Steve G.

LNC Falls Short of Own Policies on Transparency, Due Process

In Libertarian Party-US on September 17, 2008 at 8:45 pm

The Libertarian National Committee (LNC) Policy Manual, 44 pages of rules, responsibilities and procedures for the LNC and LP headquarters, was released this week by Marc Montoni of the Virginia LP. Dated June 26 of this year, a close reading of the manual reveals significant differences between policy and practice in the national Libertarian Party.

I.2.A: Meeting Agendas

At I.2.A, the policy manual states:

The agenda [for LNC meetings] shall also be posted on the LP.Org website at least seven days prior to the meeting.

According to Louise Calise of LP headquarters “agendas are under the tab of Party and LNC Meeting Archives.” However, the latest agenda I found there is for the August 19-20, 2006 meeting. At the time of publication, there was no comment from any LNC members I queried as to whether the September 6-7 meeting’s agenda was distributed in accordance with this policy.

I.2.C: Recordings of Meetings

The Director shall be responsible for recording all LNC meetings on audio or video medium, providing a copy to the Secretary, retaining the recordings for one year at LPHQ, and making copies available to any other member upon request at cost.

I emailed LP member services and was told by LP Director of Operations Robert S. Kraus that “The policy manual has been recently revised and copies of the recordings are for internal use only.”

Decision to Cease LNC Meeting Recordings

At-Large Representative Angela Keaton documented this decision at the September 6-7, 2008 LNC meeting

Sullentrup moves to eliminate the policy that we video tape the meeting. …

Starr than says that all meeting should be recorded by [sic] destroyed after the minutes are approved. …

Kraus: costs of tape, plus staff member is too much. He doesn’t want to be responsible at meetings for tending to this.

Starr, Colley, Karlan, Flood, Dixon, Sink-Burris, Hinkle, Jingozian vote to destroy records as soon as the minutes are approved. It passes.

Region 5 – North Representative Dan Karlan explained his vote as follows:

The point of the minutes is to record what happened. Normally, that should be sufficient, and if that is the case, recordings become superfluous. Retaining them can readily become a filing nightmare, and it is certain that whoever has that task will be routinely called on to make copies of meetings going way back. That isn’t appropriate, as a policy.

Ms Keaton responded to Mr Karlan’s statement:

It’s typical parliamentarian drivel which does not address any of current problems the LNC has with regard to abuse of the Executive Session privilege or how RRON is used to manipulate and distort the interests of the membership.

What does the term “appropriate” mean? What are the actual metrics as to how often people ask for records? As a non practicing lawyer, I find it irresponsible bordering on idiotic that LNC does not keep tapes of the meetings.

Mr Karlan added:

However, I will report that we also had a mail ballot since the meeting, in which the motion was to preserve specifically the tapes of THIS meeting for longer, and I voted for that motion, overriding the POLICY when special circumstances warrant it.

Recordings from the Past Year Never Made

I emailed Mr Kraus again, asking if the policy manual revision applied to recordings of meetings from the past year as well. “We have not recorded meetings for several years. Sorry.” said Mr Kraus.

Mr Kraus confirmed that the Sep 6-7 meeting was the first one taped in years, adding: “We have an excellent secretary whose minutes have been unquestionably accurate.”

According to copies of the LNC Policy Manual dated March 1, 2005 and December 10, 2007, this exact same recording policy was in effect on those dates as well.

Recordings for Executive Sessions not Falling Under Limits

Recordings were also mandated for LNC executive sessions not falling under the limits set in I.2.F.3, saying in I.2.F.5:

With regard to Executive Sessions relating to topics not enumerated above [I.2.F.3, see below], recordings shall be made and minutes shall be taken. Immediately upon return to Open Session, the LNC may either – by majority vote – treat those recordings and minutes consistent with i [I.2.F.3] (destroy them) or to treat those recordings and minutes consistent with ii (to maintain them as non-public records subject to possible future release upon a vote of two-thirds of those LNC members present at a future meeting).

The absence of recordings presumably means that the LNC believes all executive sessions over the past year have fallen under the limits set for them in I.2.F.3, which are:

  1. Legal matters (potential, pending, or past)
  2. Regulatory and compliance matters (potential, pending, or past)
  3. Contractual compliance
  4. Personnel matters (including evaluation, compensation, hiring, or dismissal)
  5. Board self-evaluation
  6. Strategic issues (only those requiring confidentiality)
  7. Negotiations (potential, pending, or past)

However, former LNC Vice-Chair Chuck Moulton, who served on the LNC from 2004-2008, said that executive session is overused. “In my opinion the restrictions are not tight enough.” he added.

I.8: Harassment and Offensive Behavior Prohibition

I.8 details what is considered offensive behavior and how it will be dealt with. At the September 6-7 LNC meeting, Ms Keaton reported that accusations of “sexual violation” were brought against her.

Starr: Motion to direct Angela Keaton to apologize two the sexually violated employees. #

The charges that I violated ExSession and that I sexually violated two employees. Yes, you read that right. #

The Policy Manual states that, among other things, the following conduct could constitute harassment:

  • off-color jokes
  • sexual innuendoes
  • unwelcome comments about a person’s body

And dictates the following course of action to deal with accusations:

In response to every complaint, LNC will take prompt and necessary steps to investigate the matter and will protect the individual’s confidentiality, as much as possible, recognizing the need to thoroughly investigate all complaints.

According to Region 7 Representative Rachel Hawkridge at least a partial investigation was conducted:

There was printed copy of blogged material handed out. When asked if she did it, Angela said “yes”. So, yes there was some investigation. The more telling, and more important point? Did anyone ask the two young staffers involved? Apparently, not until later.

Alleged Sexual Violation Victim “Seemed Flattered”

According to Mr Moulton, who was present at the meeting, one of the victims of Ms Keaton’s alleged “sexual violation” “seemed flattered” and said that “it was no big deal” in response to Ms Keaton calling him “very sexy”.

III.2.A: Position Description of National Secretary

According to III.2.A, minutes for conference calls or “other technology that permits remote access” “shall be mailed or e-mailed to all LNC members not more than 10 days after each meeting.” And III.2.E says that LNC conference call minutes shall be posted “to an archive section on the LP.Org website.”

According to Mr Moulton all conference calls are Executive Committee meetings, the minutes for which are not confidential. The minutes at lp.org for the Dec 31 2005 and earlier conference calls support this claim.

But the policy manual has different rules for executive committee minutes, limiting their distribution only to LNC members. From VI.1.C:

Minutes shall be kept of Executive Committee meetings … Executive Committee minutes shall be distributed to all LNC members … within 7 days of such approval.

“I have not seen any evidence the policy manual is not being followed in this area.” said Region 6 Alternate Representative Jake Porter.

At the time of publication, however, there was no comment from LP Secretary Robert Sullentrup and another LNC member I queried. I have not been able to confirm that the Executive Committee minutes are indeed being distributed to LNC members.

In any case, there have been at least nine conference calls since Dec 31, 2005, including:

  • June 1, 2006
  • November 5, 2006
  • May 23, 2007
  • September 30, 2007
  • January 27, 2008
  • April 5, 2008
  • May 4, 2008
  • May 10, 2008
  • July 16, 2008

Sources: 1, 2, 3.

And no minutes for these meetings are available at the lp.org archives. I did find minutes for the July 16, 2008 meeting.

Minutes for “other technology that permits remote access”

The LNC Discuss email discussion list qualifies as “technology that permits remote access”, but no minutes are posted for list activities and the archives are closed to the public. At the time of publication, there was no comment from Mr Sullentrup on this issue.

Supporting Materials List from LPHQ

According to III.2.H.:

The Secretary shall assure that LNC agendas, minutes, mail ballots, resolution updates, and other supporting material shall be sent without charge to all LNC members … Any Party member may obtain these materials at his or her own cost. A list of such material shall be available from LPHQ on request …

At the time of publication, there was no comment from LP HQ as to whether this list exists.

V.1.C. Contracts with Independent Contractors

Independent contractors doing business with the LNC are required to sign formal contracts which clearly set forth the parties’ intention that they be treated as independent contractors.

However, according to Paul, a veteran LP petitioner, this policy has not been implemented:

… there were no signed agreements [during the 2008 ballot access drive]. We are independent contractors.

We were contracted by LPHQ in most states. In Mass., I was first contracted 50/50 by the state and national parties, and later by the state party only. …

In IL and AL I was contracted by the national party (subbed through Pickens officially), and the same was true in PA with Mark and Andy.

However, earlier in the year in UT and AZ I dealt with the state/local parties directly. In all other states where I discussed going in, it was all through LPHQ. UT was the only written contract.

“Our attorney has asked me to not make any comments about these petitioners for publication. Sorry.” said LP Politicial Director Sean Haugh, in response to inquiries.

At the time of publication, there was no comment from Scott Kohlhaas, who reportedly also played a role in managing the LP 2008 ballot access drive.

LNC Member Fundraising

According to the lp.org leadership page:

Perhaps one of the most important task [sic] that is expected from a board member of the Libertarian National Committee is to raise funds for the organization through a combination of personal contributions and funds raised through personal solicitations.

However, there is no mention of this responsibility in either the bylaws or the policy manual.

“It appears to have been added after the new website was launched. I do not know who added it, but in the past I have requested it be removed.” said Mr Porter.

At the time of publication, there was no comment from any other LNC members I queried on this issue. LP HQ staff replied that they had forwarded the question to Mr Sullentrup. At the time of publication, there was no comment from him, either.

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  1. Thanks especially for a direct link to the policy manual.

  2. The agenda [for LNC meetings] shall also be posted on the LP.Org website at least seven days prior to the meeting.

    That was added to the Policy Manual in the 2004 term at my urging to increase transparency and give notice to LP members of topics under consideration. See pages 7-8 of the March 2006 LNC meeting in Charlotte, NC.

    My regular practice was to email former Chair Mike Dixon a few weeks before the meeting to request that agendas be set early and be publicly available, but it was rarely done. I did so a few times during Redpath’s first term as Chair as well, but eventually I gave up.

    Unfortunately agendas were often put together at the last minute by the Chair… in large part because LNC agenda items and reports were often submitted last minute rather than a few weeks beforehand (as required).

    I mentioned the policy a few times in public comments of meetings, which is probably recorded in the minutes of the 2004 term. However, I tried to work with the Chair rather than bringing the problem up with the whole LNC because in my experience whenever someone complains about good policies not being followed, the LNC reacts by removing the policy from the Policy Manual.

    I suspect this blog entry will ultimately have that effect: the LNC will respond by removing good policies from the books rather than by following them.

    The Director shall be responsible for recording all LNC meetings on audio or video medium

    This was never done in my tenure on the LNC (2004-2008). The only reason it was done at this past meeting is that staff member Austin Peterson is a videophile who wants the LP to utilize video more. If he hadn’t been there and interested, it would not have happened.

    I think it would be great if LP members could view videos of meetings if they were so inclined; however, I think this function is better left to interested observers doing it themselves. I would prefer if the Policy Manual simply explicitly allowed any LP member to record the public portions of the meeting rather than requiring LNC members or staff to make the video.

    However, former LNC Vice-Chair Chuck Moulton, who served on the LNC from 2004-2008, said that executive session is overused. “In my opinion the restrictions are not tight enough.” he added.

    To clarify, during my term on the LNC I felt matters were sometimes discussed in executive session that were not appropriate to executive session (could and should have been discussed in public) and more clear guidelines could mitigate those sorts of problems.

    However, the vast, vast majority of executive sessions in my tenure on the LNC were entirely appropriate with no such problems. I felt roughly one LNC meeting per term went a little overboard.

    According to Mr Moulton, who was present at the meeting, one of the victims of Ms Keaton’s alleged “sexual violation” “seemed flattered” and said that “it was no big deal” in response to Ms Keaton calling him “very sexy”.

    I brought the LFV/IPR stories to that staff member’s attention. He seemed amused, but not offended. At the same time, other staff members discussed what they felt was a double standard between comments made by men and women.

    I didn’t discuss it directly with the other staff member, though he was present for the exchange. Because he is new, I didn’t feel I knew him well enough to strike up such a conversation.

    In my opinion those comments were blown wildly out of proportion by the LNC.

    According to Mr Moulton all conference calls are Executive Committee meetings, the minutes for which are not confidential. The minutes at lp.org for the Dec 31 2005 and earlier conference calls support this claim.

    It’s my understanding that they are not confidential, which seems to be supported by their public posting in earlier terms and by the fact that EC meetings can include decisions of delegated authority which bind LNC, Inc. I am not the authority whether they are confidential or not though; the Secretary or Chair can tell you definitively.

    There have even been some EC conference calls that non-LNC member LP members have called in to as observers (e.g., Sean Haugh in the 2004 term). At the Pittsburgh LNC meeting there was an in person EC meeting for ballot access encumberances, which I believe was open to the public.

    I have not been able to confirm that the Executive Committee minutes are indeed being distributed to LNC members.

    They are always distributed to LNC members. This is done almost immediately after the EC meetings end. The Secretary is very fast and thorough.

    Btw, you’ll notice at the first few LNC meetings of the 2004 term I gave public comments asking for greater transparency.

    Here is a sample from the February 2005 LNC meeting:

    Chuck Moulton stated he would like 1) agendas in advance of the meeting, 2) a binder that contains full set of reports on Friday night, 3) enough copies for all members and all alternates who attend.

    I note this because as bad as things may seem, they have improved immensely.

    In the beginning of the 2004 term, LNC alternates often did not get binders, LNC alternates never got copies of reports and motions LNC members handed out on site (they regularly would only print enough copies for those at the table), and agendas were a surprise when the meeting began. Yes, you heard me right… not even LNC members (the alternates) got binders… obviously the gallery suffered even worse treatment.

    Now LNC members are emailed a copy of the agenda a few days in advance, all reports and most motions are emailed to LNC members in advance of the meeting, staff distributes binders to interested parties Friday night so they can be read the night before the meeting if desired, people with motions on the fly bring enough copies at least for the alternates and often for the gallery too, and there are more than enough binders for all LP members in the gallery.

    That’s progress.

  3. While Joe Dehn was on the LNC he made for the LNC video recordings of all meetings. The recording rule dates to that period, which ran out in 2002-or so.

  4. […] for Last Free Voice, George Donnelly has meticulously cataloged no less than six instances of the LNC violating the […]

  5. As one who has historically focused on state level activities of the LP in Washington State, and generally ignored the national level:

    How much of this is a matter of incompetence?

    How much of this is a matter of personality conflict?

    How much of this is a matter of corruption?

    Certainly there is a little of each here, but what is the mix and why is it so?

  6. I’m just shocked you were able to get LPHQ to respond to emails.

  7. Thank you for this detailed, well-researched piece.

  8. When you attack and occupy a country, you destroy its archives and memory so you can substitute your propaganda. Same here.

    Would like to see an article on how state LP archives are vanishing as the LRC takes control.

  9. Shouldn’t most of these malfeasances have been brought out before Denver so the delegates could take them into consideration when voting to re-appoint sitting LNC members or vote in new ones? I believe a lot of votes for who will sit on the LNC are cast on the basis of “Oh, I’ve heard to him/her.” rather than an informed vote on what the at-large or regional member proposes to do based on experience and accomplishments in the LP or the real world.

  10. @9 Ken if you can provide some info to get me started I will look into it.

    @10 Might have been good. I wasn’t aware of these issues, and I suspect many others were in the same boat, until a few individuals released the LNC Policy Manual a few days ago.

  11. They are on NOTICE, baby!
    Well, them and a few others I threw in there for good measure, because you never know when Bea Arthur is going to start acting up.

  12. Ken, all your base are belong to us.

  13. Brian –

    We haz cheez!

  14. The people who have taken over the LP, for the most part, are a sleazy lot. In politics the big pieces float to the top — right Mr. Starr? This long-time Libertarian has not just left the party but has become convinced that the LP is actually destructive to libertarianism and needs to die. While I applaud the efforts of the few in the party to try to keep it on principle they are not succeeding and the LP should be put down.

  15. How are you Libertarians! All your base are belong to Starr.

    A People’s History of All Your Base:

  16. Nice work George. I do have a question and I also have the flu so it’ll be short and no I do not have any desire to research it today.

    Chuck writes: Unfortunately agendas were often put together at the last minute by the Chair… in large part because LNC agenda items and reports were often submitted last minute rather than a few weeks beforehand (as required).”

    If I remember RR correctly the Secretary is the one who puts the agenda together. Am I incorrect here, or is the LPNC doing something different purposely?

    Thanks,

    MHW

  17. Go search up the sections that mandate monthly reports. Determine how often those reports have actually appeared recently. Your LNC member should know. Is this not a bright light?

  18. @18 Do you mean the monthly chair’s reports? I dropped that from the article because it was minor relative to the other issues and I couldn’t find anyone to comment on them.

  19. I have been disappointed with the LP’s information practices since the Neale/Seehusen days, when a long-standing culture of relative openness regarding documents turned into an era of secrecy and the mistrust and suspicion that is the predictable result of secrecy.

    Things have changed for the better — a bit — but overall we’re still not back to anything resembling document transparency.

    Roscoe said:

    Shouldn’t most of these malfeasances have been brought out before Denver so the delegates could take them into consideration when voting to re-appoint sitting LNC members or vote in new ones? I believe a lot of votes for who will sit on the LNC are cast on the basis of “Oh, I’ve heard to him/her.” rather than an informed vote on what the at-large or regional member proposes to do based on experience and accomplishments in the LP or the real world.

    Prior to Denver, Chuck Moulton tried to make the past couple of sessions of the LNC more transparent, disseminating votes of LNC members in roll-call votes on his website along with other informative materials.

    The thanks he got was the enmity of a majority of the LNC, including a not-so-subtly insulting speech by a sitting officer, suggesting that Jingozian:

    … would “bring maturity” to the office of VC; and subsequently a landslide loss.

    So obviously, transparency doesn’t necessarily translate into better officers or decisions; but not having it certainly ensures more poor ones.

    By the way, is anyone interested in helping me scan my archive of LP News so that it can be put up as text-searchable .pdfs on one of the LP archive sites (like LPedia)?

  20. Hi, Marc. Your comment got flagged as spam, due to the links. Sorry for the inconvenience, obviously I have approved it.

  21. That’s weird, I thought I did.

  22. I thank Chuck Moulton for the information he provides. His campaign literature for re-election for vice chair included the voters taken by the LNC during the two years, with each members presence and votes on each and every one of them.

    Without that, I’m nut sure I would have been able to get the info on how all the LNC members voted in Dec 2007 on the Advertising Review Committee, which resulted in the demise of that committee.

    Ultimately, such a demise of that committee allowed for the now infamous Shane Cory press “release” regarding calls for stepped up FBI/local police coordination of pedophile law enforcement. Obviously, this calling upon increased government actions (for an unconstitutional agency-the FBI) is un-libertarian, and it effectively ‘smeared” Mary Ruwart.

    Yes folks, transparency IS important.

  23. So is good typing/spelling important , which I have failed at . . . nut? Oh well.

  24. I’m hoping we’ll get substantive comments from more than just 1 current LNC member…

  25. It is my experience that the overwhelming majority of LP party members care little or nothing of what the LNC does and/or how it administrates the assets of the LP. They are satisfied with a “showing of the flag” in the presidential elections every four years regardless of the efficacy of such efforts in affecting public policy or the efficiency in their use of LP resources.

    From time to time there are a few members who do care about the details and seek to know and investigate what is going on at the LP headquarters and the LNC. This is treated as an annoyance by the LP staff (including paid consultants) and the LNC in general. The last thing they want is a wider evaluation or debate on their decisions.
    The more the general membership can be kept from the details the better. They blunt the general libertarian suspicion of government secrecy with a deflection and an appeal to paranoia with:
    “We are a private organization” and
    “The Ds and Rs are out to get us, so we can’t let them know”

    Eventually the potential reformers just go away.

    The LP is very successful in achieving its real goal, that is, maintaining existence, and totally unsuccessful in achieving its stated goal of changing public policy in a libertarian direction. The real goal is too minimal and the stated goal is too grandiose.

    Every attempt to develop a strategic plan to achieve a greater real goal in a reasonable time frame has ended is failure. Mainly because no one wants to admit that they have no idea of how to develop a detailed plan to achieve the grandiose plan. They fall back on the simplistic original plan at the formation of the LP in 1972 which simply put is “build it and they will come”.

    In order to change the plan, a majority of the supporting members at some point in time will have to become dissatisfied with the current plan or lack thereof and reorganize the party. This may be impossible because supporting members who become dissatisfied are 10 times more likely to become non-supporting members than reforming supporting members.

    There are approximately 20 times as many former supporting members as current supporting members. Even most former party officers are no longer active in the party. This is not true of either Dems or Reps.

    I don’t want to discourage any potential reformers but they need to be realistic and well organized. If they can muster a simple majority of the delegates at future conventions they can implement reforms. More easily with a 2/3rds majority. However, they will have to consider the more likely scenario that they will only have a committed minority. Splitting the majority on certain key issues might give them an effective winning plurality.

  26. John Famularo is correct about what has been wrong with the LP.

    And, he is categorically wrong in his view that it is unlikely a true reformer can change this sorry state of affairs. Very few people attended the Denver convention…the LP is near an all-time low in voting delegates.

    The simple and obvious fact is if you want to change it you can do it by creating a movement capable of attracting enough delegates to a future convention. The current factions in the LP are startlingly incapable of attracting supporters.

    It’s equally obvious that if you can’t build a “counter LP” organization of, say, an amount equal to 20 people in each of the 50 states, you are spinning your wheels with whatever you do.

    It isn’t easy, it takes alot of committment and effort; but it is far from unlikely, especially when you consider the amazing ineptitude of the faction currently running the LP.

  27. Alleged Sexual Violation Victim “Seemed Flattered”
    According to Mr Moulton, who was present at the meeting, one of the victims of Ms Keaton’s alleged “sexual violation” “seemed flattered” and said that “it was no big deal” in response to Ms Keaton calling him “very sexy”.

    ==============================
    Well, at least they’re discussing things that are really important! I hope they can all get lucky sometime, real soon. I hate to have all that pent-up sexual frustration explode at a press release, especially when we’ve had such a problem with press releases recently.

    And I’d hate to think that LNC time was being squandered on such items as “ballot access” and “candidate support”

    Who knows, if Haugh is kept on board in spite of the many reasons to fire him, maybe we can play second fiddle to the Green Party in 2012. Their tortoise overtook our hare in IL in 2006, so perhaps if we let Russell Verney shoot us in the remaining foot, we can kiss off the residual “Rothbardian” Ron Paul supporters in addition to the more theocratic vote.

    How much abuse from the elite governing few (Haugh, Verney, Cory, Kohlhaas) is the LNC willing to take?

    I’d like to see Sean Haugh’s job description, now that I have a dog in this hunt.

    How many people here bet that actual road-tested libertarian activists can get the LP on the ballot vastly more cheaply than Sean Haugh and Scott Kohlhaas can? Place your bets here:
    http://www.freedomballotaccess.org

    (The winners will get to be a part of a lean, mean, Libertarian Party that is listed on the ballot as “Libertarian”, not “independent”, in all 50 States. In addition to that, these LP activists will be helping to organize the Libertarian Party of Alabama around issues that the public agrees with us on, such as “ending E.D.”)

    (And no, we’re not talking about “Eric Dondero” or “Erectile Dysfunction”, even though those two things are also a blight on the American political landscape. …We’re talking about an organized effort to show that “eminent domain” preys disproportionately on the poor, and social minorities. …After all, the smallest minority in Alabama is the individual, so we all have a stake in this fight. See: http://www.independent.org/blog/?p=97 )

    Let’s all help make the LP more effective, and let the LNC-goof-offs occupy one big hide-a-bed together at the Watergate. Not a goof off, but on the LNC? Then don’t send me an angry email, like Sean Haugh likes to do when you’ve insulted his feminine sensibilities.

    If you want the LP on the ballot quickly and efficiently, you just got another option, rather than letting Haugh play “monopoly” with your FRNs:
    http://www.freedomballotaccess.org

    The Ten primary things that contributing to Freedom Ballot Access http://www.freedomballotaccess.org accomplishes (in addition to focusing on the 2012 Libertarian election, after Russell Verney / Bob Barr’s terrible blunder regarding their lost Ron Paul endorsement…):

    1) It places the Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, and other nationwide minor parties on the ballot more cheaply than they could otherwise hope for, if they were each acting alone. This way, they basically split the cost of overcoming State ballot access obstacles with one another. It will be done for less than $3.00 total cost per civilian stop, (including all fundraising and petitioner expenses), as opposed to a cost that is typically above $6.50 per signature for the Libertarian Party alone.

    2) All third parties that ballot access helps out will be listed on the ballot under their official party name, not as “independent candidates” (In Alabama alone, this allows 60+ additional candidates per party to be listed, in addition to their Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates).

    3) The people who are signing the petitions will be plugged into the ballot access movement, and will be a part of the fundraising base of all the third parties they helped onto the ballot. This is because our ballot access workers will ask them for their email addresses and phone numbers, and will solicit funds from those who volunteer these pieces of information in the future.

    4) We will be putting the third parties on the ballot for 2010 and 2012 concurrently, so our candidates will have a longer time to campaign, meaning there is a realistic chance that some of the down-ticket candidates will eventually win election. (“Ramping up” after the first election and winning their second attempt.)

    5) Since all of the parties will have a longer time to campaign, it means that a down ticket candidate will have a realistic chance to surpass the State’s requirement of 20% for a statewide race to retain “major party” ballot access for future elections.

    6) The down-ticket candidates will have a chance to run, whereas they previously would not, for minor offices that are more easily winnable, and attract more favorable media attention.

    7) The people will be told which parties they have signed for, as opposed to simply being told that they are signing to “put another choice on the ballot”. This means more free advertising for the various parties, as well as a chance for people to ask questions from the petitioners (who are all idealists who support open ballot access, and will happily answer questions from the signers).

    8) We will be handing each signer a card with information about their rights as jurors, with the Fully Informed Jury Association’s web address on them http://www.fija.org . This card will also state “Jurors have the right to render a “not guilty” verdict, based on disagreement with the law, no matter what the judge’s instructions are, and no matter the votes of their fellow jury members.” 60,000 people will receive this card, making people accused of victimless crimes safer, overnight!

    9) The decreased cost of accessing the ballot will mean that the parties have more money to campaign with, instead of overcoming meaningless obstacles to ballot access. In addition, it will mean that the various parties will all succeed on obtaining ballot access in all 50 States, and will not fail where another party has succeeded (Like how the Libertarian Party failed in West Virginia in 2008, where the Constitution Party succeeded, or vice versa in Montana).

    10) The size and scope of this project will result in additional media attention for the various minor parties.

    Thanks for your interest, intelligence, and support,

    -Jake Witmer
    http://www.freedomballotaccess.org
    907.250.5503

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