Nicholas Sarwark: I Would Like to Be the Next Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.

From Nicholas Sarwark’s website :

Nicholas Sarwark for LNC Chair

 

Vision

Nicholas Sarwark

The Libertarian Party is at crossroads. Our ideas are more popular than ever: just look at the trends of people leaving the two old parties and the success of marriage equality and marijuana legalization. At the same time, membership in the Libertarian Party is stagnant and our prospective supporters are being courted by statist politicians who talk the libertarian talk, but don’t walk the libertarian walk.

After fifteen years of being active in the Libertarian Party, I have decided to seek the position of Chair of the Libertarian National Committee at the 2014 Libertarian National Convention in Columbus.

If elected as Chair, my goals are for the Libertarian Party to engage more in politics, provide support for the growth of state affiliates, and clearly position the Libertarian Party as the only choice for pro-freedom young people. We’ve spent too many years trying to attract Democrats and Republicans; it’s time to start targeting young, unaffiliated voters. This is not a strategy to win the next election, or even the election after that. This is a strategy to become the dominant political party in 20 years.

Qualifications

I have been active in the Libertarian Party since 1999. I have attended every national convention since Anaheim in 2000 and have been interested and engaged in the floor debates at all of them. I have previously served on the 2010 Bylaws Committee and currently serve on the 2014 Bylaws Committee. I also serve on the Judicial Committee and have been on that committee since 2004.

In addition to my experience with the national party, I have previously served as Chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland and currently serve as Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado. While Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, I was very active in recruiting candidates for public office and am proud to state that Colorado is running more candidates in 2014 than any state affiliate other than Texas (despite having 1/5 the population of Texas).

Professionally, I am a Deputy Public Defender in Colorado and fight for the liberties of the indigent accused every day. I have been been admitted to practice law since 2008, and during my legal career, I’ve tried over 25 cases to a jury and argued in front of the Colorado Supreme Court (Tate v. People, 11SC382). During law school I clerked for the Institute for Justice, the nation’s foremost libertarian law firm.

Sarwark Family

In addition to my legal training, I have over a decade of experience in computer consulting as well as experience in sales. At present, I reside south of Denver with my wife Valerie and our two children, Ruth and Joel.

What Makes Me Different?

I’m young.

Of all the Chair candidates, I am the only one under 40 years old. There’s nothing wrong with age or experience, but the future of the Libertarian Party lies with attracting young people. Having a Chair who is relatable to our target demographic makes that easier. I’ve been a Libertarian my entire life, introduced to the party by my father at age 10. I don’t have any baggage from previous involvement with either of the legacy parties.

I’m a lawyer.

Not just a lawyer, a trial lawyer. Communicating with people is what I do for a living. Juries are composed of a cross-section of our entire society and persuading juries is great experience for persuading Americans that they should be Libertarians. I also am able to work professionally with people I don’t agree with. Part of being a criminal defense attorney is negotiating with prosecutors who want to put my client in prison, sometimes for life. Despite that fundamental disagreement, I am still able to work professionally and cordially toward the best possible outcome for my client.

I’m not part of a faction and I don’t tolerate shenanigans.

In my service to the Libertarian Party, I have always put the best interest of the Libertarian Party first. It comes before personal friendships and loyalties, it comes before my personal preferences. I will work with anyone to advance the Libertarian Party and I will do anything I can to stop anyone who engages in shenanigans that hold the Libertarian Party back. As Harry Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” As Chair, I will work to make the Libertarian National Committee more effective in advancing the Libertarian Party and accept good ideas from anyone who has them. At the same time, I will not tolerate arguments over trivial things that distract us from our mission.

FAQs

There aren’t any yet, but I will answer questions of any Libertarian delegate who is planning to attend the national convention. If the question gets asked frequently, I’ll post it and the answer here.

Contact

If you have questions for me, please email me at nsarwark@gmail.com.

 

166 thoughts on “Nicholas Sarwark: I Would Like to Be the Next Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.

  1. Andy

    “We’ve spent too many years trying to attract Democrats and Republicans; it’s time to start targeting young, unaffiliated voters.”

    I’ve long said that independents and non-voters are the two biggest potential constituencies for Libertarians, and this is regardless of the age of the independents and non-voters. Young people do tend to be more open minded, and they are less likely to be “married” to either of the D’s or the R’s, and young people are essential to the long term growth of any political party or movement.

    I have also long advocated that Libertarians do more outreach at colleges and other places where lots of young people congregate (such as festivals that attract a younger crowd, etc…), and I have actually done quite a bit of this myself.

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I endorse Mr. Sarwark, also. I’m pleased that he’s announced now so that we can help him campaign a bit.

  3. Jake Porter

    As someone who has served on the national committee as an Alternate and has worked with Mr. Sarwark I can say with great confidence that he is exactly the national chairman that our party desperately needs.

  4. paulie

    From a prior thread, before this one was posted:

    paulie May 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you for running, Nick.

    I like what you have to say on that page and have a highly favorable opinion of you from the preponderance of everything I have seen you do and say.

    One question occurs to me at this point.

    You mention other candidates for chair by way of contrasting yourself with them, and say none of them are under 40.

    Who are they?

    As far as I know you are the first declared candidate for chair, and that includes the incumbent. Last I have heard from him is that he has not decided whether to seek another term.

    So who are these other candidates?


    Nicholas Sarwark May 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I anticipate the incumbent will declare in the next couple of weeks. I’m not aware of any other candidates at present.


    paulie May 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I guess that will fit the technical definition of “Of all the Chair candidates, I am the only one under 40 years old. ” …if it happens 🙂


    Andy May 17, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    “Nicholas Sarwark May 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm
    I am officially running for LNC Chair. Feel free to publish as an article. See here for a page that outlines what I want to do and why the delegates should elect me.”

    If Nicholas were to get elected Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, would he be the youngest Chairman in the history of the LNC?


    paulie May 17, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    No. Most LP leaders were in their twenties in the early years of the party.


    paulie May 17, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I think that’s Moulton for President, Sarwark for Chair.

    Works in either order for me though.


    Nicholas Sarwark May 17, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    If Nicholas were to get elected Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, would he be the youngest Chairman in the history of the LNC?

    I’m 34, Ed Crane was 30, not sure about the other prior chairs. While I can’t be the youngest, I do intend to be the best.


    paulie May 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    There are some naysayers of course…

    SAM8074 via Independent Political Report

    9:32 PM (1 minute ago)

    to lnc-discuss, iprtwo, phillies, LNCRegion7, GrassrootsLibe., lpradicals, lpsunshine, lpusmisc
    I think I’ll vote NOTA and encourage the Indiana delegation to do the same.

    Sam Goldstein


    Nicholas Sarwark May 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    That was quick.


    paulie May 17, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Quick, but not sudden 🙂


    Nicholas Sarwark May 17, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Although, if Sam needs a speech, I’ve got one written. 😉


    Andy May 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    “Nicholas Sarwark May 17, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    ‘If Nicholas were to get elected Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, would he be the youngest Chairman in the history of the LNC?”

    I’m 34, Ed Crane was 30, not sure about the other prior chairs. While I can’t be the youngest, I do intend to be the best.”

    I don’t think that age necessarily means anything, as I would put more importance on things like ideas to get the party ahead, commitment to libertarian principles, work ethic, character, etc… I just asked the age question out of curiosity.

    Regardless of who gets elected to the LNC, it would sure be nice to see an LNC that does not end up being a disappointment. It seems like every LNC since I’ve been following it has been just that, a big disappointment.

    I’ve been a member of the LP since 1996, but I did not really pay that much attention to what all was going on with the LNC until sometime in the 2000?s. I do know that the Libertarian Party was growing from 1996 until the early 2000?s, and that since then the party has gone down hill in most areas, and has basically gone through ups and downs and periods of stagnation since then.

    I also know that over the last 7 years, name recognition for the word libertarian has actually gone up, thanks primarily to Ron Paul, and I’d say that there are more people now than ever who know what a libertarian is, and who respond favorably to the word. The fact that the Libertarian Party has not been able to translate this into a big spike in membership and fundraising is just one example of the failure of the LNC, but also the failures of many state affiliates and many LP campaigns in general.

    I’ve long thought that the Libertarian Party has the potential to be a lot bigger and more successful than it is. Will this potential ever be realized? I don’t know, but I do know that it will not happen without some changes taking place as to how the party operates.


    Chuck Moulton May 17, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Nicholas Sarwark wrote:

    Although, if Sam needs a speech, I’ve got one written. 😉

    Friends, Libertarians, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to critique Sarwark, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with Sarwark. The noble Goldstein
    Hath told you Sarwark was ambitious:
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
    And grievously hath Sarwark answer’d it.
    Here, under leave of Goldstein and the rest–
    For Goldstein is an honorable man;
    So are they all, all honorable men–
    Come I to speak in Sarwark’s nomination.
    He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
    But Goldstein says he was ambitious;
    And Goldstein is an honorable man.
    He hath brought many members to the Libertarian Party
    Whose dues did the general coffers fill:
    Did this in Sarwark seem ambitious?
    When that the radicals have cried, Sarwark hath wept:
    Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
    Yet Goldstein says he was ambitious;
    And Goldstein is an honorable man.
    You all did see that on the Bylaws Committee
    I thrice presented him expansive Judicial Committee powers,
    Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
    Yet Goldstein says he was ambitious;
    And, sure, he is an honorable man.
    I speak not to disprove what Goldstein spoke,
    But here I am to speak what I do know.
    You all did love him once, not without cause:
    What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    My heart is on the stage there with Sarwark,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.


    paulie May 17, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?

    I’ll mourn for him if and when he gets elected 🙂

    In the meantime the question most LP activists are asking about this year’s national convention, from what I have seen online and heard in person:

    To go or not to go, that is the question.


    Nicholas Sarwark May 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    To go or not to go, that is the question.

    As they used to say about the Arizona Lottery, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”


    paulie May 17, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    More reactions are coming in:

    Starchild

    10:27 PM (37 minutes ago)

    to lpusmisc, Independent, LP, Independent, LP, LNC, Grassroots, George
    Nick Sarwark has my enthusiastic endorsement. He’s a terrific speaker who would make an excellent media spokesperson, strongly libertarian, and I think has enough knowledge of the party to be effective while retaining enough of a youthful outsider’s perspective to shake things up. I believe Sarwark as chair would be a marked improvement on issues of transparency and bottom-up governance that I have sought to bring to the table as an LNC representative, and would welcome the opportunity to serve with him on the Libertarian National Committee.

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

    Joshua Katz

    10:30 PM (35 minutes ago)

    to LP, lpusmisc, Independent, Independent, George, LNC, Grassroots, LP
    I join with Starchild in endorsing Nicholas Sarwark for chair. We don’t need any more of the same old, same old, and we need no more of the clique that has run things for far too long. We need a chair we can count on to be transparent, to run the party in a libertarian manner, and to be a consistent radical libertarian. Nicholas has my vote.


    Chuck Moulton May 18, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Paulie wrote:

    To go or not to go, that is the question.

    To go, or not to go, that is the question—
    Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
    The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Platform changes,
    Or to take Arms against a Sea of LINOs,
    And by opposing end them? To go, to vote—
    No more; and by a vote, to say we end
    The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
    That members are heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished. To go, to vote,
    To vote, perchance to Elect; Aye, there’s the rub,
    For in that vote of delegates, what wins may come,
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause. There’s the respect
    That makes Calamity of so long tenure:
    For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of conventions,
    The Opposition’s wrong, the radicals’ Contumely,
    The pangs of despised Liberty, the Law’s delay,
    The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his Defeat make
    With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary vote,
    But that the dread of something after loss,
    The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn
    No Traveler returns, Puzzles the will,
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
    Than fly to others that we know not of.
    Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,
    And thus the Native hue of Resolution
    Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought,
    And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
    With this regard their Currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
    The fair Libertas. Nymph, in all thy Orisons
    Be thou all my sins remembered.


    Nicholas Sarwark May 18, 2014 at 12:09 am

    I like this new Shakespearean Chuck.


    Matt Cholko May 18, 2014 at 1:45 am

    What do they say about the Arizona lottery now?

    I hope its something like “Realistically, you can’t win, no matter how many tickets you buy.”

  5. George Whitfield

    At the Libertarian National Conventions that I have attended, Nicholas Sawrark impressed me with his knowledge of the issues and his ability to articulate his ideas effectively. I have also been favorably impressed by his occasional comments on this and other websites because of his basic clear focus and positive approach. I think he would be an excellent LNC Chair.

  6. Scott Lieberman

    “I was very active in recruiting candidates for public office and am proud to state that Colorado is running more candidates in 2014 than any state affiliate other than Texas (despite having 1/5 the population of Texas).”

    YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    It would be helpful if we could verify Mr. Sarwark’s claim by actually seeing the list of 2014 LP of Colorado candidates.

    The LPCO web site’s “candidate” page only has a Twitter feed.

  7. Goddess One

    The executive sets policy for the Libertarian Party. You can figure the next chair may set four to sixteen years of policy.

  8. Andy

    “I was very active in recruiting candidates for public office and am proud to state that Colorado is running more candidates in 2014 than any state affiliate other than Texas (despite having 1/5 the population of Texas).”

    It is great that the LP’s of Texas and Colorado have so many candidates, but it should also be pointed out that the LP already has ballot status in both of those states, and that it is easy to maintain ballot status in both of those states, and that once a party has ballot status in those states, it is very easy to place candidates on the ballot.

    Now I know that there are other states where the LP already has ballot status and where it is easy to place candidates on the ballot that do not have their act together as much as the LP’s in Texas and Colorado do, so I’m not taking anything away from them, but I’m just pointing out that there are other states where the LP would have to fulfill difficult petitioning requirements in order to run a candidate slate like the LP’s of Texas and Colorado have this year.

  9. Kevin Knedler

    Although I have no dog in the hunt here for National Chair, I am pleased to see Nicholas step into the race. We need more younger, professional, and qualified LP members to take leadership roles. If the party is to continue, it has to happen. That’s not to say we throw out everyone who is over a certain age, but we do need some balance. I personally invite every serious LNC candidate to come by the OHio delegation and ask for time to present your case and your vision for the future. Kevin

  10. Nicholas Sarwark

    Dr. Lieberman, terribly sorry our candidates page is down at present, it’s being reworked as a landing page for supporters who want to donate to our candidates. There will also be an ad in LP News that has the list of nominated candidates, paid for by the Libertarian Party of Colorado to assist them in getting national donations for their campaigns.

    In the meantime, this is the list of candidates we nominated:

    US Senate Gaylon Kent

    US House 1 Frank Atwood
    US House 3 Travis Mero
    US House 4 Jess Loban
    US House 6 Norm Olsen
    US House 7 Tyler Bagley

    Governor Matthew Hess
    Lieutenant Governor Brandon Young
    Treasurer David Jurist
    Secretary of State David Schambach
    Attorney General David K. Williams

    CU Regents 2 Daniel Ong
    CU Regents 7 Steve Golter

    State Senate
    SD5 Lee Mulcahy
    SD11 Norman “Paotie” Dawson
    SD19 Gregg Miller
    SD20 Chris Heismann
    SD30 Eric Price
    SD32 Darrell Dinges
    SD34 Brian Scriber

    State House
    HD1 David Hein
    HD3 Jacob Erbes
    HD11 Bill Gibson
    HD17 Susan Quilleash-Nelson
    HD18 Randy Schneider
    HD22 Lynn Weitzel
    HD23 Michael Beckerman
    HD25 Jack Woehr
    HD26 Thom Haupt
    HD27 Niles Aronson
    HD29 Hans Romer
    HD33 Carter Reid
    HD36 Jesse Walter
    HD40 Geoffrey Hierholz
    HD44 Lily Williams
    HD45 James Jeansonne
    HD50 Justin Borowski
    HD54 Kyle Davis
    HD56 Chris Baerns
    HD57 Sacha Mero
    HD59 Stephen Agius
    HD61 Mac Trench

    Douglas County Sheriff Brock McCoy
    Jefferson County Sheriff Brett Almy

    Jefferson County Assessor Patrick Sullivan

    Boulder County Commissioner, Dist. 3 Randy Luallin
    Boulder County Clerk Ralph Shnelvar

    If you find a state affiliate other than Texas running more candidates than that, please let me know and I’ll update my web page accordingly.

  11. Nicholas Sarwark

    And, just moments after my comment, the page is back up at http://lpcolorado.org/candidates. Peruse at your leisure and please donate.

    A number of people have asked if I need financial support for my run for LNC Chair. While I may need some money for a modest campaign, I would really prefer that people donate to one of our fine candidates for public office at the link above.

  12. Steven Berson

    I was incredibly impressed with Nicholas Sarwark at the 2012 National Convention as well as posts I’ve seen from him on various internet forums – I think he would make a most excellent LNC Chair and wish him best of luck in Columbus!

  13. Scott Lieberman

    “While Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, I was very active in recruiting candidates for public office and am proud to state that Colorado is running more candidates in 2014 than any state affiliate other than Texas (despite having 1/5 the population of Texas).

    Nicholas Sarwark”

    I congratulate Mr. Sarwark’s campaign team for responding to requests very quickly. In a comment I made in this thread earlier today, I asked to actually see the list of 2014 LP of Colorado candidates that Sarwark says he recruited. Within 3 hours of my request Mr. Sarwark’s campaign team had the list of candidates posted on the LP of Colorado web site.

    I am going to assume that there are no more city or special district elections in Colorado for the rest of 2014. If that assumption is wrong, then obviously part of my analysis will have to be amended.

    A. Ballot Status candidates

    The LP of Colorado is a minor party as recognized by the State Government. To become a major party Matthew Hess would have to receive 10% of the vote. I think Mr. Sarwark is willing to stipulate right now that Mr. Hess will not overcome that hurdle. (Mr. Hess is their candidate for Governor).

    So, ballot status wise, the LP of Colorado is only going to try to maintain minor party status. To do that, one of their statewide candidates (5 plus US Senate) needs to get 1% of the vote (You can also maintain minor party status by by having 1000 registered voters). I am willing to stipulate that there is at least a 95% chance that one of the LP of Colorado’s statewide candidates will get over 1% of the vote. So, to the extent that Mr. Sarwark helped recruit some or all of those statewide candidates, he will deserve credit for helping the LP of Colorado maintain minor party status. However, since approximately 29 state affiliates are able to maintain minor or major party status in each election cycle, this achievement is more like something that you would claim if you were running for State Chair of the LP of Colorado. In my opinion, maintaining ballot status under these circumstances is not something that is so onerous that it would cause me to sit up and take notice of Mr. Sarwark’s talents even if his state party does maintain minor party status.

    B. Non-Ballot-Status candidates

    That leaves 39 candidates that are running for non-ballot-status State or County offices in Colorado this year. I will state right now that NONE OF THEM will win their election. In fact, the overwhelming majority of them will lose by at least 30%.

    But you might say “the 5 candidates that are running for County level offices can win, can’t they?”

    The simple answer is: No, they can’t. All of those county offices are partisan. With literally a tiny handful of exceptions, Libertarians have only win partisan elections if they are non-competitive (ie: no major party candidate is on the ballot), or if the total number of votes needed to win is under 200. Since thousands of votes are needed to win those county level offices, I feel very confident in saying that none of the candidates that Mr. Sarwark says he recruited will win their elections.

    So – the question is – why did you join the Libertarian Party? If you joined this party because you enjoy associating with liberty lovers and you feel that showing the flag every couple of years is a great benefit to the libertarian movement, then yes, you will probably be tempted to vote for Mr. Sarwark for LNC Chair.

    However, if you joined the Libertarian Party because you want to actually change our country’s laws to be more libertarian, then Mr. Sarwark’s performance as a candidate recruiter is irrelevant. In fact, to the extent that Mr. Sarwark ignored recruiting candidates for winnable offices in favor of the candidates currently listed on the web site, then I would aver that Mr. Sarwark is not at all interested in seeing the Libertarian Party become a real political party.

    If you look up the definition of “political party”, it always says something like “an organization that elects its members to public office so they can put the party’s ideology into law.” Losing dozens of elections doesn’t get the Libertarian Party’s ideology put into law.

    I am not in any way insulting the LP of Colorado members who have put themselves up as candidates this year. In fact, I thank them for their efforts.

    I am merely saying that there is a difference between going thru the motions of being a political party, and actually working towards making the Libertarian Party into a major political party. Mr. Sarwark’s actions as a candidate recruiter in Colorado this year do not give me even the slightest bit of confidence that he has any interest whatsoever in electing Libertarians to public office.

    At this point in time, I am planning on voting for None of the Above for LNC Chair.

    By the way – if Mr. Sarwark prefers, I am quite willing to address him as Dr. Sarwark. I am currently operating under the assumption that most lawyers prefer to be addressed as Mister.

  14. Nicholas Sarwark

    I congratulate Mr. Sarwark’s campaign team for responding to requests very quickly. In a comment I made in this thread earlier today, I asked to actually see the list of 2014 LP of Colorado candidates that Sarwark says he recruited. Within 3 hours of my request Mr. Sarwark’s campaign team had the list of candidates posted on the LP of Colorado web site.

    Actually, it was the Libertarian Party of Colorado Regions Director who was already working on the page, not my campaign team, since my campaign team (me) was doing yard work, preparing dinner, and playing with my children.

    I am going to assume that there are no more city or special district elections in Colorado for the rest of 2014. If that assumption is wrong, then obviously part of my analysis will have to be amended.

    Most local or special district elections have passed for 2014 (they are non-partisan and generally held in the Spring).

    A. Ballot Status candidates

    The LP of Colorado is a minor party as recognized by the State Government. To become a major party Matthew Hess would have to receive 10% of the vote. I think Mr. Sarwark is willing to stipulate right now that Mr. Hess will not overcome that hurdle. (Mr. Hess is their candidate for Governor).

    So, ballot status wise, the LP of Colorado is only going to try to maintain minor party status. To do that, one of their statewide candidates (5 plus US Senate) needs to get 1% of the vote (You can also maintain minor party status by by having 1000 registered voters). I am willing to stipulate that there is at least a 95% chance that one of the LP of Colorado’s statewide candidates will get over 1% of the vote. So, to the extent that Mr. Sarwark helped recruit some or all of those statewide candidates, he will deserve credit for helping the LP of Colorado maintain minor party status. However, since approximately 29 state affiliates are able to maintain minor or major party status in each election cycle, this achievement is more like something that you would claim if you were running for State Chair of the LP of Colorado. In my opinion, maintaining ballot status under these circumstances is not something that is so onerous that it would cause me to sit up and take notice of Mr. Sarwark’s talents even if his state party does maintain minor party status.

    I will not stipulate that Mr. Hess will not exceed 10% of the vote, though it may be likely. As Danny Bedwell says, “When hunting Moby Dick, bring tartar sauce.”

    As to minor party status, we have approximately 27,000 registered Libertarians in Colorado, so maintaining ballot status does not require any candidates to get any votes. Your focus on ballot status over actually running Libertarians to present an option to the voters speaks volumes about your priorities.

    B. Non-Ballot-Status candidates

    That leaves 39 candidates that are running for non-ballot-status State or County offices in Colorado this year. I will state right now that NONE OF THEM will win their election. In fact, the overwhelming majority of them will lose by at least 30%.

    But you might say “the 5 candidates that are running for County level offices can win, can’t they?”

    The simple answer is: No, they can’t. All of those county offices are partisan. With literally a tiny handful of exceptions, Libertarians have only win partisan elections if they are non-competitive (ie: no major party candidate is on the ballot), or if the total number of votes needed to win is under 200. Since thousands of votes are needed to win those county level offices, I feel very confident in saying that none of the candidates that Mr. Sarwark says he recruited will win their elections.

    “80 percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen

    Maybe none of our candidates will win. None of the approximately 60 candidates we ran in 2012 did. However, one of them (Tim Menger – HD54) did get 41% of the vote in a two-way race and was endorsed by the major paper in the district.

    Do you know why it was a two-way race? Because the Democrats didn’t bother to run anyone in a heavily Republican district. They didn’t show up. We did. And we keep showing up. And we keep getting higher vote totals year over year.

    So you’re right, we probably won’t win any races this year. But there’s 2016. And 2018. And 2020. And we keep running and we keep increasing our votes received and our registered voters. And we keep showing up.

    We could take a page from California’s strategy and stop showing up, but we didn’t.

    I am merely saying that there is a difference between going thru the motions of being a political party, and actually working towards making the Libertarian Party into a major political party. Mr. Sarwark’s actions as a candidate recruiter in Colorado this year do not give me even the slightest bit of confidence that he has any interest whatsoever in electing Libertarians to public office.

    Do you have an example to contrast with our strategy in Colorado? Any suggestions for what should be done to make the Libertarian Party into a major political party? I’m ready to listen to constructive suggestions. Criticisms without suggestions will be given all the respect that they are due.

    At this point in time, I am planning on voting for None of the Above for LNC Chair.

    I suppose I shall muddle along without your support. As I mentioned to Mr. Goldstein, who shares your voting preference, there’s a pretty effective speech you may want to watch if you want pointers on how to be successful in your efforts.

    Also, you might want to have a plan in case you win.

    By the way – if Mr. Sarwark prefers, I am quite willing to address him as Dr. Sarwark. I am currently operating under the assumption that most lawyers prefer to be addressed as Mister.

    Mr. Sarwark, Nick, or Nicholas are fine. I’ll leave the styling of a JD as worthy of the title “Doctor” to Dr. Tom Stevens. Nobody wears it better than he does. 😉

  15. paulie

    SL] …stipulate right now that Mr. Hess will not overcome that hurdle. (Mr. Hess is their candidate for Governor).

    P] We should not stipulate that. Colorado is a “Purple State” so it is at least possible that the Purple PAC which played a major role in Robert Sarvis doing as well as he did in VA may fund Matthew Hess’s race. And it is not impossible that Hess could do a little bit better than Sarvis. The LP has had at least one and maybe more candidates for Governor that have gotten at least 10%. Off the top of my head, Ed Thompson in Wisconsin. I will stipulate that the odds are against Hess getting double digits, but that’s as far as I will concede.

    SL] That leaves 39 candidates that are running for non-ballot-status State or County offices in Colorado this year. I will state right now that NONE OF THEM will win their election. In fact, the overwhelming majority of them will lose by at least 30%.

    P] Probably, but not necessarily. The LP has won several legislative races in the past and was over 40% in two legislative races this past time. One of those was in Colorado.

    SL] But you might say “the 5 candidates that are running for County level offices can win, can’t they?”
    The simple answer is: No, they can’t. All of those county offices are partisan. With literally a tiny handful of exceptions, Libertarians have only win partisan elections if they are non-competitive (ie: no major party candidate is on the ballot), or if the total number of votes needed to win is under 200. Since thousands of votes are needed to win those county level offices, I feel very confident in saying that none of the candidates that Mr. Sarwark says he recruited will win their elections.

    P] Again, this may or may not be true. The chances are against us, but we may get lucky and catch a break. There are additional benefits to running which I will mention in a little while.

    SL] So – the question is – why did you join the Libertarian Party? If you joined this party because you enjoy associating with liberty lovers and you feel that showing the flag every couple of years is a great benefit to the libertarian movement, then yes, you will probably be tempted to vote for Mr. Sarwark for LNC Chair.
    However, if you joined the Libertarian Party because you want to actually change our country’s laws to be more libertarian, then Mr. Sarwark’s performance as a candidate recruiter is irrelevant. In fact, to the extent that Mr. Sarwark ignored recruiting candidates for winnable offices in favor of the candidates currently listed on the web site, then I would aver that Mr. Sarwark is not at all interested in seeing the Libertarian Party become a real political party.

    P] Not being in races that are highly likely to be winnable does not mean we are not helping to change laws and policy. Our presence on the ballot has several effects even when we don’t win:
    * It causes Republicans and Democrats to move incrementally in our direction to prevent us from getting bigger and earning votes away from them, potentially causing them to lose close elections.
    * Through debates and other interactions with our candidates Democratic and Republican politicians and their aides are sometimes convinced of the rightness of our ideas.

    * It gives people who prefer libertarian positions candidates to vote for and sends a message to our opposition, the media, and others.

    * It builds our member and donor base, candidates with experience running, people with experience working on LP campaigns, and so on, making winnable races down the line more possible.

    * It brings people into the larger libertarian movement. Although many of them don’t stick with the LP, the LP and its campaigns is often how many people discover libertarian ideas and views and go on to be active in any number of ways supporting libertarian think tanks, issue organizations and initiatives, libertarian-leaning campaigns in the establishment parties, and on and on. This includes winning non-partisan office or office as members of the larger parties long after their LP dues expire.

    This is traditionally how smaller parties have influenced law and policy. It is how the Socialist, Progressive and Prohibition parties got their ideas int law in the first half of the last century, despite never becoming major parties. They did get to be somewhat bigger than the LP has so far – a level that the LP can very realistically work to build up to.

    SL] At this point in time, I am planning on voting for None of the Above for LNC Chair.

    P] Why? If NOTA wins you just get new candidates to run. Why not get those candidates to run now (or at least by the time chair voting starts), rather than trying to get reluctant candidates to do it after the declared candidates (assuming there will be more than one) are eliminated?

    Or, assuming no one is willing to run for chair, the LNC elects its own chair. Is that actually preferable to letting the delegates make that choice?

    I want to understand why Scott Lieberman and Sam Goldstein support NOTA.

    Is it that they have candidates who are already willing to run, but those candidates don’t want public scrutiny by announcing ahead of time, or don’t think they can win unless the candidates who announce ahead of time are eliminated first?

    Or is that they have been unsuccessful in recruiting a chair candidate and think they will be more successful if NOTA wins?

    Maybe there is some other explanation I have not yet thought of.

  16. Wes Wagner

    Oh good lordy, libertarians might run for an election and accidentally recruit more members and promulgate our ideas without winning! That will somehow prevent the advance of liberty because we could have elected a True Libertarian Republican (TM) supported by the controlled opposition faction (aka the Starr faction) of which Lieberman is a member to the degree that he got caught asking the Johnson campaign to spike ballot access in Oregon just to help win a petty battle to reinstall a republican controlled opposition puppet regime in Oregon. (who after our Primary will probably be running more partisan candidates than Colorado… Sorry Nick — you will have to work harder 😉 )

  17. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Does anyone else see irony in Dr. Lieberman from CALIFORNIA predicting dismal performance for the candidates of Colorado? How many people will CA have on our ballot, Scott?

  18. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I hope you’ll leave an equally long message detailing your successes on the LNC, Scott.

  19. paulie

    I actually think there is some value in the Starr-Lieberman strategy of encouraging LP members to (also) seek local non-partisan elected office that we can win as well as appointed office that is often there for the asking. But I also want to fill the ballot with LP candidates for every type of office. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    BTW Alabama has 13 candidates nominated so far, and will have more nominated by the end of the month – I am hoping for 20 or more – even though we are going to (at best) be on the ballot for only about 22% of the state’s voters, or less than a million people (including children, those not registered etc) in areas where we expect to be on the ballot. And many of them will be two way races. I think that’s pretty good in per capita terms, especially since this is the first time since 2002 that we have had multiple LP branded candidates on the ballot. We had just under 60 candidates then and were on the ballot statewide.

  20. Joe

    Nicholas Sarwark @ May 18, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Wrote:

    “There will also be an ad in LP News that has the list of nominated candidates, paid for by the Libertarian Party of Colorado”

    By this, unlike the delegates and members from Ohio, Nick means the ad, not the candidates.

    🙂

    It’s that damn verb/subject agreement issue again.

    Of course in Oregon and Ohio it’s that damn Starr money problem again..

    Joe (always go for the joke over any kind of serious discussion (at least with idiots like “DOCTOR “let-ballot-access-in-Oregon-fail-so “we” can win” Liberman)).

  21. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Oh, after your lengthy response detailing your successes on the LNC, Dr. Lieberman, please compose one detailing the successes of the Ca ExCom, since you’re a member of that.

  22. paulie

    Nick

    Do you see yourself being able to work effectively with a potentially hostile LNC if you get elected?

    I saw other candidates that had what sounded like a good agenda run for chair and get elected several different times in my time with the LP…and every one of them failed to do what they said they would try to do and what I hoped they would do when I voted for them.

    Why do you think you will be able to implement your agenda? How will you be more able to do so than past recent chairs, given that you will almost certainly have to work with a committee made up of various members trying to pull in different directions and limited powers as chair?

  23. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    California has One–count them–ONE candidate on the statewide ballot this year, and Mr. Jaech is there because Ted Brown and I talked him into running at the So Ca conference in Jan. The Ex Com at the lovely Sacramento office had nothing to do with it.

  24. paulie

    Nick

    What are some things that you pledge to do as LNC Chair that do not depend on whether the rest of the LNC goes along with you or not?

    I understand that you (probably) don’t want to discuss personnel specifics, but in general terms, are there any changes you can tell us you will make in terms of staff, relations between staff, membership, states, LNC and chair, general office procedures, or other related matters? Will you lean more on the side of giving staff a free hand or managing them in a more hands on fashion?

  25. Joseph Buchman

    Thank god the political party that is the LPCA isn’t wasting time running candidates!

    I mean the earned media coverage, increased name recognition over time, perception of legitimacy and the like would be a major burden . . . . waitaminute!

    Joe (I realize one heroic candidate is running; still my first sentence remains correct.)

  26. Joseph Buchman

    paulie @ May 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Wrote:

    “Do you see yourself being able to work effectively with a potentially hostile LNC if you get elected?”

    While its a fair question, I’d rather see a gridlock LNC than one where they more or less all get along on a republican-lite agenda (aka Wayne Allyn Rootitude).

    That said, if Nick is elected chair, I hope lots of folks he could endorse run “down ticket.” That’s probably why chairs are elected first, so voters can then choose how much support to offer them.

    Joe

  27. Wes Wagner

    I think Nick has the skills necessary to work with difficult people. I suspect that if the votes are there to elect him, he will not be facing a particularly hostile LNC – just one with a few remaining difficult personalities. Anyone who has to deal with DAs every day of his career can handle some of the weak sauce of difficult personalities on the LNC.

  28. paulie

    Nick

    How many of the people who have endorsed you so far running for LNC?

    Is there a “team” or plans for one?

  29. paulie

    These are not meant as hostile questions BTW. Partially they are questions that I believe others will ask, or should. Partially they are reflections of my own experience on LNC and wondering how to break the logjam. As I have said I like Nick.

  30. Scott Lieberman

    “Jill Pyeatt May 18, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Oh, after your lengthy response detailing your successes on the LNC, Dr. Lieberman, please compose one detailing the successes of the Ca ExCom, since you’re a member of that.”

    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    Ms. Pyeatt – I have never served on the Libertarian Party of California Executive Committee.

    http://ca.lp.org/executive-committee

    So, your instincts are correct – I have no successes on that front to report.

  31. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Okay, thanks for the correction, Scott. Since we vote on Region Reps at the convention at the same time we vote in officers and at-large members, I assumed you were part the CA Ex Com. I didn’t realize they didn’t claim you.

  32. Steven Wilson

    I wish you all the best Nick.

    Although I have been vocal for a number of years about shutting down the LNC, I wanted to make a suggestion as a means of being a practical LNC. You should gather a slate of candidates to run with you. When you present yourselves to possible voters, allow each person to speak on a different issue. Each separate issue will then make up the entire body of the slate. This will be seen as team building and visionary. Solution centric campaigns hold audience attention longer. Working together on a campaign will allow convention goers to visualize a working LNC. Team building implies confidence in planning for the future.

    If you just run by yourself, you will end up just like the rest…two years of nothingness.

    Good luck.

  33. Scott Lieberman

    “Your focus on ballot status over actually running Libertarians to present an option to the voters speaks volumes about your priorities.

    Nicholas Sarwark”

    You are absolutely correct. If – theoretically – your Governor candidate got 10% of the vote and attained major party status for the LP of Colorado for the first time ever, that would be a huge, gigantic accomplishment.

    Retaining and especially attaining ballot status is very important for Libertarian State Affiliates. If you don’t believe me, ask ballot-access expert Richard Winger, or LNC member Paul Frankel.

    OTOH, your modus operandi of running candidates “to provide an option to the voters” is an excuse to justify losing election after election after election after election after election after election…

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    “Maybe none of our candidates will win. None of the approximately 60 candidates we ran in 2012 did. However, one of them (Tim Menger – HD54) did get 41% of the vote in a two-way race and was endorsed by the major paper in the district.
    Do you know why it was a two-way race? Because the Democrats didn’t bother to run anyone in a heavily Republican district. They didn’t show up. We did. And we keep showing up. And we keep getting higher vote totals year over year.
    So you’re right, we probably won’t win any races this year. But there’s 2016. And 2018. And 2020. And we keep running and we keep increasing our votes received and our registered voters. And we keep showing up.
    Nicholas Sarwark”

    Yes, getting 41% in a 2 way race is very good for a Libertarian candidate for State House. However, he still lost by 18%. In the real world, losing by 18% is considered a pretty big loss.

    Mr. Sarwark apparently believes that all we need to do is to give participation medals to our candidates. Just “showing up” in elections was probably good advice for Libertarian State Affiliates in the 1970’s and maybe even into the 1980’s. But after 20 years of existence, I would have hoped that the LNC and other LP leaders would have realized that the only way to implement libertarianism in the USA is to fight and win a violent revolution, or to elect Libertarian majorities in as many legislative bodies as possible. Lobbying Democrat and Republican elected officials is another option, but that is the job of advocacy organizations. A political party is NOT an advocacy organization.

    DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

    “We could take a page from California’s strategy and stop showing up, but we didn’t.
    Nicholas Sarwark”

    Ummm –that was a very cheap shot. The reason California has stopped running dozens of Libertarians for partisan offices is that the Top Two initiative that passed a few years ago made it much harder to get on the ballot for the primary, and has made it virtually impossible for a Libertarian candidate to even appear on the general election ballot. If Colorado had the same system, I am quite sure your state would experience the same dramatic decrease in Libertarians who run for partisan office as we did here in California.

    HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    “I am merely saying that there is a difference between going thru the motions of being a political party, and actually working towards making the Libertarian Party into a major political party. Mr. Sarwark’s actions as a candidate recruiter in Colorado this year do not give me even the slightest bit of confidence that he has any interest whatsoever in electing Libertarians to public office.
    Scott Lieberman”

    “Do you have an example to contrast with our strategy in Colorado? Any suggestions for what should be done to make the Libertarian Party into a major political party? I’m ready to listen to constructive suggestions. Criticisms without suggestions will be given all the respect that they are due.
    Nicholas Sarwark”

    My own state party is far from perfect. However, I am quite willing to stack up our Elected Libertarians against Colorado’s Elected Libertarians any day of the week. Any Libertarian who gets elected to public office is doing the libertarian movement a great service, but some elected officials are more equal than others…

    Former LP of California Chair Aaron Starr figured out most of the ingredients in the secret sauce over a decade ago. All you need to do is to run a lot of candidates for WINNABLE offices. If you do that, you will get some wins. Wash, rinse, repeat. California went thru the wash, rinse, repeat cycle a couple more times, but for reasons that I only partially understand, we did not keep on doing it.

    That program, Operation Breakthrough, shows that Libertarian candidates can win dozens of elections if they are willing to run for non-partisan offices. Or, to be more specific, to run for Special District and School Board positions in relatively small population districts. Having 10 Libertarians win positions on Water Boards in a given state is a heck of a lot better for the libertarian movement than running 100 candidates for State and Federal offices, but having all 100 of them lose.

  34. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Scott’s response to a comment from Mr Sarwark:

    ‘“We could take a page from California’s strategy and stop showing up, but we didn’t.
    Nicholas Sarwark”

    Ummm –that was a very cheap shot. The reason California has stopped running dozens of Libertarians for partisan offices is that the Top Two initiative that passed a few years ago made it much harder to get on the ballot for the primary, and has made it virtually impossible for a Libertarian candidate to even appear on the general election ballot. If Colorado had the same system, I am quite sure your state would experience the same dramatic decrease in Libertarians who run for partisan office as we did here in California.”

    Stop making excuses, Scott. Yes, Top-Two is a problem, but curling up and dying is not the answer. Did you have a chance to organize any write-ins for single person races, Scott? That’s an excellent option.

  35. Nicholas Sarwark

    Do you see yourself being able to work effectively with a potentially hostile LNC if you get elected?

    As I’ve said before, I can work with anyone who wants to advance the Party.

    Why do you think you will be able to implement your agenda? How will you be more able to do so than past recent chairs, given that you will almost certainly have to work with a committee made up of various members trying to pull in different directions and limited powers as chair?

    I’ve done it on the state level. Additionally, if the delegates elect me as Chair, it will send a message to the incoming LNC that they are tired of the same old, same old. As Chair, I doubt I will always get my way, but I hope to do so often enough to leave the Party stronger than I found it.

    What are some things that you pledge to do as LNC Chair that do not depend on whether the rest of the LNC goes along with you or not?

    I pledge to position the Libertarian Party as the party for millenials and anyone who prefers liberty to government control. As it is said, when the government boot is on your neck, it is of no consequence if it is a left boot or a right boot. We’re past arguing over whether to reach out to the right or the left; we should reach out to those who love freedom.

    I understand that you (probably) don’t want to discuss personnel specifics, but in general terms, are there any changes you can tell us you will make in terms of staff, relations between staff, membership, states, LNC and chair, general office procedures, or other related matters? Will you lean more on the side of giving staff a free hand or managing them in a more hands on fashion?

    No staff changes planned. I don’t work well when micromanaged and I assume the LP staff don’t either. I’ll make sure there are clear goals and direction, and then let the professionals execute (or not). If not, that will have to be handled.

    Are you endorsing any other LNC candidates for other positions?

    Not really, though I would be very pleased if Arvin Vohra is re-elected to the LNC. Over the last term, he has done the most in terms of actual, concrete initiatives to move the Party forward, e.g. the social media strategy.

    How many of the people who have endorsed you so far running for LNC?

    None that I am aware of, but there’s still 40 days left. 🙂

    Is there a “team” or plans for one?

    Not as such. My hope is that if the delegates like my vision, they will also elect LNC members with the same or similar vision.

  36. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Does anyone have any idea of who the Starr faction is planning on running for LNC chair? Richard Burke maybe, or maybe Mr. Starr himself? It would be nice to know so that actual campaigning canl be done by all candidates.
    .

  37. paulie

    You should gather a slate of candidates to run with you. When you present yourselves to possible voters, allow each person to speak on a different issue. Each separate issue will then make up the entire body of the slate. This will be seen as team building and visionary. Solution centric campaigns hold audience attention longer. Working together on a campaign will allow convention goers to visualize a working LNC. Team building implies confidence in planning for the future.

    If you just run by yourself, you will end up just like the rest…two years of nothingness.

    While no running a slate may present a “two years of nothingness” problem, running a slate also presents a problem, namely that LP delegates have historically rejected slates.

    There may be a way to solve this dilemma, but I have yet to see one successfully implemented.

  38. paulie

    If – theoretically – your Governor candidate got 10% of the vote and attained major party status for the LP of Colorado for the first time ever, that would be a huge, gigantic accomplishment.

    It would also present some challenges, as the American Constitution Party learned in CO after they ran Congressman Tancredo for Governor and actually broke that barrrier.

    Retaining and especially attaining ballot status is very important for Libertarian State Affiliates. If you don’t believe me, ask ballot-access expert Richard Winger, or LNC member Paul Frankel.

    You don’t need me to tell you that, but if anyone does, Scott Lieberman is quite correct. And Nick Sarwark is also quite correct that voter registration makes LPCO safe in terms of ballot access regardless of candidates or lack thereof.

    OTOH, your modus operandi of running candidates “to provide an option to the voters” is an excuse to justify losing election after election after election after election after election after election…

    See my prior reply on that particular point.

  39. paulie

    Yes, getting 41% in a 2 way race is very good for a Libertarian candidate for State House. However, he still lost by 18%. In the real world, losing by 18% is considered a pretty big loss.

    And in South Carolina we came even closer. A few hundred dollars could have and several hundred votes would have made the difference. According to Stewart Flood, Aaron Starr told him that there is no reason we should care about winning a state legislative race. I hope I am not misquoting anyone.

    Mr. Sarwark apparently believes that all we need to do is to give participation medals to our candidates. Just “showing up” in elections was probably good advice for Libertarian State Affiliates in the 1970’s and maybe even into the 1980’s.

    Shoulda woulda couldas are nice, but the past is past and we can only move forward from here…or not.

    But after 20 years of existence, I would have hoped that the LNC and other LP leaders would have realized that the only way to implement libertarianism in the USA is to fight and win a violent revolution, or to elect Libertarian majorities in as many legislative bodies as possible.

    See my prior answer on this point. An armed revolution only works when a movement has already gained more traction than we have so far.

    Lobbying Democrat and Republican elected officials is another option, but that is the job of advocacy organizations. A political party is NOT an advocacy organization.

    Advocacy organizations lack one tool we have in our lobbying arsenal: the ability to challenge otherwise unchallenged incumbents or swing close races on the November ballot, or to stay out of them.

    Mr. Sarwark apparently believes that all we need to do is to give participation medals to our candidates. Just “showing up” in elections was probably good advice for Libertarian State Affiliates in the 1970’s and maybe even into the 1980’s. But after 20 years of existence, I would have hoped that the LNC and other LP leaders would have realized that the only way to implement libertarianism in the USA is to fight and win a violent revolution, or to elect Libertarian majorities in as many legislative bodies as possible. Lobbying Democrat and Republican elected officials is another option, but that is the job of advocacy organizations. A political party is NOT an advocacy organization.

  40. paulie

    The reason California has stopped running dozens of Libertarians for partisan offices is that the Top Two initiative that passed a few years ago made it much harder to get on the ballot for the primary, and has made it virtually impossible for a Libertarian candidate to even appear on the general election ballot. If Colorado had the same system, I am quite sure your state would experience the same dramatic decrease in Libertarians who run for partisan office as we did here in California.

    Correct.

  41. Scott Lieberman

    Here are just two examples to show you how few votes you need to WIN at least some special district elections in Colorado:

    http://www.recdistrict.com/#!Judges-Unofficial-Abstract-of-Votes-for-Carbon-Valley-Park-and-Recreation-District/cpwo/2227F660-7860-409E-9B79-0153C321E4C7

    http://www.durangotelegraph.com/04-05-06/quick_n_dirty.htm

    Here is a list of all the special districts in Colorado:

    http://www.sdaco.org/transparency/userprofile_listall.php?alpha=all

    (I am not sure if all of them are elected as opposed to appointed, but the two I picked at random were elected).

    Obviously you need to have LP members living in a small district, and those LP members have to have the ability and the desire to run some kind of campaign, and then to serve in the office. Those are the qualities that a wise candidate recruiter looks for.

    I haven’t recruited large numbers of candidates who have won elections, but Brian Holtz blames me for getting him to run for the local Water Board that he now serves on. Tyler Brown in Virginia gives me some of the credit for helping him get elected to his Town Council earlier this month.

    Since I am not currently running for LNC office I don’t need to give my own personal list of LP “accomplishments”, but since several commenters have asked me “what have you done” I figured I would answer that question.

  42. paulie

    Former LP of California Chair Aaron Starr figured out most of the ingredients in the secret sauce over a decade ago. All you need to do is to run a lot of candidates for WINNABLE offices. If you do that, you will get some wins. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    I agree that this is part of what we should be doing. A cynic may point out that, much like legislative lobbying and much like educational/think tank activities, this does not require a political party; indeed, it might be done more effetively by, e.g., a National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste or some similar organization.

    Nevertheless, I am perfectly happy to agree that it is among the things we should do, along with legislative lobbying, some limited degree of educational activity, as well as filling the ballot with as many partisan Libertarians as we can.

    That program, Operation Breakthrough, shows that Libertarian candidates can win dozens of elections if they are willing to run for non-partisan offices. Or, to be more specific, to run for Special District and School Board positions in relatively small population districts. Having 10 Libertarians win positions on Water Boards in a given state is a heck of a lot better for the libertarian movement than running 100 candidates for State and Federal offices, but having all 100 of them lose.

    I don’t see it as either/or. Let’s do both; they each have their place in the larger puzzle.

  43. paulie

    organize any write-ins for single person races… That’s an excellent option.

    Agreed. Take the top one and a half lemon and try to make some lemonade.

    It is still a lemon though and there is no way around that.

    It’s also a lemon with seeds. Watch for where the wind blows those seeds next.

  44. Andy

    Scott Lieberman said: “That leaves 39 candidates that are running for non-ballot-status State or County offices in Colorado this year. I will state right now that NONE OF THEM will win their election. In fact, the overwhelming majority of them will lose by at least 30%.”

    You may end up being right, however, it should be pointed out that there was a Libertarian Party candidate for the state legislature in Colorado who received over 40% of the vote in a two way race, against either a Democrat or a Republican (can’t remember which, but one of the major parties did not field a candidate, and there were no other minor party or independent candidates on the ballot for that seat).

    The Libertarian Party has elected people to seats in the state legislatures of Alaska, New Hampshire, and Vermont, but the last time this happened was at least 12-14 years ago. I think that the Libertarian Party is capable of electing people to seats in state legislatures again, but it will only happen if candidates step up and run, and there needs to be a combination of a good opportunity and a good campaign strategy that actually has some funding behind it. Electing a Libertarian Party candidate to a seat in a state legislature would be a much needed morale booster for the party.

    I’ve been saying for a long time that the LP ought to focus on winning a seat in a state legislature somewhere, and another offices that really ought to be focused on is county sheriff. There are low population counties out there where it would not take much to elect a sheriff.

    Offices like US House and above are pretty much out of reach for the Libertarian Party unless the party is able to raise a lot more money than it has ever raised, or if a wealthy candidate emerges who is willing to self fund to the point where they can be competitive with the D’s and R’s. I estimate that it would take at least $1-$2 million for a Libertarian Party candidate to have a real chance at getting elected to a US House seat.

  45. paulie

    Alabama’s LP Candidates

    Laura Pate
    State Senate District 18

    Leigh LaChine
    State Senate District 20

    Christopher Allen
    State House of Representatives 52nd District

    Willie Hill
    Jefferson County Sheriff

    Ken Bailey
    Shelby County Sheriff

    Kevin Knight
    Bibb County Sheriff

    Mark Bodenhousen
    Jefferson County Assistant Tax Assessor

    Nicole Jordan
    Jefferson County Tax Assessor

    Shane Carlisle
    Shelby County Coroner

    Aimee Love
    US House 6

    Rebecca Kallies
    State House 44

    Emily Green
    State House 48

    Colin Albea
    Jefferson County Commission District 5

    …More being nominated now through June 1st.

  46. Bondurant

    If I were going to Columbus, I would vote for Sarwark in a heartbeat. Damn near crippled the WAR faction in Vegas by putting NOTA on the table. Bravo, Good Sir, bravo.

  47. Eric Sundwall

    In a single plurality system, third parties protest. Gotta love the psycho-babble win talk when the big pow-wow gets closer though.

    Where’s the raging protest against wars and the Fed? We win when we exist to challenge these issues- we still exist. Sitting on a local board should suck the life out of any libertarian waiting the mythical cursus honorum to sweep us into power. Geeeesh.

  48. paulie

    Starchild: exactly!

    Eric: protesting is a legit part of what alt parties do. Winning can sometimes be a part of what we do, although we usually find other ways to win. Sitting on government boards, or even our own internal party governing boards, can seem soul sucking, but it has its place too and can be a way to help the cause. It takes a lot of people working in a lot of different ways to make progress in the grand struggle; the best thing to do is get in where you fit in, play whatever role suits you and let others do the same instead of knocking their efforts because they are not exctly like yours. Do your thing and let them do theirs. This also goes for Scott and everyone else.

  49. Shane

    I don’t like the ageism (vote for me because I’m young) — it’s unnecessary and alienating however Nick will be a fresh perspective that we need. I’m all for him.

    Nick, I get the tactic to target young voters and agree, however, younger demographics don’t donate in ways large enough to support the LP. You still have to get the donor demographic on board to support operations and outreach.

    The LP has been using the same postal techniques in direct mail that I brought to the table nearly a decade ago. There is no prospecting going on in a scientific way and zero email prospecting (which is has the greatest 12-month ROI).

    Stagnation will remain unless marketing changes.

    So, what’s your plan? And if you don’t have a plan, that’s okay. Just be sure to develop one.

  50. LP Observer

    Starr faction? Rutherford is not running for anything. Knedler is not running for anything. Starr may not be running for anything. Mattson is running for Secretary and will win. If they wanted to run, Columbus would be the place, but nothing in the works. Rutherford is chairing the LNCC. Starr has his hands in LSLA, LNCC, and other things. Knedler running for Ohio SOS with plans to shred the GOP in Ohio. Maybe Pojunis will run for Vice-Chair. Most sane people don’t want the headaches of being on the LNC.

  51. Mike K

    Email marketing is something the LP has been left in the dust with. I’ve written extensively about this in the past.

  52. Shane

    Mike, most non-profits are not taking advantage of online marketing — or if they are, most are going about it the wrong way. I know the LP has focused on Social — which has the lowest conversion rates of any channel. The rise in social network popularity for the LP has clearly not resulted in a rise in new donors or members.

    The LP needs to shift its strategy to include email marketing and at least one other channel (three channels are ideal).

    With no professionals at LPHQ or on the LNC with significant marketing knowledge, it’s unlikely things will improve and stagnation will continue. That last membership bump of note was in 2006 or 2007 of 20%. Before that, Dasbach’s plans had real results and was based on sound non-profit direct mail principles — unfortunately postal costs have skyrocketed since then.

    The good news is that most organizations can significantly grow their base of support rapidly through sound online prospecting. There really is little competition on prospect and the list universe is growing daily — but that will change very soon.

    If the LP doesn’t take advantage of the opportunities now, and I’m talking 2014, then they’ll have to wait until 2017 as the list rental market will be slammed in 2015 and 2016 with other candidates driving up rental rates just as they did in 2012.

  53. Andy

    don’t like the ageism (vote for me because I’m young) — it’s unnecessary and alienating however Nick will be a fresh perspective that we need.”

    I agree with this point. Age should not really mean anything. It should be about ideas, philosophy, work ethic, character, etc…

    “Nick, I get the tactic to target young voters and agree, however, younger demographics don’t donate in ways large enough to support the LP. You still have to get the donor demographic on board to support operations and outreach.”

    I agree here is well, and this leads to my first question to Nicholas Sarwark, and that is, what specific ideas do you plan to implement in order to recruit more young people into the Libertarian Party?

    Saying that if the Chairman is young, or relatively young (34 is not THAT young), that this alone will automatically entice more young people to join the Libertarian Party is not what I’d call a sold plan, as I do not think that it will be that easy.

    This reminds me of what I’d call ridiculous statements made by Mary Ruwart and Wayne Allyn Root during the campaign for the LP Presidential nomination in 2008, in that Mary Ruwart would bring in more women to the LP just because she was a woman, and that there were lots of women who were supporting Hillary Clinton who would shift their support to Mary Ruwart when Hillary was eliminated from the Democratic Party’s primary just because they wanted to vote for a woman (if this was true, wouldn’t they have voted or Green Party candidate for President, Cynthia McKinney in droves, which obviously did not end up happening), and Wayne Root’s statement that because he lives in the Las Vegas area and has worked in the gambling business, that millions of online gamblers would vote for him (obviously did not happen either).

    Recruiting more young people into the LP is something that certainly needs to be done, and I’ve been saying this for years, and it is also something that I’ve actually worked on myself on a small scale, but it is going to take more than the delusional type of statements that I cited above to make it happen, there needs to be a real plan, so what is your plan to bring more young people into the Libertarian Party?

  54. Andy

    One more comment on ageism, keep in mind that Ron Paul is in his 70’s, and he’s done more to recruit people into libertarianism than anyone else, including recruiting lots of young people.

  55. Andy

    ” is not what I’d call a sold plan,”

    Should read, “is not what I’d call a solid plan….”

  56. Mike K

    Shane,

    What I’ve been talking about is specifically email capture, and targeted email fundraising and calls to action. Just look at what Barack did in 2012.

  57. ATBAFT

    There comes a time when the Old Guard realizes it is time to give way to the New Guard.
    Or, if they can’t realize it, be shoved out the door to bask in emeritus status. No doubt, a few of the present LNC members should be retained for their knowledge and their enthusiasm for the Party as against the interest of their ego. Hey “kids”, it’s all yours!

  58. Chuck Moulton

    I completely agree with Shane about the need for prospecting — email and otherwise.

    I disagree with the assertion that young people are not a good demographic due to lack of money to donate. We need to get them young and retain them for when they have more to spend. Additionally, the LP over-emphasizes donations and under-utilizes volunteerism. Young people often have more time than money. They would be willing to donate time to the LP if we could coordinate them effectively and find projects leveraging the diverse skill sets of our membership. Arvin has been very effective at using volunteers for social media… there are a lot of other things they can help with too.

  59. Brian Holtz

    Nick: “We could take a page from California’s strategy and stop showing up”

    Neither befits a prospective LNC Chair.

    When Scott (or me or anybody else) baits you on LP strategy, just point out the irony of anyone saying something like:

    “As libertarians, we believe that happiness and prosperity are maximized when people are free to follow their individual utility functions. Also, every libertarian who doesn’t follow the single political strategy I recommend for all libertarians must have some primary goal other than maximizing liberty.”

  60. Thomas L. Knapp

    Even when I disagree with Nick Sarwark — and that does happen — he’s a class act. He knows his stuff before he speaks and neither backs down from necessary fights nor indulges in unnecessary fights. He has exactly the temperament that any organization would do well to look for in a chair.

  61. Shawn Levasseur

    Wait… I think we’re burying the lede…

    If Nick’s running, he won’t be in his frequent spot of trying to give a nominating speech for NOTA.

    Apparently he and NOTA must have had a falling out. 🙂

    Joking aside, NOTA’s a “when all else fails” option. At this stage, if you don’t know of anyone who is good enough try recruiting someone. Either someone recruited Nick, or he’s taken the bull by the horns himself.

    I hope the election for chair isn’t as stressful this time around. Then again the odd situation of neither the last candidate nor NOTA getting to 50% was as strange one that the rules weren’t quite up to adjudicating with any clarity, I doubt we’re going to pull that trick twice [Knock on wood].

  62. Nicholas Sarwark

    If Nick’s running, he won’t be in his frequent spot of trying to give a nominating speech for NOTA.

    I only did it the one time. For those keeping score, that’s one time out of seven national conventions I’ve attended.

  63. Mark Axinn

    >As it is said, when the government boot is on your neck, it is of no consequence if it is a left boot or a right boot.

    Excellent line, which you should use and re-use frequently to point out tryrany from both directions and to distinguish us from them.

  64. Shane

    Mike K: “What I’ve been talking about is specifically email capture, and targeted email fundraising and calls to action. Just look at what Barack did in 2012.”

    Obama, and now OFA, do a great job of getting very low dollar gifts from a ton of supporters (even the young demographic). The feats of their scientific model were overstated. Also the vast majority of opt ins were organic — they didn’t really have to prospect.

    Developing a prospecting campaign for the LP would be a challenge, but not as challenging as developing one for the RNC. And I’m speaking from experience.

    LPHQ and the LNC would have to radically change their budget and mindset to get behind a growth campaign. It would take a chair AND a treasurer who “get it” and were willing to stop talking about concepts or the incessant internal focus and just get right to it and measure results.

    I’m glad Nick announced but candidly, I’d support anyone who was not part of the LP establishment.

    The LNC needs a clean slate of leadership. While the dedication of the long serving LNC members is appreciated and valued, they should be the first to admit that they are not effective. The mantra “Liberty in our lifetime” is an excuse to hang around and produce little change from year to year.

    I say, “Liberty by sundown!”

    Shoot for the stars and you won’t end up with a handful of mud — not my line, think it was Ogilvy.

  65. Robert Capozzi

    S: “Liberty by sundown!”

    Me: Good luck with that. Consider the possibility that that amounts to an overpromise/underdeliver setup….

  66. Matt Cholko

    Shane, who should the LP pay to make this happen? I’m being serious here, BTW. I agree with you 100%, although with limited knowledge of online marketing.

  67. Steven Wilson

    In working with Ron Paul and Gary Johnson with campus speeches and recruiting, it does a great service in your branding to go directly at the youth. They respect and admire the effort, and it is team building.

    If the LP were to actively go after the college base, then it would be easier to raise money and recruit candidates from a pool already present. The LNC that understands bottom-top management will be the LNC that is remembered for growing liberty in America. Top down models have been tried and failed.

    It takes more to reclaim a lost customer than to service and maintain a current one.

  68. Shane

    Matt, I’ve offered to do a session at the convention gratis — no response to that from LSLA.

    As far as “paying someone” there are very few agencies (that are good) that could/would take on the LP as a client. That said, most of those agencies who serve a pro-Liberty client base don’t do enough volume to know what works and what does not. Most are focused on the bells and whistles of tech rather than solid direct marketing principles.

    Commercial marketers don’t know enough about non-profit/political marketing to have a good ROI for the client — I tested against two recently. Their member acquisition cost was $500+, mine was $76. Admittedly it was a tough campaign.

    Anyway, to answer the question, I don’t think you can pay anyone to produce “roll out” results but it’s not rocket science. If the LP was committed to a real budget, I could get them started on a volunteer basis. But I am very picky about who I work with — sorry that I have to qualify that offer.

    Steven: “It takes more to reclaim a lost customer than to service and maintain a current one.”

    True, but when your active file is tiny, you have to do both. An inactive donor file and non-donor file is your own qualified prospect list. It should be hit at least quarterly with a reactivation campaign. I don’t consider them a “lost” customer — unless the explicitly say “do not contact.”

    The reacquisition costs of lapsed donors are typically much lower than prospect with a higher conversion rate. No list rentals fees, etc.

    There are thousands of recently lapsed LP members and tens of thousands of lapsed. It’s not a big universe but definitely campaign worthy (not just the occasion guilt letter).

  69. Mike K

    Matt,

    The key would be to start with volunteers, who after raising X dollars, would be able to pay themselves X dollars from it, and then the LP would make X dollars from that. It most likely would require at least one paid staffer to coordinate the volunteer effort.

  70. Andy

    “Matt Cholko May 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm
    Shane, who should the LP pay to make this happen? I’m being serious here, BTW. I agree with you 100%, although with limited knowledge of online marketing.”

    How about a performance barometer like this, either grow the LP in terms of membership and fundraising over a 2 year period, or you are automatically off the LNC and can never be elected to the LNC again? The same for LNC office staff, either grow the LP in terms of membership and fundraising over a 2 year period or you are out of job and can never be rehired to work at the LNC office.

    Just a proposal for discussion. I know that it sounds harsh, but I’d bet that if something like this were implemented it would light a flame under some people’s asses and get them working hard to build the party, and for those who do not grow the party, it would be a good way to get rid of dead weight.

    I also would not count personal donations in the grow the party category, as to prevent ineffective people who happen to have a lot of money themselves donating just so they can stay on the LNC. Get off your ass and recruit new members, those who can’t or won’t should get the hell out of the way.

  71. Andy

    I don’t know if Nicholas is just busy, or if he did not notice my question above, or what, but just in case he did not see it, I’ll ask it again.

    Nicholas, what exactly would you do as Chairman to recruit more young people into the Libertarian Party?

  72. Bondurant

    I am not going to Columbus because I cannot afford to go nor to take unpaid time off from work. I am one of those WAR wanted to neglect. But I have made a $20 donation to help my fellow Arizonan, Mike Shipley, raise funds to go.

  73. Shawn Levasseur

    “I only did it the one time. For those keeping score, that’s one time out of seven national conventions I’ve attended.” (Nick in reference to his NOTA nomination speech at the 2012 convention, and my attributing earlier such speeches to him)

    My mistake. I remembered that it was a frequent fight to get a NOTA nomination speech, with varying success from convention to convention. I guess I mentally attributed the earlier attempts to you, the most recent (and by chance of the subsequent events, the most notorious).

    My apologies for the error.

  74. Nicholas Sarwark

    Anyway, to answer the question, I don’t think you can pay anyone to produce “roll out” results but it’s not rocket science. If the LP was committed to a real budget, I could get them started on a volunteer basis. But I am very picky about who I work with — sorry that I have to qualify that offer.

    The reacquisition costs of lapsed donors are typically much lower than prospect with a higher conversion rate. No list rentals fees, etc.

    There are thousands of recently lapsed LP members and tens of thousands of lapsed. It’s not a big universe but definitely campaign worthy (not just the occasion guilt letter).

    Shane,

    Assuming you’re not too picky to work with me, should I be elected, I’d be happy to have your assistance in developing a reacquisition campaign.

  75. Nicholas Sarwark

    Nicholas, what exactly would you do as Chairman to recruit more young people into the Libertarian Party?

    Establish a clear vision and direction for the party, positioning the LP on issues that are (a) popular with young people and (b) are not properly addressed by the legacy parties. Because we’re smaller, we need to fight on ground that the Ds and Rs won’t or can’t compete on. Marijuana legalization is the best current example. Marriage equality was that ground, but the Ds are taking the field. There are others and some of this is dependent on who the rest of the LNC is.

    Gen X and younger are not natural joiners, in the way that their parents and grandparents were. As such, a direct, “sign up here, give us $25, and we’ll send you a membership card” solicitations are not very effective. We need to have an exciting party that they want to be involved in (not just members of). We need to reduce the barriers to becoming involved. And once they are involved, we need to periodically try to increase their involvement and donations.

  76. Nicholas Sarwark

    My mistake. I remembered that it was a frequent fight to get a NOTA nomination speech, with varying success from convention to convention. I guess I mentally attributed the earlier attempts to you, the most recent (and by chance of the subsequent events, the most notorious).

    At one point, I did push for a bylaws proposal to make NOTA speeches explicit in the bylaws. That may be what you are remembering.

  77. George Phillies

    Let me comment that we tried membership recruitment as a strategy before, and it did not work. Readers may consult my books Stand Up for Liberty and Funding Liberty, and the pages of Let Freedom Ring, still available on http://CMLC.org , for the ugly details.

  78. Steven Wilson

    Donors still need something to believe in. The LNC is dysfunctional because of what it does.

    What is the utility of the LNC?

    It got an office.
    It said it was raising money for a building.

    It now wants more money for ballot access costs. But it lost face. Why? Because of what it did. The LNC is not the theory of dysfunction, it is the application. And to defend it by using “well, we suffer A, because of the victory of B,” makes it worse. It is the proof of the enabling.

    What has it done for Top Two?
    What has it done to address the Gary Johnson campaign budget issues?
    What has it done to resolve state fights like in Oregon?

    These questions are not idle.

    To constantly ask a possible candidate if they can afford to go the these meetings is lame. It is lame. The present criteria we use is weak. That variable is important, but it is not the most important. We are enabling people to just sit in a hotel conference room and perform party incest.

    This party has great foot soldiers who are not wealthy or can afford it, but they love liberty and fight for it every single day. If Nick wants to grow the party, then make it approachable.

    A solution. Embrace the 21st and go online. Use Skype. I have clients and family that use it all the time. Gary Johnson used Google hangouts during his campaign. The campus crowd loved that. To have a meeting online is not a defeat. It is progress. It would allow ALL libertarians to feel involved in the party, rather than the same ole crowd.

    Our LNC operates just like the federal congress. It spends money it doesn’t have and then begs for the donors to cover them. Telling me in several emails that if we don’t get x amount, we wont’ be able to do A, B, or C is pathetic. Or at least that is how it looks.

    People join when there is something to believe in. The LNC keeps farting around.

    Possible candidates for the LNC should be required to prove what they do, not what they think. The LNC behaves like a book club because we enable them.

    How can the LNC recruit possible Presidential candidates when we cannot guarantee ballot access in all the states available? Look at the CP. They had people running for president when mathematically they couldn’t even win. Is that attractive?

    I wish felt differently about things, but if Nick is going to run he needs people around him that want the same things. Two more years of this with the prelude of another CLinton vs. Bush is disastrous.

    Nick is right. We need a party of motion that inspires emotion. To apply the changes necessary to make it worth while.

  79. Andy

    Steven Wilson May 20, 2014 at 10:16 am said: “A solution. Embrace the 21st and go online. Use Skype. I have clients and family that use it all the time. Gary Johnson used Google hangouts during his campaign. The campus crowd loved that. To have a meeting online is not a defeat. It is progress. It would allow ALL libertarians to feel involved in the party, rather than the same ole crowd.”

    I’ve been saying this for awhile now. The big hesitation a lot of members have about running for the LNC – myself included – is being on the hook to travel around the country to all of the meetings. The problem is not just the expense of traveling back and forth to the meetings, and of staying at the overpriced hotels and eating at the overpriced restaurants where the hotels are generally located, but also the time and opportunity costs that also come from attending all of those meetings. Libertarians who have a hard time getting away from work or business commitments, or who can get away from work or business commitments, but will lose a lot of money from being away for those days, as well as Libertarians who have family commitments, be it because they have children to take care of or elderly parents or a family member with some kind of health problem, are at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to travel around the country to attend LNC meetings, as are Libertarians who do not live near a major airport.

    There are lots of good Libertarian activist out there who either can not afford to attend all of the LNC meetings, or who can afford it, but they can’t go due to family commitments, or they could go, but given their work schedule and/or given where they live, attending the meetings could be a major inconvenience to them.

    So given these facts, some of the hardest working and most committed Libertarians out there, who may have great ideas about what the party should do, are eliminated from serving on the LNC due to the nature of the meetings, as in having to travel around the country and stay at expensive hotels several times a year in order to attend the meetings.

    Serving on the LNC is not so much about who has the best ideas about what the party should do, but rather, who has the time and money to travel around the country to attend the meetings several times a year.

  80. Nicholas Sarwark

    Serving on the LNC is a sacrifice in terms of time and money. This may be mitigated by bylaws changes passed at the next convention (or not).

    Regardless, if those who do serve are open to good ideas from those who may not have the time or money to serve, then the LNC becomes more than the sum of those people officially on the board. If that occurs, it will be better for the Libertarian Party.

    That is what I would like to see happen and I will be open to input from any members or activists. That doesn’t mean I will necessarily agree or implement every suggestion, but I will listen to all of them.

  81. Shane

    Nick: “Gen X and younger are not natural joiners, in the way that their parents and grandparents were. As such, a direct, “sign up here, give us $25, and we’ll send you a membership card” solicitations are not very effective. We need to have an exciting party that they want to be involved in (not just members of). We need to reduce the barriers to becoming involved. And once they are involved, we need to periodically try to increase their involvement and donations.”

    Correct — but that goes for anyone. You have to have a compelling call to action and a reason to give.

    George, your point about the history of membership drives is also correct. I spoke in 2012 to explain that the membership recruitment strategy since inception is flawed. Asking someone to “join” is akin to asking someone to change their religion or join the military. Ask them to support and donate — don’t ask them to join. Huge distinction.

    Nick, get elected to chair and you have a deal. Happy to help.

  82. Shane

    George: “You need a good set of officers and people for your ExComm to serve with you.”

    He’ll need a treasurer first and foremost, otherwise they can just defund anything they oppose.

  83. Robert Capozzi

    sc: I spoke in 2012 to explain that the membership recruitment strategy since inception is flawed. Asking someone to “join” is akin to asking someone to change their religion or join the military. Ask them to support and donate — don’t ask them to join. Huge distinction.

    me: Shane, that’s the MOST insightful thing (on any subject) I’ve heard in 2014, or even in years. Since inception, the LP was a cult, a cult that challenges the cult of the omnipotent state! A counter-cult to counteract a non-existent cult.

    Like metaphysical/religious cults, it uses its own language, terminology, view of history, and general worldview to exclude the unwashed. This is not to say that this is a conscious thing for and by all members, and even the cultists themselves may well have been unaware that this is a cult, one that still requires a pledge! Indeed, I’m not even sure whether any current members recognize that they are in a cult. I for one didn’t.

    Some do DEFEND the cult-ish aspects of the LP, but they may not be able to see how offputting it is since they themselves have been inculcated by the founders and their apologists.

    Thank you for this epiphany….

  84. Wes Wagner

    Robert:

    We found another thing we agree on… that the LP has become a cult. 🙂

  85. Robert Capozzi

    WW, yes, although I do believe I’d say it always has been a cult.

    Like they say, If you spot it, you got it.

  86. Wes Wagner

    Robert

    I am not so sure that on day 1 it was a cult … the pledge was mostly put in place by some (meaning there was a lack of unity in the desire to create a cult) when the LP was small as a statement that it was a non violent organization. Given the activities of the FBI and other government branches at the time, this may have seemed reasonable.

    It morphed over time into a religious experience for some (as opposed to an objective intellectual exercise of how far we can push things before the system breaks, or do we want to break the system (anarchist v minarchist v etc)

    In Oregon when we attempted to break up the dues based system and the cult-like hierarchy of controls – we were attacked by Starr (and Flood’s hooded keyholders), and the LNC itself because they had dominion over it at the time.

    We broke the cult in Oregon and have an open society now. That puts us at odds with a majority of the party.

  87. Wes Wagner

    I suppose to put this back on topic … anyone who would change the existing CULTure of the LNC to something more open, egalitarian, accessible – restore intellectual integrity, and promulgate a society that does not have either formal or informal hierarchy would earn my support.

  88. Robert Capozzi

    WW, good point. On the surface, the pledge itself may have seemed like a good idea at the time, given the other extremists in the mix then…the Weather Underground, Black Panthers, etc.

    It’s also possible that the founders got a bad batch of acid and really had the paranoid thought that there WAS a cult of the omnipotent state. I think it’s more likely, though, that these youthful Randians and Rothbardians (sister cults) felt it was time to take their thought systems out of the personal way-of-life/socio-economic philosophy and convert the masses through political action. (Hey, this means I “got it” too! Drats!)

    If you’ve created an open society in the LPO, perhaps you should be NS’s VC running mate! Show leadership by ditching the pledge and the loopy CotOS, and I might rejoin, or as Shane sez, “support” or “donate.”

  89. Wes Wagner

    Robert

    This one is something you need to grapple with still … there actually is a cult of the omnipotent state and if you look very carefully at the people around you, you can find it — it is just that building another cult to fight the first one is no way to go through life, and screaming at people that they are in a cult is not an effective way of liberating them.

  90. Robert Capozzi

    WW, hmm, well we’re getting off track here — this should be Counselor Sarwack’s moment — but, after decades of searching, I’ve yet to meet one blind worshipper of either an existing all-powerful state, or a blind worshipper who even WANTS an all-powerful state. So, either we don’t agree on the meaning of the words, or we are not meeting the same sorta folk.

    Screaming to me is almost always a sign of abject failure on the screamer’s part. It almost never works as a tactic.

    I don’t know a whole lot about deprogramming cult members, though I did like Keitel and Winslet in HOLY SMOKE. I suspect Keitel’s firmly gentle approach is the optimal approach, with the occasional poke designed to expose/explode the premises behind the cult.

    IIRC, Winslet’s character “won” that one, and her “cult” was just a different thought system from her parent’s.

    Leading with a charged, judgmental pejorative seems universally contra-indicated, so in that sense, I do believe we agree.

  91. Wes Wagner

    Robert

    This is precisely the point I am trying to slowly glide into .. whether we agree or disagree that there are blind worshippers of an all powerful state, it does not matter, because screaming at those people that they are cult members is not a useful way of changing their behavior whether they are in a cult or not.

    Therefore, it is reasonable for you to argue that this language and approach should be dropped, whether that cult exists or not, and it is an argument that should be considered for its merits without prejudice … and would be (except by a cult … 😉 )

  92. Robert Capozzi

    WW, why thank you!

    btw, there’s another reasonable argument FOR the CotOS language that IIRC Starchild and Benedict (between ED stints) have made. It’s, according to them, “poetry.”

    That would take the matter out of the realm of fact and into matters of aesthetics, which all but the most strident Randian/Objectivists among us would agree is truly subjective.

    If it’s poetry, I’d say it’s bad poetry. Caustic poetry.

    “How do I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
    or
    “A day without you is like a lifetime in the cult of the omnipotent state.” 😉 Not exactly a Shakespearean sonnet!

  93. Nicholas Sarwark

    RC, If elected, I’ll gladly accept your support and donations, even if you don’t want to sign the Pledge.

    I’ll also leave you to your quixotic quest to get 7/8 of the delegates to change the Statement of Principles.

  94. Been There, Done That

    When California stopped showing up? California has 18 locally elected officials. Onlythe LPPA has more, with 35.

    Those are WINNABLE races.

    How much do you people pay attention? How do you think the Ds & Rs have taken power? By starting locally. They have their entire support systems and pipelines flowing. They have people sitting on boards, city councils, etc., RIGHT NOW, for whom they are already making plans for their political careers.

    Local politics is where it’s at. Get on board or get left behind.

  95. Wes Wagner

    Major parties have a local office farm team to see who proves their loyalty before they dump $1M into them to put them in a real seat. We will never have that type of money because liberating people rather than exploiting them does not have the same profit motive.

    You have to understand all the elements of a complex system and not just assume what works for Rs and Ds can or will work for us if we emulate it.

  96. Wes Wagner

    (also for a historical perspective… the Rs did not assume power by running a local office farm team — they cut an alliance with abolitionists and took out another party quite rapidly)

  97. Joe

    Wes Wagner @ May 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm said,

    “I think Nick has the skills necessary to work with difficult people. . . .Anyone who has to deal with DAs every day of his career can handle some of the weak sauce of difficult personalities on the LNC.”

    Worth repeating, so I did.

  98. Robert Capozzi

    NS: RC, If elected, I’ll gladly accept your support and donations, even if you don’t want to sign the Pledge.

    me: I’ll take that under advisement, Counselor. If you started doing highly effective stuff (despite the false SoP), I may well be so inclined to take you up on your offer.

    I’ve generally steered clear of the parliamentary weeds, but as Chair, can’t you suspend the rules? Perhaps, on election, you can call for deleting any false statements in the foundational documents. Maybe ask for unanimous consent…is that possible?

    Once achieved, again ask for unanimous consent to delete the patently false cult clause. You might even make clear that you would immediately resign without this fix.

    The repair was almost successful in Portland without leadership by the Chair. With the full-force of the incoming Chair’s will, the insane millstone might well be cut away.

  99. Nicholas Sarwark

    I’ve generally steered clear of the parliamentary weeds, but as Chair, can’t you suspend the rules? Perhaps, on election, you can call for deleting any false statements in the foundational documents. Maybe ask for unanimous consent…is that possible?

    There was an attempt at a past convention to get an opinion from a Registered Parliamentarian that would have allowed a less than 7/8 vote to change the SoP. It was unsuccessful, as it should have been. There’s no way around the 7/8 requirement, and even if there was such a “trick,” I would not use shenanigans to get around the clear meaning of the bylaws.

  100. Andy

    “Nicholas Sarwark May 20, 2014 at 8:35 am

    ‘Nicholas, what exactly would you do as Chairman to recruit more young people into the Libertarian Party?’

    Establish a clear vision and direction for the party, positioning the LP on issues that are (a) popular with young people and (b) are not properly addressed by the legacy parties. Because we’re smaller, we need to fight on ground that the Ds and Rs won’t or can’t compete on. Marijuana legalization is the best current example. Marriage equality was that ground, but the Ds are taking the field. There are others and some of this is dependent on who the rest of the LNC is.

    Gen X and younger are not natural joiners, in the way that their parents and grandparents were. As such, a direct, ‘sign up here, give us $25, and we’ll send you a membership card’ solicitations are not very effective. We need to have an exciting party that they want to be involved in (not just members of). We need to reduce the barriers to becoming involved. And once they are involved, we need to periodically try to increase their involvement and donations.”

    OK, decent response. I would add to this by saying that there ought to be a major recruitment effort targeted toward members of Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty, both of which are college campus libertarian clubs. There are lots of members of both groups, and they ALREADY agree with Libertarians, and already self identify as small “l” libertarians. The LNC ought to direct a programs to send Libertarian Party speakers to Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty meetings at every college campus where they are located in the country. The wrap up to their speech ought to be a pitch to join the LP, with sign up sheets available. If a club member is not ready to sign up as a dues paying member of the LP, then at least get their contact information and add them to the party’s announcement list. The LP rep should also bring LP t-shirts, bumper stickers, and pamphlets and flyers with them to hand out to those in attendance at these meetings.

    Some other issues that should be addressed:

    1) The NSA spying on American citizens, and internet freedom. Young people are much more likely to be internet users than older people, and most people do not like being spied on by the NSA or other government agencies.

    2) The student debt crisis, and jobs and business opportunities. What can the LP do to improve this situation?

    3) Social Security. Sure, it is mostly old people who collect it, but it is young people who are being forced to pay for it. Let young people know that Social Security is an inefficient scam and that the courts have already ruled that Social Security benefits can be revoked or changed at any time, and that there is no guarantee that they will ever collect a penny of it, and that even if they do collect anything from it, it is likely that they will get back far less than what they put into the system. I remember when I first found out about the Libertarian Party back in 1996, I was impressed that LP Presidential candidate, Harry Browne, had a plan that would have let people like myself not have to pay Social Security taxes anymore, while at the same time still taking care of all of the older people who were dependent on Social Security by liquidating the assets of unconstitutional government agencies and using some of the proceeds to pay for private retirement accounts for those who were on Social Security, as well as for those who had already paid into the system for years and were close to the age where they could collect it.

    4) The encroaching police state. This ties in with #1 (NSA spying), as well as with the drug war, and that is that this country is being turned into a police state, and in a lot of ways we are already there. Homeland Security. The TSA. The Patriot Act. The NDAA of 2012. Lots of government agencies stocking up on guns & ammo while at the same time working to strip regular people of the right to keep & bear arms. If young people do not take a stand against this stuff now, there may come a day when they will not be able to take a stand against it.

    5) Foreign policy, no military foreign military interventions, and no military draft. This is a colossal waste of money and is misallocating resources which could be better spent if it remained in the pockets of the American people to spend, invest, or give away as they see fit. This would create more private sector jobs, jobs which young people want and need. Most people do not want to be drafted, and most people, even those who join the military voluntarily, do not really want to fight in some conflict that does not really concern them. Many of the people who join the military due so out of desperation, and/or just so they can get money for school or job training. If there was a decent paying private sector job or business opportunity that they could actually do, many of them would take it rather than join the military.

  101. Wes Wagner

    The way to overcome the 7/8ths hurdle is to build a society where people believe that their ability to express themselves without being whack-a-moled by the leadership and attacked for their beliefs if that leadership at that time is not in the same place as them philosophically.

    Until then, so long as we continue to create a culture where control of the party leadership is supposed to dictate the direction of libertarian thought (which it should not), some people who advocate and hold to some radical beliefs will not budge on this issue.

    If you break the culture of 50%+1 means I get my way, the federalism, and the acrimony created by people seeking control rather than consensus, the 7/8ths barrier can be overcome.

  102. Andy

    How about the Libertarian Party offer a contest to Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty, or to any other campus libertarian clubs that may exist? The contest could be something like this, the college campus libertarian club that increases its membership by the highest percentage between a specified length of time, gets an award from the Libertarian Party, and the leaders of the campus group get a free trip to an LP National Convention, where they receive an award on stage from the Chairman of the LNC. The award could be called Libertarian Campus Club of the Year or something like this.

  103. Andy

    “Many of the people who join the military due so out of desperation, ”

    Should read, “do so out of desperation.”

  104. Mark Hilgenberg

    I love the discussion on youth outreach, it is great to see.

    Gen-x, while not really youth any longer, they are not as apt to be joiners as said above but they are more likely to respond to activities.

    The Millennial Gen aren’t big on officially joining but they are very communal in action.

    I could see a benefit to having as part of an online membership page, some coordination with local parties. This way we can make in more of a working together type process, as opposed to just an individual action.

    If there were actions listed such as “Attend a March with your local party” or “Work with you local party to do XYZ”, it may sound appealing to the naturally group oriented Millennial Gen.

  105. Robert Capozzi

    NS: There’s no way around the 7/8 requirement, and even if there was such a “trick,” I would not use shenanigans to get around the clear meaning of the bylaws.

    me: An admirable stance, Counselor.

    Of course, I’d say the 7/8ths requirement is itself a trick.

    I wasn’t suggesting a trick. But, if you agree that the CotOS language is either false, bad poetry, and crazy sounding, you could – straight up – make it a centerpiece of your campaign. Make clear that you would resign immediately if this lie — apparently written by Hospers — is not expunged in this cycle.

    Expungement is no guarantee of success IMO, btw, but its continuance at the top of the only party I know of that advocates lessarchy across the board all but ensures fringy obscurity.

    If you think it’s true or good poetry, and sane, carry on. And best of luck in all your endeavors!

  106. langa

    I’ve generally steered clear of the parliamentary weeds, but as Chair, can’t you suspend the rules? Perhaps, on election, you can call for deleting any false statements in the foundational documents. Maybe ask for unanimous consent…is that possible?

    Once achieved, again ask for unanimous consent to delete the patently false cult clause. You might even make clear that you would immediately resign without this fix.

    The repair was almost successful in Portland without leadership by the Chair. With the full-force of the incoming Chair’s will, the insane millstone might well be cut away.

    The Statement of Principles stood before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. That intangible malignity which has been from the beginning; to whose dominion even the modern Christians ascribe one-half of the worlds; which the ancient Ophites of the east reverenced in their statue devil;—Capozzi did not fall down and worship it like them; but deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred platform language, he pitted himself, all mutilated, against it. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Capozzi, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in the Cult Clause. He piled upon the clause’s bold language the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.

  107. Robert Capozzi

    Langa, wow! Are you Herman Melville reincarnated?

    I do see the Cult clause as a kind of emblematic keystone.

    I don’t recall, Langa, do you believe there is a CotOS? Or is the clause mere poetry?

    Indeed, I don’t recall if Counselor Sarwark has a view of CotOS.

  108. paulie

    I’ll repost my questions for Nick. He mentioned in another thread that he missed them earlier in this one.

  109. paulie

    Do you see yourself being able to work effectively with a potentially hostile LNC if you get elected?

    I saw other candidates that had what sounded like a good agenda run for chair and get elected several different times in my time with the LP…and every one of them failed to do what they said they would try to do and what I hoped they would do when I voted for them.
    Why do you think you will be able to implement your agenda? How will you be more able to do so than past recent chairs, given that you will almost certainly have to work with a committee made up of various members trying to pull in different directions and limited powers as chair?

    What are some things that you pledge to do as LNC Chair that do not depend on whether the rest of the LNC goes along with you or not?

    I understand that you (probably) don’t want to discuss personnel specifics, but in general terms, are there any changes you can tell us you will make in terms of staff, relations between staff, membership, states, LNC and chair, general office procedures, or other related matters? Will you lean more on the side of giving staff a free hand or managing them in a more hands on fashion?

    Are you endorsing any other LNC candidates for other positions?

    How many of the people who have endorsed you so far running for LNC?
    Is there a “team” or plans for one?

    These are not meant as hostile questions BTW. Partially they are questions that I believe others will ask, or should. Partially they are reflections of my own experience on LNC and wondering how to break the logjam. As I have said I like Nick.

    I appreciate other people’s answers (some people answered the questions for Nick) but I would like to hear Nick’s answers specifically.

  110. Nicholas Sarwark

    Do you see yourself being able to work effectively with a potentially hostile LNC if you get elected?

    Yes, though if I get elected, I would anticipate that the delegates would also elect LNC members who shared my vision.

    Why do you think you will be able to implement your agenda? How will you be more able to do so than past recent chairs, given that you will almost certainly have to work with a committee made up of various members trying to pull in different directions and limited powers as chair?

    Your questions kind of assume their own answer. You’re saying that the members will be pulling in different directions, which would thwart me in moving the LNC in a positive direction.

    My observations of LNCs past is that it’s less a problem with moving in different directions than people arguing over whether to move at all, how far to move, and various tangential arguments that stop any movement.

    If I am Chair, there will be proposals put on the agenda to move the Libertarian Party forward. Those proposals will be debated, and they will either pass or not. If they pass, they will be implemented and I will expect to be held accountable in 2016 for the implementation of them. That’s all I can promise.

    What are some things that you pledge to do as LNC Chair that do not depend on whether the rest of the LNC goes along with you or not?

    “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand

    The meetings and conventions will run well. Literature will get an overhaul and be integrated into our web and social media presence. Staff will have clear expectations and goals. Committees will be populated after a call to the entire membership for interested and qualified people.

    Those are the things I know I can do, even if the rest of the LNC fights me at every step. Forgive me if I don’t enumerate everything I’d like to do before (a) being elected and (b) working to build coalitions on the LNC to get it done. But watch and see whether the LP is in a better place in 2016 than it is in 2014.

    I understand that you (probably) don’t want to discuss personnel specifics, but in general terms, are there any changes you can tell us you will make in terms of staff, relations between staff, membership, states, LNC and chair, general office procedures, or other related matters? Will you lean more on the side of giving staff a free hand or managing them in a more hands on fashion?

    As above, clear goals and expectations will be set. If they are not met, plans will be made to improve. If improvement doesn’t occur, people will move on.

    Staff will be given a free hand to do their work for the party as they see fit. If that results in goals and expectations being met, there’s no need for micromanagement. If they go above and beyond, I would ask the LNC to authorize bonuses. Good people will advance.

    We are a political party. Membership fulfillment, fundraising, and internal publications are part of our mission. However, they are not the entire mission. To the extent that the office has been 80% focused on those things and only 20% focused on politics (to include lobbying, litigation, issue campaigns, candidate recruitment and support, external advertising and outreach, and affiliate building), that balance will change. I’d like to get to where the ratios reversed, but in the short term, I think at least 50/50 would be a distinct improvement that will lead to growth and a more satisfied membership.

    Are you endorsing any other LNC candidates for other positions?

    Not at present. I have my preferences, but one of my goals is to move past factions and cliques and work with anyone who’s willing to grow the party. The delegates will choose and if they choose me, I will serve with whoever else they choose.

    How many of the people who have endorsed you so far running for LNC?

    See my updated Chair campaign page for a list of supporters. At least one has announced a run for the LNC.

    Is there a “team” or plans for one?

    The team will be whoever is elected. That said, you can’t be elected if you don’t run. If you, or someone you know, would do well on the LNC and is aligned with my vision, I encourage you (or them) to run. The delegates can only choose from the options they have.

  111. langa

    I don’t recall, Langa, do you believe there is a CotOS? Or is the clause mere poetry?

    It depends on how you define the terms, I guess. I have known people (quite a few of them, actually) who did not believe there was any limit on what the state is legitimately empowered to do, nor any area that was outside of the state’s jurisdiction. In fact, they believed that there were many things that were OK for government to do, but not OK for individuals to do, and at the same time, there was nothing that an individual could do, that government could not. They also seemed to believe that government was somehow immune to the laws of economics, and that people who worked for government did not have the same flaws that all other people have.

    “The cult of the omnipotent state” strikes me as a colorful, but not entirely inaccurate, description of these people.

  112. Bob Tiernan

    Wes: “(also for a historical perspective… the Rs did not assume power by running a local office farm team — they cut an alliance with abolitionists and took out another party quite rapidly)”

    .
    Well, if you’re refering to what I think you’re refering to, that’s not exactly how it went.

    The Whigs weren’t taken out by anyone. That party more or less dissolved itself, with many members (probably a majority) forming the Repub party. and most of these guys were already either abolitionists or at least dedicated to stopping its spread. No alliance was necessary because they were already in,

    .
    Bob T

  113. Wes Wagner

    Bob

    The Whigs fractured over the issue, IMO – even a majority of the former whig party (and yes a great many of the republicans were former whigs) was still a minority voting block. Their residual political support plus their willingness to back the abolition movement full bore is what took them to top of the ticket victory in major races (including one very well known President).

  114. Bob Tiernan

    Wes: “The Whigs fractured over the issue”

    .
    To their credit, those anti-slavery/anti-slavery expansion Whigs opposed remaining or enlarging their party into a Big Tent party that would look the other way in order to, well, have more days in the halls of power. Interesting that so many people don’t quite get that – I’ve heard for years from critics of the GOP who say that the Repubs should avoid the “mistake” of the Whigs who refused to become a Big Tent, as if any principles (controversial or not) are not worth anything. The Dems remained a Big Tent party and Jim Crow and the KKK became part of that Big Tent, more or less.

    .
    Bob T

  115. Joshua Katz

    I know Starchild has copied my endorsement above, but I want to add my endorsement personally as well. I am chair of the Connecticut LP, a frequent columnist at LRC, I was asked to contribute to the first volume of Libertarian Papers, and I was personally endorsed by Lew Rockwell when I ran for at-large at the Las Vegas convention. I am an elected Libertarian, and spend much time regularly working to protect private property and allow property owners to use their property as they see fit. I strongly endorse Nicholas for chair of the LNC.

    I am impressed by the fact that Nicholas has made the defense of the powerless against the government his life’s work. At every convention I have attended, I have been impressed by his eloquence and his firm commitment to libertarian principles, rules of order, and to running the party in a libertarian manner. While I happen to agree with Nicholas ideologically, this is not my most important consideration in a chair – it is how they will run the party. I trust Nicholas to run the party as it should be run – which is in a libertarian manner. We cannot expect people to believe us when we tell them the country can run that way if we do not run our party that way.

    I will add that my endorsement is of Nicholas, and not of everything in his announcement. In particular, I hope that as chair of the LNC, Nicholas will prioritize winnable races, and work to encourage affiliates to prioritize local races. I do not see evidence that he has done so as state chair, but I hope to influence him as chair.

    I strongly agree with Nicholas’ statement about our natural constituency. Voter turnout, even in Presidential years, rarely breaks 50%. Our task is to capture those who are already “throwing their vote away” by not voting. We don’t even need all of them – in a close race, 35% can be a winning combination. Non-voters have no ‘wasted vote syndrome’ to overcome, and many are apathetic precisely because they know the 2 parties are the same.

  116. Andy

    Here’s another question Nicholas Sarwark, candidate for Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee:

    The Libertarian Party has been running ballot access in what I’d call a very poor, slipshod, sub-optimal manner for many years. Ballot access drives are one of the most important things that the Libertarian Party does, and it consumes are large portion of the party’s budget.

    Over the last several years, I’ve seen petition drives fail when it did not have to be that way, such as Oklahoma in 2012, and Maine, Connecticut, Washington DC, and West Virginia in 2008 (I’d add Oklahoma to that list, but the opportunity to have a real effort to get on the ballot in Oklahoma in 2008 was thrown away early in the process, so I would not say that there was what I’d call a real effort put into getting on the ballot in Oklahoma in 2008). There were also states where the LP came close to failing, and just barely made it, such as Pennsylvania in 2012. There have also been multiple instances where candidates running for district offices failed to make the ballot, and some of these could have easily been piggybacked along with the statewide candidates, but yet they were not, so these district office candidates failed to make the ballot.

    Another big issue which hardly anyone talks about is how ballot access drives can be utilized not just to gather signatures to get on the ballot, but also to build the party. How? By disseminating Libertarian Party information to the public while gathering signatures, and by signing people up on a Libertarian Party contact list when people who are interested in the party are encountered in the field.

    One would think that after conducting ballot access drives since the 1970’s, that the Libertarian Party would have ballot access drives down to a science by now, but sadly, this is not the case.

    I can tell you, the situations that happened in 2012 in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania were due to mismanagement from the Libertarian Party. I still have time stamped emails and text messages where I tried to prevent the situation in Pennsylvania from turning into a fiasco (note that I did not work on the 2012 drive LP drive in PA, but I had worked LP drives there in past elections, and I knew what was going on as I followed the situation from afar), and MY WARNINGS WERE IGNORED, AND THE LP WALKED RIGHT INTO THE MINEFIELD ABOUT WHICH I TRIED TO WARN THEM. The excuse given at the LNC meeting as to why the validity was bad in Pennsylvania was just that, as in excuse. It was said that the validity was bad because the petitioners worked in Philadelphia. This is pure bull for two reasons:

    1) I looked up the voter registration statistics for Philadelphia. Around 2/3 of the population of Philadelphia are registered to vote, as in 66% of the people, and I’d have to look at where I wrote this down again, but it may have actually been 67%. I also looked up the voter registration statistics for the counties that surround Philadelphia (note that Philadelphia is its own county), which are Montgomery, Delaware (not the state, there is a county in PA called this), Bucks, and Chester. All of those counties had populations where in the high 60’s-low 70’s % of the population were registered voters. So given that these are the statistics there, how in the hell do you end up with validity that is in the 40’s% range and below? I have petitioned in Pennsylvania several times, and I’ve even petitioned in the city of Philadelphia myself, and I never had validity that low.

    2) Nobody forced the paid petitioners to just work in Philadelphia, and in fact, they were asked to work in other parts of the state because in PA, signatures for the district office candidates have to come from the districts where they are running, and they refused to do this, and from what I’ve been told, they would not even go out to the counties that surrounded Philadelphia to collect signatures.

    I should also be pointed out that there were other petitioners, several of whom were actually Libertarians, who had offered to work in other parts of Pennsylvania, however, in what was an unprecedented move, an exclusive monopoly on the LP petition in PA was handed to one mercenary petition contractor in Philadelphia, and everyone was told that they had to go through this person, which meant that this individual was in a position to keep an “override” off of all of the signatures, as in they were granted control of all of the money, and got to decide how much to pay the petition circulators. This person pocketed rates of 62.5% of the money, 50% of the money, and 25% of the money, depending on who the petition circulator was, as in he was paying different rates to different people, but with most of the people, this person was pocketing between 50%-62.5% of the money. Oh, and none of the people who worked on this petition drive were actually Libertarians, outside of whatever few volunteer signatures were gathered. It was a sweet deal for the person who was handed the monopoly deal, as they got to walk away with a good $40,000, for maybe a couple of months or so of work.

    Oklahoma was a somewhat similar situation. I had predicted what would happen in Oklahoma months before it happened, actually, just a little bit before the petition drive happened, and I even gave advice as to what to do to avoid failure from happening, and I did this in a conversation with an LNC member (and note that it was not Paul, and Paul was not an LNC member at the time, although I did discuss this with him as well). My advice was ignored and they ended up failing, just as I had predicted. Paul and I had both made calls inquiring about the possibility of working on the Oklahoma petition drive, and guess what, nobody called us back! So we both worked on other projects during the time period, and several months of it was on stuff that was not LP, but we could have both worked in Oklahoma during at least some of that time period, and if we had, it could have very well been the difference maker for the LP of OK to have made the ballot. Regardless of whether Paul or I were there or not, it was a mismanaged petition drive, and I could provide more details if necessary.

    I would go so far as to say that almost all LP ballot access drives are poorly run, even the ones that make the ballot. Why? Because on the typical LP ballot access drive, there is not very much Libertarian outreach taking place, and on a lot of drives, there are little to no actual Libertarians out collecting the signatures, as in most of, or in some cases, all of, the work is being done by non-libertarian mercenaries. If your a ballot access drive was done in your state, and little to no actual Libertarian outreach took place during the drive beyond bare minimum signature gathering, then in my opinion, your petition drive was a failure, even if you made the ballot. Why waste on opportunity to talk about the Libertarian Party with thousand, and thousands of people, and do nothing more than bare minimum signature gathering? This is a wasted opportunity, and it is one of the reasons why the party is not more successful.

    I could go on here, and I’m probably going to post more comments about this, but I will wrap this part up by asking, do you agree or disagree that the Libertarian Party needs to improve its ballot access operations, and if you are elected Chairman, will you do anything to improve the situation, or will you just continue business as usual in regard to ballot access?

  117. Robert Capozzi

    langa: I have known people (quite a few of them, actually) who did not believe there was any limit on what the state is legitimately empowered to do, nor any area that was outside of the state’s jurisdiction.

    me: Yes, certainly many think government should be powerful. All-powerful, though, this doesn’t describe. Big Brother powerful, with the State picking your spouse, planning your meals, dictating not only what you can’t do, but planning your day for you.

    L: “The cult of the omnipotent state” strikes me as a colorful, but not entirely inaccurate, description of these people.

    me: Shall I mark you down, then, under the “tepid endorsement” list?

  118. paulie

    I strongly agree with Nicholas’ statement about our natural constituency. Voter turnout, even in Presidential years, rarely breaks 50%. Our task is to capture those who are already “throwing their vote away” by not voting. We don’t even need all of them – in a close race, 35% can be a winning combination. Non-voters have no ‘wasted vote syndrome’ to overcome, and many are apathetic precisely because they know the 2 parties are the same.

    True. However, it is not easy to get lifelog non-voters to register, much less vote. Not impossible: I do it all the time. But I have a lot more that turn me down and are not willing to even discuss or think about it.

  119. Nicholas Sarwark

    I could go on here, and I’m probably going to post more comments about this, but I will wrap this part up by asking, do you agree or disagree that the Libertarian Party needs to improve its ballot access operations, and if you are elected Chairman, will you do anything to improve the situation, or will you just continue business as usual in regard to ballot access?

    Improving ballot access is very important to me. I will do what I can to improve how we spend our donors’ money across the board, including ballot access.

  120. George Phillies

    In my opinion, Nick would be well advised to query each of a list of people about ballot access issues to work out what is going on, rather than assuming that any particular single source is certainly right.

    Mind you, I would weight your opinion very very heavily.

  121. Andy

    This is the text of an email I sent out to several people a few weeks ago (note that nobody responded):

    “I attended the Libertarian National Committee meeting in Las Vegas, NV last summer, and during the public comments session at the end of the meeting, I got up and made the case for why the Libertarian Party should primarily utilize actual Libertarians for Libertarian Party ballot access drives. I began my presentation with a comparison to how the Mormon church sends out actual Mormons (you know, those people you see wearing white shirts, ties, and black dress slacks, who carry the Mormon bible and travel around the country preaching the Mormon gospel) to spread their message, not Catholics, not Baptists, not Lutherans, not Muslims, not Jews, not Scientologist, not atheists, and not agnostics, but actual Mormons.

    I then broke down 3 reasons why the Libertarian Party should primarily utilize actual Libertarians instead of non-libertarian mercenaries for petition drives and voter registration drives, and they are as follows:

    1) Libertarians tend to do a better job, as in on average, after many years of doing ballot access drives, it has been proven that actual Libertarians bring in a higher average validity rate than non-libertarian mercenaries, and in general, tend to get the job done properly more so than non-libertarian mercenaries.

    2) Libertarians do a better job of disseminating a Libertarian message to the public than non-libertarian mercenaries. Actual Libertarians are better able to answer questions about the Libertarian Party than non-libertarian mercenaries, and actual Libertarians will engage in things that help build the party/movement long term, such as handing out information about the party, collecting contact information from interested members of the public, plugging interested members of the public into the local, state, and national party, helping to start or expand libertarian clubs on college campuses, turning people around on or providing them a better understanding of Libertarian issues/philosophy, etc… All that you can expect from non-libertarian mercenaries is the bare minimum, as in collecting signatures, and the more unscrupulous among them are not above misrepresenting the party – and/or issues that the party supports – if they think that it will help them gather more signatures (as in some of them stoop to lying to people to get them to sign the petition so they can make more money), and some of these unscrupulous individuals also intentionally get signatures from people who they know will not count (because they are not registered to vote, as in they are underage, or can’t vote because of felonies, or who are not American citizens, or are from another state, or just are not registered for whatever reason), just so they can pump up their numbers and make more money (note that the LP usually does not catch them, and even on the rare occasions when they do, nothing is usually done about it).

    3) Reward actual Libertarians for being Libertarian activists instead of rewarding non-libertarian mercenaries who will work on anything for money. Actual Libertarians prefer to work on libertarian campaigns, or at least on things where they are neutral. Non-libertarian mercenaries will work on anything for money, and are just as happy to work on a campaign that is to take freedom away as they are to work on a campaign that is in favor of more liberty. The set of incentives in Libertarian ballot access work actual rewards those who are non-libertarian mercenaries and punishes those who are actual Libertarians.

    I’m not saying that there are never instances where non-libertarian mercenaries should be hired, because this may not be realistic, but what I am saying is that hiring non-libertarian mercenaries ought to be the exception rather than the rule, and that most LP ballot access work should be and could be done by actual Libertarians, both paid and volunteer.

    Instances to hire non-libertarian mercenaries:

    1) A real attempt was made to hire actual Libertarians to do a ballot access drive, and not enough actual Libertarians could be found to finish the job on time.

    2) If another petition drive was already going on in a state, and whatever group or groups that already had petition circulators working had petition circulators who wanted to carry the Libertarian Party petition. So for example, let’s say that the Green Party had a petition drive going on in a state, and there were petition circulators that were getting paid by the Green Party (and note that the Green Party heavily relies on non-Green Party mercenaries as well) who were willing to work on the Libertarian Party petition at the same time, and let’s say that this was in a state where there was no law against gathering signatures for, or a person signing for, more than one party or candidate. Under this scenario, it would make some sense to utilize the petition circulators who are already there working on the Green Party petition, but even in this case I’d keep a watchful eye on the kind of job that the petition circulators in question are doing, and not just blindly assume that the Green Party has hired people who are doing the job correctly.

    The Libertarian Party has been around since 1971. That was 43 years ago. One would think that after doing ballot access drives for almost 43 years that the Libertarian Party would be doing them in the optimal manner rather than a sub-optimal manner by now, but unfortunately, this is clearly NOT the case.

    I made the above points at the LNC meeting in Las Vegas, plus I have presented these points both in person and on-line to multiple people in the Libertarian Party, including several State Chairmen and State Executive Committee members. Nobody has ever refuted anything that I’ve said.

    It was in July of 2013 that I made the above presentation at the LNC meeting in Las Vegas, NV. This was 10 months ago. Several LNC members sat there and nodded their heads and acted like they agreed with me. So now the question that needs to be asked is what changes have taken place since then, to ensure that most LP ballot access work is done by people who are philosophical libertarian activists instead of non-libertarian mercenaries who are just out for money? I have seen NO evidence of any change.

    So this leads me to believe that there are only two possible conclusions:

    1) Libertarians elected to internal party leadership roles must disagree with me, but for some reason, none of them are willing to publically air their disagreement, as they prefer to keep their reasons as to why most LP ballot access work should be done by non-libertarian mercenaries a secret.

    2) Libertarians elected to internal party leadership positions just don’t really care who they pay to represent the party on the streets, or how that representation is being done, or how efficient ballot access is, or, maybe they care a little bit, but they are too lazy to do anything about it.”

    Questions for Nicholas Sarwark, candidate for Chairman of the LNC:

    Do you think that what I said in this message makes sense, and is something that the Libertarian Party ought to implement, or do you think that what I said in this message does not make sense, and therefore it should be disregarded by the Libertarian Party?

    If you agree that what I said in this message does make sense, and that the party ought to implement this policy, would you implement this if elected Chairman of the LNC (that is striving for most LP ballot access work to be done by actual Libertarians (both in paid and volunteer capacities), and only utilizing non-libertarian mercenaries in back up roles (in the two cases I suggested above)?

    If you do not think that what I said here makes sense, then can you please state your reasons as to why it does not make sense?

  122. paulie

    Thanks Nick.

    George, Andy is correct in the issues he brings up here. I’m happy to discuss them with you, Nick, or whoever else is interested.

    Personally I find it easier to discuss such things over the phone than in long emails; the best number to reach me right now is 205-534-1622. My other number, 415-690-6352, is best for leaving voicemails. I can text message from either one, although neither one makes texting convenient, so I like to limit that to very short exchanges, not whole conversations.

  123. Steven Wilson

    In regards to ballot access, I still believe that candidates and their campaign personnel should fund and participate in their own ballot drives. Having libs or mercs should be a logistical issue and not ideology. Ballot drives can be a great means of creating buzz for your campaign. Get creative and get out n about with your voter base. Event planning in a proper way could get signatures and media at the same time.

    In my younger days I was a petitioner for pay and volunteer. I approached both the same way. In states where they know they will have problems with signature gathering, validity rates, and legal fees; it is wise to have a strategy for ballot access that includes variables for the National, but they should be secondary.

    I believe a great team building process takes place when you facilitate petition drives in your domain. It helps network with like minded people and it acts as a litmus test. Person A said they would help, while person B actually gave us 21 hours of service.

    I don’t like top down management.

    The flow chart should be:

    1. State Chair
    2. County Chair/Candidate
    3. Regional rep from LNC
    4. LNC

    If national donates money fine, but states should not get on the “tit” of the LNC every election cycle. For difficult states like Illinois, it makes a great litmus test for candidates.

    See Julie Fox. She is a hard worker and devoted to the cause. Julie would be a great role model.

    In my opinion, it makes Illinois look weak when they keep asking for money for ballot access. Team building bottom up would aid in gathering signatures, but also help market the Libertarian candidates. Two birds with one stone.

    I would also recommend asking for donations for specific items. For example, let the donor decide if their money goes toward ballot access, yard signs, or radio spots for their candidate. Leave it open, just like a store.

  124. Andy

    “Steven Wilson May 26, 2014 at 12:57 pm
    In regards to ballot access, I still believe that candidates and their campaign personnel should fund and participate in their own ballot drives.”

    Sure, if they have the money to do this, but reality is that most of them do not have the money. Even if they do not have the money, they should go out themselves and collect at least a few volunteer signatures.

    “Having libs or mercs should be a logistical issue and not ideology.”

    UUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This statement makes me cringe, and is a big part of what is wrong with the Libertarian Party.

    So if it having actual Libertarians or non-libertarian mercenaries out on the streets talking to the public does not matter that much and is only an issue of logistics, then let’s take this to its logical conclusion, and say that it does not matter if we have actual Libertarians or non-libertarian mercenaries working at the LP national office, and it does not matter if we have actual Libertarians or non-libertarian mercenaries serving on the LNC or state committees, and for that matter, it does not matter if we have actual Libertarians running as Libertarian Party candidates, and we should just take whoever we can get to run, no matter if they really libertarians or not, so who cares if they are have a non-libertarian agenda, and who cares if they are just opportunists who don’t really care about the Libertarian Party of philosophy and are just using the party’s ballot line to aggrandize themselves or because they think they can cash in from it in some way.

    I hold the opposite view, in that it DOES matter who the party sends out to speak to the general public with petitions and/or voter registration forms, and that the person who is speaking to the general public about signing the petitions or registering to vote under the Libertarian Party banner ought to be an actual Libertarian activist themselves (at least whenever possible), and if you can’t understand why this matters, even after I have gone to great lengths to explain why, then it appears that there is nothing I can do to help you.

  125. Andy

    Steve Wilson said: “If national donates money fine, but states should not get on the ‘tit’ of the LNC every election cycle. For difficult states like Illinois, it makes a great litmus test for candidates.”

    Most of the money for the petition drive in Illinois is from the LNC. Sure, it would be nice if states and/or candidates could raise enough money to do the petition drives themselves, but reality is that most of them are not able to do this, so if left to state fund raising or candidate fund raising, or candidate fund raising, most ballot access drives would fail.

    “See Julie Fox. She is a hard worker and devoted to the cause. Julie would be a great role model.”

    She may be a hard worker, but I’m not aware of her raising any money for the LP ballot drive in Illinois.

    “In my opinion, it makes Illinois look weak when they keep asking for money for ballot”

    Illinois has a more difficult ballot access requirement than most states.

  126. Andy

    “the Libertarian Party of philosophy”

    Should read, “the Libertarian Party or philosophy…”

  127. paulie

    Having volunteer petition drives is great. Unfortunately, they almost always fail. Few campaigns are able to mobilize enough volunteers to get themselves on the ballot.

    Having the money raised locally is also great. Unfortunately, except for very easy states or unusually well funded candidates and/or state parties that is simply not an option. Half or more of state LPs and candidates would simply not be on the ballot without most of the money to pay petitioners and petitioners themselves coming in from out of state.

    I’d be perfectly fine with never having the LP as a client if it were otherwise. I would even be willing to provide a limited amount of free consulting. But it just is not even close to being reality.

    I’ve seen too many times state parties and candidates try to reinvent the flat tire. We already know that some things work and some things rarely do. It’s not smart to rely on the things that rarely work (for us or anyone else) and hope that they will suddenly start working just because we wish they would.

  128. paulie

    Having LP activists who are experienced petitioners be preferred to non-libertarian petitioners is a good idea.

    On the larger petition drives with short deadlines that is not always feasible, but many LP ballot drives are on a scale where it is completely feasible, especially when the drives are started as soon as they can be instead of put off to some time close to the deadline with most of the signatures yet to be gathered. The LP is not as bad about this as most alt party and independent candidates, but the last minute cluster job still happens more often than it should and when it does, it often leads to failure and/or waste of resources.

  129. Andy

    “Steven Wilson May 26, 2014 at 12:57 pm
    Having libs or mercs should be a logistical issue and not ideology. Ballot drives can be a great means of creating buzz for your campaign. Get creative and get out n about with your voter base. Event planning in a proper way could get signatures and media at the same time.”

    Steven Wilson basically contradicted himself here. He said that having libertarians or non-libertarian mercenaries should be nothing more than a logistical issue, and that logistics are more important than ideology, but then he goes on to say that ballot drives can be a great means of creating “buzz” for Libertarian campaigns, and that Libertarians should get “out’n’about” with their voter base, and that event planning in a proper way can get signatures and media at the same time.

    Well how to you think creating “buzz” about Libertarian campaigns and Libertarians getting “out’n’about” with the voters, and using petition drives to get positive media coverage is more likely to happen? Is this more likely to happen if you have actual Libertarians out on the streets gathering as many of the signatures as possible, or is it more likely to happen if most of the signatures are gathered by non-libertarian mercenaries who are only motived by money and will just get signatures and not go out of their way to do anything beyond that, as in to do anything that will generate a “buzz” about Libertarian campaigns, help build the party, or help get positive media coverage, or would you expect the same results to be likely to happen regardless of whether the petition circulators are actual Libertarian or non-libertarian mercenaries?

  130. paulie

    Steven Wilson basically contradicted himself here. He said that having libertarians or non-libertarian mercenaries should be nothing more than a logistical issue, and that logistics are more important than ideology, but then he goes on to say that ballot drives can be a great means of creating “buzz” for Libertarian campaigns, and that Libertarians should get “out’n’about” with their voter base, and that event planning in a proper way can get signatures and media at the same time.

    He did not contradict himself. He wants the campaigns to primarily use volunteers, but if they do hire people, he doesn’t care if those people are libertarians (as best as I can understand him). I think he is wrong about that, but not necessarily self-contradictory.

    Andy is correct that the party derives side benefits from hiring Libertarian activist professional petitioners that are often hard to quantify but are real nevertheless.

  131. Andy

    Paul said: “I’d be perfectly fine with never having the LP as a client if it were otherwise.”

    Even if the LP did not have to gather petition signatures for ballot access anywhere in the country, there would still be a need for the LP to hire people to do other things, such as to do voter registration drives (note that the Democrats and Republicans both shell out big money on voter registration drives, even though they are already the two dominant parties in this country), field outreach/contact gathering, door-to-door canvasing, etc…

    Not having to petition for LP ballot access could also free up some Libertarian resources that could be put into other petition/field activist things such as more pro-liberty ballot initiatives, referendums, and recall petitions, and also for things like Fully Informed Jury ( http://www.fija.org ) activism.

    So until we live in a free country, there is plenty of work that needs to be done, and even if we ever achieve a free country, there would still be work that needs to be done in order to stay a free country, as in, “The price for liberty is eternal vigilance.”

  132. Andy

    Paul said: “He did not contradict himself. He wants the campaigns to use volunteers, but if they do hire people, he doesn’t care if those people are libertarians (as best as I can understand him). I think he is wrong about that, but not necessarily self-contradictory.”

    I’d say that he did contradict himself, even if he wants volunteers to do these things, because the paid petitioners ought to be doing these things as well, and the only way to ensure that any of this stuff happens on any kind of consistent base is to make sure that as much of the paid work as possible is done by actual Libertarians.

  133. Andy

    Paul said: “Andy is correct that the party derives side benefits from hiring Libertarian activist professional petitioners that are often hard to quantify but are real nevertheless.”

    There are other benefits with hiring actual Libertarian activist petitioners over non-libertarian mercenary petitioners that are easy to quantify if you examine average validity rates on multiple petition drives that the Libertarian Party has conducted over the years, as in on average, actual Libertarians generally bring in a higher percentage of signatures which are valid as compared to the average validity rates on signatures collected by non-libertarian mercenaries.

    Now I’m not saying that every non-libertarian mercenary is going to bring in bad validity , nor am I saying that any actual Libertarian is never going to have low validity (although it is not very often that an actual Libertarian has low validity), I’m talking about AVERAGES here, as in what usually happens, and what can be proven as to have happened over a period of years, and my personal experience with ballot access drives goes back to the year 2000. I believe that I have more than enough data to back up my point here.

  134. Andy

    “any kind of consistent base”

    Should read, “any kind of consistent basis…”

  135. paulie

    I’d say that he did contradict himself, even if he wants volunteers to do these things, because the paid petitioners ought to be doing these things as well, and the only way to ensure that any of this stuff happens on any kind of consistent base is to make sure that as much of the paid work as possible is done by actual Libertarians.

    I agree that the only way to ensure that any of this stuff happens on any kind of consistent base is to make sure that as much of the paid work as possible is done by actual Libertarians. That doesn’t mean Steven Wilson contradicted himself, since he vastly overestimates our volunteer base (to judge by his comment). If he were correct about that, that is if volunteers could do most of the ballot access and actually get it done, it would matter a lot less whether the relatively small number of signatures that would still have to be paid for were gathered by libertarians. Wilson’s post suffers from inaccurate assumptions, not internal inconsistency.

  136. Andy

    Paul said: “That doesn’t mean Steven Wilson contradicted himself, since he vastly overestimates our volunteer base (to judge by his comment). If he were correct about that, that is if volunteers could do most of the ballot access and actually get it done, it would matter a lot less whether the relatively small number of signatures that would still have to be paid for were gathered by libertarians. Wilson’s post suffers from inaccurate assumptions, not internal inconsistency.”

    I disagree. Steven Wilson acknowledges a need to hire paid petitioners, he just thinks that it does not matter if the paid petitioners are libertarians or not. All of the extra things he’d like to see done during ballot access drives should be done by BOTH volunteers and paid petitioners, and the only way to ensure that paid petitioners do these type of extra party building activities that can occur while gathering petition signatures, is to hire actual Libertarians as paid signature gatherers.

    Also, what’s wrong with offering paid work to people who are volunteers? This is basically how you and I started, as in we were both just regular party members/volunteers and then somebody offered us an opportunity to get paid to gather petition signatures.

    Unpaid volunteers are great, but the fact of the matter is that most people only have limited time that they can volunteer due to having to earn money for a living, and a lot of people also have families, chores around their homes, and other things in life with which they have to deal, so most people don’t have a lot of time to volunteer. Another factor here is that given how grueling petition work can be, it is not something that every volunteer is up to doing.

    So what is wrong with saying something like this to the volunteer base: “We need to collect ________ (insert number of signatures) in order to get on the ballot. Our deadline is ________ (insert date). We would greatly appreciate any volunteer signatures that can be collected, as these signatures will help us get on the ballot and will save us money that we can spend on other things such as advertising. However, we recognize that collecting enough valid petition signatures to qualify for the ballot is a big undertaking, and is a lot of hard work, so we have raised money to pay people to collect signatures. Those of you out there who are Libertarians are welcome to work as paid signature gatherers, but we would ask those of you who are in a financial situation where you don’t really need the extra money to please collect volunteer signatures, or please make a financial contribution to our campaign.”

    The best places to find actual libertarians to collect petition signatures is NOT by placing ads on Craigslist or in the help wanted section of the newspaper, or by talking to random people on the street, or by calling up some non-libertarian mercenary petitioner or non-libertarian mercenary petition coordinator. The best way to find actual libertarians to collect petition signatures is by looking within Libertarian Party membership ranks, and I’d also include other small “l” libertarian organizations such as Campaign for Liberty, Young Americans for Liberty, Students for Liberty, etc….

    I would also NOT look to single issue groups, such as pro-marijuana legalization groups, etc…, because first off, they hire lots of mercenaries as well, and second of all, just because a person agrees with Libertarians on one or two or even a few issues, it does NOT make them a libertarian. There are lots of people out there who think that marijuana should be legal, but who hold lots of other views that are not libertarian (such as they may favor government mandated minimum wages, government health care programs, food stamps, etc….).

    I have not seen any real effort put into trying to recruit Libertarians to work as paid petitioners since the year 2000, which is when I started, which was 14 years ago.

    I know that the Libertarian Party spent money on a booth at the Students for Liberty Convention that was held in Washington DC (or northern Virginia) earlier this year. Did they offer petitioning jobs or any other jobs to even one member of Students for Liberty that they encountered? Did they even offer any of them the opportunity to work as interns at the LP national office, or for any LP affiliate or campaign around the country?

    Given the student debt crisis in this country, and given the difficulty that a lot of people are having finding work, wouldn’t it make sense to offer groups like the members of Students for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty a chance to earn some money, or at the very least, a chance to have some work experience that they could put as a reference on a job resume?

    I find it hard to believe that there are not more out of work, or underemployed, or people who are unhappy in their present job, or people who are retired, or people who are just looking for a new adventure, who are actually libertarians who could be doing a lot of this work.

    Wouldn’t you prefer that donor money get spent to hire people who actually believe in and advocate for the cause of liberty, rather than sending the majority of money to people who’d be just as happy to work for anti-liberty causes as they are to work on pro-liberty causes, just as long as they are getting paid?

  137. paulie

    what’s wrong with offering paid work to people who are volunteers? This is basically how you and I started, as in we were both just regular party members/volunteers and then somebody offered us an opportunity to get paid to gather petition signatures.

    Yep, this should be done more.

    Unpaid volunteers are great, but the fact of the matter is that most people only have limited time that they can volunteer due to having to earn money for a living, and a lot of people also have families, chores around their homes, and other things in life with which they have to deal, so most people don’t have a lot of time to volunteer. Another factor here is that given how grueling petition work can be, it is not something that every volunteer is up to doing.

    Correct.

    I know that the Libertarian Party spent money on a booth at the Students for Liberty Convention that was held in Washington DC (or northern Virginia) earlier this year. Did they offer petitioning jobs or any other jobs to even one member of Students for Liberty that they encountered? Did they even offer any of them the opportunity to work as interns at the LP national office, or for any LP affiliate or campaign around the country?

    Yes, I worked that booth and discussed that with a lot of the students and whoever else stopped by. I worked that booth as a volunteer, although I did get a shirt out of it as a small bit of compensation.

    I have not seen any real effort put into trying to recruit Libertarians to work as paid petitioners since the year 2000, which is when I started, which was 14 years ago.

    I agree that there should be a lot more effort put into that again.

  138. Andy

    Paul said: “Yes, I worked that booth and discussed that with a lot of the students and whoever else stopped by.”

    Did you specifically offer any of them work as paid petition circulators?

    If you had not been there, would anyone else manning the LP table/booth have offered anyone from Students for Liberty any kind of paid work or internships with the Libertarian Party?

  139. paulie

    Did you specifically offer any of them work as paid petition circulators?

    Yes, although the focus was more on getting people signed up for the intern list, I talked to a few people about it.

    If you had not been there, would anyone else manning the LP table/booth have offered anyone from Students for Liberty any kind of paid work or internships with the Libertarian Party?

    Internships, yes. Paid work … probably not as much.

  140. Vernon

    Mercenary scum like Jacobs and Frankel are the worst people to hire. They will go on and bitch at length about every last decision on how to run the petition drive right in front of all your actual and potential donors. Their production numbers are highly unreliable, but they sure need a lot of attention. Jacobs acts like he does not know how to find petition locations and needs to be babysat like the baby that he is. And just like a baby he often makes a big stink, and throws tantrums all the time in public and in private. You would do better to bring a two year old along if you go out to a restaurant. Frankel is a convicted fraudster, forger and felon. He is a huge liability to the party and should never be allowed anywhere near our petitions. Like Fincher, Frankel should have any signatures he gets burned. Meanwhile Jacobs constantly gets the police called on him. This is who we want representing the party in public? Give me a break! Sean Haugh, the greatest petition coordinator of all time, the greatest political director in the history of the party and now the best ever candidate for office, had an extensive approved contractor list; Frankel and Jacobs are not on that list for good reason. They are shakedown artists and cracked out disease ridden scum. The LP at all levels and all LP candidates should hire from that list – ONLY!

  141. Andy

    “Vernon May 26, 2014 at 11:25 pm
    Mercenary scum like Jacobs and Frankel are the worst people to hire.”

    “Vernon,” the saboteur/provocateur troll chimes in with more lies.

    Hey, “Vernon,” (or should I say Michael Seebeck?), go do the world a favor and kill yourself.

  142. Andy

    “Vernon” said: “Sean Haugh, the greatest petition coordinator of all time, the greatest political director in the history of the party and now the best ever candidate for office, had an extensive approved contractor list”

    LOL! Nobody believes this. A guy that was so great that he was fired from the LP and Free & Equal, and don’t forget, in 2008 when he was Political Director the party had its worst ballot access since either 1984 or 1988, depending on how you want to quantify it.

  143. paulie

    Nick: liked. I prefer the regular web to facebook, but find a lot of people that are the other way around so I have an easier time catching their attention there than anywhere else online.

    Vernon’s BS has been addressed before so I don’t feel like addressing it yet again, but I do have to wonder why a self-described national socialist cares who the Libertarians hire to petition. If nazis do a petition to get on the ballot somewhere, I personally could not care less who they hire to do it.

    It’s always fun busting a troll for forgetting who and what his character is supposed to be 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *