LIBERTARIAN PARTY NOMINATES MACBRIDE-BERGLAND
The Libertarian Party (LP) held its national convention on Labor Day Weekend in New York City. Events were going on all the week before, with the climax of the convention being the Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominations. After a heated race, Roger Lea MacBride, the Virginia Presidential elector who cast his electoral vote in 1972 for the LP Presidential slate, with 58 percent of the vote defeated Kay Harroff of Ohio and Guy Riggs of New York for the top spot. The Vice-Presidential nomination turned out to be the most controversial event of the convention. On the first ballot, Jim Trotter of Santa Barbara, CA received 97 votes, followed by REASON editor Manuel Klausner with 85 and 1972 VP candidate Toni Nathan with 45 votes. The VP nomination faced a deadlock after MacBride announced that he would veto Trotter (upon his learning that Trotter had not filed income tax returns in three years). Trotter agreed to withdraw from the race, and after a second ballot, the voting was recessed. The next day, David Bergland, the 1974 LP candidate for California Attorney-General, was nominated with 58 percent of the vote, after flying out to the convention to break the deadlock. The remaining votes were split among John Vernon, former candidate for Oklahoma City Council, Toni Nathan, Manny Klausner and economist Walter Block.
Platform debates went very smoothly, and revisions to the LP national platform included harder isolationist stands on foreign policy and stronger stands on civil liberties and governmental discrimination.
Other events included workshops on organizing, multi-media shows, "free lunches" on libertarian issues, seminars, a libertarian theatrical, a bus tour of Manhattan, and a grand banquet. A breakfast series was held that included talks by David Friedman, D.T. Armentano, Jeffrey St. John, and Mark Tier, a founder of the Australian Workers Party.
Two events which attracted a good deal of attention were the Feminism Panel and the Tax Strike Seminar. The Feminism Panel saw REASON editor Lynn Kinsky, Sharon Presley, Fran Youngstein, Bobbie Jahn, and Walter Block debate various aspects of feminism including the ERA and abortion. The Tax Strike seminar had tax rebellion leaders Karl Bray, Hank Hohenstein, and Jim Davidson discussing the different methods of tax avoidance and resistance, with a special report by Eric Garris on the growing Property Tax Strike in Santa Barbara, CA.
In addition to the regular convention activities, the busy week saw the founding of four new libertarian organizations. The Association of Libertarian Feminists was founded to promote the coordination of libertarian and feminist ideas and organizations. ALF may be contacted c/o Laissez Faire Books, 206 Mercer St., New York, NY 10012. The Libertarians for Gay Rights was formed to promote libertarian action on Gay Rights issues. They may be contacted through John Vernon, Chairman, 1206 NW 40th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73118.
The Libertarian Council of Churches, formerly a California-based group, was expanded to a national organization. The purpose of the LCC is to generate communication among already existing libertarian churches, and to assist people in forming their own. The LCC may be contacted through the very Rev. William C. White, 11811 Larnel Pl., Los Altos, CA 94022. The National Association of Libertarian Lawyers was formed to work within the legal community to promote libertarian ideas and to provide legal assistance to libertarian activists. Contact Donald Feder, 102 W. First Ave., Johnstown, NY 12095.
National "Chairthing" Edward Crane was reelected unopposed at the final session, with other national officers being elected in an efficient manner. In all, over 250 delegates and about 400 alternates and observers attended the convention. The National LP office is located at 550 Kearney St., San Francisco, CA 94108.
BEALE FOR DELEGATE
Harold G. "Skip" Beale, a 27-year-old libertarian activist has secured the Republican nomination in his campaign for a seat on the Virginia House of Delegates from Arlington. The House of Delegates is the lower house of the Virginia State Legislature.
Beale was membership chairman of the Virginia Libertarian Party in 1973-74 and Chairman for the Arlington LP in 1974. He served on the Platform Committee at the LP's 1974 National Convention. He is a national advisory board member of the Libertarian-Republican Alliance, a contributor to several libertarian publications, and works with the Metro-D.C. Society for Individual Liberty. He is currently working as a real estate salesman and retail food clerk.
Beale's forthright libertarian stand on the issues has brought him some excellent media coverage. He is speaking out against gun control, for repeal of the state sales tax on food and prescription drugs, for repeal of "fair trade" laws, for abolition of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, for abolition of the state Milk Price Commission, for legalization of parimutuel betting at private tracks, for repeal of the state ban on advertising of prescription drug prices, against financing of state elections, and for drastic reduction of the state budget.
Beale is given a good chance of winning, since the area has elected Republicans before and since he is running an active campaign. Contributions may be sent to Beale for Delegate, at Box 221, Arlington, VA 22210.
RAY CUNNINGHAM FOR MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO
Ray Cunningham's campaign for Mayor of San Francisco is moving along at a fast pace. In addition to mass distribution of professional-looking campaign literature, Cunningham is receiving a large amount of media coverage for his libertarian positions (see "Frontlines," October 1975). He has also hired a full-time professional campaign manager, Eric Garris, who has managed several active campaigns for Democrats, Peace and Freedom Party candidates, and libertarian candidates.
Cunningham is soliciting support in the form of donations, votes, and volunteer workers. During the last three weekends before the November 4th election, he will be attempting to mobilize libertarian volunteer forces all around California. If you can help, contact Cunningham for Mayor, 450 Liberty St., San Francisco, CA 94114; phone (415) 282-3113.
LONG DISQUALIFIED IN RACE FOR MAYOR OF BOSTON
David Long, Libertarian Party activist, was disqualified for lack of 18 signatures in his race for Mayor of Boston. In order to get on the ballot for the November election, Long was required to secure 3000 valid signatures. Although campaign workers gathered over 4000 signatures, close to one-third of the signatures were declared invalid by election boards. After an appeal which re-validated many of the disqualified signatures, the election board still found him lacking, by a mere 18 signatures. (See "Frontlines," Oct. 1975 on Long's campaign.)
Libertarian activists should take note of Long's failure. His example was not a fluke or exception to the rule, but was more the rule of minor party campaigns. Such disqualifications will be very prevalent in libertarians' attempts to achieve ballot status in 1976. In most states, signatures are carefully checked and will be disqualified for any reason whatsoever. A good rule is to obtain double the number of signatures required. In 1972, another new party, The Peoples Party, met ballot requirements in about 25 states, but when disqualifications were made on several grounds, they only appeared on the ballot in 10 states. We must remember that election laws are enforced by the major political parties and they will do whatever they can to stop us from getting on the ballot.
NOTES ON THE WORKERS PARTY OF AUSTRALIA
Last month's Foreign Correspondent report on the Australian Workers Party deserves an addendum due to the Party's great success so far.
The Workers Party is so named because they are the party of the productive workers, rather than of the parasites. Since its founding shortly over a year ago, it has gathered hundreds of members (in a population of 13 million, this makes it stronger than any Libertarian Party organization in this country) at $50 a year dues, and thousands of supporters. It has organizations in every major city and still has yet to come up in a national election (Australia has a parlimentary government and has not had an election since the founding of the party).
In the Foreign Correspondent column, R.A. Howard apologized that the platform of the party is written too much from a limited statist point of view, not accommodating the anarchist libertarians. However, anarchists in this country have commented that the Workers Party platform is much more to their liking than the LP platform, because they feel that it is much more "hard-core" libertarian! The Workers Party platform is straightforward, hard-hitting, and pulls no punches. The WP platform has strong planks on the rights of children, rights of Australian aborigines (including the return of land taken by the government from them), restitution to victims of crimes, abolishing the power of subpoena, and the taxation plank, entitled, "Taxation is theft."
One important section is the preface to the platform which points out that the platform is not a policy document, only a declaration of aims and ultimate objectives. It makes clear the fact that their policies may only achieve partial freedom, while the ultimate aim stays the same. It says, "it is better to regain freedom a little at a time than to lose it altogether and for ever." We think that the U.S. LP can learn a lot from the Workers Party—if only how to write a platform!
A libertarian science fiction club has been formed with the aims of helping libertarian science fiction fans identify themselves as such, and presenting libertarian viewpoints in a manner of interest to fans. Their plans are to have a table at Windycon 2, the Chicago science fiction convention to be held October 3-5, 1975. They hope to publish a science fiction fan magazine and eventually establish a national network of libertarian science fiction clubs to reach fandom at conventions. Anyone who would enjoy writing—about anything at all, with a libertarian bias, potentially of interest to science fiction readers—should contact Mike Kostka, 662 West Buckingham, Apt. 3, Chicago, IL 60657.
Chicago-area people who wish to join, or anyone desiring more information, should contact Bonnie Kaplan (founder), 7820 Nordica Ave., Niles, IL 60648. 312-967-1339.
We continue our roundup of small periodicals of potential interest to libertarians:
Freedom Today, Rene Baxter, editor; a new libertarian monthly magazine with news about survival, politics, tax resistance, self-liberation, etc.; $15.00 a year. $1.00 for sample issue to 4045 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85008.
Caliber, Bruce Lagasse, managing editor; monthly newsletter of the LP of California dealing with the libertarian movement and politics; $3.00 a year for nonmembers; Bruce Lagasse, P.O. Box 5235, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413.
Santa Barbara Libertarian, Eric Garris, editor; monthly newsletter of the Santa Barbara LP with articles and commentary on local politics; REASON editor Lynn Kinsky is a regular contributor; $3.50 a year to Santa Barbara LP, P.O. Box 6274, Santa Barbara, CA 93111.
New Jersey LP News; Kathleen McAdam, editor; monthly newsletter of the New Jersey LP with commentary on local politics; $3.00 a year for nonmembers to P.O. Box 247, Bernardsville, NJ 07924.
Quest; journal of the International Society of Free Space Colonizers published monthly; $9.00 a year to P.O. Box 9743, Seattle, WA 98109.
Cogitations—correction; in our July issue we mistakingly identified this magazine as a quarterly; Cogitations is published monthly; 114 Greenfield Ln., Scituate, MA 02066.
INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS WORKSHOP
The second in a series of International Investors Workshops was held August 15-17 in San Francisco at the new Hyatt Regency Hotel. The gathering—jointly sponsored by the National Committee for Monetary Reform and Harry Schultz Clubs International—was notable for its emphasis on small group exchanges in which the speakers attempted to provide participants with individualized investment advice. This refreshing and hopefully trend setting orientation for economic meetings was enthusiastically received by the attendees as a welcome change from the usual fare of marathon lectures.
Dr. Donald McLaughlin of Homestake Mines and noted economist Dr. Norbert Einstein started the sessions off with discussions on "International Monetary Agreements and Their Effect on the Price of Gold" and "The Three Golds—Yellow, Black, and Green" respectively. Dr. McLaughlin noted that everywhere people have been allowed to own gold a de-facto gold standard existed which—but for the lack of legal gold clause contracts—would eventually destroy fiat money. Dr. Einstein pointed with alarm to a major shift of world power to the increasingly well organized developing countries that intend to "soak the rich nations" via OPEC style cartels covering raw materials essential to industrialized states. The U.S. however could counter via some hard bargaining with its essential food exports.
Jerome Smith (Economic Research Counselors) presented evidence that the U.S. began its present inflationary trend in 1913 when the Federal Reserve System was established. The inevitable result of this trend—given the political impossibility of taxing the public enough to pay for geometrically increasing demands in Social Security, welfare, full employment, revenue sharing, etc.—is double digit and then triple digit inflation. Investments in precious metals and land were suggested as hedges against wealth destruction.
Rene Baxter (Rene Baxter Letter) conducted a workshop on "tax problems" in which he outlined a new and apparently "very effective" tax avoidance procedure which is based on Article One, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution which authorizes only gold or silver for payment of debts. Thus according to the Constitution, Americans have not been legally paid since March 18, 1968 when the U.S. Treasury closed the silver window and issued only unredeemable Federal Reserve Notes. "Since no one has been paid no one owes any tax," Baxter noted. Participants were urged "to tell the truth" on all tax forms by claiming no income (or better yet don't file at all). Mr. Baxter—who welcomes inquiries on this topic—stated that the IRS doesn't want a court test of this Constitutional issue and has stopped action in several cases. If interested in more information contact Rene Baxter, 4045 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85008.
James Sinclair (authority on South African gold shares and international economics) participated in several workshops during the gathering and made much appreciated economic and social predictions along with specific investment suggestions. Mr. Sinclair noted an overwhelming trend toward socialism throughout the world with the resulting loss of privacy, wealth, and liberty. He stated that although everyone will suffer in such a world some people by careful planning will retain a measure of wealth and human dignity. England, according to Mr. Sinclair, is America's barometer: look to England not only for examples of state oppression but also for methods people use to avoid that oppression. He predicted the greatest economic protection will be by those people whose fortunes are tied to the essential products of the earth. Some short term predictions: gold to $215-$225 after a move beginning in Fall 1975; Swiss Franc will probably rise to .4950; inflation is certain to continue at a high rate; shares of South African mines that are efficient (days of cheap labor are over) and have uranium holdings as well look good.
Other workshops covered topics of a more specialized nature. Norman Lamb covered the excellent profit potential in penny gold stocks (see his article in this year's REASON Financial Annual). Hans Weber (Foreign Commerce Bank) discussed the role of Swiss banks in wealth protection. R.D. Schmidt conducted a workshop on estate planning. James Sibbet (author of Let's Talk Silver and Gold) spoke on profits in silver. George Falcke (Deak & Co.) discussed rare coins. And Bill Tedford covered the increasing potential of options as profit vehicles. The only disappointment of this profitable weekend was the absence of Count Von Plettenberg who could not attend due to a death in the family. —J.B. Powell
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Frontlines".