Home | Newsletters
Free? State Libertarian ISSN 1076-3155
Volume 21 Issue 1
The Free? State Libertarian is published quarterly by the Libertarian Party of Maryland. All material is copyrighted 1999 and may be reproduced provided credit is given as follows: "Reprinted from the Free? State Libertarian."
Submissions and corrections should be emailed to LPMD.Newsletter*ICengineering.com, or mailed to LPMD Newsletter, PO Box 321, Owings Mills, MD 21117.
Editor: Robert E. Glaser
Editorial Staff: Susan Gaztañaga and Lorenzo Gaztañaga
The Libertarian Party of Maryland
4323 Rosedale Avenue, Bethesda MD 20814
Libertarian BBS: 301-656-4714
National LP HQ: 202-333-0008
Check www.MD.LP.org regularly for the current event calendar, hot topics, email listserv, debate pages, photo album, and more! Be certain to submit current event information to LPMD.Event*ICengineering.com to get your data online.
Table of Contents
State Executive Committee Officers
TERRY ALAN ATWOOD
Longtime Maryland Patriot joins LP ranks
New Meetings - LDDS East & Frederick
Notes from the Chair
American Liberty Players
Anti-Smoking Bill Testimony
From the Trenches ... County Chapter Notes
Recommendations from National on How To:
Libertarian Social Meetings
State Executive Committee Officers
Chair: Steve Boone 410-628-6170 LPChairMD*aol.com
Vice Chair: Lorenzo Gaztañaga 410-325-2813 DiazVivar*aol.com
Secretary: Stuart Simms
Treasurer: Joe Miller 410-789-3899 Hatsiwear*aol.com
Assistant Treasurer: Michael Audi Freesociet*aol.com
Membership: Wayne Dougherty 301-834-6179 WDarty*aol.com
Outreach/registration: Bill Galvin 301-990-0015 Bilib*juno.com
The executive committee meets on the second Monday of every month. All meetings are open. Contact Steve Boone for location.
Anne Arundel County: Spear Lancaster 410-923-3331 Maimon*aol.com
Baltimore City: Susan Gaztañaga 410-325-2813 DiazVivar*aol.com
Baltimore County: Nancy Millionie 410-833-8991 LibertyGrl*aol.com
Frederick County: Wayne Dougherty 301-834-6179 Wdarty*aol.com
Harford County: Derek Mancinho 410-836-3104 Mancinho*aol.com
Howard County: Kevin & Deborah Wolf 410-750-8531 Wolf8495*aol.com
Prince Georges County: Jim McLaughlin 301-352-8809 JimMcL*hotmail.com
Montgomery County: Glenn Howard 301-585-1793 glenn*tidalwave.net
TERRY ALAN ATWOOD
August 21, 1950 -- February 11, 1999
February 11, 1999 was a typical Thursday evening. Several Washington area Libertarians were watching the news on television, as usual. A voice spoke of a fatal traffic accident that had occurred during the morning rush hour. The image of a car wrapped sideways around a tree came on the screen. The victim's name was pronounced. In shock and disbelief they heard, or thought they heard, a name they recognized -- Terry Atwood. In Baltimore, I received a telephone call from Kitty Atwood that evening confirming the truth none of us wanted.
It was all too true. Terry is gone. His memorial service was held on February 19 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Olney. The next day, the Maryland LP Central Committee voted to dedicate the events of the day to his memory, and named February 14 as Frederick Douglass and Terry Atwood Day. Douglass overcame the adversity of horrific slavery. Terry overcame the horrific apathy and false sense of security that his position in life could have afforded him. Both fought for the divine and natural gifts of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
I am honored to have been asked to reflect on his life as a Libertarian and active member of his community, and share some of those reflections with readers of the Free? State Libertarian.
Terry and his wife Kitty originally came from the Chicago area. They lived in Bethesda, where Terry joined the Libertarian Party in 1983. In 1992 he became Chair of the Montgomery County LP. He was elected to the State Executive Committee in 1995, and assumed the position of Secretary. Those of us who regularly attended Montgomery County's winter holiday parties, remember how he and Kitty used to bring scores of colorfully wrapped gifts to be auctioned off to raise funds for the cause of liberty. He ran for the School Board, and was a candidate in the first Libertarian primary election in Maryland, when he ran for Congress against Robert Creager.
In the larger community outside the Party, Terry was Chair of the Friends of the Library Committee of his local public library, Treasurer of the Colonial Skipperkee Club (Skipperkees are a breed of dog), and had just been elected Vice President of the local chapter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
This recital of his surface activities does not reveal what was so special about Terry. How much wisdom and determination lay behind that quiet demeanor -- something I could never emphasize enough. He kept so much in the background that many in our state organization are only just realizing how great he was while amongst us -- and what to do now that he has moved on. He truly lived the non aggression principle, and was loathe to impose his views on others. With those who asked, he shared wise counsel -- but you had to ask. At countless meetings, when we were starting to wrangle over some of the issues that tend to excite our passions, a few calm words from Terry helped bring us back on track. He could articulate the essential libertarian principles with brilliant clarity and pragmatism. He was secure enough in his beliefs that he was not afraid to settle (temporarily) for a partial expression of principle in situations where that was the most you could get. I don't think I can ever say enough about Terry. Terry, I miss you; and I am certain I am not alone.
Until we meet again, In Liberty
-- Lorenzo Gaztañaga
Saturday, February 20th, 1999, I prepared for my first encounter with the Maryland Libertarian Party (or MDLP for short) via an invitation to attend the MDLP Victory Gala celebration. This was truly a momentous occasion for the MDLP, and for me as well. The Gala celebrated the accomplishments of hard working MDLP volunteers, who collected enough signatures to gain ballot access for Libertarian candidates in Maryland. I wasn't quite sure what to expect since I was new to the party, and I felt like a party-crasher. I was, however, reassured by Nancy Millionie that the Gala would be a great way to introduce myself and meet other Libertarians. Needless to say, I was still a little apprehensive since I was a stranger, and I was taking part in an event that I did not help shape.
Later that evening, I headed to the Holiday Inn, North, not knowing what to expect. I managed to locate the LP welcome desk where two very polite gentlemen welcomed me. As I walked into the room where the Gala was held, I felt more at ease. I noticed it was decorated top to bottom with ribbon, balloons, and all sorts of party paraphernalia. I also spied a few gaming wheels. Amongst the gay decorations, I saw a lady attached to a badge with the name "Nancy." We introduced ourselves formally. She warmly welcomed me to the celebration and to the MDLP. We shared cheesesticks, we drank various drinks, and we chatted. Nancy made a point to introduce me to everyone in the room throughout the night. As the evening progressed, I met more warmhearted Libertarians who were pleased to meet me, and they welcomed me to the LP as well. I even enjoyed gambling off a few bucks -- for a noble cause, of course.
It was such a pleasure to become acquainted with everyone I met. Among those whom I enjoyed meeting was a gentleman by the name of Earle Pearce. He introduced me to the finer points of Libertarian philosophy, and to his "Campaign for Humanity." Another was a gentleman named Owen Jones. We shared a bottle of champagne and toasted "to Liberty." There were so many wonderful people at the Gala. I was really taken by surprise. I realized, by the way everyone spoke to me, that they were dedicated, proud members of the Libertarian Party. At that moment, I felt I had made the right decision to finally join the Libertarian Party.
I have been pondering the question to change my political affiliation for a few years. My first encounter with the term Libertarian occurred when I heard a fella on the radio by the name of Brian Wilson. I was intrigued, I listened to his commentary, and he provided food-for-thought. After much consideration and soul-searching, I decided to "come out of the closet" -- so to speak. I'm pretty sure I've been a Libertarian at heart for most of my life, and the Gala helped reassure me.
I left the party feeling confident of my decision to attend the event and of joining the LP. Even though I did not help the MDLP reach their goal of ballot access, I did enjoy helping everyone else celebrate. My initial hesitation had long since passed, and not one person in the room made me feel like a stranger. I am looking forward to lending my time and energy to the LP, and I am a proud member of the MDLP.
-- Nicole M. Brooks (Lutherville)
. . . and a note from the Organizer
It was a pleasure to meet you, too, Nicole; and we're glad you came out to celebrate with us! We also had the pleasure to meet Henry Rosendale, Sharon Devin, Pat Novotny, Ben Parker, Mark Nelson, Walt Appel, and Ivan Osorio; and to see Art Barber & Penny, and Jeff & Jenny Hallyburton again! We were honored that David Bergland, Steve Dasbach, and Barb Goushaw attended our party -- (noticed that Barb can cut a rug!), and we were happy to welcome Mike Smith and Dan Beaver from Delaware. Dan is running for Newark City Council, and we wish him much success! Thanks too, to our pals Dr. Janice Presser and Barry Perlman who came down from New Jersey to "party hearty" for Maryland's victory.
Thanks to everyone who helped make the Gala such a wonderful event: Kurt & Dawn Saberg and Howard (for DJ-ing), Bill Buzzell and Owen Jones for running the gaming wheels, Chris Couture and George Reynolds for manning the Registration, Joe Miller (for a ton'a quarters!) and 12 yr-old Katie Millionie (the MDLP's youngest hard-core Libertarian) for helping everybody.
I'm not real sure, though, whether or not I'm grateful for Steve Boone's "Victory Dance." He got a gang out on the dance floor to do the I-don't-remember-what line shuffle to "Feelin' Hot Hot Hot"... and all I can say is, that when we were done, my feet Hurt Hurt Hurt.
-- Nancy Millionie
Longtime Maryland Patriot joins LP ranks!
Jackie and Jim Madison have officially joined the MDLP. After 19 years with the GOP, they have decided that Enough is Enough! Many of you know of their activism and love of Liberty, and we welcome them with open arms. They have been on the front lines of freedom for a long time and have a state-wide following and a political network that stretches nationwide. With 58 collective years between them following politics, we look to their wisdom and guidance to help move the MDLP to its rightful place in the Maryland political scene.
I asked Jackie what caused her to lose faith in the GOP, and her response was: "When I realized that most of them in office lacked the stamina, the courage needed to set this nation back on track to the Constitution. I am well acquainted with many of our elected officials, and so far do not know of one (well, maybe Roscoe Bartlett) who will stand up to the growing control of the national media and the inside-the-Beltway crowd. All are too timid for my taste. I wonder what has happened to red-blooded American patriots in government? They fear not being liked, and politics should not be a popularity contest. Not if one is to be seen as a Statesman."
And then I asked her, frankly, why they joined the LP.
"I am attracted by your spirit of Liberty. For Liberty is a spirit within us ... we either have it, or we don't. And God help those who do not have it ... for they are responsible most, for the losses we have suffered through the many unconstitutional laws passed by knee-jerk politicians. If the Libertarian Party sticks by the strong guidance of our Constitution, gets that message out through various channels, we will gather the free in spirit into our midst. I hope to help to do just that."
Her advice for us? "Learn from the mistakes of the stupid party. Never compromise on principle ... never go bipartisan, because you are now the only party of Liberty, and the bipartisan trap will weaken the spirit. I NEVER WANT TO HEAR THE WORD BIPARTISAN AGAIN!"
We Libertarians in Maryland will never compromise, nor let that spirit die that she spoke of. We ARE the Party of Principle ... and we will stand at the bridge with Jackie and Jim. They are fellows well-met, in the spirit of Liberty.
-- Nancy Millionie
New Meetings - LDDS East & Frederick
The Libertarian Drinking and Debating Society (offspring of Earle Pearce) is being cloned yet again. With a large number of registered Libertarians in Middle River, Essex, Dundalk, Parkville, and Perry Hall, LDDS East will begin a monthly social gathering of Eastern Baltimore Countians. The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7th, at 6:30 pm. The place for this meeting is historic Pop's Tavern, at the corner of North Point Blvd. and Wise Avenue. Stop by after work, and meet your fellow Libertarians! Contact Nancy at 410-833-8991 for more information.
LDDS Frederick is coming. Although the first meeting has yet to be scheduled, Libertarians in Frederick, Washington and Carroll Counties will have the opportunity to gather in that area soon. Mike Barnes and Kurt Saberg are putting together the details. Contact Kurt at 301-241-3036 or email Mike Barnes at brandyb*erols.com for first meeting news.
-- Nancy Millionie
Notes from the Chair
Back in the December issue, I wrote of submitting signatures for ballot access during the first week of January. We did, and 13,694 signatures ended up in a cardboard box in the hands of Donna Duncan at SABEL. Thanks to George Reynolds from Baltimore County, we even got our picture published in the March issue of LP News [more photos are at www.MD.LP.org/album].
As it turned out, the statewide validity average was 78% -- as long as you excluded Baltimore City from those calculations. The fact is, we got killed in the City, with only 53.7% of the signatures submitted being valid. It appears that the two guys from California recommended by National were abysmal -- and didn't even try to find out if the signers were even registered. Needless to say, they will never work another drive in Maryland as long as I have anything to say about it. We would probably have taken legal action to recoup some of the money had they lived closer, but we have alerted National and the Alabama LP for whom one of them was working.
So, the bottom line is that we have 9,264 signatures on hand, and need another 736. An effort is underway, and is near completion, to turn in some 1,000 signatures on Friday, March 5, with the hopes that we will be able to celebrate Maryland's 365th birthday as a recognized party. Bob Lynch from Virginia has been rehired for this drive -- he had solid validity rates in the November drive -- and between the volunteer effort and his paid effort, we ought to come up with the number we need by then.
I note with great sadness the passing of Terry Atwood, Secretary of the Maryland LP, who was killed in an automobile accident on February 11, 1999. He was a major part of the Executive Committee for a number of years, and I especially valued him because he was, in his own words, "that picky guy who wants to make sure all the rules are followed." Many are the times he added some insights that made us more carefully consider actions that we thought to take. He served well as the voice of reason to some of my more impulsive proposals, and I will especially miss him for that. We dedicate the completion of the ballot access process and the subsequent registration drive to his memory. Rest in peace, Terry.
The State Central Committee met on Saturday, February 20, 1999, and we had a couple of special visitors for a while during the meeting: National LP Chair David Bergland, National Director Steve Dasbach, and Director of Communications Bill Winter. Following the meeting, from 7:30 to 11:30 pm, we had our Victory Party, celebrating our progress in the ballot access struggle. The gaming wheels, a new touch for LP parties, did fairly well, and a big thanks to Bill Buzzell for manning the 40-number wheel! Also, a great big "Thank You" to Kurt Saberg, who donated his time, effort, and equipment to serve as DJ for the party! Great job! And, yes, the Libertarian Line Dancers, with a little practice, could take their act on the road...
So, what's ahead?
We've got people working to add Howard and Washington to the list of recognized counties with LP organizations, as well as an effort in Cecil and Prince Georges. Some folks are working on LDDS projects in the Dundalk/Essex/Middle River corridor, Frederick County, and elsewhere. We have a candidate waiting in the wings for Baltimore City Council this year.
Some of our people are helping in two local races in Delaware: Dan Beaver, running for Newark City Council; and John Reda, running for Mayor of Elsmere, are both accepting help from Maryland volunteers.
We're going to be updating our information systems by putting the database on the Net, and contracting our web service all in one package. We're looking to have it all up and running before the massive crowds start beating down our doors to join later this year, especially when we further increase our outreach efforts.
It's going to be one fantastic year!
-- Steve Boone
American Liberty Players
An idea whose time has come. We're looking for actors and actresses to do various scripts about the Constitution and other Libertarian works. We hope to tour schools and other organizations to take the message of Liberty around the state. There is already one script in the works, and a few thespian-types have come on board. Contact me at 410-833-8991 or email via LibertyGrl*aol.com.
-- Nancy Millionie
Anti-Smoking Bill Testimony
The Montgomery County Council had two proposed ordinances that would prohibit smoking in all Montgomery County restaurants. On Thursday, February 11th, Keith Halderman represented the Montgomery County LP by testifying against two antismoking bills:
The people who favor this law would like to portray the measure as one that protects innocent workers from the harmful practices of selfish local businessmen and greedy tobacco companies. But the reality is quite different; this conflict is not between restaurants and their workers, it is between the people of Montgomery County and the anti-tobacco industry. The recent settlement of the state lawsuits against the tobacco companies would provide 200 billion dollars for the lawyers involved. Tonight's speakers from organizations favoring this measure will go to the office tomorrow and write fundraising letters based on their appearance here tonight. They are part of what Reason editor Virginia Postrel calls the class of people who are professionally angry. This is a battle between two industries; one wants to put us on the path to a beer and a pizza, the other wants to put us on the path to totalitarianism.
Let us be clear where the selfishness and intolerance lie in regard to this issue. Two years ago I attended a similar hearing dealing with this same question where I saw a young man wearing a tee shirt which read "I hope all smokers get cancer and die." A woman spoke in favor of a ban saying she had inadvertently gone into a restaurant that allowed smoking and become ill. To me, her action is the epitome of selfishness. Rather than spend the one minute it would take to call and find out if the place she was thinking of going to allowed smoking, she would use the force of government to deny tip income to some of the hardest working and most underpaid people in the county, and cost some of them their jobs. To save herself a tiny amount of inconvenience, she would close businesses and perhaps destroy someone's lifelong dream.
It is convenience, not health, that is at stake here. The scary statistics predicting x number of deaths from second-hand smoke are a deception. They are based on the elimination of studies that do not come to the politically right conclusion, the manipulation of statistical confidence levels, and the expansion of the definition of risk beyond all reason. This ban is not supported by science, it is supported by political propaganda.
Now, proponents of the law will claim that attacks on the credibility of their junk science are the work of the evil tobacco companies. However, if Adolf Hitler came back to life and said the grass on the lawn outside this building is green, that would not make the grass orange. The truth is the truth no matter how vile the person is who tells it, and a lie is a lie no matter how virtuous the person who tells it pretends to be. But even if the claims about second-hand smoke made by the anti-tobacco industry were true instead of the blatant fabrication that they are, this would still be a bad law.
No one, worker or customer, is ever in an establishment that allows smoking on anything other than a voluntary basis. There are over 250 restaurants in the county which do not allow smoking, and there are thousands of other professions besides food service. The idea that someone is compelled to work in an environment with second-hand smoke is ludicrous. The county council, no matter how hard it tries, cannot protect the county's residents from all risk -- and the attempt to do so is highly destructive. Human beings must be allowed to decide for themselves which risks to accept in life, otherwise they are not free people. The basic premise of this ban says that there is no value to the act of going to a bar or restaurant and having a drink, a meal, and a cigarette with your friends. There are literally millions of people who disagree with this. Their desire to do this and their desire for someone to facilitate the experience in mutually beneficial exchange deserves to be protected.
There will be other consequences besides loss of freedom. The climate for attracting other businesses into the county will be unalterably damaged. As the experience in California shows, there will be civil disobedience, and respect for all law will decline. Already overburdened police and court resources will be further strained. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, this will be another step on a road towards a society that most of us will not want to live in. It is very easy for nonsmokers to give no consequence to the rights of smokers. Will they feel the same way about governmental paternalism when it is they who are being denied the right to something they desire? Measures such as this are often called progressive, and that begs the question: what are we progressing towards?
-- Keith Halderman
The MDLP offers two listserves for general use. A listserve is an email list consisting of subscribers. When a subscriber has something of interest to post to the list, that member sends a message to the list, and it is automatically distributed to everyone via email. To join the MDLP email list, enter the following URL into your browser: www.onelist.com/isregistered.cgi?listname=mdlp and follow subscription instructions. You will be asked to give a name and to create a password, but you may give a handle (i.e. a fake name like "liberty worker") instead of your real name to preserve your privacy. To join the MDLP-Announce list, add "-announce" to the end of the above URL. More information on this and the separate debate forum is available at www.MD.LP.org/forum. If you do not wish to subscribe to either list, our website has a real-time copy of all recent MDLP and MDLP-Announce broadcasts (from www.MD.LP.org, select Community and E-mail Archive).
MDLP-Announce: This list is for Libertarian announcements and points of interest for the Maryland area. It is not to be used for discussion. For general discussion, use:
MDLP: This list is for any item that is relevant to the MDLP cause and is pertinent to the MDLP crowd. As the Libertarian Party is a firm believer in the First Amendment, this judgment is left up to the person making the post. Also, the material posted cannot be in violation of standing law (and it is possible, unfortunately). Posts should also not be a "personal attack" on someone. Good rule of thumb: if it's constructive in nature, it's appropriate. If it's not constructive, it's not. Just be advised that posts made to the forum are made public, and as such, are subject to public scrutiny, along with the individual that made the post. Any Libertarian Party member or anyone that has a basic understanding of the Libertarian ideal is welcome to send email to the listserve. Geographic residence is not relevant in this consideration, so if you live outside of Maryland, that's okay. In fact, if you are "alien" to Maryland, then you may be able to repost relevant information to listserves within your own state. All the more reason to sign up.
Please use these services in accordance with their descriptions. It is not necessary to cross post messages to both lists, as members individually subscribe to each as desired.
-- Neil McIver
From the Trenches ... County Chapter Notes
Anne Arundel County
We have had a meeting and had 8 members attend. We have also been attending the Monday night meeting of the state legislators. We plan to do some field work to gather signatures soon. I am attending the meeting next week to try and develop my organizational skills.
We plan to hold another meeting soon. I am really trying to find things and projects that will attract younger people. Also ladies. It seems that we have almost all men. I don't know why and intend to try and find out. When I do I will try to correct this as I feel it is critical to attract everyone we can. Best regards.
-- Spear Lancaster
Recently, some of the older show bars on "The Block" (Baltimore City's red light district, on Baltimore Street between Gay and Calvert) discovered an exception in the Maryland statutes that allowed alcoholic beverage licensees in Baltimore City to offer adult entertainment, including nudity, so long as they had been offering adult entertainment and alcoholic beverages as of May 31, 1993.
Naturally, they immediately began offering their customers, for the first time in years, totally nude female dancers. Horrified at this development, Senator George W. Della, Jr., representing the 47th District in Baltimore City, introduced an emergency bill (Senate Bill 453) to stop it. Baltimore City activist Earle Pearce, who works at one of the establishments on The Block, led a delegation of five or six Libertarians from various counties down to Annapolis on Monday, February 8 to lobby against the bill. The first reading of the bill took place in the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee on Friday, February 5, 1999. So far, no further action has been taken.
Baltimore City Libertarians intend to do what they can to stand up against this attack on individual rights. As Earle has pointed out, not only is it the right thing to do, but it will bring us recognition among the bar owners as the only party standing up for their rights. We urge our fellow Libertarians to contact their state senators concerning this bill, particularly if your senator happens to be on the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee.
This, and other issues, will be discussed in our first business meeting of the year, to be held on Sunday, March 7, 1999 at 1:30 pm at the home of the City Chair, Susan Gaztañaga. Also on the agenda is the election of officers and nomination of a Libertarian candidate for City Council.
-- Susan Gaztañaga
I think I can speak for most of Baltimore County, here. We're sick of winter and ready for spring!! The occasional balmy weather we've had lately makes a Libertarian's mind wander ... to outreach booths! I have already received my application for the Towsontown Spring Festival -- one of our biggest and most successful outreach events of the year. There are vastly more registered Libertarians in the Towson metro area than anywhere else in the County. And I think our appearances at the Towsontown Festival for the last several years has contributed greatly to that fact. Of course, I'll be looking for volunteers to cover this booth, and others throughout the season. The date this year is May 1 & 2. Raindate is the following weekend. Towsontown has always received us warmly, and it's one of the few Festivals where we can sell crafts, plants, etc., without paying an additional fee. So, if you're "crafty," do make some things to sell at this booth to raise funds for Baltimore County. Last year, we were thinking of devising some "kids' activity" like Spin-Art to use for fundraising here. Any ideas, suggestions, contributions?
I also want to concentrate our efforts in a few other areas of Baltimore County this year: Parkville/Perry Hall, Sparks/ Monkton, and Dundalk/Essex (which is another Libertarian stronghold according to the numbers of Registered Libertarians). So if this is where you live, please let me know about any local events, Fairs, etc., where we might be able to have a booth, or a table. Now that we have access to the ballot, there is a statewide full court press to register as many Libertarians as possible. Voter registration will be a focus of our outreach efforts this year. YOU can become a Voter Registrar by stopping by the Balto. County Bd. of Elections one afternoon. It is located at 305 W. Chesapeake Avenue, in Towson. They will go over the registration application with you, hand you a certificate, and you're good to go! This takes 5 or 10 minutes. Piece of cake. (Looks great on your Resume, too!) Parking is available all around the building, so don't let that stop you!
You can order your free Maryland Calendar of Events from the Dept. of Tourism by calling 1-800-543-1036 (24 hrs.) It's a beautiful color calendar packed with info about what's going on this year, as well as contact numbers for directions, reservations, and the like. It covers Boat Shows, Craft Shows, Carnivals, Fine Arts, Historical, Music and Dance, Seafood and Wine Festivals, Concerts, Marine Tours... the whole enchilada! Most of the events and activities we'll be covering will be listed in there.
About the Gala Victory Celebration in Timonium -- through the efforts of Steve Copperfield Boone, I have received a list of all of the Registered Libertarians in Baltimore County as of last August. From this list, I have contacted about 400 Libertarians who are not members of the MDLP by sending them an invitation to the Gala. I hope that we attract a number of them to join the BCLP/MDLP through this effort.
The recent debacle "inside The Beltway" has caused a deep fissure in the Country's political landscape. Being a political junkie, and for now, stay-at-home Mom, I am able to do a constant monitoring of MSNBC interviews, callers, and polls, and otherwise be glued to Talk Radio listening to the ever ground-trembling stampede of public opinion in that media. It appears that Mr. Clinton has held his "Staff" over the waters, and parted the sea, irreparably. Americans with hard-wing views scrambled to their camps on either side. Both, in my opinion, thereby making themselves look pretty radical, inane, transparent, and ridiculous. And then there are the rest. These are our people. The climate is right for us to give them an ideology they can live with. With your help, we'll be present this year to offer them an alternative.
We've grown up, as a Party, and as an organization. I'm looking for anyone who is willing to run for office -- it's hat tossin' time. Jesse Ventura proved it could be done. It's our turn now, in Baltimore County and in Maryland. Nothing would be more amusing than to get some Socialist's boxers in a bunch. We have the ideas that America is starving for -- let's do it.
-- Nancy Millionie
Since the November election, the Libertarian Central Committee of Harford County has been sending out letters as part of a recruitment program. We are proud to say we have doubled the attendance at our monthly meetings and hope to gain enough members to take on local politics. We need more eyes and ears to keep track of our "representatives."
Libertarians in Harford County now have a consistent place and time to meet. Monthly meetings are now held the 4th Monday of every month beginning at 6:30 pm in room E207 (or E209) in the Edgewood Hall of Harford Community College. The college has been able to find us a place for each meeting since last Summer, but now they have come through for us with a steady place and time. For directions to the meetings please call Derek Mancinho 410-836-3104. Yours in Liberty,
-- Derek Mancinho
In this upcoming year, Howard County will be attempting to reorganize and revitalize its existing members. Our main goal for 1999 is to spread the philosophy and message of the Libertarian Party to a wider audience, hopefully recruiting new members along the way. With the help of some new friends, and with State Party support, we intend to make a new beginning in Howard County. Future plans and meetings to be announced.
-- Kevin and Deborah Wolf
On Thursday February 11th Keith Halderman represented the Montgomery County LP by testifying against two antismoking bills [testimony on page 5]. The Montgomery County Council had two proposed ordinances that would prohibit smoking in all Montgomery County restaurants. Bill Galvin also testified as an individual opposing the ban. Several other LP members requested to speak, but were turned down. (Only about 36 citizens were allowed to speak.) However, the room was packed with observers and news media, including at least a dozen LP members there to support the LP speakers. The crowd roared when Keith mentioned the 200 billion dollars that the anti-tobacco lawyers will get from their court actions. By being at the hearings, the LP was able to make new allies and increase our presence in the county.
On a sad note, a memorial service was held on Friday, February 19th at St. John's Episcopal Church in Olney for Terry Atwood, who died from injuries resulting from a car accident in the previous week. Terry was the Secretary for the Maryland LP and past Chair for the Montgomery County LP. There was a huge LP representation at the service, basically a list of "Who's Who" in the Maryland LP. Besides being a good friend of mine, Terry was willing to pitch in for whatever needed to be done at the County Fair, LP meetings or LDDS. My deepest sympathy goes to Kitty, his wife who is also an active LP member. Terry was elected County LP Parliamentarian in our December meeting, so we will need a replacement. For those Montgomery County members reading this, the parliamentarian position is a good place to start. You get to learn what goes on in meetings and how the county LP runs. Also at the February County meeting, Bill Galvin stated that he wants to concentrate on his Maryland LP Executive Committee position rather that take on the County Treasurer, so we are looking to fill this position as well. This is a good job for someone who wants to help out the party but does not like the person-to-person contact that many other roles require. There is relatively little county treasurer activity during the year. Anyone in our county that may have an interest in helping out, please give me a call at 301-585-1793. The current activists will be more than willing to help you out in your new role. On Thursday April 15th, taxpayers' day, we plan to cover several post offices as we have done in past years. Each year we get a better reception to our presence and have struck up good conversation with people fed up with paying their taxes. The plan is to meet at my home at 7 pm and leave no later than 7:30 to go to nearby post offices, particularly the Silver Spring Post Office. If you are interested in helping out, please give me a call (or leave me a message by voice or email, glenn*tidalwave.net) a few days ahead of time so we have an idea of how many flyers to get.
Business or social meetings 3rd Mondays of month at 7:30 pm in an LP member's home, contact me for details. LDDS West (Montgomery County): Bennigan's on Rockville Pike in Federal Plaza near the intersection of Twinbrook Parkway (behind the Texaco gas station) 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of month, 7 pm. For more information, contact me.
-- Glenn Howard
Prince Georges County
I would like to see the County organized at the Precinct level. Each Precinct would have someone responsible for organizing it and getting out the vote. Also, we should try to have a presence at all city fairs and like events. Anyone interested please call (301-352-8809) or email (jimmcl*hotmail.com) me.
-- Jim McLaughlin
Recommendations from National on How To:
... Organize a Town Committee
All politics are local. Libertarians seem to know this instinctively. Forming a Town Committee (TC) is a proven way to bring tangible benefits of greater visibility, political influence, and more active party members to your community. It's happening all over the country -- here's how you can get started.
Begin by planning an initial organizing meeting. Tell your state chair that you're forming a TC, and get a list of Libertarians in your town. Pick a date & location, and send a letter to those local members.
Don't be discouraged if only a handful of names are in your town -- as you'll see, much can be accomplished with few people in the beginning. Follow-up your mailing with a personal phone call to encourage attendance. If there's a "hot" local issue, you might use the formation of a position on it as a catalyst to help encourage participation.
A TC needs bylaws -- the simpler the better. You can clone your state bylaws, or for a short-and-sweet example email LPCT activist John Joy (jmj*lpct.org -- More on Mr. Joy later). Now is also a good time to contact your Secretary of State's office and obtain state-specific information relating to financial reporting and contribution restrictions for TC's.
Since you will be "Chair Pro Tem" during the initial meeting, have a draft of the bylaws ready, make any changes needed, and vote to adopt them. After you elect officers, you officially exist as a political entity.
If you're meeting at a library, that's a good opportunity to get the contact names & fax numbers for your local newspapers & radio stations. Create a professional-looking letterhead with your trusty word processor, write up an announcement of the TC's formation, and fax away. Not sure how to do a press release? The National LP and your state organization are two good sources for examples of formats you can follow.
So ... you've formed a committee, and the locality now knows of your existence. What's next? A TC should attempt to observe, comment on, and affect municipal governance. Attend those weekly town or school committee meetings, including separate budget-related ones. Get a copy of the town budget, and after finding it inscrutable, call the town treasurer and ask questions about it until you have a comfortable understanding of the document, as well as the process by which it is created. Get a copy of your town charter as well, so you can understand the rules of the game.
What kinds of issues should you focus on? I'll go out on a limb by suggesting taxes and spending levels as a good starting point, but you need to be more specific to be effective. Anyone can be a "crank," show up at a public hearing, and badger the town fathers about government gone out of control. To be effective, you must offer *credible alternatives* in a constructive, positive fashion. Don't send letters -- in person is best.
Try to create opportunities to show yourselves as the good guys -- a food drive for a local nongovernmental charity, or similar high-profile volunteerism. Walk the walk of Libertarian volunteerism, and leverage any existing community involvement on the part of your local members.
Eventually, a TC becomes a launching point for local candidates. Example: In Oxford, CT (pop. 10,000), a 1994 proposal to hire an Economic Development Director precipitated the formation of the Oxford Town Libertarian Committee -- about 3-4 people to begin with. Repeated public testimony on behalf of the committee was given by its chair, computer consultant John Joy, whose effective press releases helped to create press coverage of the issue. After the proposal stalled, Mr. Joy was on a roll. He got appointed to a local board. Later, his committee graciously created a web site promoting the town, with the blessing of the Selectmen. The following year, the TC ran a slate of 5 Libertarian candidates, and later they packed a local hall to capacity for a catered fund-raiser/campaign kick-off, complete with prominent local supporters & press. Concurrently, the nearby town of Windham, CT formally organized, and ran a local slate of 25 Libertarians. Committees continue to be organized & active in Connecticut, including Stamford & Norwich, CT.
By now you're getting the idea -- Town Committees work! They are a basic building block in creating a more widespread Libertarian Party presence, allowing us the opportunity to show ourselves as constructive, concerned citizens who want what's best for our towns. If you want to attract more publicity & more members, there's nothing like an active TC to stimulate local interest in Libertarianism. And especially when you're just starting out, a few people can make a difference. You can, too. Stand up for Liberty -- make a commitment to organize your town this year.
... Get Appointed to a Local Board or Commission
As Libertarians, we all tend to have strongly held opinions. Here is one of mine: Every Libertarian Party member should hold some public office, no matter how small.
Why? As many of you know, our growing list of officeholders is one of the key reasons we are increasingly garnering more legitimacy and attention as a political party. If just 10 percent of our membership held office, we'd enjoy the substantial prestige associated with having 3,000-plus officeholders, compared to about 250 today. I share the growing belief that this is something we should accomplish quickly, through member appointments to local boards and commissions -- the "farm team" for future elected campaigns.
Why serve on a local board? If you're like most of our members, you've never held any type of public office before. Getting appointed allows you to gain this valuable experience, without the expense, organizing activities, and time demands associated with running a full-blown campaign. These types of positions generally involve just a few hours per month of your time, and give you the opportunity to actually have an impact on the body on which you serve.
Determining what appointed offices are available in your town is simple! One quick phone call to your city clerk's office gets you specific information about which boards have vacancies, or when openings are scheduled to occur. Be sure to ask how many members the board is allowed to have, since many commissions allow for an unlimited number of "alternate" members, who often become full members at the time of the next vacancy. Find out who makes the appointments (e.g. mayor, city council, board of selectmen), and when the board meets.
What type of board should you serve on? That depends on your own area of interest and expertise. Are you a local business owner? Try the economic development commission, or however they refer to a similar entity in your town. Enjoy the outdoors? Your conservation commission makes regular site visits to environmentally sensitive areas. Those with experience in real estate development often are appointed to local planning or zoning boards -- though these tend to be the offices with the fewest vacancies.
Start by attending meetings of the board which interests you the most, and introduce yourself to its chair. Business attire and a friendly attitude are recommended. Seeking out an appointment is a simple process. Write a brief letter to the appointing party expressing an interest in service. Mention several boards which currently have vacancies and ask to be appointed. Give some background as to your education, professional background, related experience, and any other information which reinforces your qualifications and interests. Your letter should be kept to one page. Often, the best time to write is right after local elections.
Wait about a month, and if you haven't heard anything contact the city clerk's office again, pleasantly following-up as to the status of your letter. Often, the appointing body will copy your letter to the chairs of the commissions you've mentioned in your letter. You can now followup with them directly, expressing your interest in a more personal way.
Generally, you'll be asked to attend a meeting and meet the other board members. In the case of my own appointed office, they asked if I had any specific experience with conservation issues. Though I did not, I expressed a strong interest in learning more about what the commission did, and pointed to a recent event (the private purchase and protection of a large tract of old growth forest) as something that had spurred my interest in serving on the commission.
Once you're appointed, remember -- you're the new kid on the block. Spend most of your time learning about what the board does, become familiar with the corresponding local ordinances, and try to learn by listening and observing.
After a year of service, you'll be ready to try and move things in a more Libertarian direction. Service on these panels is simple, gratifying, and the best way to begin building your political resume. I challenge my fellow Libertarians to stand up for liberty by getting appointed locally -- and do it now! If every party member tries this over the next few months, I guarantee we'll have more than 1,000 officeholders by the end of 1999.
-- Mark Tuniewicz
Libertarian Party National Treasurer (All Rights Reserved)
Libertarian National Committee member Mark Tuniewicz (nhliberty*aol.com)
served as campaign manager for the Windham, CT slate of candidates,
as well as for John Joy's bid for Selectman. He was elected LNC Treasurer
unopposed at the 1996 LP National Convention. He ended his three-year appointment
as a New Hampshire Conservation Commissioner in 1997. He recently volunteered
to become a member of his town's Finance Committee.
Libertarian Social Meetings
Stay up-to-date on MDLP activities with our online calendar of events: visit www.MD.LP.org/events (often!)
Gallery Gang meets at the State House in Annapolis on Monday evenings through April 12 at about 7:45 pm on the State House steps; when the evening's business is over, goes to a local bar for food and drink. Attendees are encouraged to visit their or other legislators prior to the 8:00 pm session to show a Libertarian presence. For more information, contact Steve Boone or Owen Jones.
LDDS (Libertarian Drinking and Debating Society): Second Chapter Sports Bar Conkling & O'Donnell Streets, Baltimore MD Thursdays, 7:30 pm. For more information, contact Earle Pearce, 410-327-1776
LDDS West (Montgomery County): Bennigan's on Rockville Pike in Federal Plaza near the intersection of Twinbrook Parkway (behind the Texaco gas station) 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 7 pm. For more information, contact Glenn Howard, 301-585-1793
LDDS North (Baltimore County/City): Lounge of bowling alley in shopping plaza across from the State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD. 2nd and 4th Fridays, 7:30 pm. For more information, contact Nancy Millionie, 410-833-8991
Northwest Baltimore Supper Club: Dragon House Restaurant in Garrison Forest shopping center on Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills, MD 4th Monday, 7:30 pm. For more information, contact Nancy Millionie, 410-833-8991
Home | Newsletters