FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY:
Want to send a message to the men and women who will select the next LP presidential candidate?
Now you can!
This past Friday, we launched an exciting new program, Liberty Decides '08. The program is a bold one, as it establishes a competitive process for our pre-nomination presidential candidates.
The rules of the program are pretty clear. To participate and be considered a Liberty Decides '08 "qualified" candidate, individuals must meet three criteria:
They must be constitutionally qualified and be willing to accept the LP nomination per our national bylaws. They must have filed with the Federal Election Commission. They must have raised at least $5,000 for the LNC or for one of our state affiliates for ballot access purposes.
Once qualified, candidates will be promoted through the Internet, mail and within our publication, LP News. Qualified candidates will be ranked in the order of the funds they have raised for the program.
Additionally, 40% of funds raised through the program will be set aside for 2008. Once our delegates decide the presidential candidate in our national convention next year, the funds will be used for promotion and media in coordination with our presidential nominee.
If all goes well with this program, we'll have a small chest of funds set aside to be used as soon as our presidential candidate is chosen. I'm excited about this, as we'll be able to kick-start the campaign on our own, since we know the mainstream media won't do it for us.
Liberty Decides '08 is a win-win for our delegates, the LP as a whole and our candidates.
• Delegates will benefit from this "interview process" and will be able to make a deeply informed decision. A significant reason why we run a presidential candidate is to grow the party. This is done by fundraising and attracting new members to the LP. Liberty Decides '08 tests the skills of our candidates BEFORE our national convention.
• The Libertarian Party will benefit as state parties and the national party will receive fundraising and recruitment assistance from the field of candidates. While 40% of the funds raised for the LNC will be set aside, the remaining 60% will go toward "core functions" such as ballot access, media and new member recruitment.
• Our presidential candidates will benefit because they are now in a transparent, competitive process that Libertarians can get excited about. Candidates qualified for the program will receive more promotion and, if they win the nomination, their campaign should get more help than ever before from the national party.
Please take the time today to visit the Liberty Decides '08 page on LP.org. You can find it by navigating to www.lp.org/libertydecides. Once there, show your support for a pre-nomination presidential candidate by making a donation to the LP. You can donate by clicking on the candidate's photo on the page or on their custom donation link.
Now, due to the quantity of respectful e-mails, letters and phone calls that I receive from our own members, even if I tried, I could not ignore the fact that many Libertarians are excited about the candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul for the Republican nomination. In no way, shape or form, can I ignore the positive impact Dr. Paul's campaign is making on America. I'm not asking you to do that either.
If you are a supporter of the Paul campaign and you want to send a message to the delegates of the 2008 Libertarian National Convention, you have the option to do so with this new program. If you are hopeful that Ron Paul (or another candidate) will seek the LP nomination, even as a "Plan B," you can make a donation to show your support for a future/unannounced candidate (please include your preferred candidate's name in the comment box when donating). Also, if you feel that the LP should not run a presidential candidate in 2008, you can put your support behind NOTA (none of the above).
Either way, your funds will be used to support a party that has served as a champion of Liberty for over 35 years.
Please be sure to check the Liberty Decides '08 page frequently, as results will change regularly. Any contributions that you can make to the program will be deeply appreciated.
Also, I'll send you a note later this week to announce a Web chat with one of the three candidates currently qualified for Liberty Decides '08.
Shane Cory, Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee