Thursday, March 14, 2013

Former U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Miller Headlines Speakers At The 2013 Alaska Libertarian Party Convention

Update March 17th: Short accounts of the convention are now available from Alaska Dispatch and on the ALP Facebook page. They elected Chairman Mark Fish, Vice-Chairman Michael Chambers, Secretary Joel Hadley, Treasurer Carolyn Clift, and Membership Chair Rob Clift as their officers, and made some changes to their Constitution, Bylaws, and Platform. Joe Miller spoke about gun control and, more specifically, the government's alleged preparations for civil war. He brandished a pair of silver handcuffs and jokingly asked if there were any reporters present. Miller is still uncertain if he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, and said he didn't agree to speak to the libertarians for political reasons, meaning that he's not romancing them for a possible party switch.

The Alaska Libertarian Party is holding their annual convention in Anchorage on March 16th, 2013, but I wouldn't have known about it had it not been for an e-mail from the ALP. There has virtually been no advance media publicity. However, the convention announcement is posted on their website, as well proposed changes to the ALP platform which will be presented for a vote by registered party members.

The convention will take place at the Golden Lion, located at the intersection of 36th & the New Seward Hwy, from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. Admission fee $50.00. Doors open at 8:30 A.M. for registration and coffee. One does not need to be either a party member or a registered libertarian voter to attend, but to vote in the convention, one must be both a registered libertarian voter and party member. You can also still RSVP HERE if you want to attend.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the convention is its headline speaker -- former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller, who accepted the invitation even though he is still a Republican. Although Miller does not reference the invitation on the Restoring Liberty website, it has some interesting future implications. Because the national Republican Party is going in the opposite direction favored by genuine conservatives, striving to become little more than right-wing Democrats, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Miller's appearance could be an audition of sorts. Perhaps Miller and the Libertarians are feeling each other out to see if it is possible that Miller might run against Mark Begich for the U.S. Senate in 2014 -- but as a Libertarian. Miller would be an impressive catch for the Libertarians, and he is much closer to them politically than Lisa Murkowski was when she was temporarily romancing them in 2010. Some Libertarians questioned inviting a "statist" Republican like Joe Miller to address their convention, but on their Facebook page, ALP Chair Mark Fish provided a good answer:

My difficulty as chair is setting a convention agenda the engages our membership. Finding speakers that are willing and interesting is difficult and even more so if we insisted they be registered Libertarians. Traditionally the ALP has gone outside party affiliations to get speakers this year is no different. Of course our candidates are always offered to speak, but if we limit the pool of speakers to Registered Libertarian we wind up preaching to the choir and influence little outside of or own circle. To quote AC/DC "it's not as easy as it looks." Perhaps others could help recruit speakers for next year.

The other two speakers are Ron Holmstrom, a libertarian filmmaker who is Alaska's representative to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Read a 2011 interview with Holmstrom HERE. He'll be addressing the convention live, while the third speaker, Libertarian 2012 Vice Presidential candidate Judge James P Gray, will be deliver his speech via the Internet.

Some of the proposed changes to the ALP platform:

-- 1.2 Personal Privacy: Add the phrase "We oppose all forms of electronic surveillance or information gathering without the consent of the individual".

-- 1.4 Abortion: Remove the phrase "leaving the question to each person for their own conscientious consideration".

-- 1.6 Self-Defense: Insert a clause opposing any U.N or international treaties requiring registration of, or restricting the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.

-- 1.9 Environment: Add the phrase "We are opposed to any regulatory agencies having the force of law".

-- 2.2 Money and Financial Markets: Add the phrase "We support the private ownership of precious metals".

-- 2.6 Health Care: Add the phrase "We oppose any mandatory imposition of class II medical devices (RFID) for any purpose".

-- 2.9 Internal Security and Individual Rights: Add the phrase "The ALP supports the concept of a voluntary citizens militia".

-- 3.1 Free Trade and Migration: Add the phrase "We reject any supra-national organization which is not subject to the US constitution".

-- 3.2 Rights and Discrimination: Add the phrase "Group rights do not supersede individual rights".

-- Add 3.5 Sovereign Rights: The ALP supports the process of inter-position and nullification of any laws which violates the U.S. constitution or is detrimental to the sovereign rights of Alaska lands.

-- Add 3.6 Alaska Lands: The ALP supports the end of all federal sovereignty of Alaska lands. The people of Alaska have sole authority to administer all lands within its borders.

Analysis: In Mark Fish, the Alaska Libertarian Party has the leadership necessary to become more competitive, so long as they can avoid the radical objectivism which has marginalized it in the past. When libertarians promote private enterprise, jury nullification, non-intervention in foreign affairs, and transforming government from an oppressor into a partner, they play a winning hand. But when libertarians start talking about killing the minimum wage, gutting Social Security, and tolling roads, they drive people away. The American people are nowhere near being politically and economically mature enough to accept full-throttle libertarianism at this time; the libertarians cannot succeed by offering to march faster and further than the people are willing to go.

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