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St Louis Post Dispatch article on MO Libertarians

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Jeff White, Apr 19, 2004.

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  1. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Alma Illinois

    2 local Libertarians lead charge to earn respect for Missouri party


    Seeks nod for vice president
    Second line

    About a year ago, political life didn't look too great for Bob Sullentrup of St. Charles and his cohorts. But now, one of his party stalwarts has been elected to a local public office, and Sullentrup is a top national leader.

    Perhaps, it's time that the Missouri Libertarian Party got a little respect.

    Sullentrup is state chairman for the Libertarian Party, which he notes is one of only three parties - the others are the Democrats and Republicans - that are guaranteed that their candidates running for statewide office will appear on the ballot. All told, 37 Libertarians will be running for state and local office this fall, down from 52 two years ago.

    Any of the other parties seeking to field statewide candidates this fall - such as the Green or Constitution or Natural Law party - first have to collect at least 10,000 signatures from registered voters. Same for Ralph Nader, who's getting tons of headlines for his plans to run as an independent candidate for president.

    The fact is, the Libertarian Party's candidate for president - the party will select its nominee next month - is the only sure bet to be on Missouri's ballot against Republican incumbent George W. Bush and the likely Democratic nominee, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
    "We're not a third party, we're an established party," said Kevin Tull of Kansas City, the state Libertarian Party's candidate for the U.S. Senate. "Yet, we're still treated like we're a third party."

    That may be starting to change. Earlier this month, Missouri Libertarians claimed two political boosts.

    Sullentrup, a computer consultant, was named the national party's new secretary, filling the remaining weeks of a term left vacant when his predecessor stepped down. Sullentrup will hold the post until the national Libertarian Party convention May 27-31 in Atlanta. He's planning to compete for a full term.

    On April 6, the party also claimed a landmark local victory. Tamara Millay, head of the St. Louis County Libertarian Party, was elected the new marshal of Greendale, a small suburb near Lambert Field. Millay became the first Libertarian to get elected to office on the Missouri side of the St. Louis metro area. She won as a write-in, snagging 29 votes.

    Millay has been a prominent Missouri Libertarian for about eight years, running at various times as a candidate for the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate.

    Her victory in Greendale was part of a two-pronged effort that also included the defeat of a city-backed proposal on the ballot to make the Greendale marshal an appointive post. "An appointed official is beholden to other politicians," Millay said. "An elected official is beholden to the voters."

    Millay said she got involved in the battle after no one filed as a candidate for marshal. She then opted to run as a write-in, while simultaneously campaigning against the ballot measure. "The campaign was short," she said. It consisted mainly of a flier distributed all over Greendale right before the election. On Election Day, she worked the polls.

    The Greendale marshal's chief job is to police property upkeep, citing residents who fail to keep their lawn mowed or their house painted. Millay says she plans to work with residents when she spots problems, "instead of writing tickets." She adds that her victory won't take away from her other campaign: She's running to become the national Libertarian Party's nominee for vice president. The party separately selects the two people to be at the top of its national ticket.

    Millay has been traveling around the country to meet with her party's national convention delegates and make her case. Her chief issues include her opposition to the war in Iraq - "Let's support our troops by bringing them home" - and the Patriot Act.

    She also joined Tull and roughly 50 other state Libertarians in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday at the party's Jefferson Day gathering in a city park, less than a mile away from the convention center where hundreds of Missouri Democrats gathered for their once-every-four-years presidential convention.

    Libertarians acknowledge taking some heat over their embrace of Thomas Jefferson; Democrats claim him, too. But Libertarians say their party's philosophy best reflects some of Jefferson's key beliefs, among them a distrust of a strong federal government.

    Many Libertarians call for phasing out most government programs, including Social Security and public education. Sullentrup rails against the growing federal debt, while Tull cites the Libertarian call for decriminalizing drug use. "We want our resources directed to real crime, like rape and murder," Tull said.

    All share Millay's joy over what they see as growing public interest in what Libertarians stand for. "I have been really re-energized by what I've seen around the country," she said.

    In short: Some respect.

    Reporter Jo Mannies
    E-mail: jmannies@post-dispatch.com
    Phone: 314-340-8334
  2. sch40

    sch40 Member

    Jul 20, 2003
    This is excellent news.
    I wonder why I wasn't alerted that there were semi-local Libertarian candidates.
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