Root Joins Board of Libertarian National Congressional Committee

In an email from Wayne Root, the 2008 Vice Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, he announces that he has joined the Board of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.

Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nominee, best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian,” and elected member of the Libertarian National Committee (the governing Board of Directors of the Party) has accepted election to the Board of Directors of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.

Root was just recently elected at the Libertarian Party National Convention in St Louis to the Libertarian National Committee (LNC). During that same weekend, Root was elected to join the Board of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee (LNCC), the chief fundraising organization charged with helping to elect Libertarian candidates to federal office.

Root said of his new position, “I decided to accept the position and the responsibility it entails. I am honored to join the Board of an organization that holds such importance for Libertarian federal candidates from coast to coast.  I am setting as a goal turning the LNCC into the most effective Libertarian fundraising organization in the country, and eventually to empower the breakthrough election of a Libertarian to the United States Congress.”

Root’s book “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold and Tax Cuts” will be released as a paperback this Fall. The hardcover edition has been ranked the #1 “Libertarian book” for 12 consecutive months at Root will be a prominent speaker at FreedomFest, “the world largest gathering of freedom lovers” in Las Vegas next week. He will also serve as guest host next week during afternoon drivetime (3 PM to 6 PM) on 50,000 watt conservative talk radio powerhouse CBS Radio (KXNT AM) in Las Vegas.

Root was featured in articles in the Washington Post and the Washington Independent last week, where he was called “the Libertarian media star.” His web site is Coming soon, Root has founded and created a news and opinion site for Libertarians, fiscal conservatives, Tea Party activists, and advocates of limited government called

66 thoughts on “Root Joins Board of Libertarian National Congressional Committee

  1. It's All About Root

    There’s a certain morbid fascination in seeing how Root spins every minor incident into a news event reflecting his personal glory.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    Aside from perhaps entirely rewriting and deep sixing the 7/8ths requirement to change the SoP, this may be the single most potentially useful effort the LP and Ls could engage in. I maintain that elected just one L to Congress could be a game changer. In the right district with the right circumstances, I don’t find this a quixotic aim. If Bernie Sanders can be elected and re-elected, why not a (moderate) L?

    An articulate Ron Paul-ish type figure (without the paleo baggage) would be way cool.

    I look forward to hearing more from the LNCC.

    Who else is on the Board?

  3. Robert Capozzi

    1 It’s, OK, how would you write this release?

    I’m by no means Root’s biggest fan, but this release seems a rather straightforward statement of intent and not at all self-aggrandizing.

    Builders build. Sociopaths tear down anything and everything that represents positive movement.

  4. Steven wilson

    If he took on the challenge, he is willing to try. I can respect him for working as a team. He will always seek out the camera, but the real issue with him, what he does when the camera is off?

    I give him credit for accepting the job. Check back in one year to see how he has done.

  5. Carol Moore

    *Being the best selling “libertarian” book on Amazon doesn’t making you a “best seller.” Independent booksellers publications make that pronouncement.
    *How much did he raise for VP by the way.
    *It will be a chance for him to prove himself – hopefully he’ll raise lots of money for David Nolan’s campaign 🙂

  6. LibertarianGirl

    how the heck do you you guys think he gets all the media attention he does? he’s constantly promoting and putting himself out there… I once heard someone say rudely ” the only reason he got on tv in the first place is because he kept bugging them over and over” , um duh , ya , it’s called earned media. the man didnt luck into anything , he works hard at it , he’s relentless , and i always find it funny when people always portray self promotion as a bad thing…LOL

  7. Michael H. Wilson

    I’m glad that Root is on the committee and I agree with Robert “this may be the single most potentially useful effort the LP and Ls could engage in”. This is the sort of positive work that needs to be done.

    While I have a few disagreements with Root over such things as the bashing of Obama and unions I wish him the best.

    Let’s also remember that Root is not the only person to have written a Big “L” book. Professor Jeffery Miron has a new one out, “Libertarianism from A to Z” and it might be worth promoting as well. Miron also has a blog and does frequent media appearances and writes on the issues. He gets into the specifics of the matter from what I have read. All which is nice since I’m not getting invited to be on the air. Sheesh!

  8. Don Wills

    The LNCC doesn’t appear healthy as there is hardly any record of it on the Internet (which of course means it doesn’t exist!). It reported some $13,000 of receipts in the 2008 election cycle, but I couldn’t find the donations it made to candidates. There’s an old Facebook page with officers from 2006 or so, but that’s about it. The 2006/2008 names are the same old guard that’s been in control of the LP for a while. Maybe Wayne can breath a little life into it.

  9. John Jay Myers

    This is exactly the type of thing I hoped Wayne would get into when I nominated him to the At-Large position.

    We shall see how this endeavor goes and let the proof be in the puddin’.

    I don’t think I will be holding my breath for several obvious reasons, but even if it helps others, I think it would be a good thing.

    In the mean time… you can still make donations @

  10. Robert Milnes

    John Jay Meyers, you are running for Congress, Texs 35th District.
    You are going to lose.
    I do not enjoy writing that. Quite the contrary.

    Why don’t you try PLAS? I volunteer to help you.\]

  11. Mr. Clean

    “John Jay Meyers, you are running for Congress, Texs 35th District. You are going to lose.”

    When’s it time to ask HOW we change that instead of saying it and accepting it?

  12. Robert Milnes

    Remember all the fuss involving Joseph Kennedy libertarian Independent running for special election Senate seat in Massachusetts? NO DISCERNABLE EFFECT.-on the libertarian-
    There must be extremely powerful forces at play in elections. The election of the rep in strong democrtic state was the only significant change.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    cm, sounds to me like you don’t understand marketing. You are criticizing Root’s boilerplate language in his releases which seasoned readers know is designed to positively position the person or organization in the reader’s mind.

    How would YOU write Root’s boilerplate…something like this:

    Root’s book “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold and Tax Cuts” has sold fewer than 1 million copies, and is not important enough to make it to the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. Root has a low-profile speaking slot at FreedomFest, which invited him only because they don’t need to reimburse him for a hotel room. He occasionally guest hosts conservative talk radio in Las Vegas, so no one listens, at they are too busy in the casinos and cat houses to listen to his garbage.

  14. George Phillies


    Go to the pages, and on electronic filings do a search. You will find its quarterly reports and what it has spent on whom.


  15. Don Wills

    @17 Thanks George. I viewed a few reports and saw a few contributions, but it’s kind of like finding a needle in the haystack.

    Of interest to me was support for several candidates for state legislatures. I assumed from its name – the Libertarian National Congressional Committee – and from the fact that it is an FEC regulated PAC, that it was limited to donations to candidates for US House, or maybe for US House and US Senate. That doesn’t seem to be the case. I wonder what its actual mandate is. Inquiring minds want to know!

  16. George Phillies

    Federal PACs may give to non-Federal candidates if local law allows. Federal law is very precise about that; you may not use your status as a Federal PAC to ignore state and local donation limits; to the contrary, if you are a Federal PAC and give in violation of state law, you are in violation of Federal law, too. Thus, in Massachusetts, a Federal PAC may not give a dime to a nonFederal candidate without committing a potentially lengthy series of crimes (for example, many Federal PACs are incorporated, and corporations may not give to State candidates).

    The LNCC practical mandate is mostly transferring money from donors to consultants and attorneys, with rather modest sums going to candidates for state legislature. As a support for Congressional candidates, it does rather little.

  17. George Phillies


    Every four years, for some time now, we have a set of dimbulbs with a Federal PAC trying to come into Massachusetts and run someone for non-Federal office to screw up our ballot access, and every four years we have to send them a pointed note telling them they are proposing to do something that is highly illegal.

  18. Robert Capozzi

    gp: The LNCC practical mandate is mostly transferring money from donors to consultants and attorneys, with rather modest sums going to candidates for state legislature. As a support for Congressional candidates, it does rather little.

    me: Ah, oh, I feel a book brewing. Or perhaps an FEC complaint is being typed up as we speak. 😉

    (Hate to bang this drum, gp, but you severely wounded your reputation when you narced to the Feds over a bookkeeping error. That’s bad enough, but we all make mistakes. Making NO move to make amends only makes matters worse. Somehow, you’re just not getting this. Your ex post rationalizations just don’t fly.)

    It would be no particular surprise that a low-funded PAC would have a high ratio of legal expenses to campaign contributions. This is the nature of economies of scale. Perhaps with Root’s focus and determination, those ratios will move in the right direction.

    Carping about it will almost surely NOT move things in the right direction.

    Misery loves company.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Carping about it will almost surely NOT move things in the right direction.”

    Print that out.

    Tape it to the top of your monitor.

    Take a long, hard look at it the next time you catch yourself automatically typing words like “contra-indicated” or “re-languaging.”

  20. LibertarianGirl

    everybody pretend Im stupid , exactly WHY would legal expenses outweigh contributions to actual candidates??

    In fact what legal expenses at all except perhaps consulting is there?

  21. Robert Capozzi

    tk, thanks for the advice…I’ll take that under advisement.

    You know, I personally draw a distinction between carping and carping about carping. When others attack–for inexplicably toxic reasons–my colleagues for doing the best they can, if it feels indicated, I will challenge the whiner. Negativity IMO does nothing to advance liberty; it does the opposite.

    If, OTOH, I challenge you, for ex., for advocating a stateless society through abolitionist means, by all means, challenge me back! And if I question your motives for such advocacy, by all means, put me in my place!

    For me, it’s indicated to continue to use non-sanctimonious language like “contra-indicated.” Until someone can demonstrate to me that morality is more than an opinion, that is.

    IMO 😉

  22. Thomas L. Knapp


    You write:

    “exactly WHY would legal expenses outweigh contributions to actual candidates?”

    They would normally do so under any or all of three conditions:

    1) Early in a PAC’s life, when it is setting itself up as an organization and has yet to raise significant money. At least some of the “startup” costs would likely fall into the category of “legal expenses” — having a lawyer look over, or even prepare your charter, FEC/IRS paperwork, etc.

    2) As an ongoing matter, if the PAC is relatively inactive — e.g. you pay those “legal expenses” at setup, and haven’t done a whole lot after that, the “legal expenses” are going to continue to represent a large portion of your overall activity.

    3) If you get sued, investigated, etc.

    The LNCC does not seem to have been especially active, so situations 1 and 2 apply to it.

    To its credit, I seem to recall that all or nearly all of the money it has raised has come from its own board members.

    If I had anything bad to say about the LNCC it would be that if it’s going to concentrate on state legislative races (which seems to be the case, on the theory that the LP won’t elect someone to Congress until they have a bench of state legislators to run as candidates), it should either change its name or spin off a second committee that isn’t advertising its focus as “congressional.”

  23. Robert Capozzi

    lg, since George the Narc choses to cast aspersions without data and analysis, we can’t know what exactly he’s implying.

    But, think of a small corporation vs a large one. Free market economists have demonstrated that regulatory costs fall disproportionately on small corporations as a percentage of revenues compared with large ones. Large corporations have economies of scale.

    Complying with election laws is similar. The Rs and Ds spend less as a percentage of revenues than the LP does on election-law and ballot access compliance, I strongly suspect. Compliance costs fall disproportionately on smaller third parties than it does on the majors. To play the game, certain minimum legal obstacles need to be met…think of it as the ante. If you don’t have the ante, you can’t play. If you’re playing poker with Gates, Buffett, and Soros, they may set the ante at $10,000. Such a high ante would exclude most players.

    Hope that helps.

  24. ShutUpAlready ...

    Robert Milnes // Jul 1, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Pathetic Loser And Sociopath.

  25. @28

    A lot of us have been telling Milnes that for quite some time now, he doesn’t get it. I guess he is lonely and has no where else to go. Too bad there isn’t an ignore button here to block out his posting.

  26. A love relationship with Root

    All the insults towards Wayne Root means you are addicted to him, can’t stop talking about him, guess in your own minds you wish you were involved with him but can’t get what you want. Oh Well that’s life.

    Maybe its a good thing you talk so much about him because it shows people how much you are deep down in love with him.

  27. Steve

    Good for Root! He likes to talk about how much he’s doing for the party, “chief rainmaker” and all that, now he’s got a perfect opportunity to get it done. I’m liking this guy more and more.

  28. Red Phillips

    “An articulate Ron Paul-ish type figure (without the paleo baggage) would be way cool.”

    It is the paleo “baggage” that allowed Ron Paul to do as well as he did, because he was able to appeal to conservatives who otherwise would be skeptical of a libertarian. What exactly is the coalition that is going to elect a leftist libertarian? Pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, etc. fiscal conservative are going to team up with social liberals and these social liberals are going to be just fine with cutting social programs, ending gun control, etc.?

    The current dominant coalitions, no matter how schizophrenic some may think them to be, are dominant for a reason. They reflect the reality of what coalitions can be cobbled together.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    rp, probably true in semi-rural TX. It’s my observation that suburban, coastal areas especially have large constituencies of voters who are at once fiscally conservatives and socially liberal.

  30. Carol Moore

    I do agree bugging the media works. That’s how Cindy Sheehan got famous. She was constantly on the phone calling or taking calls from the media. I met her at various events and she averaged a new call one way or the other ever 7.5 minutes, except when giving speech.

  31. George Phillies

    @26 You claim I don’t have data. Boy, is that a stupid assumption.

    Meanwhile, the LN- one C, the one with money, is having a meeting in ten days.

    Readers may be aware that there will be a meeting of the Libertarian National Committee in Las Vegas on July 11. This is a one-day meeting, not a day and a half meeting, so time will be tight. What will be on the Chair’s proposed Agenda, which was recently circulated to the LNC by the Secretary? There will of course be officer reports from the Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. There will be Staff and Counsel reports. The LNC has a few standing committees: Affiliate Support, Audit, and Convention Oversight. There are two special committees. There will be a report from a Committee to draft language for an Outreach Committee. The IT Committee is scheduled to report on the HQ Audit and the language for a standing IT Committee. There will be a report on the 2010 Convention.

    Then there is new business, some placed on the Agenda and some treated as Additional Agenda requests left to the discretion of the national committee. Each piece of new business has a sponsor or sponsors, appearing in parentheses after the item. On the Agenda as New Business are:

    Comprehensive Ballot Access Plan (Sink-Burris) (Sink-Burris has indicated she is not attending the meeting, but someone will speak to her issue.)
    LNC Goals for 2010-2012 Term (Lark)
    Ballot Access (Redpath)
    NY Ballot Access Encumbrance (Multiple)
    LNC Confidentiality (Multiple)
    FEC Estate Contribution Limits (Redpath)

    Other items not yet on the agenda include:

    Funding Priorities (Wills)
    Party Slogan (Nolan)
    Role of LNC Members as Public Representatives (Nolan)
    Recognizing State Affiliate Achievements (Rutherford)
    Creation of TV Ad for Candidates/Affiliates (Craig)
    State Affiliate Membership Incentives (Craig)
    Revised Budget for 2010 (Oaksun)
    Strategy Through 2012 (Oaksun)

    The LNC has started discussing the discussion of strategic planning, but is not close yet. The LNC member who claim that our membership has not plummeted, and the member who seems to say that in some states membership is close to an all-time high, are particularly amusing.

    If you have opinions on any of these issues, including the arrangement of the agenda, you should try contacting your LNC Representatives.

    I shall comment that the lack of a preview feature is a real nuisance.

  32. JT

    Milnes: “George, who is going to sponsor PLAS?”

    The little green man in your head who talks to you.

  33. Ralph K. Swanson

    My recollection is the LNCC strategy is to come into play once there is a pool of experienced Libertarian state legislators, or something along those lines.

  34. A More Honest Article

    How about:

    “Root, after losing the race for National Chair of the Libertarian Party, was elected to the Libertarian National Committee (LNC).”

    This would be a more complete and honest report. Instead, Root only picks the data that supports his Greatness.

    Root doesn’t provide accurate news accounts on the LP, but “Root is Great!” and “Root is Leader!” accounts.

    Why does it matter? Because I’m ashamed to be publicly represented by Root, and I wish he’d make it clear that there’s strong opposition to him in the LP.

    But you won’t find that on his Wikipedia page (which he doubtless wrote) or in any of his other Root Is Great press releases (disguised to look like being about the LP rather than about Root.

  35. A More Honest Article

    That’s one of the most annoying aspects about Root. He’s trying to create the false impression that he is The Leader of libertarianism, and that His Leadership is supported by ALL libertarians, and that He Speaks for ALL libertarians.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    more honest, are you serious, or is this a joke?

    If serious, I strongly suggest you are simply not paying attention. For anyone to put in his/her boilerplate all his or her losses is — sorry — ridiculous.

    Does Lew Rockwell say “LR, advocate of interpreting the Rodney King beating as justified, is president of LvMI…”? Does Mary Ruwart say “author of HEALING OUR WORLD, which advances a unique view of minors being involved in sexual relations with adults, hold a PhD…”?

    Ah, no.

    While we’re at it, help us understand how Root claims he is “The Leader of L-ism”? Where does he even imply such a thing?

    Didn’t your mommy and daddy tell you that there were no monsters in your bedroom? 😉

  37. Robert Capozzi

    gp: @26 You claim I don’t have data. Boy, is that a stupid assumption.

    me: What I actually said was: “…since George the Narc choses to cast aspersions without data and analysis, we can’t know what exactly he’s implying.” I s’pose my point would be more clear and explicit if I’d said “…aspersions without SHARING WITH US data and analysis,” since there is none in your comment 19, only disembodied accusations.

    You have developed a track record of making accusations based on one data point without analysis and context. I’m a little surprised that a PhD in a hard science uses such a methodology, but that’s your business.

    Canceling out toxicity and poisonous dialog seems indicated for this hombre, as the cause of liberty seems hamstrung when putative colleagues narc to the FEC, twist and hopelessly distort facts as part of an apparent sour-grapes campaign, and generally play the part of counterproductive gadfly.

    In this case, we’re waiting for both your data and the context and analysis of said data. In my experience, you have a propensity to change the subject and otherwise back off your accusations as they are often just vendettas playing out with factoids as cover.

    Putting the worst spin possible on a fact set and playing Chicken Little generally is not going to earn you many allies…haven’t you figured THAT out yet?

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    Dear “More Honest Article,”

    Root’s job, when he’s doing his own public relations, isn’t to tell you everything you might want to know about him.

    Root’s job, when he’s doing his own public relations, is to tell you everything he wants you to know about him, in terms that are as likely as possible to make you think of him in the way he wants to be thought of.

    He’s not an historian writing a book on a bygone film era, he’s a director hyping his latest production.

    There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Deflating any unjustified hype in Root’s presentations or correcting impressions that may be better than the facts really support isn’t Root’s job, it’s someone else’s.

  39. JT

    More Honest: “He’s trying to create the false impression that he is The Leader of libertarianism, and that His Leadership is supported by ALL libertarians, and that He Speaks for ALL libertarians.”

    I agree with the responses above. Root never said he’s the “leader of libertarianism” or he speaks for “all libertarians.” He did write a book about being a libertarian, but he didn’t even win the top officer position in the LP. He WAS, however, elected to the LNC as an at-large rep. (the first choice of the delegates for that position, btw).

    I’ve criticized Root before for a couple of things. But if you’re that ashamed of him personally, you should just feel very lucky he’s not chair. He lost the vote for chair of the LNC rather narrowly.

  40. NewFederalist

    Look at this thread… 49 posts already! You gotta admit it, love him or hate him when the subject is Root there is excitement in the air. While I am in the camp that thinks his white shoes, white belt, bleached teeth, used car salesman approach to life really is over the top, he is at least out there getting publicity for libertarian as a word. I am reminded of the scene in the movie “Under Siege” starring Steven Segal when the Admiral says about the SEAL Chief (Segal) on the USS Missouri that is being taken over by terrorists… “If I can’t goddamn control you then I guess I’ll have to goddamn support you.” I think that is where we are with Root. Slap the crazy bastard up side the head when he confuses conservatism with libertarianism but otherwise let him ride. Maybe… just maybe, he can deliver on his boasts. Hell, if he can deliver on HALF of them it will be more than the party has done since Ed Clark. Have a Happy Independence Day everybody!!

  41. George Phillies

    Meanwhile, our National Committee is arguing about strengths and weaknesses of the party, sort of. And since the LNC leaks like the Titanic after she broke in half, we can show you some of the debate which we believe to be authentic.

    You’ll have to wait a day for the Nolan-Root debate about success metrics, which Root gets at least half-right, rather better than Nolan, and a bit longer than that for Wayne again proposing to jettison our party’s social issues.

    The LNC is arguing about strategic planning again. As a start toward a strategic plan, since apparently most of the committee with a few exceptions thought little about such issues before being elected, New Path supporter Rachel Hawkridge forwarded to the LNC the SWOT statement from the New Path program.

    From: Rachel H. for LPWA Communications
    To: LNC Discussion
    Sent: 6/30/2010 2:55:41 PM
    Subject: [Lnc-discuss] SWOT

    How about this for SWOT?
    (which she followed with the New Path chapter in question).

    The rest of the LNC soon decided to dispute one part of one feature of Rachels SWOT plan, namely the claim in Rachel’s missive that National Party membership is plummeting:

    Dan Karlan (who is not attending the Las Vegas meeting) wrote:

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but membership and revenue are not plummeting,

    And you might think, because you’re relatively new to the scene, that what you see is unprecedented, but witch hunts have always plagued the LP. We’ve always had a very hard time trusting each other.

    Dan Karlan

    and Kevin Knedler wrote

    From: kknedler
    To: @ @
    Sent: 6/30/2010 3:39:30 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
    Subj: [Lnc-discuss] Leadership and SWOT

    We should distinguish weaknesses of the national party and not confuse with the states.

    Some states are having “issues” but others are actually growing.

    The LSLA needs to have a 1/2 hour seminar on Leadership.

    Any organization worth it’s salt, should consider conducting or hiring out a team to help people become more effective leaders.

    For without a good leader or catalyst, the organization will not thrive.

    Have seen it countless times. It just can’t be rule by the mob, or anarchy.

    and Vice Chair Mark Rutherford, in a responder to LNC Alternate Carl Vassar, wrote

    Your statement is interesting about an alleged negative trend over the last 8 or 10 years, but how do you explain Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Colorado (and other deserving states that I have left off) that are relatively speaking doing quite well and may arguable be having their best year in many years, if ever? I’ve never personally observed so many states hitting a high point at the same time in my involvement with the party.

    I am quite positive about the LP – to me it is stronger and more cohesive now than in 2000, when I attended my first national convention.

    To which I add that facts can be your friends, but only if you know what they are. Here is a comparison of 2000 (start of year) and 2010 (start of year) memberships, by State, which you may compare against the claims supposedly from Mark Rutherford. You will note that States are all shrinking in National Membership, our LNC members to the contrary:

    Dues-Paying National Members by State
    End of
    State 1999 Start of 2010
    AK 139 60
    AL 354 223
    AR 184 95
    AZ 781 318
    CA 6392 1840
    CO 834 520
    CT 394 202
    DC 90 34
    DE 99 50
    FL 1684 841
    GA 1511 502
    HI 131 67
    IA 200 134
    ID 147 64
    IL 1094 541
    IN 614 361
    KS 290 159
    KY 220 113
    LA 207 128
    MA 852 275
    MD 635 255
    ME 186 66
    MI 1567 518
    MN 441 230
    MO 530 281
    MS 135 63
    MT 123 50
    NC 638 364
    ND 41 26
    NE 130 64
    NH 360 157
    NJ 833 306
    NM 278 118
    NV 484 208
    NY 1093 673
    OH 1119 627
    OK 194 105
    OR 603 181
    PA 1639 552
    RI 62 29*
    SC 322 172
    SD 52 33
    TN 484 294
    TX 1608 957
    UT 252 88
    VA 981 611
    VT 136 33
    WA 1213 420
    WI 441 241
    WV 127 52
    WY 83 43
    Total 33007 14412

  42. Sludge Puppy

    Strengths – the message
    Weakness – failure to communicate
    Opportunities – the present situation
    Threats – ourselves

    SWOT also means; Simple Waste Of Time

  43. Thomas L. Knapp


    If you’re going to claim that membership is “plummeting,” you probably shouldn’t start with statistics from a record high year and end with the current year while omitting everything between.

    While it may be interesting that the LP has fewer dues-paying members than it did ten years, ago, how do this year’s numbers stack up against 2009’s, 2008’s, etc.?

    Is there a consistent downward trend since 2000, or is there a “trough” between 2000 and 2010, with 2010 higher than the low point?

  44. Jim Davidson

    It would also probably be wise to consider the late John Famularo’s views on the 2000 “membership.” I gather that a lot of it was the selling of magazine subscriptions for the purpose of paying bonuses to certain members of staff.

    The graph here: seems fairly current (April 2010) and does show a nadir in 2007 with a brief up trend through 2009. Things are not quite as low as 2007, but are on a downward sloping trend.

  45. George Phillies

    @ 54

    Actually the graph I was considering, which Jim Davidson just referenced, does include lots of numbers in between. More numbers than the graph the LNC was just sent by their staff, which covers a year and a half in the middle. And the graph I was envisioning wiggles on the way down. But it is down and loses more than half in ten years.

  46. George Phillies

    I could generate much of the matching state by state list for the intervening months, but as a refutation to “how do you explain Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Colorado (and other deserving states that I have left off) that are relatively speaking doing quite well and may arguable be having their best year in many years, if ever? ” it seems reasonably adequate.

  47. Scott Lieberman

    Any discussion of State or National LP membership numbers that includes the last 15 years is worthless unless the debators include the starting point and ending point for the Unified Membership Program. Regardless of the efficacy of that program, it “artificially” boosted the membership numbers of both the National and State LP’s while it was in effect.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    Any discussion of membership numbers should be measured in Barrow, AK’s. The 2000 census had the pop. at ~5,000.

    Whether the LP has 3 Barrows or 6 Barrows, the LP is tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny.

    I might have 40 cents or 60 cents in my pocket, but either amount won’t buy much at all.

    Politics cannot meaningfully analyzed with a microscope! 😉

  49. Michael H. Wilson

    One simple comment before things get to far along. The retention numbers are probably most important. How many of the people stay with the LP for one year, five years and twenty years.

    Regardless of the numbers, if there is a rapid turnover then there is a problem that is significant.

  50. Thomas L. Knapp


    Yes, the number of Barrow, AKs involved is a factor to consider in analysis of LP membership.

    It is not, however, the kind of supervening factor that you seem to think it is.

    The trend — whether the size of the LP is increasing or decreasing — is an important variable, regardless of whether it’s increasing from 100k to 300k or decreasing from 18k to15k.

    The main place where the Barrow, AK factor enters in is: If the trend is an increase, is that increase at a rate of, or scalable/sustainable, to a number of many Barrow, AKs, or do the factors of growth involved imply a ceiling at a low number of Barrow, AKs?

    The Project Archimedes style direct mail approach wasn’t sustainable/scalar in that way. Whatever its other virtues might have been, it:

    1) Had a low ceiling — only so many available affinity lists to hit with direct mail that would produce a reasonable rate of positive response;

    2) Had a 20% annual “churn”/non-renewal rate — over a period of five years, something close to 100% of those recruited by the method would end their dues-paying memberships.

    That doesn’t mean Archimedes-style recruitment is a bad idea, just that it has limits and that when it stops, member numbers don’t just level out, they drop precipitously. Which is exactly what happened from 2001-2004.

    If Archimedes had produced more revenue to investment, it might have made a good launching pad for some “next step” to get into the next level of recruitment scale (TV advertising? I don’t know).

    Anyway, George’s numbers as laid out don’t provide useful information. The cause of the membership drop from 2001-2004 is known to a high degree of certainty, and that cause is no longer applicable. The valid question is, what has membership done since the post-Archimedes low point? Is it trending back upward, or continuing to trend downward?

  51. Thomas L. Knapp


    If the most recent absolute low was in 2006, then the trend from 2006 to present is UPWARD, not DOWNWARD.

    If membership has gone up and then down again since 2006 (while not getting as low as it was in 2006), it might be possible to describe all that change as a subtrend within an overall downward-since-2000 trend.

    That it’s possible, however, does not mean that showing numbers for 2000 and 2010 accomplishes it.

  52. George Phillies

    OK, Here is a more complete list of numbers, from which you can choose your own start and end dates.

    I believe these are all members, not members+donors

    2008 with no following decimal is the start of the year

    2004, 19410
    2005.66, 18936
    2005.92, 17830
    2006, 15896
    2006.66, 11504
    2006.92, 11196
    2007, 11014
    2007.08, 11344
    2007.25, 12144
    2007.66, 13551
    2007.92, 13309
    2008, 14181
    2008.66, 14970
    2008.92, 16079
    2009, 15358

  53. Marc Montoni

    Please note that the numbers during the Seehusen years had a substantial fudge factor. That is, for all of the LP’s history prior to that time (1972-2004 or so) membership numbers were only those who had signed the pledge and paid dues. During Seehusen’s time (2004-2007), however, reported numbers were not broken down on members vs subscribers (subscribers were those who donated at least $25 to the LP, but who specifically did not want to be counted as *members*, so they did not sign the membership pledge). Seehusen resigned in July 05.

    Membership numbers were subsequently correctly reported by Shane Cory, as far as I know.

  54. George Phillies

    @65 You are so far as I know completely right about what was claimed to the LNC in LNC meetings. However, the mailed detailed PDF of membership numbers, etc. actually listed the dues-paying oath-taking people, the contributors, and the total. The numbers I present are at least where I just checked, the number of people who had signed the oath, not including the contributors.

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