Feb. 23, 2022

448: Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania Chair Candidate Kristine Cousler-Womack

448: Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania Chair Candidate Kristine Cousler-Womack

Meet Kristine Cousler-Womack, candidate for LPPA Chair who wants to focus on unity for Libertarians.


Meet Kristine Cousler-Womack, candidate for LPPA Chair who wants to focus on unity for Libertarians.

 

Kristine joins the program to outline her vision as chair:

- The election success in 2021 in York County and within PA

- Kristine's goals for election cycle in 2022/ballot access

- Kristine's goals for setting up for the Moulton Maneuver in 2023 so that we can be even more successful than 2021 ( with a goal of 300 elected that year, at least!)

- Uniting the state party and finding common ground for everyone to work together

 

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Transcript

Brian Nichols  
Instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, hey there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thanks for joining us on a course. Another fun filled episode. I am as always your humble host. And today, yes, on this Wednesday, we are talking LP politics specifically in my old state. One Pennsylvania, Christine counselor Womack, thank you for joining us on today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show.

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
Thank you for having me on. I appreciate it very much.

Brian Nichols  
Absolutely. Thank you for joining us. And I say this to anyone who is going out and either running for office or in this case you're running for internal office in the Libertarian Party, thank you for doing your part because we can't really say we want things to get better if we're not going to go ahead and put forth the blood, sweat and tears and my goodness, everybody in the greater Liberty world knows how fun that is. So thank you, Christine, for taking the step forward, and in some cases, taking the slings and arrows. But today, we're talking about why you're putting yourself in that position. Because we want to see this idea of moving the greater Libertarian Party specifically, we're going to talk about the state of Pennsylvania, where you're running for LP chair forward, we're looking towards uniting the party, especially as we're going towards 2022 and beyond. But before we get there, let's go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience. Christine, who are you? And why do you want to run for LP Chair of Pennsylvania?

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
That's a great question. And I'm told I'm crazy all the time. But I'm Christine, I'm from Pennsylvania, and I've been a libertarian, officially since about 2016. I worked on the Gary Johnson campaign locally. And then I stepped away for a little bit because of some stuff happening in my county. And then I came back and I was the vice chair and the community organizer of the York County affiliates. And then in 2020, I was the state manager for the Joe Jorgensen campaign. So I got the chance to work with people across the state to work together with people across the state from all different backgrounds and affiliations. And we had great success for the Joe Jorgensen campaign got minor party status in the state. And that kind of just threw me into the state of affairs, you know, being involved with the state party making associations with Jen morency sheets and Adam Reinhardt and Joseph Laski, now all these key people that have been in the party longer than myself, and I saw the great work they were doing, and I became enthralled in the state party. And you know, I just, I'm running for chair because I want to continue the momentum that they started. They had a lot go on this last year to three years. And you know, they want to take a step back. And I feel like that I have the passion and the experience to be able to carry us forward.

Brian Nichols  
Well, we definitely need some passion and experience to carry us forward, especially when you look at the other two parties, because it seems like other two parties can kind of be a hot mess. And I think a lot of people right now are looking for some alternatives, Christine. So let's start to focus on Pennsylvania. And maybe it's important to start on the things that we've done well, and I like to not reinvent the wheel in many cases. And Pennsylvania has done very well over the past few years. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm pretty sure Pennsylvania has the most elected libertarians of any state, correct?

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
Yes. And some of our counties have more elected and just the county than some states do entirely.

Brian Nichols  
So that's pretty darn cool. So let's build upon that right and, and not have to necessarily reinvent the wheel every single time. So let's talk about some of those successes. You've seen here in Pennsylvania. I say here as if I'm still there. You've seen they're over in Pennsylvania, and I guess specifically, what do you think has led to those successes as you've gone out and had conversations outside of our libertarian bubbles?

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
Yeah, um, you know, we in your county had the most elected across the whole state. We have 14 libertarians elected right here in your county three in my borough alone. And a lot of it is because of the community outreach that we do. You know, we are out on the streets doing trash cleanups and talking to the locals. And they're always like, why are you doing this? And we're like, you know, we truly do believe when the government is removed, that people will step up and we want to be the vision of that we want to show you that what we believe is what we do. And we fed the homeless and raised, we collected over 700 pounds of food for the local food bank here in New York. And we do community. We do community carnivals and, and street fairs and things like that. And I think that being out on the ground with boots on the ground door to door knocking in talking to these people and showing them that we are their neighbors, we are their teachers. We are their lawyers, we are their mailman, their accountants and things like that, and giving a face to the party is what's helping us to grow within the states. You know, they're not voting for the party lines. They're voting for the people. You know, Nicole Schultz is running for lieutenant governor's nomination at convention next weekend. And she's had a lot of party loyalists tell her that she will they will vote for her because of who she is. And they know what she stands for. And I think that that's the key that we need to do here in the state and that we've been doing in York and Bradford County has been doing and Lancaster has been doing and Lebanon, you know, they've been out there with boots on the ground showing people who we are and what we stand for, instead of just talking about it, which is what the old parties do.

Brian Nichols  
I had turn my mic back on there. How bad of me I know. But no. So yeah, we had to do with the other old parties aren't doing. In that case, it is talking to your average person and maybe addressing the issues that are being forgotten to be addressed right now by those two major parties. Now, I talked about this with both Tony D'Orazio as well as Angela McArdle, both who are running for the LP chair role here in 2022, which Reno is just around the corner. And I want to focus on what they saw as the top issues. From a national perspective. Now, obviously, Pennsylvania is going to be more of a microcosm for the Commonwealth. But however, you're going to see some overlap and some some similar characteristics of top issues going from state to state. So I'm curious what you would see as some of those top issues as we're heading into election season here in 2022. Where do you think pa voters are currently at? And how do you think libertarians can best effectively reach them?

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
I think everyone's kind of at the point with COVID, that you're one way or the other. And you know, some of the parties are just wavering from the stance that they've given in the Libertarian Party, I feel like hasn't we've always been against mandates, and you know, going out and talking to people and being present at school board meetings where they're fighting for their kids to have the choice to wear a mask, have, you know, talking about the choice for school education, give, again, giving them that option of there's other people out there. And if you don't like what the old parties are doing, or don't believe that you you know, they support you anymore, that there is another option a viable option one that's growing significantly. I mean, we saw the numbers increase from, you know, they did decrease between Gary Johnson and Joe Jorgensen as a total whole, but we saw the the value of each vote actually go up when you look at fundraised amount of money versus votes and stuff. So you know, that's something that is more nationwide, that the Libertarian Party can provide, as well as addressing ballot access. I think that's a nationwide issue that, you know, half of this country is independent or third party. And we need to take advantage of that we need to be out there talking to them and saying you want that third or fourth or sixth option out there on the ballot, then you need to, you know, you need to look into this, you need to support us being on the ballot help with the reform. You know, Pennsylvania, we have to do 2% of the last winning total. But there are other states to see that like 1000 signatures to be on the ballot as a third party. And you know, these are situations that we can help across state lines to help

Brian Nichols  
about this. Let's dig in Christine, to specific LP pa issues right now we we've seen the success that you've built. And I would love to hear your thoughts in terms of not just what you can bring towards the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, but specifically, what are your goals that you're looking to accomplish? I always talked about this with my sales team back when I was leading them. It's important to write down your goals because then it makes it real and then everybody sees what your goals are I actually I made a requirement. Christine, I'll tell you a fun story. I'd actually make them when we would sit down with our morning sales huddle is every single every single week, we'd start things off where I'd say all right, what are your goals for the week and I take them share their goals, because I think it creates accountability because then it's now on the record. So how about this, let's do some accountability together. What are your goals for LP chair if you are in fact elected?

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
One of my main first goals is to set up some kind of educational weekend. for training, you know, our meetings, I don't know the last time you attended an LPA meeting, Brian, but our meeting this past Saturday was eight and a half hours long. And that it's just not not acceptable, to be honest. And I think a lot of it is just a misunderstanding of Robert's rules in the way that a meeting is supposed to progress. I'm sorry,

Brian Nichols  
I'm sorry. And frankly, a misunderstanding of what it is to be a functioning human being. Nobody wants to know, say nobody, no normal sane person wants to sit in political, like gobbledygook meetings for eight and a half hours. Correct. If I'm wrong, and you didn't nationals been in go for like a day?

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
Yeah, I think so. Yeah. And our January meeting, just for the record was seven and a half hours. So it's not like, Yeah, it's me, we did have some important information that was given. And we did it we, yeah, we had some internal investigations and stuff that went have that happened, and you know, needed to be addressed. But there's just a lot of other stuff. And I think having some kind of educational resource weekend, where we can talk, do a lesson on Roberts, maybe do candidate support, we're showing people how to fill out their paperwork, and how to file and, you know, expense reports and things like that is going to be the most beneficial thing to the state. We found when we had 176 libertarians elected back in November that we were a lot of them were like, What do I do next? And we were like, That's a great question. We've never been in this position. To answer that for such a large amount of people, that we realize that there needs to be some kind of resource, some kind of like in like an online library or something with documentation and instructions on how to move forward once you are elected. So that's another goal of mine. What I would also like to push is for people to go and try and get appointed to offices, there are a lot of seats that still went unfilled after the November election. And if you just show up to a meeting and say, hey, I want to do this job. It's kind of like the Libertarian Party in general, they say, Hey, I want to do the job. Um, you know, they will most likely fill you into that position. So that'll help more libertarians in office as well. And then moving into 2022 into that election cycle for the governor and lieutenant governor, Senate and other congressional races, and any special races like for vacancies that happen through the year, we need to be looking and making sure that we're not doing extra work, we need to make sure that everyone and this can happen during the educational weekend, knows how to properly fill out a petition for ballot access, knows how to properly collect signatures, knows how to properly turn those signatures in. And when we're collecting those signatures on the ballot, the petition for ballot access, we need to make sure that every single name that will be on the ballot in that county is on that paper. So if we're up in north, north central Pennsylvania, and it's Lister willikers. District, we make sure that Liz is on there, we make sure that Eric Earhart, if he wins the Senate nomination is on there, we make sure that Joe's the last game consoles that they win their nominations are on the paperwork. That way when they say they need to collect 5000 signatures for their respective, you know, offices. We're not having to collect like 30,000 signatures, we're doing it all in one killing, you know, multiple birds with one stone, as the adage goes. And those are really the key. And then what I also would like to do is prep into 2023 and start trying to recruit people to run for office local office in 2023. My goal is to set it up that in 2023 If I'm not chair, that the person who is chair has all the resources that they need to make the molt maneuver and any race that that has had that year successful and to get over 300, Libertarians elected almost doubling the current amount that we had this past November. And by doing that, I want to encourage people to not just run for the seats that have no one running, which is what the moat maneuver, you know, courageous, but also to run against people who are running unopposed and to run in three four way races, even if it's just the paper ballot, because what we need to do is we need to normalize the Libertarian Party being on the ballot in these bigger races in these representative mayor, you know, governor, senator, you know, all of these roles, we need to normalize libertarian be an option on the ballot.

Brian Nichols  
Well, out of sight out of mind, so absolutely. Say in the purview of the average voter for sure. And it also requires us and this is the overarching theme I've seen over the past year really is that it requires us also to do this together. And I think this is going to be the main driving force after Reno is unity. We have to have some sense of and it's not the tongue in cheek Liberty unity, that was there back a couple of months, or months is it a year I don't even remember Now time is a son of a gun in the era of COVID. But we really have to coalesce, especially with it getting real in 2022 and going to 2024. And I guess I want to ask your perspective, because I've ranted and raved here in the program, my audience they know, Brian, we know what your perspective is, and how to get Liberty unity. It's getting the tent bigger and getting some more voices in here to dilute some of the more toxic voices. And that goes on both sides, by the way, or is Trump would say, you know, some very good people on both sides. Also some very good people on both sides. But with that being said, I'd love to hear what your thought is for some liberty, unity, how do we get it? What does it look like? And what will do for us as a party?

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
You know, that is a really a really big question, because at the end of the day, we are all individuals, and that we are the party of individualism. So we need to find a way to find common ground. We did this with the Joe Jorgensen campaign. Personally in New York, I had never heard of any caucuses or PACs or any kind of like, other organization that was Liberty minded because we just kind of did the work. And then after the campaign for Joe Jorgensen, you know, things got riled, people started not liking each other, and things started to come to the surface. And, and I realized that a lot of the people were from both sides during the Joe Jorgensen campaign, we just hadn't seen it during the campaigning. And I think that that's the key, I think it's finding that common ground that we can build the foundation from and to work from. And, you know, I think that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor races could be that platform to build off of, it could be, you know, a variety continuing with, you know, protesting against mandates happening, that could also be something. But it's, I think the key is finding common ground. Because, you know, when it comes down to it, we all agree on about 80% of the Libertarian Party platform items, it's more specifically, the details of each thing. And, you know, every caucus, every pack has a purpose. And you know, they need to be utilized for the skill sets that they have. But I think that we need to start associating people by the work that they do, and the effort that they give, and stop drawing lines, just because someone likes me sees or someone likes cathedral, or someone likes the Waffle House, someone likes to get fit, or the wrestling caucus, you know, these are just these invisible lines that we're drawing, you know, that we as individuals are drawing ourselves, you know, at the end of the day, we all fall underneath that libertarian tent. And the more people that we can bring in is the more voices that can be heard, just like you said, and we're going to be able to reach so many more people when there's so many other voices that are helping to spread the word of liberty, because the way that I do it, the way that I do trash cleanups, and everything may not be the way you like to do stuff, Brian, and but both aspects are going to reach people and talk to them and bring them at least to know what libertarianism is. And maybe they'll eventually join us or at least vote for some of our candidates to see how that can affect their communities. So I really think that that's the way to unite the party is to just start looking at everybody as individuals, because that's who we are. And, you know, judge them based on the work that they do, or don't do, because they're, you know, some, there are some people who talk a lot of talk, but don't walk the walk and, and, you know, it really just comes down to finding common ground. And that's all I'm here to do. I'm willing to work with anybody who wants to put in the work.

Brian Nichols  
Yeah. And I would also say, beyond just the work today, this is not even to you know, continue your conversation that perspective, but also the results right? I mean, that's, that's super duper important. And that's where I think looking at pa you have a lot to build upon. And that's exciting. Especially because we do want to see more libertarians in action and some real talk to write you know, real talk audience and Christine, this, my you know, get your your thoughts too. But it's it's difficult audience when we have toxicity in a movement, like the liberty movement, because the ideas, the principles are beautiful, but the feuding, and the just gross Ness behind the scenes, when we bring in new people, and they are seeing the beautiful, the beautiful ID ideas and principles, and then they see that toxicity. They're scared away. And we see this time and again, if we want to actually grow and then that's what I think we should be trying to do is actually not only grow the party but also because we know the more people that we get on board with the ideas And the more people we can actually get to start to get policies, in many cases out of action, right, that's where we're trying to go in that direction, at least. So I think we do have to really start to, you know, as Jordan Peterson would say, to start to start focusing on your own room and clean it up, because otherwise, you're going to be not only creating a toxic environment for you that you're a part of, but now, it's for other people who are walking into the movement. So that's my real talk.

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
Well, now and if I can follow that up, no, please. Yes. Not only is it pushing away new people, there are lifer libertarians that are seeing the chaos after all the work that they've done all the work that they've put in to build us to be the party that we are today going, Why did I spend my money my time to do this for you guys just to fight like them? You know, we just had, we just had someone in our own county, who has been active and you know, influential within the state and the county has made connections with the media has established us as a reputable organization, step away, because he's like, I don't, I don't want to be like the Republicans and Democrats. Like when you guys mature, that's when I'll come back. And I think that that's very telling, you know, when we've got these, you know, so called, you know, so and so lifers as what I'm referring to them, as you know, people who've dedicated so much time and energy going, why am I still here? You know, it should be reevaluating what's going on in the party, and refocusing and trying to build from that platform and I. And that's all I want to do. I just want to work with people to push liberty and get people elected.

Brian Nichols  
Now I'm gonna play a little devil's advocate, because I do think there is a it's a it's a devil's advocate, but more so this, this is my perspective as well. I do think there is merit, though, in maybe challenging people who have put in the time, energy and effort who it they moreso look at the time, energy and effort as the value versus what did that time energy and effort yield? I think it's the Milton Friedman analogy, where he could give you a shovel or a spoon and ask you to dig a hole one is going to require more effort and time and energy than the other. But is it the most efficient and valuable use of your time? Probably not. So I will say I do encourage and I actively encourage new blood in the greater liberty movement, especially in this is why we talk about our target market here on the program is those people who are open to our message already. So we're not going towards people who either a aren't our active market or be people who we just we really want to be an active target market but actually aren't. So I do think that it's important for us to bring in new people who have fresh ideas, and maybe have done some new things in different areas that we really haven't done in the past. And they've had success specifically. That's why I reached out to a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs because I'm finding they're so on board with the the conversations that we're having from a Liberty perspective, but also from the context of what's government done over the past two years? Oh, yeah. infringe on my rights in pretty much every possible way. Okay, and how I think there's more room to talk to you, right?

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, no, that's definitely a valid point. Um, I guess what I was trying to more convey, I guess, is, you know, this was this person specifically is someone that I've looked up to and admire for their work, and time. And they really just stayed away from all of the infighting that a lot of new people were being pushed away from. And he just, yeah, I don't know how to really, I guess I don't know how to convey it. It was just, you know, he, he tried to stick it out, try to think the best of both sides. And it just kept getting worse. And, you know, some of the new people who are coming in, just jump right into the infighting. And it's frustrating when you're trying to stay neutral and just work and get stuff done. And, you know, the new people who have the enthusiasm are being pushed away, and then some of them are just being pulled into it all. Instead of just embracing everyone and and trying to get work done.

Brian Nichols  
I've said it since I think it was my, I don't know, maybe my second or third episode, we're going back to like 2018. And I said, nobody is going to take libertarian parties seriously, until we take ourselves seriously. So at the very least, I hope we have the audience here today listening to today's conversation in the same camp that we are Christine that the very least please, let's be serious, some more people will take us seriously because right now, we are at a time in history where we need the serious real solutions to start to present themselves because otherwise, we're getting to a pretty scary place. So that being said, Christina, unfortunately we are already hard pressed for time. So No, it goes by fast. So how about this final thoughts here for the audience today? What do you want to leave the audience with for context of the conversation or any words of advice you want to leave folks with, as we head through 2022

Kristine Cousler-Womack  
I just want to thank you for having me on. And you know, at the end of the day time, you know, whether it be when we're older, or soon, the times that we live in right now are really just asking for libertarians to take over. And we need to take advantage of the political atmosphere. Now, we need to be putting up candidates that have good messaging, and who are just embracing the whole libertarian platform, and it's in in the most majority that they can. And by putting up those good candidates and supporting those good candidates, that's how we help the liberty movement move on. So I just encourage you to get people elected to run people for Office. And if you need any help at all, I'm more than willing to help across state lines within the states. And you know, because that's my goal here is to make sure that we see Liberty sometime in our lifetime and that we work together to get that done.

Brian Nichols  
Liberty in our lifetime. I like it. I think the audience likes it and hopefully, the voters they are in the great state of Pennsylvania specifically in the Libertarian party thinks so as well. Christine, counselor Womack, thanks for joining us on today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show. Thanks for having me. All right, and

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Kristine Cousler-Womack Profile Photo

Kristine Cousler-Womack

Community Organizer/Activist/Mom

Kristine Cousler-Womack is the Community Organizer of the Libertarian Party of York PA, where she is responsible for organizing the trash cleanups, food drives, set up at community events like carnivals and street fairs. She is also a member of the membership committee for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. She has been active with the party since 2019, however she helped organize the Gary Johnson campaign events locally in 2016. In 2020 she was the State Manager for the Jo Jorgensen campaign, and the top volunteer signature collector for ballot access in PA. Currently, she is managing a Gubernatorial campaign and Lt. Gubernatorial campaign. Outside of the political world Kristine is married with a son, she is active in planning community events, PTO president, soccer coach, and is active in her church.

Campaign involvements:
-Campaign Manager Joe Soloski for Pennsylvania Governor, Nicole Shultz for Lt Governor of Pennsylvania
-Former Campaign Manager for Tim McMaster for PA Senate 48th District
Let me know if you need more or anything else