Sept. 12, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida


ORLANDO – Noted Libertarian author Tom Woods and Libertarian Party National Vice Chair Alex Merced will be featured speakers at a fundraiser for the Libertarian Party of Florida in October.

The fundraiser will be held Saturday, Oct. 13 2018 in Orlando. Tickets are $55 until Sept. 28, when they will be $60.

Woods hosts the popular The Tom Woods Show podcast and author of a dozen books on the economy and conservative philosophy. Among them are bestsellers Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.

A frequent guest on national television, Woods also appears regularly on radio programs, including National Public Radio, the Dennis Miller Show, the Michael Reagan Show, the Dennis Prager Show, and the Michael Medved Show.

Woods holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. He is a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and a member of the editorial board for the Institute’s Libertarian Papers. Woods moved to Central Florida from Kansas in 2016.

Merced is an author, blogger, marketing consultant and financial industry corporate trainer. In 2008, Merced started his YouTube channel to introduce Libertarian ideas such as individual liberty and free markets. Merced also curated many of his videos at, and In 2016, Merced started Merliva LLC, a consulting company for social media marketing. Merced is a graduate of Bowling Green State University where he got his bachelor’s in Popular Culture studies.

Merced was elected as Vice Chair at the 2018 New Orleans National Convention. His past service includes Media Chair of the Manhattan Libertarian Party in 2018 and bids for state office. Merced is senior policy advisor to the Larry Sharpe gubernatorial campaign and currently lives in New York.

The event is scheduled for Oct. 13 at Cuba Libre Restaurant, Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Dr, Orlando. Tickets are here:–alex-merced-2138717556.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer


Sept. 18, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

MIAMI – The Libertarian Party of Florida recommends a NO vote for the following Amendment:

Amendment 6 – Creates constitutional rights for victims of crime; requires courts to facilitate victims’ rights; authorizes victims to enforce their rights throughout criminal and juvenile justice processes. Requires judges and hearing officers to independently interpret statutes and rules rather than deferring to government agency’s interpretation. Raises mandatory retirement age of state justices and judges from seventy to seventy-five years; deletes authorization to complete judicial term if one-half of term has been served by retirement age.

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform


  1. The common law authority of a trial by jury preceded our constitution and is the foundation of our legal system. If a jury of peers deems a law unjust, oppressive or inappropriately applied, it has the right and duty to acquit the defendant. We support the right of defendants to a fully informed jury, which would require judges to instruct jurors of their authority to judge not only the facts, but also the justice of the law according to their own good consciences.
  2. We support restitution for victims of crimes or civil infractions at the expense of the perpetrator. The victim should have the right to pardon the perpetrator, provided the victim is not threatened or coerced.
  3. Private adjudication of disputes by mutually acceptable judges or mediators should be encouraged.
  4. No-fault laws should be repealed because they deprive the victim of the right to recover damages from those responsible for causing harm.
  5. The right of trial by jury should be allowed in all civil or criminal cases where the value exceeds one oz of gold.
  6. The use of civil asset forfeiture to enforce laws circumvents constitutional protections and should be ended.
  7. Random police roadblocks and other searches without probable cause bypass constitutional protections and should be prohibited.
  8. We support equal treatment and oppose sexual discrimination in any judicial proceeding adjudicating a parental right, privilege or obligation concerning his or her child.

Because Amendment 6 has three unique proposals, we looked at each one individually, starting with the one that’s probably best known, “Marsy’s Law.”


Marsy’s Law (Proposal 96:) This component of Amendment 6 has a lot to like about it. It substantially expands the rights of victims, assures they’re involved in the prosecution process and increases protection from harassment from the defendant. We agree these are important and needed but there are also some troubling components of this proposal that may take away the rights of the accused so we oppose it. Two of these were noted by Florida Constitutional Revision Commission reviewers:

• “The right to privacy, which includes the right to refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request by the defense or anyone acting on the defendant’s behalf, and to set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interaction to which the victim consents.” This suggests the victim may refuse providing important testimony to the defendant and the defendant’s counsel. We believe this is a violation of due process and might lead to wrongful convictions if some important bit of the victim’s testimony is not presented.

• “The right to full and timely restitution in every case and from each convicted offender for all losses suffered, both directly and indirectly, by the victim as a result of the criminal conduct.” We agree victims should receive restitution from those convicted of crimes against them. Convictions can be overturned. This proposal does not address the rights of the wrongfully-convicted should their sentences be overturned. Will the victim have to pay the wrongly-convicted person back, with interest? Prop. 96 is silent to this.

Next, we look at the second component of Amendment 6 which would raise the retirement age of judges.

Judicial Retirement Age (Proposal 41:) This would raise the age of required judicial retirement from 70 to 75. It would also prevent judges from serving out their terms beyond the retirement age. We don’t agree the retirement age should be increased as it would allow these public employees to accumulate more retirement benefits at a cost to taxpayers. Judges should not be allowed to complete their terms well beyond their retirement for the same reason.
Finally, we look at the third element of Amendment 6, which would require judges to interpret laws regardless of public reviews.

Judicial Interpretation (Proposal 6:) This proposal would require judges to interpret state laws and regulations, regardless of the state’s own interpretations of them. Judges are now required to give preference to the state’s interpretations of laws. State rules and regulations go through a comprehensive state agency and public “rulemaking” review process before they are put into practice. Judges are beholden to that rulemaking. While the existing process is far from perfect, it does allow for the public’s review and input. This proposal would strip away the public’s concerns in favor of any single judge’s interpretation. We believe this opens the door to too many problems, from poor differing judgements to costly legal expenses. We oppose this proposal.



The Libertarian Party of Florida applauds citizens who come forward to recommend changes to their Constitution. Amendment 6 illustrates the state’s FCRC ballot initiative system is horribly broken. If we could, we would approve Proposal 41, and oppose Proposals 96 and 6. We can’t. There’s got to be a better way.

The LPF wants to see citizens, not politicians, elect the “super-majority” of FCRC members. The LPF urges all proposals are presented separately so voters can make decisions they desire, not those that are steered by political appointees.

By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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August 29, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

MIAMI – The Libertarian Party of Florida recommends YES of the following Amendment:

Amendment 5 – Prohibits the legislature from imposing, authorizing, or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature in a bill containing no other subject. This proposal does not authorize a state tax or fee otherwise prohibited by the Constitution and does not apply to fees or taxes imposed or authorized to be imposed by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.

Libertarian Party of Florida Platform


  1. We advocate a sunset law requiring an automatic end to most government offices, agencies, departments, laws, regulations, taxes, and expenditures within ten years if not reauthorized.


  1. The legislature should find more voluntary means of supporting state services, such as lotteries and user fees.
  2. Taxation of privately owned real property should be eliminated. In effect, it makes the state the owner of all lands by forcing individuals to pay rent to the state or forfeit their title.
  3. The personal property tax on Florida businesses should be repealed.
  4. Tax favoritism should be illegal. Abatements, subsidies, credits, or other incentives to businesses based on geographical area, job creation, or any other criteria deny equal protection under the law.
  5. Sales tax on used merchandise that is resold results in double taxation and should be eliminated.
  6. Adding sales tax to products already subject to specific state taxes, such as gasoline and cigarettes, should be ended. This practice results in double taxation, as consumers are paying a tax on a tax.
  7. We oppose any sales or use tax on the Internet.


    Providing for the needy by forcibly taxing others is contrary to the legitimate function of government, which is to protect the rights of everyone. Disbursing charity from a welfare system costs society more than it gains. It is inefficient, open to fraud and abuse, and creates resentment. Traditional, voluntary sources of emergency support from families, churches, and private charities have always been more humane, more effective, and willingly borne by the givers. Therefore, until the income tax is repealed, we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions to encourage a transition from public welfare to private support.


This Amendment represents the greatest leap forward in decades to constrain state government spending, often described as “out of control.” By imposing a two-thirds “supermajority” vote requirement on taxes and fee increases, voters send the message to the Florida Legislature they do not want any taxation and levies unless it truly important. We’d like to see it harder for lawmakers to raise taxes and fees, a 75 percent approval even, but this is a start.

What this proposal doesn’t do is block new taxes or fees. Nor does it require taxes and fees to be reduced. As long as we have a two-party system lock on the Legislature and a voting public that doesn’t feel they have options, we will still get “government business as usual” with this Amendment. A majority of one party may simply coalesce into a consensus to pass their pork-filled packages. While a supermajority requirement will indeed force negotiations between the two parties, they still will produce pork, just in slightly different barrels.

Many cities and counties already have two-thirds restrictions on new taxes and fees. We want to move in the direction of no new taxes for all levels of government without voter approval. For now, this is a healthy start in what hopefully will become a journey back to our origins of free-will governance.

By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer
— 30 —


August 23, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida


MIAMI – The Libertarian Party of Florida recommends YES of the following Amendment:

Amendment 4 – This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.


Libertarian Party of Florida Platform


Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.


People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.



  1. State prison facilities should be used only for the incarceration of individuals who have proven themselves a threat to others.



  1. Government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs, and sexual relations between consenting adults. All those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes should be pardoned and their records expunged.


The LPF Executive Committee strongly believes we are individuals, sovereign over our own lives and not subjects of the state. This endorsement of Amendment 4 fully embraces those who “paid their debt to society” by successfully completing any criminal adjudication made against them. In short, once someone completes their sentence, including any parole and restitution, they must be allowed to resume participation as fully free citizens: free of any legal restraint, social bias or systemic strings.

Most Floridians agree with our recommendation. Recent polls suggest nearly three quarters of potential voters will support Amendment 4. This is an increase from May, when just over 60 percent of Florida voters supported the proposal. A minimum of 60 percent approval is required for Amendment 4 to pass.

We don’t believe many felons, current and former, should have been convicted at all. The LPF opposes a system that incriminates non-violent actions involving one or more individuals. We do believe if someone feels wronged, either personally or financially, they have every right to pursue civil redress. These are decisions to be made among responsible individuals, not the state.

Restoring voting rights is really just one step to grant former felons the opportunity to return as fully active members in their community. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live and work anywhere without bias and discrimination. We must assure there are no obstacles to former felons becoming law-abiding citizens. This includes abolishing any laws requiring ex-convicts to declare their conviction history on job applications, residency, etc.

Amendment 4 would grant former felons the opportunity to serve as advocates of their own interests. They can expose areas needing reform in our criminal justice system and with their vote, join us all in correcting them.

We look forward to the day when all individuals are free to pursue their own self-interest without violating the freedom of one another. Amendment 4 is but one step in that direction.


  • Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

— XXX —

August 23, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida


MIAMI – In November, Florida voters will be asked to make 13 important decisions. These issues range from the complicated to the simple. But the choices you will be forced to make are not all simple.

But in fact, voters will be asked to make 24 separate decisions. This is because the Florida Constitution Revision Commission had few restrictions on the proposals it placed on the ballot. Citizen proposals must first be filtered through a “super-majority” vote of 22 of the 37 political appointees on the FCRC. The FCRC then combined proposals based along the thinnest of lines.

As a result, most of the FCRC proposals contain two or three unrelated topics, a practice they called “bundling.” We call it “bunk.” These combinations can vary comically such as choosing ban both offshore drilling ban and indoor “vaping.” These are clearly unrelated and many voters may support one but not the other. Many Florida voters will face such conflicting choices they may skip over some ballot items altogether.

The Libertarian Party of Florida applauds citizens who come forward to recommend changes to their Constitution. But 2018 illustrates the current ballot initiative system is horribly broken. There’s got to be a better way.

The LPF urges the FCRC to be revamped to have the citizens elect the “super-majority” of its members. The LPF urges that all unique proposals are presented separately so voters can make decisions they desire, not those that are steered by political appointees.

Together, we can control our future once we are allowed to make responsible choices: Choices free of special-interest restrictions.

– J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

— XXX —

Aug. 13, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

Contact: Larry Goolsby,
Supervisor, Wakulla Soil and Water Conservation District
Phone: 352-843-3501


Wakulla, Fla. – William L. “Larry” Goolsby joins the growing ranks of Libertarian Party of Florida members elected to local offices following his appointment to the Wakulla Soil and Water Conservation District at their last meeting.

“Soil and Water really has a lot they can do,” Goolsby says. “I plan to do what I can to help the people of Wakulla County.”

Goolsby’s appointment means there are now 27 Libertarian Party members in public office. The latest was Courtney Omega, Coconut Grove Village Councilwoman, following her party change to the LPF last week.

Goolsby says he was approached to run for Soil and Water Supervisor by the LPF “First Step” team. First Step was originally begun in the Libertarian Party of Miami-Dade to place local LP members in public positions. The program was adopted by the LPF Executive Committee. There are now 42 candidates contending for offices ranging from local community councils to Florida Legislature.

Goolsby lives in Crawfordsville with his two children, Willow Nixon, 17, and Fallon Goolsby, 12. He is co-owner of Florida Legacy Advisors, an insurance agency that specializes in the retiree market.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

— XXX —


August 10, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

Courtney Omega,
Councilwoman, Coconut Grove Village Council


MIAMI – A legacy of social activism and community involvement led Coconut Grove Village Councilwoman Courtney Omega to join the growing ranks of Florida’s elected Libertarian Party officials this week.

Omega says she changed her party from Republican because she found a community of support and inclusion, rather than being taken for granted.

“When I ran for this position that I serve in now I met a few of the Libertarian Party members,” says Omega. “It was just a breath of fresh air. It didn’t seem like they did politics the same way I was used to doing politics. I appreciated how I was encouraged but I wasn’t beaten down. I appreciated how I was part of the conversation not just an expectation.”

Omega was elected to the Coconut Grove Village Council last November. She is founder and executive director of Golden and Golden Gates Foundation which conducts youth programs and professional seminars. Omega, 40 works as an insurance agent and journalist. She also prepares faith-based cultural arts curriculum for local youth. Omega has two children, Neyanni Turner, 11 and Keonne Turner, 9.


Omega knows political activism: it’s in the family blood. Omega’s grandmother was the esteemed Yvonne Scarlett-Golden, Daytona Beach’s first African American mayor. Scarlett-Golden, a Bethune-Cookman honors graduate, was a four-term city commissioner and two-term mayor before her death in 2005 at age 80.

Omega says her parents and many of her aunts and uncles were all active in private and public social services, so civic and social involvement was both the family’s vocation and avocation.

“So, we were not the typical family at that time, and surely not now. Our conversations at dinnertime were not ‘What did you do at school today?’ they were ‘What type of protest did you take part?’,” she says with an easy laugh.


After graduating from Mainland High School (two years behind NBA star Vince Carter she proudly notes,) Omega attended Florida A&M and Florida State Universities before leaving the state to pursue a career in community organizations, including the National School and Community Corps in Philadelphia where she was an English tutor and dance choreographer. She returned to Florida in 2012.

It is perhaps not a surprise that she spent most of her political life as a registered Democrat. Yet Omega says she changed to Republican about two years ago while she focused on her growing business. But when she decided to run for Coconut Grove Village Council, she found her adopted party’s political support was not there.

“During the campaign process I just got no support from the GOP, and I thought that was very weird because here I was, a young African American, a woman, so I thought hey, there should be some more interest or buy in there,” she says.

Omega adds she also felt no encouragement when she was a Democrat. “During the time I was a Democrat, I did nothing but vote. I was never approached to run. It was just ‘Hey, your vote is appreciated but not necessarily your inclusion; but your vote is definitely important! ‘ “

Omega discovered Libertarians were different. While campaigning, Omega says she met Libertarian Party Chairman Marcos Miralles and other local members and immediately found them welcoming.

“They would absolutely reach across those lines and say ‘Hey, Courtney has some good ideas and we plan on sharing them once she is on the Board.’ I came to understand this would be more ‘So, like I am included in the conversation and not necessarily just being propped up and being told what to say.’ I always appreciated the confidence they extended towards me throughout the campaigning process. It really made, because this was my first political run, it really made that run a whole lot more affable.’ “

Omega says the Libertarian Party has much to offer to the growing number in the African American community who feel disenfranchised from their historic Democratic affiliation.

“For so long, we’ve been told to kind of be a part,” Omega says. “The key word is being told. But to actually have the confidence and have the influence and have the encouragement to actually be a part of that, to actually become an elected official, is very rare particularly in the Democratic Party. You’re good enough to be a prop at holding up a sign, but as far as being part of it, it’s different.”

“You know, there’s an African proverb: ‘They have no word for try. You either do or you don’t. That’s where the encouragement comes from; that’s where the confidence is built. When you can say to someone ‘You know what? I think you can do this, you deserve a seat at this table. How many African Americans, 20, 30 years old, would say ‘Wow, do you really think so?’ It creates a totally different conversation as opposed to ‘Hey are you registered to vote?’ ”

By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

— 30 —

July 31, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

Contact: Marc Golob,
Chairman, Fundraising Committee

MIAMI – The Libertarian Party of Florida is pleased to host a Dinner with Gov. Bill Weld this month to raise proceeds for the state party.

“Governor Weld’s involvement in the party is an inspiration,” said Marcos Miralles, LPF Chairman. “The Libertarian Party is now the home of current elected officials, former elected officials, and community members who wish to create an environment for all to thrive.”
Miralles said Gov. Weld gladly accepted the invitation to assist the state party after the two met at the recent Libertarian Party National Convention in New Orleans.

Weld was Massachusetts governor from 1991 to 1997. In 2016, he was Gov. Gary Johnson’s running mate in what became the most successful LP presidential showing in the party’s history. The Johnson / Weld ticket garnered more than three percent of the popular vote.

Weld is said to be considering a 2020 presidential run, although no formal announcements have been made. June 20, George Will wrote in The Washington Post Weld brings together “what a broad swath of Americans say they favor: limited government, fiscal responsibility, free trade, the rule of law, entitlement realism and other artifacts from the Republican wreckage.”

The dinner will be held Aug. 29 at Texas de Brazil, 300 Alton Rd Ste. 200, Miami Beach. Until Aug. 20, reservations are $200. After, $250.

Tickets may be purchased here.

By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

— 30 —


July 31, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

MIAMI – Sacha DuBearn, past Director for the Libertarian Party of Miami-Dade, was sworn in as councilman on the Coconut Grove Village Council last night.

Bill Weld, Abigail DuBearn, Gary Johnson, Sacha Dubearn

DuBearn, a local entrepreneur, will complete a four-year term caused by a vacancy.

LPF Chairman and long-time DuBearn friend says the city is fortunate to have him serve.

2017 LPMD Fliers

“The DuBearns have been very supportive of the LPF, its candidates, and our vision to empower communities throughout the state, said Miralles. “It was an honor to have worked on his campaign in Miami, and it is a privilege to consider the DuBearns not only friends in liberty, but family when away from the political playing field.”

DuBearn is an active member of the Miami-Dade affiliate, both as a contributor and frequent host to fundraisers in the home he shares with his wife Abigail. The DuBearns regularly participate in community causes, especially many West Grove neighborhood projects.

“Sacha DuBearn on the Coconut Grove Village Council is a win for Libertarians across the country, but most importantly, a win for the West Grove community, a community that has been abandoned by the city of Miami for far too long,” Miralles said.

DuBearn moved to Coconut Grove in the 1990s following a devastating car accident which led him to become a life-long advocate for beneficial uses of marijuana and cannabinoids. Also a longtime advocate of environmental issues in his town, DuBearn was the only 2017 candidate pledging to investigate the dumping of toxic waste in residential neighborhoods by the City of Miami.

— By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

— 30 —


July 13, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida


Miami – State delegates proclaim this month’s Libertarian Party National Convention in New Orleans was a new high mark for the Libertarian Party of Florida.

“It was a very humbling experience to see how diverse everyone was and how they were still able to work together to accomplish common goals, regardless of their differences” said LPF Chairman Marcos Miralles. “I really appreciated hearing Larry Sharpe’s comments that Florida is leading the way for the Libertarian Party in growth and development of elected officials.”

Among the Florida Delegation were LPF Executive Committee members Vice Chair Omar Recuero, Treasurer Fred Coulter, Region 1 Rep Spenser Garber of Santa Rosa County, Reg 2 Rep Mari Morrell of Orange County, Reg 9 Rep George Lebovitz, Reg 12 Rep John Shuey Reg 13 Rep Suzanne Gilmore, Reg 14 Rep Martha Bueno of Miami-Dade, At-Large Directors Greg Peele of Orange County and Steven Nekhaila of Monroe County. Multiple candidates for elected office were also in the Florida delegation: Shaun P Kunz, seeking Seminole County Soil and Water Conservation District, Group 5; Derek Ryan, seeking Orange County Soil & Water District: Seat 4; and John Olivadoti Jr., running for Brevard County Soil & Water, Group 2.

Two LPF members were elected to national offices. Nekhaila was elected LP Region 2 Director and Altamonte Springs City Commissioner Jim Turney was elected to the Judicial Committee. Miralles said he is working with re-elected LP Chairman Nicholas Sarwark to develop fundraisers and other joint projects.

Several delegates reported the workshops and connections made will aid in the development of their affiliates and the overall advancement of the LPF.

“Overall, my experience in New Orleans was fantastic,” Garber said. “I also attended a few breakout sessions, where I learned quite a bit about messaging and fundraising. All-in-all, I gained tons of new knowledge that I plan on using to exponentially grow my region.”

“My takeaway is that the value is in the sidebar,” said Angela Alexander Kunz of Seminole County. “I had so many great conversations with people, made good connections, and learned a lot about what’s working for other states. Libertarians are more than the sum of our Facebook posts, and connecting in person was invaluable.”

“Gladly, the 2018 convention was a great success in fundraising and bridging divides in the LP, said Turney. “Spirits and attendance were high. It was better than expected in every way!”

The 2020 LP National Convention is scheduled for Austin, Texas.

  • J Mark Barfield, Staff Writer