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Posts Tagged ‘Laura Delhomme’

Saturday marked a political first for me (given my 18 years active in politics, firsts aren’t all that common anymore).  I attended my first state central committee meeting of a political party.  It has been my experience that the Republican Party doesn’t typically advertise their meetings of their state central committee; by comparison, the Libertarian Party not only posted their meeting on Facebook, but they also invited non-committee members to attend.

IMG_2395Shortly before noon, Nick (the leader of JMU’s Madison Liberty) and I made the trek from Harrisonburg to downtown Charlottesville for the 1 PM meeting.  The upstairs room which held the SCC was packed.  I was told that this gathering was the largest that the party had ever seen outside of one of their conventions.  Besides the leadership of the Libertarian Party, there were a multitude of other familiar faces including Robert Sarvis and former House of Delegates candidate Jonathan Parrish.  The Harrisonburg/Rockingham liberty community was well-represented, with at least seven attendees in the audience.  Although not a member of their party, I was permitted to witness the proceedings.

Major points of business for the group included discussing plans for the 2014 Libertarian Party Convention, tentatively slated for February 8th in Richmond, and issues dealing with the Tidewater Libertarian Party.  Before the November 5th election, the leader of the TLP endorsed Ken Cuccinelli for governor over Libertarian Robert Sarvis and several members of their leadership had made statements either favorable to Cuccinelli or disparaging of either the LPVA or Robert Sarvis.  Although the TLP removed the head of their group in response, some LP leaders wished to disaffiliate the TLP with the state organization.

Unfortunately, as the discussion grew heated, Nick and I had to leave as he needed to travel to northern Virginia for Thanksgiving break.  However, after dropping him off in Harrisonburg, I turned my car around and returned to Charlottesville.  Being the political animal that I am, I found the discussion far too intriguing to simply abandon it.  However, by the time I returned, the meeting had concluded.  Nevertheless, the social that followed was worthwhile and I relished the chance to speak with Robert Sarvis, fellow former RLC-VA board member Steven Latimer, Roanoke Libertarian leader Melissa Scott, 2013 House of Delegates candidate Laura Delhomme, LPVA secretary Marc Montoni, LPVA vice-chairman Dr. Lark, as well as meeting several new folks.  I heard that although the vote was close, the LPVA decided to maintain ties with the Tidewater Libertarian Party.

Although it ended up taking about four hours worth of travel time and gas, I was glad for the opportunity to spend Saturday afternoon and evening with Libertarians from across the state.  It was nice to finally meet quite a few people whom I’ve only had contact on Facebook.

In liberty!

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LPVA Secretary Marc Montoni & Chairman Chuck Moulton

Yesterday, the Libertarian Party of Virginia held their state convention in Waynesboro.  About forty people attended the event, including a handful of nonparty members.  The main purpose of the gathering was to decide if and who the party should nominate for governor in the upcoming November elections.

The only candidate who submitted his name for consideration was Rob Sarvis.  For the record, Mr. Sarvis previously ran for the Virginia State Senate as a Republican against Dick Saslaw in 2011.

Mr. Sarvis’ candidacy seemed to run into a bit of a roadblock almost immediately.  Chuck Moulton, the chairman of the party, suggested removing the requirement that a person must have been a member of the party for at least 30 days prior to the convention in order to vote.  Presumably such a move would aid Sarvis as it was quite likely he brought several new members to the convention to support his cause.  However, this idea was rejected.

Next, Laura Delhomme, one of the coordinators for the 2012 Gary Johnson campaign, and Bill Redpath, a previous Libertarian candidate for governor, spoke in favor of nominating Rob Sarvis.  James Curtis, treasurer of the Virginia Libertarian Party, argued the position that the party should not have a candidate for governor.

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Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Rob Sarvis

Then, Mr. Sarvis came to the podium and discussed his political positions and experience.  He declared that his campaign would be “an opportunity to serve the cause of liberty”.  Afterward, he fielded questions and comments from the audience.  One major sticking point with a few of the delegates revolved around his work on an app called Pic Bubbler.  According to the app’s website it seeks to “get people naked” by creating the illusion of nudity.  Some worried that Sarvis’ association with the app could negatively affect perceptions of the party.  In addition, the leadership of the party raised quite a few hard-hitting doubts regarding Mr. Sarvis’ commitment to the party and his ability to spread their message; it seemed quite possible that the Libertarian Party would end up without a nominee.

Although a fair number of the eligible attendees did not vote, Mr. Sarvis was approved by a 14-5 margin.  Thus, assuming he collects the required number of signatures, Libertarian Rob Sarvis will appear on the November ballot alongside Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

No candidates stepped forward to be either the lieutenant governor or attorney general nominee for the Libertarian Party and so those two spots will remain vacant.

After that, the two Libertarian Party candidates for House of Delegates who attended the convention (of the ten statewide) spoke about their campaigns.  Keegan Sturdivant is running in the 8th district while Laura Delhomme is doing likewise in the 47th.

Although the convention itself had many contentious moments, with business concluded, the gathering took a more cordial tone, moving to the nearby Greenleaf Restaurant in downtown Waynesboro where attendees enjoyed dinner, drinks, and a few hours of stimulating conversation.

In comparison to the recent Republican conventions, Sunday’s Libertarian gathering was a good bit shorter and less theatrical.

So how will the Libertarian Party fair in the 2013 elections?  Will this year mark the election where they finally capture a seat in state government?  Only time will tell.

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