Mark Tuniewicz is the Region 6 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee. He wrote (reproduced with permission) on the LNC Business – Discuss list:
Friends of Liberty,
There are people who, no matter what good things happen, will tear down the LNC for their own reasons and ignore the good things. There are also people who, no matter what bad things happen, will put lipstick on the pig and ignore/downplay those bad things, for their own reasons.
At this weekend’s LNC meeting in NM, there was plenty of good and bad. And if you’re one of the 9 state chairs in my Region 6, you’ll get my full, unvarnished take.
For this forum, since membership & contributions levels have been widely discussed….
…..the principal reason for dropping renewals has been explained as being related to the migration from the former Raiser’s Edge software tool into the CiviCRM. Planned to occur prior to the end of December 2023, a variety of factors (including staff turnover of almost 100% over the last few months) contributed to a delay in that project. In addition, issues associated with the migration slowed much of our renewal solicitation activity, which you see reflected in the various stats. We’re told to expect a turn for the better in March. We shall see. I like to think in 6 month chunks.
To the “good”–I do have confidence in the abilities of our new ED Lanie Huston and her key staffers who presented at the LNC meeting. They are doing something I haven’t seen done in many, many years….instilling a solid project management culture in the organization. I and a few other members sat in on some informal sessions with them Monday am following the main meeting, picked their brains, swapped ideas…and they are working it out….many changes & challenges, on many fronts.
To the “bad”–our ballot access situation is the worst that I’ve ever seen, perhaps the worst in 20 years. I think the number of states lacking presidential ballot access at this time is 18. A huge hill to climb. (Analysis pending on how many were lost, and for what reasons, when. No, it’s not all due to the takeover).
New York state in particular, due to a change in law, I believe, feels near-insurmountable in terms of cost. Having said that, we have a committed team, a strong Ballot Access Committee Chair in Mr. Nanna, and the knowledge that this issue is by far our strongest fundraising motivation for members. And I see our NY affiliate has teamed up with the Green Party to file suit to improve things. Time will tell.
Friends, I left that other LNC discussion group months ago because I felt the LNC Admin moderation was too heavy handed, especially when it came to criticism of the existing regime being silenced. Similarly, if y’all want to shitshow my posts here, that’s your right….as is mine to withdraw.
I hope you take this post in the constructive fashion in which it is offered, and to all of you out there working it…thank you for your continued good works for Liberty.
Region 6 Representative
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
[Editor’s Note: If any of our many sources think it worthwhile, Independent Political Report would of course be interested in being able to reveal the letter to Region 6 Chairs.]
By far the cheapest way for the LP to be on in more states is to lobby for a more lenient definition of “political party”. We and other third parties have successfully done that in the last 40 years to such an extent, that whereas the median vote test in 1976 was 5%, nowadays it is 2%.
Unfortunately this year we are going backwards, with bills in Texas and Minnesota to make the vote test far more difficult.
This is the time in the two-year cycle in which it is easiest to get bills introduced in state legislatures. But time is running out. Most states have strict deadlines about when bills can be introduced, and it is in the earliest months, especially in odd years.
Jim, that’s the analysis we need to see. State by state, how much did state and local parties pay for ballot access, how much did LNC pay, and how many votes resulted? And could the cost per vote be better allocated to something else?
I have no idea to what data that 18 states missing Presidential ballot access is referring when it is described in such a negative way. Missing only 18 states this far out puts the LP in an unusually good position. The December issue of BAN said the LP had presidential ballot access in 34 states – missing only 17 jurisdictions (16 states and DC.) That is the best post-midterm starting position the LP has ever had. After 2018 it was 33. After 2014 it was 30. After 2010 it was 27. After 2006 it was 24.
ATBAFT – the entirety of LNC spending on presidential ballot access nationwide in 2020 was less than $500,000.
That eighteen is probably not counting the three states (MA, MI, NM) where the presidential ballot access is controlled by a state party unaffiliated with the LNC.
“Analysis pending on how many were lost, and for what reasons, when.”
What might be more instructive would be a cost/benefit analysis on whether or not to pursue all 50 state ballots for the presidential candidate. Maybe the cost of the last, say, ten is way too high; that running candidates for other positions in that state is a better use of money to publicize the positions of the LP? I’ll bet a lot of LPers keep the wallets closed when a final $500,000 raised results in only 5,000 more votes? Let’s be brutally honest with ourselves and spend our limited resources wisely.