The Libertarian National Convention is starting this morning in Portland, Oregon at the Hilton. The past two days have held platform and bylaws committee meetings as well as the last meeting of the outgoing Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and various informal caucuses.
Current LNC Chair Michael Dixon has withdrawn his candidacy for re-election, leaving Ernest Hancock, George Phillies, and Bill Redpath in the race.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.
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.
Bob Barr gave a stirring breakfast speech in which he challenged the Libertarian Party to fight for issues that are at the core of freedom, rather than “nibbling at the edges.” When I asked him afterwards whether he felt that the actions of the current President were sufficient to justify articles of impeachment, he said he had not taken a position in this debate, but clearly the actions of President Bush would justify impeachment.
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.