For Immediate Release April 10, 2018

Davenport, Fla. – Brandon Kneeld is the latest Libertarian elected into office in the state, taking 68 percent of the vote in the non-partisan election for City Commission Seat 2 here last week. Kneeld, 32, also becomes the first openly-gay candidate elected to office in this small Central Florida town.

“I’m just incredibly humbled they’re putting their trust in me,” Kneeld told The Ledger. “I’m just excited to try to do my part to keep Davenport a wonderful place to be.”

Kneeld, 32, becomes the 16th LPF member holding office in the state.

“It is admirable and motivational to hear Brandon Kneeld won this election,” said LPF Chairman Marcos Miralles. “I look forward to seeing Brandon grow in his community, personally and professionally, to encourage and create an environment for us everyday people to thrive in. Let us celebrate this success.”

Kneeld said after shifting between the two major parties over the past several years, he found only the Libertarian Party represented his true values.

“I’m actually relatively new as a member of the LP,” Kneeld said to the LPF News. “I’ve long believed in personal liberty and responsibility but was content to find that within the two-party system. During the 2016 election it became clear to me that neither party had any real interest in these core values and so I moved to the LP as the party with the platform that most closely aligned with my personal beliefs.”

Kneeld’s campaign slogan “Kneeld Knows” focused on issues he knew were most important to Davenport residents: Infrastructure, managed growth and business development. Kneeld said small towns offer terrific opportunities for introducing the LP principals of greater personal freedom with lesser government intrusion to a wider voting audience.

“It just happened to be that this year presented the best opportunity for me to get involved in government here in Davenport,” Kneeld said. “Being a still small town of just 5000 people I was able to run the campaign primarily on my own and focused my efforts on voters who had requested absentee ballots or were known to have voted in recent municipal elections.

“Although the race was nonpartisan, I maintained a message of liberty and smart government that was well received. Davenport is going through a lot of changes, it’s the fastest growing city in Polk County and is slated to double its population in the next few years, and the residents recognize that those ideals are the best way to move forward with that growth.”

– Author: J Mark Barfield

For Immediate Release April 7, 2018

Gainesville, Fla. – LPF Director At-Large 2 Chris Rose II appeared before the Alachua County Commission this week opposing raising the minimum age to buy cigarettes. “Am I any more of an adult than somebody else?” Rose asked.

“It’s going to affect other American adults,” said Rose. “It’s going to affect American adults living right here in Alachua county. My question to y’all is ‘Why don’t those adults have the same rights as I do?’ Am I more of an adult than they are because I’m over a certain age?”

County commissioners met March 27 to discuss raising the minimum age to buy cigarettes from the current 18 to 21 years of age. The review came at the request of the Alachua County Health Care Advisory board that also wants a thousand-foot buffer zone between stores that sell tobacco and schools.

Tuesday, Rose challenged commissioners if they planned to define “adult” as someone older than 21 years. “Or are you going to just pick and choose what we want them to do?”

Commissioners requested Interim County Attorney Sylvia E. Torres to draft an ordinance and schedule a public hearing.

– J. Mark Barfield (Author)

Statement of the Libertarian Party of Florida after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

The Libertarian Party of Florida expresses its deepest sympathies to the victims, their families, and the entire community in the wake of the mass murder that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Our hearts go out to all of those affected as we attempt to make sense of the events which took so many innocent lives. As libertarians, we abhor violence and those who use force to meet their political and social agendas at the cost of others. We believe that people deserve a society which respects their rights, values peace and prosperity, and rejects violence.

The unfortunate side effect of this cowardly act is the push for restricting inalienable rights enumerated in the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution. Authoritarian policies are ineffective at preventing these kinds of violence, yet Republican and Democrat officials are already promoting legislation which would infringe on the right of adults to purchase, own, and carry firearms.

To punish peaceful people due to the actions of a deranged criminal is an affront to the founding principles of this great nation. The natural right of self-defense must never be attacked using collectivist logic. Rather than creating new legislation and fomenting irrational fears, we believe that Americans should treat personal safety as personal responsibility. The events in Parkland show the folly of trusting government with our security, and to respond with legislation restricting adults to defend themselves is irrational.

We, the Libertarian Party of Florida, condemn these irrational actions in both Tallahassee and Washington D.C., We stand as the only political party 100% dedicated to preserving the right of citizens to defend themselves in the manner they chose, and we pledge to never betray this principle. As Libertarians, we stand for all natural rights, all of the time, especially this sacred right that ensures mankind has the means to protect all of their other rights. We encourage Floridians to be brave in the face of evil, to fight back, and to never compromise on the Bill of Rights.

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A Statement From Chairman Miralles

“The Libertarian Party of Florida has been, since its creation in the 1970s, the first and strongest voice against white supremacists and other hate-filled groups. We have always taken a stance for civil liberties, for criminal justice reform, for the rights of every individual to exist and prosper in the Sunshine State.

The events in Virginia are tragic and a shocking resemblance to the past of an America that we have done our best to correct. The Virginia monsters may have been U.S. Citizens, but in no way were their hearts and minds American.

We condemn what happened in Virginia. We condemn the activities of any group that may have been linked with the white supremacist movement. And while we believe in freedom of speech, we applaud the free market decisions by Facebook, Google, Zoho’s, and GoDaddy to crack down on neo-Nazi speech.

We were also saddened to see how involved a certain former Florida Senate candidate was in these events. But I am also happy to remember that Florida Libertarians, at the tune of 76% of the vote, rejected what many saw calls to violence. This man has, since then, joined his true political home, the Republican Party.

The Libertarian Party of Florida will forever remain the safest home for all of those that fight for civil rights, for the beauty of the peace that a free market can provide, and for civil discourse. Any attempt to turn our party otherwise will be met with strong and firm opposition, not only from our leadership, but also from the tens of thousands of Libertarians in Florida that joined this party to show their opposition to hate.
Hatred has no room in our world.”

– Marcos Miralles, LPF Chairman

For Immediate Release May 7, 2017

Alison Foxall
Libertarian Party of Florida
1-855-FLA FREE (855-352-3733)
alison@lpf.org
lpf.org

Libertarian Party of Florida Announces Results of Annual Convention & Officer Elections

Miami, Fla – The Libertarian Party of Florida held their annual convention May 5-7, 2017 in Cocoa Beach with an all time record-breaking attendance of 170. Delegates from across the state elected persons for Chair, Vice Chair, and Director-at-Large seats 1 & 3.

The following statewide seats were elected to two-year terms:

  • Chair—Marcos Miralles of Hialeah
  • Vice Chair—Omar E. Recuero of Hollywood (re-elected)
  • Director-at-Large 1—Alison Foxall of Sarasota (re-elected)
  • Director-at-Large 3—Greg Peele of Orlando

The following Regional Representatives were also announced to one-year terms:

  • Region 1    Raymond McGee
  • Region 2    Anna Marie Morris (I)
  • Region 3    Joshua Folsom (I)
  • Region 4    Ryan Ramsey (I)
  • Region 5    Joe Martin
  • Region 6    Kristen Daniel
  • Region 7    Paul Stanton (I)
  • Region 8    John D. Pierce
  • Region 9    George Lebowitz (I)
  • Region 10  Char-Lez Braden
  • Region 11  Shawn Elliot
  • Region 12  Rob Tolp
  • Region 13  Karl Dickey (I)
  • Region 14  Steven Nekhaila (I)

About the Libertarian Party of Florida: The Libertarian Party of Florida values human life and the right of all people to live in peace. All members of the LPF are required to declare “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals” thus putting the LPF far out in front of any other party’s commitment to nonviolent political action.

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For Immediate Release April 18, 2017

Media Contact:
Alison Foxall
Libertarian Party of Florida
1-855-FLA FREE (855-352-3733)
alison@lpf.org
lpf.org

Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) Annual Convention To Be Held in Cocoa Beach

Bradenton, Fla – The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) announced that registration is open for their annual convention. It will be held May 5-7, 2017 at the International Palms Resort & Conference Center in Cocoa Beach, FL.

Featured speakers include:

  • Bernard von NotHaus, creator of the Liberty Dollar and co-founder of the Royal Hawaiian Mint Company
  • Lauren Rumpler, host of the True Objective Podcast
  • Larry Sharpe, vice presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 2016
  • Thomas James DiLorenzo, author and economics professor at the Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business
  • Matt Welch, author and editor at large for Reason Magazine

Activities for the convention include the main business meeting to elect leaders to the organization’s Executive Committee and bylaws and platform changes, as well as free breakout sessions on marketing and activism. It is free to attend the convention business meeting and breakouts. “We have the strongest party in recent history. Registered voters, members, donations, and organized county affiliates are all up,” said the LPF Chairman, Char-Lez Braden.

The theme of the convention is #BeThatLibertarian, in memory of 2016 Libertarian Party (LP) Presidential Candidate, Dr. Marc Allan Feldman of Ohio. The expression was derived from his closing remarks during the presidential debate at the 2016 LP National Convention. LPF Convention Committee Chair, Marc Tancer says, “I’ve received so much positive feedback on the theme of the convention. Libertarians love that we are honoring Dr. Feldman. We look forward to celebrating his life, his achievements, and his activism.”

For more information and to register for the LPF’s annual convention, please visit conf.lpf.org.

About the Libertarian Party of Florida: The Libertarian Party of Florida values human life and the right of all people to live in peace. All members of the LPF are required to declare “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals” thus putting the LPF far out in front of any other party’s commitment to nonviolent political action.

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For Immediate Release March 17, 2017

Char-Lez Braden, Chair
Libertarian Party of Florida
1-855-FLA FREE (855-352-3733)
info@lpf.org
lpf.org

Florida Libertarians support medical marijuana bill in Florida Senate

Bradenton, Fla — The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has come out in support of Florida Senate Bill 614 which would regulate how medical marijuana (cannabis) is distributed throughout the state. While the LPF feels that cannabis regulation should be left to the free market, SB 614 is a step in the right direction to allow Floridians the freedom to choose how to best treat their individual ailment(s) with their doctor .

Char-Lez Braden, Chair of the LPF said today, “Florida voters have spoken very clearly on this issue and the Florida legislature needs to get out of the way. Patients desperately need this medicine. Each day Florida politicians delay passage of these regulations, is another day thousands of Floridians continue to suffer in pain.”

This past November 2016, over 71 percent of Florida voters approved Amendment 2 to expand the use of cannabis to a greater number of Floridians. It assured the rights of Florida patients to receive safe, legal access through a regulated system. In accordance with Amendment 2, these regulations will be written by the Florida legislature. There are many bills floating around the Florida legislature with a wide array of regulations and the LPF has decided SB 614 is most in line with the intent of Amendment 2 and the most freedom-based of the proposed regulations.

The LPF encourages its members, as well as all Floridians, to contact their state senators to support and co-sponsor SB 614. Floridians can find who their Florida State Senator is via this link: https://www.flsenate.gov/senators/find . Floridians can also call Senator Dana Young who is chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee to encourage her to put SB 614 on the agenda for her committee to consider. Her telephone number is 850-487-5018.

For Immediate Release March 8, 2017

Char-Lez Braden
Libertarian Party of Florida
1-855-FLA FREE (855-352-3733)
info@lpf.org
lpf.org

Bradenton, Fla — The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has come out denouncing the continued imprisonment of two Libertarian activists in Cuba. According to news reports, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velasquez are still being held by Cuban authorities for doing nothing more than promoting that a free market system is best and the Cuban government should be limited in its scope both with Cuban businesses and with Cuban individuals. Officially, the two were charged with “distributing enemy propaganda.” The two individuals were offering smart solutions to some of Cuba’s ailments to help the country grow in a positive direction.

LPF Chair, Char-Lez Braden said today, “The Libertarian Party of Florida, and all free people, find the existence of political prisoners abhorrent and call upon Cuba and all nations with such prisoners to free these folks and stop this practice.”

The LPF strongly encourages the Cuban government to release Hernandez and Velasquez immediately and apologize for their arrest. In addition, the LPF strongly urges the Cuban government to rid itself of all laws which limit Cuban citizens from expressing their opinions in public.

The LPF wants to also point out that this is not a practice found only in communist countries. Just this year, there have been several Americans arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their right of free speech. Earlier this year two students were arrested in Michigan for simply handing out free pocket-sized U.S. Constitutions.

Since their arrest, the two have been moved to Melena II, a maximum security prison in the town of Melena del Sur. The prison has a long history of housing political dissidents, including Andres Fidel Alfonso Rodriguez, a fellow human rights activist, and Du Bouchet Hernández, an independent journalist on the island. As Zachary Foster of the Libertarian Party of Nevada has noted, Melena II has a long history of human rights violations.

About the Libertarian Party of Florida: The Libertarian Party of Florida values human life and the right of all people to live in peace. All members of the LPF are required to declare “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals” thus putting the LPF far out in front of any other party’s commitment to nonviolent political action.

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For Immediate Release 2017-01-23

Char-Lez Braden
Libertarian Party of Florida
1-855-FLA FREE (855-352-3733)
info@lpf.org
www.lpf.org

Libertarian Party of Florida Supports Open Carry Bill

Bradenton, Fla — The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has officially endorsed an open carry bill circulating around the Florida Legislature. SB 140, HB 6001, and HB 6005 all similarly would expand the permitted conditions of a Florida concealed carry license to include open carry of a handgun where concealed carry is permitted. Specifically, the LPF officially endorsed SB 140 and the bill is awaiting passage through the Florida Senate’s Judiciary Committee.

Today, Char-Lez Braden, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Florida, said, “If we trust some individuals with a concealed gun, how can we not trust them with a gun everyone can see?  This is a step in the right direction.”

The LPF holds that law enforcement cannot guarantee individual safety and self protection is a personal responsibility. “All individuals have the right to defend themselves and to possess the means to do so, as guaranteed by both the federal and state Constitutions.” For example, the average response times for the City of Miami are from 7½ minutes to well over 18 minutes, which is time victims could use to defend themselves.

A 2012 US News & World Report article found that open carry deters crime where implemented.   In that article is stated, “A 1985 Department of Justice survey of incarcerated felons reported that 57 percent of the felons polled agreed that ‘criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.’

Larry Pratt in USNews.com reports that, “Researcher Gary Kleck found that 92 percent of criminal attacks are deterred when a gun is merely shown (or, rarely, a warning shot fired). By inference, this means that open carry would have the effect of deterring crime in the same way that a thief might choose another restaurant when he sees police eating at his intended target.”

You may view the full LRC Commentary here.

About the Libertarian Party of Florida: The Libertarian Party of Florida values human life and the right of all people to live in peace. All members of the LPF are required to declare “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals” thus putting the LPF far out in front of any other party’s commitment to nonviolent political action.

Presidential Candidate to Appear in Miami on August 17

Governors Johnson and Weld will visit Miami on the campaign trail

Bradenton, FL (Aug 15, 2016) – On August 17th at 7pm, Libertarian presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson (New Mexico) and vice presidential candidate Governor Bill Weld (Massachusetts) will open the floor for questions in a town-hall style conference at Florida International University’s Wertheim Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.  Doors open at 6pm. Seating is limited.

Earlier in the evening, a private meet and greet will be held for donors to the campaign in an amount of $1,000 or more per person. The meet and greet attendees will have an opportunity to have a photograph with the governors as well as preferred seating during the event. To be part of the donor meet and greet, please contact the Johnson/Weld Florida Campaign Director, Jess Mears, jessmears@johnsonweld.com.

Gov. Gary Johnson is currently polling in the lead among young people, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll. Johnson leads at 35%, Clinton at 30%, Stein at 14% and Trump at 12%. Johnson has also started to pull ahead of Trump with Hispanic voters. Depending on where you are in the nation, Johnson is overall polling anywhere from 9 to 15%.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) requires that a candidate must be polling at 15% in at least 5 major national polls to participate in their debates. Johnson is on his way to that while the CPD is already drawing up plans for a third podium. Johnson expects to be on the debate stage with the establishment candidates come September.