Posts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 3, 2020

Contact: Steven Nekhaila,

Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida

chair@lpf.org

305.393.6412

Downtown Palatka

LPF Responds to Gov. DeSantis’ Safer at Home Order

 

KEY WEST, Fla. – If you live in Florida, you are now in state-mandated lock-down. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order Numbers 20-91 and 20-92 although signed on April 1, were certainly no jokes. As of midnight, free movement and free commerce is severely restricted for the entire state. While he hasn’t called out the National Guard for every street corner, DeSantis referenced passages from the Florida Constitution and Statutes granting him the authority to do so.[i]

The Libertarian Party of Florida condemns this action. Evidence shows enforced lockdowns do not curb the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness. Intelligent responses to medical issues do work without shutting down society as DeSantis has done.

Evidence shows rational steps promoted by government can work without creating the record-high unemployment we have now. You’ve already heard those rational steps many times: Keep your distance from others, wear gloves and maybe a mask, wash your hands and if you’re sick, stay home. What we’re seeing is those rational steps are contributing to emerging successes in South Korea and Japan, along with Finland. Certainly, there are cultural and mindset differences, but those countries have largely approached this manufactured “crisis” in a voluntary, supportive way, not authoritarian.[ii]

South Korea offers a good example.[iii] Within the first week after the case of COVID-19 was verified, government officials met with manufacturers to urge them to scale up manufacture of test kits. Within days, government employees were testing on a greater scale than the United States has performed to date. Numerous testing sites were quickly set up to avoid choking hospitals. Results were available within hours, not days.

People who needed it, are getting medical care before it becomes life-threatening. Once a new case is identified, the person is immediately placed under direct medical care. Everyone in contact with those ill people are identified and tested, and re-tested in a few days. In some cases, medical workers urged quarantine for those who were in immediate contact. Mortality rates stayed low.

In addition to those direct measures, the South Korean government played a role in keeping citizens informed and educated. They recommended – not mandated – facemask wearing and social distancing. A responsible population agreed and complied.

South Korea did not resort to shutting down their society to the degree DeSantis has mandated for Floridians. Korean stores, restaurants and schools were kept open. That country addressed the issue as medical, not economic.

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 in that they approach it as a medical safety issue. 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 Libertarian Party of Florida calls on Gov. DeSantis to rescind 20-91 and 20-92 and let Florida function again. DeSantis had the opportunity to lead the nation in responsible steps to stop a medical issue without stopping Florida. He chose the latter.

 

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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[i] Essential Services and Activities During COVID-19 Emergency

[ii] Our World in Data: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research

[iii] New York Times: How South Korea Flattened the Curve

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2020
Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

 

COVID-19 Measures May Pose Greater Risk Than COVID-19

If we’re not working, how are we going to pay taxes to raise money to hand out to people who aren’t working?

 

KEY WEST, Fla. –  We live in challenging days of late. Pandemics, and rumors of pandemics, have us on edge. Grocery stores picked clean. Hospitals filling. Travel increasingly limited. Sources of income dry up. What do we do? How do we get by?

State and federal officials responded in the only way big government seems to know. Restrict trade and commerce. Borders are now closed to many. Curfews have been imposed. Bars, restaurants and other private businesses are ordered closed. Thousands of paycheck-to-paycheck workers now have no paychecks coming in. Unemployment claims mount.

What then, is government’s response to that fiscal pandemic it created? Print more money and hand it out. Hand it out to huge corporations; hand it out to you and me. Where does that money come from? You already know the answer: you and me. But then if we’re not working, who’s going to pay taxes to raise money to hand out to people who aren’t working?

Answer: No one. The federal deficit grows as quickly as the presses roll.

How did we get here?

By all reliable accounts, COVID-19, often known as “coronavirus,” has the potential of serious impacts among some groups – those over 70 and those with compromised immune systems. Since the first few dozen cases were reported by Chinese medical officials last December, there are more than 300,000 confirmed cases world-wide according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s 0.005 percent of the world population. Of those infected, about 16,000 have resulted in fatalities, about 4.5 percent.

In the United States, more than 35,000 cases of COVID-19 have been identified so far since January, about 0.008 percent of the population. Of them, almost 500 resulted in deaths or about 1.5 percent of all identified cases. In Florida, the numbers of reported cases are about 1,200 cases, 0.005 percent of the population. Of those, 13 resulted in deaths, slightly more than 1.7 percent. These numbers are increasing rapidly as testing becomes more available.

Any illness, let alone those leading to death is tragic. Tragic for family, friends, co-workers and classmates. The so-called “Spanish flu” of 1918 (which actually began in Kansas,) infected 40 percent of the world’s population and killed an estimated 50 million people. Indeed, every year, “the flu” will kill more than a half-million people worldwide. The mosquito-borne Dengue fever infects 50 to 100 million people every year, killing about 2.5 percent of those who are treated. Untreated, it can kill up to 20 percent.

It goes without saying for most of us that when there’s any contagious disease going around, we need to practice common sense. Wash your hands, stay away from sneezing people, practice safe sex, wash your hands again. Admittedly, some people need to learn these basics and government and media can play an important role with recommendations and updates.

Where are we now?

But the real illness that will kill the US economy and perhaps many people, are measures to restrain “non-essential jobs and commerce” in the guise of public protection. Even Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Trump loyalist, announced last week U.S. unemployment could rise to 20 percent, worse than the 2008 recession. It’s important to remember those unemployment numbers won’t rise because folks are out sick, but because government created them.

The Stock Market has already crashed well below 2008 levels. Indeed, during President Trump’s press conference last Thursday, the Dow Jones dropped throughout the entire broadcast. After a brief surge, it plummeted again. The same thing happened the next day. Investors don’t trust Washington to respond rationally and thoughtfully. Nor should we.

Where do we need to be?

Responsible adults can slow the spread of a disease, but taking away their rights and our jobs will not. Such steps will only worsen the alarm. They make day to day existence even more challenging than it already was for many. Smart people stay home if they are sick or afraid of becoming sick from others. Careless people won’t. Smart people will know there are careless people out there and will take responsible actions to protect themselves and their families. That’s the job of every individual. Not the government.

Libertarians espouse a world where folks are free to make smart choices and careless ones. Should careless acts endanger others, then “community” can step in with guidance. This is individualism, not statism that we have now. It is the natural way of things.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

April 16, 2019

Contact: Ray Wolff,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Manatee County
chair@manateelp.org

 

BRADENTON, Fla. – Do you have a photo of local county, city employees or elected officials wasting taxpayer dollars? Now you have a way to report it anonymously.

LPMC GovStoppers

The website GovStoppers.com went live this week to offer Manatee County residents a new way to anonymously report government waste, fraud and corruption. The website provides visitors a safe, anonymous place to post photos and documents without those posts being ever traced back to them.

The project is the brainchild of the Libertarian Party of Manatee County.

“While some agencies may have ways to report fraud, often a report must be made to the very agency involved, for example the School Board

Ray Wolff

website,” says LPMC Chair Ray Wolff. “This is bit like the fox watching the hen house. GovStoppers.com is a better way to make such reports.”

Wolff says local Libertarians seek to establish more transparency and accountability to Manatee city and city government with GovStoppers.

“As the Libertarian Party of Manatee County, we see one of our roles as a third party is to bring openness, trust and transparency to our local government,” Wolff says. “With help from the public and government employees, GovStoppers can be the impartial and anonymous way to bring local government waste and corruption to light.”

The website is built with anonymity in mind, said Wolff. The site uses anonymous third-party messaging and email to access GovStoppers and send files. Its photo upload feature does not log or store information that could link the photos with the sender.

Wolff says Libertarians, despite being America’s fastest growing political party, it continues to face ballot access restrictions engineered by Democrats and Republicans. The restrictions are clearly intended to discourage independents and third-party candidates from winning office and affect political change for the better, he says.

“Even with those limitations, Libertarians can promote change in our local Manatee government,” Wolff says. “Although we are hopeful that our local government agencies are free from fraud, bribes, nepotism, misuse of resources, bribes, employee waste and corruption, GovStoppers.com is here should they need to be reported.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2019

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

Contact: Souraya Faas
sourayafaas@gmail.com

 

Souraya Faas

MIAMI – Marcos Miralles, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, announced today the newest convert to the LPF, Souraya Faas, Miami-Dade County Republican Executive Committee Committeewoman for Dist. 32.

“As a Libertarian, I want to highlight the party and show people that they are Libertarians,” Faas said today. “I registered Republican since I was 18 because I thought I had to choose between one of the two major parties. But I’ve always considered myself a libertarian because I was conservative about some things, and moderate about others. I was in the Republican Liberty Caucus.”

Increasingly, politicians are choosing Libertarian to run for office. Faas joins Coconut Grove Village Councilwoman Courtney Omega as the latest

Souraya Faas with Marcos Miralles

South Florida politician to switch from Republican to Libertarian Party during the past year. In 2012, Gov. Gary Johnson left the Republican Party to run for president as a Libertarian.

Faas, 37, has been active in politics most of her life. In 2016, she ran for president as a write-in Independent in 2016, but lost her lawsuit to get on the ballot in Texas. At the time, she was the youngest person and the first person of Arab descent to run for the office. Last year, she made a bid for U.S. Congress, but lost to incumbent Rep. Carlos Curbelo in the Republican Primary.

During the 2018 campaign, Faas denounced the U.S. intervention in the Syrian War and praised a House Democrat who opposed U.S. military involvement.

“Time and time again we see history repeating itself where, in the name of freedom and peace, wars have been provoked and fought for special interests,” she wrote in a RT op ed piece last year.[1]

“The Libertarian Party is a place where diversity is valued and a place where everyone works together to enhance our community’s quality of life,” Miralles said.

Faas says she will continue to seek public office. “I feel like people have lost the perception of what it’s like to be a politician,” Faas said to the Miami Herald last year. [2]

“Politicians are no longer what they used to be: for the people,” she said today. “They are more worried about getting re-elected and listening to special interests than they are about listening to the people.”

 

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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[1] Divide & conquer: America’s blueprint for ‘world peace’ simply a roadmap to disaster

[2] Miami congressional candidate says chemical attacks in Syria were staged

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 1, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

MIAMI – When you vote this week, please support the Libertarian Party of Florida First Step Program. The program was created earlier this year to establish Libertarian leadership in communities throughout the state. The goals of the program are to spread the message of a responsible form of governance, to empower individuals, and to create an environment for all people to thrive.

Several First Steppers were already placed in office in the primaries. Those appearing on the General Election ballot next week are:

Alachua County: Chris Rose, II – Alachua County Soil and Water Conservation District
Duval County:  James Chipman – Bartram Springs Community Development District, Seat 2
Indian River: Shawn Elliott – Indian River County Soil and Water Conservation District, Seat 1
Madison County: Martha Carter – Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District, Seat 1
Pasco County: Phil Kimball – Oakstead Community Development District, Seat 1
Suwannee County: Jordan Blake Bosserman – Suwannee County Conservation District Group 4

“I will always be a voice for the free-market, private property rights, and the need for individuals to step up and do more to change the culture in society as a whole in how we address conservation,” said Rose.

This is Elliott’s first bid for public office. Elliott said Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors can play an important role in their community. “I hope to influence local agricultural people to make smarter watering and fertilizing choices,” he said. “To make sure they’re informed about the inevitable legalization of hemp and the benefits it can have in our fragile ecosystem.”

First Step team members are: Marc Golob, LPF’s Fundraising Chair; Angela Alexander Kunz, Solutions Consultant; Marialexandra Garcia, Candidates Committee Chair; Chaz Sanders, Communications Committee Chair; LPF Secretary Brandi Hicks and Alexandre Crevaux, program coordinator.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 13, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rob Tolp, Chairman
Libertarian Party of Collier County
Phone: 239-200-0067
Email: chair@collierlp.com

Naples, Fla. – Collier County Libertarians took to change.org, Facebook and local television news to urge local commissioners reconsider their vote to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

After Collier County Commissioners voted last week to ban dispensaries for another six months, Collier Libertarians decided to start a campaign to drive reconsideration.

“We are beyond frustrated,” Rob Tolp, LPCC chairman, told the local Fox 4 News. “We are livid over this issue.”

Following the vote, Tolp worked together with a fellow Lee County Libertarian Paul Harper to produce a nearly hour-long video posted to the Facebook group Cannawarriors. They next started a change.org petition to build numbers. Local media began contacting them, increasing publicity. Their petition had nearly 700 responses by Friday.

The LPCC wants commissioners to permanently remove the ban, Tolp said. While commissioners said they would take the issue up again in six months, he said those six months may be too long for some to wait.

“My son-in-law being one, who is 100% disabled from PTSD,” Tolp told Fox 4 News reporter Karl Fortier. “I know from many of my friends, (medical marijuana) helps them greatly.”

In response to the LPCC, Collier County Commissioner Penny Taylor said Collier County residents were free to drive to neighboring Lee County to purchase medical marijuana. “What we’re saying is, we don’t want dispensaries in our county,” Taylor said.

“In essence, Commissioner Taylor said to Collier residents they must not only shell out money for their prescriptions, but also now must be on the hook for the gas money, wear and tear on their vehicles, or added cost for delivery,” Tolp said. “Our Commissioners are actively defying the will of nearly 63% of Collier voters who voted in favor of Amendment 2, an egregious breach of public trust and their personal responsibility to represent all Collier residents.”

See:
https://www.change.org/p/collier-county-bcc-allow-for-safe-access-to-medical-cannabis-dispensaries-in-collier-county

https://www.fox4now.com/news/local-news/libertarian-party-petitions-for-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-in-collier-county