Cliff Maloney Says Young Americans for Liberty Event Was Canceled for Political Reasons

Dallas officials pulled the plug on the event just three days before it was to begin, costing the libertarian student group $200,000.


Cliff Maloney, the president of the libertarian student group Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), is hopping mad. Just three days before YAL's Mobilize 2020 conference—an event with 1,400 attendees from all over the country—the city of Dallas pulled the plug on the meeting, citing worries about the spread of COVID-19.

"We had been working hand in hand with the Omni Hotel, which was our host, and the city of Dallas," says Maloney, who explains that his group had agreed to abide by a host of conditions insisted on by health officials, including the wearing of masks, social distancing, and serving box lunches. Though the group received a refund from the hotel, Maloney estimates YAL is out around $200,000 for other vendor and non-refundable travel fees.

He's especially irked that months ago, he switched the location from Austin to Dallas on the assumption that the latter would be more business-friendly and that COVID-19 hospitalizations are declining in the Dallas metro area. "The fire marshall approved all of our plans a week and a half ago [and] nothing has changed in the state" in terms of new lockdown orders, says Maloney. Though he has no evidence for it, he claims that politics played a role in the last-minute cancellation, citing Mayor Eric Johnson's praise for large police-reform rallies.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Maloney talks about YAL's focus on state-level races in the November election and why he is optimistic about electing a slate of "liberty legislators" who will help shrink the size, scope, and spending of government at the state and local levels. He's also keen on outreach to younger Americans, saying that millennials and Gen Z are particularly interested in ending wars and protecting civil liberties. "The issues of civil liberties and peace are typically where we get people to open the door for conversation," Maloney tells Nick Gillespie.

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27 responses to “Cliff Maloney Says Young Americans for Liberty Event Was Canceled for Political Reasons

  1. He had one simple job: Make it look like a BLM event.

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  2. Perhaps in the future YAL should avoid holding conventions in cities with a Democrat mayor.


      1. concert starved enough to listen to dueling banjos.

        1. Willing to pay a cover charge for them if the venue sells booze (note: event has to end in Montgomery County, Md by 10:00 PM as no booze may be served after. No bourbon, no Bluegrass!).

      2. Would be far better than listening to Lil’ Sumpinlowpants recite bad poetry about his body parts to an electronically generated beat.

        But you’re right. Few folks who would attend a convention would last an hour in a place they couldn’t find a half double decaffeinated half-caf with a twist of lemon.

        1. LA Story. I caught the half caf reference. That’s a deep cut

          1. Hi I’m Bob I’ll be your robber tonight.

  3. And nothing else happened?

    Since it sounds like a good portion of the event was going to be hosted on private property at the hotel, I’m not entirely clear on why they YAL can’t tell the mayor to shove it up his ass (or what exactly they lose by doing so).

    Assuming there’s a rational explanation for the above, I’m not entirely clear about why the YAL isn’t suing the shit out of the Mayor’s office for violating their free speech rights and the associated damages. I’m 1000% certain neither the State nor the City’s official papers grant the Mayor the authority to agree to agreeing to social distancing procedures up to 3 days prior to the event and then changing his mind.

    I can’t imagine that the YAL hasn’t at least talked about both of the above options.

    1. Is the hotel prepared to tell the mayor to shove it? Hotel will be there exposed long after YAL goes home. YAL needs to encourage every member to write Dallas convention Bureau and tell them they will never spend a dime in Dallas as long as this fascist is mayor.

      1. Exposed to what? They’re already serving in the tyrant’s disfavor, what’s he gonna do? Start firing hotel employees? I’m sure firing Juan the groundskeeper and Janita the laundry lady because they voluntarily served libertarians will bode well for his election campaign.

    2. The Omni Hotel in Dallas is owned by the City of Dallas. The question to ask is why did YAL select a City of Dallas owned hotel for this event.

  4. Already knew before I looked it up that the mayor of Dallas is a Democrat.

    These guys just weren’t playing his flute.

  5. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is a tyrant. Mayor Johnson is his pet.

  6. “…millennials and Gen Z are particularly interested in ending wars and *protecting civil liberties*…”

    Sure, except for the little pesky thing known as freedom of speech and thought, for that they want speech codes and cancellation for anyone who deviates one iota from left orthodoxy.

    1. Yeah, I read that sentence as “millennials and Gen Z are particularly interested in talking about ending wars and creating and protecting what they believe to be civil liberties”

      Animus aside, I see no reason why they should be regarded as magically different than the generation that fought the wars to end all wars or invented the right to an abortion or the generation(s) that protested Vietnam and then put us in Iraq and Afghanistan and invented the right to healthcare…

  7. So hold it outside Dallas county. Honestly if you’re going to dance with the left wing devil don’t expect a reach around.

  8. Though he has no evidence for it, he claims that politics played a role in the last-minute cancellation, citing Mayor Eric Johnson’s praise for large police-reform rallies.

    Because of course libertarians oppose police reform.

    Nah, just kidding, it’s because “police-reform rallies” aren’t really for police reform, they’re for socialism.

  9. He’s also keen on outreach to younger Americans, saying that millennials and Gen Z are particularly interested in ending wars and protecting civil liberties.

    Then he probably shouldn’t do interviews with Reason. The commentators here are sure to drive off any would-be libertarians.

    1. Depends on what you meant by commentator. If you mean the Reason staff, you’re right on. It’s in the actual comments section where you will find the only actual libertarianism. If that’s what you meant, then, er, well…

      1. The writers are all ‘would-be’ libertarians. It’s got a battered-wife denialist ring to it. If only he’d quit sleeping with other women and quit getting drunk and hitting me, he would be a great husband!

        ENB would be a libertarian if sex work were legalized and men (and the women who support them) were forcefully impoverished to the point they couldn’t afford it. Shikha would be a libertarian if we could just get more immigrants to perform the slave labor that we forbid native workers from doing. Robby would be a libertarian if Title IX weren’t applied to so many black guys and more people believed Christine Blasey-Ford. If only Trump weren’t President, all the writers would be libertarians.

    2. The commentators here are sure to drive off any would-be libertarians.

      Oh no! Not the “I’d agree with property rights and the NAP but internet commentators are mean” wing of the libertarian party! However will JoJo win without them?

      Maybe if they team up with other would-be libertarians like the “I’d agree with property rights and the NAP if they’d believe Blasey-Ford.” and “I’d agree with property rights and the NAP if Trump weren’t a Putin stooge.” wings the LP would really stand a chance!

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  11. Interesting discussion but the idea of “liberty legislators” is fertilizer. This group is the young Republicans. We believe in liberty for us and our betters. I noted that they evaluate candidates on a host of issues but not abortion and immigration. So liberty does not really extend to women or to people of color. I also noted that Mr. Maloney saying that they get Libertarian, Independents but focus on Republicans. What about “liberty Democrats” fighting for end of drug wars, ending oversee wars, insuring reproductive liberty. I guess that not really what liberty is all about. You want to get a true definition of liberty or the constitution you really need to talk to a white man. Like I said fertilizer.