Letter from the Editor
It’s been a year since we issued our first cover of this newsletter, and I could not be more excited to have been a part of it. Natural Liberty really opened up our communication with one another; more members got to see what everyone was working on, we fundraised, we had greater attendance at events, and even hosted a live training session on organizational leadership.
As voluntary associations often do, we did take a small hiatus from the newsletter; it allowed us to rethink what we wanted to do with it, focus on elections, and decide where we wanted it to go next. We knew election season and convention season would bring us more work than ever before, and that is where we needed to put our creative minds at the time.
We’re back now, and as a permanent fixture. We thank you so much for your continued support and willingness to be a part of why Natural Liberty exists. We appreciate you.
– Linnea Gabbard
– Natural Liberty Editor
As we approach the end of 2022, this is a good time to reflect on our accomplishments and disappointments in the most recent political cycle, while maintaining a focus toward the future.
The Libertarian Party of Arkansas fielded a record 56 candidates in the 2022 elections, giving voters an alternative (often the only alternative) and campaigning for liberty. With each electoral cycle, we have seen our influence and recognition grow. Our candidates receive better coverage from the media than we could have dreamed of 10 years ago. The other parties are noticing us as well, devoting more resources to campaigns where we are challenging the status-quo. And with each cycle, our experience and competence grows.
But it’s tough being third-place all the time. None of our candidates were elected, although there were some notable accomplishments among this year’s election results (see article below). And of course it is disappointing that we were unable to achieve the ballot-access threshold of 3% in the Governor’s race. That threshold is a very inadequate and superficial measure of the legitimacy of a statewide political party, but that’s how Arkansas law defines things.
Speaking of Arkansas laws, the Libertarian Party did score a victory this year—in federal court. In the case of Libertarian Party of Arkansas, et al, v. Thurston, the judge in the case issued a final ruling on September 30, finding in favor of the LPAR. Many of the restrictions and hoops to jump through in the current statutes were ruled unconstitutional, and the Secretary of State is enjoined not to enforce them. While this is a great victory of principle, it does complicate our path forward.
At its first meeting after the election in November, the LPAR Executive Committee resolved unanimously that we would work toward the goal of gaining full ballot-access again for the 2024 elections. That means petitioning to become a “new political party” (again, for the 7th time). In the wake of the federal court ruling, however, the parameters of how to petition (number of signatures, deadlines, etc.) are unclear. We’re presently seeking clarification from the Secretary of State’s office, and anticipating that the legislature might be inclined to fill the gaps in current procedures with a fair, constitutionally-adequate system for allowing ballot access to political parties. We’ll be monitoring the issue closely, and stand ready to work with legislators to design a system that corrects for the flaws identified by the court.
Meanwhile, it’s time to press forward on all fronts. Among our newly expanded pool of experienced candidates, I hope that many will begin planning their next campaigns soon. We need to expand our fundraising efforts to finance the petition campaign, while at the same time recruiting candidates and building campaign teams to be ready for 2024. In some ways, this moment might just seem like another dreary, recurring cycle of the election calendar; but as we steadily grow in participation and experience, each cycle presents new, unique opportunities. Let’s make the most of it!
– Michael Pakko
County Affiliate News
As we close campaign season, the Membership and Affiliates Committee will be looking to focus on the recruitment of chairs for the remaining Arkansas affiliates. We need populated affiliates in order to support our candidates in each county. This will be a structured effort that will involve all aspects of social media, outreach, events, and more. If you are interested in becoming a part of this effort, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We now have 1/3 of our counties affiliated, and have a new one on the horizon! This is an exciting effort, and we hope to maintain a successful trajectory as we move forward.
Our team is proud to continually provide resources to our affiliates, which we consider to be the most important outreach networks. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to start an affiliate, please reach out to email@example.com.
The Libertarian Party of Arkansas fielded 56 candidates in the 2022 election, ranging from Township Constable to U.S. Senate. The results of the election, shown in the table, display a wide range of results. One significant factor is whether the race had two candidates or three. For example, in a three-way race for State House we would expect 3.67%. In a two-way race, the expectation is 19.25%. Relative to 2020, our candidates in three-way races did slightly better this year, while candidates in two-way races received slightly lower percentages on average.*
Two new records were established this year: Eric McGee’s 34.5% showing was the highest percentage ever received by a candidate for State House. In his second bid for Justice of the Peace in Sebastian County, Zach Mulson garnered 44.55% — a new record for a contested partisan race.
In total, Libertarian candidates received 241,199 votes, representing 4.94% of the votes in races where we had a candidate.
Our candidates should all take pride in being part of our 2022 electoral effort, and all Libertarians owe them a debt of gratitude for their efforts and sacrifice. Our candidates represented the party well.
It’s never too early to start planning for 2024. If you are interested in being a Libertarian Candidate, contact the elections committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Statistical results are derived from a fixed-factors model linking candidate percentages to year-effects, number of candidates in the race, and the specific office sought. – Michael Pakko
A Fundraising Appeal
Want to help us prepare for our next election season by contributing to ballot access? Please consider making a contribution of $10, $20, $30 or even a $100 gift to help the Libertarian Party of Arkansas with more successes this coming year!
Are you an LPAR member? If not, visit LPAR.org/join to become one.
Social Media Scene
Though they’ve been operating it for a while now, the LPAR social media committee is extremely thrilled to highlight the successes of our TikTok platform, but the amazing operating team behind it! Thank you to newcomer Nicole Wisniowski and Melissa Crow (Instagram manager) who have already rocked the national LP world with one of the best TikToks in the entire party. At 3,468 followers and 61k total likes since its inception 9 months ago, we can safely boast about the infectious engagement these two managers have introduced to the LPAR. Our campaigns thrived this year on social media because of Nicole’s strong editing and keen eye for viral moments. If you haven’t seen these hilarious and informative videos, please check them out!
The LPAR twitter, managed by Miranda Corwin and Michael Gill, now have 7,101 followers! Help them get to the next goal by following them or spreading the word. Our Facebook, managed by Brian Mooney, has 9.3k followers and is populated by excellent content daily.
We are still calling for YouTube content. We have a functional YouTube channel and are looking for LPAR campaign material, activism, debates, seminars, etc. If you have any existing material or new projects you would like to submit, please send them to email@example.com.
Have any graphics or photos from recent events you would like for us to post? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know libertarians love to learn, and what better way to share our passion than media recommendations? Here is a recent recommendation:
Arkansas PBS Debates
Our candidates made huge waves this year by appearing center stage for the Arkansas PBS Debates, a longtime tradition geared toward giving candidates a chance to speak with the greater part of Arkansas. We want to congratulate Mr. Ricky Harrington, Mr. Frank Gilbert, Mr. Kenneth Cates, Mr. Michael Kalagias, Mr. Michael White, and Mr. Gregory Maxwell on their willingness to present themselves on behalf of our party.
Did you read, listen to, or watch anything lately you’d like to recommend? Email us with your pick!
Comments, questions, or suggestions for our newsletter? Let us know at email@example.com.
The Libertarian Party of Arkansas