Florida needs “Negative Legislation”

Instead of patiently suffering the slings-and-arrows of their legislation being manhandled by the activists in the judiciary, Florida’s First Branch can take a pro-active approach.

Specifically, they can write their legislation in such a way that tells the judiciary what the judiciary CANNOT do. This approach has been badly misbranded as “Negative Legislation”. Misnamed or not, this approach can help our Florida legislators regain their proper place in the Constitutional Scheme of Things.

Too much legislation is drafted and enacted in good faith (yes, subject to the usual shenanigans), only to be distorted by court interpretations. By telling the judiciary in advance that some anticipated rulings are “no-fly zones”, a lot of silliness can be avoided. This is no passive-aggressive relationship with the judiciary; this is realpolitik in real time.

FYI, your readers may be interested to know that there is an excellent article on exactly this point: https://fedsoc.org/commentary/publications/negative-legislation


Larry Gillis, Cape Coral
Vice Chair, Libertarian Party of Lee County

No More Government Statues


You recently ran an editorial about the “Cancel Culture” and the ongoing vandalizing of public statues (“It’s time to cancel the whole ‘cancel’ culture”, March 21).  It was written by a member of “NeW”, a group that is “educating, equipping and empowering young conservative women”,  an admirable group for sure.

What the editorial completely missed is that governments should not be in the “statue business” at all. More generally, government has no legitimate interest in endorsing or embracing any one person or any one value at all. Governments exist solely to provide certain utterly essential services that we cannot provide for ourselves, nothing more.

Building (or maintaining) statues is not an “utterly essential service that we cannot provide for ourselves”.  Besides, there is nothing inherently “Conservative” about allowing or encouraging government to spend taxpayer money on erecting or maintaining statues. All government statues should be sold off. More importantly, governments should limit themselves to essential barebones work. The rest is up to us as individuals and as voluntary associations.

I realize that there are many people who are worthy of great respect and who should be routinely acknowledged in the public square as inspirations, (Dr. Martin Luther King comes immediately to mind, of course). However, this should be done through private efforts, not governmental action at taxpayer expense. 

We Libertarians enthusiastically embrace all of the above sentiments. 
Larry Gillis, Cape Coral

Professor Gillis is Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Lee County and a former member of the New-Press Editorial Board

Government Role in Supporting Values

The Fort Myers City Council has voted unanimously to take down the plinth that held up the Robert E Lee bust. (News-Press, 01-21-21).

This decision is excellent, of course. Governments exist to provide essential non-negotiable services that simply cannot be provided in any other way. They exist to provide courtrooms where the litigants can slug it out; they keep Russian troops from taking back Alaska; they try to stop us from killing each other; that sort of thing. They do not exist for any other purpose. Governments do not exist to provide “values”, which are to come from the heart of the people, if at all.

Also, governments do not exist for the purpose of celebrating one value over another. If governments start celebrating one value over another — even the most obvious ones, the ones celebrated by almost all of us – governments will then try to dictate our values for us. It is called “mission creep”, and we have all seen it before.

Libertarians have a thoroughly consistent view of this and related issues. We believe in limited government, limited taxes, maximum personal freedom and maximum personal responsibility.

Please check us out at www.lpf.org
Larry Gillis, Cape Coral
Vice Chair, Libertarian Party of Lee County

Larry Gillis Writes

Here is another letter to the editor of the NewsPress from the Vice Chair of the LP of Lee County


Well, the Collier County Commissioners have agreed — “with little discussion”, according to the news article —  to pony up an additional $33 million dollars for the Collier sports complex. 

In a different context a long time ago, Billy once said:  “If you get into someone deep enough, you’ve got yourself a partner”. 

That’s what is going on here. It turned out that the original estimate was too low. That should be the bidder’s problem, not the County’s. The Commissioners should have let the bidder go under, then pick up the pieces at a severe discount, and put the whole project out to bid again. But now, it is too late. When will you ever learn? 

Next time, vote  LIBERTARIAN, because we Libertarians don’t believe that government should be involved in silly projects like this, to begin with. 

For the record, I live in Lee County, and I hope that my Commissioners would never do a silly thing like this. 

(Go ahead. Make snarky remarks about the Lee Commissioners, but remember that you’re the ones who  just got snookered for an additional $33 million. Enjoy the ride) 

Larry Gillis, Libertarian (Cape Coral)


Larry Gillis sent this letter to the editor of the New York Times -12/23/2020

Thomas Friedman wonders whether principled Conservatives will now form their own party (“Will Trump Force Principled Conservatives to Start Their Own Party? I Hope So”, December 23). Lemme remind him and them that a quite-viable and user-friendly venue is already at hand. Namely, the Libertarian Party. www.lp.org

Our Presidential candidate was on the ballot in all 50 States in the 2020 election and we have a party apparatus already in place in all 50 States.

More importantly, there is a notable degree of “harmonic convergence” between the Libertarian Party’s principles and those of the historic Republican Party. We stand unabashedly for maximum personal freedom and maximum personal responsibility, for limited government and limited taxation, for fiscal responsibility and for a whole-hearted embrace of the free market.

There are notable differences, of course. For example, we are staunchly non-interventionist in foreign affairs. Also, our domestic social agenda is freedom-based (what you do is with your life and your lifestyle is your opportunity, not ours). Please note that our internal debates have a real tendency to be “all-elbows-no-charm”, but that’s how it is.

We believe that the government actually has some legitimate purposes, like keeping us from killing each other and providing courtrooms for the convenience of the litigants. Other than that, we believe that each of us is the product of our own choices, not our circumstances.

Anyway, give us a call. We promise to be civil, which is better than what you have now.

Larry Gillis, Libertarian (Cape Coral FL)

Professor Gillis is a retired criminal lawyer (NH) and teaches legal studies courses online at the college level. He is active in the Libertarian Party of Florida, and Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Lee County

Florida eases occupational licensing

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation May 31, 2020 easing regulations of licensed practitioners of a wide swath of occupations ranging from body wrapping to boxing announcing.

HB 1193, the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act, will bring change to many a trade.

Larry Gillis, Libertarian Party of Lee County Vice Chair, made the following comment:

This bill should be acknowledged as a serious down payment. A fundamental change in mindset has begun. However, the basic regulatory filigree remains in place, So, despite this serious accomplishment, we should all remember that much work remains to be done.

The Libertarian Party is adamantly opposed to the State’s ability to intrude upon a person’s right to work for a living. We say: let the Market decide; let voluntary associations form to educate, to rate and to shame the incompetent.

Specifically, our LP National Platform (2.9 licensing) says:

“Libertarians support the right of every person to earn an honest and peaceful living through the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services. Accordingly, we oppose occupational and other licensing laws that infringe on this right are treated as a state-granted privilege. We encourage certifications by voluntary associations of professionals.”

Governments need statutes not statues

Larry Gillis, Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Lee County says:
DOWN WITH STATUES. All of ’em, unless they are on private property.

Government should neither be in the business of celebrating some people (and not others), nor of celebrating some values (and not others).

More importantly, government should carry out its few lawful functions competently, minimally, and frugally. Then — having done what they were told to do — they should shut up and sit down, until we call on them again.

Larry originally objected to mob-driven revisionism — the tearing down of certain statues and not others — because he distrust mobs. (having been weaned on “Lord of the Flies”). However, he now recommends the authentic Libertarian view is otherwise. In other words, get government out of this tawdry business altogether.

Ben Bachrach, Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Lee County, recommends that governments everywhere use auctions to sell any statues and any land on which they stands to the highest bidders. That will put the statues into the hands of people who want them the most, and reduce the burden on taxpayers.

Opinions mentioned on this website do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Libertarian Party of Lee County. Only the Party Platform, and Resolutions are official positions of the LP of Lee County.

To the Editor of the New-Press:

You ran a  USA Today editorial (“Facebook doesn’t have to run political lies”, 10/31/19) in which you called on Facebook to “fact-check” paid political ads before running them.
The editorial completely mis-characterizes the proper role of the providers of social media. They provide the platforms, nothing else. If the advice from your editorial were actually followed, we’d wind up getting censored by Mark Zuckerberg (and by whomever he’s afraid of).
Instead of getting Zuckerberg to impose a filter on all us, let the “marketplace of ideas” do its own cleaning of the stables, the old-fashioned way. Let the marketplace expose lies and liars for what they are, and let the marketplace do it in public, and let us see it. Then, we will really know who the liars are. After all, a well-informed electorate is the foundation stone of a strong American Republic.
The Libertarian Party is in favor of robust and transparent public discussion of public issues at all times, unencumbered by governmental regulations or by scared business types or by the politically-righteous. We Libertarians are famous for being “all elbows, no charm” in dissecting political statements. In other words, we say “Let it all hang out”.
News-Press, who are YOU afraid of? Dare we hope that you are not afraid of the truth, discovered in public? Come on in; the water is fine.
In liberty,
Larry Gillis, Cape Coral
Vice Chair, Libertarian Party of Lee County

Live Free or Die
Don’t Hurt People
Don’t Steal Their Stuff

Truly, words to live by.

Sadly, over time, many of our friends (yours and mine) have become numb to these bedrock principles and have allowed themselves to simply float through life, oblivious to their ongoing loss of freedom.

Your Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) is committed to putting these bedrock principles back into the political mainstream, to waking people up, and to encouraging them to smell the roses.

To do this, we need your money. (Well, we need YOU actually, but we’ll settle for the money).  Specifically, the LPF is running a fundraising initiative during the month of March 2019 (“Level Up”).

So, please use the hyperlink below to give us some money. It doesn’t have to be a lot, because your broad participation is just as important to us as your actual money. Think of it: with a serious level of participation, we can turn to the others and say, “Look at all these committed Libertarians, with actual cash donations. How about you?”

Anyway, here’s the link: https://www.lpf.org/level-up

Thanks in advance.

(FYI, I was gonna say, “Let your guilt be your guide”, but you and I already know that approach doesn’t work with Libertarians)

In Liberty,

Larry Gillis,
Your LPF Region 12 Executive Committee Member

(March 2019)

Lee Voter Freedom

The Libertarian Party of Lee County is proud to be a member of the coalition to change the way our county commissioners are elected. It is time to end the lockout of nearly 60% of Lee voters, and make the county commission a non-partisan race. Lee Voter Freedom exists to do just that.

Download a petition and find other ways to get involved at: leevoterfreedom.com.