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Third Party Watch Interviews Liberal Party Leader Luchini

Third Party Watch recently had two opportunities to interview Chris Luchini, lead activist with the Liberal Party of the United States. He gave us a considerable amount of information, some of which we will only be free to release at a later date.

From his perspective it at first appeared that the recent DC Libertarian National Convention was optimally bad for the Liberal Party.  This perspective was unduly pessimistic. Interest in the Liberal party momentarily fell markedly when Oliver received the nomination.  Matters have since changed. Interest in the Liberal Party has gone sharply upward. It was clear that the Mises infection was not curbed at the National Convention.  We are now seeing people, not previously members or active in the Libertarian Party, both forming local and state Liberal Party groups and encouraging their contacts to do the same.

The nomination of Chase Oliver gave some Libertarians hope that the Libertarian Party can be saved. The hope was amplified by the sunk cost fallacy, namely that if one abandons the Libertarian Party for something else, all investment in the Libertarian Party will go to waste.

The Liberal Party expects to advance relatively soon, perhaps by early July.  It already has eight affiliated state organizations, namely Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Missouri, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts.  Three other groups have applied; some of their bylaws were deficient and needed a little work.   It is expected that these issues will be remedied soon.  Another four state organizations are in the process of applying; it is believed that these applications will likely be received favorably. Some of these groups need to comply with particular legal requirements or filings before their names can be released.

With respect to recruiting state organizations, on one hand there are extant state organizations that might desire or choose to join.  This process appears to be winding down to a stop.  The Liberal Party organizing group has not voted  to impose a hard stop on recruiting extant organizations into its ranks, but salvage of extant organizations appears to be approaching a natural end point.  Luchini reports that the Liberal Party is instead seeing new groups form and want to join.

With respect to resources, the Liberal Party has a few large donors.  For the moment, they are not bound by FEC regulations.  Since the convention, their donations have doubled. They have been speaking successfully to donors who make recurring donations in the $500-$1000 range.

Their core requirements on new organizations will be that they have at least five active members, that they have incorporated as a non-profit, and that they have a written plan for obtaining major party status.   The Liberal Party requirement that state organizers have a record of sustained successful professional accomplishments, as opposed to being nonserious people, turned out to be a strong selling point with major donors.

The Liberal party will soon take the needed legal steps to become an FEC-recognized federal party. In particular, they need three candidates for federal office.  They expect to adopt provisional formal bylaws rather soon, and observe that platform discussion is more complicated. The Mises wing of the current Libertarian Party is already, they propose, rather sensitive to the Liberal Party; for example, Liberal Party activists were convinced they were being trailed within the national convention by Mises activists.

There was discussion of issues with the Libertarian Party.  In Luchini’s opinion: The Chase nomination gave hope to the dead-enders.  The Libertarian Party needs to be purged of its Republican social ideas, which are a virulent infection.   Alas, there are people in the Libertarian Party who refuse to see how serious the infection is, and want to fuse Libertarianism with Misesism.  Luchini does not fault people for trying this, especially given the sunk cost argument, but in Luchini’s opinion these people are delusional.  Staying in the Libertarian Party, Luchini indicates, is not immoral, but is misreading the situation.  Many of the new people in the Liberal Party are not astonished with what has happened.

Luchini had doubts about the effectiveness of the re-elected Libertarian National Chair.   He observes that questionable trial balloons about replacing Chase-Ter Maat were floated, and failed, but the National Chair did not condemn them.  Post-convention events have hardened the resolve of the Liberal Party leadership to do something else.

The Liberal Party has a board, composed of the State Chairs, and a three-member Executive Board.  There will be a Liberal Party national convention in Houston the weekend of December 7th and 8th.  The Hotel is in the process of being selected.

When it was noted that the national convention had raised two hundred thousand dollars by pressuring presidential candidates to donate, a prominent member of the LNC was reportedly heard to say that this was money for the member’s lawsuit fund. (The member’s wish on this topic does not appear to be being satisfied.)  Prior to the National Convention, Luchini believed that there was a fault line within the LNC, namely that the National Chair wanted no more lawsuits, and several other LNC members wanted to sue at the salt the earth level.  This fault line may or may not have changed.

 

6 Comments

  1. Root's Teeth Are Awesome Root's Teeth Are Awesome June 11, 2024

    New York state already has a Liberal Party (a left progressive party), founded in 1944. It had ballot status for several decades, but lost it in 2002.

    They still have a website, so I assume they’re trying to regain ballot status: liberalparty.org

    For many decades, the Libertarian Party in NY had to call itself the Free Libertarian Party because the Liberal Party had challenged their name, saying it was too close and likely to cause voter confusion.

    Wikipedia also has a page for “Liberal Party of New York” with more info.

  2. George Phillies George Phillies June 10, 2024

    The national Liberal Party of the United States believes that the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts, the group that was rejected by the Libertarian National Committee, has affiliated with the Liberal Party.

    The LNC recognizes as its Massachusetts affiliate the United Libertarians of Massachusetts. LNC Bylaws limit them to one affiliate per state, so neither LAMA nor the Libertarian Party State Committee can be their affiliates.

    • Walter Ziobro Walter Ziobro June 10, 2024

      “The national Liberal Party of the United States believes that the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts, the group that was rejected by the Libertarian National Committee, has affiliated with the Liberal Party.”

      By what means was this formally done, and when?

      • George Phillies George Phillies Post author | June 10, 2024

        Best ask LAMA what they had done.

  3. Walter Ziobro Walter Ziobro June 10, 2024

    While I know that there are folks in Massachusetts who are interested in the Liberal Party, I am not aware of any formal action to affiliate either the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts, or the state recognized Libertarian State Committee with the Liberal Party. have i missed something?

    • Mike Brigham Mike Brigham June 10, 2024

      the liberal party is the old assoc of libertarian states or whatever it got a rebrand? so LAMA had already signed onto them so i think they are grandfathered in? not 100% but thats the rumblings ive heard.

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