Document:LP News 1972 June Issue 7
The seventh issue of the LP News publication discusses what took place at the First National Convention of the Libertarian Party. This includes the choosing of nominees for president and vice president as well as adoption of a platform and selection of officers and members of the executive committee. There is also an article stating that while things were going well as far as the party was concerned, "don't let the fire go out".
On Sunday, June 18, 1972, the first national convention of the Libertarian Party named Dr. John Hospers, Chairman of the USC School of Philosophy and author of the widely-praised book "Libertarianism," as the LP's first Presidential candidate. Named as his running mate was Mrs. Tonie Nathan of Eugene, Oregon, who has been active in several business ventures, and is currently employed as a radio-TV producer.
Dr. Hospers was chosen on the first ballot, winning by a three-to-one margin over his only competitor, James Bryan of Oregon. Several other candidates were nominated, but all except Mr. Bryan declined; Mr. Bryan was later chosen as a member of the LP Executive Committee.
Mrs. Nathan also received her nomination the first ballot, winning by a similar large margin over her only competitor, Diana Amsden of New Mexico. Again, others were nominated, but declined. Diana Amsden was later elected National Secretary of the Party.
Following the nominations, a motion was made to make them unanimous. The motion failed, but those who voted against it then introduced a resolution expressing their support for the Hospers-Nathan ticket, which passed unanimously.
The Sunday-morning nominating session was the climax of a four-day convention at which 89 delegates from 23 states, plus over a dozen non-voting observers, deliverated over the Party's Constitution, By-Laws, and Platform.
The lengthiest debate occurred over the foreign policy section of the Platform; this lasted over five hours, running until 4:30 Sunday morning. The two areas of greatest dispute were Vietnam and the issue of free trade versus national security (i.e. whether or not the government has the right to outlaw trade with enemy nations). The solution finally agreed upon was to say n othiong on these two points, leaving each candidate and state to take their own stands.
The second-lengthiest debate occurred over the Statement of Principles. The first draft submitted to the floor was deemed less than inspired by almost everyone, and it was voted to let everyone who had an alternative present their thoughts. Seven persons did so, and the delegates then voted to select three for final consideration.
Following the election of the At-Large Members, there was a break, during which the eight Regional Caucuses met to select their respective Executive Committee representatives; the results of these caucuses are given on the enclosed green sheet (only those indicated for Regions 1, 2, 3 and 8 are permanent; the four remaining regions will hold regional caucuses to choose permanent ExecComm reps, as there were not enough delegates present to hold valid elections at the convention).
The three versions chosen were those written by Mark Frazier of Massachusetts, Paul Hodgson of New York, and Dr. Hospers. After further deliberation, Dr. Hospers's version was chosen as the best of the three, and Dr. Hospers then made a few minor revisions to incorporate ideas suggested from the floor. This revised version was then adopted unanimously, on the afternoon of Saturday, June 17.
The Statement of Principles was hailed by many as a historic document, similar in its import to the Declaration of Independence; a historic parallel was raised by Mr. Willis Stone, the National Chairman of the Liberty Amendment Committee, who addressed the convention as a guest, and pointed out that the average age of the delegates to the first Continental Congress was just 31 -- which also happens to be the average age of the LP's membership.
In addition to choosing Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, and adopting a platform, the convention delegates also chose Party officers and Executive Committee members to serve for the next two years. Chosen as Chairman was Susan L. Nolan, former Temporary Secretary; this choice, we believes makes us the only national political party with a female Chairman. Chosen as Vice-Chairman was Ed Clark, who is also serving as Temporary Chairman of the New York LP. Chosen as Secretary was Diana Amsden, the Temporary LP Chairman for New Mexico. Chosen as Treasurer was Pipp Boyls of Colorado, former Temporary Vice-Chairman of the National LP, and Chairman of the 1972 Platform Committee.
Election of the four Executive Committee Members at Large took four ballots. Some twelve people were nominated, and on the first ballot, only two people received a majority -- former Temporary Chairman David F. Nolan, who received votes from 70% of the delegates, and Oregon's Temporary Chairman, James Bryan, with 60%. On the second ballot, none of the remaining nominees received a majority, but on the third ballot, a majority was received by D Frank Robinson, temporary Oklahoma Chairman and Parliamentarian at the Convention. On the fourth ballot, Pat Lowrie of Colorado was chosen to fill the remaining At-Large spot.
Following the election of the At-Large Members, there was a break, during which the eight Regional Caucuses met to select their represetive Executive Committee representatives; the results of these caucuses are given on the enclosed green sheet (only those indicated for Regions 1,2, 3 and 8 are permanent; the four remaining regions will nold regional caucuses to choose permanent ExecComm reps, as there were not enough delegates present to hold valid elections at the convention).
The overwhelming consensus of those present at the convention that that it was the best-run and most productive libertarian gathering that had ever attended; the amount accomplished was tremendous, and the spirit or unity and purpose was greater than anyone had believe possible. Press coverage was excellent; we got two stories in each of the two Denver papers, TV coverage on two stations, and several radio interviews; Dr. Hospers was interviewed in depth by one station only minutes after being nominated, and one of the newspaper stories was picked up by UPI, and sent out on the national wire. Since the convention, both Dr. Hospers and Ms. Nathan have been interview many times, by radio, TV and newspapers.
Break Free from Big Brother is '72 Campaign Theme
After much deliberation, and discussion with LP leaders around the county, national LP has designated the phrase "Break free from Big Brother" as the 1972 Campaign Theme. Starting immediately, all ads and leaflets issued by national LP will carry this phrase, and we strongly urge all other LP organizations to pick it up fo ruse in their own material.
This theme was suggested, the form "Break Free," by D Frank Robinson. Upon consultation with other LP leaders, and with our advertising agency, John Zeigler, Inc. of New York, it was decided to expand on this, to make it clear that it is omnipotent government (and, by implication, the two-party system that supports big government) that we are urging people to break free from -- to seize their own destinies, and live as free men. We think this slogan has tremendous potential appeal, and we hope each and every LP member will do his or her best to make it a "household phrase" between now and November.
AN APOLOGY: Because of the immense amount of work involved in holding the convention, we had to combine the June and July issues of the Newsletter. From now on, we'll be back hon the regular monthly schedule.
Things look better now than we had hoped for in our wildest dreams, as recently as four months ago.
We have an outstanding ticket -- a libertarian philosopher whose work has been praised by virtually every sect in the "movement," and who enjoys a great deal of respect in the intellectual community ... plus a charming, articulate woman with extensive contacts in the communications industry.
There are now LP organizations operating in 17 states, with three others on the verge of forming. Our total membership, in the national and state LP organizations, is now just short of 1,000, and growing rapidly; we fully expect to be the largest libertarian organization in the world by Election Day.
We have gained the support virtually every other libertarian organization, publication, and individual of any statue in America -- the only exceptions being Ayn Rand (who has thus far remained aloof), the hard-core revolutionary anarchists (who would be more of a liability than an asset, anyhow), and the pathetic "Voter Boycott" group, whose main guru seems to be a man dismissed by most thinking libertarians as a crank and a charlatan who specializes in neutralizing the efforts of others.
In sum, things look good -- very good. Thus, the greatest danger we are face is one of expecting too much in the way of immediate results. If everyone gets tired by mid-August, just because the campaign hasn't ten off fully, we will defeat ourselves; nobody else can do it.
The word problem we face ink "getting off the ground" is raising money. This is why we have asked, elsewhere in this issue, that everyone dig into their pockets as deep as they possibly can, to provide "seed money." This alone won't even begin to provide the revenue we need, but it will make it possible for us to generate that revenue. If we get, say, $2,000 now, we can go ahead with plans for fund-raising ads and mailings ... which will generate the real money in mid-August and September.
In the meantime, we urge that everyone work on three things which don't require much money, but which are vitally important.
First, and most important, begin circulating ballot petitions, to get the Hospers-Nathan ticket on the ballot in your state. Start immediately (or as soon as you legally can, if it's too soon now). Do it even if you haven't a ghost of the a chance of succeeding; it's one of the best ways to get publicity, and to get people to take LP literature.
Second, begin laying plans to reach dissatisfied McGovern Democrats (if McGovern doesn't get the Democratic nomination) and Ashbrook Republicans. The best time to get these people is right after the respective party conventions.
And third, keep working on recruiting new LP members, and building an LP organization in your state (things are ripe for an organizational meeting in several states, such as Arizona, Ohio and Washington). To encourage an extra effort in the membership recruiting department, we make this offer: everyone who brings in one new member (two, in the case of student members) before August 20th will be sent, absolutely free, a handsome and striking poster dramatizing the message of Atlas Shrugged. These posters a 22 inch square, with a graphic design by New Hampshire Temporary Chairman Art Ketchen in royal blue on a white background. (If you want to buy one, they're $1.50, but we'd rather give you one free, for bringing in a member).
The main thing is to keep plugging, spread the word, and don't get discouraged between now and September. And send money.
NEW MATERIALS AVAILABLE
Enclosed with this Newsletter, all LP members will find a copy of the 1972 Platform, and two buttons -- a "Break Free" and a Hospers-Nathan button. Also enclosed is an Order Form, which you can use to order more of these infinitely desirable items...or any other LP material, for that matter.
Because we want to get out as many Platforms as possible, we have reduced the price to about 1/3 less than we charged for the Temporary Platform. We got out 6,000 copies of the Temporary, and hope to get out a minimum of 50,000 of the permanent vision; over 6,000 of the first printing of 10,000 have already been sent out, but this is just the beginning.
To give everyone an incentive to order, we have a special deal, good this month only (to August 20th), whereby you can get 25 Platforms and 5 Hospers-Nathan buttons for just $4 (the price you would have paid for 25 Temporary Platforms alone). We'll even include 25 Membership Applications. So what are you waiting for?
Another new item -- so new it isn't even on the Order Form -- is the official Hospers-Nathan bumper sticker. This is a three-color vinyl job (red white and blu, what else), a full 15" long. Price is 50 cents for one, $2 for 5, $4 for a dozen, $7 for 25, $13 for 50, $24 for 100, and $50 for 250. This is a great fund-raiser; they can be sold for 50 cents to $1 each.
We Also still have a few (very few) LAISSEZ FAIRE buttons, and about six copies of the great libertarian record "Don't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. Perfect for rallies, cell meetings, or whatever. Both the L-F buttons and the Who record are in short supply, and will not be renewed -- so if you want either of these items, order now.
By next month, we'll have some Hospers-Nathan campaign brochures.
BITS & PIECES
SPECIAL CAMPAIGN FUND ESTABLISHED
As we noted in our March issues, we'll need a lot of money -- on the order of $25,000 -- in order to be able to get our ideas and can dates the degrees of public exposure that's necessary if we're to produce ay significant and lasting effect.
A special campaign fund, which will be used exclusively to cover the expenses of the Hospers-Nathans campaign, has been set up. We urge all LP members (and sympathizers) to contribute as much as they can, as soon as they can; money is needed now, to place the ads and send out the mailings that will bring in the big money.
We know that every LP member can afford at least a couple of dollars; many of you can afford $25, 450, $100,or more. And we hope that everyone will send their $1 -- or their $100 -- to the Hospers-Nathan campaign fund as soon as possible.
Checks should be made out to LIBERTARIAN PARTY CAMPAIGN FUND, and send to the Fund at 1415 N. El Paso, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906.
As a special incentive to think big in making campaign contributions, we have arranged for everyone who contributes $50 or more to receive a personally autographed copy of the $10 hardcover edition of Dr Hospers' Libertarianism. Status seekers, take heed!
ROTHBARD CONSENTS TO BE HOSPERS' ECONOMIC ADVISOR
We have just received word, as this issue of the Newsletter went to press, that noted libertarian economist Murray N. Rothbard has agreed to serve as Dr. Hospers' economic advisor -- thus assuring that Hospers, alone among this year's Presidential candidates, will be able to draw on the expertise of an economist who really understands economics. We are pleased to learn of this development, especially as Murray had been somewhat skeptical of the LP until only a few weeks ago. Another convert!
YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS, BUT ...
We were sent a newspaper clipping from the May 5th Oakland Tribune, telling of a notice issued by the Alameda County Welfare Dept. to a deceased gent in Oakland. The notice read, in part "You are no longer eligible to receive MediCal benefits, effective 2-29-72, because you have died..." We've never had a very high opinion the intelligence of bureaucrats, but we have to admit that this is a new low.
CONVENTION DELEGATE LIST AVAILABLE
A number of delegates to the national convention expressed interest in receiving a list of all who were registered, with addresses. We now have such a list, and will send it, free of charge, to anyone who was a registered delegate, if they'll send a self-addressed staled envelope (standard business size). Others who wish mohave a copy of the list, send the envelope and $1 to cover the cost of handling.
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOUR CHECKBOOK
LP member John Hammond of Georgia has forwarded to us some data not he latest form of Federal snooping. According to this data, Uncle Sam now requires all banks to keep microfilm copies of all checks written by their clients, and make those microcopies available to Fedsnoops upon demand. So, if you're writing checks you do't want Big Brother to know about, you'd better stop. Pay in cash, or use some private method of transferring funds.
AUGUST NEWSLETTER TO FEATURE WRITEUPS ON STATE AND LOCAL LP CANDIDATES
Next month, in addition to carrying news on the progress of the Hospers-Nathan campaign, we plan to carry write-ups on all LP and LP-endorswed candidates running for state and local office around the country. So, if you are running, or there's someone in your state who's running, send us all available info as soon as possible.
CALIFORNIA LP HAS HOSPERS SPEECHES ON TAPE
Tapes of Dr. Hospers speech to the New York LP on July 4th, and his West Coast campaign kickoff speech on the 5th, are available from the California LP. cassettes, $9.50; reel-to-reel, $20. Specify which day's talk you want. Order direct from the California LP.
TWO NEW LIFE MEMBERS
Thanks are in order, to two new Life Members. William Contos of Illinois became our third "Lifer" in late May, and Frank and Barbie Merriman of Massachusetts took out a joint Life Membership in June. this make four Life Members and one Life Sustaining Member to date. Next?
LIBERTARIANISM TO BE ISSUED IN PAPERBACK
Plans are now being finalized to have Nash Publishing brings out a paperback edition of Dr. Hospers' Libertarianism later this summer. The paperback will be billed as a special campaign edition, and will probably sell for $2.95. Also in the works: an LP record, to be distributed by Academic Associates. More details next month.
"What democracy needs most of all is a party that will separate the good that is in it theoretically from the evils that beset it practically, and then try to erect that good into a workable system. What it needs behind everything is a party of liberty." -- H.L. Mencken