LNC Meeting (April 2011 in Alexandria, VA)

The Libertarian National Committee is meeting in Alexandria, VA this weekend (4/16/2011 – 4/17/2011). There is a live video available on justin.tv. The agenda is available for download.

Justin.tv live feed (not being recorded):
Watch live video from flickboy on Justin.tv

Thanks to David Blau and Brad Ploeger for setting up the feed.

A meeting agenda is available for download. It has been updated with changes to the agenda during adoption of agenda.

Open thread here to comment about the meeting!

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party and tagged , on by .

About Chuck Moulton

This fall I'll be starting a Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University. My other degrees are a J.D. from Villanova Law School and a M.A. in Economics from San Jose State University. I am licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California. In my spare time I am involved with the Libertarian Party. I served as Vice-Chair of the Libertarian National Committee during the 2006-2008 term. In 2004 I ran for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania district 13. I also spend a lot of time playing bughouse and chess on the Free Internet Chess Server where my handle is knighttour.

128 thoughts on “LNC Meeting (April 2011 in Alexandria, VA)

  1. Chuck Moulton

    The 2 LNC vacancies are now being filled by approval voting.


    • Rebecca Sink-Burris (attending meeting)
    • John Jay Meyers (attending meeting)
    • Randy Eshelman (attending meeting)
    • Judge Jim Gray
    • Ross Scalise
  2. Chuck Moulton

    LNC vacany results:

    • Rebecca Sink-Burris -12 (elected)
    • John Jay Meyers -7
    • Randy Eshelman – 14 (elected)
    • Judge Jim Gray – 3
    • Ross Scalise – 3
  3. Chuck Moulton

    Nominations for 2 APRC postions:

    • Rebecca Sink-Burris
    • Dan Karlan
    • Randy Eshelman

    The APRC is the Advertising and Publications Review Committee. There are 2 open positions. They will be filled by approval voting.

    Current APRC members include Mary Ruwart, Dan Wiener, and Alicia Mattson.

  4. David Blau

    Mark Hinkle is giving the chair’s report. He discussed his efforts to reach out to influential people. There was a discussion of issues surrounding corporate discounts. The national party has over 150,000 followers on Facebook. There was a discussion of ongoing lawsuits, and ideas for improving the national website.

  5. David Blau

    Next up is Bill Redpath with the treasurer’s report. Bill took over for James Oaksun, who stepped down. Bill took a continuing education class in March, and offered his help to state affiliates with FEC filings. A detailed statement was distributed. There’s too much to report on right now, but we’ll report on highlights later.

  6. David Blau

    On a lighter note: Bob Kraus informed the assembly that the hotel restaurant is closed. The committee took a straw poll and decided that there wouldn’t be pizza ordered. I will be taking down the live feed during lunch.

  7. David Blau

    Now fifteen minutes from the secretary’s report from Alicia Mattson. The LNC has obtained copies of affiliate bylaws from all but four states. Dan Karlan pointed out that the national bylaws require that the affiliates provide their bylaws. There was a discussion on time frames for mail voting, which will be the subject of an eventual proposed bylaws amendment.

  8. David Blau

    The counsel’s report was given by Gary Sinawski in writing. Gary reported that we win about 30% of our cases. He noted that states generally seeking court relief usually make their own arrangements, but he is available for federal cases (and New York).

  9. Robert Milnes

    The third party/independent crown is the LP’s ballot access. The crown jewel is the LP ticket.
    Few Independents get enough ballot access to win like Nader did in 2008. The Green party is unreliable.
    In 2008 the crown jewel was handed to rightists. Counterrevolutionaries. Many LP candidates and party officials are too.
    Just about the last thing Nolan did was to try to do something about this.
    Is the LNC going to try to do something about this? Or not?
    That just about all I care about. While I appreciate all the time & energy & $ & expertise & dedication it takes to accomplish all this, what good does it to to hand it over to counterrevolutionaries?
    To be sure the government & the dems & reps don’t mind the waste’ though.

  10. David Blau

    This report is scheduled for 45 minutes, so posts may be fairly infrequent. Right now, the subject is the loss of various staff members.

  11. David Blau

    The staff report is finishing up with a discussion of the door hanger program, and how this type of program is relatively inexpensive and gives good results.

  12. David Blau

    Mark Rutherford reports that a 5 hour intensive training session he made on basics of campaigning, finance, and organization went very well, and should be considered for future programming.

  13. David Blau

    There is discussion how the affiliate support committee can better serve the states. For example, the ASC can advise the states on ways of accomplishing various tasks, such as ballot access lawsuits, using institutional experience. This will prevent the states from feeling as if they are ‘floundering’.

  14. David Blau

    The contract with the Red Rock hotel for the 2012 convention in Las Vegas has been executed. The 2014 site will be decided at the August meeting in Columbus.

  15. David Blau

    The convention committee is looking for a good slogan that mixes Las Vegas and politics. Let your imagination run wild, then email Alicia or another member of the with your ideas.

  16. David Blau

    The IT committee reports that national is making a lot of progress with the computer infrastructure. There was a discussion how to integrate willing state affiliates into the telephone system.

  17. David Blau

    Bill Redpath gave a report on ballot access in several states. Maryland has a lawsuit going on over decertification. It was also mentioned that redistricting may cause problems with collecting signatures in some states.

  18. David Blau

    The members of the committee are now debating the funding plan, and specifically how the national organization can stay faithful to the presidential ticket while dealing with states that have expensive ballot access requirements and may be unable to raise enough money themselves to meet the national threshold requirement to receive aid.

  19. David Blau

    The debate has been quite vigorous, but most arguments seem to be against the proposal of hard and fast rules for states to obtain money from national.

  20. David Blau

    The new ballot access petitioning requirement motion offered by Dan Wiener did not pass. The vote was 3-14, with Mr. Hinkle abstaining.

  21. David Blau

    The committee is now discussing a financial report for 2010 prepared by Aaron Starr (because James Oaksun stepped down before he could prepare the report). I don’t have a copy of the report, but it appears to contain data on membership, donations, and overall finances.

  22. Facebook Friends

    Democrats have 219,000 Facebook friends, Republicans have 204,000, and Libertarians have 151,000.

    It’s possible that some of those Friends overlap.

    Friending is not like voting. You can Friend more than one party.

    Many Friends are more like a subscribers to a publication than like supporters. They Friend you in order to keep in touch with your goings on.

    It’s possible that Dem and Repub activists Friend Libertarians (and visa versa) because they’re politically curious.

  23. David Blau

    Jim Lark has suggested, to general approval, that Aaron Starr prepare a statistical analysis of the past five years of financial data, according to various statistics requested by the committee.

  24. Gene Berkman

    “It’s possible that Dem and Repub activists Friend Libertarians (and visa versa) because they’re politically curious.”

    We should welcome people who are bi-(partisan)-curious.

  25. David Blau

    Now it’s on to the budget. If you’ve ever been involved in a budget meeting, you may be able to sympathize.

    One note: the current budget shows zero for ballot access. The Exec Cmte handles B/A in an ad hoc manner based on each state’s financial situation, so no number can be put in the budget right now. However, the LNC obviously plans to spend money on this.

  26. LibertarianGirl

    how can the woman who no showed and some dude who never ran be the picks when both Gray and JJM were big vote getters by the delegates. so much for listening to what the people want , so much for honoring Nolans spirit , sounds like more factional pick-ur-friend play…. very disappointed:(

  27. From my view

    Ms Burris resigned to run for US Senate. She had a good alternate with a Mr. Wolf. He is Region 3 rep and Ms Burris decided to come back to LNC, but not knock out Mr. Wolf. IN, MI, KY, OH work together well in LP Region 3

  28. Starr/Root Faction Wins

    LG: how can the woman who no showed and some dude who never ran be the picks when both Gray and JJM were big vote getters by the delegates.

    Because Sink-Burris and Eshelman belong to the Starr/Root faction?

    And those people are good at hardball, backroom politics.

  29. George Phillies

    Of course, some state parties do not exist at this time.

    Also, the National Party Bylaws actually state “Affiliate party status shall be granted only to those organizations which adopt the Statement of Principles and file a copy of their Constitution and/or Bylaws with the Party Secretary.”

    One supposes that each affiliate did this when it was granted affiliate status, and that is the time at which the bylaws say you should do so.

    Karlan’s statement as quoted is obscure, and could be interpreted in ways not matching the Bylaws; however, it might also easily be the case that he was talking about something else.

    On a different note, there is a report claiming that we only have 31 active affiliates under the definition adopted by the LNC last year. I have confirmed that LNC members at least as a group have not seen the list of states.

  30. Starchild

    The idea that we need a slogan for the 2012 convention “that mixes Las Vegas and politics” seems misplaced to me.

    I think we should focus more on convention *content*, rather than worrying about coming up with a cute slogan.

  31. David Blau

    Talks are resuming on the budget. The committee just voted to substitute a 60,000 figure for the zeros in the budget for ballot access expenditures. However, as the Executive Committee has traditionally directly authorized such expenditures and because a budget line item is authority for staff to spend money, the amendment adds a proviso retaining direct EC authority over this item.

  32. David Blau

    The LNC is now talking about adding a line item for the new building fund. Robert Kraus explained that the new building is a capital campaign that will have its own line item next year. The budget currently includes $1000 raised, which shows as a deferred expense.

  33. David Blau

    The new building line items for revenue and expenditures will show up in the next budget that is discussed in August. The committee is now debating what number should appear on those lines.

  34. David Blau

    Bill Redpath has just summarized the changes so far. From the proposed budget that was essentially deficit-neutral, the current amendments have decreased revenue by $90,000 in board solicitation and increased spending of $60,000 for petitioning-related expenditures, so the current projection is that the national party will be spending $150,000 more than it collects.

  35. David Blau

    The committee is now debating staffing funds. The arguments are between cutting funds to reduce the current deficit, and having enough money to have the staff necessary to

  36. George Phillies

    @58 Are they going to appropriate money to cover the expenditures already made for the wall of shame ad?

    If you have the opportunity in public comments please remind the LNC about our political Conference

    “The Future of the Libertarian Political Movement”

    Sunday, June 19
    Manchester New Hampshire
    The Highlander Inn at Manchester Airport

    For more information: LPMass.org


    Keynoter: John Buttrick
    Lead Speakers:
    Bonnie Scott
    Mary Ruwart
    Joe Kennedy
    Angela Keaton
    Ernie Hancock

    Presidential Debate
    R Lee Wrights
    Roger Gary
    Moderator: George Phillies
    (anyone else running for our nomination who has filed with the FEC and is building a campaign organization.)

    and also:
    John Walsh
    Alex Peterson
    Bob Clark
    David Blau
    Alwin Hopfmann

  37. David Blau

    In order to make up the projected $110,000 deficit, the committee has just voted to reduce salary and compensation under line item 8000 from $522,000 to $412,000. The budget is balanced again.

  38. David Blau

    There was contentious discussion, but no new issues were raised that were not already addressed elsewhere. The main issues were the extent of LNC participation in state affiliates (everyone agrees the LNC should stay out of affiliate internal politics), and how to deal with organizations that disaffiliate but intend to use the ‘Libertarian’ name regardless.

  39. David Blau

    The LNC adopted the form. Kevin Knedler is now discussing a motion to raise the lifetime membership contribution amount, which was set about 20 years ago. The new amount will be discussed.

  40. David Blau

    The idea has expanded into a discussion of membership levels generally. Based on this expanded idea, there is a motion to commit the idea to an ad hoc committee to develop a robust structure for membership levels and contribution levels.

  41. David Blau

    The committee will be formed to consider this question, to report back no later than the August meeting in Columbus. The members of the committee will be Wayne Root, Jim Lark, Andy Wolf, Kevin Knedler, Stewart Flood, and Wes Benedict (non voting).

  42. David Blau

    Next item of business is alternate leasing arrangements. The proposal by Norm Olsen is to have staff prepare at least 3 alternative leasing arrangements for the national headquarters, including at least one location outside Washington DC.

  43. David Blau

    @75: Mary Ruwart gave a version of events, then M Carling spoke and generally agreed with Mary. Alicia Mattson spoke and gave her perspective on what happened. Then time ran out, without any substantive action. The point of disagreement was whether Ms. Mattson or another LNC member gave the impression of acting on behalf of the LNC, or endorsing one faction or the other at the Oregon meeting. All of the issues have already been chronicled extensively elsewhere.

  44. David Blau

    The Speaker’s Bureau would be a list or website, maintained by national, that would include individuals who make themselves available to speak on particular issues. The information would include a picture, bio, the issues that they can speak to, contact info, and so on. This would be offered as an informational resource for state chairs and event planners, although the event planners themselves would have to negotiate honoraria.

  45. David Blau

    The Tea Party has taken away a lot of activists, not just in Alabama but also in South Carolina and likely in other states. The libertarian activists have gone to ground, according to Stewart Flood.

  46. David Blau

    There will be a one hourd presentation on fundraising in the room starting in ten minutes. At that time, the stream will go off. The meeting will reconvene afterward, and the stream will come back.

  47. David Blau

    The Chair proposed that the LNC adopt a resolution urging the House of Representatives to impeach President Obama for his unilateral military actions in Libya. As a policy resolution without previous notice, this would require unanimous consent. There was a roll call vote. There were four yeses, eight nos, and four abstentions. The motion did not pass.

  48. Be Rational

    @31 So, the Maryland LP ballot drive failed.

    There were warnings about the number of signatures being too low by about 1,000 when they were filed.

    Why didn’t they just get more sigs? We all knew the number was too low.

    Why didn’t they try to get the 1% by advertising? That’s even cheaper than petitioning.

  49. David Blau

    @86: Mark is discussing the new UMP proposal. Basic terms:

    Rather than paying for both state and national membership, a member can join both for a discount (say 20%). The proposal, which would be opt in only for the affiliates, would be to take the discount out of state dues. In exchange, the states would get additional money (dues for people who join national only), getting “dues” from a larger pool. The idea is that if the increase in the dues paying pool is large enough, it will offset the lower per-member payment.

  50. David Blau

    There was ultimately no motion regarding UMP, so the discussion moved on to the Liberty Sales team. The idea is to offer commissions to people who recruit new members, by taking a portion of the dues raised. The reduction in revenue would be offset by much reduced direct recruiting costs.

  51. David Blau

    There were no more substantive motions made. We’re wrapping up the public comment section. I announced the New Hampshire event and invited the assembly to attend.

  52. Jill Pyeatt

    Is it possible that Wayne Root went the entire meeting without saying a word?

  53. Carol Moore

    I was there around 11-4 pm yesterday. Fairly boring. Root-wise, he spoke twice during that time, once vehemently on how it should only take LNC 7 days to do a non-meeting vote because now a days everyone has email and if we want to be a Major Party we have to read our email and that’s life in the big city. The second time was related to the requirement states have a ballot access plan to get ballot access money from the LNC. While not having an opinion on that he did emphasize that it sounded to him like states didn’t want to lose their privilege of getting money from the LNC and that sounded just like Congress and the problems with the nation. An analogy to which a couple LNC members expressed objections, since in big states with weak parties it was of benefit to whole party to get them ballot access. Some other fun stuff happened I’ll blog about.

  54. LibertarianGirl

    “Root-wise, he spoke twice during that time, once vehemently on how it should only take LNC 7 days to do a non-meeting vote because now a days everyone has email and if we want to be a Major Party we have to read our email and that’s life in the big city.”

    me _ I COMPLETELY AGREE , I wish he would tell NV State Chair Joe Silvestri and CCLP Chair Kris McKinster that. Both have shown , what can only be classified as un-purpose for sheer numbers , a complete disrespect for answering fellow board members emails, ideas , motions to the respective ExCom lists.

    its inexcusable and happening right now in NV.

  55. Jill Pyeatt

    We had the problem of emails being ignored an the CA Ex Com, too, which is one of the reasons I didn’t run again. I just think reading and responding to email in a timely fashion is appropriate to someone who has accepted their state’s vote of approval to represent them.

  56. Carol Moore

    I agreed with his email point; the real issue was his continuing delusion that somehow the LP has the potential to be a “BIG PARTY” when we are stuck with the fact that most voters get a government check or check from a contractor or support a bloated military budget because they have been duped by the war mongers. Chair Mark Hinkle said it at meeting – “This is a protest party.” Also, of course, Wayne’s delusion that he and his cadre will single handedly make the LP a Major Party. (Yet I note he rarely mentions the party in his many media appearances; and if he gets the nomination he’ll be largely cut off by most of his outlets he just barely understands the politics or mechanics or purpose of ballot access. Until it’s easy to get on the ballot people less likely to run and spread the message and build the party.

  57. Michael H. Wilson

    Carol @ 95 writes; “… he spoke twice during that time, once vehemently on how it should only take LNC 7 days to do a non-meeting vote because now a days everyone has email and…”

    Simple business etiquette to let others know when you are not available.

    Those of us in the peanut gallery should be able to access the records and see who is not on top of things. If you are out of town put an automatic reply in your email. Wayne if you are reading this please speak up and let us know who is not following up.Otherwise as Trump would say; Your Fired!

  58. David Colborne

    Yeah, I have to admit, I’m almost willing to forgive a local LP officer for not reading and responding to their email within a week. Almost. From a national officer, there’s no good excuse. Heck, a proclivity to go off-grid should have been observed before nomination and vetted accordingly.

  59. Inquiring minds

    @ 84 who vote “yes” for the Hinkle resolution on so-called President Obama ?

  60. George Phillies

    Do you happen to remember roughly when Mr Hinkle made that statement? I don’t care about the nearest minute, but ‘morning fo the first day’ would be a help.


  61. Root Lies

    @ 98 Wayne’s delusion that he and his cadre will single handedly make the LP a Major Party.

    Root’s not deluded. He’s smarter than that.

    Root knows the LP can never be a major party — but like any good hustler, he also knows what his marks want to hear.

    Root caters to the delegates’ fantasies. In return, they give him party titles. Which Root then uses to promote himself in the media, hoping to join Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter as a highly paid broadcaster or political pundit.

  62. Here's a radical idea

    Doesn’t the LP want to actually get bigger and elect people to congress? Or is it easier to stand on sidelines and just complain, when they don’t have anyone in the game?

  63. Carol Moore

    Thanks for insight into Root’s motivation. He’s a hype artist, like many New Yorkers. Having lived in NYC for 10 years and hung out with many hypsters, I’m a bit into myself, except not to the extent I’ll delude people, just shake them up a little. (Especially if they are other hype artists 🙂 Re: Hinkle comment on protest party, that was during the discussion of Ballot Access (Redpath) 15 minutes (extended) when proposal to make states come up with a plan before got money was made. (Not a bad idea but too stringently worded I think was the problem.)

  64. Carol Moore

    @105 – if there were not constant fights with people who think the way the party gets bigger is to appear more mainstream, criticize and or dump radicals, serve some hidden special interest dear to one’s heart (including the military), deal with one’s own deepest insecurities (fear of gays/druggies/peaceniks/Islamists/etc.), or serve their delusion that a purged party will allow THEM to become a big fish in a small pond that will someday become a small fish in a big pond…. well, without all those constant disruptions, the party probably would be at least 20-30% bigger and more active. But the bottom line is, when is the time right and who rides the wave when it’s coming in? Who’s ready to get out in front of the liberty parade? So far it’s Ron Paul and friends. I’m just glad he’s doing it as a Republican so I don’t have to nitpick where I disagree with him…. 🙂

  65. Robert Capozzi

    If he said it, Hinkle is largely correct: The LP is CURRENTLY largely a protest party. Whether the members want it to continue to be merely a protest party is an interesting question. Article 3 of the Bylaws suggest strongly that the party wants to be MORE than that.

    I wonder if Hinkle has stated that he ONLY wants the LP to be exclusively be a protest party, and did he run for chair with that express intent.

    I would say that a L member of Congress would be far more effective in lodging protests than a minor 3rd party can. Bigger megaphone > broader reach.

  66. Alan Pyeatt

    Very disappointing that Judge Jim Gray was bypassed for one of the vacant seats, especially after the CA state Convention voted to endorse him.

    Apparently, either:
    (a) His record of service and credibility aren’t as good as those elected, or
    (b) The members of one faction only want us to grow to Major Party status if their group is in control.

    Was this a roll call vote, so individual LNC members’ votes will appear in the minutes?

  67. With Friends Like That...

    I heard that Mary Ruwart went out of her way to speak against electing Judge Jim Gray. I thought he would be a competitive candidate, and I have to wonder how much better he would have done if she hadn’t given him the smack-down.

  68. Doug Craig

    As always please call me if you guys have question on how I voted as region one rep. For the at large position I voted for John Jay and Ross.My number is 770-861-5855

  69. Carol Moore

    Hinkle was making the point in the context of discussion maximum ballot access for Prez candidates, saying that the LP currently is a protest party and that it’s most effective strategy for being taken seriously was having its Prez candidate on the ballot in the most states. He’s being realistic.

  70. Daniel Wiener

    Alan @ 110:

    I was also disappointed that Judge Gray didn’t garner more support. Mary Ruwart made the point that she thought he was very valuable where he was on the Judicial Committee, and that he would of course have to resign from the JC if he were to fill one of the LNC vacancies. I believe her statement struck a cord with a number of other LNC members, who were not against Judge Gray but didn’t want to lose his expertise on the Judicial Committee. I argued that the JC hasn’t had anything to do so far this term, and hopefully never will. But of course there’s no guarantee of that.

    The two people who were selected, Rebecca Sink-Burris and Randy Eshelman, had widespread support among LNC members, and in my opinion will be excellent additions. We used approval voting to fill the two vacancies, so I urged the other LNC members to give one of their votes to Judge Gray since that wouldn’t prevent them from voting for as many others as they wanted. Apparently I wasn’t persuasive enough, although it’s true that voting for too many people has the practical effect of diluting the votes for higher preferences. (And voting for everybody would be functionally equivalent to voting for nobody.) Voting was by secret ballot. I don’t recall the exact numbers, but those result will be reported in the minutes of the LNC meeting in the near future.

  71. Alan Pyeatt

    Ah! Thanks for the explanation, Dan. Not sure I would see it the same way, but that makes much more sense.

    I enjoyed talking with you at the convention in Lake Tahoe!

  72. interesting

    Please post how LNC members voted on the impeach President Obama resolution by Chairman Hinkle.

  73. Luke McKellar

    @99 it is not as easy for us “businessmen” to just put a generic reply on our email. I’m sure Wayne is quicker to respond to emails than I am, but I’m trying to catch up.

  74. Michael H. Wilson

    re 124 I understood that most email program had an automatic “out of office” feature built in so that if you received an email while out the sender knew that you were out. But I don’t claim to know much about computers. Sometimes I can’t even find the on/off switch.

  75. David Colborne

    @125: It’s even better than that. Depending on who your mail service is with and what it’s hosted on, you can even set an out-of-office server-side, so you don’t have to keep your mail client running. Very handy. For example, in a standard newish Microsoft Exchange environment (frightfully common among small- to medium-sized businesses, moderately common in bigger businesses; offer only valid on Exchange 2007 or newer), you can just use Outlook’s “out of office assistant” in the “Tools” menu to set your server-side out of office e-mail.

    Of course, most web mail portals allow that, too (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.), though you’d have to check their documentation on how to put that together.

  76. George Phillies

    Readers who wonder what happened at the latest LNC meeting should realize that the draft minutes are already out, and they are almost content-free, while still complying with Roberts.

  77. Carol Moore

    CORRECTION: # 98 Apr 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm I wrote: Chair Mark Hinkle said it at meeting – “This is a protest party.”

    Finally getting around to typing in my notes, I see it actually was BILL REDPATH who pursued that line of argument. I don’t remember what Hinkle might have said.

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