Category Archives: LPAR

This time, vote Libertarian

Election day is drawing near, and we face important decisions.  Voters will have choices in many races that include Libertarian candidates.  In fact, Libertarians represent the only alternative in many races.  In three of Arkansas’ four congressional districts, Libertarians are the only candidates challenging Republican incumbents.  Only 34 of 100 state house seats are contested at all in this election, and 10 of those races would be uncontested if it weren’t for Libertarians.

A vote for a Libertarian is a vote against the status quo.  The major political parties have failed us in their policies and in the candidates they have put forward to represent us.  They have presented us presidential candidates who are not only detestably corrupt, but who are also intending to expand the rule of the imperial presidency in our lives and around the world.

The Libertarian candidate for President, Gary Johnson, is the only sane, sensible choice in this race.  He has more executive experience than any other candidate, and he has the demeanor to be a president, rather than a ruler.  He is the only candidate addressing the overwhelming national debt, talking about protecting our civil liberties, and questioning the effectiveness of our interventionist foreign policy.  He deserves your vote for those reasons alone.

But also consider this:  Arkansas’ electoral votes are not really contested – the Republican will win this state.  So a vote for one of the two major party candidates will not change the outcome of the election, but a vote for the Libertarian will assure that voters have more choices in the future.  Because of the quirks of Arkansas election law, a vote for Gary Johnson will help keep the Libertarian Party on the ballot in the future.  Regardless of how many candidates we run or how many votes they earn in the election, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas will remain an official political party only if our presidential candidate receives 3% of the vote.

Libertarians are fielding candidates up and down the ballot, presenting the voters with choices where none would otherwise exist.  If you vote for a Libertarian, you are voting for someone who will always choose more freedom over less, who will always advocate less government rather than more.  Libertarian candidates are not beholden to special interests or for sale to the highest bidder – we are ordinary citizens trying to make a difference.

When you look at the current state of affairs at all levels of government, when you look at the problems that the Republicans and Democrats have created or left unsolved, could Libertarians do any worse?  Give us a try.  This time, vote Libertarian.

Michael Pakko, Chair
Libertarian Party of Arkansas

(More information about our candidates is available at: http://lpar.org/elections/2016-candidates/)

The 2016 Arkansas Ballot Initiatives: A Libertarian’s Perspective

We asked Michael Vaughn, Chair of the Pulaski County Libertarian Party (PCLP) to share his recommendations on the 2016 ballot initiatives, based on his research of the issues.  You can find the details he compiled at the PCLP website:  https://pulaskicountylibertarians.org/2016-arkansas-ballot-initiatives/.

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas takes no official position on the ballot initiatives, but its members overwhelmingly agree with Mr. Vaughn that Issue 3 is a NO and Issue 6 deserves a YES.

Due to recent court decisions, votes will be counted only for Initiatives 1, 2, 3, and 6.  However, we recommend that voters show their preferences by voting on ALL of the ballot initiatives.  This is particularly true for Initiative 7, which was struck down after early voting had begun and remains a contested issue at the time of this writing.  Arkansas Libertarians recommend a YES vote on Initiative 7.

2016 Arkansas Ballot Initiatives
By Michael D Vaughn

            Initiative 1: Proposing an Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning the Terms, Election, and Eligibility of Elected Officials. At first glance, this initiative seems to include common sense, money and time saving ideas in regards to elections and ballot printing. If a race is uncontested after all deadlines have passed, the one person running will be declared the winner, the race will not be placed on the ballot, and if this was the only race in the election, the election will not be held. It also clarifies which crimes disqualify someone from being elected to the General Assembly, another good feature. The catch comes in the form of extending the term lengths of several county offices from 2 year terms to 4 year terms. These offices include; Circuit Clerk, County Judge, County Sheriff, County Assessor, County Coroner, County Treasurer, County Surveyor, and County Collector of Taxes. I personally believe public servants should be just that, servants, and their re-elections should be frequent to ensure the public believes they are still doing a good job. These offices should be temporary jobs, not careers, and as such, I will be voting NO on Initiative 1.

Initiative 2: A Constitutional Amendment to Allow the Governor to Retain His or Her Powers and Duties When Absent From the State. This Amendment appears to be the most straight forward, simply changing a current provision that has been made obsolete by modern technology. Under the current law, the Lt. Governor is allowed to assume the powers of the Governor if they are out of state. This was used in 2013 by the Republican Lt. Governor to pass legislation the Democrat Governor was blocking, while he was in Washington D.C. at a Governors’ Conference. While this law made sense when it was written in 1914, modern technology allows for immediate communication with the Governor, no matter where they might be. I will be voting YES on Initiative 2.

Initiative 3: An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion, and Economic Development. This initiative is crony corporatism portrayed as a jobs initiative. Currently, the State is allowed to raise funds through a public sale of bonds, and then use these bonds to attract businesses by paying for infrastructure for the businesses. This initiative would extend that right to all levels of government in the state. It would also change the current wording from “industrial development purposes” to “economic development projects,” broadening the purposes the funds can be used for. In addition to the current use of property taxes to pay off the bonds, this authorizes the legislative body to authorize other taxes to be used. Any surplus taxes collected would go to the general funds of the municipality. The current cap of 5% of the general revenue would be removed. Lastly, this would remove the current requirement for the sale of bonds to be at a public auction with 20 days’ notice in a local paper. With these features, any municipality in the state would be able to raise unlimited amounts of money, by selling bonds to select individuals and corporations, give this money to select individuals and corporations, then make the tax payers cover the cost of repaying the bonds. This is corporate welfare and benefits large corporations over small businesses. I will be voting NO on Initiative 3.

Initiative 4: An Amendment to Limit Attorney Contingency Fees and Non-Economic Damages in Medical Lawsuits. This initiative has currently been struck down by the State Supreme Court, but has already been printed on the ballot. The current guidance is for the Secretary of State to not count these votes or certify them; I will give my opinion just in case that changes. While seemingly created by some with the good intentions of protecting victims by limiting the percentage of the non-economic damages a lawyer can take, this initiative tramples all over freedom. By limiting the amount by law, they are taking away our freedom to negotiate our own contracts. This initiative also says the General Assembly will decide how payments are calculated, what factors are considered and how, and requires them to set a maximum dollar amount for all cases (only stipulating it must be at least $250,000.) What dollar amount would you put on your quality of life, or the quality of life of a loved one? Do you trust the maximum set by the General Assembly will be enough to cover your child’s lifetime of pain and suffering? I will be voting NO on Initiative 4.

Initiative 5: An Amendment to Allow Three Casinos to Operate in Arkansas, One Each in the Following Counties: Boone County, Operated by Arkansas Gaming and Resorts, LLC; Miller County, Operated by Miller County Gaming, LLC; and Washington County, Operated by Washington County Gaming, LLC. The hardest part about this initiative, is trying to figure out the worst part of it. While I fully support expanding casinos in the state, the cronyism far outweighs the slight increase in freedom. The measure would write three specific corporation names into the State Constitution, it would have the entire state decide what businesses would be placed in three specific counties rather than the citizens in those counties, and it gives an 18% tax rate to the state but only 0.5% to the county and 1.5% to the cities. If this were to open up the gaming industry in the state, I’d support it, but I can’t support writing corporation names into the State Constitution and setting up blatant government issued monopolies. I will be voting NO on Initiative 5.

Initiative 6: The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016. This initiative and Initiative 7 each have their strengths and weaknesses, but both are a step in the right direction toward freedom. The main strength of this initiative would be that it’s an Amendment; therefore it couldn’t be changed by the State Legislature. While it’s not complete legalization, it will at least allow patients to receive access to medicine they can’t access now. In a state where 35 of 75 counties don’t allow alcohol sales, and every city but 4 ban alcohol sales on Sunday, waiting on complete decriminalization is going to leave patients in pain for decades. I will be voting YES on Initiative 6.

Initiative 7: The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. This initiative has currently been struck down by the State Supreme Court; they disallowed approximately 12,000 signatures leaving it short of the number required. It remains on the ballot and there’s no penalty in voting on it, just in case appeals are successful. According to Arkansas law, if both this initiative and Initiative 6 pass, the one receiving the most votes becomes law. This initiative was a bigger step toward freedom in my opinion, but it was only a State Statute, leaving it vulnerable to being overturned by the Legislature with a 2/3 vote in each the House and Senate. This initiative applied to more illnesses, allocated the surplus taxes to providing medication to low income patients, and allowed those living more than 20 miles from the nearest Cannabis Care Center to grow their own medicine. With both of these initiatives providing a small step towards freedom, I will be voting Yes on Initiative 7.

Whatever conclusions each of you draw on these initiatives; however you decide to vote, the important part is to do your own research, come to your own conclusions, and understand exactly what it is that you’re voting on.

 

Congressional Candidate Mark West on the Supreme Court’s Rejection of Issue 7

To: All media concerning the Supreme Court’s rejection of Issue 7 on Arkansas ballots.

When influential and wealthy people are able to use the courts to overturn the people’s access to the ballot then democracy in Arkansas is in danger.

Whatever side of the cannabis legalization issue you are on, the troubling fact is that Issue #7 had enough support from the people to make the ballot.

The people should be allowed to voice their Yes or No vote. You should have been allowed to vote yes or no on Issue #7.

Your voice on this matter has been stolen…just like it was on Term Limits initiative earlier this summer.

The wealthy and influential decide WHAT you get to voice your opinion on.

Our democratic processes are irreparably harmed when the citizens of Arkansas lose their voice on such an important issue that is vital to the health care of so many especially when that voice was stolen by special interests.

In our great State and Nation it is immoral for politicians, courts, special interests, and lobbyists to stand between the patient and a potential cure.

Restricting ballot access is not the way of democratic republics, but rather the means by which tyrants take and keep power.

Third party candidates are exhaustingly familiar with this process and the strenuous war waged by those in power to make sure that ALL of the people are limited to the choices that are approved by the powerful.

Make your voice heard. Vote for candidates that aren’t part of the power structure and aren’t bought and paid for by special interests and lobbyists. Contact the Supreme Court, Secretary of State Mark Martin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge about this defiant disenfranchisement of the citizens of Arkansas. Protest and picket but do not let your voice fall silent.

Let’s challenge the court to have the emergency hearing and re-instate the ballot status and the voice of the people on Issue #7.

# # #

Mark West is the Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. House District 1 in the 2016 general election.
www.markwestforcongress.com

Libertarian Party Calls on Election Officials to Include Candidates

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas (LPAR) is calling on Secretary of State Mark Martin to include on the ballot the names of candidates who were nominated at a state Libertarian Convention in February.  Citing a recent Federal court ruling from Libertarian Party of Arkansas v. Martin, the LPAR contends that its candidates are being denied ballot access by laws that have been found unconstitutional.

At issue in the case were statutes governing the timing and method of selection of candidates by new political parties.  Specifically, the LPAR challenged the requirement that it must submit a final list of its candidates months before the other political parties selected their nominees by primary election.  In addition, the party challenged a date-change of the candidate filing period to a full year before the general election.

“The legislature moved the date up by four months, just so they could have an early primary – in which we weren’t even invited to participate,” said Michael Pakko, LPAR chair. “To add insult to injury, we were just in the process of completing our petition drive to get our candidates on the ballot when the dates were changed.  Suddenly we had four fewer months to recruit and nominate candidates.”

In a July 15th ruling, Federal Judge James M. Moody found that “the Arkansas statutory scheme for ballot access for new political parties is unconstitutional.”  Specifically, he found that the state had not shown “any valid interest in requiring the Libertarian Party of Arkansas, or any new political party, to nominate their candidates by a convention which must take place before the preferential primary.”  The preferential primary took place this year on March 1st.

In a resolution adopted by the party over the weekend, the LPAR called on the Secretary of State to include on the ballot the names of the four candidates who were nominated for seats in the Arkansas House of Representatives at an LPAR convention in February, and who filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office on March 1st.  The party also called on County Clerks to approve candidates who were nominated for county offices at the same time.

A letter from Pakko to Martin dated August 1st reiterated that request, asking that the Secretary of State to include its candidates “in the interest of fairness and justice.”

LPAR Resolution:
http://www.lpar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Resolution-730-adopted.pdf

Letter to Mark Martin:
http://www.lpar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/SoS-Letter-080116-scan.pdf

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