George Phillies: ‘What my friends and I did for Massachusetts Libertarians’

Posted by LNC chair candidate George Phillies at

How LAMA has changed since the 2006 State Convention – and all for the better.

In 2006, the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts was in sufficient straits that its regular yearly convention, which should have been called for April, did not occur. The State Committee had not met for three-quarters of a year. Finally, in May the outbound State Chair to his great credit asked Carol McMahon and I to organize and hold the next State Convention, which due to Bylaws constraints could be held no earlier than September.

We held the Convention, an almost entirely new State Committee being elected. Carol and I were re-elected.

There then followed a prolonged period of trying to sort out all sorts of issues. Many of these took quite some time to fix, in some cases much longer than you would think necessary.

There are some useful lessons here. In an all-volunteer organization, sometimes you can replace your procedures. Sometimes you have to replace the people instead. Fixing a group will not happen overnight. However, it can be done. You do need a few things. You need people willing to do work. You need to be fairly vigorous about not listening to the voices who say ‘we can’t’.

Money: In 2006, one could note that there had been no fundraising drives since mid-2002. The State Party was substantially dependent on Unified Membership Plan income, meaning internal fundraising had atrophied and member feedback via the purse largely vanished. UMP money ran out in late 2006. The last monthly donor had stopped giving. Under new leadership, regular fund raising efforts were instituted. You can see that in our FEC reports, which show almost no income in the first half of 2007 and ramp up thereafter. Several unused objects having significant monthly costs and no benefits were terminated.

In January 2009, we had $3150 in the Federal Campaign account; we now have $4950, a 50% increase. When I became Treasurer in October 2008, we had $128 in State Campaign funds; we now have $3450. Our funds on hand have increased 2.5 times. If the national party were doing as well, given the USA has more people than Massachusetts, it would have $360,000 cash on hand. More important, income is consistently increasing. LAMA income rose 50% from 2007 to 2008, and a further 21% from 2008 to 2009. That’s right, our income went up from election year to the next year.

Membership: The new State Committee inherited a large number of people who had via the LNC paid state party dues, but who had never received anything for their money. We gave them all an automatic year forwards membership; that appeared to be the ethical solution. We also had other groups of people who were on the membership rolls, were apparently not Life Members (in some cases, we could ask directly), and who had not paid us anything in years. Disentangling all this in ways that would not lead to anyone claiming we had cheated them took some time.

In addition, membership rules needed to be brought into the 21st century. In 2006 there were no provisions for electronic memberships (newsletter via PDF), family memberships, or donation or renewal via the web. There were no monthly donors. There were no meet up groups. Under the new committee all these things were added; about a third of our members now receive Mass Liberty electronically. We also greatly upgraded our renewal letters.

However, in late 2006, we had a very small number of real members, and a very large number of people with no attachment to the organization whose entirely nominal memberships had to be run out. The process took until Summer 2009, when the last nominal memberships expired and membership bottomed. Since then, LAMA membership has gone up 75%.

Newsletter: In 2006 the newsletter had not come out regularly in years. We immediately resumed monthly publication, first under my editorship and then under the Editorships of David Blau and later Steve Greffenius. There was a major effort to cut costs and improve results. The cost of printing and mailing the newsletter was cut 60%; we also went from black and white to color. With a couple of one-month drop-outs, mailing has continued monthly ever since.

Volunteer contact: In 2006, there was no volunteer contact effort. A program of contacting volunteers was instituted, first with a volunteer newsletter and now with telephone and email messaging. From 2008 to 2010, the number of Libertarian candidates, most running under the “Liberty” banner because of our weird ballot access issues, appears likely to be up substantially.

Web pages: In 2006, the web site had not been updated in a very long time. The former State Committee had not secured ownership of its own URL; the former webmaster, Muni Savyon, refused to turn the URL over to the new State Committee, and he is *still* refusing to do so. We registered alternative URLs, and – thanks to the hard work of first Bill Hees, then Mary-Anne Wolf, Bob Underwood, and soon Joe Kennedy – got a web site up. I was able to recover the old committee minutes and newsletter issues; you can see them on the new, improved web site. Bill Hees even managed to get a forwarder placed from the old address.

Art Torrey attached a forum device. More recently, we installed a SoapBlox object, which is closing on 600 readers.

Before 2006, when we were in a perpetual downward spiral. Since 2006 when my good friends took over LAMA activities. It took a while to turn the ship around, but we did that, and we are now in a pattern of growth and expansion: Membership up 75% from its bottom. Donations that increased from 2008 to 2009. A regular newsletter. A web page that still has a ways to go, but is far better than it had been. More and more campaigns, some attracting National attention.

George Phillies is a contributing editor for Liberty For All. You can contact Dr. Phillies at

20 thoughts on “George Phillies: ‘What my friends and I did for Massachusetts Libertarians’

  1. More Phillies

    AOK campers, this is your New England
    chief tellum big woopers.

    On Phillies political tomb stone:
    “During the 21st Century
    Libs were the ONLY anti war party!”

    [and this guy is a PhD ?????
    I know (personally) that he is an
    arrogant know it all whom
    ‘does not play well w/ others’]

  2. George Phillies

    For those of you who are curious about the numbers:


    FEC — $3745
    State — 0

    FEC — $4374
    State — $1160 Total up 48%

    FEC — $4576
    State — $2260 Total up another 24%

    The membership number bottomed in summer 2009, when the end-of-July projection was 72. We are now at 127. You can read it in our state party minutes. Renewals are reasonably successful. In the last half-year we lost six members, including one who moved to Missouri, one who totally vanished — all addresses invalid, and one concluded we were part of the international secular humanist conspiracy.

    Turning around membership counts depends in part on your expiration structure. We had a considerable number of people who had paid for a very long time, a long time ago, and were inactive.

  3. Jeremy Young

    Can we please stop attacking Phillies for his Ph.D.? He is a Doctor of Science in physics. Having a Ph.D. does not qualify you to be an expert in everything, nor does it obligate you to never make mistakes. Phillies is just a guy and a political activist who happens to have an advanced degree in an unrelated field.

    I’m sorry, having been the target of similar Internet attacks before, I’m just bothered by this.

  4. More George Phillies Steer Manure

    and Jeremy Young IS NOT BOTHERED by any adult citizens not recognizing that the sky is blue, that water is wet ???????


    The next thing ya know is that Mister Young is bothered by the fact that folks point out the short comings of a guy like Wayne Root spouting off on the NON EXISTENT $100T national debt.

    Jeremy, ya ever hear of that governmental fire in Berlin in the early 1930s ??????? Ya approve of Tojo and Mussolini and Stalin making up stuff as facts ??????

    Ya mind me being bothered as a non Lib whom realizes more and more that the LP, as noble and even inspiring as it’s base mission is, has gotten [thx in part to jerks like Phillies and Root and their toadies like you] to the point where they are whole sale distributors of manure ????

    So Jeremy Young is bothered! What a shame that it is about the wrong things!

  5. Jeremy Young

    The government lying to its citizens about the facts is not the same thing as a citizen making a mistake about the facts. And George Phillies is not Adolf Hitler.

  6. More George Phillies /Wayne Roo Steer Manure

    Dear Defacto Phillies Campaign Manager Jeremy Young:

    Citizens making glaring, obvious mistakes and

    [a] and not being aware enough to see the error of their ways …………

    [b] and not being adult enough to openly and publicly apologize and correcting the obvious and blatant error ??????????

    What do you have against the truth ?????? What do you have against honesty and open – ness ??????????

    With ‘friends’ like you, do Wayne Root, George Phillies, and LP need any enemies ??????????

  7. paulie Post author

    paulie, what do you have against the truth ???????

    I love truth.

    And it so happens to be that the truth is that Jeremy’s use of “we” was incorrect.

    I was not addressing anything else.

  8. More George Phillies /Wayne Roo Steer Manure

    Phillies and Root have tons of criticism this year, and includeing a couple of non Don Lake comments on the ‘peace party’ and $100T national debt error[s] ……

    [seemed like you were directing your comment to me and not Phillies promoter Jeremy Young.]

    I am sorry that Der Rambo, Kubby, Root and Phillies have (personally) been such jerks, but they have. I also call out ctweber, Cindy Sheehan, half of the greens on the west coast and half of reformers in California!

    Sad but true. If you ever catch ME doing wrong PLEASE CALL ME on it!]

    Rots of ruck on Tejas!

    Hey, with me around, less priests, teachers, church employees, and medical folk would get away with [bad, immoral, illegal] things ………..

    I speak out [military officer, bus driver, teacher] and IT NEVER MAKES ME POPULAR!

    Oh well ………..

  9. Jeremy Young

    I am not George Phillies’ de facto campaign manager. I have never met the man and am not a Libertarian. I am simply an interested observer who supports him.

  10. More Jeremy Young Poo Poo

    Phillies campaign manager Jeremy Young:

    Can we please stop attacking Phillies for his Ph.D.?

    paulie // Feb 24, 2010:

    To my knowledge, no one besides Don Lake is doing that ……..

    Lake: even I am not doing ‘that’

    [a] My gripe is that arrogant white male know it all Phillies does not recognize his OBVIOUS gaff.

    [b] my gripe is that if Doctor Phillies came out of the stupor of his gazing in the nearest mirror, he did not have the intestinal fortitude to apologize.

    [c] yes, yes as a non FID [graduate school short hand for non MD or non law school terminal degree] I was INTENSELY jealous of his academic horse power!

    Oh wait, ctweber, Phil Sawyer, various ‘drop the ball’ california greens, and various devious and deceitful [so called] reformers, Kubby, Der Rambo, Bruce Cohan, Richard Rider and Root do not have PhDs!

    Californians Edward Tessiler and John Dennis (Citizens For A Better Veterans Home) Coffey supposedly have law degrees. Coffey has never been able to do what it takes to pass the bar!

    Well, Jeremy Young may love Liar Phillies —- and that is his privilege —– and his shame.

    Well, Libs may be so strident (or may be so in secure) that they look the other way on errors by Kubby, Cohen, Root or Phillies. And that is their privilege —— and their shame!

  11. More Jeremy Young Poo Poo

    Jeremy Young // Feb 24, 2010:

    “I am not George Phillies’ de facto campaign manager. I have never met the man and am not a Libertarian. I am simply an interested observer who supports him.”

    If that be the truth, then contact the bum [my opinion via personal experience] and urge him to recognize and admit his mistake.

    Look at the facts Jeremy! You would rather quiet the truth than modify the behavior of an errant politician! Dats a fact Jack!

  12. Jeremy Young

    I won’t e-mail him about it because I don’t care that much. It’s a detail. Do I think he ought to come on here and say he made a mistake? Sure. Does it really matter in the scheme of things, when the future of the Libertarian Party is at stake? I don’t think so.

    And with that, I’m done with this conversation.

  13. More Denial of Logic

    Jeremy Young // Feb 24, 2010:
    “I won’t e-mail him about it because I don’t care that much. It’s a detail.”

    You cared enough to rub my nose in it. Needlessly. Needlessly rubbing my nose in some thing where I am not the mistaken errant bad guy!

    ” Do I think he ought to come on here and say he made a mistake? Sure. ”

    Does it really matter in the scheme of things, when the future of the Libertarian Party is at stake? ”

    Sure —– he can’t win. He is either stupid, in denial, unethical, ignorant, immoral! There is no up side. And yes the LP just gets worse and worse via dip wads like George. Yes, it is important and you just don’t know it!

    George owes the world an apology.

    YOU owe me an apology.

  14. San Diego LP veteran

    Just so ya know. San Diego’s Don Lake (presumably the Don Lake commenting here) is not a Libertarian, and has been an opponent of of the LP — probably for decades.

    Our sin — we don’t make improving veteran health care and housing our primary issue.

    That’s it. It’s his ditch to die in. Indeed, one might conclude that he is deranged.

    Anyone not embracing this single issue is his enemy. He has nothing positive to offer, and has been useless in the fight for liberty.

    Less than useless, actually. He wastes our time and makes endless attacks on the party and its members.

  15. What a difference a ..........

    Don Lake: OPPONENT of LP ??????? As a proponent of LIBERTY the LP movement needs out siders like me to keep on shinning the mirror on the Lib’s ongoing insanity.

    There are reasons, beyond money and personality, that the LP is imploding! Real, correctable reasons of ethics and logic!

    The LPs gripe ’bout SS but when the GOP makes it a high profile national issue the Libs collectively hit the mute button!

    Yes the LPs do not make the minor minor *sarcasm* issue of properly caring about our nation’s active duty, families of same, and former DoD employees a PRIMARY effort.

    Ya know how I know ??????? Libs don’t make ANY noise on vets issues, even tho the defenders of Liberty just might be the biggest proponent of the same!

    I am ‘less than useless’ and thank good ness *sarcasm* there are not HUNDREDS of snarkie comments on errant libertarian activies, conventions, personalities by parisans. Oh, wait, the IPR filters are full of them.

    [But Don Lake (he’s in the book) is the bad guy! Call any time, especially where you did not even acknowledge California’s horrible horrible lethal results in that area!]

    That’s it. It is the Lib legacy! One might conclude that they are predominately self employed snide white males with little connection to the average American!

  16. Ed Godard

    How many partisan Libertarians have been elected in Massachusetts since 2006?

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