Utah Convention 2019

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2019 Libertarian Party of Utah
Dates: April 20, 2019
Location: Copperton, Utah
Venue: Bingham Canyon Lions Club

The 2019 State Convention for the Libertarian Party of Utah was held at the Bingham Canyon Lions Club in Copperton, UT on April 20, 2019.

The day began with opening remarks by the outgoing chair, Joseph Buchman, stating that he did not wish to serve another consecutive term, but expressing his gratitude for his time in the office and highlighting some of his greatest memories from his time serving, including working on campaigns for public office, and getting into a debate thanks to the efforts of Apollo Pazell. His remarks were followed by reports from the Secretary, the Treasurer (given in abstentia by the Vice-Chair), the Vice-Chair, and the Chair's formal report.

Here are some highlights from the official reports:

  • There were 25 people in attendance at the convention, of whom 20 were delegates.
  • In 2019, there were 15,000 voters who registered as Libertarians in Utah, up from only 11,000 in 2018.
  • The state party had over $7,000 in reserves.
  • Hundreds of dollars have been saved by transferring website hosting to a new provider.
  • The state has begun to run electronic billboard ads throughout the state to increase awareness of the Libertarian Party.

Other presenters included Apollo Pazell who spoke about what it takes to run a campaign, LNC Member-at-Large Joe Bishop-Henchman who flew in from Washington DC to attend the convention and spoke about the state of the national party, Willy Marshall who spoke about the being elected and serving as mayor of Big Water, UT, and Andrew McCullough who shared his experience getting compensation for a innocent man who served years in jail under a false conviction. There were plans to show campaign videos from some of the candidates running to get the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States in 2020, but due to some technical problems these were not shown, but instead were uploaded to the website.

The keynote address was presented by Jensie Anderson, Professor of Legal Process and Innocence Law at the University of Utah's Quinney School of Law. Professor Anderson's remarks focused primarily on her work as the volunteer Legal Director of the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center and the weaknesses in the United States justice system.

After breaking for lunch the convention reconvened for voting. The first item was a resolution of support for the recognition of Liberland that was presented by the Liberland representative in Utah, David Vice. After some discussion of the merits of the venture, the resolution of support passed overwhelmingly. Before opening the floor for nominations for the new officers of the party, Chair Buchman gave a plea for members to step up and get involved, noting that the last executive committee struggled to keep the positions of secretary and treasurer filled, and lamenting the fact that it had been many years since there was a functioning State Central Committee with county chairs. There was only one nomination for each of the offices of chair, vice-chair, and secretary, with each of these nominees receiving the approval of the delegates. There were two nominees for treasurer, Taylor Pazell and Justin Bake, but Justin withdrew his name from consideration just before the vote. As with the other offices, the delegates gave their approval for the election of Taylor Pazell as treasurer.

At the close of the convention the new officers of the Utah Libertarian party consisted of Amber Christiansen Beltran as Chair, Barry Short continuing on for another term as Vice-Chair, Susan Sandberg Baird as Secretary, and Taylor Pazell as Treasurer. After the convention closed, the new officers held their first official Executive Committee meeting so delegates could observe their new officers in action.

The biggest take away for many of the delegates who remained to help with the clean up afterwards, was the need for a renewed effort to formally organize county level parties and elect county chairs to serve on the state central committee.