From the LP: Wes Benedict returns as executive director for national LP; Carla Howell becomes political director
From the Libertarian Party:
Wes Benedict, formerly from Texas, has returned to the national LP headquarters to resume his previous position as executive director for the Libertarian National Committee. His focus is on fundraising, LNC project oversight, and general management.
Carla Howell, who served as executive director from December 2011 through July 2013, assumed the position of political director, in which she will focus on recruiting, coaching and supporting candidates, political strategy, media interviews, and party communications.
“Wes Benedict is a highly qualified and welcome addition to the LP headquarters,” Howell said. “He’s focused on results.”
Benedict said, “It’s great to be back, but I also remember how overwhelming this job can be. I’m grateful to have Carla taking care of so many of the key political tasks.”
Wes Benedict served as executive director from July 2009 to December 2011 under former party chairmen Bill Redpath and Mark Hinkle, and now serves under chair Geoffrey J. Neale.
Benedict previously served as executive director of the Libertarian Party of Texas, where he made it one of the best-performing state Libertarian Party affiliates. He recruited a record 173 LP candidates for office in Texas for the November 2008 elections.
While away from the national office, Benedict has been busy promoting Libertarian affiliates and candidates.
He founded the Libertarian Action Super PAC (LASPAC) in 2012 to promote the Libertarian Party nominee for president, and provided promotional materials and advertisements for the Gary Johnson for President campaign.
He also founded the Texas-based Libertarian Booster PAC, which recruits and assists Libertarian Party candidates for non-federal office. In 2013, the PAC recruited and supported candidates and ballot drives in Virginia, Alabama, and North Dakota.
During his hiatus, Benedict wrote the book Introduction to the Libertarian Party: For Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and Everyone Else, which describes the structure, history, and activities of the LP, and offers suggestions for becoming a valuable activist. Living in Louisiana, he also served as chair of the Parish Executive Committee of the East Baton Rouge Libertarian Party.
Benedict holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Texas. He has owned a small business, has served as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and was a manufacturing engineer for 3M Company.
Fox 5 (DC area) covers Robert Sarvis, Libertarian candidate for Virginia governor.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch covers the Virginia governor candidates' reactions to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The Republican candidate supports the Virginia ban on same-sex marriage. The Democratic candidate "said he would not make repealing [the ban] a legislative priority."
Libertarian Robert Sarvis, on the other hand, "promised to lead the fight to recognize same-sex marriage in Virginia and said his campaign's theme is: 'Open-minded and Open for Business.'"
Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Bart Hinkle writes today about Robert Sarvis, Libertarian candidate for Virginia governor.
Hinkle says about Sarvis, "He is, to put it mildly, smart –- having earned degrees in math from Harvard and Cambridge, then a law degree from NYU, then a master's in economics from GMU. He is a native Virginian. Half-Asian, with an African-American wife, he is bulletproof on diversity grounds. He is wonkish: As a fellow at GMU's Mercatus Center, he co-authored, among other things, a paper on America's historical experience with fiscal stimuli. And he is a technological innovator: He was a winner of Google's 2008 Android Developer challenge for mobile apps."
Leesburg Today covers Patrick Hagerty's entry into the Virginia race for House of Delegates, District 33.
Hagerty will face a Democrat and a Republican in the November 2013 election.
Hagerty comments, "The government is too big and has too much control. They try to micromanage everything and it’s counter productive.”
Jonathan Parrish is the Libertarian nominee for Virginia House of Delegates, District 23. The election will be on November 5, 2013.
District 23 is in the Lynchburg area.
Jonathan Parrish has an active Facebook campaign page: go there, read about him, and give him a Like!
Ballot Access News reports that Libertarian Robert Sarvis, running for Virginia Governor this November, turned in almost 18,000 signatures for ballot access.
It's hard to run for statewide office in Virginia. To be allowed on the ballot, candidates are required to get 10,000 petition signatures. (Sarvis collected nearly 18,000, but many will be invalidated for various reasons.)
It's so hard, the article notes that Sarvis "will be only the fourth minor party nominee to get on the Virginia ballot [for governor] in the last 40 years."
In 40 years, only four alternatives to the Democrapublican monopoly. Wow.
The El Paso Times carries a story on the "Merry Christmas" bill passed by the Texas Legislature this year.
According to the article, "The governor on Thursday plans to sign into law a bipartisan bill removing any legal risks of saying 'Merry Christmas' in Texas public schools."
Score one for the pro-religion faction. Unfortunately, this battle will never end. Since most parents don't have the option of sending their children to private schools that match their religious views, they end up fighting each other over control of public schools.
There's only one path to peace, as Libertarians have pointed out for many years: separation of school and state.
The Austin American-Statesman reports on the increase in urban organic farming in the Austin area.
It sounds like a great business decision, especially when you can get large taxpayer-subsidized loans from the government!
The article notes that the Farm Service Agency offers these local farmers rates as low as 1.25 percent. Can't beat that!
Read the article for some interesting comments rationalizing the situation. And visit the Cato Institute to see some good commentary about why we should get rid of farm subsidies.
Libertarians oppose farm subsidies, whether they are for massive agribusiness, or for hip urban organic microplots.