LNCC Executive Director Evan McMahon, responding to questions in the facebook group LP Admins and Moderators:
First, thank you for asking these questions. It shows true leadership on your parts.
Mr. Matt Hasty, The LNCC is the campaign wing of the party. Each national party can have 2 campaign committees. In 2005 the LNC authorized the creation of its committee the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. Btw, the RNC, DNC and LNC are the only committees that have formed campaign committees.
So why the two names? The LNCC filed a DBA a few years ago to operate as the Libertarian National Campaign Committee. The name change fit the mission of the LNCC better. As the organization wasn’t singularly focused on Congressional campaigns. The LNCC was working with candidates up and down the ticket (excluding Presidential races, more on that later).
But the LNCC is still organized with the FEC under the Congressional name. The FEC does have the LNCC DBA on record. That being said, the LNCC is still required to use the Congressional name in all electioneering disclaimer information.
Why is the website so sparse? I have been using the holiday and blizzard down time to rebuild the website. I am the only staffer and have many many other LNCC projects that need daily attention. That is also why our social media presence is lacking and why Nathan asked if people here would be willing to help.
The LNCC Candidate Support plans for 2014 are as follows:
Endorsement applications start Jan. 20th and will run through the Primaries. (all candidates must first apply for LNCC endorsement)
The LNCC endorsement process is pretty easy. Here are the requirements:
1) Must be a current or Lifetime member of the party (LNC)
2) Must be a registered Libertarian voter (if applicable in your state)
3) Must be running as a Libertarian (there are exemptions and other qualifications for Top 2 states and non-partisan races)
4) You must be the party nominee (there are some exemptions)
a. Non-Partisan: If you meet the first 2 requirements and can get a letter of recommendation or endorsement from your state or county party.
b. Pre-Primary: The LNCC typically does not endorse pre-primary. That would be interfering with will of the local membership/voter. But, if it is after the filing deadline, you are the only Libertarian candidate and your county or state party is in agreement, you can be endorsed.
The application is a longer than those 4 questions. It helps me determine, after endorsement, what level of support your campaign will need and what the LNCC will be able to provide or help finding providers of those resources.
For instance, in both the Sarivs and Bittner campaigns the LNCC did not provide direct funds. Instead we helped promote and organize fundraising efforts. Sarvis raised over $15,000 directly from the LNCC’s call for support. Bittner (who won a 3-way race with 57% of the vote) raised nearly $4,000 from the LNCC’s direct calls for support.
This past August, the LNCC sent me from Indiana to Colorad for two weeks to assist Jan Brooks campaign during the recall election. She had no money, less than 30 days from start to finish and millions being spent by the other campaigns…but she had a dedicated network in the El Paso County Party (which is part of the LNCC’s County Development and Enhancement Program – CDEP).
The LNCC has limited resources in both time and money. We must use them the best we can. Sometimes that means saying “No”. But 90% of the time…I try to find a way to get what the campaign needs.
To win elections we need to develop strong county parties. The county party serves as the local backbone for campaigns. They provide resources, contacts, media, trained volunteers and donors. Without a well-oiled local political machine, candidates are not just spinning their wheels…they’re also reinventing them every cycle.
The County Development and Enhancement Program (CDEP) is the Libertarian National Campaign Committee’s 5 year plan to build the LP’s political machine from the ground up.
In 2014 we will be working work with a total of 25 county parties in 5 states (the program has already started in Ohio and Colorado). I will spend a full week every 3 months working in person with the county chairs in each state. By working directly with this small group we can neutralize any bad habits or negative thinking. Also, by working a smaller scale, we will be able to put a larger portion of time and energy into keeping the targeted counties on track and moving forward.
With each trip the state party will organize a two-day intensive training session for the 5 county chairs and their officers. This is then followed up by a full day of one-on-one planning sessions in each of the 5 counties. The quarterly training sessions will be focused on a specific area of county development. These sessions will cover the following topics in depth:
1) Volunteer Recruitment and Training
2) Media Marketing and Messaging
3) Candidate Recruitment and Vetting
4) GOTV Planning
The guidance doesn’t end after the week is over. Each week, I will hold a one hour conference call with each individual county party and a 3 hour statewide conference call each month. We’ve already started doing this with Ohio and Colorado county organizations. That’s an average of 28 hours a week in direct contact with the targeted county parties. The individual calls help to track their progress, reconfigure goals and strategies and offer advice as needed.
We will provide each county with a “LNCC Leadership Manual” and forms for event planning, volunteer training, message development and scheduling, fundraising and candidate recruitment and vetting.
The objective of this program is as follows
1. Build 5 highly active local parties in each of 5 states by:
a) Holding public events that the average person would want to attend
b) Reaching out to registered Libertarian voters and/or national party members
c) Converting fence sitting Libertarians to party members
d) Developing goals for the growth of members, registered voters, donors and volunteers
e) Cultivating positive media contacts
f) Creating a message calendar for media, members and social networks
g) Recruiting, training and regularly tasking volunteers
h) Being very visible as a positive force in the local community
i) Creating and using a system to collect data on contacts, members, donors, volunteers, potential supporters and voters
j) Creating an outreach program to work with other local groups
k) Developing a plan for recruiting high quality candidates
2. Each county party will now have the “political machine” necessary to win elections
3. Sponsor a neighboring local party to help them implement this program
4. Create regions/districts of fully developed county parties
5. Have the entire state, within 5 years, filled with highly active and visible local parties
This is a huge commitment of the limited time and financial resources of the LNCC. The cost over the year for travel, lodging, materials and support averages out to $9,000 per state ($45,000 total). But we believe that to win elections we need to help develop strong county parties.
Further comments from Evan later in the thread:
During the LNC meeting at Freedom Fest I actually asked both Mr. Vorha and Starchild to help write content for the LNCC website (they had raised concerns with my lack of speed in creating new graphics and content). Again, I am the only staffer and have many many projects and candidates that need daily attention. I currently put in around 80 hours a week.
I know there have been other issues addressed in this group concerning the LNCC. I would be happy to go over the history of those issues and address how the LNCC has changed since Mark Rutherford become chair and I Executive Director. I could also explain why the LNCC is barred, by FEC rules, from supporting Presidential campaigns. Just let me know. Please be sure to tag me in any questions…as I don’t view this group unless asked or tagged.
Thank you all again for your questions and the dedication you have given to the party, the candidates and the country (even if the country doesn’t know it, yet).
At the top of my list is getting an automated program for creating mobile walk lists with tasks and responses for candidates…paid for by the LNCC (and then figuring out how to pay for it, lol).
I hope that in the coming weeks the LNCC will have more unique graphics and posts about candidates and campaigning. Also, if there is ever anything that you would like to see shared on the LNCC page (coming from the LNC) please let me know.
Leeann Hutson Solice commented: Regarding fresh content for your page, please visit the archive of LPCandidates page – Jeffery Bathe and I archive images there in the photo album by state and it would be quick and easy way to expand your images with minimal time. Also, as you work with states and counties please inform them of our candidate questionnaire for social media promotion. This is how we harvest quotes for the ads we make.
Evan McMahon: Part of the LNCC site redevelopment is to create a page for each endorsed candidate with links, quotes, campaign material, videos (hopefully) and more. We’ll also have a post election page that shows who was endorsed, what support they received and election outcome.
We will also have a CDEP page that has sub-pages for each county.
Matt, over the past year the LNC and LNCC have done a lot to rebuild trust and cooperation with each other. I inherited a mess left by W.A.R. where all the LNCC was perceived to have been doing was bashing Obama…and nothing else. When I came on board…I said candidates only. Focus on campaigns and leave the issues to the LNC. I also went out of my way to show that the LNCC is not a rouge GOP organization by setting new rules for endorsement. But… I still hear the same slams and half-truths. Like that the LNCC was setup by W.A.R. in 2010- it wasn’t. But it fits the narrative that people who hate the LNCC can use to bash us. I will continue to keep a hand of friendship and cooperation open. I know these divisions will take time to heal…but it hurts me too and makes it hard for me to do my job (or even want to). Sigh –
Please feel free to push some candidates to the LNCC for endorsement.
I, like many of you, have given my life to this cause. I’ve missed so much of family, holidays, social life, etc. etc. while traveling and working…for extremely low pay. I want these divisions and disconnects to end. I want to see Libertarians elected. I want to see REAL liberty restored. I want the personal and economic freedom we talk about…all of it. But, you are right… the task is so much harder if we are working against each other instead of with each other.