Steve G.

LNC Meeting Open Thread

In Libertarian on December 6, 2008 at 1:05 pm

A (poor) audio/video feed is available here, courtesy of Seebeck. You can follow the Twitters of Keaton (as Antiwar2) and Seebeck (TeamSeebeckM) here.

First jarring note: Barr/Verney apparently are refusing to share their names until their (massive) debt is paid off. Not surprising that they would hold this vital information hostage, but still annoying. One more mis-step from the Barr camp in a long list of such.

  1. Sorry tha the quality is so bad. The only decent spot that covers most of the room AND has an outlet is right next to an open door and there is continual airflow. There also appear to be connectivity issues. And it is after all just a webcam.

    But it IS some sort of feed.

    I wonder what will happen if there is an Exec. Session.

  2. 2010 convention in St. Louis

  3. 2010 convention in St. Louis

    Better view of feed and live chat here:

    http://www.justin.tv/tannim123

  4. Actually they need to hold onto the names until the debt is paid and it’s a common practice. Many campaigns pay off their debts by renting their lists. I’m already getting DNC, Obama and other liberal requests for donations under name I donated to Hillary under because she’s renting her list to pay off her debts.

    If they were to turn it over to the Party before the debt is paid, it would devalue the list and make them unable to pay overdue invoices, which hurts vendors and the employees who work for them.

  5. Barr/Verney apparently are refusing to share their names until their (massive) debt is paid off.

    It’s my understanding that from a legal and FEC standpoint the presidential campaign and the vice-presidential campaign are merged.

    I think the LNC should consult Bill Hall about whether the LNC could contract to get the list from Root, then fund a Root lawsuit against Barr/Verney for access to the list. It may be a cheaper way than $250,000 to achieve the desired result.

  6. There is no indication that Barr will turn over the list after the debt is paid off, and I am at the meeting listening.

    On the Keaton issue, they left Angela hanging again.

  7. Today has been SO frustrating. I was seriously stressing out up here.

    I’m seriously debating leaving the LP. If I do, I will not join the BTP. I might maintain an L voter registration, or I might revert to a DTS status.

    If any LNC members actually read this. Listen up.

    Today’s debacle post-lunch was heinous. Over an hour, and you couldn’t even make a decent decision. Meanwhile we have top-two laws threateing our ballot access, and this points out a need to quickly establish legislative analysis as a priority in all states and federally. Meanwhile infrastructure is crumbling, the economy is shattering, property and privacy laws, and the Obama administration is already showing socialist colors which bodes just really badly for the Torch of Liberty.

    Other than the call for “lobbying” (and how can you effectively lobby that which you have not analyzed completely and carefully?) today was a bunch of internal blather, very little of which was truly necessary.

    From a perspective of a Rad who is decidedly a prog-libertarian by alignment, I feel sidelined. I feel like all these discussions are actively preventing people from being effective in ACTION. Having to spend time on this matter is keeping me away from the budget discussion in Sacto, and believe me when I say that I’d actually rather be listening to the California Channel right now. Yep, you guys are even less mature and less capable than the pols in Sacto. Yes, that’s a b****slap. Yes, I’m swearing a little. I’m that mad.

    Spread this around. You’re in danger of losing two activists and two precious legislative analysts if you persevere in petty internal manure rather than getting back on track to move policy in a libertarian direction. You only do THAT via action.

  8. When in doubt, scream and shout.
    Wave your arms, and run about.

  9. What is that, some sort of silly lyric out of the eighties?

    It doesn’t sound very productive.

  10. George,

    I wonder what value that list is. How much does it differ from four years ago? If it does differ, sure people move, how much of the list are disenfranchised republicans that wouldn’t likely make the philosophical move to the Libertarian Party?

    Lidia,

    Yes this silly dance was frustrating. But, let me echo George Donnelly. This act of broadcasting the LNC meeting actually makes me feel better about the party. While the key issue was essentially a waste of time, the manner of the meeting seemed in compliance with the party rules. The party could easily contribute to this by enabling such broadcasts in the future.

    I think, Lidia, that this storm might prove beneficial for the party. If there is common grounds between the radicals and the reformers it is a desire for transparency. If the two sides can cooperate on making the party transparent they could start working together on other common issues. People that I have had heated discussions with in the past, were making statements, today, about this issue, that I basically agreed with and they were acknowledging that though they hated to admit it they knew they were in agreement with “the other side”.

    My Lists:

    The winners:

    Wayne Allen Root: He gives a high energy speach. He has work to do to win over the more radical branch of the party but if he spends the next three years working libertarian event he will be a hard force to stop.

    Michael Jingozian: In a win situation Michael is the one who comes up with a way to defuse a volatile situation. In a situation where the two main factions were sharpening their knives for a vicious fight, Michael provided the escape path. He might be a quite guy, but at least somebody looks and acts like they are thinking.

    Keven Takenaga: The well publicized expected meeting fight that drew a live Internet broadcast gave Keven a chance to give a nationally viewed speech to the libertarian party. In that his speech was moved right before the Keaton action you can be sure that every watching for the main event saw Keven. Keven delivered his speech about the state of the California Libertarian Party with his typical soft spoken competence.

    The Looser:

    Stewart Flood: Against a back ground of laughter around the absurdity of his contrived case Stewart, was in a no win situation and if it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of Michael Jingozian, Stewart would have created a massive train wreck of the Libertarian Party and the relationship between the Nation Committee and many of the state organizations. What will likely remain in viewers minds is Stewart getting angry as the audience became more amused.

    Those that could not sink or swim were just there to float:

    Angela Keaton: She survived. She is still an LNC member. But the motion has been shuttled off to a committee hopefully to let it dissolve in obscurity. But without a clear cut vote in her favor she also hasn’t been cleared.

    Bill Redpath: I have sympathies for Mr Redpath. No one wants to find themselves at the helm of a boat headed for an iceberg with half the crew rowing towards the left and the other half rowing towards the right and both sides quite ready to stop rowing and hit each other with their oars in an attempt to dislodge them from the boat. Like Mr Flood, the motion to move this dispute to a committee allowing neither side a win allowed the boat to sat least momentarily avoid the destruction.

  11. Lidia,

    no no worse then being a silly eighties lyric. I first heard it from an Army Major when I was working for a summer army intel school.

    That lyric is really a poor management style. It seemed to be how the party was being directed.

  12. Cohen’s comments about Kevin aside, I rather respect Kevin. I think he comes across so soft as to seem timid and afraid to a Westerner, but Kevin has some definite Japanese acculturation and his way is very Asian in that regard. He will never be a high-pressure salesman but he is quietly competent and is willing to listen to good ideas.

    I have a very difficult time with Root. He is Kevin’s opposite, the ultimate high-pressure guy. He’s got energy but does he have self-discipline and enough of a scholarly bent to understand economics and other difficult subjects? He is so raw around many edges, and his consistency has sometimes been lacking.

    I consider Jingo to be something of an unknown, but he quietly impresses many he meets, including Mike apparently. So he might be basically an okay guy.

    I think we here all know what I think of Angela. ‘Nuff said.

    I no longer respect either Redpath or Flood. Period. They are perpetuating the baloney that is at the source of my anger.

  13. Whew. Long one. I think I can get a better spot at a different outlet tomorrow.

    The good news is what’s left. The bad news is what’s left.

    2 hours on budget
    15 minutes on 2010 convention
    30 minutes on convention electronic voting
    1 hour on PlatCom nominations
    10 minutes on Bylaws Cmte report
    20 minutes on Policy manual on lawsuits
    15 minutes on volunteer confidentiality form
    15 minutes on LP News Content
    10 minutes LNCC report
    10 minutes other resolutions
    10 minutes public comment

    total: 5:15, assuming budget stays in time (doubtful).

  14. Mike, I’ll be there again tomorrow. I won’t be there at 8:00 though…probably leaving the house around 8. Shannon is coming as well, which is a miracle in itself.

  15. Thank guys for the work you are doing carrying this. I have to keep my opinions about this issue to myself since I am the temporary editor of the state news letter. At least that’s another of my opinons. Maybe one of the least ones. Sarcasm and snarky comments aside.

    I also thank everyone who has taken the time and spent the dollars to show up. That is FANTASTIC! Yo Team. Way to Go!

  16. BTW I know that I have already expressed an opinion or two elsewhere, but being a journalist in training I get to do that. And at my age on less. 🙂

    MHW

  17. Scratch my previous comment…the wife is NOT going. Decided she has other things to do. Time to start getting ready and go.

  18. Lidia writes: “Today has been SO frustrating. I was seriously stressing out up here.”

    I wanted no part of this yesterday so I took my wife to visit a friend on the coast. Today I’ll find somthing else to do. Maybe I’ll do something constructive. Maybe not.

    Regardless I cannot agree more. There is so much to do and so little getting done. The top two fight. The poor literature package we have. The lack of timely and thoughtful news releases. The now slimmed down LP News. One could go on and on. Instead we have these games being played by a couple of boys on the LNC claiming to prove that they are the moral leadership of the committee, or something like that.

    A couple of them need to apologize to the others for wasting their time and money on this nonsense. Then they need to apologize to the rest of us.

    Quite frankly this is an insult to the many hardworking people in this party and there are some on the committee who put time and money into getting the word out. Does one laugh, or cry at this point?

  19. >no no worse then being a silly eighties lyric. I first heard it from an Army Major when I was working for a summer army intel school.

    That lyric is really a poor management style. It seemed to be how the party was being directed.<

    The way I learned it was like this:

    When in danger or in doubt
    Run in circles, scream and shout

  20. Congrats Susan, you are on the Platform committee.

    The 2010 Convention is in St. Louis, I will be there possibly as a non-voting attendee. Can’t pass St. Louis up since it’s just 90 minutes from my house!

  21. The LNC adopted a budget.

    There will be staff cuts. The dollar number I appeared to be seeing on the computer screen display seemed to say that these cuts would be significant. The treasurer gave a ‘point at numbers on a spreadsheet’ display on a screen, rather than a prepared separate presentation so numbers were hard to read. It appeared to me that the cut was by an eighth or so.

    There is no money for ballot access.

    Money for adwords ads got dropped.

    LP News will come out quarterly, so far as I could tell.

    Almost now money appeared to be budgeted for doing politics.

    There is no money to hire an Executive Director.

    I thought the income estimate may turn out to be optimistic.

    There is a lot of spending for membership recruitment and fundraising. It was shown that recruiting members by letter, as done under Project Archimedes, is appallingly expensive, namely something like $80 or 90 per member, and based on attrition and donations, it takes something like 6 years if I heard correctly to recover that money based on donations.

    Web recruiting is appreciably cheaper. Stuart Flood proposed that the costs charged to web recruitment rather than web outreach are low, but web recruitment is still cheaper than direct mail.

    The party will spend up to $15,000 in a lawsuit against the Washington top two primary system.

    In public comments at the end, I reminded the LNC they were spending the plurality of the money in the Libertarian Political movement, and suggested that if there were no product there would be issues with future support.

    The Acting Executive Director proposed that because LNC members were volunteers that they should sign the normal volunteer confidentiality form. Flood noted that the form contradicted his other agreement with the LNC. About 6 or 8 members made clear they would not sign. He also said he was not sharing information with the at-large members or regional representatives.

    There were 6 votes against adopting the budget, so the budget was adopted only if it was limited to the pages mailed in advance.

    It appears that if you want to give to ballot access, for example for the six ballot access drives that can now be pursued, you can give to your own state, or you can send money to Freedom Ballot Access http://freedomballotaccess.com

  22. As I recall, Ron Paul didn’t turn over his 1988 contributor list to the LNC until well into 1989. It subsequently proved a gold mine, helping the LP’s membership to soar by 50%.

  23. Congrats Susan, you are on the Platform committee.

    Thanks, Chris.

  24. After the Saturday meeting, I sat down with a number of other leading Libertarians. We asked what the LNC had done today. They spent a half hour debating a resolution critical of the Barr campaign. They spent a half hour listening to Wayne Root launch his Presidential campaign, and say that he knew nothing about what the Barr campaign had done. There was awareness of how Barr had spent his money.

    They spent the better part of two hours discussing a resolution to suspend Angela Keaton’s membership in the LNC. There was no acknowledgement of any of the state parties that had complained about the time spent on Keaton, which is about to expand again because the issue was not voted down this time, even though the opponents had the votes to do it. They appointed a reconciliation committee, meaning that Angela will be entitled to bring this issue back to the next meeting to clear her name.

    They discussed a new mission statement, which does not mention specifically trying to elect anyone. The new statement, which was not adopted, matches the budget, which has no money for ballot access, candidate support, or affiliate support. There was a long set of staff reports, which got little beyond a discussion of election ballot access.

    Pat Dixon proposed goals. The ones I heard were in general sensible. It was apparent that the email discussion list was not serving the LNC well, in that Dixon said that people had not been reading what he had proposed. They spent as much time discussing how to vote on goals as on discussing the goals themselves. There was a discussion of enhancing ballot access. It was clear that no one had done the homework to determine when you could work on Presidential ballot access in which states, to lay out what needed to be done when. For example, there are a fair number of states where we could be petitioning now.

    There was an argument, which involved one member of the gallery, about revealing staff salaries. Apparently no one on the board — except Aaron Starr, to judge from his response when the matter came up later — realized that those numbers are public information available in FEC filings more or less every month so saying they were confidential makes no sense.

    In the public comment at the start of the meeting, one member of the gallery raised the attempted destruction of Massachusetts ballots by the LNC — they failed — and other actions against petitioners. They were also warned that their favored petitioner charges high fees for doing fundraising for them.

  25. Remember, almost none of this debt was reported on 10/15, so it must reflect no debt for, e.g., paydays after 10/15.

  26. That’s “NEWN” debt after 10/15.

  27. The votes against the budget were Keaton, Wrights, Ruwart, Lark,Fox, and Hawkridge. That’s more than 1/3. Under LNC rules, material distributed at the meeting requires a 2/3 vote to pass, so the vague lines in the leaked mailer are the budget, and the detailed materials released at the meeting are not in the budget. If the material released at the meeting or any of them were ruled to be in the budget, the budget would have been defeated.

    If I missed a name, and there were 7 votes against, that’s still more than 1/3.

  28. Well, say what you will, at least the LNC listened to my plea to help fight the top-two primary in Washington State and authorized $15,000 to carry the court case forward. We in WA have been paying the entire amount for over 4 years and I am grateful that the LNC finally understood the importance to the rest of the country to stop the top-two system in WA before it spreads to other states. Particular thanks the Pat Dixon for making the motion.

  29. RE: Hogwart and Powers

    Radicals?

    Robbie Power thinks the state should force equality on its subjects at gunpoint.

    Hogwart is obviously a huge advocate of censorship.

    Neo-radicals maybe?

    (btw, I sent the very same message in a reply to Hogwart’s “radicals” group and it was censored. Go figure)

  30. Steve, your comment on Redpath just made Lidia shoot water out her nose. Creative and illustrative, hilarious and apt.🙂

    Yes, Ruth getting help on Top-2 was important and an actual accomplishment, and I too am glad they woke up to it.

    The accomplishments:

    1. Top-2 fight joined by the LNC. About f’ing time.
    2. Posse Comitatus resolution (or however it’s spelled). Austin Peterson wrote it and did a fine job, passed unanimously.
    3. Starchild set a precedent that a gallery member asked to speak and is objected to got a body vote on yay or nay. That hasn’t happened before.
    4. The LNC got put on public notice that the BS antics will stop because they will be watched closely.
    5. Angela won by having the ludicrous charges by Flood dropped, destroying his credibility, and then won again when she walked away on her own terms.

    The losses:

    1. Angela from the LNC, not because she left, but because of what may happen next.
    2. A lot of time on a budget that indicates mega-problems down the road.

    Lotta work to do.

  31. Just a quick note of thanks to Mike, Lidia, Susan and George (and anyone else whom I may have missed in scanning this thread) for attending the meeting, documenting it in various forms and reporting back to us on both the good things and the bad things that are going on at the LNC.

    Here in Florida, there’s something called the Sunshine Law, which requires all meetings, documents and proceedings to be open and available to all.

    http://myfloridalegal.com/sunshine

    Really sounds like the LNC and the LP could really use a refresher in this.

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