Joe Reporting from Portland (Day 2, Part 1)

The Following Report was submitted by Joe Magyer from this weekend’s Libertarian National Convention in Portland, Oregon. Joe is covering the event for Third Party Watch and we’ll be posting his dispatches as they’re received.

DAY 2 / Part One ————————————————————

Unfortunately, I did not catch much of the Opening Reception on Friday night, largely because I was finishing typing up my notes for the day!

Oh well, I don’t think I missed a whole lot. I ducked it in at one point to get some pretzels, cookies, vodka, and Jack Daniel’s. While in there, I finally ran into LP Secretary Bob Sullentrup, who I am working with this weekend at the Secretary’s table. Bob and I went down to the area where we’ll be holding the convention tomorrow and he filled me in on all I’ll hopefully need to know for tomorrow. I was impressed with how streamlined Bob seems to have made the convention’s administrative process. Hopefully, I will be able to deliver and not screw anything up!

Btw, I think I might be sitting next to Bob at points during the day tomorrow, which means I quite likely will be on C-SPAN. If any of you are wondering what I look like (really, who isn’t?), this is your chance to see me on live TV. I should call my grandma and get her to tape it for me. She’ll be thrilled.

On a side note, Mark tells me that while I was working with Bob there were some lively discussions between the guys at the LRC booth and convention-goers. Again, could be an interesting Saturday. Hopefully, not a divisive one.

Also, as a thank you for my efforts as a volunteer this weekend, Bob invited me to attend the Torch Club reception Monday morning, which is for LPs contributors who have given more than $1,000 in the past year. It was very cool of Bob to invite me and I hope to add some depth to my reporting with this event. That will take place Monday morning.

Post Opening Reception that I did not attend, Mark and I retreated to our respective rooms and decompressed a bit from the evening’s events. After checking my email and making the painful realization that the server for my website, The American Politic, was down, I called Mark regarding our consuming alcoholic beverages and visiting the Badnarik Party that was scheduled for 9 PM and later in the hotel’s Presidential suite.

Naturally, neither of us would say no to what we thought could be free food and booze. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for Michael, the place was jam packed with Libertarians. The only beer we could find was root beer, but it did have these really cool labels announcing them to be “Badnarik Beer.” In addition to drinking an ice cold one, I stuck another in my book bag as a souvenir.

Ah, I should say that before I left the Badnarik event I spoke to one of his staffers and was told that Michael has several full time consultants on staff with his campaign. Bravo! Tomorrow, I will try and pry out of one of them what their internal polling data is like, if it exists.

After leaving, Mark and I hit a local hotel bar, as the one at the Hilton closes at 10 (BOOOO). While there, we were approached by a guy who happened to either overhear us talking about the LP or saw Mark’s “Republicans and Democrats Are Not the Answer” shirt. I’m not sure which, because at that point I had already had a Fat Tire or two. We spoke with the guy about the party and libertarianism in general for about 10 minutes or so. After a day of working the message within the party, it was fun talking about LP issues with someone who wasn’t already in the fold.

While at the bar, I got in touch with my hosting company to inquire why my site wasn’t loading. Turns out it was a server error on their part and, to their credit, it was fixed relatively shortly after I reached out to them.

Mark and I must have looked like the coolest guys in the bar while looking at Jason Pye’s website at the bar on a Friday night.

Completely wiped, we came back to the Hilton and crashed.

I woke up and am rushing to get out the door, wondering why I am writing about it. The gravity of my role in the convention is starting to weigh down on me and I’m somewhat nervous about the fact that I’ll be sitting facing the entire delegation and potentially TV cameras.

I roll downstairs and I am now sitting up front. It is right on time this morning and Michael Dixon, LP Chair, has just begun addressing the delegation. This is possibly the first time this will be in cyber-print, but it is my understanding that Dixon will in fact not be pursuing another term as LP Chair. At first, I would not have felt comfortable breaking this on the web, but it appears to common knowledge at the convention, as I’ve been told about it on the elevator as well as in confidence. Given that people are blabbing about it on the elevator, I think it is now safe for the public realm.

From what I know, this means that Bill Redpath, whom I am yet to meet, is the prohibitive favorite to take the Chair’s position. He will be opposed by George Phillies, Presidential hopeful.

I finally got my first glimpse of Shane Cory, LP Executive Director. I look forward to finally shaking hands with Shane, as it is my impression that he has been doing a very solid job at LP HQ.

Michael introduced the Chair of the Oregon LP, Adam Mayer. Again, the Oregon LP has been doing a great job up here.

The Oregon Chair spoke for a few minutes and then introduced Michael Badnarik, who received a very warm greeting from the audience.

Michael is giving a speech about Libertarian Party unity. I think it is fair to assume that his speechwriter, be it him or someone else, had at least considered the guys with the LRC when the speech was composed. As usual, Michael has an impressive way with the audience. I attended his Constitutional Seminar once and that was the first time I saw him involved. One of Michael’s strengths as a speaker is that he manages to involve the audience in his theme.

Badnarik’s speech was followed by a historical video collage about the LP. It was neat, but I couldn’t really watch because I’m plugging away on some admin stuff at the desk.

3 Responses to “Joe Reporting from Portland (Day 2, Part 1)”

  1. Gary Odom Says:

    I love conventions, even other party’s conventions. I’m trying to envision the selection of refreshments in Chief Wana Dubie’s Hospitality Suite.

    Have fun LP’ers! I wish you luck (within reasonable limits) and hope you do something to kick the Republicrats right where it hurts!

  2. Stuart Richards Says:

    Thanks. :)

  3. Hammer of Truth » Libertarian Party Convention Recap (Saturday) Says:

    [...] Austin Cassidy’s Third Party Watch has someone taking very good notes, as there’s a 5-part series detailing what Joe Magyer’s impressions of the LP Convention in Portland (part one, two, three, four, five): Oh, snap, Carl Milsted just took the podium. I reaffirm my belief that he looks like Mick Jagger. He gave a brief speech supporting adjusting the bylaws to make the tent for the LP a bit larger. This short speech was followed by lively discussion from both camps. Literally, there are more people lined up to speak on this issue than any other. [...]

Leave a Reply