Bill Westmiller

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William Westmiller
Westmiller, William.jpg
Libertarian National Committee
14 June 1974—24 May 1975
Predecessor: Georgiann Trammell
Successor: Gregory J. Clark
Personal Details
Birth: (1947-06-01) June 1, 1947 (age 77)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Party: Libertarian Party

William "Bill" Westmiller (born June 1, 1947) is a Libertarian activist and political figure. He co-founded the Libertarian Party in Toronto, Ontario, in 1971 and contributed significantly to the party's development in the United States. He was Secretary of the Libertarian National Committee from 1974 to 1975 and also Chair of the Libertarian Party of California in 1975. Westmiller served in various leadership positions, including National Secretary, National Chairman, and National Treasurer of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He organized registration drives, petition campaigns, and promoted Libertarian principles and candidates. His activism included supporting ballot initiatives like Proposition 174, the School Choice Initiative, and authoring the "Fair Vote 2K" constitutional initiative to combat gerrymandering in California. Westmiller's career also spans roles in broadcasting, journalism, and business management.


Early Life and Education

William Westmiller was born on June 1, 1947, at St. Mary's Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the eldest of five children born to Roger Morris Westmiller and Marilyn Schleppegrell Westmiller. His siblings are Mark, Joel, Jill, and Mary.

His early residence history includes living in St. Paul from ages 1-2, Cando, North Dakota from ages 3-5, and Marshall, Minnesota from ages 6-18. Westmiller attended Central Catholic High School, where he played several lead roles in school plays such as "Ten Little Indians," "Man For All Seasons," and "My Fair Lady." He was also the lead altar boy at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

In 1963, Westmiller became the Chairman of the Young Democrats in Lyon County, Minnesota, the only active political club in the county, which he later converted to the 'Young Independents.' He also authored a political column, "Out There," for his high school newspaper. In 1964, he received an official invitation to Lyndon Johnson's inauguration and served as Junior Class President. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1965, receiving a Drama Award for Outstanding Contributions and a Citizenship Award from the American Legion for organizing the "Young Independents" and conducting a lengthy interview with Gene McCarthy.

Westmiller attended St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he majored in physics and minored in calculus. He was a reporter, DJ, and news director on the college radio station. He then attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, majoring in Broadcasting (Journalism) and minoring in Sociology, serving as station manager of the college radio station and director of the Upper Midwest College Radio Network.

From 1966 to 1967, Westmiller attended the Brown Institute of Broadcasting in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he earned an FCC 1st Class License. He worked as a technical director and production assistant at a public TV station in St. Paul and as a technical director at Channel 5 in Minneapolis. He was also the news director for WMMR AM/FM in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

Career and Political Activities

In 1969, Westmiller refused military induction and sought political asylum in Canada after the local draft board refused to hear his case for educational deferment. He worked as a news reporter and anchor for CKWS AM/FM/TV in Kingston, Ontario, and CKBB AM/FM/TV in Barrie, Ontario.

In 1971, he co-founded the Libertarian Party in Toronto, Ontario, as a member of an objectivist group that participated in the founding of the US party. In 1973, after military conscription was repealed and a federal judge ruled in his favor, he returned to the US and worked as the news director for KKZZ AM/FM in Lancaster, California. He became the Southern California Vice-Chairman of the Libertarian Party of California and a member of the .999 IQ Society and Mensa, with an IQ of 158.

Westmiller served as the National Secretary of the Libertarian Party in 1974, chaired the National Convention, and organized registration drives. He authored the California Voter Pamphlet argument on a bond issue. In 1975, he became the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of California, organizing a petition drive to place the first Independent Presidential Candidate on the California ballot.

In 1978, he became the manager of a Radio Shack store in Canoga Park and later managed the Tandy Computer Center in Glendale, California.

Personal Life

In 1980, Westmiller married Robin Beth Cohen in Los Angeles. He worked as a Data Processing Manager for Benefit Panel Services in Los Angeles and was a member of the Electrochemical Society's Microprocessor Division. They had three daughters: Tandy Elizabeth (born 1982), Kimberly Ann (born 1984), and Michelle Ellen (born 1986).

Later Life and Political Involvement

In 1984, Westmiller became a registered Republican and worked as a Data Processing Manager for Service One Corporation in Calabasas. He was a member of the Republican National Committee and supported Presidential, Congressional, and Senate Campaign Committees.

In 1992, Westmiller moved to Thousand Oaks, California, where he became the official spokesman for Proposition 174, the School Choice Initiative, and contributed to Tom McClintock's congressional campaign. In 1994, he opened Paper Depot, a specialty store for desktop publishing papers and accessories.

In 1997, he announced his candidacy for the 24th Congressional District as a Republican. In the 1998 Republican Primary Election, he received 18% of the primary vote. He authored the "Fair Vote 2K" constitutional initiative to ban gerrymandering in California.

Westmiller was elected Chairman of the California Republican Liberty Caucus in 1999 and served as the National Executive Alternate in 2000. He was elected National Secretary of the Republican Liberty Caucus in 2002, National Chairman in 2004 and 2006, National Treasurer in 2009, and National Director in 2010.

Orgnaizational Positions

Libertarian National Committee
  • Secretary (1973—1974)
Libertarian Party of California
  • Chair (c 1975)

External links