By SEAN BATURA
Enemies of central banking, interventionist foreign policy and the “living document” interpretation of the United States Constitution gathered at Texas State University’s main campus last weekend to lay the groundwork for the Texas Liberty Campaign (TLC).
According to its bylaws, the purpose of TLC is “to restore our Republic as intended by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States through the exercise of all our inherent individual rights as a free people in Texas.”
Aside from creating bylaws and voting for officers, the TLC convention featured book vendors and workshops on such topics as campaign management and coalition building. One workshop was entitled, “Recognizing when you are being sandbagged, given a flat tire to run on and when to make a frontal attack.”
With its bylaws now in place and executive board elected, TLC members, who had arrived in San Marcos from all over Texas, will begin forming regional and affiliate TLC organizations.
“Each local group is free to support whatever candidates (they want) locally,” said TLC member and San Marcos resident Rob Roark. “The candidates we’re looking for (are) fiscal conservatives, follow the (U.S.) Constitution, and follow, basically, the ideals of Ron Paul. That’s what we’re looking for in our candidates, no matter where they are. Generally, these candidates are Republican candidates, but that may not always be the case … This is a nonpartisan group. We do have a lot of libertarians, we’ve got Republicans, we’ve got conservative Democrats. The bottom line is that we feel that government needs to get back to being based on the Constitution.”
Some local supporters of U.S Congressman Ron Paul’s (R-Victoria) ideals did not wait for TLC to get off the ground before jumping into local politics. For example, TLC members Daniel McCarthy and Lisa Marie Coppoletta ran unsuccessfully for, respectively, mayor and city council last year. Coppoletta is running this year for the city council seat held by Pam Couch.
Some TLC members also belong to the Campaign for Liberty (C4L), the national organization forged in the crucible of Paul’s presidential campaign. As a 501(c)4 organization, C4L is prohibited by law from endorsing candidates, unlike TLC.
“The TLC is an organization of individuals and groups of individuals exercising our First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and to petition government for a redress of grievances,” said TLC Executive Board Chair Jeremy Blosser. “Our bylaws seek no other legal status.”
Blosser, a resident of Tarrant County, said yesterday that TLC does not have an official relationship with C4L, though a non-voting seat on TLC’s executive board is reserved for C4L’s state coordinator. Texas gubernatorial hopeful Debra Medina is C4L’s state coordinator for Texas. Blosser said TLC will see affiliation with C4L “in an informal manner,” provided the two organizations share the same goals and TLC’s autonomy can be preserved.
Using open source software written by David Kowis and existing streaming technology on the Internet, TLC members statewide were able to remotely participate in the convention over the weekend.
“Texas is a large state, and it’s sometimes difficult to get everyone that’s interested to be physically there,” Kowis said. “Enabling remote participation helps alleviate that. We developed a system to allow rapid roll call voting using coded voting cards on site and the web forms online. It allowed us to get an accurate vote count quickly on the floor, and allowed remote participation in all of the roll call votes.”
In the process of voting for officers and directors, TLC convention attendees formed caucuses representing rural Texas counties, central Texas, the Houston area, and a combined technology/civil disobedience caucus.
“As political movements obtain small successes with legislation … they often lose sight of where history has proven the largest successes to peaceful causes are made; that being their inherent right, and oftentimes, their obligation, to do at any time what they think right,” said TLC Director Chris Howe of Tarrant County. “Sometimes that requires civil disobedience … My goal in the technology/civil disobedience caucus is to insure that we don’t lose sight of that as an organization.”Email | Print