NEWS RELEASE: Libertarian Party of California Backs Domestic Partnership Initiative

Considering Rob's excellent point about federal taxes on unmarried people, it seems to me extremely unlikely this will ever qualify for the ballot, and will be forgotten in a matter of months. So maybe we can all just start to forget about it soon. I hate to see intra party bickering, but on the merits I agree with Rob. I am out of the country (Chile) and not back til april 17, which is why I can't be at next SF LP meeting.

You're correct about intra party bickering, Richard, which is why I
resigned from the LPC ExCom. I can't stand to be in the same room with
those people anymore. :-\

You're also right that this has little chance of getting on the ballot,
and even less chance of passing. Especially once the Yes on Equality
campaign starts addressing the angle that this is just a Republican
smokescreen -- an attempt by the Yes on 8 people to pull votes from the
upcoming initiative to repeal prop 8. Unlike our little press releases,
that will likely only be covered in Libertarian and third-party press,
the exposure of the Republican ties to the DPI will be done in places
like the LA Times. I frankly want the LPC to un-endorse this before
that you-know-what hits the fan, so we're not caught up in that scandal.

The major problem here is that Outright (and gay-friendly Libertarians
in general) keep having to fight the same fight outside the party --
namely, gay Democrats saying "Libertarians are just ultra-conservative
Republicans." In the past, they've pointed to actions of the Missouri
or Kentucky LPs, and our reflexive response has been, "Well, that's just
(name the state). It's not like (that state's) Democrats are any less
anti-gay." Now, we've seen this neo-con BS creep into the LP of
California, and we can't afford to remain silent anymore. We've got to
"nip this in the bud," so to speak. Whether that's the current state
party ExCom voting to reconsider and rescind its endorsement, or whether
it's the current state party leadership being thrown out on its "ear" at
the state convention in Visalia April 24-26, we need to be able to
counter those gay Democrats' argument by saying that this endorsement of
the DPI was an anomaly, and one that was quickly corrected either by the
LPC ExCom itself, or by the delegates to our state convention.

I just last night got word of another Libertarian Party luminary who
agrees with Outright that the LPC screwed up big time. If I don't hear
that there's a vote to reconsider the endorsement on the LPC ExCom,
Outright will be putting out a second release including quotes from this
particular luminary as well as others in the Party who have come forward
since the text of the first release was finalized. The LPC ExCom can
end this right now by voting to reconsider this endorsement. Otherwise,
we'll keep hammering on them for the entire month, right up to the
convention in Visalia.

We really don't need to still be listed as endorsers when the gay
Democrats start hitting the DPI with both barrels in the mainstream press.

Rob

Richard Winger wrote:

Dear All,

I also do not respond well to bickering. Intelligent, courteous discussion is interesting to follow; bickering turns most people off.

Nevertheless, the principle of this initiative escapes me, as it will no doubt escape most voters. Based on all I can see in the SOS website, which is a short summary, this initiative sounds to me like a name change ("domestic partnership" instead of "marriage"); and if all the "rights" of "marriage" are to be kept; theoretically perhaps the initiative naively hopes that miraculously these "rights" will spill over to same-sex couples? Or is it the other way around -- the initiative shoots for no "rights" for any couple? If the later why does it say rights "kept."

The way I interpret libertarian thinking, it would seem to me that libertarians should be opposed to *any* government interference in personal relationships, including tax breaks for married opposite-sex couples, forced health and other benefits for anyone (married, partnered, or whatever). Thus, I am at a loss as to why we might be discussing loss of tax breaks (i.g. government decisions as to who is deserving or who is not), instead of either no tax at all, or flat tax for Constitutional government functions. Why are we working in favor of one type of interference (tax breaks) in the name of opposing another interference (meddling into who should deserve to be married).

Boggles the mind...

Marcy

Rob,

  I'm confused about this controversy, and about precisely what this
measure would do. Did the other members of the ExCom generally agree
that this initiative is being pushed in order to pull votes from the
initiative to repeal Prop. 8, or do they deny this? How did they
respond to the point that this would allegedly lead to up to $130
billion a year in new taxes? Which members voted with you? Do you have
a link to the text of the initiative? If it passes and the Prop. 8
repeal also passes, then what? If that repeal measure hasn't been
written yet, backers should be able to write it so that if both pass,
the repeal prevails.
  
Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

Wow. Lots of questions. I'll try to tackle them one-by-one.

Starchild wrote:

Rob,

  I'm confused about this controversy, and about precisely what this
measure would do. Did the other members of the ExCom generally agree
that this initiative is being pushed in order to pull votes from the
initiative to repeal Prop. 8, or do they deny this?

They deny it. If only wishing made it so...

How did they
respond to the point that this would allegedly lead to up to $130
billion a year in new taxes?

They deny it. If only wishing made it so...

Which members voted with you?

By my notes, Donna Orlando and Jesse Thomas voted No. Beau Cain
abstained (which is effectively a No, meant to not anger his employer,
since the vote needed 2/3 Yes to pass). Unfortunately our 4 votes were
not enough to overcome the 10 who voted in favor: Takenaga, Collier,
Newell, Cowles, Barnes, Brown, Campbell, Holtz, Samuels, and Selzer. It
looked like the vote had failed, until Takenaga at the last second cast
the deciding vote in favor.

Do you have
a link to the text of the initiative?

Ron already posted links to both:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpsf-activists/message/6718

If it passes and the Prop. 8
repeal also passes, then what? If that repeal measure hasn't been
written yet, backers should be able to write it so that if both pass,
the repeal prevails.
  
Both are already written and approved by Bowen for signature gathering,
so I don't think they can be changed. IIRC (Ron Getty or Richard Winger
or someone feel free to correct me), in case of both passing, the one
with the higher vote total prevails.

Is there such a thing as a Libertarian initiative that increases federal
income taxes by a quarter trillion dollars?

For all the "moderate" Libertarians who freak out whenever we talk about
complete legalization of drugs, "You radicals would put heroin in
vending machines," I am amazed that the same people consider a proposal
that increases taxes on all California married couples by a quarter
trillion dollars to not be at all "radical."

Do I think that forcing straight married couples to personally confront
the unfair tax burden placed on same-sex couples would help usher in
marriage equality? Yes. Is that at all a pragmatic, incremental,
moderate Libertarian strategy? Absolutely not. It's as radical as
legalizing heroin. But I'm frankly tired of the double-standard that we
can't be "purist" on any issue, except for gay rights, where no progress
is acceptable until we leap directly to Libertopia.

This whole thing is a smokescreen, plain and simple, because the repeal
of Prop 8 is now inevitable, and yes, it does matter that the
Republicans are behind it, because motive is very instructive in any
investigation. Why would people who supported Prop 8 be supporting
this, if it doesn't hurt the repeal of Prop 8?

I just wish all those self-proclaimed pragmatists on the LPC ExCom would
just be as pragmatic on equal rights for gays as they are on all the
other issues.

Rob

Philip Berg wrote:

Rob,

  With all the points you make here, I don't see how the ExCom could
have voted for this. But I'm curious whether they have a better
rationale than what was in the press release. Have they endorsed the
repeal of Prop. 8? I don't recall seeing a press release on that.

  I'd like to see the LPC pass a resolution against the government
shutting down the tent city of the homeless in Sacramento. There was a
fascinating report on NPR today in which residents were quoted as
saying their community is "self-governed." (See http://www.crosscurrentsradio.org/archives.php
  for an audio). Governor Schwarzenegger and the mayor of Sacramento
plan to forcibly move a couple hundred people to shelters over the
next month. Since "Tent City" was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show,
it has received international attention.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

I disagree. I think the most strategic thing that we can do for the
long term is to mock, ridicule, trivialize, and embarrass such
wrong-minded thinking as much as we possibly can, so that within a
generation, everyone will look on "separate but equal" for gays as
derisively as they look upon "separate but equal" for
African-Americans. We want that mindset to be so far out of the
mainstream, that when those wrong-minded people want to march down Main
Street, the ACLU is the only group defending their right to do so.

I think we've tolerated unintelligent, irrational people for far too
long in this country, to the point where we had one of them in the Oval
Office for eight years. And look where that got us.

Trivialize, ridicule, mock, and embarrass them and their ideas. That's
my strategy.

Rob

Christopher R. Maden wrote: