Joe Reporting from Portland (Day 2, Part 4)

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 Four ————————————————————

I grabbed a bag lunch and am now watching the speaker’s session. The first speech is from the rising 9th grader that I spoke to last night, Megan Dickson. Megan’s speech is actually very good. Currently, she is calling for the repeal of the Patriot Act in a most eloquent way. A couple of minutes ago, she was expressing her thoughts on revealing the income tax and eminent domain laws. This girl is awesome.

Even if you don’t agree with her opinions, it is great to see someone so young who is so educated about the political process. It’s funny to think that this girl is 5 years away from being able to vote. She’s a natural at the podium. Megan received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her speech. Well deserved.

Megan was followed by the first woman to ever receive an Electoral College vote, former LP Vice-Presidential candidate Theodora “Tonie” Nathan. Tonie gave a bit of background on herself and how she evolved as a Libertarian. She spent a good bit of time talking about the historical importance of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” The real gem of her speech was when she described the phone call she received from an elector, whom she did not even know, informing her that he was going to cast his Electoral College vote for her.

Honestly, I thought it was a very touching story and I’m glad I got the chance to hear her speak.

After Tonie finished up, Dixon came up and introduced Sharon Harris, the President for the Advocates of Self Government, which is the organization behind the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Sharon is actually one of the co-founders of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, though, I must say that I’ve never actually seen Sharon before. Chalk that up to my recent involvement and her involvement with the ASG, I suppose.

I hear that Sharon named her daughter Dagny. I like it.

Post lunch, we went though the arduously dull task of letting states add last minute delegates. We actually had to do a standing vote in order to approve a single delegate. I can’t believe we are wasting time on this. I don’t really appreciate these late coming delegates, to be totally honest…

Okay, we just had to do a standing vote for someone named Starchild dressed like the Statue of Liberty. Jesus. We literally just had to count each “aye” vote for Starchild. What a ridiculous waste of everyone’s time. It is now known that Starchild has been rejected as a delegate.

A vote was just taken which I believe automatically removes LNC members who miss X number of meetings. I did not catch the details because I’m slammed. With work, not Fat Tire.

Currently, there is debate over removing the requirement that a Party Platform be established. Quite a bit of debate on both sides of this. The motion to do away with the rule that a party platform must be established has passed.

There is a proposal on the table to change the amount needed to stay on a second ballot for a Presidential ballot at a convention. Proposed language would require a 5% total to stick around for the next ballot.

That motion passed.

14 Responses to “Joe Reporting from Portland (Day 2, Part 4)”

  1. Seth Says:

    Does anybody know what happened regarding Starchild? Why was he rejected as a delegate? (Sure, he’s unconventional, but he’s also quite articulate and outspoken in support of liberty and in support of the Libertarian Party. He’s also made several respectable showings (for a Libertarian) in local races in California… )

  2. Joe Magyer Says:

    Hey Seth,

    The primary things he had going him were that there were several people before him who sought approval to the delegation and that it was taking up a lot of time. I think it had much less to do with his flamboyant style and more to do with the general consensus of the group to move on. Also, I believe the 7/8th rule applied, so it didn’t many “No” votes to reject him. I think part of the rationale of rejecting him was to help keep other late comers from taking up any more time.

  3. Stuart Richards Says:

    Joe, you rule at descriptions.

    Well, it’s good that we’re making progress with the platform, if nothing else.

  4. Seth Says:

    Ah, thanks, Joe. For a second I was set to be dissapointed that Libertarians were intolerant towards Starchild (I heard some nasty anti-gay vitriol levelled against him at the 2004 convention), and that was the reason behind not recognizing him as a delegate. But folks who want to be delegates should have that all worked out before the convention…

  5. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Not being there, I can only guess at what combination of factors might have been at play in the rejection of seating Starchild (and, to my understanding, Lady Aster) as delegates.

    I do not have to be there, however, to raise the bullshit flag and note that, regardless of what reasons may have been involved, it was a stump-stupid move.

    The LP is becoming the Incredible Shrinking Party already … so what do the national convention delegates do? “Oh, yes, we know that you are a real party activist, and we know that you sacrificed a holiday weekend and spent hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars to be here today—but you know, you can just go pound sand.”

    Throw in the identity of the rejected delegates, and it’s also not unreasonable to interpret the action as, among other things, an intentional slap across the face to America’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender voters.

    I am WAY past appalled.

  6. Jackcjackson Says:

    definitely a bad move.

  7. Nicholas Sarwark Says:

    Not seating Starchild was a bullshit move and probably the only thing that happened on Saturday that really pissed me off. My observations were that it was a combination of (a) people being pissed off that Starchild had spoken to the body before being seated, and (b) some people who don’t like Starchild seizing the opportunity created by voting for each of the California delegates separately.

    Procedurally valid, but really unseemly.

  8. infojunkie Says:

    > Currently, there is debate over removing the requirement that a Party Platform
    > be established. Quite a bit of debate on both sides of this. The motion to do
    > away with the rule that a party platform must be established has passed.

    Slight correction—this was actually about the National LP Program.

    Regarding Starchild, I’m happy to say that today (Sunday), the Nevada delegation unanimously requested that Starchild be accepted to their delegation, and the motion passed.

    I thought the issue with speaking and voting before being credentialed was with Aster, not Starchild, but maybe not.

    Thanks for your coverage.

  9. 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 7-part series detailing what Joe Magyer’s impressions are of the LP Convention in Portland (part one, two, three, four, five, six, seven): 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. [...]

  10. Steve Burden Says:

    Joe,

    The lowdown on Starchild, as I understand it is that he seriously pissed-off the California Chair (Starchild’s home state). Because it took a 7/8 vote, and as the CA Delegation is the biggest, they unanimously blocked him. That night (I think at Badnarik’s party), Starchild apologized to the CA Chair, and the CA delegation ‘forgave’ Starchild. Using a loophole in bylaws, whereby Delegate nomination is not limited to one’s home state, the NV Delegation stepped up and adopted Starchild. Since Starchild had been forgiven by the CA Delegation, they didn’t block the NV nomination, and he was in.
    Regarding the platform flameout, I can’t help but wonder if some of the planks might have passed on the first retention vote, if Starchild had been seated on Saturday. As you recall, several of them were really, really close. I don’t recall just how many, but any above 49.67 % or so would have passed.
    And you did a super job on this blog. I am absolutely amazed that as busy as we were, you could do this bang-up writing, too!

  11. Marc Solomon Says:

    As a member of the CA delegation, I can assure you that Starchild’s initial problem with getting seated was not due to us. He was approved by our delegation, hence that is why he was submitted to the body of the convention.

    As to why, I can only say that I saw the entire delegation from Indiana rise up against him. There were only a couple from CA that did so. The separation of approvals ( as we had 3 at the time) was requested by someone outside our delegation.

  12. BarbaraHGordon Says:

    The whole thing with the rejecting of Starchild was stupid. In the midst of discussion about moving things along so we could cover more business, someone wanted to split the vote for the three proposed CA delegates. I was happy when NV adopted him.

  13. Steve Burden Says:

    Marc,
    I was not trying to slam the CA Delegation, I was only reporting what I was told by a participant in the resolution of the issue at the party Saturday night. Could be it was the IN Chair and Delegation, I don’t know all the Chairs, so so my source might have been mistaken, too.
    If anyone from the IN Delegation reads this blog, maybe they can clear it up. Or, my source could have been full of shit, I don’t know.

  14. Jim O'Gallagher Says:

    I was a member of the IN delegation. I voted to seat Star Child, along with any other proposed “late” delegates, and I believe some others of the IN delegation did as well. Therefore it is not true, as Marc from CA states, that the entire IN delegation rose against him. From what I saw, the chair of CA was much more impassioned on many other issues than he was as to seating these delegates.

    As far as other IN delegates voting against seating this particular person, I know of no concerted effort to do so, and I suppose they can speak for themselves. I would state that such a maneuver made no sense to me, therefore I was pleased as well to see the action taken by the Nevada delegation the next day.

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