Every odd numbered year, the Libertarian party of Ohio holds a leadership conference in lieu of a State Convention which must be held in even numbered years. This year’s Conference was held in remembrance of Dr. Marc Allen Feldman, a fallen hero in the battle for liberty. The Conference was a stunning success and it motivated the entire crowd! It brought together some of the top Libertarian leaders not only from Ohio, but across the country, including the Chair of the National Libertarian Party.
Jeffrey Carson, former Libertarian Candidate for the US House of Representatives (VA – 8) and professional campaign consultant at Evolt Consulting, shared his expertise on effective fundraising. He explained why early fundraising has to be the focus of every candidate and they have to be willing to “embrace the suck” and work the phones in an honest goal-oriented manner to fuel the all-important seed money needed for a successful campaign. He convinced us all that fundraising is an easily attainable goal when properly planned and executed.
C. Michael Pickens, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Washington, author of Libertarian Leadership, candidate consultant and leadership trainer shared his wisdom on becoming long-term Libertarian leaders and candidates. He believes candidates should expect to run three times because “practice makes better” and they learn to become better candidates over time, just as life experience helps us all become better people.
Our candidates will all walk away far better prepared for their campaigns by what they learned at the conference. Those supporting those efforts are far better armed for the battles that lie ahead.
Nicholas Sarwark, the National Libertarian Party Chair, inspired the entire audience with the unique opportunity available for the Party, coming off the most successful election year cycle in our history. The Chair laid out a vision of the Party as the “un-Party” because it is so distinct from both the Democratic and Republican Parties, both of which are in disarray. Instead of fighting a battle between left and right our focus should be on expressing the Party’s fundamental difference: the truly caring nature of Libertarian people. Listening, hearing other people's’ perspective, looking for common ground, and lending a private hand personally instead of needing the government is far more influential than being right just to win an argument. Only through empathy and by example can Libertarian leaders properly convey how and why our political solution of personal liberty and free market principles provides the answers to so many of our current issues.
Mr. Pickens finished up the conference by helping the Ohio team learn how to more effectively petition for ballot access. Even though Gary Johnson earned more than the 3% required by law, the State of Ohio has continued to restrict ballot access for the Libertarian Party. The single most important goal for for all Ohioans who would like an alternative to the old parties is to help get signatures so the Libertarian Party can be recognized and back on the ballot. We what to offer voters a choice in as many local and state seats as possible with candidates truly interested in better solutions. Please help us get these petitions signed; join the Voter Freedom Drive.
Finally, a special thank you goes out to Elizabeth Gentner, the Vice Chair of the LPO, for coordinating such a successful and educational event; the Party grew stronger this weekend due to your efforts!
The energy of the event was infectious and all left feeling better prepared to further advance the party and affect real change in the political landscape no matter what part they play on team liberty.