Missouri LP State Chair - What I did on my summer vacation
I didn't have a vacation this summer from my day job or from my position
as State Chair of the Missouri Libertarian Party.
What I did do (outside of my day job) was continue all my libertarian
activism locally in Boone County, work on statewide issues and travel
the state attending libertarian and other events.
I write this to acknowledge the hard work of libertarians across the
state and to encourage others to get more involved. These are just
the activities I participated in. There were many more libertarian
events and booths across the state during the summer. Thanks to all
those who helped organize and staff those events even if they aren't
listed below. There is a calendar
on the Missouri LP website where you can keep up on current events.
If you are planning an event please
submit it to our calendar so that visitors to the Missouri LP website
can find out about it.
May 21st, 2007 - Spoke at Columbia City Council Meeting
I attended the May 21st, 2007 Columbia City Council Meeting to speak out against using
eminent domain to acquire private property for expansion of a failing airport.
The three property owners under threat of eminent domain spoke at the Columbia
City Council meeting in opposition to taking their land and questioning whether
they would receive just compensation. I waited until they had an opportunity to
speak, then spoke in their defense. I was the only other person to speak. As I
walked back to my seat I could see they appreciated my standing up for them.
Later out in the hall I spoke with them and gave them my Missouri LP business
June 9th, 2007 - Boone County LP Booth at Mid-Missouri Pride Fest
The Boone County LP staffed an
Operation Politically Homeless
(OPH) booth at the Mid-Missouri Pride Fest held in Columbia's Stephens Lake Park.
We staffed the booth all day giving the
World's Smallest Political Quiz and gathering signatures for the
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights petitions
to amend the Missouri
Constitution to prevent government from taking your home or business for
private development. This was the third year in a row the BCLP had a booth
at this event. Thanks to John Schultz, Boone County LP Chair, for organizing
this event and helping staff it.
July 21st, 2007 - St Louis Area Libertarian Picnic
The St. Louis Are Libertarian Party Meetup
held a picnic July 21st, 2007 at the Watson Trails Park in Sunset Hills, MO.
Sunset Hills, MO is known recently as the place where over a hundred home owners
were threatened with taking of their homes by eminent domain. I wrote about this here,
Eminent Domain Abuse - Sunset Hills, MO - A story of hollow homes and lives left in limbo, and later about how
Sunset Hills, MO City Government Voted Out for Eminent Domain Abuse.
It was nice to meet and socialize with over 40 libertarians at the picnic.
Pictures can be found here. Thanks to Michael, the meetup organizer, for putting this event together.
July 23rd-29th, 2007 - Boone County LP Boone County Fair Booth
The Boone County LP for the first time
ever paid for and staffed a booth at the Boone County fair. We gave the
World's Smallest Political Quiz to hundreds of people and once again gathered
more signatures for the MO-CPR Eminent Domain petitions. One evening while
manning the booth I had a young man approach the booth, state he just moved
to Columbia from Tennessee, that he was a libertarian and he was planning
on running for City Council. He found out about our booth at the fair from
the on the Missouri LP website.
If your local LP organization is planning an event please make sure you
submit the event to the Missouri LP Calendar.
Thanks to Boone County LP Chair John Schultz for organizing this booth and to
the Boone County Libertarians who contributed to make it happen. The Boone
County LP almost spent enough money that a campaign finance report had to be
July 30th - Columbia Police Citizen Review Board Meeting
Pressure is being put on the City of Columbia to form a Police Citizen
Review Board. I attended a meeting at the Columbia Public Library where
a representative of the Department of Justice gave an overview of how
Citizen Review Boards can work. Prior to the meeting I was interviewed
by the local ABC/FOX affiliate and had one short quote aired on the
10PM news. The TV reporter recognized me from when she interviewed me
the day of the final hearing on the Columbia Smoking Ban. I have become
very interested in recent years in police abuse and violations of our 4th
Amendment rights. Radley Balko, former policy analyst for
CATO where he authored
Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America, now a Senior Editor
for Reason has a great blog documenting police
abuse at The Agitator.
August 4th, 2007 - Property Rights Conference in Cabool
I left Columbia at 6AM for the two and a half hour drive down to Cabool Missouri
for the Property Rights Conference hosted by the Ozarks Chapter of the
Property Rights Congress. John Williams,
Texas County LP Chair, invited me down to attend this gathering of over
150 people who defend property rights in southern rural Missouri.
Ron Calzone, Chairman of Missouri Citizens
for Property Rights, presented the first session on his effort to amend
the Missouri Constitution to prevent eminent domain from being used for
private development. Jane Carpenter of Ozark Missouri closed his session
with an emotional appeal regarding her fight to keep her home when it
was threatened with condemnation by the Ozark city government.
The big issue at the conference was the National Animal Identification
System (NAIS). I met several State Representatives and a State Senator.
Senator Claire McCaskill even sent a member of her staff. I met both
Bob Parker and Doreen Hannes who have had articles published on the
Missouri LP NAIS issue page.
August 4th - Met with Tony Messenger, Keith Rodgers and Phil Horras in Springfield
I left the Property Rights Conference after lunch so I could drive over an hour
to Springfield for a late afternoon lunch at the Springfield Brewery. There I
met up with
Tony Messenger, the editor of the
Springfield News Leader editorial page, Keith Rodgers,
Greene County LP Chair and Phil Horras,
2000 Missouri LP Lieutenant Governor candidate.
I got to know Tony Messenger when he was a columnist for the
Columbia Daily Tribune and drive time host on KFRU radio. Tony was a great ally in our fight to stop the smoking ban in
Columbia and is very open to hearing from libertarians on issues.
It was a nice lunch with good food, refreshments and interesting discussions
about politics and sports.
August 4th - Greene County LP meeting - Doug Burlison Award
I left the Springfield Brewery at 5:30PM to drive over to the
Greene County LP meeting. There I met up
with Ron Calzone of MO-CPR for the second time that day. He was there to
encourage libertarians in Springfield to help petition for eminent domain reform.
During the meeting I presented Doug Burlison, former GCLP Chair and recently
elected to the Springfield City Council, with a Missouri LP Champion of Freedom
award. Doug was selected for this award prior to winning his seat on the city
council for all the hard work he did which lead to his winning election. Most
notably, he led the petition effort in Springfield to force a state audit of
the Springfield City finances.
After 400 miles on the road and 19 hours I finally made it home. What
a busy day!
August 7th, 2007 - Jefferson City Election Day Petitioning for MO-CPR
Once again I teamed up with Ron Calzone of MO-CPR and John Schultz, Boone County
LP Chair to petition all day at Jefferson City polling places during the
August 7th election.
August 8th, 2007 - Contacted by National CBS Early Show for interview
The National CBS Early Show was hosted in Kansas City Friday August 10th. They
like to have a short segment on local issues and had picked smoking bans.
On August 8th they contacted the
Boone Liberty Coalition to see if we had someone who could be a guest on
their show to speak on why we opposed the Columbia smoking ban.
I ended up being the BLC member who could make the interview. I was very
excited and nervous. Excited that all the hard work the Boone Liberty Coalition
did had risen to the level where we were noticed by a national tv show.
Nervous because I would be on national TV.
The day before the interview I finally spoke with staff from the show and
did a short phone interview. In the end I wasn't selected to be on the show.
They decided to only have a government health employee from Kansas City on.
That was disappointing but just being asked was a validation of all the hard
work the BLC did over almost two years fighting the Columbia smoking ban. Thanks
to all the hard work of the Boone Liberty Coalition, especially John Dupuy,
John Schultz and Greg Rennier.
August 9th-19th, 2007 - Missouri LP Booth at Missouri State Fair
The Missouri LP had a booth at the Missouri State Fair. At the booth we have
libertarian literature and give the World's Smallest Political Quiz. Many
libertarians staffing the booth also gathered signatures for the MO-CPR
eminent domain petition.
I staffed the booth for three six hour shifts and heard many positive comments
about our work to get eminent domain reform on the ballot. State Representative
Belinda Harris (D) from Jefferson County stopped by the booth and brought others
with her to sign the petition. She introduced the same language for the petition
in the 2007 State Legislative Session. We had a nice conversation about eminent
domain and other issues of good government.
Thanks to all those who helped staff our State Fair booth. Special thanks to
Randy Langkraehr, Missouri LP Treasurer, for coordinating the State Fair booth
for the fourth year in a row.
August 24th, 2007 - St. Charles County LP Ten Year Anniversary Dinner
I attended a dinner celebrating the
St. Charles County LP ten year anniversary. It was nice relaxing over
dinner and meeting some St. Charles area libertarians for the first time. Thanks to
Bob Sullentrup, St. Charles County LP Chair and National Libertarian Party
Secretary for organizing this event. Here is a picture from the dinner.
September 8th, 2007 - Bob Barr BBQ in St. Louis
The Libertarian Coalition for Responsibility hosted a Bob Barr-B-Q and fund raiser
at Greensfelder Park. Bob Barr, former member of the
US House from Georgia and now a member of the Libertarian Party National Committee,
was the keynote speaker. Shane Corey, Libertarian Party National Committee Executive
Director was in attendance. Michael Ferguson, winner of the Libertarian Coalition for
Responsibility 2007 Leadership award also spoke. Several dozen people attended on
a rainy day to help raise funds for libertarian candidates. Thanks to Bob Sullentrup
for organizing the event. Here are some pictures from the event.
In addition there were monthly meetings of my local Boone County LP,
Missouri LP Executive Committee and Missouri LP Strategic Planning
What a busy summer!