Libertarians and Progressives of Pinellas

Social Community of Pinellas LIO Libertarians, Interested Activists & Friends of Florida... Free Tools, News, History, Archives, Photos, Links.

News

WELCOME!...Our aim is to host LIO focused Libertarian Community and the Libertarian-interested social network in Pinellas-Pasco developed via the "I LEAP!" method--Interpersonal, Legislative, Educative, Action, Public Administration and win documentation means. This Blog gives an overview of non-partisan activities of our private Community and Network. We neither accept nor donate money but encourage volunteers--Most participants come from many parties and views but are interested in voluntary solutions and working on common issues of more rights, choice and participation--plus having a good time enjoying and bettering our wonderful county area... We post something every few months, but have something happening weekly: Our intake book club, twice monthly blood donations, monthly community outreach and informationals, plus user driven events almost every week--so for current activity join our Facebook or other groups..and send your photo to be shared here!

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Atlas Shrugged to Area, Florida? Thank Pinellas Libertarians

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on April 17, 2011 at 3:24 AM

A team of Pinellas Libertarians contacted every theater in Florida by phone or e-mail to bring Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged to Florida, and at the last moment to the Bay area at Muvico and Sarasota theaters.

The group led by Ralph Swanson and MG sent e-mails followed up by phone calls.

 

Community Summits: Pinellas Libertarians Lead

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on April 17, 2011 at 3:12 AM

Creative Loafing, foirmerly Weekly Planet, notes Pinellas Libertarian Work

Pinellas Libertarians met for the bi-annual activist brunch to review civic action focused on community outreach and broad civic improvement summits to inform and galvanize local civic leaders. Projects involved information sites by 2013 and included:

  • Public Safety Summit: Participation in the Agenda 2010 process to bring crime down in St Petersburg and improve police-neighborhood relations
  • Continual phone colloquia on ballot issues and direct initiative and meetings with legislative leaders on some form of recall process in Florida; on photographing police rights; on protection against oil drilling misbehavior by creation of shore no-drill park
  • Summit on Homeless that brought 400 community leaders together and helped create a county wide plan emphasizing private action such as homeshare and efficiencies such as redeicating underused buildings to homeless help
  • Youth network to work for tax relief and tariff reductions for energy efficient homes and reselling home-produced energy to utilities

Senior Libertarian Book Club organized by Pinellas Florida Libertarians

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on April 16, 2011 at 8:00 PM

       

St. Petersburg Florida --

 

"You're never too old to promote Libertarian ideas and books" says longtime Libertarian Party member and former Florida State Party Chairman, Ralph Swanson. As a senior and a Libertarian he has seen how the Libertarian Party has grown over four decades.  Still active in Libertarian politics, Mr. Swanson help organized a Senior Libertarian Book Club in Florida.

 

It started with going out for a coffee with friends and discussing politics.  Many of our discussions involved references to various Libertarian themed books. "We thought...hey... why don't we bring our Libertarian books with us to discuss over a coffee" says Senior Libertarian Book Club member and longtime Pinellas Libertarian Ann Chorgo.

 

What is most interesting... is how we attract people passing by our table who ask about our Libertarian Book Club meeting or the books.  We don't mind the new comers and love to refer them the the official Libertarian Book Club website: www.LibertarianBookClub.org

 

 

Libertarians Ralph Swanson and Ann Chorgo recent Senior Libertarian Book Club meeting drew the interest of Starbucks staffer, "Mike".

 

 

Pinellas Community is Largest

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on March 4, 2011 at 3:05 AM

While there is much to do, the Pinellas Community is the nation's largest after a review of statistics with libertarian leaders including the honorary host, Libertarian leader David Nolan. It is on target for all goals, following a best practice plan.

As of March 2011...

  • 3000+ contacts
  • Libertarians in 22 non-partisan public office positions. The goal is 6.
  • Various activist projects underway

It is anticipated the public office positions will halve in the next few years with retrainings, retirements and people moving out of area. The aim of a basis of experienced people in office to serve as advisors across all political boundaries on a non-partisan basis continues.


Pinellas Libertarians Attend and Film at St. Pete Pride Street Festival

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on June 26, 2010 at 1:00 PM

ST. PETERSBURG FLORIDA

Pinellas Libertarians were invited to and attended the 2010 St. Pete Pride Street Festival held on Saturday, June 6. 2010.  

  

 We spoke to the mayor and nearly every booth there. They met up with some longtime friends and met some new friends at this fun event. By walking and handing out cards in the area plus our website we developed 400+ inquiries...and Forum friends many hundreds of petition signatures at their event booths also. We hope for greater understanding in this area...which seems to be happening!

Pinellas Libertarians Join "Hands Across The Sand" at St Pete Beach

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on June 26, 2010 at 12:00 PM

"Hands Across The Sand" - St. Pete Beach Florida

"Hands Across The Sand" - St. Pete Beach Florida

Our DisasterHelp group was at it again with many local activists working on Hands Across the Sand and informational events that attracted thousands of concerned citizens. DisasterHelp is our contact group to raise money for severe hurricane and victims working to help the disabled with funds donated to the Red Cross or work with citizens in public concern events. Here Hosts meet with event organizers.

LPPC to be dissolved as Medical Marihuana Coalition Forms

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on December 30, 2009 at 12:03 PM

 

 

At the December 21, 2009 Libertarian Party of Pinellas Annual Meeting with our bi-annual activist dinner-brunch group, some new officers were elected. Ralph Swanson, (in photo above seated) former State Party Chair and Long-Time Administrator for the Libertarian Party of Florida was instrumental in helping to organize the Pinellas Libertarian Party of Florida affiliate. At the LPPC Annual meeting Ralph assisted with the Libertarian literature and sign-in list, and announced the dissolution of the LPPC by spring due to continued problems with the State Party after a phone consultation with users and David Nolan, national party founder, who outlined what he wanted done. As a result the LP Florida was losing much of its support base, people in public office and more who had already ceased to co-operate with the troubled state party.

The Libertarian Party of Pinellas had some By-Law changes and an election of officers for 2010 as follows:

 

2010 Libertarian Party of Pinellas Florida Officers

  • (NEW) Chair- Ralph Swanson
  • Vice-Chair- Paul Molloy
  • (NEW) Secretary/Treasurer-Ann Chorgo

 

 

Picture: 2010 Pinellas Libertarian Party of Florida Officers, (L-R) Ann Chorgo and Ralph Swanson have been Libertarian Activists for decades. Both were recent Convention Delegates at the 2009 Libertarian Party of Florida Convention held in Orlando Florida March 28, 2009.

More importantly the real activism continued in our community and an agreement made to work on several upcoming petitions such as medical marihuana.

Pinellas Libertarian Party of Florida INCREASE in Libertarian Voters

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on September 10, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Club Activities have had a beneficial side effect for the independent LPPC, say leaders.

Since the Pinellas County Libertarian Party of Florida became an LPF affiliate in 2004 Pinellas County has gained 400+ new Registered Libertarian Voters

The Pinellas County Libertarian Party of Florida has been ranked the #1 county in Florida with the highest number of Florida Registered Libertarians.

 

2009-1521

2008-1370

2006-1343

2004-1103

 

 

 Data Source: Florida Division of Elections

History of Revision 11, How Florida Libertarians Reformed Ballot Access

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on August 13, 2005 at 7:00 AM

 

Just a decade ago Florida Libertarians had some of the toughest ballot access laws. The Libertarian Party of Florida helped ease the way for third party candidates being on the Florida Ballot. It was no easy task either (read 1998 article below) but the hard work paid off with the win of Revision 11 -- that eventually yielded nearly 2 million votes for Libertarians.

 

 

 

Original LP News Article from November 1998

 

Florida LP lobbies for Revision 11

 

 

November 3 initiative would reform the worst ballot access laws in the nation

After two years of lobbying, testifying, coalition-building, and proselytizing, Florida Libertarians have their fingers crossed that state voters will pass a measure this November to liberalize the Sunshine State's restrictive ballot access laws.

 

 

 

 

Libertarian Party members Tom Regnier (back row, second from left) and Tom Smith (back row, far right), show their support for Revision 11 at a meeting of Floridians for Fair Elections. Also present: Representatives from the Reform, Natural Law, Green, and American Reform parties.

Revision 11, an initiative that would dramatically reduce ballot access barriers for third parties, "is the most important issue facing the Florida LP today," said Tom Regnier, state party Vice Chair and coordinator of the pro-Revision 11 campaign.

 

 

 

And, as the final days trickle away before November 3, when Florida voters will have their say -- and as state Libertarians continue their relentless pro-Revision 11 campaign -- the odds are looking good, said Regnier.

 

 

"We have a good chance of getting the voters to voice their approval," he predicted -- thereby reforming the "most difficult ballot access procedures of any state in the country, worse than in Russia or South Africa."

 

 

If passed, Revision 11 would make Florida ballot access requirements the same for all candidates, whether major party, minor party, or independent. Currently, smaller parties like the Libertarian Party must collect signatures from tens of thousands of voters to get on the ballot, while Republicans and Democrats merely pay a filing fee.

 

 

 

For example, getting a candidate on the ballot for a Congressional race requires more than 11,000 signatures, and a new party has to gather over 240,000 signatures to appear on the ballot for a statewide race -- a hurdle that has never been overcome since the laws were passed in 1931.

 

"Florida has the dubious distinction of having one of the most discriminatory ballot-access laws in the country," noted the Orlando Sentinel in an editorial. "The Sunshine State imposes the highest filing fee and requires the most petition signatures, by percent of population, of any of the 50 states for candidates to get on the ballot."

 

 

Richard Winger, publisher of Ballot Access News, put it even more starkly.

"Florida easily has the most restrictive ballot access laws for minor parties and independent candidates of any state," he said.

 

 

 

As a result, "Florida has more uncontested political races than any state," said Regnier. "In the last 20 years, about half of State House races and about a third of State Senate races were uncontested. This year, 18 of Florida's 23 races for U.S. Congress will have only one candidate."

 

The restrictive laws hit Florida's most active third party -- the Libertarian Party -- especially hard, he said.

 

 

"We are able to run political candidates only infrequently," he noted. "Yet, political campaigns are the best way to put a party in the spotlight as far as the press and the public are concerned. In order to [run more] political campaigns, we need to be able to get on the ballot more often."

 

To achieve that goal, Florida Libertarians launched a ballot access reform campaign in 1997. Their first target: The state's Constitution Revision Commission, which meets just once every 20 years to hear public testimony and recommend changes to the Florida Constitution.

 

 

 

Libertarians attended all 12 CRC meetings around the state in July, August, and September 1997. Their message: The urgent need to reform Florida's unfair ballot access laws.

"Libertarians from all over the state showed up at the hearings to recite the facts and figures on how Florida's restrictive laws have closed the political process to all but the two major parties and deprived voters of political choice," said then-State Chair Nick Dunbar.

 

 

 

The Libertarians' lobbying paid off on December 12, 1997, when the CRC unanimously approved a proposal -- later titled Revision 11 -- to guarantee that ballot access requirements for minor and independent candidates would be no more difficult than for "major party" candidates.

But getting Revision 11 on the ballot was just the first step: Since then, Florida Libertarians have been campaigning to get it passed.

 

 

 

The Florida LP helped found Floridians for Fair Elections, a coalition of independent parties and other groups seeking fair ballot access laws. Libertarians also unleashed a blizzard of letters-to-the editor, appearances on radio talk shows, bumperstickers, and mailings to newspaper editorial boards. In their campaign, Libertarians have been stressing basic issues of fairness and democracy.

 

"Revision 11 embodies a basic principle of democracy -- that the electoral process should be as open as possible so that the American ideal of rule by the people can be fulfilled," said State Chair Brian Collar. "[Revision 11 will also] increase voter interest and participation [by] increasing competition. Instead of having voters who are drowning in apathy, we'd have clear sailing for the democratic process."

 

 

 

 

The lobbying seems to be bearing fruit, said Regnier: Revision 11 has already been endorsed by the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Gun Owners of America, the League of Women Voters, the Cedar Key Beacon, Common Cause, the Tallahassee Democrat, and columnists at the Miami Herald and Orlando Sentinel.

 

 

State party leaders say they plan to continue their campaign right up to Election Day -- buttressed by a final barrage of pro-Revision 11 radio ads on the Rush Limbaugh show.

 

 

And, as the days dwindle away, they've got their fingers crossed that Florida residents will help make political history.

 

 

 

"We've come a long way on this. There's just one more step," said Regnier. "Now it's up to the voters. If they say yes to Revision 11 in November, Florida will lose the distinction of having the harshest ballot access requirements in the free world!"

 

 

Revision 11 Wins with 64% of Vote

 

 

Excerpt from a December 1998 LP News Article -- LP candidates win 17 races; set Congressional vote record

 

 

In one of the biggest victories of Election '98 for the Libertarian Party, voters in Florida overwhelmingly passed Revision 11, a constitutional amendment that will level the ballot access playing field for third parties.

 

 

The measure, which was supported by the LP of Florida with a radio advertising and publicity campaign, passed with a whopping 64% of the vote.

 

 

 

 

"Our thanks go to the many Florida voters who [voted] 'Yes' on Revision 11," said Brian Collar, Florida LP State Chair. "They've shown they want more choices on the ballot, and we in the Libertarian Party will do all we can to oblige them. Look for us on the Florida ballot in the next election."

 

 

Our Goals

Posted by Pinellas Libertarians on July 17, 2004 at 9:21 AM

Since inception as the pilot community for the Libertarian Civic Society Project of the LIO, we develop non-partisan LIO / Libertarian-interested network and eventual LIO-based community. Our goals are:

  • Grow d-base by several hundred users and 1 of 10 LIO core projects yearly
  • Help participants share links, events, services; and document news or progress
  • Develop  ~2 Libertarians or Libertarian-interested officials in non-partisan public office yearly

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