LNC Member Starchild Comments on Proposed LP National Headquarters Location

On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 6:53 PM, Starchild wrote:

Some thoughts on the office space (1101 King Street, #160, Alexandria, VA 22314) that is being considered for purchase. I see two major issues:

• It is in Alexandria, not Washington D.C. or Arlington — Arvin Vohra and others familiar with the area have said being in Arlington would be far preferable to an Alexandria location in terms of attracting volunteers, working with other libertarian groups located in Arlington, etc.;

• We promised donors to the project that their money would be spent to buy a *building*, which would be named the “David F. Nolan Memorial Building” — not just office space in a building. I’ve seen nothing in this proposal to indicate that we would even have naming rights to the building as a whole.

The first point relates directly to our practical operational effectiveness, but the second point is actually the more critical one in my opinion, because we need to act with integrity and fulfill the promises we make to people when we ask them to give us their money. People are already calling this a “bait-and-switch”, and they have a valid point. If we go forward with this, it will undermine the confidence of donors and supporters in the party.

It’s good that the location appears to be in a high-pedestrian traffic area, and three blocks from a D.C. Metro stop. However being buried deep inside an office building where external signage is highly limited and we don’t get much more than a “plaque on the door” as someone mentioned, means that we won’t derive much benefit from the superficially high-visibility location.

There appears to be no space for hosting a life-size Nolan Chart as suggested in a previous message (see below). The building does not appear to have a flat roof, nor is it clear that we would have access to it if it did, since we would not own the building. Being inside a multi-use office building, will people even be able to get into the building if they show up past a certain hour, without someone from the office having to come downstairs to let them in? I am glad to see the space includes a shower — that’s a very nice amenity to have when people are working long hours, dropping in from out of town, etc.

From the photos listed here — http://paxrealestategroup.com/1101-king-st-160/alexandria/va/22314/AX8018124/cms — none of the interior rooms look very large. Is there a room that can hold at least 40 people for LNC meetings as well as local meetings or events? (Forty is the occupancy figure I’ve been using for asking about possible meeting spaces.) That seems like a crucial consideration.

In general, the space looks a little less sterile than our offices in the Watergate, although it does still have a “corporate office” feel to it. A marginal improvement. But will it be big enough to include areas that can function as community center and activist workspace type spaces? Storage? How many square feet is it compared with our current offices?

On the whole, I’m definitely not convinced this purchase is a good idea, at least not as a long-term proposition. If the plan is to occupy it temporarily to get out of the Watergate lease and then move again in the near future to an actual building we can name after David Nolan, that might not be unreasonable.

Love & Liberty,

((( starchild )))
At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

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84 thoughts on “LNC Member Starchild Comments on Proposed LP National Headquarters Location

  1. Shane

    Arlington is far less attractive than Alexandria. Regardless, metro access is the key.

    Regarding volunteers and room for activists, more homeless people drop into the DC office than libertarians — and the current space has room for volunteers looking to help. Starchild’s point is a speculative “if you build it, they will come” notion.

    Finding a space that has a conference room to fit 40 is a stretch. I’ve seen that in high end law firms in DC and at the corporate headquarters of oil companies. I don’t think we’re there just yet.

    I agree on the naming. I’ve never been fond of the name to begin with (people need to be more familiar with the LP’s founding) but regardless, it was marketed as a building and probably should be.

  2. paulie

    So far one response on LNC list, from Mark Hinkle:

    Starchild,

    We’ve been over this at least several times before.

    There are a few properties for sale in our size and price range in Alexandria, VA and very very few in Arlington or elsewhere for that matter.

    Remember every month we’re in the Watergate and NOT out of the Watergate wastes $5,000 per month.

    And your life size Nolan Chart on the roof of any building ain’t going to happen, ever. So, give it a rest and drop it.

    The liability issue along kills it.

    BTW, your statement “On the whole, I’m definitely not convinced this purchase is a good idea…” is in sharp contrast to almost 1,000 donors you’ve contributed or pledges in excess of $325K.

    Who should the entire LNC listen to: you or almost 1,000 donors?

    FYI………………….Mark Hinkle,
    LNC At-Large & Retired LP Chair

  3. George Phillies

    Dear LNC,

    Are you really down to 1000 donors? What about your other donors? You have about 14,000 donor-members, and about 1000 donor-nonmembers. How many of them would have given you money, if they knew you were lying about it being a building? But, then, people who lie when they are sure to be caught are not very bright, so perhaps these counting issues are beyond you.

    Every month we keep the office in DC wastes close to $8000. There are substitutes for the main argument for DC (prestige). I used to have to say that penile implantation surgery was the cheap substitute, but under modern conditions for most LNC members Viagra will get the same result as a DCHQ 2%-Building for far less money.

  4. paulie

    From Scott Lieberman:

    The space that the Building Committee has selected for the LP to purchase is NOT a building.

    It is an office condo.

    As you can see from this link:

    http://www.loopnet.com/Office-Space-For-Sale/

    They clearly differentiate the office buildings from the office condos.

    “BTW, your statement “On the whole, I’m definitely not convinced this purchase is a good idea…” is in sharp contrast to almost 1,000 donors you’ve contributed or pledges in excess of $325K.

    Who should the entire LNC listen to: you or almost 1,000 donors?

    The Immediate-Past-Chair”

    I wonder if those “almost 1,000 donors” would have made their donations if they knew that their money was going to purchase an office condo
    that is over 30 minutes via subway from the Capitol Building; that the LP is making a bare-bones 20% down payment; and that the loan will almost definitely have to be re-financed in about 5 years at what will probably be much higher interest rates?

    It would be fun to poll those donors and – without giving them the answers – see if they can guess the answers to the statements in the paragraph above.

    And then, report their reactions when they are told the actual answers J

    Scott Lieberman

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    My suggestion is that the LNC members also read the entire sales contract before they vote. When CA moved to its office in Sacramento, the members voted for an office that was bigger than the one they got, plus they were told there would be one complimentary parking space, and there isn’t one.

  6. Mike Kane

    I agree with many of Starchild’s thoughts here.

    I was always under the impression that it was going to be an actual building, not an office condo.

    I do think this is a step in the right direction, albeit a small one. If it saves the LP $60,000 a year then that’s good, but of course there’s the transactions costs of moving.

    Hopefully in another few years LP can lease this out to someone else at cost or for profit, or perhaps sell to move into a real building.

    As for it being located in Alexandria, for the price, the best the LP could have hoped for would have been an old row home or perhaps an older slightly run down office building. I doubt they could have found anything with a 40 person conference room to be honest.

    Regarding outreach to other groups, I will say from experience that THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT THE LP. I’ve attended countless YAL, C4L, RLC, ETC ETC meetings with LP NOVA (The local affiliate that covers Arlington/Alexandria) literature, and new vision for America brochures and cannot remember one activist who came to any LPNOVA events because of that outreach. I cannot even recall someone even attending an event. These people are almost always transplants who come to DC to work at their particular non-profit, and don’t care much for the LP. To my knowledge, and I could be wrong here, but David Boaz isn’t active with the DC LP affiliate. The only folks that I can recall who are active with the local affiliate were the NORML folks and the VCDL folks (a gun lobby group). In DC I know Rob Kampia (head of the MPP) is active with the Libertarian Party.

    I remember one YAL event at Bailey’s in Arlington, where Carla Howell and about 5 other Libertarians were present where I found LP literature in the trashcan. This disgusted me. Forgive my off topic rant but I don’t think outreach to other “Like Minded” groups is an important factor on where the building is.

    This has been my experience, although I know some candidates there now for the VA House are making some in-roads with these groups, but I think that will be the exception.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    The location issues, low down-payment and refinance likelihoods that Dr. Lieberman points out are important, but not as important as the main point both he and Starchild are making:

    1) The LNC raised the money on the promise to buy a BUILDING.

    2) The thing the LNC is now proposing to buy with the money raised is NOT A BUILDING.

    What is so goddamn difficult to understand about the idea that when one raises money for Purpose A, it is dishonest to instead use that money for purpose B?

  8. George Phillies

    @10 Where did you get “free parking” from? The real estate brochure seems to say something quite different.

    Neale’s suggestion was a building. In DC. An office condo was never discussed.

  9. Scott Lieberman

    “Wes Benedict // Jun 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

    So, rather than jump into another expensive long-term lease, former LNC Chair Geoff Neale suggested last year that we create a Building Fund to buy a building or office condo/townhouse outright.

    ‘We’ve identified a prime office condo in a nice building, with free parking, access to the DC Metro, and a good layout and the right size for our needs.’”

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    https://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/lp-monday-message-libertarian-party-hq-must-move

    that link says “posted by Staff on Oct 24, 2011”.

    Mr. Benedict et al – can you find any public references to an “office condo/townhouse” that are a little more recent than that? eg: a comment that was made during THIS LNC term, as opposed to the 2010-2012 LNC term?

  10. George Phillies

    References with Neale quotations as opposed to a staff letter, backing the claim that Neale suggested this, might also be interesting. There might be some.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    Perhaps someone can ask Jim Lark what he thinks of this, since he apparently pledged $25,000.

  12. Powell Gammill

    Ridiculous. There is no need for a National Headquarters. It serves ZERO purpose and would be an insult to David Nolan. All that the NLP needs is a part time stay at home mom hired to handle the mail, email and phone calls to the NLP. That person can operate anywhere in the continental USA.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    While it would be interesting if Neale initially proposed “a building or office condo/townhouse,” and while it is interesting that the actual LNC motion simply referred to an “office,” the fact remains that the actual fundraising material very clearly specified a building, not some other thing, and that it did so repetitively and to the omission (or at best near-total omission) of any other descriptor.

    In any attempt to reconcile non-trivial absence of overlap between “what we technically proposed” and “what we told the members we were going to do to get them to fork over,” it seems to me that the latter should carry a great deal of weight.

  14. George Phillies

    @17 You are completely right on this one, Scott.

    Perhaps the matter should be taken to the Judicial Committee. We do have this stand on fraud, now, don’t we?

  15. Oregon Libertarian

    Is it not obvious that the LNC is going to buy this ‘office space’ and sublet parts or most of it out as a means of income for operations.

    Hinkle says “contributed or pledges in excess of $325K.” … that is way below the amount expected. How much is actually in the bank verses pledge needs to be asked.

    Hinkle during his term as chair commented that he was destined to see the membership dwindle.

    And, I just got a letter from the LNC saying that they are bankrupt and need my help. So the membership dwindling down continues.

    Clearly the LNC, INC. has fallen upon hard times. How much of this is due to their own doings, due to the economy or just lack of any real Libertarian victory in over 30 years is questionable.

    So, the issue is about survival at this point.

    Lets look at some points of facts:

    The LNC is not a lobbyists organization, they don’t host events for politicians or media correspondence.

    The LNC is mostly virtual, and its board members meet in the various cities around the USA, not at the LNC HQ.

    Logically thinking, there is no particular reason why the LNC needs a Washington DC office. The LNC could easily operate in a city like Austin Texas or an number of cities for quite a bit less than they are now and benefit with cheaper labor, and local volunteers.

    Logic would decide to move to a city where the organization can stabilize itself and rebuild. Any other course of action than the logical one only will send the organization to certain financial ruin.

  16. Ad Hoc

    “And, I just got a letter from the LNC saying that they are bankrupt and need my help. So the membership dwindling down continues.”

    That’s not true. Membership has been pretty steady for several years, going up and down slightly but hovering around the same level. It is true, however, that the donations don’t always keep up with the spending, so that’s why you get mailings like that one. That’s true of many political, religious and charity organizations that rely on donations and memberships for continued operation expenses.

  17. Andy

    “That’s not true. Membership has been pretty steady for several years, going up and down slightly but hovering around the same level.”

    Membership is down from what it was in the late ’90’s and early 2000’s. Donations are down from then as well.

    “It is true, however, that the donations don’t always keep up with the spending, so that’s why you get mailings like that one.”

    This is one reason that I’ve said that dues should be increased to reflect the fact that inflation has reduced the value of the dollar quite a bit since the dues rates were set (which was like 20 plus years ago).

  18. Andy

    “18 Powell Gammill // Jun 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Ridiculous. There is no need for a National Headquarters. It serves ZERO purpose and would be an insult to David Nolan.”

    Where did David Nolan stand on the National Headquarters question? Did he favor it being in DC? Did he favor that the LP rent an office, or purchase a building or condo or what?

  19. Ad Hoc

    “Membership is down from what it was in the late ’90?s and early 2000?s. Donations are down from then as well. ”

    That’s true. But it’s been roughly stable, with only minor variations, since about 2007 or so.

  20. Ad Hoc

    “Ridiculous. There is no need for a National Headquarters. It serves ZERO purpose and would be an insult to David Nolan.”

    That should be a colon, not a period, after “Ridiculous.” Mind you, I’m usually a grammar liberal, probably at least in part because I make a lot of typos myself.

  21. Steven Wilson

    I think Starchild’s assessment of a functional space are the most important.

    The idea of Building or condo is too simple and it has been exhausted here. The main point for me is

    “What is the utility of the office?”

    Starchild points out many scenarios that a political party might engage. From recruitment to meetings, the office must meet certain requirements beyond an address.

    If it is going to be rushed, then it will not go well. This LNC should pay attention to Las Vegas and the cleansing that took place before they force the few money people they have left to deal with another embarrassment. The LP should be homeless rather than look a fool.

    Starchild and Vohra seem to be the only common sense people on the LNC.

  22. Oregon Libertarian

    Steven Wilson

    The LNC has no authority with the State Affiliates and absolutely no control over any State Ballot Access. All they can do is vote to disaffiliate for cause. And even if that comes to pass, it would no nothing to solve any situation in Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington State and a few others that are having issues.

    The LNC should have an office, that is not debatable, though the size and location of that office can be. Owning a building where parts can be rented out and a consistent income generated would be the ideal, though might not be reality. I don’t find any fault with the LNC board members in trying to survive, however survival of the LNC is most likely NOT the agenda of most Libertarians, they are just fighting to survive the oppressive government in their own neck of the woods.

    The LNC is not Mother and Father to the Libertarians as some in their midst might believe they are. The LNC servers one Primary function and one secondary function: To hold a national Presidential nomination convention , and to be a hub of resource sharing. Anything out side of those two functions is way beyond their scope and reach. We are for limited Government right?

    And for Ad Hoc, George Phillies quite often reports the membership numbers on his newsletter and website http://www.libertyforamerica.com.

  23. Mark Axinn

    I am glad the LNC is not buying an entire building with the concomitant maintenance obligations. I have represented many owners of commercial condominium units, and they have all made money on their investments.

    Also, I am pleased the space will not be named for David Nolan who was no friend of my state and a clear opponent of ballot access funding, the single most important thing LNC can finance.

  24. George Phillies

    @29 Not to be disagreeable, Mark, but why do you think that the 2% of a building will not be named after Nolan?

    While it is interesting to discuss renting, there are serious problems with that approach. You can’t rent to a corporation…they cannot pay you. Many people, e.g., M.D.s, are personal corporations. Same problem.

    If finances change and you want to sell, you are about to discover that there are again some serious challenges. I had urged that the LNC check with their FEC review person and get details right.

  25. Ad Hoc

    Oregon Libertarian

    Yes, I read the Phillies newsletter every month and have other sources for membership numbers as well. And just as I said, there has been only minor variation, and in both direction, since around 2007. There’s no collapse happening. If you have been in the party, or any number of other organizations, for a while, “sky is falling” fundraising appeals are unfortunately nothing new.

    I haven’t heard of a problem in Washington State as far as I can remember. Latest news I remember seeing from there was very positive. Tell me more.

  26. Ad Hoc

    “I am glad the LNC is not buying an entire building with the concomitant maintenance obligations. I have represented many owners of commercial condominium units, and they have all made money on their investments.”

    Good point!

  27. Mark Axinn

    George @ 30–

    You are correct; the LP suite could be named for Nolan, although I hope it isn’t and instead named Libertarian Party Headquarters which would be more meaningful to the public.

    Commercial leases to corporations (or these days LLC’s) usually require limited personal guaranties (“good guy” guaranty is common here which means that the guaranty only terminates if all rent and other fees are paid when possession is surrendered; i.e., the tenant’s principal is a good guy and does not stick the Landlord for rent and an empty shell to go after).

    The absolute worst tenant is a foreign embassy or consulate which has sovereign immunity and cannot be sued for eviction or unpaid rent in our courts. If a client insists on renting to n one of them, I insist on getting a tremendous security deposit.

  28. paulie

    Arvin Vohra on LNC list:

    Hi All – Just getting caught up here. In my view, the new location is a bit too far away from DC, as a few others have pointed out. The advantage would be solely saving money, assuming it does that.

    If we’re trying to build a DC based hub of liberty, this is probably not the best location. If we are looking for just a reasonably active city, then this area is just as good as Austin, Cleveland, and a thousand others.

    If we just want the “prestige” of a DC-area location, this probably suffices.

    Final note: more and more of what we do is online and remote. How often do we do media interviews in the current office, or use it for anything other than a general workspace?

    If this meets the demands of those donors who paid for it, then I suppose there is no real issue. It’s dramatically different from what I’d advise, though. -Arvin

  29. paulie

    Brett Pojunis on LNC list:

    LNC,

    Financially, it makes sense to own versus rent and it is a good business decision. We are acquiring an asset on our books and money has been allocated from donors specifically for this project. The board has voted on this already. I would hesitate to refer to this as a building, but rather an office as we do not want to be accused of misrepresentation to the donors. Lastly, I think it is great there are some individuals on this board who are motivated to make this happen. When people are motivate they get things done and I will not get in their way.

    However, I would put less emphasis on where the office is located as we currently do not utilize our current D.C. address to its potential. I would also find a location we can move into immediately and view it as a stepping stone to a much larger and actual building. I would suggest that we focus on obtaining more square footage then prestige at this time so we have more space for people to work. If we do our job the LP will experience significant growth over the next few years and our base of donors will certainly increase. When we demonstrate to our membership that we are serious about influencing public policy and we get Libertarians elected across the country in local races, then we should be able to raise all the money we desire. Our goal should be to out grow this location as soon as possible and eventually move in here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPG

    Please figure out the building situation so we can move on to more pressing matters as it would be a shame if this LNC is remembered only for securing a “building” and nothing else.

  30. paulie

    Dave Blau on LNC list:

    I agree that we have been a bit lax informing the donors that we were investigating an office condo, rather than a full building. Since I’m the head of the “building fund”, that’s my mistake.

    The fund was started to find us a permanent home that we would own, rather than rent, and it was contemplated that we would look at both buildings and office condos. I’m pretty sure that this has always been the case. We all know what we’ve been up to. However, “The Building And/Or Office Condo And/Or Evacuate The Watergate Fund” takes too long to say, and even the committee has been lax internally with what we’ve called it. It looks like that imprecision crept into the fundraising letters, and while it wasn’t intentionally deceptive, we could and should have done a better job. Nobody’s perfect; my bad.

    Be that as it may, I don’t think our donors are particularly misinformed as to what’s going on and why we are asking for their money. I would expect that, as the amount of the donation increases, the donors will and have taken more of an effort to understand exactly what they’re funding. I sure as hell do when I give my hard-earned money to someone. So it’s not a surprise that I haven’t heard any negative feedback from actual donors. The damage caused, if it even exists, is minimal, notwithstanding those who didn’t donate and who are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. If anyone who actually gave money to the project feels they were duped, they can feel free to send an email to David.Blau@lp.org and I’ll be happy to refund them their money immediately. My own $5k matching pledge still stands.

    As for being remembered “only” for buying a building for the Party: if all I’m ever remembered for is the new office, I’ll be happy with my legacy. Because I did something instead of just talking about it. Something that will save our members north of $60,000 per year (maybe as much as $75,000) that we can use to support our affiliates. Something that will serve our party forever. If you want to curse me with “only” that, I’ll take it any day.

  31. paulie

    Mark Hinkle again:

    Arvin,

    According to Mapquest, 1101 King Street is 7.70 miles from our current HQ.

    Perhaps it’s my perspective as a Californian that we think of nothing about driving 30 miles to attend a LP meeting (one way).

    But, 7.7 miles seems a very short distance to me. And it’s 2-3 blocks from a Metro Station.

    BTW, there are many benefits for NOT having an office in DC: lower costs, fewer restrictive labor laws, better gun rights in Virginia.

    There are thousands of non-profits in Alexandria, VA because the space is available, the costs reasonable, and it’s a decent and safe place to be.

    And as we all know, DC is NOT a safe place to be!

    FYI………………….Mark Hinkle,
    LNC At-Large & Retired LP Chair

  32. Michael H. Wilson

    re 28. What’s up with Washington State? I live here and sure would like to know.

    Thanks,

    Michael H. Wilson; editor Washington Libertarian and SEC representative

  33. Starchild

    Thank you New Federalist @1, George Phillies @3, Mike Kane @8, Thomas Knapp @9, and Steven Wilson @27 for your supportive remarks on my message.

    I also appreciate Jill Pyeatt’s comment @7 (I was not particularly happy with the way the California LP’s office move was handled either), and Powell Gammill’s perspective @18. (Powell, I think that *done right*, a serious activist workspace, libertarian community center and national base of operations could be a real asset to us. The problem is that we are, imho, far from getting it right.)

    Dave Blau writes (as reported by Paulie Frankel @36), that “…we have been a bit lax informing the donors that we were investigating an office condo, rather than a full building. Since I’m the head of the ‘building fund’, that’s my mistake.”

    It isn’t just the donors who weren’t informed that the building committee’s investigations were focused on buying an office condo rather than an actual building — the LNC wasn’t informed of this either, unless I somehow missed it. I spoke out in favor of making the search process more transparent and inclusive, but my remarks were ignored by the LNC majority who voted to kick the decision-making upstairs. Now they have a situation.

    I don’t think it’s good enough to simply offer any building fund donor who takes the initiative to contact Dave the ability to get their donation refunded if they choose, although I commend him for making that first step. If we go ahead with this purchase, I think there should be a formal letter of apology sent to all the building fund donors, informing them of this option.

    And if we do buy these offices, I think it should explicitly be a temporary move. From what I can tell, the space does not have the characteristics that would give it the functionality we ought to be looking for. Steven Wilson @27 is right, imho, that the main question we need to focus on, along with affordability, is “What is the utility of the office?”

    That utility should be evaluated in terms of facilitating activism and grassroots organizing as well as our basic membership and organizational housekeeping needs, reducing storage and meeting costs, and creating a space that all LP members will feel belongs to them — a place where they are welcome to stop in, make themselves at home, bond, network, and engage in practical volunteer work for freedom!

    A national HQ space should not be evaluated in terms of the party’s prestige, professional image, etc. Worrying about that sort of thing is the province of the inside-the-beltway crowd who are mainly focused on money, power, and careers. It distracts us from our mission. As a wise person once said (and I paraphrase, because I don’t have the quote or its author at hand):

    “Revolutions are not created by mobilizing the comfortable and the well to do.” We ought to be the champions of the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalized, the victims of government oppression. As we know, there is no shortage of such victims!

    If we make it clear that we care about these folks (who of course include many who are already LP members or hold libertarian views) and their struggles, and consistently speak out on their behalf, they will come to understand that the libertarian approach advocated by our party is more fair, just, and compassionate than the statist quo. Then their disaffection and discontent will be channeled into helping us fight for freedom.

    Burying our operations in a corporate office building is not likely to further this approach. A crumbling warehouse building in a less upscale part of town would be more suitable, if it offered sufficient (a) accessibility, (b) space to get stuff done, and (c) visibility to make our presence seen, at an affordable cost. It would give us more street credibility and authenticity with the emerging generations who are more libertarian-leaning, and ripe for our message. They are less likely to hear that message if the way we do business makes us look like just another suit-and-tie D.C. political group.

    Love & Liberty,
    ((( starchild )))
    At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

  34. Michael H. Wilson

    We ought to be the champions of the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalized, the victims of government oppression. As we know, there is no shortage of such victims!

    Absolutely!

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth David Blau,

    “I don’t think our donors are particularly misinformed as to what’s going on and why we are asking for their money. ”

    If that’s what you don’t think, then I agree that what you are doing isn’t thinking.

    If the donors aren’t misinformed, it’s because they went out of their way to look behind the fundraising letters they got, which repeatedly stated that the money was being raised to buy a building, with various elaborations (e.g. that it would be named the David Nolan Memorial Building).

    That may have been a matter of poor communications skills, or of unclear thinking, but at the end of the day, either you buy a building with the money or you lied to the donors.

  36. Starchild

    A few additional comments, in response to LNC at-large representative Mark Hinkle’s message as reported by Paulie @4:

    If the way the LNC goes about looking for convention spaces and rooms in which to hold its meetings is any indication, chances are the building committee has not been looking at the range of options that they ought to be considering.

    I suspect this is a major reason why Mark thinks there are “few properties for sale in our size and price range” — too many that are available simply don’t meet his upscale standards.

    As for making a lifesize Nolan Chart part of our new headquarters (which I think we’d do better to call the more news-quotable “Nolan Center” rather than the mouthful “David F. Nolan Building”), it would not have to be on the roof. It could be in a large interior space, or an outside space such as a yard or parking lot. I mentioned the roof in the case of the King Street building because it does not appear to have open space around it.

    In any case, doing things on rooftops does not create impossible liability issues, and there is no reason we could not take steps that would make anyone falling off the edge very unlikely.

    Mark and I have indeed previously been over his argument that the number of donors who’ve given to the building fund somehow invalidates any notion that we might be going about this project the wrong way.

    As I’ve pointed out:

    • Building fund donors were not given a variety of different projects to choose from, as per the crowdfunding approach, when deciding whether or not to contribute — they were given only one choice.

    • The fact that they chose to donate to that project as presented to them does not necessarily mean they wouldn’t have donated even more to some other project, had they been allowed to choose.

    • The fact that a number of Libertarians have donated to the project, in response to a long campaign of phone calling, emails, and direct mail, does not mean that the membership as a whole necessarily supports the project, or thinks it is the best approach we could be taking with regard to a national office.

    • There has been no poll of the membership on the building issue. Obviously this is a major decision for the party, and I have suggested such a poll be conducted — like the poll that Mark Hinkle conducted when he was chair last year, asking LP members about their views on listing candidates for the LP’s presidential nomination on our website, LP.org (a plurality wanted all of them included, as Mark and I both favored). In this case, however, Mark does not seem to have any interest in such a poll. Perhaps he fears what it might reveal.

    Love & Liberty,
    ((( starchild )))
    At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

  37. Starchild

    One more addendum. In my message to the LNC as reported for this article by Krzystof (thanks, Krzystof!), I wrote “see below” with regard to the idea of a lifesize Nolan Chart, because I had intended to append my original post talking about that idea.

    However I forgot to do so and ended up posting it as a separate message. Here is that message (slightly edited for grammar):

    David Nolan was a principled man who dedicated a good part of his life to the Libertarian Party and the cause of freedom. I believe he would agree that memorializing/celebrating the top thing he contributed to our movement and is famous for, the Nolan Chart, would be more fitting, and do more for the cause, than just memorializing him as an individual.

    * * *

    What I propose is a life-size Nolan Chart at our new building. If the building has a large, flat roof that could be walked on, having it on the roof could be an excellent use of space and perhaps even provide a stunning backdrop depending on the location. However any dedicated large flat indoor or outdoor space could potentially work. The chart should be large enough for people to stand on its map points with enough space between them to easily see who’s standing where.

    A larger space would definitely be better. If it were big enough, many people could stand on each point at the same time, making it conducive to larger groups of people taking the quiz simultaneously. That would of course help attract large groups, and make the experience more fun for them. The larger and more impressive the quiz appears, the more enticing and newsworthy it would become. (The only caveat being we would not want to make it so large as to make it a significant deterrent to people walking its length!)

    Tourists, high school kids (including homeschoolers, of course), or even college students learning about civics could be invited to “Come visit the Nolan Center and take the Quiz!”, as well as (L)ibertarians bringing their friends, family, and acquaintances. The experience could perhaps be led by volunteer Libertarian docents, with staff filling in to do the honors in a pinch. Or if it could be arranged, perhaps the Advocates for Self-Government would be interested in staffing and administering the quiz. I’m sure they’d be interested in the project, and hopefully supportive.

    Visitors taking the quiz would be assembled just below the 0/0 point (the corner of the authoritarian/statist quadrant) and read the questions one at a time (perhaps by someone with a microphone), alternating between economic freedom and civil liberties questions. Those answering “yes, you should choose” to a civil liberties question would walk two points forward to the left, those answering “maybe/unsure” would walk one point forward to the left, and those answering “no, the government should decide” wouldn’t move. To an economic freedom question, those answering “yes, you should choose” would walk two points forward to the right, those answering “maybe/unsure” would walk one point forward to the right, and those answering “no, the government should decide” would stay put.

    Dignitaries visiting LP headquarters could also be invited to “take the quiz”, which could be videotaped and photographed for the record, with still shots of the person standing on their score when finished, perhaps given a placard with their score on it (e.g. 40/40) to hold. Taking these digital photos should be done for all visitors, unless a visitor refuses, since those willing to give us an email address could have their photos emailed to them, and some people would post the photos on social network sites and such, creating added publicity for the LP and the Nolan Chart.

    Displayed nearby could be photos (preferably signed) of famous people who’d taken the quiz, the dates they took it, and how they scored. Maybe include a photo and bio of David Nolan or a plaque about the history of the Quiz?

    Of course visitors to the Nolan Center could be given tours of our headquarters at the same time, including the opportunity to buy “I Took the Quiz!” type souvenirs and packets of Nolan Chart quizzes from our store, along with the other usual Libertarian promotional items and gear we have for sale. Anyone scoring on the top half of the chart (wanting more freedom, overall) should be invited to join the LP on the spot, which I suspect could be a definite boon to our membership numbers. No one taking the Quiz should leave without the opportunity to take some party literature and swag with them.

    Love & Liberty,
    ((( starchild )))
    At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee
    (415) 625-FREE

  38. Oranje Mike

    Why the fetish with having a “building” in the DC area? What purpose will it serve other than helping the LNC feel like DC insiders?

    Why not rent a cheaper office in Phoenix or Indianapolis or Tampa or Butte? Why does it have to be in the DC area?

    The money would be better spent getting the LP on the ballot in all 50 states.

  39. NewFederalist

    OM @ 44… past discussions of your point seem to indicate that the HQ moved from DC to Houston in the 80’s but the move is blamed for a drop in membership, contributions and media. I don’t know if that is true but that is what has been discussed in past threads.

  40. Ad Hoc

    It’s true. “LP abandons DC, admits it will never have any power” is not a good message to send the media, general public, donors, etc. And the idea that the money could be spent on anything else is arrogant and wrong. It is specific money that was specifically donated to this project and this project only. The party does plenty of general purpose fundraising, so people who want(ed) to donate to other things have plenty of opportunity to do so. This is not take away from any other project. It does save rent money though.

  41. Starchild

    “Ad Hoc”@46 – I am not opposed to having an office in the D.C. area, but choosing to locate elsewhere is hardly the same thing as giving up the fight for freedom. (It is a fight for freedom, not a fight for power, btw!)

    I’m also skeptical that moving the office to Houston is what caused a drop in support. My dad (a dyed-in-the-wool conservative!) used to have a rule that he wouldn’t contribute to any organization whose headquarters was based in D.C.!

    I agree with you however that money raised for a specific purpose should be spent for that purpose — or returned to the donors, unless they consent to have it used for something else.

  42. Ad Hoc

    Yes it’s a fight for freedom. And that freedom can only be done by taking the power from those who have it already. That power is in DC, and so that’s where the national headquarters should be. Even in Lord of the Rings, getting inside the enemy’s compound was a necessary step to destroying them. You can be skeptical about the move out of DC hurting the party, but other people who were there say that it did.

    Also, if it was not in DC it would be a political football between state parties. Indiana and Texas would fight it out one LNC term, maybe Root will come back and want it in Vegas, maybe Boortz will decide to run the LP and want it in Atlanta. Maybe the California party will become strong again and want in LA. And so on. How many times will it move from city to city so some state or region can demonstrate it is top dog?

    Of course the office should be in the DC area, that is a really silly argument to even have. Political parties that are larger, or aspire to become larger, understand this implicitly. Not to say that we can’t have additional offices in other cities, we can and and should.

  43. Starchild

    “Ad Hoc” – I live in California, but I do not think the party’s national office should be in California. We should be thinking about how best to advance the cause of freedom, not about our parochial interests.

    If the office is not in D.C., the logical place for it in my opinion is either in New Hampshire, home of the Free State Project and arguably the freedom capitol of America right now, or taking the show on the road with a mobile office.

    In your comment @46 to which I responded above, you referred to “hav(ing)” power, not taking it away. I agree with taking power away from those who have it — but by pursuing freedom, not by pursuing power! Pursuing freedom means dispersing power, not hoarding it.

    Here’s what J.R.R. Tolkien himself had to say on the subject:

    “You can make the Ring into an allegory of our own time, if you like: an allegory of the inevitable fate that waits for all attempts to defeat evil power by power.”

  44. Ad Hoc

    “taking the show on the road with a mobile office.”

    How will that work? How many RVs will it take to have enough working, living and storage space? How many employees are interested in living in RVs, or will we be getting them motel rooms every night? What about insurance, wrecks, mechanical repairs, liability and other such issues? Will all the office equipment have to be taken in and out when the RV needs work done? There are many other issues with the RV idea.

    I thought I already addressed “having power” vs. taking it away. To destroy it, first you must get it. It doesn’t go away if you don’t take it away from them first. That means engaging them on their field of battle, which is in DC. So, I understand your concerns, but the only reason we want to have power is to destroy it; and we can only get to be in a position to destroy it by taking it.

  45. George Phillies

    @50 No, the place of power of the opposition is the election booths spread across America, the media outlets spread across America, the internet spread across America. The only places “in DC’ that count are the Federal offices in and near DC, and putting an office next to them has no effect.

  46. George Phillies

    ” That power is in DC, and so that’s where the national headquarters should be.”

    Sorcery does not work.

    “Even in Lord of the Rings, getting inside the enemy’s compound was a necessary step to destroying them.”

    Basing your political strategy on a science fiction novel is unusually silly.

  47. Starchild

    On power — I’m with Tolkien. You don’t have to have power to destroy or disperse it, and seeking to acquire it is corrupting — it attracts people to your organization who are power-hungry. People who want power badly should by no means be allowed to become Libertarian candidates or party leaders.

    Regarding a mobile LP office, obviously there are lots of questions that would need to be addressed. Some of them I think can be answered easily though — no, we wouldn’t want to be paying staff to stay in motels every night, and yes, we would want an arrangement that would allow most vehicle maintenance to be done with minimal disruption to the equipment setup. Looking at how other types of groups take complex operations on the road — mobile science labs, bands that tour with lots of gear, etc. — could be instructive.

    If the LP were to pursue such an approach, I think we would not lack for qualified applicants willing to be paid to travel around the country and live in an RV while working for liberty.

    Key to realizing the potential of this idea is understanding it as not simply figuring out how to pack up our existing office and put it on the road, but rather a complete reimagining of the concept of national LP headquarters. Instead of thinking of an office per se, envision an iconic art vehicle emblazoned with Libertarian messages, a “rolling billboard for liberty”, staffed by a merry band of high-tech and media-savvy activists, speakers, ballot access petitioners and fundraisers capable of deploying to where the action is.

    Perhaps something like Liberty on Tour (see http://libertyontour.com/about/ ), taken to the next level.

  48. Warton Tennyson Fowler

    Why does every thread about the office have to devolve into the worn out, inane and pointless argument about moving out of the DC area? That is not going to happen. The office is in the DC area, it should stay in the DC area for a whole host of reasons that have been explained endlessly, and it WILL stay in the DC area even if you don’t want it to.

    The RV idea is nice, I’d like to see it happen. But it can’t be a substitute for the main office. It’s not like a band where you take the equipment out and set it up on stage; it’s a place where people work every day in the office. It needs a snail mail address, among many other things, so an RV is just not going to replace the national office, sorry.

    And the stuff about not having an office at all and paying a part time stay at home mom is even sillier.

    If you want to discuss the building vs condo question, or Alexandria vs Arlington vs DC proper, those are all legitimate questions, but this stuff is just a sideshow taking over the main stage.

    Enough already!

  49. Steven Wilson

    Just an idea.

    If the LNC was mobile, then we would have Tom Stevens drive while Bob Barr operates as navigator.

    We could then name the closet after Nolan.

    It wouldn’t be an RV, rather a UFO…which would pay for itself. If we stayed in Roswell.

    Puke.

  50. Starchild

    “Warton Tennyson Fowler”@54 – You write, “Why does every thread about the office have to devolve into the worn out, inane and pointless argument about moving out of the DC area?”

    I wasn’t aware that they do, but then I don’t read or recall all the threads on this site. If what you say is true, perhaps this is an indication that a lot of Libertarians would rather the LP relocate its headquarters somewhere other than Washington D.C.

    “That is not going to happen.”
    “The office is in the DC area, it should stay in the DC area… and it WILL stay in the DC area even if you don’t want it to.”

    You’re not Mark Hinkle, are you? This is very much his style of making pronouncements from on high! 🙂

    I do realize that some functions currently handled by the LP national office require a snail-mail address, so you’re probably right that the LP would still want to have some kind of physical brick-and-mortar presence somewhere even if we had a mobile headquarters.

    There are other disadvantages as well, among them the consideration that it could be difficult to create a functional activist workspace capable of hosting large numbers of volunteers aboard even a large RV or two.

    Given a choice of options, I therefore feel a well-placed brick-and-mortar community center and activist workspace in D.C. or New Hampshire might be the best way to go.

    Just not the kind of corporate-sterile office we’ve got now!

  51. Oregon Libertarian

    The LNC has no power. Never had it, and never will. What power it thinks it has is all illusion…its a paper ring of power!

    State Affiliated Parties are autonomous according to the LNC bylaws. Each State Party controls its ballot access that is granted to them from their State Government. The LNC does not control or own any State Ballot Access.

    The LNC presidential/vice presidential nomination is not binding to any State Party Affiliate. An State Affiliate could send delegates who vote, but end up putting someone else as the Libertarian candidate on their state ticket.

    The LNC office could be a boat that sails around the USA for all I care. It could be a traveling circus or totally virtual. It only means something to those people who need it to mean something for their own ends (and all to often it is for their egos and sense of self-importance!)

    In the Lord of the Rings, the power of deception and lies was the true strength of the ring. For if it can get you to believe it has power and authority, then it does have that over those who believe it. That is how religion works, and that is how governments work too. They simply get you to relinquish your own power to them.

    Wake up people! Stop living in a fantasy world…..Your very live depends on your waking up!

  52. George Phillies

    @21 You quote: “Hinkle says “contributed or pledges in excess of $325K.” ”

    Curiously, the LNC’s cash on hand at the end of may was only $315,000. THere must be a few pledges out there. Their income for the month was $100,000 or so.

  53. Andy

    Starchild said: “Given a choice of options, I therefore feel a well-placed brick-and-mortar community center and activist workspace in D.C. or New Hampshire might be the best way to go. ”

    The question is can the LP afford such an office in DC? There are plenty of places in this country where such an office would be cheap, but a lot of people are fixated on the image that having an office in DC creates. Due to this fixation of having an office in DC, even though it may not be rational, the LP may have to have an office in DC just because the image of it appeals to a lot of donors.

  54. Oregon Libertarian

    Questions:
    What specifically is the political work the LNC is engaged in?

    Exactly, how is the LNC benefiting the State Affiliates?

  55. George Phillies

    The DC 2% of an office building is about a million dollars. I infer that haggling is under weigh. Is the 2% of an office building worth a million dollars in extra donations?

  56. Andy

    “George Phillies // Jun 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    The DC 2% of an office building is about a million dollars. I infer that haggling is under weigh. Is the 2% of an office building worth a million dollars in extra donations?”

    This is all about the image of being in DC. It is style over substance. The LP national office could function anywhere in the country, and there are numerous places where a nice building could be purchased for much cheaper than this.

    Is the image of having an office in DC really that important? A lot of people seem to think that it is.

  57. Andy

    What if the LP purchased a house in DC, and converted the house into an office? Are houses so expensive in DC that this would not be feasible? Is there some kind of zoning ordinance in DC that would make this illegal?

  58. Steven Wilson

    The LNC does serve a purpose for the state affiliates. It behaves like competition does in the market device.

    The opportunity cost of the pledges for a building/office/copier would be relative to the expenses of the state parties and their own needs.

    We must assume the donors would pledge the exact or similar amount for the state as they have for the building/office/stapler fund currently underway.

    If the donors pledge amounts are dependent on the unique outcome of a building/office/paperclip, then the amount cannot be carried over into the opportunity cost.

    But for the moment, the LNC is stealing money that could be used for real politics. Whatever that may look like.

  59. Andy

    “George Phillies // Jun 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    @63 They did this two decades ago, more or less.”

    The LP purchased a house in DC and used it as an office? How did that work out? Why did they leave it?

  60. Warton Tennyson Fowler

    perhaps this is an indication that a lot of Libertarians would rather the LP relocate its headquarters somewhere other than Washington D.C.

    I don’t think it’s really a lot, just a few who are obsessed with this terrible idea and can’t help but bring it up anytime anything about the office is said.

    You’re not Mark Hinkle, are you?

    No.

    There are other disadvantages as well, among them the consideration that it could be difficult to create a functional activist workspace capable of hosting large numbers of volunteers aboard even a large RV or two.

    To have equivalent office space, storage space and living space would take a lot more than one or two RVs, maybe more like ten, and you would need backups for when some of them are non-operational.

  61. Warton Tennyson Fowler

    Is the 2% of an office building worth a million dollars in extra donations?

    This question seems to be based on the premise that rent at the Watergate is free. It’s not free, it costs well over 100k per year. The 2% of an office building will get us out from under having to make those payments at all in a few years, and in the meantime will reduce them by 5k/month. It’s already brought in 325k and the plan is to raise the rest as we go, saving even more money as a result.

  62. Warton Tennyson Fowler

    We must assume the donors would pledge the exact or similar amount for the state as they have for the building/office/stapler fund currently underway.

    Why would you assume something so silly?

  63. Warton Tennyson Fowler

    They did this two decades ago, more or less.

    No, the LP has never owned an office.

    The LP purchased a house in DC and used it as an office? How did that work out? Why did they leave it?

    No, the LP never owned an office, it rented one in a bad part of DC and moved because of safety concerns. That neighborhood is not nearly as bad now as it was then.

  64. George Phillies

    No, they did indeed procure a house and using it as an office. Owning is not central. Many universities do this. Houses tend not to be very good offices.

  65. Ad Hoc

    Owning is not central

    We are discussing a building purchase here, so yes, it is.

  66. Waldemar Testarossa Fiumente

    Both @63 and @66 ask specifically about a purchase. In any case, we have now established that a house was used as an office and that it was rented, not purchased.

  67. Starchild

    “Warton Tennyson Fowler” – Are you sure you’re not Mark Hinkle? You sound like someone directly involved with the building fund project, and also someone who has been around as an LP insider for a while:

    “It’s already brought in 325k and the plan is to raise the rest as we go, saving even more money as a result.”

    “No, the LP never owned an office, it rented one in a bad part of DC and moved because of safety concerns.”

    Why are you posting anonymously, if you don’t mind me asking? Are you really saying anything here that’s so controversial or privileged or whatever as to make you concerned about divulging your identity? Just curious.

  68. George Phillies

    @75 “It’s already brought in 325k” That’s larger than the start-of-the-month FEC cash on hand, which is the most recent financial report accessible to most LNC members, based on my sources.

    @76 Clever.

  69. Warton Tennyson Fowler

    Starchild,

    I’ve scanned my comments and I’m not seeing what leads you to believe I have any information that someone who merely reads comments here would not have.

    I’ve neither raised nor contributed any money for the building fund. I do think it’s a good idea, and may be donating in the future, depending on my finances and a number of other things.

    I don’t know why you assume I am posting anonymously. This may be my real name, although I’ll grant you it’s an uncommon one, with rather suspicious initials.

    And if I am posting anonymously, there are many other reasons to do so other than saying something privileged; maybe my job doesn’t allow me to comment here at all, or maybe I know some other people that read IPR and don’t want them popping up in instant messages or texts or calls on my phone, etc. Maybe I have a stalker and don’t want to give them another place to stalk me after searching for my name online. Maybe I just don’t want the argument to be about personalities. There are all kinds of other possible reasons.

    George,

    325k includes pledges, as has already been established earlier in the thread.

    Regards,

    Warton

  70. George Phillies

    Starchild Motion for LNC on the Condo Purchase:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Whereas it is important that the Libertarian Party act with integrity and fulfill any promises made in fundraising appeals to donors concerning how their donations will be spent, and

    Whereas donors have a right to expect this of the Libertarian Party when making donations to the party, and

    Whereas LP secretary David Blau as head of the building fund has acknowledged the “mistake” of having been “a bit lax informing the donors that we were investigating an office condo, rather than a full building”, and

    Whereas fundraising appeals for the project to purchase a new LP headquarters building repeatedly referred to purchasing a building, rather than only purchasing space in a building, examples of which language can be seen in the fundraising letter published at https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/04/libertarian-party-put-your-name-on-the-david-nolan-memorial-building/;

    Therefore if the Libertarian Party purchases the office space at 1101 King Street #160, in Alexandria, Virginia, which the Executive Committee voted to authorize the Building Committee to enter into negotiations concerning, or any other office space not comprising an entire building, the committee in charge of the building fund shall send all donors to this fund, by email or printed letter, a written explanation and apology for using the funds to buy a part of a building, rather than an entire building as was repeatedly described in fundraising letters seeking donations for the project. This letter shall ask each donor to send an email to LP secretary and building fund point man David Blau (secretary@lp.org), stating the donor’s preference that his or her donation be (a) spent on office space in a building purchased under the authorization of the LNC in lieu of actually buying a building, (b) refunded, in which case a full refund shall be issued to that donor as soon as reasonably possible, or (c) put toward another Libertarian Party budget item of the donor’s choice, which should be specified in the donor’s email to the secretary; and inform them that if they have any further questions or concerns about the project to purchase a new office or how their donation is being handled they are welcome to contact one of their LNC representatives (listed at http://www.lp.org/lnc-leadership).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I am seeking co-sponsors for this motion, and urge all my fellow representatives and alternates on the Libertarian National Committee to reply to this email as co-sponsors. Let us not dishonor David Nolan’s memory by giving even the appearance of raising under false pretenses money to be used toward purchasing a space to be dedicated to him.”

    END QUOTE

    Starchild needs four LNC members to support him in his motion. He counts as one of the four.

  71. George Phillies

    Andy’s original question was “What if the LP purchased a house in DC, and converted the house into an office? Are houses so expensive in DC that this would not be feasible? Is there some kind of zoning ordinance in DC that would make this illegal?”

    I noted that the LNC had had a house in DC, a decade and a half ago. Up to changes in local ordinances, that unambiguously answers Andy’s last question, namely it was done, so it was likely adequately legal. A representative complication is that in some places the property tax rates may be very different for residential and commercial properties. On the other hand. it was at the time reported that the property was residential, in that one of the party’s employees lived there, a wise security precaution even though the lack of neighborhood safety was modestly exaggerated. The body was not found on our property.

    In period, the 100-120 month approximation for rental and purchase (which I have heard as “approximately, things work for commercial property absent special circumstances if the purchase price is 100 months rent, give or take”) implies that the LNC could in period have afforded or purchase a similar house.

  72. George Phillies

    Also, with respect to the new Starchild motion (#79 in these comments), Dave Blau was not on the LNC for most of the time during which this purchase issue was underway, and appears to have believed the false claims of others that “a bit lax informing the donors that we were investigating an office condo, rather than a full building”.

    There has never been any mention by the LNC that an office condo was under investigation.

  73. Andy

    George Phillies said: “I noted that the LNC had had a house in DC, a decade and a half ago. Up to changes in local ordinances, that unambiguously answers Andy’s last question, namely it was done, so it was likely adequately legal. A representative complication is that in some places the property tax rates may be very different for residential and commercial properties. On the other hand. it was at the time reported that the property was residential, in that one of the party’s employees lived there, a wise security precaution even though the lack of neighborhood safety was modestly exaggerated. The body was not found on our property.”

    Now that you mention it, I remember somebody showing me a picture of LP headquarters in DC from the early ’90’s (I think), and it did look like a house. I think it was one of those brick row houses in DC. I assume that the party rented it.

    If the office could be in a house, assuming that it is within budget, this may not be a bad idea. If there are extra bedrooms, perhaps staff members could live there, and this could be a part of their incentive package to take the job. Extra bed rooms could also be used for visiting Libertarians, such as candidates, LNC members, petitioners, or anyone else who is in town for LP business.

  74. Starchild

    LP chair Geoff Neale is trying to rule my motion @79 above out of order on the grounds that it contains argument and the LNC Policy Manual does not allow motions to be accompanied by argument.

    I disagreed, as this would appear to limit the LNC’s ability to vote on and resolutions. Geoff responded that “it could very well be that it is impossible to pass a mail ballot for a resolution”(!)

    In response to that, I noted that the Bylaws (which take precedence over the Policy Manual) state (in Article 8, Section 10 — http://www.lp.org/files/2012%20LP%20Bylaws%20and%20Convention%20Rules%20w%202012%20JC%20Rules.pdf ) that:

    “The Secretary shall send out electronic ballots on any question submitted by the Chair or cosponsored by at least 1/5 of the members of the Committee.”

    “Any question” would obviously include resolutions as well as other types of motions.

    No word back on that yet from Geoff, but Chuck Moulton and Scott Lieberman are both saying that resolution is not debate, but just a formal way of making a motion.

  75. paulie

    But that still means you have to get a vote to overrule the chair, correct? (just got back from work, haven’t checked email yet)

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