Libertarian State Convention Live Blog Today

12:08 p.m. – The business meeting has adjourned. An afternoon program of speakers will be held after lunch.

12:07 p.m. – James Schneider has been nominated to fill the vacancy for Campaigns & Elections. He says he is already working on the presidential campaign for Gary Johnson and would use that to help other Libertarian candidates.

James was Membership and Development chair. Marco Battaglia, a Polk County resident who started out by gathering signatures for 2014 candidates, will now serve in this position.

Garrett Byrd will be 2nd District Representative on the Executive Committee as current representative Chris Peters is pursuing other areas of interest.

12:02 p.m. – Results of the straw poll, conducted as a 1-2-3 preference: 1st place votes: Gary Johnson – 67%, Austin Peterson – 23%, John McAfee – 7%. 2nd place votes: Austin Peterson – 37%, Gary Johnson – 30%, John McAfee – 17%. 3rd place votes: John McAfee – 50%, Marc Feldman – 17%, 13% – Austin Peterson.

11:58 a.m. – Rick Stewart is seeking office as Linn County Sherriff. Rick is a retired businessman and former candidate for U.S. Senate. “The only thing bigger in Linn County than our new jail is our new fire station, that looks like the Taj Mahal.” “I want to have Iowa’s first 21st Century sheriff.” He receives the nomination.

11:56 a.m. – Don Brantz is seeking Senate #12. He worked on Lee Hieb’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign and subsequently ran as the Libertarian candidate in the special election to fill the Iowa Senate seat after the 2014 general election sent the then current seat holder to Washington. Don previously won election as a county supervisor.

Jeff Meyers for House District #38. He would like to see some corporate pay cuts for higher paying jobs in Iowa. The district covers Ankey/Saylorville.

Joe Gleason for House District #31. Joe was unable to make the convention. He is currently the chair of the Polk County Libertarian Party. Lee Heib spoke about Joe: he worked on her 2014 campaign, Lee said, “When Joe says he’s going to do something, he does it.” He was a Republican, but he became a Libertarian, came to our meetings, and liked what he heard.

Joshua Miller House District #78, who went to a Libertarian Party candidate training.

Eric Cooper House District #45, a former Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate. He set the record in 2014 for the highest percent of votes received by a Libertarian.

Garrett Byrd, House District #80. “I plan on running a campaign on personal liberty and restoration of personal liberty.” Eminent domain, civil forfeiture, and private charity over government redistribution. He is a recently-separated veteran, active duty Air Force.

Bob Boyle is seeking House District #20 “became a Libertarian basically because of [Lee] Hieb.” He owns a small convenience store.

They have received the party’s nomination.

11:37 a.m. – Nominations are being accepted for candidates for state offices. Brian Cook is seeking Senate #48. He first sought this seat after redistricting as a Republican; that experience turned him towards the Libertarians. (Observation: Another Libertarian made the same decision for the same reason, but her experience was as a Democrat.) Brian is a former newspaper editor and part of the Monticello Tea Party.  He ran for House District #96 as a Libertarian in 2014. The convention has given Brian the party’s nomination.

11:25 a.m. – Iowa has 11 delegates to the national Libertarian Party convention in Orlanda. The Chair of the state party is going and ten others, including 4 women. Observation: several of the delegates elected became active in the LPIA as volunteers during 2014 campaigns.

11:06 a.m. – The Committee-at-Large has reconvened  after a break. The presidential nomination straw poll is happening. On the ballot are: Thomas Clements, Marc Allan Feldman, Gary Johnson, Bart Lower, John McAfee, Darryl Perry, Austin Petersen, Derrick Michael Reid, Jack Robinson, Jr., Rhett Smith, Shawna Joy Sterling, Joy Waymire, and None of the Above.

Chad is speaking on behalf of John McAfee: He has name recognition, is a “straight-shooter.” “I think [McAfee would ask], ‘what is the single most core thing we need to do to get this implemented?'”

Austin Peterson spoke to convention attendees at the Friday social event. He said, “I have been successful as a Libertarian.”

Videos from candidates McAfee, Feldman, and Johnson were played. (The Johnson video has a buzzing sound the tech people at the convention could not eliminate. This led an attendee to ask, “Did you hear the buzz about Johnson?”)

James spoke on behalf of Gary Johnson. James is the campaign’s state director for Iowa. “I think a former 2-term governor who balanced a budget…could appeal” to the general electorate.

10:30 a.m. – Operational changes of the Executive Committee as part of the By-Laws were passed. Two changes to note: Executive Committee district representatives are encouraged to appoint Alternates or Deputies to represent the district when the committee member is unable to attend; an annual budget will now be required to help guide the party.

10:21 a.m. – Related By-Laws changes were also proposed and passed. (Observation: there are several changes to the Constitution and the By-Law, proposed to make conducting business easier. The two governing documents need to match.) A change also removed at-large members from the Executive Committee, leaving only members from each of the four Congressional districts.

10:04 a.m. – There was not 90% approval for the first change. There was support for Libertarian representation, but exact wording that was acceptable could not be confirmed. The second proposal is to remove specific positions for specific issues from the Executive Committee, leaving Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer; removing Deputy Chairs for Advocacy & Public Policy, Campaigns & Elections, and Membership & Development. The change passed with sufficient approval.

9:56 a.m. – Changes are proposed to the Constitution and to the By-Laws. Changes to the Constitution require 90% of the vote for approval.  The first proposal is to modify rules regarding delegates to the national convention; (Observation: it is important to note a 2008 change in Iowa law gave voters the opportunity to register as a Libertarian). The change would require delegates not to be members of or to hold other positions within another political party. There is discussion on the likelihood of people not holding Libertarian values trying to influence Libertarian Party decisions.

9:31 a.m. – Committee reports: Jake Porter, who recently announced his campaign for governor in 2018, said he would be resigning as Deputy Chair Campaign & Elections. Several people expressed interest in running for offices in the state in 2016. More will come forward later in the year.  Audit Committee reports there were no issues with the 2015 report.  Lee Hieb reported on activities of the Harrison County Libertarian County; they meet the last Saturday of each month and are working on local issues. Nate Newsome spoke on the Linn County Libertarian Party; they spoke at a high school, have had speakers at monthly meetings, wrote letters to the editor of a local newspaper – “generally hold regular meetings and go out and do things.” Marco Battaglia said the Polk County Libertarian Party met recently.

9:24 a.m. -Credentials Committee reports a quorum. Discussion of Treasurer’s Report with questions about membership dues and contribution amounts. Member indicated he had not contributed last year. Chair Laube replied, “Step up your game, man.” Observation: Contributions help the party pay for the convention, advertising, petition gathering drives, and other standard political party activities.

9:13 – Observation: no media coverage despite recent news releases and other outreach/publicity. State Chair Keith Laube welcomes attendees. Thank you to Myra Matejka and James Schneider for working on the convention planning.

8:54 a.m. – Several people enjoyed a pre-convention social event on Friday night. They signed a nominating petition to place the Libertarian candidate for president on the Iowa ballot in November. They talked about, or met with, presidential candidates. They planned activities to promote the party. They enjoyed a DJ and Karaoke. They had fun.

8:49 a.m. – Welcome to a live blog coverage of the 2016 Libertarian Party of Iowa state convention. The event is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. Remember to refresh the screen to get updates.

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