Not Slowing Down – DuPage Libertarians On Fire in 2015

January 15, 2015

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You know with a loaded headline like that, we couldn’t possibly let you down.

In my last blog, I talked about all of our achievements in 2014, of which I am very proud of. This group has always been primed to do awesome things, and all I wanted to do was help be an igniter for all the fuel that has been waiting to be put to use.

Now that 2015 is here, it is time to see what we have on the agenda.

My first big goal was to actually run a candidate in a local election, and we are already underway with the election of Claire Ball for a College of DuPage trustee seat. As of now, there are 14 candidates running for three seats. Six of them are well-connected liberals, and seven are tea party conservatives. That leaves Claire right in the middle as the lone libertarian – and we like it that way.

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With no big political party breathing down her neck, she can operate entirely off of her values and principles of fiscal responsibility and open transparency without anyone behind her telling her to do. She has already earned an endorsement from the Illinois Herald, combined with a great interview that can be read here at this link.

Other goals include being involved in more booth events, marching in five parades (up from last years’ four), fighting corruption that we come across in all facets of government, and starting the process to bring a referendum to a ballot in DuPage County to eliminate red light and speed cameras once and for all.

As I’ve said many times before, we are NOT slowing down.

Of course, we always need financial help; some of the events we do have an entrance fee for renting space, and promotional materials also get used up. Don’t hesitate to click that button in the top right and contribute what you can, if you can. If you are low on funds and can’t contribute (which we understand) then contribute in other ways, like helping run tables at our shows, marching in parades, and going door-to-door to help our candidates promote themselves.

I want to end this update by sharing a photo with you of Ron Paul, taken when he came to visit us in Illinois during his run for the presidency in 1988.

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We have a great history here in Illinois, and a greater one in DuPage County. Help keep that history going. Thanks, and I hope to see you soon.


DuPage Libertarians 2014 Year In Review

December 29, 2014

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After almost 4 years of being a fairly inactive member of the DuPage Libertarians and meeting up in the back room of a pancake house, I decided to take up an offer from the previous year offered to me by then-Chair Josh Hanson.

I really didn’t think I was in much of a position to lead a group, but I was hungry to get involved in a way that was greater than I had been in previous years, and the only way to do that was to have more influence. As libertarians, we generally don’t like to be told what to do, or enjoy ordering others around – but to be honest, I needed more control over the group and a greater voice.

So I agreed to take on the Chair position a year ago, in December, where I began writing up a list of things that I wanted to do and objectives I wanted to achieve. Once January kicked in, I would start my term by moving our location from the back of the pancake house, to the current location at the American Tap – a pub and grill that served alcohol but was still all ages, had a large room we could use in the back, and had a great name.

I had a list of goals laid out for 2014 that I read out loud to everyone that cold January evening; goals that I hoped to meet or surpass by that same time the following year:

– To attend all 12 meetings (done)
– To double our followers on the Facebook page from 285 to at least 570 (we more than doubled, currently standing at 672)
– To awaken and use our ignored Twitter account (started with 1 follower, we now have 358, which includes many journalists and other members of the media)
– To publish at least one article per month on the DuPage Libertarians website (not only did we achieve this, but often we get two articles published in one month when things are very active)
– To release at least one newsletter per month to our members and subscribers (we now generally send out two newsletters; one every two weeks)
– To actively use our YouTube account and publish at least one original video of some kind this year (okay, we actually published over 20, and they were on a variety of things including candidate ads – we probably won’t publish nearly that many in a non-election year)
– To march in at least one parade (we did four – Memorial Day in Itasca, Independence Day in Downers Grove, Cornfest in Morris, and a Holiday Lights Parade in Westmont)
– To host some kind of statewide event for the party (we ended up hosting three candidate workshops and spearheaded the Springfield press conference in the Capitol Building – we also hosted a petition drive fundraiser)
– To double our average attendance at our monthly meetings (done)
– To operate a booth at a local event other than the DuPage County Fair (we did five gun shows and a Lt. Governor primary debate)
– To gain some kind of media presence (we had our name in both print and on television)

On top of that, we also were the chapter to bring in the most signatures for the Petition Drive, earning us a trophy and bragging rights. This list of achievements is not only above and beyond what I had hoped for, but makes me weary of how I could be expected to match or surpass it next year!

It’s quite daunting.

I have already started compiling a list of gains and achievements for the DuPage Libertarians to strive for in 2015 which I will publish in the next blog, and it is both humorous and encouraging to note that as I write out the list now, there are already things planned out on the near horizon whose goals have already been met.

Why? – Because we never slow down. We will always keep moving and we will always keep fighting for the spread of liberty, accountability, and personal freedom in Illinois, starting at home in DuPage County. Join us in 2015, and be part of our movement. We need people, and we need money. Donate at this website, if you can, to help us fund all the things we want to do next year, and then join us and take part in those things! If you can’t contribute finances, contribute your time and talents. With all the projects we have going on, there is always something for a new volunteer to jump on of their choosing.

Thanks to everyone who already helped make 2014 as successful as it was. We will continue this in 2015 and as the Chair of the DuPage Libertarians, I will do my best to keep this group a powerful voice in the community. Have a great New Year, everyone.

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Ending 2014 With A Bang; Candidate Announcement for COD!!

December 21, 2014

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The DuPage Libertarians have had an outstanding year, and I am glad to say I was part of it and instrumental to it. These past few months, I have been doing research into the history of this little group, speaking with members that go all the way back to the national beginnings in 1970. The Libertarian Club of DuPage, as it was called back then, was highly active in the community, ran candidates in local elections, and had a voice in the local media.

Today, we continue that movement. At our last meeting, it was formally announced that DuPage Libertarians member Claire Ball will be running for the board of trustees at College of DuPage on Tuesday, April 7th, 2015. You can check out her Facebook page here!

The board at COD has been under heavy fire from watchdog groups for reckless spending habits and transparency issues. The board, in response, has been very defensive – in some respects coming off as unhinged towards the notion that someone would dare challenge their authority to spend money in the ways they see fit.

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Local Tea Party groups have already begun scanning the landscape for their own candidates, causing a backlash from the more liberal COD board. Luckily for us, libertarians excel at being much more liberal than most college liberals are, and are also known and respected for sticking to our balanced budget ideals than most conservatives.

It also helps that Claire Ball has a master’s degree in accounting and has been working in the accounting field for over 8 years. No more lawyers or politically connected family members – let’s bring in qualified people who can act in the best interests of both the taxpayers and the college students, as opposed to elitist politicians working for themselves.

We hope everyone enjoys the holidays in whatever way you celebrate. As the chapter chair, I want to thank everyone for your support in 2014, and for your continued support in 2015.


‘Tis the Season to Be Active!!

December 1, 2014

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With the election over, a lot of people tend to fall into a political hibernation, where you begin to pay less attention to the issues and slowly start to fade out of the political groups you used to be active with.

Well, that doesn’t generally happen with libertarians, who seem to always have a reason for keeping our bodies active and our blood pressure up! While we don’t generally get worked up over politics during the holiday season, we do like to get involved in the community in multiple ways.

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In the town of Westmont, located in the township of Downers Grove in the south-eastern corner of DuPage County, you can visit Veteran’s Memorial Park and see all the decorated holiday trees that surround the seasonal ice skating rink. The DuPage Libertarians sponsored a tree and decorated it with simple gold ornaments and pine cones that we sprayed with glue and dusted in blue glitter. There was also a Food Drive for a local food pantry that several of us brought canned goods and other non-perishable foods to, and an arts and craft bazaar to peruse in.

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The following week, we marched in Westmont’s Frosty and Friends Night Parade, where we decorated a car with lights and marched down Cass Avenue, waving a flag and handing out candy to the kids and Libertarian Party of Illinois pamphlets to the adults. We got a great reception from the crowds of cold but dedicated people who wanted to see Santa Clause, Frosty the Snowman, and all the local businesses and community groups who were willing to put on a great display and march through downtown Westmont. This was a blast! Can’t wait till next year when we REALLY master the art of lighting up the car!!

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Some of us also joined the Fox Valley Libertarians the following day as they marched in the downtown square of Woodstock. Giving out candy and information about their group, they also had a great response from the crowd.

Doing these things is FUN. Getting involved in the communities and their events is a great way to promote your group while also being a part of that community and having a good time with everyone involved. Why sit in the bleachers, watching all the action happen in front of you, when you can be part of the action – leading the way in a parade, talking to like-minded people at a gun show, or fighting through a townhall meeting in an effort to lower property taxes or eliminate red-light cameras in your neighborhood?

We hope you all have a great holiday this year with your friends and family, and we can’t wait to see you in 2015!


Libertarian Election Smashes Previous Records

November 7, 2014

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Let’s get it out of the way now; no, the Libertarian Party of Illinois did not achieve Established Party status as none of our candidates garnered 5% of the vote. In our main objective of this election, we failed. However, when looking at the results, we achieved more than ever before in our forty-three year history in Illinois, and in many ways have blown away all expectations and proven to the state that we are a force whom attention will be paid.

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A quick glance at our vote totals and percentages demonstrates how we easily smashed almost all previous records for each office this year.

GOVERNOR
2014 Chad Grimm / AJ Cummings  118098 3.40%
2010 Lex Green / Ed Rutledge 34293 0.90%
2002 Cal Skinner / Jim Tobin 73794 2.09%
1994 David Kelley / Robert Moldenhauer 52388 1.68%
1986 Gary Shilts / Gerry Walsh 15646 0.49%
1982 Bea Armstrong / David Kelley 24417 0.66%
1978 Georgia Shields / Maggie Kohls 11420 0.36%
1976 F. Joseph McCaffrey / Georgia Shields 7552 0.16%

SEC OF STATE
2014 Christopher Michel 102873 2.90%
2010 Josh Hanson 114065 3.10%
2002 Matt Beauchamp 78830 2.24%
1994 Joseph Schreiner 38074 1.23%
1986 Steven Givot 17566 0.56%
1982 Roger Hosbein 19216 0.52%
1978 Ed May 9104 0.29%
1976 Ellyn Powelson 10461 0.23%

ATTORNEY GENERAL
2014 Ben Koyl 96637 2.80%
2010 Bill Malan 53954 1.50%
2002 Gary Shilts 87949 2.51%
1994 Natalie Loder Clark 57104 1.85%
1986 Natalie Loder Clark 24068 0.77%
1982 Natalie L. C. Stason 28074 0.77%
1978 Sheldon Waxman 11917 0.39%
1976 John Reis 9165 0.20%

TREASURER
2014 Matt Skopek 141795 4.20%
2010 James Pauly 68093 1.90%
2002 Rhys Read 66593 1.92%
1994 Kati Kroenlein 53108 1.77%
1986 Jay Marsh 19875 0.64%
1982 Walter Edge 32452 0.90%
1978 Everett Moffat 17496 0.59%

COMPTROLLER
2014 Julie Fox 165448 4.80%
2010 Julie Fox 119863 3.30%
2002 Julie Fox 144066 4.23%
1994 Michael Ginsberg 113071 3.85%
1986 Donald Morris 22428 0.73%
1982 Stephen Johnson 36856 1.02%
1978 Mark Wallace 21645 0.72%
1976 Mark Wallace 13788 0.31%

US SENATE
2014 Sharon Hansen 130762 3.80%
2010 Mike Labno 86325 2.40%
2008 Larry Stafford 50228 0.94%
2004 Jerry Kohn 69253 1.35%
2002 Steven Burgauer 57382 1.65%
1996 Robin Miller 41218 0.96%
1992 Andy Spiegel 34527 0.69%
1986 Donald Parrish 13891 0.44%
1984 Steven Givot 59777 0.64%
1980 Bruce Green 29328 1.25%
1978 Bruce Green 16320 0.51%

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The closest we came to achieving our goal came from Julie Fox, the Certified Public Accountant who was outstandingly more qualified for the job over her Republican and Democrat opponents, and the one who campaigned harder than anyone else in the party. Earning endorsements from Taxpayers United of America, Free and Equal’s Christina Tobin, former Congressman Joe Walsh and former Governor and Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, it’s no surprise that Julie lead the pack in votes. When she first entered the room around 8 o’clock after the party had been well under way for a couple hours, the room lit up and she received a cheer from the crowd!

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The Chicago Libertarian Party had a small get together in the city, while the Chad Grimm camp had a slightly larger gathering in Peoria with both the Peoria County and McLean County chapters in attendance. Of course, the DuPage Libertarians hosted the big Election Night Party, as gracious and loving as we are, at our monthly meeting location The American Tap, where many of us stayed well past midnight enjoying our successes and taking in our loss. Our Election Night Party included members from seven different state chapters; DuPage, Fox Valley, Chicago, Lake County, Will County, Peoria County and Southern Illinois. At one point in the middle of the night, we had well over sixty people in attendance, with several new members coming out for their first time to visit us and meet the candidates.

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While voter turnout in DuPage County was low this election, the libertarian vote was high. We even beat the state average in many races, with DuPage County giving Julie Fox 5.29% and Matthew Skopek 4.34% of the total votes. Thank you, DuPage!!

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We also got lots of media love from multiple sources that included several journalists from Chicago Talks as well as a Chicago radio station who broadcast live interviews throughout the entire night from our location. Since we had representatives from seven different chapters, members from each one were interviewed, describing their particular chapter and all the individual fun projects they work on. Many high ranking party members and chapter Chairs also spoke, telling stories and laying out our plans for 2015.

Overall, we’d like to thank everyone who came out to our Election Night Party and helped make it a blast. We’d also like to thank the candidates for doing an awesome job of getting the word out, their campaigns for rising to the challenge, and every member and volunteer who donated their time, money – or both – to helping make everything happen. Despite not reaching our ultimate goal, we reached others that we never expected, and also helped pave the way for what we need to do in the future. Many mistakes were made, and plenty of lessons were learned. Not having the Established Party status means that we will have more work in certain areas, but also that we still retain much freedom that we otherwise would have lost. There is much to celebrate, and much to plan for. Time to get moving!


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