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Libertarian National Committee December 11, 2022 Meeting Liveblog

Meeting is approaching. The National Chair and her newborn are on-screen.

They have reached the budget.  I had several computer issues and missed the opening.  They are changing names of budget categories.  Now removing $6000 in projected bequest income, because GAAP says you should not do this. Motions passed 15-0-0.  Motion to move contractor expenses between categories, without changing amount of planned spending. Passes 15-0-0.  Another motion, moving spending between categories. Passes 15-0-0. And another motion, shifting admin resources. Passes 15-0-0. And another of the same.  Passes 15-0-0.

Salaries had been put into various categories and is moving to a general salaries category.  Legal pro-active was reduced.  Harlos questions  this reduction, and suggests it means the LNC must approve spending before the ExComm can look at doing legal proactive. Chair indicates there could be concerned; will be discussed later. Motion passes 15-0-0.

Treasurer and then Ms. Huston will speak.  Treasurer is reading items from the budget, how much is budgeted next year. Legal will be $75000, identified as a major increase.  That was the only item I heard identified as a major increase.   Budget changes are said to make things more flexible.

Projected income was 1.7 million dollars. Harlos: Where is board fundraising?  Answer: it will go into current categories. Harlos urges that board fundraising should not be appropriated until it shows up.  Executive Director and Treasurer agree.  There is also $23,000 for building and legal income. Treasurer explains that buildings need maintenance. ED says this includes any building not just the Alexandria building.

CAH: Where is LP News? Treasurer: Staff has maximum flexibility if they want to continue with LP News. n  CAH: That should be an LNC decision, not a staff decision.  Is there a commitment to publish LP News?   ED talks at length, but fails not to commit.  She thinks all members use email.

Ford: Wants affiliate support as separate line item.  It is 1% of the annual budget.

CAH: Our older members are more attached to paper issues, and these are typically our larger donors.  Proposes that each committee should have its own budget.

Huston: Claims that there is no evidence that LP News brings in money.

Argument about income due to LP news.

They have reached salaries.  Chair says we need executive session if there are questions.  There were no questions at this point.

Travel is to move staff when necessary.

Discussion of software, server, and hardware costs.  There are lines for things you buy and for people you pay…so far as I can tell.   Affiliate support contractor is now budgeted as IT services, because that is what he did for the affiliates.

We have things that we depreciate.  There is a schedule for this.

Budget is balanced at 1.723 million dollars.  Clarification.  Assuming I followed, instead of only voting to approve the major budget codes, the LNC will  vote to approve all of the detailed categories.  This is a major change, in my opinion in the right direction.

Nanna: Create separate line item specifically for CiviCRM for $25,000, taking money from elsewhere. “Elsewhere” is discussed.  CAH, like Nanna I want a budget line that specifically mentions the CiviCRM.  There are some issues that need to be discussed in executive session.  Ford speaks up for more detailed allocations.  CAH speaks up against having the Executive committee managing the party.  There is no regional on the ExComm.

McArdle moves for Executive Session.  Basis is salary and contract implications.

They advance to Executive Session and take a ten minute break. At a guess, back at 5:20 or 5:30.

Back at 6:08. They are locking up money for CiviCRm support. 10-2-3  Motion passes.

Ford: Moved to transfer $17,500 to a new account for affiliate support. Critiques scheme of merging expenditure lines and condemns idea that the Executive Committee rather than the LNC should control where money is actually spent.

Hagopian.  We give oversight.  The staff runs the party.  This is the wrong year to spend money on affiliate support when we have ballot access expenses.

Ford:  We spend money on ballot access. (said somewhat lengthily):Why is it inappropriate to spend money on affiliate support?  Proposes that what Hagopian is saying is no way to run a business.

CAH: Proposes starts with appropriating a lower amount and then increasing if money appeared.  Disagrees with Hagopian: Saying to the staff ‘Here’s money. You spend it.” is the wrong way to go.  Defunding Affiliate Support and Historical Committees is highly improper.

Discussion of where money is being taken from.  CAH moves to postpone committee motions. Passes 13-0-1.

CAH: Move to approve budget as amended.  McArdle: Legal issues — kick the can down the road until January.  Motion passes.

LNC meeting adjourns.  Five minute break and then excomm.  ExComm will be doing legal issues in executive session



  1. Ryan Ryan December 16, 2022

    I agree regarding the things of a physical LP News and it would likely lead to reduction of casual members. At the same time:

    -LP News does not have a set schedule and is published irregularly.
    -It’s something happening to pretty much everything physical newspaper/magazine.

  2. ATBAFT ATBAFT December 14, 2022

    George is correct to question “follow GAAP for tax reasons. ” And this too: “Now removing $6000 in projected bequest income, because GAAP says you should not do this. ” An internal budget for management can properly forecast expected revenue in this category. It is no more anti-GAAP than is budgeting for expected revenue from membership dues, sales of t-shirts, or ballot drive contributions. Back in the day, the LNC had a couple CPA members like Starr and Redpath who actually knew proper accounting.

  3. George Phillies George Phillies Post author | December 12, 2022

    “… follow GAAP for NPO/tax reasons.” Ummh, what tax reasons? The LNC reports to the FEC, not the IRS, and the FEC requires cash flow accounting. “Depreciation” would be a part of income tax, if the LNC paid income tax on its operations, which it does not. (exception: withholding for employees, exotic outcomes not relevant to the current party structure)

  4. George Phillies George Phillies Post author | December 12, 2022

    Was it the plan to eliminate the physical LP News? In his proposed amendments to the draft LNC budget, National Treasurer Todd Hagopian said so in so many words: “Eliminate physical version of LP News and move those dollars into Monthly Membership Expense”.

  5. ATBAFT ATBAFT December 11, 2022

    Among the several groups I am affiliated with which have gone to all electronic newsletters, the membership renewal rate has dropped. The more casually involved members seem to have been held closer because they get a monthly or bi-monthly hard copy of the newsletter. Once it goes electronic, it has been shown many never even open the e-mailed newsletter. Soon their sense of involvement in the organization wanes and they don’t renew.

  6. George Phillies George Phillies Post author | December 11, 2022

    The proposed budget appears to have been arranged to permit elimination of publication of LPNews.

  7. Michael F Gilson Michael F Gilson December 11, 2022

    Huh. Thanks for keeping on top of this, George.

    They should be cautious of micro-managing and follow GAAP for NPO/tax reasons.

    GAAP has a glaring flaw, though: The socialist/anti-capitalist concept that money is fungible.

    At the same time, we had developed a MANAGERIAL budget based on my libertarian accounting approach which I set up for Fortune 500 companies and NPO’s like local Red Cross. It’s primarily based on fund dedication–e.g. money from $1000 contributors always goes to X, project managed by so-and-so team, and building several reserve funds.

    This enhances accountability, fundraising appeal, and accountability.

    (Florida and TN LP did that then a group of right-wingers came in who ripped it apart.)

    Not sure this is happening here…

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