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Libertarian Party Gains Second Sitting State Legislator

Laura Ebke of Nebraska's technically nonpartisan unicameral legislature switches her affiation from Republican to Libertarian.

The Libertarian Party, in the wake of unprecedented press following the nomination of Gary Johnson and William Weld (both former Republican governors) as their candidates for president and vice president, just won their second seated state legislator.

|||Laura Ebke FacebookLaura Ebke Facebook

Like the first one, Nevada's Assemblyman John Moore, Sen. Laura Ebke of Nebraska's 32nd district, enters as an already seated legislator who switched party allegiance from the Republicans.

The Lincoln Journal-Star reports:

Ebke, who always had identified herself as a Republican whose political philosophy was Libertarian, changed her registration online last week.

"I'm not willing to bend my principles to go along or cast a vote just for the sake of party unity," she said during a telephone interview.

Ebke was sitting in the back of the room at the Republican state convention in Omaha last month when Ricketts criticized more than a dozen state senators who are Republicans for votes they cast, arguing for the need to elect "platform Republicans" to the nonpartisan Legislature...

Ebke has cast votes to override several of the governor's vetoes, including his rejection of bills to repeal the death penalty, authorize Nebraska driver's licenses for young undocumented immigrants who have lawful presence in the United States and grant the right for those young people to acquire professional and occupational licenses to work in the state.

"I agree with the Republican Party on many things and I have many friends in the party," she said.

"Republicans talk about fiscal responsibility, but they tend to place not such a high emphasis on civil liberties."

Ebke said the approaching nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican Party's presidential choice affected her decision "maybe a little (because) I can't imagine myself voting for him."....Ebke was elected to the Legislature in 2014 and is midway through her first term.  

From a Libertarian Party press release on Ebke's switch, which notes that Nebraska's unicameral legislature is officially nonpartisan, though sitting members affiliations are generally known:

During her 1-1/2 years in office, Sen. Ebke has introduced a bill to prohibit local governments from having more stringent requirements for gun possession than the state has; co-sponsored a bill to legalize medical marijuana; and co-sponsored a bill to partially repeal asset forfeiture ("policing for profit").

Sen. Ebke played key a role in advancing each of these bills.

In a letter to her donors to announce her switch, Sen. Ebke said she had become increasingly disillusioned by the GOP.

"My view of conservatism has always been [based on] smaller government, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, respect for constitutional rights," she wrote. "And on the national scene, a strong military, but not an overly aggressive one. In other words, I believe in a constitutionalism which looks to the principles of our founders as a guide."

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  • Clint Eastwoodchipper||

    The Libertarian Party, in the wake of unprecedented press following the nomination of Gary Johnson and William Weld (both former Republican governors) as their candidates for president and vice president, just won their second seated state legislator.

    This is spirit-crushing levels of depressing. Only two libertarian-registered legislators in the whole country?

  • ||

    At the state level, I guess. How many are there though that run as Republicans? Remember, we have 3 of them at the federal level, but they all run as Republicans.

  • Clint Eastwoodchipper||

    Good point. But the libertarian Repubs get "watered down" too much.

    Eh.

  • ||

    I don't consider Paul, Massie, or Amash watered down. In fact, I think all three of them are more libertarian than the current LP presidential candidate.

  • briannnnn||

    Not even close honestly. And I'm very proud that 2 of them are from my state of Kentucky...well at least according to Mitch McConnell who said Cincinnati was the biggest city in his state...

  • Libertarian||

    Seriously, what is it with Kentucky? I've made fun of KY ever since a secretary in the office once asked, "what state is New Jersey in?" I've also heard anecdotes that lead one to believe Tennessee, which is right next door, is freedom minded. Is it something in the water? Or is it that biggest Kentucky cash crop that we've heard so much about? Regardless, congrats!

  • DOOMco||

    In order I think it's Amash, Paul, then Massie.
    All are libertarians.

  • Clint Eastwoodchipper||

    Amash is great. Wished I lived in Mich--

    Not quite.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The LP got 4 million votes in the Big One, up 328% from the previous election. None of us even want to get elected into the company of those thieves. But every spoiler vote the platform earns causes a gun or energy-grabbing Dem or mystical prohibitionist Republican to wet their britches in fear ot the arty that's growing, not rotting.

  • ||

    I think it's far more important that we know which restroom her orphans use.

  • ||

    Hole in the corner of the diamond mine can be called a restroom.

  • regularidiot||

    All I know is that they better not be peeing on those diamonds

  • Agammamon||

    You don't call it a 'rest'room - it gives them the wrong idea.

    I like to call it their 'retirement home' - that way it sinks in that once they are no longer useful they get dumped into a nightsoil filled hole and urinated on for all eternity. Really helps keep up productivity.

  • ||

    I think the latter, from what I understand from the article.

  • Brandybuck||

    Former member of the Republican Liberty Caucus executive board. So a real libertarian in other words.

  • ||

    She'll have to switch back next election.

  • briannnnn||

    I mean, awesome, seriously, I want as mangy LP seats as possible, but did it have to be a hideous, gigantic, bulldyke with my 3rd grade hairstyle?

  • ||

    Look, if the Democrats can have their fair share of hideous, gigantic, bulldykes, then we can just as well, damnit!

  • briannnnn||

    You're right dammit! We deserve it.

    http://www.lp.org/files/candidates/john moore.jpg

    The other one is also a hideous, gigantic bulldyke from the looks of it

  • ||

    And thanks for making me lol. I needed that.

  • Agammamon||

    See - that's why you're an arsehole.

    You aren't in a position to fuck her, would never be in a position to fuck her, no matter what she looked like. So who fucking cares what she looks like. Its the quality of her work that matters and that's the only thing that matters.

    In general I'd rather have this woman by my side than Selma Hayek.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    In general I'd rather have this woman by my side than Selma Hayek.

    But I'd rather have Salma Hayek in my bed.

  • briannnnn||

    Dude. Lighten up.

  • lap83||

    Would this be one of those examples as to why there are no libertarian women?

  • Clint Eastwoodchipper||

    Does it count if one *identifies* as a woman?

  • lap83||

    Sure, as long as you also identify as someone who puts the seat back down

  • Clint Eastwoodchipper||

    Glorious!

  • briannnnn||

    I can barely tell the person in this story is a woman. The female writers at reason tend to be the most progressive writers....it just is what it is. It's hard to believe I personal responsibility when you have all those silly lady hormones

  • lap83||

    Are you going to be here all week?

  • Agammamon||

    . . . undocumented immigrants who have lawful presence in the United States and grant the right for those young people to acquire professional and occupational licenses to work in the state.

    I'm a pro-immigration as you can get and have no problem with people immigrating illegally - but this doesn't make sense to me.

    How do you have a *lawful* presence in the US as an immigrant if you're undocumented? If you snuck in here illegally and were later granted permission to remain - someone had to document you. If you're here undocumented and simply being ignored by the police due to policy - you've not got a lawful presence in the US.

    Even I, a US citizen and white as wonder bread, can't enter the country legally without being documented.

  • tarran||

    I think she means if you've not broken any other laws. Or more realistically, haven't been arrested or otherwise accused of breaking any other laws by law enforcement.

  • Foo_dd||

    the terms get a bit fuzzy. many times, people can enter the country "lawfully" (work visa, green card).... and then it expires. if i remember correctly, most "illegal" immigrants, are people who did not jump the fence. they did not break any laws to get here, they failed to get the permission slip renewed.

  • KerryW||

    From this brief description, I'd say replace Weld with Ebke...

  • CE||

    Congratulations, good to see progress. Still waiting for the first LP partisan victory then?

  • eyeroller||

    a strong military, but not an overly aggressive one

    Still good and aggressive, though.

  • LibertarianJRT||

    I wonder if we will wrestle away any "blue dog" democrats when Bernie is "boxed out by that corporate schill".

  • LibertarianJRT||

    Shill like hill, not schill like kill... This is why I can't have nice things.

  • Robert||

    Look out, the bots have eyes!

  • Grant||

    When our vote makes no statement . . . we should do it with our party registration.

  • JeremyR||

    I'm not sure how this is "won", since she was a Republican and simply changed to Libertarian. Let her run as a Libertarian and see how she does.

    Also, looks like she could be changing to a he sometime in the future.

  • Robert||

    She'd better be sitting, because if she stood up, she'd dent the floor.

  • Robert||

    Nebraska's unicameral legislature is officially nonpartisan,


    Aren't the great majority of them? In that the laws don't provide anything particular about the parties w.r.t them? So what's different about that in Nebr.? Are the elections for the offices nonpartisan, so parties aren't listed on the ballot? That's the point that's usu. made, i.e. it's about the election law, not the law establishing the body.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I doubt there were any "nonpartisan" elections before the LP got an electoral vote in 1972. In Austin elections "nonpartisan" is a cowardly dodge to keep voters from finding out there is a party that will record their vote against prohibitions, politicians and taxes.

  • juris imprudent||

    I am disappoint - nearly 50 comments and we still haven't heard from Crusty Juggler - c'mon CJ we all want to know.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Dems are outnumbered there about 2 to 1, and the Libertarian candidates got 9% of the vote in a contest where the gap between winner and looter was 14%. A 2/3 Republican majority could rewrite the State Constitution to bring back Comstock laws and ban birth control if SOMEONE doesn't put the fear of the Spoiler Vote into them statehouse swaggerers.

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