that), you could be charged with a misdemeanor, and if a person who was photographed by your drone or had their property photographed by your drone wanted to pursue a civil case against you they could be entitled to $1000 per image.

While Libertarians are big defenders of individual privacy, this law is another law that does nothing to offer us better privacy than what existing laws dealing with traditionally shot photography and privacy already offer us. It only effectively seeks to prohibit kinds of photography that would be legal if taken with a traditional hand held camera.

This one is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.  Please call or email the committee members and the bill’s sponsor Rep. Harris and encourage them to oppose HB1079.

Spending on Select Private Industries:

Beef, Wheat, Corn, Soybeans, Sorghum, Catfish, and Rice.  Does that sound like your grocery list?  Well, it’s a list of things that the State of Arkansas wants to force you to pay for.

Several bills have been introduced, a couple even passed already, that are blatant use of public tax money to support select private industries. Libertarians stand firmly against the government taking money from taxpayers and using it to increase the profits of for-profit businesses. If businesses want to enhance or promote their own industry, they need to do it on their own dime.

So far, the state has already given $11,895,066 of our money to the Soybean Promotion Board with HB1018. Here are some other bills with wasteful spending,

  • SB16, a bill giving $1,100,000 of our money to the Beef Council has been delivered to the Governor to be signed into law.

  • HB1019 that would give $6,980,696  to the Rice Research and Promotion Board.

  • HB1017 that would give the Wheat Promotion board $450,895.

  • HB1020 that would give the Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board $1,200,000

  • SB17 that would give the Catfish Promotion board $120,000

While it’s too late to get the citizens our $11,895,066 back from the Soybean Board, we still have a chance to stand up for responsible spending and tell the State to say NO on the others. For the SB16 Beef Council appropriation bill, please contact Governor Asa Hutchinson.  For the rice, corn, and wheat appropriation bills, please contact your own Arkansas House Representative. For the catfish appropriation bill, please contact your own Arkansas Senator.

Need help finding your Senator or Representative? Visit and simply type in your address.

Victory for the AR Libertarians! Election by the numbers

After running an incredible campaign, educating hundreds of thousands of Arkansans about the libertarian philosophy and the LPAR, our esteemed gubernatorial candidate Frank Gilbert earned 16,217 votes on Tuesday.

I hope you will help me congratulate Frank on a well-fought race. His determination, ability to truly connect with voters and his charming attitude were a breath of fresh air this election season. I firmly believe that our members could not have nominated a better candidate for Governor.

Now, what do our candidates’ vote totals mean?

Frank’s record-breaking vote totals (1.92%) show a marked increase over votes for Gary Johnson in 2012 (1.52%) and blew away the Barr/Root 2008 results (0.44%). Frank succeeded in winning more hearts and votes than any top-of-the-ticket candidate in AR election history in a year with less than 50% voter turnout. Congratulations, and thank you, Frank!

Unfortunately, we were not able to reach the state-mandated percentage requirement (3%) to retain our ballot access for 2016. This means that we will again have to raise tens of thousands of dollars and re-petition in order to run Libertarian candidates in 2016.

While this is not the outcome we were hoping for, I hope you will join me in celebrating the many Arkansas Libertarian victories in 2014.

*Arkansans elected THREE Libertarians this year! Congratulations to Mayor-elect Bobby Tullis of Mineral Springs, to Constable-elect Jacob Faught in Gentry and to Alderman Casey Copeland of Prairie Grove for his third consecutive win.

*Results show an increase in percentage and vote totals for Libertarian candidates. Our top-of-the-ticket returns improved from (approximately) 0.4% in 2008 to 1.5% in 2012 and again to 1.92% in 2014. Liberty is rising! In 2012, 96,116 votes were cast for 16 Libertarian candidates in 18 races (4.17%). In 2014, we significantly increased our number of candidates and more than quadrupled our number of votes. Our 28 candidates earned 387,687 votes out of 7,746,462 votes cast in their races. That’s a solid 5%.

*Looking only at our four Congressional races, we can see that a minimum of 65,712 unique voters cast ballots for Libertarian candidates in this state. Compare this to 37,082 votes cast for our four Congressional candidates in 2012, and you can see a 56% increase in the number of Libertarian voters in this state, even with lower voter turnout this year.

*Every Arkansan had at least nine Libertarian options on their ballot this year. Arkansas voters were among the luckiest in the nation with such a high number of Libertarians on each ballot.

*The LPAR was the only political party to have a candidate in every single debate hosted by AETN. This opportunity allowed our candidates to reach new voters and educate Arkansans about the libertarian philosophy throughout these repeatedly-televised debates.

*From 2012-2013, the LPAR’s membership increased by an extraordinary 65.38%. We also saw a 23.26% membership growth from 2013-2014. Lifetime memberships in the LPAR will see an increase of 300% by the end of this year. Arkansans with memberships in the National LP grew by 17.98% this year as well. Our social media pages are being followed by more people than ever. Even our facebook page “likes” have almost doubled since the time of the 2012 election. While these are not election results, we count this as yet another victory in our efforts to move Arkansas towards freedom.

If you would like a breakdown of all Libertarian candidates’ races, you can view our election results page HERE.

LPAR Election Results

I hope that you will join us in celebrating these victories. We have a long road ahead of us to put Libertarians on the ballot in 2016, and we need YOUR help to make that happen. If you haven’t already, please consider joining the LPAR as a state party member. Party memberships start at only $10/year and those funds help support the daily operations of the LPAR. We also greatly appreciate our monthly Torch Club Sustaining Members, whose monthly contributions help us better plan for the future. To thank our monthly donors, we offer LPAR exclusive merchandise, and it’s not too late to get on our upcoming shipment of gratitude gifts.

We thank you for your support, your votes and your help this election season. We want to continue offering Arkansans more freedom by putting Libertarians on the ballot. Will you help us?
Live FREE!

Jessica Paxton
Chairman – LPAR

A personal “thank you” from the LPAR Chair

While we wait on the last county to report it’s election totals, I wanted to take a moment of your time to give some amazing Arkansans the thanks they so truly deserve. Without our candidates, the LPAR would cease to exist as a political party, and it is because of these folks that you had the option to vote for true freedom-fighting candidates this year. While we had some rousing victories and some heart-breaking defeats, our candidates consistently stood tall in a sea of opposition, all the while unwavering in their desire to win elections and initiate positive change in this great state.

I want to send my heartfelt gratitude to these 28 Libertarians who sacrificed their time, energy, money and free time to run for office this year. Whether participating in debates, knocking on doors, waving signs or doing countless interviews, these men and women have gone above and beyond in their quest to bring more freedom to Arkansas. Their spouses, families, friends, neighbors and campaign teams have sacrificed countless hours to support these candidates and I want to also thank each and every one of you for believing in them.

And finally, I want to thank every Arkansan who cast a vote for a Libertarian candidate. With each election cycle we grow stronger, earning more and more votes and winning more elections. While it’s an uphill battle, it’s a battle that’s worth fighting. And I thank you for standing beside me as we march forward, advancing each year, moving closer and closer to a Libertarian world. A world in which we will eventually take over. And then leave you alone.

Please join me as I sincerely thank your 2014 Libertarian heroes:

-Frank Gilbert for Governor

-Chris Olson for Lt. Governor

-Aaron Cash for Attorney General

-Jacob Holloway for Secretary of State

-Brian Leach for Auditor of State

-Chris Hayes for State Treasurer

-Elvis D. Presley for Commissioner of State Lands

-Nathan LaFrance for US Senate

-Brian Willhite for US Congress Dist 1

-Debbie Standiford for US Congress Dist 2

-Grant Brand for US Congress Dist 3

-Ken Hamilton for US Congress Dist 4

-Wayne Williams for State Rep Dist 15

-Marc Rosson for State Rep Dist 20

-Greg Deckleman for State Rep Dist 31

-Rodger Paxton for State Rep Dist 51

-Taylor Watkins for State Rep Dist 80

-Eddie Moser for State Rep Dist 95

-Michael Kalagias for State Rep Dist 96

-Glen Schwarz for Pulaski County Judge

-Shawn Hipskind for Saline County Judge

-Val Emmons for JP Dist 2 Pulaski County

-Chris Parks for JP Dist 2 Lonoke County

-William Brackeen for JP Dist 13 Pulaski County

-Whit Hyman for Constable in Springdale

-Jacob Faught for Constable in Gentry

-Bobby Tullis for Mayor of Mineral Springs (nonpartisan)

-Casey Copeland for Alderman in Prairie Grove (nonpartisan)

Stay tuned for a detailed election analysis, coming tomorrow!

Jessica and (my biggest supporter, without whom I would be lost – thank you!) Rodger Paxton

Live FREE!

Jessica Paxton
Chairman – LPAR

Can Frank Win?

This is a question I have heard over and over since Frank Gilbert announced his candidacy last year. To be honest, it is one of my favorite questions to hear a voter ask. The answer is always “yes.”

Frank has a track record of winning elections. In fact, he has held more elected offices than “front-runner” Asa Hutchinson. So, yes Frank can win; he already has. I guess the better and bigger question is, can Frank win the gubernatorial election? Once again the answer is “yes.” Will it be easy? No.

Before I go any further, I think it would be best if I defined what victory would be. The Libertarian Party is actually seeking two victories on Election Day: ballot access and a Libertarian governor. One is very much within our reach. With just 3% of the vote, the Libertarian Party will retain ballot access, ending the two-party system in Arkansas. This would be a huge victory for the Libertarian Party, saving us more than $30,000 in petition costs per election cycle.

Electing a Libertarian governor will not be easy, but it is doable. After all, the United States has been faced with more impossible challenges before. It was not an easy task for the founders to win America’s independence; in fact, it was improbable, but they did it anyway. Until Arkansas takes that same stand to declare its independence from the Republicrats and Demopublicans (as Frank likes to call them), Arkansas can never move forward.

Arkansas Republicans ran on repealing Obamacare, but instead they expanded it, along with every single Democrat in the Senate and House. Frank Gilbert is the only candidate in this race who unequivocally opposes the Obamacare “Private Option.” He is also the only candidate that supports putting parents back in the driver’s seat, by passing universal school choice.

Our quest isn’t as hard as what our founders faced. We can declare our independence through the ballot box.

But can Frank win? Perhaps a more compelling question is this: Can Arkansas win? We face the choice of a career politician, a D.C. lobbyist, or a hard-working and principled citizen like Frank Gilbert as our next governor. In my opinion, Arkansas can win only if Frank wins. And that can only happen if we stop asking questions about what is possible and start voting for the best choice, regardless of political party team-loyalty.

—Tyler Harrison, LPAR Executive Committee Member, At-Large