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The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin held it’s 2019 State Convention this past weekend (05/3/2019 – 05/05/2019) at the Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin.

The three-day event featured members of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin selecting a new executive committee. Matthew Bughman (Milwaukee) was voted by the membership to serve as State Chair of the Party. Winnebago County Board Member Brian Defferding (Neenah) was selected to serve as Vice-Chair. Adam Markert (Platteville) was reelected to serve as Treasurer, while Michael Chianese (Milwaukee) was selected as Secretary. Chris Nass (Madison) and Tyler Danke (Fremont) were both selected to serve as the at-large members of the executive committee.

The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin was honored to present two awards, the Dave Harmon Freedom Award and the Ed Thompson Liberty award. The Harmon award is given to a party member who consistently represents, advocates, and advances the principals of the party. The Thompson award is given to a person or group typically from outside the party who advance the principals of liberty.

The 2019 Dave Harmon Freedom Award was presented to Winnebago County Board Member Brian Defferding. State Chair Matthew Bughman stated, “Brian is one of Wisconsin’s elected libertarians and consistently, through his actions on the campaign trail, affiliate, and community service, has exemplified what it means to libertarian. He has set the standard and the example for all of us to follow”. Brian Defferding is currently working on criminal justice reform legislation for Winnebago County.

The 2019 Ed Thompson Liberty Award was presented to Shanyell McCloud of Clean Slate Milwaukee/Wisconsin ( Clean Slate Milwaukee is a non-profit organization that works towards changing expungement laws in Wisconsin as well as assisting individuals in removing non-violent convictions from their records, which opens employment and education opportunities. This gives good people that have made a mistake in the past, a second chance to be self-sufficient. Mrs. McCloud and Clean Slate are also advocating for the Clean Slate Act to be passed in Congress: a bipartisan bill that will help diminish the destructive power of previous drug convictions and ensuring other lower-level non-violent offenses will be sealed.” Shanyell’s dedication to the cause has enabled many hundreds to get access to employment and education. Clean Slate is her mission to right the wrongs that the justice system has inflicted on citizens.” stated outgoing LPWI State Chair Phillip Anderson.

Other highlights of the convention were a keynote address by Dr. Mary Ruwart and presentations on liberty topics by guest speakers (Robin Koerner, Josh Dukelow, Joe Stauffacher). Membership also voted on by-law changes for the state party. “This was a great event and special recognition needs to go to our past State Chair Phil Anderson for the work he and the executive committee have done over the past four years to get us to this point.” said Bughman. Much of what was discussed by membership and the Executive Committee focused on securing ballot access for the 2020 presidential election and focusing on local races. The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin would to thank their convention committee, chaired by Nate Gall, and all others who helped make the event so successful

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