LNC reps, candidates issue statement against convention floor fee

A group of Libertarian National Committee representatives and LNC candidates issued a public statement yesterday in opposition to the planned imposition of a delegate “floor fee” at the 2010 Libertarian National Convention. The statement’s opening paragraph:

We strongly oppose the imposition of a floor fee by the LNC for credentialing of national delegates. The By-laws and Convention Rules are quite clear in saying that delegates are chosen by the states and do not allow additional requirements to be added by the national party.

The entire statement is posted at Liberty For All.

Signers of the statement include:

– At-large LNC representatives Mary Ruwart and R. Lee Wrights

– Regional representative Rachel Hawkridge and regional alternate Jake Porter

– George Phillies, candidate for chair

– Carolyn Marbry, candidate for vice chair

– Rob Power, candidate for secretary

– James Oaksun, candidate for treasurer

– Michael Seebeck and Scott Williamson, candidates for regional representative and Charles Wilhoit, candidate for regional alternate

– 2008 Libertarian National Convention Team member Eva Kosinski

35 thoughts on “LNC reps, candidates issue statement against convention floor fee

  1. Michael H. Wilsonm

    If I happen to get there and there is a floor fee I’ll be standing outside with a sign protesting the floor fee. I’ll also send out press releases and I do know how to do just that.

  2. Scott Lieberman

    constitutionparty.com/documents/CP_pg2-RegistrationFORM.pdf

    **********

    First and Last Name ? Check if Delegate
    Spouse’s Name (if attending) ? Check if Delegate
    ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________
    Street Address
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    City State Zip
    _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________
    Names and Ages of Children and Students attending Convention
    ____________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
    Note: Children under age 13 are admitted to Convention Hall, Exhibits &Workshops at no charge when accompanied by a parent.
    Meals for children under age 13 are optional and available at a reduced rate, so please purchase children’s meals below, if desired.

    Mail this Registration Form to: Constitution Party, 23 North Lime Street, Lancaster, PA 17602

    Convention Registration includes admission to all Convention General Sessions, Exhibits, Workshops, Luncheon on Friday, “Candidate Reception” on Friday Evening and “Frontier Ball” on Saturday Evening.

    ? Enclosed is my “Early Bird Registration” Fee (must be received before April 1st)
    Adult Registrations: $199.00 x _____ people = $ __________
    ? Enclosed is my “Pre-Registration” Fee (must be received before April 18th)
    Adult Registrations: $240.00 x _____ people = $ __________
    ? Registrations NOT received before April 18th (After April 18: pay at the door or fax this form)
    Adult Registrations: $275.00 x _____ people = $ __________

    ***********************************

    The formatting of the above form is going to be horrible due to the limitations of the IPR comment format.

    Nevertheless, as you can see, the Constitution Party charged a MANDATORY Registration Fee for anyone who wanted to be admitted to the Convention Hall, unless you happened to be under the age of 13. Even the Early Bird Registration fee was only a George Washington shy of $200.

    So, it is not exclusionary or elitist for the Libertarian Party to charge a mandatory Registration Fee for Delegates in order to be admitted to the Convention Hall for our 2010 National Convention.

  3. volvoice

    Scott,

    That would be expected of the Constitution Party. Maybe we could send all of our authoritarians over there. If you guys think that you are going to ‘not’ seat the delegates selected at our state convention because they don’t pay a floor fee, someone is sadly mistaken. If you all are looking for fireworks…you’re going to get some. And that is a promise my friend.

  4. AroundtheblockAFT

    The concerns are what? Financial? Have a colored badge for credentialed non paying delegates and see that they leave the hall whenever there’s a non business event.
    Packing the delegations? Have a credentials process and ask the state chairs to police their delegation. It seemed to work fine in Denver – I was five minutes late for credentialing on the vote for Chair and no one bent the rules for me.
    As I also recall, the came and went in the hall pretty much as I pleased without paying any fees.

  5. TNSTAAFL

    Re: volvoice

    Simple, your state can pay the min fee for those in your delegation that can not afford the fee themselves. I believe this is what my state chair has recommended. He told us at our last meeting that he picked a “silver” package instead of the “Gold” so that he can contribute the difference for a delegate that can not pay. He will not give the funds to those that “will not pay” however because as Libertarians we believe TNSTAAFL.

    Those of us that do pay should NOT be forced to covers those that will not via our dues or any other LP Party funds.

  6. LNC Credentialing is a Joke

    As I also recall, the came and went in the hall pretty much as I pleased without paying any fees.

    LNC credentialing is a joke. At the last convention, people entered and left the delegation floor at will, including all manner of non-delegates.

    Many issues were decided by voice vote. Nobody bothered to check if non-delegates were screaming “aye” or “nay”.

  7. volvoice

    TNSTAAFL,

    Bro it ain’t the money, its the principle. Sully, AM and crew get their kicks fuckin around with people. Delegates have never been made to pay a fee to JUST attend the business session. The packages are for all the extras that go along with the convention. I ask you….why should people who just want to participate in the business session be forced to cover those who want fancy dinners and such. I say that as a person who always buys more than the ‘basic’ package. Again, its not the money…in Tennessee we would make sure that everyone participates at, at least a basic level. That is a common courtesy, but if certain people want to be authoritarians and pull this kind of crap then Alicia Mattson may be the only delegate from Tn. that pays anything. The selection of Convention delegates is handled by the states, not the other way around. The credential committee’s job is to coordinate with the States and ensure that the proper people are on the list, nothing more. Some in the Party want to dictate from the top down, I just happen to disagree with their thought process.

  8. wolfefan

    What does the fact that the Constitution Party charges a fee have to do with whether or not it is elitist and exclusionary? I’m not an LP member so have no particular opinion, but saying that “someone else does it” doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. There appears to be a disagreement about whether or not such a fee is authorized by LP rules. How would CP rules matter one way or the other?

  9. TNSTAAFL

    Simple, hard to vote without the delegate package/binder (that’s like ten bucks alone) then there is the space (air may be free but a/v, computers, printers, coffee, water, pens, pads, tables, chairs may not — trust me they don’t “give” you space free anyway unless you pay for the other stuff and guarantee a bunch of food and rooms).

    So perhaps if you were going to simply vote, without any knowledge of what you are voting on, without using any electronics, pen, pencil, paper, then perhaps it can be free – you are there simply breathing and voicing your vote. But from what I’ve seen in the past – people need more than just air – thus TNSTAAFL – pay up! That’s our basic founding Libertarian Principle – it don’t get more principled than that. Pay your share, or ask someone else to do so if you cannot afford it. But no free lunch for you off my back buster!

    PS – I ain’t been to many “free” state conventions nor have any of the LSLA’s been free to my recollection. The rules (LP’s and Robert’s) pretty much make it clear they can charge us.

    PSS – I am told that many of you all that are doing the most bitchin ain’t even national members. Thus at least pay your freakin $25 bucks or shadup.

  10. libertariangirl

    the delegates will vote to seat those who have not paid the floor fee, Im sure. Of course it will take up a bunch of time , but I believe there will be more opposed than for so…

  11. volvoice

    …The rules (LP’s and Robert’s) pretty much make it clear they can charge us….

    Care to show us where in the bylaws that it says that the credentials committee can require a monetary payment to be credentialized. Robbers Rulz doesn’t come into play here .

    ….PSS – I am told that many of you all that are doing the most bitchin ain’t even national members. Thus at least pay your freakin $25 bucks or shadup…..

    LOL! What are they emailin ya off list? BTW, It is not a requirement to be a national member to be seated at the convention. The states determine their requirements to be a delegate. Again, its from the bottom up and not the top down.

  12. George Phillies

    For those of you curious, the full statement reads

    e:

    We strongly oppose the imposition of a floor fee by the LNC for credentialing of national delegates. The By-laws and Convention Rules are quite clear in saying that delegates are chosen by the states and do not allow additional requirements to be added by the national party.

    A floor fee will restrict the delegates’ participation in party business, hindering their ability to carry out their responsibilities to the state parties.

    Given that the anticipated revenue from the floor fee amounts to only one percent of the LNC’s 2-year budget, it seems unreasonable that the LNC should be unable to earmark 1% of its annual budget to cover expenses for a required event.

    If we allow the LNC to circumvent the By-laws and Convention Rules in this seemingly small regard, we may find it difficult to keep it from running roughshod over the By-laws in more controversial matters in the future.

    The statement above has been endorsed by the following individuals:

    George Phillies – candidate, LNC Chair
    Carolyn Marbry – candidate, LNC Vice Chair
    Rob Power – candidate, LNC Secretary
    James Oaksun – candidate, LNC Treasurer

    Mary Ruwart – candidate, At-Large
    R. Lee Wrights – candidate, At-Large

    Rachel Hawkridge – candidate, LNC Regional Representative
    Michael Seebeck – candidate, LNC Regional Representative
    Jake Porter – candidate, LNC Regional Representative
    Scott Williamson – candidate, LNC Regional Representative
    Charles Wilhoit – candidate, LNC Regional Alternate

    Eva Kosinski – 2008 National Convention Team

  13. Rocky Eades

    It is my understanding that these floor fees are forcing those who decide to stay in cheaper hotels than the convention hotel will be subsidizing those who are staying at the convention hotel. Those who stay at the convention hotel will be paying $49 (after rebate!) and those who stay elsewhere will be paying $99; in other words those who stay elsewhere will be subsidizing a $50 rebate to those who stay at the convention hotel. But then, I guess that’s the “personally responsible” thing to do!

  14. LNC Dues Should Cover the Convention

    people need more than just air – thus TNSTAAFL – pay up! That’s our basic founding Libertarian Principle – it don’t get more principled than that. Pay your share, or ask someone else to do so if you cannot afford it. But no free lunch for you off my back buster!

    I think Phillies has pointed out, the LNC’s main reason for exiting, according to bylaws, is to hold national conventions. Everything else it does is gravy.

    So LNC dues should cover the convention.

    If there’s any money left, that should be spent on a national office and staff.

    If there’s no money left, close or move the D.C. office, and cut staff.

    Members have already paid for the convention via their dues.

    A floor fee is double-dipping, just like Demopublican politicians do. Dempublicans squander taxes dollars on their own perks and pet projects, then hold special elections for bonds to pay for schools and police protection.

  15. Starchild

    Excellent! You can add my name to the endorsers list.

    Delegates should not have to pay a fee to subsidize the preference of image-fearful Libertarians for meeting in big hotels. The party is not doing them a favor by providing a convention venue. The *delegates* are doing the *party* a favor by volunteering their time and spending their own money to travel to that venue in order to conduct the party’s business as described in our bylaws.

    Charge for extras, sure — speakers, meals, optional items. But charging delegates to take part in business sessions in order to supposedly cover the cost of the room is like charging paid staffers the cost of renting the office they work in. Delegates should not be less valued just because they are volunteers.

    Let those who want the luxurious setting pay the costs associated with it, that’s only fair.

  16. Scott Lieberman

    Those of you who think that National Libertarian Party membership dues should cover the cost of providing a venue for the National Libertarian Convention need to answer two questions.

    1. If National LP dues are supposed to cover the costs of the National Convention, then why do our Bylaws permit non-members of the National Libertarian Party to be Delegates to our Convention? Most of these “state-only” LP members pay nothing at all to the National LP to help pay for the costs of the National Convention, so these “state-only LP members” are subsidized by all National LP members, including those who do not attend the National Convention. If you really believe in TANSTAAFL, then I would think that you would definitely vote in favor of a Bylaw that would require all National Convention Delegates to be paying members of the National Libertarian Party.

    2. Since those of you who think that National Libertarian Party dues should pay for the National LP Convention are good libertarians, why do you support a model that is used by the Federal Government to subsidize the Republican and Democrat National Conventions? Those Conventions each receive $17 million dollars of taxpayer money to help pay for their Conventions, even though 99.99% of all taxpayers do not attend those Conventions.

    Why do you think it is libertarian to force all National LP members to pay for 3 days of entertainment for 4% of the National LP membership?

    As I posted before, even the Green Party requires *all* of its Convention Delegates to pay a registration fee of over $200. Do you really want to let the Green Party be more libertarian than the Libertarian Party?

    http://greenpages.wordpress.com/2008/03/22/2008-green-national-convention-live-green-vote-green/

  17. paulie

    1. If National LP dues are supposed to cover the costs of the National Convention, then why do our Bylaws permit non-members of the National Libertarian Party to be Delegates to our Convention? Most of these “state-only” LP members pay nothing at all to the National LP to help pay for the costs of the National Convention, so these “state-only LP members” are subsidized by all National LP members, including those who do not attend the National Convention. If you really believe in TANSTAAFL, then I would think that you would definitely vote in favor of a Bylaw that would require all National Convention Delegates to be paying members of the National Libertarian Party.

    I think Dr. Lieberman makes a reasonable point here. I would not be opposed to requiring national convention delegates to be national party members, unless someone here convinces me otherwise.

    2. Since those of you who think that National Libertarian Party dues should pay for the National LP Convention are good libertarians, why do you support a model that is used by the Federal Government to subsidize the Republican and Democrat National Conventions? Those Conventions each receive $17 million dollars of taxpayer money to help pay for their Conventions, even though 99.99% of all taxpayers do not attend those Conventions.

    I don’t think this analogy stands examination, unless you believe that federal taxes are truly voluntary.

    If the Republican and Democratic parties limited their convention costs to those who freely join and donate to those parties, I would not object.

    Nor do I think I would have objected back when I was a member of the Democratic Party, even though I never attended a Democratic Party convention.

    As I posted before, even the Green Party requires *all* of its Convention Delegates to pay a registration fee of over $200. Do you really want to let the Green Party be more libertarian than the Libertarian Party?

    I don’t see a policy of requiring convention delegates to pay for convention attendance to be “more libertarian” than a policy of having it as a part of the party budget. Nor do I see it as less libertarian. Both are equally libertarian until and unless the LP somehow compels people to join and pay dues.

    I do, however, think it would be wise for the LP to hold conventions in such a way as to make it easier, not harder, for rank and file members to attend.

    Why do you think it is libertarian to force all National LP members to pay for 3 days of entertainment for 4% of the National LP membership?

    I don’t believe that it is. I would say that those who wish to be entertained should pay for the entertainment, and those who only wish to conduct party business have a reasonable case that the party business is a core function of the party.

    Also, “force” is a somewhat misleading term – no one, to my knowledge, is forced to be a party member. If I choose to join the Funny Hat Association, I wouldn’t consider it unreasonable if part of my dues were used to pay for a Funny Hat Convention. If this use of money bothered me enough, I would decline to join this association or not renew my membership.

  18. George Phillies

    I would hope that the good Libertarians of California will note that their Regional Alternate Representative thinks that the purpose of the National Convention is to provide entertainment to delegates, not to transact the Party’s business.

    Failure to give adequate attention to the party’s business is arguably related to the loss, over the past decade, of more than half of the National membership (state membership numbers in many places are similar) and three-quarters of the party’s income (in real dollars).

    Your State Convention is next week. I urge you to consider finding Regional Representatives and alternates who are a credit to your state party, which is still one of the finest in the United States.

  19. George Phillies

    For those of you not clear on the matter, dues are a very modest part of LNC income, namely (@14,000 members and prorating life memberships) $350,000 a year out of a total income of over $1,000,000 a year. To repeat what I said to Californians, note that your Regional Alternate seems to think that dues income runs the national party, when in fact only perhaps a third of party income comes from dues.

    Also, the purposes of the party are

    “The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by: functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements; moving public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office; chartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and promoting their growth and activities; nominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office; and, entering into public information activities.”

    The National Convention is the one specific activity that the National Committee is charges with performing in advancement of these purposes.

  20. Scott Lieberman

    I am glad that super-activist Dr. George Phillies has huge amounts of time to spend trying to nit-pick every single comment made in every single Libertarian blog article on IPR.

    Yes – being a National Convention Delegate IS entertaining for the delegates. If you don’t believe that, you don’t understand human nature.

    That being said, of course the purpose of the National Libertarian Party is to conduct the business of the Party. But, as I have proved, the equality oriented Green Party has no problem with the “user-pays” concept of a National Political Convention, so I don’t understand why free-market oriented Libertarian Party members would have trouble with that same concept.

    Also – isn’t it interesting that Dr. George Phillies omplained like crazy when the National Libertarian Party “interfered” in New Hampshire in 2008 to try to make sure that New Hampshire Political Parties would be able to substitute Presidential Nominees for stand-in Presidential Nominees in the future. In fact, Dr. Phillies believes in State’s Rights so much that his beloved Libertarian Association of Massachusetts is not even affiliated with any LNC Region.

    But now, even though his state is not even in any LNC Region, Dr. Phillies has no problem with trying to interfere with an Election for LNC Regional Representatives and LNC Alternates in an LNC Region 2000 miles away from his LNC Region.

    Is that hypocritical behavior? I will leave that decision as an exercise for the reader.

  21. Morey

    I’m no expert on the GP, but after a quick search, it looks to me like they only call it a convention in Presidential years. Otherwise, they have an “annual meeting.” The 2009 annual meeting apparently cost $160, and included meals.

  22. George Phillies

    Dr. Lieberman is not telling the truth about the LNC-funded law suit in New Hampshire, a suit that was filed without notifying the state party in advance that there would be an actual filing. Whether Dr. Lieberman knows the truth is more challenging to say.

    I know this because I told the LPNH state chair that there had been a filing, and this was the first he had heard about it. The suit is about removing a candidate from the ballot, not about substitution. There was also surprise from many LPNH members that I discussed this with about the factual claims in the suit, at least some of which are clearly false. The LPNH did not request substitution in advance, was not denied the right to substitute by the NH Secretary of State because it never actually made a request, and as can be seen via PACER is not requesting substitution.

    Let me also suggest that the Libertarians of California have at least some people who can tell the difference between ‘the purpose is to provide entertainment’ and ‘the event is entertaining to at least some people’. Apparently Dr. Lieberman is not one of them. Surely California can do better.

    The repeatedly ignorant Dr. Lieberman notwithstanding, Massachusetts participation in region formation last time was determined by a unanimous vote of the state committee, at the behest of a another member, not me. Our participation next time has been determined by a similar vote.

  23. Scott Lieberman

    As you can see in comments 21 and 25 above, Dr. Phillies made a TOTALLY unprovoked personal attack against me, including calling me “repeatedly ignorant.”

    If you read Robert’s Rules, you will see that Board Members are supposed to “avoid injecting a personal note into debate.” I strive very hard to do that during LNC Meetings, and in any public comments that I make on blogs or e-mail lists.

    I certainly hope that if Dr. Phillies is ever elected to any National Libertarian Party office, that he will hold himself to the same high standard of personal decorum that I hold myself to, both during LNC Meetings, and
    in-between LNC Meetings.

  24. James Oaksun

    I believe this floor fee is not appropriate and thus I am glad to be a signatory to the statement.

    However, let’s keep things in the proper perspective.

    Yes, this is yet another item in a long list of matters that have been, in my opinion, woefully mismanaged over the last few years, and yet another example, in my opinion, of the current management’s disrespect of the membership.

    But it is still only 1% of the budget.

    The more time we spend on this issue, the less time we have to highlight other more critical and more urgent matters, e.g.,

    1. Real revenues down 70+% this past decade. Lost revenue: Millions per year. Millions, not 20 grand. Who’s responsible?

    2. Membership levels down, lapse rates up. Who’s responsible?

    3. Itemized giving (counts and amounts) the lowest in a decade. (article forthcoming) Who’s responsible?

    4. And… who do you think *benefits* when we discuss the floor fee to the exclusion of these other items?

  25. Marc Montoni

    The Democrats and Republicans do not charge a floor fee. Here’s the reason:

    http://coloradoindependent.com/4490/corporations-buy-influence-and-civic-pride-with-dnc-cash

    http://blog.politicalpartytime.org/category/republican-convention/

    If the LP’s leadership had any sense, it would be working to exploit the convention-cash “loophole” to pay for our national conventions, too. No, we’re not going to get companies like Microsoft and Wal-Mart in on the act for $250 large, but there are Libertarian business owners or CEO’s (perhaps a few on this list) who might be willing to throw in some cash for our convention expenses, perhaps $500 here and $1,000 there.

  26. Marc Montoni

    The Restore04 group printed the Platform Committee’s Minority Report proposal in 2008 on newsprint. Although that effort failed for several reasons, the cost for printing it was minimal.

    The LP could print up 1000 copies of the bylaws for pennies each on newsprint. Some of the other materials could be combined into that publication or printed separately. The funny thing about newsprint publications is that the more pages you have to print, the more economical it is compared to printing on regular paper. Even better, more fits on a newspaper page than a letter-size page; and it could be done in sections if necessary, just like your daily newspaper (you remember those things, don’t you?).

    How many of the delegates do you think still have their 2008 binders?

    Most of them are going to get thrown away right after the convention. With just a quick eyeball scan on the last day of Denver, when I was cleaning out the LPRadicals booth, I saw at least 70-80 binders still sitting on the tables. Hell, I gathered up a shload of brand new copies of “Big Government, Poor Grandchildren” that had been left on the tables and were being thrown away by the hotel staffers folding up the tables (I’ve been using them as giveaways at our local meetings for our new guests). Anyway, if most of the convention materials are going to be discarded, it would make sense to publish the cheapest possible way.

    It makes no sense not to economize on something most people aren’t going to want to keep.

    FWIW, when I saw that the snobbotarian impulse was in full display at the Denver convention, and business-session-only delegates were refused *anything*, not even a simple name badge to which to attach their ribbons, I ran down to Staples, bought a box of name badges, set up a reasonably-attractive name badge, and printed them as-needed for anyone who stopped by the LPRadicals booth for a modest $2. I made bunches of the things and recovered the cost of the badges. However, I shouldn’t have had to. A minimalist badge and a binder with all relevant documents simply doesn’t cost that much.

    On the first day of the Denver convention, at the last LNC meeting of the previous (2006-2008) LNC term, I asked to be recognized and made a plea for the LNC to budget $1,000 to provide delegate materials to free delegates. I stated the case, but they refused. Jim Lark even offered to make a not insubstantial donation if the LNC agreed to it, to help cover the cost. As usual, however, the snobbotarian crowd just refused to listen.

    I’m against a floor fee, unles specifically authorized by the delegates as a bylaws amendment. I do not believe Roberts Rules gives the LNC permission to add requirements on delegates that the delegates have not agreed to.

    Those who want a floor fee and believe free delegates are “subsidized” only think that way because they have chosen to remain willfully ignorant about how to raise outside money via the convention committee. Everyone is so wrapped around the axle about recouping convention costs that the fact gets lost that if we simply take advantage of the few remaining legal avenues to fund our biennial fests, they can be everything *everyone* wants with NO cost to the delegates other than travel expenses. Using corporate funding of our “Convention Committee”, there could easily be sufficient money for delegate materials and to pay other convention expenses to boot.

    By the way, one of the reasons the materials will run so high is the mountain of often-deleterious proposals that will be emanating from the Bylaws and Platform Committees. Some of which will be purely dilatory in nature; to eat up all possible floor time so that nothing — and I mean nothing — proposed on the floor (that is, outside of the committee process) will ever see the light of day.

    In any case, repeat it to yourself… Convention Committee Donations… Convention Committee Donations… Convention Committee Donations…

    Libertarians need to stop being afraid of raising money.

  27. Jeremy Young

    Perhaps a compromise would be to charge a floor fee to those delegates who can’t demonstrate their membership in the national party. That way people only have to pay once — dues to the national party, or a floor fee.

  28. Chuck Moulton

    In general I want to reassert my opposition to a floor fee because it implicitly conflicts with the bylaws. I was the main opposition to the floor fee on the LNC the two previous LNC terms.

    I endorse the candidates issued statement that is the topic of this thread.

    Marc Montoni wrote (@29):

    On the first day of the Denver convention, at the last LNC meeting of the previous (2006-2008) LNC term, I asked to be recognized and made a plea for the LNC to budget $1,000 to provide delegate materials to free delegates. I stated the case, but they refused.

    It was put to an LNC roll call vote though. If this issue is important to you, the vote should be kept in mind when electing LNC members.

    Furthest right on the roll call chart:
    http://www.chuckmoulton.org/libertarian/2008/voting/

    Marc Montoni wrote (@29):

    The LP could print up 1000 copies of the bylaws for pennies each on newsprint.

    I agree with you.

    At the very least stagnant documents like the current bylaws and platform can be printed on newsprint. However, some documents must be printed last minute because they are adopted the day before the convention like the platform and bylaws committee reports. Because newsprint often takes more lead time it may not be practical for those.

    It’s a minor clarification though. Certainly costs could be significantly reduced even if not everything could be newsprint.

  29. Starchild

    Scott Lieberman @19 writes:

    “Those of you who think that National Libertarian Party membership dues should cover the cost of providing a venue for the National Libertarian Convention need to answer two questions.”

    I don’t necessarily think national Libertarian Party membership dues should cover the cost of providing a venue for LP national conventions. A well-run convention should generate sufficient proceeds to cover any meeting location costs, especially if we stop holding conventions in upscale hotels that come with more built-in costs.

    However, as someone strongly opposed to the party levying a poll tax (aka floor fee) on delegates, I will address Scott’s questions.

    1. If National LP dues are supposed to cover the costs of the National Convention, then why do our Bylaws permit non-members of the National Libertarian Party to be Delegates to our Convention? Most of these “state-only” LP members pay nothing at all to the National LP to help pay for the costs of the National Convention, so these “state-only LP members” are subsidized by all National LP members, including those who do not attend the National Convention. If you really believe in TANSTAAFL, then I would think that you would definitely vote in favor of a Bylaw that would require all National Convention Delegates to be paying members of the National Libertarian Party.

    My understanding is that our Bylaws permit LP state affiliates to send delegates to national conventions who are not members of the national LP, because the Libertarians who drafted that provision wanted the state parties to control who represents them at our national gatherings. If the national LP organization is allowed to influence who the delegates are by pricing some people out of being able to afford to attend, then the state affiliates are effectively no longer solely in charge of selecting their delegations, and the “federal” or bottom-up nature of the LP is compromised.

    2. Since those of you who think that National Libertarian Party dues should pay for the National LP Convention are good libertarians, why do you support a model that is used by the Federal Government to subsidize the Republican and Democrat National Conventions? Those Conventions each receive $17 million dollars of taxpayer money to help pay for their Conventions, even though 99.99% of all taxpayers do not attend those Conventions.

    I agree with Paulie @20, who said “I don’t think this analogy stands examination, unless you believe that federal taxes are truly voluntary.”

    Why do you think it is libertarian to force all National LP members to pay for 3 days of entertainment for 4% of the National LP membership?

    Again I concur with the response that Paulie @20 gave to this question, :

    “I don’t believe that it is. I would say that those who wish to be entertained should pay for the entertainment, and those who only wish to conduct party business have a reasonable case that the party business is a core function of the party.

    Also, ‘force’ is a somewhat misleading term – no one, to my knowledge, is forced to be a party member. If I choose to join the Funny Hat Association, I wouldn’t consider it unreasonable if part of my dues were used to pay for a Funny Hat Convention. If this use of money bothered me enough, I would decline to join this association or not renew my membership.”

    I also agree with George Phillies’ comment @25, in which he noted,

    “the difference between ‘the purpose is to provide entertainment’ and ‘the event is entertaining to at least some people’.”

    Now Scott, I have a couple questions for you:

    (1) Why should delegates who would be happy meeting at a less expensive convention venue, such as outdoors or in tents in a park, on a college campus, etc., be expected to subsidize the preferences of more well-heeled Libertarians who insist on holding conventions in upscale hotels where meeting space is more costly, in order to fulfill their duties of conducting the party’s business as specified in the Bylaws? Why shouldn’t those LP members who demand to meet in a luxurious setting be the ones to pay the costs associated with their preference?

    (2) The LP is not doing delegates a favor by providing a convention venue. The *delegates* are doing the *party* a favor by volunteering their time and traveling to the location at considerable personal expense, in order to do the party’s business as outlined in our Bylaws. Charging the delegates to offset the cost of the venue where they meet to do their work is like charging LP staff to offset the cost of renting the Watergate office where they work. The delegates’ role is actually *more* essential to the party than that of staff. Just because they are volunteers does *not* mean they should be disrespected and treated as freeloaders for not paying — on top of all the money, time, and energy they are already generously donating — the avoidable costs currently associated with their workspace! What part of the above do you not understand?

  30. Chuck Moulton

    The threat allegedly made at a LPNY meeting is interesting… read it for yourself, but it looks like the gist is: if your state opposes the floor fee, it won’t get ballot access money.

    http://drtomstevens.blogspot.com/2010/02/lpny-risks-retribution-for-expressing.html

    From the blog entry:

    M Carling, who serves as LPNY Secretary and in a number of appointed positions on the national level, warned that although he will ask for national’s financial help with upcoming statewide petition drives both this year and in 2012, he fears his requests will fall on “deaf ears” if the LPNY expresses its opposition to the mandatory convention registration fee.

  31. paulie

    The votes are in the floor fee is gone, for now. A story has been posted at lptn.org and lpmndc.org

    http://lpmndc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=947:lnc-votes-to-rescind-floor-fee&catid=1:latest-news

    The link reads as follows:

    Written by Daniel Lewis
    Sunday, 28 February 2010 14:11
    The LNC voted by over 2/3 this morning to rescind the floor fee to participate in the 2010 Libertarian Natioanl Convention. The following (10 LNC members) voted in favor of rescending the floor fee Dixon, Fox, Flood, Hawkridge, Jingozian, Karlan, Lark, Ruwart, Ryan, and Wrights. The following (6 LNC members) voted against rescending the floor fee Liberman, Mattson, Sink Burris, Starr, and Sullentrup. Former LPTN Chait Tony Wall stated, “The ‘no’ votes represent the authoritative top down members of the LNC. At a minimum, they need to be removed from office in St. Louis.” This issue certain to come up again in St. Louis (at the Libertarian Natioanl Convention), so all concerned are urge you to be in St. Louis. Please consider honoring the work of the LNC: if you can afford to buy a package, please do so. If you can afford the registration fee, please help.

    Dr. Lieberman is elected by his region. Since that region consists only of California, they elected him at their convention a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know whethere they will have another election in St. Louis; I’m guessing not.

    Ms. Sink-Burris will be up for re-election in St. Louis, but only by delegates from her region.

    Alicia Mattson, Aaron Starr and Bob Sullentrup will be available for all the delegates to vote for or against if they run for re-election. I expect Mr. Starr and Ms. Mattson to run for re-election, but I’m not so sure about Mr. Sullentrup.

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