Below is a picture I took at the February 17, 2009 Libertarian Party of Marion County press conference at the Columbia Club in which Indianapolis City-County Councilor Ed Coleman announced he is switching to the Libertarian Party:
From left to right, LPMC Vice Chair Ed Angleton, Libertarian National Committee Member Rebecca Sink-Burris, Libertarian Party of Indiana State Chair Todd Singer, LPMC Communications Director Sean Shepard and Ed Coleman (L), Indianapolis City-County Councilor.
Here's the press release for the event:
Indianapolis City-County Councilor Ed Coleman Joins Libertarian Party
LPMC Contact: Sean Shepard, 317.513.2406 or by email at sshepard94(at)gmail.com
LPIN Contact: Chris Spangle, Executive Director, 317.997.5558 or by email at cspangle(at)lpin.org
LPIN Website: http://www.lpin.org
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Edward Coleman, a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council, has switched his affiliation from Republican to Libertarian. Coleman was elected in 2007 to an At-Large position, and will serve as Indianapolis' only elected Libertarian official.
"This is not a decision I take lightly, nor did I come to it without deep reflection," Coleman said in a statement released Monday by the Libertarians.
"I have found that the direction of the Republican Party has changed, and it is not the same party I joined many years ago," he said. "Nor do I believe its current leaders truly represent the ideals that the party markets and advertises to voters."
Coleman said he faced criticism from fellow Republicans when he opposed the secretive and expensive affairs of the Capital Improvement Board. "The two old parties want obedient followers, not leaders," he said.
As the Libertarian Party has long been a refuge for disillusioned voters, today's announcement did not come as a great surprise to Libertarian officials.
"I commend Ed Coleman on his courage and his recognition that the Libertarian Party is the only political party in Indiana and the United States that truly stands for limited, fiscally responsible government and real respect for civil liberties," said Bill Redpath, Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee. "I gratefully welcome him, as I hope to do with other elected officials who are tired of the now clearly unaffordable politics as usual, and who yearn to join "The Party of Principle."
"This is an important moment for the Libertarian Party of Indiana, and the Republican Party as well," said Chris Spangle, Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. "Councilor Coleman's switch is the result of a personal journey many former Republicans have found themselves on in the last year or two. They feel as though the GOP has left them, and they are left politically homeless. Former Republicans and Democrats are looking for a Party where words mean something, promises are fulfilled, and principles are important. The Libertarian Party is the only viable political party that upholds true free market principles, true Constitutional government, true personal freedom, and a decent future for our Country. The Republicans and Democrats both are long on rhetoric, but hold true to the failed policies of the past. Many who follow politics are beginning to understand this."
Timothy Maguire, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Marion County, has the interesting situation of being a former opponent of Ed Coleman. "Ed and I were both candidates in 2007, campaigning for an At-Large seat on the City-County Council. While we may have been members of different parties at the time, I came to find that we were in agreement on matters of public policy more often than not."
For Coleman's complete statements, visit http://www.lpin.org/node/607
To arrange an interview with Coleman or other Libertarian Party members, please contact Sean Shepard at (317) 513-2406.