National Convention 2018
|2018 Libertarian National Convention|
|Dates:||June 30—July 3, 2018|
|Location:||New Orleans, Louisiana|
The 2018 Libertarian National Convention was held from June 30th through July 3rd, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
- 1 Overview
- 2 Business Overview
- 3 Non-Business Overview
- 4 Bylaws Proposals
- 5 Platform Proposals
- 6 Conventioneering
- 7 Elections
- 8 Speakers
- 9 Delegate Counts
- 10 Documents
- 11 Photos
- 12 Award Recipients
- 13 Facilities
- 14 External Links
- 15 References
The 2018 convention considered proposals to amend the Libertarian Party bylaws and platform, and elected party officials for the coming two-year term. Delegates were selected by each of the 51 Libertarian Party affiliates.
Additionally, the convention included seminars, forums, debates, discussion groups, and an exhibition hall, as well as many parties, caucus events, and off-site events and demonstrations.
Marc Allan Feldman's "I'm that Libertarian" speech title was chosen as the Convention slogan in a poll wherein participants voted by donating money in support of the slogan(s) of their choice, with the slogan raising the most money selected.
The Bylaws, Credentials, and Platform Committees each held meetings prior to the convention and final meetings at the convention site on Saturday 30 June.
The business session of the convention opened on Sunday morning 1 July with 697 credentialed delegates. The delegates heard the Audit Committee report and the Treasurer's report, and began work on the Bylaws Committee report. At the beginning of the afternoon session, it was reported that 770 delegates were registered, along with 22 alternates, with a total of 780 possible votes. The delegates continued work on the Bylaws Committee report and began work on the Platform Committee report.
The Monday morning session started with 799 delegates and 21 alternates registered, with a total of 806 possible votes. The delegates continued work on the Platform Committee work. At the start of the afternoon session, there were 808 delegates, 21 alternates, and a total of 813 possible votes. The delegates began the work of formally electing officers, re-electing Nick Sarwark as national Chair and conducting a first round of voting for Vice-Chair.
Business resumed Tuesday morning, with 771 delegates and 18 alternates, for a total of 778 possible votes, with continuation of the election for Vice-Chair and election of the other officers. Business Tuesday afternoon included election of the at-large members of the LNC, and of the Judicial Committee.
The following Libertarian Party caucuses are known to have hosted events, parties, and/or meetings at or in conjunction with the convention:
• Secular Caucus (founding meeting)
Convention attendees took part in the following off-site demonstrations, protests, or other activism:
• Dead Veterans March (organized by Adam Kokesh to draw attention to suicides of former U.S. government military personnel)
• Families Belong Together protest (one of a series of nationwide protests held June 30 in opposition to President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant policy of separating undocumented parents arriving in the U.S. from their children)
The following groups and individuals are known to have sponsored information tables at the convention:
Groups: • Freedom Works • Libertarian Socialist Caucus • The Mad Statist • Pragmatic Caucus • Libertarian Party Radical Caucus • Roads To Freedom Foundation • Libertarian Party Historical Preservation Committee • Pro-Choice Libertarians
The Bylaws Committee provided a written report. The report was presented to the convention with the following changes made by the Committee after publication of the report: Proposals G and H were withdrawn, Proposals Q and P were repositioned for consideration, in that order, after Proposal E.
Proposal A relating to the platform deletion "token" system was considered but not adopted.
Proposal W relating to the time allowed for LNC mail ballots was adopted.
Proposal Q relating to preserving the 7/8 protection of the Statement of Principles was adopted.
Proposal B relating to election of the Judicial Committee was adopted.
Proposal C relating to the schedule for appointing convention committee members was adopted.
Proposal D relating to removal of LNC regional alternates was adopted.
Proposal E relating to the Membership article was adopted.
Proposal P relating to the Purposes article was amended (to retain the existing language up to "by") and adopted.
Proposal L relating to the order of business was adopted.
Proposal F relating to automatic delegate status for certain elected officials was postponed indefinitely.
Proposal I relating to the term of the Judicial Committee was adopted.
Time for the Bylaws Committee report ran out, so the remaining proposals were not considered.
Based on the "token" system for proposing deletion of existing planks, the Abortion plank (having received 608 tokens) was considered but not deleted.
The Platform Committee provided a written report, along with pages with an additional proposal "AA", a replacement wording for the second minority report on proposal "G", and noting a change in support for another minority report.
Proposal N relating to Free Trade and Migration was adopted.
Proposal AA relating to Parental Rights was adopted.
Proposal A relating to Licensing was adopted.
Proposal B relating to Government Finance and Spending was adopted.
Proposal C relating to Internal Security and Individual Rights was adopted.
Proposal D relating to the Preamble was adopted.
Proposals E and F relating to Personal Liberty were adopted.
The second minority proposal G (new version, text differs from original report), relating to Sex Work, was adopted with an amendment.
The minority proposal H relating to Personal Relationships was adopted.
Proposal I relating to Crime and Justice was adopted with amendments.
Proposal L relating to Money and Financial markets was adopted.
Proposal J relating to Expression and Communication was considered but not adopted.
Time for the Platform Committee report ran out, so the remaining proposals were not considered.
2018 is historically significant for the successful effort at protecting the Statement of Principles with the Close the Back Door initiative. The New Orleans Accord which was categorized as an effort to unify the left-libertarian and right-libertarian quadrants in one form of the political compass was unsuccessful after multiple attempts.
Also notable was one of the candidates for party chair being a self-identified communist who wore a Mikhail Bakunin t-shirt on-stage during the chair's debate. He was booed by delegates on several of his points.
Debates were held Sunday evening 1 July for candidates for Chair and Vice-Chair. Participation in the debates was restricted via a controversial "token" system, which ended up excluding multiple candidates, including Matthew Schutter who ran for chair, and James Weeks and Matthew Geiger who ran for vice-chair. (In the actual election, Weeks outpolled one of the candidates who had taken part in the vice-chair debate.)
The candidates in the debate for Chair were Christopher Thrasher, Matthew Kuehnel, Nicholas Sarwark, and Joshua Smith. The candidates in the debate for Vice-Chair were Alex Merced, Arvin Vohra, Joseph Hauptmann, Sam Goldstein, and Steve Scheetz.
The formal election process, with nominating speeches and voting, began Monday afternoon and ran through Tuesday afternoon.
Nicholas Sarwark was re-elected on the 1st Round.
1st Round (no candidate received a majority)
|James Weeks II||44|
|write-in (Geoff Neale)||1|
2nd Round (no candidate received a majority)
|James Weeks II||29|
Alex Merced was elected on the 3rd Round.
Caryn Ann Harlos was elected.
|Caryn Ann Harlos||372|
Tim Hagan was re-elected.
This election was conducted initially by "approval voting" in which each delegate could vote for any number of candidates. The numbers shown in the table below are the results of that vote. Because in that vote only the top two received support of a majority of those voting, a separate vote was held to confirm majority support for the next three, resulting in the election of the top five.
A single "approval voting" ballot was held, with the results shown below. However, because none of the candidates received a majority and the tally was not done until after adjournment of the convention, so there was no opportunity for the convention to further express its intentions, the legitimacy of this election has been questioned.
|D. Frank Robertson||204|
|A. Blair Dunn||114|
Pre-Convention Candidate Information
- Declared Officer and LNC Candidates
(This Section will be updated from time to time as additional information becomes available.)
All 'Declared' Candidates have made a public announcement for the position they are seeking, and/or have created a promotional website/social media page declaring their intention to run.
- Matt Kuehnel, Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Macomb County.
- Nicholas Sarwark, incumbent chair
- Matt Schutter, Former Penn Forest Auditor. Chair of the Libertarian Party of Carbon County.
- Joshua Smith, Libertarian Party of Washington Region 5 Representative 
- Christopher Thrasher, Former Ballot Access Coordinator for the 2016 Gary Johnson Campaign.
- Sam Goldstein, LNC At-Large Representative. 2016 Candidate for LNC Vice-Chair
- Joseph Hauptmann, former state chair of the Libertarian Party of Indiana
- Alex Merced, 3-time Libertarian Party candidate from New York
- Steve Scheetz, Libertarian Party Radical Caucus Treasurer
- Arvin Vohra, incumbent vice-chair
- James Weeks II, 2016 candidate for LNC Chair. 2016 Candidate for Sheriff of Livingston County, Michigan.
- Tim Hagan, incumbent Treasurer and Libertarian Party of Nevada Treasurer 
- Drew Layda, Libertarian Party of Oregon Director 
- LNC At-Large
5 Seats Available
- Traci Baker, Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma 
- Jesse Fullington, Libertarian from Tennessee 
- Daniel Hayes, incumbent At-large Representative
- Joe Bishop-Henchman, Executive Vice-President, Tax Foundation
- Benjamin Leder, 2020 candidate for President of the United States
- Tom Maciejewski, Libertarian Party Radical Caucus Vice Chair and New Jersey Radical Caucus State Committee Coordinator.
- Mike Shipley, former Arizona Libertarian Party Secretary 
- Heide Alejandro-Smith, At-large committee member, Libertarian Party of St. Tammany Parish (Louisiana); commercial truck driver 
- Justin O'Donnell, LNC Region 8 Representative
- LNC Region 1 Representative
- Joseph Buchman, Libertarian Party of Utah Chair 
- Richard Longstreth, former Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado
- LNC Region 1 Alternate
- LNC Region 2 Representative
- LNC Region 2 Alternate
- LNC Region 3 Representative
- Elizabeth Van Horn, incumbent 
- Brian Ellison, candidate for the Michigan's 8th District in the US House of Representatives 
- LNC Region 3 Alternate
- LNC Region 4 Representative
- LNC Region 4 Alternate
- LNC Region 5 Representatives
- LNC Region 5 Alternate
- Susan Hogarth was elected.
- LNC Region 6 Representative
- LNC Region 6 Alternate
- LNC Region 7 Representative
- Whitney Bilyeu was reelected. 
- LNC Region 7 Alternate
- LNC Region 8 Representative
- Justin O'Donnell, incumbent 
- Susan Overeem, Libertarian Party of New York At-large Representative. 
These candidates have either previously announced or publicly expressed interest in running for an LNC position but have since withdrawn from consideration or declined to run.
- Alicia Dearn, 2016 Candidate for the Libertarian nomination for Vice-President.
- Joe Paschal, candidate for Montana House of Representatives' 70th District (endorsed Nicholas Sarwark)
- Jenn Bryson Gray, former campaign manager for Larry Sharpe's 2018 Gubernatorial Campaign (endorsed Alex Merced)
- Trent Somes, LNC Region 5 Alternate Representative 
- LNC At-Large
- Starchild, incumbent At-Large Representative
- LNC Region 5 Alternate
- Trent Somes, incumbent Region 5 Alternate Representative
- LNC Region 8 Alternate
- Siobhan Patricia Lynch, Libertarian activist from Massachusetts
|The Libertarian Vindicator||134||February 2018||—||—||47.01%||—||28.36%||24.63%|
|Libertarian Party USA (Unofficial)||99||February 4—28, 2018||—||—||59.60%||—||16.16%||24.24%|
|Libertarian Party USA (Unofficial)||27||March 9—15, 2018||7.41%||—||27.93%||—||55.56%||11.11%|
|LP 2018 Delegates - unofficial||232||March 10—15, 2018||15.52%||3.45%||36.64%||2.16%||31.47%||10.76%|
|The Libertarian Vindicator||248||January 2018||—||5.65%||46.37%||3.63%||8.06%||6.05%||19.76%||—||10.48%||N/A|
|Libertarian Party USA (Unofficial)||126||February 4—28, 2018||—||3.97%||71.43%||1.59%||—||2.38%||—||5.56%||6.35%||8.73%|
|Libertarian Party USA (Unofficial)||35||March 8—15, 2018||2.86%||2.86%||74.29%||0.00%||—||2.86%||—||5.71%||8.57%||2.86%|
- Avens O'Brien
- Bill Weld
- Boomer Shannon
- Jeff Hewitt
- Mary Ruwart
- Robin Koerner
- Sara Daggers Stewart
- Tim Moen, Libertarian Party of Canada chair
- Tracy Ryan, Hawaii LP chair
- Valerie Sarwark
- Howard Wetsman MD video
- Tom Woods (unofficial off-site event "Take Human Action Bash" sponsored by the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus)
Following are the number of delegates allocated to each affiliate for the 2018 Libertarian National Convention. The actual number of delegates in attendance from each affiliate will be added when available. The affiliates are listed in groups according to the LNC regions which were in effect through this convention; region groupings for the upcoming term may be different.
- Bylaws and Convention Rules 2016 (in effect for this convention)
- Platform 2016 (base for updated Platform)
- 2018 Delegate Allocation and Region Formation Manual
- Joe Dehn's Facebook albums (mostly business meetings)
- Avens O'Brien's Facebook album (mostly portraits)
- Benjamin Franklin Award (local candidate): Jeff Hewitt
- Patrick Henry Award (federal/state candidate): Mark Miller
- Thomas Paine Award (communications): Carla Howell
- Sam Adams Award (activism): Joe Johnson, Alicia Mattson
- Thomas Jefferson Award (leadership): Julie Fox
The convention was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel, 601 Loyola Avenue, in the Central Business District area of New Orleans, near the Superdome.
The center of convention business was on the third floor. The business meetings and candidate debates took place in the Celestin Ballroom. The registration area was in the nearby Storyville Hall. Vendor booths were mostly in the hallway/foyer in front the Celestin Ballroom, with some in Storyville Hall.
Breakout sessions, committee meetings, and caucus meetings were held mostly in meeting rooms on the second and fourth floors. Meal events were in the Elite Hall on the first floor.
As with many large events, there were numerous concerns expressed by many attendees. Following is a list of notable issues specific to this venue/occasion:
- The layout of the lower levels was weird, with the connection between the lobby and everything else requiring a separate escalator or elevator ride plus considerable walking.
- There were no budget accommodations on site except whatever room-share arrangements attendees managed to put together themselves
- The elevator system was unfamiliar to many delegates, and poorly designed in the view of some (one attendee compared it to a Rube Goldberg device), and seemed prone to failure under heavy traffic conditions (e.g., at the end of a session).
- The temperature in the main hall was often lower than some delegates found tolerable; hotel staff were slow in correcting the problem and it had to be repeatedly brought to their attention.
- The hotel restricted outside food and beverages being brought in, and those for sale on the premises were more expensive than comparable items in most stores and restaurants ("hotel prices")
- Henderson, Luke (January 13, 2018). "POLL RESULTS: Merced, Somes, & Vohra Top Candidates For Libertarian Vice-Chair". https://libertarianvindicator.com/2018/01/13/poll-results-merced-somes-vohra-top-candidates-for-libertarian-vice-chair/. Retrieved January 13, 2018.