California LP Makes Announcement Regarding Upcoming Convention

Tropicana LV

Libertarian Parties Announce Joint Convention

6 Fed 2015
By Jonathan Jaech

Earlier this week, the California and Nevada Libertarian parties announced the finalization of plans for holding their 2015 annual conventions jointly. The announced venue for the joint conventions is the Tropicana Las Vegas. The convention of delegates for each party will be on Sunday May 31st, with the preceding days beginning on May 28th set aside for LPEX, billed as the “first Libertarian Political Expo” and meetings of LSLA, the Libertarian State Leaders Alliance. Delegate floor fees were not announced as of this writing, and are expected to be in the range of zero to “who knows?”.

Plans for the event were laid by the Chairs for the two parties, Kevin Takenaga (California) and Brett Pojunis (Nevada). In a November 14 letter to the California Executive Committee, Takenaga explained the genesis of the unusual convention proposal:

I was approached earlier this year by my counterpart in Nevada, Brett
Pojunis, about the possibility of teaming up for a joint Executive
Committee meeting this year. In addition, the LP Nevada is hosting the
Libertarian State Leadership Alliance (LSLA) conference along with a few
other liberty-minded groups next year in Las Vegas. The LPNevada is
holding their annual convention at the end of the conference and Chairman
Pojunis would like us to consider his offer of having a joint convention
at the same time.

Takenaga’s letter did not mention specifically LPEX, which is closely associated with the Nevada Chair Pojunis. Pojunis has reportedly stated words at a recent public appearance to the effect he is “personally” on the hook for a 500-room committment to the Tropicana, “so please come.” In view of recent attendance at California conventions trending well below 100 delegates in recent years, a 500-room commitment is a considerable risk, and indicates a high degree of confidence by Pojunis that the other two events, LPEX and LSLA, will draw enough attendees to fill at least 500 rooms.

While this is the first-ever conference for LPEX, LSLA has held annual conferences before. According to LSLA’s website, LSLA is a national organization “to support local state affiliates of the Libertarian Party” that is “organized exclusively for educational purposes, more specifically to coordinate activities and share knowledge among Libertarian Party State Chairs and Affiliate Parties.” LSLA’s 2014 conference was co-located with the national LP convention in Columbus Ohio, and their 2013 conference was in Denver. Past attendance statistics are not readily available for LSLA conferences, but it may be inferred that such conferences have not historically been the type of events that can fill 500 hotel rooms.

That puts a lot of pressure on Pojunis and his new event to draw a large number of libertarian visitors to his new event. With the well-established and high-profile FreedomFest planned for just five weeks later, and the Washington State Libertarian Convention competing for regional vistors and speakers the same weekend, it remains to be seen whether LPEX can put together a compelling enough program to fill the room commitment.

Overall, that sets up a unusual dynamic for the 2015 California convention. If the preceding conferences are great successes, the convention will be an afterthought on the last day, but there will be some glory for the outgoing officers to bask in. On the other hand, if the conferences fail to attract the needed number of visitors and are lackluster, the stench of failure will be lingering on Sunday, no doubt lending a degree of volatility to what may turn out to be a very hot afternoon.

Either way, California is not in the driver’s seat for 2015, instead tagging along in the shadow of Chairman Pojunis, LPEX, LSLA, and the much smaller Nevada party, which along with Pojunis is apparently taking the financial risks and managing the meeting space details. Members of the California party’s Operations Committee recently confirmed that the California party was not legally at risk for the room commitment, not being a party to any agreement with the Tropicana. Details were sketchy, but its obligations as of this writing may be limited to a handshake agreement with the Nevada party to reimburse for direct expenses related to its meeting room. If the pre-conferences are sufficiently successful, California may get a free ride on its meeting room. It is uncertain what this will mean once the convention date comes.

The California party has held out-of-state conventions before, once in Nevada and once on a cruise ship. But it has never held its convention as a subsidiary to a larger event in a different state. The choice was controversial from the outset. Some members feel the joint meeting is a good opportunity to learn from and network with the Nevada party, and entails little financial risk. Others would prefer to hold conventions closer to the membership, and believe distant conventions are a factor in the decline in LPC’s membership. This controversy may play out at the convention, at which most officers are up for election. Changes to the LPC bylaws may also be considered.

Prior convention planning called for a 2015 convention to be held somewhere in Los Angeles County or Inland Empire. Locations were identified and costs estimated, but the convention committee never agreed to make a specific proposal and was led by members who were new to the planning process. This left an opening if not excuse for Takenaga to push for the Las Vegas convention proposal late in 2014. This effort was aided by the resignation of several members shortly before the December 6th LPC Executive Committee meeting in which the Las Vegas proposal was adopted. The Chair was able to appoint replacements at his pleasure to fill the vacancies. The newly appointed committee members are Jeff Hewitt, Kelly Barnes, Eric Vaugnes and Ray Fostore. Coincidentally, all of the new members hail from the Inland Empire, so nobody can accuse the Chair of bias against the South! Also, although the convention will not be in the South this year, Southern California delegates will face lighter travel burdens getting to Las Vegas and may be expected to outnumber those from other parts of the state.

According to California’s website at ca.lp.org, “If you wish to become a delegate but you’ve never been a dues-paying member of LPC, you must join by March 2, 2015 to become eligible.” It will be an interesting year to participate!

Jonathan Jaech is the Southern-Vice Chairman for the Libertarian Party of California. He is also the treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County.

160 thoughts on “California LP Makes Announcement Regarding Upcoming Convention

  1. Martin Passoli

    Room-NIGHTS, spread out over 3 or 4 nights, and I believe the number I saw was actually 550.

  2. Stewart Flood

    Room nights is how conventions are normally sold. A room night count of 550 would imply around 175-200 rooms sold, since not everyone would book for the night before or after the event. LSLA attendees also tend to share rooms, as do many libertarians at state and national conventions. This will lower the room count quite a bit.

    Hopefully Pojunis has not overreached. If he has, it would be regrettable to have any of it fall on the much larger and probably more financially capable California party.

  3. Mark Axinn

    LSLA is not a big money-maker. It operates on a small budget, financed mostly by the sale of vendor space for the day of its workshops and meeting. We have had a majority of the states represented on even-numbered years as many of us were already going to the venue for the national Convention, but I believe attendance in 2013 was less than 25 people.

    The odd-numbered year before that was 2011 in Columbus, a great success in reviving the LSLA due to the hard work of Sam Goldstein, Lupe Diaz and most especially Kevin Knedler.

    I hope Brett’s current project is remarkably successful, but the inclusion of LSLA is unlikely to add too much to its bottom line.

  4. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I believe the contract was with LP Nevada, and I don’t know what financial obligation CA has made, besides using a room on Sunday.

  5. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I don’t really have a pony in this race, but I’d hate to see Brett fail. However, I will not be staying at the Tropicana. I’ve also heard that the $125 rooms are already gone (that was the minimum price).

  6. David Colborne

    There were “average $100/night” rooms when I checked a couple days ago – the weekends are $125 and the weekdays (Thursday and Sunday nights) were somewhat cheaper. I declined a reservation, however, since I’ll be traveling alone and adding the hotel stay to the LPEX registration fee would have pushed me higher than I was interested in paying.

  7. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I wouldn’t be able to miss work for the Expo, so I would like to drive late Friday and get a room for Friday and Saturday night so I can enjoy the town on Saturday and go to the convention on Sunday. Those minimums were $125, but I didn’t check if they’re still available because I won’t be staying there. I’ll look around this weekend for available hotels in the area that are less expensive.

  8. Joshua Katz

    Regarding the room-nights, the block is reserved for 4 days before and 4 days after as well, which lowers the number needed per night. It’s really 550 room-nights over 9 nights.

  9. Stewart Flood

    But by spreading it so wide, they actually raise the cost per night on the busier days. The comments above from others should be a good indicator of how this will go.

    My guess is Brett is counting on the California LP and the LSLA bringing their check books.

    Regardless, I won’t be wasting money attending this and neither will several others who have asked me about it. This is one story that really needs to stay in Vegas.

  10. Joshua Katz

    One among the many that happen every time I go to Vegas…LPEX or not, I never turn down the excuse to go to Las Vegas.

    Out of curiosity, why would increasing the length of the block increase the price on the busier nights (guessing Friday and Saturday?)

  11. Steven Peters

    Seems to me if a dozen rooms are booked for 9 nights and a dozen are booked for 5 nights they only need a total of 132 to stay for 2 nights.

  12. Martin Passoli

    Steven Peters, even allowing for the absurdly generous assumption of a dozen rooms booked for 9 nights and another dozen for 5 nights (who exactly will be booking those rooms for all those nights?), that’s only 168 room-nights. 550-168=382. Your example falls short by 382-264=118 room-nights. And then there’s that word “only” that you use. 132 rooms for even two nights is a pretty generous assumption, given that many people will choose less expensive motels, staying with friends, camping out, sharing rooms, sleeping in vehicles, or even taking drugs and staying awake the whole weekend, as opposed to getting an expensive room by themselves on top of an expensive conference attendance fee for a non-established event without a lot of big name speakers. And of course some of the people attending will be from Vegas and won’t need a motel room at all. Sounds pretty ambitious to me.

  13. Martin Passoli

    As understand it the event is going to draw mainly California and Nevada LP members and a few LSLA attendees. As Mark Axinn points out above, LSLA conferences typically don’t draw very many people (especially to a very expensive event with no big name speakers, at least so far). And as Stewart Flood mentioned, many of them split rooms, as do many people at state conventions (especially at an expensive hotel).

    Most Nevada residents live in the Vegas area, so very few of them will pay for an expensive motel when they can drive or take a taxi home. Even the smaller contingent from Northern Nevada probably have friends in Vegas they can stay with, especially if they have been active in the state party for some time and know the other active party members from the Vegas area. Nevada LP conventions aren’t typically all that big in any case.

    About 2/3 of California residents live in Southern California, and conventions usually draw disproportionately from people from the area of the state closest to the convention, so a reasonable expectation is that at least 70-80% and maybe more of LPCA attendees will be from the southern half of the state. And the LPCA convention is actually a one day event, so many of the LPCA attendees have little or no incentive to go to LPEX, especially when they already paying a steep floor fee just to be delegates at their own state convention. Some of them might actually drive to and from Vegas the same day (that’s a long day, but people have done it). Some more will either drive to Vegas or back that day so they will only need one motel night, not two, and it won’t necessarily be at the convention hotel.

    Even some of the minority of Californians from Northern California may not necessarily need even as many as two nights; some of them will share driving so, say. one person can sleep in the car on the way there and another on the way back. Some might spend either the night getting there or the night back, if not both, sleeping on a bus or airplane. And how big are LPCA conventions anyway? Reportedly the last one was less than 50 delegates, and it’s been quite a few years since it’s been over a hundred, as far as I know.

    And just to top it off with a cherry, the Washington State convention is that same weekend, so there go a few more potential LPEX attendees.

    Sorry to be negative, but as a business venture this doesn’t sound like a very well thought out plan. Let’s just say I wouldn’t buy any shares if it was a public company and wouldn’t advise anyone else to either.

  14. Martin Passoli

    “it would be regrettable to have any of it fall on the much larger and probably more financially capable California party.”

    California certainly has a lot more people than Nevada, but as for the party itself, it’s not clear that LPCA has more money than LPNV. Neither one has drawn very many people to state conventions in recent years. California has an office which sits empty most of the time and one part time employee. Nevada has a very nice office, based on pictures I saw online, and supposedly several full time people working there according to claims they have made. What I’d really like to know is how they can afford to pay for all that. Brett Pojunis has said that he is a full time LP activist now and doesn’t have much in the way of savings. It doesn’t seem likely that money to pay for an office and several full time employees plus all of the travel Brett does all over the country comes from the tiny handful of LPNV donors. Where’s the money coming from?

  15. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    From what I can tell, there will be people going from Southern CA, but it sounds like most of the people are doing it like we plan to: be there for Sunday but find a less expensive place to stay, and use any other time there enjoying. I don’t know one person planning on attending LPEX.

    I’ve only talked to my LA County friends, though, and some Inland Empire people.

    Gale Morgan, the Northern Vice-Chair, said on FB that everyone he’s talked to in No CA is excited by it, but I don’t know if that included LPEX. It’s a huge state, of course, and there hasn’t been a way for county people to talk to each other much except through FB, but, of course, there are a whole lot of people in CA and I certainly can only speak tfor our group.

    I don’t think the early-bird price of $299 is awful, so anyone without a usual 9-5 might want to attend LPEX if there are good enough events scheduled. I don’t know anyone who is planning to pay $190 for one day, though. ,

    So far, I haven’t seen a floor fee for Sunday mentioned.

  16. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Brett’s vision of an event for libertarians is admirable. I can think of no reason that any of us in CA want it to fail. From what I can tell, the source of fury towards the convention being in Las Vegas really has more to do that it was forced on us by a few members of the Ex Com (remember, more than a third of them resigned within the two weeks around the December meeting that made the agreement to meet in Vegas), when I’m told there had been bids submitted from So Ca in the months prior. I wasn’t personally involved,though.

    I’ve spoken my piece here about the convention, but I don’t want any part in making the total event fail. I hope the planners of LPEX send us programming info as the time grows nearer, and the same with LSLA. I’m sure all of us here at IPR will be happy to share the info here.

    I also invited Kevin Takanaga to address the convention controversy, and in the extremely unlikely event that he does, I’ll post the info here–or he can send it to another writer to post it.

  17. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I believe we should have something solid on people wanting to run for office within the next couple of weeks. There may be a few surprises!

  18. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Anyone planning to run against Takanaga? He’s at best a mediocre Chairman, and in any event, he’s been in there way too long. The LPCA’s leadership is moribund.

    If the membership can’t find a suitable replacement for Takanaga, the membership is moribund as well.

  19. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    RTAA, there are two fairly solid names of people running for chairman, and hopefully one or both will announce soon. I also know many people who will be running for postions if Takenaga is replaced. If he wins again for Chair, I expect the same people to run again, so not much will change.

  20. paulie

    I hope the planners of LPEX send us programming info as the time grows nearer, and the same with LSLA. I’m sure all of us here at IPR will be happy to share the info here.

    I forwarded it to the IPR email list/google group.

    Or jut go to http://lpex.org/ and scroll down. It has schedule, speakers, etc.

  21. Mark Axinn

    Root’s Teeth attacks on Kevin are inappropriate and unnecessary.

    Since that poster won’t use his/her real name there is a very slight chance that I am mistaken, but I am willing to bet that person has zero experience as a state chair and certainly does not have several years of experience leading the largest state affiliate.

    Let me know when you’ve put in half a dozen years of unpaid work as a state chair.

  22. paulie

    I believe we whould have something solid on people wanting to run for office within the next couple of weeks.There may be a few surprises!


    RTAA, there are two fairly solid names of people running for chairman, and hopefully one or both will announce soon.

    I’d be curious to know who if anyone wants to clue me in. I won’t make it public if you ask me not to.

  23. Michael H. Wilson

    I get the impression most Libertarians have champagne taste and beer pocketbooks. I hope I am wrong and things work out well for this event.

  24. Joshua Katz

    Well, I took 9 nights. Other people had better show up; I’d get in way too much trouble alone in Vegas for 9 days.

  25. Steven Peters

    Nick Sarwark make some comments about Libertarians eating their own at the SoCal conference. What I see here bears that out to a great extent. People would rather spend the night at another hotel and spend taxi fare back and forth than to help Pojunis cover the cost of 500 rooms. In the end they will pay more to stay elsewhere after cab fare and all. I am willing to pay an extra $10.00 a night to not have to travel. I hate traffic, but, those from the county hills may like spending time in their cars.

  26. paulie

    If it’s a difference of $10 I would think people would stay at the conference hotel, although that won’t stop them from splitting rooms. But if it’s a difference between 45/night and 125/night, especially if the cheaper motel is close by, a lot of people will take the cheaper motel. It’s not out of animosity for Brett, just that many people don’t have a lot of disposable income, so making it to the convention at all – especially out of state – is a stretch to many of the people who are going.

  27. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Mark Axinn, I called Takanaga’s tenure “at best mediocre.” I wouldn’t term that an “attack.” Merely criticism.

    No, I’ve never been a state LP Chair. I’ve also never been President of the United States. Does that mean that I can’t criticize Obama?

  28. Michael H. Wilson

    One thing that has irked me for years is the amount of money spent on conventions. The LP has a small base of contributors to begin with and every dollar spent on travel, meals and hotels is a dollar not available to be donated to campaigns. Then we wonder why campaigns are so underfunded.

  29. Mark Axinn

    Root’s Teeth.

    Point conceded. I was unduly harsh.

    However, I think you will concede that being a state chair ain’t no walk in the park (c’mon cats, get in that herd over there!). Being chair in a state with a large population and spread over vast areas of highly diverse space is particularly difficult.

    Few can do it as well (and certainly none as long) as Pat Dixon did in Texas.

  30. Mark Axinn

    >One thing that has irked me for years is the amount of money spent on conventions.

    The numbers I heard last year were a minimum of $500,000 all in for the 2014 LP Convention in Columbus.

    I live in a pretty expensive city in a pretty expensive state, yet we put on conventions in New York for a few thousand dollars, and usually make a few bucks profit.

    In the twenty-plus years that I have been a member, I don’t believe we ever charged more than $80 for the day, which would include two meals, and usually more like $60. Granted they are not at shiny hotels with casinos….

  31. paulie

    One thing that has irked me for years is the amount of money spent on conventions. The LP has a small base of contributors to begin with and every dollar spent on travel, meals and hotels is a dollar not available to be donated to campaigns. Then we wonder why campaigns are so underfunded.

    The money is not fungible. I derive specific things from libertarian conventions, ranging from socializing to helping decide the direction of the party in terms of party officers, platform and nominees for office, to hearing and meeting speakers, activism workshops, etc etc. Some people may enjoy the vacations and visiting different cities. There are many reasons that people go to conventions. While some LP donors have less money to contribute to LP candidates as a result, others are inspired to contribute more than they otherwise would have or even to become LP candidates. It’s simply not accurate to assume that the money that is spent putting on and attending conventions would go to LP candidates instead.

  32. Michael H. Wilson

    paulie I am not suggesting convention are wrong. My problem is with expensive conventions when there are less expensive alternative locations, that is more centralized, less expensive locations and even shorter ones.

  33. paulie

    I agree about not making the conventions too expensive. There’s the argument that nice venues encourage big donors to make larger donations, but if that’s the case we need a separate private venture taking on the risk (as is the case with LPEX) as opposed to the party, and ways to make it affordable to go at all for less well off party members need to be actively sought and promoted.

  34. Stewart Flood

    There is a solution, which the LNC has refused to act on. Paulie knows what I’m talking about.

  35. Stewart Flood

    Just about any former LNC member is aware of it, should all of the current members. So perhaps 50 to 75 people normally at a national convention know the solution. Some agree with it, others do not.

    Unfortunately, as a former LNC member I am not permitted to discuss it. I probably can’t even give my opinion, but it should be obvious what that is. But it is out there…

    I am sure that Dr Phillies can speak to this, since I am 100.000% positive that his contacts on the LNC in previous terms told him (although we were not permitted to discuss it).

    Look up FEC regulations. It will be there, staring you in the face. But again, Paulie and I are not permitted to discuss it. (by saying this, I am not breaking any rules, but I would be if I actually discussed it)

    🙂

  36. George Phillies

    Solution to which? Stewart notwithstanding, my LNC contacts, whose identities the LNC largely failed to guess, occasionally noted that there were things they they could not discuss.

  37. Andy Craig

    The only thing I can think FEC regulations would have to do with it would be something like this, but this is a very recent change, and isn’t so much about cheaper conventions as easier-to-fund-raise-for conventions:

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/12/congress-likely-to-allow-much-larger-contributions-to-political-parties/

    “The budget rider would allow much larger contributions, but only if the money were donated for one of three purposes: (1) to defray expenses of national conventions”

  38. paulie

    You’re on the right track. And I don’t see why formerly being an LNC alternate keeps me from publicly mentioning publicly available facts such as the convention host city committee route. It can’t be legally coordinated with the LNC, but I wouldn’t put an ex-LNC member mentioning that such an option exists in that category at all.

  39. Nicholas Sarwark

    Stewart may be speaking about the creation of a separate convention host committee, which is unconstrained by many of the FEC regulations that the Libertarian Party itself is constrained by.

  40. paulie

    Stewart may be speaking about the creation of a separate convention host committee, which is unconstrained by many of the FEC regulations that the Libertarian Party itself is constrained by.

    Exactly. I don’t understand why he thinks he and I are not allowed to talk about it.

  41. George Phillies

    To give credit where it is due, Marc Montoni has regularly tried to explain convention host committees to the LNC. His explanations have been extremely transparent and easy to understand.

  42. Stewart Flood

    I only said that we couldn’t talk about it to see who was following the thread. 🙂

  43. Stewart Flood

    And I agree 100% with Montoni. It would make some things much easier. Yes, of course I was talking about the “dirty little secret” of convention committees.

  44. paulie

    To give credit where it is due, Marc Montoni has regularly tried to explain convention host committees to the LNC. His explanations have been extremely transparent and easy to understand.

    True.

  45. Stewart Flood

    Didn’t anyone spot the smiley face in the post? How often do I use smiley faces…

  46. George Phillies

    See, I was right. It was a completely different topic, namely how far certain readers’ legs could be pulled.(8^)) Good work, Stewart. Now, about the guys in hoodies…?

  47. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Don’t think for a minute that I fell for it! I was just playing along. 😉

  48. Stewart Flood

    Unfortunately, George, I was never kidding about them. But the convention kept most of them off of the LNC, so they don’t have control this term.

  49. Michael H. Wilson

    The same applies for state party convention and it may be a bigger issue there. In my opinion keep the costs down, make them easy to attend such as a one day event especially if you want younger parents to attend.

  50. Andy Craig

    I’m a bit confused as to how we could have a Libertarian National Convention run by a group not allowed to coordinate with the other LNC. Isn’t it the Committee’s job to put on the convention? They can delegate the task of course- staff, subcommittees, etc.- but how are we supposed to pick a group of people and then delegate that authority to them if they can’t report back to or discuss with the LNC or its members? Is being sanctioned by the LNC itself an act of coordination? Or is this just “coordination” defined in some confusingly narrow legalese manner? Would the LNC still have to approve the location and other details?

  51. Stewart Flood

    The idea of a convention committee is to use it (as the Ds and Rs do) to get large corporations to sponsor a significant portion of the cost of running the convention. This is supposed to lower the cost for attendees — however my understanding from people I know who have been delegates to the RNC or DNC’s circus shows is that they actually spend as much or more than our delegates do. They just have a bunch of high priced things like balloons falling from the ceiling, large funny hats, costumes…oh wait…we have all of that except for the balloons!

    The debate of course is whether it is better that way or better the way we’ve been doing it. Either way, someone has to pay for hotel space. We can’t have a convention in a field.

  52. paulie

    The coordination would legally amount to picking the city and host committee. After that point there can’t be any detailed coordination.

    Also, as was pointed out somewhere above, the law just raised the limit significantly for individuals to contribute to parties for the purpose of directly paying for conventions as well. So there are several options here.

  53. Nicholas Sarwark

    Denver 2008 was done by a host committee. The LP knows how to do conventions that way, but it’s tricky to get good numbers on whether they’re financially successful or not, since the books inside the host committee are legally opaque.

    The advantage of the host committee route is that sponsorships can be sold. There’s also something to be said for just handing off the task of putting together a convention of a specific length, cost, and anticipated size and delegating the logistics of making that happen rather than doing those logistics internally.

  54. Mark Axinn

    >Either way, someone has to pay for hotel space. We can’t have a convention in a field.

    Starchild might disagree, but the rest of appreciate indoor plumbing.

  55. paulie

    That’s a caricature of Starchild’s position, as he has explained many times that he is interested in exploring the logistic of many possible kinds of alternative venues, which do have indoor plumbing and protection from the elements.

  56. Stewart Flood

    I never mentioned Starchild. I agree with him that we have overspent on a number of conventions — most recently in Ohio where we supposedly lost money — but we disagree on how far we can draw outside the box. I have no objection to picking a “second” or “third” tier hotel, as long as it isn’t in a difficult to reach area or is in an unsafe part of a city. Sometimes you can get a really good deal if you don’t go for the most popular venue.

    2008 was a really good convention. But we have very few people of Betty Rose’s caliber to run conventions for us. That was using a local convention committee, but not setup the way that the FEC permits. I believe it is (or was if it was shutdown) grandfathered into the current rules. Just my recollection of the LLC they used, but it may be slightly inaccurate.

  57. paulie

    Was the structure Bette Rose used different than what Nancy Neale used in the conventions she ran such as Atlanta in 2004?

  58. Stewart Flood

    I believe that the LLC that was used in 2004 was the same entity used in 2008 — passed on to new “management” — but I know that the party ran everything internally for the 2010, 2012 and 2014 conventions. The only thing outsourced was the vendor booths, which the party can’t legally run.

  59. Stewart Flood

    It was an outside event organizer unrelated to the LP. I remember at my first LNC meeting after the convention hearing about the huge (really huge) loss.

  60. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    A little bird just told me that the CA Ex Com is voting by email now on floor fees for this year’s convention in Las Vegas. Apparently it hadn’t occurred to anyone before that to do that before this announcement was made.

    If you have any input for the Executive Ciommittee about floor fees being charged, now is the time to call or email them.

  61. Steven Peters

    I know someone on the executive committee. So I learned a little today. What fascinates me the most is that they had a convention committee.

    The conv. committee never presented an option to the exec committee because every thing they dredged up was shot down by another member of the conv. committee. Apparently big egos don’t play well as a team. As I understand, when the chair asked in November nothing was done.

    When he complained to Pojunis, Pojunis offered a solution, join with Nevada. It gives Nevada a more successful event and gave California a way out. The free market works!

    In the last 25+ years, in business I have seen those who drop the ball are the ones who cry foul the loudest. Who is stirring up the most noise? a conv. committee member.

    So now the exec committee is doing their usual, make the convention announcement, then find everything else. Today they are trying to set the price for people who
    a. Buy the LP Expo package
    b. Buy a one day pass
    c. Don’t attend the LP Expo at all

    What is the value of a convention? After they answer that, they should be able to set a price.

  62. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    1. There was talk of having the convention in Pasadena. I volunteered to get a bid, but then I never heard from one. I assumed it was being done by the convention committee. Well, I assumed wrong, and I’m sorry about that.

    2. It was bad planning to not have the floor fee decided on before the announcement. People got mad at the rumors that we might be having the convention out of state, then they got mad when the announcement came out that it was going to be in Las Vegas after all, and they’ll get mad all over again when the floor fee is announced.

    3. There’s been speculation whether the LP CA was assuming any of the risk of the LP EX. The fact that the Ex Com is willing to charge nothing for the convention for those who have paid for the LPEX is an indicator to me that there might be some obligation toward the LPEX.

  63. José C

    Does the cost to stay at the Tropicana include the $25 resort fee? Also cost extras to be added are the bed tax + stadium tax + 12% sales tax. This means the cost is going to be more than just $125. I could not find out what the bed and stadium taxes are so let’s assume the bed and stadium taxes are $10 each. This makes the cost at minimum $190.40. ($125 + $25 + $10 + $10 = $170 x .12 = $20.40 + $170 = $190.40. So the cost to stay at the Tropicana is going to cost about $200.

    As to Jill’s comment:

    The fact that the Ex Com is willing to charge nothing for the convention for those who have paid for the LPEX is an indicator to me that there might be some obligation toward the LPEX.

    This would be in violation of the Bylaws and Convention Rules. The purpose of the LPC convention is to elect the officers and other Executive Committee Reps, to have officers give their reports to the delegates, to work on the bylaws, platform, nominate and endorse candidates, etc. The purpose of the convention is not to hear speakers, attend other events such as LPEX, or gamble at casinos. So how can attending LPEX reduce someone’s (delegates) cost for attending the convention? To put it another way how can attending a non convention event which is not required by the Bylaws and Convention Rules reduce a delegates cost for attending a convention event (the convention) which is required by the Bylaws and Convention Rules?

    And I agree at least we will see Elvis.

  64. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I heard that the resort fee has been waived. Perhaps that’s why there were $106 rooms last week.

    As far as the stadium tax, I believe that the project has been put aside for now. Whether the tax is still being charged, I don’t know.

  65. bill

    As a member I too would have liked seeing a $0 floor fee but reality dictate that we are not a party with deep pockets and the cost of holding a convention needs to be covered somehow but it’s impossible to determine the cost of a convention when there is no budget set to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand I did vote no on the current flooe fees but that has to do more with not knowing what are financial responsibility is going to be for this convention I think most of us understand that until our party is big enough that we will never be able to hold the convention with a $0 floor fee till our membership grows and I do not see that happening till there is a change in leadership I know there’s members in both Northern and Southern California coming up with ways to help Members that may have difficulty attending this convention get there and I encourage all members to do what ever it takes to attend our convention this year to make sure that we get a change in our leadership with members that will take in consideration the needs of the members and not just what they feel the party needs
    As members we have stood by over the years and allow things to get to where they are I know for myself I will be coming out early Sunday morning since it is only a four hour drive for me to Vegas to limit the financial hardship on myself so please talk to other members make arrangements with other members go to the convention in groups this will lower the financial burden on you as well as other members more than two thirds of ExCom is up for election we have all officer positions those members who are ending their two year term like myself and the two or three resignations of the other members who was voted in at last convention

    So if there is any members in Northern or Southern California that may need help getting to our convention or if you are a member that may have extra space or is willing to help get other members to our convention please feel free to contact me you can reach me at billlopez1971@gmail.com
    Looking forward to seeing all my liberty loving friends

  66. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I think $50 is an acceptable floor fee, although I hope you can at least provide morning coffee with that, since many people will have made the trek that morning. I’m still very disappointed that the single day cost for Saturday is so high. I would have liked to support Expo, but I won’t be able to take any time off during the week and $190 is too much for one day (unless, of course, Sammy Hagar provides the entertainment! Hey, he has a Cabo Wabo nightclub there!).

  67. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Oh no, the $50 entitles us to nothing having to do with Expo. The single day ticket for Expo is $190 pre-sale, or $220. I’d be surprised if many people are interested in that. In fact, I know of no one from CA who will be attending Expo, although I certainly can’t speak for everyone. I’m active on many of the CA LP pages, though.

  68. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Jose Castaneda, currently the chairman of Los Angeles County, said he’ll run for secretary. There are rumors of two different people interested in running for chairman, one being Ted Brown. I don’t know if I’m at liberty to mention the other one. No one knows whether Kevin Takenaga is going to run again, but I think it’s safe to say most anyone will be able to defeat him. He doesn’t have many supporters that I know of.

  69. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    So, in case anyone wonders why there was such a brouhaha over Las Vegas as the venue, keep in mind most of us in So CA planned that the convention would be down here. It hasn’t been in Los Angeles County since 2010. So, we’re looking at transportation costs, hotel room costs, floor fee, and meals. That doesn’t leave much money for Expo. Plus, with the one day for all the state’s business, I’m wondering when we can meet the candidates for office. Fourteen of the seventeen positions are up for re-election. I expect most members will be replaced, if there’s a chance for new people to make themselves known. That’s a big “if” time-wise, however.

  70. Andy

    This controversy with the Libertarian Party of California Convention being moved to Las Vegas, Nevada (which, to my understanding, is a violation of the LP of CA Bylaws), reminds me of this line from the Declaration of Independence:

    “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

  71. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    It’s on the LPEX.org site. I found it under “Sponsors”, then “2015 Opportunities”.

  72. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    We’re attempting to get some verification. It does list LP of CA is a gold sponsor, and the cost of that is $7500. Perhaps it was comped somehow. No one is talking yet.

  73. Stewart Flood

    While it could certainly end up being just a comp, this could also be behind the significant drop in LSLA assets.

    The LSLA and California and Nevada state parties need to reveal the entire nature of any financial arrangements with LPEX, which it is clear is run by Pojunis. As the Nevada state chair he has a very real conflict of interest.

    The board of the LSLA giving up control of an event they have run for decades was already a failure of their fiduciary duty, even if no money changed hands. If they did turn over the treasury, this becomes theft.

    The lack of even an attempt to respond only serves to supports these suspicions.

    I am still more concerned with the role the LSLA is playing. I believe it is possible that California’s involvement is only in holding their convention there. They would have no reason to risk the exposure of a back room financial deal that benefits Pojunis.

    Nevada would of course be holding their convention somewhere in their state, but this does look like a very overpriced event, with the potential financial benefit going to their state chair. If I were a member of the Nevada state party, I would be asking very serious questions right now.

  74. Joshua Katz

    The resort fee is waived, and there are standby upgrades available to a suite for $15/night.

    I’m unclear on how Brett could be making money on this. If he’s on the line for 550 room nights, he’d be working at the moment to break even.

  75. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Stewart, both CA and NV will be having their convention on Sunday, May 31, apparently, in the same room. I guess they’ll put up a barrier/wall type of thing. I understand that the entire reason the CA Ex Com pushed NV as the site for the convention was because the room for the convention would be free. Now that we’ve been told there will be a $50 floor fee, I’m not so sure that’s the case. I really wish the code of secrecy in the CA Ex Com would be broken so we can know what’s going one. I’m told that people on the Ex Com never heard about the sponsorship. If they are spending $7500, it doesn’t appear to have been a group decision.

  76. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Again, I certainly don’t want Brett’s event to fail, which is why I posted this announcement, and will try to share it on FB every few days. I also don’t really have a problem with CA’s involvement, as long as it was all voted on fairly by the Ex Com. Of course, we won’t know if that was the case if the few individuals involved never tell us anything.

  77. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I chose to post the info about the CA sponsorship on a CA thread because I really don’t want to be accused of harming the Expo. The new thread may get negative comments soon enough, but I don’t want to start them.

  78. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I have confirmed with a second person on the CA Ex Com that there was no discussion of spending $7500 for the Gold sponsorship of the LPEX, nor any mention of a sponsorship. This individual is also a member of the operations committee of the Ex Com, which is the group of select members of the CA Ex Com who have been empowered by CA bylaws to do a few things without everyone’s approval for the purpose of expediency.

    So, have they really paid, or committed to paying, $7500 for the gold sponsorship? If so, who approved it?

  79. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I have been notified that the CA LP has been changed from “Gold Sponsor” to “Founding Sponsor” on the LPEX site.

    I’m still interested in any financial arrangement between the LP NV and LP CA. If anything was contingent on CA promoting LPEX, then there might be a problem. I don’t know anyone who is using the hotel or attending even one day of the Expo. That certainly doesn’t mean no one from CA is going, of course. However, I’ve seen exactly zero promoion beyond the initial announcement.

  80. Stewart Flood

    And the silence from Pojunis is “deafening”

    I wonder if he listed California as a sponsor to try to get others to fork over money to be one too? Maybe they weren’t even aware that they were a sponsor.

    Of course the LSLA treasury is still empty…

    Dig dig dig!!!

  81. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I haven’t asked Brett about it, so I have no beef with him. It’s not surprising that we haven’t heard from our leadership, but, for those of you who might think I just have a personal thing with Kevin, here’s an example of what our problem has been for years and, IMO, one of the main reasons our state party is in such bad shape. It’s well beyond “lack of transparency”–beyond “opaque”–and truly is in the category of secrecy.

  82. paulie

    Wes Benedict:

    State Chairs,

    Brett Pojunis has asked for my help promoting LPEX. See the note below. My inclination is to help, but first I wanted to get some feedback from the state chairs on this.

    Are you going?
    How many from your state do you expect to go?
    Do you plan to have your state party email your state database about this?
    Do you mind if LPHQ sends emails to promote this?

    I don’t understand the financing for this project. I’ll be asking Brett to explain a bit more about it in writing to the state chairs and the LNC. If turnout is low, is the LSLA at risk financially? If turnout is great, does the LSLA benefit? Who else is at risk? My understanding it that there is and should be no financial risk to the Libertarian National Committee. I’m not certain where I read it or about the amounts, but I think I’ve read that the LSLA has already contributed around $7,000 for this event.

    Thanks for your prompt feedback.

  83. paulie

    Brett Pojunis:

    Wes and State Chairs,

    First, I called Wes and sent him an email AFTER speaking with our National Chair who suggested I reach out to Wes to work out Nationals involvement, if any. There has not been a full public announcement to the state chairs nor do the state chairs know about LPEX. Therefore, to ask questions about who is attending is premature.

    The fact that this is not automatically promoted through National is absolutely beyond me. The LNC promotes events like SFL, Free and Equal and many other NON-Libertarian organizations. So not promoting an LSLA, LPNevada and LP California event is absurd.

    There is no reason to explain the financing, unless of course you did the same with SFL, Free and Equal etc. Here is what I will tell you. I have personally taken the risk and personally signed for this event. I have made a big financial commitment to produce LPEX. No organization is on the hook financially, nor any risk associated with LPEX other than me personally. The LNC has no involvement at this time so how could there possibly be any risk associated with the LNC?

    The LSLA pledged money to LPEX and that information is publicly available as it is in the minutes. In return there will be fundraising opportunities for the LSLA during LPEX. Unlike in the past, I will be responsible for covering the costs of speakers, trainers, the venue, etc., not the LSLA.

    Hopefully that satisfies any questions you have.

    On to LPEX. The primary reason I am organizing this conference is to provide much needed training for Libertarians. Once I get the information out to the state chairs (probably by tomorrow) I would hope state chairs would take advantage of LPEX.

    Including the National party was probably a bad idea to begin with. The LNC and staff have more pressing issues to address such as our decreasing membership.

  84. paulie

    Wes, I can’t even describe how disgusted I am with that email.

    Jason Weinman
    Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of Nevada

  85. paulie

    Wes Benedict:

    Brett,

    You wrote “nor do the state chairs know about LPEX” and also “The LSLA pledged money to LPEX and that information is publicly available as it is in the minutes.”

    That is a bit confusing. And while seemingly contradictory at first, perhaps not. I’m glad it was in writing so that I’m not as confused.

    I’ve had phone calls with you in the past where after the fact, we haven’t agreed on the details of what was said or what was agreed to on the phone.

    To prevent similar misunderstanding related to LPEX, I’m going to ask you to send your requests to me in writing, and I’ll respond in writing.

    Feel free to phone our chair or the LNC of course, and I do take orders from the LNC and chair whether they are in writing or over the phone.

    My inclination is to help, but first I wanted to get some feedback from the state chairs on this.

  86. paulie

    Brett Pojunis:

    Wes,

    What is your end goal other than wasting time, purposely trying to hurt my reputation and/or sabotaging LPEX? LPNevada is working on recalling a state assemblyman, Nevada is in Legislation session and we are working with lawmakers on public policy, we have events were planning, outreach to new members and a team working on LPEX. So candidly, we don’t have time for this nonsense and immature actions from you. If your intent was to have a conversation in writing, you could have easily sent me a private email and not included the entire state chairs list.

    I spoke to Chairman Sarwark, he asked me to call you and that is what I did.

    At this point it is safe to assume that getting National involved is more of a headache than it is worth. We, I, will make it a point to inform people that not only is National not involved, but fighting against our efforts.

    Its stuff like this our membership is dropping at such an alarming rate!

  87. paulie

    All,

    Our Indiana libertarians appreciate the thankless work performed by the LSLA officers and volunteers.

    We cannot commit to any numbers for attendance at this time. With the event falling on a holiday weekend — and coinciding with the Indy 500 race — I know I am unable to personally attend. However, we will commit to sharing the event details and registration information in an email blast to our list. As well, we will share with our state and county officers.

    I have no objection to national sharing the event information similar to what has been done with other events. It is in our collective interest to have a number and variety of successful outreach events.

    All the best,

    Dan Drexler
    State Chairman
    Libertarian Party of Indiana

  88. paulie

    Mark Axinn:

    I’m confused.

    Did LSLA agree to spend any money on LPEX? If so, how much?

    I thought that Brett was taking the risk.

  89. paulie

    Jason Weinman::

    If we’d had as little success in Nevada over the past year as National, I would have resigned. We went from having no state membership program to over 100 dues paying members–more than the National party has from Nevada, and while National Membership has plummeted. Our voter registration is increasing at more than double the national average. We have raised thousands of dollars that we’ve spent on a new office, complete with a phone bank, the best political website in the state, several workstations, a new logo, and better data than the D’s and R’s. We hosted the most well attended and influential political events of the 2014 election cycle. We have good relationships with the press, who give us productive coverage. We have even better relationships with the State Legislature, County Commission, and City Council. I’m in this to change public policy. When the GOP wants to do something they know we’ll oppose, like introduce voter ID laws, or sue the Feds for stricter immigration enforcement, they call us first, and sometimes we can stop them. When we can’t, we at least get concessions. We also worked with the NV Dems to legalize recreational marijuana, and if it doesn’t pass in session it will be on the 2016 ballot. We blocked the More Cops Tax twice. We defeated the public funds for the soccer stadium. We got the County Commission to pass a resolution to nullify the NDAA in Clark, and to not cooperate with Federal Agents under the act. There is legislation about to pass the State Legislature to legalize campus carry, and we’re close to a bill that we submitted that will eliminate most business licensing fees. We’re working with elements of the NV GOP to block Sandoval’s 12% spending hike, and the largest tax increase in Nevada history.

    If National wants to be the party of chemtrail-centric paper candidates for all eternity, just keep on doing what you’re doing.

    Clarification: The LSLA gave us $8k out of $160k. You were all invited to call in–and the vote was unanimous. The rest ($152k) falls on Brett, who took that risk because as much as we’ve disagreed with National’s strategy (and frankly as much as I think National is wholly incompetent), we didn’t think that they would work against us. This is an opportunity for the LSLA to make a profit, and more critically, for the LP to host an event with a major call to action and training. It’s also an opportunity for me, Brett, and our almost-full-time staff to get paid, because most of what we raise goes back into building the party, and we need to pay rent. This isn’t just an opportunity for National to help us, it’s an opportunity for them to help themselves–and to learn something, by attending our workshops.

    Wes, if your instinct tells you to work against us rather than with us, it’s time for you to step back. Think about whose team you’re on.

  90. paulie

    I am not Wes Benedict. I am not on the LNC.

    I am a state chair and asked about the LSLA funds, nothing more.

    I hope LPEX is a tremendous success.
    Mark N. Axinn

  91. paulie

    Scott Lieberman:

    This is relevant because Mr. Benedict is our Executive Director.

    Mr. Pojunis sent a private e-mail to the National LP ED and asked Mr. Benedict to call him.

    I just verified with Brett that instead of calling or e-mailing Mr. Pojunis, Mr. Benedict chose to immediately post the e-mail below

    to the State Chairs e-mail list.

    Although I would not use the word “disgusted”, I still sympathize with Mr. Weinman’s comment. The registration page for LPEX went live only in the last 48 hours, so it is extremely premature to publicly ask questions like “Are you going?” and “How many from your state do you expect to go?”

    Normally, I would expect the ED to call the LPEX organizer privately, and ask these same questions. If the ED did not get satisfactory answers, then, at that point, it might have been appropriate to send the e-mail below to the State Chairs e-mail list.

    And yes, I know I am giving the RNC and the DNC access to a couple of e-mails from our State Chair’s e-mail list.

    Don’t blame me – I was very publicly against the auto forward function for the lnc-business e-mail list.

  92. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Jason Weinman, the “Outreach Director”, was unbelievably arrogant, rude and ignorant during my only contact with him, which was on a Facebook exchange on LG’s page. I strongly urge LP NV to keep him away from everyone, especially those you are trying to reach out to.

  93. paulie

    Nick Sarwark:

    To clarify, there have been at least 18 emails to the state chairs list
    since January 15 that mention LPEX, an official announcement from the
    California LP of their convention sent February 2 that also announces LPEX,
    an article published in the January LP News promoting LPEX, articles on IPR
    about LPEX, and publicly available announcements on the LPEX website (
    http://www.lpex.org/news ) posted on February 12.

    Maybe all of those announcements weren’t official and “none of the state
    chairs know about LPEX” as Brett claims in his email, but it’s not from
    lack of publicity and LPEX is not some kind of under wraps project that Wes
    Benedict let out of the bag by asking the state chairs who is planning to
    attend.

  94. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Brett might also want to ease up on his tone, if he wants everyone to get behind his huge project. Alienating other LP leaders doesn’t strike me as an effective publicity tool.

  95. paulie

    Joshua Katz:

    I have had hotel and plane reservations for a few weeks now. The site went
    live, I believe, a couple weeks ago. It still seems premature to expect
    state chairs to know how many are going in May, but I certainly have begun
    promoting the event in my state and I hope to get commitments soon, at
    least from candidates and board members.

    By the same logic, I deny that it is ‘disgusting’ that national has not yet
    ‘automatically’ begun to promote an event in May. In addition, it seems
    logical to me that, with an event of this magnitude, staff would consult
    with the organizers before promoting it so as to avoid misstatements or
    other mistakes. I would be quite surprised and unhappy if we just started
    running ads or something without communication with the LPNV and other
    involved parties. I expect, if we had done that, we’d be seeing angry
    comments on statechairs again – and for good reason.

    But, let’s get past that and ask a simple question. Are we, or are we not,
    going to work together to run serious candidates for winnable offices, and
    to elect libertarians to public office in order to move public policy in a
    libertarian direction? That is what I wish to do (although as a board
    member I primarily want to govern and serve on committees) and what I think
    this party, national and affiliates, should be doing. That means I agree
    with Jason about “chemtrails paper candidates” – although I might point out
    that LPUS runs 2 candidates every 4 years, and those candidates have not
    been paper candidates or chemtrails candidates. It also means that I am
    excited to see an event that is geared towards teaching people in this
    party skills in organizing, campaigning, and governing – if we’re going to
    elect people to office, we’d be well served to make sure they know how to
    do things when they get there – and I thank the organizers for putting it
    together. I’m also glad to see an elected officials panel scheduled for
    this event (disclaimer: I’ve communicated to the organizers my interest in
    being on this panel, and in giving a break-out class on ‘the art of
    governance’) which is not run opposite, say, LNC elections.

    I hope that everyone in this party can get on board with these being
    important things to teach, and electing people to office being an important
    thing to do (although I know not everyone agrees it should be the highest
    priority.) Taking a break from my praise for this event, which I am
    excited to attend, I would note that the statechairs email listed many
    things being done, all of them great – but none of them mentioned electoral
    politics. If affiliates want to focus on other things (and an event to
    train candidates nationwide is a great thing to focus on) or act as a
    lobbying organization, so be it, but it’s not quite the same goal as
    electing people to office. I don’t care what affiliates do, but I’d
    encourage this board to shift our focus away from the multiple things we
    focus on, and towards encouraging affiliates to elect people to office, and
    building and sustaining an infrastructure of support that makes that
    possible. We’ve already taken a great step in that direction, as urged by
    our chair, through our involvement in ballot access fights and the
    commitment to stick with fights we get involved with. Affiliates need to
    know that, when we say we’re in, we’re in, and we will stick with them
    until the end. I am proud, for instance, that we stood with NY through
    their legal battles.

    I also wish we could agree on this goal, and then pursue it in unity with
    our affiliates, without having a continuous pissing contest between
    affiliates and national. We can do better, but so can affiliates that find
    themselves in attack mode all too frequently.

  96. paulie

    Not sure if I will make all that into an article. I’m sure many more responses will be forthcoming. Other IPR writers are welcome to it if any of them want to write it up.

  97. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Mark Axxin: ” I hope LPEX is a tremendous success”.

    I do, too. I really, really do.

  98. George Phillies

    The LSLA /State Chairs gave 2/3 or more of their money to this thing? Fortunately, Massachusetts has a State Committee rule forbidding State Committee members to be involved in the organization in an ex officio way, dating to 2008 and the free lawn signs I found for all of our candidates, but it seems remarkable.

  99. Rob Banks

    If they had 13k as Stewart flood says above and now have $400 (or even using the 7k or 8k figure, if they have only $400 left) that’s a lot more than 2/3.

  100. paulie

    Where did the 8k number come from?

    What I have seen is a sponsorship levels chart which would seem to indicate the LSLA spent 14k. There’s also the statements from Stewart above which indicates the LSLA had 13k or 14k and then went down to 0.4k. I did see the 8k number on email today but I don’t know where it originated before that.

  101. Stewart Flood

    In my initial comments you will find that I said a reliable source told me that the LSLA had about $13K after the convention and was now down to $400. Some of this now seems to be verified, but there is still money missing. My guess is that they paid Pojunis’ company thousands more for “web services” or something else. Only a guess, but it fits the pattern, as does his attack on the ED and staff.

    I wonder if the leadership of the LSLA understands that they have aided in a conspiracy to steal from their own organization…

  102. paulie

    Their sponsorship level on the website indicates that they paid 14k. Since you are more legitimately on the state chairs list than I am, perhaps you should ask your questions there?

  103. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m holding out belief that LPEX is a legitimate liberty-teaching event, established with the best of motives. I think it’s too early to be calling people or organizations out.

    Is seems to me, however, that answering questions in a polite manner might be appropriate for everyone, including IPR reporters like me and the leadership of organizations we belong to.

  104. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    And, of course, it would be appropriate for questions to be answered instead of being utterly ignored or met with hostility.

  105. paulie

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Leigh LaChine
    Date: Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 2:30 PM
    Subject: [Statechairs] LSLA Teleconference – March 1, 2015
    To: statechairs@lp.org

    Dial: (559) 546-1200

    Enter the Meeting ID: 263-181-646 followed by the # key.

    8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific

    March 1, 2015

    Fellow State Chairs,

    I hope you are all planning on attending the LSLA conference in conjunction with LPEX the weekend after Memorial Day (May 28-31). The LSLA board did approve 95% of our current funds to assist with LPEX planning/logistics and we are working on providing perks to each state chair for attending with event organizers. We have been promised fundraising opportunities to recoup our investment and I believe this can and will be a very beneficial conference. I have contacted Wes Benedict regarding assisting in the LSLA fundraising activities but have been unable to confirm with him and the event organizers due to my schedule.

    As many of you know I have only been involved with the Party for a few years and am the only current state chair on the LSLA. What I would like from each state chair is what you would like the LSLA to provide the state affiliates so we can develop a fundraising agenda and objectives. If no state chairs are interested in guiding the leadership of the LSLA, what is the purpose of the LSLA other than planning an annual Libertarian leadership training conference? We may have spent less on a conference in 2010 and 2011 but we also have seen no growth from that strategy. The Affiliate Support Committee report indicated that state chairs wanted activism training and I believe the speakers at LPEX will provide a unique opportunity to ask questions of elected officials on what activism really works. http://lpex.org/speakers

    I really do hope we can get National together with this project, stop the bickering, act as leaders, and start working towards increased membership and political influence.

    Live Free,

    Leigh

  106. Stewart Flood

    95%? That’s about $8,000. So what happened to the rest of the money the LSLA had after the last convention?

    What contracts did the LSLA sign? Who did they give the money to? Was it the hotel as a deposit, or directly to Pojunis or his front-company for the event?

    What does the LSLA get out of this event, other than spending a significant amount of money on an event that boasts on its website (that the LSLA probably paid for!) that libertarians are a failure and they’re going to teach all of us failures how to succeed? What BS!

    Of course the speaker list is full of GOP operatives, including one who was the chair of the Nevada GOP convention in 2008 when Ron Paul’s delegates were shutdown. Smoking gun here: he was the one who shutdown their convention. And this is someone who we are supposed to believe supports libertarian ideals?

    Nothing against leaders of the LSLA who may very well be completely blind to what is really going on, but I’m certainly not paying money to go to Vegas to listen to republicans tell me what I should be doing.

  107. Stewart Flood

    I was added to the list by our state chair after I was elected vice-chair. I don’t know what the protocol on the list is, or whether vice-chairs are granted the same latitude of posting that chairs are.

    The list is apparently very exclusive. I was a vice-chair for two years and on the LNC for six and was never able to get added to it. I am not sure if I want to risk being banned so soon after finally gaining the “privilege” of being on the list. 🙂

    But there really isn’t much chatter, and it isn’t that interesting — except for the short duel between the ED and Pojunis. I don’t think they can ban me from the state chairs list for responding on IPR to a message from the list that someone else posted on IPR. But I may change my mind. It all depends on whether others start to wake up and see what is going on and start questioning what the LSLA may have gotten themselves into.

    I think the hard questions will start showing up very soon. There is a lot — a LOT — of political dirt out there on these republicans that Pojunis has chosen to have lecture libertarians on how we should grow our party and win elections. Ethics don’t seem to matter to him, as Pojunis’ hands still have the remains of green stains from money taken from the national committee that he was later forced to return, as well as state parties that are grumbling about his company’s performance after forking over money. He loves to take their money!

    The LSLA may have made a serious mistake. Whether the event is a success or a failure, I have doubts that they will recover anything. They may have simply paid Pojunis to put on a show.

    Anything interesting in what I’ve just said? Has anyone done any research on the names of the speakers he’s booked? It isn’t difficult to “google” them and find lots of interesting and extremely non-libertarian things. Yes, they have shown some libertarian traits. Or perhaps it is just that their political path aligns with our’s at times, even though their intended eventual destination may not. It is hard to tell. Try google…or yahoo…the data is there.

  108. paulie

    I was added to the list by our state chair after I was elected vice-chair. I don’t know what the protocol on the list is, or whether vice-chairs are granted the same latitude of posting that chairs are.

    You can start by asking that on the list. If they don’t want you to participate fully they will let you know, but from what I have seen they haven’t kicked anyone off just for asking. I’ve posted a few times, although I try to mainly only lurk.

    If you are worried about posting protocol email a few state chairs you know, one of them would probably post it for you. Wagner? Phillies? I’m sure you can think of some.

    Any current LNC members, too. Lieberman posts frequently now and no one stops him.

    I don’t think they can ban me from the state chairs list for responding on IPR to a message from the list that someone else posted on IPR.

    I doubt it. They haven’t banned me yet, anyway. Tom Stevens tried to raise a stink about me sharing his emails from the list on IPR etc and everyone basically told him to suck it up.

  109. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Convention 2015

    Agenda

    LPC Convention 2015 and LPEX Thursday, May 28 through Sunday, May 31, 2015

    Tropicana Las Vegas 8301 Las Vegas Blvd S Las Vegas NV 89109

    LPC’s Sunday, May 31, 2015 convention agenda will be as required in LPC’s Convention
    Rule 6:

    Agenda. (Ellipses below indicate omitted requirements for conventions in even-numbered years, or for conventions conducted over multiple days.)

    “Rule 6: Agenda The business of the convention shall consist of the following items, and shall be conducted in the following order:

    A. Credentials report;

    B. Reports of the Party officers and working committees;

    C. Consent calendar;

    D. …in odd-numbered years, the Bylaws Committee report;

    E. Elections, in the following order:

    1. In odd-numbered years, Party officers…
    2. At-large Executive Committee members;
    3. At-large Executive Committee alternates;…

    F. In odd-numbered years, the Platform Committee report…

    H. Endorsements of candidates; I. Resolutions and other matters… …

    The minutes of the convention shall be approved by the Executive Committee within ninety days of the convention’s close.” Questions? Call LPC’s office at (916) 446-1776, or e-mail office@ca.lp.org.

    **The above is posted to the CaLP’s website. I don’t know why there is no “G”.

  110. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Also, I notoced that LPEX has lowered their price to attend one day of their event (Saturday, May 30). Pre-pay price is $145; it used to be $190.

  111. George Phillies

    Norm Olsen has asked the LNC to spend $3000 in support of LPEX: “LNC purchase a Bronze Sponsorship of the LSLA LP Expo event to be held in Las Vegas may 28 – May31. The $3,000 cost to be charged against the Affiliate Support budget line.”

    My 2007 convention on the future of the Libertarian Political movement ran on a budget not much larger than $3000. And we had lots of libertarians speaking. And multiple simultaneous sessions. And a Presidential candidate debate.

  112. Stewart Flood

    Doesn’t he own part of “Big L Solutions” along with Brett? I remember him telling me that he had invested in it.

    That is a glaring conflict of interest.

  113. Stewart Flood

    And of course LPEX is owned by Big L…this is getting really good. Brett has found another sheep to fleece.

  114. Stewart Flood

    “Also, I notoced that LPEX has lowered their price to attend one day of their event (Saturday, May 30). Pre-pay price is $145; it used to be $190.”

    Clear sign that sales aren’t going well. The suggestion that the LNC prop up his venture by paying — something the LNC has NEVER had to do at an LSLA event before — just to be there.

    Wow.

    Can anyone spell the word “crooked”?

  115. Jose C

    There has been an unofficial LPC convention resolutions committee created by members in Los Angeles. The committee is unofficial because there is no requirement for such a committee in the LPC Bylaws. There is however in the Bylaws a rule allowing resolutions to be introduced at the convention by delegate(s). There is going to be at least two resolutions given at the convention in Las Vegas. One of the resolutions deals with what cities the LPC convention should be held at. The other resolution deals with the proposition that the LPC should have candidates for office and that the Executive Committee should operate in such a manner to that the LPC will have candidates. The resolution concerning candidates has been worked on by Joe Dehn, Gail Lightffoot, and myself. The resolution is:

    Resolution

    LPC Delegates at Convention held at Las Vegas, NV on May 31, 2015

    Proposed by José Castañeda, Joe Dehn, & Gail Lightfoot

    Candidates for public office

    WHEREAS, in 2014 the Green Party had five candidates for state wide office and the Peace and Freedom Party had three candidates for state wide office and both Parties had many candidates for local office and the Libertarian Party had only one candidate for state wide office and five candidates for local office;

    WHEREAS, candidates running as Libertarians can help build the Libertarian “brand”;

    WHEREAS, candidates running for federal and state office can use their campaigns to address issues such as the income tax, war and peace, the welfare state, ending the war on drugs, freedom of the press including the Internet, the government takeover of the health care industry, and the value of money;

    WHEREAS, votes for “Libertarian” candidates can show us the number of voters who really understand that “freedom is the answer” is growing;

    WHEREAS, by offering candidates with “Libertarian” next to their names we can invite voters to join us by taking the critical first step by voting Libertarian;

    WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of California has had candidates since 1978 and at various elections had 100 + candidates for office;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, We, the delegates of the Libertarian Party of California at the 2015 convention at Las Vegas, NV, declare, “We believe running Libertarians as Libertarians is an essential function of the Libertarian Party of California and the Libertarian party of California should act in a manner consistent with this resolution”.

  116. paulie

    There is going to be at least two resolutions given at the convention in Las Vegas. One of the resolutions deals with what cities the LPC convention should be held at.

    I thought I recalled reading that there is a bylaw which already covers this and is being ignored. Was that incorrect? Or, if there is such a bylaw, and it is being ignored, why would a resolution be any more effective than a bylaw?

    Good luck on both fronts, though.

  117. Stewart Flood

    You would expect that having a state’s convention within its own borders would be a requirement under state election law. Going outside the state’s border could be considered denying delegates access to the meeting.

  118. Mark Axinn

    We could do it outside the borders of New York (although we never would) because LPNY is not an official party under New York Election Law. But I still fail to see what possible advantage there is to any affiliate, large like CA or NY, or small like NV or VT, in not holding its convention in its own state.

    These are party-building events, which cannot be done from afar. To the contrary, to help build my own state’s county chapters, we held 2012 in NYC, 2013 100 miles to the north in the Hudson Valley, 2014 in Albany, and will hold 2015 in Rochester, the third-largest city in NYS which is in the western part of the state. This way, we have tried to reach out to as many local chapters and activists as possible. You cannot do that by holding the State Convention hundreds of miles away from where any of your delegates live.

  119. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    At this point, the location of the convention is the least of LP CA’s problems.

    I also wonder if there will be any time to discuss the resolutions. Well, we’ll find out soon enough!

  120. Stewart Flood

    Top Two is California’s biggest problem. I believe it has caused most of the issues you face these days. Those of us who know what it has done will always fear that our own states will try to pass something like it.

  121. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Top-Two is not the reason the state party is currently in bad shape, Stewart, although it is currently an impediment to fixing things. There is little comeraderie here. Infighting is rife. No one knows what other Libertarians are doing in the state. There have been too many years of leadership doing things in secret, with little or no concern as to what the members want.

    I’ve been complaining too much, however. I believe we’ll successfully vote in new leadership at the convention, and hopefully start to grow again. Then perhaps we’ll be able to put up a big fight against Top-Two.

    I would really love for our current leadership to come here and tell me why I’m wrong, BTW. I’m only speaking as someone who was a region chair for 4 years or so in LA County. I’m sure others have different opinions,especially those who live in different counties.

  122. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Thanks for the statistics, Steve. I suppose I’m talking about “active Libertarians”. The numbers of people coming out to Los Angeles County events keeps dwindling. I do know that Sacramento County is doing well, though.

    Frankly, 12,000 for the entire state of CA seems a bit modest for a term which is greater than 18 months, but, again, I know I’ve been excessively negative, so I think I’ll be quiet until after the convention.

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