Submitted by David Colborne to the Nevada Libertarian Party Executive Committee and to IPR:
I’d like to start this report by greeting all of the new faces in the Executive Committee. Some of you I’ve met, some of you I haven’t; whatever the case may be, I look forward to working with each and every one of you over the next couple of years. Rest assured, we in the cold, snowy, slowly thawing north stand ready to advance the cause of liberty and the Libertarian Party this year and beyond.
I’m proud to announce that, over the past couple of months, we have maintained a solid level of activity. All dues-paying members of the National LP have been called at least once by a member of our affiliate regarding an upcoming event or two within the past three months, and all dues-paying members of the national LP have been added to our e-mail broadcast list. So far, we are proud to report that we haven’t received a single request to unsubscribe from our e-mail list; in fact, I personally received several congratulatory e-mails from dues paying Libertarians that were happy to see there was local party activity in their area. On the event front, this month was the first month in NVCLP history that we held scheduled events in two separate counties in the same month; our goal is to hold separate, regularly scheduled events in each of the three counties that constitute the NVCLP each and every month. These events will be in addition to any special events in our area, including tax protests, neighboring state conventions, or just manning booths wherever we can find some space.
I am also proud to announce that members of the NVCLP are using their geographical proximity to the Nevada Legislature to good use. We currently have two registered unpaid lobbyists representing us in the Nevada Legislature – Thomas Cornell, who is also the NVCLP Secretary, and Jim Cooley, who also doubles as the NVCLP Vice-Chair. They are both registered with the state and are both putting in considerable time and energy into keeping us abreast of what’s on the legislative docket this session. Rowan Wilson, NVCLP Treasurer, has also been roaming the halls of the Legislature as well, though I didn’t see her name listed as an officially registered lobbyist the last time I checked. Two of the worst bills facing the Legislature today that our lobbyists have asked me to highlight in my report are AB81 (http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/Reports/history.cfm?ID=187) and AB82 (http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/Reports/history.cfm?ID=188). These bills were introduced by the Secretary of State to “reduce corruption”. What they do instead is:
- Raise filing fees on all statewide offices. The filing fee for US Senator, for example, would increase from $500 to $3000. County office filing fees would increase from $100 to $300.
- Increases candidate financial reporting frequency, increases the fines for failure to report, and changes the deadlines.
- Subjects committees to the same filing requirements as candidates. This could potentially include us.
- Forbids recounting of electronic votes. If someone demands a recount in a precinct that uses a “mechanical” voting device, they will only be able to demand a recount of absentee mail votes.
- Forces employers to provide time off to employees so they can vote in partisan primaries.
- Allows candidates to use campaign funds for legal challenges. Presently, candidates are required to raise a “legal defense fund”, which people may voluntarily contribute to.
- Require the Secretary of State to be notified before all “voter registration drives”, and requires all who run a “voter registration drive” to receive SoS-approved training beforehand. What would constitute a “voter registration drive”? Anything that involves distributing and collecting voter registration forms. I hope none of you have ever had the temerity to hand out a voter registration form at a convention or Sam Adams Night.
- Requires campaign finance forms to be filed electronically through the Secretary of State; this would forbid candidates from mailing the forms to their county clerk.
- Changes the law to allow unspent campaign funds to be donated to a government agency of the candidate’s choice. Current law only allows campaign funds to be donated to non-profit agencies, political parties, returned to donors, or to be kept for future campaigns by the candidate…
And plenty more. The good news is all of us may give our opinions to the Legislature regarding these and other objectionable bills here:
There are also some good bills floating through the Legislature. AB438 (http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/Reports/history.cfm?ID=892) and AB235 (http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/Reports/history.cfm?ID=526) both address the fact that, according to Nevada law, people are allowed to receive medicinal marijuana but may not, in fact, buy it. This has led to darkly hilarious and legally ambiguous situations like medicinal marijuana dispensaries charging ridiculous prices for, say, a cup of coffee, then throwing in “free” medicinal marijuana if you have a card for it. As those of you in Las Vegas are already undoubtedly aware, local law enforcement has more than enough leeway under present law to effectively criminalize the distribution of medicinal marijuana, thus rendering the will of the people void.
There are other bills floating through the Legislature that we can also get behind. Examples include…
- SB177: Returns the right to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet to the citizens of Nevada. (https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/reports/history.cfm?ID=427)
- SB175: Provides that the identity and any information acquired during the investigation of a holder of a concealed firearms permit are confidential, as are any records regarding the suspension, restoration or revocation of such a permit. (https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/reports/history.cfm?ID=425)
- SB176: Removes the need for a concealed carry permit in the first place by allowing anyone to carry firearms in a concealed manner. (https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/reports/history.cfm?ID=426)
- SB41: Eliminates mandatory collective bargaining for local government workers. This will help Nevada avoid the issues that Wisconsin faced recently. (https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/76th2011/reports/history.cfm?ID=84)
Among several others. Again, if you wish to speak in favor (or against) a bill in the Legislature, click on the following link and chime in:
Back to the efforts of the NVCLP, fundraising hasn’t been our primary focus over the past couple of months – our current focus is on creating a consistent presence in all three of our constituent counties, and, until we achieve that, this is where our focus will remain. That’s not to say that we’ve completely abandoned the concept, however. Fundraising has and will continue to remain an important agenda item in our meetings, and, as opportunities present themselves, we will carry out action in that direction. One opportunity that we were hoping to leverage was the California LP convention in Stateline this April; sadly, California has a full slate all three days of their convention and they politely requested that we don’t host competing events. Since it’s their convention, we will honor that request. We have already had some individuals in the NVCLP register for the Saturday night banquet on April 9th; if you haven’t registered to attend it yet and you plan on attending the convention, I strongly encourage you to do so. Please note that, with the possible exception of FreedomFest, the CALP convention will be the largest Libertarian event in the state of Nevada this year. In the spirit of fundraising, I would like to remind the Executive Committee that the NVCLP remains the only affiliate in the State of Nevada to charge substantial dues and require a Sustaining or Basic membership in the national Libertarian Party. I will also note that we have committed to ourselves to hold three fundraising events this year, so, if we are going to accomplish this, we will need to start soon.
Outside of the NVCLP, Debra Dedmon has convinced me that Reid’s statements on prostitution might be useful leverage to help us incorporate in some of the rural counties, especially in brothel-heavy counties like Storey County. Consequently, I aim to put this issue to work for us at some point in the near future. Needless to say, I look forward to seeing how Nye County’s event at Sheri’s goes this coming Monday.
I know this is a long report, but it’s been a long time since we held an Executive Committee meeting. Let’s do this more often!