The Libertarian Party: The Party of Principle
News & EventsIssues & PositionsOrganizationServices & SalesCampaign 2000Get Involved!

LP Home PagePress Release ArchiveCalendar of EventsPress CenterMedia QuotesNational Convention
Table of 

Current Issue

AUGUST 2000:

Front Page

News & Features

News Briefs

Campaign 2000

Politics 2000

Talking Points

Affiliate News

Political News

The Forum

From The Chair

Libertarian Solutions

Book Review

The Pulse

The Mailbox

First Word


Search the entire web site:
Full Site Search

Past Issues
About LP News
Change of address
LP News & Features

It's a Browne/Olivier ticket in 2000

Convention delegates also elect Jim Lark
as National Chair, make Platform changes

Harry Browne and wife, Pamela

Harry Browne appears on stage with his wife Pamela to accept the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination, which he won on the first ballot with 56% of the vote.
Browne and Art Olivier

Harry Browne congratulates former mayor Art Olivier for winning the VP spot.

by Bill Winter

Under a shower of confetti and to the cheers of a packed convention hall, Harry Browne won the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party at its National Convention in Anaheim, California on July 2.

With a first-ballot victory, Browne, a bestselling investment author, became the first man to claim the party's presidential nomination for the second time.

Winning the vice presidential nomination -- in a four-way contest that wasn't decided until the second ballot -- was Art Olivier, the former mayor of Bellflower, California.

In his acceptance speech on Sunday evening, Browne told delegates and a national C-SPAN audience that Libertarians "believe in you."

Unlike Republicans and Democrats who want to run peoples' lives, "only Libertarians believe in you," he said. "Only Libertarians recognize [that] you are the rightful owner of your life -- not Al Gore or George W. Bush."

Over the long holiday weekend at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel, more than 900 credentialed delegates also elected a new national chairman, chose new LP officers, made a few significant changes to the party platform -- and earned a burst of national publicity as it heads into Election 2000.

"This wasn't just an energizing, exciting convention, it was a convention that brought the Libertarian message to millions of voters, thanks to an amazing amount of television, radio, and newspaper coverage," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director. "The party is definitely moving into high gear as we move into the campaign season."

For many delegates, the convention reached emotional crescendos when pop/folk singer Melanie joined the party live on stage on Sunday, and later that evening when Peter McWilliams won a posthumous Champion of Liberty Award for his fight for medical marijuana.

Close to 1,200 people attended the convention between Friday and Monday (June 30-July 3) -- including delegates, Libertarians from across the USA, and interested visitors from the local area -- while a potential audience of millions watched two days of gavel-to-gavel coverage on C-SPAN. Other convention events and interviews were taped for later broadcast on the cable network.

The political highlight of the convention came on Sunday afternoon, when Browne won the party's presidential nomination on the first ballot.

Browne, 67, defeated four other contenders for the nomination and the coveted 50-state ballot status that goes with it.

The author of Why Government Doesn't Work and The Great Libertarian Offer, Browne won 493 votes -- or 56% -- to become the only two-time LP presidential candidate. He also ran in 1996, winning almost one-half million votes.

With 878 credentialed delegates on the floor at the time, 439 votes were needed for a first-ballot victory.

Browne said he was "proud, humble, and excited" to win the party's nomination for the second time.

"This is unprecedented and somewhat audacious of me to run a second time," he said. "I consider my reputation to be on the line in this campaign. Thus I am determined to do everything possible to get every last vote I can, to bring in every new member possible, to spend every dollar in the most cost-effective way."

Coming in second was Don Gorman, a former four-term New Hampshire state legislator, with 166 votes (19%), who had run a spirited, nationwide campaign.

In third place was Jacob Hornberger, the president of the Virginia-based Future of Freedom Foundation, a one-time potential candidate for the nomination who had unexpectedly thrown his hat back into the ring just four days before the convention began. He won 120 votes, or 13%.

Rounding out the race was Barry Hess, an Arizona businessman, with 53 votes (6%), Dave Hollist, a past candidate for U.S. House from California, with 8 votes (1%), None Of The Above, 23 votes (2.6%), and other write-ins, 15 votes (1.8%).

After the race, Browne complimented the two opponents who had appeared at numerous state party conventions around the country with him, during their quest for the party's nomination.

"I am very grateful to Don Gorman and Barry Hess, who each ran very good campaigns that have brought credit to the LP," he said.

In his acceptance speech, Browne first thanked the delegates for the nomination.

"This is a happy day for me," said Browne. "I thank you and I am honored by your nomination."

Then, speaking to the C-SPAN audience, he said, "I am running for president because it is obvious that no Democrat or Republican is ever going to stop the relentless growth of the federal government."

By contrast, he said, Libertarians always "come down on the side of your running your own life, making your own decisions, keeping your own money -- spending it, saving it, giving it away as you think best. We are always on your side -- the side of stopping politicians from running your life."

As president, he would end the income tax and "replace it with freedom," replace Social Security with private retirement accounts that politicians can't touch, and end "the greatest public policy catastrophe that has ever hit the American public," the War on Drugs, he promised.

"If you want to get government out of your life; if you want control of your life, the only way you can make that known is to vote Libertarian," he said. "And if that doesn't give you a victory this year, it will put you one step closer to a victory."

Post-convention, his campaign will focus on reaching Americans with a "compelling reason" to consider voting Libertarian, said Browne, and will try to get as much media coverage as possible.

"We are trying to reach those who have the most compelling reasons to vote for us -- the people for whom the 'wasted vote' idea has the least appeal," he said.

"These are people who are concerned about burning issues that receive no satisfaction whatsoever from either the Republicans [or] Democrats. These include those who have been hurt personally by the Drug War, those who recognize that the gun laws must be repealed (not enforced or supplemented), those who are saving for retirement on their own and would love to be free of Social Security, smokers, and others who can make a clear-cut statement for their desires only by voting Libertarian."

To reach those people, said Browne, "We are determined to get as much media coverage as possible -- to add credibility and respectability to the campaign, so that those with compelling reasons to vote for us will feel comfortable doing so, knowing that others are aware of our message as well and may be voting for us.

"The media coverage will come in the form of paid advertising plus personal appearances on national and local TV and radio shows. That will be supplemented further by volunteers writing letters to the editor, calling into talk shows, posting yard signs, and other displays."

Browne, a resident of Tennessee, is the author of 11 books, the most recent being his campaign manifesto, The Great Libertarian Offer (LiamWorks Books). His previous 10 books have sold over 2 million copies, and four of them reached the bestseller list.

Browne became widely known in the early 1970s with How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation, How I Found Freedom In an Unfree World, and You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis, which reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. In 1996, he published Why Government Doesn't Work.

The race for the vice presidential spot was more dramatic -- taking two days and two ballots -- and was highlighted by two unexpected last-minute contenders.

Just days before the convention started, Steve Kubby, the party's 1998 gubernatorial candidate in California and National Director of the American Medical Marijuana Association, and Gail Lightfoot, current LP candidate for U.S. Senate from California, jumped into the VP race.

The convention also buzzed about the possibility that Don Gorman might re-emerge as a contestant for the VP spot, but he declined in what many observers said was one of the convention highlights -- a short speech to the delegates in which he said it would be unfair for him to enter the race at the last minute after other candidates had campaigned so vigorously for the nomination.

The first ballot on Sunday night ended with no majority. Art Olivier won 330 votes (44%), Kubby got 303 votes (40%), Krawchuk won 70 votes (9%), and Lightfoot picked up 7 votes (1%). Write-ins, NOTA, and abstentions accounted for the remaining votes.

After Krawchuk withdrew from the race and threw his support to Olivier, the convention voted to have a run-off between the top two contenders: Olivier and Kubby. Before the business session was gaveled to a close, delegates quickly voted, and the results were announced Monday morning.

Emerging as the clear winner on the second ballot was Olivier, with 418 votes (54%). Kubby won 338 votes (44%). There was also a scattering of write-ins and NOTA.

Olivier, 42, served as the mayor of Bellflower, California, a city of 67,000 residents, until 1999.

He had been elected to the Bellflower City Council in 1994 -- becoming the first Libertarian councilman anywhere in Los Angeles County -- and was elected mayor pro-tem in 1997 and mayor in 1998.

On the campaign trail as vice president, he said, he will talk about how he "eliminated taxes, privatized services, stopped eminent domain, and weeded out corruption" as mayor.

"A former officeholder [who] has actually reduced government brings an added amount of credibility to the campaign," he said.

More than 50 speakers addressed the convention in Main Hall, breakfast, lunch, and break-out sessions.

Highlights included Jack Gargan, former national chairman of the Reform Party, who said that Ross Perot's party had "self-destructed" and was "heading at warp speed into oblivion.

"We blew it as the Reform Party -- but what an opportunity for the Libertarian Party!" he said.

During the four-day event, camera crews from the Fox TV Network, the Fox News Channel, KABC TV, KNBC TV, the Orange County News Channel, and KCAL TV roamed the floor taping footage for their news broadcasts, and CNN aired the results of the presidential nomination on Sunday.

Newspapers and magazines such as the Los Angeles Times, Worth, Maxim, the Orange County Register, and the Christian Science Monitor sent reporters, as did the Associated Press and Reuters.

Seven talk show hosts broadcast live from the convention, with 25 to 30 LP guests appearing for about 17 hours on the shows -- which were broadcast on about 500 stations around the USA.

The convention even generated international interest, with calls from Kyodo News in Japan and from the Mexican News Service.

The convention generated upwards of 4,000 phone and website inquiries about the party, with hundreds more coming each day, estimated Dasbach. In addition, the party's website -- -- scored several hundred thousand hits a day during the convention.

Immediately after the convention, Harry Browne flew to Washington, DC for a round of media interviews.

"The first week after the campaign I was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, CNN Today, CNN's Inside Politics, the PBS Evening News, MSNBC's Equal Time, and America's Voice TV," he said. "In all, that week there were six national TV shows, eight national radio shows, eight local radio shows, four press interviews, and seven Internet interviews."

The reception he got from the media, he said, was "very respectful, and in many cases very supportive."

For Libertarians who want to support his campaign, Browne had some specific suggestions.

"Contribute money so that we saturate some networks and markets with our ads," he said. "Arrange a large public event for me to come to your city. Sign up for LibertyWire to be aware of organized projects -- such as getting me on major TV shows or into major polls or covered by major press services. Sign up as a volunteer through the Harry Browne website."

Libertarians can also help spread the word about the campaign on talk radio, he said.

"Take advantage of every opportunity to mention my campaign and the Libertarian Party," he said. "When you hear a subject such as Social Security or the Drug War mentioned on a talk show, call in to give the Libertarian position.

"Mention that Harry Browne is the only presidential candidate with this position and Libertarians are the only party working for you to be free to live your life as you want to live it."

« News & Features
Request Information
Join the LP!
Take Action!
Tell A Friend!
Register to Vote


Convention 2000

Selected speeches:

Harry Browne:
"We Believe in You"
Presidential Candidate acceptance speech

Barbara Goushaw:
"Come Home to Liberty"
Convention keynote speech

Russell Means:

Aaron Russo:
Libertarian Party must fight government's "radical" attacks on freedom

Additional stories:

On Saturday, delegates gave a standing ovation for pop/folk singer Melanie, who joined the party on stage, after performing at a special entertainment event the night before.   Read the story

In platform debate -- which lasted for much of Saturday and Sunday -- delegates made a few significant additions and deletions to the party's guiding philosophical document in the areas of abortion, the War on Drugs, and hate crimes.   Read the story

Another emotional moment came on Sunday night, when Peter McWilliams was honored with the Champion of Liberty Award.   Read the story

In elections for party office, Virginia LP activist James W. Lark won a decisive victory in his bid for National Chair.   Read the story

First time attendees experienced the thrill of a national convention   Read the story

Soundbites and quotes from the Libertarian National Convention, June 30-July 3, 2000   Read the quotes

Special content and browsing suggestions for:
•  Journalists
•  Students
•  LP Members

Additional sources of Libertarian news and information:
LP Home Page(top of the screen)

Copyright © 1994-2001, the Libertarian Party except where otherwise noted. All rights reserved worldwide.