Paul Frankel’s Candidate Statement for Libertarian National Committee’s Open At-Large Position

Paul Frankel is known around here as “Paulie” 

Personal background and genesis of political involvement*

I was born in Siberia, part of the former USSR in 1972. Growing up in the epicenter of the 1980s crack cocaine explosion in NYC, I got caught up in the available business ventures and saw some of my friends die, and then became an activist against the drug war starting in the mid to late 1980s.

Through my involvement in the drug peace movement, and college studies in free market environmentalism, I became interested in libertarianism, and abandoned the Democrats after they picked the military-industrial-corporate-statist DLCer and drug warrior hypocrite Bill Clinton as their nominee in 1992, thus finally disproving the idea that 60s radicals were merely infiltrating the establishment in order to change it.

I’m a 1994 graduate of the University of Alabama in Geography. My immediate family has been living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for over 20 years now. My stuff lives in their garage; I’ve lived on the road since 1998, and full time since 2000.

As a life long entrepreneur, I have also started hundreds of businesses in a wide variety of fields. Some of these businesses were successful with as many as 70-100 employees at a time, but many have failed, and I am not personally wealthy at this time.

Libertarian Party

I first voted Libertarian and attended my first LP meetings and outreach booths in 1992. I became an LP member in 1994/5 and a life member in 2000, and have occasionally been on the executive committee of the Alabama LP since 1998. My involvement in the LP led me into the petition business, which I have been in since 1998.

Since 1998, I have traveled the country as a professional activist/petition contractor. Between that and my earlier travels in the import-export business as a teenager, I have been to 49 US states and about 20 countries, and lived in a number of them.

I have worked on hundreds of campaigns in dozens of states, both professionally and volunteer, gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures, registering tens of thousands of voters, helping start over a dozen libertarian campus clubs, scoring over 10,000 “world’s smallest political quizzes” at over a hundred booths (many, but not all, on or near college campuses), attended hundreds of events such as conventions and demonstrations and so on. I’ve helped qualify parties, candidates, initiatives, referenda, recalls, voter registration drives, etc. I’ve managed teams of both professionals and volunteers in these activities.

I’ve been an LP national convention delegate in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012. My ballot access work for the LP has been in over 20 states, every year since 1998 except 2001 and 2003. I’ve attended dozens of state party conventions in over a dozen states over that same period of time. I’ve also attended several national and state meetings of other parties as an observer, contractor and reporter.

I’ve been active in several LP caucuses and have attended about half of the national committee meetings since 2007 as a reporter for IndependentPoliticalReport.com (where I have posted about half of the nearly 10,000 articles in the last four years and recruited most of the other writers) and several preceding publications.

I have been on the LNC as a regional alternate representing Region 7 (TX, OK, MS, LA, AL) for several months. During that time I have been one of the most active participants in LNC discussions, although I am not a voting member of the committee.

LNC At Large

When Wayne Root stepped down from the LNC to campaign for Mitt Romney, a number of people have asked me to seek the At Large position he vacated.

Anyone that favors me can help by:

1) writing the whole LNC to tell them why; click on http://www.lp.org/lnc-leadership – each name is linked to an email address.

2) helping find someone from LA, AL, MS or OK who could win a vote of the state chairs of those states plus Texas (at least 3 state chairs) and would work well with JJM n in filling my regional alternate position if I were to win – the chairs expressed an interest in having a non-Texan in the position.

3) Helping set up and contribute to some sort of fund that would ensure that I would not miss any meetings for financial reasons, something that would be much appreciated even as an alternate, as I would like to make all the meeting if I can.

4) Get the LNC to hold the election using approval voting or some similar method, so that if I run it will not take votes from other good candidates or cause additional rounds of voting to take place.

LNC Agenda

50 state plus ballot access
Project based fundraising
Field organizers
New and improved outreach materials and strategies
More cooperation and training with local and state affiliates
More emphasis on outreach to young people
Improving diversity in LP membership
Membership growth
More interactivity and transparency in LP governance
Single check out for national, state and local membership
Maintaining left-right balance and a strongly libertarian platform
Taking greater advantage of volunteer resources
Improving database and data sharing standards
Running more candidates at all levels
Improving and expanding social media use by the LP
Learning and sharing past and ongoing successes and failures
Speakers Bureau

Contact

415-690-6352 cell; call anytime, if I’m sleeping or busy I will call you back
paulie.frankel@LP.org

 

*Because of the resignation of Wayne Allyn Root, there is now an opening for an At-Large Representative on the Libertarian National Committee. The candidates for the position have been asked to write a 2-page letter of why they would like to be on the LNC. They will be voted on at the next meeting, this November in Washington DC. IPR would like to feature the letters ahead of the meeting. This way, our readers can get to know about the choices and can take an opportunity to contact their Regional Reps and the Executive Committee of the candidate theyโ€™d like to see elected. Here is the post written by Geoffrey Neale, Chairman of the Libertarian Party, about the process for people to nominate themselves for the position.

32 thoughts on “Paul Frankel’s Candidate Statement for Libertarian National Committee’s Open At-Large Position

  1. Dan Reale

    Paulie –

    You’re a petitioner. What I’d really like to see in your pitch (but I don’t see it) is:

    1) How do you convince the LNC not to withhold funding for ballot drives until the last possible moment while prioritizing each state based on deadline and need? As a follow-up to that, what are your observations on cost concerning the current approach of waiting until the last possible moment (and how will these be incorporated by you on the LNC)?

    2) Will you be able to seperate yourself from the paid petitioner role while you serve on the LNC?

  2. paulie

    1) How do you convince the LNC not to withhold funding for ballot drives until the last possible moment while prioritizing each state based on deadline and need?

    Well, I’m only one person of 27 on the committee, and if I become a full voting member I will be one of 18, so the best I can do is share my experience and opinions. As I have told LNC already, last minute scrambles end up costing us more. Whether I can convince them is a different matter. I am already voicing my opinion actively as an alternate, and I don’t anticipate that if I were to get one vote of 18 that I would be likely to cast a lot of tie breakers about this, particularly since I would recuse myself from votes that deal with my actual or potential contracts.

    As a follow-up to that, what are your observations on cost concerning the current approach of waiting until the last possible moment (and how will these be incorporated by you on the LNC)?

    Last minute scrambles cost more. Not only do per-signature rates go up, but it becomes impossible to check validity as we go so we are more likely to overshoot our goal or fail (which makes 100% of the money for a drive wasted), expenses go up as petitioners are shuttled around the country with last minute travel arrangements and can’t be moved as strategically to neighboring states as much, and petitioners more frequently find themselves working in places that they don’t have time to learn the best public locations, fight battles over access at public locations or line up permission at stores.

    I’ve seen many clients make that same mistake for years and years, and will continue to share my view that this is a terrible waste of our resources.

    I will also keep pushing for my idea of transitioning ballot access to field organizing positions.

    On the current LNC, however, I will be dealing with a bigger problem, that is a number of members – indeed, a majority of those who have voiced an opinion thus far – want to end national party support for ballot access altogether and simply leave states to fend for themselves, allowing us to fall off the ballot in several states. As I have told the whole LNC I think that would be a terrible direction to go in.

    2) Will you be able to seperate yourself from the paid petitioner role while you serve on the LNC?

    My goal is to gradually eliminate paid petitioning by the LP through better ballot retention, eventually getting rid of that particular need. There are plenty of other clients in the petition business. I’d also like to make the LP better at utilizing volunteer resources. As I would like to transition ballot access to field organizing that encompasses ballot access as well as party building activities, part of the job would be strengthening local affiliates and training volunteers in, among other things, ballot access work.

    On the current LNC, I am not the only member who is a current or potential contractor with the party, nor is this the first LNC which has had contractors with the party on the board. I recuse myself from votes that have to do with my contracts (already did that once in my first meeting while I was sitting in for JJM).

  3. paulie

    Thanks NF.

    For this election, you would have to be not just a member of the LP but a voting member of the LNC (there are currently 17, 18 after this vacancy is filled).

    In the unlikely event that I win, and then seek re-election in 2014, you would be able to vote for me if, in addition to re-joining the LP, you also attend the national convention as a delegate (typically several hundred people do).

  4. NewFederalist

    Yeah, I knew that. I have not been a delegate to a national convention since Phoenix in 1985.

  5. Jeremy C. Young

    Paulie, which state haven’t you been to? Is it a state that doesn’t allow petitioning?

  6. paulie

    Hawaii.

    Now that I have discovered that I can fly comercially again, albeit with some hassle, maybe I’ll check that one off some time this decade if I get a chance.

  7. NewFederalist

    I thought it might have been the State of Hysteria. I figured you could not have missed the State of Euphoria! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. paulie

    I’ve also been to every state in Mexico, every province and territory in Canada (except the new one they created since I had been there, Nunavut), every country in Central America and every major island in the Caribbean.

    I’ve been on every mile of US interstate highways that actually go to multiple states.

    Other than that, I’ve been to Russia, Ukraine, Austria and Italy.

  9. Austin Battenberg

    I support Paulie. I will email the LNC, that is the only thing I can do. But I hope you get it.

    In my opinion, you seem to be a person that bridges the radicals with the reformers. Everyone respects you, even if they disagree with you.

  10. paulie

    Steve Newton writes

    http://delawarelibertarian.blogspot.com/2012/09/what-i-want-in-next-libertarian.html

    Now that Wayne Root has abruptly discovered he’s a Republican (and, boy, wasn’t that a shock to the entire Libertarian Party), we are left with an at-large position on the LNC to fill.

    Independent Political Report is carrying the statements of a lot (all?) self-nominees, and you can read them for yourself.

    We can only print the ones we receive, but as far as I know we will print all of the ones we receive.

    I’m not endorsing anybody here, I’m just going to make a statement from one county LP chairman out in the boondocks about what I want in the person who takes this position.

    My requirements are short and sweet:

    I need somebody at the LNC who is going to turn the national LP into an organization that funnels resources toward the state affiliates. That doesn’t have to mean money. It could mean helping us find and negotiate places to do cheap campaign printing. It could mean providing help with generating national press releases that cover local and state candidates. It could mean running candidate boot camps ala Campaign for Liberty. It could mean a lot of stuff that doesn’t seem to be a priority to the LNC right now.

    I favor that kind of stuff, and I am always looking for more specific suggestions to pass along to the rest of the committee. Please bear in mind that just because I pass
    ideas along it does not mean they will do anything with them, though.

    I need somebody at the LNC who is going to support and help build on the amazing campaign organization that is boot-strapping itself into existence in the Gary Johnson 2012 campaign. This campaign has been an improvised (and often quite messy) mix of top-down and bottom-up, and we’ve both made mistakes and pulled off some amazing coups. We’ve undoubtedly attracted more attention than any other LP presidential campaign in history. That organization needs to become both the model and the basis for continuing endeavors at the national level.

    I am willing to work with you and others on that.

    I need somebody at the LNC that will actually tell people that nobody out here trying to elect state representatives actually gives a shit about an LP headquarters building, or the ridiculous bylaws requirement that prevents anybody who cannot fund thousands of dollars of independent travel each year from being part of the LNC. There is no damn reason that many LNC meetings cannot be held online via video conferencing, and that the money thus saved cannot be turned back into support actual campaigning and issues advocacy.

    Agreed about conferencing. As for the money saved, it belongs to individuals. We might hope that they would spend it on those things, but it is their money to do with as they see fit.

    As far as the building, some people do give a shit about it; those are the ones that donate to that project. Some people don’t; they are the ones who won’t. The same goes for other projects. That is the beauty of project based fundraising.

    Every successful political organization I have seen does it.

    I need somebody at the LNC who actually brings a strategy that will get Libertarians elected. It is not f–king brain surgery. We need to analyze our state LPs and find a district in Texas or Arkansas or Colorado or wherever where we have (a) a strong, committed candidate; (b) a weak incumbent; and (c) local activists, and then the LP needs to coordinate pouring in a shitload of money and expertise to go all out to win an election to a state legislative position. In many states this will only require a few thousand votes. The amazing failure of vision of the LNC to pursue this sort of strategy appalls me.

    Sometimes such opportunities arise unexpectedly. For example, see

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2012/09/20/south-carolina-has-a-legislative-race-with-only-an-independent-and-a-libertarian-on-the-ballot/

    I need somebody at the LNC who will organize issue advocacy and actually — USE the damn internet and new media to do issue advocacy tied to the Libertarian brand 24/7/365 even in–especially in–the off election years.

    We had a few campaigns like that back in the 90s. Would be nice to see that again.

    It’s that damn simple. If I had a vote (which I never will), you’d need to impress me with four out of five or I’d vote to leave the position open and save somebody the plane fare.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Hope to hear a lot more of it from lots of people!

  11. Mark Seidenberg

    Paulie

    Be more specific as to a location in Siberia. You and I both know the short fall in Soviet Birth Records, viz,, address of parents trump the place
    of birth. You do not want to be another Obama
    with a birther question!?

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman,
    American Independent Party of California

    P.S. Was this birth place within the claimed area of the “Far Eastern Republic” or not? Or
    was the area within the limits of territory claimed by the Empiror of China to which the
    United States Government place in the United
    States District Court of China, vi z.,” The United
    States District of China”!?

    Also remember the Area of Siberia is also growing with that of Russia. On September 13,
    2012, Bishop Iakov of Naryon-Mar dropped a
    blessed capsule by Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow
    next to the Russian Flag at the North Pole.

    Do you think the B. Kat Kohanim, viz., “Our
    G-d, King of the Universe,” et. seq. need to be
    given at the North Pole to up stage Bishop Iakov
    blessings of September 13, 2012.

    Remember that Peary in April, 1909, cut a piece
    of the American Flag and place it in a used food
    can in a snow bank at the North Pole and annex
    the North Pole and its environs in the name of
    United States Navy and Government of the
    United States. That was 98 years before the
    flag placing of Russia and 103 years before
    Biishop Iakov in the name of Kirill I gave the
    Blessing of the North Pole for the Russian Orthodox Church.

  12. paulie

    Took out the links when I copied and pasted that. Didn’t think it was all that relevant to LNC.

    I was born in Berdsk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berdsk and lived in Novosibirsk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novosibirsk , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akademgorodok

    My mom is originally from Ulan Ude http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulan-Ude and her family includes some that moved to Siberia in the 17th century (1600s) and intermarried with the natives. My father moved to Siberia from the Urals areas for high school and college.

    We moved around even then, the place I remember living in the most was Irkutsk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irkutsk

    Other places I remember staying in were Ulan Ude, where my maternal grandmother lived; Tolyatti, where my paternal grandparents were at the time, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolyatti , and also in Ukraine, Yevpatoria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yevpatoria in Crimea on the Black Sea where we had some relatives and where I learned to swim.

    We left when I was 7 years old in 1979, spent several months in Moscow, Vienna and Italy (about an hour from Rome), and moved to the US in 1980.

  13. paulie

    You do not want to be another Obama
    with a birther question!?

    Well, while it would be tempting to think that I would be so important as to have whole groups of wackos invent alternative theories of where I was born, I can’t imagine why that would ever be the case.

    No one is claiming that I am eligible for the US presidency, and I have no such aspirations. Nor am I interested in ever moving back to Russia and running for office there.
    I have no idea what their eligibility requirements would be if I were, but it would be easy enough to prove that I was born in the USSR.

  14. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Mr. Frankel, how do you feel about the LNC making this vote for a replacement rep secret?

  15. NewFederalist

    I think he already said he was opposed but that his vote won’t count since he is an alternate.

  16. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Yes, I knew what his answer would be, just like I know what Jim Duensing has said, but I thought the other readers might be interested in hearing the answer.

  17. zapper

    @21 If I recall Paulie, you already have a least one Wacko inventing conspiracy theories about you here on IPR. Don’t give up. Perhaps you can get a Hawaiian birth certificate photoshopped somewhere.

    Life
    Art imitates Life
    Wackos imitate Art imitating Life
    Life imitates Wackos imitating Art imitating Life
    God commits suicide

  18. Eric Blitz

    Paulie posted, in part:

    “On the current LNC, however, I will be dealing with a bigger problem, that is a number of members โ€“ indeed, a majority of those who have voiced an opinion thus far โ€“ want to end national party support for ballot access altogether and simply leave states to fend for themselves, allowing us to fall off the ballot in several states. As I have told the whole LNC I think that would be a terrible direction to go in”

    I am happy that you are taking that position and I completely agree.

  19. Pingback: Compilation of Candidate Statements for Open At-Large Position on the LNC | Independent Political Report

  20. paulie

    Letter from Mark Hilgenberg sent to LNC:

    I am writing because of the upcoming LNC At Large Rep vacancy vote. I hope you will give Paul โ€œPaulieโ€ Frankel your consideration. Paulie has a unique set of skills and experience that would benefit the LNC and the Libertarian Party greatly.

    We need someone who has spent over a decade dealing with average voters from every cross section of the political spectrum; this is something rare in the liberty movement.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Mark Hilgenberg
    Vice Chair
    Libertarian Party of Utah

  21. Pingback: Dr. Marc Allan Feldman Running for LNC At Large | Independent Political Report

  22. paulie

    Reply to Dr. Phillies in the thread linked @31


    “crowd funding of party building projects?”

    Yes.

    Absolutely critical.

    “constructing or buying a building in the DC area?
    moving the HQ well outside DC.
    constructing or buying a building, not in the DC area?”

    I think buying makes sense, since the money on rent is going down a hole and creating no equity nor putting us any closer to the day when we can stop making payments.

    I think DC makes sense because media and donors take us less seriously when we are not HQed in DC. Long time party activists have told me that when the HQ was moved to Houston the party went downhill and we had to limp back to DC with our tail between our legs a couple of years later.

    This should be based on project based funding. If donors agree, it will happen.

    The possibility exists that we could outgrow the building. If so, we may want to consider additional HQs outside the DC area. How about say Austin, Denver and Los Angeles to start with? One in each major timezone.

    The possibility also exists that we could shrink,
    making the building a liability. If it is legal to do so (I’m no expert), we should get a space which can be subdivided with portions rented out to other organizations in case we have to do that.

    “LNC paying for 50-state Presidential ballot access”

    Yes, absolutely critical as well.

    I had a recent exchange on this subject on the LNC and LNC Discuss Public reflector lists.

    See

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LNCDiscussPublic/message/2463

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LNCDiscussPublic/message/2476

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LNCDiscussPublic/message/2485

    Giving every American who has a vote a Libertarian candidate to vote for should be our duty and having a Libertarian candidate to vote for should be a human right for everyone with the right to vote.

    “the current dispute in Oregon?”

    The LP Judicial Committee agrees with the Secretary of State. We have an affiliate with ballot access, a good sized slate of candidates, a website, and in-person meetings. The other side has none of those things.
    Recognize the active affiliate with ballot access and other hallmarks of being a party and move on.

    “Should the LNC have the task of telling staff what to do, or should they do volunteer national party-building work?”

    Is that an either-or question? LNC should exercise some oversight of staff, although we also have to be careful that we don’t get in their way too much when we do so. It can be a tough judgment call at times. We should absolutely do volunteer national party building work.

    “Relative importance of outreach to young people, antiwar activists, small businessmen, Republicans Democrats?”

    We need more outreach to all kinds of people, including but not limited to those categories.

    I have been a long time advocate of increasing our outreach most especially to the youth and those coming from the left.

    My own extensive personal research shows young people scoring about 80% libertarian on social issues, 50% libertarian on economic issues and strongly antiwar. Furthermore they know and care more about the issues on which they are most libertarian. If Ron Paul can energize these folks DESPITE being more conservative than us on several key social issues, we should be able to as well.

    Polls show we bring in about as many votes from the left as from the right.

    Yet, our organization seems imbalanced. Running conservative leaning candidates such as Barr-Root hasn’t helped. Gary Johnson has been doing a good job emphasizing left-friendly issues, but he too was very recently a Republican, which unfortunately plays into the common popular and media misleading narrative that we are a far right party.

    The media also frequently calls various right wing politicians and talk radio personalities libertarian, which does not help our cause.

    In order to come in to our own and start making real waves we need to connect better with our natural youth support demographic and get them excited about us as they have been about Ron Paul. Then and only then do we start really shaking things up.

    We need a major push at colleges, as happened during the Ed Clark campaign 1979-80.

    That doesn’t mean we should stop reaching out to small business owners and ex-Republicans, but we should tailor our emphasis more to young people and ex-Democrats/progressives than we have been.

    “Should the LNC be stressing our social freedom issues (gay marriage, abortion on demand if you can pay for it) and our foreign policy issues (nonintervention), or our tax and government size issues?”

    All of the above, but we should stress social freedom and nonintervention more than we have before for reasons I touched on in answering the prior

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