Open Thread For Libertarian National Committee Meeting September 20 & 21

a better choice

The Libertarian National Committee will be meeting this weekend in Alexandria, Virginia . The weekend includes a grand opening of the new office that was purchased by the Libertarian Party. That will happen on Saturday evening.

According to Paul Frankel in a comment on IPR, the LNC will be live-streaming the meeting live on the Internet. This may not go as planned, so please check back here to see if changes have been made.

Preliminary schedule (exact times are subject to change):

Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Broadcast channel #1:
Click here for the Ustream version of the broadcast or visit :
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/libertarian-party1

Broadcast channel #2:
Click here for an audio-only version or visit :
http://libertarian.caster.fm/

Meeting agenda:
Click here for a version of the proposed agenda .
These agendas are usually modified.

242 thoughts on “Open Thread For Libertarian National Committee Meeting September 20 & 21

  1. Chuck Moulton

    I’ll be at the LNC meeting in person… arriving a little late (9:30 – 10:00 am).

    Once I arrive I’ll try my best to liveblog in comments here. Since it will be broadcast, the folks at home can do the same.

  2. Chuck Moulton

    They are discussing the revenue shortfall. Board solicitations are under budget. The one big donation recently was a $32,000 donation solicited by Mark Hinkle.

  3. Chuck Moulton

    There is a motion to increase the staff compensation line on page 5 of the treasurer’s report line 45 by $7,000 for staff bonuses, which is a part of the staff contract that was overlooked when making the budget.

    Mattson points out we laid off one employee and wonders if given that layoff the budget would be okay without adjustment.

  4. Chuck Moulton

    Mattson points out the reason a bonus was triggered is that revenue was up due to convention revenues, which is an anomaly. She thinks it’s weird we’re sending out urgent grams telling members we’re broke while paying out staff bonuses for high revenues.

    This motion deals only with changing the budget to reflect money already spent. Under the policy manual they can’t spend more than 10% over the budgeted line. With or without this adjustment, the bonuses have already been paid.

  5. Chuck Moulton

    Mattson suggests rolling a d20 to determine who goes first in the roll call vote.

    Instead of rolling a die, they decided to start with Mattson.

    Mattson – No
    Olsen – No
    KIrkland – Yes
    Redpath – No
    Tomasso – No
    Goldstein – No
    Wiener – No
    Feldman – Yes
    Lark – Yes
    Estrada – No
    McLendon – Yes
    Johnson – Yes
    McMahon – No
    Hagan – Yes
    Vohra – Yes
    Sarwark – Yes

    Fails 8-8.

    (I updated the vote after looking at Mattson’s draft minutes during the break.)

    EC minutes from February 2014 were approved without objection.

    Pre-convention LNC meeting minutes are not available yet.

    Convention minutes are not yet ready. They should be completed soon.

    Mattson noticed several problems in the convention voting.

  6. paulie

    The video stream works well most of the time but stops for short gaps from time to time. The audio seems to be more consistently on, but I’ve only had it on when the video goes out because there is a slight discrepancy on the timing of the sound.

  7. Chuck Moulton

    Mattson is assembling an archive of convention data. She is presenting what she has so far to the LNC.

    To begin with she is starting with conventions since 2008.

    Forms (e.g., presidential nomination certificates)
    Contracts from past years
    Site selection process
    Profit & loss statements
    Reports from convention planners
    Requests for proposals
    Itemized convention expenses (transaction level)
    Schedules and speakers
    Vendor booths
    Hotel invoices
    Criteria for including people in presidential debates
    Spreadsheet for comparing hotel bids (room rates, taxes, internet, parking, room blocks, attrition rates, food & beverage, etc.)
    Historical convention metrics (spreadsheet for putting in all info about the convention, how many rooms, vendor booths, delegates, who was responsible for what, package rates, revenues, etc.)

    Mattson reports Lark has 2 brownie points for noticing that the policy manual update did not reflect an email ballot. McMahon has 1 point, Feldman has 1 point, Kirkland has 1/2 point. Lark received a door prize for being in the lead (breath freshener).

  8. paulie

    I’m using Norm Olsen’s audio broadcast as my backup for when the video dies. Josh Katz has one also but since there has not yet been a time that I did not find Norm’s working I did not test that one out yet. All three linked in article above.

  9. paulie

    Is there a practical impact to voting down staff bonuses that were already paid? Do staff pay them back or lose bonuses later in the year or what?

  10. paulie

    I think I wouldn’t be so late if Dagny was in charge of these trains.

    The last Atlas Shrugged movie was awful, LOL. The first one was really good, the second I did not like as much (some people liked it better) but the last one…sheesh.

  11. Chuck Moulton

    Paulie wrote:

    Is there a practical impact to voting down staff bonuses that were already paid? Do staff pay them back or lose bonuses later in the year or what?

    There is no practical impact. The money has already been paid. This was just about the budget line. If spending goes more than 10% over budget SOMETHING triggers, but I think it’s just a report to the LNC.

  12. paulie

    Staff report (Benedict)

    Fundraising lower than expected. Receptionist laid off, so less phones being answered. They’ve sent out an urgent gram fundraising appeal.

  13. Chuck Moulton

    Staff report now.

    1 staff member was laid off to cut costs.

    An urgent gram has been sent out about our cash crunch. Benedict suggests there will be a lot of revenue and a lot of complaints.

    Benedict offers fundraising training to board members for board solicitations.

  14. paulie

    Benedict defending the urgent gram tactic. Says effective fundraising tactics also generate complaints.

    Board fundraising training since board fundraising is below target.

  15. paulie

    How many people in the live audience? Anyone else in the live audience reading and can summarize what happened before Chuck started liveblogging and before I woke up here in the mountain time zone?

  16. Chuck Moulton

    IT committee members are:
    Sam Goldstein (IN) (co-chair)
    Rich Tomasso (NH) (co-chair)
    Laura Delhomme (VA)
    Stewart Flood (SC)
    Kurt Hildebrand (TX)
    Drew Hutton (NC)
    MIchael Kielsky (AZ)

    I am unclear whether Goldstein and Tomasso are co-chairs or one is the chair.

  17. paulie

    Can’t tell who is speaking but someone pointed out major donor fundraising should be more than 5 minutes, new people should start with calls to lapsed donor that have already said no.

  18. paulie

    Wes says he is happy with the new office. Saving money. Moved earlier than expected because someone else moved into old Watergate office earlier than expected.

    If LPHQ needs to fire another person “it will hurt a lot more.”

  19. paulie

    Wes needs more priorities to see which tasks should be prioritized over others and to use it to point this out to various people who are asking him to do various things.

  20. paulie

    Lark question on interns.

    Wes says he has not been working on that but Arvin has.

    Arvin: two interns over the summer that put in a lot of time and some others that did not put in much time. Hasn’t done anything in the fall. Lark offers to help.

  21. Chuck Moulton

    Paulie wrote:

    Wes talking about problems of managing interns using up staff time.

    Managing interns should make the office more productive, not less productive.

  22. Michael H. Wilson

    Having managed interns in the past, it can be tough and not something I would wish on the LP office staff.

  23. paulie

    Managing interns should make the office more productive, not less productive.

    Yes. Vohra and Lark can manage them off site if they are getting in the way at the office. Also Vohra lives in the DC area so he could come in to the office (I believe he told me most of his work time is flexible so he does have some time during weekdays to do it). He could have some interns at his house and a lot of potential intern tasks can be done from the interns’ homes or wherever they are.

  24. paulie

    Wes Benedict defending why the urgent gram. Says other letters have been rejected. Asking LNC members for more help with fundraising again. Says they could help write the letters.

  25. Chuck Moulton

    Evan McMahon is ripping into Wes Benedict for the urgent gram saying “We just laid off a staff member.” or something similar (I never check my mail). He said it was the most damaging letter he has ever seen. He fielded over 20 phone calls just in his state. He says it will turn off major donors and result in many new members not renewing. He read the letter 10 times, drink a beer, and cried.

    I completely agree with McMahon on this. This is fundamentally Bastiat’s problem of what is seen vs. what is unseen. The revenue that comes in from FAILURE, THE SKY IS FALLING urgent grams like this is very visible. The people who leave the party or give substantially less money are less visible. We need long term thinking, not short term thinking. When staff incentive structures rewards short term fundraising that hurts the party long term, we will continue to see letters like this.

    Benedict defends the letter saying the LNC has ignored his recommendations to cut costs. He says a less “urgent” letter would not have been as effective, which would have resulted in firing more staff or firing Benedict himself for not raising enough money. He says you need to make people upset to fundraise successfully.

  26. paulie

    I completely agree with McMahon on this. This is fundamentally Bastiat’s problem of what is seen vs. what is unseen. The revenue that comes in from FAILURE, THE SKY IS FALLING urgent grams like this is very visible. The people who leave the party or give substantially less money are less visible. We need long term thinking, not short term thinking. When staff incentive structures rewards short term fundraising that hurts the party long term, we will continue to see letters like this.

    Yep.

  27. Joshua N. Boles

    This being a revenue issue. What is the multiplier on each staff as far as donations / fundraising / revenue? Treat this just like any other business. Also, does the LP know its customer acquisition costs?

  28. paulie

    Alicia forwarded that suggestion from me to the LNC list but I guess they did not get that one either. Or saw my name and immediately stopped reading 🙂

  29. Mark Axinn

    Disagree.

    I got the ‘gram, already know cash is tight, and my reaction was to send a check to help with cash crunch.

    On the other hand, Wes cannot do it too often or then it sounds like the boy who cried Wolf.

  30. paulie

    Disagree.

    I got the ‘gram, already know cash is tight, and my reaction was to send a check to help with cash crunch.

    Mark,

    Chuck and I are not disputing that urgent grams generate donations at a higher rate than the average letter. If that was not true no one would do them. I don’t think your anecdotal evidence confirming what we all know disputes the point Chuck and I made about the unseen costs of using this tactic. IE the people that drop out, don’t renew or don’t donate as a result or donate less in the long term. That’s not as easy to measure as the actual donations that come in but it is very real nevertheless.

  31. paulie

    Expectation that we will need more lawyers because Republicans will be suing as more as they see us as more and more of a threat.

    Moving on to region report…

  32. paulie

    Why are they spending in person meeting time summarizing reports that are already emailed out?

    If it’s because people don’t read their emails or want to ask questions verbally rather than over email do it on a phone conference.

    Use the in person meeting time for something else or make the meeting shorter. Plenty of other things to fill the agenda.

  33. Chuck Moulton

    Paulie wrote:

    Why are they spending in person meeting time summarizing reports that are already emailed out?

    Good question! It’s a complete waste of time.

  34. paulie

    Correction on Jay’s verbal report. Alabama did not have statewide candidates, we had one US house and some legislative candidates but there is a difference with the Secretary of State on the interpretation of the law so they are not on the ballot. We do have 14 candidates running for county and sub-county partisan office in 4 counties in and around B’ham.

  35. Chuck Moulton

    Stream informal goals discussion (over working lunch):
    Mattson – No
    Olsen – Yes
    KIrkland – No
    Redpath – No
    Tomasso – No
    Goldstein – No
    Wiener – No
    Feldman – Yes
    Lark – No
    Estrada – No
    McLendon – No
    Johnson -Yes
    McMahon – No
    Hagan – No
    Vohra – Yes
    Sarwark – abstain

    Failed by a vote of 4 – everyone else.

    This was a show of hands, not a roll call. I made a note of the yes votes. I’m not certain about the no votes… some of them might have been abstentions.

  36. Eric J Blitz

    Thanks for the stream. I was going to attend in person but the stream saved me the hassle of spending the whole day down there (and some topics are just not worth the drive/time). The stream does cut off every so often, but it is generally short (only one, the first one, seemed to last more than 2 minutes).

  37. Andy

    I heard that the LP national office had a receptionist, who was apparently there for a few years, who just got laid off. I did not know that the Libertarian Party national office had a receptionist. I called the national office a few times over the years and I don’t ever recall a receptionist answering the phone. I had been to the national office a couple of times in person, and I do not recall seeing a receptionist there either.

    Couldn’t the receptionist job be something that could be handled by interns or volunteers? The Libertarian Party’s national office is located in the Washington DC metropolitan area, which is a highly populated area, and there are lots of colleges there. I’d bet that the party could find lots of college students who’d be interested in gaining work experience by interning at the LP national office. Given the number of people in the DC metro area, I’d bet that the party could find some non-student volunteers willing to do stuff at the national office as well.

  38. Andy

    Paul said: “We do have 14 candidates running for county and sub-county partisan office in 4 counties in and around B’ham.”

    I know that Paul recruited at least one of these candidates. He recruited them not only as candidates, but also as a party member. This is a person that he encountered at a gun show while he was gathering petition signatures for the Libertarian Party of Alabama to obtain ballot access in a few counties earlier this year. This new recruit attended the LP National Convention earlier this year as an Alabama delegate, and they are now a Libertarian Party candidate for Sheriff.

    Everyone reading this should ask themselves this question, would this individual who Paul recruited while gathering ballot access petition signatures at a gun show in Alabama earlier this year been recruited into the party if, instead of having an actual Libertarian petition circulator like Paul at that gun show, there had been a non-libertarian mercenary petition circulator there instead?

    This is a perfect example of why actual Libertarians should be doing most of the LP ballot access work instead of having such a large percentage of it farmed out to non-libertarian mercenaries. I really have not seen much of an effort put into even trying to recruit more Libertarians to do ballot access work in the last 14 years. This is one of the reasons that the party is not more successful than it is.

  39. Chuck Moulton

    The informal goals discussion has started.

    Sarwark thinks it’s important we have goals we actually have control over because it can be frustrating to staff when they have goals (and metrics and bonuses) that they can’t actually affect.

    Lark is talking about direction vs. destination. He favors goals that work with both.

  40. paulie

    I know that Paul recruited at least one of these candidates.

    I recruited several of them as candidates that were already coming to the meetings and doing other stuff also.

  41. Chuck Moulton

    Vohra thinks the goal should be defining libertarianism as cutting government through candidate training, press releases, etc.

    Lark suggests our membership goal should be centered around bringing former members back and increasing our renewal rate. He also wants to reward our activists for their volunteer time with recognition to get more people spending at least an hour a day on LP activities.

    Sarwark wants to recognize and thank candidates better.

    Wiener says we need more resources so we can accomplish more instead of just treading water.

    Katz says we should focus on running candidates and our goals should be about candidates.

  42. Chuck Moulton

    Lieberman talked about ballot access goals. He thinks 38 states is doable, 40 would be a little aggressive.

    Olsen thinks the goal needs to be winning elections.

  43. paulie

    Lieberman talked about ballot access goals. He thinks 38 states is doable, 40 would be a little aggressive.

    Post-election retention.

  44. Chuck Moulton

    Redpath thinks our goal should be changing the election system to something different than single member plurality voting districts. He doesn’t like picking metric numbers out of thin air (e.g., 20,000 members). He wants more ballot access lobbying in the legislature.

    Feldman talked a bunch, but it didn’t seem like goals to me.

    Tomasso says we need better internal education because often our candidates say crazy un-libertarian things because they are unprepared. He could have the biggest state affiliate (New Hampshire), but most libertarians don’t care about the Libertarian Party.

    Several people have said we have a Ron Paul / Rand Paul problem. Guy McLendon disagrees.

  45. Mark Axinn

    >Olsen thinks the goal needs to be winning elections.

    Is he on acid?

    So much for getting a seat at the table, educating the public, slowly but surely making inroads against statism. Let’s focus on winning dog-catcher and forget about everything else.

  46. paulie

    Several people have said we have a Ron Paul / Rand Paul problem. Guy McLendon disagrees.

    It is simultaneously a problem and an opportunity.

  47. Mark Axinn

    Chuck–

    Thanks much for the detailed reports each step of the way. This way I get two hours of meeting in five minutes’ read.

    Incredibly helpful, and I very much appreciate it.

  48. paulie

    >Olsen thinks the goal needs to be winning elections.

    Is he on acid?

    So much for getting a seat at the table, educating the public, slowly but surely making inroads against statism. Let’s focus on winning dog-catcher and forget about everything else.

    I think winning more local elections, and getting back to winning some state house seats, should be one of our goals, but it certainly should not be the only one.

  49. Eric J Blitz

    I like Dr. Lark’s goal of volunteer engagement through rewards. I don’t think they’d be motivated by simple “volunteer of the month” awards (pure recognition). You need to motivate them by giving them something a politico would be interested in, whether that is special access to party planning/materials/processes, or perhaps invitations to special regional retreats that offer specialized training, or actually funding pilot projects of volunteers and testing their results, then using that process to spread volunteering activities to other locales. One aspect of volunteering that is always frustrating for the volunteer is that they are, too often, given way too broad a tasking and they are lost because they can’t organize/lead/activate the entire project. They are overwhelmed by having to take on so much. Having the national party taking the lead on discrete volunteer activity “packages” (goals, how to do x instruction, and materials that support the activity) to support volunteers might both reward volunteers (by removing such broad tasking) and also encourage affiliates to copy those activities that are proven to work.

    Some organizations rely just on relatively cheap ‘recognition’ models, but other than for the purpose of demonstrating to others what they could be doing, I don’t see much value in them. If you wanted to do that, you could set up a separate section of the website that regularly runs articles on volunteers and their activities, which makes it both recognition and encouragement to others to try to duplicate their actions. That is relatively cheap to pull off.

  50. Chuck Moulton

    There is a guy named Sharp (?) I’m not familiar with (from New York?) who spoke a bit.

    Redpath spoke again. He re-emphasized the voting system.

    Redpath asks Benedict how quickly staff will change its focus if the LNC adopts goals. Benedict says immediately… things and planned 3 months in advance and he would shift those plans to new areas if directed or encouraged by the LNC or the chair.

    This concludes the informal goals discussion so that we can take a 5 minute break and go back into session.

  51. Mark Axinn

    Larry Sharpe?

    He’s one of my members. Lives in Queens. Frequently brings his young daughter to meetings.

    Very good guy.

    Volunteered to help Dan Halloran in his trial, but the jury was stacked against him and Halloran got slammed.

  52. paulie

    Bill discussing Alabama.

    State asserted each legislative candidate needed a separate petition for their district with voters from their district only. This includes overlapping districts. The US House candidate wold have needed a whole separate petition.

  53. paulie

    Discussing the torpedoed ballot access committee. Nick wants a real ballot access committee. At least that is what I think he’s saying.

  54. paulie

    I was supposed to be on the last one and would have done work on it but was assed out because I contract on ballot access. Offer remains open if my help is wanted now or in the future.

  55. Mark Axinn

    >Tomasso says we need better internal education because often our candidates say crazy un-libertarian things because they are unprepared.

    Bingo!!!

    This a problem with us just this year when a 24-year old got our nomination for state senator upstate (near Rochester). Her emails and facebook postings were terrible, and every time we tried to help/guide her, she ignored us.

    She did not get enough sigs to qualify and won’t be on the ballot in November.

    Just last night, I spent two hours at a dinner with another candidate who came to us from the Republican Party (which wanted him to run and he told them he’s only running as a Libertarian). He’s much wiser, and willing to listen and learn, and we both realized there’s lots of areas where he does not know the Libertarian position as well as we would like.

  56. paulie

    Mattson had a question for Redpath that he said he would call you about. I missed what it was.

    Alabama. I texted and emailed him the same comment I put above when he said that.

  57. Chuck Moulton

    Last term there was a ballot access committee that would supposedly focus on lobbying and litigation rather than petitioning, but it ended up not doing much.

    Sarwark wants to create a ballot access working committee. Redpath is fine with that. Mattson says last term Visek learned that attorneys aren’t good volunteers because they always need to put their paying clients first, so we need to pay to get the reliable solid expertise we need.

    Redpath read a live text message from Paulie about Alabama and waved to the camera.

  58. paulie

    Last term there was a ballot access committee that would supposedly focus on lobbying and litigation rather than petitioning, but it ended up not doing much.

    When it was first created it was supposed to also deal with signature gathering. That was why I was asked to be on it (not my idea at first). Then next thing I know the focus was changed. I was never copied on any discussions while I was supposedly on it despite making inquiries.

  59. Chuck Moulton

    Guy McLendon is doing the Affiliate Support Committee report now. He will be sending a questionnaire to affiliates asking how they can help.

    Lark wants the affiliate support committee to champion the goal of having an operational affiliate in every state. McLendon accepts that task.

  60. paulie

    Alabama does have 14 candidates with party label in 4 counties so despite the state’s screw job the ballot access fund were not wasted. We had a congressional candidate and I think maybe 8 or 9 legislative candidates prior to the screw job.

  61. Mark Axinn

    This concept that because someone sometimes works for us then he cannot also volunteer and generate helpful input is awfully narrow-minded.

    How come that wasn’t raised with Michael Cloud, only with Paulie?

  62. Chuck Moulton

    Sarwark is asking if committees that aren’t populated yet should have their structures or missions changed before populating them, should we seek applicants from the general membership (wide solicitation, like for the IT committee, bylaws, platform, etc.), should we fill the committees at this meeting or should we fill them by email?

    First they are talking about the audit committee. Wiener says Aaron Starr is willing to serve, but he will be busy until election day in 45 days.

  63. paulie

    This concept that because someone sometimes works for us then he cannot also volunteer and generate helpful input is awfully narrow-minded.

    Yep.

    How come that wasn’t raised with Michael Cloud, only with Paulie?

    Dunno. Some Libertarian contractor/volunteers are more equal than others?

  64. paulie

    Contractor-volunteers last LNC term… LNC members, all full members except for me:

    Myself
    John Jay Myers – printing tshirst etc
    Pojunis, Mack – IT Contractors at one time, IT Committee
    Cloud we all know about
    Visek – worked as paid petitioner in Illinois, but was not asked to resign from ballot access committee and chaired it

    Bylaws proposal to prohibit the practice was either defeated or we didn’t get to it due to time, can’t remember which but it did not pass.

  65. Mark Axinn

    >Mattson says last term Visek learned that attorneys aren’t good volunteers because they always need to put their paying clients first, so we need to pay to get the reliable solid expertise we need.

    Total horseshit. What the fuck did I just spend the last three months doing????

    Figure I gave the LP 20 hours a week for 12 weeks at $450 per hour, that’s over 100K of my time I just volunteered for the LP. (Actually, many weeks it was more than 20 hours.)

    BTW, what kind of job does Nick have? Could it be………………………lawyer?

    People are good volunteers because they are motivated to do so. It does not matter if they are lawyers or plumbers.

  66. paulie

    Mark Axinn and Ken Moellman would be great for a real ballot access committee if we ever get one, if they are willing to be on it.

  67. Andy

    ” paulie September 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Mark Axinn and Ken Moellman would be great for a real ballot access committee if we ever get one, if they are willing to be on it.”

    I’ve got to “toot my own horn” by saying that I’d be the best person to have on an LP ballot access committee.

  68. paulie

    People are good volunteers because they are motivated to do so. It does not matter if they are lawyers or plumbers.

    All those years in the Watergate…we could have used some good plumbers. Another missed LP opportunity.

  69. Andy

    Chuck Moulton said: “Sarwark wants to create a ballot access working committee. Redpath is fine with that.”

    Let’s hope that the new Ballot Access Committee does not end up being a joke like the last one.

  70. paulie

    I bet there are some good plumbers (and “plumbers” for that matter) somewhere in the LP’s member/supporter/mailing list database. If you don’t ask you don’t get.

  71. Mark Axinn

    Andy or Paulie would bring different prospectives than Ken or I would.

    As I pointed out at LSLA seminar on the subject, I am not the petitioner on the streets getting product like Andy, Darryl, Paulie, Marc Romain and so many others are. I was the customer, managing the drive, hiring the paid petitioners, motivating the volunteers, etc.

    Both voices are essential factors in successful petition campaign and need to be represented in any effective committee on the subject, as are others.

  72. paulie

    Both voices are essential factors in successful petition campaign and need to be represented in any effective committee on the subject, as are others.

    Yep.

  73. Andy

    ” paulie September 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Bill discussing Alabama.

    State asserted each legislative candidate needed a separate petition for their district with voters from their district only. This includes overlapping districts. The US House candidate wold have needed a whole separate petition.”

    It should be pointed out that there was nothing in the law that mandated that each candidate for the state legislature and for US House must have a separate petition, and it should also be pointed out that the Secretary of State’s office led the perspective to believe that doing the party ballot access petitions would allow them to be on the ballot, but then after it was too late to do anything about it (other than filing a law suit), the Secretary of State’s office flip flopped by telling the candidates for the state legislature and for US House that they could not be on the ballot without have separate petitions, even though the Libertarian Party had successfully completed the county ballot access petitions where these district office candidates were going to run.

    This was a screw job from the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, but even so, the party still has candidates running partisan offices at the county level in those counties, so the petition drive was not a total loss.

  74. paulie

    Audio is a little spotty / in and out right now. Could just be my laptop also.

    I think they are talking about convention costs and raising the budget by a few hundred dollars to get the videos of the convention edited and posted.

  75. paulie

    Employment manual reviewed by Sinawski (general counsel) but they are looking for a Virginia employment lawyer to review it also due to the jurisdiction change. They have not found one for a reasonable price yet. Starr has recommended a whistleblower policy. Also a policy about document retention/destruction.

  76. paulie

    Discussion of whether/when/how data is shared with candidates. Redpath suggests reciprocity (candidates should provide additional data to LP if they want data from LP)

  77. pg90

    “(candidates should provide additional data to LP if they want data from LP)”

    It seems like that would be a more workable arrangement with state affiliate parties than with candidates directly.

  78. paulie

    Discussion of how to have volunteers to help secretary…isolating secretary from distraction and something about things parliamentarian should be addressing instead of secretary, I think

  79. Eric J Blitz

    State affiliate checks should be done by having each chair appoint a vice-chair who must also review everything. I did that for MD in last convention and while I don’t recall my vice catching any errors, I felt more comfortable submitting the sheet when a second set of eyes had made sure our sheet was correct. Having another state’s chair or appointed delegate do it could slow things down substantially.

  80. Nicholas Sarwark

    I tried to suggest keeping Outreach Committee as a restructured, mostly non-LNC working committee, but it was not popular.

    I intend to put the creation of a working ballot access committee on the agenda for next meeting or before.

  81. Austin Cassidy

    The microphone placement makes this almost unwatchable. It’s like whispering and then someone tells a “joke” and the laughter breaks my speakers. Someone coughed into the microphone at one point and I think blood came out of my ears. Guess I’ll just stick to reading the Cliff Notes.

  82. paulie

    Nick if I understood it correctly also suggested having the vice chair solicit reports from LSLA and other similar groups. Not sure what happened with that, audio was in and out.

  83. paulie

    Not quite sure what happened with the vote, which I think was to eliminate the requirement for reports from outside committees such as LSLA; audio was in and out while people voted.

  84. Chuck Moulton

    There was a discussion about what happens if the LNC does not pass rules. Can the committees pass their own rules for electronic meetings? Sarwark’s recollection from the bylaws committee was different from that of Mattson, Tomasso, and Moulton, all of whom thought the LNC must pass the rules under the bylaws.

    Johnson says if there are sound problems then microphones should be muted rather than dropping people from calls.

    Redpath says the rules should be tightened with respect to knowing who is on the call for executive sessions.

    McClendon asks about how these rules would apply to the Affiliate Support Committee. Wiener clarified the intent was to exempt certain committees from certain provisions when appropriate to how the committee works (not sure whether I clarified that correctly).

    Vohra says the first electronic meeting doesn’t need to be perfect. We can have a practice 20 minute meeting to work out the kinks. Eventually they should replace most in person meetings when we fix the rules.

    Goldstein says these will never replace in person meetings. They are only useful for limited time, limited subjects. He is not interested in an all day electronic meeting.

    Redpath thinks this is a major step in the right direction. We can do a test meeting, then refine it later.

    Mattson read the bylaw to the LNC. She points out the LNC is empowered to adopt the rules rather than the committees themselves to protect membership rights (so the committee can’t exclude people).

  85. Chuck Moulton

    Mattson doesn’t want certain committees to be excluded from the rules. She also thinks speakers should not be limited to 3 minutes. She thinks a voice vote will be impossible by telephone for large committees. The group needs to decide whether accommodations should be made for technology problems. She is discussing the timeliness requirement for objections and wants to ask the National Association of Parliamentarians what technology they recommend.

  86. paulie

    Goldstein says these will never replace in person meetings. They are only useful for limited time, limited subjects. He is not interested in an all day electronic meeting.

    There is no need for all-day meetings, in person or electronic.

    Make the phone conferences 1-3 hours a week. Have them on different evenings of the week so different people with other time commitments on any given night of the week would all be treated equally.

    In-person weekends can be social only, no business.

  87. Mark Axinn

    LOL on Evan’s “solution”.

    Going back a bit:

    >Also a policy about document retention/destruction.

    That is essential, especially in these highly litigious times. I did not know that LP lacked such a policy, and it should adopt one on advice of counsel forthwith. This ain’t no fooling around.

  88. Chuck Moulton

    Wiener says at the very least we should set rules for the Bylaws, Platform, and Judicial committees.

    Roll call vote:
    Mattson – Nay
    Olsen – Nay
    KIrkland – Nay
    Redpath – Yes
    Tomasso – Nay
    Goldstein – Nay
    Wiener – Yes
    Feldman – Nay
    Lark – Nay
    Hayes – Abstain
    McLendon – Abstain
    Johnson – Nay
    McMahon – Yes
    Hagan – Yes
    Vohra – Yes
    Sarwark – Abstain

    It fails by a roll call vote of 5-8-3.

  89. Chuck Moulton

    Goldstein moves to suspend the rules to form an ad hoc committee to develop rules for electronic meetings.

    Chair to appoint a committee today composed of 6 LNC members for the purpose of developing rules for electronic committees by no later than November 1. It passed without objection.

    Sarwark appointed:
    Katz, Estrada, Wiener, Mattson, Johnson, Hayes

    (I think those were the people. I’m doing a few things at once though.)

  90. Chuck Moulton

    Hagan and McMahon are discussing whether an affidavit is a sufficient substitute for a receipt for the purpose of reporting to the FEC. McMahon says no.

    The problem is sometimes it is impossible to get a receipt… e.g., a malfunctioning parking machine, taxi, etc.

  91. Chuck Moulton

    McMahon says you need a third party paper trail. A personal affidavit won’t be sufficient.

    Mattson says we can’t pass a policy that fixes a bad FEC regulation.

  92. Chuck Moulton

    Hagan is willing to pull the motion, run it through FEC consultant Paula Edwards, and bring it back to the LNC as an email ballot or at the next LNC meeting.

    The next order of business is increasing the budget line for promotional items (or something like that) by $5,000 so that Wes Benedict can sell more t-shirts and mugs online. This more than pays for itself. It passed without objection.

    Olsen is presenting a motion to do something convention related. I’m not sure what it is yet. It’s something about containing convention costs.

  93. Chuck Moulton

    If I recall correctly from the business list it’s something about whether the convention should be held over memorial day weekend and how long the convention should be.

  94. Chuck Moulton

    Evan McMahon says holiday weekends are very important for candidates to attend local events. He strongly opposes conventions being held over memorial day weekend.

    Lark thinks we should look at the total package without eliminating many dates.

    Goldstein opposes it both for memorial day weekend and because it involves having a separate entity host the convention.

    Hagan wanted to amend the motion, but his motion wouldn’t really have effect. He wanted to change from mandating memorial day weekend to considering memorial day weekend.

    There was a motion to refer this motion to a committee — particularly to the convention oversight committee. I’m not sure who gave the motion.

    Mattson would prefer to just defeat the motion rather than to send it to the committee.

    Olsen points out the cost for an individual to attend a convention is $3,000. His comments are out of order because he is not debating whether to refer this to committee.

    Motion to refer to committee:
    Mattson –
    Olsen – Y
    KIrkland – Y
    Redpath –
    Tomasso –
    Goldstein –
    Wiener –
    Feldman – Y
    Lark –
    Hayes –
    McLendon – Y
    Johnson –
    McMahon –
    Hagan –
    Vohra –
    Sarwark – Y

    Not sure who voted to refer to committee. 7 voted to refer, the rest against. This was a show of hands, not a roll call vote.

    The main motion:
    Mattson – N
    Olsen – Y
    KIrkland – N
    Redpath – N
    Tomasso – N
    Goldstein – N
    Wiener – N
    Feldman – A
    Lark – N
    Hayes – N
    McLendon – N
    Johnson – N
    McMahon – N
    Hagan – N
    Vohra – N
    Sarwark – not voting

    It fails by 1-13-1.

  95. Chuck Moulton

    They are now voting on Mattson’s motion. I think it is regarding no funds being spent on an international libertarian organization. It passed without objection.

    Mattson is proposing removing a section from the policy manual about mail ballots which is now redundant with what is in the bylaws (the bylaws were amended adding a bit about mail ballots at the past convention). It passes without objection.

  96. paulie

    Thanks for the coverage Chuck and Nick, I was unable to keep paying attention for the last hour or two but have now caught up reading the liveblogging.

    In case anyone was wondering the comments from “Fincher” that I trashed were actually an impersonation by the nazi troll and no, Gary is not out of jail either. Nor has he become a nazi either as far as I know, although he did renounce the LP and the last political job I am aware of him having had was petitioning for Rick Perry and I think Newt Gingrich (or it may have been Romney) in Republican primaries ballot access, since then I do not believe he has worked at anything except the fake veterans charity scam that he is currently doing time for.

  97. Starchild

    Yes, thanks Chuck & Nick! Late day today for me on the west coast, I’ll have to check out the video/audio streaming after the fact. Glad we’re finally getting into doing that however!

    Catching up on this thread, some thoughts on various topics…

    • Chuck Moulton writes (September 20, 2014 at 9:02 am), “(Alicia Mattson) thinks it’s weird we’re sending out urgent grams telling members we’re broke while paying out staff bonuses for high revenues.”

    Alicia is spot on (as was Evan McMahon who reportedly concurred with her, and Chuck himself, and Paulie Frankel). I too was dismayed by the “urgent gram” and the message it conveyed. The hidden costs of crying broke to raise money, especially in conjunction with paying bonuses, shouldn’t be overlooked. I would’ve cut senior staff pay rather than laying someone off (unless we aren’t being told the whole story, Molly Schwoppe was laid off, not fired).

    • Chuck writes (September 20, 2014 at 9:11 am), “Mattson suggests rolling a d20 to determine who goes first in the roll call vote.”

    Kudos to Alicia for that as well. I’ve never been comfortable with secretaries arbitrarily deciding who to call on first, and appreciate her trying to make the process fair and random. Of course if representatives cultivate the habit of making up their own minds and voting accordingly instead of trying to wait and see which way the herd is moving, the voting order becomes much less of an issue…

    • Chuck writes (September 20, 2014 at 9:30 am), “Mattson is assembling an archive of convention data. She is presenting what she has so far to the LNC.”

    This too is a positive development, and something I pushed for on the LNC. The key of course isn’t just for one person to collect the information and make a report, but getting the information archived online in a convenient and accessible format so that LP members can readily compare various aspects of different conventions, and getting a system established whereby convention organizers are responsible for adding a full data set to the archive for each convention. That kind of institutional memory-building is what will make a long-term difference.

    “Mattson reports Lark has 2 brownie points for noticing that the policy manual update did not reflect an email ballot. McMahon has 1 point, Feldman has 1 point, Kirkland has 1/2 point. Lark received a door prize for being in the lead (breath freshener).”

    This awarding of “brownie points”, on the other hand, seems a little self-aggrandizing. Joking about such points from time to time is one thing — every organization needs its share of levity — but getting so detailed and organized about it is another. Even worthless awards can take on psychological value and serve to enhance the power of the person giving them out.

  98. Starchild

    Chuck writes (September 20, 2014 at 9:50 am), “There was an IT committee report and LPHQ staff IT wishlist distributed in paper form. As far as I know they were not distributed electronically.”

    The Information Technology Committee published a report in paper form only? Say not so! One would expect this committee more than most to be taking the lead in making its information and doings transparent and accessible on the web. I realize the IT Committee was only recently constituted, so hopefully they’re just getting warmed up.

  99. Mark Axinn

    Paulie–

    Start a new one: LNC Meeting in Alexandria–Day 2 or something like that.

    Makes it easier not to have so much to scroll thru.

    Just my 1.5 cents.

  100. Mark Axinn

    Starchild–

    There is no legal difference between being laid off and being fired. Either way, one’s employment is terminated by one’s employer.

    Why does the LP need a receptionist for an office that only has a half-dozen people in it? I know of companies with many more employees without a receptionist.

    Clearly the most expendable person and the correct move by Wes to cut staff costs.

    As far as the urgent ‘gram, I had not thought of negative costs that Chuck and Paulie mention and certainly don’t know how to quantify those. In any event, we are all in agreement that the option of sending such a notice is only available on a highly infrequent basis, or else things cannot be quite so urgent.

    In any event, it worked with me. I got it and wrote a check. I’m sure that was the response of many other regular donors as well.

  101. Andy

    Paul said: “Gary is not out of jail either. Nor has he become a nazi either as far as I know, although he did renounce the LP”

    He only renounced the Libertarian Party from the perspective of Libertarian Party management, as in he renounced certain people who were “running” the party, but he never renounced the party or the philosophy in general (although he certainly did not always live up to it).

    “and the last political job I am aware of him having had was petitioning for Rick Perry and I think Newt Gingrich (or it may have been Romney) in Republican primaries ballot access,”

    He did that because he was already in the area and needed the money, plus he knew the mercenary petition coordinator who had been hired to run those petition drives.

    “since then I do not believe he has worked at anything”

    I’m also not aware of him working on any petition drives since Rick Perry / Newt Gingrich in Indiana, which would have been in early 2012, and I don’t think that he did much petitioning in 2011 either. The only petition that I’m aware of him working on in 2011 was Americans Elect in Kansas, and that was in early 2011.

  102. Starchild

    Paulie Frankel writes (September 20, 2014 at 10:04 am), “Wes talking about problems of managing interns using up staff time.”

    This is the kind of problem that results from trying to keep too tight a level of control. If interns are allowed more autonomy in their work, the value they produce will be more likely to clearly exceed the opportunity cost of managing them.

    Delegating more tasks, including managing volunteer interns, to other volunteers (like vice-chair Arvin Vohra who has already done this and LNC regional rep. Jim Lark who has volunteered to help) instead of relying on paid staff, will also help ensure net benefits.

    Indeed I have suggested that the entire approach to compensation at the national office should be something more along the lines of:

    (1) Identify the work we want to see done, broken down into as many discrete tasks as possible

    (2) Solicit volunteers to do that work, using as many communication channels as possible, as visibly as possible (LP.org, LP News, state affiliates, etc.)

    (3) Put out for competitive bidding the tasks we can’t find qualified volunteers willing to take on, perhaps with some tasks lumped together into part-time staff positions, or full-time IF necessary. (Better to have lots of people doing different things they’re good at than to have one person asked to wear a whole bunch of hats, and then that person becoming “indispensable” while other people are denied the opportunity to improve their skills and develop a “farm team” for the party, so we won’t be left in the lurch when that “indispensable” person inevitably moves on, retires, dies, etc.)

    (4) Make all salary and work contract information public, to encourage more people to get involved in bidding for work, and to ensure that expenses are reasonable (unreasonable pay and other costs are more likely to be incurred when operations are not transparent).

  103. Starchild

    Mark Axinn writes (September 20, 2014 at 7:50 pm), “Starchild – There is no legal difference between being laid off and being fired. Either way, one’s employment is terminated by one’s employer. Why does the LP need a receptionist for an office that only has a half-dozen people in it? I know of companies with many more employees without a receptionist.”

    Mark, there can be a big difference legally speaking between being laid off and being fired! I don’t recall what kind of law you practice, but I’m surprised you as a lawyer would not be more cognizant of this. Not least among other things, it can determine whether or not you qualify for unemployment insurance. It can also make a big difference for the employee in terms of future job prospects, feelings toward the organization, etc.

    My understanding is that Molly did a lot more besides just being the receptionist, and that when she wasn’t answering phones or receiving office visitors, she was working on other tasks. I would refer you to the very useful and informative list of tasks broken down by staffer that was distributed at the LNC meeting prior to the convention, but I don’t know that this list has been published online. (I think it should be, and should be used as a starting point for the 4-step approach recommended in my previous message.)

  104. Andy

    “Mark Axinn September 20, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Starchild–

    There is no legal difference between being laid off and being fired. Either way, one’s employment is terminated by one’s employer.”

    Fired makes it sound like the person was incompetent, or screwed up in some way, or that they did something that was unethical or illegal. Laid off makes it sound like the employer or contracting party could not afford to pay them or they reallocated money to pay them for something else.

    I’m not aware of this Molly woman screwing up or doing something bad that would merit getting fired, so I’d say the more appropriate way to phrase it is that she got laid off.

  105. Starchild

    I agree with Mark that it’s useful to have a separate thread for Day 2 of the LNC meeting, given the number of comments generated by these meetings.

  106. Starchild

    Chuck Moulton writes (September 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm), “Last term there was a ballot access committee that would supposedly focus on lobbying and litigation rather than petitioning, but it ended up not doing much. Sarwark wants to create a ballot access working committee. Redpath is fine with that.”

    Bill Redpath was supposedly fine with it last time too, but somehow the committee never did its work as a committee and Bill continued operating solo, managing the ballot access process himself and giving his own reports to the LNC (as apparently happened again at this meeting).

    The Ballot Access Committee should be managing the process as a committee, and making public decisions as a committee with regard to things like who gets hired to petition, instead of those decisions being made by Bill (or any other single person) inside a black box.

    Andy is right that there is a real benefit in having people who actually understand and support libertarian ideas and the LP doing our petitioning, rather than simply employing paid mercenaries, and that we should be using such petitioners whenever possible. With a transparent committee process, I suspect this would already be happening, at least more than it apparently has been.

  107. Starchild

    Mark Axinn writes (September 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm, quoting Chuck Moulton), “‘Tomasso says we need better internal education because often our candidates say crazy un-libertarian things because they are unprepared.’ Bingo!!! This a problem with us just this year when a 24-year old got our nomination for state senator upstate (near Rochester). Her emails and facebook postings were terrible, and every time we tried to help/guide her, she ignored us.”

    I agree internal education (aka “inreach”) is a critical ongoing issue for the Libertarian Party. Electing Libertarians will mean nothing, or worse than nothing, if they are not also libertarians. Being libertarian is a matter of degrees, not a you-are-or-you-aren’t thing, but we want our candidates, and our party leaders (by which I would include anyone voting on party policies or making decisions on behalf of the party, including convention delegates, staffers, local county officers, etc.), to be as libertarian as possible.

    A resource that could potentially help a lot with the specific issue Mark identifies of candidates not always representing libertarianism accurately or being up-to-speed on the ideas is LPedia.org:

    As I pointed out last year, the Libertarian Party has owned — and apparently been paying to maintain — this Wikipedia-type website for years. It has great potential as a crowdsourced institutional memory bank for the party, but it has been sadly neglected and underused. I think we should work to get it fully functional and promote the heck out of it, making it easy for our members and supporters to use and cross-linking from LP.org.

    There is some standardization on Wikipedia and other wikis whereby similar pages have content organized in similar fashion. Employing this approach on LPedia would enable us to have, for instance, candidate pages where you could readily compare the positions or statements of different candidates on the same issue; compare their Nolan Chart scores; compare other details such as their 3 top campaign issues, etc.

    This in turn would make it much easier to identify which LP candidates in a particular cycle are solid on the philosophy, and which candidates could benefit from more exposure to and teaching about libertarian ideas, encouragement, support and pressure to get those ideas reflected in their campaign messaging.

    LPedia could also be an excellent vehicle for getting information about Libertarian Party conventions organized online in a readily accessible format that enables users to easily compare data from different conventions in different years.

  108. Michael H. Wilson

    This is a bit off topic but it would be nice to have some bio info on some of the LNC members, especially the at large people, as to what their backgrounds are, where they are from and their experience in the party.

  109. Starchild

    Nicholas Sarwark writes (September 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm), “I tried to suggest keeping Outreach Committee as a restructured, mostly non-LNC working committee, but it was not popular. I intend to put the creation of a working ballot access committee on the agenda for next meeting or before.”

    I support Nick on both of these points, and am sorry more LNC members apparently didn’t speak out in favor of keeping the Outreach Committee and opening it up to more non-LNC participation.

    Getting more people involved in national operations, by expanding the number of committees and appointing more people to serve on them, will mean more work getting done, and more work getting done should improve both the party’s finances and our impact in the freedom movement.

    At least, that is, if the LNC holds the committees accountable by expecting regular reports and transparent operations from them, and acts swiftly to reconstitute or appoint new chairs to any committees that aren’t functional or aren’t operating in an accountable manner.

    Having committees that exist in name only while the real work is done behind the scenes, as has so far been the case with the Ballot Access Committee, does not serve the interests of LP members in having bottom-up, participatory governance in their party where they can see and have a voice in what’s being done in their names.

  110. Starchild

    Michael Wilson writes (September 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm), “This is a bit off topic but it would be nice to have some bio info on some of the LNC members, especially the at large people, as to what their backgrounds are, where they are from and their experience in the party.”

    Michael, there’s an app for that…

    LPedia.org:

    Unfortunately, the app (website) isn’t as well-supported right now as it could and ought to be.

  111. Joshua Katz

    If you’re having trouble with the mic placement on the video feed, I am running an audio feed (I noted 5 listeners today) with mic placement and mixer control by Norm Olsen, who works with sound equipment regularly. I suspect it has less audio issues. It does go out from time to time, though, as I’m not getting good bandwidth. It is at http://mixlr.com/joshua-katz/

    I strongly support the chair’s desire to turn committees into working committees, focused on taking actions. He is asking not to have people on committees who don’t want to participate in the work that committee oversees.

    I think in-person meetings are important, and if you’re going to have in-person meetings, they need to be long enough to justify the travel. I’m not driving to Virginia for a 2 hour meeting. I do not think short, more frequent meetings, by phone, are an acceptable substitute. I do want to get electronic meetings going – in part because it will let the LNC itself take responsibility for more things, and delegate less to the EC, since we could meet more quickly (7<14.) In person meetings allow for socializing and developing board cohesion. High frequency is not a great thing – the LP is a large enough organization that it is important that the LNC act more like a board (which it is) and do its best to avoid managing. Frequent meetings lead to more management. Infrequent, long meetings are appropriate for boards since they facilitate giving instructions and then giving staff time to follow them (under the CEO's supervision.)

    I disagreed with the LNC setting the rules for other committees – I would be okay with other committees either following the rules the LNC sets or submitting their own rules to the LNC, and the LNC having some review procedure – the LNC shouldn't be able to reject rules because we don't like them, but should be able to reject rules if they violate fundamental principles of procedure or threaten rights. In any case, I am on the committee that will handle this issue, and will do my best to push for transparency, adherence to basic principles and protections of absentees of minorities, and for allowing other committees to set their own rules, so long as these principles are followed. It is clear that the intent of the authors of the bylaw was for the LNC to set the rules for all committees, but words matter more than intent, and as I read those words, the LNC has the power to set rules for other committees, but may choose not to exercise that power.

  112. Thomas L. Knapp

    I consider myself pretty sensitive to / irritated by “SKY IS FALLING!” fundraising tactics that blow situations out of proportion.

    I received Wes Benedict’s “urgent gram” the other day. It was well-written and not over-wrought in my opinion. Given the controversy about it as described in this LNC meeting thread, I just re-read it …

    … and made a (small) contribution in response to it.

  113. Michael H. Wilson

    I agree with Tom. My letter arrived in today’s mail. A small contribution will be sent in response.

  114. Michael H. Wilson

    Stupid question time. Would someone take the time to explain what the situation is with the Outreach Committee? Thank you.

  115. Nicholas Sarwark

    It was empty last term, we didn’t really budget for it, and the LNC thought we had too many committees. I still want to have a committee that works on improving our outreach, reviews and improves our existing outreach materials, but will now need to do something different.

  116. Thomas L. Knapp

    As a side note:

    “He fielded over 20 phone calls just in his state.”

    The only way he fielded over 20 phone calls from Indiana about the “urgent gram” was if he called over 20 Hoosiers and said “hey, do me a favor — call me back about the ‘urgent gram’ so I can say I fielded over 20 calls from Indiana about the ‘urgent gram.'”

    If Wes Benedict ran naked through Lucas Oil Stadium screaming “Libertarians love Hillary Clinton and want to give Kekionga back to Little Turtle and the Miami Confederacy!” during a Colts home game there wouldn’t be 20 cold calls about it.

  117. Mark Axinn

    I sense Mr. Knapp is correct. I am a state chair with 600 national members and no one called me about the urgent gram. I did not know it was even controversial until I saw discussion on this thread.

    Starchild–I love the term “inreach” and will start using it forthwith. It precisely describes what we do, but need to do more, with new members/candidates. The Party won’t grow without it and them.

    My point on termination was simply the net effect, not the way it sounds. We rarely fire employees, but if we do, we always spin it positively for them so they can new jobs by saying things like “She worked from _________to __________” and not providing any reason for the termination. Very small point, but I see yours about spinning it for the employee’s future employment.

  118. Chuck Moulton

    The stream keeps going off.

    Much of this goals discussion mirrors the informal discussion yesterday.

    Vohra wanted a goal of 1500 candidates in 2016 who had been through Who’s Driving training.

    Redpath was skeptical of picking an arbitrary number for goals metrics. He said $80,000 was spent on strategic planning by an earlier LNC and nothing came of it.

    McClendon wanted to divide the Vohra goal into 1000 candidates, and a fixed number of Who’s Driving sessions.

    Carla Howell was asked how many Who’s Driving sessions she had already held. She estimated about 30-35.

    Olsen talked about the importance of winning elections.

    At this point the stream has been off air for a few minutes. It went off air last while Olsen was talking.

    The stream is back.

    A member from the gallary is talking: Tyler Brown who was elected to the Occoquan Town Council.

    Wiener points out many goals — even if they are measurable — are largely outside the control of staff. We’re limited mainly by our resources. We increase our resources by getting more members, donors, etc.

  119. Stewart Flood

    “IT committee surveying state affiliates … talk about cloud based data which past terms also discussed”

    Interesting. The IT Comittee did not discuss cloud based data. Could someone please post a copy of the IT Committee report? It would be nice to know what the committee I am on reported since we never discussed or even received drafts of this report.

  120. Eric J Blitz

    My suggestion on goals for an organization like the LNC is that for any selected, they also designate sub-ordinal goals that point everyone towards concrete actions that support the goal so that both the national and affiliate organizations, and all volunteers who are going to buy into achieving the goals, see the path forward. You don’t have to have a fully detailed plan for any goal or to only pick one or two means of achieving any goal, but you should show the leadership to demonstrate how everyone else can (not must) move forward with concrete action. Absent action-oriented ideas, the goals become merely aspirational and nothing gets done.

  121. Chuck Moulton

    Hayes thinks our goal should be increasing the number of registered Libertarian voters.

    Estrada thinks each LNC subcommittee should champion a few goals.

    Sarwark wants goals so there will be metrics for whether he’s doing a good job as chair. Sarwark likes # of candidates, % of candidates who have done Who’s Driving, and # of members as goals. He points out discounted student memberships might help increase membership, but a revenue goal would be different. He suggests a goal of lowering the median age of membership by 5 years.

  122. Chuck Moulton

    Stewart Flood wrote:

    Could someone please post a copy of the IT Committee report? It would be nice to know what the committee I am on reported since we never discussed or even received drafts of this report.

    I have not seen an electronic copy of the reports anywhere.

    There were 2 reports circulated. One was a copy of a “wish list” email sent to the IT committee by staff (Wes Benedict) on 8/28/2014 on 5:45 pm, which you should have. The other seemed to be a written report that may not have been circulated. The latter is one page and just talks about what the IT committee has been doing.

  123. Chuck Moulton

    Redpath points out even paper candidates — candidates who just put their names on the ballot and don’t campaign at all — can get over a million votes just by being an option.

    Lieberman is talking about elected Libertarians. There are 147 elected Libertarians right now. He highlighted a few exciting races around the country and suggested an elected Libertarians goal. As long as we’re adopting goals which we have little control over (like # of candidates), we should have elected Libertarians as another goal. Lieberman also favors a goal of 38 state ballot access (by retention).

    Vohra says our meta-goal is to cut government. He suggests a goal of eliminating one federal cabinet level agency by the end of 2016.

    Tomasso thinks we should pick 1, 2, or 3 goals to focus. Better to do a few things very well than to do many things half-assed.

    Sarwark suggests time be extended by 30 minutes and each person votes for a number of goals. (I’m not sure if he means approval voting?) There was an objection to 30 minutes and 10 minutes was suggested by someone else. Perhaps use 10 minutes to add goals to the list, recess for 10 minutes, then vote on goals.

    Mattson wants a prioritization, not just a list of goals.

    Time was extended by 10 minutes.

    Lark moves that the goals from July 2 be included.

  124. Chuck Moulton

    Goals being considered during recess:
    [5 Lark goals???]
    20,000 active donors
    Campus affiliate in each state by 2016

    Lark’s goals email was sent to the LNC discuss list rather than the LNC business list, so there is no copy of that message available.

  125. Pingback: 2014 Alexandria LNC meeting discussion thread for Sunday | Independent Political Report

  126. Chuck Moulton

    goals:
    1000 candidates in 2016
    300 candidates trained in Who’s Driving by 2016
    updated issues based outreach literature by the convention
    ??
    38 state ballot access by 2016
    2 million revenue in calendar year by 2016
    200 elected Libertarians by 2016
    eliminate one federal level cabinet department by 2016
    20000 active members by June 2016
    ? operational affiliates
    raise at least $3 million
    sponsor a series of workshops like success 97
    ?? active donors
    increase by 10% number of active county level affiliates
    facilitate creation of a campus ?? in each state

    It was very hard to write these all down by listening to the stream.

  127. Starchild

    Stewart Flood writes (September 21, 2014 at 8:47 am), Could someone please post a copy of the IT Committee report? It would be nice to know what the committee I am on reported since we never discussed or even received drafts of this report.”

    I’m getting deja vu here… Last term on the Platform Committee, committee chair Alicia Mattson on her own and without debate or authorization of the committee as a whole, sent out a survey to LP members. We still haven’t seen the full results of that survey.

    Maybe the LNC needs a Policy Manual rule that no committee report will be deemed official and no LNC meeting time shall be used to give the report if it is revealed that there are members of the committee in whose name it is being released who have neither seen it nor authorized it nor had a chance to vote on it?

  128. George Phillies

    “Vohra says our meta-goal is to cut government. He suggests a goal of eliminating one federal cabinet level agency by the end of 2016.” Was some mechanism to this end suggested?

  129. Andy

    Chuck Moulton said: “He points out discounted student memberships might help increase membership,”

    I’ve been saying this for a long time myself. Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty both have a lot of members, yet few of them are members of the Libertarian Party. There should be a major campus recruitment effort from the LP.

  130. George Phillies

    The goals should reference what the LNC is doing, not what is happening as a result, e.g., run a nationwide Fucebook campaign under the line “Vote Libertarian” is a goal.

  131. Stewart Flood

    Starchild wrote “’I’m getting deja vu here… ”

    No, we discussed the survey and we saw it before it went out. The response rate has been very slow, so there is no real data to talk about yet.

    I just had not seen the report. Chuck wrote that it is just a list of what we are working on, which is probably why no one bothered to review it in the committee. And he is correct, we were sent the wish list. We just haven’t discussed it yet.

    I would not classify this as anything similar to what you experienced last term. We are just getting started, with the committee populated about a month ago. We have only had one conference call so far.

  132. Nicholas Sarwark

    With all due respect to George, goals are the measurable end result. His example of a Facebook advertising campaign is an action that may or may not align with a goal. I guess it can be argued that running an ad campaign is a goal, but I would argue that a goal of 5 million nationwide LP votes is a goal, and running a Facebook ad campaign is an action that assists in achieving the goal.

    As I said in the meeting, I want measurable goals so I can work with staff on plans, budgets, and actions to achieve them. Could I do plans, budgets, and actions without a goal? I could, but then at the end of the term all I could say is that I did those things, but could not say whether they were the right things to do.

  133. Chuck Moulton

    Stewart Flood wrote:

    Could someone please post a copy of the IT Committee report? It would be nice to know what the committee I am on reported since we never discussed or even received drafts of this report.

    The report isn’t very long. I’ll just type it up for here, seeing as the committee didn’t bother to distribute it electronically.

    IT Committee report:

    At the post-convention LNC meeting, the policy manual was changed to reform the IT Committee and change its makeup to a majority of non-LNC members. Sam Goldstein and Rich Tomasso were appointed to the committee.

    First order of business: finding members to fill the committee. Some emails and a phone call to discuss our vision for the committee and some likely goals and projects. The two timeframes we are dealing with are near-term (now through Dec) and long-term (through 2016).

    Starting July 1, word went out we were looking for applications. An official email was sent mid-July. The applications came in a big wave the first weeks, then tapered off. In all, we had more than 50 applicants. It took us two rounds of ranking the applicants to narrow down the list to about 20 who went through another evaluation and followup questions. This was not an easy process. We had an idea of the quality of IT talent within the Party and we saw that. We heard from project managers at Fortune 100 firms, IT directors at top-100 law firms, patent holders, dot-com entrepreneurs, people who work at some of the most successful organizations in the country. Remarkably, many of them were unknown to their local LP leadership or had no involvement with the LP before. We also got several worthwhile ideas with the applications. In early August, after careful sorting and follow up, we made recommendations to the Chair for the appointments.

    The non-LNC members are: Laura Delhomme (VA), Stewart Flood (SC), Kurt Hildebrand (TX), Drew Hutton (NC) and Michael Kielsky (AZ). Each will be signing an NDA.

    As an aside, we do recommend this solicitation process for every committee that has non-LNC members. We were both amazed at the quality of people who came to our attention and the great ideas that came from it.

    We got started right away. We asked staff for the HQ hardware and software inventory, plus the monthly expenses for IT matters. We also reviewed some internal processes that have an IT component so we can look for cost savings and technology leverage points. Some early discussions have already led to some cost savings on the email front.

    The committee had a conference call in late August along with a few staff to introduce ourselves, discuss some goals, and create working groups and early projects. We got a history of past IT efforts and some ideas that never quite made it to fruition. We asked staff for their perspective, especially any low hanging fruit we could deal with quickly or cheaply. We established point people to look at these key areas: the website, contact management, database, candidate support, project management and collaboration, a voting system for the convention. Overall we want to make better use of our technology to increase productivity. If we can do some standardization, that would be great. The sheer scope of what we could and should be doing makes this a long-term endeavor to turn that into what we are actually doing.

    Shortly after, a survey for state chairs and webmasters was developed and Eric posted it to SurveyMonkey. Response has been slow, but it may have gotten lost in the rather high traffic of the state chairs list the pat two months.

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  135. Matt Cholko

    I hope the IT committee does great things. It seems to me that this, like many LP committees, has great potential. They have smart/talented people, and the organization has tons of room for improvement. However, experience has shown me that it is very difficult to keep a group of volunteers focused and working on anything for an extended period. So, I’ve become very skeptical that any LP committee will produce much in the way of results.

    Please, IT committee, beat down my skepticism!

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