George Phillies: Questions for the Libertarian Party National Party Members to Consider

Phillies

There has been quite a bit of discussion here on IPR of the Libertarian Party’s Audit Committee Report from 2012. Resolution appears to have occurred last weekend at the quarterly meeting of the Libertarian National Committee . There were several issues, two of them involving then Executive Director Carla Howell. Discussions will continue, however, at least here on this forum. Here is a series of questions prepared by George Phillies.

There are a half-dozen other articles about this audit if the reader will put “Audit” in the search box.

Leading Questions for LP National Party Members to Consider

For those of you who have not followed all the discussions, I have some
interesting questions you might wish to put to your LNC member or
Regional Representative relative to how they are conducting their business.

At what point does the policy manual become the LNC’s binding
representation to national party members by the LNC as to how the LNC
will discharge its fiduciary responsibilities to our members?

What is the point of having a policy manual if major policies are ignored?

How many written contracts with vendors does the LNC have on file? How
many of those exceed the thresholds in the Policy Manual? How many
contracts were approved in accord with LNC rules? How many large
contracts were not written, approved by the chair, and/or vetted by
counsel, as the LNC has required, a requirement recorded in the Policy
Manual?

How often does the LNC issue large no-bid contracts for petitioning? How
often are these accompanied with commission-based fundraising deals at
rates such as 20 or 40%? How were commissions set?

Do the party’s current FEC filings correctly, completely, and exactly
reflect to whom we gave money?

The LNC Policy Manual 2.03.5 requires “The Chair or Treasurer shall be
required to approve (and evidence by signing or initialing) all expenses
and expense account reimbursements more than $200 made to the Executive
Director or other officers prior to payment.” Which of them signed off
on the transactions that perturbed the LNC and occupied the full Audit
Committee report, including the parts you have not all seen yet? Were
there signatures?

What are the faults in the filings? When did the Treasurer find them?
Did the Treasurer find them?

What is the Treasurer, as the Party officer with legal liability, doing
futureward, without any reference to the situation in the past, to
confirm that the information passing from the LNC office to our FEC
consultant is complete and correct?

Why did the LNC approve the use of no-bid contracts for petitioning efforts?

Why did the LNC approve the use of commission-type contracts for fund
raising?

Did anyone claim in defense of the handshake no-bid deal with Mr Cloud
that this approach was LNC standard operating procedure? Who claimed
that? Who agreed with the claim?

Who on the LNC was concerned that the agreements with Mr Cloud were
based on the recommendation of a good friend of his (not that I oppose
friendship)?

Are there memoranda of conversation between Ms Howell and Mr Neale
verifying that the individual contracts with Mr Cloud had been approved
by the Chair?

Did the LNC in fact find written evidence other than from the Executive
Director that Mr Neale had approved each or any of the individual contracts?

Did the LNC in fact find written evidence from anyone that Mr Neale had
approved each or any of the individual contracts?

There is a traditional freshman error in evaluating experimental data,
namely the freshmen believe that if you do the experiment twice and get
two different answers you are entitled to believe that the second one is
right. The freshmen are wrong. With the latest issue we have four
different invoices. Which one does the LNC believe? Why?

Given the record, will the LNC advance in the future to full compliance
audits of its financial transactions? Why not?

How many of the difficulties that may be revealed by answers to the
above might have been avoided if, for example, past LNCs has spent more
time on its financial responsibilities and less time on parliamentary
haggling? How many of these difficulties would be avoided if the LNC
emulated LPNC and replaced Roberts’ with Francis and Francis
http://www.amazon.com/Democratic-Rules-Order-Easy-To-Use-Parliamentary/dp/0969926057
(requires Bylaws change).

How many of these difficulties would have been avoided if the LNC
required that it also receive financial reports in a form that matches
its FEC reports, so it can tell on what it actually spent its money?
Might it have been more nearly obvious, e.g., that any of the
expenditures reported to the FEC for some amount were actually for a
different amount, or that other expenditures were not obviously apparent
in the FEC reports?

Mindful that we have severe legal limits on how we may spend our money,
did you ever read through FEC Guide for Treasurers of Party Committees,
to identify key issues? Did you confirm that the Treasurer and Chair
have done so? If you have not done so, how will you know what questions
to ask? If the Chair and Treasurer have not done so, how will they
notice whether or not the monthly check record and the monthly FEC
reports are concordant?

If you have not done so yourself, how are you going to identify any
recommendation(s) you may have been given for illegal campaign
expenditure(s).

In the future, are you going to appoint an audit group that does careful
work again, or are you going to look for sweethearts?

George Phillies is a long-term Libertarian activist and is a frequent contributor here to IPR. He is a professor of physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. Also, he is the editor and publisher of the monthly periodical Liberty For America .

388 thoughts on “George Phillies: Questions for the Libertarian Party National Party Members to Consider

  1. Pete Blome

    Excellent, in-depth questions of the financial process of the LNC. However, I truly wonder if the LNC reps are up to handling questions with this kind of necessary attention to detail. They haven’t asked these questions in the past. Will they be able to answer them in the future?

  2. paulie

    Good questions, and while I do not know most of the answers I encourage multiple people to write with these questions to the list of LNC members at http://www.lp.org/lnc-leadership – each name links to an email address. If you do so, please include the alternates so I am copied as well. Many LNC members dislike George Phillies personally, so if multiple different people are asking these questions, they will be harder to deflect by attacking the person asking them. They will also be harder to deflect if you write a followup email or two if you haven’t received satisfactory (or most likely any) replies after a few days. It would also be worthwhile to consider the replies, or lack thereof, in deciding which LNC members if any you would vote to keep on the LNC next term if they choose to run again.

    paulie 415-690-6352

    Pete Blome also asks a good question. My guess is that the answer is no.

  3. paulie

    “How often does the LNC issue large no-bid contracts for petitioning?”

    Pretty often, although this is also pretty new. In the past it was more common for the LNC to send the money from its own budget to the states and let the states do their own hiring and firing (although Bill Redpath or his predecessors as Ballot Access Coordinator made recommendations of petitioners to hire) -or- the LNC would hire petitioners directly, with multiple petitioners all equally contracted (usually – without a written contract) for any given state.

    ” How often are these accompanied with commission-based fundraising deals at
    rates such as 20 or 40%? How were commissions set?”

    Typically, at least in the last few years the Kohlhaas skim does not happen with LNC funds directly. Rather, Bill Redpath recommends that various states use Kohlhaas and Kohlhaas then takes 40% off the top while at the same time finding ways to chisel additional amounts out of petitioner pay, delay petitioner pay, scream bloody murder to speed up his own pay beyond what the contract calls for, dictate to states which petitioner to hire or not hire and bossing those petitioners around as if he is their employer rather than just a fundraiser.

    The funds are then raised for the states without passing thru LNC, but Kohlhaas has the seal of LNC approval because Redpath, as the designated manager for all things ballot access by the LNC, is recommending him.

    A good chunk of the money last year was raised without fundraising percentage commissions, through Wes Benedict’s PAC while he was not on staff and through Mark Hinkle as a volunteer calling Chris Rufer to get him to max out to the LNC and then to make large donations to several state parties and candidates.

    In 2011-2012 there were a lot of large no-bid contracts and Kohlhaas skims through state parties brokered by Redpath but not involving money going through LNC. There were also a lot of no-bid, *monopoly* contracts with middlemen – Reistroffer in the Dakotas, Bonner in PA and NY, Wilkinson in the New England states – who kept half or more of the money and hired a lot of lower quality petitioners at cut rates to actually get the signatures, often without doing anything to insure good validity.

    In 2008, Kohlhaas and Haugh operated directly through the LNC to steer work and preferences in pay and conditions to friends of theirs (mostly non-libertarian petitioners and “libertarians” like Dondero, another petitioner Redpath relentlessly hires and recommends as often as possible)….and away from those they do not like, e.g. myself, Andy, Jake Witmer, Mark Pickens, etc.

    The Kohlhaas skim via states has gone on for many years in many states.

  4. paulie

    “Why did the LNC approve the use of no-bid contracts for petitioning efforts?”

    The LNC defers all decisions on ballot access management to Bill Redpath, since most LNC members know little or nothing about ballot access management and are making little if any effort to learn.

    A ballot access committee was created, I though in large part to address this problem.

    I do know that Bill himself made the point as have many others that no single person should ever be indespensible to an organization. People die, get ill, and so on. Sometimes unexpectedly. So I think it is a bad idea to put it all off on Bill and put ourselves in a position to be in serious trouble whenever the day comes that he is unwilling or unable to do what he does.

    I thought that was the idea of the Ballot Access Committee when it was created and why I was asked to be on it. Then I did not hear anything for a few months (despite asking). I was looking forward to doing what I thought was important and necessary work. The next thing I heard about it was that I was voted off the island and that the Ballot Access Committee would only concentrate on legal challenges to bad ballot access laws. No one even told who or how picked the chair of the committee – I was certainly never asked to vote on picking a chair, included in any discussion or anything else. I was asked to step down from it because I have been a ballot access contractor. But Ms. Visek, the committee chair, has also been a ballot access contractor, to a lesser degree than me, and we have other committees with LNC members who are also contractors. The latest report from the ballot access committee (not to be confused with Bill Redpath’s ballot access action report….maybe this one should be called the ballot access committee inaction report) is that the attorneys they have been trying to work with have been super busy so they have not had a chance to get much done as a committee.

    So Bill is still the “indespensible man” of ballot access, which is a big institutional problem for the LP.

    However, the Ballot Access Committee does have a vendor contract they have been working on, which has yet to be made available to either the LNC as a whole or to any actual ballot access contractors as far as I know.

  5. Mike Kane

    Bill isn’t to blame for being indispensable. No one else seems to want to take on the role.

    I feel his efforts are invaluable, as are Richard Wingers.

  6. Interested n LP

    so who gets voted out in Columbus? Not all of them. Tried that before. Or, who do we keep?

  7. paulie

    Bill isn’t to blame for being indispensable. No one else seems to want to take on the role.

    I’ve offered to help with it, as have others, Thre are other people willing to be on a committee where some people learn from others. There’s also training materials that could be created or perhaps already exist. No important function of a national political party, and ballot access is certainly important, can rely on one person.

    I’ve offered to help Richard also.

    so who gets voted out in Columbus? Not all of them. Tried that before.

    When? Certainly not 2012. About half the committee is the same as two years ago. Nor any other recent year I can think of. Maybe 2002?

    The LNC should have this sort of information as a staff function, with files that can be downloaded by people in each state.

    Carla and Wes both have experience with ballot drive management as well. Of course, they have many other things to do. But that could be one of them.

  8. José C

    Paulie:

    When? Certainly not 2012. About half the committee is the same as two years ago. Nor any other recent year I can think of. Maybe 2002?
    In 2012 the delegates cleaned house. (We somewhat cleaned house – at least 50% of the LNC is new.) I was there and involved. The message the delegates were sending was we want you (the LNC) to clean up your act and get things done. It seems the members of the LNC have not gotten the message. Speaking to some of those that were at the convention and voted for the “new” LNC we are convinced the message is not being acted upon and our job is not done. There is more work for us as delegates to do in Columbus.
    Those who are not part of the change that is needed we want to vote off the LNC. Those who are on the current LNC should tell us what they have done that should get them reelected. In other words, “Why should you get our vote?”

  9. Joe Wendt

    Hopefully George Phillies will run and get on the LNC, especially after this and after the way Johnson wasted money.

  10. Mark Axinn

    Paulie @6:07 on 12/21 wrote in part:

    >In 2011-2012 there were a lot of large no-bid contracts and Kohlhaas skims through state parties brokered by Redpath but not involving money going through LNC. There were also a lot of no-bid, *monopoly* contracts with middlemen – Reistroffer in the Dakotas, Bonner in PA and NY…

    Actually, I hired Darryl Bonner to work in New York in 2012, having worked with him before in 2010. Scott Kohlhaas was not involved in any way. Bill Redpath was obviously consulted and advised of my decision, but it was mine not his to make and I not he made it.

    Darryl certainly did not have a monopoly here. I would be foolish to depend on one petitioner, so instead I hired approximately a dozen other paid petitioners, plus we generated over 5000 volunteer sigs.in just six weeks both in 2010 and 2012.

    Regarding fees, nobody negotiates a lower rate, nor gets more bang for the buck, than I do. I ran two statewide petitioning efforts in 2010 (Warren Redlich slate-34,000 sigs) and in 2012 (Johnson/Gray and Chris Edes for US Senate–25,000 sigs). The LNC contributed $25K to each of those successful efforts; the rest of the cost was raised locally. Unlike many other states, we understand what it means to have skin in the game.

    If a petitioner wants to work in New York, s/he better deliver. No one gets paid to waste money here. No one gets a monopoly. No one skims a penny from my state party.

  11. paulie

    We somewhat cleaned house – at least 50% of the LNC is new.

    50% is not 100%. Thus if the reference was to 2012, Interested n LP misstated the facts. Actually I’m not even sure if it’s even 50%. Are we counting alternates?

    Speaking to some of those that were at the convention and voted for the “new” LNC we are convinced the message is not being acted upon and our job is not done. There is more work for us as delegates to do in Columbus.

    Speaking as one of those who voted for a change, I agree. Speaking as someone who has now tried my hand at doing something useful on the LNC and as far as I can see failed, I’d caution the delegates that getting things done – much less done right – as a member of the LNC is not easy. The bureaucracy can be quite mind numbing and confusing, and there are bylaws, policy manual and Roberts Rules constraints everywhere, as well as the general problem of a couple of dozen people pulling in different directions.

    So having now been through that process myself, what do I do about it as a delegate when choosing the next LNC? There will be many (more or less) fine people, most of whom I will know barely or not at all, some of whom I will know fairly well but in some other context. They will be making many fine speeches and passing out flyers and buttons. They will be making the rounds at drinking parties and will get talked up by their friends and those seeking mutual favors. How do we cut through all that clutter to select an LNC that can work with each other and do something useful? And even if I knew how to cut through it for my own benefit, how would I prevail on the rest of the delegates to agree?

  12. paulie

    Does anybody know anything about who is running for what LNC positions?

    Many of those decisions will get made between now and the convention, or at it..

  13. paulie

    Hopefully George Phillies will run and get on the LNC, especially after this and after the way Johnson wasted money.

    Whether Johnson wasted money or not depends on whom you believe. Seemed to me like they delivered reasonable amount of materials to hand out, social media, candidate appearances and interviews, downticket endorsements, yard signs, youtube clips (although I would have preferred broadcast-length and available early in the campaign), etc., for the amount of money they had.

    I’ve recommended that Phillies run for regional or at large. He could get elected to something like that, far more easily than say Chair or Treasurer. He may have other priorities, although I don’t know if a final decision was made.

  14. paulie

    Actually, I hired Darryl Bonner to work in New York in 2012, having worked with him before in 2010. Scott Kohlhaas was not involved in any way. Bill Redpath was obviously consulted and advised of my decision, but it was mine not his to make and I not he made it.

    Darryl certainly did not have a monopoly here. I would be foolish to depend on one petitioner, so instead I hired approximately a dozen other paid petitioners, plus we generated over 5000 volunteer sigs.in just six weeks both in 2010 and 2012.

    Regarding fees, nobody negotiates a lower rate, nor gets more bang for the buck, than I do. I ran two statewide petitioning efforts in 2010 (Warren Redlich slate-34,000 sigs) and in 2012 (Johnson/Gray and Chris Edes for US Senate–25,000 sigs). The LNC contributed $25K to each of those successful efforts; the rest of the cost was raised locally. Unlike many other states, we understand what it means to have skin in the game.

    If a petitioner wants to work in New York, s/he better deliver. No one gets paid to waste money here. No one gets a monopoly. No one skims a penny from my state party.

    My apologies, I thought NY was Bonner monopoly also, I know PA was for sure, and I thought Darryl told me NY was “his exclusive deal” also, but maybe not. Perhaps it was the CP that he had a monopoly on there.

    Anyway, sounds to me like you are running it the right way and have a thing or two to teach other states. And more evidence that Bill is not the only one capabe of doing what he does.

    PA was certainly a cluster@##$ and some of us tried to warn people for months while it was happening, but no one listened. So the NY model (which is what we did for many years all over the country) seems more sound than what was tried in PA and Dakotas last year, or what was done in Oklahoma, etc.

  15. paulie

    Good questions, and while I do not know most of the answers I encourage multiple people to write with these questions to the list of LNC members at http://www.lp.org/lnc-leadership – each name links to an email address. If you do so, please include the alternates so I am copied as well. Many LNC members dislike George Phillies personally, so if multiple different people are asking these questions, they will be harder to deflect by attacking the person asking them. They will also be harder to deflect if you write a followup email or two if you haven’t received satisfactory (or most likely any) replies after a few days. It would also be worthwhile to consider the replies, or lack thereof, in deciding which LNC members if any you would vote to keep on the LNC next term if they choose to run again.

    paulie 415-690-6352

    So far I have received zero emails with anyone asking the LNC these or similar questions.

  16. paulie

    George lives in Mass. which is in Region 5N, currently well-represented by Rich Tomasso.

    They have no alternate at this time. That may be a good place to start if he actually wanted to be on LNC instead of an LNC officer campaign every two years that reliably gets about 5-10% of delegate votes.

    Also, regions change; I think Mass was in Rachel Hawkridge’s region and/or in no region at various points, but I’m not sure. I know our region has changed a lot over the years.

  17. Mark Axinn

    Paulie–

    Thank you. I did not mean to come across argumentative and apologize if I did.

    We take petitioning very seriously here, as we have consistently ran candidates without ballot status for 40 years. Just this year, we submitted 5000 sigs. to get eight candidates on the ballot in NYC, all funded locally or via volunteers.

    I do not know all the facts of everything that went wrong in Pennsylvania in 2012, but clusterfuck is an apt term. The biggest problem seems to be the lack of anyone at the helm coordinating the petitioning process. It started months late; petitions failed to have the year on them; no one would accept turn-ins, etc. etc.

    Pennsylvania really pulled it together when the Republicans challenged and did a superb job of salvaging the situation, but that was all post-petitioning.

  18. Mark Axinn

    >Also, regions change; I think Mass was in Rachel Hawkridge’s region and/or in no region at various points, but I’m not sure.

    Correct. Mass. has moved around, but as far as I can see, 5N is pretty cohesive right now. All of New England is together in one region which had not been the case before 2012.

  19. Mark Axinn

    But of course that doesn’t prevent George from running as a regional rep. or alternate. I have no idea if Rich wishes to continue after 2014 convention and there is, as you note currently 5N does not have an alternate.

  20. paulie

    I did not mean to come across argumentative and apologize if I did.

    You simply corrected an error on my part.

    I do not know all the facts of everything that went wrong in Pennsylvania in 2012, but clusterfuck is an apt term. The biggest problem seems to be the lack of anyone at the helm coordinating the petitioning process. It started months late; petitions failed to have the year on them; no one would accept turn-ins, etc. etc.

    Pennsylvania really pulled it together when the Republicans challenged and did a superb job of salvaging the situation, but that was all post-petitioning.

    The facts in addition to what you said

    1. There were experienced proven Libertarian petitioners who had worked PA before and were there because they live full time or part time with friends and family there, in some cases had petitioned for the LP there or in other states before, and did not need hotel pay because they lived with friends and family. They were spread throughout different parts of the state so could have helped local candidates qualify as well as could have worked high validity areas. They were all there during primary petitioning for Ron Paul and could have switched over to LP right after the last day to circulate for the primary which would be the first day to circulate for LP.

    2. Instead everyone was told that they had to go through Darryl if they wanted to work and Darryl was keeping a huge percentage of the money for himself. Naturally they declined. Meanwhile Darryl says he was not allowed extra money for motels to send his people to other parts of PA nor was he given extra money to hire people to check validity. Aside from refusing to go outside the Philly area, the people Darryl hired refused to go outside the ghetto parts of Philly because they were not comfortable working with any other type of public. And they quickly realized they were getting paid on all signatures regardless of validity or sloppiness (IE leaving years off dates, etc). So naturally most of the signatures were not valid. Some of them sub-sub contracted to various desperate addicts and street people willing to get even lower quality signatures at even lower rates.

    3. As the drive progressed, there were denials that the validity was as bad as some of us suspected. But it turned out that it was.

    4. At this point the LNC allocated more money to rescue the drive. Instead of hiring someone else to try a different approach or requiring Darryl to make up for the bad validity his hiring methods yielded, Darryl was just paid more money to get more of the same kinds of signatures using the same petitioners. In most industries, the consequences for delivering low quality shoddy product is not to send more money to the same contractor to deliver more of the same. Nor is it true that there were no alternatives; some of them were right there in PA working on CP and could have switched to LP. Some were working on LP petitions in nearby states.

    5. And, this was taking Darryl away from work elsewhere since he had moved on at that point. He told me how he was working with you in NY and had to drive his truck or take the train back and forth to Philly to take turn ins because no one from the party would do it.

    As for pulling it together post-petitioning, true, although it ate up a ton of time and money and also required help from out of state.

    I do not think the Republican challenge would have lasted nearly as long, and perhaps would never have even taken place, if the signatures were not such a sloppy mess to begin with.

  21. Wes Wagner

    Paulie

    I have a question for you to forward to the LNC:

    Why was everyone up in arms at getting involved in Oregon in 2011 to demand that we obey our bylaws (under their interpretation), when the LNC does not even bother to follow its own policy manual and believes there should be no consequences when they don’t?

    I would like to further qualify that what was done in Oregon was actually legal under state law, which trumps our bylaws, and had they hired a lawyer that actually talked to us, rather than violating the policy manual and spending $5000 in an unauthorized manner to hire the general counsel of the Oregon Republican Party to give them their opinions on the matter, they might have learned that.

    I know the answer, and it is because the LNC has shown itself to be composed of political hacks who concern themselves more about who wins which pissing match or gains control of which vote or delegation — and not about what is happening to donor’s money or that the office is run efficiently.

    My follow up question… can they give me one good reason why I should not end the existence of the LNC Inc as an ongoing concern?

  22. Wes Wagner

    I have sent the following to Starchild to send to the whole LNC:

    “In addition to the questions posed on IPR: http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/12/george-phillies-questions-for-the-libertarian-party-national-party-members-to-consider

    I have a couple other questions I would like the LNC to answer:

    Why was everyone up in arms and getting involved in Oregon in 2011 and demanding that we obey our bylaws (under your uninformed interpretation), when the LNC Inc does not even bother to follow its own policy manual and believes there should be no consequences when you don’t?

    I would like to further qualify that what was done in Oregon was actually legal under state law, which trumps our bylaws, and had you hired a lawyer that actually talked to us, rather than violating the policy manual and spending $5000 in an unauthorized manner to hire the general counsel of the Oregon Republican Party (who I am sure is going to give you a _great_ opinion) you might have learned that you were completely off base.

    I know the answer, and it is because the LNC has shown itself to be composed of political hacks who concern themselves more about who wins which pissing match or gains control of which vote or delegation — and not about what is happening to donor’s money or that the office is run efficiently. I faced the same problems in Oregon in 2005-2006 … which is why Burke and his board was detonated then. It is only natural that you would ally with the same ilk and continue the same behaviors.

    My follow up question… can you give me one good reason why I should not end the existence of the LNC Inc as an ongoing concern? (All my advisers in Oregon and a few of your board members are asking me why I haven’t pulled the trigger yet and that it is way overdue.)

  23. George Phillies

    Once upon a time, I was asked by the LNC to wrote a report for the LNC on ballot access spending. IIRC, this was for Badnarik’s campaign. I wrote the requested report. On several occasions, I have run for various offices.

  24. George Phillies

    Wes Wagner writes “…can you give me one good reason why I should not end the existence of the LNC Inc as an ongoing concern?…” Why do I predict that the LNC will not respond? The history of the last decade or so would appear to suggest what is being promised if the LNC does not respond effectively.

  25. Wes Wagner

    George

    Timeline wise, I was involved with the LPO for about 2 year before I got frustrated with the corruption and cronyism. From the time the conflict started it was only about a year and a half before the LPO leadership had been almost 100% recycled.

    Aaron Starr then sent two infiltrators in that he met at the conservative leadership conference (Justin Grover and Joe Cornwell). I decided to let them wear down themselves on Richard Burke for a couple years before finishing the job rather than deal with trying to rebuild a party that was being sabotaged still form the outside.

    The November convention in 2010 was intended as an olive branch.. but instead of attending and negotiating a framework under which mutual existence was possible, Mr Burke (and Mr Starr by proxy) wanted to reassert their domination of Oregon. This sealed the fate of Burke and all of his allies .. and I do mean all of them. ALL OF THEM. Each one of them, their time will come … regardless of what happens to the LNC and even if someone on the board grows a brain and figures out what they need to do to prevent what is about to happen.

    The LNC does not have an organization sitting above it just waiting around to give it material support to extend the conflict. I would anticipate it being over VERY quickly since they have no additional authorities to appeal to.

  26. John Bechtol

    That’s a lot of questions. Somebody(s) doesn’t know the subject. At this level of organization, the operational question is who knows the subject and who doesn’t.
    This translates to who can do the job and who can’t.

    A $33k discrepancy in a $38k transaction generally calls for an arrest or a lawsuit. But an issue of whether there is $33k discrepancy in a $38k transaction, reveals a much more serious condition. It reveals people who don’t know the difference between shoe-polish and sh**.

    If this conversation is at the level of the level of the x-comm, it should resign and replace itself with competent persons. If it is at the level of the membership, bad actors are at the helm of the organization, taking the party to mediocrity and defeat.

    The details are unimportant.

  27. paulie

    A sample of recent LNC conversations:


    ME:

    I think we are deluding ourselves if we believe the matter has been resolved to most people’s satisfaction. Take a look at the comments at http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/12/coverage-of-lnc-meeting-1214-1513/ …. yes, I know that not all of those commenting are LP members, but many are. I would also appreciate if the rest of you get a chance to fill in the gaps on anything and everything that I missed or reported incorrectly since a big chunk of the time I could not keep up. … As for the issues in the audit, I expect them to come up again during the convention, so I hope everyone is prepared for that.

    Dan Wiener:

    Paulie, I know you work very hard for Independent Political Report and I appreciate that. Nevertheless, I am not convinced that the comments posted on IPR by a handful of critics, not all of whom are LP members, are at all representative of “most people”.

    Me again:

    True, but many members are not paying close enough attention to know about it at all. Efforts to inform them will be made by some of those same critics and others between now and the convention, and at the convention.

    I would also caution against presuming that just because only a number of people speak up in IPR comments that others don’t also share their concerns. I am reasonably sure that many LP members are not aware that IPR exists, but some of them have been or will be made aware of these issues through other means, such as having articles forwarded to various email lists and facebook groups, Phillies’ newsletter that goes out to all past national convention delegates or those who become identified as delegates to the upcoming convention, as well as others who have expressed an interest in receiving it through various other venues. Others such as Aaron and various allies and proxies may choose to mail delegates or distribute one sided interpretations of these events at the convention. Michael Cloud may as well, for that matter.

    There are also other people who read IPR but choose not to comment because they don’t want to put their opinions out there or because they are too busy or because other people have already said what they want to say or because they don’t like the comment format etc. Our readership stats indicate a lot more people read IPR than comment.

    So, I can’t direct the LNC to join the PR battle, only ask that members individually do so, and that the committee allow us to enter more of the information into the public record. I realize that I may be a minority opinion on that. I hope I’m not, but given past discussions I probably am.

    DW:

    Nor is the quantity of repetitive posts from the same handful of critics, some of whom engage in vicious personal attacks and highly inaccurate allegations, indicative of a significant level of dissatisfaction among the general LP membership.

    Me II:

    The people who comment, especially frequently, are probably among the more vitriolic ones. That’s the nature of internet debates almost everywhere. But the discussion are read by others and get promulgated in various fora and various ways. Others, operating in a one sided or incomplete information atmosphere, draw their own conclusions, which they may not feel compared to share in IPR comments. Perhaps a less one sided selection of views would help inform their opinions?

    DW:

    As you said, it’s possible that the audit issues will come up again during the convention. And it’s possible that the convention will substantially alter the makeup of the LNC for that or any other reasons. Or not. That’s the process, and I’m quite content for it to play out in whatever manner it does. In the meantime I will continue to make my own judgments to the best of my ability.

    I think the LNC has now performed its due diligence, and that it’s time to move on.

    Dan Wiener

    Me III:

    Duly noted. I don’t agree, but I understand that probably more people [I meant on LNC] agree with you than with me. I don’t know that for a fact though, so I feel compelled to ask. Even if most LNC members feel the issue is over and dealt with, I would like to have it on the record, to whatever extent we can, who does or does not agree that it is.

    paulie

    On Dec 19, 2013, at 5:03 PM, Starchild wrote:

    > Paulie,
    >
    > I think we’ve addressed everything except the payments to Michael Cloud, but that remains a glaring omission. I don’t know whether members would support a motion for him to repay a lower figure than proposal for repayment of $33,000 out of $38,800 that failed at the meeting, but I agree it is worth finding out.
    >
    > Straw poll of those who voted against the motion at the meeting (everyone except Dianna Visek, Sam Goldstein, Scott Lieberman, and myself): Which of the following reflects your position?
    >
    > (a) I would support a motion for Michael Cloud to repay a figure lower than $33,000 to the party (if so, input on what you think would be a fair amount would be helpful)
    > (b) I do not think Michael Cloud should be required to repay any of the money
    >
    > Based on the fact that four of us voted to require repayment of $33,000, I’m guessing we have the necessary co-sponsors to bring a proposal for repayment of a lesser amount to an email ballot, so your responses here can potentially save us some time on this.
    >
    > Love & Liberty,
    > ((( starchild )))
    > At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

    Starchild

    2:32 AM (8 hours ago)

    to LNC, lpusmisc, Joseph, LP, Aaron, LP, Grassroots
    Two members of the LNC have given me feedback on this:

    (1) Vicki Kirkland is open to supporting a motion to repay a lower amount, although is also sympathetic to arguments to move on.

    (2) Tim Hagen is disinclined to support any motion requiring repayment unless it were really clear that Michael Cloud didn’t earn the money (given the thoroughness of the Audit Committee’s analysis, I’m not sure what hypothetical proof would satisfy him, but perhaps he can speak to that).

    Vicki and Tim, if I’m getting your positions at all wrong here, please jump in and correct me. I would still prefer you and others to post your thoughts directly, so nothing gets lost in translation.

    For the rest of you who voted at our Dallas meeting against requiring Michael Cloud to repay the LP $33,800 out of the $38,800 he was paid in the transactions identified as problematic by the Audit Committee (Cloud, Mark Hinkle, Gary Johnson, Jim Lark, Norm Olsen, Bill Redpath, Rich Tomasso, Arvin Vohra, Dan Wiener), or abstained (Geoff Neale), and haven’t weighed in yet, your responses to the straw poll question below would be appreciated when you have time (I do realize it’s close to Christmas and some may be extra busy).

    If, as Geoff Neale suggested might be the case for some of you, the issue was not the repayment amount but the wording of Dianna Visek’s motion, please indicate what wording you had a problem with (and any ideas you may have for alternate language).

    Love & Liberty,
    ((( starchild )))
    At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

    P.S. – For anyone wanting to review it again, the language of Dianna’s motion can be found here — http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/12/aaron-starr-recap-of-the-lncs-decisions-regarding-the-audit-committee-findings

    Geoffrey Neale

    9:53 AM (1 hour ago)

    to lnc-discuss

    Starchild – I will bite, because I feel that someone has to. I cannot even give you a position for a straw poll on the motion as to the amount of reimbursement, without consideration of the specific language of the motion itself.

    I have “issues” with several of the clauses of the motion, as follows:

    Whereas, the Party, in keeping with Mr. Cloud’s commitment on July 15, 2012 to provide services at “Walmart rates, rather than Neiman Marcus” rates, finds it reasonable to set a rate of pay at the lower end of the range for a freelance writer;

    Since the findings of the audit indicate that Mr. Cloud provided both the writing of articles, press releases, etc, which could reasonably be attributed as copywriting, but also wrote fundraising letters and emails, which is a particular skill that is not routinely performed by low-end copywriters, I do not find it undeniably reasonable to set the pay rate at the low end of a freelance writer. I think it’s clear that Mr. Cloud provided both services, which characteristically are not billed in the same manner or at the same rate. By lumping both activities into a single category, it is just as reasonable to determine that the rate should be set at the level of the higher billable activity. This is actually the norm for independent contractors in most industries when billing at an hourly rate.

    Resolved, That the Libertarian National Committee finds that Mr. Cloud performed no more than 100 hours of work as a vendor at a fair rate of $50 per hour (or $5,000 total);

    Mr. Cloud was not required to submit, nor did submit, any record of the hours involved in producing his work product. Therefore, to call the 100 hours number a finding is even sloppier than the activities and records of the work performed by Mr. Cloud. This is a guess, not a finding. There is no substantiation, just supposition.

    On the motion as a whole: I wonder whether this motion was crafted to pass, or to fail.

    Geoffrey Neale

    PS: This is not my entire opinion on the issue at hand, or a judgment on the intent of the motion – just the two most obvious problems I have with the language of the motion.

  28. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m a little perplexed by Dan Wiener’s comments. Who is making these” viscious, personal attacks”? I mentioned him by name, saying that I was disappointed in his vote and wish we could replace him at the next convention. Is that a “viscious, personal attack”? I guess it doesn’t matter, because I meant what I said and would probably say it again given the same type of vote. Generally, have we been making those kind of comments? I don’t think any of us have been out of line in our comments.

  29. David Colborne

    Wait – what was Cloud required to submit for payment if not hours worked? Apparently he wasn’t required to send invoices with any details whatsoever, nor was he required to type out his own work without using LP staff time and personnel to complete his work.

    Personally, I’m inclined to write my regional rep and ask him politely but firmly to lobby for the cancellation of whatever contract is currently in place with Mr. Cloud and seek any and all legal remedies available to recover every last dime – all $38,800 – from this person. Just because someone sends you an invoice doesn’t mean you’re legally required to pay, after all – they actually have to produce work and tell you what work they produced.

  30. paulie

    Wait – what was Cloud required to submit for payment if not hours worked?

    He was paid on a combination of commission (on fundraising) and piece rate (on blog posts, press releases, etc). None of his billing or payment was by the hour.

    Personally, I’m inclined to write my regional rep and ask him politely but firmly to lobby for the cancellation of whatever contract is currently in place with Mr. Cloud

    There is no contract currently with Michael Cloud and hasn’t been in some time. Basically, Carla used his services when she was ED because she works better as part of a team with him than she does by herself. Wes has a similar collaborative relationship with Art DiBianca.

    and seek any and all legal remedies available to recover every last dime – all $38,800 – from this person

    Well, your regional reps are Brett (you can see his vote on this and related matters and ask him what he would think of introducing and/or voting on new resolutions pertaining to this) and Dan Wiener (you have his opinion above, but you can still write him). I’m not sure how exactly your region agreement works, but Brett has primary responsibility for states that are not CA, Wiener has primary responsibility for CA, but both are to some degree answerable to both parts of the region. There’s also the alternates – Scott Lieberman who frequently speaks up and shows up, and sometimes votes if both Brett and Dan are not there (as well as on the email list whether he is superseded or not), and Audrey Capozzi who rarely does any of that.

    Just because someone sends you an invoice doesn’t mean you’re legally required to pay, after all – they actually have to produce work and tell you what work they produced.

    He did produce an inventory of what all he produced. The only problem is there were several such inventories and they did not agree on all the details. However they all end with Cloud generously writing off some of the bill, as he calculates it, which is how it ends up being an even number.

  31. paulie

    Once upon a time, I was asked by the LNC to wrote a report for the LNC on ballot access spending. IIRC, this was for Badnarik’s campaign. I wrote the requested report. On several occasions, I have run for various offices.

    I don’t think anyone questioned that you have done Libertarian work.

    The suggestion that it might be useful for you to actually be on the LNC for a term has two parts:

    1. So that you get to see what it’s like from an LNC member’s perspective, which aids in making criticism of the LNC more in tune with what LNC members are up against in the future

    2. To give the people on LNC who really, really hate you a bit more to chew on.

    You might aso be able to advance some of your ideas on how the party should be run more effectively as an LNC member. Or at least get to experience the frustration of how and why it is not.

    The question of whether you have ever been on LNC is a legitimate one, and should not be interpreted to imply a criticism.

    I understand there may be a conflict between serving on LNC and publishing your paper?

  32. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I didn’t mean anything by the question, either. I didn’t know if George had personal experience, that’s all.

    Hey, I’ve never neen on the LNC and have no desire to, but that doesn’t stop me from asking questions or having opinions about what goes on. Phillies knows what’s going on, though, better than most of us.

    I’m sorry if the question seemed rude.

  33. Stewart Flood

    As someone who does not have a representative on the LNC to complain to, my guess is that I’m one of the “vitriolic ones” that are being referred to above.

    Note that I *voted for Mr Cloud at the convention, so I should not automatically be lumped in a group that would oppose him without having cause. I oppose him in this incident because he has failed in his fiduciary responsibility as a member of the board of the Libertarian National Committee.

    *South Carolina had two delegates and Mr Cloud received two votes for LNC at Large.

  34. George Phillies

    I was not at all offended by the question of whether I had ever been on the LNC. It’s a perfectly legitimate point. After all you young people can hardly be expected to remember what happened before you were born.
    (8^))

  35. paulie

    I’m sure you know who some of them are. Off the top of my head Redpath, Hinkle, Lark, and I’m sure there are quite a few others.

    After all you young people can hardly be expected to remember what happened before you were born.

    Well, I was born in May 1972, so the LP beat me by a few months…but I’m reasonably sure you were not on the LNC before May 1972 🙂

  36. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m 58. My husband is younger and all of my friends are, too, so I’m continuously shocked when I remember this age. I think having my child late and still having a youngun’ around helps me act and feel young.

    My only real physical problem is that my vision is so bad that I shouldn’t drive at night, unless I know where I’m going. Reading street signs at night just doesn’t happen anymore. THAT makes me feel old.

  37. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Not in my car, but I do in my Iphone. My feeling is that if I’m having so much trouble reading signs, maybe I should get the hint. It’s a good excuse to get someone else to drive, but I do when I need to.

  38. Shane

    Paul, you stated earlier that Redpath avoided certain petitioners. To be fair, and you know this as well, certain petitioners refused to be paid on the books and on more than one occasion demanded the LP take part in some scheme to pay them. Additionally, being libertarian to get a contract should not play a factor — being effective, easy to work with and market-priced should take precedent.

    I think we would all agree that libertarian petitioners are the most effective, but we should also agree that they can also be the most difficult to deal with.

    In choosing my contractors for other activities, I may pick the best but if they are a PITA to deal with, with few exceptions, they are gone regardless of how good they are.

    On all of this “no-bid” stuff, the LP is not the government and infrequently hands out large contracts. It is hard enough to find contractors that will work with the LP so demanding multiple bids for small jobs is not realistic. Should they have tested multiple copywriters instead of just Cloud? Probably.

    But the Cloud issue has less to do with the bidding process and is more related to a flawed contracting process.

    Thankfully, the LP is exempt from state registration requirements for fundraising or we would have faced significant fines for lacking a contract.

    On contracting, LP staff should use due diligence while avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. And as long as there is an agreement in place that establishes fees, protects the LP’s data and confidentiality, everything should be fine.

    If the LNC wastes time attempting to legislate all of this with policy manual rules, they’ll just be further binding the staff and eventually violating the policy themselves. It’s much better to pick a good ED and establish adequate oversight.

    I think we now have a good ED.

    While I take issue with Wes’ acumen on certain things, I do think he is honest — and that’s obviously wildly important. Another extremely important trait for an ED is courage. All ED’s face pressure from certain folks to bend the rules and align the stars.

    Past ED’s (not me), have been directly threatened when they refused to comply with unethical scheMe’s.

    While it seems like I’m rambling. I’m actually going to try and tie things together.

    The LP’s ED needs to have freedom to work without ridiculous LNC rules created to fix every problem. The Cloud/Howell incident was a failure of judgment and oversight. We don’t need new rules to fix future incidents. We’re libertarians so let’s try having faith coupled with vigilance (George’s speciality) in our elected and appointed leadership.

  39. George Phillies

    Perhaps we should also asked how past treasurers did not notice the sort of anomaly that was discussed in the final section of the report. It is rather glaring.

  40. paulie

    Paul, you stated earlier that Redpath avoided certain petitioners.

    I’m not sure if that was exactly what I said but let’s go with it.

    To be fair, and you know this as well, certain petitioners refused to be paid on the books and on more than one occasion demanded the LP take part in some scheme to pay them.

    Yes, I’m aware of that. But not all of the petitioners who were shown disfavor had that issue and at least in some people’s cases it has been resolved.

    Additionally, being libertarian to get a contract should not play a factor — being effective, easy to work with and market-priced should take precedent.

    I think it should be a factor. Libertarian petitioners generally work above and beyond the call of duty to insure good validity and to distribute (L)ibertarian information, and can answer questions more knowledgably than non-libertarian petitioners. Many do other outreach on their own as volunteers while petitioning, such as gathering contacts and inviting people to Libertarian meetings, at no extra charge.

    I think we would all agree that libertarian petitioners are the most effective, but we should also agree that they can also be the most difficult to deal with.

    I think a lot of the difficulty comes from getting jacked around and shown dispreference. I agree it leads to more of it, in a vicious cycle, but there’s no reason not to turn that around into a virtuous cycle.

    In choosing my contractors for other activities, I may pick the best but if they are a PITA to deal with, with few exceptions, they are gone regardless of how good they are.

    Fair enough.

    On all of this “no-bid” stuff, the LP is not the government and infrequently hands out large contracts. It is hard enough to find contractors that will work with the LP so demanding multiple bids for small jobs is not realistic. Should they have tested multiple copywriters instead of just Cloud? Probably.

    With petition deals, at least the larger jobs, there’s no reason to have a monopoly contractor at all. If it’s 500 signatures, then yes, it makes sense to send one person to do it.

    But the Cloud issue has less to do with the bidding process and is more related to a flawed contracting process.

    I think both.

    There was perhaps an assumption that no one else could do it or wanted to. But did we try to find out?

    If the LNC wastes time attempting to legislate all of this with policy manual rules, they’ll just be further binding the staff and eventually violating the policy themselves. It’s much better to pick a good ED and establish adequate oversight.

    I don’t think we are even close to following all the rules already in the policy manual, which makes me wonder why we have them. As for adding more, if we can’t follow the ones we already have, what good will it do? However, the ther side of that is that when voting on individual proposals for the policy manual what people are generally thinking of is that it sounds like a good idea…not whether it will be possible in practice to keep track of it along with everything else already in the policy manual and implemement all of it continuoulsy at the same time.

    I think we now have a good ED.

    So do I, and I think he’ll be even better with Art DiBianca back on board.

  41. paulie

    I think he is referring to the part of the Audit Report that has still (as far as I know) not been declassified, although George has what is purported to be a leaked copy. It is possible that it is, although I can’t confirm or deny it.

  42. Andy

    “To be fair, and you know this as well, certain petitioners refused to be paid on the books and on more than one occasion demanded the LP take part in some scheme to pay them.”

    This is a COMPLETE LIE. Nobody ever demanded such a thing.

  43. Andy

    “On all of this ‘no-bid’ stuff, the LP is not the government and infrequently hands out large contracts. It is hard enough to find contractors that will work with the LP so demanding multiple bids for small jobs is not realistic.”

    This is also complete bullshit, and the person who said this nonsensical statement obviously knows nothing about ballot access, and more specifically, knows nothing about how LP ballot access had functioned from 1971 up until late 2011, when Bill Redpath broke years of time tested standard operating in regard to LP ballot access, and handed out some sweetheart monopoly deals to NON-Libertarians who pocketed lots of money and did a crappy job (see Oklahoma and Pennsylvania for two such examples).

    The Libertarian Party had NEVER done this in the past, and for good reason, because it leads to abuse of the deals and crappy results.

    So in the last election cycle as of the latter half of 2011-2012, there were a few NON-Libertarians who pocketed a LOT of money for producing garbage results.

  44. George Phillies

    @ 10:01 PM. I seem to recall a gentleman who declined to supply Social Security Number or TIN, and claimed it was not legally necessary. I believe that is th topic under consideration. I offer no opinion on the assertions.

  45. Matt Cholko

    I’m not going to search back through all these comments to find the exact statements, so I apologize in advance for the paraphrasing.

    Paulie said something like – There are a couple dozen people pulling in different directions on the LNC. So, Paulie, and everyone else, do you think it would be helpful to have a smaller LNC? Maybe we could eliminate an at-large position, and reduce the number of regions, or something like that. Note that I’m not asking about the practicality of doing this. Maybe I’ll ask that later. Right now, I’m just trying to get a sense of whether anyone see this as a good idea.

    Shane said something about having faith in our ED, and remaining vigilant. I agree with this sentiment. While I see the vigilance, and appreciate it, I’m wondering, where is the faith part? We’re talking about Carla Howell and Michael Cloud. Do we really think they fucked the LP? Do we really want our staff to be afraid of making deals without a stack of paperwork?

  46. Andy

    “Additionally, being libertarian to get a contract should not play a factor — being effective, easy to work with and market-priced should take precedent.”

    Wow, another foolish statement. The Libertarian Party should have Libertarians working in as many capacities in the party as possible, be it office staffers, campaign managers, web designers, and ballot access petitioners (who are the people who do the most in person interacting with the public). Non-Libertarians should only be hired when enough actual Libertarians can not be found to get a job done.

    Hiring non-Libertarians to do Libertarian jobs, particularly jobs that include outreach to the public, would be like if the Mormon Church sent non-Mormons out in public to preach the Mormon gospel and try to get people to convert to the Mormon religion. The Mormon Church does not send out Catholics, Baptists, Jews, Muslims, or atheists to do this type of work, they sent out actual Mormons.

    There are enough Libertarians in this country to where most of the work that the Libertarian Party needs to be done – if not all of the work that the Libertarian Party needs to be done – could be done by actual Libertarians.

  47. paulie

    Secretary and Treasurer should not be voting positions. We need people in these positions who will keep the best records and books/financials, without worrying about where their votes will push LNC factional disputes.

    Reduce regions to maybe four – say SE, NE, midwest and west.

    Plus maybe three at large.

    8 votes, plus chair as tiebreaker. With alternates a total of 13 on LNC, just under half of what we have now.

    It would make for a lot less BS, I think. I didn’t used to think so til I tried being on LNC.

  48. paulie

    Actually to take this one step further, the Chair and Vice Chair would not be voting either. The Chair would be strictly a parliamentarian and discussion facilitator, and the vice chair would just be an alternate for the chair. So only 7 votes, like the Executive Committee of the LNC now has.

  49. Andy

    The Libertarian Party already tried running non-libertarians as candidates on its 2008 Presidential ticket. Didn’t work out to well. Now both are back in the Republican Party where they both endorsed Mitt Romney for President.

  50. Andy

    ” Didn’t work out too well.”

    Where are all of the Bob Barr Libertarians anyway? Sounds like a mythical creature, much like the Ronald Reagan Libertarians Wayne Root used to talk about a lot.

  51. Andy

    Remember during the 2012 primary season Bob Barr said that Libertarians should go out and vote for Newt Gingrich, because Newt knows how to get things done. Never mind whether or not Newt gets anything done that is actually libertarian. Hey, didn’t Mussolini get the trains to run on time?

    How many of you Bob Barr Libertarians out there went out and cast your vote for that great champion of individual liberty, Newt Gingrich, in the Republican primaries last year?

  52. Andy

    “George Phillies December 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm
    @ 10:01 PM. I seem to recall a gentleman who declined to supply Social Security Number or TIN, and claimed it was not legally necessary. I believe that is th topic under consideration. I offer no opinion on the assertions.”

    This is not the same thing as “working off the books.” If anyone bothers to take the time to read the actual code sections, or to examine the court rulings on the subject, they would know that it is perfectly legal for a person to decline to give a Social Security Number (or to even have an SSN), and that if any individual who decides to exercise their right to decline to provide a Social Security Number signs a document which states that they were asked for a Social Security Number, but as an American citizens they were exercising their right to not give one, that it indemnifies the body paying said individual of any liability (of which is a mere $50 fine, so they do not have to pay the fine if the individual signs a statement that they were asked for an SSN, but declined to provide one).

    The individual in question in the example given above did in fact agree to sign such a document, and in fact did sign one, and in fact went so far as to have it notarized. There was no

    All of this was perfectly legal, and was in fact going to be put “on the books.”

  53. Joe

    Paulie,

    THANKS for serving on the LNC. You’re like a canary in a cage for a lot of us watching what’s happening. Or like an astronaut on the moon without television (so, Apollo 12). Your descriptions of your experiences there are, at least for me, nearly priceless.

    In this season of gratitude expression, I say THANK YOU.

    joe

  54. paulie

    Thanks!

    Joe already did but anyone else who also appreciates my LNC work please show your appreciation via paypal to travellingcircus@gmail.com (note two Ls in travelling) or email same adress to discuss other contribution options 🙂

    Being on LNC is frigging expensive…and yes, I am in favor of moving to online/phone meetings.

  55. Andy

    “paulie December 24, 2013 at 12:50 am
    Thanks!

    Joe already did but anyone else who also appreciates my LNC work please show your appreciation via paypal to travellingcircus@gmail.com (note two Ls in travelling) or email same address to discuss other contribution options 🙂 ”

    I think that Paul would also be willing to accept donations in Bitcoins, Litecoins, gold, or silver.

    “Being on LNC is frigging expensive…and yes, I am in favor of moving to online/phone.”

    Yes, me too. However, it should be pointed out that as an LNC alternate that Paul only has to attend LNC meetings if he knows that the person for whom he is an alternate is not going to be there. If his region rep is there, than he does not really need to attend the meetings.

  56. Andy

    ” (of which is a mere $50 fine, so they do not have to pay the fine if the individual signs a statement that they were asked for an SSN, but declined to provide one). ”

    Oh yeah, and this even assumes that the $50 fine even gets levied at all, which is not really that likely to happen, but even on the off chance that it did, if the individual in question submits a signed affidavit that says that they were asked for an SSN, but that as an American, they were declining to give one, that the entity paying said individual can submit the affidavit as proof that they asked the individual for an SSN, but that said individual declined to provide one, the entity is then relieved of any liability.

  57. paulie

    I think that Paul would also be willing to accept donations in Bitcoins, Litecoins, gold, or silver.

    Yes, as well as FRNs, Euros, platinum and titanium.

  58. Andy

    “paulie December 24, 2013 at 1:22 am
    As far as not needing to travel to meetings…true, but I feel compelled to do it, and how else would I liveblog them?”

    You’d have a lot more money right now if you uncompelled yourself to attend all of the meetings.

  59. Matt Cholko

    What exactly would need to happen in order to allow and/or require some of the LNC meetings to take place online/remotely/virtually/whatever language you want to use for this?

    I understand that its a bylaws thing, but I don’t want to do the research into exactly what bylaws changes would need to be made. So, if someone here knows, please share that info.

  60. George Phillies

    Whether not supplying an SSN is the same as working off the books, whatever that meant is irrelevant. I was identifying the incident in question, which could have been described differently, and you agree as to which incident was meant. Whether the claims were correct or not does not matter for this identification.

  61. Mark Axinn

    On the issue of the Chair voting, I have chaired LPNY since Spring 2010 with monthly meetings by teleconference and have yet to vote on anything.

    Our rules allow me to vote only when it will effect the outcome (create or break a tie), and we have never had a vote that close to require me to be the decision-maker.

  62. paulie

    You’d have a lot more money right now if you uncompelled yourself to attend all of the meetings.

    No kidding. I think I’ll find that easier oonce I’m off LNC. Unfortunately that will mean someone else, or no one, will have to cover the meetings, but the marketplace has spoken: there’s demand, but not enough to cover the cost.

    There’s only one meeting left other then the convention, so we’ll see what happens. If I’m still in Alabama then I’l probably go since it’s not very far away, Charlotte.

  63. paulie

    Matt: See Article 13 in the bylaws. LNC has more than ten members. There’s also another bylaw about the LNC meeting at a “time and place” and I recall Geoff saying that online or on the phone is not a “time and place,” which I think could be appealed if it weren’t for Article 13.

    https://www.lp.org/files/2012%20LP%20Bylaws%20and%20Convention%20Rules%20w%202012%20JC%20Rules.pdf copy and paste is acting strangely, so you’ll have to look if you wan to see the language.

  64. paulie

    The thing about the chair voting may have just been a brainfart. Nothing against Geoff or any other individual chair voting, though I prefer Mark’s model. But if we are trying to get the committee down to a more manageable size that may be one way to cut things down. I think Chair voting only in the case of a tie, and 7 votes normally, may be reasonable. There could still be ties if not everyone is there or not everyone votes.

  65. Jill Pyeatt

    Why should we bother? Does anyone really expect answers from anyone? I’ve written to LNC members, and I haven’t even received acknowledgement, most recently to Lee Wrights.

  66. paulie

    I think if enough people write the LNC will get a sense that people are wondering about these things.

    It would have more of an effect if it was a lot of people and if they wrote followup emails.

    IPR comments are much more easily dismissed than emails.

    Phone calls or better yet in person questions are better than emails but most LNC members don’t make their phone numbers public.

    I suppose someone could get the list of convention delegates (public info on request from LPHQ) and cull snail mail addresses of current LNC members from that, but if hardly anyone is even sending emails, I don’t think that is likely.

    I did get my first email on this now, from Joe Wendt, but it was only sent to Vicki Kirkland and me – I’m not sure if other copies went to anyone else.

  67. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt December 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm
    Why should we bother? Does anyone really expect answers from anyone? I’ve written to LNC members, and I haven’t even received acknowledgement, most recently to Lee Wrights.”

    Sadly, I’m not surprised. The only LNC members of which I’m aware of who regularly respond to inquiries are Starchild and Paul.

    Perhaps there should be some type of requirement for LNC members to respond to party members, and if they fail to respond, they get removed from office and are prohibited from ever seeking re-election. Now I know some people will say, “They don’t have time to address every stupid question or suggestion that they receive,” so perhaps there should be some kind of barometer for a response. Say if one member asks a question or makes a suggestion, the LNC member has a choice of whether to respond or not respond. If they do not respond, it gets documented that they failed to respond to whatever the question or suggestion or comment is, but no action is taken against them. However, if the person who sent the communication to the LNC gets a certain number of party members to sign a petition (which could be in an on-line or a hand written format), then said LNC members should have to respond, and if they do not, they automatically get removed from office and are prohibited from ever holding office again in the party.

  68. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    The reason I wrote to Lee wasn’t even to complain. I couldn’t find anyone at the LP office to help me with my article about the Libertarians who won in the November 5 election, and I wrote Lee to ask if he kniew if anyone was tracking it. That’s the email that wasn’t acknowledged.

  69. paulie

    The reason I wrote to Lee wasn’t even to complain. I couldn’t find anyone at the LP office to help me with my article about the Libertarians who won in the November 5 election, and I wrote Lee to ask if he kniew if anyone was tracking it. That’s the email that wasn’t acknowledged.

    Things fall through the cracks with individual LNC volunteers, or even staff.

    I recommend keeping a BCC: file with all LNC members and alternates in it (easy to put together, easier to reuse once you have it) and emailing staff@lp.org with questions such as those as well. Then following up a few days later if no one replies.

  70. paulie

    Just sent another e-mail to other LNC members I forgot to include in the previous e-mail.

    Thanks. It will take a bunch of people doing it, and following up, to register an impact.

  71. Andy

    “paulie December 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm
    Write chuck@moulton.org, perhaps bylaws committee will consider it.”

    Chuck frequently posts on this site, so there’s a good chance that he will read it here. If he doesn’t, then I’d imagine that somebody else who is on the committee, or who knows somebody on the committee, will read the post, and if anyone believes that it is a worthwhile idea, it will get passed along.

    I have a real problem with people who are supposedly elected to represent people, but then failing to respond when contacted by somebody whom they are supposed to represent. This reminds me of Bob Schulz and the We The People organization ( http://www.givemeliberty.org ) that he started and their battles with the government over the government’s failure to respond to the petitions for a redress of grievances that they started over several issues of government malfeasance.

    The failure of elected representatives to respond is not acceptable in government, and it should not be acceptable in the Libertarian Party either.

  72. paulie

    Chuck frequently posts on this site,

    Less frequently since the layout changeover, and he doesn’t read every thread.

    so there’s a good chance that he will read it here. If he doesn’t, then I’d imagine that somebody else who is on the committee, or who knows somebody on the committee, will read the post, and if anyone believes that it is a worthwhile idea, it will get passed along.

    If bylaws committee is anything like LNC, few people even write them with their own ideas, much less anyone else’s. And I would not guarantee that they will see it here or that someone will pass it along. Any time you have anything you think they should consider the most guaranteed way to know they will see it is to email Chuck.

    I have a real problem with people who are supposedly elected to represent people, but then failing to respond when contacted by somebody whom they are supposed to represent.

    I wish people were more responsive as well, but even I have had times when I have failed to respond.

    The other side of the equation is that a lot of people complain on IPR but do not take a few seconds to email the LNC or bylaws committee.

  73. Marc Montoni

    I agree with the non-response auto-removal requirement.

    I would also favor requiring LNC members to disclose three methods of direct contact: 1) Postal mailing address, 2) phone, and 3) email.

    Up until three or four years ago, having ways for your constituents to contact you was a given. The Lieberman, Starr, and others started whining that their information was “private” and that allowing the hoi polloi to contact them at all threatened their right to privacy.

    I used to publish contact information for all LNC members in Virginia Liberty. See page 6 of the last issue I published.

    If LNC members are so obsessed with running under the radar, then they should resign.

  74. Andy

    Marc Montoni said: “If LNC members are so obsessed with running under the radar, then they should resign.”

    BINGO!

  75. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m sorry to hear you’re still feeling a bit funky, Paulie. Maybe spending time at your sister’s will perk you up.

  76. paulie

    I agree LNC members should make their contact info public.

    For myself, phone and email works, but I don’t have a snail mail address that reliably reaches me. I can have stuff go to my parents’ house or the LP of Alabama office, but then I may not see it for months or years or they may throw it out. Or I could be gone from whatever motel I was staying at or whosever couch I was crashing on by the time it arrives, and motels aren’t big on forwardig mail; you’re lucky if they give it to you while you are there.

    Off to eat, drink and pretend to be merry with family…..talk to you all later 🙂

  77. Marc Montoni

    Of course there should be accommodation for people with ‘transient’ lifestyles like you, Paulie. I like what you’ve said and done as an LNC member during this term, and yes I know how frustrating it must be.

    There’s always services like “Outbox”, too. In fact for $4.99/mo., you might want to consider it anyway, Paulie.

  78. Michael H. Wilson

    I have no idea who takes customer comments on this site but it would be nice to have these replies numbered. I read part of this thread earlier but had to leave, now I hope to finish the thread but finding exactly where I left off is a bit of a challenge which would be less of one if the replies were numbered. Thank you. I do appreciate the work you do here.

  79. Marc Montoni

    Michael, if I had my druthers, the ‘upgrade’ to the WordPress software that runs this site would be rolled back. I don’t know what it is with software engineers that they add features no one asked for, and delete features most people found useful.

  80. Shane

    Rather than writing the LNC to be ignored, it’s time to bypass the LNC and go to the delegates. Any member can request the list of previous delegates along with any new delegate lists as they are compiled.

    Typically that is only postal info and most folks don’t want to hassle with postal mailings.

    If we can come to an agreement on how we want the LNC restructured, I would be willing to phone and email match the delegate list then setup all channels to hit them hard to vote for real change at the convention.

    Who is in favor of a “Clean House” initiative? Whoever is in favor, I’ll host some conference calls to discuss, plan then we can execute.

    In the meantime, Merry Christmas my friends.

  81. George Phillies

    The comments here are numbered in order, albeit differently. For example, all of you should see that my last message was December 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm, unless wordpress does something original with the time.

  82. Marc Montoni

    Shane while I share your desire for some fairly radical changes, I don’t believe contacting the delegates will be particularly productive.

    And I say that even though I am not enamored of the Bylaws Committee being the gatekeeper of bylaws changes.

    The 2008 convention bylaws session was so packed full of garbage from the bylaws committee that the clock was run out with no chance of any needed reforms coming from the floor.

    The 2012 convention had much the same problem. What I saw were “too clever by half” ideas that looked like they were just cheap window-dressing that was intended to cement the position of the reformer/pay-to-play faction on the LNC. Many delegates were almost seething with distrust of what the committee brought forth. Karlan felt it and as a result quit in the middle of it.

    That said, I am trying again to put ideas in for consideration by the bylaws committee. There are some returning people who desperately need to be retired, but there are also some new faces. And who knows — maybe the palpable anger at the more manipulative suggestions of the bylaws committee in 2012 served as a lesson to the returning actors.

    I hold out no hope for Wiener or Starr to behave any less like factional hacks, but maybe some others have been humbled enough that they will stop with the BS and try to accomplish something useful.

    Send your ideas to Chuck. He will forward them along to the rest of the committee. Here is the list of people on the committee.

  83. Stewart Flood

    I wouldn’t normally be one to defend Mr Wrights, but isn’t it possible that he never saw the email message?

    Demanding that LNC members return every email is not only impractical, but is actually insulting. Everyone in this party, at every level, is a volunteer. Our LNC representatives are not *paid. I remember getting sometimes dozens of messages a day from members of my region, as well as from others outside. While I frequently responded to everyone, I am sure that I missed some — as Mr Wrights has done in this case. I also recall several members who would send rambling and insane missives (over things like floridated water mind control) that made no sense to respond to.

    Remember that LNC member who promised last year to give us complete transparency by forwarding email from LNC discuss? He forwards them, but they come in spurts, usually running four or five months behind. I just got a batch dated from June and July.

    Did he fail in a campaign promise or a “required duty” of the office? Of course not. He’s probably just too busy to get to it every day…week…month…whatever. This isn’t meant as an insult. Being on the LNC is not an easy job.

    Making the LNC smaller by reducing the number of regions would only serve to eliminate representation for many of the smaller states. It would also make it much easier for EITHER faction (or some new faction that may arise) to control the board! Would you rather have Mr Starr control the strings of five members on a board of eighteen or five of a board of nine? I’d rather it were five members on a board of twenty or twenty five.

    The board is not too large, it is just slightly too small. I’d recommend ELIMINATING the ability to build multiple representative regions and setting the requirement for building a region to 8% or possibly 7%. That would mean that the largest few states would be able to have their own representative (singular) and that smaller groups of states could have representation without being a fly on the wall in a very large region.

    During my first term as a representative (second term on the LNC) I represented a region of eight states (or was it nine???), representing more than seventeen percent of the membership. That should have been three regions. Communicating with everyone — or even trying to attend every state’s conventions — was impossible!

    * Excluding Mr Cloud, who some would argue was significantly overpaid.

  84. George Phillies

    In my opinion, there needs to be a redirection, of a sort that sounds challenging to put into Bylaws., The alternative to what I am proposing is the Carver (iirc) model, which gives us 18 Admirals for a fleet of six ships. However, unlike the Chief of Naval Operations, who during the terror attack on the Pentagon was seen wielding a fire hose handed him by a Chief Petty Officer, our Admirals are reluctant to dirty their hands. If the LNC had members who realized that they were there to do a significant amount of work for the LNC, and were supposed to assemble of working groups of volunteers to help them, we would be better off. LNC members who are also state party leaders and do not have the time are problematic, as witness the current situation in New Hampshire.

  85. Michael H. Wilson

    Okay, I am probably going to piss someone off. Cleaning house will not do a damn bit of good if the incoming people fall into the same habits as the present people.

    For what my opinion is worth, which probably ain’t very much, people need to understand the difference between leading and managing an organization. Yes oversight needs to be improved not just to catch errors but to know were the office needs help. More importantly while the LP has a defined goal it needs to be clear as to what course the party takes to get to that goal and that has not been the case. Then we need to use the necessary tools to move forward in that direction whether that is by electoral campaigns, initiatives, public relations or some other method.

  86. Stewart Flood

    I would agree that the members elected to serve on the LNC are there to do a significant amount of volunteer work. I believe that most of them realize this. The problem seems to be that rather than expanding the pool of volunteers to help, they appoint committees made up of many of the same group of people.

    Why are LNC members appointing themselves to the platform or bylaws committees? And why do we occasionally find an LNC member appointed to both committees at the same time?

    I would also agree that while you want to elect people to the LNC who have had previous experience in positions of leadership at the state level, they should not be holding current positions within their state. I will separate out membership on a state committee as a possible exception, since most state committees have a number of either at-large members or membership based either on a regional or county designation. But we should certainly not be electing state chairs or vice-chairs to the LNC.

    I was the vice-chair of our state party when I was elected as an alternate for our region in 2006. It was extremely difficult to do both jobs at the same time. Alternates do not just sit and wait for a call saying the representative will not be attending a meeting. There is a lot of stuff to do.

  87. Stewart Flood

    Mr Wilson certainly did not “piss me off” with his comment. He’s right. This is a job of management. Unfortunately, the managers tend to appoint themselves to the committees that do the work!

    The only people who would be upset by his comments are those who want to do everything themselves. You can do that if you’re running the party in a small county where there are hardly any others to help. You can’t do that on the board of the national party.

  88. From Der Sidelines

    One question not asked in the original list:

    “Why did the LNC see fit to place Mr. Hinkle back on the LNC after the delegates decisively voted hm off the LNC at the previous convention? Is the LNC so arrogant as to disregard the will of the delegates that elected them and removed Mr. Hinkle? What is the justification for ignoring the membership?”

  89. George Phillies

    One more question, which is not leading, and on which I do not know the answer: With respect to the issue in the report in which there was an assertion that our FEC filer and compliance person did not have a problem with a certain procedure: Did the LNC confirm that their FEC filing person had in advance been aware of the procedure and approved of it?

  90. George Phillies

    Stewart’s remarks lead to an excellent Bylaws amendment, namely that no person may belong to more than one of the Platform, Bylaws, and Credentials committees, and no LNC member may belong to any of them.

  91. Joe

    Der Sidelines @ December 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm wrote:

    “Why did the LNC see fit to place Mr. Hinkle back on the LNC after the delegates decisively voted him off the LNC at the previous convention? Is the LNC so arrogant as to disregard the will of the delegates that elected them and removed Mr. Hinkle? What is the justification for ignoring the membership?”

    Hinkle was the next highest vote getter for an at large seat, so I believe the LNC, in this case, did try to follow the will of the delegates

    See:

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2012/05/new-libertarian-national-committee-2012-2014/

    Bill Redpath 230
    Michael Cloud 174
    Starchild 192
    Arvin Vohra 153
    Wayne Root 142

    . . .
    Those not making the cut:

    Pojunis 132 (elected a region rep)

    Hinkle 126 (initially listed as tied with Wes Wagner, but if memory serves, Wes Wagner’s vote total a typo)

    Chris Thrasher 123

    Rebecca Sink-Burris 111

    Joe Buchman 109

    Kevin Knedler 105

    Robert Murphy 77

    Roger Roots 62

    Bette Rose-Ryan 61

    Region Rep Stewart Flood 40

    Joshua Katz 35

    Sam Sloan 13

    Mike Fellows 7

  92. Joe

    I found the (apparently) corrected results at:

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2012/11/compilation-of-candidate-statements-for-open-at-large-position-on-the-lnc/

    Bill Redpath 230 (elected)
    Michael Cloud 174 (elected)
    Starchild 172 (elected)
    Arvin Vohra 153 (elected)
    Wayne Root 143 (elected)

    Brett Pojunis 131
    Mark Hinkle 126
    Chris Thrasher 123
    Rebecca Sink-Burris 111
    Joe Buchman 109
    Kevin Knedler 105
    Robert Murphy 77
    Roger Roots 62
    BetteRose Ryan 61
    Stewart Flood 40
    Joshua Katz 36
    Wes Wagner 23
    Sam Sloan 13
    Mike Fellows 7
    Eric Olsen 2
    NOTA 1

    Mary Ruwart (write-in) 1
    Emily Salvette (write-in) 1
    Boomer Shannon 1
    Betty Rosenberg 2

  93. David Colborne

    Stewart’s remarks lead to an excellent Bylaws amendment, namely that no person may belong to more than one of the Platform, Bylaws, and Credentials committees, and no LNC member may belong to any of them.

    This isn’t just brilliant to keep those inclined to LNC service from getting overwhelmed or to keep said committees from getting intellectually incestuous – it also would be a wonderful way to provide plenty of openings for others in the LP to get involved through and, just as importantly, force the national LP to actually reach out and find those people.

    Back to Paulie, who was kind enough to answer my questions earlier…

    He was paid on a combination of commission (on fundraising) and piece rate (on blog posts, press releases, etc). None of his billing or payment was by the hour.

    Fair enough. That’s not particularly uncommon – I’ve seen a fair amount of that in financial and fundraising circles.

    There is no contract currently with Michael Cloud and hasn’t been in some time. Basically, Carla used his services when she was ED because she works better as part of a team with him than she does by herself. Wes has a similar collaborative relationship with Art DiBianca.

    That’s also understandable. Most people have a small team that they’re comfortable working with on various projects.

    Well, your regional reps are Brett (you can see his vote on this and related matters and ask him what he would think of introducing and/or voting on new resolutions pertaining to this) and Dan Wiener (you have his opinion above, but you can still write him).

    Brett’s also on the Audit Committee. Sadly, we’ve both been a little busy focusing on Nevada to really have a good chat about this situation, though I use the word “sadly” somewhat facetiously. Given how much more fulfilling working at the state level is for both of us than gossiping about poorly documented payment rates to national LP “friends and family”, that discussion may get tabled for a while longer.

    He did produce an inventory of what all he produced. The only problem is there were several such inventories and they did not agree on all the details. However they all end with Cloud generously writing off some of the bill, as he calculates it, which is how it ends up being an even number.

    Thank you for posting the invoices. I definitely agree with the Audit Committee’s impression of the invoices as submitted to IPR, though, after looking over them and pondering the matter a bit, I think I better understand what’s going on.

    It basically looks like Carla wanted some help, Michael agreed to do so, and both agreed that he should get paid some “nominal” amount. So, they both came up with a “sounds good” payment system – he’d get some small percentage of whatever fundraising his efforts produced, in exchange for him providing Carla with a sounding board and some written material from time to time. Thinking nothing of it, neither party bothered to notify anyone of the details behind the arrangement, in no small part because neither party really knew the details themselves.

    Then came the first set of invoices. Thinking nothing of it, Carla instructed the staff and/or the LNC to submit payment; thinking nothing of that, they apparently did so. Then came the Audit Committee. Then came the other invoices while Michael and Carla tried to make up the details “on the fly” – the same details that, in a professional consulting relationship, would have been nailed down years ago. Details like…

    * What would the rate be? For what work?
    * What fundraising would he be paid commission against and how?
    * For what time period would he be paid commission against?

    And so on.

    In this context, the vote to effectively let him keep the money makes more sense – it’s not his fault that our Executive Director failed to fully think out the ramifications of the payment scheme she agreed to, and it’s not his fault that the LNC failed to do due diligence and look into the payment scheme until after the checks were written. Granted, it would have been nice if he helped everyone think those details through, but what’s done is done and, frankly, it wasn’t his job. Besides, there’s a decent chance that the LP may want to enlist Michael Cloud’s services in the future – demanding $30,000 back ASAP would not be conducive toward that.

    In hindsight, there’s a reason contracts like this are supposed to go to the LNC and to legal counsel; it’s their job to think these sorts of things through. Chances are, if the contract was submitted through the proper channels, he still would’ve been paid roughly the same – however, the LNC would probably have been responsible for providing him with detailed “residuals” (i.e. “Here’s our total receipts for each of the fundraising letters you submitted, here’s how much we can expect to make on these letters based on what we get from staff-written pieces, here’s your cut of the difference since you’re better at this than our interns”). Either way, it would have been far better documented and there wouldn’t be ill feeling among everyone involved, which really gets to the heart of the matter – doing things properly isn’t just in the best interests of the LP or the LNC. It’s also in the best interests of those that choose to do business with the LNC, to ensure that the next LNC or some Audit Committee or some watchdog doesn’t go combing through the books on their own time and demands answers to questions that nobody could be bothered to ask when the checks were written.

    What a mess.

  94. Chuck Moulton

    I still read IPR, but much less frequently. I also don’t read every single story and every single comment anymore. I only follow the interesting LP-related threads and sometimes I will go a few days without checking (when IPR threads are very active) or a couple weeks (when things are quiet).

    I’ve already beat the dead horse about how annoying the layout changes are, but I guess they’re here to stay, which means my being much less engaged with IPR is also here to stay. Lack of comment numbers makes things very hard to follow — as pretty much everyone has said over and over again. The mobile layout makes looking at IPR on the phone a huge annoying chore because the list of recent comments is at the end of each page rather than the beginning, requiring stupid tedious scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and scrolling every time I want to check if there are new comments. I pretty much have to click on a random story that has some comments but not very many in order to make scrolling to the bottom a little bit less of a chore. Warren has claimed IPR page views increased after the layout change… I’d bet money that is almost entirely attributable to the necessity of clicking lots more pages you don’t care about to get to relevant information. Apparently I’m in the minority in the mindset that it is retarded to add features no want wants and remove features everyone likes — standard operating procedure for IT types.

    But I digress…

  95. Chuck Moulton

    As for the 2014 LP bylaws committee (I serve as interim chair):

    Please email me bylaws proposal suggestions at chuck@moulton.org. I read suggestions in IPR comments, but I don’t write them all down. I figure people are brainstorming here and if they’re serious they will compose an email (perhaps fleshing the idea out a bit more in the process).

    I will forward suggestions to the bylaws committee. However, I’m doing that in batches… I wait a few weeks, send a bunch at once, repeat. That allows me to combine many random suggestions from an individual into one email, reducing the traffic a bit. I make no guarantees that committee members will read everything I forward. I read them all though. I think the more succinct and to the point suggestions are, the more likely they will get read and generate discussion. When I forward emailed ideas from others to the bylaws committee, I BCC the sender. If you haven’t gotten a BCCed email, that means I haven’t sent it along yet.

    It also bears mentioning that I’m forwarding along proposal suggestions to help with brainstorming, not mere debate or lobbying. My intent is to expand the conversation and help generate proposals for the committee to adopt or reject. I want to avoid being a relayer effectively facilitating debate participation on the email list from people not on the committee. There are time saving benefits to having a committee of 10 rather than a committee of 14,000. If all you seek is to add a “me too” or weigh in lobbying for or against an already submitted proposal, please contact committee members directly rather than asking me to act as an intermediary.

    Finally I’ll note that the bylaws committee has scheduled an in-person meeting on Friday, February 28 starting at 3 pm in Charlottle, NC (the day before the next LNC meeting).

    Observers are welcome to attend; however, much like LNC meetings observers should not expect to participate (they can talk to individual committee members, there will be an opportunity for public comment before the meeting, and in rare cases the committee may vote to allow a member of the gallery to address the committee). It would be great to have live bloggers there — I expect I’ll be too busy chairing the meeting to report contemporaneously for IPR, but if I am not elected the committee’s permanent chair at the beginning of the meeting then IPR reporting may be a consolation prize. The meeting will start at 3 pm to accommodate travelers from the west coast (e.g., Californians can get red eye flights and not need to take off work Thursday as well).

  96. Chuck Moulton

    Shane wrote (December 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm):

    If we can come to an agreement on how we want the LNC restructured, I would be willing to phone and email match the delegate list then setup all channels to hit them hard to vote for real change at the convention.

    Who is in favor of a “Clean House” initiative? Whoever is in favor, I’ll host some conference calls to discuss, plan then we can execute.

    It’s always a mixed bag. I find myself practically always agreeing with the votes, emails, and general conduct of some LNC members, while I find myself often disagreeing with those of others. A clean house can throw the baby out with the bath water.

    That said, the supposed 2012 convention vote of no confidence left much of the LNC the same — particularly regional representatives. A lot of it is business as usual. Lots of new blood and a clean house could be a very good thing. Though I don’t favor term limits (a maximum number of years that can be served in a position), I am a fan of rotation in office (limiting consecutive years in a position) — even exemplary LNC members should have a break off the committee every few terms.

    I think the demographics of the 2014 convention will likely favor the Rutherford/Starr faction. A campaign to throw everyone out will probably only reinforce such an outcome, with the Rutherford/Starr camp ignoring it for their guys and some radicals voting against everyone. (I say this as a 2008 casualty of a mostly unsuccessful “Clean House” initiative.)

    I’m interested in hearing more about the “Clean House” initiative. I don’t know whether I’d be in favor of it without more information.

    In any event, it’s very likely I’ll make information about LNC votes and attendance available to delegates again this year. (The only reason that’s not an absolute certainty is I have a hard dissertation deadline this spring which must take priority over everything else if I get crunched.)

  97. paulie

    Chuck

    It’s always a mixed bag. I find myself practically always agreeing with the votes, emails, and general conduct of some LNC members, while I find myself often disagreeing with those of others. A clean house can throw the baby out with the bath water.

    That said, the supposed 2012 convention vote of no confidence left much of the LNC the same — particularly regional representatives. A lot of it is business as usual. Lots of new blood and a clean house could be a very good thing. Though I don’t favor term limits (a maximum number of years that can be served in a position), I am a fan of rotation in office (limiting consecutive years in a position) — even exemplary LNC members should have a break off the committee every few terms.

    I agree with all of the above. I think 2012 was a near-clean sweep of officers and at large positions, but not even close when it comes to regions. I’m not sure how other regions pick their reps; ours has always let the delegates pick them, typically by a public (rather than secret) vote. I think some regions just have the chairs pick the region reps. If that’s true, it will be a lot harder to extend a sweep to the regions, and even if all regions have the delegates pick the reps I still think it’s harder to change out the region reps since they usually know how to insure that their region stays happy with them.

    And it seems to me that the region reps are on average the worse votes on the LNC, with some exceptions on each side. So, if it’s true that a clean sweep will sweep out the offcers and at large positions and leave the region reps largely in place, that does not portend well, especially in light of:

    I think the demographics of the 2014 convention will likely favor the Rutherford/Starr faction. A campaign to throw everyone out will probably only reinforce such an outcome, with the Rutherford/Starr camp ignoring it for their guys and some radicals voting against everyone. (I say this as a 2008 casualty of a mostly unsuccessful “Clean House” initiative.)

    I agree. I think radicals are more likely to be loosely organized and not paying close attention, while the other “side” is more likely to be relatively well organized. So it’s quite plausible that radicals will get “used” in a clean sweep campaign by better organized game players from the other side. Nevertheless,

    I’m interested in hearing more about the “Clean House” initiative. I don’t know whether I’d be in favor of it without more information.

    Me too. I would be interested in hearing more, if you are willing to include people who don’t necessarily agree with you but are open to the arguments (part of me thinks a clean sweep may be good, and I’ll contribute to the sweep by not running again).

    Chuck – as for you being a victim of a housecleaning attempt – that was not my impression. My impression was that the Starr’s and Barr’s faction turned on you because you were elected as a “Reformer” but then showed some independence from them and some affinity for the radical side, and thus they decided to get rid of you. Maybe some radicals joined in with that, but I think that by 2008 most radicals I knew considered you an ally and one of the few good people on the LNC. And I was not aware of any clean sweep sentiment among radicals, who as far as I know wanted to re-elect certain people such as Keaton (from my POV, in retrospect, a mistake – she had turned very bitter against the LNC majority by this point and should not have run again since there was no way she would work productively with them) and Ruwart.

    Nor am I aware of any clean sweep sentiment from the other end; they re-elected most of their people IIRC.

    As a general rule, will electing a bunch of people with no institutional memory be a good thing? Hard to say. It’s possible that it could be. One thing that could happen is that they could then wind up turning to helpful, friendly former members like Rutherford, Starr and Mattson to give them guidance on what to do. Another may be that they would turn things over to staff, but I doubt that’s likely. It seems more probable that they would fire staff and hire brand new people that don’t know what they are doing either. They may also come in and try to bulldoze everything and may end up with a less functional aparatus than what we have now. That seems to me what happened after a relatively clean sweep in 2002. I was in favor of it before it happened, thinking that things would have to get better (didn’t participate myself; I wanted to go but got busy with crunch time on a marijuana initiative in DC and so did not attend) but instead they got much worse and I don’t think we have fully recovered from that yet. So, the takeaway for me was that just assuming a baseline and presuming things will get better with a reset is a mistake. They might, but they could go in the other direction, and it’s always a mistake to think that things could not possibly get worse.

    I think a semi-clean sweep in 2014 is pretty likely on the non-region side. It will probably sweep out the better people on LNC and replace them with worse ones while leaving some of the worse ones in place. I see less likelihood of a clean sweep or anything close to it among the regions.

    The way I see it, Rutherford, Starr and friends will support sweeping out the people that got swept in in 2012 and get support from a lot of radicals who think Re-Elect No One must be a good thing in 2014 because it was a good thing from their standpoint in 2012 (but did not go far enough…which for 2012 I agree, but I see it working differently in 2014). Add in a general perception of corruption in regards to various deals involving Mr. Cloud, and I can see it shaping up as a perfect vehicle to get a Starr-Rutherford slate swept in. They could then go on to fire Wes or cause him to quit, slam the breaks on what Arvin has been doing with facebook, replace all our communications with conservative-leaning content, maybe recruit someone like Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or a returning Wayne Root as a presidential candidate, or maybe have the argument prevail that ballot access help to states is “welfare” and that we should just focus on the states where ballot access is easy and let the other ones go (the argument Norm Olsen makes), or perhaps the idea will win that we should not run a presidential candidate at all. In fact, what about the Starr/Lieberman argument that we should stop focusing on partisan races which we are unlikely to win and instead just focus on local nonpartisan winnable races? Maybe that will prevail. Never mind that it does not take a political party to do that.

    Then once they are in, I can see them gaming the rules to make any future clean sweep much less likely.

    But I could be wrong, so I’d love to hear the plan.

  98. paulie

    I’ve already beat the dead horse about how annoying the layout changes are, but I guess they’re here to stay, which means my being much less engaged with IPR is also here to stay. Lack of comment numbers makes things very hard to follow — as pretty much everyone has said over and over again. The mobile layout makes looking at IPR on the phone a huge annoying chore because the list of recent comments is at the end of each page rather than the beginning, requiring stupid tedious scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and scrolling every time I want to check if there are new comments. I pretty much have to click on a random story that has some comments but not very many in order to make scrolling to the bottom a little bit less of a chore. Warren has claimed IPR page views increased after the layout change… I’d bet money that is almost entirely attributable to the necessity of clicking lots more pages you don’t care about to get to relevant information. Apparently I’m in the minority in the mindset that it is retarded to add features no want wants and remove features everyone likes — standard operating procedure for IT types.

    I don’t think you are in the minority. Pretty much everyone agrees that the lack of comment numbers sucks. Myself included. I don’t have an issue with the mobile layout since I never use the web that way, have never tried doing so and don’t have any devices that can do that at all, but I take your word for it that it sucks that way too. I don’t think Warren reads IPR comments very often, so you should probably email him if you care. Also his brother Steve, who does most of the tech administering from what I’ve gathered.

  99. paulie

    Stewart’s remarks lead to an excellent Bylaws amendment, namely that no person may belong to more than one of the Platform, Bylaws, and Credentials committees, and no LNC member may belong to any of them.

    This isn’t just brilliant to keep those inclined to LNC service from getting overwhelmed or to keep said committees from getting intellectually incestuous – it also would be a wonderful way to provide plenty of openings for others in the LP to get involved through and, just as importantly, force the national LP to actually reach out and find those people.

    On one hand true. On the other, the sad reality is that it is hard to find people willing to actually do the work on any of these committees, and often the few people willing to serve on multiple ones get more done on each of them than anyone else is willing to do even on one. Ideally, I’d like to see separation between the committees and each one comprised of people focused on just that task and none other but I think what may happen in reality is committees devoid of results because the most motivated people are kept off them, or committees controlled from outside by people who can’t be on them officially but in reality end up doing much of the work.

  100. paulie

    Finally I’ll note that the bylaws committee has scheduled an in-person meeting on Friday, February 28 starting at 3 pm in Charlottle, NC (the day before the next LNC meeting).

    Observers are welcome to attend; however, much like LNC meetings observers should not expect to participate (they can talk to individual committee members, there will be an opportunity for public comment before the meeting, and in rare cases the committee may vote to allow a member of the gallery to address the committee). It would be great to have live bloggers there — I expect I’ll be too busy chairing the meeting to report contemporaneously for IPR, but if I am not elected the committee’s permanent chair at the beginning of the meeting then IPR reporting may be a consolation prize. The meeting will start at 3 pm to accommodate travelers from the west coast (e.g., Californians can get red eye flights and not need to take off work Thursday as well).

    If I’m there I can help blog it. However I can’t guarantee I can go to Charlotte at all. It will depend on where I am and what I’m doing at that time and that is hard to predict.

  101. paulie

    Thank you for posting the invoices. I definitely agree with the Audit Committee’s impression of the invoices as submitted to IPR, though, after looking over them and pondering the matter a bit, I think I better understand what’s going on.

    That’s why I am strongly in favor of more transparency on this. All sorts of suspicions spread when the facts are kept in the dark, and I think LNC members such as Wiener (and Redpath, since he wrote in to say he agrees with Dan o this) underestimate how much “legs” this will get. They think it’s just a few people griping on IPR who are the same old tiny group of malcontents that mostly only talk to each other and only some of whom are LP members at all. As I responded, I think that’s just a small sampling of people who will agree and that the story will spread through many other channels.

  102. paulie

    It basically looks like Carla wanted some help, Michael agreed to do so, and both agreed that he should get paid some “nominal” amount. So, they both came up with a “sounds good” payment system – he’d get some small percentage of whatever fundraising his efforts produced, in exchange for him providing Carla with a sounding board and some written material from time to time.

    Correct, except that it was a lot more than just from time to time. Basically, Michael was heavily involved with the composition of all or nearly all press releases, blog posts, fundraising letters, LP News and convention promotional materials during the course of more than a year. Carla did the typing, with Michael on the phone with her. In a sense, the unwritten contract with Michal constituted an extension of Carla’s budget to bring on an assistant, but without LNC voting on it in budget votes as we just did with Art. Complicating matters is that he also happens to be her long-time business partner, ex-BF, and a current member of the LNC.

    Thinking nothing of it, neither party bothered to notify anyone of the details behind the arrangement, in no small part because neither party really knew the details themselves.

    Then came the first set of invoices. Thinking nothing of it, Carla instructed the staff and/or the LNC to submit payment; thinking nothing of that, they apparently did so. Then came the Audit Committee. Then came the other invoices while Michael and Carla tried to make up the details “on the fly” – the same details that, in a professional consulting relationship, would have been nailed down years ago. Details like…

    * What would the rate be? For what work?
    * What fundraising would he be paid commission against and how?
    * For what time period would he be paid commission against?

    And so on.

    That may be true. Or you could come up with a less generous explanation. Either way, it was Carla’s direct subordinate, Robert Kraus, who cuts the checks. The LNC doesn’t even get a detailed statement of what all checks are written, as far as I know. And I read everything on the LNC email list.

    As I understand it there was an agreement in place as to the percentage for fundraising, with Michael being given information on how fundraising was going as the money came in and then billing for that agreed upon percentage of whatever those numbers rounded off to. He was involved in all the fundraising, so he was billing for all of it. The time period appears to be from the end of the convention. Since this was the 2012 audit it goes through the end of 2012, but I will guess it continued in 2013 up through when Wes came in. One thing that may be confusing is that it looks at first like he also billed for the convention promotional writing, but if you look at the end he says that is what he would have billed if he was billing for it at the same rate as the subsequent work, but that he was actually billing zero for it. Another point of confusion is that he made it sound in July 2012 like this arrangemnt was about to happen but had not happened yet, but the invoices show that it was already going on for a couple of months at that point.

  103. paulie

    In this context, the vote to effectively let him keep the money makes more sense – it’s not his fault that our Executive Director failed to fully think out the ramifications of the payment scheme she agreed to, and it’s not his fault that the LNC failed to do due diligence and look into the payment scheme until after the checks were written. Granted, it would have been nice if he helped everyone think those details through, but what’s done is done and, frankly, it wasn’t his job. Besides, there’s a decent chance that the LP may want to enlist Michael Cloud’s services in the future – demanding $30,000 back ASAP would not be conducive toward that.

    As far as I know, Michael Cloud was the only LNC member who was aware of any of the details of the pay arangement or how much money he was getting. The LNC does not receive detailed statements of what goes out, what contracts are in place or being proposed. We get general financial statements on how much money is being raised and spent and the trends. There’s also the budget and votes to change it.

    In hindsight, there’s a reason contracts like this are supposed to go to the LNC and to legal counsel; it’s their job to think these sorts of things through. Chances are, if the contract was submitted through the proper channels, he still would’ve been paid roughly the same – however, the LNC would probably have been responsible for providing him with detailed “residuals” (i.e. “Here’s our total receipts for each of the fundraising letters you submitted, here’s how much we can expect to make on these letters based on what we get from staff-written pieces, here’s your cut of the difference since you’re better at this than our interns”). Either way, it would have been far better documented and there wouldn’t be ill feeling among everyone involved, which really gets to the heart of the matter – doing things properly isn’t just in the best interests of the LP or the LNC. It’s also in the best interests of those that choose to do business with the LNC, to ensure that the next LNC or some Audit Committee or some watchdog doesn’t go combing through the books on their own time and demands answers to questions that nobody could be bothered to ask when the checks were written.

    I agree.

  104. George Phillies

    ” Chances are, if the contract was submitted through the proper channels, he still would’ve been paid roughly the same”…The ability of the LNC to throw away money should not be underestimated. However, someone might have questioned the amounts. Someone might have noted the fundraiser ethics statement, though the counter is that the statement is remarkably self-serving.

    “The LNC does not receive detailed statements of what goes out, what contracts are in place or being proposed. ” The LNC as shown here does not appear to keep an adequate track of how it is spending its money. Relying on FEC filings has the issue raised in the terminal part of the audit report, though it is disappointing that no one on the LNC appears to have asked why it paid one of its members $38,800.

  105. paulie

    The LNC as shown here does not appear to keep an adequate track of how it is spending its money.

    Agreed.

    Relying on FEC filings has the issue raised in the terminal part of the audit report,

    Can’t confirm or deny.

    though it is disappointing that no one on the LNC appears to have asked why it paid one of its members $38,800.

    There’s an audit-discuss email list and a 7 hour executive session. I wouldn’t assume that nobody asked, although I am not alowed to say.

  106. paulie

    One more question, which is not leading, and on which I do not know the answer: With respect to the issue in the report in which there was an assertion that our FEC filer and compliance person did not have a problem with a certain procedure: Did the LNC confirm that their FEC filing person had in advance been aware of the procedure and approved of it?

    I don’t remember. If I did remember, I’m not sure if I would be allowed to say.

  107. paulie

    Okay, I am probably going to piss someone off. Cleaning house will not do a damn bit of good if the incoming people fall into the same habits as the present people.

    Yep, different does not necessarily mean better.

  108. paulie

    I remember getting sometimes dozens of messages a day from members of my region, as well as from others outside.

    Wow, things have clearly changed!

    Making the LNC smaller by reducing the number of regions would only serve to eliminate representation for many of the smaller states.

    Why? They would still be represented, just in regions with a larger number of states. They would get less of a vote on who their rep is but with fewer reps the proportion would be the same.

    It would also make it much easier for EITHER faction (or some new faction that may arise) to control the board! Would you rather have Mr Starr control the strings of five members on a board of eighteen or five of a board of nine? I’d rather it were five members on a board of twenty or twenty five.

    Again I don’t see why that would be. Why would he be limited to controlling five string in either case? In fact, with a larger number of people, some of whom nay be paying less attention than others it may be easier to manipulate them into voting a certain way on things that they have little understanding of (for no better a reason than that someone sitting next to them or someone they like is voting that way or because a majority is voting that way or because someone asks them to).

    I’d recommend ELIMINATING the ability to build multiple representative regions

    I agree.

    During my first term as a representative (second term on the LNC) I represented a region of eight states (or was it nine???), representing more than seventeen percent of the membership. That should have been three regions. Communicating with everyone — or even trying to attend every state’s conventions — was impossible!

    I don’t think most region reps and alternates really even try.

  109. paulie

    Rather than writing the LNC to be ignored, it’s time to bypass the LNC and go to the delegates. Any member can request the list of previous delegates along with any new delegate lists as they are compiled.

    Sure, you could do that, and I am expecting several people to do so. However, the delegates would not know the answers to these particular questions.

    If you reformat them into questions that delegates should be asking themselves in choosing the next LNC and in considering bylaws changes, I agree.

    I’d be interested to see how such reformatted questions would appear.

    If we can come to an agreement on how we want the LNC restructured, I would be willing to phone and email match the delegate list then setup all channels to hit them hard to vote for real change at the convention.

    I am still trying to understand your proposal on that. How would your proposed LNC differ from the current LSLA? How would your proposed Executive Committee differ from the current LNC?

    If you can come up with a good proposal I may be in favor of it. I’d certainly be willing to brainstorm some ideas.

  110. paulie

    Michael, if I had my druthers, the ‘upgrade’ to the WordPress software that runs this site would be rolled back. I don’t know what it is with software engineers that they add features no one asked for, and delete features most people found useful.

    Warren says the old theme was a security risk that was no longer supported by customer support, had been hacked by hackers and was causing us to be listed as a virus attack site.

  111. paulie

    I have no idea who takes customer comments on this site but it would be nice to have these replies numbered. I read part of this thread earlier but had to leave, now I hope to finish the thread but finding exactly where I left off is a bit of a challenge which would be less of one if the replies were numbered. Thank you. I do appreciate the work you do here.

    None of us who regularly comment here have any control of it. I’m not sure how many of these comments Warren and his brother read, but I am guessing relatively few. Email them at wredlich@gmail.com with such concerns and suggestions. I have his brother Steve’s email also but I’m not sure whether it’s OK to give that out. For now Warren can forward stuff to Steve. I he gets enough emails about this, he probably will.

  112. paulie

    Of course there should be accommodation for people with ‘transient’ lifestyles like you, Paulie. I like what you’ve said and done as an LNC member during this term, and yes I know how frustrating it must be.

    Thank you!

    There’s always services like “Outbox”, too. In fact for $4.99/mo., you might want to consider it anyway, Paulie.

    Thanks, but I hardly ever receive snail mail anyway. I get a lot of fundraising letters, newsletters and similar publications from the LP and other movement organizations, which I don’t really need to pay to go to my email. Otherwise pretty much everyone just emails me anyway, or calls, or texts, or facebook messages. I get checks sent to my bank. Every once in a while I get old bills or some weirdo mailing me off the wall psycho stuff that is probably getting sent to many other people (although these days most of that is by email also). So honestly I don’t see what I am missing by not receiving my snail mail in a regular or timely fashion.

  113. paulie

    12:23PM Corrected. Sent to the entire LNC, plus courtesy cc to the audit committee.

    Thanks! I think it would take a lot of people sending these or similar questions, and following up, for it to move the needle.

    Please let me know if you get any responses.

  114. paulie

    Reply from Geoff Neale:

    Starchild:

    The Policy Manual states that the Chair is responsible for:

    maintaining systems of internal and external communication, including providing a monthly chair’s report to all LNC Members.

    On multiple occasions I have asked the LNC for what exactly I am supposed to report on. I have received no feedback, and the PM is so unspecific that I sure would appreciate some guidance. Based upon the above, if I sent out an email that said: “This is my monthly report – I’m doing my job as well as I can”, I would have complied with this policy.

    To quote Mr. Phillies: “Silence is consent”.

    Perhaps this policy was set because of a prior Chair that did not regularly engage with the LNC. I don’t know. If there are specific things that I should report on that are singular to the Chair, that the LNC is agreed upon that the Chair should report on, I’d be happy to. However, the Chair is supposed to be both the CEO and the chief spokesperson. That means that much of this job is administrative in nature, while much if the rest is interfacing with the press, affiliates, members, etc. I’m really not clear on how these activities could feasibly be reported, without turning me into a secretary (a skill I lack). In the absence of specificity, I think that I engage the LNC with sufficient frequency to meet this requirement.

    However, this is a good example of a Policy Manual mandate that says a lot without really saying anything.

    Geoff

  115. paulie

    There’s a longer reply from Starchild. I’m not sure how to copy the formatting over that distinguishes his reply sections from what he is responding to over from email to here.

  116. Michael H. Wilson

    The LP needs to be organized so that these swings in leadership don’t occur. I would suggest doing away with the at large reps and having more regional representatives with a two term rule and then they need to sit out for two terms. Also the extra delegate because a state has 10% of the national membership needs to be abolished. Every region or state needs to be treated the same. Perhaps states or regions should have one delegate for every 500 active members.

  117. paulie

    The LP needs to be organized so that these swings in leadership don’t occur.

    I don’t know that any form of organization would do that. If there is one, it may be for not so good reasons, such as engineering the election process so that those already in office are hard to replace.

    I would suggest doing away with the at large reps

    I think we need some, though perhaps not as many. I think it’s useful to have people on the LNC who are not there to perform a specific task (chair, treasurer, secretary) or represent a region’s interests which may sometimes be narrow. Someone should represent the party membership as a whole. For example, I’m not sure that Starchild would get elected as a region rep or officer. At Large seems like a good way for him to get on the committee. It’s also useful to have some spots like that in case a region has already filled out its representation but has other people who would be good on the committee.

    and having more regional representatives

    I don’t think that would be good, the committee is too large and too loaded with region reps as it is.

    with a two term rule and then they need to sit out for two terms.

    That part I agree with.

    Also the extra delegate because a state has 10% of the national membership needs to be abolished.

    That’s not actually the rule. A region has to have at least 10%. If one state is that big they can be a region by themselves. If not, they have to form a region with other states. If they get over 20% in a region (I think that’s the number but I would need to look it up) they can form a double region.

    Every region or state needs to be treated the same. Perhaps states or regions should have one delegate for every 500 active members.

    The committee would be way too big. Also, 500? What happens if the party gets to 50,000 members? 500,000 members? You really want an LNC with that many members?

  118. paulie

    Looks like the quotes do translate here despite not appearing to in email so here is Starchild’s response:

    Starchild

    7:33 PM (18 hours ago)

    to lpusmisc, LP, Chuck, LP, LNC, Grassroots, George, josephawendt
    Hi Joe,

    Thank you for writing, and for seeking answers and accountability from your representatives (and to George Phillies, for preparing this list of questions). My responses interspersed below…

    On Dec 24, 2013, at 11:56 AM, josephawendt . wrote:

    > I read these Questions on IPR (http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/12/george-phillies-questions-for-the-libertarian-party-national-party-members-to-consider/) and was interested in knowing the answers.
    >
    > Joe Wendt
    >
    >
    > Leading Questions for LP National Party Members to Consider
    >
    > For those of you who have not followed all the discussions, I have some
    > interesting questions you might wish to put to your LNC member or
    > Regional Representative relative to how they are conducting their business.
    >
    > At what point does the policy manual become the LNC’s binding
    > representation to national party members by the LNC as to how the LNC
    > will discharge its fiduciary responsibilities to our members?

    That is a very interesting question, and I don’t have a clearly-defined answer for you — indeed such an answer may not currently exist — but I have thought about the issue of what the Policy Manual should be, and came up with a recommended approach which I expressed in a message last January:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    On Jan 3, 2013, at 6:07 PM, Starchild wrote:

    > I’m… in agreement with trimming the LNC Policy Manual way back. As I’ve previously commented, I think its burgeoning length — 72 pages, as compared to 16 pages of LP bylaws — constitutes a threat to the authority of LP convention delegates as the primary rule-making body in the Libertarian Party, similarly to how in the federal government the growth of executive branch rule-making has gradually usurped the Constitutional lawmaking authority of Congress.
    >
    > There is also the danger that when we create too many rules for ourselves, they end up just getting ignored. Not necessarily through any devious intent, but simply because there’s so much to keep track of.
    >
    > For example, in Section II.6.1, the Policy Manual sets forth a duty of the chair to “(provide) a monthly chair’s report to all LNC Members”. Has this been happening? I don’t think so, at least not as such — Geoff is clearly engaged in his role as chair and communicates on various topics here at least once a month in ways that could be considered “reporting”, but I don’t recall seeing monthly reports to the LNC that would appear to satisfy the requirement as written. I’m not particularly blaming the chair for this, as none of us to my knowledge directed attention to the oversight, if it is an oversight. My feeling is that this reporting requirement is superfluous to our operations, and so in the proposed motion I just posted which revises the language in that section, I simply deleted it. I hope that other LNC members will agree this is a positive change.
    >
    > Some of the material in the LNC Policy Manual would arguably make useful additions to the party’s Bylaws, and I think it would be worthwhile for the Bylaws Committee, once appointed, to review the document and add such material to its report as recommendations for delegates to vote in when making changes to the Bylaws at our next convention.
    >
    > With its most vital language gradually moved to the Bylaws, the Policy Manual could serve as a list of suggested guidelines, rather than mandatory rules, for the Libertarian National Committee, with each new LNC body being free to refer to it for ideas on how past LNCs have found it useful to operate. The LNC could at any time make any provision found in the Policy Manual binding upon itself, but with such binding rules expiring upon the expiration of that LNC’s term rather than automatically carrying over as binding upon future LNCs.
    >
    > Unless and until we get the Policy Manual to a fraction of its present size and institute changes that prevent it from simply regenerating over time however, I would strongly advise against getting rid of the log of changes to the document, which I see as really separate from the Policy Manual itself, since of itself it does not constitute any kind of rule or requirement. That log is important as a historical record showing precisely how the document has grown. In some cases, knowing how it has grown may be helpful in getting it reduced to a more manageable size. Imagine if there were such a clear, simple log in existence that documented the growth of the federal government over time — such a record would be something to which Libertarians advocating reform could point. We might say, to make up a hypothetical example, “Look, the Federal Teenage Drinking Commission was only added in 1990, and there is no evidence that teen drinking has declined since it was been in existence, so let’s get rid of it!” or “The record shows that these 1000 additional pages of Defense Department procurement regulations were only added in 1982, primarily in reference to the B200 bomber program, which has since been discontinued — let’s delete them!” As a matter of fact, I would suggest that future additions to the log of Policy Manual changes list not only *when* a change was made, but who proposed it, and ideally what the LNC’s intentions were in adopting that proposal, as accurately as that information can be captured.
    >
    > I would not want us to move to a system where LNC motions affecting things such as editorial policy do not get formally recorded anywhere for easy reference, because in that case they could readily be forgotten, and then dredged up by someone later, resulting in the potential for much confusion and contention over what is required. But neither should we allow a structure that results in an ever-growing mountain of LNC-enacted rules and regulations.
    >
    > Geoff cites the Bylaws language that “The National Committee shall adopt rules of procedure for the conduct of its meetings and the carrying out of its duties and responsibilities (and) may delegate its authority in any manner it deems necessary” as an example of policy. I concur, and believe that the Bylaws are the proper place for policy. I would like to see us create a clearer distinction between setting policy, which is the rightful responsibility of Libertarian Party members in their role as convention delegates, and adopting practices which the LNC needs for its own operation, so that in doing the latter we do not intrude upon the former. If the LNC Policy Manual were renamed something such as “LNC Operations Handbook” and reinvented as a document of guidelines or temporary rules at most, rather than enduring policy statutes, this would effectively establish such a distinction.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    > What is the point of having a policy manual if major policies are ignored?

    Addressed above.

    > How many written contracts with vendors does the LNC have on file?

    I have recently asked how many contracts we have on file, and been variously told that the answer was “hundreds”, or “around 12″(!). (Presumably the individuals supplying these answers were somehow interpreting the question differently.) After we try to get some positive resolution on the monies paid to Michael Cloud, I plan to introduce a motion to ask staff to bring copies of all active contracts to the next LNC meeting for LNC members to review (if this can happen without a formal motion, that would be fine too).

    > How many of those exceed the thresholds in the Policy Manual? How many
    > contracts were approved in accord with LNC rules? How many large
    > contracts were not written, approved by the chair, and/or vetted by
    > counsel, as the LNC has required, a requirement recorded in the Policy
    > Manual?

    Given that I have no idea how many contracts even exist, obviously I have no idea, but I agree these are all good questions.

    > How often does the LNC issue large no-bid contracts for petitioning? How
    > often are these accompanied with commission-based fundraising deals at
    > rates such as 20 or 40%? How were commissions set?

    I think Paulie has addressed these questions in the thread on IPR much more authoritatively than I could.

    > Do the party’s current FEC filings correctly, completely, and exactly
    > reflect to whom we gave money?

    I believe that this was covered by the recent audit of the party’s books, and that the answer is substantially yes, to the degree required by law. But I have no documentation of this.

    > The LNC Policy Manual 2.03.5 requires “The Chair or Treasurer shall be required to approve (and evidence by signing or initialing) all expenses and expense account reimbursements more than $200 made to the Executive Director or other officers prior to payment.” Which of them signed off on the transactions that perturbed the LNC and occupied the full Audit Committee report, including the parts you have not all seen yet? Were there signatures?

    I think the chair and/or treasurer ought to speak to this, but I believe we were told that no such approvals occurred as required. It’s not clear to me exactly what caused this failure. Even after the reforms we passed in the wake of the Audit Committee report, I think there is insufficient transparency in our operations for ordinary LNC members to be able to readily know whether such procedures are being properly followed.
    Important point: Both the Policy Manual and the Bylaws contain numerous requirements which (a) lack language specifying the tasks be carried out in a manner such that LNC or LP members seeking to exercise oversight can verify that they are being done, and (b) do not mandate any automatic penalties or remedies for when requirements are not being met, but rather rely on the LNC or others to take action should any such scenario occur — but this obviously can’t happen unless people are in a position to know when stuff isn’t being done as required.

    Ideas for specific motions, and/or bylaws changes, to address this problem would be most welcome!

    > What are the faults in the filings? When did the Treasurer find them?
    > Did the Treasurer find them?

    I can’t speak to this and will defer to Tim Hagen.

    > What is the Treasurer, as the Party officer with legal liability, doing
    > futureward, without any reference to the situation in the past, to
    > confirm that the information passing from the LNC office to our FEC
    > consultant is complete and correct?

    Good question; again I’m not sure and will defer to the treasurer. Indeed I’m not even sure that it is current procedure for our FEC consultant to review each specific filing before it is filed, although that certainly sounds like a reasonable procedure on the face of it and it may reflect current practice for all I know.

    > Why did the LNC approve the use of no-bid contracts for petitioning efforts?

    Very good question! I think there are several things at work here:

    • The LNC has not been approving specific petitioning contracts, only approving the necessary expenditures (sometimes even this is handled by the 7-member Executive Committee rather than the full LNC).

    • As far as I know, Bill Redpath still exercises sole control over the details of who is paid to do petitioning. A number of LNC members recognized a while back that this is not an ideal situation (what happens if Bill were to get hit by a bus?), and created a Ballot Access Committee (current members are Bill and Dianna Visek, according to http://www.lp.org/bylaws-mandated-committees — one fewer member than is required by the Policy Manual according to the language on that same page describing the committee’s purpose), but I’m not aware that this committee is functional. It gave no report at our last meeting; instead we got a report from Bill Redpath that did not go into any specifics as far as how petitioning work is parceled out.

    • The LNC as a whole has not institutionally embraced the idea that our standard operating procedure should be for every contract to be put out for competitive bidding, barring extraordinary exceptions in which justification for not following such a standard should be amply provided.

    > Why did the LNC approve the use of commission-type contracts for fund raising?

    Again I am not aware of the LNC having actually approved such contracts. Certainly we never voted to approve the (non-existent) contract with Michael Cloud. Personally I do not think we should be paying members of the LNC to do fundraising, and I am leery of paying commissions on fundraising in general. If it is done, it should be fully transparent — potential donors should be informed how much the fundraising commission is, and where the money would be going.

    > Did anyone claim in defense of the handshake no-bid deal with Mr Cloud that this approach was LNC standard operating procedure? Who claimed that? Who agreed with the claim?

    I believe Carla Howell may have said things were often done this way, but you should ask her.

    > Who on the LNC was concerned that the agreements with Mr Cloud were based on the recommendation of a good friend of his (not that I oppose friendship)?

    I’m broadly concerned that our operations do not follow a sound approach, which I would suggest is something like the following:

    (1) Identify the work that needs to be done and break it down into individual tasks
    (2) Widely advertise the need for volunteers to complete those tasks
    (3) In cases where reliable, qualified volunteers cannot be found after a proper search, put the task(s) out for competitive bidding, also widely advertised
    (4) Make sure that the arrangements (compensation, work performed) are handled in a transparent manner so that everyone can see what is being done

    Obviously the agreements with Michael Cloud did not follow any such approach, and thus I would tend to view them with concern regardless of the relationships between the parties involved, but if the approach outlined above were being followed, I would not tend to see someone recommending a friend to perform work would as a problem.

    > Are there memoranda of conversation between Ms Howell and Mr Neale verifying that the individual contracts with Mr Cloud had been approved by the Chair?

    I don’t recall hearing about any such memoranda, but can’t say for sure whether they existed or not.

    > Did the LNC in fact find written evidence other than from the Executive Director that Mr Neale had approved each or any of the individual contracts?
    >
    > Did the LNC in fact find written evidence from anyone that Mr Neale had approved each or any of the individual contracts?

    If I recall correctly, I think both Geoff and Mark Hinkle (the previous chair) said they orally approved some of the stuff concerning the executive director. I believe Geoff said he had not approved the “handshake deal” payments to Michael Cloud. I could be wrong on these points, and invite any corrections.

    > There is a traditional freshman error in evaluating experimental data, namely the freshmen believe that if you do the experiment twice and get two different answers you are entitled to believe that the second one is right. The freshmen are wrong. With the latest issue we have four different invoices. Which one does the LNC believe? Why?

    The impression I got from the Audit Committee materials is that people (Carla, Robert Kraus, Michael Cloud?) were trying to construct a record after the fact to justify things that had been done, and were having trouble doing so because some of those things really could not be properly justified. This strengthened my inclination to try to recover for the party as much of the money involved as possible.

    > Given the record, will the LNC advance in the future to full compliance audits of its financial transactions? Why not?

    I don’t know the meaning of the term “full compliance audit” offhand, but I would like to see us continue to have audits going forward that live up to the standard set by this year’s audit for digging into details.

    > How many of the difficulties that may be revealed by answers to the
    > above might have been avoided if, for example, past LNCs has spent more time on its financial responsibilities and less time on parliamentary haggling?

    Those two topics are not, I think, mutually exclusive. In the absence of rules that give individual LNC members, or some minority subset of the body the ability to exercise meaningful oversight and get things done, we are often reduced to haggling with other members of the body in an attempt to persuade those individuals who do have the power to act, or to get the body as a whole to reach some kind of consensus.

    > How many of these difficulties would be avoided if the LNC emulated LPNC and replaced Roberts’ with Francis and Francis
    > http://www.amazon.com/Democratic-Rules-Order-Easy-To-Use-Parliamentary/dp/0969926057
    > (requires Bylaws change).

    I have no idea, being unfamiliar with Francis and Francis. I’m certainly open to alternatives to our current parliamentary practices, but suspect the main effects of such a change would be felt at our conventions, and that it would make relatively little difference in terms of the LNC’s operations. Most of our discussions and disputes this term haven’t particularly hinged on Robert’s Rules of Order, but have had more to do with things like values, priorities, personalities, and Bylaws and Policy Manual interpretations.

    > How many of these difficulties would have been avoided if the LNC
    > required that it also receive financial reports in a form that matches
    > its FEC reports, so it can tell on what it actually spent its money?

    I confess I haven’t really reviewed our FEC reports and probably should be doing so. I’d like to see these reports copied to us at the time they are filed. (One more thing that seems to me like a no-brainer — can we get this done without a motion and a lot of “haggling”?) Generally speaking, it sounds like a good idea. I do not like the form in which we get financial information. I don’t feel it provides enough detail or is readable understandable enough.

    > Might it have been more nearly obvious, e.g., that any of the expenditures reported to the FEC for some amount were actually for a different amount, or that other expenditures were not obviously apparent in the FEC reports?
    >
    > Mindful that we have severe legal limits on how we may spend our money, did you ever read through FEC Guide for Treasurers of Party Committees, to identify key issues?

    I don’t believe that I have. Perhaps someone can provide a copy?

    > Did you confirm that the Treasurer and Chair have done so? If you have not done so, how will you know what questions to ask? If the Chair and Treasurer have not done so, how will they notice whether or not the monthly check record and the monthly FEC reports are concordant?

    Without having looked at it, I can’t say how important the FEC Guide is, or how necessary familiarity with it is in order to be able to ask good questions.

    > If you have not done so yourself, how are you going to identify any
    > recommendation(s) you may have been given for illegal campaign
    > expenditure(s).
    >
    > In the future, are you going to appoint an audit group that does careful work again, or are you going to look for sweethearts?

    Personally I’m going to continue to support transparency and thorough examination of the party’s books, and would be favorably disposed toward Aaron Starr in particular, but also Joseph Buchman and Brett Pojunis, serving on future audit committees — although I also want to see participation in such matters expanded beyond the “usual suspects” so that more ordinary LP members have the opportunity to get involved in our party’s national operations and we build our “farm team” of people familiar with these operations and broaden our institutional knowledge base.

    Love & Liberty,
    ((( starchild )))
    At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

  119. paulie

    To which Geoff replied what I posted above.

    Then Scott Lieberman replied to Geoff:

    Starchild:

    The Policy Manual states that the Chair is responsible for:

    “maintaining systems of internal and external communication, including providing a monthly chair’s report to all LNC Members.

    On multiple occasions I have asked the LNC for what exactly I am supposed to report on. I have received no feedback, and the PM is so unspecific that I sure would appreciate some guidance. Based upon the above, if I sent out an email that said: “This is my monthly report – I’m doing my job as well as I can”, I would have complied with this policy.

    However, this is a good example of a Policy Manual mandate that says a lot without really saying anything.

    Geoff”

    I would strongly support a motion to remove the language in [bold] above from the Policy Manual.

    It would be really nice in return for relieving the Chair of that duty to simultaneously vote on a motion that fined the Chair $50 for each day that he or she is late in providing a proposed Agenda for upcoming LNC Sessions, with the deadline being 7 days before the first meeting of each LNC Session… (1)

    Note – my latter proposed motion is not being floated because of any deficiency on the part of the current LNC Chair, but is intended to encourage future Chairs to get the proposed Agenda out sooner rather than later.

    Scott Lieberman

    1. The first meeting of each LNC Session runs from about 8.30am until 12:15pm on Saturday. The next meeting runs from about 1.30pm until 5pm on Saturday. Etc.

  120. Michael H. Wilson

    Paulie obviously I am wording my comment wrong and am not being clear as to what I mean regarding the representation on the LNC. Last time I checked, which was some months ago, there were about 1500 people in each region except for 5N which had around 1000 and 5s which had about 2000. It seems to me that it should be a little closer to 1500 or just a few members one side of the other. Personally I see no reason the committee should not be larger and then adjusted upwards if need be. Maybe e should have one regional rep for each 1000 members.

  121. paulie

    The reason it should not be larger is that it is hard to get anything accomplished with a cacophany of people all pulling in different directions. I think your wording was fine, I just don’t agree on that particlar point.

  122. Michael H. Wilson

    Btw from what I have heard there is at least one state without a rep on the LNC. How does that work out?

  123. paulie

    I believe there are two, Oregon and South Carolina, right now.

    The LNC considers the Vice Chair, Lee Wrights, to be their stand-in for a region rep, but people have commented from those state LPs on IPR saying they do not consider him to be such.

  124. Stewart Flood

    South Carolina was not welcome in any of the regions being formed. We also had no overwhelming desire to be in any of them. As I recall, our state committee voted unanimously to not join a region.

    And no, we are not represented by the vice chair, as some people seem to believe.

  125. paulie

    One might ask which Oregon group the LNC thinks that Mr Wrights is representing.

    Wagner group, although they like Stewart say that he does not represent them.

  126. George Phillies

    The point of having someone in a CEO leadership role is that they try to lead.

    With respect to a smaller group not being a cacophony of different directions, well, it depends who is in the smaller group. Also, if the point of a smaller group is to shut out minority opinions, well, you then have to assume that the minorities shut out will sit there quietly like sheep, as opposed to engaging in counteraction of some sort.

    Readers will note that we are about to cross the six month line during which the LNC cannot revoke the affiliation of a state party.

  127. paulie

    The point of having someone in a CEO leadership role is that they try to lead.

    Try does not equal succeed.

    With respect to a smaller group not being a cacophony of different directions, well, it depends who is in the smaller group.

    Each individual is unique, so the more people the more directions the LNC gets pulled in.

    Also, if the point of a smaller group is to shut out minority opinions, well, you then have to assume that the minorities shut out will sit there quietly like sheep, as opposed to engaging in counteraction of some sort.

    The only alternative to that is to have every party member on the LNC, otherwise someone’s opinion on something gets shut out. And no, I don’t expect people who are not on the LNC to sit quietly; I wish they would interact with LNC more and frequently try to make that happen.

    Readers will note that we are about to cross the six month line during which the LNC cannot revoke the affiliation of a state party.

    Why? Is there a state party that someone is trying to get us to disaffiliate? Since the Nevada convention I have not been aware of any..

  128. Stewart Flood

    “F” the Policy Manual. Show me something in the ByLaws and I”ll believe it. The LNC does not have the authority to override the ByLaws, which do not say that ANYONE represents us as a regional representative.

    You are talking about the Affiliate Support Committee, not representation on the LNC. That language, which I wrote, was intended to give unrepresented states someone to discuss campaign and volunteer support issues with. It was meant as a downstream communication, and has no standing outside of the scope of the committee.

    But since the Affiliate Support Committee, like the IT Committee, does NOTHING BUT WRITE AN ANNUAL REPORT, who gives a bleep about what the Policy Manual says. The LNC sure doesn’t, since they can’t even follow it regarding contracts, or just about anything else these days.

  129. paulie

    Why? There is still six months for someone to get a bad idea.

    It would take that long to disaffiliate a state, let them appeal and so on. If a state does something that warrants disaffiliation let a non lame duck LNC deal with it.

  130. paulie

    You are talking about the Affiliate Support Committee, not representation on the LNC. That language, which I wrote, was intended to give unrepresented states someone to discuss campaign and volunteer support issues with. It was meant as a downstream communication, and has no standing outside of the scope of the committee.

    You may want to let the LNC know that since the prevailing interpretation there seems to be different. Or not, since no one can force you to consider Wrights your stand in rep.

    But since the Affiliate Support Committee, like the IT Committee, does NOTHING BUT WRITE AN ANNUAL REPORT, who gives a bleep about what the Policy Manual says.

    Is that all they do? They are supposed to do a lot more. But then, I asked to be on the Affiliate Support and (still not filled according to LP.org) Outreach committees and no one has shown interest in my offer at all. Just like the ballot access committee that I was first asked to be on then bounced off of which does not seem to be doing much as far as I can tell.

    The LNC sure doesn’t, since they can’t even follow it regarding contracts, or just about anything else these days.

    Good point. Which makes me wonder why it exists at all.

  131. Michael H. Wilson

    My purpose in bringing up the issue regarding the make up of the committee is to find a way to make it so that this bickering over who controls the LNC stops. Not that it ever will totally. Whether the committee is larger, or the terms of office are different or whatever it takes the LNC needs to focus on the goal and strategy and tactics of achieving that goal instead of sitting there bickering and playing control games. Over the last decade I have seen about enough of this game stuff. So as not to be rude I used the word stuff. 😉 I don’t see much in the way of leadership and nothing in the way of strategy or tactics being discussed. And we are 30 years behind the times.

    My idea of leadership is the captain on the bridge of a ship who says we are going there. Management sets the course and runs the engine room with oversight from the captain. The LNC in our case is the captain. I doubt that many people would even understand that little illustration. Whatever!

  132. Michael H. Wilson

    I emailed Warren about the numbering and here is his reply.

    “That’s something we’ve been talking about for a while. I’d like to make it happen but it’s not in my technical area.

    Steve – Any progress on that?

    Warren”

  133. paulie

    I don’t see much in the way of leadership and nothing in the way of strategy or tactics being discussed.

    It gets dicussed but everyone wants to pull in different directions so……

    The LNC in our case is the captain.

    Try having 27 obstinate captains each with a different idea of where to go and how to get there. No wonder the boat is dead in the water.

    I emailed Warren about the numbering and here is his reply.

    “That’s something we’ve been talking about for a while. I’d like to make it happen but it’s not in my technical area.

    Steve – Any progress on that?

    Warren”

    Yep, Steve is the one that handles it, but it takes Warren prodding him (a bunch of times, perhaps) for stuff to happen, and Warren is the one who has posted his email as the public contact.

  134. Michael H. Wilson

    Paulie if what you say is true of the LNC then I have been wasting my time and money.

  135. Wes Wagner

    Michael H. Wilson December 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Paulie if what you say is true of the LNC then I have been wasting my time and money.

    Just figuring that out? National has been a complete waste for quite some time… just look at their budget and financial statements.

  136. Michael H. Wilson

    No Wes. I am well aware of the problem and have been for years. I am just trying to push the LNC to get off the dead spot and do some constructive work.

  137. Michael H. Wilson

    I certainly hope so. We cannot expect people to run for office with out of date and incomplete information. I am willing to help research and write when ever needed. Let me know how I can help.

  138. paulie

    Dunno off hand but try writing all of LNC and/or APRC with that question. Maybe also staff. Someone should be able to figure out how to get you involved, I would hope, especially since you have been pushing this a lot for years (a have I)…

  139. Jeremy C. Young

    All this talk of a “clean slate” after the gains of 2012 strikes me as misguided and counterproductive. By my count, there are only six people who absolutely need to be removed from the LNC this next term:

    Lieberman (alternate)
    Wiener
    Pojunis
    Visek
    Cloud
    Hinkle

    That’s one hooded key holder; three people who vote in lockstep with Starr; one corrupt SOB; and Hinkle, who is a good activist but whom at this point I consider temperamentally unfit to serve on the LNC. You could make an argument for Redpath to be on this list as well because he also votes in lockstep with Starr, but I left him off because I appreciate what he does in the way of ballot access.

    Takeaways from this list: Region 4 is a real problem, as you’d expect since it’s Starr’s home region. There needs to be some concerted activism there to get rid of the entire current leadership and replace them with anti-Starr partisans. I don’t expect Cloud to be re-elected no matter what happens between now and the convention, after this handshake-deal scandal. Hinkle was rejected once by the voters and still wound up on the Committee, but I’m pretty sure the Committee won’t appoint him to fill a vacancy again if he is rejected a second time.

    Interestingly, there is about an equal number of people on the LNC whom I think have done a great job and are indispensable for next term as well:

    Starchild
    Frankel (alternate)
    Vohra
    Wrights
    Kirkland
    Hagan

    The rest of the LNC members vote well on some issues and poorly on others. Guess what? We don’t need a Committee full of All-Stars. All the rest of these people are people good activists can work with.

    There has been a lot of criticism of Neale this term, some of it deserved. I don’t appreciate Neale’s rudeness toward Starchild, his unwillingness to pursue the transparency measures Starchild and others have advocated, or his cowardly refusal to take sides in the recent Cloud kerfuffle. I also think he hasn’t been very successful at bringing the Oregon mess to a close. But it’s important to remember that Neale was recruited into the Chair race at a moment when Aaron Starr came within ONE VOTE of electing his handpicked stooge LNC chair. Neale’s task, then and now, was primarily to keep Starr’s influence and methods off the LNC. I’d argue that he’s done that quite successfully. He didn’t vote for Alicia Mattson as LNC Secretary, which helped give the anti-Starr forces a clean sweep of the four executive positions. He has been rude and offensive to Starchild, but he hasn’t tried to have Starchild removed from the LNC (as the Starr forces did with Wrights last term) or passed motions muzzling him. He hasn’t made enough effort to apologize to Wagner in Oregon, but he also hasn’t fought against him (as Hinkle stupidly did last term). Even Neale’s unwillingness to censure Cloud was, I think, an overreaction to the fact that it was Starr bringing the charges against him. I’m not convinced that Neale should be the chair again next term — of the available people with enough stature in the party, I’d probably prefer Wrights — but I’m also not opposed to him being re-elected.

    In sum, I think the people who want to see the LP run as an honest organization, rather than as the personal fiefdom of Aaron Starr, should focus on the following things at the next convention:

    -Offense: find a way to break Starr’s control over the Region 4 rep selection (or, barring that, break Region 4 into two smaller regions so Starr only controls one rep and one alternate)
    -Defense: try to preserve the gains made in 2012, both by shoring up existing LNC members and by preparing additional candidates (Moulton comes to mind)
    -Self-protection: explicitly denounce Michael Cloud and make clear that he is not part of any reform slate of delegates

    Finally, my customary disclaimer: IANAL (I am not a Libertarian). Rather, I’m a third-party advocate who would like to see your party continue to perform as well as possible so that other third parties may utilize the ground you’ve broken. Feel free to appreciate or disregard my suggestions accordingly.

  140. paulie

    Interestingly, there is about an equal number of people on the LNC whom I think have done a great job and are indispensable for next term as well:

    […]
    Frankel (alternate)
    [..]

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say you couldn’t pay me enough, because theoretically someone could, but as a practical matter, I don’t see it happening. And keep in mind that in our region the delegates vote, and I was never elected by the delegates, just picked by chairs to fill a vacancy. 80% of the votes are in Texas, and I’m as far from Texas as you can get in the region. Withe the chairs, Texas is one of five votes.

    I really just stepped forward to help Myers because he asked me to. Then he resigned.

    The stuff I have tried to get done, I haven’t had any success with.

    I know as an alternate I don’t actually have to go to meetings, but I feel like it’s my responsibility anyway. My attempt to get people to pitch in to cover it yielded only a fraction of the cost.

    I don’t know what kind of LNC I would have to work with next term. My suspicion is it will be significantly worse.

    There are other reasons I don’t want to go into but bottom line…not running.

    IANAL (I am not a Libertarian)

    I thought it was a new product from Apple, like Ipod and Iphone.

    Who do other people here think should be kept on or swept out?

  141. Stewart Flood

    A few small corrections to the comments above. First, the issue regarding the removal of Wrights was three terms ago, not last term. In the list of people to remove you are not listing one hooded key holder, you are listing three of them.

    It should be obvious to anyone who watches the meetings that Ms Visek reads her motions from cards handed to her by Mr Starr. Pojunis, while a relatively new member, is a hooded key holder. Mr Wiener, while frequently voting their way, does it after being convinced of their position. He was not an attendee at “secret meetings” when I was on the board.

    I agree in part with the assessment of Mr Hinkle. Mark is a good guy who means well. He has been accused of a lot of things by Mr Wagner that I just cannot believe he would have done. What possible reason could exist that would have caused him to be part of a plot with Ms Mattson, Mr Starr and Mr Carling, all of whom he considers his political enemies within the party?

    Was he an effective chair? His enemies (Starr Chamber) constantly pressed against him as chair and made it impossible for the board to get anything done. Would someone with a temperament more suited to be a chair have done a better job? Not if they were in opposition to the Chamber, which held more seats last term.

    When I was first elected to the LNC in 2006, I thought that the national board would be a body with a common goal of moving the political “football” closer to the goal line of freedom. I found that it is full of members who’s goals are to make illegal tackles, usually against their own team. Many of them like to punt the ball whenever possible, even on first down.

    The warring factions inside the party, call them whatever you want to, are the worst enemy we have. Why care about republicans and democrats when libertarians spend their lives fighting over control of their own party?

  142. Stewart Flood

    You’ve repeatedly tried to add the spin that Mark Hinkle was part of a conspiracy. I believe that is inaccurate. I also saw the video footage that Ms Hawkridge took, in which two people (one of whom I believe was you) were being prompted by her and your stories seemed to be changing as the video played.

    You accepted what you later believed was bad advice. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know exactly what they said or how you interpreted it, but I do not believe that Mr Hinkle was involved in or party to what anyone said at that meeting. He would certainly not have been in collusion with Ms Mattson since they were in the middle of a year and a half long feud. That does not mean he wouldn’t support her if he believed she had acted properly. But I am certain he would never have been part of any plot to take over your state’s party.

    And you can’t convince me that you weren’t aware that you were committing a coup when you changed the ByLaws. It doesn’t matter that the other side had questionable actions in the events surrounding the convention and the quorum or possible lack of quorum at the executive committee meeting.

    As I’ve said numerous times, I don’t know if their side is right either. But I believe that your actions were not.

  143. Stewart Flood

    Dr Phillies,

    I can say this with certainty. I know (and knew of) no conspiracy regarding Oregon. The conspiracy was to control and manipulate the board. I heard of Oregon after the fact, and the facts I saw were the same as what the rest of the board was given.

  144. Wes Wagner

    Stewart has nothing. He is so oblivious he doesn’t even know how the Oregon thing really went down even though its a matter of public record that the LNC, Mattson, Starr, Karlan et.al actually conspired to change the bylaws and commit a coup first — brought Hinkle along for the ride so hard he embezzled $5000 to hire the republican party’s attorney to help them (despite Mary Ruwart screaming into Hinkle’s ear to stop the madness every step of the way – Hinkle did everything Starr and Mattson asked him to do until the very very end) — and what was done by our faction was self-defense and was nothing more than what the other side had already plotted to do but simply failed to execute it before we did..

    If he can be that far off about that when the facts are a matter of public record, I would not trust any of his long-promised never-delivered “expose'”

  145. George Phillies

    The obvious conspiracy, a breathing together, was described on the floor of an LNC meeting. Karlan appeared to be taking credit for it when he announced it, though perhaps that is not what he meant. The conspiracy was to go to the extremely well attended LPOR state convention and claim LPOR did not have a quorum because Roberts had covertly amended their party Bylaws. That conspiracy occurred well before there was any disagreement as to who was the State Chair, so the argument as to whose state committee is valid had not yet arisen.

    The National Chair has a $5000 personal discretion account, so I believe the money was spent in accord with party Bylaws. What actually happened was much worse. The LNC then voted to that there was no conflict of interest in the attorney using the evidence the LNC paid for to support the lawsuit.

    My challenge to you, Stewart, was to give us the full details of the hooded dudes, not who was involved in Oregon.

  146. Wes Wagner

    George

    That $5000 discretionary account can’t be spent in increments > $1000 without approval per the policy manual in effect at the time.

  147. Stewart Flood

    There is no “conspiracy” in the public record. We did not change anyone’s ByLaws, while you have admitted several times that you changed your ByLaws outside of you convention — when the ByLaws you changed designated a convention as the only method of change!

    I have stated several times that I plan to produce something “before the convention”, which is still a year away. I have to find time to take several days to sit down and work on nothing else. I have all the data, it just needs to be organized. And with a job where I may work holidays (as I did yesterday and into this morning fixing a “down” data center), I will have to set aside the time well in advance and hope that no client emergencies crop up.

    I remember very clearly what happened in Oregon from the LNC’s perspective. Your claim of a conspiracy involving the LNC is total fantasy. If I had felt that you were right I would have voted differently. Your arrogance and your verbal assertions during the conference call when you admitted that you had changed the ByLaws and that you didn’t care about our opinion (I believe that was also quite clear from the graphic of a finger on fire), as well as your failure to answer many of the questions and evade issues made it clear that you were not being factual in your statements.

    Prior to that call I believe that half of the LNC was undecided on the issue. My recollection is that most of the undecided were convinced you were wrong at least in part by your own statements.

  148. Wes Wagner

    Stewart

    Oregon does not have to answer to the LNC … you have the authority relationship 100% reversed. Again, go fuck yourself.

  149. George Phillies

    There was, and may still be, a video of the LNC meeting in which Karlan got up and explained why he had organized people to go to the LPOR State Convention. Now, the video could be a fake, he could have been amplifying on the truth, but there is or was recorded evidence that I saw.

    By the way, the National convention is now only six months off.

  150. Wes Wagner

    Karlan was neck deep in the plot. He never met with us or reached out to us even though he was our alleged regional representative… completely operated in the shadows, and was responsible for updating the affiliate form so that it would be ready when the Burke crew disaffiliate, swapped the bylaws, and re-affiliated — this giving their bylaws change that was going to be done without the consent of anyone the veneer of pseudocredibility under parliamentoonian reasoning.

  151. Stewart Flood

    I’ve told you several times who the members were/are. What I need to put together is the file of email evidence to back up what I’m saying for “unbelievers”.

    Can you actually say that you don’t believe that Mr Starr, Dr Lieberman, Mr Carling, Ms Mattson and others held secret meetings where votes were determined and motions were written in advance and later handed to others at the meetings (like Ms Visek) to read in meetings? I believe that Mr Carling is not as involved at this point in time, but others including Mr Root, Mr Rutherford and Mr Knedler were key players in the past few terms.

    Doesn’t anyone recall when Mr Knedler was used to try to subvert the vote at the last convention by having him challenge the internal voting procedure of another state’s delegation? That was their final act of desperation in 2012 and it failed. The term “Knedlering” (which I and others coined just about simultaneously) has been added to the LP lexicon:

    Knedlering

    verb

    1. To cause extensive delay and disruption in an attempt to thwart the will of a convention or other deliberative body by claiming that a vote or other action was improper without having evidence of the claim other than the prompting of others who also have no evidence. The person knedlering is frequently a victim of a control group (such as the Starr Chamber [see Starr Chamber]) and is tricked into the act.

    Mr Knedler, like some others, has good intention. He was swayed by their arguments and supported actions that libertarians should reject.

  152. Wes Wagner

    We first learned of Karlan’s involvement when his membership renewal form was sent in the mail, shortly after Richard Burke turned on a couple dozen new memberships of mostly non-libertarians that were part of the Americans for Prosperity group. That caused us to look into his activities. He was most certainly part of the aggressors and part of it long before anything happened.

  153. Stewart Flood

    Mr Karlan’s actions in updating the form were unrelated to Oregon. He had been working on that and other internal procedures (as parliamentarians tend to do) for several years. I recall him saying in what those who know him would understand was a very sarcastic tone that it was fortunate that he had fixed the forms. I don’t recall the exact words he used, but I recall his general manner and tone of voice. I know that he did not want controversy or disruption in Oregon and he would not have been plotting with anyone. The form was a coincidence.

    I recall Mr Karlan saying that he had been asked by the Oregon state party to look at their ByLaws. The ByLaws Committee had placed an open offer to states who wanted help to contact them. That was a publicly known offer that was made at an LNC meeting some time prior to the issue in Oregon.

    These unrelated actions to not require that a conspiracy exists for them to have taken place.

  154. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Jeremy said: “Region 4 is a real problem, as you’d expect since it’s Starr’s home region. There needs to be some concerted activism there to get rid of the entire current leadership and replace them with anti-Starr partisans”.

    This is my region, and I completely agree with you. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anyone to draft to take Wiener”s and Lieberman’s spots. For example, no one came forward to replace Takenaga as chair, although most everyone I know agrees he should have been replaced. Someone came forward who had been a Libertairian only 5 or 6 months, and she was almost voted in because of Takenaga’s unpopularity. The expense and time involved to be on the LNC is well-known, and I just don’t know anyone who would be willing to tak it on.

  155. Stewart Flood

    I would ask one very important question here: why would anyone write ByLaws that permit membership in a state party by people who do not live in the state? I don’t recall anything about Mr Karlan being a member, but I do remember hearing several other LNC members as well as people not on the LNC talking about being members of Oregon and other state parties at the same time.

    Is it possible that Mr Karlan, as your representative, felt that it was an “obligation” to be a member of your state party since you permit non-residents to join? Of course it is. I’m not inside Mr Karlan’s head and I can only guess to his motive in maintaining membership in a state he represents. I believe his motives were not conspiratorial in nature.

    I am a member of only one state party. I would personally consider it unethical to be a voting member of more than one at the same time. On that point I disagree with some members of the national party, so on the issue of limiting membership to registered voters in the state, I would tend to agree with Mr Wagner. But I disagree with the coup that threw his state into its current situation.

  156. Stewart Flood

    Mr Starr wants to be on the LNC more than most small boys want to play football or baseball (or even video games). If he actually controls his region, why isn’t he the representative? I do not believe that Mr Starr and Mr Takenaga are allies. Things may have changed that I am unaware of, but I am certain that Mr Takenaga was not a supporter of what Mr Starr was doing when he served on the LNC.

  157. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m disappointed that Pojunis is a hooded keyholder. I know he’s a decisive character and has made some mistakes, but I thought that he had pulled away after Root threw so many people under the bus when he left in September of 2012.

  158. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Also, Jeremy C Young, you really have a good handle on what’s been going on, undoubtedly more than probably 90 % of Libertarians.

  159. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I don’t believe Starr and Takenaga are allies. I think Starr is done in California, at least for the forseeable future. Kevin’s problem is that he runs the state in secret. Most of us have no, idea what’s happening in the state besides our own little region, and we could be a powerhouse if that weren’t the case. I think that’s just Kevin’s management style, but it has seriously harmed the state, IMO.

  160. paulie

    Was he an effective chair? His enemies (Starr Chamber) constantly pressed against him as chair and made it impossible for the board to get anything done.

    I really liked the agenda Mark ran on when he ran for chair. Last time I checked those campaign sites were still up earlier this year. I’ve asked him about introducing those ideas as motions this term and he says he would like to, but hasn’t. I am not sure why. Maybe he has talked to members on the phone and not found enough support, or maybe there’s a different explanation.

  161. paulie

    so on the issue of limiting membership to registered voters in the state, I would tend to agree with Mr Wagner.

    I don’t.

    Many states disenfranchise people for crimes that either shouldn’t be crimes at all, or for which they have already done their time.

    Some people who are US residents but not citizens may want to join the LP. Some people may not be old enough yet already be heavily involved in politics in ways besides voting (I was one back in the day).

    Some people maintain residences in more than one state, or maintain a connection to a state they used to live in, or live near a state line and are active on both sides of it.

    Some people find it hard to remain on the voter rolls because they move frequently and don’t have a stable residence address. Should the LP exclude people for this reason?

    There are any number of reasons for someone other than a registered voter to be an LP member. Or a voter of one state to want to be a member of another state LP.

  162. Wes Wagner

    paulie

    In Oregon convicted felons can vote and hold public office. Oregon is all vote by mail so if you want your ballot you have to be very diligent in updating your addresses anyway. We made the decision to exclude everyone but registered libertarian voters, and it enjoyed 96.5+% support of the registered libertarian voters. They want to exclude some people … and I completely understand why.

  163. paulie

    I would ask one very important question here: why would anyone write ByLaws that permit membership in a state party by people who do not live in the state?

    Why not?

    For example, in 2000 I was on the road and did not know what state to be a delegate for. I asked different delegations but got a lot of maybes. Michigan said I could be a member of their delegation if I joined their state party for a year, even though I was already a life member of national. Turned out later I could have been with other delegations but they were the first to give me a definite yes. Seems like it made them some money so why wouldn’t they take it? If I had control of a state party I would be happy to sell “memberships” to LP members from other states that just wanted to donate and get a sense of their donation being appreciated. Now if there was a factional dispute in the LP and a bunch of out of state members wanted to buy a bunch of memberships so they could come in and take over on behalf of a faction….not so much.

  164. paulie

    I’m disappointed that Pojunis is a hooded keyholder. I know he’s a decisive character and has made some mistakes, but I thought that he had pulled away after Root threw so many people under the bus when he left in September of 2012.

    Stewart’s information is from last term. I don’t know to what extent Brett is still with those folks. I think he had somewhat of a falling out with them, but not completely.

  165. paulie

    (You can also vote from inside prison but it is not easy)

    My info on this is outdated but it was that in the US only Maine and Vermont allow this. Many foreign nations do, but almost no US states.

  166. Wes Wagner

    My general take on Pojunis is that he was very very close to Root, and by proxy fell into supporting that crowd, but he has had a falling out with Root.

  167. paulie

    My general take on Pojunis is that he was very very close to Root, and by proxy fell into supporting that crowd, but he has had a falling out with Root.

    Yep.

  168. George Phillies

    “Can you actually say that you don’t believe that Mr Starr, Dr Lieberman, Mr Carling, Ms Mattson and others held secret meetings where votes were determined and motions were written in advance and later handed to others at the meetings (like Ms Visek) to read in meetings? I believe that Mr Carling is not as involved at this point in time, but others including Mr Root, Mr Rutherford and Mr Knedler were key players in the past few terms.”

    To the contrary, I find your claim believable. However, I am urging you to put your evidence out to the public. I realize it is a pain in the neck to do this, as I have done the same for Browne and his Presidential campaigns.

  169. Stewart Flood

    I will, but not now. I’m too busy, and frankly I’m too disappointed with what the LNC is doing right now to even care about the next convention. I will be there, but I will probably just be shouting “off with their heads!” from the bleachers in the back, where South Carolina is usually relegated.

    I can certainly understand why someone who moves a lot should be able to easily change the state in which they vote. But should be they be permitted to vote in multiple states?

    If you make the argument that the national party has no meaning, then the case can be made for allowing someone to be an active participant in multiple state parties. But what about the national convention? Doesn’t that give the national party meaning? Isn’t that where the states get together to elect our “board of directors” to manage whatever national influence and exposure the party has?

    Someone who can vote in multiple state parties can, either directly or indirectly, influence multiple delegations to the national convention. Even if you only consider the act of nomination of a presidential ticket this is not right.

    I have changed my mind on this issue several times in recent years, but I am now firmly convinced that if a state cannot fill its delegation then the seats should be empty. Allowing a state to add delegates from other states allows factions like the Starr Chamber to exist. All you have to do is control a slight majority of the initial delegation in a few medium or large states, (or in some cases just the state chair), and you can pack in your supporters and outweigh the effect of similar action by your opponents in smaller states.

    If a state cannot get enough delegates of its own to attend the convention then they should be out of luck. (Yes, my own state of South Carolina tends to average below fifty percent attendance, even during presidential nominating conventions)

    Unfortunately, even a pacifist will be likely to pick up a gun to defend their family when their home is invaded when their country is at war. So fill our delegation? You bet: with anti-Starr Chamber delegates.

    Yes, my information on Pojunis is probably out dated. I am not “in the loop” anymore, since the Starr Chamber considers me a traitor (even though I told them I could not agree with where they are going) and the other side doesn’t like me either, regardless of my voting record clearly showing me to NOT have been a puppet of the Chamber. It doesn’t matter. I’m not sure that I’d ever want to take on the work and expense of being on the LNC again. As Paul has pointed out, it is quite expensive. It was even worse when there were four meetings a year PLUS the LSLA conference.

    I think that Pojunis’ falling out was over his failure to get them to help him make off with more than thirty grand of the party’s money. He follows the money, and they no longer control it. Besides, now that he’s a state chair he has other ways to fleece (no, I mean…well…no fleece is the right word) the party.

  170. paulie

    I will, but not now. I’m too busy, and frankly I’m too disappointed with what the LNC is doing right now to even care about the next convention. I will be there, but I will probably just be shouting “off with their heads!” from the bleachers in the back, where South Carolina is usually relegated.

    I might be back there with you.

    I can certainly understand why someone who moves a lot should be able to easily change the state in which they vote. But should be they be permitted to vote in multiple states?

    In government elections? No.

    State LPs should be allowed to decide for themselves who all they let vote in their internal elections.

    If there’s an organized takeover attempt I would be more apt to want to limit people who vote in other states from participating. If it’s because they are active on two sides of a state line or in a state where they used to live or have a second/seasonal home in etc., not necessarily.

    If you make the argument that the national party has no meaning, then the case can be made for allowing someone to be an active participant in multiple state parties. But what about the national convention? Doesn’t that give the national party meaning? Isn’t that where the states get together to elect our “board of directors” to manage whatever national influence and exposure the party has?

    Well, I would not for allowing anyone to cast more than one delegate vote by virtue of being a member of more than one delegation. I know at least one person that was a delegate from both Alabama and Georgia this last time, but that person voted each time depending on where he or she was seating….did not run back and forth to vote twice on the same vote.

    Someone who can vote in multiple state parties can, either directly or indirectly, influence multiple delegations to the national convention. Even if you only consider the act of nomination of a presidential ticket this is not right.

    Influence? You don’t have to be from that state to influence a delegation. I’ve lobbied people from multiple states for votes, and been lobbied by people passing by, running around the floor to get to their friends, people they know and even random people they don’t know.

    I have changed my mind on this issue several times in recent years, but I am now firmly convinced that if a state cannot fill its delegation then the seats should be empty. Allowing a state to add delegates from other states allows factions like the Starr Chamber to exist. All you have to do is control a slight majority of the initial delegation in a few medium or large states, (or in some cases just the state chair), and you can pack in your supporters and outweigh the effect of similar action by your opponents in smaller states.

    I’ve consistently been for allowing states to pick their delegates in whatever they choose, including people from other states when that is what they choose to do. Way too many circumstances where people legitimately have a residence or connection with more than one state, or their state is controlled by people who are locking them out for factional reasons, or their state is full while other states have plenty of empty slots (I’m for maximizing participation.

    Unfortunately, even a pacifist will be likely to pick up a gun to defend their family when their home is invaded when their country is at war. So fill our delegation? You bet: with anti-Starr Chamber delegates.

    I’m all for that.

  171. Wes Wagner

    As much as I thoroughly think Stewart completely missed the target completely in his ability to discern what happened in Oregon — the voting analysis done by Chuck/George/et.al. clearly indicates he was independent of the two major factions on the 2010-2012 LNC.

  172. paulie

    I talked to Stewart a lot when he was on LNC. He always seemed independent minded to me. We don’t always agree but I saw him at many state conventions and he made lots of calls and other attempts to represent our region well (my region at the time included SC so he was my rep, even though our region no longer includes SC now so I am not his region alternate since they are an orphan state).

  173. paulie

    Here is Hinkle’s agenda when he ran. http://archive.is/ErK6T I understand he got stymied by the committee majority that term. But he is on the LNC now so where are we on these items?

    Ballot Access in all 50 states (to the extent our members are willing to fund it).
    Membership growth among at least 2 key demographics: 1). young adults (we need fresh blood; and 2). business professionals (we need rich blood).
    Create single-issue coalitions with any other liberty-oriented organizations. Power in numbers!
    An online Congressional lobbying effort, something akin to DownsizeDC.org.
    Candidate and affiliate support training akin to the LP.s nationwide .Success. seminars of the late 1990.s.
    Internal education. We need to remind our members of why we exist and what we stand for. Ideological drift will doom the LP to an early death. This must not happen!
    Creation of a Liberty Sales Team: pay Libertarians a finder.s fee to obtain LP memberships.
    Creation of a Libertarian Speakers Bureau to provide Libertarian experts to discuss issues of the day with the media.

    I agree with all these proposals. I’ve floated them all on the email list several times. What is being done to make any of them happen, other than what we normally do for ballot access year in and year out?

  174. Stewart Flood

    The problem with situations like Oregon is that there is no clear right or wrong side. Those of us who were not actively involved based our opinion on the facts presented to us by both sides.

    I came into the situation actually biased against the “Reeves faction” based on previous interaction with a certain former LNC member from that state. It actually took more than an equal weighing of the evidence to overcome my initial bias. That is why I consider both sides to be at fault at least in part.

    Yeah…Paul was one of the constituents that I communicated with a lot. Not the only one, but certainly one of the more active lines of communication. That is a tough job. No matter what you do, someone doesn’t like it. Take, for example, the selection of the 2012 convention site. I voted for California, which I believed to be the best of the three choices. All I got from the Texas crowd was “you voted against a state in your region! You’re subject to removal!” (That was said in slightly more angered tone and words by a certain person who now serves on the LNC as an officer that is neither the chair, the treasurer, or the secretary.)

    Of course California WAS a state in my region, making that comment nonsensical. Nevada was not, and I did not like the selection of Las Vegas based on the cost and a number of other “non-political” factors. But the “political” factors seemed to be the most important to many other LNC members. They argued endlessly about giving Mr Root a home field advantage. I honestly did not think it was a factor, which it turned out to not be.

    I am fearful of Ohio. I voted against it. I see it as a battle ground where a very contentious race to control the party will take place. Why don’t we do outreach? Why don’t we train candidates? (Not talking about the LNCC that has said it does NOT support candidates in my state)

    I’ll write the piece, or at least most of it. There are a few secrets that would destroy the party if they got out. (note the teaser…I’ll have to figure out how to sell copies of this thing!)

  175. Stewart Flood

    I think that as an at-large board member it is much more difficult to push an agenda than when he was chair.

    Yes, there was absolutely nothing wrong with his agenda. Everyone should have supported it, regardless of what “faction” they were in. That is why I tried very hard to support what the chair was trying to do.

    It all fell apart. The term was a horrible mess, with motion upon motion about the Policy Manual and changing committees. We did get a new phone system, which was actually “my” campaign promise. 🙂

  176. paulie

    I think Texas was the best choice for 2012. The arguments about downtown Dallas being a high crime area and the like were nonsense. Not that I think you owed Texas a vote just because it was one of your states. I do still harbor a suspicion about why some people wanted Summerlin (not-quite-Vegas) but oh well, it backfired on them, so that’s fine. I share concerns about what may happen in Ohio.

    Oregon…I wish it was possible to put that behind us and move on, but neither side wants to let it die and move on like they should. Regardless of whatever Wagner and friends did to change the bylaws and whether the new bylaws are good or not it’s a done deal and they seem to be running a pretty active slate of candidates, especially for a state their size in population, so I’m inclined to get national out of the arguments out there as much as possible and let them handle their own business. Unfortunately people on both sides of it, inside and outside Oregon, want to endlessly pick at the infected scabs….so it’s a long way from being over.

  177. paulie

    a certain person who now serves on the LNC as an officer that is neither the chair, the treasurer, or the secretary.

    Wow, you are really being oblique there, LOL. So you mean the fourth out of four officers after you explicitly eliminated the other three. It would take a rocket-brain-surgeoning-type scientist to figure that one out…..

  178. paulie

    “…How to sell…” Amazon Kindle. All you need is a properly formatted standard file. I am happy to advise on inserting figures.

    I think “sell” was being used more in the sense of “interest in” but I could be wrong.

  179. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I had nothing personally against Hinkle until I saw how rude he was to everyone on the LNC Discuss Public list. Why did civility go out the window right away? His treatment of Starchild is atrocious. He’s clearly forgotten he’s no longer the chair and is of equal rank as Starchild.

  180. Stewart Flood

    Actually I should have said that Paulie got it on both counts.

    I didn’t like Texas option. There were too many people pushing for it for just the exact opposite reasons as those favoring Nevada. They felt that their candidate (someone on the LNC but not the…) would have an advantage. And when Texas gave us lousy submissions and they were all eliminated (honestly bad choices!), they were given an extra chance by the slightly lopsided representation on the convention oversight committee. When that failed, they were given ANOTHER opportunity to submit something. They got a free pass to the finals, while other states that were eliminated were not even told they’d been booted.

    At least they weren’t hiding it, but it was not the right thing to do.

    The hotel was not in downtown Dallas. I believe that there was a hotel in Dallas in consideration at one point, but the hotel we were looking at in the final selection had some sort of city dump across the street and the county jail about a half-mile down the road. You could even see it in the street view on Google.

    It was not a good part of town. And the California submission was better. The funny thing is that they didn’t even know they were in it until near the end. My guess is that they’d have put in a better option and won over Nevada if they’d been given the same chances Texas got.

    But back to the hotel: nothing local to walk to for entertainment or food, unless you liked dumps and jails. I am pretty sure it was not in Dallas, but I’d have to go look to remember which of the other cities it was in. I am thinking Houston, but that may be wrong.

    The committee vote was split two for Texas, two for Nevada and one for California (me). So the committee chair reported to the LNC that the committee favored Texas. That made it extra nasty. Both sides can cheat if given the opportunity.

  181. Stewart Flood

    I’m sorry to hear that about Mark. But you have to admit that Starchild can go on and on about things that will never happen in a million years. We’re not having conventions or LNC meetings outdoors in a city park. Not going to happen.

    Transparency? I agree in principle, but you can’t have a perfect system without trampling on the right to at least some privacy on the part of the LNC members.

  182. Mark Axinn

    Jeremy said: “Region 4 is a real problem, as you’d expect since it’s Starr’s home region. There needs to be some concerted activism there to get rid of the entire current leadership and replace them with anti-Starr partisans”.

    Like Jill, my state is currently in Region 4. Dan Wiener and Scott Lieberman typically vote for California, and Brett Pojunis and Audrey Capozzi for New York and the three other much smaller members of 4. I cannot speak for California, but I assume that Dan and Scott consult the LPC leadership just like any other regional rep. consults the leadership of the states in his region. Brett regularly consults with me on an issue of importance (such as building/condo purchase) and we have never discussed Oregon, Aaron Starr or any other wholly irrelevant matter. I know that Audrey is not part of any chamber, mythical or otherwise.

    So it is beyond fatuous to presume that my reps. in Region 4 take their voting cues from Mr. Starr who currently holds no positions at all in any state leadership.

    Nevertheless, and for completely unrelated reasons, I expect that there will be changes in the composition of Region 4 next year.

  183. paulie

    I know that Audrey is not part of any chamber, mythical or otherwise.

    She also pretty much never speaks up on the email list or votes or shows up to meetings. I’m not sure what she does on LNC, at least this term, although that’s true of many of the alternates.

    So it is beyond fatuous to presume that my reps. in Region 4 take their voting cues from Mr. Starr who currently holds no positions at all in any state leadership.

    Well, I’m pretty sure Scott does. Not orders necessarily, but he’s pretty much in lockstep with Aaron as far as I know.

    Dan to some extent, he is more independent but tends to agree with Aaron a lot. Brett may be more like Dan that way. I don’t think Aaron orders either one of them around, but they tend to find his arguments persuasive more often than not.

    True Aaron is not on LNC or his state committee now, but he is at every LNC meeting and speaking as much as just about any LNC member. He is an officer of LNCC and of LSLA, a member of the Audit Committee, a member of the Bylaws committee, an alternate on the Platform committee, and a member of the Financial Reports Committee. So to say he is not in the leadership is not true.

  184. paulie

    I’m sorry to hear that about Mark. But you have to admit that Starchild can go on and on about things that will never happen in a million years. We’re not having conventions or LNC meetings outdoors in a city park. Not going to happen.

    He wants to consider all kinds of different alternative venues, not just outdoors. It’s an old argument and you are probably right that it is not going anywhere any time soon, if ever. But whether it does or not, the principle of trying to cut down on ways that personal finances are used as impediments to participating in party governance is a worthy one.

    Transparency? I agree in principle, but you can’t have a perfect system without trampling on the right to at least some privacy on the part of the LNC members.

    Privacy is virtually non-existent for LNC members anyway. I would expect that we are heavily surveilled and infiltrated by government agencies, electronically and in person. The bigger parties probably have their spies as well.
    The idea that we have secrets worth keeping and are able to keep seems naive at best. I go into this at some length in this interview: http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/12/outright-blogtalk-with-mike-shipley-freedom-caucus-az-episode-16-on-libertarian-party-politics-with-paulie/

  185. paulie

    There were too many people pushing for it for just the exact opposite reasons as those favoring Nevada. They felt that their candidate (someone on the LNC but not the…) would have an advantage.

    Well, maybe you’re right that they got too much leeway on that. But then I think Texas had a legitimate claim as a state party that has been doing very well in terms of money, candidates, membership etc and has not had a national convention except once in the early 1970s.

    The hotel was not in downtown Dallas. I believe that there was a hotel in Dallas in consideration at one point, but the hotel we were looking at in the final selection had some sort of city dump across the street and the county jail about a half-mile down the road. You could even see it in the street view on Google.

    The city jail is in downtown Dallas (on the other side of the expressway from the hotel) and so was the hotel. http://www.lp.org/files/2010-11-20-LNCMeetingMinutes-NewOrleans.pdf Hyatt Grand Regency in Dallas. It’s common for city jails and big hotels to be within half a mile of each other in the downtown of many big cities.

    Look it up on Google maps…it’s in downtown Dallas and the neighborhood is fine. It’s at 300 Reunion Blvd, Dallas, TX if anyone wants to look that up.

    It’s a stone’s throw from Union Station and Dealey Plaza. Tons of food and entertainment within an easy walk…I have spent a lot of time in that neighborhood, including a couple of days this month after the LNC meeting was over and going back many years. Whoever told you that it’s far from downtown or food or entertainment or any of the other things that were said against it at that meeting – it’s just not true and I believe it was agenda driven..

  186. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Paulie said: “True Aaron is not on LNC or his state committee now, but he is at every LNC meeting and speaking as much as just about any LNC member”.

    Considering how enthusiastically he was voted OFF the LNC, I really, really have problems with this.

  187. paulie

    His individual contributions make sense. It does seem to be a lot cumulatively, though. Even if he never spoke in LNC meetings he could very well influence LNC members at other times or even during the meeting by passing notes, emailing or texting people, talking to them during breaks, etc. Or before the meeting, as Stewart has been talking about.

  188. Stewart Flood

    Hmmm…well it was a couple of years ago and I didn’t go back to look, but I could have sworn it wasn’t Dallas. Regardless of the issues of where it was in the city, I am certain that the bid was actually more expensive than Nevada. I should still have the spreadsheet somewhere.

    I agree that Texas had been doing well, but California is also important. Travel to Nevada for delegates was the lowest (on average), with Texas and California higher. The overall convention costs for members would have been equal between California and Nevada when you trade out higher transportation against lower convention expenses. Texas came in higher. States where SouthWest Air has services benefited more from Texas, but they aren’t everywhere. Vegas flights tend to be cheaper from most cities.

    Either way, the impact of losing on home turf was fatal to Root’s plans in the LP. He had to beg for an endorsement from Johnson (which I still cringe when thinking about) to get back on the LNC.

    And even though he went into it probably already knowing he’d lose, we all have to admit that Wrights helped give us one of the better debates of recent years. I do not believe a home court advantage would have helped him much.

    As far as Aaron Starr goes, he’s flying a kite with no string. The LNCC means nothing. The LSLA means more, but still mostly nothing. He will make a play to get back, most likely as treasurer after this audit fiasco. The delegates who do not remember may vote for him, but I believe that there will be a lot of outspoken opponents to remind everyone of what he can do.

  189. paulie

    Austin was considered at one point but something somehow fell thru and Texas switched its interest to Dallas. California is the top population state of course, but it had a national convention pretty recently in 2000, so Texas had a good claim I thought.

    And Texas was more accessible to a larger percentage of people driving.

    The other choice that fell by the wayside was Philly. I heard very different perspectives on what went down with that. The Boswash population megacorridor has been neglected since 1998. Most big cities in the NE are expensive, but there are some deals to be had, for example in Atlantic City. There’s even a relatively decent rate at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. Ohio will be the closest convention to the northeast since the 90s, but it is still considered midwest.

    If it had been Wrights vs Root I think home field may have played a role. With Johnson in the race he would have beat either or both no matter where the convention was, so home field didn’t matter, except potentially for things like LNC.

    I agree Wrights did well in the debate and I think Johnson was glad that debate happened. I think Wrights would have been a better VP for Johnson than Gray was.

    Sometimes being on the LNC makes me feel like this Darwin Award winner…

    Zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt ( Paderborn , Germany ) fed his constipated elephant 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded.

    The sheer force of the elephant’s unexpected defecation knocked Mr Riesfeldt to the ground where he struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200 pounds of dung on top of him. It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that proves… ‘Shit happens’

  190. Stewart Flood

    I forgot about Philly. Yes, it was eliminated early, based on very bad reasons. Only a few of us on the committee that liked the idea. The rest were fighting over Texas vs Nevada the whole time. They tore the Philly bid apart based on some crazy parking fee that never existed. And of course it was also a weekend that gave us limited options due to some big event going on in the city. I’d forgotten about that.

    Insider politics. The COC reeks of it.

    The Johnson/Wrights idea had merit, but do you really think that the party would have gotten behind it? By then, Johnson had already picked a running mate, so his delegates would have never supported it.

  191. George Phillies

    If you want far from restaurants, it was hard to beat Vegas. It was a very nice hotel. It had two iirc quality restaurants. For the benefit of the nekulturny, buffets however excellent (it was) are not quality restaurants. I took my PAC Treasurer to dinner, as I do every convention. It was not cheap.

  192. Michael H. Wilson

    I don’t gamble at casinos but I do like to eat at them and the opportunities at the Red Rock where some of the worst I have encountered in the West.

  193. Stewart Flood

    And it took forever to get to the food court. No, it was not a good selection.

    I had a very nice steak one evening at one of the hotel restaurants, but as Dr Phillies pointed out it was not cheap.

  194. George Phillies

    If people want a convention center that is not a hotel, there is a large one in King of Prussia roughly directly opposite the Mall in King of Prussia. It handles Historicon, so it can likely handle us. It is a considerably ways out from the airport, so I am not off-hand advocatiung it, but there are a whole bunch of nearby hotels. Do not confuse the large center with the small center where LPPA has its conventions.

  195. Jeremy C. Young

    Mark: I didn’t claim that Wiener or Pojunis take orders from Starr (though I did claim that about Lieberman); I claimed that they vote in lockstep with Starr. I think the voting record will bear me out on that one, though I do not contest your point that they may also check with their state chairs and/or come to agree with Starr on their own. The two things are not mutually exclusive. For instance, Redpath almost always votes with Starr, but he certainly doesn’t take orders from Starr; he just happens to agree with him on most issues.

    Stewart: where I think I disagree with both you and Hinkle is in how to win faction fights. When you are involved in a faction fight, the most important thing to do is to vote in such a way that frustrates the aims of the opposing faction. This is why I initially found it difficult to believe that both you and Hinkle were members of the anti-Starr faction. Think floor fees are a good idea? Doesn’t matter. Starr is pushing the floor fee, and the floor fee will keep many anti-Starr delegates out of the convention. Think Wes Wagner is a jerk? Who cares? His opponent is bought and paid for by Starr, so you vote with Wagner. Simply put: voting “independence” is a luxury you don’t have if you are seriously trying to break up a cabal. Break the cabal first, quibble over the issues later. Hinkle in particular has helped out Starr so often in the name of “independence” that I’ve lost any confidence in him. Remember when he was antagonizing Mary Ruwart while she was the leader of the anti-Starr faction? Remember his attacks on Starchild, whose moves for transparency will destroy Starr’s ability to organize? At some point, it does not matter what your motives are — if you cannot find a way to use what power you have to destroy the cabal, then you are helping them.

    Jill: why don’t you run? (Also, thanks for your kind comments!)

  196. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m much too thin-skinned, Jeremy, although I appreciate the question. I was on the California Ex Com back in 2009 when the pedophile scandal of one of the members came up. It was most unpleasant, so I didn’t run again the next year.

  197. Wes Wagner

    FYI — Jeremy is correct about how you break a cabal… the only time I believe you should break ranks and throw one of your own people under the bus is when there have been crimes of dishonesty. You cannot allow such items to impair the reputation of your group while you are prosecuting the political war against the corrupt regime. The moral law is far too valuable of a strategic advantage under the Art of War to discard it carelessly for things like “loyalty” or “friendship”.

  198. Stewart Flood

    Mr Young,

    To your point:

    From the February 2010 LNC meeting in Austin
    LNC Austin, February 27-28, 2010 Page 13/14

    Pat Dixon moved:
    No delegates will be denied entrance to the convention floor during business session of the 2010 LP national convention in St. Louis based upon payment of fees.

    After some discussion, Aaron Starr moved a substitute motion:

    For the 2010 convention, section 2.02.3 of the Policy Manual is party overridden as follows: An online system of sponsorship shall be implemented to facilitate matching those wanting to pay another’s registration fee with those requesting sponsorship.

    After more discussion and after an extension of time, the amendment finally came to a vote.
    The chair ruled that since the convention fee was something the LNC had previously adopted, albeit by way of delegating its authority to the Convention Oversight Committee to make such decisions, the measure would take nine votes, a majority of the entire committee, or a two-thirds
    majority of those present and voting. Mary Ruwart appealed the ruling of the Chair. The body sustained the Chair’s ruling.

    The amendment to substitute failed by a vote of 6-8. The motion introduced by Pat Dixon passed 10-5

    Voting in favor:
    Mary Ruwart, Stewart Flood, Tony Ryan, Julie Fox, Dan Karlan, Lee Wrights, Dr. Lark, Rachel Hawkridge, Pat Dixon, Michael Jingozian

    Opposed
    Aaron Starr, Rebecca Sink Burris, Scott Lieberman, Alicia Mattson, Bob Sullentrup
    Admiral Colley who was not present could not vote.

    —-

    I believe that convention fees are permissible and are the only way to go to keep the donors from funding the convention. I argued that point on a number of occasions. Several of my colleagues who felt the same were very critical to me of my voting against something I personally believed in. But while I personally believe convention fees are a good idea, a majority of the state chairs of the states in my region did not. I disagreed with them, but still decided to vote to represent my region. Yes, it was in opposition to Mr Starr, who had lobbied me heavily and knew that I personally supported convention fees.

    Unfortunately, it was impossible to canvas all the members of the party in my region, so I based my decision on the opinions voiced by state chairs.

    When the vote came at the convention I voted (as a delegate) in favor of convention fees, and will continue to do so if the issue comes up. Convention fees do not stop delegates from attending. Holding conventions in far away places like Portland stop delegates from attending. Remember 2006?

    Oregon, while coincidently being the far away place we held a convention was a considerably different issue. First of all, the executive committee voted on it, not the full LNC. Mr Wagner continues to make that mistake in his statements. Most of the LNC, including myself, signed a resolution at a later date. I believe it was all but 3 members. On the votes that the LNC did take, I believe you will find that I voted in opposition to Mr Starr, even when the vote had already won by a landslide. (I think that was in DC, but I wasn’t sure). I am pretty sure it was the vote on amending the affiliation form.

    If you look, you will find a number of motions where my vote was in opposition to Mr Starr and one vote changing would have given them the victory. You will find a number, but not all votes, where I voted in opposition against a strong majority because the motion was bad. You will find others where I voted with the already strong majority, because even though Mr Starr’s group was the majority, because it was a serious issue and they were right. You may fault me for that, but I’m not going to vote against something that is important and that needs to pass simply because a certain faction supports it. That’s nonsense.

    Mr Hinkle’s problem is that he let it get under his skin and started voting against the Starr Chamber regardless of the motion, even when it was something everyone else supported. He still does that, which I believe is what you are suggesting he do.

    Regarding Starchild, he seems to annoy the chair and Mr Hinkle. They let it get to them, and they vent. I have met Starchild on several occasions. I have found him to be dedicated, but somewhat out of touch with reality regarding certain things. The reality in question being the need for electricity, as well as protection from rain, cold, damp and other things that holding LNC meetings in a park would subject the members to (not to mention the wind blowing papers everywhere). He continues to propose things that get them annoyed and they vent.

    Does he have the right to continue to propose the same ideas? Of course. And while it would be better judgement to avoid doing it, they vent at him in email.

  199. Mark Axinn

    I wrote:
    >So it is beyond fatuous to presume that my reps. in Region 4 take their voting cues from Mr. Starr who currently holds no positions at all in any state leadership.

    Paulie responded:
    >Well, I’m pretty sure Scott does. Not orders necessarily, but he’s pretty much in lockstep with Aaron as far as I know.

    Just so there is no confusion, at no time ever has Scott Lieberman represented the interests of LPNY. He is not our representative or alternate to the LNC and is not authorized to vote by or for New York, which had no participation in his selection to represent California on the LNC..

    Any position that he takes on any issue whatsoever,is his own or on behalf of Califormnia whom he does represent. It is not on behalf of New York, whether New York may agree with it or not.

    I trust this is clear.

  200. Mark Axinn

    Jememy–

    I don’t know but presume that you are correct that Dan Wiener and Brett Pojunis vote as Aaron Starr would prefer, though that could be as you noted with Bill Redpath simply because they agree with him more often than not.. As I do not know how Aaaron Starr would vote on many issues, I am not qualified to opine on that.

    Brett represents my state on LNC (and Audrey if there as alternate), so I am only concerned wth his voting pattern.

    I have agreed with him on every issue, but Brett has done a fine job of representing his portion of Region 4 and I am thankful to him for shlepping to all those goddam meetings and dealing with all of the nonsense that goes along with being on the LNC.

  201. paulie

    Just so there is no confusion, at no time ever has Scott Lieberman represented the interests of LPNY. He is not our representative or alternate to the LNC and is not authorized to vote by or for New York, which had no participation in his selection to represent California on the LNC..

    According to what we have been told Lieberman is the second alternate for your part of the region. If that’s not actually true you should inform the LNC immediately. During part of the meeting two weeks ago he was at the table sitting in and voting for Pojunis, while Wiener was also at the table.

  202. paulie

    Convention fees do not stop delegates from attending. Holding conventions in far away places like Portland stop delegates from attending.

    Both do.

    Mr Hinkle’s problem is that he let it get under his skin and started voting against the Starr Chamber regardless of the motion, even when it was something everyone else supported. He still does that, which I believe is what you are suggesting he do.

    Depends on the issue. To take one obvious example, delegate floor fees. Mark and Aaron agree on those, though not necessarily for the same reasons.

  203. paulie

    I had heard accusations that Hinkle was on the “protect the pedophile” side of that scandal … but I have never been able to confirm.

    He participated in a unanimous California Judicial Committee vote that the case against Barnes was not presented to the standards in the state bylaws.

  204. paulie

    Regarding Starchild, he seems to annoy the chair and Mr Hinkle. They let it get to them, and they vent. I have met Starchild on several occasions. I have found him to be dedicated, but somewhat out of touch with reality regarding certain things. The reality in question being the need for electricity, as well as protection from rain, cold, damp and other things that holding LNC meetings in a park would subject the members to (not to mention the wind blowing papers everywhere). He continues to propose things that get them annoyed and they vent.

    Again, you are oversimplifying his position on alternative convention venues.

  205. George Phillies

    @6:46 PM Then convince the other state chairs in your region, or a majority thereof — unless you signed an exotic region formation agreement — to remove him.

  206. paulie

    Mark: I didn’t claim that Wiener or Pojunis take orders from Starr (though I did claim that about Lieberman); I claimed that they vote in lockstep with Starr…..Redpath almost always votes with Starr

    Do they? Let’s take this meeting for example.


    The motion by Mr. Cloud to adopt the resolution “Motion to Pay Mr. Cloud a Fair Amount for
    his Fundraising Services” failed, with 4 in favor and 11 against. Goldstein, Lieberman, Starchild, and
    Visek voted in favor. Cloud, Hagan, Hinkle, Kirkland, Johnson, Lark, Olsen, Redpath, Tomasso, Vohra,
    and Wiener voted against.

    Redpath and Wiener were on the opposite side of this from Starr; Pojunis didn’t vote (Lieberman voted instead).

    Delegate fee:

    Hagan, Johnson, Kirkland, Lark,
    Neale, Olsen, Redpath, Starchild, Tomasso, Vohra, Wiener voted in favor. Cloud, Goldstein, Hinkle,
    Pojunis, and Visek voted against

    Here, Pojunis voted as Starr would have. Redpath and Wiener did not.

    At least I’m presuming how Aaron would have voted based on his record and stated opinions.

  207. paulie

    The Johnson/Wrights idea had merit, but do you really think that the party would have gotten behind it? By then, Johnson had already picked a running mate, so his delegates would have never supported it.

    Depends on which ones. I went to the convention undecided and decided there to vote for Johnson. I voted for Wrights for VP. Judge Gray has the same strengths and the same weaknesses as Johnson, so I don’t think he added to the ticket.

  208. paulie

    I had plenty of complaints about the Summerlin casino, but food was not one of them. In additon to the super-expensive restaurants, buffets, food court (too far of a walk most of the time) there were several mid-range sit down places where I usually ate – this is all inside the casino – , such as the burgers and beer place that I ate at several times. There was also plenty of hospitality suite food as well. I never left the casino while I was there, but afterwards I saw that there were a number of convenience stores and strip shopping centers with restaurants and perhaps grocery stores in the area. If you had a car or took the city bus which comes by frequently there are tons of all those further down Charleston.

    The thing that really sucked the most about the Summerlin casino was how long it took to walk from my room to restaurants to the floor to party suites etc and how often I got lost in the process. That and quite a few other things. But food? No complaints from me.

  209. Mark Axinn

    I had no idea that Scott Lieberman was voting in lieu of Brett Pojunis. As it turns out, I like the way he voted on the Cloud issue, but he should not have voted at all.

    I will raise my objection and see what happens.

  210. Mark Axinn

    I reviewed the Region 4 formation agreement which I did not negotiate nor sign, nor to which I wanted to join as George remembers, and it states in relevant part as follows:

    “For the purpose of in-person meetings…the alternate elected from California shall be the first alternate for the representative elected by California and the second alternate for the representative elected outside of California.”

    So I have no basis to object to Scott voting both Brett and Audrey are absent but Dan is present, which happened in Dallas some of the time. Nevertheless, and without addressing any of the substantive votes he may have made, I stand by my prior statement that Scott was never selected by nor does he represent LPNY in any fashion. Scott represents California and its members.

  211. Mark Axinn

    In any event, I anticipate there will be changes in the makeup of Region 4 next year.

    It has been an honor to be part of a region with West Coast states, but New York is located in the northeastern part of the US.

  212. Andy

    Stewart Flood: “Regarding Starchild, he seems to annoy the chair and Mr Hinkle. They let it get to them, and they vent. I have met Starchild on several occasions. I have found him to be dedicated, but somewhat out of touch with reality regarding certain things. The reality in question being the need for electricity, as well as protection from rain, cold, damp and other things that holding LNC meetings in a park would subject the members to (not to mention the wind blowing papers everywhere). He continues to propose things that get them annoyed and they vent.”

    How about holding the meeting over videoconferencing?

  213. Andy

    “paulie December 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm
    National convention? Too many people. For LNC meetings, yes.”

    I was talking about LNC meetings.

    National Conventions actually could be held on-line as well, but I don’t think that this is a good idea because the national conventions get the party a lot of publicity.

  214. George Phillies

    Mark,
    Unless your region formation agreement has something contrary, a majority of the state chairs in your region can *remove* and *replace* a representative or alternate. The manner whereby which they were initially chosen does not affect this,

  215. Stewart Flood

    Video conferencing? I am not sure that technology costs have dropped to the point where everyone could be provided with equipment to do the job.

    I’ve dealt with video conferencing for years. Unless everyone has good equipment, which includes a decent camera, speakers and/or computer speakers setup to not cause echo back into the mic (some but not all software conferencing systems handle this well), and of course a fast enough network connection. And of course you have to have the right software and it either has to be platform agnostic or everyone has to have similar operating systems and hardware.

    Setting up and testing are always an issue. Things that worked at one meeting will mysteriously fail to work at the next — usually because someone decided to install operating system patches or loaded something that conflicts and then waste everyone’s time by not mentioning it.

    In a meeting with two or three remote attendees this can work. But not on a board where there could potentially be more than two dozen remote stations (counting alternates).

    And then you frequently get situations like one we had a few months ago in South Carolina. We allow teleconferencing by getting executive committee members from adjacent counties together, giving us four or at most five locations. In the meeting in question, besides the horrible echo that prevented some of us from understanding what was being said, we lost our connection to the meeting and could not get reconnected without horrible feedback. When we dropped, the meeting lost quorum. After five or ten minutes of problems, the chair cancelled the meeting. (I’m not sure he had the authority to do that, but he did)

    Video conferencing for meetings is a wonderful idea. But it is not easy to do. I don’t believe the LNC could get it to work right. It might work five or ten years from now, but not today.

  216. Stewart Flood

    Paulie,

    I wasn’t trying to over simplify Starchild’s position. But all the times that I have heard him mention it, he states it pretty much the same way: why can’t we meet in a park or a campground?

    I know that it isn’t as simple as that, but he frequently states his case that way — at least when I’ve heard it.

    Starchild poses it as a question, rather than providing a proposal that addresses the known issues. We don’t need LNC members that just ask questions. We need LNC members that can either find solutions or find the people who can. If Starchild has presented a solution, I haven’t seen it.

  217. Mark Axinn

    George–
    Not worth rocking the boat this late in the 2012/14 season.
    Moreover, I agree with the one substantive vote noted above (motion regarding Cloud expenditures) which Scott made at the last meeting.

  218. George Phillies

    Mark,
    Massachusetts had a related issue in 2012, the much less serious that yours, and passed a Bylaw dealing with the issue:

    “H. Region Formation

    No Region formation agreement involving Massachusetts may be approved by any person unless the exact agreement has already been approved by the State Committee or the National Convention Delegation. State Committee approval or disapproval is by majority vote at a properly called State Committee meeting held in Massachusetts. National Convention Delegation approval requires an affirmative majority vote by an absolute majority of all persons appointed by the State Convention to serve as Massachusetts delegates, as described elsewhere in these Bylaws, and who are in attendance at the National Convention. The Libertarian Association of Massachusetts henceforth deems any agreement purporting to bind Massachusetts but signed without voted approval to be invalid, as a violation of the party statement of principles, namely as a use of fraud for political purposes.”

    You may want a slightly different wording.

  219. paulie

    Video conferencing? I am not sure that technology costs have dropped to the point where everyone could be provided with equipment to do the job.

    It’s a lot cheaper than having everyone meet up from all over the country 3-4 times a year.

    Also, who really needs video? A sinple phone conference would do in a pinch, and if everyone could be by their computers to receive documents and, say, look at a screen that says who is talking it’s fine.

    Webex, join.me, gotomeeting or freeconferencecall + email would all be fine.

  220. paulie

    I wasn’t trying to over simplify Starchild’s position. But all the times that I have heard him mention it, he states it pretty much the same way: why can’t we meet in a park or a campground?

    I know that it isn’t as simple as that, but he frequently states his case that way — at least when I’ve heard it.

    Starchild poses it as a question, rather than providing a proposal that addresses the known issues. We don’t need LNC members that just ask questions. We need LNC members that can either find solutions or find the people who can. If Starchild has presented a solution, I haven’t seen it.

    He’s addressed that issue many times. Many parks and campgrounds have indoor facilities on the grounds. There are also plenty of other places that have adequate meeting rooms – schools, libraries, universities, relatively cheaper hotels like a Quality Inn or Best Western, and so on.

  221. Andy

    “Stewart Flood December 27, 2013 at 8:56 am
    Video conferencing? I am not sure that technology costs have dropped to the point where everyone could be provided with equipment to do the job.”

    Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper for people to purchase the videoconferencing equipment than it is to run around the country for meetings 3 or 4 times per year?

  222. Stewart Flood

    My experience has been that large group video conferencing does not work.

    Yes, it would probably be less money in the long run. But with changeovers in representatives, it would be better to have the LNC foot the bill and make representatives sign a “checkout” document requiring them to return everything when they are no longer members of the committee. What do we do? Buy them all good cameras, mics and monitors? What about software?

    This is not cheap, and would require training since not all LNC members are adept at using computers (some actually use Ouiga boards to make decisions). Things break, and things need to be fixed. This is not a trivial undertaking.

    But some of you are also forgetting the dynamics of meetings and human interaction. If you are communicating with one or two other people video conferencing will work well, but the dynamics of obtaining the floor to speak or to make motions just does not work remotely. I’ve been in LP board meetings for our state, one of the most non-contentious and cooperative state committee in the country, and even we have problems with video conferencing. (Yes, we actually all like each other and work together, regardless of any minor philosophical differences)

    Humans interact visually and audibly. Their visual focus changes quickly, faster than any computer system could react. Even with all the wasted time at LNC meetings, they are still more productive than a group teleconference from more than two dozen locations could ever be.

    I do think that video conferencing would work for smaller subcommittees of the party.

  223. Marc Montoni

    Starchild’s problem is that he keeps annoying people with his demands for parks, campgrounds, tents, and so on without ever actually doing the legwork involved in ginning up a concrete proposal for the LNC to vote on.

    I’ve organized large events at parks, a friend’s riverside property, hotels, and convention centers, both for the LP, for homeschooling groups, a couple of fraternal organizations I did some work for in the nineties, and so on. I know what works for each kind of group, and I also know when it’s appropriate for a group to go outside its box.

    Starchild mostly just assumes.

  224. Stewart Flood

    Paulie,

    I certainly agree that meetings could be held in less expensive hotels. The problem is that the LNC is usually using the meeting as a site visit for a prospective convention hotel and they are usually the larger and more expensive venues.

    Of course you can stay in one hotel and look at others, which we did in at least one city when I was on the committee. Some LNC members are ok with that, while others are not.

  225. Mike Kane

    Video Conferencing being expensive? Give me a break. A decent webcam and computer can be purchased for the cost of one round trip ticket and a night in the fancy hotel the LNC holds their meetings at.

  226. paulie

    I’ve done video and phone conferences with 40 people. There was no problem. Hell, you could make it a simple chat box and that would probably be fine for the LNC’s needs.

    I agree that alternative meeting site ideas need more concrete details.

    If Starchild could plan a LNC meeting at an alternate location and it went off without a hitch maybe LNC members would be less skeptical about the convention ideas.

    For example, I suggested looking ito whether the former Armory in SF whch is now being used by Kink.com for video shoots might rent out meeting space. An LNC meeting in an S&M dungeon might be somewhat interesting, given that it’s already a form of torture.

    As for site visits, most of our meetings this term have not involved site visits.

  227. Stewart Flood

    But were those 40 people politicians operating under Robert’s?

    And I’d bet that most of those 40 people knew more about using a computer than the average LNC member does. Were they all members of a committee? Did they have alternates to deal with? Executive session? What happens in that conference if people leave the room or drop offline by accident? Do they have a quorum call?

    Anyway…if the convention votes to change the ByLaws then these issues will have to be addressed.

  228. Matt Cholko

    This is another thing that bothers me….

    If we accept that conventions must be held in hotels with adequate size convention halls (which I’ll do for the sake of this discussion), there are still options other than Marriotts, Hyatts and Hiltons. Two of the largest, mid-priced hotel chains, Holiday Inn and Best Western have MANY properties with adequate space. I don’t know that the convention space would be any cheaper, but certainly we could save attendees 25% or more on their rooms. I like staying at the convention hotel, as it is convenient. But I’d be more than happy to forgo the marble shower to save $100 on the trip. That’s something at least. And if anyone thinks we’re too good for Holiday Inn….I don’t really know what to say to that.

  229. Matt Cholko

    Those of you who know this stuff, I have a question. What would be the procedure for requiring the LNC to hold one virtual meeting per year, for each of the two years of the next term, without changing the bylaws to require the same in the future, so that we could test the viability of such?

  230. Andy

    “But some of you are also forgetting the dynamics of meetings and human interaction.”

    I’ve been to enough LNC meetings and talked to enough people who’ve been on the LNC and/or attended multiple LNC meetings to come to the conclusion that the majority of in person stuff is a waste of everyone’s time and money.

    A lot of the same people have been on the LNC multiple times, and a lot of people do not even bother running due to the time and money that it cost to run around the country attending meetings (which waste everyone’s time and money). I don’t think that there is anything important that happens at these meetings that could not be done over the internet or a phone call.

  231. paulie

    Those of you who know this stuff, I have a question. What would be the procedure for requiring the LNC to hold one virtual meeting per year, for each of the two years of the next term, without changing the bylaws to require the same in the future, so that we could test the viability of such?

    No need to require anything. Simply strike the “less then ten members” from Section 13 so it says any LP committee including LNC can meet by phone or web. Then we can give it a try; if it works keeps doing it, and if it doesn’t, don’t.

  232. Starchild

    Stewart writes (December 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm):

    Regarding Starchild, he seems to annoy the chair and Mr Hinkle. They let it get to them, and they vent. I have met Starchild on several occasions. I have found him to be dedicated, but somewhat out of touch with reality regarding certain things. The reality in question being the need for electricity, as well as protection from rain, cold, damp and other things that holding LNC meetings in a park would subject the members to (not to mention the wind blowing papers everywhere). He continues to propose things that get them annoyed and they vent.

    Stewart, thank you for saying I’m dedicated. Let me address your other points…

    The funny thing about the idea of holding conventions in non-hotel venues is that other people talk about me talking about it, even when I’m not talking about it. Geoff and Mark sometimes seem to see it as a catch-all excuse to dismiss any idea I have that they don’t like, as if to say in so many words, “Oh, that Starchild, we can’t listen to him, he’s just nuts! He wants us to have our conventions out in a field!”

    As Paulie has pointed out elsewhere in this thread, that’s not exactly a fair assessment. Do I think an LP convention could be held largely outdoors, and that people would find it a positive and refreshing change, among other benefits? Absolutely. Do I recommend holding the entire event in a location without any shelter whatsoever, and no electricity? No. That’s not because it couldn’t be done — in human history, many people fighting for freedom have accomplished much greater things with little or nothing in the way of luxuries or amenities. It’s simply because we don’t need to go to such extremes in order to avoid getting soaked by the upscale hotels.

    The Libertarian National Committee now has three different convention committees. One of them is the Convention Site Selection Committee (see http://www.lp.org/bylaws-mandated-committees ). [The title of that page is somewhat misleading, by the way; only the Bylaws, Credentials, Judicial committees are bylaws-mandated, the others are LNC-created.]

    I’m simply asking that the Convention Site Selection Committee do due diligence and take an honest look at a wide range of venues, not just hotels, when carrying out its function. That should be standard operating procedure. And all the results should be documented and written up on a web page so that we can build an institutional memory for the benefit of future convention site searches. Is this being so horribly unreasonable and annoying?

    I’ve volunteered to be appointed to this committee and help conduct the search myself, but ironically no one who’s told me I should go do the legwork and bring back a proposal has shown any enthusiasm for the offer. There appears to be a double standard at work — If we’re talking about holding a convention in a hotel, they feel it’s fine to have an official party committee involved in the site search, as well as paid staff using party resources and so on, but if we’re talking about any other kind of venue, whoever dares propose such an idea must go and do the search entirely on their own without any official support of any kind or even any guarantee that any findings will get a respectful hearing.

    For the record (once again) here are some of the potential advantages of a non-hotel convention (some of these advantages would accrue to some types of alternate venues, and some would accrue to others):

    • Instead of paying top dollar for hotel-catered meals, the party can make money by selling food and beverages, or licensing vendors to sell food and beverages to our attendees

    • Instead of being where space is at a premium, we could have virtually unlimited space for vendors. By inviting them to come and sell for free, or at minimal cost, we could go for volume, and create an entire freedom-oriented shopping experience that would be a significant draw. With large numbers of vendors attending, some of them would no doubt buy our food/beverages, pay for events, join the party or donate to support LP candidates, etc. (especially if we weren’t charging them to be there)

    • Instead of being buried deep inside the hotels, often invisible even to other guests staying at the facilities, we could have prominent, external signage and visibility

    • Instead of being hassled by hotel security for making too much noise in the hospitality suites after hours, we could party to our hearts’ content, enjoy the camaraderie of sitting around a campfire, etc.

    • Instead of people on a budget having to go offsite in order to find lodging, we could hold our conventions at venues that allow on-site camping, making the events much more appealing to those without lots of money to blow, and attracting more attendees

    • Instead of the organizers having to fill a block of hotel rooms per their contracts with the venue, and thus being dis-incentivized to help people secure alternate less expensive lodging arrangements such as room sharing and crashing with locals, organizers would be incentivized to help people save as much money on lodging as possible, so as to leave attendees with more money to spend on the convention itself, to donate to the party or candidates, etc.

    • Instead of paying lots of money in hotel taxes to the government, more of that money could stay in the movement and go toward advancing the cause of freedom

    • Instead of sterile hotel banquet rooms with their hours and rules and high per-square-foot costs, we could be free to host concerts and performers and DJs and so on in more vibrant settings on our own terms

    • Instead of appealing yet again only to people who like hotel conventions, we could reach a different crowd and appeal to the large numbers of people in this country who enjoy and attend outdoor music festivals

    • Instead of appealing mainly to an aging demographic, we could appeal more to students and other younger, more adventurous, and less well-heeled attendees

    Libertarians are big on the virtues of independence and self-reliance. Why continue as a party to rely on the hotels to meet our needs, instead of cultivating a more DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit? We don’t have to go as far toward that end as the Burning Man festival (http://www.burningman.org) or the Rainbow Gathering (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Gathering) — we have an excellent example of what can be done with a little more outside the box thinking right within our own movement.

    The Free State Project’s PorcFest (Porcupine Freedom Festival) held in New Hampshire every summer for the past decade or so and last year attracting more attendees than the 2012 Libertarian Party convention, is a good example of the kind of thing that is possible. I encourage readers not familiar with it to check out the website — http://porcfest.com/ — and have a look around. Check out the

    PorcFest is held at a campground, with some indoor lodging available onsite as well. They have electricity, wi-fi, and space for indoor events too (including a large hangar or industrial barn type structure that could conceivably hold an LP business session, although there might not be room for everyone to sit at tables). The party could conceivably even set up some tables and chairs in the back and charge people to sit at them (not staying at a hotel, you’d still save money!); other people could bring their own, or sit on the floor for free. Of course those really desiring luxury lodging could stay at nicer accommodations off-site. Since PorcFest happens in a temperate region in the summer (as our conventions certainly could be and often are), the weather is rarely a problem, but when it does rain or something, the experience of dealing together with the elements can become an opportunity for bonding and the creation of shared memories that can’t be bought.

    A libertarian national convention could be a week-long festival like PorcFest, with a wide variety of events, parties, activism, concerts, speakers, workshops, training sessions, and so on happening throughout the week, leading up to the usual business sessions on the final weekend (for those unable to attend during the week). I’ll bet such a format would draw a new, and younger, group of people to the Libertarian Party, who our current efforts are missing. My sense from having been to PorcFest twice is that the average age of attendees is younger than at LP conventions — and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  233. paulie

    If we accept that conventions must be held in hotels with adequate size convention halls (which I’ll do for the sake of this discussion), there are still options other than Marriotts, Hyatts and Hiltons. Two of the largest, mid-priced hotel chains, Holiday Inn and Best Western have MANY properties with adequate space.

    I’d be interested in more detail about that.

  234. Andy

    How about a Libertarian Part convention in Washington or Colorado now that marijuana has been legalized in those states? It could be tied in with some kind of marijuana rally to legalize marijuana in the rest of the country to attract more people to come to the convention.

    The LP needs to move beyond having the same people show up at every convention to where it brings in lots of new people to every convention. Each convention ought to be bigger than the previous one. If the Libertarian Party does not grow each year then it is not doing things right.

  235. Matt Cholko

    I have a call in to both Best Western and Holiday Inn requesting info about properties with large conference facilities. I expect I will hear from them sometime next week.

    Ten minutes of Googling didn’t get me the results I had hoped for. There are a good number of these hotels with facilities for a few hundred people, but I did not see any that could accommodate the number we would need. However, I basically had to visit hotel sites one by one. That method of searching may take me until the date of the 2018 convention to find a venue.

  236. Michael H. Wilson

    It would be nice to have one in Washington since the last one here selected a guy named Ron Paul as the prez candidate. And that was many moons ago.

  237. Michael H. Wilson

    Starchild wrote, “…whoever dares propose such an idea must go and do the search entirely on their own without any official support of any kind or even any guarantee that any findings will get a respectful hearing.” That is right on the money. I have experienced that more than once and it is enough to drive people away.

  238. Mark Axinn

    We were in Colorado quite recently. A lovely convention with many fun activities in a beautiful city. Unfortunately my candidate (Mary Ruwart) was not victorious the six times I voted for her.

  239. paulie

    The next convention that has not already been scheduled is 2018 (or potentially 2017, 2019 or 2020 if we go back to odd years or go to having conventions either every year or every four years as various people have proposed). By then there should be some additional recreational marijuana states. Texas and the Boswash corridor remain the most underserved.

  240. Matt Cholko

    It appears that there are a few HI properties with adequate facilities for us, but they do not appear to be ideal. I’ll hopefully learn more this week when/if I hear from the group sales people at HI and BW.

    I think I spoke too soon about them having many places that would work for us. It looks like its a few choices, at best.

  241. paulie

    And on a somewhat related note:

    Geoffrey Neale

    10:59 AM (4 hours ago)

    to lnc-discuss

    Starchild – you use the most biased language when you describe the hotels we stay in as “luxury”. It makes me think you’ve never actually experienced a “luxury” hotel, where rooms can cost in excess of $500 per night, and the amenities are truly luxurious. The Hyatt DFW was certainly not a beg-bug ridden chain motel, but it meets almost none of my criteria for “luxury”. It is a middle of the road business hotel, that actually cost less than staying at places like Embassy Suites or Hampton Inn.

    Perhaps that’s why people like me look for value, not cost. I’m not interested in sleeping in crap places. Most of our members aren’t either.

    Geoff


    Scott L.

    11:29 AM (4 hours ago)

    to lnc-discuss

    U.S. LODGING INDUSTRY KEY STATISTICS

    YEAR

    Number of Properties

    Number of Rooms (in millions)

    Average Occupancy Rate

    Average Room Rate

    Rev Par

    Sales (in billions)

    Pre Tax Profits Billions

    2012

    52,529

    4.9

    61.4%

    $106.15

    $65.16

    $155.50

    $39.0

    The above is from the link to key historical statistics on http://www.ahla.com/content.aspx?id=4072

    The room rate at the Hyatt DFW Airport for the Dec 2013 LNC Session was $99 per night.

    As you can see, that is $7 per night LOWER than the average rate for US Lodging in 2012.

    So, I don’t understand how $99 per night translates into “luxury lodging.”

    I am treading on thin ice here, but I can take the heat: what the At-Large Representative from San Francisco did is the same tactic that LP Radicals use when they refer to people who advocate positions that might “only” be 90%/90% on the WSPQ as LINO’s (1), or when the Practical Caucus refers to a specific sub-set of LP Radicals as Povertarians.

    Using inflammatory language demonstrates that you are not very confident in your position, so you mangle the facts, or you call the other side names, in an attempt to “win” an argument.

    Scott Lieberman

    1. Libertarian In Name Only

  242. Matt Cholko

    Certainly Marriotts and Hyatts are not Ritz Carltons. However, there is absolutely no doubt that they are on the high end in terms of room rate. Getting a group room rate, in a moderately priced (lodging) city, in early December, that is below the national 2012 average is not evidence of anything other than the price of said rooms.

    Further, it is undeniable that cheaper hotels exist that are clean, and reasonable places for us to conduct business. The only question is whether or not there are a reasonable number of such places in the US. I’m trying to figure out the answer to that question.

    So far, I’ve identified one HI in the Chicago area with Conference/Banquet space for 550 seated at tables, or 900 without tables. This is probably right on the edge of what would work for us. It seems to me that it may be doable for a non-POTUS year convention. Of course, with only one option, I’m not inclined to push the idea of cheaper hotels. If I (or anyone else) can identify a handful of them, maybe we’ll have something to work with.

  243. Nicholas Sarwark

    How about a Libertarian Part[y] convention in Washington or Colorado now that marijuana has been legalized in those states? It could be tied in with some kind of marijuana rally to legalize marijuana in the rest of the country to attract more people to come to the convention.

    Colorado is happy to host another national convention, but we did just have one here in 2008. Washington suffers some of the same geographic issues with regard to flights that Portland had, i.e. it’s on one side of the country and not a hub in the traditional hub and spoke system, but otherwise nice.

    I think it’s time to go back to the Baltimore-Washington corridor or somewhere else on the east coast. Last time there was a Northeastern convention was 1998.

  244. Michael H. Wilson

    How about somewhere in the middle of the country? That way people on both coast have to travel about the same distance. We will be in Orlando in 2016. That’s far from Seattle.

  245. Andy

    Paul said: “I know as an alternate I don’t actually have to go to meetings, but I feel like it’s my responsibility anyway.”

    Why don’t you run for another term as an alternate, and just not attend all of the meetings. There is no reason for an alternate to attend all of the meetings. You could just attend the meetings when you happen to be close to where they are being held. This way you could still be on the LNC, but not spend a fortune attending meetings.

  246. Marc Montoni

    There are literally dozens of facilities in every state that have the space to accommodate an LP national convention.

    I do think the LP should look at 2nd-tier cities. Like Williamsburg VA for example.

    Back in the mid-nineties I started to prepare a bid to bring a national convention to Williamsburg to one of the (at the time) three major conference centers in the locale. I did not complete the bid because I learned the next presidential convention was going to be selected at the very next meeting and there was no way I could do all the footwork required in the short time left.

    I thought Williamsburg would have been a great choice for a family-friendly convention because it’s a short shuttle ride from major airports in Richmond and Norfolk; and because of the attractions for kids nearby. The spouse who wants to roll up sleeves and slug it out with other Libertarians gets to do so, while the other spouse wears the kids out hopping on the free shuttle from the hotel to Busch Gardens, Water Country, Colonial Williamsburg, and so on. Only caveat is that the best time would be before peak summer travel.

    As an aside, it would be nice if the LP could move its conventions to off-peak times anyway. We could get much better deals in many tourist-y areas in February or March.

    In addition, I agree that the mid-Atlantic corridor is due for a convention. Washington DC, as much as I hate it, is also one of *the* cheapest places to fly into. Someone is ALWAYS running a nonstop special from a couple of dozen other major cities.

    In any case, there is no shortage of facilities. I can name a dozen or so just in the Alexandria – Crystal City – Rosslyn – Arlington area alone, and I don’t live in that area.

  247. Andy

    Marc Montoni said: “I do think the LP should look at 2nd-tier cities. Like Williamsburg VA for example.”

    There is a big problem with 2nd tier (and below) cities/metro areas, and that is that they cost a lot of money to fly into as compared to a major city/metro area.

    Also, I don’t think that Williamsburg, VA even qualifies as a 2nd tier city.

  248. Matt Cholko

    For those of you who know, I have a question. What criteria does the LNC generally consider when selecting the winning bid? I understand that this may vary from term to term, but I’d like to get an idea of what’s been looked at in the past.

  249. Marc Montoni

    Andy, you missed this part: “it’s a short shuttle ride from major airports in Richmond and Norfolk”.

    Scale can be tricky. The trip from the Denver Airport to the hotel in Denver was ~ 35 minutes. The ride from the Las Vegas airport to the Red Rock was about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, the ride from Norfolk International *or* Richmond International, to Williamsburg, is about 45 minutes. A shuttle from Dulles to DC would be about 30 minutes also.

    So at best a diff of ~ 15 minutes. Not a deal killer for me.

    You also need to consider the value of having a family/kid friendly location — and Williamsburg is all about that. The childless can afford to ignore that, but many of us have kids and might like to make a week vacation of it *with* our families.

  250. Andy

    “Marc Montoni December 30, 2013 at 1:54 am
    Andy, you missed this part: “it’s a short shuttle ride from major airports in Richmond and Norfolk”.

    Scale can be tricky. The trip from the Denver Airport to the hotel in Denver was ~ 35 minutes. The ride from the Las Vegas airport to the Red Rock was about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, the ride from Norfolk International *or* Richmond International, to Williamsburg, is about 45 minutes. A shuttle from Dulles to DC would be about 30 minutes also.

    So at best a diff of ~ 15 minutes. Not a deal killer for me.”

    That’s a long way from the airport to the event. A lot of people, myself included, complained about how far out the convention site in Las Vegas was.

    The further you go from airports, the more inconvenient it is for people to get there.

  251. Robert Capozzi

    fwiw, most major airports are 30 minutes from downtown. OTTOMH, I can only think of Logan, Midway and Reagan as exceptions, and those often require connecting flights. Secondary airports in second-tier cities…maybe closer, but that requires connections for most.

    I’d think that total travel time and total cost would be a consideration for such events. It seems obvious that there’s no “right” answer, esp. for such a large country. Based on experience, someone in the assembled might think there IS a “right” answer, though. If so, I’d love to hear the “proof”! 😉

  252. paulie

    Why don’t you run for another term as an alternate, and just not attend all of the meetings. There is no reason for an alternate to attend all of the meetings. You could just attend the meetings when you happen to be close to where they are being held. This way you could still be on the LNC, but not spend a fortune attending meetings.

    As I said, I feel compelled to attend them. There are also other reasons I would not want to run again, several of which I alluded to and some of which I don’t particularly want to discuss here.

  253. paulie

    I thought Williamsburg would have been a great choice for a family-friendly convention because it’s a short shuttle ride from major airports in Richmond and Norfolk;

    Aren’t those airports more expensive than the bigger city ones?

    As an aside, it would be nice if the LP could move its conventions to off-peak times anyway. We could get much better deals in many tourist-y areas in February or March.

    There are some downsides: an increased risk of weather-related travel problems, Ohio and maybe some other states would lose a reason for people to vote in their primary which is a party-building tool for them, fewer people paying attention to the presidential race that far out from the election.

    And some upsides: longer petition period in some states, longer period for campaigns to build cohesion and momentum.

    In addition, I agree that the mid-Atlantic corridor is due for a convention. Washington DC, as much as I hate it, is also one of *the* cheapest places to fly into.

    Hotels are really expensive though.

    In any case, there is no shortage of facilities. I can name a dozen or so just in the Alexandria – Crystal City – Rosslyn – Arlington area alone, and I don’t live in that area.

    I’d like to know more details on that. If they have the space for LP conventions, reasonably priced rooms and entretainment nearby we should definitely consider them strongly.

  254. paulie

    For those of you who know, I have a question. What criteria does the LNC generally consider when selecting the winning bid? I understand that this may vary from term to term, but I’d like to get an idea of what’s been looked at in the past.

    Numerous criteria are looked at. Everything from flight costs to a city to room rate, space in the hotel, entertainment in the hotel and in the vicinity, state LP strength and their ability/willingness to provide assistance with the convention logistics, whether we have had conventions there before and how recently, and much more. You could try writing the LNC and convention committees for details. There’s currently no site selection committee, at least according to LP.org, so if you are interested you could write with expressing your interest in being on one.

  255. paulie

    fwiw, most major airports are 30 minutes from downtown. OTTOMH, I can only think of Logan, Midway and Reagan as exceptions

    The Vegas airport is pretty close to the strip. Somehow we managed to have a convention in Summerlin (sort-of-Vegas) and screwed that part up.

  256. Wes Wagner

    I am fairly certain the reason why a hotel was chosen so far from the strip is because the convention planners had an idea that if the convention was on the strip, some people would try ot save money by staying at a cheap hotel on the strip (since transportation, food and cheap hotel options abound) , which would make it hard for them to get the number of rooms sold needed to pay for all the free rooms and hospitality suites and the large convention hall.

    It is all part of the demanding delegates subsidize the pomp and ceremony.

  257. Steve M

    I like Starchild’s idea of a Libertarian Party Festival instead of a Libertarian Party Convention. Sure the business meeting would have to take place but have it take place withing a much larger event. Music, public speakers, other entertainers…. at a venue that has good hotels but also camping and RV facilities.

    My guess is that this couldn’t happen in 2014 and probably wont in 2016 but how about in the off presidential year of 2016? How about in a state that is going to have multiple Gubernatorial candidates, maybe Texas?

    How about, moving Starchild’s comment into its own thread?

  258. paulie

    I am fairly certain the reason why a hotel was chosen so far from the strip is because the convention planners had an idea that if the convention was on the strip, some people would try ot save money by staying at a cheap hotel on the strip (since transportation, food and cheap hotel options abound) , which would make it hard for them to get the number of rooms sold needed to pay for all the free rooms and hospitality suites and the large convention hall.

    It is all part of the demanding delegates subsidize the pomp and ceremony.

    Yep. Although the official reason was that it is the only non-union hotel in Vegas.

  259. paulie

    I like Starchild’s idea of a Libertarian Party Festival instead of a Libertarian Party Convention. Sure the business meeting would have to take place but have it take place withing a much larger event. Music, public speakers, other entertainers…. at a venue that has good hotels but also camping and RV facilities.

    Me too.

    My guess is that this couldn’t happen in 2014 and probably wont in 2016 but how about in the off presidential year of 2016? How about in a state that is going to have multiple Gubernatorial candidates, maybe Texas?

    2014 and 16 are booked, but anytime after that would be fine.

  260. paulie

    at a venue that has good hotels but also camping and RV facilities, add to that a hall for the business session….

    Any like that in mind?

  261. Matt Cholko

    Is the LP anti-union? It bothers me quite a bit when I hear this…..and I hear it often.

    I oppose virtually all aspects of labor law. But, I certainly recognize the right of people to join together for whatever reason that wish. I also recognize the right of businesses to fire anyone they want, for any reason, at any time.

    It seems to me that we should choose convention venues based on overall value, not on the non-union status of their employees.

  262. paulie

    LP platform on labor unions:

    2.7 Labor Markets

    We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment. We oppose government-fostered forced retirement. We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union. We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.

  263. Wes Wagner

    To me the platform does not sustain the idea that we should choose a non-union hotel … quite the opposite … it seems to advocate neutrality.

    Workers have a right to collectively bargain and reach a contract that they find agreeable with an employer, and an employer should have the right to tell them to go take a collective hike and hire a new work force.

    In circumstances where an employer has been compelled to accept irrational union demands due to government interference, would we not be punishing the employer twice by boycotting them?

  264. paulie

    WW – I agree. I find the whole site selection with Summerlin to have been deeply flawed and factionally divisive. The only silver lining is that it at least in part backfired on them.

  265. Wes Wagner

    paulie

    Blowback from factionally divisive activity will continue to become more pronounced if the average age of the average LP member goes down (or even stays level). In general, generation X and younger take a dim view on factional divisiveness.

    The result is either a choice to not participate (which does seem to show up in the average age of member statistics for the LP) … or when they do participate, retaliation against those who participate in it.

  266. Steve M

    at a venue that has good hotels but also camping and RV facilities, add to that a hall for the business session….

    Any like that in mind?

    to make the idea a bit more restrictive…. I was thinking Dallas Fort Worth area and getting as many Oklahomans down there as possible.

    maybe someplace like Panther Island Pavilion? for a group of 1500 to 4000 or so.

    pantherislandpavilion.com

  267. paulie

    Blowback from factionally divisive activity will continue to become more pronounced if the average age of the average LP member goes down (or even stays level). In general, generation X and younger take a dim view on factional divisiveness.

    The result is either a choice to not participate (which does seem to show up in the average age of member statistics for the LP) … or when they do participate, retaliation against those who participate in it.

    I fully agree.

  268. Michael H. Wilson

    In the past I saw some numbers on the costs of the Las Vegas convention hotel and as I recall it was significantly higher than previous locations. Does anyone have access to those numbers?

  269. paulie

    pantherislandpavilion.com

    Looks interesting. I didn’t find info on hotels, meeting halls or costs, but maybe I did not look at the website long enough.

    If that can be worked out to be within our price range it could be a great venue. DFW area would be good for 2018 or 2020 as would the DC area or something north of there if we can find reasonable rates.

  270. Wes Wagner

    paulie

    One time I did an analysis on the average age of libertarians in Oregon. Our average age of dues paying national members was 12 years higher than the average age of our registered libertarian voters.

    Also, the average age of registered libertarian voters was also lower than registered democrats (and obviously registered republicans).

    The national party is missing the boat when it comes to targeting the market correctly. The future of politics is in the young, because they will outlive your current political opponents.

  271. paulie

    In the past I saw some numbers on the costs of the Las Vegas convention hotel and as I recall it was significantly higher than previous locations. Does anyone have access to those numbers?

    Not me off the top of my head (hopefully someone else will). As I recall they had a fairly decent rate if you booked well ahead of time, but given that my schedule is usually planned last minute with many unexpected devlopments on short notice I, as usual, did not plan far enough ahead and paid a higher rate. I split the room though, so it was not too terrible.

  272. paulie

    One time I did an analysis on the average age of libertarians in Oregon. Our average age of dues paying national members was 12 years higher than the average age of our registered libertarian voters.

    Also, the average age of registered libertarian voters was also lower than registered democrats (and obviously registered republicans).

    The national party is missing the boat when it comes to targeting the market correctly. The future of politics is in the young, because they will outlive your current political opponents.

    I’ve been one of the loudest and most consistent voices for that at the national level ever since I was that age myself (about half my life now).

  273. Wes Wagner

    paulie

    On top of it the young appear to be responding to the libertarian message in-spite-of the national party. The national LP has membership attrition and some difficulties in growing revenues at a time when all the registered voter rolls are swelling and discussion of libertarian ideas is hitting a peak.

    How much more evidence do we need of the abject failure of the existing leadership/structure ?

  274. Robert Capozzi

    pf: The Vegas airport is pretty close to the strip.

    me: Thanks. I don’t think of Vegas as being a major city…it lacks major-league baseball and football. It’s recent pop. boom might qualify it as a major city, though. But, ATC, it’s a good exception for these purposes.

  275. Steve M

    I seem to have a message hung up some where… probably because of an attached url.

    What I did to find panther Island was to google out door music festivals in an area and see what venues popped up. I am sure that Northern Virginia has them and camping but near hotels?

  276. George Phillies

    I also seem to have a message hanging up, on the books thread. Having said that, it appears to me that an infinite amount of evidence will not convince people that the current leadership is anything other than optimal.

  277. Michael H. Wilson

    Wes for some reason it is hard to convince others of the need to reach out to the colleges and universities. There are only a couple of reasons the LP hasn’t made a bigger effort in the past, all though I think Dr. Lark has been trying to do the best he can. The biggest reason not to do so from what I can tell is because the college crowd does not have much money and the second reason is laziness. From what I read things may be changing. I have a good degree of faith in Wes and Carla’s work and I think they both realize that an outreach effort has to be developed. I may not agree with everything they do but I do think they know we have to change for the better.

  278. paulie

    People who think young people don’t have money are incredibly short sighted. First of all many young people do have money. Second, if you turn them into supporters now and keep them they will have money in the future. Third, even if they have no money to spare now and don’t stick with us long enough to become financial supporters, they can generate the excitement that leads donors with more money to write bigger checks. It was in no small part the enthusiasm and hard work of young Ron Paul fans that made his campaigns a financial success. The same holds true for Obama and others regardless of ideology.

  279. Steve M

    that should be please play again 😉

    ok I said Fort Worth is loaded with hotels and meeting rooms and Panther Island is close to Down Town. Camping and RV parks?

    I was also thinking about weather…. looked and saw that April has day time temperatures of 76 and night time 52 with 2.86 inches of rain (for the month)

    If a goal was to get Oklahoma on board then may be schedule the festival/convention for the weekend that the University of Oklahoma was having spring break… for 2014 this would be the 3rd week in March.

  280. paulie

    Where would the business session take place? I did not see anything about an indoor meeting hall, only bandshells and water park rides. We’d also have to know the costs to see if it’s in our range.

  281. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Wes said: “The national LP has membership attrition and some difficulties in growing revenues at a time when all the registered voter rolls are swelling and discussion of libertarian ideas is hitting a peak.”

    I had hoped to spark a discussion of this in my article about libertarian gains on Saturday. By many accounts, people are starting to understand what libertarianism is all about, and that maybe it’s not so scary after all. Why isn’t the Party growing? This isn’t a rhetorical question. I really want to know why.

  282. Wes Wagner

    JP

    Because the national party acts more like a cult and less like a libertarian organization than not.

    People of discernment pick up on that intuitively and do not open their wallets/join.

    People who arrive at libertarianism through self discovery are more likely than not to be people of discernment.

    In Oregon we have many new people showing up after they have already been on a path of self-discovery, and they stick around after they arrive. They are generally younger and have a higher probability of being female than the LP demographics.

  283. Nicholas Sarwark

    I had hoped to spark a discussion of this in my article about libertarian gains on Saturday. By many accounts, people are starting to understand what libertarianism is all about, and that maybe it’s not so scary after all. Why isn’t the Party growing? This isn’t a rhetorical question. I really want to know why.

    The Party is growing, vis a vis interest and voter registration. Young people are not joiners who are interested in paying membership dues to be a “card carrying” Libertarian Party member. The entire dues model is outdated, at least with political organizations where there’s no tangible benefit from the dues (a paper newsletter is not a meaningful benefit).

    Small financial contributions and high/frequent engagement is the way to bring young people in the door and get them pot-committed to the Party. When they get older, they can start going to torch club dinners and writing big checks, but they need to develop an identity associated with the Party over a period of years first.

  284. Wes Wagner

    NS is very correct on younger people not being “joiners” … you need to give them meaningful social and activist activities… so they develop personal one on one connections with people in the organization. That keeps them coming back and bringing friends.

  285. Steve M

    if registration is growing then the party is growing….. the self identifying voters (whether they can specifically register as Libertarians or not) are the party so why doesn’t the party leadership recognize that the party leadership needs to represent its voting members and not just its dues paying members?

  286. Wes Wagner

    Steve M

    Because if you try to do that, they (the LNC) hire your local Republican Party state affiliate’s general counsel to sue your ass!

  287. Steve M

    Hey Wes, I am sure that I can get you several references to tell you that I have (or am) a large ass and it will be expensive for the LNC to get a tailor (even a republican one) to make a pair of slacks to cover it. 😉

  288. Wes Wagner

    Steve

    I am willing to believe you, but I can almost guarantee you that they would be stupid enough to try.

    That was actually the underlying “real motivation” behind Burke, Starr, the former LNC, et al in Oregon … voter suppression.

    Even the GOP attorney they hired is infamous for his campaign to help the Oregon Republican Party disenfranchise Ron Paul delegates through bylaw and procedure abuses.

  289. Wes Wagner

    They lost… and the full repercussions have not yet come back to the principals involved because we have to wait until the appeal is disposed of.

  290. Wes Wagner

    This will still not prevent the LNC from doing something stupid again… they appear to have no institutional memory, or common sense.

  291. Steve M

    my impression is that their tailor in Oregon wasn’t good at sewing and their suite came apart at the seams?

  292. Michael H. Wilson

    Not to brag too much, just a little here is some of what the LPWA has done in this year which is closing on us. We can add a couple of Hempfest booths and a convention where about 120 people showed up. To push an issue we are trying to do more than the usual running for office routine.

    Looking back: Where have we’ve been this past year? By James Donovan

    The Top Two Primary may have slowed the LP down but we are not going to let it stop us.

    This year’s legislature saw more Libertarians on the campus of the Capitol than in recent years. The new session was kicked off with Executive Director Michael Pickens testifying before a House committee in support of a bill sponsored by Rep. Jason Overstreet on expanding the amount of profit a home enterprise could make in a year. That was followed by testimony of Taylor Dalton on HB 1771 on the use of drones and Alex Sheer on HB 1581 giving testimony on the state’s role in the National Defense Authorization Act as well.

    At-large rep. Michael Wilson testified on six bills and sat in on hearings of many others. Specifically he spoke against excessive taxes on cannabis and pointed out that would just encourage the black market. He also spoke in favor of allowing those charged with simple possession of marijuana to expunge their convictions so that they would have an opportunity to clear their names which would enable them to go through live without having a minor offense follow them.

    Wilson also spoke before the health committee and called for the repeal of licensing laws and reducing regulatory barriers for midwives. He emphasized how expanding the role of midwives will save tax dollars since about 50% of births in Washington are paid for by Medicaid.

    Wilson also hand delivered a letter to all the Democratic senators explaining why they should oppose the Columbia River Crossing and how it will costs jobs. He has also written two guest opinions for the Olympian news paper; one on the Columbia River Crossing and another on mass transit alternatives.

    This year we had three candidates run in local races. Eli Olson in a race for City Council in Marysville picked up 30.05 %, Brandon Robinson in a City Council race in Anacortes received 19.46 %. Both of these were race in which two candidates contested the position. In a six man race in Clark County for Freeholder Adam Baldwin gain 15%. Our thanks to the candidates and their volunteers for their fine effort.

    We expect to have 12 or more candidates running for office in 2014 and LPWA Executive Director C. Michael Pickens is actively recruiting more potential candidates.

    As the legislature begins a new session in January we have an opportunity to get the word out on some issues and expect to be testifying on transportation, health care, crime victims and the usual marijuana related bills if not more. In fact we think we will see one bill that we’ve influenced become law.

    Maybe I should apologize for bragging about the LPWA but I think it is important to let people know that it isn’t all about running for office. There are many other months to keep us busy.

  293. Wes Wagner

    Steve

    I think it had a bit more to do with the fact that their seamstress , Madam Burke, told them that their clothing was to be made of the finest invisible fabric.

  294. Wes Wagner

    Steve M

    The prospective defendant list is extremely large given the legal standards that can be applied in seeking justice for what was done.

  295. Steve M

    now there ya see. if they aren’t using material that should have kept their costs down…. well other then they made you bring in material experts to prove it was not only invisible but also couldn’t hold water.

  296. Steve M

    Michael H. Wilson

    I think that was more of a report then just bragging….. what is the LP washington facebook page so I can go like it?

  297. paulie

    Not to brag too much, just a little here is some of what the LPWA has done in this year which is closing on us. We can add a couple of Hempfest booths and a convention where about 120 people showed up. To push an issue we are trying to do more than the usual running for office routine.

    Looking back: Where have we’ve been this past year? By James Donovan

    The Top Two Primary may have slowed the LP down but we are not going to let it stop us.

    This year’s legislature saw more Libertarians on the campus of the Capitol than in recent years. The new session was kicked off with Executive Director Michael Pickens testifying before a House committee in support of a bill sponsored by Rep. Jason Overstreet on expanding the amount of profit a home enterprise could make in a year. That was followed by testimony of Taylor Dalton on HB 1771 on the use of drones and Alex Sheer on HB 1581 giving testimony on the state’s role in the National Defense Authorization Act as well.

    At-large rep. Michael Wilson testified on six bills and sat in on hearings of many others. Specifically he spoke against excessive taxes on cannabis and pointed out that would just encourage the black market. He also spoke in favor of allowing those charged with simple possession of marijuana to expunge their convictions so that they would have an opportunity to clear their names which would enable them to go through live without having a minor offense follow them.

    Wilson also spoke before the health committee and called for the repeal of licensing laws and reducing regulatory barriers for midwives. He emphasized how expanding the role of midwives will save tax dollars since about 50% of births in Washington are paid for by Medicaid.

    Wilson also hand delivered a letter to all the Democratic senators explaining why they should oppose the Columbia River Crossing and how it will costs jobs. He has also written two guest opinions for the Olympian news paper; one on the Columbia River Crossing and another on mass transit alternatives.

    This year we had three candidates run in local races. Eli Olson in a race for City Council in Marysville picked up 30.05 %, Brandon Robinson in a City Council race in Anacortes received 19.46 %. Both of these were race in which two candidates contested the position. In a six man race in Clark County for Freeholder Adam Baldwin gain 15%. Our thanks to the candidates and their volunteers for their fine effort.

    We expect to have 12 or more candidates running for office in 2014 and LPWA Executive Director C. Michael Pickens is actively recruiting more potential candidates.

    As the legislature begins a new session in January we have an opportunity to get the word out on some issues and expect to be testifying on transportation, health care, crime victims and the usual marijuana related bills if not more. In fact we think we will see one bill that we’ve influenced become law.

    Good work!

  298. paulie

    prices are dependent upon size of group and so forth. But…. the
    Beer, Bourbon & Brisket Festival 2013 a 1 day event had ticket prices which ranged from $10 to $25

    http://www.zvents.com/fort_worth_tx/events/show/346136703-beer-bourbon-brisket-festival-2013

    the Fort Worth Music Festival coming in May 2014 has 2 day ticket prices of $35

    I meant more the price to the organizers. Also, none of those are events where there’s a meeting hall, so we still need to find out if they have that.

  299. Steve M

    to get a price you would have to fill out a form and get a quote which requires an organization so I can’t do that on behalf of the LP.

    But, my point about the ticket prices is that they had to include the cost of the venue. So even if it went entirely to the venue. the cost per person would be as a guess $15 per day?

    So figure on 1500 costing $22,500

  300. Steve M

    on the meeting hall that could be off site of the festival and the festival being right next down town Fort Worth would be within a few blocks (ok Texas size blocks). Cost for that add $5 per ticket per day.

    Also vendors are allowed so additional revenue can be charged to them.

  301. paulie

    to get a price you would have to fill out a form and get a quote which requires an organization so I can’t do that on behalf of the LP.

    But, my point about the ticket prices is that they had to include the cost of the venue. So even if it went entirely to the venue. the cost per person would be as a guess $15 per day?

    So figure on 1500 costing $22,500

    Those are entirely different kinds of events with different costs so that is apples-to-oranges at best.

  302. paulie

    meeting hall that could be off site of the festival and the festival being right next down town Fort Worth would be within a few blocks (ok Texas size blocks). Cost for that add $5 per ticket per day.

    The meeting hall is the convention, so wherever the meeting hall is is where the convention is.

    Now, you could certainly have a music/speaker fair somewhere near the place and time of the convention, and I have advocated that; but that is not the convention.

    Also vendors are allowed so additional revenue can be charged to them.

    Absolutely.

  303. Steve M

    see there I disagree. What part of the convention are activities such as electing officers, voting on bylaws and seating delegates?

    What part is about debates? straw polls? speeches to libertarians.

    its that second list I want moved to the festival as well as booths promoting various caucuses within the party. Bring as much of the convention out in front of the voting Libertarians as possible.

    imaging the candidates for chair have to debate in front of a larger libertarian audience and that that audience is given a straw poll to state who they like?

    oh and then you fill in most of the festival time with music etc.

  304. Steve M

    i would also run video links from the convention hall back to the festival so that non-delegates can watch the business portions of the convention.

  305. Steve M

    apples to oranges? sure but the point being that the venue charges for use of an area not on how the area is used. So the cost of a music festival is likely to be the same for a similar festival that has music and speakers. And a music festival which from the photos looks like it draws around 1000 people or so has been running for 3 years straight with this last years tickets being $20 per day or $35 for 2 days.

    So to get a better estimate the venue would have to be contacted but I would be surprised if you see the cost being larger then what i am back of the envelope guestimating.

  306. paulie

    Something combining events at the meeting hall/hotel with others at a nearby music bandshell/park may well work. Someone needs to research details and volunteer for site selection committee to that perspective is considered.

  307. Steve M

    what might be wrong with my estimate of the venue costs is how much corporate sponsorship did the Fort Worth Music Festival get from the coors fort worth distribution company, a car dealership and what looks like a Texas State wide bank.

  308. Michael H. Wilson

    One way to change things is to get out and do stuff. I make it a habit of attending at least one government meeting a month and if it is something I am interested in I may prepare a few comments ahead of time. and if done reasonably well your local group can send out a press release which may get picked up by the local press. I have been fortunate enough to be interviewed a few times thanks to press releases.

    We are also working to put together a newspaper type handout to be dropped off at some local colleges. It is fairly inexpensive and we can cover about a dozen issues.

    If people are active enough and the word gets around things will begin to change.

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