Libertarian National Committee Meeting Streaming Now

The meeting information can be found here:
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The streaming links are here:

Broadcast channel #1 – video and audio:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/libertarian-party1

Broadcast channel #2 – audio-only:
http://libertarian.caster.fm/

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party on by .

About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

328 thoughts on “Libertarian National Committee Meeting Streaming Now

  1. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Will post some notes as I can:

    Olsen: he heard from us and is asking issue of slogan to be addressed

    Wants to address outreach material

    Wants Assemblyman Moore to address them

  2. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Feldman: Motion for resolution for the LNC to give its appreciation to Rand Paul.

    Opposition being voiced now. Missed one name, but Riemers and Mattson and Redpath and Katz will be speaking against next.

    Mattson encourages not taking a vote at all (I agree with her) and move to postpone indefinitely.

    Feldman is showing his hand for his motivation that it really is a way to censure Sarwark without actually censuring him.

    Postpone indefinitely passes.

  3. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Chair report: Debate in Biloxi, and discussion about website. A person with previous political party experience (UK Independence Party) is offering to assist at no cost and redesign our website.

  4. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I have to be absent for a little bit.

    Chair wants the body to know that he recognizes the issues with the website and something will be done prior to Convention… and the issues with the committee system are well known to be a problem here.

    Changes were in fact made last night.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Olsen is wanting ease of transition to get to affiliates and lack of consistency – suggests a standard template and cms program for affiliates to use

  6. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I am running errands and L-Caster cutting in and out. There was a financial discussion I missed.

  7. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Addition to Secretary report: Mattson spoke of issues with states not having copies of current bylaws on sites and thus her archive is incomplete. States do not always respond to her inquiries.

  8. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Addition to Secretary report: Mattson spoke of issues with states not having copies of current bylaws on sites and thus her archive is incomplete. States do not always respond to her inquiries.

    She’s right. I looked at all the state bylaws to figure out something for the bylaws committee and wrote up a report of which states have no bylaws posted. When I get home I’ll share that list in comments here.

  9. George Phillies

    Wes Benedict is discussing how many things he and the staff have to do, and there is a list of tasks, but he has only so much time to do them. The board is given a reminder as to what opportunity cost is.
    They are discussing web site design and features, e.g., Nation Builder. The alternatives are Drupal, Joomla, and wordpress; they are all OK.

  10. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Got back on. Wes is being asked about NationBuilder and the experience with the convention site on NationBuilder. Drupal, Joomla, WordPress or NationBuilder should be considered for LP.org.

  11. George Phillies

    Reimers compares state and national members. He thinks you can be an LNC member even though you are only a state party member which is imprecise. He complains that state parties compete for resources. Benedict claims that Olsen said that National sucks. Olsen interrupts to do deny and demands a retraction.

  12. George Phillies

    Someone proposes an option to join state and national parties from the national site.

  13. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Olsen is asking what we can do to get states more integrated in the national party. He is concerned that we have fifty mini parties running around.

    Benedict stated that Olsen pretty much goes around saying national sucks that it is no surprise that the states don’t want anything to do with national. Olsen objected and asked for a retraction. Benedict would not retract.

  14. George Phillies

    Ludlow speaks to importance of web site, but he thinks it is not very good. Ludlow claims you have to spend a lot of money to fix the web site. Ludlow says he had volunteered to help, as a professional. He says: it should be outsourced.

  15. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Ludlow says that he certainly says national sucks and the website sucks. He is saying that it is preposterous to think we can have a free template website. He is frustrated that his offers to manage have been rebuffed by Benedict.

  16. Jake Leonard

    Do they realize that NationBuilder is the WORST platform to build a website for a national party? It’s great for individual candidates and very few state-level parties, but doing it in a full-scale manner for the national Libertarian Party? Using NB is just doing to make the national party look tacky.

  17. Jake Leonard

    RE: scheduling of Stossel-hosted Libertarian debate on FBN: I sure as hell hope it’s not going to be scheduled when states are having their conventions in March and April at times where they’re so closely scheduled together.

  18. George Phillies

    Benedict says he OK with having the site redesigned.He discusses having a landing page. What cna we do in the short run, something simple?

  19. George Phillies

    Benedict goes on at some length about the web site. can we get it done? Will it cost five times more than expected.

  20. George Phillies

    Speaker: represents 9 states. denies he tells people that national sucks. We need to improve time recording if it does not now work. f Reports that the branding information is approxiately a wash, based on total cost.

  21. George Phillies

    Asks where the web analytics are. Answer: available and being studied. We have three parrtner states; that number is now down to three.

  22. George Phillies

    Every state affiliate was offered assistance. Katz: How many sources of requests are there to national? The board? 50 state chairs? Bendeict suggets a proposals committee to filter what he is asked to do. Alternatively the chair. Katx: A lot of micromanagement, not a lot of strategic direction.

  23. George Phillies

    katz: We need strategies, not same as a strategic plan. Do you agree that this board provides too much micromoanagement, not enough strategic direction.

  24. George Phillies

    Benedict lists bunches of things that people want done, all worthwhile. Benedict: In Texas, I emphasized candidates, money, and members.

  25. Chuck Moulton

    Catching up on the LNC business list.

    Kevin Ludlow wrote:

    We want to do all of these things. So I’m asking you, just stop what you’re doing for 30 seconds, reflect what could happen if we actually tried to accomplish this one little task. What is the WORST that could happen? We fail? We’re in a very slightly worse financial position than we already are? But now consider what is the BEST that could happen? Maybe this tailspin of a cash hole we’re in stops. MAYBE people would see that the LNC is doing something external. MAYBE people would have their morale boosted just a little bit and be more inclined to donate. MAYBE we could use it as a way to leverage requesting donations from people.

    Wow! Wow!!

    I suspected Ludlow was ignorant and myopic, but I didn’t think he’d explicitly write it down!!!

    What’s the worst that can happen? It’s not $20,000 wasted. That is pretty stupid thinking there… accounting rather than economics. The worst that can happen is the site is much worse than before. A lot of content is removed. Lack of that content makes it much harder to energize prospects; get donations, volunteers, and candidates; and train libertarians on best practices. A new system requires retraining staff on processes — time that coupd have been devoted to other things. Even after retraining there will be a learning curve… extra time for website related tasks that could have been devoted to other things. Will conversion of new visitors go up with a new flashy styled website? Maybe, but it could also go down, which is a potential cost. This is especially likely when the focus is on design/style rather than the technical features under the hood. When content is removed it may piss off current donors and activists, who may reduce their donations and activism. Both content removal and transitions to a new system may lead some pages to be removed or moved, breaking links to parts of the site from all around the Internet and making us look unprofessional with 404 errors. New sites often start out with a few bugs and errors which can take a while to track down… the site may look less professional in the interim. Transitions can be botched, leading to downtime — at the worst time in the election cycle for such downtime: the presidential campaign. Internal scripts that currently automatically shoot data to state affiliates such as the volunteer form, the want to be a candidate form, the info form, etc. may stop working, which would deprive states of a valuable source of leads during a transition period. That’s just what I could come up with off the top of my head… there are probably a lot more.

    Ludlow is like a bull in a china closet. He has demonstrated complete ignorance of the possible pitfalls of a new website. This is the LAST person you would want in charge of such a project.

    After missing most of the cost, he oversells the benefits with his utopian vision.

    I’m not against changing the website. It is obviously in need of an update or complete redo. But this MUST be done by an adult who takes every problem into account and minimizes transition hiccups. Ludlow is NOT that person.

    I have no doubt the LNC will vote for Ludlow’s insane plan, put him in charge of it, and royally fuck up the website. Most of the LNC lacks tech perspective, are not long term thinkers, and love silver bullet get rich quick schemes. I hope I’m wrong… we’ll see.

  26. George Phillies

    Jake: Do they realize…? No one said that.

    Apparently they are not in recess. They are having a debate. Also, Nationbuilder costs a fair bit of money. Someone iss aying we keep getting dinged on membership numbers. We could buy members. What’s the point. They won;t help with fundraising.

  27. Jake Leonard

    George – I would understand that, but even for those state affiliates who use NB, those websites look incredibly tacky. As someone who has been designing websites for the past 12 years, I can definitely tell you NB is the worst way to go.

    Completely a different story if you’re a political candidate and don’t have the time to build and maintain a website.

  28. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Ludlow claims having paragraphs of information on the site is useless.

    George Phillies wrote:

    Ludlow wants to take most information off the web site.

    Exactly as it seemed from his oblique comments on the LNC business list.

    For the love of God, don’t let this guy anywhere NEAR the website!!

  29. George Phillies

    Several people had clear that membership changes are a diagnostic, not a goal in itself.

    Persuade Oliver to bring up the feed.

  30. George Phillies

    Someone on site can persuade Oliver to listen to the acoustic feed, which is excellent.

  31. Caryn Ann Harlos

    The thirst to de-content our site is ridiculous. Chuck – I absolutely agree with you.

  32. George Phillies

    Nothing is happening. They are trying to use modern electronics, which give us 1920 quality phone contacts. Attorney is discussing his excellent report.

    Maine we are suing.
    PA we won an important case. State is appealing and refusing to obey. Federal judge is being contacted.
    Va litigation by others. It causes problems.

  33. ludlow

    To those few Libertarians who actually do believe in the idea of a market (and I’m sure there are plenty reading), I’m advocating leading the web changes because this is what I do for a living. I’ve owned and operated a successful web software shop (generally for heavy data-driven sites) for the past 8 years and have done this professionally for just about 20 years. My firm has done very well. If it helps, my professional resume is available here: http://www.kevinludlow.com/resume/

    So to the individual who essentially wrote that changing the website will make the sky fall, this is an absolutely false answer. While it might have been true within the confines of the traditional Libertarian method of business, it doesn’t actually happen like that in the real-world market. My company wouldn’t be where it is if that were the case.

    I’ve launched many large scale sites just in the past year and not a single one of those sites had any of the problems you’re referring to. They DID – when they were on our development and testing servers – but not when they went into production. That’s how web launches are done professionally. A thorough maintenance schedule would also be implemented and the website would be designed for minimal maintainability in the first place. …also in accordance with best practices.

    So best I can tell from the comment, the attitude is that changing the website under my direction will just fail. We’ll waste $20k. The sky will fall. Babies will wake up with leprosy. The book of revelation proves true, etc. etc. Except that in the real-world, the one whereby successful people are rewarded and unsuccessful people are not, having the proper experience, infrastructure, and team to do these things makes your comments blatantly false.

    But if you really still disagree with that, you’ve got a few hours to Phoenix, make your way onto the LNC, and deliver your fear-ridden speech to the body. They might be convinced.

    Also, please watch this Mythbusters episode because you’re wrong about that too:

  34. George Phillies

    The attorney sent comments and suggestions on the presidential contract.

    Q What does the paragraph ‘status of the LNC as a political committee’ and ‘issues related to LPEX event’ mean?

  35. Jake Leonard

    When it comes to the legalese:
    At least the Illinois affiliate got the full slate requirement declared unconstitutional – and that took six years for a Federal judge to rule.

    Now, if they can only reach a ruling regarding the 2014 lawsuit calling for the reduction of petition signatures for new and third parties to match that of the establishment parties (e.g. state representatives usually have to get 500-700 signatures, depending on the district, while we have to get three times as much) and the 2015 campaign finance case allowing for medicinal marijuana cultivators and retailers to give the maximum amount at the business level – whereas they’re only currently allowed to give the maximum at an individual level.

  36. George Phillies

    topic is paragraph 2 of report. Q is the LNC a poltiical committee? yes. There was an event held by unaffiliated LPEX. They apparently did not pay the bill for the event. They asked us about paying the bill. We answered in writing in advance that it was not our event; also, the people running it had no authority to enter into a contract on behalf of the LNC. They were reminded of this in writing , and have said nothing since.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    If NationBuilder was just crap, that would be one thing. But it’s more than just that one thing.

    NationBuilder is EXPENSIVE, PROPRIETARY crap.

    The LNC always goes for expensive and proprietary, apparently on the argument that if they’re paying that much for something to a particular company, that company will deliver the goods and hold future expenses down, where if they get free or cheap non-proprietary software it will cost insane amounts of money to have the software customized.

    In fact, once a company gets you locked into their proprietary expensive crap, everything STAYS expensive because they’ve got you over the barrel.

    The virtue of free or cheap non-proprietary software isn’t just that it’s free or cheap up front, it’s that there’s a huge population of developers for it, because they were able to become developers without forking over big money to the expensive proprietary crap company for the software and/or education in the software. Apparently the LNC needs to do some reading on what happens when supply is high versus demand, as in for web development. Hint: The price comes DOWN.

    You can’t swing a cat on the Internet without knocking over 50 hungry WordPress developers. There’s your CMS. I haven’t looked much into CRM, but I would bet money there’s at least one free or cheap non-proprietary CRM package out there that can do anything NationBuilder’s CRM stuff does, that is built to work and play well with WordPress, and that there are also hungry developers for.

    And yet we have this same fucking conversation every few years, and every few years the LNC piles stacks of hundred dollar bills on the table, douses them in gasoline and sets them on fire as if that will fix their IT problems.

  38. George Phillies

    ‘LPEX did not pay their bill’ may or may not be current. it is an interesting point.

    Other legal details are being discussed. SD elections people ruled we can pay per signature for signatures.

    No update on IL petition lawsuit.

  39. George Phillies

    Presidential contract is currently at discretion of chair. Bylaw change would not until 2020. Wiener proposes a generic contract.

    Past contracts had parts that only an idiot of a candidate would accept.

  40. Jake Leonard

    Thomas – no argument there. Probably why so many political candidates wanted me to create their websites for them INSTEAD of going to NationBuilder at least over the past six years.

    Like you said, when they suck you in, you’re held over a barrel and continuously ripped off to no end. At least some independent website designer would offer a discount for repeat business…

  41. George Phillies

    They are introducing Assemblyman John Moore. He is a Libertarian, the highest elected Libertarian in the country. He is running for re-election.

    Wellstone and Leadership institute are IDed as D and R front groups.

  42. Wes

    Our current nation builder account costs about $30 per month. The costs ramp up with the number of email accounts you load into it. Testing the platform with the convention website has been very low cost.

  43. Jake Leonard

    Just curious – isn’t there about a 10-15 second delay between the video and audio feeds?

  44. George Phillies

    This is a first term person. They are making an appeal for LNC support and support from all other states to help the fellow get re-elected. At least he is running in the same district as in 2014.

  45. Jake Leonard

    Only if they would exert the same effort to help Moore’s re-election bid as those who are running for state representative in other states. Put your money where your mouth is…..

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    Wes,

    Yes, your current NationBuilder web site costs $30 a month — and seems to be for the national convention.

    The discussion is about moving the LP’s web, bulk mail and CRM operations to NationBuilder. Assuming only current member numbers, the cost is somewhere in the $299 to $319 per month range — every month, month after month, forever. And that’s just the flat fee to NationBuilder. It doesn’t include the costs of having a skilled developer who knows that software come in and e.g. make the site not look like one of those $5 template Internet marketing “mini-sites.”

  47. Jake Leonard

    Or let me rephrase that: if they go as far to help Moore’s re-election bid, they need to support those running for state representative/assemblyman in other states as well…..

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jake,

    I’m not sure I agree that “helping Candidate X, who has never been elected to anything, try to get elected to something” is qualitatively the same thing as “helping candidate Y, who has been elected to something, STAY elected to that thing.”

    Above and beyond candidate qualifications, there might also be party qualifications as well. Suppose the state in which Candidate X is running has an affiliate party with three active members who meet at Denny’s once a month to talk about the grand old days when they had ten members, while Candidate X’s affiliate party has active county affiliates all over its state, puts on multiple well-attended events per month, regularly puts out press releases, etc. that are picked up in the affiliate’s media markets, and has a past history of getting people into elected or appointed office. Is there some reason why the LNC should invest in the candidates of the former organization just because it invests in the candidates of the latter organization?

    For the record, I’m mostly skeptical of the LNC putting money into state races at all. But if they do, I don’t see any case for automatic parity between candidates.

  49. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    The thirst to de-content our site is ridiculous. Chuck – I absolutely agree with you.

    Yes, it is.

    Note: I’m not opposed to reorganizing content (e.g., moving some front page clutter elsewhere)… just opposed to completely removing content (e.g., past press releases, blog entries, meeting minutes, etc.).

  50. Jake Leonard

    I guess you have a good point there, Thomas. It sounds like people at the meeting will be writing checks, so yeah, it definitely sounds unfair.

  51. George Phillies

    The gentleman discussed his issues and circumstances. e now advance to the Audit Committee

  52. George Phillies

    Cap and limit on moving expenses.
    Recommendation that LCN approve benedict moving expenses.
    ExComm did not support rec that Treasurer sign off on biweekly time sheets.
    Excomm did notsupport idea that chair should monitor staff for adherence to policy.
    With respect to equipment policies, there is a bylaw issue about leases over $2000.

  53. George Phillies

    past big national investments in single local candidates have not given much results.

  54. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    The LNC always goes for expensive and proprietary, apparently on the argument that if they’re paying that much for something to a particular company, that company will deliver the goods and hold future expenses down, where if they get free or cheap non-proprietary software it will cost insane amounts of money to have the software customized.

    In fact, once a company gets you locked into their proprietary expensive crap, everything STAYS expensive because they’ve got you over the barrel.

    The virtue of free or cheap non-proprietary software isn’t just that it’s free or cheap up front, it’s that there’s a huge population of developers for it, because they were able to become developers without forking over big money to the expensive proprietary crap company for the software and/or education in the software.

    Exactly! It’s ridiculous.

    WordPress with a professionally designed theme and a few custom bells & whistles is probably the best route.

  55. Jake Leonard

    @George Makes sense, I guess. Then why are some people on the national committee wasting their time with their own money? I’ll refrain from name dropping a certain person on the committee who even publicly stated he gave money to Moore’s campaign.

  56. George Phillies

    Starr notes interest rate on latest lease is to put it mildly very high.

    They are discussing the ExComm recommendations on the Audit report.

    Request to ratify movign expenses of Wes Benedict.

  57. Chuck Moulton

    George Phillies wrote:

    topic is paragraph 2 of report. Q is the LNC a poltiical committee? yes. There was an event held by unaffiliated LPEX. They apparently did not pay the bill for the event. They asked us about paying the bill. We answered in writing in advance that it was not our event; also, the people running it had no authority to enter into a contract on behalf of the LNC. They were reminded of this in writing , and have said nothing since.

    What about LSLA? Do they have liability? If so, contra George Phillies’ earlier comments the LSLA may be in an even worse financial position than the LNC.

    This, btw, is another example of the peril in trusting big talking activists for silver bullet ideas that cost a hunk of money.

  58. George Phillies

    Mattson offers substitute motion,asking refund of $4000 for movign expenses in excess of the contract. The expenses totally over $8000. Mattson troubled that Ex Director had deal on side with past chair, in violation of contract. Deal was not disclosed to the LNC. Email to former chair Neale estimated $5000 in moving costs. We only found out because hte Audit committee noted. Movign expenses were hidden in improper categories to hide it from the LNC. This is a very bad deal.
    Katz: Absolutely agree with Secretary the situation is not good. The buck should stop with the chairman. Staff should rely on supervisor. Body should seek compensation from the past chair for approving compensation in violation of contract approved by the baord.

  59. George Phillies

    Motion to amend that we only ask back the $3000 in excess of what the former chair said.

    Phillies: This is really disgusting. The LNC keeps tossing away money and then is critically short. There was a contract and the past chair simply gave away more money.

  60. George Phillies

    They are looking at voting on the amendment to the substitute.
    Motion to ratify movingexpenses.
    Substitute Motion to claw back half.
    Amendment to claw back amounts in excess of Neale’s email, only $3000.
    Benedict asked to explain what the deal was. Benedict says Chair and Treasurer oth approved these expenses as “reasonable”. Benedict claims Neale told the LNC and no one remembers it. Benedict says ‘well no one remembers Neale saying that I would pay everything. I was promised these expenses in advance. i was unaware of the scandals on book keeping before I was hired. Iwas kept out of the discussion on the contract. I think it was discussed but I can’t prove it.

  61. George Phillies

    Q WHat is the validity of verbal discussion prior to a written contract.
    Chair: If contract says ‘that’s it’ the further payments are not enforceable. Stuff cna be done outside of contract, but it is not enforceable. However, LNC did pay.
    Benedict offers to share in policy manual: directives from chair are enforceable. The Chair approved these things and paid them.

    amendment carries 11-2. Now asking for $3000 back.

  62. George Phillies

    Yes vote will put on floor to claw back $3000. Roll cal

    lots of No votes too fast to take names. 3Y – 12N – 1A
    Substitution fails.

    LNC votes a. 14-1 to let Wes Benedict keep the money. They are about to go to lunch.

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    My recollection is that there has been an issue like this at least once before with moving expenses that the LNC suddenly decided it wanted back later.

    It seems to me that if the chair authorizes reimbursement of expenses to an employee, and that if the LNC comes around wanting its money back later, it should be the chair who acted beyond his or her authority, not the employee who acted in good faith, who’s on the hook for the money involved.

    How to make that happen, I don’t know — perhaps a bylaws amendment requiring the chair to enter into some kind of contractual commitment to that effect?

    But telling employees “hey, that money the chair told you we would pay you and that we paid you? We want it back” is NOT a good way to run an office. At least not if you want to keep employees and to keep the conference room tables urine and feces free.

  64. George Phillies

    LSLA is an entirely separate organization,. or the LNC is in deep doo-doo with the FEC for taking corporate donations.

  65. George Phillies

    Caryn, that is exactly the opposite of what just happened. benedict got to keep the money.

    It was the membership that got taken.

  66. George Phillies

    Tom,

    LNC can sue chair for giving away party funds in violation of corporate rules.

    George

  67. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    Yes, they could do that. But for obvious reasons, boards are reluctant to sue chairs over every little thing — and $3k isn’t a giant thing. Which is why a chair who doesn’t feel like following the rules can be reasonably sure he will get away with not following the rules.

    But what if the corporate rules (backed by a bylaws provision) required the chair to put up a performance bond or something of the sort?

    What I am AGAINST is telling employees “we know you spent $X moving and the chair agreed prior to you doing so to cover that expense, but now we want all or part of it back.” That’s a bad way to do business, it’s a bad way to treat employees, and if you pick the wrong employee to do it to (probably not Wes), maybe there’s an unexplained fire one night.

  68. George Phillies

    Tom,

    However, when you are a nonprofit, and if you keep pulling stunts like this, you should not be surprised when people decide you are a scam and slam shut the checkbooks. Did you catch the bit about LPEX not having paid the hotel at some point?

    George

  69. Joseph Buchman

    It seems to me, in addition to the concern about repayment of a portion of the moving expenses (a bad move, IMO, given the general agreement about the verbal terms offered by Chair Neale), there was a more significant concern about the lack of transparency in how those moving expenses were reported/recorded.

    If indeed there was an attempt to obfuscate the cost of Wes’s move, then that seems to discredit the notion that there was a clear agreement between Wes and the prior chair.

    That sort of thing — unclear agreements and bookkeeping that is apparently designed to hide things (or isn’t straightforward for whatever reasons) must stop. Good for Aaron Starr digging it up; bad move to demand repayment with virtually no support from the LNC at large.

  70. George Phillies

    Joe,

    This is in part a consequence of using GAAP accural rather than cash flow, plus large obscure budget categories.

  71. George Phillies

    Chair, does anyoen want to move the recommendations that the eXCOMM REJECTED. nO.

    Treasurer is supposed to check time allocation paperwork. This only checks the paper records not how the time was actually spent.

  72. George Phillies

    mATTSON claims THAT THE staff was making up numbers, has now quit making up numbers and claiming that everythign is overhead, and having the Treasurer checking the math does no good.

    Benedict claims numbers are not made up, they are just estimated days later.

  73. George Phillies

    Kraus, inaudible, saying staff is doing what they should…I think.

    Olsen: Is staff going to record hours? Are we going to review them?

  74. Michael H. Wilson

    I think I read that Chuck Moulton mentioned that moving the web site in an election year was a potential problem. I could not agree more. Maybe some minor fixes need to be done but not a full scale change over.

    Also what is meant by this? “Ludlow claims having paragraphs of information on the site is useless”

    Last but not least. The state parties should be encouraged to set up Pacs to support candidates well in advance of an election and not look to the national party to hand out money.

  75. George Phillies

    Motion that it is the sense of the LNC that capital leases in excess of $2000 require LNC approval.

  76. George Phillies

    There was an argument in the ExComm that the Bylaws were or were not violated by a major equipment lease. I am reporting what I thought that I heard.

  77. George Phillies

    Redpath claims that promising to pay a large amount over years to pay for equipment is not borrowing, and therefore there was not a bylaws violation.

    Mattson says that this is not a trade payable.

  78. George Phillies

    M Carling highly sensibly points out that when we leased the Watergate building the LNC believed that a 2.3 vote was required. The objective was to keep this LNC from spending money raised by future LNCs. The rejects Redpath’s claim.

  79. George Phillies

    Carling: The accounting stuff is irrelevant. The point is that there has been an obligation created.

  80. George Phillies

    Katz: The result of the staff interpretation is that we are paying 51% interest due to the terms of the lease.

    They are voting on extending time.

  81. George Phillies

    LNC votes and adjourns. The policy appears to be that lease sin excess of $2000 must be approved by the LNC.

    Is anyone else listening?

  82. George Phillies

    Affiliate Support Committee: affiliates are more happy with the LNC.
    Awards Committee
    Convention Oversight

  83. Chuck Moulton

    Sounds like the 2016 national convention is going to have no Internet access without paying $30,000. Apparently this wasn’t covered in the contract.

    RIDICULOUS!

  84. Chuck Moulton

    Kevin Ludlow is talking about the app he is making for the convention. It will have the site layout, schedule (with push notification updates), speaker bios, current quorum (majority, 2/3, etc.), etc.

    Sarwark is talking about the time allotted for platform and bylaws debates. He points out that the bylaws and platform committees always eat up all avoidable time with their proposals. Sarwark wants platform and bylaws to be complete on Friday or early Saturday, leaving most of Saturday for speakers. It also would make the Saturday breakfast time more reasonable rather than 7 am. Sarwark wants 3 hours for bylaws and 3.5 hours for platform.

    Mattson opposes. She thinks platform and bylaws need more time. We don’t have a ton of extra speakers anyway because the speaker budget has already been exhausted.

  85. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I am back after taking care of some duties.

    ==Also what is meant by this? “Ludlow claims having paragraphs of information on the site is useless”==

    It is what was said. The most charitable interpretation is just referring to the front page. But that seems not to be what is said– Chuck has followed this pretty closely over the months. It seems the preference is for a flash and dazzle site that has the sole purpose of converting eyes to dollars and not educating anyone.

  86. Chuck Moulton

    I agree with Mattson that we shouldn’t shortchange the bylaws and platform proposals.

    That said, I also believe the bylaws and platform committees make far too many proposals, which prevents proposals from the floor. There really ought to be time for proposals from the floor.

  87. Chuck Moulton

    Redpath favors more time for party business.

    Wiener says we should devote time to the business of the party.

    Carling says it’s nuts to interrupt business to hear speakers. He had never heard of any of the LP convention’s current speakers.

    Starr says everyone said what he was going to say.

    Benedict suggests more people would attend a shorter convention because most of the party business is boring.

  88. Chuck Moulton

    Sarwark’s motion to limit bylaws to 3 hours and platform to 3.5 hours.

    Olsen – Y
    Marsh – N
    Katz – N
    Ludlow – Y
    Riemers – A
    Bitner – Y
    Lark – N
    Redpath – N
    Wiener – N
    McLendon – N
    Johnson – N
    Hagan – N
    Goldstein – N
    Vohra – A
    Mattson – N
    Sarwark – Y

    Motion failed 4-10-2.

  89. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==That said, I also believe the bylaws and platform committees make far too many proposals, which prevents proposals from the floor. There really ought to be time for proposals from the floor.===

    That is by design.

  90. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    That said, I also believe the bylaws and platform committees make far too many proposals, which prevents proposals from the floor. There really ought to be time for proposals from the floor.

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    That is by design.

    Yes, and it’s terrible.

  91. Michael H. Wilson

    Thanks Caryn I thought that is about what was meant.

    If after all these years in business the LP needs to spend the amount of time asked for on bylaws and the platform then we really have a problem. God help the republic if we ever get a majority in congress.

  92. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Well it looks like due to utter incompetence that the website will be pushed to Ludlow and we will have a theatre company site. (no lie, that theatre company has a beautiful website…. for an art/theatre site— we however are an ideological group and political party… and that means that — shock and horror– there will be a paragraph or two of text somewhere.)

  93. George Phillies

    It seems that Raisers Edge refuses to give us our credit card information back. This is totally unbelievable. It will take us years to roll over form them to another source.

    They are discussing perhaps replacing one of the LNC members — Tomasso — on the IT committee. That requires a resolution to the chair because the chair appoints and removes.

    Mr Marsh I move that we dissolve the It Committee. It amends the policy manual. There was a second by someone. They are arguing about whether the motion is to eliminate the IT committee form the policy manual or to remove all its members.

  94. Chuck Moulton

    Goldstein says the IT committee hasn’t met or done much of anything because some of the members do not respond to email. Discussion ensued as to whether those unresponsive members ought to be unappointed from the IT committee.

    Redpath asks about nation builder. Goldstein said they made a motion at the last LNC meeting and it was shot down. It also turns out it is impossible to transition out of Raiser’s Edge because we can’t get the credit card numbers stored of our monthly pledgers.

    Ludlow asks that Rich Tomasso be removed from the IT committee because he is unresponsive. (Goldstein hadn’t identified the unresponsive member, but apparently it’s Tomasso.)

    Lark suggests asking Tomasso if he is interested in remaining on the committee. Goldstein says he already emailed Tomasso and he didn’t respond on that point.

    Marsh moves that the IT committee be dissolved.

    McLendon thinks the motion is an overreaction.

    Katz doesn’t think the whole committee should be dissolved just because of Tomasso. He moves a substitute motion to direct the chair to review the committee and repopulate it as necessary.

  95. George Phillies

    Katz : If committee does not exist.

    Katz: Direct the chair to review the motion and replace the members as necessary.

    marsh one person is causing us not to meet as an IT committee. The issue is that 1 or 6 people refuse to meet.

    If the LNC has any sense, they will refer the credit card issue to their attorneys.

  96. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Well it looks like due to utter incompetence that the website will be pushed to Ludlow and we will have a theatre company site. (no lie, that theatre company has a beautiful website…. for an art/theatre site— we however are an ideological group and political party… and that means that — shock and horror– there will be a paragraph or two of text somewhere.)

    This has been a problem for years. Tomasso doesn’t respond to email or phone for months at a time. It was well known he was bad at communication long before he was appointed to the committee.

  97. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    This is such a mess. Ludlow is absolutely right on that score – the sheer comedy of being unable to do a thing.

  98. Stewart Flood

    Goldstein is most of the problem with the committee. They took MONTHS to select the members, then we rarely have meetings.

    Most of the time when meetings are called it is at a time I can’t attend. Then if I am on a call, they are talking about crazy shit that will waste both time and money.

  99. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    ==This has been a problem for years. Tomasso doesn’t respond to email or phone for months at a time. It was well known he was bad at communication long before he was appointed to the committee.==

    I don’t get how that is even tolerated. I wouldn’t be tolerating that at a county affiliate.

  100. George Phillies

    opinion Olsen: We need an IT committee abolishing the committee will put us behind. Need to get new people in there.

    Motio to direct chair to review and replace. Passes nearly unanimously.

    Roll call to direct the chair to repopulate the committee as necessary. Motion passes nearly unanimously.

    Ludlow Feldman Olsen volunteer for new LNC IT committee.

  101. Stewart Flood

    Repopulate it, but don’t take four months to do it. They made people submit resumes. RESUMES!!!

    The people who should have been on it, like Chuck and a few others, were excluded from the process.

    We’d have gotten stuff done if they had not put non-technical people in charge of it.

  102. George Phillies

    platform committee (Mattson): We now have all members. Problems with meeting vs state conventions. Only open weekend is Easter weekend. Meting will presumably be open to gallery.

  103. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Will there be electronic streaming access to the Platform meeting? That wasn’t addressed.

  104. George Phillies

    Have no isea at what they are looking.

    Bylaws committee: has many proposals. Mostly hard to hear.

  105. Chuck Moulton

    Vote on Katz substitute motion:
    Olsen – Y
    Marsh – N
    Katz – Y
    Ludlow – Y
    Riemers – Y
    Feldman – P
    Lark – Y
    Redpath –
    Wiener – Y
    McLendon – Y
    Johnson – Y
    Hagan – Y
    Goldstein – A
    Vohra – Y
    Mattson – Y
    Sarwark – A

    Passes.

    Direct chair to repopulate the IT Committee:
    Olsen – Y
    Marsh – Y
    Katz –
    Ludlow –
    Riemers –
    Feldman –
    Lark – Y
    Redpath – Y
    Wiener – Y
    McLendon – Y
    Johnson – Y
    Hagan – Y
    Goldstein – A
    Vohra – Y
    Mattson – Y
    Sarwark – A

    Passes. (this was going a little too fast for me to record the vote… I think there were zero nays)

    Feldman, Ludlow, and Olsen would like to serve on the IT Committee.

    Mattson says the platform committee will be meeting in St. Louis over Easter weekend.

    Redpath suggests platform committee members stay extra days then go to Illinois to petition.

    Carling is presenting the bylaws committee report. He can be reached at bylaws@lp.org.

  106. Stewart Flood

    It isn’t that six or seven people refuse to meet. It is that Goldstein likes to wait for months, then decide to call a meeting on 24 – 48 hours notice — almost always on an evening I can’t attend! And they like to start meetings at 9pm eastern, which for anyone who actually works in IT is PRIME TIME FOR MAINTENANCE WORK FOR CUSTOMERS!

    And we don’t even have six or seven members. Half the committee quit, and they never bothered to replace them.

    It was MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS to even select the people on it!!!

  107. George Phillies

    Q about qualifications to be a delegate. Complaint about people not involved with party being delegates. Proposal to simplify formula.

    Carling: Proposal always comes up, but is always argued against. I see no problem with the formulas, because only the secretary needs to understand it.

    Formula limits size of convention.

  108. Stewart Flood

    And they write reports without even showing us drafts. And tell the LNC stuff that we never even talked about.

    What a joke. So now Feldman and someone named Ludlow are on it? Are the rest of us (the ones who didn’t quit) still on the committee?

  109. Jake Leonard

    I’m just now catching up…

    “opinion Olsen: We need an IT committee abolishing the committee will put us behind. Need to get new people in there.”

    I honestly have no problem with that. There needs to be a fresher perspective that will make the party more technologically advanced, not become stagnant with the current (which is likely obsolete) technology the party utilizes at this time.

  110. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I wrote HQ to ask about electronic gallery attendance for Party Members to the Platform and Bylaws Committees.

  111. Chuck Moulton

    Carling says the bylaws committee will have a forum the day before the convention to hear from delegates. Then a short meeting to fix (with withdraw) proposals due to errors brought to the committee’s attention.

    A bylaws committee survey will be sent out by email to LP members shortly.

    Carling says he wants 5 hours for bylaws. Even with 5 hours the delegates will not have enough time to consider all the bylaws committee proposals.

  112. Chuck Moulton

    Stewart Flood wrote:

    What a joke. So now Feldman and someone named Ludlow are on it? Are the rest of us (the ones who didn’t quit) still on the committee?

    Ludlow is a LNC member from Texas who wants us to spend $20,000 for a new website. He seems to only talk about design/style, never about the technical details under the hood. He wants to remove a lot of content from the website.

  113. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I understand those items Chuck.. but is there an actual meeting like with Platform? And open to Party members?

  114. Stewart Flood

    I initially recommended to Nick that he put me, Chuck, Mark (RIP), Bonnie, and a few others on it. They made people submit resumes and interviewed people.

    I know I’ve talked about this on IPR before.

    It was sometime in September (2014) before they even started, and then we’d get meetings called and Goldstein would cancel them. Then he’d call another and cancel it. This repeated ad-nauseum.

    No traffic on the mailing list. No discussions. They just did what they wanted and kept us there to make it look like a real committee.

    I’m assuming that we’ve all been removed from the committee, since I know that Feldman won’t want me on it. And I am not even sure I know who Ludlow is.

    The IT committee used to actually do things. We made recommendations, cut costs, improved stuff. But that ended after the 2012 convention in Vegas. I remember when they actually got rid of it before (2006?) after Chuck asked questions that staff didn’t want to give him answers to. They were not tough questions or even anything that an IT committee shouldn’t have asked.

  115. Jake Leonard

    Chuck, $20,000? Really? Hell, maybe they should put the website design up for bids then! I’d do it for 25% of what Ludlow wants it done for!

  116. Stewart Flood

    $20,000 for a new website? On what platform? Geez…this is going to be just like Pojunis all over again…

    I saw a quote of $600 to revamp the current site. And we’ve had others offer to help for free. $20K? With the party’s current financial situation? No wonder they want to can the IT committee. We’d never recommend doing that.

  117. Michael H. Wilson

    We get many of the same people year after year on the platform and bylaws committees and it still takes 4 to 5 hours of the convention time? It sounds like some of the repeating people on these committees shouldn’t be there in the first place. None of this should take that much time. Nonsense.

  118. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    20K is flippin ridiculous.

    But doing nothing as we have, is nearly equally ridiculous. Only cheaper.

    I am not into the whole flash and dazzle and fashion policing that seems to have gripped the LNC, but some of the products we put out, such as the website, are ridiculously awful. Controlling people is one thing. Putting out professional product is another.

  119. George Phillies

    Did I miss the ballot access committee? They seem to be going through committees in random order.

  120. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    When I hear about the wordsmithing, all my mind can think is “We are so screwed.”

  121. Stewart Flood

    And they wanted to migrate us from our existing platform, losing all recurring payment information (credit cards are not kept in the database), requiring a 100% verification of all members to start charging their card AFTER we convert to a system for which there is no conversion software!!!

    That is what was proposed. And it would have added tens of thousands of dollars in costs. I told them exactly how stupid that was, especially going into an election year.

    And it isn’t that Blackbaud won’t give us the payment information, it is that they can’t give it. The credit card companies won’t do it. Laws (good or bad) stop them.

  122. Jake Leonard

    Stewart – exactly. Why pay the extra expense for a new website? It would be bank robbery and more if the new website was done on NationBuilder.

    $600 to revamp the existing website is more than modest. Whoever offered that obviously was willing to take a serious pay cut to do the job. (I honestly wouldn’t do it less than $45/hour. $75/hour is the market rate for anything I.T.-related in my home state.)

    Doing it for free? That’s career suicide.

    I might forward some suggestions to Dr. Feldman and maybe my opinion can be somewhat valued.

  123. George Phillies

    Question answered.

    25000 for CT. Howell and Katz are the standins. By W there will be electors in place. May be a problem with the petition forms. CT has various plans for petitioning etc.

    IL IL petition plan is being set up with state chair Lex Green.

    OHOH state party is doing party petition needs 35000 signatures. redpath says it will not work. President only requires many fewer signatures. Redpath refers to OH plan as money down a rathole.

    OK almost done.

    PA is a problem. Drive date has started. LPPA convention is late.there seems to be a lack of PA interest in collecting signatures.

    SD W had a problem. Backup plan is about half done. plan from last year for $15000 and one leader did not work. Constitution party person is now running things. In SD you can do multiple submissions. You do not have to gamble on a validity rate. May need spome outside petitioners, who will need travel etc paid.

    paperwork from National Convention to states.

  124. Jake Leonard

    Depends on what content the committee wants consolidated and/or scaled down. Timeframe usually depends on how long the website designer had allotted to the project. Minimal changes: 1-2 hours. You want to revamp the entire site. It’ll take a lot longer than that. Complete redesign/new website? That’s where a lot of billable hours kicks in.

    And I say that out of 12 years of experience with a current clientele of 800 clients.

  125. Michael H. Wilson

    Caryn writes; “When I hear about the wordsmithing, all my mind can think is ‘We are so screwed.’ ”

    And to realize that some of these people actually supervise others in the daily working world.

  126. George Phillies

    Extend for 10 minutes.

    Cost for OK was $104,000 if I heard it right.

    Wiener Concerned about PA. We are looking at nominally $90,000 of which $70,000 will come from the LNC. Cna they come up with the rest. That appears not to be financially feasible this year. We may have to be more realistic. IL and PA are huge and would cost $130,000. I do not see that we have the money orthe cash flow.

  127. ludlow

    Specifically to Mr. Moulton:

    I posted you a lengthy response. I posted you a link to a professional resume. I did not see a response. You can say what you will, but I spend just as much time sharing information with you all as I do with everyone else.

    I have been very successful at what I do in this field. Websites are NOT free contrary to what this group believes. Successful web architects get paid very well for doing what they do. This is because there is value in having a properly designed, properly implemented website.

    Furthermore, there is absolutely NO intention to remove Libertarian content from the website. This crowd has an astounding ability to spin half-truths and bake them into something entirely different. I will clarify specifically what is meant by moving them around.

    The FRONT PAGE of a website (for a non-profit, business, or any other organization) is NOT to leave people with walls of text. It is to create a fast and positive impression and to get a call to action. I saw somebody write about the theater website I posted. It is a non-profit of which I have sat on the board for the past 3 years. We had that website done in just a couple of months for $15,000 (http://www.rudemechs.com/). The idea that somebody on this thread would write that I want to create a theater website is incredibly disingenuous as to why I referenced that website.

    I referenced it to show that a website of that size could be created very quickly and for slightly less than I am requesting.

    On that particular website the call to action is to get people to purchase tickets for our upcoming plays. After launching it did wonders for us. The call to action for the Libertarian website would be to solicit donations, direct people to affiliate websites, and to highlight prominent candidates.

    Having dozens and dozens of options is incredibly poor design, thoroughly proven to be ineffective, and generally an archaic website idea. The current website is not responsive; it does not work well (and not at all in some cases) on mobile and tablet devices.

    These things need to be fixed. We will NOT be taking $20k from the party. This has already been thoroughly discussed, but I’m happy to say it again. We will solicit donations to do it.

    Also, the convention app that somebody mentioned above is very nice. I am happy to post screen shots of it. It cost me $6,000 out of pocket AND I hired my own software company to do it (which I would not do for any of these projects). Software is not cheap; software is not free. And it should not be. There is a well-defined market for it. I live by this market (quite literally in the sense of it being what I earn).

    If some of you would spend a fraction of the time on the phone with donors instead of reminding me how shitty this effort is going to be, we’d already have the money to do it.

  128. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I love how when they talk about 50 state ballot access,they seem to forget that the JC is about to insure that Oregon is lost.

  129. Chuck Moulton

    Katz is asking Redpath whether the committee approved the committee report. Redpath says he wrote it, the other committee members didn’t approve it, but to his knowledge no one objected.

  130. George Phillies

    At the very least, says Wiener no encumbrance for PA until they have covered their share.

    Redpath: Presidential ballot access is the responsibility of everyone not only the LNC. We need to communicate to the Presidential candidates that tif they want to be on the ballot everywhere they need to step up soon in terms of ballot access.

    Katz: Redpath put that attakc on Massachusetts in on MA because some people in MA do not want MAJOR PARTY STATUS. Redpath — there are people in MA who do not want ballot access for LP. Winger advocates for MA ballot access and suing. Redpath claims he does not know MA state laws. Redpath consults with Winger a Californian about MA (and not with MA)

    How many times has the committee met. none. So this committee was adopted by the Committee? It was not. Redpath wrote it.

    Redpath admits that the committee did not adopt the “ballot access committee report”. Where is the committee oversight coming from?

  131. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I am not Chuck, but I will respond to the things that interest me. Kevin, with all due respect… rather than spending so much time lecturing others, it might be better served to try to reach an understanding. I get that you are incredibly qualified. I agree. But please take into consideration that sometimes it seems like you are just offended by the very idea that the unwashed would question. I do not believe that is your intention. Take that observation for what it is worth.

    ==Furthermore, there is absolutely NO intention to remove Libertarian content from the website. This crowd has an astounding ability to spin half-truths and bake them into something entirely different. I will clarify specifically what is meant by moving them around.==

    Perhaps you might want to consider… seeing how MULTIPLE PEOPLE had zero idea what you meant that the communication problem is not on the end of the receivers. Chuck and I are often on opposite ends. The fact that we both got the same idea should cause the communicator to perhaps re-evaluate rather than blaming on the recipients.

    ==The FRONT PAGE of a website (for a non-profit, business, or any other organization) is NOT to leave people with walls of text. It is to create a fast and positive impression and to get a call to action.===

    Agreed. Thank you.

    ==I saw somebody write about the theater website I posted. It is a non-profit of which I have sat on the board for the past 3 years. We had that website done in just a couple of months for $15,000 (http://www.rudemechs.com/). The idea that somebody on this thread would write that I want to create a theater website is incredibly disingenuous as to why I referenced that website.===

    See above about blaming the recipients. That was given as an example of a type of site. And it is an incredibly beautiful site. I spend some time happily browsing it. But that combined with the dismissive comments about “paragraphs of text” lead to that idea. I am not the only one who got it. Again, you can blame the recipients if you wish or re-evaluate how things need to be communicated.

    ==These things need to be fixed. We will NOT be taking $20k from the party. This has already been thoroughly discussed, but I’m happy to say it again. We will solicit donations to do it.==

    I previously supported that idea.

    ==Also, the convention app that somebody mentioned above is very nice. I am happy to post screen shots of it. It cost me $6,000 out of pocket AND I hired my own software company to do it (which I would not do for any of these projects). Software is not cheap; software is not free. And it should not be. There is a well-defined market for it. I live by this market (quite literally in the sense of it being what I earn).==

    I would love to see the screen shots.

    ==If some of you would spend a fraction of the time on the phone with donors instead of reminding me how shitty this effort is going to be, we’d already have the money to do it.==

    Ahh the lecturing again.

  132. George Phillies

    Redpath want Presidential campaigns to handle part of Presidential ballot acess before the convention.

    When do we need to make a commitment to PA.

    At what point do we need to start cutting things off? PA encumbrance is an issue before August 1.

    Ballto access the huge expense had little time.

    Sarwark: We are an hour and 20 minutes late. 2018 convention site is an issue. They will do things until 5PM and then do convention site form 5PM on.

  133. George Phillies

    Goldstein: Move regional reports until last bit of business. Motion.
    Move to dispense with regional reports. Feldman.
    Redpath speaks against Feldman.
    Motion is rejected.
    Goldstein passes.
    mattson amend policy manual:

  134. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Am I sad for having a good time hanging out and rapping with you guys about this stuff? LOL this is my idea of a good time.

  135. Stewart Flood

    The current website is on a platform that could be made to look a lot better. The $600 quote was to update images and change the template around a bit to make it better. It was a “cut-rate” for the graphics work.

    As far as free goes, well it depends on what you consider your career. I don’t touch the front end of websites anymore. No interest in it, other than my specialized apps for a few customers. I’m in my 40th year in IT, and have probably registered around 6-8 thousand domains since the early 90s. You pay 20 year olds to come up with design concepts, then you find a 40 year old programmer to actually write code that will work.

    Twenty grand for a website is a rip-off. That’s what you pay for a complete concept site with marketing and copy writing. Yes, I know people who pay a lot more. And the party did pay a lot more (as I recall it was about $50K) for the current platform a decade ago. But it was a platform, and they control the content. There are a lot better platforms out there now, but nation builder is not one of them.

    We’ll see. Only a few of the members of the IT committee were tasked with the website “project”, so I was only aware of what i overheard during our extremely rare meetings — if they were scheduled when I could attend. We never EVER got minutes of meetings, or even follow-up email about what happened. I’ve actually had to ask friends who were attending LNC meetings to get me copies of the IT committee reports, since the committee was never included in their creation.

    A “pretty website” isn’t all that we need. It does look outdated, and that could have easily been fixed, but it hasn’t. As others have mentioned, we don’t turn contacts into members and donors. There’s no “connect” other than email that gets sent out to state parties.

    Chuck, Mark, Bonnie, myself and many others have been complaining about our lack of technology for years. So now we have the “millennial” crowd making the same complaint. Join the club. Spending $20K on a new website without a real plan to look at who uses the website, why they visit, and turn them into members is just money flushed down the toilet. And it is a lot of money.

  136. George Phillies

    I can type fast or correct typoes. Choose one.

    Motion to include chair discretionary expenses in monthly report. Report will list specific expenditures.

    Arguing about whether itemization is needed. Suggestion that the fund has been overdrawn.

    Question called. Move to vote on motion.

  137. ludlow

    Caryn:

    Your points are well-taken.

    I would just ask you to consider that just because I haven’t the time or energy or whatever it is to explain things as thoroughly as I possibly could doesn’t mean that it’s inherently bad.

    Further, it’s not as if anyone reached out and asked me. There was just an assumption of what it meant. My obligation today is not to ensure that you guys understand what I’m getting at fully, but rather that the members of the LNC who are voting on these issues do understand. I’m still trying to take the time to share with you here.

    So again, I understand what you mean and will attempt to write it differently in the future. But I would also ask that when in doubt, you (and others) can reach out and ask what is meant by it rather than opening up a conversation that now has 20-30 comments detailing misinformation. Would that be a fair compromise?

    Also, thank you for checking out that website. If you are ever in Austin, please check them out.

  138. George Phillies

    Motion passes

    Reimers move to remove routine criminal background check. Reason: about 68million people have a criminal record. Where do we count these? Its not necessary and discourages half of your applicants.

  139. ludlow

    These images were just part of the mock ups and give the general idea of the layout. The user swipes back to go back a page. The user clicks on a row to advance the flow.

    I will post a demo video of it in action sometime in the next week or so.

    http://imgur.com/a/6YrAb

  140. George Phillies

    There are problems figuring out what is going on. They are postponing this to tomorrow so the LNC member can figure out what his motion is.

    needed a point of order — no motion is on the floor.

    Next motion: require all LNC meetings to be held in the DC area not necessarily in the HQ. Conserve our funds. This motion will not include pre and post convention meetings. Johnson seconds Reimers motion. Hagan: Might want meeting at Freedom Fest in Vegas. mcLendon-does not need to be in policy manual.
    Marsh substitute Winter meeting not in DC. Amendment failed.

  141. George Phillies

    Much opposition. Cost of choosing a site each time in time is severe. Noted that H building cannot handle LNC meetings.

    A DC meeting saves $2000 per meeting, perhaps.

  142. Jake Leonard

    Key word I just heard today: COMMUNICATION.
    Something the party somewhat lacks and needs to improve on, especially if the LP wants eligible Millennial-aged (anyone born 1982 to 2003; those born 1982 to 1998 are eligible to vote) to join the party and become a lifetime voter.

  143. Stewart Flood

    In the past, meeting locations were frequently chosen in cities being considered for future conventions. While that adds cost to get staff there, shifting locations around the country increases costs for some members for some meetings but decreases it for them for others. Everyone knows this. Hopefully the motion will be defeated.

  144. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Kevin,

    Thank you. The charity art website is also quite beautiful… and some awesome pieces there. We share a love of art.

  145. George Phillies

    Discussion went on for a long time. Extension declined. Many speakers, almost all against. Keeps going on. Still talking after end of time.

    motion finally defeated.

    Another motion– if a bequest is received. bonusses for bequest go to people who had nothing to do with it. I think. Discussion is hard to follow. Not clear what Reimers is proposing that is not covered by current rules. Reimers asked what his motion is. Reimers is being told that his motion duplicates what the LNC has already done. Sarwark explains that LNC cannot change current contracts so the motion is out of order.

    They are now recessing.

  146. Chuck Moulton

    ludlow wrote:

    Specifically to Mr. Moulton:

    I posted you a lengthy response. I posted you a link to a professional resume. I did not see a response. You can say what you will, but I spend just as much time sharing information with you all as I do with everyone else.

    I didn’t see your comment. I read the comment thread linearly and see recent comments. When a person posts for the first time on IPR his comment is held in moderation, then (when approved) is inserted to the thread in chronological order of the post time. Therefore I missed your comment. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/02/libertarian-national-committee-meeting-streaming-now/#comment-1321907

    ludlow wrote:

    To those few Libertarians who actually do believe in the idea of a market (and I?m sure there are plenty reading), I?m advocating leading the web changes because this is what I do for a living. I?ve owned and operated a successful web software shop (generally for heavy data-driven sites) for the past 8 years and have done this professionally for just about 20 years. My firm has done very well. If it helps, my professional resume is available here: http://www.kevinludlow.com/resume/

    So to the individual who essentially wrote that changing the website will make the sky fall, this is an absolutely false answer. While it might have been true within the confines of the traditional Libertarian method of business, it doesn?t actually happen like that in the real-world market. My company wouldn?t be where it is if that were the case.

    I?ve launched many large scale sites just in the past year and not a single one of those sites had any of the problems you?re referring to. They DID ? when they were on our development and testing servers ? but not when they went into production. That?s how web launches are done professionally. A thorough maintenance schedule would also be implemented and the website would be designed for minimal maintainability in the first place. ?also in accordance with best practices.

    Great! Somehow in all your emails to the LNC (I read every LNC business list email) you never mentioned anything about the transition process. All you talk about is design/style.

    If you can manage a transition process well, that’s wonderful. It certainly hasn’t been done in the past. The transition from FoxPro to Raiser’s Edge was a disaster… it resulted in states not receiving working dumps for a year and a lot of records being screwed up (e.g., deceased coming back to life, etc.). During the website transition a decade ago, the LNC meeting minutes archive and the Success 97 and Success 99 seminars were removed.

    See the IT Committee discussion and report (pp. 15-16, pp. 51-59):
    https://www.lp.org/archives/lnc20061111.pdf

    If there will be no transition hiccups, that’s wonderful news. You still didn’t address all the scripts on the website right now and the technical considerations Shane discussed.

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/02/libertarian-national-committee-meeting-february-20-21-2016-in-phoenix-az/#comment-1320379

    ludlow wrote:

    So best I can tell from the comment, the attitude is that changing the website under my direction will just fail. We?ll waste $20k. The sky will fall. Babies will wake up with leprosy. The book of revelation proves true, etc. etc. Except that in the real-world, the one whereby successful people are rewarded and unsuccessful people are not, having the proper experience, infrastructure, and team to do these things makes your comments blatantly false.

    No, I never said that. I said I’m concerned about giving management of the transition job who only talks about design/style, wants to remove content (supposedly… though I see you have now clarified that), and never mentions a transition plan to minimize problems.

    It’s great that you’re finally talking about a transition plan! It’s not my fault it’s the first I’ve heard of it though.

    ludlow wrote:

    But if you really still disagree with that, you?ve got a few hours to Phoenix, make your way onto the LNC, and deliver your fear-ridden speech to the body. They might be convinced.

    It’s not a fear-ridden speech. It’s a plea to have a solid plan in place rather than adopting ideas without considering unintended consequences or costs.

    If I thought that the LNC would do something horrible, but I could convince them to avoid doing that horrible thing if I only bought a plane ticket, then I would absolutely fly to Phoenix. It may be impossible to get on the LNC on such short notice; however, after outlining your credentials you seem ignorant of my credentials: I previously served as vice-chair of the LNC, I started the LP Facebook page which has 550,000 likes, I previously chaired 2 state affiliates, and I previously chaired the LNC IT Committee (see the report linked above). This is not my first time to the rodeo.

    ludlow wrote:

    I have been very successful at what I do in this field. Websites are NOT free contrary to what this group believes. Successful web architects get paid very well for doing what they do. This is because there is value in having a properly designed, properly implemented website.

    I’ve never suggested websites are free. It’s absolutely worth it to spend money for a quality website. However, the LNC ought to take into account the cost of maintenance. Websites can be like printers: they may seem cheap upfront, but then ink costs an arm and a leg. In fact, the LNC got the people who did the Ron Paul 2008 website to make our website, then we had to pay them a thousand dollars whenever we wanted tiny changes.

    I favor spending money on a quality website, but choosing a popular backend that can be updated by many developers (e.g., WordPress).

    ludlow wrote:

    Furthermore, there is absolutely NO intention to remove Libertarian content from the website. This crowd has an astounding ability to spin half-truths and bake them into something entirely different. I will clarify specifically what is meant by moving them around.

    The FRONT PAGE of a website (for a non-profit, business, or any other organization) is NOT to leave people with walls of text. It is to create a fast and positive impression and to get a call to action.

    Great! I’d suggest being clearer when you write and speak then to avoid future misunderstandings.

    ludlow wrote:

    The idea that somebody on this thread would write that I want to create a theater website is incredibly disingenuous as to why I referenced that website.

    That wasn’t me.

    ludlow wrote:

    These things need to be fixed. We will NOT be taking $20k from the party. This has already been thoroughly discussed, but I?m happy to say it again. We will solicit donations to do it.

    Great!

    I actually am not against using general funds for revamping the website. If we can get targeted donations, even better — but the website is critical infrastructure.

    ludlow wrote:

    If some of you would spend a fraction of the time on the phone with donors instead of reminding me how shitty this effort is going to be, we?d already have the money to do it.

    Again, you seem to misunderstand. There are lots of people in the LP (myself included) who have seen transitions mismanaged and are worried of a repeat of those disasters. We’re not saying the sky is going to fall because of you. We’re saying the sky has fallen in the past, we have documented evidence of this, and you don’t seem as on top of the process as we would hope to prevent similar problems. (You also seem to lack the institutional memory to be aware of these past issues.) That’s a matter of you not communicating your transition plan and experience, not a matter of us being overly pessimistic.

    ludlow wrote:

    I would just ask you to consider that just because I haven?t the time or energy or whatever it is to explain things as thoroughly as I possibly could doesn?t mean that it?s inherently bad.

    Further, it?s not as if anyone reached out and asked me. There was just an assumption of what it meant. My obligation today is not to ensure that you guys understand what I?m getting at fully, but rather that the members of the LNC who are voting on these issues do understand. I?m still trying to take the time to share with you here.

    So again, I understand what you mean and will attempt to write it differently in the future. But I would also ask that when in doubt, you (and others) can reach out and ask what is meant by it rather than opening up a conversation that now has 20-30 comments detailing misinformation. Would that be a fair compromise?

    Sorry about that. I have reached out to LNC members about some issues in the past; however, I’ve found many LNC members don’t see the LNC business list as an ongoing dialog that ordinary LP members should jump in on. I will reach out to you in the future if I need clarification on something. Thanks.

    ludlow wrote:

    Also, the convention app that somebody mentioned above is very nice. I am happy to post screen shots of it. It cost me $6,000 out of pocket AND I hired my own software company to do it (which I would not do for any of these projects). Software is not cheap; software is not free. And it should not be. There is a well-defined market for it. I live by this market (quite literally in the sense of it being what I earn).

    I heard that part of the meeting. Sounds like a wonderful app! Thanks for doing it.

    ludlow wrote:

    These images were just part of the mock ups and give the general idea of the layout. The user swipes back to go back a page. The user clicks on a row to advance the flow.

    I will post a demo video of it in action sometime in the next week or so.

    http://imgur.com/a/6YrAb

    Looks great!

  147. ludlow

    Chuck:

    Great. We’re on the same page. I am not as dedicated to reporting every action as you guys are. I would apologize for that, but it’s unlikely to change and so I don’t want to give you a hollow apology. My focus is just different than yours.

    I am aware of your background and don’t believe I have written anything negative towards it. Now you know mine too. I’m very good at what I do. I get paid well for what I do. I have many, many years of huge successes in large markets with big dollar companies (both private and public, both startup and huge corporate).

    I’m sorry you’ve had people half-ass these efforts in the past. I definitely cannot say I’m surprised. I focus on style because to the external world, style IS the most important thing. This in no way means I neglect the engine, but in 20 years of delivering projects, nearly 100% of clients will respond positively to a broken system that looks amazing over a badass functioning system that looks ugly. It’s just psychology. Again, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t all get done.

    Anyway, I’m glad we have an understanding at this point.

  148. Chuck Moulton

    ludlow wrote:

    I focus on style because to the external world, style IS the most important thing. This in no way means I neglect the engine, but in 20 years of delivering projects, nearly 100% of clients will respond positively to a broken system that looks amazing over a badass functioning system that looks ugly. It’s just psychology. Again, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t all get done.

    I’ve found libertarians have a different psychology than much of the world. The tech saavy folks will feel talked down to or ignored if you only talk about style, ignoring tech under the hood. The ideological folks will feel defensive if you malign content. I fall in both categories, as do others on this thread.

    Just something to keep in mind for the future.

  149. Richard Winger

    I see above that George Phillies claims I want to sue Massachusetts. That is not true. I advocate that people in Massachusetts lobby the state legislature to improve primary ballot access for small qualified parties. I have said that the Green Party and the United Independent Party would help with that effort (they are the two ballot-qualified parties in Massachusetts, other than Dem and Rep). Lobbying for better ballot access has worked in a majority of states in the nation. It should be easy to show that the Massachusetts primary ballot access laws are a disgrace. They are so bad that in 2014, six of the nine US House districts in Massachusetts only had one candidate on the ballot. Massachusetts was the only state in the US in 2014 in which a majority of US House races only had one candidate on the ballot.

  150. George Phillies

    I see Richard Winger has reading comprehension problems.

    IN ” Redpath — there are people in MA who do not want ballot access for LP. Winger advocates for MA ballot access and suing. Redpath claims he does not know MA state laws. Redpath consults with Winger a Californian about MA (and not with MA)”

    that is REDPATH speaking. I am merely summarizing what is being said at the LNC meeting by LNC members. I suppose I could have wondered whether what Redpath said about Winger was true.

  151. George Phillies

    I have no idea whether or not Redpath was correctly representing what Winger may or may not have said.

    Redpath appeared to me to claim that he did not know how our Massachusetts ballot access laws work.

  152. George Phillies

    Chuck Moulton writes: ” Katz is asking Redpath whether the committee approved the committee report. Redpath says he wrote it, the other committee members didn’t approve it, but to his knowledge no one objected.”

    I only have the answer from a committee member for the last report, but for the last report the absence of an objection is related to the issue that the committee never saw the report.

  153. Andy

    The Ballot Access Committee has only had one meeting, and that was via teleconference in March or April of last year. Nothing of substance came out of that meeting, and the committee has done nothing since then.

    It should be clearly apparent to all that the LNC Ballot Access Committee is a sham.

    Why not be honest and just disband this committee if it is not going to do anything?

  154. Stewart Flood

    I agree with Chuck’s comments about things in the past having been mismanaged. I wasn’t in the party when the conversion to RE took place, but I’ve heard from others that it was a nightmare. Historical data was dropped. From what I’ve seen of NB, the same thing could easily happen if we went that route.

    I remember talking with Mark and others (still can’t believe what happened with that horrible house fire that gave him the stroke that killed him) many times about ways to make our systems better. But suggestions from those of us who actually work in IT have fallen on deaf ears for many years.

    No, websites are not free. Nothing is free. But websites and technical IT services have been donated by some in the past. I would much rather (and have) taken time to drive to DC to fix a server issue and donate my services than donate hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay someone else to fix it. When we did the last “refresh” of hardware in 2010, the IT committee (who are/were donating our services serving on the committee) spec’d the hardware and assisted with the transition. That saved a lot of money and got rid of equipment that wasn’t even being properly maintained by the people the party was paying to maintain them!

    So when I or others use the word free we are really saying is “donate services”. LNC members donate services. State party leaders and other activists donate services all the time. Why is it always considered wrong for people in the party, whether in leadership positions or not, to donate services if they happen to work in Information Technology?

    There is too much politicizing of our critical infrastructure and services. Should we be on a better platform? Of course! But the time to do it is in the off years, as I and others have repeatedly argued.

    But can a new website/platform be implemented during an election year? Of course it can. But we have to decide what is being converted. If the project is to redo the front-end of our public facing site, then there’s nothing wrong with change. But as a professional, who’s worked on the front-end and back ends of websites since the early 90s (and been on the Internet and in IT a lot longer than that), I see no reason to pay $20K for a website. We do have professionals in the party who have offered their design services (not me!), or offered to do it for a lot less than market rate. We have talked, and talked, and talked about getting people involved, but it keeps going down the toilet and then these costly options suddenly pop up and rash decisions are made.

    I remember watching a presentation from a party member on marketing research he did (I believe as a volunteer but a VERY qualified one) on issues to seek common ground on with voters. That was in 2006. Have we done anything with it? No, it was dropped. Everything gets dropped. We go to a convention, elect new “play politicians” to the LNC, and everything gets rebooted into their new ideas and NOTHING EVER GETS DONE. Or if it has been done, it is thrown out.

    So that said, I’d want to use an RFP for a website. A REAL RFP. And get real proposals, rather than just simply buy into “it will cost $20K!”.

    There is an RFP. Or at least I have been led to believe that there is one. I wasn’t one of the people on the IT committee working on it, but I was told one exists, or at least the start of one. Jumping out and saying “oh it is $20K!” is not thinking it through.

    We’ve heard “oh it is just $35K (or was that $50K?)” and the LNC bought it. We’ve heard all sorts of things. Are we there yet? Do we actually have functional technology anywhere even close to what the Ds and Rs use? HA! Right. Sure. In your dreams.

    We’d need closer to $20,000,000 than $20,000. (And yes, I’ve seen presentations by the guys who wrote their systems, and that is a realistic number)

    But right now I’m going to go listen to the local news and see which one of those disgusting republicans won the primary. I’ve been subjected to “did you vote?” all day, always giving the answer that I’m not a republican and I’m not going to vote in their primary. And we’ve got one more week of this crap. My bank is right next to Sander’s HQ. There are sheeples hanging around there all day long, slobbering over their “savior”. ACK! Horrible. Horrible!!!

  155. Jake Leonard

    Why does the LNC committee get to choose the convention locations? That should be brought forth to the delegates at the convention and voted upon.

  156. Thomas L. Knapp

    The Rude Mechs web site is a WordPress site running a fairly light theme that’s either out of the box or, if it was custom developed, was overcharged by about $14k for.

  157. Chuck Moulton

    The LNC discussed convention site selection. Under consideration were Atlantic City, Bellvue (Seattle), New Orleans, Renaissance Hotel in Phoenix, and Arizona Grand in Phoenix. A lot of them had weird dates. Arizona Grand had a huge beverage minimum. Bellvue had high room rates. New Orleans was around July 4, which may be too hot and have high cost holiday flying. Atlantic City has a very tiny airport only served by Spirit, so most people would fly into Philadelphia and drive or take a train for an hour.

    The LNC removed Atlantic City from consideration.

    They postponed a motion to remove the Arizona Grand (in part because they’re staying there tonight).

    Redpath wants New Orleans. Several other LNC members seem to favor the Renaissance in Phoenix. McLendon likes the Arizona Grand and thinks we should get over the beverage minimum by just eating much fancier food.

    The LNC will probably select a convention site for 2018 tomorrow morning. I’d bet on the Renaissance.

    In my opinion the LNC really ought to be negotiating free wi-fi for delegates at every location. Admittedly this is more important in presidential years than mid-terms, but it would be nice to have a lot of free social media from delegates posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc. at the convention and all their friends seeing that activity. We’re throwing away free social media opportunities when we make it difficult for our delegates to post about what they’re doing.

  158. Stewart Flood

    How could that possibly be done? The process of selecting a convention location is quite involved and requires looking at all the costs involved as well as the venue’s compatibility with our needs.

    The convention elects the LNC, and choosing the sites for future conventions is one of the things they are supposed to do. I’ve served on the convention committee, and I can tell you it is a lot of work. Yes, there is a lot of politics in it — although it is usually internal BS.

  159. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jake,

    Choosing a convention location isn’t as simple as throwing darts at a board, coming up with a list of cities, and having either the LNC or the convention vote.

    There has to be a particular venue chosen. That venue has to be available. A price has to be negotiated, as does what the party receives for that price. And in any negotiation, the negotiators need to be able to walk away if the deal is unacceptable — which they would not be able to do if a national convention had already directed them “this event will be held on this particular date at this particular site.”

  160. Stewart Flood

    Atlantic City? Drat! I wanted the free gambling! You can’t even have a friendly poker game in private in South Carolina. Jail. And they do successfully prosecute people for playing in their own home.

    Some hotels have free wifi. I believe we will have that in Orlando. The selection was over four years ago, but I am pretty sure we’ll have it.

  161. Jake Leonard

    Not that it matters anyway…..if it’s not held in the Midwest, it automatically presents an unnecessary financial burden for me.

  162. Andy

    Is it not disingenuous for the LNC to have a Ballot Access Committee that does nothing? I would call it disingenuous myself.

    I have got to wonder how many other LNC committees do not do anything.

  163. Stewart Flood

    BTW, the news reports about Trump “sweeping” South Carolina are possibly misleading. The republicans allocate by both state-wide and congressional districts. Looking at the voter turnout, it is possible that Rubio may have taken a congressional district. It will be close, since the reported “sweep” is by minor percentage points in some counties.

  164. ludlow

    Thomas:

    I know. Everyone on here is an expert in every field in the world except for the one that actually pays them.

  165. Thomas L. Knapp

    “ludlow,”

    And some of us have either designed web sites ourselves or paid to have them designed and have some idea of the costs involved in custom development.

    Your “Rude Mechs” web site consists of an out of the box $59 theme, with minor customization, running on free software. It also uses free software for ticket sales and donation processing.

    If your board paid $15k for development of that site, your board got ripped off. It really is just that simple.

  166. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    That said, I also believe the bylaws and platform committees make far too many proposals, which prevents proposals from the floor. There really ought to be time for proposals from the floor.

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    That is by design.

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    Yes, and it’s terrible.

    It has been pointed out to me that we got through the entire bylaws committee report in 2010 (Karlan was bylaws committee chair), and the convention chose to move on to platform rather than consider bylaws amendments from the floor. My bad… I hadn’t remembered that.

  167. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Addition to Secretary report: Mattson spoke of issues with states not having copies of current bylaws on sites and thus her archive is incomplete. States do not always respond to her inquiries.

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    She’s right. I looked at all the state bylaws to figure out something for the bylaws committee and wrote up a report of which states have no bylaws posted. When I get home I’ll share that list in comments here.

    This is what I noted as of December 23, 2015:

    Delaware has no bylaws listed on its website.
    DC has no website.
    Mississippi says its website is coming soon.
    Montana has no bylaws listed on its website.
    Nebraska has no bylaws listed on its website.
    New Hampshire has no bylaws listed on its website.
    North Dakota has no bylaws listed on its website.

    Sidenote: The most useless websites I’ve seen have been the ones designed by NationBuilder. Most of the websites lacking bylaws were those.

  168. ATBAFT

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    “That said, I also believe the bylaws and platform committees make far too many proposals, ”

    Amen. One would think after 40+ years, the by-laws would only be needing a little tweak here and there that, like in most organizations, are barely controversial. Given that delegates have many months to submit their “perfect solutions” to the Platform Committee, one would think submissions from the floor could be dealt with fairly swiftly.

  169. George Phillies

    “It has been pointed out to me that we got through the entire bylaws committee report in 2010”

    Yes, but the intervening steps in the process were iirc a bit strange. Wasn’t this the convention where the presenting committee asked the convention to recess so they could have a committee meeting?

    I summarized some bits from the above livestream and forwarded to the state chairs. See below. Sometimes I miss a point on what is being said, so participants get to kibitz on this.

    Esteemed colleagues:
    (and other folks with a direct interest or who contributed to the liveblog).

    I listed to the livestream of the LNC meeting. You can see a real-time typed summary here:
    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/02/libertarian-national-committee-meeting-streaming-now

    I will discuss what I thought I heard people at the meeting say. I will focus on Presidential ballot access, and a few other issues having financial implications. Note if you find a recording that “Presidential Ballot Access” is called “ballot access” by some speakers in the LNC meeting.

    It appears that there are serious difficulties with Presidential ballot access. The difficulties appear to translate as “money”.

    Illinois will be very expensive. I believe I heard Dan Wiener say that Illinois and Pennsylvania together would cost $130,000, and he did not see where the LNC had the money or the cash flow.

    Pennsylvania ballot access will cost $90,000, of which the LNC is proposing to put up $70,000, leaving $20,000 to be covered by the State Party.

    The Ohio State Party wants to do a party petition, which would require 35,000 signatures. Redpath believed this is impractical, and wants Ohio to do a candidate petition, which requires far fewer signatures.

    Bill Redpath indicated that he would be contacting Presidential campaigns. He claimed that we need to communicate to the Presidential candidates that if they want to be on the ballot everywhere they need to step up soon in terms of ballot access. He noted that there are people saying that Presidential Ballot access is an LNC responsibility, and claimed that it was a responsibility for everyone.

    The effect of the Oregon issue on 50-state ballot access was ignored, a point caught by Caryn Harlos.

    Redpath claimed that there are people in Massachustts who are against Libertarian Presidential ballot access. Katz went through a series of statements in the Ballot Access report about Massachusetts that are false. Redpath claimed he did not know Massachusetts ballot access rules. It appeared to me that he was fond of asking Richard Winger rather than contacting state affiliates about these questions.

    I had the sense that no one had racked up what had to be spent when, what the plausible cash flow was for each of the months this year, and therefore how much money had to be cash on hand at the start of this year. It’s a bit late for this.

    Holding the LNC meetings in the DC area would svae $1500-2000 per meeting. Choosing a new meeting site each time costs the LNC a great deal of effort.

    The claim was made that if we switch the data base from Raiser’s Edge that the RE people will not give us the credit card records for the continuing donors. The claim seems a mite odd, but that was what I heard.

    Chuck Moulton reported “Sounds like the 2016 national convention is going to have no Internet access without paying $30,000. Apparently this wasn?t covered in the contract.”

    For the recent duplicator lease, Katz noted and was not challenged that we are paying 51% interest over off-the-shelf purchase cost by paying for the gadget over 5 years. On this topic: Redpath appeared to claim that promising to pay a large amount over years to pay for equipment is not borrowing, and therefore the lease was not a bylaws violation. M Carling sensibly noted that when we leased the Watergate building the LNC believed a 2/3 vote was required; the objective of the bylaw is to keep the LNC from raising money to be raised by future LNCs.

    There was extended debate over the LNC paying the Executive Director $8000 for moving expenses, when this was apparently not in his contract. Apparently the then-national-chair (Neale) said something or other related to this, the LNC did or did not know, and the cost faded into obscure parts of the budget. In the end, Wes was allowed by the LCN at this meeting to keep the money. The debate on this felt as though it went on as long as the debate over the report of the ballot acess committee, which is going through close to two orders of magnitude more money.

    The Hilton Hotel people apparently tried to dun the LNC for hotel bills for LPEX, which they apparently claimed be unpaid. They were told LPEX was not an LNC event, and went away. It was impossible to tell what was actually going on between LPEX and the hotel, and no assumption should be made on this topic on the basis of this report.

  170. Michael H. Wilson

    Four hours on bylaws every two years is poor management. Do we have any turnover on that committee?

  171. Michael H. Wilson

    And the Nevada and the California parties had a convention and did not pay their bill. Well ain’t that a friendly howdy-doo.

  172. Thomas L. Knapp

    On the one hand, yeah, four hours on bylaws every two years seems like a lot.

    On the other hand, given the number of appeals to the Judicial Committee over the last few years, the bylaws are clearly imperfect and need some work.

    And on yet the third hand, the same clique that’s spent so much time creatively interpreting the bylaws to mean anything they want those bylaws to mean over the last few years, thus leading to the Judicial Commitee appeals, seems to be the main force acting on the bylaws committee, presumably so that they can move on from creative interpretation to having bylaws that really DO say they get to do anything they want to do.

  173. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    When this starts back up I will only be able to do sporadic notes like yesterday… I hope someone will be able to take over.

  174. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Lark moved for a 10:30 recess for thirty minutes to allow checkout. Agenda was amended.

    McLendon moved to have five minutes to discuss Ron Paul to be a speaker at Convention. This was allowed. This would be up to the Convention Oversight Committee (three of which were there). Hayes has reached out to people such as Michael Moore to speak at convention, which has resulted in some negative feedback. (not sure how much of that was serious)

  175. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Ludlow is giving a much better outline in the past for implementation than he has in the past. He acknowledges the problem-riddled history making people gun-shy. He discusses the timing of when the site should be done, and that this time it is because it is a presidential year that it should be delayed, but that there will always be reasons.

    There is already 10K allocated.

    He is arguing for the 20K budget and acknowledges the “chatter” that this is considered high by some people.

  176. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Ludlow is appealing for permission to spearhead a fundraising effort to get the additional 10K.

    Goldstein moves for Ludlow to be appointed head of a Website Development Committee with two other members of that body of his choosing (more specifics I couldn’t keep up) including the power to execute contracts to redesign the website up to 10K and additional funds …

  177. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    McLendon liked what he heard about bidding out the website development. This means Ludlow will need to produce a spec sheet that gets reviewed by the body… to make sure that the plan is what the Body will agree with.

  178. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Dan,

    If you reach out to Michael Moore, you have been dropped on your head.

  179. Chuck Moulton

    My concern is that the website development committee is being given too much power.

    There are other considerations that ought to be taken into account beyond a design firm that would make a good looking website for under $20,000. It’s also important to consider maintenance — how much future updates will cost, whether we’d be bound to the same firm for updates, whether we own any code built for us and can modify it, whether the code is popular enough (e.g., WordPress) to find other developers, whether it is easy for staff to use, etc. The website development committee therefore may be binding the party to an amount of money over the long term far beyond $20,000.

  180. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    McLendon withdrew his amendment. That is unfortunate IMHO. I think such an amendment would go a long way to build consensus.

  181. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I am having a hard time even following what Olsen is saying.

    Discussion extended… ???

  182. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Chuck that is my concern. That committee is given way too much power. It is rife for dissent…warranted or not.

  183. Chuck Moulton

    Sigh. They are spending 45 minutes talking about where the $10,000 is coming from.

    This is ridiculous! The money is tangential. The actual oversight from the LNC ought to be whether (and how) we want to make drastic changes to one of the Libertarian Party’s main asset: it’s website.

  184. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Dan, I will not stop yelling about the messing around with Oregon and losing our ballot access. Don’t you have socialists to invite to convention or something?

  185. Daniel Hayes

    I would appreciate it if you don’t report that I did things that I did not do…and then act like I did the things I did not do.
    I am in the process of inviting legendary capitalists and apparently we are going to ask Ron Paul.

  186. George Phillies

    I have tried a pessimistic analysis of what ballot access will cost this year. In some cases I have put in rather different numbers. However in some cases where I am familiar with the ground the Redpath numbers do not appear plausible. Also, this is the pessimistic estimate, which falls just short of $400,000.

    For example, in MA last time the rate was bargained down, by Dave Blau, to $3 a signature. The need is 10,000 valid signatures+ a safety margin, meaning that you need about 15000 raw signatures or $45,000. There are some volunteers who by stretch might account for $5000 of signatures.
    AL 15,000
    CT 25,000
    DC 15,000
    IL 75,000
    IA 3,000
    KY 15,000
    MA 40,000
    NH 15000
    NJ 2000
    NY 45000
    OH 20000
    PA 100000
    RI 3000
    SD 10000

  187. George Phillies

    Why are you inviting a Civil War historical reconstructionist so speak at our convention? We are tarred often enough with the white racist tag.

  188. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I am commenting what I heard in the audio Dan, you are free to rebut. The fact that it was even suggested horrifies me.

  189. Stewart Flood

    So they’re creating a new website committee and giving it authority to screw everything up without having to go back to the LNC to get approval on which one of their pals they give the money to?

  190. Chuck Moulton

    Benedict is pointing out possible conflicts for Ludlow. He says Ludlow is on a Millennial Caucus which aims to replace every LNC member at the next convention with a millennial (born 1981-2000).

    Ludlow website motion:
    Olsen – Y
    Marsh – Y
    Katz – Y
    Ludlow – Y
    Riemers – Y
    Feldman – Y
    Lark – Y
    Redpath – Y
    Wiener – Y
    McLendon – A
    Johnson – N
    Hagan – Y
    Goldstein – Y
    Vohra – Y
    Mattson – Y
    Sarwark – A

    Passes 13-1-2.

  191. Chuck Moulton

    Stewart Flood wrote:

    So they’re creating a new website committee and giving it authority to screw everything up without having to go back to the LNC to get approval on which one of their pals they give the money to?

    Yes, they created a new committee with unlimited power over the website. Then they spent the whole time debating an irrelevant $10,000.

  192. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Crazy amount of power given to an LNC member with an agenda to change the party.

    HUGE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

  193. Stewart Flood

    A conflict of interest? I’m proctoring a cyber security competition today (i.e. babysitting) and can’t listen to the audio. Is it a real conflict, or is Wes just throwing darts?

  194. Chuck Moulton

    Convention hotels:

    Arizona Grand was eliminated.

    Bellvue hotel was eliminated.

    There is now a motion by Goldstein to pick the Renaissance in Phoenix as our 2018 convention site.

  195. Stewart Flood

    So we have this year’s Pojunis. Only this time he got smart and asked for just enough money to steal that there won’t be a huge push to get the money back.

  196. Chuck Moulton

    Stewart Flood wrote:

    So we have this year’s Pojunis. Only this time he got smart and asked for just enough money to steal that there won’t be a huge push to get the money back.

    I’ve never gotten that impression. Ludlow has never asked for LNC money for himself or for a company / organization he runs. He is asking for money to pay a firm/designer that isn’t his. I have concerns about putting unilateral authority in one person to decide the direction of the website. I don’t currently have concerns that money is being funneled to a crony.

  197. Chuck Moulton

    Wiener and Mattson seem to be researching the remaining 2 convention sites during the break. For example, Wiener is inquiring about the ability of delegates to setup wifi hotspots. It’s good that someone is looking into this.

  198. Stewart Flood

    When we chose the sites for 2010, 2012 and 2014 we were able to address wifi. We built our own network for 2010, since they would not let us have wifi (outside contractor). 2012 wasn’t an issue, but we still had to put in our own localized wifi in some areas, and 2014 was “free” but somewhat spotty.

    When we discussed 2016 with Rosen’s people we were going to be able to get wifi. I left the LNC at the 2012 convention and the contract wasn’t yet signed, so I’m a bit concerned that wifi was somehow taken out of the mix. And four years later we haven’t even decided on 2018’s location? FOUR YEARS LATER???

    Wish I could be somewhere that I could hear the audio, but I’ll survive. I’ll accept Chuck’s assessment of the conflict situation, and I agree that the danger is in one person having that much “power” over the main image of the party.

    And looking at his “app” (looks like a 30 minute class project) and the website he gave us a link to (an overly busy wordpress site), I’m not so sure he’s the best choice for this.

  199. Chuck Moulton

    Apparently the LNC didn’t realize the audio feed was on over the break.

    BEHIND THE SCENES NEWSFLASH: Katz talked about a hoarder family that found a turtle which had been missing since 1982.

  200. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    My comment was in spam… (put in wrong email addy when on my phone… and it got buried, so reposting it)

    Giving one person is problematic.

    Giving one person that has a fundamental agenda of a special interest group that specfically touches this area and is NOT the interest of general Libertarians and in fact openly says that power needs to be taken by their group IS A HUGE CONFLICT.

  201. George Phillies

    “Benedict is pointing out possible conflicts for Ludlow. He says Ludlow is on a Millennial Caucus which aims to replace every LNC member at the next convention with a millennial (born 1981-2000).”

    I have been in touch with these people, and Benedict’s claim appears to be false. I was invited to be on their leadership caucus. This lasted until I discovered that one of their ideas is eliminating the paper newsletter. On the other hand, they are starting very late. LPLMC.com for more on them.

  202. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    My comment was in spam… (put in wrong email addy when on my phone… and it got buried, so reposting it)

    Yes, I’m amazed I haven’t typoed my email address or website in the past month. I have to enter my name, email, and website almost every time I leave a comment. Before a month ago I never had to re-enter them because the site just remembered those things in a cookie. I’ve brought this to the site’s attention many, many times. It’s really damn annoying.

  203. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Benedict’s claim is partly correct. They are not deadset on that timeframe of birth date. IOW non-millenials are welcome, though I find it said in one breath and taken away in another. But ostensibly that is the case. That isn’t the issue for me. It is a special interest group that wants to completely re-focus the Party. Which is fine, that is what Caucuses are for. I am part of one. But part of their specific agenda includes things like the website and messaging, and they concede it is going in an entirely different direction. Whether they are right or not is beside the point. The point is that a key member of that Caucus is on the LNC (no problem so far) but that one LNC member has now been giving nearly absolute authority on decision making for something that will inevitably push that special interest group’s agenda, which is NOT the agenda of general Libertarians.

    This a HUGE conflict of interest, and I am not going to cease pointing this out. Big mistake here.

  204. Chuck Moulton

    Vohra and Sarwark both pointed out New Orleans is a better destination city for an off-year convention, as it could encourage young people and families to attend.

    2018 convention site location poll:
    Olsen – Phoenix (Glendale)
    Marsh – New Orleans
    Katz – Abstain
    Hayes – New Orleans
    Riemers – Phoenix (Glendale)
    Feldman – New Orleans
    Lark – New Orleans
    Redpath – New Orleans
    Wiener – Phoenix (Glendale)
    McLendon – New Orleans
    Johnson – Phoenix (Glendale)
    Hagan – New Orleans
    Goldstein – New Orleans
    Vohra – New Orleans
    Mattson – Phoenix (Glendale)
    Sarwark – New Orleans

    5 – Phoenix (Glendale)
    10 – New Orleans

    It seems like the 2018 convention will be in New Orleans.

    Mattson moves that the 2020 convention be in Phoenix (Glendale) at the Renaissance.

  205. Chuck Moulton

    Mattson’s motion failed by a show of hands (7-8).

    Now they are discussing Riemers’ motion regarding removing the policy manual provision requiring background checks for employees.

  206. Jake Leonard

    “Benedict is pointing out possible conflicts for Ludlow. He says Ludlow is on a Millennial Caucus which aims to replace every LNC member at the next convention with a millennial (born 1981-2000).”

    “Benedict Arnold” needs to do some fact checking. The Millennial generation started in 1982 and ended in 2003.

    And not like having some Millennials on the LNC committee would be a bad thing…..some of these baby boomers and GenXers (the ones being detriment to the party) on the committee need to go!

  207. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Having GOOD PEOPLE on the LNC is good thing. Libertarians appealing to discrimination based on age is appalling to me.

  208. Michael H. Wilson

    Any reason given for not selecting Phoenix for 2020? I thought that was a good idea and good planning. It helps to get started early.

  209. Chuck Moulton

    Eliminate background checks for employees:
    Olsen – N
    Marsh – N
    Katz – N
    Ludlow – N
    Riemers – Y
    Feldman – N
    Lark – N
    Redpath – N
    Wiener – N
    McLendon – N
    Johnson – Y
    Hagan – N
    Goldstein – N
    Vohra – A
    Mattson – N
    Sarwark – A

    It fails 2-12-2.

  210. Jake Leonard

    I won’t argue with that, Caryn, but there are some people on that committee that really need to go buh-bye. Who cares if Ludlow represents the Millennial caucus? At least we have someone in my generation on the board!

  211. Jake Leonard

    I stand corrected on my last comment – Ludlow is apparently Generation X – not even GenY/Millennial.

  212. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I don’t care if he is on a Caucus. I am too. But when he is given such control over an area that is their projected goals and is stated as changing the direction of the power that is inappropriate for the LNC to do. Which is why I supported McLendon’s motion. Ludlow’s expertise is without question IMHO. He should be on this project. He should not have this much control. It is giving a special interest Caucus too much control and patently unfair to the other special interest groups. Perhaps, if he wishes to avoid the appearance of such, the input and participation of those in other groups that more broadly represent other segments should be solicited.

    And I could give a crap about if someone on the LNC is the same age, gender, colour, hobbyist, or whatever ever irrelevant to ability qualification is given. I want good people. Be they 18 or 80.

  213. Chuck Moulton

    Adopt slogan minimum government, maximum freedom:
    Olsen – Y
    Marsh – N
    Katz – N
    Ludlow – N
    Riemers – N
    Feldman – N
    Lark – N
    Redpath – N
    Wiener – N
    McLendon – N
    Johnson – Y
    Hagan – N
    Goldstein – N
    Vohra – N
    Mattson – Y
    Sarwark – A

    3-12-1 (I think… I wasn’t following as closely as I should because I was multitasking… but the yeses and abstain are definitely right)

  214. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I agree Chuck. That conversation was frustrating. How in the world is having a consistent slogan micromanagement? So I guess if some staff members start putting out batcrap crazy ones, those will be just fine.

    SMH at LNC. They waste time on things that are not their business and utterly fail at things that are.

  215. Richard Winger

    George Phillies, at his 12:02 am Feb. 21 comment, estimates that it will cost the LP $40,000 to get our presidential nominee on the November ballot in Massachusetts.

    If the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts in 2014 had obtained 5,000 valid signatures (any registered voter could sign) to get a nominee on the ballot for Attorney General in November 2014, it is overwhelmingly likely that our nominee would have got at least 3%. The vote in Massachusetts for Attorney General in November 2014 was Martha Coakley, Democrat, 1,280,513; John Miller, Republican, 793,821. No one else was on the ballot. There was utterly no suspense that Coakley would win. For offices like Attorney General, we always get 3% if we are one of 3 choices on the ballot and if the race is not perceived as close.

    If we had done that, we would be a qualified party in Massachusetts and the expense of being on the November ballot for president would have been zero. George Phillies has a phobia about making the LP a qualified party in Massachusetts. His opinion is not based on reason or logic; it is sheer emotionalism.

    I know that when we are a qualified party in Massachusetts, then it is very tough to get our candidates for congress and partisan state and county office on our own primary ballots. We should lobby to fix that. On the other hand, when we are a qualified party and our name is on the voter registration form, our registration shoots up, as it has been shooting up all over the nation. And we could have had a presidential primary in March 2016 in Massachusetts in which the presidential candidates need no signatures and no fee to get on our presidential primary ballot, which would have been a plus.

  216. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I am off to a conference. There is discussion on requiring candidates to provide their lists to the Party. I agree with this in principle and for next presidential season. But to require this now, and then for the LNC to release this information to influence the delegates, is inappropriate IMHO, so it is a rare circumstance where I am in opposition to Sarwark.

  217. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    This was voted down but the general agreement was that it would be taken up again in email.

  218. Shane

    This is all fun to watch as its Groundhog Day again.

    You have Ludlow talking about how successful he is as an engineer which we’ve heard a dozen times over through the years. Geeks hate it when people don’t listen to them and go their way. That’s a prime reason why he should not be used.

    Hire someone to do the job on an open source platform, pay them and say thanks. Easy. A developer is easier to find than a car mechanic. If a mechanic hounded your organization saying “I demand you let me fix them cars!” they’d be kicked to the curb. Do the same with this guy.

    The LNC shouldn’t even be debating it. Wes should have secured a budget and got it done. I don’t know if he likes the drama of approval or what but the only way to get things done with any board is to go out and get it done. Ask for approval later.

    By debating all of this nonsense, the LNC is proving how useless the organization is. This political party has spent more time debating a site than it has debating political strategy. Pathetic.

  219. Chuck Moulton

    Thanks for broadcasting the meeting!

    I hope the website works out well.

    They never seemed to discuss the judicial committee clarification in the LNC meeting and how it pisses away 50 state ballot access. That is going to be a BIG problem going forward.

  220. George Phillies

    Readers will note reference to the Libertarian Millennial scheme for jettisoning the paper newsletter.

    I did a short count on my state’s national party members.

    If we got to electronic-only distribution, we lose touch with everyone who has not supplied the national party with an email address, either because they are not a computer jock and do not use email regularly or because they have chosen not to divulge their email to the LNC.

    We lose contact with about 40% of the membership, right there. That’s positively brilliant.

    Also, my state party offers both a PDF and a paper newsletter. It is painfully evident that the renewal rates among electronic subscribers are appreciably lower than among paper subscribers.

    I will deal with Winger’s claims, which are not supported by anyone on our state committee, later.

  221. Matt Cholko

    Another thing about electronic newsletters – many end up in spam folders, or are sent to catch-all, barely used e-mail addresses. So, even among the members whose e-mail addresses we have, the number of real recipients is lower.

  222. Mark Axinn

    >NY 45000

    George, while I would love to have $45,000 for the New York petition drive, we do it lean and mean here. The last one (two years ago) cost $38,000 of which LPNY paid 20K and National 18K.

  223. Mark Axinn

    >“Benedict Arnold” needs to do some fact checking.

    Jake, obviously you like most Americans erroneously think Benedict Arnold was a traitor. He may have betrayed George Washington, but he was loyal to liberty throughout his entire life.

    I recommend that you read “Abducting Arnold” by Becky Akers to obtain a true understanding of who he was and his motivations. http://www.amazon.com/Abducting-Arnold-Becky-Akers-ebook/dp/B00H6J50T4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456097890&sr=1-1.

  224. Andy

    Mark, market forces could easily drove petition rates higher this year. It is actually already happening, and if a well financed independent candidate for President gets in the race, expect the rates to go even higher.

    So it may be necessary to spend more money on ballot access in New York than was spent laat time.

    Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

  225. George Phillies

    Mark,

    That’s why I called the estimate pessimistic. Does LPNY have $20,000 available this year? Ditto in other states I calculated roughly what it would cost if the LNC did it.

    George

  226. George Phillies

    Caryn, Chuck, Thanks for your fine work liveblogging parts of the meeting. It made a big difference.

  227. Jill Pyeatt

    won’t argue with that, Caryn, but there are some people on that committee that really need to go buh-bye

    Yes, there are definitely people on the Ex Com who could use a new hobby. I’ve been too busy to look into the Millennial Caucus, but the report that they want to replace everyone on the Ex Com is distressing. It’s hard to think a bunch of newbies–and young, less experienced people, really could solve all the problems which need to be addressed.

  228. George Phillies

    “M Carling highly sensibly points out that when we leased the Watergate building the LNC believed that a 2.3 vote was required. The objective was to keep this LNC from spending money raised by future LNCs. The rejects Redpath’s claim.”

    M kindly advises me that the voice was actually Aaron Star, though he agreed with Aaron’s point.

  229. Jill Pyeatt

    And–HELLO–there is a huge conflict of interest for Ludlow to be given a large sum of money to update the website. Doesn’t his firm stand to benefit?

    Why wasn’t everyone talking about this? I don’t mind that he’s involved, since tha’s his field, but there need to be some controls set.

  230. Jill Pyeatt

    There was a comment many comments ago that the NV LP and the CA LP stiffed the hotel form the last convention (2015). WHAT??? We asked and asked what the CA LP’s obligation was and never got an answer. No one ever found minutes where money had been allocated, though, so we made the assumption that there wasn’t a financial obligation. I’m certain we were told that, or at least it was inferred.

    Does anyone have any details on this situation?

  231. George Phillies

    With respect to replacing everyone on the LNC, in my opinion Nick Sarwark is better than the alternatives known to me. Alicia Mattson is actually competent, picks up a lot of things that the rest of the committee appears to miss, and would be hard to replace. Most of the rest of the committee are undoubtedly nice people who should be given an opportunity to contribute elsewhere to the Libertarian political movement.

  232. Pingback: George Phillies: Interesting bits at the latest LNC meeting | American Third Party Report

  233. langa

    Thanks to Caryn, Chuck and George for the liveblogging.

    On the other hand, no thanks to George for again making the ridiculous suggestion that parroting Lysander freakin’ Spooner’s opinion of the Civil War somehow constitutes a “racist” position!

  234. Starchild

    Unfortunately I didn’t have time this past weekend to participate in this thread contemporaneously. Having just got through reading it, here are some of the posted comments I most appreciated, along with a few additional thoughts of my own…

    Thomas L. Knapp (February 20, 2016 at 13:26):
    “If NationBuilder was just crap, that would be one thing. But it’s more than just that one thing. NationBuilder is EXPENSIVE, PROPRIETARY crap. The LNC always goes for expensive and proprietary, apparently on the argument that if they’re paying that much for something to a particular company, that company will deliver the goods and hold future expenses down, where if they get free or cheap non-proprietary software it will cost insane amounts of money to have the software customized. In fact, once a company gets you locked into their proprietary expensive crap, everything STAYS expensive because they’ve got you over the barrel. The virtue of free or cheap non-proprietary software isn’t just that it’s free or cheap up front, it’s that there’s a huge population of developers for it, because they were able to become developers without forking over big money to the expensive proprietary crap company for the software and/or education in the software.”

    It isn’t only when buying software that many LNC members habitually choose the more expensive option. When paying for services in general, there is a disturbing tendency to avoid competitive bidding and tough negotiating, and just doing whatever they find most convenient.

    Joseph Buchman (February 20, 2016 at 15:12):
    “It seems to me, in addition to the concern about repayment of a portion of the moving expenses (a bad move, IMO, given the general agreement about the verbal terms offered by Chair Neale), there was a more significant concern about the lack of transparency in how those moving expenses were reported/recorded… That sort of thing — unclear agreements and bookkeeping that is apparently designed to hide things (or isn’t straightforward for whatever reasons) must stop.”

    Indeed – the question is, how to stop it? Seeing the apparent reluctance to hold Geoff Neale accountable for apparently negotiating an improper deal with Wes Benedict behind the LNC’s backs and trying to hide it in the books, I’m reminded of how the LNC last term handled – or failed to handle – the improper payments to Michael Cloud of over $30,000 in a similar manner. Wes doesn’t seem blameless to me here – I think he knows the lay of the land well enough to have known that the LNC would need to sign off on such an arrangement. But more important even than assigning blame or demanding accountability in any particular incident is changing the dynamics that seem to repeatedly produce these types of accountability failures. There seems to be a chronic lack of institutional spine when it comes to members of the leadership holding their own accountable, and I’m afraid fixing this is not a trivial problem. Perhaps something like separation of powers is needed, with a proper structure of incentives to make it stick.

    Chuck Moulton (February 20, 2016 at 16:23):
    “Sounds like the 2016 national convention is going to have no Internet access without paying $30,000. Apparently this wasn’t covered in the contract. RIDICULOUS!”

    If we had more transparency around contracts in general, and/or a functional committee process, someone might have raised the alarm on this before it was too late to fix it without $30K of party funds.

    Chuck Moulton (February 20, 2016 at 16:31):
    “I agree with Mattson that we shouldn’t shortchange the bylaws and platform proposals. That said, I also believe the bylaws and platform committees make far too many proposals, which prevents proposals from the floor. There really ought to be time for proposals from the floor.”

    Yes. This isn’t just some nicety. Things like allowing ample time for proposals from the floor are essential for keeping the Libertarian Party a bottom-up, grassroots organization run by its members. As in the larger society, the slow disempowerment of ordinary people by a small elite is a perpetual danger that requires eternal vigilance if we are to have leaders accountable to the masses, rather than the masses subservient to their leaders. I’m not quite cynical enough to think that the Bylaws and Platform committees using up all the time and leaving none for delegate proposals is by design – not among most members of these committees, anyway – but the lack of concern over the situation reflects a kind of elitist attitude on the part of some (disproportionately those in leadership) that sees the involvement of ordinary LP members in the party’s governance as a luxury, if not an outright nuisance.

    Chuck Moulton (February 20, 2016 at 17:14):
    “It also turns out it is impossible to transition out of Raiser’s Edge because we can’t get the credit card numbers stored of our monthly pledgers.”

    See Thomas Knapp comment quoted above about the evils of proprietary software.

    Caryn Ann Harlos (February 20, 2016 at 17:33):
    “I wrote HQ to ask about electronic gallery attendance for Party Members to the Platform and Bylaws Committees.”

    Thanks, Caryn! Transparency and the ability for party members to participate matter.

    Stewart Flood (February 20, 2016 at 20:00):
    “…when I or others use the word free we are really saying is ‘donate services’. LNC members donate services. State party leaders and other activists donate services all the time. Why is it always considered wrong for people in the party, whether in leadership positions or not, to donate services if they happen to work in Information Technology?”

    Nailed it, Stewart!

    Chuck Moulton (February 20, 2016 at 20:19):
    “…the LNC really ought to be negotiating free wi-fi for delegates at every location. Admittedly this is more important in presidential years than mid-terms, but it would be nice to have a lot of free social media from delegates posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc. at the convention and all their friends seeing that activity. We’re throwing away free social media opportunities when we make it difficult for our delegates to post about what they’re doing.”

    Unlike the Stossel show kerfuffle, I agree with Chuck here about throwing away media opportunities. Free Internet access on the convention floor and in other areas of the venue should not be treated as an optional afterthought, but often is.

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