Sunday, May 2, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
I write this post with a heavy heart.
I have identified with the Libertarian Party since first reading its platform in high school at about 16 or 17 years old. Over the years I have registered to vote in Delaware with one party or another for various strategic reasons, but the platform and philosophy of the LP have always aligned with my political goals.
It wasn't until 2010 when I truly joined the LP, attending my first state convention in Delaware at the Modern Maturity Center. Since then I have poured my heart into this party. I have spent many sleepless nights working on one project or another to advance our goals, protect our ballot access, or just make it easier for us to engage in activism at the state and national level. My four year old daughter is a lifetime member.
However, of late I have put myself into an untenable position. I ran for State Chair on a whim in 2017 because I was concerned about the tone that was being set by the two main candidates coming into that convention. I was often told about fights they were having and felt that the rest of the party was being dragged into personal disputes as a result. Thankfully, the current chair Sean Goward had passed along to the former chair Scott Gesty that he was willing to serve, and had prepared a short statement for Scott to read to the convention as Sean was unable to make it that day due to a family obligation. Sean won and he has been a wonderful chair, in my opinion, and my hesitation in writing this post is in part due to the effect it may have on him in his last weeks as chair. I have announced that I was willing to serve as chair after discussions with many people within the party that I have worked with over the years and whose opinions I value and respect. No one else wanted the job.
However, I now find myself in a similar situation to the candidates whose bickering in 2017 led me to launch a last minute and entirely unserious campaign then. Despite my best intentions to protect the integrity of the party from those whom I believe do not hold its best interests at heart, who are naive at best and part of a national effort to subvert the LP into an alt-right troll organization at worst, it seems I have now become the lightning rod of division and ill will within the LPD.
I will always be a Libertarian. My rebellious attitude and principled conviction that all people should be free to live as they choose so long as they do not interfere with the right of others to do the same will allow me no other alignment. However for the sake of my sanity and perhaps for the sake of the party I must take a step back. I will still accept a nomination for State Chair at the 2021 Convention on June 5th if anyone would like to nominate me, but I will not campaign for the position and fight against NOTA or some other unknown candidate who may jump in at the last minute to represent the interests of those whose actions over the past several months have thrown us into the state of turmoil that we now find ourselves in.
I will continue to serve in my capacity as webmaster and hold custody, in trust for the State Board of the LPD, the passwords and accounts on social media and other internet forums, but the critical web infrastructure of the party runs itself at this point and the others who have access to it are able to do what must be done without me. As events unfold at the June 5th Convention I will transfer access from the current party leadership to the new one as required by my contract with the party, and then offer my resignation to the new Board. I will not do so until then to save Sean the burden of dealing with this at an already tumultuous time for the LPD.
I do not know what the future holds for me in the political realm. I will accept a nomination for State Chair and I will serve to the best of my abilities if elected, but I will not fight for it and give those who have identified me as their enemy the satisfaction of beating me with their inflated numbers of Johnny Come Lately activists dancing to the tune of out of state interests intent on subverting the LP into an echo chamber of adolescent trolling. If I have to fight these people to hold the relatively meaningless title of State Chair then the party I would lead is already hopelessly divided and distorted into something I don't recognize.
More likely I will continue my activism in some form as an independent Libertarian actor, unencumbered by the strictures of the State AoA or answering to a Board even now being subverted by self-aggrandizing blowhards without a clue how anything works. This site will become more active as an outlet for the statements on Delaware legislation I have thus far reserved to be introduced to the State Board as resolutions on behalf of the State Party. I will fork the code for what currently exists as the "LPD Activism Application" and focus on the legislative social media aspects of that effort. I have started a few political parties in the last few months, I may try to get one of them or an entirely new one ballot access as an unaffiliated libertarian-leaning minor party. Freed of the brand and strictures of the national LP, we may be able to find avenues for electoral engagement with elected officials in the major parties that enable us to advance libertarian goals in other ways.
I will likely run for office again at some point in the future, either as a Libertarian if they'll still have me, a nominee of one of my new parties should we ever get ballot access, or by invading the primaries of the major parties as I have done in the past.
Time will tell.
It saddens me deeply to see the LPD go in the direction that it is going, and I take full responsibility for my part in the division and acrimony that has afflicted us of late, and for failing to more actively recruit reasonable, well intentioned, and intelligent people to be more active and counter the influence of those whose actions have brought us down this path. I just can't spend this much of my energy fighting people who claim to agree with me anymore. The State is out there and it is growing.
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Friday, October 26, 2018
I would take that one step further. It should be expected that incumbent legislators are familiar with the issues and legislation they are charged with addressing and voting on. Anyone doing the job as long as they have should have a passable knowledge above and beyond what should be expected of the average voter sitting in the audience. They can reveal (a little) inside baseball about how a piece of legislation was developed and the various working groups they have been part of to try to address this issue or that one. If, having done the job for 4-18 years, they cannot present themselves in a way that illustrates their obvious experience, then they are clearly ill suited to the position.
What voters must ask themselves, beyond philosophy, is what are the results?
If the result is higher taxes, more spending, and less freedom and prosperity, then what good is a little inside baseball? Any challenger given a month or two to get their bearings once elected will be familiar with the procedures and issues getting things done in the legislature. Incumbents may start with that advantage, but they also carry the disadvantage of having presided over what has come before. They have voting records illustrating the issues they've gotten wrong, the compromises they've made to appease the special interests bankrolling them, and the failures they've presided over either through action or inaction.
If you're happy with where things are, by all means, vote for experience. If you're not, then don't be blinded by it. Change starts at home. Vote the incumbents out.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
What was distinctly absent from the responses of the other candidates was any discussion of CHOICE. Delaware has one of the highest levels of education spending per pupil in the country, so the money is there. If our results are not what we would want or expect for the money that is being spent, and if the political powers that be have not been able to achieve their goals with budgets and regulations despite the apparent agreement on those goals, then what is to be done?
My answer focused on the issue of choice. If parents and students aren't getting the education they need and want from the public schools in their district, they should have the choice of moving those education dollars to a school that will meet their expectations. If that means another public school, a private school, or homeschooling, they should have the freedom to vote with their feet and the option to hold that final rebuke over the heads of their school administrators.
Public education in Delaware holds a monopoly. Bloated budgets that spend more on administrative overhead than they do on actually providing the services demanded are not a bug, they are a feature of that monopoly. Only by holding the state Department of Education and public school districts accountable for results through retaining the option to fire them can inflated costs and sub par results be brought under control and accountability be restored.
The two-party candidates agree that more tax dollars need to be spent in classrooms instead of on administration. They agree that special interests should not hold more sway than professional educators and parents. They cannot seem to bring themselves to restore choice as the ultimate mechanism for accountability in education.
If I am elected to the General Assembly on November 6th, choice will be my policy towards education.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Anyway, I haven't run a very active campaign. I did a Facebook Post about it.
I will be at the League of Women Voters debate on 10/17 at the Modern Maturity Center though. Now that I've reregistered my domain name, I'll be putting out some of my signs. I'm surprised no one tried to hijack it since I've been a filed candidate for a few months now and left the domain available. I look forward to seeing everyone out and about. Don't send me money though. It just makes Campaign Finance Reporting more complicated. Kthxbye.I have not run a very active campaign this year. I have a young daughter and about a million other things to do.I am still an option on November 6th though. I have had conversations with both of my opponents. They seem like decent people. They have not displayed the outward hostility towards me that I have faced from some of my opponents in previous campaigns, and for that I am grateful to them.We do, however, have fairly stark differences of opinion when it comes to policy in the State of Delaware.My primary difference of opinion with the incumbent Republican relates to the legalization of cannabis and the importance of placing principles over partisan loyalty. In reviewing his voting record and even in my conversation with him, I became aware of his support for a number of tax increases during the showdown to pass a state budget in 2017. As many of you will remember, there was a sizable gap between the projected revenues and expenditures which caused a great deal of handwringing in the countdown to the close of the regular legislative session. Rep. Andria Bennett, the Democrat from the 32nd Representative District and my erstwhile opponent from the 2014 campaign, who I endorsed in the 2016 campaign due to our personal friendship, her willingness to learn about Libertarian beliefs and philosophies, and willingness to place the needs and desires of her constituents above those of her party leaders, demonstrated her independence again by voting against tax increases which would have resolved the "crisis" and earned the ire of her party leadership by doing so. Not so for my Republican opponent. He was apparently told by his party leadership that he could "afford" to alienate certain lobbies and encouraged to support the increase in the Real Estate Transfer Tax. He also voted to support the licensing and taxing of Fantasy Football leagues. Finally, he voted to support the "Bump Stock Ban" in the wake of the push for more gun control in Delaware. These choices stand in stark contrast not only to the choices I would have made, but also to the professed philosophy of his party to support lowering taxes and oppose imposing additional penalties on otherwise law abiding citizens based on the possession of a certain type of firearm or accessory.While my Democratic opponent has expressed his support for cannabis legalization, I can otherwise see no real distinction between him and the Republican incumbent. "Common Sense" is, to me, a euphemism for "lack of principles" in the areas of gun control and government spending. Imposing penalties on innocent people and taxing them to fund bloated government budgets is not how I believe government should operate.Faced with those choices, and the desire to "show the flag" for the Libertarian Party in the November election, I accepted the nomination of the Libertarian Party of Delaware. While I have not had the time to devote to a strenuous campaign this year, I still hope to get the support of voters in the 34th Representative District.If elected, and even if I'm not, I will continue to promote a small government that works effectively and efficiently to protect the rights of those subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Delaware. I will support the legalization of cannabis, the reduction of taxes and government spending, legislation like HB450 which will allow those with criminal records to get a second chance, and a disruption of the two-party system which has a stranglehold on the political conversation both in Dover and DC.Thank you for taking the time to read my wall of text, and thank you in advance for your support on November 6th and moving forward.