Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention Recap

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By Jennifer Floyd

Election years often see new members flocking to alternative parties and the Libertarian Party is no exception. Opening night of the 2016 Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention hosted over one hundred attendees in a standing-room-only event to watch seven of the party’s presidential candidates debate before the nominating convention in April.

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The candidates who participated were; Dr. Marc Allen Feldman, Cecil Ince, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Austin Petersen, Derrick Michael Reid, Rhett Smith, and Shauna Sterling. The event was moderated by Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green, video blogger Julie Borowski, and talk radio host from WMAY 970 AM in Central Illinois Greg Bishop. The event was live-streamed via YouTube and is available for viewing through the Metro East Libertarian YouTube page offering a second look at the alternative options in leadership.

Saturday featured a luncheon presentation by Julie Borowski and her topic “Why You Should Be Optimistic” speaking about how libertarian ideals are gaining traction and the strides we have made to be a more tolerant society. Other events included a presentation honoring the memory of Mark Agnini, a pivotal member of several northern chapters who died in a car accident last fall, workshops on interviewing and petitioning, and entertainment in the form of Libertarian-themed Jeopardy.

The convention closed out with the annual business meeting and the nomination of state party candidates. Claire Ball secured the nomination for Comptroller and is the only trained and active accountant seeking the position. Scott Schluter was nominated for the 117th District in the Illinois General Assembly, and Jake Leonard will be running for the 95th District of the Illinois House. Finally, by a narrow margin, Kent McMillen won nomination for the US Senate candidacy over Chris Michel.

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All the candidates must now begin to petition for the right to be on the ballot this fall in Illinois. Libertarians, as “new party” candidates, according to state law, must gather a minimum of 25,000 signatures to gain ballot access whereas Republicans or Democrats must only gather 5,000. This year, however, has seen a small change with the recent court decision striking down Illinois’ full slate requirement, opening the door to the Libertarians and other parties in running for election.

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Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention

By: Jennifer Floyd

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While the media might be focused on the antics of Clinton, Trump, and Sanders, parties like the Libertarian Party are quietly gathering their supporters and prepping their candidates. One such group is the Libertarian Party of Illinois which will host their annual State Convention on March 11-12th, 2016 in Springfield, IL.

Just like the Republicans and Democrats, the candidate pool for president is quite large. At the time of writing this article 4 of the 8 presidential candidates will be participating in a debate. Slated to attend are Dr. Marc Feldman, Cecil Ince, Steve Kerbel, and Austin Petersen. The debate will be moderated by Julie Borowski, a blogger, writer, award-winning YouTube host, and Policy Analyst for FreedomWorks.

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The convention, while a fantastic way for members to network and grow, also serves a very important purpose; the nomination and selection of candidates for state-wide offices and delegates to the national Libertarian Convention. This fall, the positions of U.S. Senate and Comptroller will be up for election. Current announced candidates for nomination; Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller and Chris Michel for U.S. Senate will be presenting. The party will also recognize candidates for local elections seeking endorsements from the Libertarian Party in their run for office. Unlike other parties in Illinois, Libertarian candidates are nominated directly at the conventions and approved by vote at the annual business meeting.

However, when a group of Libertarians get together, there will also be entertainment and education. Julie Borowski will be the luncheon keynote speaker, presenting her topic “Why You Should Be Optimistic.” The trivia contest dubbed Libertarian Jeopardy makes its return, there will be an auction to raise funds, and a regional beverage competition. Two workshops will be held on Saturday; “Who’s Driving?” a simulated interview to hone the presentation skills of candidates, and a Petitioning Workshop to help educate members who will participate in signature collection to get Libertarian candidates on the ballot.

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One of the hot topics for discussion this year will be the recent court decision striking down the “full slate” requirement imposed on third party (or “new party” as they are referred to in IL) candidates in Illinois. Originally imposed in 1931 probably to keep communist party candidates off the ballot, it was declared unconstitutional in an order on February 12 by U.S. District Court Judge Andrea R. Wood. This created a massive obstacle for new party candidates running for local office since they would have to find people to run for every open spot in local elections and diluting the efforts of the state party when they would have to run 7 candidates just to run for governor.

The Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention will be held on March 11-12th, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3100 S Dirksen Pkwy, Springfield, IL. Attendance is free and open to the public on Friday, March 11th. Attendance at the Saturday workshops and luncheon requires registration available at LPIllinois.org.

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It’s Officially An Election Year, Now…

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First off, I would like to congratulate Steve Dutner on being elected as the new Vice Chair for the DuPage Libertarians. Continuing to serve in the other roles are Jennifer Floyd as Secretary, Todd Zimmerman as Treasurer, and myself as Chair.

So there were plans to have a huge blog written and ready for the beginning of the year, but that didn’t pan out, because we have been WAY too busy. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I don’t know yet; everyone is too exhausted to make a judgment call…

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The biggest event coming up is obviously the state convention in March. On Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th, the Libertarian Party of Illinois will hold its annual state convention at the Hilton garden Inn in Springfield. The event includes some pretty amazing highlights, including the Friday night debate between several of the leading Libertarian presidential candidates, including Steve Kerbel, Austin Petersen, Marc Allan Feldman, and Cecil Ince. Attending this event means you may have a chance to personally ask a question from one or all of these candidates.

The keynote speaker for Saturday is Julie Borowski, who (as the rumor mill goes) may also be moderating the debate on Friday night. You can also expect to hear speeches from Claire Ball and Chris Michel, and as a state party member, have an official vote in making them the official Libertarian Party of Illinois candidates for the November general election.

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The next big event is the one occurring right after the convention, and the one that requires the most help – our Petition Drive. The good news about the petition drive is that you can get ALL the information from your source right here, or at our Facebook page. That information includes weekday and weekend events where candidates and volunteers will go out to collect signatures. We can pretty much guarantee that there will be an event going on every weekend through the 90 day period, and that we will be reaching out to volunteers to help us collect as many signatures as we can from registered Illinois voters. You are all invited to help us out.

The Petition Drive will be made up of multiple smaller events throughout the state, such as kickoff parties, campouts, and festivals that you can join in on.

So yes – we haven’t been bored. Everyone has been working tirelessly to put these events together and to coordinate our efforts to make it all happen. If you are someone who would like to get involved, this is a damn good year where we could definitely use your help.

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Leaving Behind 2015, Here We Come 2016…

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Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, I first want to thank all the members of the DuPage Libertarians, and surrounding chapters, who came out and made our charity holiday dinner party the huge success that it was. We filled several large boxes and bags of canned and dry goods to donate to our charity of choice, the local affiliate of Loaves and Fishes, a charity that ensures 97% of all it raises goes directly to those who need it, while getting less than 1% of their funding from government. Our members are awesome and generous; thank you all.

So… what is happening now?

A lot. Way more than we were anticipating; quite frankly.

On Sunday, December 13th, Chairwoman of the College of DuPage board of trustees Kathy Hamilton surprised everyone by announcing that she was stepping down from the board, for personal reasons.

Whatever those reasons may be, the board of trustees at COD is now in chaos – worse than usual. Two days after Hamilton made her announcement, the college was put on academic probation by the Illinois Higher Learning Commission. This probation period lasts two years, in which time the board must prove that they have made the necessary corrections to the issues at the college… or the college could lose its accreditation.

The remaining six board members are split with regards to how to handle issues, stemmed from the incident over the last 18 months with ex-president Robert Breuder. They now have less than 60 days to appoint a seventh trustee to the board, or the Illinois Community College Board will appoint someone.

Before you ask, the answer is yes – many have been reaching out to ask if Claire Ball will apply for the position, and many have been publicly calling on her to step forward.

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So what has been her official response? As of this point, she has not decided if she will apply or not. With a brutal campaign over the next ten months for Illinois Comptroller, combined with wrapping up her studies to earn her CPA, the girl is a bit overwhelmed at the moment – and we here at the DuPage Libertarians do not want to stretch her too thin, as her race for Comptroller will be a hard one.

However, taking on the role of trustee at COD would be a great way for her to directly make a positive impact on the community, while also helping demonstrate to the state of Illinois just how honest and effective a libertarian in office can be. The opportunity is one to not let slip away.

So as you can see, there is a lot happening with the DuPage Libertarians, and volunteers have been coming from everywhere to help support us in the election next year, including working on the campaign teams for Chris Michael and Claire Ball. There is always room for more, and all our members and readers are more than welcome to jump in at any point and help us along the way to make Illinois a better place to live and do business.

Claire has made one thing clear; if she does decide to apply for the position and is chosen by the board (also a long shot), she will continue to be the Libertarian Party of Illinois candidate for Comptroller. As soon as she earns her CPA early next year, she will be a force to be reckoned with.

No wonder the two parties are terrified of her.

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The Holidays Always Bring Out the Best In Us!

Well damn, have we been BUSY in the past few weeks!

Candidate for US Senate Chris Michel and candidate for Illinois Comptroller Claire Ball both made a trip to visit the Libertarian Party of Central Illinois in Peoria, led by chair Ben Hausam and including former candidate for Illinois Governor Chad Grimm. A journalist from the Peoria Star attended to see the candidates, while chapter members talked about everything from campaign strategy to the upcoming petition drive.

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Chris and Claire also took part in a campaign event hosted by the Chicago LP, led by chair Gayle Deick, and including special guest, state party chair and former candidate for Governor Lex Green. With almost 40 people in attendance, with the majority of them signing up to volunteer for the party or a campaign, it was definitely an amazing event.

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The following week, the DuPage Libertarians decorated our sponsored tree in Veteran’s Memorial Park in downtown Westmont. It was one of the first bits of snow we had, and the park was filled with people all decorating their trees. Our ornaments were all ascribed with liberty quotes – though they are tough to read, they were a lot of fun making them.

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On Thanksgiving weekend, we also marched in the Westmont Frosty and Friends Night Parade, which allowed us to decorate the car (and ourselves) with lights.

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The following morning we drove out to join our friends in the Fox Valley Libertarian Party for their annual Woodstock Christmas Parade in the town square.

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Last but not least, we can’t forget the monthly gun shows we continue to host a table at for the Pioneer Valley Sportsman’s Association gun show at the DuPage County Fairgrounds.

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Thank you to EVERY volunteer who marched in parades with us, staffed tables, and helped with campaign meetings.

We have one last event coming up before the year is over, and that event is doubling not just as our final meeting of the year where we celebrate the holidays, but also as a charity event. The location for this year’s event will be at Cozymels Coastal Mex @ 311 E. Loop Rd. in Wheaton, IL. It starts at 6:30pm; special guests include candidate Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller, and Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green. There will be the annual awards given out to members who are recognized for their outstanding help, and of course there is the charity aspect of the event.

We will be holding a food drive for Loaves & Fishes located in Naperville, IL. They are a 501(c)(3) organization in operation since 1984 which provides food and other services to the poor of DuPage county and surrounding areas. The majority of their donations come privately with only 1% of their budget from government funding. They put what they are given to work as well, passing 97% of their donations to those they serve.

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Those coming to our December event are encouraged to bring canned or boxed foods to donate. In addition, Loaves & Fishes also accepts household items such as paper towels, 1 gallon Ziploc bags, toiletries, and diapers. Our event is registered with Loaves & Fishes and we will also pass along any monetary donations we receive for them.
Help us celebrate the holidays and the end of an exciting year by attending our final meeting for 2015 and by helping us bring in a huge load of donations for those in need. Everyone is invited to join us, but if you can’t make it out, we wish you peace and happiness to you, your family, and your loved ones. Thanks everyone – hope to see you at the party!

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So Many Local Libertarian Events Going On In November!!

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With Halloween out of the way, and autumn now firmly established in Illinois, we are getting back to focusing on the events we have booked for November… which are a LOT.

Coming up early next week, the Chicago LP is hosting a meet-n-greet with candidates Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller and Chris Michel for US Senate. This event, taking place at Wills Northwoods Inn @ 3030 N Racine Ave. in Chicago, will allow voters to meet with and ask questions from both candidates on all the issues that matter to them. The event is free, open to the public, and starts at 6:30pm.

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The following week on Wednesday, Nov 18th, Claire Ball will have a table set up at the Heartland Institute for the Women In Politics event, which includes State Rep. Jeanne Ives and radio host Amy Jacobson. It starts at 6:30pm at the new location 3939 N. Wilke Rd. in Arlington Heights, IL.

Thursday, Nov. 19th @ 7pm will be our usual scheduled monthly meeting for the DuPage Libertarians, where we will be getting crafty as we make decorations for our sponsored Christmas Tree in Westmont, which we will be decorating a few days later at noon on Sunday, Nov. 22nd followed by all of us going out to grab lunch shortly afterward. Anyone who wants to jump in on this is welcome!

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Oh, and we have two parades to march in on the weekend of Thanksgiving! The Festival of Lights Holly Days parade in downtown Westmont kicks off at 6pm on Saturday, and the Woodstock Christmas Parade at 2pm on Sunday. Help us carry banners and flags, or hand out candy and business cards to onlookers. These events are always fun, and as usual, we all get together for food afterwards.

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Also, don’t forget the PVSA Wheaton Gun Show on Sunday, December 6th at the Dupage County Fairgrounds. It is $5 admission to get in, unless you show up early with us and help work the table – then you get in for free AND you feel the satisfaction of helping your local libertarians out.

There are some changes to this year’s Annual Holiday Party. Instead of a gift exchange, we will be holding a food drive for Loaves & Fishes located in Naperville, IL. They are a 501(c)(3) organization in operation since 1984 which provides food and other services to the poor of DuPage county and surrounding areas. The majority of their donations comes privately with only 1% of their budget from government funding. They put what they are given to work as well, passing 97% of their donations to those they serve.

Those coming to our December event are encouraged to bring canned or boxed foods to donate. In addition, Loaves & Fishes also accepts household items such as paper towels, 1 gallon Ziploc bags, toiletries, and diapers. For a full listing of what they accept and what their current needs are, you can visit their website and check out the Most Needed Items list. Our event is registered with Loaves & Fishes and we will also pass along any monetary donations we receive for them. Donations also can be made directly to the organization at their website.

thThe location for this year’s event will be at Cozymels Coastal Mex @ 311 E. Loop Rd. in Wheaton, IL. It starts at 6:30pm; special guests include candidate Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller, and Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green. Awards of appreciation will also be given out, and we will cover usual group business, though it generally takes very little time at these events.

If you’ve never been out to a DuPage Libertarian event before, there are plenty of opportunities right now to jump in on – take your pick! If you are a long time member but haven’t been active in a while, don’t hesitate to jump in whenever you get the urge to see all the old members and meet the newer ones. We hope you all enjoy the rest of autumn and Thanksgiving. See you soon…

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Remembering Mark Agnini

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Last week, on the morning of Thursday, September 24th, Mark Agnini passed away. At the age of 67 years, he had the passion and dedication of a career-driven person in their thirties, the energy and motivation of a college student in their twenties, and the dirty joke-telling humor of a high school kid.

In a single conversation, Mark could enrich you with philosophical conversation, right before he makes a witty comment that makes you and everyone standing nearby laugh out loud.

He had a warm heart and a cheerful attitude. You always felt better when Mark was around because of his jubilant demeanor, regardless of how bad of a day you were having or how stressed you were about a situation. Not many human beings who grace their presence on this small globe have that ability to charm people and evoke positive emotions. His optimism was unmatched, and his smile infectious.

As for his dedication to the philosophy of libertarianism, and the party in Illinois that he was part of, you’d be hard pressed to find many who were more dedicated to increasing awareness and helping to get candidates elected.

Mark and I had lunch together just two weeks before his passing. It lasted several hours, and involved a lot of note taking, as him and I planned out the projects each of us would be tackling, along with a step by step guide so we could follow each other’s progress and offer assistance when needed.

He was an active member in three different chapters, was working to help develop two more, and had roles in candidate campaigns for the 2016 election.

He regularly attended meetings for the Fox Valley Libertarian Party, the Libertarian Party of Lake County, and the DuPage Libertarians – and was once the Chair in DuPage. He even assumed the role of the State Organizing Committee representative for Lake County, and actually attended the monthly phone conferences, which is more than can be said for most other chapters in the state.

The night before his passing, Mark had driven out to DeKalb County to visit with some college students to discuss plans on starting a chapter out there. He was THAT dedicated to spreading liberty and freedom in Illinois, and was willing to take on any and all projects that he could to help out.

His robust character and charming humor will be greatly missed at all three chapters that Mark regularly attended. His insight and intellect during the campaign meetings cannot be replaced. His 22 years as a Theology professor at Elmhurst College had sharpened Mark into a person who could easily hold his own in a debate, while applying myriad tactics to educate others throughout the discussion. Luckily, plenty of us learned from him, and can put that education to great use in the coming years.

Thanks, Mark, for everything.

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Libertarians vs Donald Trump

Many people at recent events have asked us what libertarians feel about Donald Trump. Today, Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, issued the following statement on Donald Trump, comparing his statements (even the contradictory ones) against libertarian ideology. We thought we would share it with you here.

Libertarianism is the idea that you have the right to pursue happiness in any way you wish as long as it doesn’t hurt people or take their stuff. We support the fundamental rights of all people, all of the time. We do not denigrate or disparage any group. We respect the humanity of all people.

Unfortunately, the only policy position addressed on Mr. Trump’s official campaign webpage is immigration. Thus, we are limited to piecing together Mr. Trump’s positions on policy issues based on recent quotes in the news media.

Let’s compare and contrast Donald Trump’s views with those of the Libertarian Party:

National Security
Mr. Trump likes tough talk and seems to think that wars are an effective solution to many of our problems. Libertarians think that wars often create more problems than they solve, are bankrupting our nation, and that violence is only justified when used for defense.

Foreign Policy
Mr. Trump advocates more sanctions on Iran, more support for Israel, and being tough all around. Libertarians think the United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world.

Trade
Mr. Trump thinks that foreign countries are getting the better end of trade deals and says that he would negotiate more favorable deals. Libertarians support free trade and think that U.S. citizens and businesses should be allowed to negotiate the deals that they find favorable without the interference of the U.S. government and government officials.

Healthcare
Fifteen years ago Mr. Trump claimed he was for a government run single-payer Canadian-style healthcare system. Mr. Trump now says Obamacare is ineffective and should be repealed and replaced, but he’s not specific. Libertarians have always opposed government run healthcare, and support a free market.

Immigration
Mr. Trump advocates building a wall along our Southern border and has said disparaging things about immigrants. Libertarians believe that people should be able to travel peacefully across borders to work, trade, or live.

Eminent Domain
Mr. Trump has taken advantage of eminent domain laws to build his real-estate empire. Libertarians think that eminent domain is often exploited by the wealthy at the cost of average Americans and is a violation of our most basic rights.

War on Drugs
Mr. Trump has, in the past, advocated ending the “war on drugs” because it is ineffective and wasteful. Lately, he seems to be adjusting his stance and claiming that it’s an issue for states to decide. Libertarians also think that the “war on drugs” is ineffective and wasteful. In addition, we think the “war on drugs” is one of the biggest violations of Americans’ civil liberties as it has been used to put hundreds of thousands on non-violent people in prison.

Gay Marriage
Mr. Trump also has said that he thinks that gay marriage is an issue for the states. Libertarians think that the government has no business regulating anyone’s marriage.

Justice System
Mr. Trump says he would be tough on crime via anti-crime policies. Libertarians also want to decrease crime but likely disagree with Mr. Trump on the nature of “crime.” Libertarians are careful to differentiate between violent crimes and non-violent crimes, and also between crimes which involve a victim and those that do not. Currently, a huge percentage of our prison population is imprisoned for non-violent, victimless crimes such as marijuana use. Libertarians think that this is unjust to everyone: the taxpayer, the incarcerated, and society more broadly. Prison should be reserved for violent criminals.

Education
Mr. Trump has stated that he is against Common Core and supports school-choice. Most Libertarians would agree. Libertarians think that the federal government should not have the authority to dictate to Americans how we should educate our children.

2nd Amendment
Mr. Trump has said that he is against limits on Americans’ 2nd Amendment Rights, but has supported the ban on so-called assault weapons and longer waiting periods to buy guns. Libertarians oppose all laws at any level of government that attempt to restrict, register, or monitor the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.

In the first debate, Trump said, “Our leaders are stupid. Our politicians are stupid.” Libertarians think big government policies are the problem, and smarter politicians with the same policies won’t help. America needs new policies and a new perspective focusing on smaller government, more liberty, and peace.

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2015 Libertarian Party of Illinois Convention Recap!

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Oh yes, the Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention this weekend was full of just the right kind of freedom loving enthusiasm you would expect to encounter. We had watchdogs groups tell tales of how they thwarted local corruption, party leaders give speeches that motivate and inspire the best in all of us, candidates making their announcements heard loud and clear, and of course entertainment and fun that come in official forms like Libertarian jeopardy and unofficial forms that go on until 4am. The weekend was magnificent.

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Nicholas Sarwark is the Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, and has an impressive record, previously serving as chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland and as vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, where he played a key role in recruiting the state’s 42 Libertarian candidates in 2014.

Friday night at the convention saw Nicholas and Libertarian Party of Illinois chair Lex Green kick back, each holding a beer in one hand and a microphone in the other, as they entertained the crowd with stories and answered questions. Afterwards, the night rounded out with an R rated comedy routine by the state party Deputy Treasurer and dedicated member from the Will County chapter Mike Weinberg. The official festivities ended just after 10pm, though I spent time with the more active members till almost 4am. Yeah, you read that right. Not the brightest move when you consider the State Organizing Committee meeting was at 8am, but it was a blast.

The SOC meeting and annual meetings went smoothly, with little changes in the party structure, and a minor change to the state party bylaws.

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Crystal Jurczynski hosted a workshop titled “Who’s Driving?” which is designed to help candidates get experience in dealing with interviewers while receiving feedback in real-time as they conduct the interviews.

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Jacob Huebert with the Liberty Justice Center spoke on “The Prospects for Liberty in Illinois” and Jan and Don Stover from the Owl Creek Gazette gave a presentation on “Communicating Libertarianism to the Self-Reliant Movement.”

A group that we know very well in DuPage is the Edgar County Watchdogs, who were instrumental in bringing down the corruption at College of DuPage, of which Claire Ball ran as a trustee in April of 2015. Kirk Allen and John Kraft gave, quite possibly, one of the best presentations ever at a state party convention, discussing their victories and sharing their strategies with members.

Just before dinner, yours truly hosted the popular Libertarian Jeopardy! With new categories like “Give Me Subpoenas and Cracker Jacks,” “Animals In the White House That Weren’t Elected” and “Give Me Liberty Or Grope My Junk!” players had opportunities to score big points in topics ranging from modern terrorism to the Civil War. Chris Madden from the Champaign chapter was the winner AGAIN this year, after cleaning house last year. Congrats.

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Founding “den mother” Fran Holt gave a very inspiring speech reminiscing about her days in the party going back to 1971 before there even was a state or national party. Fitting with the theme of the convention “We’ve Always Been Here,” Fran talked about all the things we’ve done over the years, and what changes we’ve brought about simply by being vocal and having our say. We may not win many elections, but we still accomplish many goals. Thank you, Fran, for giving such an inspiring speech and for representing your home base here in DuPage County.

State Chair Lex Green gave away awards just before Nicholas Sarwark gave an amazing presentation titled “Show Up, Be Nice, and Win” to those in attendance on Saturday night. It was very uplifting and highly inspiring – it became very obvious why Nicholas was elected to be the National Party Chair, and we were glad to have him.
The most prominent event of the weekend was the announcements from candidates both statewide and local.

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The big surprise and highlight of the candidates was the announcement from candidate for trustee at College of DuPage Claire Ball to run for Illinois Comptroller. Being a full-time working accountant with a Master’s Degree in Accounting, Claire is pursuing earning her CPA this summer while building her campaign.

Chris Michel, who announced his candidacy for the nomination to be the libertarian candidate for US Senate in 2016, also gave a speech discussing his plans to “Fix it with freedom” regarding the problems we have in our nation today. Chris is a small business owner and is married with four children, and was the candidate for Secretary of State for the Libertarian Party of Illinois in 2014.

Also appearing was former Republican candidate for Illinois Comptroller William J. Kelly, who announced on Friday at the state capitol his plans for “exploring a race for US Senate against Mark Kirk” though made no specific references to running for the libertarian nomination in March. He also did not mention this intention at the convention.

Of the local candidates, Christopher Hicks is running on the Libertarian Party ticket for the 95th representative district, and Scott Schluter is running to represent the 117th district in 2016 for the Illinois House of Representatives.

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On behalf of the DuPage Libertarians, we would like to thank Lupe Diaz for putting together an amazing convention this year, and look forward to what he has in store for 2016. What a great year!!

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Chris Michel Announces Nomination for US Senate

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The first candidate to announce their nomination to be the 2016 Libertarian Party of Illinois candidate for US Senate is Chris Michel, who made his announcement a few weeks back at the DuPage Libertarians 45th Anniversary Fundraiser on Saturday, June 20th.

Michel was the 2014 candidate for Secretary of State, who traveled across Illinois, from East St. Louis, to Mount Vernon, to Chicago and back south, marching in parades, attending candidate forums, and speaking to local groups.

Often traveling with Attorney General candidate Ben Koyl and Treasurer candidate Matthew Skopek on the campaign trail, Michel attended events hosted by the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and the Chicago Polish Alliance.

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He also took part in an editorial board review with the Chicago Tribune with Koyl and Comptroller candidate Julie Fox.

Whether it is dealing with high taxes, struggling with red tape to get a small business off the ground, or dealing with meddlesome foreign policy from Washington, Chris believes we can “fix it with freedom” by applying basic libertarian principles to each issue, from maximizing freedom, minimizing government, to maintaining a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Chris lives in Romeoville, IL with his wife Andrea and their four boys. Technically residing in Will County, Chris is considered an active member of the DuPage Libertarians, though he frequently visits multiple chapters throughout the year. Chris plans to visit as many chapters as possible over the next few months to garner support for his campaign while also hearing out what fellow Illinois libertarians have to say and what they want in their candidate.

Other candidates are expected to announce their nominations at the upcoming state convention on Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st in Springfield. Anticipated statements are expected from former candidate for College of DuPage trustee Claire Ball, and former Chicago candidate for Mayor William J. Kelly.

Tickets for this year’s state convention are still available at the state party website www.LPIllinois.org and early bird discount rates are still in effect till July 12th. Guest speakers include Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark, Jacob Huebert with the Liberty Justice Center, the Edgar County Watchdogs, and a slew of workshops for everyone to be involved in. Also, there will be the big return of the ever popular Libertarian Jeopardy.

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