HEARTLAND LIBERTARIAN PARTY CONVENTIONApril 2, 2012Posted in Blog, News
Gov. Gary Johnson Speaks At Heartland Libertarian Convention
The Libertarian Party’s presidential contest came to Northwest Missouri last weekend.
Former Gov. Gary Johnson (New Mexico), Lee Wrights (Texas) and Jim Burns (Nevada) faced off at the KCI Expo Center in Platte County March 24th at the Heartland Libertarian Convention–a joint convention of the Missouri Libertarian Party and the Libertarian Party of Kansas.
The convention’s keynote speaker was Austin Petersen. Petersen, CEO of Stonegait Prictures, L.L.C., formerly was associate producer of Judge Andrew Napolitano’s “Freedom Watch” on FOX Business Network in New York. Petersen grew up on a farm at Peculiar, MO. He graduated from Missouri University and worked at the national Libertarian Party’s headquarters from 2008-2009.
Petersen spoke Saturday morning on “The Politics of Winning” and again after dinner on “Generation Y Not.”
Dave Roland of the Freedom Center of Missouri spoke on “In the Trenches: How Libertarian Attorneys Have Opened a New Front in the War for the Constitution. Roland graduated from Abilene (TX) Christian University and received his law degree and Master’s in Theologry from Vanderbilt University. Roland, of St. Louis, spent three years working as an attorney and policy analyst for the Show-Me Institute befoe founding the Freedom Center.
Amber Langston of Show Me Cannabis Regulation–the group circulating a petition to legalize marijuana in Missouri– gave an update on the petition drive and had information and petitions available.
There was also a panel of elected Libertarians in Missouri and Kansas. That panel included Springfield (MO) City Councilman Doug Burlison, Topeka (KS) Councilman Andrew Gray, and former St. Joseph (MO) Councilman Mike Bozarth.
During the presidential candidate debate, Jim Burns outlined his long history of activism with the Libertarian Party. He has been a candidate in several elections and served in county and state offices with the LP of Nevada.
Lee Wrights, of Texas, said libertarianism is a “life choice.” He sounded an anti-war theme. He criticised President Johnson’s War on Poverty and President Nixon’s Drug War, “the drug war causes more deaths than the problem.” He forcefully called for the repeal for the so-called “Patriot Act.”
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson was a Republican presidential candidate in 2011, but switched to the Libertarian Party in December after being excluded from all but two of the debates. Johnson–who served two 4-year terms in a mostly Democratic state–pledged to submit a balanced budget in 2013, by cutting $1.4 trillion his first year. He conceded it would be difficult to get Congress to support all of his cuts. He also expressed support of a “Fair Tax” because it would eliminate the IRS and “reboot the economy” as he put it.
Governor Johnson won a straw poll with 61% of the vote after the debate.
By Mike A. Bozarth
Saint Joseph Telegraph