Howdy folks, first, a few brief personal notes:
1. I’m in West Virginia working on the ballot access drive mentioned below
2. My birthday is today. I still have very little internet access, and would appreciate hearing from you all at 415-690-6352. Email will not reach me again for several days.
3. Today is also IPR’s first birthday.
Average Per Day 2,224
Wes Benedict sent out this letter about our project in West Virginia:
Dear West Virginia Friend of Liberty,
I have been very impressed with the remarkable accomplishments of the Libertarian Party of West Virgina so far this year regarding ballot access and candidate recruitment under the leadership of the new Chair, Matt Harris.
I hope you’ll visit their website and contribute $100 or $200 to help pay for petition signatures to get six candidates on the ballot for the November 2010 elections.
They’ve got an experienced petitioner on the ground collecting signatures now thanks to a recent $1,000 contribution, and need $500 minimum to keep going for another week. They’re also doing work to prepare for 2012.
The six candidates they’ve identified are for County Commissioner and the West Virginia House of Delegates. These petition drives are small and manageable, requiring only a few hundred valid signatures each.
It’s been a while since the Libertarian Party of West Virginia ran candidates for office. In 2008, our Libertarian nominee for President, Bob Barr, raised nearly $45,000 to hire people to collect the 15,100 valid signatures to get on the ballot in West Virginia. But they ran out of time, were short on signatures, and failed to get on the ballot.
That was a big disappointment, not only for West Virginians, but for Libertarians throughout the country who wanted to see the Libertarian candidate on as many state ballots as possible.
But the great news for the future is that this year West Virginia Libertarians helped get a bill past by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Joe Manchin which effectively cuts into half the number of signatures required for Libertarian candidates to get onto the ballot in West Virginia. So, instead of needing nearly $45,000 for the 2012 presidential petition drive, it should take only about half that much.
Additionally, rather than waiting for the 2012 presidential candidate or the National Libertarian Party to fund a West Virgina drive, the LPWV is taking matters into their own hands and getting started right away.
They’re also doing things in an efficient manner by collecting signatures both for their 2010 candidates, and at the same time, collecting signatures to have 2012 candidates for Governor and President on the ballot.
Here’s why that’s an efficient process. It can be hard to get somebody to stop and listen to you and then to sign a petition. However, once you get a person to stop and sign one petition, it’s quite easy to get them to sign a second or third petition while they’re standing there.
My name is Wes Benedict and I served as Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Texas from 2004 to 2008. Here are some highlights of my tenure:
Recruited a record 173 LP candidates for office in Texas for the November 2008 elections, which was 29% of the nationwide LP total.
While Texas has 8% of U.S. population, LPTX candidates in 2008 received 28% of the U.S. House and 44% of the State Representative votes received by Libertarians nationwide.
Libertarians known elected to nonpartisan offices in Texas increased from 2 to 8.
Increased LPTX donor base from under 300 in 2005 to over 900 in 2008.
Raised $244,000 for the 2007-2008 election cycle for TX, which was more than CA, FL and NY combined (which comprise 24% of U.S. population).
While I am very proud of our accomplishments in Texas, none of that would have been possible if the National Libertarian Party hadn’t helped the Libertarian Party of Texas get onto the ballot in 2004 by contributing $45,000 to that effort.
Because others helped Texas in 2004 when we needed help, I’m happy to help out West Virginia, and I’ll be forwarding this email to some of my Texas friends to see if they’ll lend a hand as well. I’m just doing this as a volunteer.
I can’t guarantee that they’ll be successful or that nothing will go wrong. I’m in Texas, not West Virginia. However, I do hope that others will recognize that Matt Harris and the LPWV are showing initiative and making things happen and I want to do what I can to encourage and reward those self-starters.
I do hope you will help out with the West Virgina petitioning by visiting their website and donating $100 or $200 or whatever you feel comfortable with.
Click here to donate or paste this link into your web browser: https://secure.donortownsquare.com/SSL/donate.aspx?sgst=0&amt=0&ai=876&qs=SS7G6
or visit their website at http://www.lpwv.org/ and click on the DONATE ONLINE button.
You can mail a check or money order to:
PO Box 4428
Star City, West Virginia 26504
Send me a note or call me between 8 AM and 10 PM CST if you’d like to discuss this further. Also, I’d appreciate it if you’d send me a note if you donate. I’m trying to make sure I help them find $500 by tomorrow.
Former Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Texas