LNC Moves Forward on Buying a Building

Sent to IPR by Chuck Moulton

This is a draft of minutes from a conference call to discuss buying this building by The National Libertarian Executive Committee

The meeting was called to order at 9:10 PM (all times Eastern) to discuss whether to enter into formal negotiations to purchase an office suite at 1101 King Street in Alexandria, VA to serve as the National Headquarters.

Executive Committee members in attendance: Geoff Neale (chair), Lee Wrights (vice-chair), Tim Hagan (treasurer), David Blau (secretary), Bill Redpath (at large), Dan Weiner (region 4), Jim Lark (region 5s). Other LNC members listening: Michael Cloud (at large), Mark Hinkle (at large), Gary Johnson (region 7), Scott Spencer (region 5s alternate). Non-LNC members listening: Carla Howell (LP executive director), Robert Kraus (LP operations director), Mark Teitelbaum and Matt Garcell (CBRE, our real estate agents).

Mr. Blau read the roster of attendees. Mr. Neale admonished the group that discussions of specific dollar amounts or other negotiating positions should remain confidential. Mr. Blau moved:

To authorize

• executing a letter of intent to proceed with negotiations for 1101 King Street, Suite 160 in Alexandria, VA;
• preparing notice to the Watergate to exercise our 6 month exit clause; and
• obtaining a mortgage.

Mr. Neale stated his belief that the purchase cost projection presented to the EC prior to the meeting are within the bounds of the office purchase motion passed by the entire LNC. Mr. Wiener asked whether we had money to purchase the building, to which Mr. Kraus stated our current segregated cash on hand and pledge amounts. Mr. Neale announced that Mr. Johnson had donated to fund a room in the space, to which Mr. Johnson noted that the check was in the mail. Mr. Kraus reported that our interest rate will likely be even better than his initial projection, based on his talks with banks. There was no objection to the financials.

Mr. Neale then asked whether this building is one that we would like to occupy. Those attendees who had toured the building and the suite described what they saw. Mr. Cloud stated that the space would be great for fundraising. Mr. Wiener asked questions about elevator access to the space, and exterior signage. Wheelchair access is available to the first and third floors, and there is access to the second floor through the garage. We should be able to have an exterior awning, and a plaque on the streetlevel access door. Dr. Lark asked how many other organizations own space in the building, to which Mr.Teitelbaum stated that the building is 70% owned by Southern Management, 30% privately owned. The management company controls the building. Mr. Wrights asked whether our counsel would be drafting the letter of intent, to which Mr. Neale stated that the letter had been drawn up and would be reviewed
by counsel.

Mr. Wrights moved to call the question. Dr. Lark objected, and asked the extent to which our operations might be impacted by the 70% owner, and what terms should go into the contract to protect us. Dr. Lark suggested that Bill Hall might assist us in this regard. Mr. Neale will ask Mr. Hall to review the documents. Mr. Wiener asked about the timeline for moving into the proposed space. Mr. Teitelbaum reviewed the terms of the draft letter of intent, which includes several provisions that address this question. During the course of the review, Ms. Kirkland (region 2) joined the call. Mr. Hinkle asked whether there were any current tenants; Mr. Kraus stated that there were, but noted that they could be easily relocated.

Mr. Wrights moved to call the question. Dr. Lark objected, and asked whether it would be possible to obtain additional space within the building at a good marginal cost. Mr. Teitelbaum responded that he had asked his associate to check just before the meeting, but does not expect there to be anything else available. Mr. Kraus confirmed this suspicion. Mr. Garcell stated that another owner in the building was offering 20,000 square feet for $5.8M.

Mr. Wrights moved to call the question, and Mr. Wiener seconded. There was no objection to calling the question. Mr. Blau repeated the main motion.

Roll call vote on the main motion:

Voting yes: Blau, Hagan, Lark, Neale, Redpath, Wiener, Wrights.

Mr. Blau announced seven yes votes, zero no votes, and zero abstentions. Mr. Neale stated that the motion passed, and announced that he would be at the site June 24-25 to view the space himself. Mr. Redpath and Dr. Lark expressed their interest in viewing the suite at that time, should schedules permit. Dr. Lark moved to have the EC express its formal appreciation to Mr. Blau for his work driving the building fund forward, and to Mr. Johnson for his generous contribution. There was no objection.

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 10:09 PM

204 thoughts on “LNC Moves Forward on Buying a Building

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Interesting bait and switch.

    The funds were raised to buy a “building,” and now they’re to be spent to buy an “office.”

    There’s a difference.

  2. Wes Wagner

    TK @3

    Well at least it gives them more politics to meddle in that is not really relevant to the cause w/ the building coop.

  3. George Phillies

    Bait and Switch? Was a former VP candidate advising on the exercise.

    After 40 years of listening, I note that most friends who have tried them note that things that resemble condos, such as row houses, embody all the bad features of renting and all the bad features of buying. Also, the prices are the least stable.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    Last I checked, condos are less expensive per sq ft purchased and have management companies to handle maintenance.

    My guess is most buildings are too large for the LPHQ except, perhaps, row houses, which are generally quite old and probably are high maintenance.

    Whether this is the optimal way to go, vs. continuing to rent, is an interesting question, but IF buying is the decision, buying a condo makes some sense, all else equal.

  5. Wes Wagner

    I believe the flyer is incorrect… there is no way it could be $22 per square foot 😉 Those are detroit prices!

  6. Robert Capozzi

    gp: “The David Nolan Building” was a bait-and-switch.

    gp: I had no choice but to file a complaint with the FEC.

    me: Same mind.

  7. Daddyfatsax

    Yeah, this is what the national leadership of the libertarian party is for…not getting involved in corruption and abuse of party members by a small group of bridge dwelling troll excom members who can’t be found to respond to multiple bylaw violations. Way to go LP, argue about the way the deck chairs sit on the Titanic. Probably why Gary Johnson is considering running as a GOP. I’m sure it is because we don’t have a building…or a part of a building. Now we are just like the big boys in Washington. Nothing like a business card or name plate to make us official…to hell with what is going on at street level.

  8. Sam Kress

    Actually this is a good move, and I’m glad to see progress being made, but I do hope the problems in Nevada get worked out. I don’t know that the LNC would necessarily make things better by butting in, and even if it does in this case, it helps establish more precedent for future interventions that may be a lot less warranted. Kudos on the office progress!

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    GP @ 7,

    “However, the actual Wiener motion as passed does say ‘purchase an office.'”

    Yes, I see that that’s the case.

    The fundraising appeals, on the other hand … well, here are some excerpts:

    Dear Fellow Libertarian,

    Maybe you’ve already heard the latest news on the Libertarian Party’s new headquarters building.

    The LP is now firmly committed to purchasing a building

    And this building will be named the David F. Nolan Memorial Building.

    Since you are a key supporter of the Party of Principle, you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have your name appear inside this building

    Like every other building, the David F. Nolan Memorial Building

    the opportunities to place your name on this historic building

    For a gift of $25,000 or more you can sponsor one of just five Liberty Rooms at the David F. Nolan Memorial Building.


    a beautiful plaque all its own that will be displayed permanently in the Nolan building.

    an elegant Nolan Building Benefactor of Liberty Plaque to be displayed forever in the Nolan building.

    the leather-bound Nolan Building Defender of Liberty Registry that will be placed in the foyer of the Nolan Building. (No limit.)

    But first we must find the right building

    The David F. Nolan Memorial Building is expected to cost about $1,000,000.

    How purchasing a building benefits the LP — and you!

    By purchasing our own building we expect to start saving about $5,000 a month immediately

    So the motion was to buy an office. But the funds were raised very clearly on the claim that they would be used to buy a building. Not 30% of a building, a building.

  10. George Phillies

    TK: I may be wrong, but I don’t think they are getting 30% of that building. That 30% you correctly quote is something else.

    I knew there was a reason I thought the fundraising was for a building. Thank you for finding some references on the bait part of part and switch.

  11. George Phillies

    Thanks to the miracle of the internet, I find:

    The building itself is about 200,000 square feet.

    There is one listed opening in the building, namely
    Price: $1,275,000
    Unit Size: 3,841 SF
    Price/SF: $331.94

    So we are getting, it would appear, 2% of a building.

    One imagines that the price is going to be negotiated down , bit, or we will be spending

    $1,275,000

    or

    $331.94 per square foot.

  12. David Colborne

    Wait a minute – wouldn’t purchasing a building or otherwise maintaining a presence in Washington DC be an abridgment of the autonomy of the DC affiliate? After all, the LNC is now materially affecting the real estate market in DC, which could cause prices to rise should the DC affiliate require office space. Plus, if people see an LP office in Washington DC, they may get confused regarding its status in relationship to the Washington DC affiliate, further compromising the autonomy of the affiliate.

    We have bylaws to slavishly sacrifice ourselves upon, people!

  13. paulie

    Technically that would be the Virginia affiliate. And while I do appreciate the sarcasm, just in case anyone takes that seriously, no, it will not affect the DC or Virginia real estate market.

  14. Steven Wilson

    I find it funny that with all of the language games being used to buy a building no matter what, that it still has Nolan’s name on it.

    I can’t imagine he would agree to anything the LNC is doing/done in his name.

  15. From Der Sidelines

    So the LNC lied to the membership again and wound up tilting at this windmill again.

    Will they ever learn? Nope.

    Office =/= Building.

    The LNC has an office in the Watergate now. They could do a virtual office instead and be much better off. Or a wrapped RV.

    This is an example of the leadership of the LP which illustrates why they aren’t worth a hill of beans.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    Literalism run amok!

    A person could buy a condo to live in, or as an investment property to rent out. There’s equity in the condo for the owner, but not the renter. The same could be said of a building.

    By all means, though, if a donor feels the shift from building to condo is a dealbreaker, give him or her the donation back.

  17. From Der Sidelines

    Crapozzi is an expert on literalism run amok, even more so than that literalist twerp Holtz.

    In simple terms, if you say you’re gonna do A, you do A, not B.

    That’s not literalism run amok; that’s simple honesty and integrity.

  18. George Phillies

    @20 A national political party committee cannot do a virtual office. There are legal issues involving money handling. However, you might correctly propose that the office could be a tad smaller, or located next to the major credit card company office in Bismarck, North Dakota. The wrapped RV has the problem that when it reaches say, Atlanta, the commute for the staff, who live near DC, will be excessive.

  19. NewFederalist

    I declined to contribute to the “building fund”. If I had I would be really pissed off and want my money back. Why would anyone want to elect Libertarians to political office when they demonstrate that they can lie to their own membership? What would be different about Libertarian office holders? A really huige shame and dishonor on the name.

  20. Wes Wagner

    NF @25

    I have been beating that drum for a while now. The national party leadership are no different than the people they seek to displace. The devolve into the same ethics, cliques and hypocrisy whenever necessary.

    This is why they are not taken seriously.

    I openly invite the leadership of any other state that feels as we do to make it known.

  21. NewFederalist

    What do you propose, Wes? Another party, an attempt to take back the existing LP or something else?

  22. Robert Capozzi

    22 fds: In simple terms, if you say you’re gonna do A, you do A, not B.

    me: You make my point, perhaps unwittingly. When I bought my first house, I wanted a single family. None met my needs, but a duplex did.

    I’m not privy to how this decision has unfolded, but I can imagine that no building fit the LNC’s needs sufficiently in terms of real estate for a national HQ. An office condo might.

    Why that adjustment is hard to fathom is beyond me. Residual A is A-ism might explain it, but there may be others. Outrage when being told there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny? Improper weaning from breast feeding to bottle? A childhood drubbing from a bigger kid after inventing a derisive-yet-pedestrian nickname? Mortification on realizing one’s member is half the size of one’s classmates in the locker room? 😉

  23. Wes Wagner

    NF @28

    In theory if the plurality of states who have their acts together (already have ballot access, are self sufficient, not dependent on the political-string-attached-intra-party-squabble-lnc-bailout-funds, etc.) were to suggest that the national organization should have significant reconstitution and be intransigent about it, the problems could be solved.

    Marc M has a fairly good understanding on what few, but very necessary, activities we need a national organization to do (even if it is federated it can still accomplish these).

    I suspect that path would take less time and ultimately be less disruptive than the past 2 decades of internecine fighting between radicals, pragmatists, statists, opportunists and everyone else for control of the purse and the megaphone.

    All the real assets of this party are in the states and the members. The national organization is not what it tries to make itself out to be and in the process wastes and incredible amount of time, money and people. There are better options.

  24. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 14, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    NF @28

    In theory if the plurality of states who have their acts together (already have ballot access”

    It should be pointed out that some states have much easier ballot access laws than others.

  25. Mark Axinn

    I have represented many owners of commercial condominiums and they have all made money on their investments.

    This eliminates the wasteful rental in the Watergate, and also by-passes the maintenance expenses that would occur if the LP owned an entire building.

    So what if there is no David Nolan Building? Big deal! This way, National LP staff works in an office suite in an attractive building with decent amenities, a good location and the LP has equity for a change.

    This is the best solution I have seen.

  26. Wes Wagner

    Andy @31

    Yes, but those states in which it is not easy, also seem to be highly involved in playing the internal power battle shenanigans with the LNC out of necessity because they need the help and money.

    The system is flawed.

    We need a simpler system with less graft, payola, political backbiting, and BS that ensure that ballot access happens regardless of politics and conventions are not rigged and there is a lot less at stake so rigging them is not important.

  27. Mark Axinn

    Wes @30 and 33–

    I agree that graft, payola, political backbiting and BS have no place in the LP and as we both know, they ran rampart in every organization, the LP being no exception.

    Ballot access is virtually impossible in my state. We have busted our butts for 40 years, and because of Warren’s hard work came really, really close in 2010, but we still don’t have it. I don’t think that means New York doesn’t have its act together, just that the ballot-access bar is higher here (or in PA, OK, NC and many other high petition number states) than it is in others.

    I certainly agree with you that the real assets of the Party are in the states and the members. Without them, the LP would be nothing.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    WW 30: All the real assets of this party are in the states and the members.

    ME: Prolly true. And National has most of the liabilities. Take the lysergic Statement of “Principles,” please, as Exhibit A. 😉

  29. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Andy @31

    Yes, but those states in which it is not easy, also seem to be highly involved in playing the internal power battle shenanigans with the LNC out of necessity because they need the help and money. ”

    OK, I’m going to list some states that have more difficult than average ballot access: Alabama, Oklahoma, Maine (for full party status it is very difficult as it is 29,000 valid signatures; LP national usually just puts the presidential ticket on which takes 4,000 valid signatures), Rhode Island (just getting the presidential ticket on is easy as it is only 1,000 valid signatures, put getting full party status is difficult as it is 24,000 valid signatures).

    I am unaware of any problems from Alabama, Oklahoma, Maine, or Rhode Island.

  30. Wes Wagner

    Andy @36

    Alabama: Hinkle 2 Rutherford 1 NOTA 0
    Oklahoma: Hinkle 5 Rutherford 0 NOTA 0
    Main: Hinkle 1 Rutherford 2 NOTA 0
    Rhode Island: Hinkle 0 Rutherford 1 NOTA 0

    Notice an incumbency advantage?

  31. Andy

    Mark Axinn said: “Ballot access is virtually impossible in my state.”

    New York only requires 15,000 valid signatures to get statewide candidates on the ballot and it is a state with a population of over 18 million people. That is not difficult at all compared to most states. It’s actually pretty easy compared to a lot of other states.

  32. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 14, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Andy @36

    Alabama: Hinkle 2 Rutherford 1 NOTA 0
    Oklahoma: Hinkle 5 Rutherford 0 NOTA 0
    Main: Hinkle 1 Rutherford 2 NOTA 0
    Rhode Island: Hinkle 0 Rutherford 1 NOTA 0

    Notice an incumbency advantage?”

    I’m not sure what you are talking about here. Are these people who voted for Hinkle, Rutherford, or NOTA for the LNC at the last national convention? What does this have to do with the ballot access requirements in these states?

  33. Wes Wagner

    Andy @39

    States that are dependent upon national support “tow the line” … that is just how it is.

    We need to end that perception of dependency. If assistance is not contingent upon fealty and loyalty then people can vote their conscience.

  34. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 14, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Andy @39

    States that are dependent upon national support ‘tow the line’ … that is just how it is.

    We need to end that perception of dependency.”

    I’ve been saying for a long time that the Unified Membership Plan (UMP) ought to be reinstituted (for those of you who don’t know, this was a plan where a portion of membership dues were automatically sent back to the state where the member was located). If state parties had more money then they would not have to go crawling to the national party for money as often.

  35. Andy

    Party dues should also increase due to inflation. Minimum dues ought to go up to $50. The dues were set a long time ago and since then inflation has eroded the value of the minimum dues rate of $25.

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 29,

    —–
    I’m not privy to how this decision has unfolded, but I can imagine that no building fit the LNC’s needs sufficiently in terms of real estate for a national HQ. An office condo might.

    Why that adjustment is hard to fathom is beyond me. Residual A is A-ism might explain it, but there may be others.
    —-

    1) The LNC raised funds on the promise that those funds would be used to buy a building.

    2) The LNC is now using those funds to buy something other than a building.

    Not sure why you are perplexed that some people would find fault with that.

  37. Robert Capozzi

    43 tk, I’m “perplexed that some people would find fault with that” as another example of a paradigm shift, pre and post recovery from Randian Rothbardianism. Although I’m not sure I was so deeply into R/Rism that I would have reacted as some have here.

    This critique has — for me — careened deeply into the FOOLISH consistency terrain. Yes, literally, it did say “building,” and yes, literally, an office condo is not a building.

    Having learned the hard way that perception is reality, I understand your critique. You might consider using it as a launching point to dive radically deep and to question your thought system’s premises. I say that because if you DON’T see this as simply the LNC making an adjustment to their plan — at least see that explanation as a possibility — then you might be missing out on many other, benign ways to view the world.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@44,

    Here’s why I find your perplexity perplexing:

    As you yourself have noted, the population of LP activists is heavily demographically tilted toward people for whom “literal truth” is very important

    Former/pseudo/quasi-Objectivists in particular answer to this description,.

    Even though Rothbardians are Austrian value subjectivists, they still tend to approach problems using formal logic, the application of which is highly dependent upon specificity and facticity of variables.

    If the LP’s members were largely, say, Taoists, maybe the LNC could convince them, or they could convince themselves, that a building is a condo is a stack of pizza boxes is a small blue egg is a fez.

    But for most LP members, a building is a building, and things that aren’t a building, well, aren’t a fucking building.

  39. Robert Capozzi

    45 tk, yes, that’s why I share here on IPR.

    Another former Rothbardian Tyler Cowen was critiquing a point made by one of his GMU college who’s still plugged into the deontological Rothbardian Matrix. Cowen used the term “false precision,” which works for me.

    It’s true enough that a condo is technically not a building. But the point is classic false precision.

    I’m amused that R/R-ites accuse ME of nitpicking! How rich is that?!

    Think of me as the Pied Piper of Originalist L-ism. I challenge the cult of A is A! The chains in your Plato’s Cave are already undone! Take them off and simply walk out into the sunshine! 😉

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @46,

    No, it’s not “classic false precision.”

    “False precision” would be asking for money to buy a scarlet car, and using the money to buy a crimson one instead.

    Asking for money to buy a car and using the money to throw a big pizza party at Chuck E. Cheese’s isn’t “false precision,” it’s just lying.

    One way to distinguish between “false precision” and lying is how consistently the plea is made and what additional points are added to it.

    The LNC’s fundraising pleas didn’t casually/incidentally allude to “a building” once or twice, interspersed between references to “an office.” They alluded to “a building” tens of times in each letter, and even gave it a name — the David Nolan Memorial Building.

    Noticing that they promised one thing and propose to deliver something completely different is not “false precision.”

    Does that mean buying a condo is wrong? No. It just means that the LNC needs (assuming that the LNC cares whether or not it’s engaged in fraud) to consult the donors and see if it’s OK with them if their donations are re-purposed.

  41. George Phillies

    @43 The LNC took a lease with option to cancel on six months notice on their current office. They were under no deadline pressure not to wait.

    Let us however clarify one issue. The LNC as a whole voted to let their ExComm buy something. The LNC ExComm voted to buy the Nolan 2% of a Building.

  42. Michael H. Wilson

    re Andy @ 42. Instead of increasing the dues the LP should get busy and work on improving the retention rate. Based on what little I know if the party had kept just 25% of those who had left since 2000 the membership would be over 45,000 and not 15,000 as it is today.

  43. George Phillies

    @49 …14,000 as it is today. 15,000 counts donor not members. For exact totals see the Starchild Reflector page files.

    National fundraising the past half year has been rather bad. Fundraising is the core responsibilty of the national director.

  44. Michael H. Wilson

    Retention is the one thing that bug my ass the most. There should be a major effort at keeping people involved and there is not.

    How do I know? I let me dues lapse for a six month period and I received a few notices in the mail but no one ever called me on the phone and that tells me a lot.

  45. George Phillies

    @51 Gee, Wes Benedict mentioned that he used to personally call people who lapsed, at least for part oft he time while he was National Director, and it was incredibly effective at getting renewals.

    Now, it is possible to look up how many people lapse each month. It is a significant but not huge number. If you split that calling load up over the entire LNC, you might get some results.

    George

  46. Be Rational

    The LP has rented for years – offices in DC – and rented in the Watergate for years, so this is a small step forward. They should have bought a building – a real building with land (if not a beautiful freestanding showcase, a row house attached to it’s neighbors, run down a bit, less than ideal location, maybe, but an actual building) – and it should have been in DC – not northern Virginia or close by, but the real DC (closer to the Capitol, closer to Cato, even in a less convenient less desireable neighborhood, but in DC); but still, this is still a step forward, albeit a slightly disappointing, less than satisfying step.

    However, the sour taste certainly ends my desire to donate toward the LP building.

    Fighting in OR, fighting in PA, not trying for Ballot Staus in MA, Tom Stevens, the coming and going of Bob Barr, Gary Johnson and the Fair Tax, whinging and infighting among petitioners, the building in DC that morphed into a condo/office in Alexandria VA , the constant nitpicking instead of moving forward, the still dysfunctional National Committee (that should be focused on ballot access, party building, recruitment of members, donors and candidates, PR, advertising, and managing LP resources, to the exclusion of all else) …

    … that’s enough … better things to do with my time and money …

  47. George Phillies

    Your comment about Massachusetts Ballot status does not compute.

    Massachusetts Libertarians have had ballot status continuously since the early 1980s. If you register “Libertarian”, the Secretary of State will include you in a total count of Libertarian registrants. If you want to run for partisan office, are registered Libertarian, and fill out your nominating papers correctly, the line after your name will show your party as “Libertarian”. The ongoing US Senate special election has no effect on ballot access.

  48. From Der Sidelines

    @24: I have yet to see anything in the USC or CFR on such a problem. Unless the FEC is simply pulling stuff out of its ass…

    As for the wrapped RV, it’s essentially a roving billboard, office, and ourtreach tool all rolled into one. That and it can serve an extra duty for the Presidential race, too.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    47 tk: “False precision” would be asking for money to buy a scarlet car, and using the money to buy a crimson one instead.

    Asking for money to buy a car and using the money to throw a big pizza party at Chuck E. Cheese’s isn’t “false precision,” it’s just lying.

    me: Are you kidding? fwiw, switching one’s intent from scarlet to crimson is quite close to changing from a building to part of a building.

    The former are shades of red. The latter are real estate transactions for purposes of buying and operating a national headquarters.

    Now, if they used the building fund to throw a party at Chuck E. Cheese…that’d be a major misrepresentation, agreed.

    Again, are you serious, my brother?

  50. Robert Capozzi

    53 br: … that’s enough … better things to do with my time and money …

    me: I invite you to watch the LP like the TV show BREAKING BAD. Otherwise well-meaning people, wrapped up in their own private dramas, acting out ancient wounds.

    It’s all there…the makings of a first-class tragicomedy. Will Jesse fall off the wagon? Will Phillies narc again? Can Walt keep his double life from his family much longer? Will SCM come up with some convoluted justification for parliamentary overreach? And on and on.

  51. Andy

    “George Phillies // Jun 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    @51 Gee, Wes Benedict mentioned that he used to personally call people who lapsed, at least for part oft he time while he was National Director, and it was incredibly effective at getting renewals.”

    I know that Bob Johnston (who works for LP national) has been tasked with contacting lapsed LP members and getting them to rejoin the party, and he’s done quite a bit of that over the last couple of years or so.

  52. Andy

    While the Libertarian Party is busy arguing about buying a building, and otherwise engaging in a big circle jerk and pussyfooting around, the US government is busy erecting a police state around us and preparing for a financial collapse and martial law.

    U.S. Government Preparing for Collapse (and Not in a Nice Way)

  53. Andy

    Leaked Document: Military Internment Camps in U.S to be Used for Political Dissidents

  54. Andy

    Hey, maybe when we are being hauled off to a concentration camp we can argue about whether or not LP national should have an office in DC, and whether or not a condo is the same thing as a building.

    For those of you who think that this is bullshit or that I’m exaggerating, here’s a link to the document mentioned in the video above about military interment camps:

    http://info.publicintelligence.net/USArmy-InternmentResettlement.pdf

    Want further proof? The Army’s own website has a “help wanted” advertisement for “internment resettlement specialists” which is another way of saying concentration camp guards (kind of like how some janitors refer to themselves a sanitation engineers):

    http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/browse-career-and-job-categories/legal-and-law-enforcement/internment-resettlement-specialist.html

    Hey, the Nazis hired “good, patriotic” Germans to work as concentration camp guards, so why should the good ole US of A be any different as it slips into being a tyrannical police state.

    Is the Libertarian Party and movement ready to stop fucking around so we can maybe actually do something to stop this march into totalitarianism in which we are headed?

  55. Robert Capozzi

    61 A, based on your vid, then, are you proposing the LP disband? In favor of, say, a Coordinating Committee to Blockade Congress and to Facilitate Military Mutiny?

    Politics may indeed be futile. OTOH, it does seem that politics is a means to transmit information and ideology. Extremist politics may or may not be the optimal way to deliver the message of peace and liberty. My guess is, not so much, but, yes, if we’re all gonna get rounded up next month, maybe some hysteria is indicated…

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 56,

    “Are you kidding? fwiw, switching one’s intent from scarlet to crimson is quite close to changing from a building to part of a building.”

    Not even close, although I agree that the analogy between buying a building and throwing a pizza party is a little extreme.

    A more correct analogy would raising money to buy a 2010 Kia mini-van — in my fundraising emphasizing the extended body with extra row of seats, the great air conditioning system, the five-CD-changer stereo and the 6-cylinder engine — then spending the money on a very nice bicycle, with a rear rack, a little bell on the handlebars, etc.

    While it’s true that the two purchases serve very roughly the same purposes (transportation), they are still very much not alike.

  57. Andy

    “Robert Capozzi // Jun 16, 2013 at 4:53 am

    61 A, based on your vid,”

    Those are not “my vids.” I stumbled upon them on YouTube, thought they were good, and decided to post them here.

    “then, are you proposing the LP disband? In favor of, say, a Coordinating Committee to Blockade Congress and to Facilitate Military Mutiny?

    Politics may indeed be futile. OTOH, it does seem that politics is a means to transmit information and ideology.”

    I am not proposing that the Libertarian Party disband, or stop engaging in electoral politics. What I am proposing is that the Libertarian Party stop bullshitting around and get more serious. I’m also proposing that Libertarian Party members start looking to solutions that are outside of electoral politics, and in the course of running Libertarian campaigns point the public toward things that they can do that are outside of electoral politics, such as engaging in jury nullification, using alternative currencies, dropping out of the tax system, purchasing guns & ammo, engaging in mass protests against the Federal Reserve System, and yes, blockading Congress would be nice too. If a Libertarian’s only message when it comes to offering solutions that people can do is, “Vote for me.” or “Vote for us.” then I’d say that they are not being as effective as they could be.

  58. Mike Kane

    The building has to be in the DC metro area.

    I wish it had actually been a building, but it seems like this is at least a small step in the right direction. There’s nothing wrong with building equity if it’s saving you money on the margin.

  59. Andy

    Oh, and for anyone out there who thinks that the Army “internment resettlement specialists” are only for people in countries that are occupied by the US military, think again. The document says that they will collect the Social Security Numbers of those who are being rounded up for internment. They are planning to round up Americans citizens, particularly those of us who are considered to be “political dissidents” (as in people who don’t go along with what the government says).

  60. George Phillies

    It’s no more equity than your house is an investment. If you sell it, you need another one. The one thing it does do is ensure that if the LNC is sued successfully there is real property that can be attached.

  61. paulie

    Office =/= Building.

    The LNC has an office in the Watergate now.

    Owning > renting. And the Watergate sucks.

    They could do a virtual office instead and be much better off. Or a wrapped RV.

    Neither would work for multiple reasons described in past threads.

  62. paulie

    This eliminates the wasteful rental in the Watergate, and also by-passes the maintenance expenses that would occur if the LP owned an entire building.

    So what if there is no David Nolan Building? Big deal! This way, National LP staff works in an office suite in an attractive building with decent amenities, a good location and the LP has equity for a change.

    This is the best solution I have seen.

    I agree.

  63. paulie

    I agree that graft, payola, political backbiting and BS have no place in the LP and as we both know, they ran rampart in every organization, the LP being no exception.

    Ballot access is virtually impossible in my state. We have busted our butts for 40 years, and because of Warren’s hard work came really, really close in 2010, but we still don’t have it. I don’t think that means New York doesn’t have its act together, just that the ballot-access bar is higher here (or in PA, OK, NC and many other high petition number states) than it is in others.

    I certainly agree with you that the real assets of the Party are in the states and the members. Without them, the LP would be nothing.

    Right again!

  64. paulie

    New York only requires 15,000 valid signatures to get statewide candidates on the ballot and it is a state with a population of over 18 million people. That is not difficult at all compared to most states. It’s actually pretty easy compared to a lot of other states.

    Getting 15k valid signatures is a tall order for any state LP regardless of the state’s population. The amount of time and money that takes is beyond what state LPs can muster on their own.

  65. paulie

    I’ve been saying for a long time that the Unified Membership Plan (UMP) ought to be reinstituted (for those of you who don’t know, this was a plan where a portion of membership dues were automatically sent back to the state where the member was located). If state parties had more money then they would not have to go crawling to the national party for money as often.

    I agree.

    Party dues should also increase due to inflation. Minimum dues ought to go up to $50. The dues were set a long time ago and since then inflation has eroded the value of the minimum dues rate of $25.

    Right again.

  66. paulie

    If the LP’s members were largely, say, Taoists,…

    …we would be much better off. Let’s do more things that attract more Taoist and drive literalists away in droves 🙂

  67. paulie

    Instead of increasing the dues the LP should get busy and …

    There are many things I think we need to get busy doing, and most of them cost money. We should probably try harder to convert more annual members to monthly donors, even at $10/month.

    This would also help with retention, since most annual memberships take a proactive action to renew, whereas monthly automatic debits take a proactive action to cancel.

  68. paulie

    WW, MHW @59-60

    Bob has limited time. He does call a lot of people. With guys like you who are much more plugged in, he might have concluded if he ran across your name on the list of calls to make that if you let your membership expire it was for a reason and not because you forgot. As opposed to many people on that list, where no assumption can be made either way because we never hear from them. Or maybe he never made it to that portion of the list yet. I don’t know.

  69. paulie

    While the Libertarian Party is busy arguing about buying a building, and otherwise engaging in a big circle jerk and pussyfooting around, the US government is busy erecting a police state around us and preparing for a financial collapse and martial law.

    There’s only so much the LP can do about that, but what little we can do is enhanced if we don’t keep wasting money on the Watergate office.

  70. paulie

    Is the Libertarian Party and movement ready to stop fucking around so we can maybe actually do something to stop this march into totalitarianism in which we are headed?

    No, we still have mundane organizational problems to deal with no matter what else is happening in the world. So does every other organization, big or small, whether we wish it were otherwise or not.

  71. Robert Capozzi

    75 P: ….drive literalists away in droves

    me: You’re kidding, but it’s not about “driving” anyone away. It’s more about inviting people to challenge their own premises, which near as I can tell doesn’t work too well. This literalistic outrage over the shift from a whole building to part of one is Exhibit A. For the life of me, I don’t see how this is productive or helpful in any way. It seems like petty carping, which I’ve never seen work out, at least in the long run.

    The squeeky wheel gets the rust…..

  72. paulie

    Politics may indeed be futile. OTOH, it does seem that politics is a means to transmit information and ideology.”

    Yes. And how effective we are at that has to do with things such as how much we spend on what kind of office.

    I am not proposing that the Libertarian Party disband, or stop engaging in electoral politics. What I am proposing is that the Libertarian Party stop bullshitting around and get more serious. I’m also proposing that Libertarian Party members start looking to solutions that are outside of electoral politics, and in the course of running Libertarian campaigns point the public toward things that they can do that are outside of electoral politics, such as engaging in jury nullification, using alternative currencies, dropping out of the tax system, purchasing guns & ammo, engaging in mass protests against the Federal Reserve System, and yes, blockading Congress would be nice too. If a Libertarian’s only message when it comes to offering solutions that people can do is, “Vote for me.” or “Vote for us.” then I’d say that they are not being as effective as they could be.

    I’m with that. Making it happen is not as easy, though.

  73. paulie

    The building has to be in the DC metro area.

    Yes.

    RC @80 You’re kidding

    Only partly 🙂

    but it’s not about “driving” anyone away. It’s more about inviting people to challenge their own premises, which near as I can tell doesn’t work too well.

    Yes, which is why we need to change the mix of people involved.

    This literalistic outrage over the shift from a whole building to part of one is Exhibit A. For the life of me, I don’t see how this is productive or helpful in any way. It seems like petty carping, which I’ve never seen work out, at least in the long run.

    The squeeky wheel gets the rust…..

    Exactly.

  74. Andy

    Paulie said: “No, we still have mundane organizational problems to deal with no matter what else is happening in the world”

    The Libertarian Party seems to spend most of its time mundane organizational tasks, debating minutia, infighting, and preaching to the choir. There is not anywhere near enough time and effort put into real world political activism.

  75. Andy

    Paulie said: “Owning > renting. And the Watergate sucks. ”

    I’ve been to the LP’s current Watergate office a couple of times. It is not visible to the general public at all. I’d bet that hardly anybody in DC that does not already follow the Libertarian Party even knows that the LP has an office in DC in the Watergate building.

  76. Andy

    Paulie said: “Getting 15k valid signatures is a tall order for any state LP regardless of the state’s population. The amount of time and money that takes is beyond what state LPs can muster on their own.”

    15,000 valid signatures for statewide candidates in New York is not that difficult a signature requirement when compared to most other states. The toughest part about the requirement in New York is that they’ve only got around 6 weeks to get those signatures, but even so, it is still an easier requirement than what a lot of other states have.

    Also, I think that the LP of NY has actually done it on their own before (as in without assistance from LP national).

  77. paulie

    The Libertarian Party seems to spend most of its time mundane organizational tasks, debating minutia, infighting, and preaching to the choir. There is not anywhere near enough time and effort put into real world political activism.

    I welcome specific suggestions on improving that ratio.

    15,000 valid signatures for statewide candidates in New York is not that difficult a signature requirement when compared to most other states.

    It’s still tremendously difficult when compared with the number of active LP members in NY. As in those who would volunteer petition and/or donate to hire petitioners.

    Also, I think that the LP of NY has actually done it on their own before (as in without assistance from LP national).

    When?

    I’ve been to the LP’s current Watergate office a couple of times. It is not visible to the general public at all. I’d bet that hardly anybody in DC that does not already follow the Libertarian Party even knows that the LP has an office in DC in the Watergate building.

    That’s only a small part of the problems with the Wategate office.

  78. Andy

    Mark Axinn said: “I agree that graft, payola, political backbiting and BS have no place in the LP and as we both know, they ran rampart in every organization, the LP being no exception.”

    Here’s what gets me. I’ve been preaching for years that the Libertarian Party ought to conduct ballot access drives in a more activist oriented manner. That is by having more actual Libertarians going out and collecting the petition signatures, and by arming them with Libertarian outreach material (pamphlets, fliers, DVD’s, etc…) and contact sheets (so they can gather names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers from people whom they encounter in the field who say that they are interested in the Libertarian Party). The activist petitioners could be volunteers, or they could be paid, as in the Libertarian Party ought to do more of its hiring from within the Libertarian Party, or at least from people who are small “l” libertarians (such as they are with Campaign for Liberty, or etc…). The activist petitioners (or field representatives / petitioners) do a better job on average than non-libertarian mercenary petitioners because they will usually have a higher validity rate, plus they will be motivated to engage in actual field outreach during the course of gathering signatures, whereas the mercenary petitioner is only motivated by money and could not give a rat’s ass about the party beyond getting paid. The mercenaries usually get a lower validity rate on their signatures, and there have been more than a few cases of mercenaries intentionally scamming the party out of thousands of dollars (I know that this happened as recently as last year). Some of the mercenaries intentionally go out and misrepresent the petition (as in the lie about what it is), and I even know of some cases where the Libertarian Party hired people who were so stupid or ignorant that they really did not even know what the Libertarian Party is, and in some cases, could not even pronounce the word Libertarian.

    One would think that what I’m talking about would be common sense, as in placing more effort into recruiting actual Libertarians to volunteer to gather petition signatures, or to hire actual Libertarians to gather petition signatures, yet for some bizarre reason, this has not been the case with way the Libertarian Party handles ballot access, and this concept actually seems to fly over the heads of most of the people elected to leadership positions in the party at the national, state, and county levels.

    I have seen LITTLE TO NO EFFORT from anyone elected to a leadership position in the Libertarian Party in YEARS to recruit actual Libertarians to work on ballot access drives. I have brought this up to multiple people in the LP on multiple occasions, and I’m usually met with either blank stares and a “Who cares?” attitude, or something like, “I agree. You are correct.” but then know follow up, and it is back to business as usual.

    I think that some Libertarians take what I’d call the monkey in the zoo approach to ballot access, which is, “Let’s have some monkeys fling their poo at a wall and hope that some of it sticks.”

    A lot of people in the Libertarian Party only see ballot access as “that annoying thing we’ve got to do every couple of years” and don’t really want to think about it beyond that. They treat it like a clogged up toilet. Nobody wants to be the one who unclogs it, they just want to call somebody and hope that the toilet flushes again.

    Ballot access drives are a great way to turn lemons into lemonade. Sure, it is a pain to have to go out and get all of those signatures, but guess what, it is also a great opportunity to spread the Libertarian message to thousands of people, many of whom would otherwise not be exposed to it. If you execute your ballot access drive properly, you should not only get on the ballot, you should also have disseminated a lot of Libertarian information to the public, plus you should have brought in a lot of new people to the party (even if it is just signing them up for the party’s announcement list). If all you accomplished was getting on the ballot, and you ignored the other two things that I just mentioned, then your ballot access drive was not as successful as it could have been.

    I think that it is a damn shame that the Libertarian Party had big petition drives over the last couple of years where there were little or no actual Libertarians who worked on the drives. I’m talking about the ballot access drives in South Dakota, Oklahoma (which is one of the reasons that that drive failed), Pennsylvania (which is the primary reason that that drive turned into such a fiasco), and New York.

    Contrast this with say New Mexico (which was completed in 2010), or North Dakota, where all of the signatures were collected by actual Libertarians. Contrast this in Alabama where the majority of the signatures were collected by actual Libertarians (there were a few non-libertarian mercenaries who worked on the drive, but they were pros who did the job right in that they got good validity). I’d say that at least 85% of the signatures collected for the Libertarian Party in Alabama last year were collected by actual Libertarians. One Libertarian petitioner (the only Libertarian who worked as a paid petitioner in New York that I’m aware of last year) commented at the final petition turn in in Alabama that the petition crew assembled there was the best petition crew he’d ever seen. There was also a lot of Libertarian activism that took place during that petition drive in Alabama, as numerous Libertarian Party pamphlets and fliers were distributed, jury nullification information was distributed, Gary Johnson for President information was distributed, Libertarian Party and Gary Johnson bumper stickers were handed out, plus a lot of contacts were gathered from members of the public who were interested in the Libertarian Party. The validity rate on the signatures collected was high as well. This was an example of the way a Libertarian Party ballot access drive should be run.

    Contrast this with the Libertarian Party petition drives in say Pennsylvania or Oklahoma last year. I’m not aware of any actual Libertarians who worked as paid petitioners in Pennsylvania last year, and the drive was basically a disaster. Little to no Libertarian outreach took place, and the validity rate was very low. The party had to pay for a bunch of signatures that had not been budgeted for to make up for the bad validity, which thankfully got exposed a couple of months before the deadline by a diligent Libertarian activist. Sure, they ended up surviving the challenge, but they barely survived it, and it was only after a great expense in time and money, and stress.

    I’m not saying that the Libertarian Party should never hire non-libertarians to work on petition drives. This may never be possible as there are not always enough Libertarians available to do the work to finish a particular job (on the flip side, there is generally no effort put into finding enough actual Libertarians to finish these jobs either, but this is beside the point), and there are certainly times when it can make economic sense (as in say for instance the Green Party has a crew of petitioners working in a particular state where the LP also has to petition, and say that there is no law that prevents people from signing or carrying both petitions, then it makes sense to offer the LP petition to the people who are working the Green Party petition). However, I do think that the MAJORITY of the work on LP ballot access drives could be done by actual libertarians, acting in both a volunteer capacity and a paid capacity, and I think that this is particularly true of the drives with lower signature requirements and the drives that can legally be started with lots of time to gather the signatures (some states allow a group to start petitioning a year or more before the deadlines).

    So to put this into bullet points:

    1) A greater effort needs to go into recruiting actual Libertarians, as well as small “l” libertarians, to work in both volunteer and paid capacities on ballot access drives.

    2) Libertarians should be encouraged to engage in Libertarian outreach during the course of these drives. Some type of Libertarian outreach material should be made available (even if it is just a card), and contact sheets should be made available (for gathering contact information from members of the public who say that they are interested in the party).

    3) The hiring preferences should go in this order:

    a) Proven Libertarian activist petitioners (Anytime there is a Libertarian Party ballot access drive, actual LIBERTARIANS should be the first ones called, and there should be some actual verification done if there are doubts about whether or not a person is actually a libertarian, because there are some non-libertarian mercenaries who will pretend to be libertarians just so they can get paid).

    b) Proven mercenary petitioners. These people would only get called if enough Libertarians to finish a drive on time could not be found and/or were not available for some reason.

    c) Libertarians who want to try working as petitioners for the first time. Just because somebody is a libertarian, it does not automatically mean they will be a good petitioner, so I while I encourage recruiting libertarians to work as petitioners, I would not rely on new recruits to get a drive done until after they have gone through a trial period where they proved themselves. Once they prove themselves, they get promoted to category a. If you already have people from category a working on the drive, and you want to supplement them with people from category c (as in new libertarian recruits), you can do that before you call people from category b (the proven mercenaries), but if you are in an emergency situation, I would NOT rely on unproven petitioners, even if they are libertarians. Petitioning (as well as voter registration) is deceptively difficult work, and it is not for everybody, so it is not wise to rely on unproven people if you are in a last minute jam.

    d) The last category is unproven mercenaries, particularly those people who are hired “off the street” who have never petitioned before. THIS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER AND SHOUD BE AVOIDED WHENEVER POSSIBLE. I know of cases where mercenaries who do have petitioning experience but who have not worked for the LP before have come in and screwed things up, as in intentionally getting bad validity to “pad their numbers” so they can get paid more money (this happened in Illinois last year), or who have intentionally misrepresented the petition to the public (as in the lied about what the petition was for, or lied about what the Libertarian Party is to the public), but even worse than this is hiring random people off the street who are not libertarians and who have never petitioned before. If this happens on your petition drive, you are just ASKING for trouble. This was a big part of the problem in Pennsylvania last year, as the experienced mercenary contractor who was handed a monopoly (a generally unheard of practice on LP drives) on the petition drive by somebody from LP national, hired a bunch of inexperienced and/or unproven people off of the streets of Philadelphia, none of whom were libertarians or gave a rat’s behind about the party other than as means of making some quick cash, and these people, through a combination of incompetence and in some case outright intentional scamming, brought in a low validity rate and almost caused the drive to fail. Random people hired “off the street” (or out of a classified ad) are usually more trouble than they are worth. Many of them “flake out” and even out of the ones who actually do the job for anything more than a few days, you’ve got to babysit them to make sure they do the job right, and if you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll get burned.

    The Libertarian Party has been around long enough, and the party and movement is large enough, that there is no reason why most of the ballot access work can’t be done by actual libertarians, whether they be volunteers or paid. The Libertarian Party ought to have a merit based system where proven libertarians are put on a “first call” list for work, and then they a supplemented when need be by proven mercenaries and new libertarian recruits who want to try their hand at petitioning.

    Ask yourself this, would you hire say former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean or former Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele to work at the Libertarian Party National office, or would you vote for them to be on the LNC? I’m afraid that there could be some LP members who actually would, but I’d assume and hope that most Libertarians would not, for obvious reasons. I think that most LP members do not want NON-libertarians working at the LP national office, or as members of the LNC or a state committee, or as Libertarian Party candidates. So why should the standard be any different for ballot access work?

    I understand that with the large volume of signatures required that it is not always possible to find enough actual libertarians to get the job done, but I think that if more effort was put into RECRUITING actual libertarians to do the work, and that if my merit based hiring system mentioned above were put into place, that the majority of LP ballot access work could in fact be done by actual libertarians.

    Is this ever actually going to be implemented? I don’t know, I’ve been saying this for years but it has largely fallen on death ears. I actually feel like I should not even have to say it, as it should be common sense and already in practice. It’s a rather sad state of affairs and an example of why the party is not more successful that anybody even has to suggest this.

  79. Andy

    Paulie said: “It’s still tremendously difficult when compared with the number of active LP members in NY. As in those who would volunteer petition and/or donate to hire petitioners.”

    It’s not hard compared to Oklahoma, which has a population of around 3.8 million people and requires 53,000 valid signatures. It’s not hard compared to Alabama, which has a population of around 4.5 million and requires about 45,000 signatures for full party status, and/or to place statewide candidates on the ballot, except for Presidential candidates, which can be put on the ballot as INDEPENDENTS (as in with no party label) with 5,000 signatures, but if a Presidential candidate wants a party label next to their names on the ballot, they need to get 45,000 signatures. It is not hard compared to Illinois which has a population of 12 million and something people and requires 25,ooo signatures in 90 days. It is not hard compared to Pennsylvania, which has a population of 12 million and something people and usually requires between 19,000-25,000 signatures, and note that Pennsylvania has a worse challenge system than New York. I could go on, but I think everyone reading this gets the point.

    So yeah, if you compare the ballot access requirement in New York, it is not as bad as a lot of other states.

    “When?”

    I thought that I’d heard about the LP of NY getting some ballot access drives finished on their own (as in without assistance from LP national) in the past.

  80. Andy

    “but then know follow up, and it is back to business as usual. ”

    Should read no follow up.

  81. Andy

    Americans Elect had to hire all mercenaries to get on the ballot because Americans Elect did not have any activists.

    The Libertarian Party actually does have a large pool of activists, both in the party as well as the greater libertarian movement, so why not take advantage of this by having a greater effort put into recruiting actual libertarians to do most of the ballot access work?

  82. paulie

    So yeah, if you compare the ballot access requirement in New York, it is not as bad as a lot of other states.

    Your comparison is incomplete. Yeah, if you had unlimited resources, 15k valid is obviously easier out of a state A with 10 times the people of state B.

    But, unless State A has 10 times as many LP donors and volunteers as state A, it is not 10 times as easy for them. The number of signatures in either case is small enough that the overall population of the state is only a minor factor, in that there are plenty of people left to ask that have not been asked one way or the other. Yes, a larger population state will also tend to have more busy locations as well. But it’s still not a straight equivalency equation if you are not taking the numbers of LP donors and volunteers into account.

  83. Thomas L. Knapp

    @70,

    “Neither [a virtual office nor an RV] would work for multiple reasons described in past threads.”

    If by “work” you man “make the LNC feel important and prestigious,” you’re right.

    If we’re talking about any other definition of “work,” a DC office is far from a necessity and comes with more disadvantages than advantages.

  84. paulie

    That said, Andy makes many good points @87 albeit in such a long winded fashion that very few if any people will read the whole thing, much less do anything about it.

  85. paulie

    Tom @92

    The part you quoted did not address the location of the office. It stands alone on its own. For example, Phillies, who agrees with you about going outside the DC area, agrees with me on RV and virtual office.

    However, for may reasons discussed elsewhere, I disagree with you on DC area. I don’t feel like going over it again just now.

  86. paulie

    “When?”

    I thought that I’d heard about the LP of NY getting some ballot access drives finished on their own (as in without assistance from LP national) in the past.

    Doesn’t answer my question.

  87. paulie

    The donors decide what they want. It’s really not too complicated. Ask the major donors to this project if they care whether the LP owns or rents, whether they care if it is in the DC area and whether they care if it’s a stand alone building or not. Or ask the fundraisers who have been talking to the donors. Then proceed to fundraise for a better project if you have one in mind.

  88. Robert Capozzi

    66 a: …in the course of running Libertarian campaigns point the public toward things that they can do that are outside of electoral politics…

    me: 2 critiques from me:

    1) Pointing to things outside of an election diffuses the candidate’s message. A voter may wonder whether the candidate is serious, or just using the (tiny) soapbox they have as a L to advocate “other stuff.”

    2) Several of your extra-curricular agenda items are either fringy, obscure, or both. It’s hard enough to be taken seriously as a L without associating with these sortsa issues…

  89. Wes Wagner

    GP @98

    They are possible with flex-office space. You just need a secure place to receive mail and congregate a day or two per week as a group to handle the stuff that must be handled in person.

  90. Paulie

    Yeah, you guys make that happen. We’ll move forward with what project donors want.

  91. Andy

    “But, unless State A has 10 times as many LP donors and volunteers as state A, it is not 10 times as easy for them.”

    I’ve seen the list of LP membership by state and I know that New York has one of the largest state affiliates.

  92. Andy

    “paulie // Jun 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    That said, Andy makes many good points @87 albeit in such a long winded fashion that very few if any people will read the whole thing, much less do anything about it.”

    I’ve been saying the points that I said in comment #87 for years, yet they always seem to fall on death ears as NOBODY has done anything about it, and this is much to the detriment of the party.

  93. paulie

    I’ve been saying the points that I said in comment #87 for years, yet they always seem to fall on death ears as NOBODY has done anything about it, and this is much to the detriment of the party.

    Correct.

  94. paulie

    I’ve seen the list of LP membership by state and I know that New York has one of the largest state affiliates.

    That doesn’t always mean more donors and volunteers – only sometimes.

  95. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @ 96,

    “The donors decide what they want. It’s really not too complicated.”

    Well, yes, the donors decide what they want.

    But that doesn’t mean it’s OK for the LNC’s fundraisers to lie to the donors, telling the donors “we’re raising money to get the thing you want” and then going and getting something else.

  96. Oregon Libertarian

    These “white lies” from the LNC only go to show the ethics and character of the Board and its staff.

    The most likely, and expected result, is further erosion of the support base that will turn its attention to far more ethical and honest pursuits.

  97. Andy

    “I’ve been saying the points that I said in comment #87 for years, yet they always seem to fall on death ears as NOBODY has done anything about it, and this is much to the detriment of the party.”

    I meant to say, “seem to fall on deaf ears,” but then again, maybe saying that they fall on death ears is more appropriate.

  98. Andy

    Wow, nobody except Paul, another ignored voice in the wilderness who has been saying a lot of the same things I said in comment #87 for years, has bothered to respond to what I said in comment #87. I know that there are people who read the comments on this blog on a regular basis who hold management positions within the Libertarian Party (both elected and appointed), yet none of them have responded to my points from comment #87. One would think that at least a few people in LP management positions would weigh in on what I said as to whether they think that I’m right or wrong. If anyone thinks that I’m wrong, point out exactly where I’m wrong and why you think I’m wrong. If anyone thinks that I’m right, I’d like to know what steps you are going to take to implement what I said so the next time the LP does a ballot access drive the party gets the most “bang” for its buck by making it an outreach drive in addition to a ballot access drive, and that a higher validity rate comes in from the signatures so that fiascos like what happened last year in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania can be avoided.

    The fact that nobody has responded is not a good sign, and if nobody responds, it will be yet another example of why the LP is not more successful (the fact that I’ve even got to say this is already an example of why the LP is not more successful).

  99. Wes Wagner

    Andy @108

    I personally think ballot access is too important to allow the LNC Inc to be responsible for it.

  100. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Andy @108

    I personally think ballot access is too important to allow the LNC Inc to be responsible for it.”

    My comments in post #87 were not just addressed to the LNC, they were also addressed to every LP state affiliate, county affiliate, and candidate.

    You did not really address any of the points that I made.

  101. Wes Wagner

    Andy @111

    Oregon has had consistent full ballot access without any signature gathering for over two decades. Our experiences with signature gathering are limited to initiative petitions and sometimes to get free candidate statements in the voter’s guide.

    We do not have pragmatic experience in this area nor a bench. Some of us help initiative campaigns out from time to time.

    I would, however, support anyone who is willing to start a new national PAC dedicated to ballot access if it is a real volunteer initiative (e.g. none of the principals are being paid a stipend, salary, etc., no staff, and all the funds are used to support volunteers and get access for the L line in states on a sustainable basis).

  102. Wes Wagner

    Freedom Ballot Access needs a page update 😉 and they are not accepting money.

  103. Robert Capozzi

    105 tk: …that doesn’t mean it’s OK for the LNC’s fundraisers to lie to the donors…

    me: Do you believe this was pre-meditated, TK? That is, did the LNC want an office condo all along, but they figured a “building” would be the better fundraising cause?

    Or is it possible that they found no suitable buildings and then widened their real estate search to include office condos? Or something else?

  104. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Freedom Ballot Access needs a page update 😉 and they are not accepting money.”

    Other than a brief period of time in 2008 when Jake Witmer raised a small amount of money for them, I’m not aware of Freedom Ballot Access as ever having done anything.

  105. Chuck Moulton

    I donated to the building fund.

    I’d prefer a building to a condo, but a condo is still much better than throwing money away on rent for another 40 years.

  106. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Andy @111

    Oregon has had consistent full ballot access without any signature gathering for over two decades. Our experiences with signature gathering are limited to initiative petitions and sometimes to get free candidate statements in the voter’s guide.”

    You are fortunate to be in a state where ballot access is easier, but having said this, the same principles that I’m talking about do apply to initiative petition drives, however, the only problem with initiative petition drives is that they generally requires a higher number of signatures than candidate/party drives, so therefore it is even more difficult to find enough activists to gather signatures as volunteers as well as in a paid capacity.

    “We do not have pragmatic experience in this area nor a bench. Some of us help initiative campaigns out from time to time.”

    Even though the LP of Oregon has been able to maintain ballot access due to Oregon’s easy ballot retention requirement, LP members in Oregon still have a vested interest in seeing that ballot access drives in the rest of the country are done in an effective, cost efficient, and rational manner, so what I’m talking about above DOES still apply to LP members in Oregon.

    “I would, however, support anyone who is willing to start a new national PAC dedicated to ballot access if it is a real volunteer initiative (e.g. none of the principals are being paid a stipend, salary, etc., no staff, and all the funds are used to support volunteers and get access for the L line in states on a sustainable basis).”

    I’m not just talking about volunteers here. I certainly welcome the involvement of volunteers, but realistically speaking, a lot of the work is just not going to get finished by only relying on unpaid volunteers. There is nothing wrong with hiring people to do things as long as what they are doing is effective.

    One of my big points here is hiring ACTUAL libertarians to do the work whenever possible, instead of frequently farming the work out to non-libertarian mercenaries. Why does the LP continually funnel money into the pockets of people who don’t really give a rat’s ass about the party or the philosophy, especially when a lot of these people have burned the party out of thousands of dollars (I can cite multiple examples)? I also know of cases where the LP hired people who went out and lied to the public about what the petition was for (such as there were some places last year where there were petitioners who told the public that the LP ballot access petition was a petition to “increase the minimum wage”), and other cases where the LP hired people who were so ignorant and/or stupid that they did not even know what the Libertarian Party is, and in a few cases, could not even pronounce the word Libertarian. I know of cases where literal bums off the streets, some of whom were alcoholics or drug addicts, were hired to work on LP ballot access petitions. Ask yourself, are these really the kinds of people that you’d want out on the street representing the party to the public? Why not recruit and hire from WITHIN the Libertarian Party and movement first, and then only call in additional help when you honestly can’t find enough actual libertarians to get the job done (which, if things were done my way, would not happen that often)? Why not actually institute a MERIT based system like I mentioned above? Why not actually use ballot access drives as a springboard to actually grow the party, rather than taking what I’d call “the monkey in the zoo throwing feces at the wall” approach to ballot access (which seems to be the norm with the LP)? Why not actually do the job effectively instead of doing it half assed?

    Frankly, if it was not for a tiny handful of people like myself, Paul, Bob, Jake, Mark, and a few others, there’d be basically ZERO Libertarian outreach taking place on the ground during ballot access drives, and validity rates would be even lower.

    Every election cycle the LP does ballot access, and the SAME BULLSHIT I mentioned above goes on EVERY TIME. Work is funneled to non-libertarian mercenaries even in cases where there actually were enough Libertarians available to finish a job well before the deadline. Non-libertarian mercenaries will try to line their pockets with extra cash by hiring people off the streets, some of whom are literal bums, and these people go out and collect signatures with a very low validity rate. Sometimes they will bring in other mercenaries who are experienced petitioners, but who think that they can “take advantage” of the Libertarian Party by “working the petition like it’s a plebiscite,” which means not screening potential signers for their eligibility to sign and just having anyone sign it so they can “pad their numbers” and get paid more money, and they think that the LP is not organized enough to catch them, which sometimes the party is, and sometimes the party is not. The end result of this is that petition validity rates end up being lower than they would be otherwise, which can sometimes cause the party to not obtain ballot access, or can cost the party more money by having to pay for more signatures to make up for the low validity (see Pennsylvania last year), plus, little to no Libertarian outreach takes place during these mercenary during these mercenary dominated ballot access drives, and this is a HUGE WASTED OPPORTUNITY to grow the party.

    Given the way the LP generally conducts business, it has created a perverse set of incentives that actually encourages and empowers mercenaries and poor job performance, and it discourages any Libertarian outreach from taking place. I know of cases where people have actually been REWARDED for bringing in garbage validity (and I’m not talking about any cases that have legitimate excuses attached to them) by being hired to gather more signatures to make up for the garbage validity. I know of cases where actual Libertarian activists got cut out of work because some non-libertarian mercenary came in and hired other non-libertarian mercenaries, sometimes bums off the street, and so the actual Libertarians who would have done a better job did not even get to work. I know of cases where ballot drives needlessly failed (see Oklahoma last year), or came close to failing (see Pennsylvania last year), because there were people involved who were more concerned with lining their pockets with money than they were with seeing that the job got done correctly. I know of cases where actual Libertarians got shafted or were under-utilized and then went through unnecessary financial hardships. I know of cases where the Libertarian Party has hired people who in between working for the LP, went to work for highly unethical, anti-libertarian campaigns, such as working as blockers (these are people who get paid to sabotage petition drives by blocking people from signing petitions, harassing petitioners, calling in false complaints to location managers or the police, and other dirty tricks) to stop a recall petition against Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona, or who worked on the Top Two Primary petition in Arizona, which if it would have passed, it would have REMOVED the Libertarian Party from the Arizona ballot during the general elections. There very tiny handful of actual Libertarians who work as petitioners (which you could count on two hands (and probably have a finger or two left over) for the past few years) have turned down highly unethical, anti-libertarian campaigns, and have sometimes gone without work for several weeks or even months, but then the LP REWARDS the people who worked on the SCUMBAG campaigns by hiring them again, and this has even happened on occasions after I alerted people in LP management that somebody worked on a SCUMBAG anti-liberty campaign, and it is not as though it was even imperative to hire these individuals back to complete a job, as the situations I’m talking about were for petition drives where the LP was at no risk of failing (as in there was plenty of time to make the ballot, and there were enough Libertarians available to work to get the job done).

    All of the problems that I’m talking about could easily be fixed, and I’ve brought them up to various people in LP management positions at the national and state level, yet NOBODY has done anything about it. They either act like they don’t give a shit, or they act like they agree with me, but then do NOTHING to change things (and these problems are not new, they’ve been going on for years).

    So once again I ask, do people agree with what I’m saying here, and if not, where exactly do you think I’m wrong and why? If you think that I’m correct, then what steps are you personally going to take to see that what I’m saying actually gets implemented (at either the county, state, or national level)?

  107. Andy

    “Chuck Moulton // Jun 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I donated to the building fund.

    I’d prefer a building to a condo, but a condo is still much better than throwing money away on rent for another 40 years.”

    If it serves as a functional office, and it saves the party money, then I don’t see a problem with a condo.

  108. Wes Wagner

    Andy @120

    You are wrong in thinking that the people who run for the LNC are on the same team as the rest of us 😉

  109. George Phillies

    @119 Condos have a different set of problems, as seems to have been forgotten.

    Liberty for America is a Federal PAC, and we are happy to take your money for ballot access. http://LibertyForAmerica.com. We could do the things that Wes is proposing if we had the money to do them.

    I checked — The Freedom Ballot Access page is up to date. FBA is a 527 organization, not a PAC. They are not the same. FBA is not currently taking money; we are telling people to send money to Paulie. We recently paid the FBA treasury down to zero and sent %00 to Paulie for his petitioning effort. However, interest in sending money to FBA recently has been limited, no matter how incredibly well we did in 2004 and 2008, so closing it down eliminated a set of bookkeeping tasks.

  110. Wes Wagner

    GP @123

    What I am looking for is a group of people with the pedigree who can triage all the ballot access requirements and step in to get it done before the LNC screws it up.

  111. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 117,

    “Do you believe this was pre-meditated, TK? That is, did the LNC want an office condo all along, but they figured a ‘building’ would be the better fundraising cause?”

    I doubt that. Absent any evidence to the contrary, the reasonable assumption is that they were thinking in terms of a building, so they raised funds by promising a building, and then decided, for whatever reason, that a condo made more sense.

    Pre-meditation isn’t really relevant to truth or falsehood, though. Changing your mind is one thing. Changing your mind after you’ve already made promises is another thing entirely.

  112. paulie

    What I am looking for is a group of people with the pedigree who can triage all the ballot access requirements and step in to get it done before the LNC screws it up.

    Got all the people we need for that. Just need funds.

  113. paulie

    I checked — The Freedom Ballot Access page is up to date.

    The reference was to site design/appearance.

    We recently paid the FBA treasury down to zero and sent %00 to Paulie for his petitioning effort.

    Thanks!

  114. paulie

    Re: building vs condo

    Some people like one or the other better. But the ones I am seeing really mad and calling it fraud are those who opposed the building and did not donate. The donors to the building fund seem more OK with it as far as I have seen. Some are somewhat disappointed, but I’m not seeing the angry accusations of fraud that I am seeing from the anti-building non-donors.

  115. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Andy @120

    You are wrong in thinking that the people who run for the LNC are on the same team as the rest of us ;)”

    Whether they are or not is not necessarily relevant to this discussion, because I’ve seen the same problems from state parties, county parties, and individual candidates in regard to ballot access as I’ve seen from LP national.

  116. Oregon Libertarian

    Andy….

    Republican Bob Barr, Republican Wayne Root, Republican Gary Johnson…

    The LNC has a lot of weight, the record shows that.

    Wagner is right in saying….. “You are wrong in thinking that the people who run for the LNC are on the same team as the rest of us” …

  117. Andy

    “Oregon Libertarian // Jun 18, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Andy….

    Republican Bob Barr, Republican Wayne Root, Republican Gary Johnson…

    The LNC has a lot of weight, the record shows that.

    Wagner is right in saying…..”

    You are missing the boat. My point here is that whether we are talking about the national party, the state parties, the county parties, or individual candidates, the same ballot access problems seem to happen over and over again.

  118. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    GP @123

    What I am looking for is a group of people with the pedigree who can triage all the ballot access requirements and step in to get it done before the LNC screws it up.”

    That would be me, Paul, and maybe 2 or 3 other Libertarians with lots of ballot access experience.

  119. Robert Capozzi

    125 tk: Changing your mind after you’ve already made promises is another thing entirely.

    me: Possibly beating the proverbial dead horse, but I think it’s both possible and likely that the LNC thought nothing of this wiggle in the plan, i.e., building to condo. As I’ve said earlier, the funds should be returned to anyone who objects to this shift in tactics. As P notes, thus far, none of the donors see this as a “lie” as you do.

    Semantics is a lifelong study with no resolution. Sometimes, agreeing to disagree is the only sane solution….

  120. paulie

    Republican Bob Barr, Republican Wayne Root, Republican Gary Johnson…

    LNC did not pick the candidates, the convention delegates did. And Johnson is a lot better than the other two, as a Republican or as a Libertarian.

  121. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 133,

    “I think it’s both possible and likely that the LNC thought nothing of this wiggle in the plan, i.e., building to condo.”

    And I agree with you 100%. The LNC has such a long and illustrious history of doing whatever its members damn well feel like, and casually lying to its donors about what it is going to do, is doing, or has done, that I wouldn’t expect this particular case to be something they’d do a lot of thinking about.

  122. Wes Wagner

    andy @132

    Have you considered stopping relying on a highly politically perverse LNC Inc to handle such matters and just hoist the jolly roger and do it yourselves? (raise the funds, spend the funds, accomplish the goal and flip the LNC the bird?)

    The more we continue to look to fake authority figures the more we perpetuate the perversion that has become the libertarian party.

  123. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    andy @132

    Have you considered stopping relying on a highly politically perverse LNC Inc to handle such matters and just hoist the jolly roger and do it yourselves? (raise the funds, spend the funds, accomplish the goal and flip the LNC the bird?)”

    Yes I have. The problem is that raising the money is easier said than done.

    Also, once again it should be pointed out that these problems are not just with the LNC, they also exist with most of the state and county affiliates and many of the candidates as well.

    It really seems to me that all of my suggestions are just common sense. I’m astounded that I’ve even got to say this stuff, but apparently I do, because I’ve seen the same problems year after year for a long time now.

  124. Andy

    “Also, once again it should be pointed out that these problems are not just with the LNC, they also exist with most of the state and county affiliates and many of the candidates as well.”

    I can give a “pass” to some of the candidates because a lot of them have never run for office before and don’t know anything about ballot access. Some of the people on state executive committees may not know much about ballot access either, but this would depend upon the state and who is on the committee. The states that have to do petition drives most frequently have less excuse to claim ignorance than the states who rarely have to conduct petition drives. When it comes to the LNC however, there really is not a legitimate excuse.

  125. Wes Wagner

    Andy

    If you point out the lack of efficiency of the LNC operations and are willing to compete with them head to head for their donors … fundraising will be easier.

  126. Eric Sundwall

    There are plenty of Libertarian volunteers on LPNY petition drives. Many of them are in fact paid . . .

    The hard part is permanent ballot access. Getting 50K souls to bother to vote for us in a system rife with fusion idiocy, collectivist non-sens-ism and conservative mass hysteria is tricky.

    David Nolan was against LNC funding of the LPNY effort in 2010. The LPNY and local chapters frequently pony up about half the cost of a full statewide effort.

  127. Eric Sundwall

    Real property can be sold again . . . are any office trained functionaries capable of real mobile cross-integration and political functionality on a dynamic third party guerrilla level? Probably not.

  128. Andy

    “Eric Sundwall // Jun 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    There are plenty of Libertarian volunteers on LPNY petition drives. Many of them are in fact paid . . . ”

    I only know of one Libertarian who worked in New York last year as a paid petitioner. The rest of the ones of which I’m aware were non-libertarian mercenaries. The only actual Libertarian that I know of who worked as a paid petitioner in New York last year has the initials MR.

    I received eye witness reports from more than one person about at least a few mercenary petitioners who worked the LP petition in New York last year “working the petition like a plebiscite” (as in not screening signers, as in just having anyone sign it regardless of their NY voting eligibility), and I also received reports of mercenaries in New York telling people that the LP petition was a petition to “increase the minimum wage.” I got these reports from 3 different sources. I’m not saying that all of the petitioners were doing this, but at least a few of them were.

    I know that there were no Libertarians who worked in a paid capacity in Pennsylvania or South Dakota last time. I only know of one Libertarian who worked as a paid petitioner in Oklahoma (and I’m NOT talking about Eric Dondero, as I do not consider him to be a libertarian) for last year’s election.

  129. Andy

    Eric Sundwall said: “The hard part is permanent ballot access.”

    The other thing that is bad about New York is that they only give you 6 weeks to gather the signatures. It’s only 15,000 valid which isn’t bad for a state with as big a population as New York, but it would be nice if more time to gather those signatures was allocated.

  130. Andy

    “Wes Wagner // Jun 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Andy

    If you point out the lack of efficiency of the LNC operations and are willing to compete with them head to head for their donors … fundraising will be easier.”

    It is difficult to just get in touch with potential donors. When you make calls, most of the people do not answer the phone. You can email them, but many of them never respond to the emails. You can post a link online, but most won’t look at it. You can also snail mail them fundraising letters, but that costs money, and there is no guarantee what your response rate will be.

    I’ve done fundraising for the LP before, both as volunteer, and in a paid capacity one time, and so I know how hard it can be.

    I may try starting my own organization anyway, I’m just pointing out that saying it, and actually implementing it are not the same thing.

  131. Andy

    I still have not had anyone come on here and address any of the points I made above about ballot access. Am I right or wrong, and if you think I’m wrong, where and why do you think I’m wrong? If you think I’m right, what steps are you going to take to make sure that my suggestions get implemented?

    Let’s see if anyone responds.

  132. Murphy Slaw

    Yeah, that post was way too long. I tried to read it and gave up about a third of the way through.

  133. Andy

    “Murphy Slaw // Jun 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Yeah, that post was way too long. I tried to read it and gave up about a third of the way through.”

    If you are an LP member you must not take getting your party ahead too seriously.

  134. Thomas L. Knapp

    MS @ 148,

    Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:

    Everyone who petitions for money, except for Andy and his friends, is a goddamn no-good mercenary. The LP should give all its money to Andy and his friends, because they’re not in it for the money.

  135. paulie

    Have you considered stopping relying on a highly politically perverse LNC Inc to handle such matters and just hoist the jolly roger and do it yourselves? (raise the funds, spend the funds, accomplish the goal

    Yes, that’s why I was talking to you about lists a few months ago. Still interested in whatever lists you have that may be useful for this.

  136. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Jun 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    MS @ 148,

    Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:

    Everyone who petitions for money, except for Andy and his friends, is a goddamn no-good mercenary. The LP should give all its money to Andy and his friends, because they’re not in it for the money.”

    Knapp doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    How about this Tom? Come out on the road for a few months and actually work on a few petition drives with us?

    After you’ve actually been in the field in a few states, then you can speak with some actual experience and maybe have a clue about the subject.

    Also, I can back up everything that I said above. Compare the validity rates in the states where Paul and I worked vs. the ones where no libertarians worked.

    Let’s see if Tom accepts this challenge to come out on the road and work as a petitioner. Come on Tom, it will give you a chance to earn some money, plus you’ll get a first hand look at ballot access drives in America.

  137. Steven Wilson

    I am not defending one over the other, but I want to say this about Tom Knapp since you have brought up ballot access.

    Tom Knapp has run for office several times in Missouri. In running his campaigns, Tom has gone door to door in some very interesting neighborhoods. He has had post cards printed and other signage/paper trail per his campaigns.

    Yes, one does come before the other, but to maintain ballot access in Missouri, candidates need to score a certain percentage, somewhat like a petitioners validity rate percentage.

    Missouri voters have had a chance to vote Libertarian for many years without the need for signatures. The candidates and their efforts make that possible.

    Candidates pay to run for that office.
    Candidates pay the cost of the campaign activities.
    Candidates lose opportunities for other things when spending six months during the campaign.

    Not for nothing, but Tom has plenty of experience. Tom has done his part. Regardless of how you feel about him, you must respect someone who is in motion.

  138. Andy

    Tom Knapp must not have read my comments very closely, because if he did, he would have noticed that I proposed that the Libertarian Party recruit more petitioners out of the already available Libertarian Party membership ranks, as well as out of the small “l” libertarian movement, to work as petitioners in both volunteer and paid capacities. This means looking for NEW RECRUITS – who are actually Libertarians or small “l” libertarians – to work as petitioners, therefore indicating that this is not just about me. I was recruited out of the LP membership ranks from an email that Ron Crickenberger sent out to the LP national email list back in July of 2000. I’ve really seen little to no effort to recruit actual Libertarians to petition since then.

    I also suggested a merit based hiring system, whereas Libertarians with a solid work record get called first anytime the LP is doing a ballot access drive. If you scroll up and look at the post where I suggested this, you’ll see that I had an a, b, c, and d ranking system. Category a is for Libertarians who have proven themselves as reliable on petition drives. Category b is for people who are not libertarians, but who at least proved themselves to be reliable works who did the job in an honorable manner (as in they had an acceptable validity rate, and there is no record of them lying about the petition or taking expense money and then goofing off). Category c is for Libertarians who have not proven themselves as petitioners but want to try it, or for Libertarians who did prove themselves as petitioners, but then became unreliable so they got knocked back down the category c from category a, and to get back into category a they need to prove themselves again. Category d is for everyone else, and I suggested to avoid hiring people from category d whenever possible, particularly if they are non-libertarians being hired “off the street” who have no experience working as petitioners.

    The merit based system is not about me or anyone else lining their pockets with money, but rather it is about ensuring that the LP has the best petitioners possible working on the ground gathering signatures and acting as field activists to grow the party. It is about ensuring that the LP rewards and encourages Libertarian activism, and eliminating the perverse set of incentives that the way the LP generally has done things creates. It is about keeping non-libertarians who misrepresent the party and/or routinely get bad validity away from LP drives. It is about avoiding failures (like Oklahoma last year) and fiascos (like Pennsylvania last year).

    You acting like this is just so myself and my cronies can line our pockets is really absurd, and frankly, insulting. If I or we were only interested in making money, then we would not work Libertarian Party at all, or not very often, and if we did, we would not give a shit about the quality of work on an LP drive.

    The fact of the matter is that the Libertarian Party is really small potatoes in the world of ballot access. The people who make the most money in the world of petition & voter registration drives DO NOT EVEN WORK LP AT ALL, BECA– USE THERE IS SO LITTLE MONEY IN IT FOR THEM. The LP can’t pay these people enough so they don’t give a rat’s ass about the Libertarian Party.

  139. Andy

    Steve Wilson said: “Not for nothing, but Tom has plenty of experience.”

    Tom Knapp has experience in politics, but NOT when it comes to ballot access drives, and this is the subject being discussed.

    If Tom or anyone else reading this has not gone out on the road and worked in multiple states on petition and/or registration drives, then they are not really qualified to comment.

    The only person that I’m aware of here who “knows what it is like” besides myself is Paul.

  140. Wade Page

    Wait, seriously? You whine about people not commenting on your mini-novel of a comment, yet when someone finally boils it down to its essence you contradict yourself immediately and say no one except one person is qualified to comment on it?

    LOL

  141. Andy

    “paulie // Jun 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Would you like it published as an article? Maybe it will get discussion then.”

    I think that it would probably need to be re-worked / edited, before it could go to an article.

  142. Andy

    “Wade Page // Jun 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Wait, seriously? You whine about people not commenting on your mini-novel of a comment, yet when someone finally boils it down to its essence you contradict yourself immediately and say no one except one person is qualified to comment on it?”

    Tom did not really address my points, such as validity rates, LP activism on the ground, a merit based system, etc…

    It is pretty obvious that Tom was only interested in trying to turn it into an accusation of me trying to “line my pockets,” whereas if that was true, then I’d have worked on a lot of scumbag campaigns over the years, such as running off to Arizona to work as a blocker for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, like a couple of people who have done a lot of work for the LP did.

    I suspect that Tom has not work on any ballot access drives, and I also suspect that Tom does not know very many people who do this type of work.

    Tom is from Missouri, a state where the LP has not had to petition in a long time, because they’ve been able to maintain ballot access via a vote test, which is relatively easy to get as compared to some other states which have a vote retention test for ballot access.

    Tom is welcome to have a serious discussion in spite of his lack of experience in dealing with the issue, but the fact of the matter is that Tom ignored many points that I made and attempted to twist this into a discussion of me simply being out to “line my pockets” which is utterly ridiculous.

  143. Wade Page

    Andy – could it be that the reason more people are not responding to your comment (besides the length) is that people who criticize you and your [censored] Paulie get their comments censored here? Maybe no one wants to be added to the blacklist??

    It is not enough you spam comments with ads for your petition business, and get away with it because your [censored] is head commiessar here, you want to spam articles with ads disguised as articles too? Is Redlich getting a cut of your petition profits? Sheesh.

  144. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    No, I’m not trying to suggest that it’s all about “lining your pockets.” I’m suggesting that perhaps you are unjustifiably claiming that it’s all about OTHERS “lining their pockets.”

    As far as my experience in ballot access petitioning is concerned, that’s exactly where I started:

    The first time I ran for office, in 1997, I had to collect petition signatures to put my own name on the ballot.

    I don’t remember the exact number required. It wasn’t a lot; between 100 and 200 I think. I collected 150% of the required number, just to cover for validity concerns … but I expected and got a high rate of validity, because more than half of my signatures were collected from people leaving a polling place at the prior election (the signature-gathering window for the February election opened right before the previous November’s general election).

    I’ve also collected signatures to, among other things, put the Green Party on the ballot in Missouri.

    That, however, does not make me an expert on ballot access, and I’ve never claimed to be one.

    But if only ballot access experts get to comment on ballot access, two questions:

    1) Are only ballot access experts expected to pony up for what ballot access experts comment is needed?; and

    2) Why the fuck did you complain that nobody was commenting if you didn’t want anyone to comment?

  145. Andy

    “But if only ballot access experts get to comment on ballot access, two questions:

    1) Are only ballot access experts expected to pony up for what ballot access experts comment is needed?; and”

    Only people who want the Libertarian Party to be on the ballot, and who want the job to be done correctly, would be the ones donating.

    Also, I’m not even proposing that the Libertarian Party spend anymore than is being spent now (except for doing more states or going for full party status in states where there is another petition requirement to place the Presidential ticket only on the ballot, but all this stuff would come as a result of overall party growth, and what the stuff that I’m saying would facilitate this). I am very familiar with petition drive costs around the country, including “hidden costs,” and I can tell you that the LP actually gets a bargin on ballot access, particularly when actual activists do the job. If anything, the stuff that I’m suggesting would actually SAVE the Libertarian Party money.

    “2) Why the fuck did you complain that nobody was commenting if you didn’t want anyone to comment?”

    Anyone one who wants to comment can comment, but I was preferring to hear from state chairs, state committee members, county chairs, and LNC members.

    You are no longer even an LP member, and it was obvious from your comment that you were not really interested in having a real discussion on the matter, and instead wanted to twist my comments into me just trying to line my pockets with money (which is absurd if one actually reads what I said, as these principles would still apply even if I dropped out of petitioning completely).

  146. Andy

    I suspect the lack of responses to my comments about ballot access are because the people in management positions either don’t know that there is a problem, or they do know that there are problems, but they do not want to be put on the spot to commit to actually doing anything to fix the problems.

  147. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Jun 20, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Andy,

    No, I’m not trying to suggest that it’s all about ‘lining your pockets.’ I’m suggesting that perhaps you are unjustifiably claiming that it’s all about OTHERS ‘lining their pockets.'”

    I can tell you have not been around ballot access too much, because often times, it IS about others just being interested in lining their pockets with money. I can give specific examples. Ask Paul if you don’t believe me.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to people making money, but I am when people sacrifice quality in the name of money.

    The Libertarian Party has been doing ballot access for a long time (since the ’70’s). The Libertarian Party also has a large activist base. There is simply no legitimate excuse for doing things in a slipshod manner.

  148. Andy

    Here’s a question for Tom Knapp: what do you think of Eric Dondero and another petitioner who frequently works for the Libertarian Party going to Arizona earlier this year to work as blockers for Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

    For those who don’t know, a “blocker” is a person who tries to prevent people from signing petitions. Tactics they engage in include harassing petition signature gatherers, scaring members of the public out of signing a petition (they often shout out the lie that the petition circulator is trying to steal their identity), shouting to drown out a petition signature gatherer so people can not hear them, physically jumping in between petition signature gatherers and potential petition signers, placing flyers telling people to “Decline to sign” petitions on top of petition clip boards after they’ve been handed to the potential signer, creating arguments in front of locations with the hopes of getting a location manager to come out and/or the police getting called so that a petition circulator gets kicked out of a location, calling in false complaints to location managers or to the police to try to get petition circulators kicked out, taking pictures or video of petitioners so that opposition campaigns can have a database of who is working on whatever petition drive they are blocking so they can identify and harass these petitioners, etc…

    Eric Dondero and another individual who frequently works for the LP were out in Arizona working as blockers against a petition to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio from office. Dondero was actually going around telling people that Libertarians supported the blocking campaign, and that there was some kind of alliance between Libertarians and conservatives to keep Sheriff Joe Arpaio in office.

    I actually talked to some of the petitioners who worked on the Recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio petition who got blocked by Dondero and this other person, and I also talked to some of the petitioners who asked me why the Libertarian Party was supporting the blocking campaign. I told them that the Libertarian Party did not have anything to do with the blocking campaign and that the Libertarian Party does not support Joe Arpaio.

    A few months ago, I got forwarded an email by somebody who received an email from Eric Dondero where he was bragging about the blocking campaign, and claiming that his blocking campaign had defeated the recall (which was not entirely true, as the biggest problem the recall campaign had was lack of funding).

    Eric Dondero had sent this email out to several people, and when I looked at the addresses of the people whom he had sent it out to, I noticed that Tom Knapp was one of them.

    So tell us Tom, what did you think of that blocking campaign? Do you think that individuals who would do something like that should be high up on a “to hire” list for the Libertarian Party? Do you think that the Libertarian Party should reward behavior like this?

    How about the petitions to enact the Top Two Primary system in Arizona (which fortunately did not pass, but if it would have passed it would have removed LP candidates, as well as candidates minor party and independent candidates from the general election ballot in Arizona), or the petition to state up a state income tax in Washington (Washington is one of the few states that does not have a state income tax, but there was an initiative in Washington in 2010 to institute one; fortunately it did not pass). I know that the LP has hired petitioners who worked on the Top Two Primary initiative in Arizona and the initiative to institute a state income tax in Washington. Heck, if Regulate Marijuana Like Wine in California had actually gotten enough funding, Steve Kubby was going to hire – in an exclusive monopoly – the guy who was the lead petition coordinator/contractor for the petition to institute a state income tax in Washington, and who has also worked on a bunch of other scummy, anti-liberty campaigns, including a current one in the state of Washington to pass a new gun control law. Would it have been necessary to hire this person to get Regulate Marijuana Like Wine on the ballot? No, there were other people who could have gotten the job done, but hey, why not funnel a bunch of money (this person would have easily profited by a few hundred thousand dollars had the initiative happened) into the pockets of somebody who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about libertarianism and would be just as happy to work on a campaign that would take liberty away as they would to increase liberty if it will put money in their pocket?

  149. Andy

    “or the petition to state up a state income tax in Washington”

    Should read, “or the petition to start up a state income tax in Washington,” but then again, state up a state income tax is pretty good too.

  150. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Andy at 166 said: “Eric Dondero and another individual who frequently works for the LP were out in Arizona working as blockers against a petition to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio from office.”

    Eric Dondero shouldn’t be working for the LP in any capacity. He’s a Republican, and an extremely toxic one. The story you told about his blocking your petition makes me NUTS.

  151. Andy

    Jill Pyeatt said: “Eric Dondero shouldn’t be working for the LP in any capacity. He’s a Republican, and an extremely toxic one.”

    Well, he’s been working for the LP on and off since 2004. Does the LP really need him? No, there are other petitioners that could fill the spots he has had, and as I said above, the LP could put more effort into recruiting actual Libertarians to work as petitioners (there has been little to no effort put into this in years).

    I don’t think that it is realistic to say that every petitioner has to be a solid libertarian, however, the party does not need to hire somebody who frequently misrepresents the party, and has in fact said that they want to destroy the party.

    “The story you told about his blocking your petition makes me NUTS.”

    The Recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio petition was not my petition, and I was not even there, but I do know for a fact that Dondero was there blocking, because Dondero himself bragged about it in an email and on a telephone conference which I was a part of. I also heard from people who got blocked by Dondero.

    So do you think that people who work on highly unethical, anti-libertarian campaigns should be blacklisted from working on LP stuff, or at least lowered on a “to hire” list by the LP?

    The way the LP does things now actually benefits people who work on highly unethical, anti-libertarian campaigns, and harms those who turn down working on such campaigns, because the ones who work on highly unethical, anti-libertarian campaigns receive no penalty for it as the LP includes them in the same category for work as the people who turn down those campaigns.

  152. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    “Eric Dondero had sent this email out to several people, and when I looked at the addresses of the people whom he had sent it out to, I noticed that Tom Knapp was one of them.”

    Yeah, Dondero sends me mail sometimes. I think I’ve cured him of it, though.

    “So tell us Tom, what did you think of that blocking campaign?”

    While I try not to have strong opinions about electoral politics in general any more, that was an exception. I’d like to have seen Arpaio removed.

    “Do you think that individuals who would do something like that should be high up on a ‘to hire’ list for the Libertarian Party?”

    I don’t think the Libertarian Party should have a “to hire” list, unless they’re wanting to hire some kind of executor to handle their liquidation.

    “Do you think that the Libertarian Party should reward behavior like this?”

    Ballot access is a largely technical issue. I don’t see any reason for an ideological “hiring litmus test.” If you’re going to hire petitioners, hire the good ones based on their past experience, validity rate, etc. If they’re members of CPUSA or KKK, that’s their business, as long as they deliver the goods.

  153. Andy

    Thomas Knapp: “Ballot access is a largely technical issue. I don’t see any reason for an ideological ‘hiring litmus test.’ If you’re going to hire petitioners, hire the good ones based on their past experience, validity rate, etc. If they’re members of CPUSA or KKK, that’s their business, as long as they deliver the goods.”

    WOW, you COMPLETELY failed to see any of the points made by myself and Paul. You seem to think of ballot access as nothing more than signature gathering. This is same SHORT SIGHTED thinking held by many in LP management, and is yet another reason why the party is not more successful.

    Petitioning for ballot access should be about more than just gathering signatures, it should be about BUILDING THE PARTY AND MOVEMENT BY DISSEMINATING A LIBERTARIAN MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC. It should be about IDENTIFYING members of the public who are OPEN to the Libertarian message, and pointing those who are not familiar with it toward the philosophy and party, as well as toward outside-of-politics solutions which they can implement such as jury nullification, alternative currencies, etc…

    Ballot access drives are an excellent opportunity to start or expand Libertarian clubs on college campuses. They are an excellent opportunity expand the Libertarian Party’s contact list (I personally have signed up too many people to count for the Libertarian Party’s announcement list). They are an excellent opportunity to inform members of the public – a surprising amount of which still don’t know what the Libertarian Party is, or have misconceptions about the Libertarian Party – about what the Libertarian Party is, and to answer questions they may have about it. They are an excellent opportunity to inform interested members of the public as to where Libertarian meetings are held in their area, and which Libertarian Party candidates are running in their area. They are an excellent time to hand out Libertarian outreach material (pamphlets, fliers, DVD, bumper stickers, etc…) to the public (I personally have handed out 10’s of thousands of pieces of outreach material over the years, some of which was done at my own expense).

    The only way to do this effectively, is to have ACTUAL LIBERTARIANS doing the job.

    So yes, there most definitely SHOULD BE a Libertarian Litmus Test for petitioners, and those who don’t pass as libertarians should be bumped back in the line hiring, because THEY DO NOT DELIVER THE GOODS. I would not hire Howard Dean or James Carville or Michael Steele or Karl Rove to work at the LP national office, or to work on an LP campaign, and I would not vote for any of them to be on a state committee or the LNC or to run for office as Libertarian Party candidates. Why? BECA– USE THEY ARE NOT LIBERTARIANS!

    The same standard should be held whenever possible when it comes to LP ballot access.

    The Libertarian Party does not have much in the realm of field representatives. The small number of actual Libertarians who do any petitioning are for the most part the only field representatives that the party has. The LP could have a lot more field representatives if there was more of a focus on encouraging more Libertarians to volunteer as petitioners, and on hiring more Libertarians to work as petitioners, but most of the people in LP management positions are too shortsighted to realize this.

    Frankly, anyone who does not understand that LP ballot access drives should be used as field outreach opportunities in addition to fulfilling the petitioning requirement deserves to be REMOVED from their position in LP management and replaced with somebody who does value field outreach.

    There may always be a need to hire non-libertarian mercenaries, but I believe that this need could be greatly reduced, and it would be much to the benefit of the party in terms of higher average validity rates and more field outreach taking place if it were reduced.

    The perverse set of incentives which currently exists need to be eliminated, and LIBERTARIAN needs to be put back into Libertarian Party ballot access.

  154. Andy

    “bumped back in the line hiring, ”

    Should read, “bumped back in the hiring line.”

  155. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy @ 171,

    “WOW, you COMPLETELY failed to see any of the points made by myself and Paul.”

    Incorrect. I saw them. I just don’t agree with them. There’s a difference.

  156. Andy

    Thomas Knapp: “Incorrect. I saw them. I just don’t agree with them. There’s a difference.”

    Then your view is not logical. The party gets more “bang for the buck” when it hires actual Libertarian activists over non-libertarians, plus the actual Libertarian activists get higher average validity rates than the non-libertarian mercenaries.

    The perverse system that is in place now actually rewards people for working on scum bag campaigns (like the blocking campaign against the Recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio petition, or Top Two Primary), and it also rewards people who bring in low validity rates, and who recruit others who misrepresent the LP and get low validity.

    It is no coincidence that every time that there has been a big validity problem (see Pennsylvania and Illinois last year for just two examples) that it comes from non-libertarian mercenary petitioners who don’t give a rat’s behind about the party beyond making a quick buck.

  157. Thomas L. Knapp

    WTF @ 174,

    “Why not?”

    Because the extension of a failed recruitment model into ballot access operations won’t make the failed recruitment model any more effective — it will just bring the failed recruitment model’s failings into ballot access operations.

  158. Michael H. Wilson

    Re: Andy @ 175. There are plenty of Libertarians who don’t give a rat’s ass as well.

  159. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Jun 22, 2013 at 1:08 am

    WTF @ 174,

    ‘Why not?’

    Because the extension of a failed recruitment model into ballot access operations won’t make the failed recruitment model any more effective — it will just bring the failed recruitment model’s failings into ballot access operations.”

    First off, it is not a failed recruitment model, it is actually an underutilized recruitment model. Second of all, it is not just about recruitment, it is also about:

    1) Getting libertarian ideas out to the public, including things that can be done outside of electoral politics, such as jury nullification and alternative currencies.

    2) Getting overall higher average validity rates than non-libertarian mercenary petitioners. Like I said above, every time I’ve heard of a big problem with validity, it is always because of non-libertarian mercenaries.

    3) Rewarding LP activists with the jobs rather than funneling money to people who don’t give a rat’s behind about the party, and who’d be just as happy to work on a campaign that is for taking people’s freedoms away as they would to work for the LP just as long as they are getting paid. There are plenty of scummy, anti-liberty campaigns to work on out there, so since these people have no qualms about working on that stuff, let them have it, and leave the Libertarian stuff for the actual Libertarians.

    “Michael H. Wilson // Jun 22, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Re: Andy @ 175. There are plenty of Libertarians who don’t give a rat’s ass as well.”

    If there are plenty of Libertarians who don’t give a rat’s ass about their own party and movement, then why are they involved?

  160. Andy

    If Paul and I did not give a shit about quality for the LP, then last summer we could have gone to homeless shelters in Baltimore, Maryland and Birmingham, Alabama and hired a bunch of bums, and told them that they could get paid in cash every day, which is a good way for them to get extra money for boos and crack. We could have then pocketed 50% or more of the signature pay off of them and made a bunch of money, who cares about quality, right? I mean, so what if this would have caused the validity rate to go down, the LP would have to either pay us to get more signatures, or they’d fail to make the ballot. So what? It’s all about the money right, so who cares? So what if the bums misrepresented the party? We could have put them in front of welfare offices and told them to tell people that the petition was to increase the minimum wage. So what if some of them had no idea what the Libertarian Party is, or could even pronounce the word Libertarian? They could call it the Liberal Party or the Liberation Party or the Librarian Party. Who cares? I mean, quality does not matter, and the ideology and motivations of the petitioner do not matter either, right? Who cares what they tell people the petition is for, they can just make up something. Tell people whatever they want to hear to get them to sign. “Sign to get a computer in every class room!” (yes, this was an actual pitch that was used for an LP petition). “Oh, you are not a registered voter, well just sign it anyway. The LP is so stupid that they want check it anyway, and this puts more money in my pocket.”

    What’s the incentive to the the job right when even the people in LP management positions don’t really give a rat’s ass, and just reward the fuckers who pull shit like this every freaking election? YES. THAT’S RIGHT, things like I described above happen in the LP EVERY ELECTION CYCLE, and I’ve been aware of this for 13 years.

    Do you people think that the failure to get on the ballot in Oklahoma last year was just an accident? Do you think that the near failure in Pennsylvania last year was an accident? If so, then you don’t have a FUCKING CLUE as to what is really going on.

  161. Andy

    “What’s the incentive to the the job right ”

    Should read: “What’s the incentive to do the job right…”

  162. paulie

    Because the extension of a failed recruitment model into ballot access operations won’t make the failed recruitment model any more effective — it will just bring the failed recruitment model’s failings into ballot access operations.

    What failed recruitment model do you think we are trying to extend into ballot access?

  163. Andy

    “paulie // Jun 22, 2013 at 8:55 am

    ‘Because the extension of a failed recruitment model into ballot access operations won’t make the failed recruitment model any more effective — it will just bring the failed recruitment model’s failings into ballot access operations.’

    What failed recruitment model do you think we are trying to extend into ballot access?”

    Even if Tom is trying to take the non-voting anarchist approach, it should once again be pointed out that the few actual Libertarian petitioners out there such as myself, Paul, Bob, Jake, and a few other people, have handed out and/or pointed people to lots of outside of electoral politics solutions, such as information about jury nullification, alternative currencies, dropping out of the tax system, home schooling, etc… Non-libertarian mercenaries don’t do anything like that because their only motivation is to do the least amount of work possible to get the signatures, and they don’t really care about individual liberty.

  164. Andy

    “paulie // Jun 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I don’t want to assume what Tom means. I’d rather have him explain it himself.”

    I wonder if even Tom knows what Tom means.

  165. Thomas L. Knapp

    @183,

    “What failed recruitment model do you think we are trying to extend into ballot access?”

    The membership recruitment model. See Phillies’ book on the virtues of membership recruitment versus local organization.

    That only ties in to my non-voting anarchist approach to the extent that I understand that a membership recruitment strategy is at best a reasonable strategy for a revolutionary organization; the term for an electoral political party which pursues that model is “inevitable perpetual loser.”

  166. George Phillies

    Tom is referring to my book (I do have more than a dozen of them, after all) “Stand Up for Liberty!” available at 3mpub.com/phillies. The membership recruitment model was described in detail in the national party master plan “Operation Everywhere” and in David Bergland’s Project Archimedes.

  167. paulie

    Tom,

    Whenever we try to recruit people as our volunteer add-on to professional petitioning services, we try to plug them in to local organizations. What I have proposed for years, with no luck so far, is making that a professional service as well, in the form of field organizing. A lot more of it could be done, but as things stand all the incentives are to do as little beyond getting the signature and moving as possible – preferably nothing else whatsoever.

    There are also the other things Andy mentions as well.

  168. paulie

    Tom is referring to my book (I do have more than a dozen of them, after all) “Stand Up for Liberty!” available at 3mpub.com/phillies. The membership recruitment model was described in detail in the national party master plan “Operation Everywhere” and in David Bergland’s Project Archimedes.

    So do you agree with Tom’s take on what Andy is saying about the way petition drives are organized? Why or why not?

  169. George Phillies

    @190 I said nothing of the kind either way in #188. Tom referred people to my book, and neglected to mention which one.

    In addition, the New Path book for the LP is available on the Liberty for America web site.

  170. George Phillies

    If you want my take on how membership recruitment was a massive failure, you should read my book “Funding Liberty”, available at the same location.

  171. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Back to Eric Dondero–

    The Libertartarian Party is a brand. There are individuals who have the ability to damage that brand, intentionally or not. I believe Wayne Allyn Root was one of those individuals. Eric Dondero is another one. Dondero doesn’t have the exposure to the media that Root did, but he does have a blog that unfortunately has the name “Libertarian” in it. Whether he’s doing it deliberately or not, he certainly shouldn’t be allowed even more possibilities to do harm.

    Or is that just another conspiracy theory?

  172. Thomas L. Knapp

    Fortunately for the LP, Dondero seems to be more interested in discrediting the GOP than in trying to destroy libertarianism lately.

    I strongly suspect that he’s been a DNC operative for some time. Scratch that — I know he’s occasionally been a Dem operative in the past (e.g. gathering signatures to put Joe Lieberman on the ballot), but it looks like he may have been hired for a longer-term engagement.

  173. Andy

    Tom Knapp said: “I strongly suspect that he’s been a DNC operative for some time. Scratch that — I know he’s occasionally been a Dem operative in the past (e.g. gathering signatures to put Joe Lieberman on the ballot), but it looks like he may have been hired for a longer-term engagement.”

    Joe Lieberman was running as an independent when Dondero collected petition signatures to place him on the ballot, or perhaps it was under the Connecticut for Lieberman Party.

    I don’t know if Dondero is really an operative or not, but if he is, I doubt that he’s working for the Democrats. When he petitioned for Lieberman, it was likely because Lieberman is pro “War on Terror,” and because it was a job to puy money in Dondero’s pocket.

  174. Andy

    “paulie // Jun 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Tom,

    Whenever we try to recruit people as our volunteer add-on to professional petitioning services, we try to plug them in to local organizations.”

    I don’t just try to recruit people to the cause of liberty when I’m petitioning, I’ve done it in my day to day life even when I’m not petitioning. Doing it while I’m petitioning is just a way to get paid while I’m doing it, but I’d still be doing it regardless of whether or not I am petitioning, just maybe not as much depending on what it was that I was doing.

  175. Andy

    “a job to puy money in Dondero’s pocket”

    Should read: “a job to put money in Dondero’s pocket.”

  176. Andy

    “paulie // Jun 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Tom,

    Whenever we try to recruit people as our volunteer add-on to professional petitioning services, we try to plug them in to local organizations.”

    Yes, I have plugged numerous people on to local organizations.

  177. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy @ 195,

    “Joe Lieberman was running as an independent when Dondero collected petition signatures to place him on the ballot, or perhaps it was under the Connecticut for Lieberman Party.”

    Yes, and the DNC was behind Lieberman rather than behind the guy who beat Lieberman in the Democratic primary.

    If you look at the arc of Dondero’s blogging over the last couple of years, it’s gone from mildly incendiary to “let’s see how stupid, evil and racist we can make the GOP look.” I don’t think that’s accidental.

  178. paulie

    I said nothing of the kind either way in #188.

    I know. That’s why I was asking your opinion of the issues Andy and Tom have been discussing. Question is still on the floor….

  179. paulie

    If you look at the arc of Dondero’s blogging over the last couple of years, it’s gone from mildly incendiary to “let’s see how stupid, evil and racist we can make the GOP look.” I don’t think that’s accidental.

    Yes, and he attaches “libertarian” to it. I don’t think that is an accident either. I think Jill is correct.

  180. paulie

    When he petitioned for Lieberman, it was likely because Lieberman is pro “War on Terror,” and because it was a job to put money in Dondero’s pocket.

    Yep. But who knows who else may be paying him? I sure don’t. Many possibilities exist.

  181. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Jun 22, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Andy @ 195,

    ‘Joe Lieberman was running as an independent when Dondero collected petition signatures to place him on the ballot, or perhaps it was under the Connecticut for Lieberman Party.’

    Yes, and the DNC was behind Lieberman rather than behind the guy who beat Lieberman in the Democratic primary.”

    Whether the Democratic Party was covertly supporting Lieberman or not, my guess is that Dondero was simply there to get paid as a petitioner, and that part of his reason for accepting the job was that Lieberman is pro-war.

    “If you look at the arc of Dondero’s blogging over the last couple of years, it’s gone from mildly incendiary to ‘let’s see how stupid, evil and racist we can make the GOP look.’ I don’t think that’s accidental.”

    There are a lot of Republicans who actually agree with Dondero’s rants. He’s probably just appealing to his base.

  182. Andy

    “paulie // Jun 23, 2013 at 12:21 am

    ‘I said nothing of the kind either way in #188.’

    I know. That’s why I was asking your opinion of the issues Andy and Tom have been discussing. Question is still on the floor….”

    I’m surprised by the lack of responses in regard to my suggestion for a higher percentage of LP ballot access to be done by actual Libertarians, whether acting in a paid capacity or as volunteers, and to use this as an opportunity for party/movement building by disseminating a libertarian message to the public and recruiting more people into the liberty movement, including plugging people into local organizations.

    A side benefit of this is that on average, Libertarian petitioners tend to get higher validity than non-libertarian mercenaries on their signatures. This does not mean that a non-libertarian mercenary can’t get good validity, or for that matter, that Libertarians never have bad validity, I’m talking about AVERAGES here. I’ve been involved with LP ballot access for 13 years, and I’m not aware of one instance where there was a big problem with validity that came from Libertarians. Every time there was a big problem with validity, the culprits (whether it was intentional or not) were non-libertarian mercenaries.

    Last summer, Paul and I were in Maryland, and we recruited other people to petition. The majority of the signatures for the paid portion of that drive were collected by myself, Paul, and two other Libertarians. We did recruit a few non-libertarian mercenaries as well, but these were experienced people whom we screened, and they did the job correctly. The LP volunteers in Maryland also got some signatures. I’d say that at least 85% of the signatures collected in Maryland for the LP last summer were collected by Libertarians. We ended up with a good validity rate, and in fact, because our validity rate was good, WE ACTUALLY SAVED THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY MONEY, BECA– USE SOME OF THE MONEY THAT HAD BEEN ALLOCATED FOR LP BALLOT ACCESS IN MARYLAND BY LP NATIONAL ENDED UP GETTING REFUNDED TO LP NATIONAL. Yes, that’s right, by doing the job correctly, we actually SAVED the party money.

    It should be pointed out that ballot access has become more difficult in Maryland than it used to be, because the Board of Elections re-interpreted the rules for what constitutes a valid signature to a standard which is ridiculously anal to the point where there are people who signed the petition whom they know are registered voters, but they still disqualify their signatures because they did not include a middle initial or a suffix (Jr., Sr. III, etc…), or they signed with a variation of their first name (like Bob or Rob instead of Robert, or Chuck instead of Charles, or etc…). They also shorted the number of signatures on a petition page from 10 signatures per page down to 5 signatures per page, which slows you down in the field because it means that you’ve got to change the paper on your clip boards more frequently, plus it doubles the amount of money that you’ve got to spend on printing up petition pages.

    As I said in an example above, if Paul and I did not care about quality, we could have gone to every homeless shelter in Baltimore, offered people a chance to “get paid in cash every day” and pocketed a large override off of the homeless, which would have meant a lower validity rate, which would have meant that either the petition drive would have failed, or that the LP would have to pay us to get more signatures to make up for the low validity.

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