LPCO 2021 Convention – Confirmed Speakers
This page subject to change as speakers are confirmed.
Michael Bolden is the founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and has lived in Los Angeles, CA since 1995. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s profile page about him, Michael “is an ideologue who has spent years promoting the idea that states can “nullify” federal legislation they don’t like — the very same argument pushed by defenders of slavery and segregation.”
Marshall Burt was elected to represent Green River and Rock Springs in the Wyoming House of Representatives. He is driven by a sense of service to his wife and children, to his country, and his community, and he is committed to bringing that dedication to Cheyenne. Mr. Burt was born in Minnesota, where his parents taught him the value of service, work ethic, and respect for others, principles that he carries with him today. Like so many young men and women in Wyoming, he enlisted to serve in the armed forces and joined the United States Marine Corps when he was 22 years old. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After concluding his service with the Marines, he was offered the opportunity to work in the oilfields in Wyoming in 2009. During his time there, he got to know the people that make Wyoming great and decided that this is where he wants to be… with folks who know the value of work and appreciate what it takes to forge your path. He has since joined the team at Union Pacific in Green River, Wyoming, where he now works as a track inspector. While living in Sweetwater County, Marshall helped build the home for the American Legion in Green River, became a charter member of the Sweetwater County Marine Corps League, volunteers locally, and currently serves as a part-time firefighter. Mr. Burt ran for House District 39 to be a consistent voice for economic diversity by opening markets and making Wyoming the best state to innovate. He ran to make sure that people keep more of their money so that they can invest in their communities. He ran to invite innovation to education to improve student success, instead of going all-in on a system designed a half a century ago or more. He ran to be a voice in Cheyenne, for people whose long hours and hard work keep the world moving.
Spike Cohen is a business owner, Libertarian activist, and show host. He was the 2020 Vice President candidate for the Libertarian Party, which came in third in all 50 states. Spike started a web design company as a teenager in 1998. In 2017, he retired from web design to focus on Libertarian messaging, entertainment and activism. This culminated with him becoming the co-owner of Muddied Waters Media, the co-host of The Muddied Waters of Freedom, and the host of My Fellow Americans. Spike is a tireless advocate for liberty with a commitment to helping grow the movement at the grassroots level, teaching Libertarian candidates and activists how to message our values in a way that connects with everyday Americans, and working towards our Party’s goal of a world set free in our lifetime. Spike is a regular on Kennedy’s program on FOX Business and continues to be a guest on nationally syndicated radio programs, talk shows, and podcasts across the world.
Tasha Cohen is the wife of our 2020 VP candidate, Spike Cohen. Her passion is in helping the less fortunate. On the campaign trail, and whenever she travels, she visits a local food kitchen, animal shelter, or meets with homeless people in that community to give back and show them that they matter. Libertarians show that we care by taking human action to help those in need with kindness, care and empathy. Tasha invites you to join her and Spike in demonstrating compassion through action.
Tara DeSisto came to the Libertarian Party in 2019 with a strong background in fundraising, event coordinating, political and non-profit operations. She has worked with ivy league educational institutions as well as a number of public and private universities in the New England area and has experience in fundraising and staffing operations for local, federal, candidate and issue-based campaigns. Tara has consulted with small businesses in the start-up tech and construction sectors assisting in developing and executing business strategies and navigating regulatory practices. Tara currently sits on the Advisory and Leadership Board for Rank The Vote – a national ranked choice voting coalition. She holds a BA in Political Science – International Relations from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She received a certificate from Washington International Studies Program at Oxford University and has a Professional Grant Writing Certificate from the University of Massachusetts.
Laura Ebke is a Senior Fellow with the Platte Institute, with her work emphasizing job licensing reform. Prior to taking the position with the Platte Institute in January of 2019, Ebke served for four years in the Nebraska Legislature. In 2016, she switched political parties and registered as a Libertarian. Following her switch, she was selected by her colleagues to serve as Judiciary Committee Chair of the Legislature for two years. Ebke holds a PhD in Political Science, and served as one of the LNC-appointed members of the 2020 Platform Committee in Austin.
Dennis Haugh is a mathematician and an expert in computer operating systems and networks. He has led cutting-edge projects demonstrating these skills for Intel Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Cray Research, and Lockheed Martin. Those projects have produced the original Ethernet, the PC “legacy” BIOS, VMSClusters, and numerous deep space satellites. He has used his expertise in queueing theory as a senior performance engineer, influencing designs and simulations. As an entrepreneur, Dennis wrote the software that converted analog broadcasting to digital. Mr. Haugh also served as the CTO for ProtoHit Medical. He holds both US and European patents. His education includes an M.S. in Computer Science (University of Colorado, Boulder) and a B.S. in mathematics (U.S. Air Force Academy). Dennis applies these skills into astute analysis of history, economics, and political science. He is the Vice President of Research and Technology for the American Constitution Foundation. His books include Political Vertigo and The Road to Americanism: The Constitutional History of the United States. He is the host of The Americanist podcast, and has been interviewed on a number of Colorado radio programs. In addition to defending the Constitution, he has participated in initiatives to answer the threat of terrorism.
Margot Herzl is a founding member and the current Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Jefferson County. She ran for the Colorado House on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2020, during which race she organized and executed a debate against the Democrat challenger, and a cardboard cutout of the Republican incumbent. Margot resides in unincorporated Littleton with her husband and four children, ages 7, 3, 2, and 11 months.
Scott Horton is director of the Libertarian Institute, editorial director of Antiwar.com, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from ScottHorton.org. He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s Magazine.
Joe Johnson served as a Trustee Board Member for the Libertarian Party in the Frederick, CO Town Council in 2008 and was the 2016 and 2018 Libertarian candidate for the District 63 Colorado House of Representatives. He was the 2018 winner of the Libertarian National SAMUEL ADAMS Activism Award for building party membership, organizing community outreach, or communicating Libertarian principles. Joe has succeeded in helping Colorado fill the Slate in 2000, 2002 and 2012 by reaching out to every county in Colorado and finding candidates to run for office. Most recently, his efforts have led to a rise in Colorado National members. This gives us an additional seat on the National Platform and Bylaws committees for 2021.
Jo Jorgensen was the Libertarian Party’s Presidential candidate for the 2020 election, and she, along with Spike Cohen, the Vice-presidential selection, came in third with 1.2% of the vote. Dr. Jorgensen also ran as the LP Vice-presidential candidate during the 1996 campaign, with Harry Browne running as the Presidential candidate that year. She has been an active member of the Libertarian Party since the 80s, and has served as county Chair, state Vice-chair, and Congressional candidate in South Carolina. Jo Jorgensen is also a proud Life Member of the Party. After receiving a BS in psychology at Baylor University, an MBA at Southern Methodist University, and running a successful business, she received her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Clemson University in 2002, and is a senior lecturer in Psychology at her alma mater. In her free time, Jo indulges in her love for playing hockey, and enjoying the occasional whiskey.
Barbra Kingsley, PhD has spent her 25-year career helping organizations use plain language to support consumers, increase transparency, and reduce risk. She is the Chair of the Center for Plain Language and a Board Member of the International Plain Language Federation. Barbra believes that plain language is the most important tool we have to protect consumer privacy and enhance consumer choice and access.
Amanda Muell got her start with the liberty world interning (and later working) at the libertarian think-tank the Independence Institute in 2007. She later helped to start Liberty on the Rocks, a libertarian social club, in 2008. She also co-founded the first Liberty Toastmasters in Denver, which, along with Liberty on the Rocks, has been replicated in numerous locations. Being an advocate for freedom for many years, it didn’t take long before she became interested in unschooling. She now has two kids — a five-year-old daughter, and a two-year-old son — who she has raised with a peaceful parenting and unschooling approach.
Eric Mulder has been an active member of the Libertarian Party of Colorado (LPCO) since 2016. He has been the LPCO Vice Chairman since April 2019. Eric has also served as the Arapahoe County Chair since 2018. In that same year, he was a Colorado delegate to the National Convention. He was a member of the Aurora Veterans Affairs Commission from 2017-2019.
Apollo Pazell is a political consultant working with the Libertarian National Committee. Apollo is a former City Councilor and served on the Unified Police Department board in Salt Lake County. Starting his career at a young age, Apollo has worked on dozens of successful political campaigns at all levels of American politics and in three political parties. Apollo is currently the only political consultant, and possibly the first, to have run campaigns that elected Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians to state legislatures. In 2017 Apollo founded the Libertarian Frontier Project focusing on utilizing limited resources in the most effective ways. In 2018 this project was tested and resulted in five record-breaking campaigns that launched the political careers of three current officeholders and nearly knocked the Republican Majority Leader out of office with Bethany Baldes coming within 53 votes of unseating him. In 2020 Apollo made history with the Libertarian Party again by electing Representative Marshall Burt to the Wyoming State Legislature.
Ashley Shade is a Liberty and GSM (Gender and Sexual Minorities) Activist. Upon graduating from Charles H. McCann Technical High School, she began working and later studying at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where her interest and involvement in politics and civics began. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. Her professional career has led her into a position where she is able to both help people and continue to advocate. She currently serves as a Senior Service Support Consultant for Wayfair, where she also leads an Employee Resource Group for LGBTQ+ employees and allies, and was appointed to the Wayfair Corporate Impact Council where she continues her activism and helps drive positive culture change within the global organization. As the Chairwoman of a national non-profit organization, Outright Libertarians, and a member of the National Transgender Visibility March policy team. Ashley continues to work and offer solutions to serve and represent GSM community issues and provide a liberty focused and positive impact on people’s lives. She is a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusiveness. Her current work on the North Adams Human Services Commission and the North Adams Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access (I.D.E.A.) Working Group has helped further the aim to build a strong, safe, and vibrant community. Ashley is one of few transgender candidates to run for office in Massachusetts and is currently a candidate for City Council in her home city of North Adams. She was the first transgender woman in Massachusetts to be elected as a state party officer with her election as the treasurer of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party in 2019. Her activism and love for liberty has allowed her to serve in leadership positions on political campaigns from local, state, congressional and presidential levels throughout the United States. Being transgender has gives her a unique perspective on what it feels like to be marginalized and the vital importance of helping people of all backgrounds and treating them with equal compassion. At her core, Ashley believes that all human beings should be allowed to live their lives, love whomever they wish to love, and be their most authentic selves so long as they aren’t hurting others without fear or persecution. Love is the brightest flame of Liberty, and through her message of Compassion, Education and Love, Ashley seeks to bring new people to the path of freedom.
Christopher Thrasher is a Libertarian Activist and Campaign Consultant with more than a decade of experience. Originally from North Carolina, he has just completed his first year of law school at Creighton University. He has served as senior staff for five Libertarian Presidential campaigns. In 2016, he served as the Director of Ballot Access for the Johnson/Weld campaign achieving 50-state ballot access for the Libertarian Party for the first time in more than two decades. In 2020, he helped achieve 50 state ballot access once again, for the Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen campaign. He currently sits as a member of the LNC Ballot Access Committee, and as the Chair of the Convention Voting Process Committee. He has previously served on the National Bylaws and Rules Committee, and has been active as a member of more than 10 Libertarian state affiliates.
Brandon Wark is a Colorado Native, and political operative in defense of liberty. Brandon’s experience includes working for the National Association for Gun Rights, being a Legislative Aide in the State Capitol, and a campaign consultant for a variety of Local, State, and Federal campaigns and non-profit organizations. Brandon currently runs FreeStateColorado.com.