Sympathies to our fellow Americans over in Colorado

The residents of Aurora and surrounding communities are in our thoughts and prayers and will continue to be for quite a while.

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Providing a little due recognition…

A note from the county chair…

Earlier today, I submitted the following feedback at politico.com in acknowledgement of their inclusion of Gary Johnson in the Website’s “Candidate Tracker” app:

I just wanted to send you a quick note of “Thanks” for being one of the few high-profile political outlets that is offering TRUE balance to your presidential election coverage — making sure you include ALL THREE candidates who will be on the ballot in all 50 states.

Your professionalism in this regard is a welcome change of pace from your counterparts in this arena.

Don Kissick
Lima, Ohio

Reminder of Tea Party appearances tonight

Be sure to remember tonight you will have an opportunity to hear from all four Libertarian campaigns for the candidates who will be on the November ballot across Allen County.

In attendance for the Allen County Ohio Patriots (the local Tea Party organization) will be:

Don Kissick, county commissioner candidate
Paul D. Hinds, State Senate District 12 candidate
Chris Kalla, Ohio District 4 congressional candidate
Nathan Eberly, Northwest Ohio coordinator for the Johnson/Gray 2012 presidential campaign

The ACOP’s meetings begin 6:30 p.m. and are held at the Allen County Sanitary Engineering Office, located at 3230 N. Cole St. in Lima.

Independence Day, the 1st Amendment, & keeping America beautiful

ACLPO Chair Don Kissick and Treasurer Paul D. Hinds teamed-up once again in handing-out the Declaration of Independence and other informational items in Faurot Park during the Star Spangled Spectacular.

Unlike last year, the effort was an uneventful one. The record heat on July 4 led to an unusually sparse crowd in the park. This meant a rather quick literature distribution effort for the two local Libertarian trailblazers.

ACLPO leaders received word that members of the Star Spangled Spectacular, Inc., planning committee had come to realize since last Independence Day that prohibiting such activity during their event, which is held on public property every year, was unconstitutional.

Additionally, in communication between Don and Lima City Attorney Tony Geiger, the city’s top legal counsel verified there also is no law in the city code granting officers of the Lima Police Department the authority to step-in on SSSI’s behalf and put a stop to any such activity by park patrons.

It was not longer after last year’s “Fiasco at Faurot” that all involved realized the incident was about far more than the outrageous and belligerent behavior of one individual associated with the Spectacular. When the police intervened it truly became a matter of defending an unalienable constitutional right.

After all, how can Libertarians expect voters to trust them to stand up and fight for everyone’s rights if they are not willing to stand up and fight for their own?

Once the two were done handing out copies of the Declaration of Independence, they went from exercising their right to engaging in civic responsibility and spent an equal amount of time collecting refuse that others had left on the ground at Faurot Park. Since one of the concerns with literature distribution during the Spectacular is the possibility of extra litter, Don and Paul did their part to help keep Faurot beautiful.

Paul D. Hinds

Paul D. Hinds contributes to keeping Lima’s Faurot Park clean and a top city attraction.

ACLPO press release regarding Independence Day in Faurot Park

It is with humbled honor that the Allen County Libertarian Party of Ohio announces our members can look forward to distributing literature during the Star Spangled Spectacular in Faurot Park out of respect for our constitutionally guaranteed right to do so.

A year ago, several party members were accosted by a member of the SSSI planning committee who eventually requested intervention by the Lima Police Department to enforce the committee’s policy for them – despite the fact no law exists in the city’s code authorizing such action and doing so was in full and undeniable violation of our rights as protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Through assistance from an attorney who assisted with potential litigation efforts and recent direct communication with city officials, the ACLPO has been made aware of a pair of important developments: City Attorney Tony Geiger verified there is no language on the city of Lima’s books prohibiting the distribution of literature on public property – including during a permit-related event such as tomorrow’s; also, we have learned that Star Spangled Spectacular, Inc., has recognized its prohibition of activity such as ours ran counter to the letter and spirit of the United States Constitution.

While no actual litigation has been filed, we were in touch last year with Maurice Thompson, executive director for the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, who eventually connected us with the law firm Finney, Stagnaro, Saba & Patterson – based in Cincinnati.

In light of the developments described above, the attorneys involved have decided not to move forward at this time – although the requisite paperwork that has been drafted remains on file in the event it is needed for any reason in the future.

While we believe it was necessary to assert our constitutional rights and as such we were fully justified in seeking legal avenues for a resolution, Allen County Libertarians are aware of the reasoning behind SSSI’s policy. We understand their desire to avoid any appearance of religious or political bias as well as concerns over the potential for 4th of July patrons improperly discarding printed materials and adding to the clutter for post-event cleanup.

ACLPO Chair Don Kissick has sent communication to Walt Kinsey, a senior member of SSSI’s committee, seeking an opportunity to discuss solutions to those concerns which would both honor the constitutional rights of the citizens of our great community and preserve the integrity and image of the Star Spangled Spectacular.

As of yet, we continue to hope for an opportunity to have that discussion.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this matter. We are looking forward to not only celebrating Independence Day and the birth of our nation that it represents, but also to spreading the message of Liberty to new generations of American Patriots.

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Libertarians on the Ballot in Allen County

National Elections

President (Vice-President)

Gov Gary Johnson (Judge Jim Grey)

www.garyjohnson2012.com

Congressional Elections

House of Representatives, Ohio District 4

Chris Kalla

Ohio Senate

Ohio Senate, District 12

Paul D Hinds

www.hindsforohio.com

County-wide Elections

Allen County Commissioner

Don Kissick

www.donkissick.com

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Since you decided to stop by…

…We at the Allen County Libertarian Party of Ohio wish to invite you to also visit the Websites for the four Libertarian candidates who will be on all general election ballots in Allen County:

Don Kissick, who is running for county commissioner

Paul D. Hinds, candidate for State Senate District 12

Chris Kalla, making a run for Ohio’s 4th congressional district

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook!

Libertarians to make a splash at the Tea Party

The July meeting of the Allen County Ohio Patriots — the local Tea Party organization for our area — has tentatively agreed to host several candidates who will be appearing on ballots in Allen County in the November 6 election.

The ACOP conducts its meetings on the second Thursday of each month — with this session in question taking place on July 12. Their meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and are held at the Allen County Sanitary Engineering Office, located at 3230 N. Cole St. in Lima.

Confirmed so far are appearances by Allen County Commissioner candidate Don Kissick, State Senate candidate Paul D. Hinds, and a representative from the Ohio for Gary Johnson campaign.

Come out to this meeting, get engaged, ask questions, and (most importantly) show your support!

Leadership set for ACLPO through 2014

Allen County Libertarian Party of OhioAt the April meeting of the Allen County Libertarian Party of Ohio, the line-ups for our Central and Executive committees were set. Being the first meeting following certification of the March primary election results, it was time for those voted back onto the Central Committee to get to work.

Don Kissick, representing American Township, and Paul D. Hinds, of Shawnee Township, started the process by appointing ACLPO co-founder Eugene McCall back onto the Central Committee. While Kissick and Hinds were able to garner enough petition signatures to appear on their respective local ballots, McCall could not due to the lack of registered Libertarians in Richland Township, which he represents.

Kissick was re-elected to the position of Chair for both of the party’s committees. Hinds and McCall traded Central Committee titles as they now are Vice Chair and Treasurer, respectively. McCall and Hinds will continue as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Executive Committee. The trading of “CentCom” positions was necessary as the party leaders soon-after voted on a new bylaw amendment stating no members of the ACLPO may hold the title of Treasurer for both committees simultaneously. As the county party grows in membership and can diversify its officeholders, it is the stated role of Central Committee Treasurer to organize and administrate audits of the Executive Committee should it ever be deemed necessary.

Cheney story illuminates wider ballot access issues

If you are not fully familiar with the developments surrounding the would-be independent candidacy of Brian Cheney for Allen County Commissioner, read the initial story at The Lima News and the recent follow-up article.

First and foremost, this press release is not authored with the intent to comment on any of the particulars surrounding the Allen County Board of Elections’ decision to reject Brian Cheney’s candidate petitions for county commissioner, his ties with other local public figures, or even Cheney himself.

The one hidden story in the recent events that warrants greater exploration is the fact Cheney – in order to run as an independent candidate – had to gather almost seven times as many signatures as any of the major party candidates and more than 13 times as many as a minor party candidate.

State election laws require independent candidates for an office to gather signatures equivalent to one percent of the votes cast in the previous election for the given electoral jurisdiction. In the case of Allen County Commissioner in 2012, a prospective independent had to get 330 valid signatures – compared to 50 for someone vying for a major party nomination and 25 for those of us affiliated with a minor party.

It should not be difficult to conclude the wide disparity in requirements is nonsensical.

As a current and past candidate for elected office, have I benefited from such variations? Yes, of course. Do I agree with this setup? That answer is, “Absolutely not.”

The only possible legitimate argument for placing such a high threshold for independent candidates is the fact any registered voter may sign one of their petitions regardless of how the Ohio Secretary of State’s office lists their party affiliation (which is another issue in and of itself regarding violation of voters’ privacy rights – but as usual, I digress) – thus an independent candidate has a potential “unfair” advantage by having any-and-all would-be petition signers available to them.

In truth, it is an underhanded means of deterring anyone who would demonstrate the audacity to engage in the electoral process outside of the party system.

For my personal perspective, it is my hope the situation involving Brian Cheney proves to be nothing more than an honest mistake. It would seem obvious to me the inevitable “mad dash” for signatures – created by the State of Ohio’s disparate candidate requirements – is sure to increase the likelihood of mistakes being made. Also, as evidenced by my body of essays and posts in social media, I simply am not a fan of aggressive prosecution for non-violent offenses.

As all this relates to Ohio election laws, my hope is now that the potential consequences of these provisions have hit close-to-home for someone in leadership in the state’s prevailing majority party (meaning, Allen County Republican Party Chair Keith Cheney), we may finally see some long-overdue reform of those laws that actually fits such a description.

Don Kissick
Chair, Allen County Libertarian Party of Ohio