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.

Libertarian Party of Florida Condemns Murder of Dallas Police Officers

Florida Libertarians denounce targeted killings of Dallas Police officers

Bradenton, Florida, July 8, 2016 – This morning, Americans woke up to the tragic killing of 5 Dallas, Texas police officers who were targeted by a sniper during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest march. The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) condemns the actions of the sniper which are in an apparent misguided retaliation for the recent events of police in other areas of the country who have killed innocent black men. In separate instances in the last week, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were gunned down by police in Louisiana and Minnesota respectively. Although the LPF is strongly against what the police did in those instances, the LPF denounces the killing of innocent police officers.

LPF Chair, Char-Lez Braden said this morning, “We resolutely stand against the use of violence to achieve a political end. What happened in Dallas is a symptom of a bigger problem, which is that law enforcement has strayed from its primary mission of protecting the rights of all citizens. I call upon elected officials everywhere to restore that mission.”

Also earlier this morning, Libertarian National Committee Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, did a live feed on Facebook saying, “Killing people doesn’t fix killing people. It is terrible that people would decide to sully their memory [Castile and Sterling] by killing police officers who were providing the security at a protest in honor of the people who died.” He went on to say, “You can’t murder innocent people because innocent people got murdered.”

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Libertarians nominate Gary Johnson as their presidential pick
Libertarian National Convention in Florida is largest in party history

Orlando, FL (May 31, 2016) – Libertarian delegates from all over the nation gathered to select their nominees for President and Vice President for the upcoming 2016 election. On Sunday, May 29th, the delegates selected former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for their presidential candidate, and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld for their vice presidential candidate.

“Floridians that want fiscal responsibility, sound international policy, and government out of their personal affairs, now have that choice in the Johnson/Weld ticket. They bring a tremendous amount of government experience being former governors.” said Char-Lez Braden, Chair of the LPF.

The 2016 Libertarian National Convention was most well attended convention in the history of the party. Nearly 1,000 delegates were present during the selection process. The convention was also attended by different people from various states who were not delegates. There were vendors, student organizations, women’s rights organizations along with various pro-liberty organizations. The convention was covered by both local and major media–over 250 media outlets–during most of the convention, including the presidential debate, which was televised live on C-SPAN.

Membership numbers for the Libertarian Party have dramatically increased over the past two years as have the number of registered Libertarian voters. The diversity of the party has has also increased and that diversity could be seen throughout the weekend. Overall, the popularity of the party has never been higher. This comes at a time when, the overall lack of popularity among the Democrat and Republican parties is at an all time low. Statistically speaking, various polls, search queries and social media trends say more and more voters are seeking a third option.

Currently, the Libertarian Party is the ballot in 32 states, which include Florida. Because of hard work by Libertarians here in Florida, ballot access is constitutional. Throughout the weekend, the Libertarian Party fundraised hundreds of thousands of dollars to continue to fund efforts to secure ballot access in all 50 states. The Libertarian Party is the only other party that will be on the ballot in all 50 states. It is simply a matter of time to make it official.

Make no mistake, the National convention was a historic event and this year the party will shake up the political landscape of this country. We believe that our candidates can and will be elected all over the country. The party is very financially sound and the number of registered Libertarian voters is higher than ever, here in Florida and across the U.S. Even if we not are victorious at our bid for the White House, we will leave an everlasting impact.

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For immediate release 2016-05-03

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

The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) Votes to Support Medical Marijuana Constitutional Amendment 2 on the November 2016 Ballot
LPF Executive Committee says “Yes on 2”

Panama City, FL (May 3, 2016) – On Sunday, May 1st, The LPF Executive Committee passed a resolution to support Amendment 2, which will be on the general election ballot for November. The purpose of Amendment 2 is to allow the use of marijuana for debilitating medical conditions. If passed, it will create a process for Floridians, with the recommendation of a doctor, to legally access marijuana as an alternative medicine. The amendment also establishes that the Florida Department of Health will have regulatory oversight of production and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes. They will also issue identification cards to patients and caregivers.

“There is no reason to deny those in need of medical treatment” states Char-Lez Braden, Chair of the LPF. “Nor should anyone seeking to alleviate their symptoms fear prosecution or be deemed a criminal. It just makes sense that medical marijuana becomes legal. They should not be forced to choose between their life or jail.”

Since its inception in 1987, The Libertarian Party of Florida has always advocated for the decriminalization of cannabis. While it has taken time for overall public perception to change, the tides are turning across the country in support of decriminalizing its use. One thing that remains certain, is that the “war on drugs” has been an abject failure since it began during the Nixon administration.

Today, over 24 states in the U.S. have enacted some form of decriminalization of cannabis, most of which were accomplished by citizen ballot initiatives to allow for either recreational or medicinal use. Several more states are considering decriminalization efforts, either by ballot initiative or through furthering state enacted legislation. There are also discussions at the Federal level about re-classifying or even removing cannabis from the controlled substances list. The increased demand for cannabis, based on its medical benefits, has disproved the biggest argument of those who support prohibition. While there have been no reported due to marijuana use here in Florida, prescription drug deaths are epidemic.

The LPF recognizes this issue is greater than cannabis, it’s about helping those in need. For many years in Florida, both major parties have ignored their constituents when it came to this very topic. Now, the measure is on the 2016 ballot and will be up to Florida voters to decide. The LPF will continue to advocate for ending drug prohibition in the Sunshine State and understands that change takes time. This is a slow, but important step for progressing individual liberty in Florida.

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