FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FULL NAME: William Steven Edmonds, Jr.
RUNNING FOR: Florida House, Dist 28 (NPA)
AGE: 44 years old
FAMILY: Wife, Tracy … Son, Will
BORN: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
HIGH SCHOOL: Martin County HS in Stuart, Fla.
COLLEGE: University of Central Florida (both Bachelor’s and Master’s).
CURRENT PROFESSION: Adjunct Professor at Eastern Florida State College, also at with Daytona State College. Teaches American National Government and State and Local Politics.
POLITICAL AND LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE: Hired as a staffer for Pat Buchanan’s 1996 Presidential Campaign, working in key states and on ballot access; Campaign Manager for Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer for Florida Attorney General campaign in 2014; Oviedo Land Planning Agency (1999-2001); Seminole County National Lands Committee (2001); Elected to Seminole County Soil and Conservation District (2002-2006); candidate for Florida State Senate in 2010 (drew 33 percent; 50,478 votes); candidate for Seminole County school board 2006 (drew 32 percent).
HOBBIES: Spending time with his wife and son … Fishing in the near future on his 16’8″ Ranger boat … Escaping his land-locked existence in Oviedo every chance he gets … Surfing when the wave action is solid.
PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson: “I had a chance to play pool once with Gary Johnson for about four hours. It was an amazing experience to hang out with somebody who has a real chance of being President. I’ve been supporting him since 2014 and I voted for him in 2012.”
QUOTABLE: “One of the reasons I’m doing this is I want to show you can do this without a party and with not a lot of money … I’m trying to do this by example, purposefully. People should look into plugging themselves into the local community. It doesn’t have to be in government, it can be with a local charity or working with the local Babe Ruth baseball league. Any activity in your community is good. If you are a registered voter and a member of your community, you’re qualified to run for anything all the way up to U.S. Congress. It would be awesome to have fresh new faces in this. It definitely requires a lot of time commitment … but if you’re willing to go to 15 different meetings and knock on 150 doors a day to get name recognition, you do it.”
KEY LINKS TO EDMONDS’ STANCE ON THE ISSUES:
Awareness can come at such an early age. You don’t have to be of voting age to be concerned for other people, or for the environment.
Everybody has his or her hot-button topic, and for Steve Edmonds–who is running as a viable NPA option for Florida State House District 28 in Seminole County–it’s all about the H2O. And in Florida? That’s a massive discussion topic for obvious reasons.
Edmonds is fired up … about clean water, and it stems from growing up all around it.
“If I wasn’t in one of the three rivers close to my house, or the ocean … I was within a couple hundred yards of it,” Edmonds told TLI. “That really is without exaggeration.
“It’s something that has always been a part of me and it’s one of the reasons I’m politically active.”
Edmonds was raised in south Florida. He was born in Fort Lauderdale, grew up in the Palm City/Stuart area and his house was close to the St. Lucie River. He became fascinated with the waterways and locks that were only a few hundred yards from his home.
One weekend, Edmonds was camping with his Boy Scout Troop on the other side of the nearby locks. Their task was to cut nature trails for recreational hikers. This was in the 1980s, a bunch of teenagers turned activists working together to help out.
All of a sudden, Edmonds heard a noise that he still compares to a ‘freight train’ in the camp site. The older scouts told him to relax, it was just the locks opening up.
He became aware at a young age how this influx of … ahem … ‘fresh’ water coming from far off Lake Okeechobee would impact his area. Sometimes, he’d catch fish you didn’t normally see in his area. Other times there would be a massive fish kill situation, or maybe freshwater fish in brackish and saltwater crab traps. Without the locks? None of this would happen.
When you have people involved with re-routing nature–both in a literal and metaphorical sense–things quickly spin out of balance. Edmonds wants to be a part of helping change things, raising awareness of what’s going on and who the power brokers are. He is running as an NPA this year, but has Libertarian roots. Libertarians believe the government should get out of the regulation business as much as possible, to stop interfering with the natural course of events.
That goes for the natural course of water and the environment, too.
‘Legacy pollution’ is the root of so many of the problems with Florida’s waterways, as well as the recent algae bloom Floridians have seen on the Atlantic Coast. Legacy pollution is the sedimentary piling on of agricultural runoff, urban and suburban runoff, pesticides, herbicides, you name it. It’s a witch’s brew of goo that has made it into Florida’s waterways and flows into Lake Okeechobee and then is churned up when the lake needs to be flushed. When that sediment gets disturbed, it can kick off algae blooms like the one we have seen this summer–and this summer’s led to a state of emergency.
If you want to see Edmonds’ brows furrowed, his hackles rise and a low growl become audible, mention the current events above. It’s almost as if somebody has messed with his children–it is on that level. That slime is impacting the area he camped near as a kid, and he wants desperately to be a part of the solution. He wants a chance to get up in Tallahassee and state his case and raise the key questions.
Clean water is hardly Edmonds’ only strong position topic, as you can see on the fact page linked here. But his passion for Floridians and for Florida’s environment is clearly evident. He is an activist, not a politician. In 2010 he ran as an NPA for Florida Senate District 24 and received 33 percent of the vote. This is a candidate who not only has an existing support base and a resume, but could win the seat with more support from voters who are tired of the same old goo in Tallahassee.
Here’s the good news, too: Edmonds is a rarity among non-party affiliated candidates. On July 22, the online entity Election 2016 did an online Facebook poll with 500 verified unique IP addresses surveyed. In that polling, incumbent Republican Jason Brodeur received 39 percent of the vote, Edmonds received 35 percent and undecideds were 26 percent. They will be the only two qualified candidates running for the seat.
If you live in the eastern part of Seminole County and want to make a statement with your vote, take a look at Edmonds and decide for yourself if you’d rather have an activist or a politician represent you in the Florida House of Representatives.
BY BRIAN MCLAUGHLIN, TLI
Three more recent endorsements have flooded in for Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Paul Stanton, one week ahead of the unprecedented Libertarian Primary in Florida.
The Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County, the Libertarian Party of Santa Rosa County and the John McAfee backed ‘Vote Different Initiative’ have joined a long list of party affiliates, key individuals and groups who have thrown support behind Stanton-who is gathering steam heading into the August 30 primary with Augustus Invictus.
“One week from election day, and the momentum is still growing,” Stanton told TLI. “The amount of support from Libertarians statewide has been inspiring. We reject government violence and government paternalism.
“Let’s send a strong message of peace, liberty and individual empowerment to Washington.”
The LP of Palm Beach County voted on the endorsement Tuesday night and vice-chair Marc Tancer phoned Stanton to let him know the outcome. Santa Rosa County – wedged between Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach in the Panhandle – voted earlier this month, and McAfee’s group also informed Stanton of their choice earlier in August.
Stanton’s endorsement reach spans from Pensacola down to Naples on the Gulf Coast and Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach on the Atlantic Coast. In all it brings the list of affiliate endorsements in Florida to seven (see list below story), along with the personal endorsement from the chair of the LP of Lee County (Fort Myers). As of Aug. 24, Invictus had not received a formal publicized affiliate endorsement.
Also, Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Vice-Presidential candidate Bill Weld endorsed Stanton at the national convention in May, along with five other presidential candidates (see list below).
LP Candidate and Affiliate Support Specialist Bob Johnston told The Libertarian Identity in a recent phone call that only three states in the country will have/had August Libertarian primaries for U.S. Senate or U.S. House seats. Alaska (House) and Missouri (Senate) are the other two. Florida has never had a Libertarian primary for federal office-the candidates always went straight to the general election.
RELATED: BallotPedia page for Paul Stanton
Here is the updated list of Stanton’s endorsements:
FLORIDA LIBERTARIAN PARTY AFFILIATES:
Libertarian Party of Volusia County
Libertarian Party of Collier County (July 10)
Northwest Florida Libertarian Party (July 20)
Libertarian Party of Broward County (July 21)
Libertarian Party of Pinellas County (July 22)
Libertarian Party of Santa Rosa County (Aug. 9)
Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County (Aug. 23)
Gary Johnson – Libertarian Presidential nominee, former Governor of New Mexico
Bill Weld – Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, former Governor of Massachusetts
Jim Gray – 2012 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, Jurist, former judge
John McAfee – Cybersecurity legend, former Presidential candidate
Darryl W Perry – Activist, author, radio host, lobbyist, former Presidential candidate
Dr. Marc Allan Feldman – Physician, former Presidential candidate
Kevin McCormick – Former Presidential candidate
Will Coley – Activist, radio host, political adviser, former Vice Presidential candidate
Thomas Knapp – Writer, editor, publisher, founder of Boston Tea Party (political party)
Richard Molek – Chair of Libertarian Party of Lee County
Adrian Wyllie – 2014 Libertarian candidate for Governor of Florida
Eastern Liberty Alliance PAC
Ninjas for Liberty PAC
Vote Different Initiative
BY BRIAN MCLAUGHLIN, THE LIBERTARIAN IDENTITY
Well folks, we have our answer to two VERY important questions: When does Gov. Gary Johnson need to be at the 15% polling average, and which five polls will be included in that average?
The answers?: The average will be taken in mid September prior to the Monday, Sept. 26 first presidential debate.
The five polls are ABC-Washington Post; CBS-New York Times; CNN-Opinion Research Corporation; Fox News; and NBC-Wall Street Journal. Monmouth and Rasmussen and IPP and your mama’s poll down at the grocery store now officially don’t mean squat-and they were always the lower ones anyway.
The five chosen polls have repeatedly held Johnson in double digits. In fact, get this (and see graphic below): NBC, FOX and CBS haven’t had ONE poll with Johnson-Weld under 10 percent, and CNN was the poll that had him at 13 percent. The low-ball one has been ABC hovering at 8.
These five polls are good ones. Not one of them have polled below 8 percent since June.
The fossil party conventions are over … their poll ‘bumps’ have pretty much run their course now that it’s been two to three weeks. A gradual rise is already happening for the Johnson-Weld ticket.
At this point, the rule would take these 5 numbers: 12, 10, 10, 9 and 8 for an average that would round up to 10%.
Take a look, and begin smiling folks … because we ‘got ‘this! Four weeks to get to work!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Note that 3-way polls are included but in most cases have Johnson the same as in the 4-way. Another thing, which may help? It doesn’t look real good for Stein to get in.
BY BRIAN MCLAUGHLIN, TLI
This week we heard that the debate commission is telling the venues to at least entertain the possibility of a third podium being needed during the September and October Presidential debates … as well as the one Vice-Presidential debate.
Why is the word here “entertain” … this is a no brainer. They should be PLANNING on it, not “entertaining” the idea of it. If a candidate is going to be on the ballot in enough states that mathematically he or she could gain a 270 majority–he or she should be in the debates.
Period. Period. Period.
No subjective polling, no required percentage amount that is impossible to attain without debate status. In fact, that’s what this is: It’s a DEBATE PARADOX.
You can’t get into the debates unless you’re averaging 15 percent … but you can’t get 15 percent unless you’re in the debates.
It’s like watching a dog chase its tail–and then the dog gets so dizzy it either upchucks or walks sideways into a electrified barbed-wire fence. Lose, lose.
Debates made Bernie Sanders. Look at the chart above. Prior to this election, he was just known as the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont who caucused with the Dems. That’s all I knew about him and I’m a political nerd–most Americans didn’t know him from a hole in the wall.
When he announced his intention to run on April 30, 2015, he was polling at 5.6%. That’s lower than the current Johnson-Weld ticket is polling in the RCP (8%). One year later, after nine debates where he generally went one on one with Hillary Clinton? He was at 45.8% and he won more than 20 states. He used this debate opportunity (and the media that came as a result) to build momentum, and he nearly toppled the “shoo-in” candidate.
If Bernie can get this momentum just from being in the debates … which of course helps create spinoffs on Saturday Night Live and ends up being a mainstream moment … then Johnson would easily benefit, too.
Why is it that we have endure 12 party candidate in one debate during the primaries … sometimes with candidates polling less than 2% … but we can’t have the Johnson-Weld ticket on stage for the general?
We all know why … because the Libertarian ticket is dangerous. Martin O’Malley wasn’t a threat to Clinton, and the Dems thought Bernie would be a grouchy old man and would go away quickly. They had to set up the illusion that there was a real race going on, for the lemming Dem voters. On the Rep side, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee were castoffs from the past, but they got to be on stage.
The threshold shouldn’t be subjective polling with questionable methods, the threshold should be based on whether your campaigns spent enough time and money to get on enough ballots to be viable.
Make it an objective system, folks. And scream bloody murder when it isn’t objective.
By Brian McLaughlin, TLI
I’ve read a few ‘endorsements’ from bloggers on behalf of Libertarian Augustus Invictus. Hey … we’re the best party in the world when it comes to protecting free speech. I’m all for it and glad they’re enthusiastic about their candidate.
Now let me tell you why I’m beyond enthusiastic about my favorite Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida-Paul Stanton of DeLand, Fla.
First of all, I’m not going to waste my time saying a bunch of bad stuff about Invictus. I’ve seen his speeches on YouTube and don’t agree with much of what he espouses in those videos. I’ve heard all the noise. I disagree with how his supporters conduct themselves.
So be it.
I’m pro-Stanton, not anti-Invictus. I have plenty of good stuff to say about a guy who I now call a good friend.
Stanton’s just the better representative of my beliefs, and I believe the beliefs of many of you. Period. That’s it.
He’s just better.
Think about this for a second: We’re all busy as hell, right? Stanton is. Invictus is. I sure as hell am, working contracts, being a dad, trying to be a halfway decent husband. Stanton’s trying to hold down a career and also run for … drum roll please … U.S. Senate.
At night and on the weekends, Stanton goes to bat for what he believes in and what he thinks many of you believe in, and he takes flak. And yet he’s giving us his time, his fiance’s time, his money (yep)-all to give you an alternative. Not just an alternative to Invictus, but to the robot army of hypnotized lemmings that lies beyond Invictus.
When I joined the Libertarian Party in late March, I didn’t know who the hell Paul Stanton was, Augustus Invictus was, who any of these people were. I just knew I was homeless in a political sense and I was pissed off. After attending the national convention as a self-professed wallflower, I began to hear about the U.S. Senate race in Florida-that there was a chance two Libertarians might run. Maybe, just maybe.
I first reached out to Paul to do a blog post on a page I created right after the Natty Convention. I’m a writer. It’s the best way I thought I could volunteer with the Libertarian Party. During a two-hour interview where I first talked to the guy, Paul struck me as cerebral, passionate about what he believed in, not rehearsed at all … you name it.
But one word jumps out beyond those others: Empathy.
How many ‘Empathetic’ politicians do you ever meet, really? How many of these people are really in it for anybody other than themselves? It’s not in their DNA to be empathetic. Stanton gives a damn about other people more than he cares about himself. Imagine that! Honestly, he’s not really a politician when you think about it. For that, he rocks.
I’ve watched Stanton evolve over the past two or three months. Is he the best public speaker that ever walked this planet? Nope. And neither am I, and neither are you. Neither was Ron Paul and neither is Gary Johnson and neither are many people who turn out to be wonderful leaders.
Want to know some names of some elite public speakers? Oh, Bill Clinton. Barack Obama. Newt Gingrich. Francis Underwood. Alec Baldwin. Want me to go on? See my point?
Substance over style. It’s something we all fell in love with when we listened to Ron Paul … others heard a cranky old man who sounded pissed off and crammed too many details into his debate message. Those of us who actually have the capacity to listen above the fray heard a wonderful message that makes so much damned sense we can’t believe others can’t hear it and won’t embrace it. It’s like we’re all tuned into a frequency others aren’t equipped to hear.
Substance over glitzy, temporary, oratorical style? That’s Paul Stanton. When you sit down with Paul, you hear the incredible intelligence and compassion come out. The ideas. Then, there’s his sincere ability to listen. To absorb. I personally watched him sit down with about 15 to 20 people and talk about the origins of Libertarianism, of that focused defiance in the name of individual liberty. The essence of it all, the books that he has read that helped sculpt who he is and what he believes in–coupled with his life experiences.
He was absolutely the star of what I’d call a small discussion forum. Stanton would OWN Invictus in a question-and-answer discussion forum where substance prevails. It won’t happen … but if it did?
By the way, guess who else is accused of not having the snappy, quick, rehearsed answer to every question? Guess who else gets accused of “listening too much”?
Governor Gary Johnson.
The same ascending Presidential candidate who endorsed Paul Stanton, as did his running-mate, Governor Bill Weld. So did four other Libertarian presidential candidates.
My endorsement is my vote. So I guess this is an endorsement too.
The right guy’s surname is Stanton. He had a great debate tonight. Aug. 30 is soon approaching.
Vote Paul Stanton 2016.
BY BRIAN MCLAUGHLIN, TLI
STUART, Fla. (Aug. 11, 2016): Paul Stanton participated in the first debate of his campaign for U.S. Senate, and the Libertarian Party candidate took full advantage of Thursday’s opportunity behind the podium.
Stanton was on stage with five other qualified Florida candidates for the seat. The tone was civil and at times jovial, with none of the staged nastiness and drama Americans have endured in the presidential debates this cycle. It was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where the focus wasn’t on the personalities, but their words.
The debate featured a mixture of America’s largest three parties–Libertarian, Democrat and Republican–as well as NPA and write-in candidates. Stanton will face off against Augustus S. Invictus in an unprecedented Florida Libertarian primary on Aug. 30. Invictus was one of the invited candidates who did not participate in Thursday’s debate.
In his closing statement, Democratic candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente made a point of calling out Invictus for not showing up to debate his Libertarian competitor, as well as calling out his Democrat opponents for also not being there.
De Le Fuente went on to urge Libertarians to get behind Stanton in the Aug. 30 primary because he took the time to answer questions for the people assembled and who were viewing at home.
Stanton fielded one question about social security, and answered on behalf of many young adults.
“There probably won’t be anything left because social security is a scam … it’s a system that is set aside as retirement insurance but only gets a 1-percent return,” Stanton replied, when asked about the system. “How many people here would put their money in a private CD for just a 1-percent return? … For the younger people, this is an insolvent system. Maybe we should have a choice. Maybe treasury bonds. At least treasury bonds are guaranteed by the constitution. Your social security check is only guaranteed by Congress’ whims.”
Some of the other issues discussed were immigration, drug decriminalization, national security and Florida’s issues with its waterways. A live online feed of the two-hour debate was made available.
The candidates who debated were: Basil Dalack (NPA), Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente (DEM), Tony Khoury (NPA), Howard Knepper (WRI), Bruce Nathan (NPA) and Stanton (LPF). The qualified candidates who were absent either declined or did not respond to the two July invitations.
The moderators were local businessmen Barry Grant and Joe Duerr, who have hosted similar local forums in Martin County in the past.
Republicans, Democrats and Libertarian candidates will go through an Aug. 30 primary, while the NPA and write-in candidates already have a spot on the November general election ballot.
This year’s race for U.S. Senate includes incumbent Marco Rubio, who originally pledged not to run this year due to his campaign for President of the United States. However, after failing to win the Republican nomination, Rubio changed his mind in the 11th hour and filed to run just prior to the June deadline. He will face off against Carlos Beruff, Ernie Rivera and Dwight Mark Anthony Young in the Aug. 30 Republican primary, while Alan Grayson, Reginald Luster, Patrick Murphy, Pam Keith and De La Fuente will compete for the Democratic nomination.
Great piece by a guy I respect a bunch, Robert Bentley.
Breaking news from Politico this morning is suggesting that the sites for the Presidential debates are being told to prepare a third podium in their planning.
The venues that will host the presidential debates are drawing up plans for a three-person forum that would provide a lectern for a third-party candidate to stand on stage next to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The directive comes from producers working for the Commission on Presidential Debates and it’s meant, they say, to force the university hosts to be prepared and not as a reflection of the state of the race. But it could give supporters of Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein hope as they push an alternative to the historically unpopular major party nominees.
Poll numbers have suggested that Gary Johnson might be included in the Presidential debates this election season and another report that suggested that the…
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