Hi All! My apologies for not finishing up our business with John Dennis from our last monthly meeting. I was going to put it on the agenda for the June meeting to discuss and vote on whether the LPSF should endorse/recommend John in his run for the 12th Congressional District and then realized while I was canvassing this week-end that a yea or nay vote should be done now before the June 5 primary, not after. Therefore I would like to open it up for discussion now and hopefully everybody will weigh in on this issue now, and we can decide a yea or nay based on the consensus of the respondents.
My own vote for is a full endorsement, but I know we don't endorse non-Libertarians, so I would be happy with a full recommendation. Of course, if we were fielding our own Libertarian candidate in this race, that would be different, but we aren't. Therefore why not support other Liberty candidates, even if they're not from our own party? It's hard to find good Liberty candidates anytime, so when we find a good (or even decent) one, I say we should give them a vote of confidence, if nothing else. I find John very libertarian, and I'm embarrassed to say that I find him more libertarian than our own candidates for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential jobs.
As for the ballot measures, only 29, the measure to raise the cigarette tax by $1.00, seems like an obvious one to recommend a big "NO." A, the measure to break up Recology into several companies seems like it might be good measure, but then the whole thing would continue to be so highly regulated--I'm not so sure it's something the LPSF should get behind. I haven't really had the time to read up on the other measures (and probably won't until just before the election) but as a Libertarian they didn't grab me or get my blood to boiling, so I don't have strong opinions on them at this point.
There's no time to do our usual postcards for this election, and looking at the Elections website a few months back, it looked like this was not going to be a major election for issues that excite Libertarians, so I felt that we should save our postcards funds for the November election, which is bound to be chock full of meaty issues. If we can come to a quick consensus, perhaps Marcy (Queen of keeping our website fresh, interesting, and timely) could conjure up something for our website based on the consensus on John and the ballot measures.
Based on the apparent will of the majority here, I concur with a recommendation of John Dennis on a similar basis as we recommended on the last election. We cannot endorse non-Libertarians. Again, I would like to express a personal frustration that we are quickly becoming an auxiliary of the Republican Party.
Yes, I have scheduled to update the website this week, and will talk about propositions and John Dennis.
I am probably not going to vote in the June 2012 primary. This will be the first time in my life I have been eligible to vote and I didn't. The reason I'm not voting is that the backers of top-two are spending millions of dollars to try to boost turnout. The have sent expensive brochures to Declines to State voters all over the state, urging them to vote in the June primary.
The proponents of top-two always insist that top-two boosts primary turnout. So if turnout is good, they will claim that is vindication of the top-two system.
Fortunately, it seems to me that turnout will be low, no matter what the top-two backers do. With Ron Paul not campaigning in California, and the US Senate race so boring, and so few statewide initiatives, I think turnout will be low.
I am not saying this publicly at all, and wouldn't want the SFLP to urge people not to vote. This is just private information about my thoughts, and maybe my thoughts will cause a few others of us to also not vote. I do have competing thoughts in my head that I do want to vote, for Gail Lightfoot and Gary Johnson. Of course I am a registered Libertarian so I couldn't vote for Ron Paul in any event.
I tend to agree with Aubrey's advice on this too -- slightly lowering turnout does not seem like a good enough reason to withhold a pro-freedom ballot. If the backers of "Top Two" are spending all this money to boost turnout, that will most likely be taken into account by those who pay attention to such things (e.g. "Even an expensive campaign in a presidential election year to get decline-to-state voters to the polls was not enough to get most Californians to vote..."), so I doubt the Top Two primary will get that much credit even if turnout is decent. But Richard is probably right that turnout will be low, and in a low-turnout election, each vote matters more.