Libertarian National Committee Region 7

Friday, November 14, 2008

Important Liberty preserved . . .

Both Portland and Seattle have take steps to preserve essential Liberties.
This is good; too bad they are intent on infringing more basic rights . . . Seattle's gun ban, and Portland's toy gun ban.    

Thursday, November 13, 2008

War Sucks! Veterans, families, art

Veterans day was earlier this week.  I know that.  I appreciate the service of our veterans so much.
Do you know that there are people here on the civilian front who are making heroic efforts to serve our military?
Some of them are the fine folks at  It's pledge time for them, and they need your help!
      is a 501(c)3, so your contributions are tax-deductible.  These people fight the good fight everyday, doing everything they can to stop this, this and this.
This kind of work is not easy - spending all your days immersed in heartbreak, suffering, and injustice requires a special kind of strength.  Show them how much you appreciate it.
How much we appreciate it.
And here in Washington State, there's another hero.  A Vietnam Vet who served his country honorably and admirably.  And decades later, this fabulous artist gave up his job, his routine, all semblance of a personal life to "bring home the troops".
He does it in another way . . . Michael Reagan is an artist.  He spends his days (and nights) drawing portraits of Fallen Soldiers for their families.
He gets no salary, he works for love, and at great personal expense.  He "feels" each soldier at a level I can't even imagine; but I can see.
Look into the eyes of these heroes, and you will too.  It costs about $250 to produce each of these portraits; Mr. Reagan has completed 1200 of them.
"It's all about Love and Respect, we will <b>never</b> forget!"

Help fulfill this mission here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Top Two Primary has to go!

Washington's current Top Two primary system is a horrible dampener of the democratic process.

Yes, it makes it easier to get on the ballot in the primary - anyone
can do it. Signatures are no longer required for anything except the
Presidential race.

Anyone who wants to run just needs to bring their filing papers down to the office, and file them.

So, what's the problem?

In a district that is overwhelmingly Democrat, the results of
the primary will always be Democrats only in the general election.  The two highest vote getters will usually be two Democrats.

In a district that is overwhelmingly Republican, the results of the
primary will always be Republicans only in the general election. The two highest vote getters will usually be two Republicans.

Which leaves a large percentage of the population with no one to vote for.

In Legislative District 7, for instance, Democrats can just "whistle Dixie", as my Grandmother used to say. Nothing there for them. There are three Republican candidates for the legislature, for two positions. No Ds. No Greens. No Libertarians. No Socialists.

In District 12, same story. All Republicans.

In District 19, same story, different chapter. All Democrats.

Our old "Blanket Primary" had some problems, but we were likely to find a Democrat, a Republican, a Green or a Libertarian on the ballot line.

What would work better? What is more fair?

How about using a system where everyone could vote for the candidate
that they believe to be the best, and also designate the second-best

This system is called Ranked Choice Voting, or RCV. Pierce County is using it this year.

It's simple, easy, and effective.  Each of us would vote for up to three candidates in the order we like them.

1.  Joe Smith

2.  Harry Reid

3.  Sylvia Jones

If an overwhelming majority found Harry Reid acceptable as a number two choice, then Harry may win. This plan leaves an overwhelming majority of people semi satisfied.

Rather than 51% (or less - a candidate for Supreme Court won with 28.36% in 1999 - that won't happen with Top Two, though) of the people happy.

Even more than that - this type of election puts an end to the kind of negative campaigning that we have been subject to for the last few years. (I have found this year particularly unpleasant, and changed my vote two days before the election, because of some negative ads.)

Candidates are unlikely to to slam their opponents when they want the supporters of that opponent to vote for them as a second choice.

And the truth is that none of the political parties like the current mess. The only group who does like it is the bureaucrats.  Sam Reed says "we haven't gotten any complaints about the new system".

Let's show them that's not true.

eMail (that's us, so that we can carry hard copy to Legislative Committee meetings), Sam Reed (Secretary of State) and Sam Hunt (Government and Tribal Affairs Committee Chair)

Here's a comma delineated eMail list to cut & paste into your eMail editor . . .,,,

Please also feel free to send your letter to any Editor of the Opinion page of a newspaper. The Tacoma Weekly is a friendly one. They have a 450 word limit.

My post to LNC-discuss list this morning

Colleagues -

Hope you are all well, and recovering from the election.

Now that you (hopefully) have a few minutes, please take a minute to let us know what you know about Ballot Base.

If you remember, last week, I asked . . .

Can anyone tell me what happened to Ballot Base?

From what I understand, Shane Cory took it down.  Did he do so at the direction of this body?  Our Chair?  Did he delete it?  Or do we still have it?

We have several states who lost their entire databases, we lost a lot of money, and a great tool . . . I've been wondering about it since DC, several activists have asked me about it, and below my sig is an eMail exchange I found . . .  since this post originally, I've since been told that the Barr campaign used Ballot Base (renamed Liberty Manager?).

It is important to know (for me, and for our members and affiliates) what happened.  Since this is the budget meeting, how many more projects are we going to *waste* their money on?  Without a reasonable explanation?  (Apparently no explanation!)

We have a fairly poor reputation amongst many of the activists, and we need to fix that, IMNHO.  We *must* have activists - they are the lifeblood of this movement, and the party.  Without activists, there is no party.

And FYI, here's a good, quick analysis of this year's results . . .

> 2008 (Barr) 0.4% (45 states)
> 2004 (Badnarik) 0.3% (48 states plus DC)
> 2000 (Browne) 0.4% (49 states plus DC, plus Smith in Arizona)
> 1996 (Browne) 0.5% (50 states plus DC)
> 1992 (Marrou) 0.3% (50 states plus DC)
> 1988 (Paul) 0.5% (46 states plus DC)
> 1984 (Bergland) 0.3% (39 states)
> 1980 (Clark) 1.1% (50 states plus DC)
> 1976 (MacBride) 0.2% (32 states)
> 1972 (Hospers) statistically insignificant (2 states)

Have a gentle day, y'all . . .    :o)

In Liberty,

Rachel Hawkridge
Libertarian National Committee
Region 7 Representative

Office Hours: Wednesdays 10-2 - come by, have coffee!  Bring your own milk for latte (I don't keep it.)
206.769.2492  cel

An eMail list exchange . . .

Person 1> > The LNC's BallotBase voter contact tool (promised to LP
Presidential candidates in time for those primaries) crashed in
mid-December and has not been in operation since.

Person 2> Please elaborate, because I had heard similar rumors elsewhere.
> Are you saying that BB was not used for ANY calls Jan 8 in NH?

Person 1 said . . .

Ballot Base, which could have been a tool that activists
could have used to advocate with Libertarians and voters for their
candidates, if it worked, went down on December 15. The complete
caller log is available (at least at the moment) on the site.
BallotBase has not been up since. I did call the National Director,
some days ago, to discuss the matter. To his great frustration, it
has not been up since December 15.

According to its own records, and according to the National Office,
BallotBase has not been up since December 15, so it should not have
been possible to use it for calls on January 8.