Libertarian Party Convention Held Saturday, May 21
Mary Ruwart, Lee Wrights, Dick Rowland speak; John Carroll seeks Libertarian nomination for US Senate seat
News Release from the Hawaii Libertarian Party
The Libertarian Party of Hawaii held its first convention in almost four years Saturday at the Unitarian Church 2500 Pali Highway. A core group of activists participated in speeches, discussions, elections, and networking. Party Chair Ken Schoolland opened the day with introductions. Long time GOP stalwart and former legislature John Carroll announced that he felt himself more a libertarian than anything else and would seek the LP nomination for the US senate seat being vacated by Dan Akaka.
Presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights of Texas made a keynote speech that focused on the US preoccupation with wars and how we as libertarians need to be more active in our opposition. Careful to point out that as a former veteran with a deep appreciation for our military personal he is no pacifist, he discussed the deference in defending our country and simply meddling elsewhere. In addition to our foreign wars we need to look at stopping the many domestic “wars” such as the war on drugs. Other failed “wars” he mentioned were Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty and the war on ignorance started with Jimmy Carter’s creation of the Federal Department of Education.
As president Wrights would sit down with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ask them to draw up logistical plans to withdraw all of our troops from foreign wars in sixty to ninety days. He would then approach the executive department budget to be presented to congress with massive cuts in programs and spending.
After a break Alan Matsuda and Dick Rowland made presentations. Alan as in past conventions added a bit of political humor. Dick was honored with an award from the party for his lifetime service to the cause of liberty. Dick is the current president and founder of the Grassroot Institute. His talk focused on how to bring people along into libertarianism who may not even know they are libertarian.
Featured speaker Mary Ruwart of Texas gave a speech that focused on how libertarians can be effective without holding elected office. Ms. Ruwart is a well known libertarian author and challenger for the party’s 2008 presidential nomination. Dr. Ruwart is a researcher by trade who looks at numbers. She talked about the electoral results for the 2008 ultimate nominee Bob Barr and how they were no better than other far less known LP nominees of the past. She discussed the wasted vote syndrome. She went on to talk about the many examples of success had by the Libertarian Party in activism. The fight against Clinton’s national health care plan was very much driven by our people. Mary herself made over a hundred radio presentations. Libertarian activist Steve Kubby was largely responsible for proposition 215 in California that led to medical marijuana. This has become a powerful national movement.
New party officers were chosen. State Chair will be Jim Henshaw of Kailua. Jim is a former Aide to State Senator Sam Slom, and a committed libertarian letter writer and advocate. Sex workers rights advocate Tracy Ryan a two time former Chair will take on the role of Vice Chair. Newcomer Matt Bowler was elected Secretary and holdover John Spangler was elected to continue as Treasurer. Three attendees were elected as At Large members of the Executive Committee; Larry Bartley, Patric Brock, and outgoing Chair Ken Schoolland. In addition neighbor islanders Dave Hudson of Hilo (works with Jim Albertini) and Jeff Mallan from Kauai were nominated to serve as the last two committee members.
The events were highlighted by the presence of several members from the early days of the party including former Chair Mike Rossell and Don Johnston. Mr. Johnston presented an offer of funding help for bona fide candidates who have set up a campaign committee by December first of this year. Several people talked about conventions from the 1970′s and 80′s that were big and exciting with close to 200 people. Substantial money from mainland sources was helpful in putting these events together.