Via email from George Phillies. New Path for the LP is a slate of candidates for the Libertarian National Committee, and George Phillies is their candidate for Chair. This is Step 1 of Part Three of the 63-page New Path plan for the LP. IPR is not endorsing any LNC candidates, and is interested in articles from all the different campaigns.
Part Two gave a list of activities we need to perform. Some activities are mission-critical, others are important, and bringing up the rear we have a few worthwhile activities. Put together, those merely important activities are mission-critical. We could miss one or another now and then, but if we did none of them over a long period there would be mission-critical failure.
We now move to Part Three. We’ve listed the things we need to be doing. How do we assemble the resources needed to get those things done?
Step Zero: Listen to the Members
Our members are just as smart, and together have far more experience, than the two-dozen people who attend an LNC meeting. Ask people for their advice, listen to them, and you can expect they will be more willing to listen to you in return. That’s why we welcome your advice on this plan.
Step One — Quick Fixes.
We provide here some quick fixes, things that can be done in little time to free up resources for other activities.
The first quick fix is information technology, the website, email, and other electronic communications, on which we spend more than $100,000 per year. Our initial analysis indicates two things:
One, we spend an outrageous sum on information technology, far too high by at least a factor of two! That’s the advantage of having real IT professionals on our candidate list, people whose private companies have the same IT needs as the LNC. Our professionals immediately identified major opportunities for saving money.
Two, the current lp.org
website is a poor site that does not meet our needs. We ask: Do you want a site whose top by-line is almost identical with Dick Armey’s? LP.ORG
must change. The New Path team has already lined up experts in New Media to work with us to help create a cutting edge and, yes, cheap electronic footprint for the New LP. Our team includes a senior member of the Badnarik campaign team who is happy to remind us that Badnarik’s excellent web sites had a professional core and a great deal of volunteer support.
The second quick fix: The Watergate location must go. Immediately, or as soon as practicable. A Washington location is needed if you are lobbying, holding press events, or investing in America by buying Congressmen. We aren’t. Lobbying is at most a Worthwhile Activity, something that gives way for the resource demands of our Mission-Critical Activities. Meanwhile the Watergate location is costing us over $10,000 a month, much of which could be redi rected to more valuable ends.
Sidebar: How to Terminate a Commercial Lease
Recently LNC Treasurer candidate James Oaksun consulted with one of the leading commercial real estate brokers in the Northeast about mechanisms for terminating a commercial lease.
The Watergate is considered high quality space. In most parts of the country there is usually a wait list for such space (provided the rent is not outrageous).
When you breach a contract (and early termination of a lease is a breach), there is a question of damages. Sometimes in leases there is a provision for liquidated damages – pay $xx thousand and you’re done. If there is another tenant ready, sometimes there is no cost at all to end the contract. It varies.
But the bottom line is: It’s All Negotiable!
You never know unless you ask!
James has publicly stated that, upon his election, his first stop after St Louis will be Washington. If New Path has been given the chance to save our party, the Executive Director will have been instructed to make available to him all our agreements and contracts, including the Watergate lease. Change does not happen by inertia. Change happens when you take action, and James and the New Path team mean to act immediately.
Now we apply the zero base question. The arguments for an efficient and inexpensive Libertarian Party headquarters are rather overwhelming. FEC rules on donation-handling become highly onerous if the required multiple employees are spread across America. An office means that your paid staff are all in one location, so they can on rare occasion be shifted to an emergency-priority task if need be. Paid staff in one place supply efficient institutional memory. A group of paid staff can reasonably supervise interns. An office provides secure storage of records and archives, safe from the vagaries of any volunteer.
The new location should probably meet several criteria:
Within a strong media market.
Near a good source of interns. College are a traditional source. Libertarians and libertarian spouses newly arrived in an area and not yet employed are another.
In a safe area where people can comfortably work late, with plenty of parking for volunteers and staff.
Near lots of libertarian volunteers.
Major transportation hub; good airport.
Absolutely top grade internet connections.
Remember the Canary Song? It’s got to be Cheap!
Could the new location be in the Washington area? Perhaps. Many DC nonprofits rent in Old Town Alexandria for roughly $3,000 per month. That rate represents a 70+ percent savings from our current rate – money that could be used to fund other, vital, visible party building activities.
There are advantages, however, to being “outside the Beltway”. We could say: Washington has failed. We are the Party of America.
What are some possible areas? A few might include:
Southern New Hampshire
San Francisco bay area
The third quick fix is to ask the delegates and members to back their votes with their wallets. If New Path is elected to the LNC, the membership has called for a major course change for our party. At least some of the Party faithful who have their faith in the New Path plan will be willing to back their votes with their dollars. Many party members who have been blissfully unaware of events within our party, at least until the National Convention ended, may be willing to risk a few more dollars on a new course. Once the first quick fixes and other changes have gone into effect, additional current and former members may see that we are changing course, and will be willing to come to the aid of their party.