According to an article on the Westmister Patch website, published January 28th, the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania has been quite busy lately. Specifically, the local Bucks County affiliate has been active in building and expanding its infrastructure. The party has seen a significant increase in the membership numbers. Said PA LP chariman, Dr. Tom Stevens:
“We doubled our registered members since April 2012. Most people don’t have the time to sit and really think about their political parties. After I speak with them for 5 to 10 minutes, they find out they agree with our ‘Live and Let Live’ attitude.”
On a recent Monday evening, 20 members of the Bucks County LP met on snowy day in the conference room of a plastic surgeon’s office. Tom Stevens presided over a group of mostly young college students, who elected Nicholas Hillman as the county chapter chairman. At the same meeting, Hillman announced his intention of running for a local judge position. Hillman, a community college student, said that his run for a municipal office was “a great stepping stone for getting into public office,” and added that “it’s not a time-consuming position that will take over your life, and it gives you an opportunity to meet voters one-on-one on election day.”
The article goes on to mention Gary Johnson’s campaign as being the most succesfsful in LP presidential election history in terms of the number of popular votes. Further in the article was another quote from Dr. Stevens:
“It’s hard to battle against people’s fear that they are throwing their vote away if they go with a third party candidate. However, voting for both major parties has given us the same outcomes year after year, how is that not wasting a vote?”
The article went on to mention the significant issue of ballot access for Libertarians. It brought up how the Republican Party failed in October 2012 to knock Gary Johnson off the Pennsylvania ballot. The state GOP claimed that the LP didn’t have enough valid signatures to be placed on the a ballot. A similar challenge from the Republicans led the Constitution Party of Pennsylvania, representing the Virgil Goode campaign, to withdraw their signatures even though they had more than 30,000 because no matter the outcome, if the CP decided to put up a fight to the Republican challenge, they would incur at least $100,000 in court fees.
Towards the end, the article mentions that at least 135 Libertarians hold elected office in the U.S. today, with 27 of those from Pennsylvania. Postions elected LP members hold in the state include anything from town treasurer and constable to mayor and city councilman.
The article concludes with a final thought from Dr. Stevens:
“They don’t have a lot of political experience, but that’s why I am here to coach them. And they make up for it with their incredible enthusiasm. We have commitees dedicated to reaching out to youth groups at college campuses. They are very receptive to the Libertarian viewpoint.”
The full article is available below: