Live-Blogging the Libertarian Party National Committee Meeting December 9-10, 2017

This will be the post for IPR readers to live-blog the LNC Meeting taking place this weekend in New Orleans on December 9-10, 2017.


Reports are still being added and that page will be updated.

Live Broadcast: The LNC will attempt to stream the meeting live on the Internet. Be advised that broadcast quality has sometimes been low and intermittent.

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.

270 thoughts on “Live-Blogging the Libertarian Party National Committee Meeting December 9-10, 2017

  1. Pingback: Region 1 Fourth Quarter Report – LNC Region 1

  2. Chuck Moulton

    In the staff report the development director recommends making the LNC chair a full time paid position. In my opinion this would be a terrible idea.

  3. paulie

    Meeting has now been called to order. Erin Adams introducing gov candidate Rex Lawhorn of Oklahoma. First ever Oklahoma LP primary.

  4. paulie

    Public comments now. Richard Fast of Louisiana, suggests renaming contribution level names such as replacing “patriot,” “minuteman” etc. Nick Sarwark thanks Paul and Whitney Bilyeu for ride from Houston to New Orleans.

  5. paulie

    Jim Lark: Monday will be 46th anniversary of LP founding. Mattson is absent due to travel delays and will not be here in person this weekend. Harlos appointed Secretary Pro Tem without objection.

  6. paulie

    Harlos roll. Bittner resigned, Moellman is at the table for region 3. Also here from LNC Redpath, Lark, Marsh, Hewitt, Demarest, Harlos, Vohra, Sarwark, Hagan, Hayes, Goldstein, Bilyeu. Erin Adams is the only alternate I see here at this time. Starchild is in town and running a little late but sent message that he will be here in a few minutes.

  7. Chuck Moulton

    I’m listening now. (I’m not so much a fan of mornings.)

    They are about to vote on adopting the agenda.

    Some people have been having problems setting up the new email setup.

    Mattson is not at the meeting. Harlos is acting as secretary for this meeting.

    They decided to leave Katz’s item on the agenda even though he’s not there — at the request of Lark.

    Bittner has resigned and Moellman is planning to resign from region 3. This will create vacancies on several LNC committees that need to be filled.

  8. paulie

    Adopting/rearranging agenda. Several items being removed from agenda due to absence of Mattson and Katz. Need to replace Moellman on IT and Ballot Access, Bittner on APRC, EPCC, Social Media Process Review Committee, one other I forgot just now.

  9. Chuck Moulton

    There were no further conflicts of interest beyond the ones included in Mattson’s supplemental report.

    Sarwark is now giving the chair’s report. He is discussing the new hires for candidate recruitment and candidate support.

  10. Chuck Moulton

    I ducked out for part of the treasurer’s report. The highlights seem to be that even though last year a $237,000 deficit was budgeted (after some raises in sending throughout the year), they ended up and a surplus; the convention has been receiving a lot of early registrations adding up to around $81,000; and the mortgage will be paid off on time if the minimum budgeted prepayments of $60,000 in off-years are made.

    Now the staff report is starting.

  11. paulie

    Discussion of the job responsibilities and performance metrics of the two new staff members, Apollo Pazell and Cara Schulz.

  12. Chuck Moulton

    Cara Schulz (candidate recruiting specialist) has a goal of 2,000 LP candidates nationwide.

    Apollo Pazell (campaign advisor) has a goal of 12-24 candidates in targeted “winnable” races for state representative in low population races that could potentially hinge on around $10,000.

  13. Starchild

    Wes Benedict (executive director) giving staff report. Talking about two new employees, Cara Schultz and Apollo Pozell (sp?) who are involved in candidate recruitment. Cara doing wide recruiting, Apollo doing targeted recruiting for state legislative races we think we may have reasonable chance of winning. Wes says goal of 2000 candidates nationwide (past cycles have typically seen around 800). In response to my question, Wes clarified that not sure how many were recruited by staff versus simply decided on their own or by other prompts to run.

  14. Starchild

    There has been snow in New Orleans, I was late getting to the meeting because a local bridge was shut down this morning (presumably due to ice, although we’d driven on it last night and there was hardly any ice and it hadn’t snowed since – typical government!)

  15. paulie

    Lauren Daugherty talking about fundraising. House party last night was not as well attended as hoped due to weather but raised what Lauren was hoping for under those circumstances. I did not understand whether she said 10k or 2k.

  16. Starchild

    Paulie – I didn’t catch the number, but it would have been 10K raised last night, not 2K, because I was at the event and at one point it was reported that $7500 had been raised.

  17. Starchild

    Lauren suggests paid national chair who can go and fundraise as a significant portion of his/her time. I don’t think this is a good idea.

  18. Starchild

    Heidi Aljenos(?) new member in the gallery comments on fundraising – says she’s a commercial driver, suggests that commercial drivers would be good prospects for Libertarian recruitment/fundraising, as many are libertarian-leaning.

  19. paulie

    Lauren suggests paid national chair who can go and fundraise as a significant portion of his/her time. I don’t think this is a good idea.

    Would require bylaws change so no action will be taken at this meeting, thus debate was cut off.

  20. Chuck Moulton

    Lauren Daugherty (development director) recommended that the chair/CEO become a paid position. Starchild suggested a better model would be a more horizontal structure so donors aren’t always looking to talk to the one person in charge. Daugherty disagrees because big donors are usually CEOs or former CEOs used to that model. Note: I serve on the bylaws committee and we have no proposal to make the chair/CEO a paid position. Daugherty also supports changing the membership level names, but suggests that it be done by staff in consultation with a special LNC subcommittee rather than off the cuff at this meeting.

  21. Starchild

    Whitney Bilyeu speaking about her concerns about going into a secret meeting (aka “executive session”) to discuss ballot access petitioning.

  22. paulie

    Before I shut down: discussion over whether that should be kept secret. Suggested compromise is possibly retroactively making some of the exec session public after the fact.

  23. Starchild

    Voting on going into secret meeting. Bilyeu abstains, Harlos abstains, Sarwark abstains, I vote no, all others at table (including alternate Larry Sharpe) voted yes.

  24. Chuck Moulton

    They debated going into executive session to discuss ballot access personnel matters. There was a majority for going into executive session. Starchild voted against. Harlos and Bilyeu opposed in the discussion but abstained in the vote. The broadcast has stopped to facilitate the executive session.

    I am going to step away from the computer for 2 hours to go to the gym and eat some food. Hopefully others will liveblog when the LNC rises from executive session. Thanks to Paulie and Starchild for their liveblogging so far.

  25. Starchild

    Discussion as to whether Dustin Nano (sp?) should be allowed to stay in meeting (Ken Moelmann requested it, on the basis that Dustin may be taking his seat after he resigns). I said it would be unfair to other potential members of the body to allow this exception.

  26. paulie

    Dustin Nanna is also managing the Ohio petition drive so it would have been germane for him to remain and comment. I do not know if he did or not, I walked down to Starbucks as I had been up til 4 am ish, up again at 7 am and my stomach did not feel like eating before the meetings so it was a good opportunity for me to grab coffee and munchies.

  27. paulie

    Meeting starting again. Starchild wants to continue til Wes gets back to start meeting. Robert Kraus informs us that Wes will be here in the next couple of minutes.

  28. Starchild

    We’re out of the secret meeting and just had a 10 minute recess. Now waiting for Wes Benedict to return to restart live streaming. I requested we wait on that before we restart the meeting.

  29. paulie

    Moellman says that individual contractors will be identifiable from situational details even if names are kept out. Sounds like it was defeated but with some yeses and abstentions.

  30. paulie

    Fails on a tie. Sarwark did not vote. Moellman moves to release contacts of exec session without any situation details that makes the individuals discussed identifiable. Hewitt moves to postpone vote to time certain so allow exactly what is to be released to be written up and deliberated on by LNC members.

  31. paulie

    Sharpe in favor of Hewitt motion. Needs 2/3 handvote. Hewitt motion passes 10-4. Nos were Starchild, Bilyeu, Demarest and Harlos.

  32. Starchild

    Roll call vote on my motion to disclose contents of secret meeting with exception of names of persons mentioned who are not on this body:

    Demarest – yes
    Moellman – no
    Lark – abstain
    Hewitt – no
    Redpath – no
    Bilyeu – abstain
    Starchild – yes
    Sharpe – no
    Hagan – yes
    Vohra – yes
    Harlos – yes
    Marsh – no
    Goldstein – no
    Hayes – yes (initially voted no, tried to change to yes after the vote, but the chair disallowed, then allowed)
    Sarwark – abstained

    6 yes, 6 no, 2 abstentions (plus the chair also abstained), the motion failed

  33. Chuck Moulton

    I’m interested in whether Pazel takes into account whether a state has the party lever. I’ve found the party lever was a huge detriment to partisan candidates because more than 1/3 of the voters simply pull R or D without thinking about individual candidates.

  34. paulie

    We are back from lunch and tour of the hotel (where will also have the national convention next year). Wes says the feed is back on, meeting will be starting soon.

  35. paulie

    I’m interested in whether Pazel takes into account whether a state has the party lever. I’ve found the party lever was a huge detriment to partisan candidates because more than 1/3 of the voters simply pull R or D without thinking about individual candidates.

    True. Luckily there is a small and shrinking number of states in that category.

  36. Chuck Moulton

    Aaron Starr and Starchild wanted an expanded role for the audit committee — doing independent investigation beyond simply hiring an auditor. There did not seem to be support for that from the rest of the committee.

  37. paulie

    . There did not seem to be support for that from the rest of the committee.

    My sense as well. On the other hand Starr and Mattson are not here, and I don’t know where Joshua Katz comes down on this but he’s not here either.

  38. George Phillies

    Massachusetts is currently paying for nationbuilder, as a result of which I have repeatedly received notices that my membership — which was good until 2019 — has expired.

  39. paulie

    Next, Awards Committee and election of awards committee. That was affiliate support before this, and there are a couple of vacancies on that … or there were some and were filled? Back to awards, Hagan, Lark, Hayes applying; up to two non-LNC members.

  40. Starchild

    Jim Lark, Tim Hagan, and one other member whose name I just missed were appointed (or reappointed in case of Lark and Hagan) to the Awards Committee.

  41. paulie

    Lark, Hagan and Hayes are on without objection. Looking for two non-LNC members to be appointed at…next in-person meeting? Email vote?

  42. Starchild

    Daniel Hayes now presenting for the Convention Committee. He took over as chair from Bette Rose Ryan, who resigned from the committee for personal reasons.

  43. Chuck Moulton

    Lark, Hagan, and Hayes were selected for the Awards Committee. There was an open advertisement by email to all LP members, but only Lark and Hagan had submitted applications. Hayes threw in his name at the meeting. Two non-LNC members are sought to fill the remaining committee slots. Starchild requested transparency from the committee. Lark and others believe discussing people’s reputations and picking award recipients ought to be confidential.

  44. Starchild

    Daniel says convention is on track to be one of our most profitable conventions. Sales going very well, including sales of vendor tables (cost = $300 or $500 depending on table location).

  45. Starchild

    Our original room block was 1,018; we’re already at 80% of that. New addendum we’re shooting for room block of 1607 (?) rooms, and on track to meet that.

  46. Starchild

    LNC Alternate Sean O’Toole (one of the members who had difficulty getting to New Orleans due to the airport closure due to snow) has arrived at the meeting.

  47. Starchild

    In response to my question about how comped guest rooms at the convention hotel are being handled and whether it will be transparent, Daniel Hayes says yes, and that plan is to make them available to donors, as way of bringing more revenue to the LP. This is good – sometimes in past such comped rooms have gone to convention organizers or insiders with little publicity/transparency.

  48. paulie

    I just booked my convention hotel room. Wow, that was expensive…

    Yeah. It was more expensive this weekend, I booked mine after LP block was sold out and before the weather caused anticipated prices to drop way down on a weekend in downtown New Orleans, so I screwed up on that one. I also booked a room for the convention at the same time.

  49. paulie

    Discussion of what counts toward life membership. I think either way they would not allow convention packages and rooms to count towards that so I’m not sure exactly what changes.

  50. paulie

    The new language is more specific and detailed. Not just rooms but goods, services and quid pro quo but contributions to voting on convention theme do count. Next is Candidate Support Committee, the other one Bittner was on that I forgot earlier. Mark Miller and Jim Turney were non-LNC who were added to the committee. The meeting to present a report to this LNC meeting of that committee did not happen. Hagan elected to replace Bittner on the committee and Goldstein elected to replace as interim chair both without objection.

  51. Starchild

    The vote on contributions was to clarify that “donations” to the LP for which something of value was granted in return (e.g. buying convention packages) will NOT count toward a life membership. Language to that effect was added to the LNC Policy Manual.

  52. paulie

    EPCC. Bittner also needs to be replaced on that one, Dr. Lark says he and Joshua Katz (absent due to weather) thank Bittner for his service. Lark nominates Redpath to replace Bittner on EPCC, Redpath accepts; Starchild nominates himself.

  53. Starchild

    Bill Redpath was chosen to fill the slot on the Employment Compensation Committee. Voting method was approval voting by signed ballot. I also sought the seat; he got 13 votes to 5 for me (not a surprise to me; the LNC majority and I do not see eye to eye on a number of different matters, including staff compensation).

  54. Starchild

    The IT Committee needs more volunteer help in building a candidate database. Goal is to let people enter a zip code and see which Libertarian candidates they can vote for.

  55. Starchild

    I was nominated by Whitney Bilyeu to fill the vacancy on the IT Committee vacated by Ken Moellman, and accepted. There being no other nominations, I was appointed to the position.

  56. paulie

    Credentials committee needs interim. Hayes, Goldstein move for Emily Salvette. Starchild objects to putting the same person on over and over and over.

  57. Starchild

    Daniel Hayes moves to appoint Emily Salvette as interim chair of the Credential Committee. Caryn Ann Harlos nominates Susan Hogarth; I seconded.

  58. paulie

    Harlos moves to move consideration til tomorrow so we can check whether Salvette and/or Hogarth are willing to serve. Passes without objection.

  59. Starchild

    Interim Credentials Committee chair appointment postponed until tomorrow morning after discussion, to see whether Susan Hogarth and/or Emily Salvette want the position. Perhaps other potential interim chair candidates may also materialize in the meantime??

  60. Andy

    How about nominating somebody who has actual experience in ballot access to the Ballot Access Committee?

    I am more qualified than anyone on there.

  61. paulie

    How about nominating somebody who has actual experience in ballot access to the Ballot Access Committee?

    I am more qualified than anyone on there.

    Has to be LNC member.

  62. paulie

    There are 3 LNC member slots on the committee and Ken’s was one of them so has to be replaced with LNC member only. That’s why they are not able to appoint Dustin now.

  63. paulie

    I think the Goldstein motion as amended by Redpath to postpone the vote to email passed. However there was something about a bad count that I did not quite catch so I could be wrong. Ken Moellman is presented by LNC with a plaque thanking him for his service. There is also a suggestion (Sharpe? Hayes?) to thank Bette Rose Ryan for her past service on Convention Oversight Committee. Next is Caryn Ann Harlos to present Historical Preservation Committee report.

  64. Andy

    How about an LNC member with some actual ballot access experience? It is absurd to have unqualified people holding these type 8f positions, especially when there are better qualified people in the party.

  65. paulie

    How about an LNC member with some actual ballot access experience? It is absurd to have unqualified people holding these type 8f positions, especially when there are better qualified people in the party.

    That’s the reasoning behind the motion to postpone the vote to see if Dustin will become eligible by being elected to LNC. Do you have another suggestion?

  66. paulie

    Hayes speaking for Social Media Process Review Committee. No meeting and no report. Hewitt, Starchild nominate Erin Adams to fill vacancy created by Brett Bittner’s resignation.

  67. Chuck Moulton

    I’ve been listening, but you all have already been doing a good job liveblogging everything.

    I am a little worried about Starchild on the IT Committee. Starchild has done great things several places, but IT clearly doesn’t seem to be an area of expertise.

    Similarly, the Ballot Access Committee is a very important committee which deserves some sort of expertise in the subject.

    I have to leave soon for the Montgomery County LP holiday party, with which the LNC has a habit of scheduling meetings.

  68. paulie

    Chuck, some redundancy would be fine if you want to help liveblog again. You are better at catching some things than I am such as roll calls, I am not fast enough for that.

  69. Starchild

    Chuck, as I pointed out in seeking a seat on the IT Committee, I think it’s good to have at least one non-tech layperson’s perspective on the committee, and I’ve gotten the impression that all the existing members are techies of one stripe or another.

  70. Chuck Moulton

    Sorry, but as I said I need to leave for the holiday party. It sounds like tonight will just be discussion of the budget… I gather the budget motion itself and subsequent amendments will be voted on tomorrow. I will help liveblog tomorrow morning.

  71. Chuck Moulton

    I think Starchild is being pennywise and pound foolish here. It’s clear that this particular event fundraising far exceeded the costs, and staff was necessary for that fundraising.

  72. paulie

    I think Starchild is being pennywise and pound foolish here. It’s clear that this particular event fundraising far exceeded the costs, and staff was necessary for that fundraising.

    Agreed. The question was about staff travel to assist the chair at events like Freedomfest and Liberty Forum.

  73. paulie

    Sorry, but as I said I need to leave for the holiday party. It sounds like tonight will just be discussion of the budget… I gather the budget motion itself and subsequent amendments will be voted on tomorrow. I will help liveblog tomorrow morning.

    You did say that, and my attention is wandering so I had already forgotten. I’m not trying to keep you from your event and will certainly welcome all the help I can get tomorrow.

  74. Starchild

    Chuck – If we have local volunteers willing to come and help out on their own dime, versus paying to fly staff from D.C. and taking them away from their other responsibilities there, I just question whether whatever added value a staffer’s presence might provide over and above what a volunteer could provide at an event in terms of fundraising and outreach exceeds both the cost of airfare and the opportunity cost of taking the staffer away from doing what they do at the office. Although if we were able to have volunteers fill in and do their jobs at LPHQ while they’re away, this cost could be ameliorated…

  75. Starchild

    I’m not saying staff should never do outreach events. But I would prefer they be saved for events for which we do not have volunteers who are able and willing to go on their own dime. (Volunteers by the way could of course include staff, if a staffer really wants to attend a particular event – there’s nothing prohibiting them from volunteering for the party during their off hours, just as other LP members volunteer for the party during hours in which they are not working at their paid jobs.)

  76. Aaron Starr

    I have some comments about the proposed budget figures that I hope LNC members will find useful.

    General Comment. Given that October’s YTD financial statements had reserves standing at $82K, adopting a budget with a $254K deficit is probably not a prudent move. My general suggestion is that we should adopt budgets based on our fears, not our hopes. It’s easier to make additions later, if we outperform our budget, but far harder to make cuts effectively once the money has already been spent.

    Confidential Salaries and Contractor Compensation. The sheet detailing these figures does not disclose all compensation (only the portions attributed to administrative expense). This makes it unclear to the LNC that built into this budget is a very large increase in staffing that is causing our budgeted expenses to well exceed our budgeted revenues. To make an informed decision, the LNC should insist on seeing a listing of all compensation paid to staff and contractors (both admin and non-admin) during 2017 (including those who are no longer employed) with a projection of what the full year figures will be. Those figures should be shown next to a similar listing for 2018 for comparison.

    Recurring Pledges. The assumption is that the revenues will increase by 15%, starting with the first month. Given the challenges with membership levels, this might be optimistic.

    Convention Revenue. Convention Revenue should be budgeted to match Convention Expense. The current budget shows a profit of $10,000.

    Convention Banquet Fundraising. Using the average of the Presidential and Non-Presidential figures for Convention Banquet Fundraising is overly optimistic. It would be more appropriate to use the Non-Presidential figure of $23K. If our actual experience is better, we can modify the budget upward at that time.

    Other Event Fundraising. I’d like to see better support for the $50K figure and the associated $7.5K expense.

    Political Materials. I suggest that figures lower than $100K for revenues and expense would be more appropriate, as this is a non-Presidential year.

    Direct Mail Fundraising Expense. The general and donor renewal expense include $48K of contract expense with notes suggesting there has been $4K per month in such expense during 2017. That does not appear to be true. Please look at that closely.

    Online Contribution Expense – Donor Renewal. Budgeting $36K for Facebook and Text Messaging, methods for which we have no successful experience, seems high. I suggest that we start with a smaller figure and then only expand upon that amount once we have evidence that this is a productive use of funds.

    Affiliate Development. I have seen no support for the $60K figure.

    Media Relations. This figure is increasing $48K because of the addition of a contractor.

    Candidate Support and Training. This figure is increasing $48.6K because of the addition of a contractor.

  77. Starchild

    We’ve been going around the table one person at a time and giving our thoughts on budget priorities/changes. I advocated the following:

    • Fund 12 issues per year of LP News. It’s a concrete, tactile benefit we offer our members, which also serves as a fundraising mailing, but in a positive way by providing content people actually want to receive.

    • Spend less money on LNC meetings. Thousands of dollars cost to the party on meeting rooms, catered food, and airline flights & lodging for staff makes no sense. There are free or lower-cost spaces available; we should not spend party money on food for ourselves, and we should hear from staff by phone and not take them away from their work at the office. One staffer at most should be present at most meetings, unless they want to attend on their own time and dime (there are 3 at this meeting).

    • We need to see a ledger (line item) budget which lists each item of expenditure and revenue. There are broad spending and revenue categories which do not have sufficient explanations of what they include. I don’t feel I have enough information to make truly informed budget decisions.

    • We should spend less money on direct mail – it’s reportedly bringing in less money, and I think there’s a hidden cost in sending people what many regard as spam; it’s a turnoff rather than an incentive to support the party.

    • We should keep some of the cryptocurrency donations we receive in cryptocurrency instead of immediately converting them to dollars. If we’d done this earlier with Bitcoin, we could’ve realized a significant increase in revenue. Supporting cryptocurrency also has a freedom benefit aside from any revenue benefit.

  78. Starchild

    Ditto on what Chuck just said. With the possible exception of the convention budgeting. It seems like the numbers are on track to exceed typical off-year convention revenues.

  79. Andy

    It was actually my idea for the LNC to accept donations in Bitcoin (and I of course received zero credit for it), and I posted it right here on IPR, and it was At Large Representative Starchild who took it to the national committee. Several committee members were skeptical, and one of the concerns they had was how to convert the Bitcoin donations into Federal Reserve Notes. I told them about a company that did just that, and after an LNC vote authorizing this, the LNC signed with this company (the head of which even joined the party), and the rest is history. I still have the time stamped emails from the discussion that led to this.

    The LP should also be accepting donations in other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Monero, etc….

    If it is legal for the LNC to hold donations in cryptocurrency, and to cash them in after they go up in value, the party ought to do this, as I think there are a bunch of them that will go up in value. If it is legal for the LP to mine cryptocurrency, and ruse mining proceeds to fund the party/campaigns, the party ought to do this (of course this may violate campaign finance laws).

  80. Michael H. Wilson

    Each copy of the newsletter has an envelope. Does the LP office have any record as to how much in donations that effort brings in? If possible please post that figure. Thank you.

  81. paulie

    MHW, I think that’s in staff reports. If not, ask Robert Kraus. Meeting is about to start but Wes Benedict is running late so stream is not up yet.

  82. paulie

    Wes still not here. Caryn Ann spoke in favor of Susan Hogarth for credentials. I think someone (Hayes?) spoke in favor of Salvette but I zoned out there. Ballots are now being tallied. There was a discussion of when in the agenda to take up the issue of disclosing part of what was said in executive session about ballot access and it was deferred to get input from Wes, but Nick said it was not about Alabama (and by implication me). Now moving on to budget.

  83. Starchild

    We’re in session. Straight into the budget. David Demarest proposing to add money to Donor Renewal Expense category (“we need to spend money to make money”).

  84. George Phillies

    Bitcoin like the Tulip mania is transparently ina speculative bubble. Selling while the selling is hot is a good idea.

    I have the distinct impression that ballot access estimates have often been wrong, on the low side, and this should be examined systematically.

    Past budgets that simply voted for 90% for “administration” and “salaries” are not the way competent boards advance to direct an organization.

  85. Starchild

    Daniel Hayes amended to reduce the amount of the proposed increase. Sam Goldstein asking development director Lauren Daugherty about ways to increase revenue.

  86. Starchild

    I spoke in favor of using volunteers instead of hiring someone for membership duties. Pointed out that the stuff we’re talking about – making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, hosting conference calls – could be done by volunteers with a little staff guidance. As the Libertarian Party, we should be setting a good fiscal example, not engaging in deficit spending.

  87. Starchild

    Hayes amendment failed. David Demarest orginal motion to increase (membership renewal) category proposed spending from $110,300 to $170,300 to fund an extra hire, passed (I believe by 10-6). I voted no.

  88. paulie

    Demarest amendment to hire membership/fundraisng people ($170k) approved 10-4. Goldstein proposes amendment that no LNC money will go to states until there is verified proof that the state completed its portion of the plan.

  89. Starchild

    Sam Goldstein proposing to limit ballot access funding for state affiliate parties unless a state party has provided “verifiable evidence” of “having achieved its planned distribution”.

  90. Starchild

    Various people agreeing that Ohio ballot access failure was regrettable. Bill Redpath suggests the idea of requiring people pledging to collect petition signatures to put up some money upfront to provide some guarantee those signatures will be collected. I say simply being willing to name names would be more practical – incentivize people to follow through on pledges by the prospect of public embarrassment if they do not, rather than requiring money upfront which might be problematic for some petitioners.

  91. paulie

    Redpath suggests making volunteer petitioners put up the money first to pay for their own pledges then get the money back when they get their signatures. Starchild believes naming and shaming people who don’t follow through on their pledges would be sufficient. Redpath moves to amend Goldstein proviso can be overridden by a majority vote of entire LNC on case by case basis.

  92. paulie

    “having achieved its planned distribution”.


    Contribution by states, as in money and sigs they contribute to the plan, leading to distribution by LNC of money to particular states to get ballot access. Redpath amendment passes 12-2 on hand vote.

  93. Aaron Starr

    Demarest’s proposed motion to increase travel expense is to the administrative category 8140.
    He should instead make the amendment to 7020-20 if he wants it to be for fundraising related costs.

  94. Starchild

    David Demarest proposes increasing the budget line for “Travel, Meeting, & Meals” expenses from $26,000 to $50,000, to enable more staff travel to meet with donors. 🙁

  95. paulie

    LP Store motion passes 12-0 with two abstentions on hand vote. One of the abstainers was Starchild. I did not see the other one.

  96. Aaron Starr

    Robert is incorrect. The end result of a travel expense is not the determinant of how it gets classified. If the intention of a travel cost is to visit a donor to solicit a donation, it is a fundraising expense whether or not the donor writes us a check.

  97. Starchild

    Aaron – I think Robert’s saying that when staff travel to meetings, they may or may not meet with donors, that this isn’t necessarily the purpose of the trip. But I think the whole approach seems like kind of a farce – there are so many categories that overlap, that whatever staff want to do, they can potentially just put it into whatever category they want to utilize.

  98. paulie

    Moellman, Redpath move to make the proviso for 2/3 for EC to encumber ballot access funds down to simple majority. Others including Hayes and Harlos say since it takes power out of hands of LNC to EC higher threshold is called for. Fails 6-8.

  99. Aaron Starr

    Starchild – The reason why you want the proviso to require the Executive Committee to authorize the ballot access spending is because in its absence staff would be able to spend the money based on the budget alone.

  100. paulie

    Overall proviso with the 2/3 passes 11-2. Starchild abstained, Moellman and Bilyeu voted no. There may have been other abstentions I missed.

  101. Chuck Moulton

    Looking at the chart on convention sites, Atlanta seems like the clear winner… sad because we’ve already had a convention in Atlanta in the recent past (2004) and our last presidential convention was in the southeast (Orlando, 2016) — I’d like to see our convention move around to new locations.

    Glendale doesn’t seem to have enough rooms unless lots of people stay a mile away. Austin’s room rates are significantly higher than Atlanta’s. A/V costs at the 3 venues ought to have been included on this comparison. Wi-Fi in the business room is necessary in this day and age, so when Austin and Gendale only have free Wi-Fi using the in-house A/V, it’s important to know whether we will be using the in-house A/V and how much that will cost.

    I am also very concerned about the food & beverage numbers Mattson pointed out.

  102. Starchild

    On the Credentials Committee vote, this was to elect an interim chair. I supported Susan Hogarth because I think it’s healthy to have turnover in these positions, and Emily Salvette while experienced and generally seen as competent, has done it for a long time. In general we need to expand beyond the “usual suspects” and build a “farm team” or “deeper bench” of people who have experience in various positions and tasks.

  103. Starchild

    Aaron Starr writes, “Starchild – The reason why you want the proviso to require the Executive Committee to authorize the ballot access spending is because in its absence staff would be able to spend the money based on the budget alone.”

    Thanks Aaron, that makes sense.

  104. Aaron Starr

    The LNC adopted a budget with an overall deficit of $338,664. If you adjust for the $15,000 pay down of the mortgage and the $66,800 collection on the bequest, the cash impact will be a deficit of $286,864.

    At the beginning of 2017 we had $240K of cash in the bank.

    As of October 31, 2017, the financials show $121K of cash in the bank and current liabilities of $62K.

  105. paulie

    Other than my usual opposition to this provision, I’d suggest modifying the year. I continue to fail to understand why we are comfortable putting half our budget in the compensation black-box (despite requiring staff to produce functional accounting), but don’t think staff, with general strategic direction from the LNC and ballot access committee, can decide how much to spend on specific drives. I also continue to be baffled by using this proviso year after year, when I have yet to see the EC say no to a proposal. It’s not clear to me what it’s achieving.

    Of course, I think the larger issue is that we, as a board, never really discuss strategy or objectives when it comes to this, and tend to make decisions by default and inertia. I don’t think this proviso solves that.

    But, to the relief of many I’m sure, I’m unable to vote on this.

    Joshua A. Katz

  106. paulie

    Kraus to LNC:


    As others have said the COC had access to the minutia of details when looking at over 150 proposals & please have faith they took into consideration what each member found to be what they considered important. these types of details you yourself will see in the full proposals that the hotels have or will present to you today.

    They had also been available to those who contacted Daniel for confidential links to those full reports.

    The hotel reps will each have plenty of time to answer questions from you all so after their presentation & after seeing their hand outs, if there is something you find you still need to know, ask.

    The spreadsheets the COC were working from had far more detail then the summary provided to you.

    In the past members of the LNC wanted to know things like if the venue was a “Coke” or “Pepsi” facility or how many urinals were in the closest bathroom to the business session. I regret to tell you all I failed to provide those details to the COC.

    But if anyone needs to know, please fell free to ask the hotel rep.

    Thank you!


    Mattson responds:

    RK: “In the past members of the LNC wanted to know things like if the venue was a “Coke” or “Pepsi” facility or how many urinals were in the closest bathroom to the business session. I regret to tell you all I failed to provide those details to the COC.”

    The Coke/Pepsi debate was always a joke, and it has never been part of the site comparison parameters. To pretend that large factors of cost to the LNC or the delegates are the equivalent of a trivial Coke/Pepsi joke is disingenuous. Some of these data points were also never available to the COC, either. The COC can make many early site cuts without every piece of data because some hotels fail on some significant and basic aspect. Once you get to the finalists, you need the finer data to make finer distinctions between somewhat similar offerings.


    Katz also responds:

    I’m not voting, but I agree that I couldn’t make sense of F&B minimums without some idea of what we’re getting for that price, as an example. Does it make sense to go 20% higher than past performance? Probably not, in my view – but if we’re going to, for instance, increase the cost and price of the banquet – and we have 2018 data showing we can still sell – then I could see it. But I’d need to know what we’re buying for that money to know if it makes sense or not.

    Joshua A. Katz

  107. paulie

    Won’t this cause timing issues if, for instance, the state contribution is mostly volunteer, and money is needed to bring in petitioners?

    Joshua A. Katz

    On Sun, Dec 10, 2017 at 9:34 AM, Ken Moellman wrote:
    I’m okay with this. To be fair, New York and Illinois have proven themselves as capable, so adding bureaucracy to states that have proven the ability to execute may be a negative. But, I definitely want to see the new players show the ability to execute.

    Ken C. Moellman, Jr.
    Libertarian National Committee
    Region 3 Alternate

    On 2017-12-10 10:32, Sam Goldstein wrote:

    *No funds are to be distributed to state parties without verifiable evidence of that state having achieved it’s planned contribution.

    Sam Goldstein

  108. paulie

    Won’t this cause timing issues if, for instance, the state contribution is mostly volunteer, and money is needed to bring in petitioners?

    No, each volunteer signature counts as the equivalent of a paid signature for the purpose of determining a state contribution. For example if a state does 25k in paid sigs out of its own budget paying 2.50and 10k volunteer sigs it’s the same as if they paid 50k for paid sigs only and thus makes them eligible for 50k in LNC matching funds.

  109. paulie

    Bilyeu responds to Mattson:

    I figure Robert can pull together answers for your concerns tonight. What
    he doesn’t get to, you can call in and ask of the presenters who will be
    here to represent their respective facilities tomorrow.

    You were part of the committee this entire time, and helped get down to
    these final contenders. This is not all news to you, so I think it is a bit
    disingenuous at this point in the game to claim we don’t have enough
    information. All of these things have been part of our discussions

    Whitney Bilyeu

  110. paulie

    Mattson responds to Bilyeu:

    WB: “What he doesn’t get to, you can call in and ask of the presenters who
    will be here to represent their respective facilities tomorrow.”

    Why should I now have to do it myself, when I was promised that someone
    else would do it and that I wouldn’t have to? That was the whole point.

    It really pushes my buttons when empty promises are made to influence a
    vote, and once the desired vote outcome is reached, the promises are not


  111. paulie

    Mattson further replies:

    WB: “This information should be easy for Robert to pull together, since it
    was all part of our COC discussions. Those things were all factors in how
    we wound up with the final options before us…”

    As I wrote below, “Some, but not all, of that data has been given to the
    COC spread out across numerous files, but it has not been compiled for the
    LNC. The remainder needs to be sought from outside sources still.”

    If the data was important to the COC in narrowing down the choices, why
    isn’t the same data important to the LNC as the final decision maker?


  112. Starchild

    Hotel representatives fielding questions about gun policies (do they allow open carry?), check-in policies (is government ID required? can people pay cash?) – good education for them. 🙂

  113. paulie

    We are back. Discussion now is whether the LNC will decide on a location today, phone conference in a few days or email vote which takes ten days.

  114. paulie via
    1:26 PM (25 minutes ago)

    to lnc-business
    The hotels may want the deal done by the end of the year for purposes of their bonuses, etc., but they will absolutely still do business with us in January if we don’t get it done by end-of-year.

    Admiral Colley was able to drag the contract negotiations out for months on the 2010 space until he got what he wanted.


  115. paulie

    Daugherty believes it will be easier to market Austin to our members and believes Arizona would be least good from that pov. Benedict and Sarwark not pushing any over the others but Wes may have been subtly suggesting Austin…maybe.

  116. paulie

    Hayes: hotels have been waiting for decision since August and we promised them we would decide today. Sharpe also likes Austin. Moellman pointed out that we have had 3 in a row in Southeast.

  117. Starchild

    I don’t have a strong opinion on whether we should vote today or not. We’re unlikely to get anything more outside the box by waiting, and I doubt going to new hotels for better Food & Beverage deals is going to net much better than the Convention Committee’s process already has.

    Of the three hotels on the table, after seeing the presentations today, I am supporting Austin as well. Of the three presentations, the Austin hotel’s representative seemed most flexible on various issues; the location seems better, given that we’ve already met in Atlanta in 2004 and held our last convention in Orlando, as well as various other factors.

  118. paulie

    Redpath would personally prefer decision time, but said it sounds like there is a majority for Austin and because we can lose bids like happened with Los Angeles in 2016. Goldstein moves, Marsh seconds to vote now. Voting will be ranked choice with signed ballots.

  119. Chuck Moulton

    Austin does seem like a great location… despite the high room rates. I hope the financial problems Mattson is concerned about don’t materialize.

    If I were voting, I would vote as follows:
    1. Austin, TX
    2. Atlanta, GA
    3. Glendale, AZ

  120. paulie

    Austin wins 9-5 over Atlanta. No one voted for Arizona. Convention bureau will provide musician for opening night reception.

  121. paulie

    Also Whitney pointed out that the Austin convention bureau will help advertise the convention.

    Next deciding on the city for the April LNC meeting.

  122. paulie

    If I were voting, I would vote as follows:
    1. Austin, TX
    2. Atlanta, GA
    3. Glendale, AZ

    Sounds like a lot of people agreed with that ranking.

  123. paulie

    Harlos argues for Denver or secondarily Phoenix or LA 3rd. Too many meetings in the east. Starchild likes NoVA because it’s cheaper to have the meeting there. Daugherty says she has no strong preference. Redpath likes Denver.

  124. paulie

    Hewitt believes fundraising would be good in Los Angeles. Moellman, Hayes point out that they voted to have it in a medical marijuana state at the last meeting. Hayes wants it in Los Angeles for his birthday.

  125. paulie

    Harlos has a house party host lined up for Denver area. Says Colorado people would be insulted if 420 fundraiser was anywhere else. Voting again in the same manner as the 2020 convention. Sharpe, Bilyeu want Lauren Daugherty to study membership names and present a proposal to next meeting, which the vote clarified will be in Denver.

  126. paulie

    Starchild, Harlos want to also specifically ask Lauren to replace Minuteman and Patriot specifically. Daugherty says she has been wanting to do this already anyway.

  127. Chuck Moulton

    Another opportunity for the LNC to throw money down the drain supporting a candidate who claims she can win, when in reality she will do very poorly… when will the LNC learn to stop believing delusional candidates?

    On the plus side, this is that rare candidate begging for LNC welfare that is not in Region 1.

  128. Starchild

    Voting on a proposed $1000 donation to Alison Foxhall (sp?). Passed 6-5 with one or more abstentions. I voted no, with regrets. She’s in a single-candidate race, and has raised $14,000, has Jess Mears of LPHQ as her campaign manager, but we didn’t really get a full rationale for why this was a good investment, and we passed a budget with an already heavy level of deficit spending. Also, we continue to field and approve these requests in an ad hoc manner.

  129. Michael H. Wilson

    Starchild wrote; “We’re in session. Straight into the budget. David Demarest proposing to add money to Donor Renewal Expense category (“we need to spend money to make money”).”

    I think I may know what this position is about and with that said, how about encouraging the states to get on the ball and start doing this? Possibly it will take a financial reward to do so. Regardless the bulk of the renewal work should be at the state level and a reward for doing so might help.

  130. Chuck Moulton

    If any of the LNC members who voted to throw money down the drain actually believe the delusion that she is going to win, I am willing to take wagers on that point. Put your money where your mouth is rather than wasting donor money.

  131. Andy

    I have long thought that Austin, TX would be a good location for a Libertarian National Convention. Hopefully the Infowars crew will show up (I know that Infowars reporter David Knight has a Life Membership in the Libertarian Party, but he was so angry about the Johnson/Weld ticket that he was talking about burning his LP membership card).

  132. Nicholas Sarwark

    Back in session. Nick Sarwark bangs his gavel which I think says “You’re fucked” on the dust cover.

    I can neither confirm or deny any dust cover inscriptions, but that’s the most entertaining comment of this entire thread.

  133. paulie

    Far more seriously, for those who missed the reference, Nick Sarwark made me aware of it when we were milling around before the meeting on Friday. A businessman who was showing his pellet gun to friends at a hotel was confront by a team of heavily armed police who ordered him to crawl towards them on the ground with his fingers interlocked. He reached back to keep his shorts from coming off and was shot while crawling on the floor towards the barking officers by a cop who had “smile for the flash” and “you’re fucked” on the dust cover of his AR-15, and that cop has now been acquitted and is probably going to get his job back after getting a paid vacation.

  134. Carol Moore/

    Thanks for explaining why he (stupidly) reached back to his pants. Now to read what happened at the meeting…

  135. Luke

    It may seem stupid from the outside but think about if you unexpectedly had several armed officers pointing guns and barking commands at you with a complicated set of instructions and you are made to crawl along the floor and your pants are coming off it could just be a matter of instinct under stress. Even if he did reach for a gun there would have been non-lethal ways to subdue him with that many police there.

  136. Pingback: Libertarian Party Sets Location and Date of 2020 Presidential Convention | Independent Political Report

  137. Pingback: Libertarian National Committee chooses Austin as host of 2020 national convention - Heartland Newsfeed

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