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Libertarian Party of Texas Recruits Candidates

November 30th, 2007

lptexas.jpgEarlier this week I received an informative letter from Wes Benedict, the current executive director of the Libertarian Party of Texas. It covers several different topics, including candidate recruiting for the upcoming 2008 elections, the recent “Roundup Tour” of 25 Texas cities, the effects of the Ron Paul campaign, next year’s national convention, and the usual appeals for donations and membership renewals. For any aspiring Libertarians out there who may want to run for an office or simply request more information about the Texas LP, please contact the state party at www.tx.lp.org. Meanwhile, you can read through the latest update letter below:


Dear Texas Libertarian:

The candidate filing deadline is rapidly approaching, and so is our party’s end-of-year campaign finance reporting date.

Please return your Candidate Preference sheet and make a financial contribution today as well. If you aren’t yet a member, now is a great time to join.

Our 2007 fundraising is right on track for the first three quarters. We need a strong final quarter to meet our budget.

LP Texas 2005 2006 2007 (budget) 2007 Q1-Q3
Revenue $58,410 $110,227 $102,000 $75,746
Expenses $48,410 $115,570 $90,000 $54,120

Our revenue budget for 2007 is lower than 2006 because typically it’s easier to raise funds in even-numbered years, which are election years with lots of candidates that generate excitement.

However, if by some chance we’re able to beat our 2006 revenue in 2007, that would be significant news and prove to the public and ourselves that we are experiencing strong growth.

(For those of you following the Ron Paul for President campaign, you probably know what I mean when I describe how fundraising success builds excitement and attracts media attention. It wasn’t what Ron Paul did with the money that made news, it was the fact itself that he raised so much money.)

I have a feeling we might surpass the 2006 level because recently our State Chair, Pat Dixon, started working the phones to raise large donations so we can hire a third staff member for 2008.

We’ll be busy in 2008 with lots of campaign activity going on, and with a third staff member we’ll be able to provide more service than ever to our candidates and county organizations.

Additionally, I’ve served as Executive Director for over three years now, and I might be leaving after the November 2008 elections. I want to have plenty of time to train new staff to ensure a smooth transition should I return to the private sector.

Whether or not Pat succeeds in raising enough money for a third staff member, we still need your financial help. Please send in the reply sheet with your contribution.

Candidate Recruitment

Thanks to our highly successful “25-City Candidate Roundup Tour”, our candidate recruitment is going strong. We’re already ahead of where we were at this time two years ago. We have over 40 candidates confirmed. But our goal is 250 candidates nominated in 2008 (we had 168 in 2006), so we have a long way to go.

Will you be a candidate? Running for office is one of the most effective ways to help build our party and get our message of more freedom and less government out to the public.

While some of our candidates run full-fledged campaigns geared at winning, other candidates don’t have the time or resources to run a big campaign.

That’s okay. We need you to be on the ballot even if you can’t spend a single dime on your campaign. If you tell us you’re willing to be on the ballot, but you won’t be able to run an active campaign, that’s fine. If someone else with bigger intentions comes along, we’ll let you know in case you want to step aside for that person.

If you want to see how having lots of candidates helps us, go to the “In the News” page on our website. You’ll see hundreds of news stories from 2006. These news stories covered our candidates all over Texas. Some of the stories from the beginning of 2006 were simply reporting on the fact that we had so many candidates.

Most of these candidates did not run active campaigns, but many of them were still covered by the media. They often had an opportunity to get a quote about liberty into the newspaper that they would never have gotten if they weren’t candidates.

The deadline to file is 5 PM on January 2, 2008, so tell us right away if you’re interested so we can get an application to you. Just fill out the enclosed candidate preference sheet.

Results of 25-City Candidate Roundup Tour

Our 25-City Candidate Roundup Tour was a big success and I’m exhausted! Pat Dixon and I visited 25 Texas cities in nine weekends and met with over 300 Libertarians and newcomers.

Pat has a full-time job, yet he took nine weekends in a row to travel all the way from Beaumont to El Paso, as far north as Amarillo and south as Brownsville, and lots of places in between. Texas is a huge state!

At these meetings, we explained the Libertarian Party and our party’s progress over the last several years. We answered many questions, and distributed a lot of literature and bumper stickers.

Many of the people who attended told us they really appreciated our visit, and often several people would stay after the meeting and discuss how they could improve their local organization.

We were especially pleased that we came across two more elected Libertarians we previously did not know about.

We met Larry Bush at our Temple (Bell County) meeting and found out he was elected to the Jarrell City Council on May 12, 2007. And, from a phone call to invite folks to the Amarillo meeting, we found out Brett Hall is currently serving as president of Miami Independent School District, and was first elected to the Miami ISD Board in November 2001.

I think this Roundup Tour was a great way to promote and strengthen our party throughout Texas, and I hope we’ll be able to do it again in future years.

An Update on the Ron Paul Campaign

Presidential Candidate Ron Paul continues to exceed many people’s expectations. Ron Paul was the Libertarian Party nominee for President in 1988. Since then, he has been elected to the U.S. Congress from Texas District 14 as a Republican, and he is currently seeking the Republican Party nomination for President.

Some Libertarian Party members have been supporting Ron Paul’s campaign as a donor or volunteer, as I have.

But remember, Texas election law prohibits anyone who votes in the 2008 primaries from participating with the Libertarian Party as a candidate, a county chair, or a convention delegate. (This does not apply to National Convention delegates.)

Clyde Garland, an activist from Brazos County, suggested that if you want to support Ron Paul, you can do a lot more to support him by running for office than you would by simply giving him one vote in the primary.

Why? As in individual, you have one voice and one vote. But as a Libertarian Party candidate for public office, you can use your bully pulpit to let people know you support Ron Paul. (Only if you wish to — I recognize some Libertarians do not support Ron Paul for President.)

Some Libertarians have worried that Ron Paul’s presidential campaign will hurt the Libertarian Party by taking away from our fundraising efforts and candidate recruitment. I respectfully disagree.

We may be losing some old donors, but we’re also gaining new members and new donors, and I’m sure some of the new interest in the LP is a result of Ron Paul’s campaign. Long term, I expect the Libertarian Party will benefit greatly from Ron Paul’s publicity for libertarian ideas.

Just think of all the liberty-loving people who Ron Paul’s campaign is bringing out of the shadows. If we can identify who these folks are, it will benefit our party tremendously.

Frankly, I think activists from some other states, whose efforts haven’t been as successful as they’d like, may just be using Ron Paul’s campaign as an excuse for their own failures. I don’t care for that attitude.

Whether Ron Paul’s presidential campaign is helping, hurting, or having no effect on the Libertarian party, here in Texas I’d like to encourage a “no excuses” mentality. We will succeed and grow through 2008, and we won’t make room for any excuses to slow us down.

2008 National Convention

The Libertarian National Convention will be held from May 22 to May 26, 2008 in Denver. That comes before our State Convention, which by Texas state law has to be held on the second Saturday in June (June 14, 2008).

Normally the delegates from Texas to the national convention would be selected at our state convention. But since the national convention comes first, our bylaws require that the delegates shall be chosen by an open meeting of the State Executive Committee.

That meeting is tentatively planned to be in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Saturday, February 2, 2008. An official notice of the time and location will be posted on our website LPTexas.org and communicated via our monthly e-newsletter, Lone Star Liberty, which you can sign up for on our website.

If you’d like to be nominated as a delegate to the National Convention, indicate that at the bottom of the enclosed reply form. You’re not required to attend the February 2 meeting as long as we have your name in advance. You can also contact someone on the State Executive Committee to let them know. Members of the State Executive Committee are listed here: http://lptexas.org/leadership.shtml.

We expect to be able to send about 70 delegates to the National Convention. (The exact number will be determined in January 2008.) For more information about the convention, look here: http://www.lpconvention.org.

The Libertarian Party of Texas has become one of the strongest Libertarian state parties in the country. (Some people think we’re the strongest.) I want us to become even stronger.

I hope you feel the same way. The best thing you can do to help right now is to sign up to be a candidate and/or make a donation to the party.

If you are already a dues-paying member, please consider making an additional contribution and increasing your membership level. (Remember, we receive no financial support from the National Libertarian Party. We depend entirely on direct contributions from you.)

If you are already a monthly pledger, please consider increasing your monthly pledge amount.

We did so well in 2006, and I’m committed to reaching a higher level in 2008. Please respond to us today!

Sincerely,

Wes Benedict
Executive Director, Libertarian Party of Texas
director(at)lptexas.org

P.S. Rush back your contribution and Candidate Preference sheet in the enclosed envelope today. You can visit our website at LPTexas.org to contribute as well.

P.P.S. Call me to discuss the possibility of running for office. I’ll address any of your concerns and convince you it is something you ought to try. Call any time 8 AM to 10 PM, 7 days a week at 512-442-4910.



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