Mark Hinkle: ‘The national Libertarian Party chair campaign is on’

Forwarded email from Mark Hinkle:

Dear Allies,

I’ve just booked my flight to the New Hampshire LP convention in Manchester on October 3rd (Saturday). The national LP Chair campaign is ON.

I’ll be flying from San Francisco to/from Boston and then driving up to Manchester, NH.

My intension is to listen to the New Hampshire LP activists to get their sense of the LNC, the LP HQ, and the national scene.

I will also pitch my view that the LP HQ and the LNC needs to be a service organization. We must serve Radicals and Reformers, Anarchists and Miniarchist, old timers, and fresh faces alike. They all bring strength, talents, and resources to the LP and we need them all.

I would like also to suggest we seriously assess what we do along the lines of divisions of labor. As I see it, there are projects and tasks that are ideally suited for each of the 3 layers of the LP organization: National, State, and Local (I’ll leave the rest of the world to groups like ISIL). Many tasks or projects may cross all 3 levels of the LP, but some are best suited for a specific strata of our organization.

For example, it’s clear that our experiences with Project Archimedes gives the advantage to membership recruitment to the LP HQ. Running statewide partisan candidates who are articulate and well qualified are ideally left to our state affiliates. And running local candidates for non-partisan & partisan offices or opposing local school bonds, are best left to our local chapters to accomplish.

And where projects cross organizational lines, partnerships between the LP HQ and the State LP affiliates should be voluntarily negotiated.

Since the position I’m running for is at the national level, that’s where we need to focus our attention on identifying what we do best and then execute without fail. Executing well is key to the future of the LP, as well as our future as a nation. If we execute well, fund raising will be less of a burden. If we execute well, our membership ranks will grow. If we execute well, some of the deep ideological divisions within the LP may be mollified. And if we do all of this well, we can also increase our ranks of elected Libertarians.

I look forward to working with you on my campaign, listening to your ideas and suggestions, and meeting you on the campaign trail.

Yours in liberty…………….Mark Hinkle,
Candidate for LP Chair
LNC Region 2 (CA) Rep.
Tel: 408-779-7922

65 thoughts on “Mark Hinkle: ‘The national Libertarian Party chair campaign is on’

  1. JT

    I’m impressed with this brief statement. Hinkle appears to grasp that all three levels of the LP have separate but equally important roles.

    I think the responsibilities of each level have overlapped too much. I’d like to see each one focus on a few core functions. The national level should be focused on promoting the party on radio/TV, hosting national conventions, and spearheading membership and funding campaigns. The state level should be focused on gaining ballot status, recruiting polished high-level candidates, and hosting state conventions. The local level should be focused on doing outreach booths at events, getting the Libertarian label in the local news (in a positive or neutral way), and fielding low-level candidates. Any LP affiliate that can’t do those few things really shouldn’t even exist.

  2. paulie Post author

    JT, mostly correct – except that ballot access would have to be funded nationally, or it won’t happen at all for many states, and if that happens the national party and every other state affiliate will suffer as a result. We need to get back to 50 state and DC ballot access. Making the decision to make that a priority in 1992 tripled the size of the party over the next few years, although the growth was not sustained and we are essentially back where we were 20 years ago.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    The growth in party membership in the late 90s was almost entirely due to large-scale direct mail recruitment, and that growth melted away as soon as the mail recruitment stopped.

    There may be an LP member or three out there who says “yeah, I joined the LP because it had ballot access in all 50 states,” but I have yet to meet one and hear him or her say it.

    There’s probably a role for national in ballot access, but only a limited one, in particular for states where the ballot access rules are so onerous that even a very strong state party will have a lot of trouble getting over the bar. In states with minimal, or even reasonable, requirements, taking care of it at home:

    a) Is a party-building activity; and

    b) Establishes whether or not the party that’s trying to put candidates on the ballot is strong enough to support them and make an impact with them once it’s done so.

  4. paulie Post author

    The growth in party membership in the late 90s was almost entirely due to large-scale direct mail recruitment

    True. However, I don’t think it would have even been undertaken, or succeeded as much if it had been undertaken, if the effort to be a truly national party was not made first.

  5. George Phillies

    As a general rule, anyone who announces that they are running for LP National Chair, and then speaks favorably of Project Archimedes, has indicated they are a member of the LNC Old Boy Club and not up to the job.

  6. Andy

    “There may be an LP member or three out there who says ‘yeah, I joined the LP because it had ballot access in all 50 states,’ but I have yet to meet one and hear him or her say it.”

    I joined the Libertarian Party after I happened to see Harry Browne giving a speech at the Libertarian Party’s National Convention on C-SPAN back in 1996. I joined because I agreed with the issues. However, I remember when I found out that the Libertarian Party was on the ballot in all 50 states plus DC it impressed me as it showed me that this party that I had recently found out about was a real political party that ran candidates nationally and was not some Mickey Mouse fly-by-night organization. I remember calling up talk radio shows and saying that Harry Browne should be included in the Presidential debates with Clinton and Dole because he’s on the ballot in all 50 states plus DC.

  7. Who's Thumbing Who?

    Probably not very, unless there’s a convention in Camden or Philadelphia, then you could probably give him one extra vote.

  8. Robert Milnes

    Poor Prof. Phillies. He’s Teddy Roosevelt on the inside trapped in a nerdy professor body. Hook up with me, George. We’ll go to the national forest, get buff, practice carrying & shooting our firearms, find some gold all while toting our laptops with earphones! I recommend a five o’clock shadow for you. & let’s have some post graduate political science coed interns, not Ron Paul bimbos.

  9. JT

    Paulie: “JT, mostly correct – except that ballot access would have to be funded nationally, or it won’t happen at all for many states, and if that happens the national party and every other state affiliate will suffer as a result.”

    I think the national level can HELP fund ballot access in a handful of states that have especially onerous ballot access laws. But if you’re saying the national LP should bear all responsibility for that, I wholeheartedly disagree. If a state party is so weak and poor that it can’t help itself get on the ballot, then that state party simply doesn’t deserve to be on the ballot until it gets its act together, period. I’d guess that as a paid petitioner, you don’t have an interest in that happening. But that should be the case.

    As a third party, the LP has MUCH fewer funds than the Ds and Rs. Paying state parties for a job THEY should be spearheading isn’t a good use of those resources.

  10. mdh

    The national party makes more money than state parties do. End of story. This means that the national party is in a unique position to be able to send money to state parties to have them run ballot access drives where they cannot fund them themselves. Not only is this a core function of a political party as an organizational entity, it needs to be a core function of the LNC. It is, and I say this as a state chair who has experience with ballot access drives, one of the most important things the LNC can spend money on.

    As far as recruitment and ballot access correlations go, I do not believe that people become LP members because of ballot access. I believe that members are vastly more willing to run for office if they get ballot access from the party, and then get much more visibility in the media than a write-in candidate. It is those candidates and that visibility which grows our membership roles and is crucial. The reason that things are difficult in WV right now is that we have not had any candidates on the ballot since we re-formed the party. In 2010 that will change, and I believe our situation will become a lot better. To accomplish this, we have raised funds from LP supporters in other states to fund our ballot access efforts and continue to do so.

  11. Andy

    “As far as recruitment and ballot access correlations go, I do not believe that people become LP members because of ballot access.”

    It is not very inspiring to join a party that is not on the ballot. People are also less likely to hear about the Libertarian Party if the party is not on the ballot in the state where they live. So I would say that ballot access does have an effect on party membership.

  12. Robert Milnes

    mdh, @22, “Not a single anarchist candidate…?” PRECISELY! you noticed! The STRONG tendency is for the rightists to rise to the top of the party. Call it political inertia. The anarchists are more complacent; less able or willing to compete in the bureauocracy. That’s why I suggested Tom & Prof. Phillies-who I restate I believe is an anarchist. Radical libs-unless you do something you are going to continue to lose out on party positions & candidates by about 4% just like Ruwart v Barr.

  13. Michael Seebeck

    I’d run, but then that would put me in the high-rent district of Stupidville in the Out-Of-My-League Apartments, next door to Redpath & Co., and I’d like to think I’m smart enough to see that, so not me either. Sure, I could probably run a meeting fairly, and I sure am not anyone’s ventriloquist dummy, and I have little use for parliamentary games, but I have neither the inclination nor the desire to engage that activity. It would make more sense to me to bungee-jump with a 2-foot too-long rope, because then the head bashing would be creative instead of just against a wall repeatedly.

  14. paulie Post author

    If a state party is so weak and poor that it can’t help itself get on the ballot, then that state party simply doesn’t deserve to be on the ballot until it gets its act together, period. I’d guess that as a paid petitioner, you don’t have an interest in that happening. But that should be the case.

    It doesn’t really have too much to do with my job in the sense of self-interest/trying to pad my pocket. Actually, it looks like I may get cut out of all or most LP contracts for the foreseeable future anyway. And many state parties have been better to deal with than national on the contracting end.

    My opinion does have to do with my job in that I have seen the situation on the ground, and I know many states do not have the ability to get themselves on the ballot.

    I also have noticed the decline in the activity and function levels of the party at all levels that has gone hand in hand with ending total ballot access as a high priority goal. And I also have talked to enough people and read enough party history to determine that the efforts to get on all ballots in 1992 brought together the elements that went on to grow the party over the next several years.

    It’s true that very few people join the party precisely because it is on every ballot, but it makes a good talking point, and sets in motion many elements that do lead to people joining and becoming active. Also, you never know where you might be missing the person who could change history because the party is not on the ballot of the state where they live at the right time.

    Once states are on the ballot there is a lot they can do on their own, but if they are not on the ballot there is little chance of getting much done, and in many states the ballot access burdens are insurmountable or extremely difficult.

  15. paulie Post author

    There’s always the chance of Ernest Hancock.

    That jogged my memory. I believe I have heard Hancock say he is running.

  16. paulie Post author

    Phillies-who I restate I believe is an anarchist.

    I could state and restate that you are a member of the Socialist Workers Party – that still would not make it true.

  17. Bill Hall

    There are strong logical arguments for each of (1) National taking the lead on ensuring 50-state ballot access, and (2) “building” state LPs by insisting they get themselves on the ballot. Both experiments have now been tried, and IMHO the latter is (mostly) a failure. In the final analysis, I believe what tends to energize and build a state party is, once it has one or more candidates on the ballot, the opportunity to promote/campaign for those candidates. Ideally, the state LP would have put the candidates on the ballot itself, but in practice we have found that many state LPs are not capable of that, without substantial help from National. LP Chair Mary Gingell’s leadership on this issue in 1991-92, and the unwavering support of the LNC at that time, were a tremendous success story. Together, we managed to put a “no name” LP presidential candidate on the ballot in all 50 states, including DC. Ultimately, the LP is all about exploiting the publicity/policy avenue offered to us by our electoral system to educate the public about libertarianism and sometimes elect libertarians to public office. To do so, you first need to get LP candidates on the ballot.

  18. Robert Capozzi

    Observation: I’ve never seen the term “miniarchists” before. I wonder if that’s on purpose, or a typo?

    Hinkle should consider the new term of art: Lessarchist.

  19. June Genis

    I normally don’t bother to comment on internal squabbles but I have known Mark Hinkle for over 30 years. In fact, as I recall we both began our LP careers stuffing newletters for the Santa Clara County LP in CA back in 1974. I can’t recall if Mark would call himself an anarchist but he definitely is one of those often derided as purists or radicals. He was one of the folks who spearheaded the effort to bring back the Atlanta Platform. That said, Mark’s greatest asset is his ability to work calmly with those who don’t see the world exactly his way without resorting to character assassination to make a point. While I also have great respect for Ruth Bennett, I know Mark would make an excellent chair.

  20. LP Observer

    I favor bringing energy back to the Libertarian National Committee.

    Ruth Bennett or Ernest Hancock would be welcome alternatives to the “Go To Sleep” Caucus (inspired by Michael Cloud’s admonition not to “macho-flash” — which has been corrupted to mean Libertarians should not confront statists), consisting of

    Bill Redpath
    Michael Jingozian
    Bob Sullentrup
    Aaron Starr
    Michael Colley
    Alicia Mattson
    Scott Lieberman
    Rebecca Sink-Burris
    Stewart Flood

    If the above-mentioned LNC members are not pro-tyranny infiltrators, they might as well be based on their actions.

    The “Go to Sleep” Caucus outnumbers Radical Caucus members on the LNC, so that’s why you see what you do from the national LP.

  21. libertariangirl

    yes Observer everyone is a pro-tyranny infiltrator. In fact I think Aaron Starr has slowly but slowly been biding his time for 30 years just waiting for the right time to spring his evil plan into action . His minions are just waiting for the go-ahead.
    you too will be assimilated , there is no escape
    ROFLMAO

  22. LP Observer

    Not everyone, libertariangirl.

    And Starr’s undermining work (enabled by the likes of M Carling, Brian Holtz, and others) to tie up the LNC in parliamentary procedural knots and derail pro-liberty initiatives has been ongoing for years.

    Being a good accountant does not make one a good revolutionary.

  23. Michael Seebeck

    Hardly, Milnes. The only point you have is on the top of your head.

    One, although I lean anarchist, I’m still a minarchist.

    Two, I for one recognize that if I ran it’d be an exercise in futility, not to mention stupidity, because I know I’m not ready for that position.

    Three, you missed the obvious sarcasm.

  24. paulie Post author

    I can’t recall if Mark would call himself an anarchist but he definitely is one of those often derided as purists or radicals. He was one of the folks who spearheaded the effort to bring back the Atlanta Platform. That said, Mark’s greatest asset is his ability to work calmly with those who don’t see the world exactly his way without resorting to character assassination to make a point.

    Sounds like exactly the type of leadership we need.

  25. W is a 911 terrorist

    “well, we’ve heard from a Truther…”

    The Truth shall set you free. Can you handle the Truth?

  26. Brian Holtz

    The Pro-Tyranny Caucus: a mighty little band of anti-freedom fighters holding the thin blue line between America and her always-imminent LP-led liberation from the State. A liberation to be heralded by…

    The Radical Second Coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the platform cannot hold;
    Mere minarchy is loosed upon the Party,
    The Kochtopian tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The pledge of non-aggression is drowned;
    The radicals lack all conviction, while we pro-tyranny reformers
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    But surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of LvMI
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in pages of the Web
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of indignant blog commenters.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty years of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a tea party,
    And what resolute Austrian, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards St. Louis to be en-Chaired?

  27. Robert Milnes

    Robert Capozzi@36, yes, I am troubled by Hancock’s reported by you high profile support for Ron Paul. But then I’m troubled by any support for Ron Paul, dinosaur fossil counterrevolutionary skinny unhealthy looking whiny voiced 35 million dollar republican dixiecrat conservative old man.

  28. Michael H. Wilson

    If Mark is running what does he think the LP should do regarding public relations program? Has he made any comments regarding, imo, the poor website which needs to be up dated, or the lack of literature?

    What is his stand regarding openess in the party regarding access to the officers and adequate publication in a timely manner of the minutes of meetings, opening the LNC discussion list for outside observation and making sure that the membership has a full and complete report of the LP’s finances?

  29. paulie Post author

    I am troubled by Hancock’s reported by you high profile support for Ron Paul. But then I’m troubled by any support for Ron Paul, dinosaur fossil counterrevolutionary skinny unhealthy looking whiny voiced 35 million dollar republican dixiecrat conservative old man.

    You’re just jealous, Milnes.

  30. paulie Post author

    Has he made any comments regarding, imo, the poor website which needs to be up dated,

    They have updated it several times in the last few years and none of the changes have made things much better, while some made them significantly worse. Maybe we could convince Joe Dehn to do the website again?

  31. George Phillies

    The LNC has done something about their web site.

    They’ve paid for it.

    Thousands of dollars.

    Every month.

    They also pay for hosting.

    It’s time for a change.
    Mobilize all libertarians–
    to do REAL POLITICS.

  32. Robert Milnes

    George, E=mc2; simplify things. Tell the radicals to take over the LNC. Let’s stop pissing around. Get Brad S. to host lp.org. & design a new website. Run for LNC chair. Let’s make some moves, people!

  33. Michael H. Wilson

    George I don’t fault Wes. He’s hasn’t had time to fix much of anything and I’ll bet he’s getting calls all day that waste his time. But do you have any idea as to what the numbers are on the website?

  34. George Phillies

    @61
    It would not occur to me to blame Wes. This has been going on for over a year.

    The month by month numbers for the web site are all in Liberty for America. For the latest month

    More than $8400 for web services, including:
    $4200 for Website Management to Terra Eclipse, Inc.
    $3000 for Email Marketing Services to Lyris Tech – Sparklist
    $649 for Website Hosting Service to Rackspace US Inc.
    $574 for Email Service Hosting Expense to ThePlanet.com

    For full details:
    http://libertyforamerica.com/200909.pdf

  35. mdh

    There’s no way in hell that lp.org gets enough traffic to require that much money worth of hosting. I guarantee it could be run off of one or two leased machines at well under half that price.

    As for $3200/month for webmaster services… wow. Someone’s getting rich.

  36. Michael H. Wilson

    Hi George I know that you don’t blame Wes and neither was I. I was trying to clarify myself before I stepped into it, so to speak.

    Looks like someone needs to check and see what the rates are at Costco, or the guy at the corner store. Lots of money go out the door.

    Thanks,
    MW

  37. Pingback: Libertarian National Committee races | Independent Political Report

  38. Brian Holtz

    I would like to know if Mr. Hinkle disagrees with anything in the following draft St. Louis Accord.

    The Party’s purpose is to implement and give voice to the Statement of Principles by uniting voters who want more personal and economic liberty behind the electoral choices that will most move public policy in a libertarian direction. The Party’s ultimate goal is to banish force initiation and fraud from human relationships. The Party does not claim to know how close our society can come to this ideal, but we are united in our conviction that governments must never add to the amount of aggression in the world. Principled libertarians can disagree about how best to reduce aggression or even about precisely what constitutes aggression, but we are united in defending the full rights of each person to his body, labor, peaceful production, and voluntary exchanges. Principled libertarians can disagree about whether every function of government can be performed by the free market, but we are united in opposing government’s growth beyond the protection of the rights of every individual to her life, liberty and property. Principled libertarians can disagree about how best we may each serve the cause of freedom, but we are determined to build a Party that welcomes and unites all those who want more personal and economic liberty. We defenders of freedom are too few, and the enemies of freedom are too many, for us to indulge in seeking heretics in our midst, rather than awakening allies across this freedom-loving land.

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