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James Oaksun for
PO Box 961
Portland, ME 04104
To All Friends of Liberty:
Does this look like a picture of a vibrant, healthy, growing organization?
When I first started writing this statement, I wrote that the Libertarian Party was having a midlife crisis. But that’s not right.
We’re having an existential crisis. And the ship of liberty needs an immediate and radical change in direction.
I’m announcing my candidacy for LNC Treasurer. And I ask for your help and support as we work – together – to build a new and dynamic Libertarian Party of which we and an ever expanding cadre of newcomers can be proud.
I know some of you, have corresponded with many others… but some of you may be meeting me for the first time through this letter. So first, let me tell you a bit about who I am and how I have come to ask for your help and your support.
I’m 48, originally from Buffalo, New York, and have lived in southern Maine for the last 20 years.
I’m a cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, and earned an MBA in finance and accounting from Cornell University. I’ve
also been granted Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations from The American College.
I spent more than 20 years of my professional life in Corporate America, nearly all of that working at a large insurance company, principally in the financial and actuarial organizations. I have now started my own independent financial consulting business, Virtual Galt Corporation, named after one of the fictional heroes of our movement.
I received a couple very serious wake up calls a few years back, and I had to make some tough personal decisions. So I’m not afraid to suggest and implement difficult, even radical, moves if they are in someone’s or the group’s best interest. That’s a skill the LNC needs and I will bring it with me every day.
Now I ask: What can our party become? I have some ideas, and I have the time, the resources and the energy to drive them ahead.
A great group of people approached me and asked if I would consider taking this on, and I agreed.
This is not a matter of personality or what it says on which page of Robert’s. Maybe I haven’t
been around long enough to push people’s noses out of joint. I hope I never do. I have nothing against anybody who is
serving today or has served before me, regardless of the role. I thank them and am grateful for their service.
There are two things we need to do, and do quickly.
1. Zero Based Budget.
We need to decide immediately which objectives are most important, and determine the most cost effective way to achieve them. We’re not doing that right now. We need change. We need to start with a clean sheet of paper – from Zero – and build back up.
We’re currently doing too much of some things, not enough of other things, and spending too much money on things of questionable value. We can fix our finances, but only if we make significant changes.
The first thing I will do when I am elected, is set up shop in the Party’s headquarters for a time, at my own expense. I’ll meet with the staff and critical vendors, review all relevant contracts and documents, and stay until I fully understand what is happening at ground level, line item by line item.
Then I will report to the LNC. Some things will require more money. Some things will have to
be dropped, or altered.
2. Vision 2016.
What do we want to be? How much will that cost? And by when will it happen?
The LNC must decide in which directions to encourage our party. We don’t need experts from afar.
We have all the knowledge, ideas, people and experience we need.
I’ve picked 2016 as a target date. That’s an election year.
A good interim goal would be to get our 2012 presidential candidate on all 50 state ballots.
Here are some more of my ideas:
- Candidate Support – Let’s put together an electronic database for candidates, with
libertarian talking points and other material. Right now we can’t provide much financial help. But we ought to do something for
the people “in the arena”.
- Media Placement – We need to get our message out through a co-ordinated and effective media placement campaign: LTEs, op-eds, blogs, talk radio, podcasting/video, even targeted television. We can do this at very little cost, but only if we have the will to drive the process.
- Internet and email messaging and marketing – A few hours of consulting with
nationally renowned experts will return the investment several fold.
- Impact on fundraising – on a real (inflation adjusted) basis, fundraising declined by more
than 70 percent this past decade. That’s a disaster! We’ve got to get this fixed… and fast! I am ready to do my fair share as treasurer. We’re never going to improve our fundraising unless we start communicating immediately a compelling vision of where we want our party to go, and how our contributors’ and partner’s resources will make that happen. No one wants to give money to pay excessive and improper overhead. Our contributors want – and deserve – results.
A Maine Story
A few years back the LP-Maine basically went inactive. I noticed that acutely two years ago, as a delegate to Denver and afterwards. I offered to help, several times, and in several ways. No reply. Result? Among other things:
No Barr/Root on the Maine ballot! What an embarrassment!
So about a year ago I founded Liberty For Maine. We’ve got a website. We have a blog with frequent and fresh content. We’ve been prominent at summer festivals in Maine. We’ve issued press releases, placed articles in the
media, received coverage from national bloggers. And there’s more to come.
And I can commit to you, our 2012 presidential candidate will be on the ballot here!
We have a tremendous opportunity. Independent-minded and disaffected voters are open to hearing an alternative.
Do we wish to offer that alternative? Or do we wish to mire ourselves in parliamentary arcana, purges, and side issues?
Do we want national media coverage of our alternative approaches, or to maintain radio silence?
Do we want to communicate a compelling, positive vision of freedom and non aggression for America? Or do we want to be a faint echo of the currently less successful of the two major parties?
By now you know my answers to these questions.
We can disagree without being disagreeable. And I know I don’t have all the answers. But I learned long ago, that the best way to start a discussion is with a smile and an open hand.
I am ready to serve and I humbly ask for your help and support in St. Louis.
“Those who cannot dream of liberty will never want it. Those who can only dream of liberty will never seek it. They will fantasize and rhapsodize, but they will not act.”
P.S. You’ve heard a lot from me. But I want to hear from you, too. Here’s my number:
603.397.3387. And here’s my personal email: James@Liberty4Maine.org. I will answer all questions, and return all calls.