- Our Party
Posted on Oct 27, 2008
Dear Libertarian Supporter,
Every four years, generally from the end of May until the beginning of November, the Libertarian Party turns full-tilt into "presidential-campaign mode," when the majority of our efforts are spent finishing up a grueling ballot access drive and gaining the most exposure from a presidential run. The earned media—that is, media we did not directly pay for—during a presidential year usually means national media exposure for the Party that we otherwise do not get. This, of course, transcends into more candidates, more members and more money until the cycle repeats itself.
With what appears to be the strongest showing the Libertarian Party has ever had in a presidential race, judging by this earned media alone, I think it is safe to say we can expect tremendous results in the coming few years.
But what happens November 5? Where do we go from there? What do we want to see going into 2012?
It never hurts to start planning early, and a quick jump on the gains we've made in the 2008 presidential season is the best way to take full advantage of everything we've worked for. Without actually knowing the election results, it's hard to say what we're going to be working with come November 5, but the intial results so far are very promising..
We've had an explosion of membership, and the increases have only continued as we edge closer to Election Day. Our acting Executive Director, Robert Kraus, tells me we've had 3,393 new members since May, compared to 1,417 during the same time four years ago. This is a 10.6 percent growth, whereas in 2004, we grew during this time only 2.2 percent.
Likewise, fundraising has been better than normal. We've raised nearly $40,000 more than we did in 2004.
This increase and membership and funding will serve the Libertarian Party well in the period between presidential elections.
But it's not just about membership and fundraising (though these two things are awfully important). The amount of votes we get in November for president will help us tremendously in retaining ballot access in many states.
In a previous issue of LP News, we told you that achieving even 2.5 percent of the vote will save us at least $250,000 in ballot access costs, and thousands of volunteer hours. Should he break 5 percent, the savings will be much, much more. Every Libertarian should be voting for our presidential candidate because every vote goes towards helping out the Party in 2012, and the support of our candidate is great support for our party.
In the next few years, I'd like to see more attention to developing our state affiliates into potent political entities. There are already some great examples of strong, active and influential state parties. The Libertarian Parties of Texas, Georgia and Indiana are but three of many strong state parties that run many candidates and have a significant impact in their state's politics. We must train and guide other state chairs who need help with things such as recruitment, lobbying, media and any of the other important functions our state affiliates can play. As our state affiliates grow in effectiveness, so will the Libertarian Party as a whole.
We must also look to strengthen our grassroots effort at the state level. We can do this by increasing communication between the volunteer coordinator at the national office and our state affiliates. By always having some task that needs to be done, we can make our volunteers feel useful and needed at any time. Keeping this momentum up will only increase their participation in presidential elections.
The last thing we must do is work together to grow the party by getting Libertarians elected and pushing public policy in a Libertarian direction. We are, after all, a political party, and many of the internal disagreements have distracted us from this main focus. We don't need consensus on every issue, nor do we need to agree about every nuance of every argument; however, we do need cooperation among all members on finding the best candidates in every state, and working to get them elected.
By failing to function as a political party, which seeks to elected people to public office, we lose our meaning and our purpose. The libertarian movement relies on the Libertarian Party to see that candidates get elected, and public policy gets influenced. We've already seen the wonderful impact of Libertarians in places like Lee County, FL, where a group of Libertarians took over a Soil and Water Conservation Board and cut wasteful spending. We need to see this type of thing on a daily basis from Libertarians—as it is something that ALL Libertarians can stand behind.
In these next four years, we should aim to have the highest fundraising, membership and candidate goals in the history of our party. I predict our presidential ticket will give us an excellent foundation on which to build, and it is up to us, the Libertarian Party workers, to build a mansion of liberty in which we will eventually live.
If you would like to help us make this foundation even stronger, please consider a generous donation of $25, $50, $100 or $1,000 dollars today. These important contributions will put us in a good position to start working towards the 2010 and 2012 elections.
If you would like to consider running for office, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about what to do.
Libertarian National Committee
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