Current LNC Chair Michael Dixon has withdrawn his candidacy for re-election, leaving Ernest Hancock, George Phillies, and Bill Redpath in the race. The Vice Chair race is being fought by M Carling and Chuck Moulton, with rumors of a third candidate entering late.
This is distressing news to me. Michael Dixon has been very careful to balance out the factions within the LP, but has had a tilt towards the reformers who would make the LP more broadly appealing. Earnest Hancock is an extreme Libertarian who would make reform very difficult, in my opinion. I can't imagine him having the slightest interest in balancing factions. George Phillies has run for Chair every convention for years, always touting the success of his local LP chapter, but without electoral victories or other more inspiring proof to offer. Bill Redpath has been a great champion for 50-state ballot access. Beyond this, I have no idea what Bill stands for. Very distressing to see Dixon withdraw.
The Libertarian Reform Caucus held yesterday afternoon had a significant number of attendees, though it’s not clear how many people in the room were supporters and how many were just interested in seeing what the fuss was about. Rumors about the LRC plans include abolishing between 35 and 39 planks of the platform outright and repealing the pledge.
For me, this was the exciting business of the convention. The idea that some of our verbose, tinfoil hat wearing planks could vanish is very promising to me. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, "I like you Libertarians, but I have a real problem with 'x' plank of your platform," I could buy a lot of TV time in November.
Attendence looks to be in the 350-500 range, with a broad range of exhibitors and speakers. The combination of an off-year and Portland’s location account for the reduction in attendence from the immediate past convention in Atlanta, which attracted closer to 1000 attendees.
I would also argue that holding a convention on 4th of July weekend is just stupid. Those of us who are candidates cannot justify leaving town. There are a few parades and festivals, you might have heard.
Portland would have been fun, though I've been hearing it was an expensive air destination. The 2002 event in Indy drew 800+ conventioneers.