Document:New York Newsletter January 2001 Free New York
F R E E N E W Y O R K
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1.) A Reply to State of State Speech 2.) Report from Tompkins County 3.) Toastmaster Can Improve Your Public Speaking 4.) County Meetings 5.) Recent Changes in NYS Gun Laws 6.) 2001 Convention Info 7.) Treasurer's Report
February 17, 2001
Deadline for FNY Articles
March 2001 Next Issue of FNY
April 28, 2001 LPNY Convention Holiday Inn-Midtown West 57th Street Manhattan
All address changes/corrections should be sent to:
The Libertarian Party Watergate Office Building 2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100 Washington, DC 20037
A Reply to State of State Speech
Pataki Gives State of State Speech Jan. 3 A Libertarian's Response by Jeffery Doty
On January 3, Governor Pataki gave his State of the State speech. As usual he bragged about all the tax cuts that have been passed during his time as Governor. And the governor has certainly earned his bragging rights. No longer are New Yorkers the most heavily taxed citizens in America. We are, however, still in the top 10. Taxes need to be reduced further and, to his credit, Governor Pataki has vowed to do just that. While Pataki deserves kudos on the tax front, his speech contained not only weaknesses, but some outright contradictions. Let's start with some weaknesses. Pataki realizes that tax cuts can spur economic growth. Unfortunately, all of his tax cuts are very targeted. He offers tax cuts for IBM here and for senior citizens there. He offers Empire Zones dotted across the state and special breaks for farmers. But if tax breaks are good for some businesses wouldn't they be better for all businesses? If tax cuts are worthwhile for some people, wouldn't they be worthwhile for all people? Gov. Pataki stated, "...when the voting is over, the campaigning must stop so the governing can begin." However, the first principle of governing is to treat all citizens equally. It is wrong to punish some to obtain an equal outcome. It is immoral to give others special favors to achieve equal opportunities. Gov. Pataki's various programs violate that first principle. He proposes to expand the Empire Zones from two square miles to four square miles. The only fair and equitable decision would be to expand them to the entire 49,576 square miles of New York State. Pataki's corporate welfare programs are heavily targeted towards manufacturing. As America entered into the 20th century, most of the jobs were in various service industries, not manufacturing. Manufacturing employment has steadily dropped during the past one hundred years. As we enter the 21st century, the governor is still living in the 1800s. He needs to be more concerned about services. In particular, there is one service industry that is a concern to all New Yorkers -- the Health Insurance industry. Reducing the cost of health insurance would be a boost to every business that offers coverage for their workers. It would also allow more uninsured workers to be able to afford insurance on their own. The primary causes of high insurance rates are government regulations and mandates. Politicians demand that insurance companies offer coverage of certain procedures whether or not people can afford the extra coverage or even want it. In effect, our government has outlawed affordable health insurance. Politicians are making decisions collectively, that people, in a free society, should be making individually. Through excessive regulation and legislation, we have been robbed of our freedom to choose. In the 1980s, then President Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and stood in front of the infamous Berlin Wall. He challenged Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" and return to the people their basic human right of freedom. As we enter a new millennium, we must challenge Mr. Pataki and his colleagues to tear down the walls of regulations that are denying us our freedom to choose. In an attempt to alleviate the problem of uninsured people, our politicians offer a wide variety of government programs, subsidized by taxpayers, for senior citizens, children, and the poor. Governor Pataki chortled over
the number of people taking advantage of these programs:
* Beginning with this year, up to 600,000 uninsured people will be able to get insurance through Family Health Plus. * Enrollment in EPIC is expected to double this year * The number of children in Child Health Plus soared from 90,000 in 1995 to 530,000 today. "And," Mr. Pataki claims, "the best news is that we're enrolling children into this program faster than ever." And this brings us to the most glaring contradiction in the governor's speech. After bragging about all of the people dependent upon government healthcare programs. And after claiming that Child Health Plus is a "compassionate" program, he later stated, "After decades of experience, the welfare system taught us one thing conclusively: Encouraging people to remain dependent upon their government isn't compassionate -- it's cruel." Surely the governor must realize that all of his healthcare programs constitute a fiscal timebomb that will blast future generations of New Yorkers into poverty as they try to pay for all the healthcare that an increasingly dependent, and ageing, populace will need. He is replacing a welfare debacle with a healthcare debacle. Governor Pataki is giving our best young adults yet another reason to leave New York State. Finally, Governor Pataki proudly took credit for "the most sweeping set of gun laws in America." He claimed they were "common sense laws." Our governor has confused commonsense with nonsense. Commonsense tells us that outlaws are not concerned about violating new laws "preventing" them from acquiring guns. Nonsense tells us that passing more of these worthless laws will make us safer. Like many Republicans, Pataki seems to be taking the votes of gun owners for granted much the way Democrats do with blacks. Gun owners need to realize that Republicans will never defend their 2nd Amendment rights. The governor's new laws will, among other things, drive up the price of guns making them even less affordable for the poor, who just happen to live in the neighborhoods with the highest crime rates. The best research currently available on gun control laws was done by Prof. John Lott of Yale University. It shows conclusively that restricting gun ownership leads to more crime. The commonsense action to take is to abolish all gun control laws. This would allow innocent people the opportunity to practice their right to defend themselves and their families, instead of waiting to become "statistics" in the next FBI crime report. While Governor Pataki should be commended for his efforts to cut taxes, there is much about which he should be chastised. While he occassionally talks like a libertarian, his actions are usually those of a statist. He reminds me of President Clinton claiming that "the era of big government is over" and then presenting a long list of new, big government programs. New York State is in need of a strong libertarian movement if the overall size and scope of government are to be reduced. We need principled politicians who realize, as Thomas Jefferson did, that if the people are "not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion through education." The people of New York do not need more laws and regulations. They need more freedom of choice and a greater diversity of choice that can be brought about only in a free-market society.
Report from Tompkins County
An Unscientific Study Voting Behavior and Party Formation in Tompkins County by Alexandra Sanderson Stocker
If you were searching for Libertarians in New York State, you would think that the last place to look would be Tompkins County, home of Cornell University and some of the most vociferous liberals ever spawned. But you would be wrong. In the November election, Tompkins County had among the highest Libertarian vote counts in all of New York State. Now, I don't have the (public) funds to hire Zogby to do a poll, but may I proffer the following two reasons for this phenomenon ... smart people and yard signs. Because of Cornell and Ithaca College, Tompkins County attracts smart people. Libertarians, of course, are smart people. Therefore, more smart people equates to more Libertarian votes. I might be reaching. The other reason, yard signs. I live on a county road. When our county decided to widen the road and remove some of my front yard, I asked them for a copy of their impact study (funded by your money, thank you). In it were the statistics showing the number of cars that passed our house -- a whopping 9,000 cars per day. If the average car contains 1.5 passengers, then my yard was getting 13,500 viewings a day! So, in early October, up went the Libertarian yard signs. Within 3 days, a college age fellow knocked on my door with a Harry Brown button on his lapel. He had never met another Libertarian before and wanted to find out more. He joined the Libertarian Party that day. That motivated me to take the next step and try to find more local Libertarians. Before I knew it, with the invaluable guidance of Will Kone, the Southern Tier Libertarian Party is about to be reborn! Our kickoff meeting is scheduled for February 24th in Ithaca. So if you live in Tompkins, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga, Broome, or Chenango county and do not already affiliate with a local chapter, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 266-0133.
Toastmasters International can help
Developing Your Public Speaking Skills by Albert Dedricke
Several months ago I joined Toastmasters International. It has been a wonderful experience and I recommend it to all Libertarians. Toastmasters International is an organization that helps men and women become better speakers. There are chapters all over the world and in most large cities in the US. In New York State there are 214 chapters. Once or twice a month, each Toastmasters group gets together to practice prepared and impromptu public speaking. Members evaluate each other, and comments are generally constructive and supportive. There is a low membership fee -- much cheaper than any class in public speaking -- and members have the opportunity to speak every week. For libertarians, it is an excellent opportunity to improve and refine your public speaking skills, whether you are speaking to an individual, a group, or a governmental committee. In addition to practicing your skills before a sympathetic group, it is also a great place to get over the initial nervousness that most people have in speaking to a group of people. It's also a great opportunity to speak to a small group of people twice a month about the benefits of libertarianism. I have made three speeches so far, including one on the importance of freedom and another on the legalization of Industrial Hemp. Both times I received positive comments on the libertarian aspect of the speech. If you need to become a better public speaker, or have trouble explaining libertarianism to friends, I urge you to find a local Toastmasters group and join. The LP needs all the speakers and leaders it can get, and Toastmasters can help you become that speaker or leader. You can find Toastmasters on the internet at Toastmasters.org or call their national number at (949) 858-8255.
The Libertarian Party of Queens County meets on February 10, 2001. The meeting will take place 10 am to 12 noon at:
Bohemian Hall, 29-19 24th Avenue, Astoria (Queens).
Gary Popkin to speak. For more information, contact the LPQC at (718) 670-3270.
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LPMC Annual convention is Feb 24 12-4 PM at:
Brookwood Inn, Andover Room, Pittsford, NY.
Call (716) 529-9354 for reservations and details or see mnylp.netsville.com
Recent Changes in NYS Gun Laws
Gun Law Changes Include Background Checks, Gun Locks Jacob Rieper, Legislative Director New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
On August 9, 2000, Governor Pataki signed into law the most sweeping gun control package since the Sullivan Law. Several important changes have been made which negatively affect the rights of all New Yorkers. These include: A NIC background check for all firearm sales at gun shows. Previously, under federal law only licensed firearm dealers were required to conduct background checks. Now anyone who sells a firearm at a gun show must conduct a NIC check prior to the sale. Violations of the law are a Class A Misdemeanor for the seller while the gun show sponsor is punishable with up to a $10,000 fine. All firearms sold within the state must include a locking device. In addition, all retail gun dealers must post gun safety notices in their place of business and include copies of them with each weapon sold. First time offenses are a Violation with subsequent offenses being a Class A Misdemeanor. "Assault weapon" and "large capacity ammunition feeding device" prohibition. With respect to rifles, an "assault weapon" is defined as any semiautomatic rifle which accepts detachable magazines and has at least two of the following characteristics: a folding stock, a pistol grip extending beneath the action, a bayonet mount, a threaded barrel, a grenade launcher, or is a semiautomatic version of an automatic weapon. With respect to shotguns, an "assault weapon" is defined as any semiautomatic shotgun with at least two of the following characteristics: a folding stock, a pistol grip extending beneath the action, a fixed magazine capacity in excess of five rounds, or the ability to accept a detachable magazine. With respect to handguns, an "assault weapon" is defined as any pistol which accepts detachable magazines and has at least two of the following characteristics: a magazine attachment other than to the grip frame, a threaded barrel, a barrel shroud, an unloaded weight of more than 50 ounces, or is a semiautomatic version of an automatic weapon. A "large capacity ammunition feeding device" means a magazine, not including tubular .22 caliber, manufactured after September 13, 1994, which has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition. Unlike the Federal law, which expires September 13, 2004, this law is permanent. Possession of an "assault weapon" and "large capacity ammunition feeding device" is a Class D Violent Felony of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree. Possession of an unloaded "assault weapon" is now treated as seriously as for loaded handguns. All applicants for handgun licenses must now be 21 years of age unless they were honorably discharged from the armed forces. Persons who attempt to purchase a firearm knowing they are prohibited from possessing a firearm may be charged with a new penal law crime Criminal Purchase of a Weapon, a Class A Misdemeanor. Failure to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 24 hours of its discovery is punishable by a fine of up to $100. A gun trafficking interdiction program is to be established within the Department of Criminal Justice Services for the purpose of preventing firearms and components from illegally entering the state. The Superintendent of State Police is directed to investigate "smart gun" technology regarding the availability and feasibility of personalized firearms that limit access only to authorized users. Effective March 1, 2001, manufacturers who ship handguns into the state for retail sale must include a spent shell casing from that firearm. Upon the gun's sale, the dealer must send it to the state police for inclusion in an electronic database of ballistic and other information. It remains to be seen exactly how the Department of Criminal Justice Services and local police agencies intend to enforce these new laws and their impact upon our civil rights.
LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF NEW YORK 2001 CONVENTION
Saturday, April 28, 2001
Holiday Inn-Midtown, 440 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019-3051 Between 9th and 10th Avenues. 1-800-HOLIDAY.
We will elect a State Chair and other state officers (Treasurer, Vice-Chairs, Secretary, and At-Large Representatives). We can consider other business. If you plan to run, please advise soon to LPNY. We may host the nominating convention for Mayor and other NYC offices.
Speakers will include (as of 1/4/01): Ray Mincone -- prime mover of the OSCAR lawsuit for property owners against NY State -- "Your Property, Your Home -- Whose Is It?"
Joan Kennedy Taylor -- Association of Libertarian Feminists -- "Free Expression: Separating State & Culture"
Dr. Donna Gaines -- author TEENAGE WASTELAND: YOUTH IN SUBURBIA "Women's Rights, Gun Rights and Columbine"
Jeffrey Russell -- Capital District LP Chair & Coordinator Y2K Petition Drive -- "Petitioning"
Reginald Jones -- hip hop entrepreneur and speaker -- "Urban, Rural or Suburban -- The Choice Is Libertarian"
Mark Edgerton -- Libertarian candidate for New Jersey governor-- "The Port Authority Versus NY & NJ"
Prices: Business session ( 8am-12pm ) is free to LPNY members. Lunch: 12-1:30pm $40 in advance (before 4/10), $50 after. Important to reserve in advance for smooth operation. Speaker(s) to be announced. After lunch speakers session: 2-5:30pm $20 in advance (before 4/10) $50 at door. Please make checks payable to Libertarian Party of New York and note Convention.
Registration form: Name ___________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________ Phone day ____________________ evening ____________________ e-mail: ___________________ Number of people: _______ Other names in your party ________________________________________ Choices: Lunch only ______ Lunch & After lunch ______ After lunch only ______ I cannot attend but I would like to help out with a contribution _________
Anonymous contributions cannot be accepted. Contributions are not tax-deductible. "Send check and registration to Libertarian Party of New York, PO Box 728, Bellport, NY 11713. (5l6) 746-5769 for questions or email: nylibertarian@Hotmail.com
Libertarian Party of New York Annual Treasurer's Report
January 1, 2000 - December 31, 2000
Category/Item Amount Totals
Income Convention Registrations, etc. $4,341.00 Convention Fundraiser $2,225.00 Unified Membership Plan $19,426.00 LP National Special Incentives $0.00 Direct Mail Fundraiser $6,985.76 Gifts, Individual/Member/Chapter $756.76 Miscellaneous Income $130.00 TOTAL INCOME $33,864.52
Expenses 2000 Convention Expenses $4,751.57 2001 Convention Expenses (Deposit) $200.00 Fundraiser Expenses (Russell) $1,797.97 Free NY Newsletter (Doty) $5,872.96 Petitioning Expenses (Russell) $935.66 Petitioning Expenses (Other) $6,803.43 State Supported Prog. (Ads, PR, Web) $2,519.00 Candidate Support (Clifton) $1,000.00 Misc. Exp. (Merchant Acct, POB, etc.) $1,809.02 TOTAL EXPENSES ($25,689.61)
12/30/00 YEAR END BALANCE $17,185.99