Steve G.

LP Media Director leaves DC for … Atlanta?

In Libertarian on June 21, 2008 at 5:58 pm

From a Barr campaign email, written by former LP Executive Director Shane Corey:

Our staff is coming together strongly as our web team has relocated from California to our campaign hub in Atlanta. I’ve also made the move from Virginia along with the Libertarian Party’s media coordinator, Andrew Davis.

Andrew Davis’s relocation to Barr headquarters, while still being employed by the LP, raises a number of serious ethical questions.

Davis’s salary is paid by LP members, through dues and contributions. The point of having a Media Director is to ensure all party business is handled by a centralized source. The point of having an office in Washington DC is to ensure the LP has the best possible media contacts.

Is it within Mr. Davis’s job description for him to go to work directly for the LP presidential nominee? Who made the decision to relocate him to the Barr offices in Atlanta? What provisions have been made to ensure the confidentiality of information which would be available to the Media Director but should not be made available to the presidential candidate? Is Davis being compensated by LPHQ, the Barr campaign, or both?

It is the responsibility of LP staff to avoid even the appearance of impropriety; yet this appears to be very improper, both from the viewpoint of confidentiality issues, and from the viewpoint of Davis’s salary being paid by LP members, especially when many LP members have made it clear that they do not support the Barr campaign. If he is being compensated by the Barr campaign, it is equally improper given that he was hired to handle media for the party, and not for any specific candidate. After all, there are many other LP candidates, most of whom have more realistic chances of being elected than Barr, and they will almost assuredly be neglected if the Media Director is on site hundreds of miles away to support the Barr campaign in particular.

When was this decision made, and by whom? After all, at the moment we don’t have an Executive Director, though Shane Corey (who now works for the Barr campaign) was until recently the LP ED. Was this decision made prior to Corey leaving LPHQ and, if so, why wasn’t it retracted once Corey resigned his position with LPHQ? Was the LNC informed of this prior to his relocation?

If Andrew Davis wants to work for the Barr campaign, that is certainly his prerogative and I wish him the best. However, if that is his choice – and it appears that it is, given that he has relocated hundreds of miles away from LPHQ – he should resign from his LP staff position, and an interim Media Director hired to ensure that ALL Libertarian candidates are properly represented in Washington DC, until such time as a permanent replacement can be found. Either way, under no circumstances should any LP funds be used for his relocation, whether to Barr HQ in Atlanta, or back to LPHQ in Washington.

UPDATE: I asked some LNC members if they were aware of Davis’s relocation to Atlanta to support the Barr campaign, while retaining his position as Media Director. Angela Keaton responded by saying, “No, of course not. Miller and Phillies told me. I’m not part of the Redpath/Sullentrup/Colley daisy chain. Just a member of the LNC. As the kids would say, I’m so over the LP. As for Davis, he’s very bright and an admirer of Rand. He will be fine. He will make many contributions to the movement. The LP has not crushed his spirit yet.”

  1. I totally understand where you’re coming from and I sympathize with it. In fact, I had similar feelings during the Harry Browne debacle of 2000 (so much so, I organized the NOTA campaign at the Anaheim convention that year). Between then and now, however, I have shifted my view on such matters. While at one time I may have seen something like this as a blatant “no-no”, I now believe that a national party organization is merely a tool for our members, state affiliates and national campaigns to move America in a libertarian direction. While I’m not sure about Andrew Davis moving to Atlanta, I do support greater coordination between the presidential campaign and the national office, even to the point of merging some staff members. I am a dues paid LP member and I approve of Andrew Davis working with the Barr campaign (if it was a Ruwart or Kubby campaign, I would still approve).

    Perhaps if we were a larger party, this would not be such an issue, as we would have more staff members available to fill in some gaps.

    This doesn’t make the LP any less “libertarian”. It’s a shifting of manpower to where it’s apparently needed. Flexibility and the ability to adapt quickly is something I would like to see more of in our party.

    As for protecting confidential information, I’m totally in agreement.

  2. I have no problem with a Libertarian Party staffer significantly assisting a presidential or other major office campaign.

    I have a BIG problem with the implication that he’ll be *exclusively* serving the campaign. The membership pays for a national party staffer who addresses all of our media needs for all of our candidates and our issues.

    The implication of a relocation to serve only one campaign is that LP National will not be prepared to support other candidates, campaigns, or national issues discussions due to a 100% commitment to a single candidacy.

    While the presidential race is doubtlessly important, I’m not sure that it’s so important that we need to divert 100% of media, PR and communications resources to it exclusively.

  3. According to Tom Knapp…our bylaws permit the LNC and staff to work on the presidential campaign. Are all our resources being dedicated to the campaign, I hope not, there’s more things the LNC should concentrate on besides a presidential campaign. I still worry about which entity is paying for Andrew’s salary though.

  4. The big difference between what happened with the Harry Browne campaign and this is that the Browne campaign was using LPUS staff _prior_ to his receiving the nomination. This is after nomination — apples and oranges.

    I voted for Mary Ruwart on all 6 ballots, but Barr is the nominee. As such, his campaign is perfectly entitled to the full support of the party and its assets. This is much ado about nothing.

  5. Am I glad that I am no longer financially supporting the LP.

  6. Am I glad that I am no longer financially supporting the LP.

    Ditto.

  7. Besides the obvious, I don’t understand the point of being in Atlanta- especially for the “web team.”

  8. Ummm, so what’s the situation should major breaking news occur that would require statements from our side?

  9. Ummm, so what’s the situation should major breaking news occur that would require statements from our side?

    Here’s one:

    Bob Barr still supports war on drugs
    http://disinter.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/bob-barr-still-supports-war-on-drugs/

  10. Disinter, that’s not breaking news. Lady Gaura’s question still stands.

    Perhaps Mr. Davis himself should address the issue and his division or dereliction of duties.

  11. Guys,

    Please calm down a bit.

    LFV answers its own questions here with an LP news release that references Andrew Davis as the point of contact. Te fact that one LP staffer is relocating to Atlanta to work more closely with the presidential campaign is not an indication that LPHQ in general, or that staffer in particular, is doing nothing BUT working with/for the presidential campaign.

    Unless recently amended, the bylaws specifically reference supporting the presidential campaign as one of the roles of the LNC (and therefore, by extension, of the LNC’s employees at LPHQ).

    It’s a reasonably good bet that the bulk of national media attention on the LP between now and November will be focused on the presidential campaign. Having a party representative working closely with that campaign makes sense from a standpoint of getting the party, and not just the candidate, into that coverage mix, just as having Andrew Davis in Denver rather than Washington made sense during the national convention, when it was a good bet that almost all media coverage would be focused there.

  12. If the LP staff has moved down to Atlanta, the other big question is what value the LP is getting out of an empty, pricey office at the Watergate — especially with the news that ballot access drives are out of cash.

  13. I’ve always had an issue with the Watergate office. My preference is to see a downsizing of the office and start focusing more on telecommuting where possible. Considering the wired society we live in, plus the tanking economy and the rising cost of fuel, it makes sense. Added PR bonus: The LP can take a big leap forward into becoming greener.

  14. ladygaura Says:
    June 22, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Ummm, so what’s the situation should major breaking news occur that would require statements from our side?

    This is 2008. Technology allows people anywhere in the world with connectivity to communicate extremely easily and efficiently. Even though I live in Southern California, I could have a cell phone with a DC area code and simply pretend to be from there. When I ran Bill Reed’s congressional campaign in 2000, he had to travel to Dallas, Texas on business for a few weeks. Since the campaign was running full steam, he was worried that his being in Texas would hamper communications with the local media (of which we were getting significant coverage). I told him to get a cell phone and that way, the media could still contact him and have no idea he was out of state. Since I was still writing his news releases, I could continue sending them from my home. Problem solved.

    Things have advanced so much these past eight years, it makes no sense to be physically tied to a brick and mortar building if one’s job is simply “communications”.

  15. Brian,

    You write:

    “If the LP staff has moved down to Atlanta, the other big question is what value the LP is getting out of an empty, pricey office at the Watergate — especially with the news that ballot access drives are out of cash.”

    The value of the Watergate office has always been questionable, but that aside:

    – What evidence is there that “the LP staff,” as opposed to one LP staffer, has (temporarily) “moved down to Atlanta,” leaving an “empty” Washington office?

    – If the ballot access drives are out of cash, what’s the more likely avenue for raising money to replenish them: Through the Washington office of a minor political party with a small media footprint, or through the Atlanta office of that party’s presidential candidate, who has a considerably larger media footprint?

    It’s unlikely that the Washington office is “empty” … but if so, GOOD. That is demonstration that it’s a bad investment of party funds to maintain in the first place.

    I believe the national political director works from his home in North Carolina.

    The national media director should probably be in Washington much of the time since that’s the nation’s political media capital, but if opportunities are out there for more coverage, well, that’s why we have planes, trains, automobiles … and phones and computers!

    In the world we live in today, I’m not sure a physical Washington office is justified. Most stuff is done by phone or Internet today, and that means it could be done from a trailer in Fargo, North Dakota for all practical purposes. Last time I checked which was several years ago, the Watergate lease cost more than $100k per year. Does anyone believe that it adds $100k in value to the party in terms of media coverage, membership recruitment, etc.? Even if the office must be in Washington, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in an expensive conspicuous consumption location.

  16. We do need a national office, but not at Watergate. Place has a burglary problem, I hear.

    Seriously, an office needs three things: a meeting room nearby of some sorts, a storage room, and a place for the phone, fax machine, and computer. And even the last of those three is optional with all-in-one laptops nowadays. We can do much better with a storage area at the local rent-a-cube, and book conference rooms at local hotels and still come out ahead.

    But moving some operations to Atlanta just to facilitate Barr is not intelligent. Just because he’s a Presidential nominee doesn’t mean parts of the LNC should start unzipping his fly and…never mind, that’s disgusting.

  17. Old news. The LP has merged central office operations with presidential campaigns repeatedly in the past. In 1996, the party even counted donations to the Browne campaign as party contributions — that’s how I got a life membership.

    LP News was really The Harry Browne Report for quite some time. Dig up some old copies from around 2000 and count the number of Browne pictures/references. Around that time, I was one of the complainers, arguing that LP News should to more to encourage participation in down-ticket races.

    But hey, the D’s and R’s play the same game. Their party literature features talking points from the top of their respective tickets. The very need for political parties stems from the mechanics of presidential races. Without pluratity-take-all presidential contests, we might not even have national parties. Congresscritters could run on personal celebrity. Localities might have political clubs/parties.

    The main question before you is: is the party getting back from the Barr campaign more than it is putting in? (That is, do more of its press releases get carried when the campaign is used?) The secondary questions are: could the Barr campaign actually affect public policy? Could it win? At what level of likelihood for both?

  18. Please calm down a bit.

    Yes, calm down. There is no not to trust the morons involved at all.

    Nothing to see here, move along children.

  19. *no reason not….

  20. Just because he’s a Presidential nominee doesn’t mean parts of the LNC should start unzipping his fly and…never mind, that’s disgusting.

    How else do you think they whores plan on continuing their careers? They won’t be at LPHQ forever….

  21. “Old news. The LP has merged central office operations with presidential campaigns repeatedly in the past. In 1996, the party even counted donations to the Browne campaign as party contributions — that’s how I got a life membership.”

    Ah, yes the P Transaction. However, it was at first denied that the extension was ever for more than a year, and only recently was it made clear that some people got life memberships as a result.

    From my book, Funding liberty, available at http://3mpub.com/phillies

    “The P Transaction

    Accounting software is seldom the stuff of political machinations. Accounting and programming can be dry-as-dust topics. The P Transaction was different. Through the P Transaction, Perry Willis and the Browne Campaign cost the Party tens of thousands of dollars, enhanced Willis’s salary, and selectively increased the 1998 and 2000 delegate counts of pro-Browne states.

    How could an accounting module do all this? The National Party has a database system to keep track of members, donors, accounts, and ledger entries. In 1996, the database contents were maintained by computer code written and maintained by activist John Famularo. Corresponding to each allowed set of changes to the database was a “Transaction” [We are discussing the 1996 system, which has since been changed.] In National Committee coding parlance, a “Transaction” was a computer code module that when invoked modified the data base in specified ways. For example, the “C Transaction” was invoked when a donor gave cash. The contribution was recorded as associated with the donor, the cash on hand record was updated, and if the contribution was at least $25 and the donor was a member (someone who had signed the pledge) the member’s period “in good standing” (Party nomenclature does not quite match this standard parliamentary phrasing) was extended by a year.

    On May 3, 1996,Party National Director Perry Willis asked John Famularo to add a new transaction, the ‘P Transaction’, to the Party database system. The nominal purpose of the transaction was to permit the National Party Headquarters to record contributions to the Presidential campaign, if hypothetically the LNC took over the accounting and FEC filing requirements for the Presidential Campaign. However, the P transaction did other things. In particular, if a person were on file as having signed the pledge, and if they gave at least $25, their expiration date (after which they were no longer a member in good standing) would be incremented by a year. I have confirmed from John Famularo— who wrote the computer code—that the incrementation process for the P Transaction was cumulative. If a donor gave repeatedly, for each separate donation of $25 or more an additional year was added to the member’s period in good standing.

    The actual memo requesting the changes, as supplied to me by John Famularo, reads

    “Subj: system request
    From: Perry Willis 76216,2726
    To: John Famularo 70726,1575
    Date: May 3, 1996
    I know you’re very busy with the convention so I’ve tried to keep requests to a minimum (there haven’t been any for awhile), but in preparing for the nomination campaign there is one change that we need to have made before the convention if humanly possible. This is so that we can do caging and FEC reporting for the Presidential campaign should it come in house (as appears probable).

    The database should be modified to allow the entry of a new class of transactions. They will behave similarly to the “M” (Marrou/Lord) transactions in 1992. Since we don’t yet know who will win the nomination and because we probably want a more generic approach anyway, we will use the letter “P” to denote Presidential transactions.

    The P will be stored in the field bacct. So that means the P distinction is at the level of N (NatCom), E (Exempt), W (Write-Off) and K (In-Kind). We expect to limit P transactions to a certain range of source codes, but it is not necessary to program that limitation.

    In 1992, the Marrou/Lord transactions did not affect properties like expiration dates. These new P transactions, however, should be counted for calculations like expiration date. We want all of the presidential contributors to get LP NEWS and all of our other mailings, and to become members if they sign the certification. The simplest way to describe it is that P transactions should be included in c12, t12, t36 and t99, just like N/W/K transactions. Any P material sales transactions should be included in t12/t36/t99, but not in c12, just as with other material sales transactions. Because P transactions are included in c12, we would expect properties like the following:

    If an individual has no expiration date and they have $25 in P transactions, they should be given an expiration date (subscriber if no certification on file, otherwise a subscriber).

    If an individual has a signed certification and they give at least $100 in P and/or other contributions in a year, they qualify for a premium membership.

    P transactions should be listed on the daily report. On the summary page, there should be a separate column for P transactions (Natcom/Exempt/Presidential). P transactions should NOT be included in the summary of transactions by source code (option A on the Reports menu).

    Let me know if you see any problems.”

    Famularo notes that the intent as expressed to him was to have the code in place before the election, and to apply it before the election only to Harry Browne’s campaign records, so that Browne donors and only Browne donors would receive such benefits as the membership renewal or extension.

    The Party had long had in place another Transaction Code for importing the names of potential contacts as supplied by a Libertarian political campaign. This other Transaction added the names, addresses and other contact information to the appropriate part of the Party database, so that the contacts could be used for future mailings and outreach. However, the long-standing Transaction had no effect on the membership roster, only on the mailing and contact lists. In contrast, the P Transaction expanded the roll of members whose dues were current. The number of members determines the state-by-state allocation of delegates to future National Conventions and, as will be seen, influenced Perry Willis’s pay from the LNC.

    We now reach the LNC Executive Committee meeting of June 19, 1996. All committee members (Chair Steve Dasbach, Vice Chair Karen Allard, Secretary John Famularo, Treasurer Hugh Butler, and LNC appointee Sharon Ayres) were present, as were observers Perry Willis, Ron Crickenberger, Stuart Reges, and Gary Johnson. Stuart Reges is identified in the Minutes as a former National Director and Party computer consultant; the Minutes neglected to note the more germane fact that he was a current member of the Browne Campaign staff.

    Reges proposed to the LNC that the “P Transaction” should be added to the computer code. Reges said that the Browne campaign would supply information before the convention; Willis announced that a staff worker had time before the convention to enter the data. Famularo disagreed with other Executive Committee members as to whether having the Party handle such information before the convention appeared improper, but agreed to write the needed code. The final motion authorized the National Headquarters to “begin processing the historical contribution information from any Presidential campaign willing to provide such information”. The final vote was AYE—Allard and Butler, NAY—Famularo, and ABSTAIN—Ayres and Dasbach. Under Roberts’ Rules, Dasbach, as chair of a small committee, had had the option to defeat the motion by voting to create a tie. Butler had previously failed to notify the LNC that it was financially supporting Browne’s campaign.

    The June 19 Minutes do not explain the detailed functions of a ‘P Transaction’. The July 22, 1996 Minutes provide the details as supplied to the LNC. Between the two meetings, a new National Committee had been elected; the new members of the Executive Committee were Chair Steve Dasbach, Vice Chair Karen Allard, Secretary Gary Johnson, Treasurer Hugh Butler, and LNC Representatives Ron Crickenberger and Bill Hall; all of whom were present. Observers included Mark Tuniewicz, Joseph Dehn III, and Perry Willis. Willis reported that the P Transaction was working, but information from the Browne Campaign had only been entered after the convention. “Perry Willis said that some former members of the Libertarian Party whose dues had lapsed had contributed to the Harry Browne campaign. He said their memberships were being reactivated if they had given at least a certain amount.” According to the Minutes, Joe Dehn said that there should be a public announcement that Browne contributors were “being made members of the Party” based on their contributions to Browne.

    The P transaction had several consequences that the Party as a whole might not have approved, if the consequences had been clearly understood.

    First, Willis had a secret letter of employment agreement with the National Party, whose terms were only revealed to the LNC on the day in 1997 that he resigned and began collecting his severance pay. In 1996, this agreement was known only to Perry Willis and to National Chair Steve Dasbach, who were both present at the July 22 meeting. Under the agreement as posted by John Famularo, Willis’s pay was determined by the previous twelve months’ revenue and by the current number of members. So long as the Party had had adequate revenue, each increase of one thousand in Party membership was worth $4000 or so per year to Willis as an annual pay increase. The Browne campaign had thousands of donors, or so it said. If a significant fraction of them were reactivated or transformed into members by the P Transaction, Willis would benefit financially.
    When the LNC Executive Committee discussed the P Transaction, only Willis and Dasbach knew about Willis’s employment agreement. Neither disclosed to the National Committee that Willis had a personal financial stake in putting Transaction P in place. Even Willis’s enthusiasm for deploying the P Transaction before the National Convention can be explained by reference to his employment agreement. Under his secret agreement with Dasbach, Willis’s salary was adjusted quarterly. If enough memberships could be reactivated in June, Willis’s salary might have gone up three months sooner than would otherwise have been the case.

    Second, the National Committee renewed the ‘memberships’ (properly, periods when dues were current) of people who had paid money to Browne but not to the Party. The Browne campaign did not pay for these extensions. The National Party paid the cost of mailing LP News, etc. Some Libertarians will recall periods when the LNC mailed “instant membership offers”, membership cards that were valid if the recipient signed. Browne donors who were not Party members and who then signed the Pledge became Party members. However, National Party By-Laws refer to a member in good standing as one who has paid the established dues. The By-Laws as voted by the National Convention do not permit people to become members in good standing when they had not paid the Party any money, and when no one else had paid for their membership.

    Third, while many of these memberships would expire in July 1997, continued Browne fundraising through the end of the year and the multiple incrementation procedure meant that other memberships could persist into December 1997 or later. There is little information as to how many did so. For the 1998 convention, December 31, 1997 was the critical date, because the delegate assignment to the 1998 National Convention was determined in large part by the number of party members in each state the prior November. By converting his donors into Party members, Browne selectively increased the delegate allotments to states in which he had strong support from well-to-do persons. Recall that the Libertarian Party does not have the money to support delegate travel. If you are a delegate, you almost certainly have to pay for the trip. By increasing the delegate allotments from states likely to have pro-Browne people who could afford to go to the National Convention, Browne potentially enhanced the control he and his clique had over the 1998 National Convention.

    Debate over the P Transaction continued through the April 1997 LNC meeting. According to its Minutes,

    “Steve Dasbach described an arrangement where contributors to the Harry Browne for President campaign received a subscription to LP News and the campaign gave $25 to the party. He noted a correction to the 1996 income statement: it should show a $58,050 credit to membership income representing the dues payments and a $58,050 debit to prospecting expenses representing the value of the names provided by the campaign.

    “Joe Dehn questioned the propriety of the original arrangement and the lack of documentation. It started before Harry Browne won the nomination and there was no written agreement. Joe Dehn said it violated the bylaws because the LNC sets dues and the LNC did not pass a resolution on this policy. Steve Dasbach said the policy was discussed at LNC and LNC Executive Committee meetings.”

    Dehn, in calling my attention to this section of the Minutes, advised me
    “— technically they were not being “made members” as a result of the contributions, but rather becoming members whose dues were current. But I was surprised by this, and my point was that this was not something that should have been done without people knowing. I was annoyed both at the idea that the staff had essentially taken upon themselves to redefine the dues requirement—a job assigned by the bylaws to the LNC—and at the idea that the measurement of our progress according to paid membership, which I had been carefully tracking for years, had been suddenly distorted without any warning.

    “In response to my complaint that it was a bylaws violation, the first explanation was that it had been approved. But nobody could show me when it had been approved. The story then became that the Browne campaign was going to pay for these memberships—they had intended to do this all along. I never saw any evidence that this plan had occurred to anybody before I asked, either, but I was willing to accept that as being in conformance with the bylaws, since we didn’t have any rule against one person paying for another person’s membership. As long as _somebody_ paid the $25, the principle of the dues being set by the LNC was safe. I was still annoyed about the distortion of the count, but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about that—the damage had been done.

    “But in the end they didn’t really pay it. They just created some silly entries in the accounting system so they could claim to have paid it.”

    Indeed, the reader will note that the cost of the memberships turned out to be $58,050, corresponding to 2,322 new members, and what should have been the independently-determined value of the names supplied from the Campaign to the LNC by astonishing coincidence turned out to be exactly the same $58,050. As a result of the coincidence, Browne owed the Party nothing for the members, and the Party owed Browne nothing for the names. It is interesting to note—referring ahead to a 1999 anomaly—that I have been told by sources within the LNC that Browne may have cut another deal on these same names, transferring them to the Party in exchange for which Browne’s 2000 campaign got free use of Party mailing lists or components thereof. If these sources were correct, the Party would appear to have paid a very high price for the list of names.

    The author is amused to note that when a few years later the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts turned over to the National Party the names of more than 2000 registered Libertarian Party voters, names generated by my 1996 U.S. Senate Campaign effort, my voters did not get the same benefits. They were instead treated to Project Archimedes letters. Nor did my campaign—which was not consulted in advance about the transaction—receive any benefits from the National Party. Indeed, the thanks that I received from the National Party for my 1996 effort was an eventual apology for having hired away some of my professional petitioners, probably costing me (based on those petitioners’ estimates of their collection rates) ballot access for my 1996 Senate campaign.
    Dasbach’s report specifying the cost of the 2,322 names to the LP neglects to mention that under his secret contract with Willis those 2,322 additional members increased Willis’s salary by $8000 or more per year.

  22. Tom Knapp: Actually, that doesn’t answer the question at all. Sure, he can issue impersonal press releases on issues from anywhere. However, anybody could do that job, since LP press releases are pretty boilerplate.

    The question is whether the LP Media Director should be located so far away from LPHQ, when his presence may be needed in DC at the drop of a hat for a press conference or other activity which requires his presence; and who is paying his salary, relocation costs, etc.

    Since the LNC apparently knew nothing about this, and there is no Executive Director at the moment, who gave permission for the Media Director to relocate so far away from HQ?

  23. ElfNinosMom,

    Well, of course it doesn’t answer the question … if you change the question. Here’s what the original blog entry says:

    Andrew Davis’s relocation to Barr headquarters, while still being employed by the LP, raises a number of serious ethical [emphasis mine] questions.

    Whether the LP’s Media Director can best do his job from Washington, DC or from Atlanta at this point in time isn’t an ethical question, it’s a technical question of the same variety as (although of greater importance than) whether LPHQ uses nice 20-lb. bond or low-grade paper in its copying machine or whether it buys its phone service from AT&T or Vonage.

    The ethical question is very simple: Is it or is it not proper for the LP’s Media Coordinator to be working with/for the presidential campaign? The answer is a qualified yes (the qualifying assumption is that he was told to do so by the acting executive director and/or the chair).

    The fact that “many LP members have made it clear that they do not support the Barr campaign” is irrelevant — Barr IS the LP’s presidential nominee, and legitimately so, and the LNC/LPHQ’s job per the bylaws is to support his campaign.

    On the technical end:

    – As far as the Media Director’s presence in DC is concerned, most things can probably be handled in a way that’s no different from him being in DC at all (call forwarding, etc.).

    – If a live appearance is called for, the Wright brothers took care of that more than a century ago — and live appearances are actually probably better handled by the chair, who happens to reside near DC anyway.

    – For that matter, there are presumably additional staffers working in the DC office, one or more of whom can be given a “Deputy Media Director” name tag if necessary, for those (probably non-existent) “we’ve GOT to have someone from the LP down here on K Street NOW, and it HAS to be someone from your media department” situations.

  24. I reckon the million dollar question here is…..what exactly in hell does get done out of the watergate office?

  25. jre,

    You write:

    I reckon the million dollar question here is…..what exactly in hell does get done out of the watergate office?

    Hell, that’s a more than million dollar question, especially considered over a period of several years. I’m not having much luck finding information on the current lease terms. As of 2002, the lease ran $9,000 per month, but the lease was renegotiated/renewed in 2005 (for, I believe, a six-year term, which means we’re probably stuck there until 2011 unless we want to pay penalties).

    Among the justifications for staying:

    – “Prestige.”

    – Location convenient to George Washington University, allegedly facilitating a hypothetical $45-50k per year in volunteer intern labor.

    – The best move out possibly being a purchase rather than a lease, which would required a big capital campaign.

    I strongly suspect that office space of similar size and quality could be found in Alexandria or one of the other close ‘burbs for less than half the Watergate price. But hey, this is the 20th century. Put a friggin’ call center in Fargo or Minot or Las Cruces or Little Rock, have one employee working from a home office in the DC area for “face to face” needs, and roll the hundreds of thousands in savings into outreach to keep that call center and that employee busy.

  26. I think it’s the 21st century now Mr. Knapp. How’s your House race coming? Doing any flesh pumping at the malls? It would be a great year to be a LP candidate!

    The LP needs to cut overhead to the bone and increase outreach in all areas. They were in a low rent area 15 to 20 years ago. They moved with the “promises” of increased prestige, media and membership,etc. It didn’t happen, time to go back to a LEAN, MEAN FIGHTING MACHINE.

  27. Thomas, that will never happen.

    Why?

    1.) It saves money.
    2.) It makes sense.
    3.) There’s a better way to do it that can cause certain members to fleece the party along the way.

  28. – “Prestige.”

    LOL. Yeah, OK.

    Wouldn’t Bill Redpath or Andrew Davis look more prestigious getting out of a personal Lear Jet?

    – Location convenient to George Washington University, allegedly facilitating a hypothetical $45-50k per year in volunteer intern labor.

    Because GWU is the only college in the country that can supply volunteer labor, and if it were, GWU students could not hop on metro to Crystal City. Gotcha.

    On another note, they should hire interns from UDC rather than GWU, but far be it from them to understand why.


    – The best move out possibly being a purchase rather than a lease, which would required a big capital campaign.

    Correct.

  29. Pauli,

    Isn’t there a logical disconnect between the obvious reason for hiring a considerable fraction of UDC interns and having one of George Wallace’s key fund raisers as the NatCon convention speaker?

    I won’t say that buying a building is the dumbest decision you can imagine, but that’s because the press release claiming that in America we have food rationing is fresh in my mind.

    George

  30. Pauli,

    I before e except after C


    Isn’t there a logical disconnect between the obvious reason for hiring a considerable fraction of UDC interns and having one of George Wallace’s key fund raisers as the NatCon convention speaker?

    Yes.


    I won’t say that buying a building is the dumbest decision you can imagine, but that’s because the press release claiming that in America we have food rationing is fresh in my mind.

    Why would buying be worse than renting?

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