On May 12, 1998, the State Committee of the Vermont Libertarian Party nominated a record of forty members from its ranks as the Party's candidates for public office in the general elections this fall. We are now a serious force in Vermont!
Heading the Party ticket in Vermont is Amy Berkey, a restaurant owner in Randolph, who was selected as the Party's candidate for governor. The ticket will include Hugh Douglas, a political-economic consultant and former Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, who will run for the U.S. Senate, and Robert Maynard, a Burlington engineer, who will run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
In addition, the Vermont Libertarian Party nominated candidates for all state-wide offices and for state senate seats from Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Orange, Orleans, Washington, and Windsor counties, as well as candidates for seats in the Vermont house from numerous representative districts.
Among those nominated were retired businessmen and VLP members Gary Richardson of Perkinsville, who is the incumbent representative for Windsor-4, who will seek reelection this fall, and Neil Randall, former VLP gubernatorial candidate, who will seek election as representative for Orange-3. Both Gary and Neil will seek the Republican endorsement as well.
All our candidates are members of our own Party. Although there are some excellent liberty-leaning people in other parties who, we expect, will support the Libertarians, it is only members of the Libertarian Party who can be absolutely counted on to work for less government, less taxes, and more freedom as a matter of core ideology and political principle. We want Vermonters who are tired of government infringement on their property, offended by government confiscation of their earnings, and frustrated by government intrusion in their lives, to have a clear choice when they cast their votes in November. (The list of candidates is given later in this newsletter.)
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At the Vermont Libertarian Party State Convention on Saturday April 11, 1998 in Monpelier, approximately fifty delegates approved the Party's 1998 political platform. The full platform is given in the insert. In summary, the new platform:
--calls for a restoration of a civil society, based on voluntary associations and consensual efforts, and for limiting government authority to the protection of the freedom and rights of the public. Accordingly, the platform supports the privatization of those functions that the government has expropriated from the private sector.
--calls for the separation of school and state and a return to parents of direct control over the education of their children.
--affirms the inviolability of private property
--calls for accountability before the law through civil actions for encroachments upon the land, water, and air of others, but opposes ongoing before-the-fact governmental bureaucratic regulation of private property as ineffectual and subject to political whim and manipulation .
--deplores the high level of state and local taxes in Vermont, and describes the income tax system--state and federal--as "particularly odious," for its intrusion on the privacy and freedom of individuals in its reporting requirements and its collection methods.
--maintains that a free market is the most efficient economic environment for individuals to provide for themselves and their families. Accordingly, the platform opposes buiness subsidies and the regulation of private business, including the imposition of hiring and firing practices.
--supports the right of private businesses to engage in affirmative action in an attempt to remedy past injustices, but also strongly opposes the coerced imposition of this practice on private business by the government. According to the platform, "government has no right to discriminate or force others to discriminate. . .against any individual."
--supports a private health industry operating independently of any special interest politics, government regulation, or interference.
--supports for the right of all Vermonters to keep and bear arms, including concealed arms, free from any federal, state, or local regulations.
--supports in strictest terms all the protections and immunities in our Bill of Rights, such as the presumption of innocence and the right to due process of law, and opposes all efforts to circumvent these safeguards. The platform condemns all asset forfeiture laws which permit the seizure of property without due process, and opposes all added penalties for so-called "hate crimes," since people should be held responsible for their actions, not their thoughts.
--reiterates its call for a separation of state and federal authority and, in an indirect criticism of recent attempts to give federal officials the authority to enforce Vermont laws, states "we believe all officials enforcing state law must be subordinate to the authority and oversight of state civil authorities."
--supports the separation of powers among executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government and opposes legislation which delegates law-making authority to the executive branch in the latter's regulatory functions, or permits executive branch agencies to hold hearings and make legally-binding findings.
--favors state authority over federal authority, and local authority over state authority.
--supports all healthful tendencies towards a free market, even if such tendencies do not immediately bring about a complete implementation of Libertarian principles. The State Convention also selected five delegates and three alternates to represent the VLP at the National Convention to be held in Washington, DC July 2-5. As delegates and alternates, they join the VLP State Committee.
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Kristine Chapman, 31 Town Line Road, Grand Isle, VT 05458 (1-802-375-9512)
Andy Hooper, 9 Langdon St., #4, Montpelier, VT 05602 (1-802-223-1020)
Brendan Kinney, 5 Concord Green, Burlington, VT 05403 (1-802-862-9716)
Hardy Macia, 31 Town Line Road, Grand Isle, VT 05458 (1-802-372-9512)
Robert Maynard, 8 River Cove Cir., Unit 46, Williston, VT 05495-9702 (1-802-879-7190)
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Chris Costanzo, RR 1, Box 74, Randolph, VT 05060 (1-802-234-6908)
Neil Randall, RR 1, Box 2450, Bradford, VT 05033 (1-802-222-5952)
Fred Woeckener, RR 1, Box 2970, Hyde Park, VT 05655 (1-802-888-7626)
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