One of the privileges of being Chair for the NJLP over the past year has been the opportunity to meet and become friends with some very interesting individuals. Not only was I in the middle of New Jersey Libertarian politics with the Jason Scheurer for U.S. Senate campaign , but I also became very involved at the national level with the Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root campaign. I wish to share one message I received from Wayne (see The Road Ahead), because it mirrors my view on the 2008 election.
As most of you know I prefer to look at the glass half full as opposed to half empty. I see nothing but opportunities as we move forward in New Jersey. As Wayne describes in his article, the phone calls we received after the election have come from media, businessmen, and "first time Libertarian voters" who all encouraged us to build on what has been started. Both Jason and I have been asked to speak before a number of groups since, and we plan to continue spreading the message.
2009 is perhaps the most important election cycle in years for the NJLP. It is imperative we start early, and only run those individuals who can well represent the NJLP. (Please read closely Wayne's take on “the messenger.”)
I want to thank everyone who helped this year, and I give special thanks to the NJLP Steering Committee, whose members, for the most part, have been overwhelming supportive and gave of their time, money and energy. I thank you John Taylor for your overwhelming support in getting our office in Atlantic City off the ground. Manned or not manned, everyone walking up and down that boardwalk saw "Libertarian Party," and it would never have happened without your support. I could name so many others, but will end by thanking NJLP Congressional candidate (8th District) Derek DeMarco and U.S. Senate candidate Jason Scheurer for representing the NJLP with class. The respect you have earned will go a long way in future elections.
Consistent with the increase in registration and interest in the Libertarian Party, much greater activity is taking place on college campuses. On November 12, 2008 Jason and I spent almost two hours with the Rutgers Libertarian Group. We followed up previous visits by Sean Colon, and we fielded questions on policy, how to get people involved, and how to build not only their group but the NJLP as well. A group of four students attended last year, but that night had about 25 in attendance. I want to thank Josh Hagewood, president of the Rutgers Libertarian Party for his hospitality and the great job he is doing to promote liberty.
This is an area we must continue to support and do anything we can as a state group to help it grow. This was a topic for discussion at our state meeting on November 15, 2008, and the members approved my request to commit financially on behalf of the NJLP to help Rutgers and other college groups expand. If you feel this is an area you want to nourish, please go to our website and make a donation today or mail in a check with a notation of "campus libertarians" and we will make sure your donations go directly into helping college groups grow.
Seeds of growth have been planted over the last two election cycles, and Rutgers is not the only college group to increase their membership. Sean Colon once again spent time with the Seton Hall Libertarians and they too are growing. I recently received a heartfelt thank you from their president Christian Gomez and a copy of the Liberty Bell, a Libertarian publication that was the first paper to hit the Seton Hall campus this year. It included two great in-person interviews, one with Jason Scheurer and the other with Bob Barr.
Even when we don't think we made an impact nor see some immediate results, we are making a difference. This is one of the reasons over the past two years we have made a point of going to as many high school and college events as possible. Those seeds are being planted, and we plan to continue going forward.
"Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support in helping me to form a branch here at Fordham. I have started the (long and extensive) process of filing for probationary club status. I will let you know as soon as this process is over.
Once I get things rolling I would love to have either Mr. Jasikoff or Mr. Scheurer come and speak. I actually was turned onto the party by Mr. Scheurer, when I saw him debate Linda Greenstein (with whom I interned from Aug. 07-June '08), Wayne DeAngelo, and two Republican candidates at my high school, Monroe Township High." - excerpt from a recent email I received.
This coming election cycle will be a huge opportunity for the NJLP. We are one of only two states with statewide elections. We have the ability to draw on experienced candidates from around the country and from the national party to help our cause. If you want to see us succeed, then the time to start is now. If you have the ability to make a donation, I urge you todo it now. If you cannot contribute, then I urge you to commit to spending some time. We all have it within ourselves to make a difference and collectively we could make some really good things happen this coming year.