Welcome to Our Website

This is the official website of the Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO).  Check this site periodically to keep abreast of LPO activities, campaigns, and more.  This website also serves as a resource for people to learn more about the party, become involved, and get information about how to participate effectively in the LPO and the larger libertarian movement.  Check the other pages on this website to learn more.


LPO Members meet at Redmond's Eagle Crest Resort to hold their 2017 business convention.  Officers re-elected, bylaws amended, resolution passed.


   


Photos from the 2017 LPO Annual Business Convention. From left to right, photos of the convention in progress, good times at the reception held the night before, and a photo of the re-elected officers including Tim Reeves (Vice Chair), Ian Epstein (Chair), Greg Burnett (Treasurer), and Richard Burke (Secretary).


Overview.  The Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO) held its 2017 Annual Business Convention at 9:00 a.m. on March 18th  at the Eagle Crest Resort outside of Redmond.  Delegates in attendance elected party officers, county representatives, considered amendments to its governing documents, and considered resolutions concerning bills currently working their way through the 2017 Oregon legislative session.

Elections.
  Ian Epstein, Tim Reeves, Richard Burke, and Greg Burnett were re-elected to their positions of state party chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer, respectively.  Natasha Burke and John Reeves were selected to represent Washington county on the executive committee.  Officers serve two-year terms.  County representatives serve one-year terms.

Bylaw Amendments.  A bylaw amendment proposal initially approved in 2015 was adopted which will assure that the LPO would not put itself in a position where it would be required to file reports with the Federal Elections Commission.  Two other housekeeping bylaw amendments were initially approved.  If also approved at the 2019 LPO Annual Business Convention they will be adopted (amendments to LPO governing bylaws must pass by two-thirds majorities at two consecutive Annual Business Conventions taking place in odd-numbered years).

Resolutions.  The body also endorsed Senate Bill 924, sponsored by Republican state senator Kim Thatcher, which would require judges to inform juries that they legally have the power to sit in judgment of laws in addition to whether or not defendants are guilty of violating those laws.

Moving Forward.  “This convention was good for party continuity moving forward,” said LPO Chair Ian Epstein.  “We are working hard to build party unity and become a more influential force in Oregon politics.”  The Libertarian Party of Oregon will now turn its full attention toward the 2017 legislative session in Salem, the May 16 local elections, building infrastructure capable of supporting campaigns, and preparing for the 2018 partisan election cycle.



Richard Burke Appointed to State Ethics Board


     

Richard P. Burke, current Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Oregon, has been appointed by governor Kate Brown (D) to serve a four­ year term as a commissioner on the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.  If you click on the right-hand graphics shown above, you can download the Commission's current "Guide for Public Officials" including a 2015 update.

Before taking a position on the Commission, Burke was vetted by the governor’s office, testified before the Senate Interim Committee on Rules and Executive Appointments, and was confirmed by the Oregon senate, dominated by state Democrats, by a 26­-0­-4 vote on Sept. 23, 2016.  With his confirmation, Burke becomes the first Libertarian to serve on the state ethics board.

It is the mission of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission to “impartially and effectively administer and enforce Oregon’s government ethics laws for the benefit of Oregon’s citizens.”  The Commission emphasizes education in achieving its mission.
 
Burke also currently serves as an elected commissioner for the Tualatin Valley Water District which serves over 250,000 residents in Portland’s western suburbs and corporate ratepayers such as Nike, Intel, Tektronics, Hewlett Packard, Reeser’s Fine Foods, and others.



September 11th Johnson for President Pizza Social Was a Blast!


   


Photos from the LPO's second annual pizza social.  The pizza made in the outdoor wood-fired oven was great, but the camaraderie was even better!  From Left to right, Scott Scrimshaw, Drew Layda, and Robert Rowe enjoying the day; Help us kick off the 2016 campaign season and show your support for Gary Johnson and other Libertarian candidates!


The significance of September 11th was not lost on the roughly 40 Libertarians who attended this party, and a moment of silence was observed in honor of all that was lost.  After that, the day was used to honor and celebrate the resilience of our nation and the freedoms we still enjoy to speak freely and engage in open political activity.  It was a beautiful late-summer day and Libertarians of all stripes and factions put aside their differences to come together in support of liberty, governor Gary Johnson, and his running mate governor Bill Weld.


LPO members Larry and Teresa Walton hosted the party at their home and offered homemade pizza cooked in his outdoor pizza stove along with soda and adult beverages.  Gary Johnson's Oregon campaign coordinator, Scott Scrimshaw, gave a fantastic pep talk after which he distributed Johnson campaign material for people to distribute where they live.


This was a fantastic morale-building event!  This was the second annual pizza party hosted by the Waltons for the LPO.  The Waltons have offered to hold these events annually, so watch this space so you can be a part of it next year!



2016 Ballot Measure Positions Taken at its August 25th Convention.


 

Positions taken in convention. 
Among those nominated were, from left to right, gov. Bill Weld (vice president) and gov. Gary Johnson (president).  Delegates in convention also took positions on various ballot measures including a stance against the Ballot Measure 97 tax hike.

On Sunday, August 7th, the Libertarian Party of Oregon held its second candidate nominating convention to place candidates on Oregon's 2016 general election ballot.  The first was on May 15th.  The conventions were advertised and notice was provided to Regular LPO members as required by state law and LPO governing documents.

Nominated Candidates Who Proceeded to File:  Legitimate nominees included Gov. Gary Johnson (NM-L) for president and Gov. William Weld (MA-L) for vice president.  While they will not appear on the ballot because of divisions within the Libertarian Party in Oregon, delegates also supported nominees for the following positions: US Senate, Tim Reeves (L); US House of Rep., Dist. 3, Bruce Broussard (L); State Attorney General, Daniel Crowe (R); State Rep., Dist. 23, Nick Hazelton (L), State Rep., Dist. 24, David Terry (L); State Rep., Dist. 30, Dan Mason (R); State Rep., Dist. 42, Teresa de Bellis (L); State Rep., Dist. 48, Ian Epstein (L).  The convention chose not to run a seat for governor and nominated Jim Foster (L) to run for Oregon's first district congressional seat.

Other Nominations:  James Foster was again nominated to run for Oregon's 1st congressional district seat.  The convention also decided to add the "winners" of the illegitimate vote-by-mail election conducted by an alternate organization purporting to represent the party.  This was done because is was recognized that most of those participating did so in good faith ignorant of the internal dispute taking place within the Libertarian Party.

Ballot Measures:  Delegates assembled at convention also voted against ballot measures which would repeal the 75 year-old retirement age for judges, impose a new corporate income tax, establish a special fund to reduce high school drop-out rates, dedicate state lottery funds to outdoor education, and a measure that would prohibit the sale of products derived from parts of 12 species of endangered animals.

Resolutions:  Delegates also supported the following two resolutions: 1) That the State of Oregon implement the 2002 Tom Cox proposal, the LPO's candidate for governor, to deal with and retire the $20 billion unfunded liability associated with Oregon's Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), and 2) That the Oregon legislature refuse to consider any revenue raising measure until such time as the PERS unfunded liability is completely resolved.


LPO Members Represent Oregon at a Historic National Convention in Orlando where Delegates Nominate Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld!
 


From left to right, the Oregon delegation included Greg Burnett, Scott Scrimshaw, Tim Reeves and Richard Burke.  Scrimshaw is Gary Johnson's Oregon campaign chair for 2016.  Burke was Johnson's campaign chair in 2012.  Tim Reeves and Greg Burnett are the LPO's vice chair and treasurer, respectively.  The Oregon delegation participated in the selection of candidates for president and vice president, voted on platform and governance issues, voted for various national party leaders, and communicated with members of the media.


Despite threats by those currently controlling the Libertarian Party's ballot access in Oregon not to place the Johnson/Weld national ticket on the Oregon ballot unless their boycott of the Orlando convention was respected, Oregon Libertarians got full representation in Orlando.  While no delegation was officially seated from Oregon, all Oregon delegates were seated in the North Dakota delegation as part of a compromise and effectively functioned as the Oregon delegation under Oregon's state banner.


During the convention, the Oregon delegation networked with other Libertarian leaders from around the country, interviewed with CNN, Fox News, Reason magazine, and representatives from other media outlets.  Scrimshaw was featured in an article about the convention in Hood River's local newspaper.



March 2016  LPO Convention Features Presidential Debate!


   


From left to right: The promotional graphic for the LPO's Gary Johnson / Austin Petersen presidential debate in Hillsboro and Charles Pickens of the Washington LP who helped to promote the debate makes some announcements as Johnson and Petersen wait for the debate to start.


SUMMARY.  The LPO held it's annual business convention over the weekend of March 25-26 at the Embassy Suites hotel in Hillsboro.  The feature event of the weekend was a presidential debate held between governor Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen after a Friday night reception.  Earlier in the day both had high profile media appearances in the Portland area.  The debate itself was streamed live by three content providers.  About 75 people were present; standing room only.  The business session began at 9AM with presidential Austin Petersen observing.  Members to the LPO Judicial Committee were elected and other routine party business was conducted.



The LPO's "Project Groundswell" is Generating Results!


Capitol   LPO Convention   Vote  Oregon Map

WHAT IS "PROJECT GROUNDSWELL
?
  The ongoing project consists of a package of realistic projects the LPO and it's affiliates are taking on this year.  Together, the initiative will increase the membership, registered voter base, political relevance, and political effectiveness of the LPO.  The purposes of Project Groundswell are to help the LPO rebound from years of infighting, achieve political success now, and position the LPO for success through.  Project Groundswell consists of the following projects:


PROJECT: The 2017 Oregon Legislative Session.  IN PROGRESS! LPO members are active in the Salem legislature on a regular basis working on bills to establish Education Savings Accounts, advance the concept of fully informed juries, fight new tax increases and a variety of other topics.  LPO officers also work with the Oregon Citizens' Lobby to support limited government legislation.backing a package of transparency bills and monitoring ballot access legislation.


PROJECT: The 2016 Oregon Legislative Session.  COMPLETED! In this year's short 45 day session, the LPO maintained a consistent presence in Salem working and testifying in support of legislation designed to improve government transparency.  LPO vice-chair Tim Reeves has worked at the legislature on his own and with the Oregon Citizens' Lobby backing a package of transparency bills and monitoring ballot access legislation.


This has been a major issue in Oregon as issues related to transparency resulted in the resignation of Governor John Kitzhaber and, because of controversial decisions made by his replacement, Kate Brown, will be a major election issue in 2016.


PROJECT: The 2015 Oregon Legislative Session.  COMPLETED!  The LPO actively lobbied the legislature on several bills having a common theme of supporting individual privacy and choice.  Success was realized with respect to the following bills.


A.  "Right to Try" - HB2300.  SIGNED INTO LAW!  This new law enables terminally ill patients to access and use drugs not yet approved by the government for use.  You can read the new law by clicking HERE.  The LPO was recognized as a coalition partner working for HB2300's passage by Portland's Cascade Policy Institute and the bills primary sponsor, Mitch Greenlick (D).  The LPO's effort was endorsed supported by Gov. Gary Johnson's Our America Initiative. and the Tenth Amendment Center.


B.  Individual Right to Privacy - SJR17.  This was a bill introduced on behalf of the Libertarian Party.  It would have amended the Oregon Constitution to create an explicit right of individual privacy, modeled after a similar clause in the Montana State Constitution.  You can read and track the bill by clicking HERE.  With individual privacy eroding almost daily, this bill was intended to start a conversation about privacy, why we need it, what the limits of privacy are, and how we can to preserve it.  This part of the LPO's legislative agenda has also been endorsed as a project by Gov. Gary Johnson's Our America Initiative.


As written, the Democratic leadership at the capitol has refused to move this bill.  They believed an explicit right to privacy in the Oregon Constitution could have implications to the abortion issue if Roe v. Wade is overturned.  Progress was made on this bill as Democratic leadership has agreed to explore language that would accomplish the goals of SJR17 without undermining abortion rights in Oregon regardless of the future status of Roe v. Wade.


The LPO also worked on SB639, which would have placed restrictions on the use by government agencies and police of data obtained by automatic license plate readers.  You can read and track the bill by clicking HERE.  This bill passed out of one committee but died in another.


A final bill introduced on behalf of the LPO was SB707 which would require that all political parties to finance their own candidate selection process.  While it was never believed this bill would go anywhere (Republicans and Democrats like having their candidate selection subsidized!), it may have new life in 2016 now that the Independent Party of Oregon has achieved major party status and will have a state-funded primary alongside the Republicans and Democrats.


PROJECT: LPO 2016 Annual Business Convention.  COMPLETED!  The LPO held it's 2016 Annual Convention in Hillsboro during March.  The convention weekend featured a professionally moderated presidential campaign between governor Gary Johnson and Austen Petersen, who were at that time contending for the Libertarian nomination.  See the top of this page for details.  Elections for LPO party officers and county representatives were held, amendments to the LPO platform plus issue resolutions were on the agenda.


PROJECT: Elections for Local Non-Partisan Office.  IN PROGRESS!  The LPO has a track record of electing about two-thirds of it's candidates who actively campaign for local non-partisan office.  These offices, which include school board, water board, city council, and other such positions, most directly impact the daily lives of regular citizens.  Libertarians serving in such positions build the networks and skills they need to credibly run for higher office in the future while re-weaving our political culture today.


PROJECT: Building County Parties.  ONGOING!  The LPO is working to rebuild it's network of county parties.  County parties provide Libertarian voters and activists with venues for political activity where they live.  They make it possible for the Libertarian Party to have a true statewide presence while providing local activists with statewide reach and resources.  A vibrant network of county parties is key to providing support for Libertarian candidates and building party registration.


PROJECT: Building Party Registration.  ONGOING!  Simply engaging in political campaigns and other activities can inspire people to register Libertarian.  During 2017 the LPO will engage on a statewide media tour to promote the Libertarian Party, encourage voters to register Libertarian, and work with it's county organizations to build their profile through activities such as county fair booths.


Support "Operation Groundswell"!  It is a realistic and achievable way to build the LPO while achieving political success now.  Make a contribution to the LPO today!  Contributions made to the LPO quality for the Oregon Political Tax Credit ($50 per individual, $100 per joint filing).  To contribute to the LPO, just click the SUPPORT tab at the top of the page or JOIN THE LPO by clicking the BUY NOW button shown below.




These are the headlines.  For more information about upcoming party activities and projects, click on the NEWS page of this website as shown at the top.



  
Join, Renew, or Reinstate Your LPO Membership!


Dues paying, or "regular" members of the LPO can serve in LPO leadership and may participate as a delegate at LPO Annual Business Conventions.  These members, through their dues, also support the LPO financially.  $50 per year.  If you are already an "Honorary Lifetime" LPO members, you do not need to pay dues.

By joining the LPO as a dues-paying or "regular" member in this way you subscribe to the following statement: "I hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they don not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose."

If you do not want to pay dues but are an Oregon voter registered with the Libertarian Party, you are already a "registered" member of the LPO and may participate in candidate nominating conventions as a voting member, a candidate for partisan public office, or both.


About Us

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in America.  Hundreds of Libertarians have won election to partisan and non-partisan offices all over America including some in Oregon.  As a party supporting both fiscal responsibility and social tolerance, the Libertarian Party reflects the values of more and more of us.  It you think you might be a Libertarian, consider joining us today!

LPO In Dispute

The leadership of the LPO and the governing documents governing it's operation are in dispute.  The Libertarian National Committee, delegates assembled at the 2012 and 2014 Libertarian National Conventions, the national Libertarian Judicial Committee, and the Oregon LP Judicial Committee recognizes the leadership and governing documents associated with organization sponsoring this website.  The Oregon Secretary of State is barred from taking a position, and has for the moment defaulted to recognizing an alternate organization because it is supported by the most recent "Chair of Record."  This is being contested in a variety of venues and we expect the situation will be resolved soon.

More Ways to Get Involved

Become a Registered Libertarian Party voter!  There are over 15,804 registered Libertarian voters in Oregon.  You can become one if you are eligible to vote in Oregon.  Click HERE and follow the provided instructions to register or re-register online!

NOTE: Registered members of the LPO are eligible to participate in candidate nominating conventions and be nominated by the Libertarian Party to run for public partisan office in general elections.  There is no charge to become a registered member.

Find out if YOU are a Libertarian!
  Take this quiz to find out!  Just click HERE.

Oregon Map

Form or Become Active with an Affiliated County Party (ACP).  The LPO is in the process of organizing county organizations across Oregon.  We are working to build an active presence across the state, and ACPs will be key to that.

County organizations are great way for advancing the principles of limited government where people live, provide a base of support for Libertarians to run in winnable local elections, and coordinate activity on statewide issues.  Click HERE if you are interested!


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