Seminole County Commission candidate Andre Klass and a host of Libertarians throughout Florida bring the message of personal freedom and personal responsibility to the public.
Election Year 2020
This election year is perhaps the most contentious most of us can remember. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump cemented his reputation for all time, regardless of disciple or detractor. Democratic challenger Joe Biden came with his own baggage of 44 years in public office yet again, you either love them or you hate them.
“The year 2020 is a very polarized year when most everyone wants to Trump or not to Trump another 4 years,” says Jim Turney, LPF Candidates Committee Chair and Southeast Region Jorgensen Campaign Director. “Few voters think strategically about their vote. In most states, a significant percent can vote Libertarian without affecting the Electoral College outcome. Florida is a state where calculating ‘the lesser of two evils’ is a serious consideration for many voters. Libertarians engaging with Florida voters should show respect for that perspective.”
In the public’s eye, there is no middle ground because they never saw anyone but Trump and Biden on TV. But there is a real middle ground, Dr. Jo Jorgensen. More educated, more skilled, more presidential than either Trump or Biden—Jorgensen offers a stark contrast. While the two major parties posture and pander, Jorgensen quietly offers real solutions. The Jorgensen campaign motto “Let Her Speak” decries the state of American politics: the Haves and the Have Nots. The real losers? – you and me because the Libertarian message is suppressed.
LPF Chair Steven Nekhaila, Region 2 Rep for the Libertarian National Committee, offers a bit of perspective:
“The Commission on Presidential Debates requires polling of at least 15 percent in five national polls in order to be invited to the debates,” says Nekhaila. “The problem? The polls are selected by the CPD, and many of them don’t even mention candidates other than Republican and Democratic candidates. Sound unfair? We thought so. In 2014, the Libertarian Party and the Green Party fought to increase third-party access, starting first at the Federal Elections Commission, which rejected our complaint, then to Federal Court. Although U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan agreed the FEC had ‘acted arbitrarily and capriciously and contrary to law,’ she dismissed the lawsuit.
“The CPD is pro-duopoly, anti-competition, and anti-fair elections. The American People deserve to hear from different Parties with different ideas and a fresh vision for the Nation.”
Given the limitations, Turney is optimistic. “Our objective in 2020 is to continue to be a credible alternative for voters to consider,” he says. “Showing gentle respect for others is vital to that objective, so we will merit their consideration when a tipping point arrives and voters are looking for alternatives. We can’t create this tipping point or predict when it will arrive for a critical mass of voters.
“This year we are again looking for those who have reached their personal tipping point. Those voters are ready for ‘real change’…those are the ‘real people’ we want to bring closer to the LP and to vote for Jo!”
Seven LPF Members appear on the November ballot this year. In races ranging from state House to county commission to local soil and water and airport authorities, Libertarians seek to promote the message of maximum freedom to Florida.
Let’s all do our message to bring freedom and liberty to the state: Vote Libertarian!
Meet Our Libertarian Candidates
Joseph Hannoush, Florida House District 25
Andre Klass, Seminole County Commission, District 5
Austin Lee Lanteigne, St. Johns County Airport Authority Board
Davie Parrish, Columbia County Tax Collector
Marcos Diego Marrero, Osceola County Commission, District 3
Kenneth Willey, Florida House District 18
Wesley Wilson, Volusia County Soil and Water Conservation District, Seat 2
Now, Let’s Get Them in Office!
Vote Libertarian Nov. 3
LPF Chairman Steven Nekhaila on the state of the Party
This has been a challenging year. Whether it was COVID-19, civil unrest, or economic hardship, few were untouched. Polarization of divisive issues became almost palpable. Florida had its own share of unique challenges. There were Governor Ron DeSantis’ shutdowns, the forced business closures, and suppression of freedoms. My own Monroe County had a complete quarantine with roadblocks.
Yet despite those challenges, we’ve seen a rise of consciousness regarding civil rights in this country and criminal justice reform—a broadening conversation about the proper role and duty of police in society. The year 2020 has seen many things so far, but one thing is extremely apparent, it is a time of intense and radical change.
We haven’t seen these changes come to fruition just yet, but the seeds are being planted for real revolutionary change which with time and nurture, will grow. The kinds of changes we’ll see depends on what seeds are planted now and how they’ll be nurtured. A good farmer first clears the weeds from his plot—weeds like prejudice, injustice, and authoritarianism. Weeds will surely grow again without planning new crops. That is why we must sow new seeds of self-actualization, mutual respect, and personal responsibility to take the weeds’ place.
These crops grow only when nurtured and protected by the citizens willing to tend to them. Pests must be removed and predators must be kept at bay, but most of all, blood, sweat, and tears are required throughout the whole process. A farmer must stand by and guard their crop, and while it may take years to grow, the final product will be enough for the community to enjoy in abundance.
Libertarians are the sowers of the seeds of liberty, freedom, and personal power. We are the guardians of these sacred ideas which flourished in successful societies and self-empowered individuals throughout history. We must weed out the ills of our society, plant our own seeds in their place and safeguard them with all we have got. The Libertarian Party of Florida is the only institution intellectually equipped with these ideas. We do have the power to have them flourish and with our candidates, activists, and supporters, we continue to grow.
I will not lie to you, unforeseen events such as COVID-19 set us back this year. Non-profits have seen the steepest decline in fundraising since 9/11 and the 2008 recession. It is because of supporters like you that we are able to function at all. These setbacks have caused us only to reevaluate our goals, look them in the eye, and continue to push forward. We will need your help. We have many goals to complete, but with your financial support we can reach our goals faster and more fiercely.
My goal is to set the party on track for $5,000 a month in recurring donations. Can you help me get there? A donation as low as $30 a month can pay for a candidate’s campaign software. For $100 a month, we can give our affiliates throughout the state the materials necessary for outreach. Your donation of $250 a month allows us to conduct in-person training sessions and fundraising for local candidates.
Let’s plant the seeds of liberty and nurture them to fruition. Their message is riper than ever before. The outstanding candidates, volunteers, and elected officials are serving as the party’s greatest assets. Let’s invest in them!
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
Libertarianism & Christianity:
A Needful Conversation
From time to time, Sunshine Freedom! will feature different Libertarian viewpoints. In this issue, Libertarian biblical writer Stephen Collins offers his views on the compatibility of Christianity and Libertarianism, and offers a perspective on outreach.
The Flood began on the 17th day of the Second month because God was sick of human wickedness. Come November 3rd, Democrats and Republicans will, in their voting, continue to tread water, unaware of the treacherous mountaintops submerged under vast oceans of government control. More votes for either of the dominating parties won’t accomplish real change; it’s too late for that. For true freedom, a complete turn to something else is required: a turn to an Ark flying a banner that reads “Don’t Tread on Anyone.”
In only a couple centuries, the U.S. government has acquired levels of control that would make the Founders lose their lunch and take up arms before dusk. [Libertarianism alone offers a return to their vision of minimal government and maximum freedom.] Sadly, multitudes of would-be Libertarian voters content themselves with ignorance—the status quo—and continue to tread water as long as they might.
For the most part, contemporary Christians belong to the Republican Party (think owner, owned relationships.) Rich with lip-service to traditional morals, conservatism, and pro-life sentiment, the GOP purchased the lion’s share of Christian loyalty. Some believers hitched their hopes to the Democratic Party, but often with 26-foot-long U-Haul truckloads of qualifiers. The GOP faithful felt no such need.
But how has Christian loyalty to the Republican Party turned out for believers? Elsewhere will be the place to explore this more fully, but anyone paying attention can see the GOP is certainly no Kingdom of God. Abortion remains legal even though masses of the faithful voted “REP” based on that one issue alone since 1973; homosexuality and other affronts to what is often considered traditional Christian values, are nothing less than mainstream; drug use, prostitution, and other Christian triggers are as widespread as ever. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is picking up steam in ways threatening to most Christian voters who attempted to find a place therein. Fortunately, there is an alternative, and one that I suspect multitudes of Bible-believing Christians will rejoice to find far more consistent with Biblical prescriptions.
In daring to discuss my political views with other Christians, I regularly find believers suspect Libertarianism as the party of carelessness or apathy to sin. They believe it to be the resting place of a handful of millennial ragamuffins just a tad too into their “Poli Sci” courses from college. Christians often see Libertarianism as a foundation for a licentious worldview, dismissive of what will destroy their culture.
Yet, I’ve been happy to find that some of the faithful, with a little new knowledge, are quick to reconsider and re-evaluate the Libertarian Party. Libertarianism is the best
political home for Christians who are—and should be—discontented with the two dominating parties. It’s the best home for those unwilling to write in “Jesus,” “John MacArthur,” or “Joel Osteen” for any civil office. To escape the flood of power-grabs and manipulative wickedness among Republicans and Democrats, Christians should know that Libertarianism does not necessarily contradict the moral and spiritual convictions they’ve adopted from the Bible and their congregations.
Libertarianism is not primarily a system of prescriptive “whats,” but of all-encompassing “hows.” It is not about this or that action being good, right, healthy, and godly. It is primarily a system of how the government should interact with the governed as the governed attempt to figure out those things for themselves.
Show your Christian friend the choice is between coercion and force—or liberty. A government seeks to control people or empower a select few. Libertarianism seeks to empower all people so conversation and conviction-shaping may occur without the wicked threat of force or cunning manipulation. Maybe then, the starting place in this political discussion with Christian voters is to ask them if they want to control and coerce their neighbors into Christian faith or if freely choosing to so believe is preferable.
By Guest Writer Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins is a Christian Libertarian with a love for all that is true, good, and beautiful. He has grown into Libertarianism through the writings of many. Stephen earned his Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his Master’s degree in English from the University of Central Florida. Studying philosophy, language, culture, and history has shaped his many philosophical and political views. He is the husband of one wife and the father of four hilarious daughters. He loves stories, surfing, and grilling meat.
Diary of a Libertarian
Pt. 2 – Adventures in the ‘Seventies
Florida Libertarians are fortunate to have one of our most esteemed and successful activists share his fascinating walk through the years. The Sunshine Freedom! presents the story of Jim Turney.
In the last LPF Sunshine Freedom! issue, I told you about the birth of the modern libertarian movement and how I came to join it. In this issue, I’ll talk about how my personal principles led me to the U.S. Army, and a cutting-edge entrepreneurial effort that pointed me to becoming the Chair of the National Libertarian Party in the 1980s.
I studied Political Science at James Madison University from 1968 to 1972. I’d been an anti-draft activist, and most people knew me for that rather than as a libertarian. I also worked at a commercial radio station during the early Seventies. Country music was the big thing in the Shenandoah Valley at the time, so I became a country DJ.
I became a local celebrity, so gas station attendants knew me and would jump up to pump my gas back in the days before pumping your own gas. One time, as one approached my car, he suddenly got an expression on his face that looked like he’d seen a ghost. “What the hell is going on?” he said. “How can you be here? I just heard you on the radio!” I got a laugh because many people didn’t know about magnetic tape recording. I soon learned that some others did associate radio DJs with recording skills. Word got out and all the local musicians begged me to record their music. Unfortunately, at the time I didn’t have the equipment.
Still, this made me realize there was a demand, so I decided I was going to meet it. I bought a mixer and a reel-to-reel tape deck and I started recording bands. We had music on tape but had to figure out how to distribute it. Most music was distributed on vinyl records at the time, so I got in touch with companies that pressed them. Through this process I learned the next big music distribution media would be 8-track tapes. Later, it was cassette tapes. This was an exciting business opportunity, but I also saw potential for the libertarian movement. I realized that this would be a great way to get our message out. At the time, anything you gave people on a recorded medium: a vinyl record, an 8-track tape, or a cassette tape, all had value to them. They would listen to it.
Before I could bring the idea to fruition, an important national event occurred in 1973 that would alter the course of my life. As a DJ , I read the news every 30 minutes. As I was gathering up the news to read one day in 1973, I got a huge shock. The United States Congress had ended the military draft.
I thought about that momentous decision as I finished my shift on the air. Throughout college, I was an anti-draft protester because I didn’t consider it consistent with the values of a free country that people would be forced to serve in the military. While I protested the draft, I consistently promised that if Congress ever ended it, I would volunteer to serve in the military. I believed a free country should be defended by volunteers to be consistent with that freedom. I was willing to do just that.
That day of reckoning had come. After my shift at the studio, I drove down to the military recruiter’s office in Harrisonburg, Va. I gave them the news that the draft was ending (which they hadn’t yet heard,) and soon thereafter, I signed up to serve in the U.S. Army.
In the Army, I spent time in Germany as an air traffic controller for the Army’s 5th Signal Command. In 1975, I was awarded “Soldier of the Year” runner-up for our command so I was offered entry to the Officer Candidate School. Instead of accepting, I got out of the military in 1976 with the idea to start a business focusing on making audio recordings of live events. I’d hoped to focus on libertarian events as much as possible but in 1977, there wasn’t much going on in the libertarian world. Instead, I recorded corporate and other assorted events, doing whatever I could to sell tapes. One client even claimed to have out-of-body experiences, so I recorded those, too. All the time, I was gaining experience and building my business.
My equipment allowed me to record my first LP national convention in 1979. That was the year some friends and I founded the LP of Virginia. Although I was doing audio recordings, I realized video was the future. At the time, recording video required a huge investment, but I went for it, seeking to grow my business. Using my video equipment, I recorded all of the national LP conventions from 1980 to 1991. I recorded many state conventions, too. I still have the recordings of the national conventions and thousands of hours of other libertarian events, including those of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, known by its acronym NORML.
I used to bring enough video equipment cases to fill a van or pickup truck to record conventions. Recording a convention was a massive operation. No one else was doing this kind of thing, so it gave me a chance to contribute something unique to the Party.
Meanwhile, I met Libertarians all over the country and worked closely with them. I met with speakers to explain what I was going to do. I met with organizers of the conventions, and many rank and file members, who wanted to chat with the guy running around with the lights and cameras. I made many friends in the Party and became well-known.
All these connections led me to become Chair of the Libertarian Party during the mid-1980s, but that is a story for another day and another issue of the LPF Newsletter.
Next issue – The Party Leadership Years
by Jim Turney,
As told to Paul Moscarelli
Relationship-Building is critical to political success! To gain trust and the ability to influence those with opposing views, I advise you to visit them in their comfort zone. Go to meetings of the ACLU, Americans for Prosperity, The League of Women Voters, NAACP, The Republican Liberty Caucus, environmental groups, and so on. It’s important to show up with a listening and learning attitude. Build relationships by friendly socializing and finding common goals. You can discuss your different paths to those goals after they know you are respectful of their views.
Like most people, when I first heard a recording of myself, I cringed and thought, “I don’t sound like that!” But I did. So, I worked on my voice while I was a country radio D.J. I improved my vocal quality and delivery by recording and listening back to myself over and over. I got good enough so I could read news or ads “cold” on the radio and sound as if I wasn’t reading. Advertisers loved my natural style, and soon the station asked me to train other D.J.s.
Whether you’re a Libertarian candidate for public office, a public speaker on Libertarian issues, or just someone who wants to talk one-on-one with folks, you too, can increase your impact. By using the same method of recording yourself (video and audio.) Then, watch and listen to those recordings over and over until you can see and hear yourself in “real time” as you speak. You will learn to see the way others see and hear you in-person, on Zoom or whatever medium.
Spoken communication is a basic leadership skill. Ideally, your voice should communicate the leadership qualities of candor, character, competence and confidence. These four C’s will allow you to build the fifth C – a connection. Improve your vocal quality and become one of the LP’s leaders!
Libertarian Party of Orange County
Chair Ralph Groves and the entire LPOC team were very active in getting Presidential Candidate Jo Jorgensen noticed in one of the largest communities in the state. Every
Saturday, the LPOC held a small sign-waving event in Winter Garden. “Passers-by engage us in conversation” says Groves, “usually asking about the Libertarian Party… what it stands for, etc. The reaction is usually friendly, especially when I explain that Libertarians champion freedom. Freedom for people to live as they wish as long as they do not harm others.”
Libertarian Party of Seminole County
Candidate Andre Klass was the first to file and the first to achieve ballot qualification in the entire county after collecting over 3,000 signatures. His determination, enthusiasm and success motivated several other candidates to file and run in some hotly-contested partisan races as well, including NPA candidates in House Districts 28 and 29. While they are running NPA, the momentum to break the two-party system is alive! In the most recent straw poll in the county, Klass received 45 percent of the vote in the three way race.
Klass addressed the delegation at the Libertarian Party National Convention at the Orange County Convention Center, and presented the Jo Jorgensen Toast of Honor at the Torch Club banquet. He appeared in six debates and forums. For the first time in Seminole County history, a candidate running in a partisan race, under the Libertarian affiliation, will be on a large billboard on Interstate 4, one of the busiest highways in the nation.
Klass hit his primary fundraising goal of $20,000, and moved forward with another drive to keep messaging strong. Donor link https://andreforseminole.com/donate/
Seminole’s affiliate may be small, but they are active and making noise! “Recently, members of our regional affiliate put together a mailing drive for Jo Jorgensen’s presidential campaign,” says Klass, “and a couple weeks ago we also did a joint Andre Klass/Jo Jorgensen sign wave while hosting an Adopt-a-Road cleanup.” Klass invites everyone to give him a call 407-416-7626 for more details!
Libertarian Party of Monroe County
Our southern-most affiliate saw several recent public successes. Steven Nekhaila, LPMC Secretary and Treasurer, said “We worked with locals to protest and lobby City Hall to end the draconian COVID-19 mandates. On Sept. 16, we were successful in our efforts to have the city amend the emergency order to exclude wearing masks in public, and at the gym, as well as in other areas affecting the community.
LPMC had positive results by working closely with locals who shared the same interest and passion for the community’s hot topics. They continue to lobby against the government’s Emergency Ordinances which harmed many of the area’s many industries, from tourism to weddings. Focus was specifically on the Cruise Ship Ban.
If you are in the area, or know someone who is, the Affiliate is looking for more members, and volunteers. “The Keys are a transient community and people are constantly coming and going” says Nekhaila, “but the Libertarian cause continues to be strong and growing here.”
If you have events, meetups, and any highlights to share, drop us a line, we would love to let the state know of the job we all do in moving Freedom forward!
Libertarian Party of Miami-Dade
It’s election time, and the Libertarian Party of Miami Dade team is very busy. Their main focus is helping the Jo Jorgensen campaign. To this end, LPMD Vice Chair Martha Bueno was recently appointed the Jorgensen campaign’s Hispanic Media Outreach Coordinator. Martha is getting the word out by appearing on multiple Spanish-language podcasts, including Contra Poder, and Potosinos Libertarios (a libertarian group in Mexico). Martha and LPMD Treasurer Dennis Misigoy appeared on the Bob Powers Sept. 2 podcast to increase awareness of the LPMD.
Martha regularly appears on the Libertarian Party’s LPTV YouTube channel doing the first-ever Spanish-language show with Zack Foster. Catch them on Wednesday’s at 9:00 PM. Her leadership and activism inspires us all.
In other news, 15 cars joined the LPMD Aug. 8 for the Jo Jorgensen Convoy, a nationwide event. The LPMD meets monthly and is focused on becoming more active in our local community to give the people another option.
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter @LPMD305, and Instagram @LibertarianMiami.
Sunshine Liberty! Staff
J Mark Barfield – Editor in Chief
Mark Rodriguez – Editor, Staff Writer
Paul Moscarelli – Staff Writer