Post election activity of the Libertarian Party has centered around the organizational efforts of the thirty affiliated state parties. State organizations from Alaska to New York are laying the groundwork for a greater impact on the political process in 1974.
Less than one year ago 89 delegates met in Denver at the first national convention of the Libertarian Party. Indicative of the subsequent growth of the Party was the first statewide convention of the Libertarian Party of California (LPC), held March 9-11 in Fresno. Because of its significance to the national party I am devoting the majority of this report to that convention.
The California convention was marked by the same enthusiasm evident at the Denver gathering last June. Present were 115 delegates representing 18 of the 20 regions into which the LPC is divided. This meeting possessed, however, an additional element of purposefulness, a kind of quiet confidence on the part of the delegates that did not exist at this time last year. The numerous successes of the past year have apparently convinced many LP members that the public is indeed ready to listen to a rational alternative to the major political parties.
Of interest to libertarians nationally is an initiative petition that the California Party will attempt to get on the ballot in 1974. After discussing possible initiatives on victimless crimes, tax reduction and getting minority parties on the ballot, the Convention selected the idea of placing a time limit on most laws. While the details have yet to be worked out, by requiring the legislature to re-pass laws after they have been on the books 10 or 15 years the initiative would have the effect of disposing of many laws while significantly limiting the time available to our busy bureaucrats to pass new ones.
On the last day of the Convention delegates listened to speeches by libertarian dignitaries John Hospers and Antony Sutton. Hospers spoke on the "Libertarian temperament", identifying it as a creative one interested in changing man's environment and contrasting it to the insecure, defensive temperaments of bureaucrats and most academicians. Sutton, a recent convert to libertarianism who is the author of WESTERN TECHNOLOGY AND SOVIET ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, identified all "producers" as potential allies of libertarians and encouraged the delegates to find a common area of agreement when discussing libertarianism with a "nonbeliever", then point out the consistency of the rest of our beliefs.
In other business, the Libertarian Party of California adopted a Constitution providing for a decentralized organization that places responsibility for growth at the local level. Dues will be split equally between the state and its regional subdivisions.
Los Angeles attorney Ed Clark (National LP Vice Chairman) was elected Chairman of the LPC with Bill White and your LP correspondent being chosen as Vice Chairmen for the northern and southern halves of the state, respectively. California now has over 400 members in the state party and if the state convention was any indication it can be expected that this Party will be a major factor in California politics before the end of the decade.
STATE PARTY REPORTS
ALASKA. John Hospers reports back from his recent trip to the Alaskan state convention that there is more enthusiasm for libertarianism among the general populace in that state than in any other he visited. Hospers says the LP is very well organized in the state and that it is looking into the possibility of supporting a growing Alaskan secession movement.
ARIZONA. Freeman Fox deserves considerable credit for helping get this state party organized to the point where it is one of the most active in the nation.
CALIFORNIA. Roger Scime is a candidate for Los Angeles Junior College District Board of Trustees. He is running on a libertarian platform which includes calling for the sale of various academic departments within the junior colleges to private companies so they can run them.
NEW YORK. The Free Libertarian Party will hold its annual convention March 30-April 1 at the Williams Club on East 39th Street. The FLP phone number is (212)354-0292. The Party's monthly newsletter "Free Libertarian" is excellent and subscriptions may be obtained by writing to FLP, Inc., 15 West 38th Street, New York, New York 11018.
OHIO. The OLP is working on arrangements for the national LP Convention which will be held June 7-10 in Strongsville. Kay Harroff reports that OLP membership is over 50 and growing fast.
OKLAHOMA. The Libertarian City Committee of Norman is running a candidate for the Norman City Council. Steven Browne, a 21-year anthropology major at the University of Oklahoma. Browne is running as an avowed laissez-faire capitalist who wants to severely curtail city government and taxes.
OREGON. Hospers ran 5th in Oregon, ahead of the two socialists and Gus Hall. The Oregon Newsletter reports the following electoral college vote: Hospers 1; Others 537. The Oregon LP has the benefit of receiving advice from the first woman in the history of the United States to get an electoral vote, LP Vice-presidential candidate Tonie Nathan.
TEXAS. TLP newsletter "Renaissance News" reports that the first annual ILS (Institute for Libertarian Studies) Seminar Conference will be held in Dallas April 21st. Guy Story Brown reports that interest in the seminar is very high and it is hoped that individuals from all parts of the country will attend. For more information write to Mr. Brown c/o TLP, 802 East Elwood, Irvine, Texas 75061.
Roger MacBride, new folk hero of the LP, was in Los Angeles recently. As the Virginia elector who cast his electoral vote for John Hospers, LP Presidential candidate, MacBride's presence enabled the LP to receive coverage from the LOS ANGELES TIMES at long last…State LP parties should send newsletter items to me at the following address: Reason Reports c/o LPC, PO Box 71383, Los Angeles, California 90071.…