District 1 Report

By Amy Wimer District 1 continues to have some great events and plans for the future:
    • Sarpy County had Gene Siadek as their guest speaker to talk about the steps to take to become a candidate and his experience running several times
    • Lancaster County continues to have a positive impact on their community by its continued dedication to their adopted park and through their legislative and city council watch. They have moved back to Big Red Keno now that all the DHMs have been removed
    • Dodge County is eyeing ways to grow and increase its outreach, they could use some volunteers with this!
    • Platte County is trying different ways to get a consistent group and schedule
    • Seward County has been busy planning the Milford Days Parade, which is another volunteer opportunity
As always, we are looking for new people to get involved and volunteers as well. Please email DC1@LPNE.org

District 2 Report

By Gene Siadek

Douglas County had officer elections for this month. The new executive committee consists of:

  • Chair: Patrick McNally
  • Vice Chair: Jory Houfek
  • Treasurer: Randee Otte
  • Secretary: Micah Holton
  • Media Coordinator: Maggie Austgen

The district and state leadership as well as the county members thanked outgoing chair Dre Liberator and Secretary Maggie Austgen for their hard work and dedication, and looked to them for support in the transition.

Sarpy County announced a couple of new initiatives. The county party acquired several copies of classic libertarian and economics books that they will make available to any interested individuals that attend their meetings and get togethers. These include classics like Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, and Anatomy of The State by Murray N. Rothbard. The county also launched a new campaign search to find a sheriff candidate for the 2022 cycle.

Interview with a Smoker Follow-up

In May one of our original content creators, Morgan J. Williams posed a set of questions to the newsletter audience, seeking input from Libertarians who are also smokers. She was seeking feedback on the proposed regulations on menthol cigarettes. The following is a thoughtful response from one of our subscribers:
What made you choose to smoke menthols over other types of cigarettes?

I always liked how fresh cigarette smoke smells and tastes. I never really knew many people that smoked menthols, and when I would bum one it wasn’t my favorite. I liked ultra lights because I thought it was harm reduction with the lower tar and mild flavor. Of course, I would say I can smoke more of them, so that was probably the illusion of harm reduction. Then about ten years ago camel crushes came out. Normal until you crush the filter and then it tastes minty. Loved em. I hope whoever came up with the concept is rich now. Then I met my husband. He like Pall Mall menthols and they were both affordable and didn’t taste gross like other menthols when I bummed off him. After a while it was just easier to only buy one kind of cigarettes and we went for the cheaper one we both liked. His menthols

Do you think that this ban will disproportionately effect Minority smokers compared to non-Latino white smokers? 

My husband is Latino from a low income upbringing and I am plain white from middle class. This ban is going to do cause menthol smokers to make a change, which even if positive creates stress. If menthol use is higher among minorities, we know we’ll be giving them stress. I’d have to do research but I bet that minorities as a whole experience more stress from economic conditions already. Doesn’t feel right. My observation is that the every single person I have known who smoked menthols were minority and/or lower income working class. To be fair it hasn’t been that many people.

How will the proposed ban affect you? 

One result of this ban will be a black market. How big that becomes we’ll have to see. I’ve been surprised that I’m not aware of a big black market for all kinds of cigarettes other than in the movies. This black market would likely be disproportionately ran by people in minority groups. Or perhaps white run organizations will have minorities handling distribution in the street, and they’ll get caught first. This will lead to more of them being arrested or having encounters with law enforcement. The more encounters with law enforcement, the higher the chances of there being a problem. I don’t like that.

Do you think that more regulation is a good or a bad thing? Why? 

I think it will make menthols harder to get and make me want to vape menthol flavors instead which is good harm reduction I’m already doing.

I don’t think more regulation is good. I think they have their fingers in too many pies- there are so many regulations most people don’t know half of them. Things are arbitrarily enforced and it creates stress. I want our government to simplify. I want them to manage a few things and learn how to do them really well. Once they’ve mastered something, I might be able to be convinced to give them more responsibility. In the meantime, I think they need to focus. Of course, I am aware of my idealistic and unrealistic hope. If that ever happens, it will take forever and face resistance.

As more states are moving towards decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs, do you think that popular sentiment is for or against drug prohibition? 

I am worried about legalization because I think it’s inviting more overreach with regulation and taxation. It’ll create a whole other thing the government has to do, it’ll be new, and they will do it poorly. It will distract them even more from things they are already managing poorly. Public sentiment is that people don’t like seeing folks wasted in the streets and don’t like seeing people in their lives hit bottom. What we have been doing isn’t working and so I think folks want solutions. I think there is a lot of agreement on that. The problem is how to do it, and what will be the unintended consequences. Because this is an emotional issue with lots of variables and unique circumstances, I don’t anticipate that we will find an approach we all agree on.

Do you feel as if the FDA is listening to smoker’s concerns? 

I don’t know anything about the FDA listening to smoker concerns. That says something. I guess those stories aren’t in my algorithms even though I’m certain big brother has me pegged as a smoker. What concerns have smokers been raising? I’ll have to do some research.

LPNE Original Content Team Launch in July

Starting next month we will be looking into the roots of censorship in Hollywood and doing a deep dive into this short but unique era of movies. If you think old movies are boring, think again! We will be discussing a number of themes that were prevalent including drug use, alcoholism, suicide, lots of sex, prohibition, anti-government, torture, sado-masochism and a whole lot more. This will be featured on our forthcoming original content blog page.
Note, these movies will be discussed in terms of the era and for the most part won’t be compared using today’s standards or definitions of certain social issues.

Watch your email for more details

Sarpy County Seeking a Liberty Sheriff Candidate

The Sarpy County Libertarian Party launched a search for a county sheriff candidate via a new website: libertysheriff.com. The county party is looking for a principled Libertarian looking to make a difference in their community and to share alternatives to the status quo of law enforcement at the local level with our community.

If you, or anyone you know is interested in learning more about this effort, or know of someone in Sarpy County who is interested please reach out to: sarpychair@lpne.org

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