Thursday, November 03, 2005

Brad Moves On

My friend Brad Klopfenstien is moving to a new challenge. He leaves the Libertarian Party of Indiana as Executive Director to take a similar position with the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association.

Brad Klopfenstein filling in on 'Abdul In The Morning' on WXNT 1430-am

Brad's move has gotten a fair amount of media attention, which is gratifying. He has done great things to elevate the state party from fringe party status to respected third party player. He built great relationships with the media, and also in the Statehouse.

From South Bend Tribune:
The Libertarian Party of Indiana will enter the crucial election year of 2006 with new leadership, the party said Thursday.

Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein will resign next month to accept a lobbying job and will be replaced by interim director Daniel Drexler.
From Indy Star:

A rumor spread last week: The executive director of one of Indiana's major political parties had quit. One lawmaker asked: Was it the Democratic Party's Mike Edmondson, or the Republican Party's Luke Messer? Neither. It was the
Libertarians' Brad Klopfenstein.

From Nuvo:
On Nov. 4, Brad Klopfenstein is stepping down as the executive director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana to take a similar position with the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association. Klopfenstein has served longer (five-plus years) than any previous Indiana state director and during his tenure the party set new highs for both votes and percentages of votes; saw seven Libertarian candidates elected to local offices and eight more appointed to boards and commissions; and in 2002, the Indiana Libertarians hosted the party’s national convention.
NUVO: The party hit some new highs under your leadership. What did you do differently?
BK: I think the two things that I did differently were, from day one, I went around and made sure that everyone in the media knew who I was and who the Libertarians were. We made it clear that the party had viable candidates and that we should be a part of their political coverage. Secondly, we changed our message. Previously, too many Libertarian candidates got caught up in the philosophies of the parties, which are important, but we encouraged our candidates to take the next step and use those philosophies to develop solutions to address the problems affecting their local constituencies.

We also did a detailed analysis of who our natural constituents should be. What we found was that small business owners were being ignored by both the Republicans and Democrats and we began actively courting those individuals. We felt that they were a natural fit for our party.
It was my pleasure to serve Brad as his Campaign Manager for his 2003 bid for City-County Council. In truth, there is very little managing I could do for the guy who managed the whole party. It was astonishing to watch him zero in on his home precinct in an overwhelmingly Democrat district. His Democratic opponent won with about 83% of the vote, but Brad took nearly 40% at home. He showed me what could be done with a plan, determination, and a small budget, when coupled with good libertarian ideas.


Debbie said...

So Brad's leaving to become a lobbyist? That should be interesting. I wonder what sorts of situations he might find himself in as it relates to libertarianism vs. what his organization wants from the government. I wish him well in his new venture.

Mike Kole said...

I think his mission with the ILBA will coincide in many ways with Brad's libertarian beliefs. After all, the two most prominent things the ILBA fought in 2005 were the 1% food & beverage taxes in Central Indiana, and the various smoking bans proposed around the state. Indeed, Libertarians found themselves elbow-to-elbow with bar owners with great frequency at Council meetings across the state, representing the same points of view.

I would be more concerned for him and any possible cognitive dissonance had he taken a gig with, say, the teachers union, or a group favoring smoking bans or other interference in private establishments.

Rex said...

I guess we are all lobbying for something. Either larger government or smaller government. I trust Brad will be lobbying to get the government to leave us alone. That's a good thing, I think.