Libertarian Party of Michigan: Open Letter to the Chair of the LPUSA

mi_logo_transparent_1The Libertarian Party of Michigan

P.O. Box 27065

Lansing, MI  48909   1-888-FreeNow


Nick Sarwark

Chairman, The Libertarian Party of the United States

1444 Duke Street

Alexandria, VA   22314


June 1, 2016

Mr. Chairman,

Having just enjoyed and endured one of the truly unique experiences of my life, I wanted to take time to discuss relevant matters which involve both our state and the national committee.

First, I wish to offer earned respect for the manner in which the convention was managed.   Your knowledge of rules, sense of fairness, and occasional wit combined to keep what is just shy of an unruly mob as focused better than I could have imagined.

The experience itself was quite remarkable.   Although I served once previously as Chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan (2003), this was my first experience attending the National Convention.   And what an experience it was!

First, I hope you would note the prominence of the Michigan delegation.   I have such great pride to see the positive impact that so many of our members provided to the overall experience.   Foremost among these was Emily Salvette – who, in addition to the many roles she supports in her home state, was on the stage fully prepared and organized.   Notable assisting with credentials was Larry Johnson and our Life Member Ben Bachrach – who, while living in Florida apparently found the North Dakota delegation fun!   We are Libertarians.   Along the way, I see James Fulner taking a prominent role with the Platform Committee.   We even enjoyed Will White’s harmonica rendition of “Liberty” and “Swanee River”.

These are just a few of the many Michigan members participating.   I felt great pride that we were able to cast full delegation votes for all vote counts through Sunday night.   In addition to our allotted 25, I believe we had at least 16 other members in attendance – a few were not even delegates or alternates.

Our delegation was successful due to tremendous teamwork.   My count team assisting myself….and Kim McCurry in my absence on Monday, included Bill Hall, Mary Buzuma, and John Jascob, and Bob Broda.   Their diligence for accuracy and willingness to help the team set a great example.

I recall a time when you asked about members attending multiple conventions.   It was with great pride that I could recognize James Hudler – one of the founders of the LP of Michigan….and someone that attended the 1972 Denver Convention and continues his activism now.    Just the sheer seriousness of our newest members – some as alternates and some as attendees – was uplifting.

All that was wonderful warm-up for the big game ahead.   As soon as our team was picked (Johnson-Weld), social and regular media grew and we scored on our first opportunity!!   I know that with that one-two punch, we have a team that is sure to give us success.

I do want to address the error made on the ensuing kick-off.    A member from Michigan – someone that did not earn a spot on the roster, fumbled the ball and allowed our enemies to put points on the board.   Inexplicably, he then proceeded to remove his jersey.   The referee on stage clearly looked shocked – several cheerleaders had dry heaves (let’s face it, this player was not built like Jack LaLanne).

In 1975, I had the good fortune to meet John Wooden and Bobby Knight at the same event.  Two very successful people with – shall we say – very different attitudes.   Both understood that there is no “I” in TEAM.   As Libertarians, we need to learn to spell, apparently.

Before the National Party takes any action in this matter, however, a few things that I would like you to consider.

  • The Party historically has tolerated some fairly unusual displays. I’m not sure that Michigan or other states could reasonably say where to draw that line.
  • Before another state adds delegates from another area in the future, it might make some sense for that state to check with the home delegation for temperament. And perhaps a reminder that the first charge of their motto is “Virtue”.
  • I would support changes that might require any candidate for Chair to receive the support of 5 State Chairs (tokens??). Let’s face it, if you don’t have 5 states supporting you, how would you win?   Some will scream – but part of growing as a party is recognizing the right of the majority to function is important, too.

Lastly, I believe that those of us that know this player best should determine the next step.   We are a Party that believes in redemption – that one can come back from a serious error.   Of course, some indication that he might want redemption is needed.

It is not for me as Chair to decree some action.   But, since this player hails from Michigan, I believe the Executive Committee of Michigan is best suited to take on this task.

Lastly, it’s important to note that we’re only in the first few minutes of the first quarter of the game.    All the good and bad things that occurred over the weekend will pale when compared to the rest of the game ahead.    For me, I choose to focus on our assignments.   You, me, and everyone else that wishes to be part of the TEAM.

As many have said in the past – we must address the fierce urgency of now.  It is now that we must do the needed work.  It is now that we must seize the opportunity.   And it is now that we pull together and face those that would destroy liberty.

Best wishes and appreciation for you continued vigilance on behalf of our cause.


For liberty now and in the future,


Bill Gelineau


Libertarian Party of Michigan


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