Saturday marked a political first for me (given my 18 years active in politics, firsts aren’t all that common anymore). I attended my first state central committee meeting of a political party. It has been my experience that the Republican Party doesn’t typically advertise their meetings of their state central committee; by comparison, the Libertarian Party not only posted their meeting on Facebook, but they also invited non-committee members to attend.
Shortly before noon, Nick (the leader of JMU’s Madison Liberty) and I made the trek from Harrisonburg to downtown Charlottesville for the 1 PM meeting. The upstairs room which held the SCC was packed. I was told that this gathering was the largest that the party had ever seen outside of one of their conventions. Besides the leadership of the Libertarian Party, there were a multitude of other familiar faces including Robert Sarvis and former House of Delegates candidate Jonathan Parrish. The Harrisonburg/Rockingham liberty community was well-represented, with at least seven attendees in the audience. Although not a member of their party, I was permitted to witness the proceedings.
Major points of business for the group included discussing plans for the 2014 Libertarian Party Convention, tentatively slated for February 8th in Richmond, and issues dealing with the Tidewater Libertarian Party. Before the November 5th election, the leader of the TLP endorsed Ken Cuccinelli for governor over Libertarian Robert Sarvis and several members of their leadership had made statements either favorable to Cuccinelli or disparaging of either the LPVA or Robert Sarvis. Although the TLP removed the head of their group in response, some LP leaders wished to disaffiliate the TLP with the state organization.
Unfortunately, as the discussion grew heated, Nick and I had to leave as he needed to travel to northern Virginia for Thanksgiving break. However, after dropping him off in Harrisonburg, I turned my car around and returned to Charlottesville. Being the political animal that I am, I found the discussion far too intriguing to simply abandon it. However, by the time I returned, the meeting had concluded. Nevertheless, the social that followed was worthwhile and I relished the chance to speak with Robert Sarvis, fellow former RLC-VA board member Steven Latimer, Roanoke Libertarian leader Melissa Scott, 2013 House of Delegates candidate Laura Delhomme, LPVA secretary Marc Montoni, LPVA vice-chairman Dr. Lark, as well as meeting several new folks. I heard that although the vote was close, the LPVA decided to maintain ties with the Tidewater Libertarian Party.
Although it ended up taking about four hours worth of travel time and gas, I was glad for the opportunity to spend Saturday afternoon and evening with Libertarians from across the state. It was nice to finally meet quite a few people whom I’ve only had contact on Facebook.