LNC Chair candidate Myers answers Sundwall questions

John Jay Myers answers former LPNY Chair Eric Sundwall’s questions for candidates for Libertarian National Committee Chair.

21 thoughts on “LNC Chair candidate Myers answers Sundwall questions

  1. Jeremy Young

    I like the sense of humor, measured yet energetic and fresh responses, and overall presentations. I don’t like the white screen — if you’re going to use a green-screen, you should put something on it other than white, or you look like a cardboard cutout.

    Question for Myers: how are you going to use the existing officers of the LP — the LNC, committee members, and state party officers — to facilitate your county chairs program? Will you give LNC members discrete tasks, as Mark Hinkle has proposed?

    Finally: the more I listen to Myers, the more I think he may be just the guy the LP needs. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at the outcome of this election.

  2. John Jay Myers

    The site we are developing in Texas has a place for national at the top, when people join the national party online, their information will/can be shared with their county and state affiliates.

    But more than that, Mark Rutherford gave a speech about how complicated it is being a treasurer (and possibly involve some stiff fines) the website is based so candidates can add a treasurer and that treasurer starts receiving emails in regards to what they need to be doing…. and when they need to do it.

    I see States job initially is to program their blank version of the template with laws, bylaws and issues that are relative to their state.

    So if a state creates a county affiliate (through the website) That county can create a candidate for State Rep (let’s say). When that candidates template site appears, it is already populated with local issues (relative to state rep) that they can edit. But it also is preprogrammed with the laws that they and their treasurer will need to follow, so they are getting all the information they need.
    Their county chair by the way is getting reminders of what he needs to do by law.

    I see setting up this site, and do the initial ground work around the U.S. as where our focus needs to be the next 2 years. And yes, it will require a lot of cooperation from our affiliates.

    So in 2012 we will be ready to accomodate the grass roots swell that will come from having a solid infrastructure in place, so when people come to the party they go “Wow, these guys have their act together”.

    Not… “I joined, but they don’t have anything going on so I went back and tried to change X party”.

  3. Jeremy Young

    I agree. Keep in mind, I think the best example of a party developing effective grassroots infrastructure this decade is Howard Dean’s fifty state strategy from 2004-2008. Dean effected this primarily by paying for national staffers to organize full-time in deep red states and districts where there wasn’t any party presence before. The direct result of this was the pickup of a house seat in Idaho, a Senate seat in Alaska, and an electoral vote in Nebraska, just to name a few of the more visible successes.

    In an ideal world, the LP would have the funding base to actually hire staffers to coordinate grassroots organizing in states across the country. Since they don’t, your county chairs plan is the next best thing: set up a system to make it as easy as possible to staff a fifty-state strategy with volunteers.

    I do think you’re a bit overly sanguine about the ability of grassroots organizers to obtain ballot status in the most difficult states. This may be possible in Texas, but in states like Oklahoma, North Carolina, and West Virginia, where upwards of 20,000 signatures are needed (over 30,000 in Oklahoma), that just isn’t going to happen without the national office hiring paid petitioners. Bill Redpath has been doing a pretty good job with this, but the LP needs to be even better; fifty-state ballot access is achievable (and the LP had it as recently as 1996, I think). I wouldn’t leave petitioning up to the grassroots.

    On the other hand, the grassroots will help with petitioning in the long term, because they’ll create situations where more candidates get more votes and achieve automatic ballot status in more states. But in the short term, national needs to find the money to aggressively petition everywhere.

  4. John Jay Myers

    You are right Jeremy, which is why I added that in those states that just can’t pull it off we can help.

    Keep this in mind: if we can get 1000 participating members in each state, they would only need to rustle up 20 signatures each.

    They could do it while going house to house for their precinct walk. (two birds with one stone).

    Thanks for the encouraging responses.

  5. Eric Sundwall

    kudos to Mr. Myers for this creative and thoughtful response . . . I wish him well

    my expectation for this exercise has been exceeded with this one response . . . I look forward to others . . . of course the metric system question will be the measure of all the answers

    will mr. cohen by ok though ?

  6. Personal responsibility

    Before any national funds are used to help a state with LP ballot access, the state affilate should provide a plan of how THEY will help, how many troops they will put on the ground, how many SIGS they will guarantee, creating a strat plan with deadlines, and how much “skin” they will put into the game. The endless cycle of helping the same states every two to four years is costing a lot of money. Let’s make sure the state is NOT basically waiting on the “nanny” LP national to bail them out. Many deserve help and more information is needed before any states should be singled-out because of past situations. But, some state affiliates have made major FUBARS and then other states get asked for the “bailout” money.

  7. Personal responsibility

    I hear that Texas LP is filling up delegate seats for the LP convention. Sounds like Meyers is coming with a couple bus loads. Huh Rah

  8. David F. Nolan

    JJM continues to impress me favorably. Either he or Hinkle could be a good “unity” candidate — acceptable to the great majority of delegates and LP members overall. If he does not win the Chair’s race, I very much hope he will run for an at-large seat on the LNC.

  9. Michael Seebeck

    I must point out that county-level operations is not, nor should be the purview of the LNC. That problem lies with the states. The LNC role is to deal with LP affairs of national, not local importance–that means national affairs, federal election reform and Congressional lobbying, the national convention, fundraising, supporting the states in their efforts on ballot access and of course, national media. The state and local issues are best left to the state and local affiliates.

    I also have a major concern about a top-down infrastructure plan, as it seems to ignore what the states are doing correctly in favor of a one-size-fits-all model. A better approach is to figure out exactly what the states are doing right, make use of it, and improve on what both is right and wrong, and put that forth to the states as suggestions, and not as directives.

    Don’t get me wrong, what he’s doing in Texas has been excellent–at a state level. I am simply not sure it translates well up one level, or if it even should.

    I know for certain that with the recent Barnes mess in LPCA, we did not look favorably in the slightest on the LNC sticking its nose in a state and county issue. I expect similar reactions across the nation on other issues, mainly from a feeling of misplaced priorities.

    BTW, it was Lee Wrights, to our thanks in CA, who got that issue off the LNC agenda, not our regional rep at the time, Mark Hinkle, who told a reliable source that he would only vote to get that resolution off the LNC agenda if it appeared it was going to pass. That’s not leadership quality for a LNC Chair–it’s actually being wishy-washy and going a long to get along instead of representing his constituents in CA.

  10. John Jay Myers

    Michael, I understand your concerns. I realize those are important roles for national.
    I can think of a few major reasons why I am running and why I am the right man for the job.

    I do not appeal only to the right. I stick to the issue of freedom and reducing the size and scope of government on all levels.

    I do not believe that “9-11 being an inside job” should be one of our platform planks.

    I believe we need to get people elected and grow the movement, all the while standing on our core libertarian principles. It’s a fine line.

    We have fund raising results in Texas, and for the most part they are not top down. They come from growing the group as a grass roots movement, and those people increase the donor base. Not by consistently beating them over the head for money, but by making this a great group to be a part of. This very much would translate to national.

    Touring just the few states I have, our problems are clear. It could be defined by two things:
    1. We have no infrastructure in our states, so no one cares to be a part of what we are doing. My plans implemented on a national level, could give us that infrastructure. Growing our outreach side, our electoral side and our activist side would be a lot easier if we had some sort of organization.

    The second thing is that we have way too many people who have been doing the same thing over and over again who feel a great sense of pride in being on the state or national level, who are not even growing their own counties.
    It’s a definite too many chiefs problem. National needs to focus on the overall infrastructure of this party, before anything else.

    We need to stop fighting about whether we are going to elect people or educate people… until we have some freaking people.

    Our message un-diluted will resonate with most people especially at this time. If we come across as divisive we will lose the upper hand. The nation is ripe for our message.

    If it is funds you want, we can bring them in by duplicating what we are doing here, across America, But MORE. I believe our growth will be exponential once people realize “hey wait, these guys really have their act together”…. with a top down approach, people are going to show up and say “I gave them a try, but there was nothing for me to do, no group to be a part of.”

    For far too long the in fighting has led to no progress, and the idea of a “top down” 1 leader approach isn’t going to work.

    Wayne’s plan of emailing everyone we know videos of him, so he can talk about how much money his businesses make relentlessly isn’t going to pan out. I gather even more so of late.

    I haven’t talked to anyone who was a candidate or on the state level, that didn’t want the type of help I have spoken of providing.

    I know people are enamored with Wayne, because Wayne follows the pattern:
    Find out what people want, tell them you are going to give it to them.
    That’s a pretty typical approach to government, how has government been working out?

    He has been doing videos; he has been doing thousands of media appearances, he gets on fox news, etc…. all using the “VP nominee in 2008” as his moniker.
    How has it panned out? Where are the new members? Where are the donations?
    “They are coming… the check is in the mail”, don’t worry about the lack of results, don’t worry about the fact that he is telling everyone he wants to run this party like his business. I understand that lately it has come out, that that would not be such a great thing.

    I guess I am running because the only drastic change I want to see to the party is real growth and spreading the message. This will lead to election victories and donations. Which will lead to real growth and the message being spread which will lead to more election victories…. and you get the idea.

    When you vote for me, you are saying “I understand that this party can’t grow top down. That nationals focus for the next two years needs to be to facilitate a grass roots movement, and give local and state affiliates the tools they need to get the job done”

    In closing, I am reminded of the saying “No one is putting Utopia on the table”. Which I normally like to use when debating someone from the Liberal side. But I use it here to explain that I may not be “the best” person who could possibly run, but maybe I am the best person running.

    I will be there for your consideration.
    Thanks for the constructive review. I will keep it in mind.

  11. George Phillies

    I am entirely in favor of local organization…after all, I wrote a short book on it. You can read Stand Up for Liberty in English or Spanish — I do not read the latter language and cannot vouch for the translation — at http://CMLC.org .

    However, mandating local organization from on high is not the same as grass roots organization.
    What the LNC can do is to facilitate local organization.

    How? Supply trifolds that can usefully be downloaded, like the ones at LibertyForAmerica dot com. Those are trifolds with several blank faces for you to insert your local contact and local issue material. Supply downloadable candidate web sites, like the one now available at LibertForAmerica dot com. You note I do not mention local group web sites because Facebook, Meetup, Myspace all give us local event contacts, and soapblox gives us at quite low prices a high grade, heavily featured, effectively supported web site template that turns into, e.g., Rachel Hawkridge’s GoldAmericaGroup dot com web site.

    And, above all, keep things fairly simple, so that the web pages you use to supply support can be maintained.

  12. John Jay Myers

    I really need you to grasp the full idea of the website. No one has to use it. But the functionality will be there. In other words the shared data can be shared by someone with a limited level of experience.
    A state chair can use the website to create an oasis of liberty where there was no organization at all.
    The site itself guides a new county chair through the pitfalls of politics.

    There is no difference between asking folks to use a trifold created by national, and or using a website created by national, other than the fact that one would be more useful.

    The website also grows over time, (locally) as local affiliates add specific information tailered towards their group.
    That information is not lost from addition of a new county chair etc.

    Whether I am chair or not, I need everyone involved to really hear me out on what this site could and would do.

    To truly understand just how much, time, energy, money, brain power, would be saved by implementing it one time…. correctly.

    And again, you can incorporate the plug ins with your site, or choose not to use it. Or a county chair could choose to use it, even though the state does not.
    But if we make this site, no one will ever be able say we didn’t do enough to support our affiliates.

    Simplicity is the idea behind this site.
    This is not to say that all means of local out reach are not promoted, believe me I am well aware of that.

    Also I have never read anything about New Path that I didn’t like. It is time to consolodate a bit and make joining this party and participating easy and fun.

  13. paulie

    JJM continues to impress me favorably. Either he or Hinkle could be a good “unity” candidate — acceptable to the great majority of delegates and LP members overall. If he does not win the Chair’s race, I very much hope he will run for an at-large seat on the LNC.

    Agreed.

    Mr. Myers, are you willing to serve on the LNC in another capacity if you are not elected chair? Will this depend on who is elected char, if not you?

  14. paulie

    my expectation for this exercise has been exceeded with this one response .

    I think Phillies answered also. I’ll try to find it and post it as an article later.

  15. John Jay Myers

    Paulie, I would serve if Hancock or Root are elected, I would look at it as my job to try to ground either one of them so they are not as divisive as they could be.

    To try and keep the LP from seeming bias in Roots case, and keep us working towards electing folks in Ernies case.

    If Phillies or Hancock are elected, I may just keep working in Texas. Either one of them believes in the direction that we need to be going. Neither of them stands the chance of killing half our membership upon election.

    The problem is, I don’t believe they are able to win. Some big decisions will need to be made in St. Louis.

    It is really important to me that Wayne or Ernie are not elected.

  16. paulie

    JJM,

    Thans for the response. From context, I deduce that when you say “If Phillies or Hancock are elected, I may just keep working in Texas” you mean Hinkle, not Hancock.

    I like your answer and I am comfortable in voting for you.

    Hinkle remains my first choice at this time, but I think you may be more likely to win. Thus, if nothing changes, you’ll have my second place vote in the first round, and my first place vote in a followup round if Hinkle is eliminated before you are.

    What I like about Myers and Hinkle is that they are willing to be on the LNC in a position other than chair. Unless I’m mistaken, Root, Phillies and Hancock would all decline nomination for any other spot besides chair.

  17. John Jay Myers

    You are correct in deducing that very important distinction between Hinkle and Hancock.
    Thank you for that and for the vote of confidence.

  18. David F. Nolan

    “What I like about Myers and Hinkle is that they are willing to be on the LNC in a position other than chair. Unless I’m mistaken, Root, Phillies and Hancock would all decline nomination for any other spot besides chair.”

    Very good point. This is one of the hallmarks of a party-builder as opposed to someone who thinks “It’s all about ME.”

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