Delegates to the 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention in Columbus, Ohio, elected Nicholas Sarwark of Colorado to be the party’s new chair.
Sarwark has been active with the LP since 1999. He has served on committees of the national party, and as chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland. He is currently the vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, where he played a key role in recruiting the state’s 42 Libertarian candidates for 2014, as well as supporting the passage of Colorado’s historic marijuana legalization initiative in 2012.
Sarwark’s goals include clearly positioning the Libertarian Party as the only choice for pro-freedom young people.
“Younger voters are rejecting the old political parties,” Sarwark said. “Reaching out to pro-freedom young people will make us the dominant political party in 20 years.”
Sarwark is a deputy public defender and has tried more than 30 cases before a jury and argued in front of the Colorado Supreme Court. He also has more than a decade of experience in computer consulting and sales. He lives with his wife and two children in Denver.
Arvin Vohra, an educator from Bethesda, Md., and leader of the national party’s social media efforts, was elected vice chair. Alicia Mattson, of Las Vegas, Nev., was elected secretary; and Tim Hagan, also of Las Vegas, was re-elected treasurer.
“The Libertarian Party is the future of America,” Sarwark said. “We’re adding registered voters while the ranks of the two old parties are shrinking. Our vote totals among 18–29-year-olds have risen sharply in the last two years, and our candidates are ready to give voters the real choice for cutting government and advancing liberty they crave.”
Other Readers Accessed These Stories:
- Libertarians urge Americans to declare their independence On Independence Day, the Libertarian Party calls on American voters to declare independence from the Republican and Democratic parties. The Declaration of Independence says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark said, "Those words from the Declaration also hold true of political parties. The Republicans and Democrats have no interest in securing our rights -- they have become 'destructive of these ends,' and now spend most of their time working on new ways to violate our rights. It's time to throw them out." Sarwark continued, "According to recent Gallup polling, 46% of Americans now consider themselves 'independent' from the Democratic and Republican parties. We urge the other 54% to join them. "The Republicans and Democrats have maintained their power partly by fostering the illusion that they are significantly different from each other. Supporters are told that if the other team gets elected, the world will end. In reality, the Republicans and Democrats are so similar that it doesn't matter which of them are in power. George W. Bush and the Republicans grew government across the board. Barack Obama and the Democrats grew government across the board." Libertarian candidates show strong support among independent voters. For example, a recent Public Policy Polling poll in North Carolina showed that 19% of independent voters supported Libertarian Sean Haugh for U.S. Senate, versus 31% for the Democratic candidate and 25% for the Republican candidate. Sarwark added, "We encourage all people who value freedom and individual rights to join the Libertarian Party." Click here to join the conversation on our Facebook page.
- Libertarian Party bucks trend with 11% increase in voter… According to ballot access expert Richard Winger, Libertarian Party voter registration in the U.S. has grown 11.4% since late 2012. Registration in all other nationally-organized parties has decreased. According to Winger, the most recent figures available from state governments show that there were 368,561 registered Libertarians in March 2014, compared to 330,811 in November 2012. Thirty states and the District of Columbia allow voters to include a party affiliation with their voter registration. Libertarian Party Chair Geoffrey Neale commented, "I think it's great that Libertarian registration is increasing throughout America, while the Democrats and Republicans have been shrinking. Maybe it's our across-the-board message of 'more freedom, less government.'" The states with the largest percent increases were Idaho (161% increase), Wyoming (68% increase), Nebraska (55% increase), and Louisiana (33% increase). Click here to join the conversation on our Facebook page.
- Libertarian Party Chair Neale forges ties with European… Libertarian Party Chair Geoffrey Neale made an historic trip in November to forge ties with emerging Libertarian Parties in Europe and Russia. Neale addressed audiences in Madrid and Moscow, well-attended by Libertarian leaders within each country as well as by representatives from the U.K., Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. Neale's trip coincided with the recent formation of a new pan-European party — the European Party for International Liberty (EPIL) — which aims to advance libertarian policy in the European Union. EPIL's second official meeting took place at a conference where Neale was the featured speaker, hosted by the Individual Freedom Party (P-LIB), the Spanish equivalent of the U.S. Libertarian Party. "[Neale's] presentation was highly informative, educational, and inspirational," said Guy Montrose, Chairman of the U.K. Libertarian Party (LPUK). Juan Pina, president of P-LIB, said Neale's presentation affirmed his members' view that forming a new party is more effective than trying to effect change from within an established party. "It is important to hear that from the original Libertarian Party, the oldest one in the world, and the one that inspired our foundation in 2009," he said. Neale also addressed attendees of the Fifth Adam Smith Forum in Moscow, which hosted libertarians from more than 20 regions of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), including Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan, and the Ukraine. "It was definitely the [best attended] libertarian get-together in the CIS ever," said Andrey Shalnev, chair of the Libertarian Party of Russia (LPR). The LPR plans to run candidates for the Moscow City Duma (parliament) in 2014 while the UKLP plans to run candidates in the next local elections. P-LIB is gearing up to run candidates for the European Parliament in May. Leaders who attended both gatherings expressed a strong desire to expand international alliances among the world's Libertarian Parties. "We'd gladly contribute to an international libertarian association, bringing together Libertarian parties," Shalnev said. "Libertarians from all over the world should be constantly sharing their experience of promoting liberty." Click here to join the conversation on our Facebook page.
- Libertarian Party to build on record increases in support at Libertarian voter registration up by 11 percent; several candidates with strong support in races for Senate, Congress, and governor Even as Republicans and Democrats are suffering sharp declines in voters who identify with them, the Libertarian Party is gearing up for their biennial national convention to build on record growth in the last two years. More than 500 Libertarians from all 50 states and around the world are convening in Columbus, Ohio, from Thursday, June 26, to Sunday, June 29, for the 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention. "Libertarian Party voter registration in the United States has grown 11.4 percent since late 2012," said LP Political Director Carla Howell, citing research by national ballot access expert Richard Winger. "Our members and candidates from across the country are excited to get together to network, to share success stories, and to continue building the only nationally organized political party that's growing," Howell said. According to Winger, the most recent figures available from state governments show that there were 368,561 registered Libertarians in March 2014, compared to 330,811 in November 2012. This measure of Libertarian Party growth only includes data from the 30 states (plus the District of Columbia) that allow voters to include a party affiliation with their voter registration. Other races from around the country indicate that support for Libertarian candidates is increasing, even in hotly contested races with national implications. Among the races to watch are: U.S. Senate, North Carolina: Libertarian Sean Haugh is polling at 11 percent in a tightly contested, much-watched race with Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis. (Source: Public Policy Polling.) U.S. House, FL-13: Libertarian Lucas Overby is polling at 31 percent in a two-candidate race with incumbent Republican David Jolly, who is polling at 47 percent. (Source: SaintPetersBlog.) U.S. House, FL-19: In a special election slated for June 24, in which 41 percent of voters report being undecided, Libertarian Ray Netherwood is polling at 13 percent, ahead of the Democrat, who is polling at 12 percent. The Republican is polling at 26 percent. (Source: Vote USA.) Florida Governor: Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is polling at 4 percent in a race with incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist. But with Florida's all-important independent voting bloc, Wyllie is polling at 10 percent. (Source: Daily Beast.) U.S. House, AK-1: Libertarian Jim McDermott is polling at 12 percent in a race for Alaska's only House seat with incumbent Republican Don Young (50 percent) and Democrat Matt Moore (22 percent). (Source: Public Policy Polling.) Georgia Governor: Libertarian Andrew Hunt, a nanotechnologist, is polling at 9 percent. (Source: Daily Beast.) Delegates at the four-day event will help shape the direction of the Libertarian Party by electing members of the Libertarian National Committee and by considering changes to the LP's platform and bylaws. Photo: LP National Convention floor, LP.org Click here to join the conversation on our Facebook page.
- No employer should be forced to provide any health coverage… In response to the Hobby Lobby ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict made the following statement: "It's strange that liberals and conservatives are making this ruling out to be a huge deal. All the ruling does is remove a very narrow coverage requirement, in very specific cases; 99.9 percent of Obamacare is upheld. "It's true that closely held corporate entities should not be forced to pay for this particular contraceptive coverage. But focusing on that narrow issue misses the bigger point: No employer should be forced to provide any health coverage at all. This ruling just draws the line between freedom and regulation arbitrarily. If these employers are free to ignore this particular mandate, why aren't other employers free to ignore other Obamacare regulations? They should be. "Obamacare is unjust and unconstitutional from top to bottom. No employer should be forced to provide health coverage to its employees, or penalized by government if it doesn't. Religion is not the issue. The fact that these employers have religious motives doesn't matter. Employers have the right to associate freely with their employees, and to come up with any mutually agreeable employment terms, whether their motives are religious, secular, generous, greedy, or whatever. This ruling is a tiny island in a huge sea of Supreme Court rulings that have supported the federal government's desire to regulate and control." Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark said, "Cutting the government requirement that birth control be purchased only with a prescription and making it over-the-counter would advance liberty by giving easier access to birth control for people who want it without putting their employer in the middle of their personal choices. Government doesn't make men get prescriptions for condoms, there's no reason it should make women get prescriptions for birth control pills." The Libertarian Party platform contains the following health care plank: "We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines." Click here to join the conversation on our Facebook page.