Monday, July 21, 2008

Indiana Libertarians in Washington, D.C.

Last Thursday, July 17th, was a fun, exciting and very long whirlwind day of activity. Libertarian candidates Rex Bell, running for Indiana House District 54 and Steve Keltner, running for Indiana Senate District 30, and I flew out together at 7 in the morning to start our Washington, D.C. trip.

We arrived around 8:30 am and went to where we were staying, the University Club of D.C.

Eric Schansberg, soon joined us, having flown in from Louisville, Kentucky.

We were soon joined by John Vaught LaBeaume, editor of,who had helped organize the trip, done most of the heavy lifting, and used his contacts to help me fill our schedule with some very influential and important people.

At 10:30 am Dick Heller stopped by the University Club and we had the opportunity to talk with him. Heller was the plaintiff in the case Heller vs. Washington, D.C. This is the recent US Supreme Court decision finding D.C.'s handgun ban to be unconstitutional. Heller also told us that he was announcing that afternoon he was petitioning to become the Libertarian candidate for D.C. Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives (which he did do later that afternoon).

We then went to the LP headquarters in the Watergate Building. We got the office tour, everyone got to meet Robert Kraus, Acting Executive Director, and then we went with Volunteer Coordinator Austin Petersen. He conducted and taped an interview of Eric, Steve and Rex.

From there, we went back to the University Club and had lunch with Reason Magazine's David Weigel.

Next, we went to the headquarters of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and met with its president and founder Fred Smith. We discussed communications and the need to establish communication (and thus credibility) before one can then educate.

The next stop was at the CATO Institute. Tim Lynch, Director of the Project on Criminal Justice. He gave us a tour of CATO and we then had a great roundtable discussion on issues of importance to all of us.

We ended the day at the Darlington House in Dupont Circle. Approximately 50 Washington area Libertarians, libertarians and classical liberals, mostly under the age of 35, joined us for a meet and greet that lasted a couple of hours. We were also very honored to have Libertarian Party National Chairman William Redpath join us too for this event. By the time it was over, it was past 10 pm and we headed back to the University Club. Friday, we all flew back home.

For more information and pictures on this trip, go the Rex' blog post "Mr. Bell goes to Washington", Eric Schansberg's blog post "Indiana Libertarians in DC",and Schansberg's campaign website (pictures only).

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