By Brian Lambrecht & Jennifer Floyd
July 13, 2015. Springfield, IL. (ONN) Third parties always face an uphill struggle in politics, regardless of which state they reside in. Still, they collect signatures, run candidates in elections, and host conventions just like established parties do, and often they are much more interesting and inclusive than the rest. On Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st, the Libertarian Party of Illinois will host their 2015 annual state convention in Springfield.
Chris Michel, candidate for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for US Senate from Illinois.
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In a non-election year, these conventions are more focused on individuals looking to make connections, help out with campaigns, or even announce their own intentions to run for a local office. It’s a great way to network, meet like-minded people, and take part in fun workshops where participants sharpen their skills in all sorts of events from debating to campaigning.
Friday, July 31st
The Friday night portion is free and open to the public. There will be a free deli buffet, a libertarian comedy show, and an interview presented by Illinois State Chair Lex Green with the VIP guest of the weekend - National Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark.
Friday night is a relaxed social event as party members from across the state get to reconnect with others they haven’t seen since the previous year’s convention. Illinois Libertarian Party members are all over the state and don’t get together as often as they would like. So it’s a great way for everyone to enjoy themselves, say hello to old friends, welcome new members, and introduce libertarian ideas to visitors and guests.
Saturday, August 1st
Saturday starts off with an official meeting with the State Organizing Committee, and then launches into a full day of events and projects. Campaign Director Crystal Jurczynski will host “Who’s Driving?”, a game in which candidates and volunteers can practice handling media questions, with the help of crowd participation.
Jacob Huebert, a constitutional lawyer with the Liberty Justice Center, will be the lunch speaker. His topic, “The Prospects of Liberty in Illinois”, will examine the political climate of Illinois and what is going on to change it. Jan and Don Stover from the Owl Creek Gazette, a south-central Illinois publication and podcast, will give a presentation on Libertarianism and the Self-reliant Movement.
There will also be a presentation from the Edgar County Watchdogs - Kirk Allen and John Craft. They have been incredibly effective across the state, from their home county to Naperville, and from Bloomington to the College of DuPage, with their efforts to hold politicians accountable and expose information through FOIA requests. Their website, EdgarCountyWatchdogs.com, covers a spectrum of topics from forest preserve vandalism to investigations of elected officials throughout Illinois.
This year will also feature the return of the popular Libertarian Jeopardy game, where volunteers who want to play are invited to jump in for some hilarious, yet challenging, questions about modern politics and the world we live in. There will be room for nine volunteers to play and those interested in being involved should talk to the Chair of the DuPage Libertarians Brian Lambrecht.
The dinner will feature speeches from past and current candidates, including recently announced Libertarian US Senate candidate Chris Michel, and a surprise announcement from the Libertarian Accountant Claire Ball who ran for the College of DuPage Board of Trustees this Spring. Also rumored to be in attendance that evening will be former candidate for Chicago mayor, William J. Kelly.
Unlike the two establishment parties who choose their candidates through a primary election, the Libertarians will vote on their candidate at the next state convention to be held in March 2016. This will be the first opportunity for prospective candidates to introduce themselves to the assembled state party. The entire day from morning till night is scheduled to be packed full of projects, activities, and surprises.
The Libertarian Party of Illinois Annual State Convention will be held at the Springfield Hilton Garden Inn on July 31stand August 1st, 2015.The Hilton Garden Inn is located at 3100 S. Dirksen Parkway in Springfield. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Libertarian Party of Illinois website at www.LPIllinois.org from now until the weekend of the convention.
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