LPF Calls for An End To Violence and An End To Violent Government Response

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 3, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

KEY WEST, Fla. – Like most Americans, we watched in deep sadness as the sad events unfolded this weekend following George Floyd’s brutal death under the knee of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. What began as noisy, non-violent protests quickly devolved into violence, looting, and the all-to-familiar excessive law enforcement response. Now there are more deaths, both protesters and law enforcement.

We share the anger and outrage over this senseless death. No person should ever die while in the custody of law enforcement. While law enforcement officers certainly may defend themselves against injury, their job is not to protect themselves, it is to uphold the common law and to protect individuals from harm.

This past weekend, the son of Miami-Dade Libertarian Party Chair Marialexandra Garcia and his friend attended the protests in downtown Miami. As the gathering grew increasingly violent, Miami-Dade police started firing rubber pellets and tear-gas into the assembled.  During the confusion that followed, the friend was struck in the throat by a rubber pellet and may need surgery. Just for holding a sign.

Damage to private property is no way to vent anger in response to wrongful acts. Vandalism and Looting are crimes. Ace Hardware, Target and AT&T were among more than 300 businesses damaged or looted in Minneapolis last weekend. Not one of those businesses or their staff killed George Floyd. Not one.

We understand the anger in the face of overwhelming injustice. This pattern of systemic suppression of African Americans repeats itself from the horrors of slavery right through to recent deaths at the hands of law enforcement. There remain few hammers out of poverty for African Americans, and little recourse against excessive and even brutal policing. Even the person’s right to seek civil damages against unconstitutional police acts was stripped by the courts in the 1970s.

These protests are nothing new for many of us. We saw the same images on grainy televisions back in the late 1960s when African Americans tried to break through those poverty walls during the Civil Rights Era. Peaceful, non-violent protests often grew into looting and burning followed by militaristic police responses. Today, we may have better TV Screens, but they still show the same images.

 

Little Recourse

Victims of violent policing have little recourse. The Civil Rights Act of 1871 was supposed to provide the public civil recourse against the unconstitutional wrongdoings of public officials, including law enforcement.[i] However, the law had many loopholes and was often difficult to uphold.[ii] Even some court decisions in the 1960s reinforced citizen’s ability to sue law enforcement.[iii] Yet those legal protections were effectively gutted in the mid-1970s when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the concepts of “qualified” and “absolute” immunity from lawsuits.[iv]

In essence, the Supreme Court held that absolute immunity shields prosecutors and other officials from being sued while performing their duties, regardless of their honesty or the ramifications.[v] Qualified immunity protects police from brutality lawsuits as long as they were performing their duties in good faith. It required the plaintiff to prove systemic misconduct; an isolated act of misdeed was protected. This was a pretty large loophole that freed many police regardless of death and damage from their acts.

 

A Start

On Monday, Libertarian Congressman Justin Amash (MI-3rd) proposed the Ending Qualified Immunity Act which would end the Supreme Court’s decisions to allow police qualified immunity from civil recourse to their actions. This would require the courts to stick more closely to the intent of 1871 act and grant citizens greater opportunities for remedy.

“The brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police is merely the latest in a long line of incidents of egregious police misconduct,” Amash wrote his colleagues this week. “This pattern continues because police are legally, politically, and culturally insulated from consequences for violating the rights of the people whom they have sworn to serve. That must change so that these incidents of brutality stop happening.”

The Libertarian Party of Florida endorses Amash’s proposal as a step to right decades of wrong. Since its creation in 1987, the LPF supports the civil rights of every man woman and child in the United States. The LPF supports the right of any person to peacefully speak out against what they believe is injustice and to seek relief when they believe they are wronged. We hope few will disagree.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

 

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References:

[i] https://definitions.uslegal.com/c/civil-rights-act-of-1871/

[ii] https://digitalcommons.law.uidaho.edu/idaho-law-review/vol54/iss3/1/,  p 6 -8

[iii] https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/365/167/

[iv] https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/416/232/

[v] https://digitalcommons.law.uidaho.edu/idaho-law-review/vol54/iss3/1/,  p 8




LPF Demands DeSantis Allow Bars and Night Clubs to Reopen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

Key West –

As most Florida businesses are opening the exception remains bars and night clubs serving alcohol. According to the market research organization IBISWorld, this impacts more than 3,000 Florida businesses which remain closed. Thousands of bar owners, waitstaff, bar staff, cooks, accountants, vendors and landlords are still out of work, denied incomes.

The Libertarian Party of Florida condemns this action. We see no evidence SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness) attacks establishments serving alcohol but not those which don’t. This is unfair and unequal treatment under the law since all businesses can practice social distancing and other safety policies.

Social distancing steps recommended by the CDC can work without denying Floridians their income and livelihood. You’ve already heard those steps many times: keep your distance from others, wear gloves and maybe a mask, wash your hands, and if you’re sick stay home. Those rational steps clearly contribute to emerging successes in South Korea, Japan and Finland. People who are now getting medical care before it becomes life-threatening. Mortality rates show signs of leveling as a result.

As peace-loving and educated folks, Libertarians everywhere in the world believe in informed free choice and responsible free will. Virtually all Libertarians do “the right thing” in this outbreak by approaching it as a medical safety issue, not a societal problem. We wash our hands, maybe wear gloves and masks to protect ourselves, our families and our friends, along with our business associates and customers. And yes, we want to make those choices ourselves without draconian government intrusion.

The LPF calls on Gov. DeSantis to allow all businesses to open and let Florida function again. Thousands of Floridians need to get back to work and should not be denied the opportunity of earning an income just because of their career choices.

 

– By Macy John, Staff Writer




Historic LP Online Convention Nominates Jorgensen, Cohen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 25, 2020
Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Libertarian Party of Florida congratulates Libertarian presidential running team Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen in the first-ever national political convention conducted solely online.

More than a thousand Libertarian Party delegates attended the two-day Convention this past weekend. The gathering ended Sunday but will be reconvened in in-person in Orlando for business meetings this July. Party veteran Jo Jorgensen was nominated as the Libertarian presidential nominee following four rounds of elimination voting. Jeremy “Spike” Cohen was chosen as her running mate after three rounds.

Steven Nekhaila

“This was a historic event that will go down in history as the combination of forward thinking and ingenuity to elect a Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominee in the age of COVID-19,” said LPF Chair Steven Nekhaila. “I am very proud of our Florida delegation and team for doing our part. I am also pleased with the support of the Libertarian National Committee staff for helping to make this a reality. We are excited to support our nominee’s and bring a third real option to constituents in all 50 States including Florida this November!”

A total of 54 Florida delegates and 16 alternates participated in the voting. Nationwide, 1,026 delegates voted to elect Jorgensen, a senior lecturer in psychology at Clemson University. Jorgensen, 63, was Harry Browne’s running mate in 1996. Florida delegates favored Georgia neighbor John Monds in early rounds, they supported party stalwart Vermin Supreme in the final round.

Floridians favored Cohen throughout the three vice-president ballots. Cohen, 37, was initially slated with presidential candidate Vermin Supreme. Supreme fell off the rounds and Cohen went on to the vice-presidential win.

For the most part, the two-day online event went smoothly. Some technical issues and confusion about participation persisted, but failed to prevent the thousands of votes.

“I think overall things went well for a first-time event,” said delegate Chris Jones, vice chair of the LPF Alachua County affiliate. “I think the Florida delegation did a phenomenal job using a separate app for communication and coordination. The Zoom interface definitely did leave much of the delegation somewhat out of the process.”

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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The LPF joins with American Revolution 2.0 to demand an end to DeSantis’ Safer at Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Libertarian Party of Florida endorses the American Revolution 2.0 March for Freedom and urges all Libertarians to join with them in Tallahassee May 1 to call for an immediate end to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Safer at Home” mandate. Growing numbers of organizations, along with state and local officials, are calling for an end to draconian shutdown which threatens more lives than COVID-19. More and more Americans will go hungry soon if they no longer have a job to support themselves. Currency will become increasingly worthless as more is printed to provide welfare to more and more Americans.

The AR 2.0 Florida Rally will be held May 1 at 2 pm on the steps of the State Capitol. Similar AR 2.0 rallies will be held nationwide that day. For more information, visit their webpage or their Facebook page.

Steven Nekhaila

“This economic destruction needs to end immediately,” says LPF Chairman Steven Nekhaila. “The longer this goes on, the deeper our economy will collapse. Jobs lost, employer’s door shuttered, bank accounts emptied, none of that is helping. The longer this goes on, the deeper we get. What does work is sensible adults going about their lives. Those sensible adults take responsibility their own health and the health of their loved ones while practicing safeguards from those who are irresponsible.”

Nekhaila said the LPF supports any call for the shutdown to end, but AR 2.0 stood out. “What impressed us about AR 2.0 is their commitment to safe distancing, face masks and other safeguards while raising their voices demanding for the state’s economy to open up.”

“We’re excited to have the Libertarians join us,” said AR 2.0 organizer Josh Ellis. “What we really want people to get out of this is that more and more people are realizing that government is not going to take care of them. They need to stand up and take care of themselves.”

Libertarians believe adults can think for themselves, even in a pandemic. Armed with information from their doctors, adults are free to protect themselves from the contagion, or defy it. Equally informed adults know not everyone is as cautious as they are so they know to safeguard themselves from those others. Only by having a healthy, thriving economy can Americans protect both their health and their livelihood.

Since 1974, the Libertarian Party of Florida stands for peaceful personal freedom. The LPF believes society functions best when individuals are free to make choices, not governments. The LPF webpage is www.lpf.org.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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LPFCon2020 Sets Pace for Vision 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 27, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
|chair@lpf.org

 

Orlando – Brisk winds were no match for the flames of freedom at the Libertarian Party of Florida’s Annual Convention and Business Meeting last weekend.

Nearly 100 LPF Members, including 74 voting delegates attended the two-day event featuring debates among nine LP candidates for President and Libertarian National Committee Chair, along with breakout sessions and LPF Officer Elections. Fifty-four LPF Delegates were chosen to represent Florida at the LP Presidential Nominating Convention in Austin this May.

“I was pleased with the energy and enthusiasm from members, what struck me this particular convention was the lack of intra-party schisms,” said party chairman Steven Nekhaila. “We united as the Underdogs and clearly are set out to shake up the political landscape. Our Party continues to grow more professional from the bottom to the top, and our mission is clear: become the centrifugal force of Liberty in Florida by effecting policy, getting Libertarians elected, and spreading the philosophy. The Libertarian Party’s core mission is to reduce the size, influence, and expenditures of all levels of government. Our ability to do so has never been better.”

The two-day event kicked off Friday night with the biting humour of C. Michael Pickens, Rob Wentz and Seminole County’s own Shaun Kunz.

But with no doubt, the highlight of the weekend was Saturday night’s LP Presidential Debate. A packed house had the opportunity to gain insight into nine of our LP presidential candidate’s stances. Coupled with light moments, the live stream has been viewed by more than 4,200 people.

“Winning the “toy soldier” ballot afterwards was Jacob Hornberger of Texas collecting more than 25% of the vote. A close second was John Monds of Georgia.

Hornberger, a lawyer from Texas, is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, a non-profit libertarian educational foundation. An author or co-editor and contributor of 17 books, his newest book is “My Passion for Liberty.”

Sunday’s morning’s debate among three candidates for LNC Chair: Mike Shipley, Joe Bishop-Henchman, and Joshua Smith. Smith, of California, was the attendees favorite.

The weekend was filled popular breakout sessions and guest speakers, including Saturday’s Liberty in Action presentation by Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe, Altamonte Springs Commissioner Jim Turney and Seminole County Commission candidate Andre Klass. Each spoke to the importance of Libertarian messaging whether serving in office or on the campaign trail.

“Libertarian candidates can have a message that resonates with voters so our challenge is to reach the voters with our message,” said Turney. “Canvassing precincts and meeting voters face-to-face is our path to success.”

Wes Benedict, former executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, presented a motivational if not challenging history of LP candidates elected over the years. It demonstrated Libertarians in non-party races get elected. The notes were in line with Nekhaila’s Vision 2020 which seeks to retain at least 10 elected LPF Members in office.

“Our work is cut out for us this year,” said Nekhaila,  “we have a lot on our plate to take advantage of the opportunities the Republicans and Democrats keep giving us, with further encroachments on our freedom and more and more disenfranchised voters looking for a political home and a third, principled option, the Libertarians stand proud. We are looking for volunteers to step up and help take us to the gold medal. We are seeking principled candidates to run in winnable elections to move forward Libertarian policy. And we are in need of enthusiastic Party members who can help form or grow a local affiliate to be the local beacon of Liberty in their counties. Please reach out to us if all of this appealing. If you do not have time to participate, your donations allow us to do all of the above and more, a monthly donation is the wind that keeps our sails consistently moving forward. As the only growing political party in the United States, we are the best investment you can make politically.”

Saturday and Sunday, Delegates elected their LPF team of officers for 2020. They are:

Chair: Steven Nekhaila (Current)

Vice-Chair: J Mark Barfield

Secretary: Ed Appler

Treasurer: John Olivadoti

Director At-Large 1: Suzanne Gilmore (Current)

Director At-Large 2: Davie Parrish

Director At-Large 3: Nivine Zakhari

Region 1: Spenser Garber

Region 4: Jordan Bosserman, Alternate 1: Joe Moraca

Region 5: Michael Cassidy, alt. David Salisbury

Region 7: Tegan Joseph, Alternate 1: Jonathan Loesche, Alternate : Jon-Luc Tesky

Region 8: Bryan Zemina, Alternate 1: Jon-Luc Tesky

Region 9: Donna Olivadoti, Alternate 1: Warren Clark

Region 11: John Thompson

Region 13: Lee Korotzer, Alternate 1: Omar Recuero, Alternate 2: Marc Tancer

Region 14: Josh Curtis, Alternate 1: Dennis Misigoy, Alternate 2: Mike Kane

Rules Committee: Tony Sellers (Chair), Philippe Cadorette and Chris Rose

 

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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MLK Day Parade Turns Sour for Columbia County LPF Candidate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 21, 2020

Contact: Kyle Green,
Candidate, Columbia County District 1
kylegreenforcommissioner@gmail.com

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

Kyle Green, Candidate for Columbia County District 1

 

Lake City, Fla. – When LPF Colombia County Commission Candidate Kyle Green arrived at the start of Lake City’s Martin Luther King Day Parade Monday morning, the last thing he expected was being accosted by his opponent’s wife. But that’s what he found.

“I wanted to be in the parade to show my civic pride,“ said Green, a Lake City salesman. “So many politicians show up to these events only to get votes. I wanted the public to know I care their community and Dr. King’s message.”

Green said soon after moving into position in his truck bearing his Vote Kyle Green for County Commissioner for District 1 “Breaking Barriers, Building Futures” sign, a man approached him questioning the sign. In a video of the confrontation, Green responds “It says ‘for county commissioner,’ it means I’m running for county commission.” “Oh,” the man said and walked away.

But after the man conferred with several people nearby, they began raising their voices. When Green asked about their concern, one woman is heard to say “It is a big issue because you’re not county commissioner of District 1.” The woman was Gwen Williams, wife of Green’s incumbent opponent Ron Williams. “I don’t give a damn if it says ‘to county commissioner, it is misleading.”

It is Mrs. Williams who sought to mislead. Florida Statute 106.143 clearly states that a non-incumbent, non-partisan candidate must use the word “for” and may not use the word “re-elect:”

Additionally, such advertisement must include the word “for” between the candidate’s name and the office for which the candidate is running, in order that incumbency is not implied.

Green said when he’d applied for the parade permit, he made it clear he was appearing as a candidate. His application was approved. Although Ron Williams later told the Lake City Reporter political advertising was not allowed in the parade, Green said he was never informed of that when his application was approved.

Green said it was obvious Mrs Reynolds wished to politicize an apolitical event. “It was clear she was unhappy to see an opponent.

Green says yesterday’s confrontation illustrates how out of touch local commissioners are with the public. Each commission district has a budget carry-over which is often used to curry favor with voters – and not respond to public need.  Williams supports increasing restrictions against firearm ownership and even gun seizures. “I’ve a had a lot of folks come up to me who said they used to support him, but now they support me because of that.”

Green is one of the leaders in Columbia County, along with Libertarian Party of Florida At-Large Director Davie Parish, seeking Columbia County to be declared an “A-2 Sanctuary” county to protect rightful gun ownership. Other campaign planks include cannabis decriminalization and local business development.

Green can be reached on Facebook @Kyle Green for Columbia County Commissioner, District 1 or the web at www.forcolumbiacounty.com. Green’s Facebook page includes Monday’s entire confrontation.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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LPF Committee Leadership Focused On Success

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 24, 2019
Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

KEY WEST, Fla. – Libertarian Party of Florida Chairman Steven Nekhaila said today how pleased he is at this year’s committee chair lineup.

“I am very excited to announce our lineup of Committee Chairs for the 2019 term, Nekhaila said today. “This team was handpicked based on professionalism, experience, and a results-oriented attitude. The Party’s leadership has never been stronger.”

The 2019 LPF Committees

Gilmore

Affiliate Support
Mission: To advise, assist, and document county affiliates, streamline and clarify rules for county affiliates, and create policies to streamline re-affiliation.

Suzanne Gilmore: Suzanne, an LP activist since the 1990s, served as LPF Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and now serves as Director At-Large 1 and member of the Audit and Membership Committees. A founder of the Miami-Dade LPF affiliate, Suzanne served as its original Treasurer. She has represented two South Florida regions. After a career spanning 33 years with the Miami-Dade Fire Department, Suzanne retired and turned her considerable skills and energy to the LPF.

 

Barfield

 

Audit
Mission: The committee shall work to ensure the proper reporting of LPF contributions and expenditures, to provide oversight to the LPF Treasurer position, and to provide overall accounting and budgeting support to the LPF and LPF committees.

J. Mark Barfield: “JMark” first registered as an LPF voter more than a dozen years ago before becoming a Libertarian activist in 2017 serving on the Legislative Review Committee, Chair of a county affiliate and Region 7 Representative. JMark was elected Director At-Large 3 this year and also serves on the Communications and Fundraising Committees. As Audit Committee Chair, the native Floridian brings to the table decades of experience in business and personal finance, and corporate process management.

 

Turney

Candidates
Mission: To create a network across the state of Florida and every local affiliate party to communicate with candidates and prospective candidates.

Jim Turney: Jim is a true elder statesman of the Libertarian Party, serving two terms as National Chair after founding the Libertarian Party of Virginia in 1978. A sitting City of Altamonte Springs Commissioner, Jim first ran for public office in 1980 in Virginia’s Third Congressional District following years as a Libertarian activist as volunteer on numerous campaigns. Jim is seeking re-election in addition to his LPF service.

 

 

Communications
Mission: To promote the state party to grow membership, candidates, activism and promote Libertarian issues using our website, social media, email as well as traditional grass roots mediums.

J. Mark Barfield: “JMark” from his newspaper, magazine and LPF bylines, has written dozens of press releases, letters and statements as LPF Staff Writer. JMark also offers writing and editing services to affiliates and candidates. As Communications Chair, JMark works with several Committees to assure information systems fulfill messaging needs within LPF budget while overseeing a busy news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram writing team.

 

Olivadoti

Convention
Mission: To plan and host a successful annual convention and business meeting for the Libertarian Party of Florida.

John Olivadoti: John became an activist after college and joined the Libertarian Party of Florida in 2017. In the following year, John ran for a seat on the Brevard Soil and Water Conversation District and staged state park cleanups. John brings to the Convention table years of managerial experience brings the perfect skillset to serve the LPF. John said with careful planning, budgeting and team collaboration will make Convention 2020 a huge success for the LPF.

 

Golob

Fundraising
Mission: Charged with planning and implementing creative, cost-effective fundraising methods, and informational materials and merchandise for the party.

Marc Golob: Marc is a native Floridian born and raised in Miami. Professionally, Marc wears many hats in the music industry including performing, promoting and music retail. He is the owner of J9 Sound and Lighting. Marc became a Libertarian 1994 when a friend gave him the book Libertarianism In One Lesson and continues to be active in his local affiliate since 2013. Marc was a founding member of Call FM, a non for profit radio network, along with volunteering for several charities and faith-based organizations.

 

Gillis

Legislative Action
Mission: The function of the committee is to review, summarize, and draft LPF policy on proposed legislation during session.

Larry Gillis: Larry practiced mostly criminal law in New Hampshire for more than 30 years. During that time, Larry was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives for two terms. During his term, Larry served as chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Justice. Since moving to Florida in 2008, Larry registered as Libertarian in 2014 and served as vice-chair of the Lee County affiliate since 2016. Larry served as Lee delegate to the LPF conventions in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

 

Zakhari

Membership
Mission: Responsible for increasing the membership in the LPF and for increasing the LP voter registration.

Nivine Zakhari: Nivine is an attorney and technology consultant in Tampa. A native of Largo, she spent 20 years in Houston before returning home to Florida. Nivine took an interest in economics and politics at an early age, identifying more as a conservative for some time while gradually becoming more active in libertarian groups. She became a Life Member of the Libertarian Party in 2016. Nivine holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Houston, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center and a Master of Theological Studies from Regent University.

 

Moser

Platform
Mission: To clearly present the ideas of liberty to which we as a party ascribe and expect to be held accountable.

Cody Moser: Cody is a freelance writer and research psychologist. First registering to vote as Libertarian, Chair of the Okaloosa affiliate and Region 2 Representative. Cody writes for Quillette and Areo magazines and runs a popular blog about anthropology, genetics, and human behavior. As Platform Chair, Cody found an outlet to both write and moderate Libertarian philosophical differences to arrive a synthesis without giving up hard-line principles.

 

 

Cadorette

Rules
Mission: The Rules Committee is responsible for interpreting the Constitution and By-Laws based on current Florida Statutes.

Philippe Cadorette: A registered Libertarian since age 19, Philippe cast his first presidential preference vote for Harry Browne in 1999. In 2010, Philippe was an activist for the Alex Snitker U.S. Senate campaign. You’ll often find Philippe demonstrating for Second Amendment rights throughout Florida. A surgical equipment installer, Philippe brings that razor-sharp attention to detail to Rules. As an anarcho-capitalist, Philippe says society doesn’t need rulers, but it does need rules. As Rules Chair, Philippe seeks to demonstrate Libertarians are fit to govern by first proving we can successfully govern ourselves.

 

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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2019 LPF Annual Convention Success, New Slate of Officers Elected

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 12, 2018

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

 

TAMPA – Delegates and guests alike declare last weekend’s 2019 Libertarian Party of Florida Annual Convention a huge success.

“It was one of the most professional state Libertarian conventions I’ve attended,” said C. Michael Pickens, coach, lecturer and host of Friday Night’s Banquet Roast. “The Libertarian Party of Florida is making great strides to advance liberty and it’s apparent by the quality of their last convention and the sheer number of elected Libertarians in the state.”

LP National Committee Vice Chair Alex Merced agreed. “The Florida State Convention has been one of the most ambitious and smoothly run political events of any kind I’ve been to in years and a true sign of a mature organization primed to make impact for years to come.”

Incoming LPF Chair Steven Nekhaila of Key West said the Convention attendees made the success.

“What really tied it all together was the attendance of our Florida Libertarian family,” Nekhaila said. “We had stellar attendance with many new faces showing up for their first convention.”

Steven Nekhaila

An estimated 140 attendees attended one of the dozen events. Events included a debate between announced LP presidential candidates Adam Kokesh, Arvin Vohra and Souraya Faas. Lectures and panel discussions featured Tom Woods, Jeff Deist, Walter Block, Joshua Smith, Caryn Ann Harlos and Nekhaila.

Harlos, LP National Committee Secretary, said she was pleased to see the advancements Florida has made.

“I spent over four decades in Florida before transplanting to Colorado, and as such, being invited to speak at the LPF convention was a special honour to me,” she said. “The convention was professionally done and all of the members friendly. There is a tremendous libertarian fire in their bellies, and I wish I had discovered libertarianism while I still lived in Florida so that I could have worked daily with such wonderful and diverse people.”

Smith, an LNC At-Large Member, agreed – Florida got it right.

“The 2019 LPF state convention was the most professional and well put together state convention I have ever been to, and I traveled to 26 states and 17 state conventions last year,” Smith said. “Everything from the breakout sessions to the meals, and the lighting was superb. I can’t wait to see what they pull off in 2020, and I hope all other states will watch the footage and strive for the same.”

OFFICERS ELECTED

Nearly a completely new Executive Committee was elected Saturday morning. They are:

  • Chairman: Steven Nekhaila
  •  Vice Chairman: Spenser Garber
  •  Secretary: Brandi Hicks (Returning)
  •  Treasurer: David Salisbury
  •  Director At-Large 1: Suzanne Gilmore
  •  Director At-Large 2: Larry Gillis
  •  Director At-Large 3: J Mark Barfield
  •  Regional Representative 1: Julia Hall
  •  Regional Representative 2: Cody Moser
  •  Regional Representative 3: Jonathan McCue
  •  Regional Representative 4: Davie Parrish
  •  Regional Representative 5: Addison Patrick
  •  Regional Representative 6: Ashley McCoy
  •  Regional Representative 7: Tegan Joseph
  •  Regional Representative 8: Bryan Zemina
  •  Regional Representative 9: John Olivadoti
  •  Regional Representative 10: Stephen Aiken
  •  Regional Representative 11: Shawn Elliott (Returning)
  •  Regional Representative 12: David DeForest
  •  Regional Representative 13: Lee Korotzer
  •  Regional Representative 14: Josh Curtis

 

Returning Region 11 Representative Shawn Elliott said he’s looking forward to a great year. excited to work with the new team.

“I’m excited to be a part of the new EC,” said Elliott. “Steven has done a great job of fixing our treasurer issues and Spencer is very focused and committed to continuing to move the party in the right direction. Very exciting times for Libertarians in Florida.”

 

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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Florida Gun Rights Activist Joins LPF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2019
Contact: Chris Rose II
Director At-Large 2, Libertarian Party of Florida
atlarge2@lpf.org

 

OCALA, Fla – Dennis Fields, Region 4 Representative for Florida Carry, became the latest Republican to switch his voter registration over to Libertarian Party of Florida Saturday.

Dennis Fields (L,) Chris Rose II (R)

Fields, an activist and an avid defender of the right to bear arms, said his party had already left him. “Republicans are now Democrats. I’m tired of the GOP screwing me without lube,” he said.

Fields’ Region 4 includes Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Putnam, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties.

Fields, along with LPF Director At-Large 2 Chris Rose II and other LPF members attended an open-carry event here this weekend. A hot topic of the event was the 2018 Republican-dominated Florida Legislature’s passing of Senate Bill 7026, which created “red flag” laws and raised the minimum age to purchase any firearm to 21.

“Dennis and I combined on all three of the protest events in Tallahassee last year,” said Rose. “The Libertarian Party of Florida was the only political Party in the State to actively oppose the passing of SB7026, from its inception in Committee, to its final passing on the Senate floor. I am overjoyed to now have Mr. Fields as a member of the LPF, and I expect we will be working a lot more together.”

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Libertarian Party of Florida Supports Elimination of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority

MIAMI – The Libertarian Party of Florida said today it supports elimination of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and merging the Miami-Dade’s toll-burdened system into Florida’s Turnpike.

Miralles

“Time and time again, we see well-intended government-funded projects so poorly managed, that drastic measures are needed to keep them functioning,” says LPF Chairman Marcos Miralles. Miralles noted Virgin Group CEO Sir Richard Branson announced recently he is seeking to acquire interest in the South Florida “Bright Line” rail system.

“If public transportation in South Florida can attract leading investors such as Branson to improve service while making a profit, then the option is there to do the same with MDX,” said Miralles.

Criticism of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, known as “MDX” has continued to grow since its inception more than 25 years ago. Heavily burdened with debt and increasing traffic, the system has struggled to keep up. “MDX has become more of a financial burden than a benefit to our community,” says Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah.

Avila, along with state Sen. Manny Diaz. Jr., R-Hialeah Gardens, wants to dissolve the MDX and merge its road system with the Florida Turnpike. And they propose to eliminate all Miami-Dade tolls once debts are paid off. The proposals, Diaz’ CS/SB 898 and Avila’s CS/HB 385, are in committee review.

To counter the Avila-Diaz bills, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez wants to merge the non-profitable MDX with the revenue rich 48-mile section of the Florida Turnpike located in Dade County. Gimenez, who is also chairman of the MDX, wants to create a new Dade County expressway authority to oversee all toll roads in Dade County. Gimenez says his plan would allow tolls to be frozen for 20 years.

The LPF believes Gimenez’ proposal would create a new entity even more deeply burdened with debt and maintenance expenses. We doubt such a plan would prevent tolls from rising. The LPF supports privatization of all public transportation. But until that day comes, the Libertarian Party of Florida endorses the Avila–Diaz plan to dissolve MDX and merge its road system with the Florida Turnpike.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer