Dear Pinellas Libertarian,
We are now an archive site.
The LPPC project goals were completed in February, 2010 and a historical website archive was created. With nearly 70% of the State Party public offices held by Libertarians in Florida, we had surpassed the initial goals.
Since 2004, I would like to congratulate past LPPC Chair Michael Gilson who conceived a project where we completed the Pinellas Libertarian Party of Florida goals along with:
- Increased Pinellas Libertarian Outreach with public forums, radio shows, TV appearances, press/media stories, non-partisan coalitions, meetings with elected local officials.
- Increased Pinellas Libertarian Web Search presence
- Pinellas Libertarians in Public Office Advisory Boards.
- Increased Libertarian Voter Registration in Pinellas County
- Hosted Libertarian Party of Florida Annual State Convention in 2005 Pinellas County – St. Petersburg.
After running as a Libertarian candidate in the successful statewide Libertarian Party of Florida “Full Slate” Campaign in 2002 and being elected Libertarian Party LNC Region 4 Rep by Florida Libertarians in 2004, Michael Gilson was ready to lead the way in reactivating the Pinellas Libertarian Party of Florida affiliate. In August of 2004 Michael Gilson became the new Chair of the Pinellas Libertarian Party of Florida. The new affiliate started off with a bang, being the first large affiliate in recent memory to contact all leads yearly from registereds on, hosting one of the most successful large statewide Libertarian Party of Florida Statewide Conventions in 2005 putting the Pinellas Libertarian Party of Florida back on the map and back in the public eye and gaining over 400 more Registered Libertarian Voters. As the most active Libertarian Party of Florida County affiliate, it also became a top Libertarian Party of Florida web search with a combination of publicity via meetings, outreach, Libertarians in Office, Press, TV, Awards, and videos. Under the direction of LPPC Chair, Michael Gilson, the Pinellas Libertarian Party of Florida has become one of the largest County Libertarian Party affiliates in the US.
However, as of December 2009, our 400+ members and supporters felt they could no longer give moral sanction to what they felt was the current takeover of the LPF, and much of the US LP, by extreme-right Conservative GOP operatives and other anti-Libertarian elements and candidates. This was coupled with complaints of the flood of GOP registered “libertarians” e.g. crashing our meetings at LPF state and US LP direction or joining the LPF and forming pro-GOP “affiliates” and related culture of harrassment.
We could either spend 90% of our time fighting this nonsense, or carry on. Our Board had instructions to close down from the consensus of the supporters in December by April 1 or earlier if certain things occurred, also with the supporters voting to boycott the LPF and USLP as long as the problem exists. However, since the Pinellas effort was designed to be run basically by the non-partisan LIO Club, the project there continues. LPPC was created at LPF as a courtesy on our part, a courtesy that has ended.
Thanks for your efforts which created what we all feel is the best team of its kind in LP history. Many feel that if the USLP cannot eject these people it will go the way of the Reform and much of the Green Party. The outgoing National Political Director of the Libertarian Party says a purge is on, and many LP affiliates are reported as taken over or non-functional. We hope for the best. If anything, this shows the LIO Clubs Project or something similar is the way to go. Other final information that comes in will be posted in due course.
Again, non-partisan activity continues at www.PinellasLib.uni.cc …see you there if you’re not participating already.
–Ralph Swanson, outgoing LPPC Chair
Co-founder, Libertarian Party of Florida, 1970; Charter member, US LP