Monday, February 13, 2012

Mark Rutherford For LNC Chair!

I am very excited about Mark Rutherford's announcement that he is seeking the Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. Mark is currently the Vice Chair of the LNC, and was Chair of the Libertarian Party of Indiana for seven years. Link to Rutherford's LNC Chair website.

I lived in Ohio until 2002, and wasn't terribly involved with the Libertarian Party there. They lacked ballot access, so they had very few candidates, and the leadership there was not very focused on getting the ballot access, ensuring that they were more of a supper club than a real political party.

The contrast in Indiana was significant. With Rutherford as Chair, the LPIN ran candidates at every level, across the state in 2002. It employed an Executive Director (Brad Klopfenstein) who carried out a range of tasks, from recruiting and assisting candidates to lobbying at the Statehouse. Indianapolis hosted the LP's national convention, landed here by Rutherford, Klopfenstein, and the leadership of the LPIN's Central Committee. I was very impressed, and when I moved here, I got very involved very quickly, assisting Andy Horning's campaign for US House the week I arrived. Rebecca Sink-Burris ran for Secretary of State in 2002, securing continued ballot access. I did the same in 2006.

So, I am very excited. I have no doubt that Rutherford can do on a national level for the Libertarian Party what he did here on the state level. That means, I would expect direction towards vastly improved professionalism and standards, and more effective branding of the party.

I am looking forward to this year's national convention in Las Vegas, where I will be proud to cast a vote for Mark Rutherford for LNC Chair.


patriot paul said...

I'd like to hear an emphasis on actully 'winning' and 'how to' win. Though I'm not a libertarian party member (nor would I pay a required $25.00 to join to get my LP card membership), I'm all for hearing viewpoints in a contest. The question before the LP is whether they really want to win or just fill a spot & be an influence to steer the other parties. I'm not really hearing recent candidates give it their all.In fact just the opposite.

Mike Kole said...

That's fair criticism, although I was very pleased with Ed Coleman's recent effort to get re-elected. He really hammered the pavement going door-to-door. So did Phil Miller in his attempt to become Greenfield mayor. And, I'm liking what I see of Gary Johnson so far. But, that I can name a handful shows plenty of agreement.

My support for Rutherford has a lot to do with his desire to win. He did say in this speech his intent to end the culture of treating the party as a member service organization. That's huge, because that's where that flabby attitude comes from.

patriot paul said...

I'm reminded of the comments from Rebecca Sink-Burris who ran for U.S.Senate and Mike Wherry, candidate for Indiana Sec.State, and Greg Knott, 9th.district candidate running for Congress. They let it be known they were not delusional in thinking they would win, but that wasn't the goal anyway. They just wanted the major parties to bend more to their way by adopting some LP themes. Upon their loss, they claim they'll join one of the major parties next time because they want to win, and allow someone else to be the LP'alternative'. It sounds like their adherence to the LP runs a little shallow. Thoughts?

Mike Kole said...

I would be really shocked to hear Rebecca say anything of the sort. She's been with the party since the early 70s and currently is a rep to the LNC. The others, I don't know. Knott is very involved with the Ron Paul campaign right now, so perhaps that's what you're getting at?

I know this- damned either way. I went around saying I was running to win, so I was pegged as delusional. Then if candidates learn from this treatment and take a realistic approach, they get pegged as not having their hearts in it. We definitely have a range of candidates, from the all-out races of Coleman & Miller to the paper candidate, and everything in between. Chard Reid was a great candidate in the 5th District two years ago.

I think there's something to what you say in that libertarians aren't so interested in the power of office as the advancement of ideas, whereas candidates in other parties will step on their grandmothers' necks to get two inches higher.

patriot paul said...

Take note:

"They said the purpose they serve in the elections is not necessarily to win, but to influence the major party candidates to adopt their views.
While Sink-Burris said it’s not always about winning, Knott said he might reconsider his party affiliation and let someone else take on the role as the “alternative” candidate so he can have a shot in the future."

“I wouldn’t mind running for office again, and if I run for a federal level office again, it would almost certainly be as one of the two major parties,” Knott said.“ A lot of voters only consider voting for one of the two major parties. They don’t consider voting other people even if they think they’re a
better candidate.”

"We can’t compete if we have to expend our resources just to get on the ballot."

Mike Kole said...

Well, I think they both told the truth, but in the case of Knott, I'd rather than he hadn't said that about changing affiliations while in the midst of running! The other guys will hide their positions or spin you until you're dizzy. We'll be truthful to a fault.

You're right- we have to fight the good fight and not give in to these kinds of impulses. Ironically, Knott and all of our federal candidates got the highest totals & percentages ever. Here again, I believe Rutherford will help change and improve the culture of the party throughout.

Dan Drexler said...

Hey, Paul. Hope you're doing well. It's been awhile since we last talked.

I can't speak to Knott's comments, but I assure you that, as Campaign Manager for Mike Wherry's SOS effort, we loved the idea of winning. We had tiered goals, including the ballot access threshold, major party status and winning. Mike traveled every corner of the state several times. The effort took us to 6%, over 100,000 for the first time in that race. It wasn't the win, but it showed growth and put us in position to run local candidates that can win without the need to gather petition signatures. In 2010, we ended up having several local victories in contested races. Finally, I talk with Wherry weekly. He's definitely on board with the LP. If he runs again for public office, which is unlikely, it would be as a libertarian.