2019 State Convention Awards

Commentary by Michele Poague, 2018 Vice-Chair

Friend of Liberty Award

In the course of fighting for freedom we meet many people who are fighting the same battles, be it gay rights, gun rights, home schooling, or tax relief. Let us not fall into the trap of refusing to help others because they are not pure Libertarians. Let us not fall into the trap of pushing people out who don’t believe as we do on every issue.

When enough people hit their heads against a brick wall, eventually, it will come down.

All of the major advances we have made as a party have come from coalitions. Pure Libertarians are currently only about 1% of the population, but we share issues with a staggering number of people. It is through these shared issues we will effect real change.

We would be negligent not to recognize those who, while not being registered as Libertarian, work tirelessly for our freedom.

Frank Atwood for his tireless work to change the voting process to make third parties a viable choice on every ballot.

Natalie Menten for her work on the RTD Board and in training our own candidates to be better members of any political board or committee.

Leslie Hollywood for her creation of Rally for Our Rights and testifying at the state capitol in opposition to the Red Flag Bill.

Minute Man Awards

The Minutemen were among the first to fight in the American Revolution. They were known for being ready at a minute’s notice, hence the name. They provided a highly mobile, rapidly deployed force that allowed the colonies to respond immediately to threats. Minutemen were civilian colonists who independently organized to form well-prepared militia companies who were self-trained in weaponry, tactics, and military. They were enlisted under the direction of field officers. The privates chose their captains, and these officers formed the companies into battalions, and chose the field officers to command the same. In this organization, it was common for officers to make decisions through consultation and consensus with their men, as opposed to giving orders to be followed without question.

In today’s world we need to mobilize our own Minute Men;

-The activist who gives his time, his money, and his energy to the cause of freedom. -The activist who steps up when called to duty. -The activist who spends day after day in an outreach booth. -The activist who carries petitions in the rain.

-The activist who testifies at the state capitol. -The activist who builds coalitions and affiliates.

Here are Colorado’s own “Minutemen.”

Aitken, David  – Volunteer staff/ Database guru
Barris, Roger – Campaign Videos and social media
Casciato, Clayton – Tech support and streaming
Cayko, Lance – Social Media, Boulder Chairman/Contact recruitment
Dingas, Darrell – Social Media/ Denver Chairman
Doane, Raymon – Outreach attendance – Local Board – Campaigns
Furey, Kyle – Denver County Chairman – Current
Harlos, Caryn Ann – Production of the 2019 State Convention
Harlos, Wayne – Outreach attendance/Douglas County Chairman
Hornung, Sabrina – Burlington County Chairman
Houtchens, Chris – El Paso County Chairman
Keil, John – Larimer County Chairman
Kent, Gaylon – Routt County Chairman
Klopf, Ross – Outreach attendance Jefferson County Vice Chairman
Madrid, Morell – Adams County Board Chairman
Marston, Christopher – Washington County Chairman
Martin, Kat – Outreach attendance/LPAC Vice Chairman
Montoni, Marc – Volunteer staff, Mesa County Chairman
Mulder, Eric – Outreach attendance-Arapaho County Chairman – Campaigns
Pickerill, John – Publications and campaign
Quinlan, Mike – Tech support and streaming
Raby, Jesse – Delores County Chairman
Reynolds, Victoria – Restarting the Denver Affiliate
Robertson, Joshua – Bylaws & Campaign Committees – Outreach
Rutledge, Bennett – Outreach attendance – Local Board
Seebeck, Mike – Bylaws and platform committees
Shnelvar, Ralph – Boulder County Chairman, Boulder lunches
Smith, Paul – Jefferson county Chairman
Staplton, Michael – Outreach attendance/Lobbying/ Pueblo County Chairman
Steadman, Karin – Freemont County Chairman
Stooksberry, Jay – Outreach attendance/Delta Chairman /Letters to the editor
Sutton, Beatriz – Outreach attendance/Convention 2018 & 2019

Thomas Paine Award for Libertarian communication.

These are the times that try men’s souls.

Thomas Paine

 Thomas Paine was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. He was the author of The American Crisis and arguably his most famous pamphlet, Common Sense, which inspired people everywhere to fight for the cause of liberty.

After writing the The American Crisis, Paine returned to Europe and offered a stirring defense of the French Revolution with Rights of Man. His political views led to a stint in prison. After his release, he produced his last great essay, The Age of Reason.

Thomas Paine was a radical before it was cool.

Honorable Mentions:

Lance Cayko

Michael Lopez

Bonnie Hobart

Winner of the 2019 Thomas Paine Award: Jay Stooksberry

PTAK Award – Activist of the year.

As I said earlier, the minuteman was an activist who trained in the art of warfare and fought in the trenches.

Back in the 90s, Judd Ptak worked tirelessly at the state capitol lobbying to get the minor Political Party Bill passed. He couldn’t have done this without the help of other activists like David Aitken, Doug Anderson, and David Bryant. Men like these have pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to move public policy in a Libertarian direction.

What do the words “Sacred Honor” mean? These are the last words of the Declaration of Independence. The word honor is singled out here. To the signers of the Declaration of Independence, their lives were not sacred. Their fortunes were not sacred. It was their honor, their word, and their integrity they were pledging to each other. We Libertarians are no strangers to pledges.

Here are some of the brave men have worked tirelessly for freedom in 2018.

Honorable Mentions:

David Aiken

Lance Cayko

Kevin Gulbranson

Ross Klopf

Marc Montoni

Michael Stapleton

Jay Stooksberry

The winner is known, among other things; for running an outstanding campaign where he was instrumental in ousting the incumbent; being at nearly every outreach booth; organizing sign waving events; stepping up to chair an affiliate when another had to step down; and making phone calls to sell tickets to the 2019 convention.

Winner of the 2019 Ptak award: Eric Mulder

Lexington Award – Lifetime Achievement

Patriotism is not short, frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

Adlia Stevenson

We encourage everyone to nominate Libertarians who have dedicated 15 or more years to the party for the Lexington Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Libertarian Party is made up of many different personalities each with their own skill set. Not everyone is good at making phone calls. Not everyone is good at knocking on doors or running campaigns. Some are great in front of a camera while others prefer to stay behind the scenes. Some Libertarians are good public speakers and can inspire us through their words and their passion, while others are meticulous at mining and organizing data.

There is a need for every kind of Libertarian; those who are the researchers and bookkeepers as well as those who are the artists and the inspiration.

Lexington – Lifetime Achievement Award:

Michael Seebeck – for tirelessly working behind the scenes, serving on the state and national bylaws, constitution, and platform committees. He is organized, meticulous, and an exceptional wordsmith.

Kathy Romack – for steadily working in the background to keeps the light of liberty glowing. She served as the Jackson County Chair in the late 90’s and continues to volunteer at outreach events and on social media and most recently ran for public office.

Bennett Rutledge – a quiet man who has served on his local board for more than 15 years as well as serving on the Libertarian National Committee. He attended an outreach booth in Cedar Edge, more than 250 miles away, attended a candidate Meet and Greet in Glenwood Springs. Although not a candidate this year, he has stepped up in other years.