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!


Here Is a List of All the Referendums On Every Ballot In DuPage County and its Towns for 2014

October 28, 2014

Below list of the propositions on the ballot for Illinois as well as all the towns residing in DuPage County. We’ve included our basic thoughts on each of these, but of course, each vote is ultimately up to the voter who lives in each town. Some of the propositions we didn’t issue opinions on – these we felt were specific only to residents of the town, who would know the situations best. All of our opinions are in italics. Stay informed.

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NOVEMBER 4, 2014, GENERAL ELECTION – PROPOSITIONS

STATE OF ILLINOIS
“NOTICE THE FAILURE TO VOTE THIS BALLOT MAY BE THE EQUIVALENT OF A NEGATIVE VOTE, BECAUSE A CONVENTION SHALL BE CALLED OR THE AMENDMENT SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE IF APPROVED BY EITHER THREE-FIFTHS OF THOSE VOTING ON THE QUESTION OR A MAJORITY OF THOSE VOTING IN THE ELECTION. (THIS IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS A DIRECTION THAT YOUR VOTE IS REQUIRED TO BE CAST EITHER IN FAVOR OF OR IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROPOSITION HEREIN CONTAINED.) WHETHER YOU VOTE THIS BALLOT OR NOT YOU MUST RETURN IT TO THE ELECTION JUDGE WHEN YOU LEAVE THE VOTING BOOTH”.

CONSTITUTION BALLOT PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970 ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION
The proposed amendment makes changes to Section 8.1 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution, the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The proposed amendment would expand certain rights already granted to crime victims in Illinois, and give crime victims the ability to enforce their rights in a court of law. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution.

Our recommendation: VOTE YES (While we’d prefer to see this as  an individual law, we still believe it is a good idea and can stand by the amendment)

For the proposed amendment of Section 8.1 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
CONSTITUTION BALLOT PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970 ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION
The proposed amendment adds a new section to the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Illinois Constitution. The proposed amendment would prohibit any law that disproportionately affects the rights of eligible Illinois citizens to register to vote or cast a ballot based on the voter’s race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or income. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution.
For the proposed addition of Section 8 to Article III of the Illinois Constitution.
“Shall the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of 18 be raised to $10 per hour by January 1, 2015?”

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (This will increase the number of unemployed by pricing people out of the job market, it will create a massive inflation in Illinois and it will chase business out of the state.)

“Shall any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides prescription drug coverage be required to include prescription birth control as part of that coverage?”

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (The price of insurance, and health care itself, will increase for all people in Illinois)
“Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income greater than one million dollars?”

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (There isn’t a sound spending plan in place to do anything with these supposed additional funds, it will be government waste at best. Additionally, this is likely to chase wealthy people, investors and business owners away from Illinois, they will stop spending their money here and stop employing people here, which will ultimately lead to less taxes being paid)

VILLAGE OF BENSENVILLE
Shall Congress direct the City of Chicago to initiate and conduct a Part 150 Noise Compatibility Plan in connection with the newly opened runway, 10 Center/28 Center and the additional runway anticipated to be commissioned in the fall of 2015, 10 Right/28 Left, to identify and implement noise mitigation resulting from the increased impact from aircraft operations at O’Hare International Airport?
Shall Congress enact legislation that requires the Federal Aviation Administration “Fly-Quiet” restrictions, now voluntary upon the airlines, be made mandatory to require airlines to reduce airport noise between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., for those Airports located in close proximity to residential properties?
Shall the Illinois General Assembly enact legislation which establishes a Community Noise Equivalent Level metric for airport noise that accounts for increased sensitivity to airport noise in residential areas from 7:00 o’clock p.m. to 10:00 o’clock p.m.?

VILLAGE OF BLOOMINGDALE
Shall the Village of Bloomingdale request the United States Environmental Protection Agency or other appropriate federal agency to enforce the regulations of the Noise Control Act of 1972, 42 U.S.C. 4901, et seq., against aircraft which violate them?
Shall the current Federal Aviation Administration “Fly-Quiet” restriction, now voluntary upon the airlines, be made mandatory to require airlines to reduce airport noise between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.?
Shall the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission increase the residential sound-proofing in residential areas in the Village of Bloomingdale near Chicago O’Hare International Airport to remediate aircraft noise?

VILLAGE OF BURR RIDGE
ADVISORY PROPOSITION TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE VILLAGE OF BURR RIDGE SHOULD COMPENSATE CERTAIN ELECTED OFFICIALS
Shall the Village President (Mayor) of Burr Ridge, who receives a stipend of $6,000 per year, and the Burr Ridge Trustees, who receive a stipend of $3,000 per year, continue to be compensated?

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (Government serving the public should be volunteer work)

VILLAGE OF CLARENDON HILLS
Shall the Village of Clarendon Hills in order to preserve its historic small town charm maintain building heights at two stories or 30 feet (whichever is less) and no PUDs in the downtown as is consistent with Hinsdale, Illinois?

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (Shouldn’t communities be allowed to evolve at the demand of citizens’ spending and renting desires? This will only create another layer of regulations to hold back businesses.)

VILLAGE OF ITASCA
Should Congress pass a law that requires the Federal Aviation Administration to revisit the criteria it uses to create the “noise contours” that determine which residences near airports across the country are eligible for noise mitigation?
Shall the current Federal Aviation Administration “Fly-Quiet” restriction, now voluntary upon the airlines, be made mandatory to require airlines to reduce airport noise between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.?

VILLAGE OF VILLA PARK
PROPOSITION TO ISSUE NOT TO EXCEED $23,000,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS
Shall bonds in an amount not to exceed $23,000,000 be issued by the Village of Villa Park, DuPage County, Illinois, for the purpose of paying costs of street and related improvements throughout the Village and expenses incidental thereto, said bonds bearing interest at a rate not to exceed 5% per annum?

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (Stop wasteful government spending – taxes are already paid to the city for street improvements; where did that money go? There should be more transparency and elimination of waste before more money is spent.)

CITY OF WOOD DALE
Shall the City of Wood Dale request the United States Environmental Protection Agency or other appropriate federal agency to enforce the regulations of the Noise Control Act of 1972, 42 U.S.C. 4901, et seq., against aircraft which violate them?
Shall the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission increase the residential sound-proofing in residential areas in the City of Wood Dale near Chicago O’Hare International Airport to remediate aircraft noise?
Shall the current Federal Aviation Administration “Fly-Quiet” restriction, now voluntary upon the airlines, be made mandatory to require airlines to reduce airport noise between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.?

UNINCORPORATED DOWNERS GROVE TOWNSHIP
PROPOSITION TO AUTHORIZE THE TOWNSHIP TO CONTRACT, ADMINISTER OR LICENSE A REFUSE COLLECTION, DISPOSAL AND RECYCLING PROGRAM
Shall Downers Grove Township be authorized to contract, administer or license a refuse collection, disposal and recycling program on behalf of the residents of the unincorporated areas of the Township, pursuant to Section 85-13(f) and Article 210 of the Township Code?

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (Keep the government out of your garbage – why are we inviting the government into every single aspect of our lives? This will only lead to future laws to will create fines for not meeting certain criteria that will be created at a later date. Citizens can make these choices for themselves.)

BUTTERFIELD PARK DISTRICT
PROPOSITION TO ISSUE $2,985,000 PARK BONDS
Shall the Butterfield Park District, DuPage County, Illinois, acquire, maintain, improve and protect the land at the Northeast corner of Illinois Route 56 and Illinois Route 53 for nature areas, open space and park and recreation purposes, improve trails, outdoor park amenities, gardens and passive recreation areas, accessibility, safety, and programming space for children and adults throughout said Park District and issue its bonds to the amount of $2,985,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?
Our recommendation: VOTE NO (This is wasteful government spending which will lead to property tax increases.)

GLEN ELLYN PARK DISTRICT
PROPOSITION TO ISSUE $13,500,000 PARK BONDS
Shall the Glen Ellyn Park District, DuPage County, Illinois, construct and equip an indoor aquatic facility and issue its bonds to the amount of $13,500,000 for the purpose of paying the costs therof?

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (This is wasteful government spending which will lead to property tax increases. Lower regulations and make it easier for a private waterpark to open in Glen Ellyn.)

LEMONT PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT
PROPOSITION TO ISSUE $2,800,000 LIBRARY BONDS
Shall the Lemont Public Library District, Cook and DuPage Counties, Illinois, repair, remodel and improve, furnish necessary equipment and acquire electronic data storage and retrieval facilities for, build an addition to and improve the site of the existing library building and issue its bonds to the amount of $2,800,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

Our recommendation: VOTE NO ( This is wasteful government spending which will lead to property tax increases. Why spend millions when all of our citizens have access to the internet – even the poorest of people have iPhones)

COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT 201
PROPOSITION TO ISSUE $26,000,000 SCHOOL BUILDING BONDS
Shall the Board of Education of Westmont Community Unit School District Number 201, DuPage County, Illinois, improve the sites and the safety and security of and alter, repair and equip school buildings and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $26,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (This is wasteful government spending which will lead to property tax increases. Safety for $26 Million dollars? Who’s getting rich on this job? This sounds less like a way to improve safety and more of a way to funnel taxpayer dollars into a well-connected business.)

HINSDALE TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 86
DISTRITO 86 DE ESCUELAS SECUNDARIAS DEL MUNICIPIO DE HINSDALE
Shall the Board of Education of Hinsdale Township High School District 86 continue to offer eligible teachers the opportunity to earn six percent (6%) salary increases in each of four (4) school years prior to retirement?

Our recommendation: VOTE NO (This is wasteful government spending which will lead to property tax increases. This will significantly increase the cost of education without any improvement to curriculum or student’s quality of education. This will make massive pensions become even more bloated without additional funding – hasn’t anyone in Illinois been paying attention to the pension crisis??)


So, How Has the Campaign Been Going?

October 24, 2014

Glad you asked! With less than two weeks left in the campaign, I figured now would be a good time to sum up everything we’ve been going through since being confirmed on the ballot. Keep in mind that there WILL be an official Election Night Party at the American Tap @ 701 W. Lake St. in Addison, IL starting around 6pm and going all night, and everyone is welcome to stop by and chat with us and our candidates.

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The Chicago Tribune held their usual round of endorsement interviews with the two-party candidates for each office. While the Libertarian party candidates were not invited to participate along with their 2-party counterparts, we did manage to sneak our way into a couple editorial board reviews. Candidate for Governor Chad Grimm spent a good 45 minutes with the editorial board in the Tribune Tower answering questions on everything from gun control, to health care, to the pension crisis.

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A few days later, we managed to get another solid 90 minutes to be split up between three more candidates; Julie Fox for Comptroller, Chris Michel for Secretary of State and Ben Koyl for Attorney General. Julie talked about her experience as an accountant and controller in the private sector making her more than qualified for her office, Chris discussed his ideas on lightening the load for business owners and future entrepreneurs in Illinois to get through red tape, and Ben brought in printouts of the Attorney General’s budget with his own ideas for how to save money while redirecting the efforts of the AG office into a libertarian approach for justice.

Despite our efforts, we didn’t snag any of the endorsements, but that wasn’t entirely the goal; the goal was to be included and to be set on equal ground with the other parties. On a side note, Julie Fox did get a VERY honorable mention from the Chicago tribune about her qualifications, despite not getting the endorsement, which is a huge victory in itself.

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Julie Fox also did some radio ads for AM560 in Chicago and the suburbs, and has moved a huge effort to deliver campaign materials door-to-door in the suburban towns. She also snatched up an endorsement from radio personality and former Congressman Joe Walsh, and the Illinois Herald. Go Julie!!

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Other candidates kept themselves busy, including Matthew Skopek for Treasurer, who hosted a fundraiser at the Village Tavern and Grill in Schaumburg to help raise money for Libertarian yard signs that can be used well after this election cycle.

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Matthew also traveled to East St. Louis with Ben Koyl, Chris Michel and me (I’ve been at almost all of these events, really) to take part in a candidate forum hosted by the NAACP East St. Louis Branch, the Pan Hellenic council of East St. Louis, and the New Life Community Church. No other candidates from the other major parties attended, so our Libertarian candidates had a good opportunity to explain our philosophy and demonstrate our ideas to people in Central Illinois.

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The Fall Festival in Mt. Vernon in Southern Illinois was also attended by Chris, Ben, and Matt as well as Lt. Governor candidate Dr. AJ Cummings. The candidates were incredibly well received by almost everyone in attendance, who were thrilled that statewide candidates running for office would come down that far to visit and talk with them. They were cheered in the parade that they marched in, they were approached at their booth, hosted by the new Southern Illinois Libertarian Party, and even later in the evening discussed politics at the local taverns in town with voters. The folks in Southern Illinois were happy to have statewide candidates visit them and discuss their concerns, and our candidates were excited to take part in their events and to listen to the people who are often overshadowed by Springfield and Chicago. Kudos to the volunteers in the Southern Illinois Libertarian Party for getting organized so quickly!

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Grundee County’s annual Cornfest is always a big hit, and we joined in on the CornFest parade which draws over ten thousand people every year. Hosted in Morris, IL right off of the highway, candidates Matthew Skopek, Chris Michel, Ben Koyl and Sharon Hansen candidate for US Senate joined the DuPage Libertarians along with members from both the Will County and Lake County chapters.

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A few high schools were also visited by Libertarians. Chad Grimm, joined briefly by his Lt. Governor candidate Dr. AJ Cummings, spoke all day long to history and social studies classes at Jacob High School in Algonquin, while I, Brian Lambrecht, Chair of the DuPage Libertarians, spoke to a few AP Political Science classes up in Mundelein. I spoke to high school kids about politics, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and failures among the two parties – and they loved it. They asked questions, and they engaged me in discussion.

The kids admitted that they don’t know much about how things work in the political world, and they were admittedly cynical about it. Even the 18 year olds said they don’t want to vote because they don’t trust anyone (though I think I secured their vote). I openly told them that “hey, don’t ever trust someone in politics – not even me. Hold me accountable.” Kids know when they are being lied to, as opposed to most adults, who can watch a speech full of lies and passionately re-post it while talking about how great the person is lying to them. I didn’t even have to spend much time talking about libertarians; I spent most of it talking about how politics exists today. I related it to them, their personal lives and framed it in a way so they could see and understand it. I made them laugh repeatedly because the stupidity and corruption is so obvious that they couldn’t help but laugh.

Kids really are the future, because you can help them open their minds and keep it open before some useless political hack comes along and welds it shut for them for the rest of their lives. Not on my watch. This was one of the greatest moments of this year for me, and I didn’t have anyone with me to grab a photo.

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I also did an interview for CLTV about our ballot access struggle and managed to sneak in mentioning in the names of all 7 of our statewide candidates. You can see the video at the link HERE. Chad also did some interviews for the Sun-Times, FOX News, WGN, and CLTV. Other candidates appeared at the Junior League of Chicago candidate forum and the SWAN candidate forum in Elgin.

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In a nutshell, for a group of independent-minded libertarians who don’t have many resources to exploit, a small group of volunteers and not much money (despite Chad Grimm getting some big bucks for his particular campaign) we’ve done extremely well. Regardless of how everything turns out on Election Day, every Libertarian in the state of Illinois has something to celebrate. And if you are an active member of the state party, you should bask in the glow of all the great accomplishments we’ve made so far, and what there is to come. This Election Day isn’t the end – not by a longshot. Once we get past November 4th, the time begins to immediately start planning for next year, the year after that and the year after that.

DuPage Libertarians Chapter Trophy Winners 2014

We will not slow down and we will not lag behind. We’ve learned too many great tactics, indulged in great experiences, and gained a lot of ground. To everyone in the Libertarian Party of Illinois and all her Chapters around the state, you have great reason to celebrate. And don’t forget – you can celebrate with us on Election Day at the American Tap @ 701 W. Lake St. in Addison IL starting at roughly 6pm throughout the night. Stop by and celebrate with us.
And for the rest of you who aren’t members… what are you waiting for?!? We have such BIG plans for 2015, so jump on it and GET INVOLVED!!


Libertarian Party of Illinois Convention 2014 Recap

September 16, 2014

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The 2014 Libertarian Party of Illinois Convention was a huge success in so many ways, and I was glad to be a part of it. Despite my four years in the party, it was the first one I attended. I also helped out by being part of the Convention Committee, along with Karen Green, Kent McMillen and lead by Lupe Diaz. Everyone worked really hard to make this event happen, and there was plenty to see.

Everything kicked off on Friday night, September 12th in the lobby of the Holiday Inn in Bolingbrook, where the previous convention also took place. Tables were set up with candidate information and books up for donation, people were getting registered to get in the dining hall, and Libertarian Party members from all across the state mingled and shared stories about everything from our recent ballot access struggles to what was happening in their local chapters.

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The night provided plenty of entertainment, including the Convention Committee Chair Lupe Diaz egging on the crowd to bid money in an auction to sit at prize seats during the Friday night dinner with candidates and special guest speakers, and myself showcasing some of the video ads for many of our candidates that are being released this week. Of course, the highlight of the night was the candidate forum, where all seven of our candidates fielded question from Political Division Director and former Libertarian candidate for Governor Lex Green. It was the first time in a long time that all seven candidates had been together in the same room.

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Candidate for Governor Chad Grimm was hit with some of the hardest questions, leading to some responses about government spending, his pension reform plan and what he plans to do within his first several days in office. Alex “AJ” Cummings, Chad’s friend and our Lt. Governor candidate, sat by his side and backed up Chad with his own statements on fiscal responsibility, putting emphasis on his support for 2nd Amendment rights in Illinois and putting his own experience as a medical doctor in front of his arguments for why we still need real health care reform. US Senate candidate Sharon Hansen gave her thoughts on federal questions involving everything from immigration at home to why we should be staying out of wars and entanglements around the world.

Julie Fox, our candidate for Comptroller, restated her qualifications, being the ONLY candidate running for the office to be a Certified Public Accountant with actual accounting experience, and challenged the status quo in Illinois to come clean with their spending. Matthew Skopek, also a working accountant with degrees in both finance and economics, talked about his qualifications and how he plans to implement greater transparency in the office of the Treasurer.

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Ben Koyl is a lawyer who put his skills to work for the Libertarian Party of Illinois as he passionately fought to help us secure ballot access for 2014, demonstrating that he is indeed qualified for the office of Attorney General and that he has his own plans for cutting spending in the department. Hailing as a small business owner, our final candidate Chris Michel knows what small businesses have to go through in Illinois to get started, stay afloat and succeed, and he wants to bring that experience with him to help streamline the Secretary of State’s office while lobbying for better practices to help support small business owners and other entrepreneurs in Illinois by removing obstacles in their path.

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If you didn’t get to meet your candidates or pose for pictures with them Friday night, you had plenty of chances to do so on Saturday. The day kicked off with a live morning podcast from The Side Project hosts Jim Goebel and Eric Ferguson, who spent some time speaking with Matthew Skopek, Sharon Hansen and special guest Wes Benedict, the Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee. Wes was only warming up on Jim and Eric’s show, as he shortly afterwards gave a great speech on “Today’s Libertarian Party Heroes” while offering great stories on how we can more effectively spread our message and grow our party. I snagged a copy of his book “Introduction to the Libertarian party” which Matthew Skopek was nice enough to buy for me (thanks, Matt!) and Wes was kind enough to sign. Wes sold plenty of copies of his book after his speech and then (after signing copies of our books for us) he donated all the proceeds to help cover the cost of our convention. What a guy!

Other presenters throughout the afternoon included Dan Linn, Executive Director of IL-NORML, who spoke about cannabis prohibition, the drug war and other liberty based values. Illinois State University professor Dr. Terry Noel gave an excellent presentation on Bitcoin. Both of these topics are very popular with libertarians, and I caught both men wrapped up in multiple conversations afterwards in the lobby.

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During lunch, Sharon Hansen spoke about her campaign for a bit, and was then followed by Lex Green, who awarded his wife, Karen Green, with the David Nolan Award. In a very touching speech, Lex spoke about his wife at length and all the hard work and dedication she has done for the party, both at Lex’s side and on her own initiative. If anyone were to deserve the award for hard work above and beyond what is required, it was Karen – congratulations!

Julie Fox was the keynote speaker, and took some time away from speaking about her campaign to talk more broadly about the party as a whole and our individual part in it. After a wonderful introduction by her campaign manager Thomas Hill, Julie delivered an exciting message under the title of “Compromise or Divide – Where Do We Go From Here?” which was very well received from everyone in the audience.

Orchestrated by Communications Division Director Crystal Jurczynski, there were several workshops that took place, designed to help both candidates and members looking to develop their campaigns or local chapter.

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“What’s In Your Liberty Outreach Toolbox?” was a panel discussion of members who have worked or contributed to the Communications Division who hail from all over the state. Diana Visek from Champaign spoke about the best ways to develop and promote print media, Jennifer Floyd from DuPage talked about video making and using film as a tool to promote ideas, Jim Goebel from Grundy County – who earlier that day hosted his podcast program The Side Project – discussed radio broadcasting, Andrew Wikel from the Rockford chapter talked about web design and how instrumental it is to spreading messages of liberty for recruiting members for libertarian chapters, and Paul Clark, the chair of Will County, spoke on the many uses of social media and the many ways they can be of service to your promoting your group and ideas.

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Crystal, with the help of Lex Green, also put a few candidates up to the challenge in a session called “Who’s Driving?” where the candidates must develop their interview skills in dealing with hostile media interviewers. This included audience participation to help measure how well or poorly the candidate was doing as the interview went on.

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After a lively (and hilarious) game of Libertarian Jeopardy hosted by yours truly, and an endorsement ceremony for Comptroller candidate Julie Fox from the Libertarian National Campaign Committee, it was time for dinner, which was accompanied by a rousing speech by candidate for Governor Chad Grimm. Awards were given out to members from across the state, including Kent McMillen, Jenifer Floyd, Diana Visek, Crystal Jurczynski, Julie Fox, and me, Brian S. Lambrecht (which, by the way, I might say is a GREAT honor).

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Afterwards, our keynote speaker for the evening was none other than award winning journalist Ben Swann, whose speech was themed on the premise of “How Liberty Wins Over Fascism.” It wasn’t as much of a speech as it was a lively lecture about how libertarians can better address our ideological adversaries and help set the narrative and change the landscape of debate for our side. It was fun and refreshing, and Ben was kind enough afterwards to stick around and pose for photos with everyone who wanted one.

Oh, and as a side note – he said to me that our game of Libertarian Jeopardy was “the most creative and funniest thing” he had seen at a libertarian event… and he’s been to a lot. What a compliment!!! DuPage does it!!

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After auctioning off some interesting items and socializing some more, the Saturday event closed, only to have dead tired libertarians show up early the next morning for the annual business meeting – which included making changes to the state party bylaws – and the State Organizing Committee meeting – and included electing new members for the executive board as well as the directors. All of those positions are listed at the Libertarian Party of Illinois website, though all of us here at DuPage would like to offer a congratulations to Lex Green on being elected the new State Chair, Jonathan Parker as Vice Chair, Jasen Howard as Secretary and Matthew Skopek as Treasurer.

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Finally, after most of the members and supporters had left before or during the business portion of the day, Evan McMahon, Executive Director at the Libertarian National Campaign Committee, worked for almost four solid hours with most of the executive board members, chapter chairs, and statewide candidates. Less of a speech and again, more of a workshop, this QandA session was very helpful for people looking to develop their libertarian presence on the local level in their communities, and to help draw in more members who want to serve long term purpose and be active in changing the political landscape in their towns, counties and state.

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After all is said and done, this tired and exhausted chapter chair couldn’t wait to get home and sleep off the rest of the weekend. There was a lot of fun, but there was also a lot of learning. So many new ideas and projects to digest and work out later as the weeks and months go on. Of course, most of that can wait, because with roughly six weeks to go till the election, it’s time to get out there and promote our candidates! Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this year’s convention the massive success that it was!!


Bruce Rauner, It’s Time For You To Come Clean

August 30, 2014

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I, Brian S. Lambrecht, Chair of the DuPage Libertarians and the top volunteer signature collector in the state who personally testified at the State Board of Election this past month, am demanding that you, Bruce Rauner, come out and explain how your campaign can operate such disgusting and reprehensible tactics against another political party under your own nose without you being aware of it.

By now, we all know about the strong-arm tactics used by the GOP in their effort to throw us off the ballot. We are also aware of the armed private investigator that stalked petition circulators and visited the homes of registered voters who signed our petitions. Morrison Security, who was hired to provide the private investigators, is owned by Sean Morrison, who is also a Cook County Deputy Chairman, Palos Township Republican Committeeman and member of the Republican Party’s State Central Committee. The ties are pretty obvious to see.

Yet somehow, Mr. Rauner, you were never aware of this. After we turned in almost 43K signatures to the State Board of Elections on June 23rd, 2014, we were challenged for almost two straight weeks to defend them. When we survived that, you then went after petitioners themselves and the registered voters who signed our petitions.

You only denounced the activity after your camp had lost its battle with us at the Board of Elections and were called out by the tactics used, stating: “I’m appalled by the behavior I read about. I absolutely reject it and would never condone it. It’s terrible. I don’t know if it’s true, but I would never accept it. I’m outraged by what I’ve read.”

Your own spokesman Mike Schrimpf said that “Bruce wants as many people engaged in the political process as possible.” On that issue, we agree.

While the idea of you being oblivious to your own party’s actions is a bit hard to swallow, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. If you stand by the things you’ve said, and you expect us to honestly believe that you are appalled by the actions that were undertaken to remove us from the ballot, then step forward and explain how this all happened unbeknownst to you. Further Mr. Rauner, I call on you to publicly join the Libertarian Party in demanding a full criminal investigation of this shameful conduct by law enforcement. If you are truly “outraged” and “appalled” as you say, then joining our call for a full investigation should be easy for you.

As you’ve stated many times, you are not a career politician; you are a businessman. Being successful in business requires building solid relationships on a foundation of trust. If you want to prove that you will “shake up” Springfield and clean up the corruption, then start with your own party and your own campaign. I am opening up to you and willing to listen.

You should be forthcoming with a clear explanation of how this has happened. You owe an explanation to us, to the citizens and voters of Illinois and to anyone who ever wants to get involved in the political process anywhere in America.


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