Minutes for The Washington, DC Meeting of
The Board of Directors of
The Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
March 23 -24, 1996
1 Call to order at 9:00 am by the Chairman Stephen Dasbach
3 Credentials John D. Famularo
National Committee Members in attendance:
Stephen Dasbach Chair
Karen Allard Vice-Chair
John Famularo Secretary Thea McLean Region 2
Hugh Butler Treasurer Gary Ilardi Region 4
Sharon Ayres At Large Dan Karlan Region 5
Ron Crickenberger At Large Joseph Brennen Region 6
Gary Johnson At Large Robert Franke Region 7
Don Ernsberger At Large Tom Paswater Region 8
James Dan Region ! Tamara Clark At Large (resigned)
Bill Evers Region 2
Joe Hauptman Region 3
Alternates in attendance
Jesse Markowitz Region 5
Steve Winter Region 6
Perry Willis National Director Bill Winter Communications Director
Bill Redpath Ballot Access Chair Kris Williams Project Manager
Motion by Karen Allard to nominate Steve Winter to replace Tamara Clark as an at-large national committee representative.
Mr. Karlan nominated Mr. Jesse Markowitz for the same position.
Mr Ernsberger made a motion to table the nomination until the July convention.
Motion to table failed on voice vote.
Mr Ernsberger nominated NOTA, Mr Dasbach noted that this was automatic.
Mr. Markowitz addressed the committee.
Mr. Winter addressed the committee.
Discussion of nominees.
Voting was by show of hands:
Steve Winter 7
Jesse Markowitz 3
4. Approval of Minutes
Minutes from the December 9th meeting approved without objection.
5 Setting Agenda
6. Check of paperwork
Director of Communications report
Region 1 report
Region 2 report
Region 4 report
Region 8 report
7. Executive Committee Minutes
8. Chairs Report Steve Dasbach
Mr. Dasbach discussed the regrouping of the reporting of the goals to more closely match the structure of the adopted mission statement. I.e Party building, and electing libertarians to public office. Development incorporates revenue and major gifts program. The goal to achieve a functional affiliate in each state has been achieved. (Conventions and elected officers) We need to go beyond merely functional affiliates to growing affiliates. Adequate documentation and training has been achieved so that any of our key personal could leave without severe hardship. Some remaining computer related backup still has to be addressed. We now have version one of a project management system installed and we should integrate that in the future with our database and accounting system. In response to Mr. Ernsberger, Mr. Dasbach said he planned to come to the headquarters in June to test the written procedures regarding the functions of the Director. He said that all other procedures were in place. Mr Willis said that there was no backup for John Famularo and Stuart Reges and they backed up each other. Mr. Dasbach said that the source code for the database system was proprietary to Mr. Famularo but arrangements were being made to escrow that source code in the event that Mr. Famularo was not available. Mr Butler said that a copy of the source code was delivered to him by Mr Famularo.
9. Headquarters Report Perry Willis
Mr. Willis said that in order to meet our membership goals we would be spending all of our prospecting budget before the convention.
A major effort is being put into the project management system.
Cash flow is a problem due the front loading of expenses, but it is not adversely affecting any project.
Fund raising is doing well and is on target with the budget.
Even with the availability of the source code, Mr Famularo is still crucial to the database system and Mr. Reges is crucial to the FEC reporting system. Future projects to create redundancy in this area will be required. While money was budgeted for this project, an error in the original budget calculations recently discovered shows that this money is not available. Mr. Willis intends to hire a staff member to learn the operate and maintain the systems. This may be a two year project.
Discussion of "New" versus "Net" membership calculations.
Discussion of testing mailing lists before mailing to entire list.
Discussion of recent test mailings.
Discussion of future prospecting mailings
9b Communications Directors Report Bill Winter
Discussion of monthly state chairs meeting
Discussion of increased time consumed in increased media contacts
If we expand our media contacts and current trends continue to 200 calls per month, it will become a full time job.
Although no concerted effort has been made to publicize the 1996 convention, two magazines want to cover the convention; Insight and World & I.
Live remote radio by Neil Boortz, and Irv Homer at the 96 Convention is being worked on. Contact has been made with a public relations firm that handled the Republican contract with American; they want to publicize the LP convention, and will submit a proposal. Some projects are behind due to a large increase in phone calls.
Plans are in process for handlg overloaded and will have to be expanded in the near future.
The College organizing manual is in draft form for review. Mr. Winter thanked Mr. Stephen Wilcox a volunteer for compiling the basic manual. Discussion of future plans for campus organizing. Discussion of farming out certain activities. Discussion of advertizing the special student program convention package.
Mr. Ernsberger said that the LP booth at the CPAC convention generated a number of requests for vendor space at the convention and media inquiries.
10 Treasurers Report Hugh Butler
Mr Butler said that his investigation into the possibility of obtaining an "Affinity" credit card. Mr. Butler said Mr Franke has been helpful in making banking contacts. So far no bank has been interested. A response from a Utah bank indicated that they we worried about triggering an FEC reporting request and a possible assumption of endorsement of the party by the Bank.
A few of the affiliates have responded to the Mr Butlers request for the formation of a study group force on affiliate bylaws. He will continue to encourage states to participate.
Discussion of the need for updated versions of the state bylaws for the LNC and the credentials committee.
Mr Butler said that all budgeted funds have been released for use. He said that although there is no crisis at the moment, the committee should be aware that if the fund raising targets are not met in the later part of the year, some staff cuts and/or curtailment of certain projects may be necessary. Mr Dasbach said that the LNC could vote to incur some debt if necessary. Discussion of establishing a line of credit with a bank.
13 Ballot Access Report Bill Redpath (Taken out of order)
Mr Redpath said that 50 state plus DC ballot access is looking good and would be precedent setting if achcerning the gubernatorial race and the ballot access drive. Discussion of the difficulty of getting signature in WV due to the requirement of telling signers that they can not vote in the
primary. Discussion of the need to offer more money to the paid petitioners in order to compete with other organizations. Discussion of reliability of petitioning firms.
Discussion of Florida, Kentucky , Connecticut (may need some paid petitioning) and Virginia. Pennsylvania all volunteer drive may not be realistic. Mr Famularo and Mr Ernsberger were asked to comment on PA. Mr Famularo said that the volunteer effort will prove itself in April if it is going to be on target. Discussion of commitment of PA to an all volunteer drive. Mr Ernsberger said that Richard Schwarz (the PA ballot access coordinator) is very realistic and may be being cautious due to the lower number of candidates than previously projected. Mr Ernsberger also said that the results in April will be determinate. Discussion of Washington, Colorado, DC.
Ohio intends to do an all volunteer effort.
A law suit on substitution will be filed this week in Florida, Gary Sinowski will investigate asking the Reform party to join us in the suit. Mr Butler said that we should seek some cooperation and communication with the Reform party
Discussion of the loss of our Illinois suit on petitioning requirements for US house of Representatives. An appeal will cost $4,000. The Illinois party will contribute at least $1000 to the costs.
Alaska law suit is on hold.
West Virginia appeal will be hear during the week of May 6th. The court has requested oral arguments. Discussion of cooperation with the Natural Law party on signature gathering. Discussion of a future requirement for a part time lobbyist.
Discussion of targeting ballot access for state parties to encourage statewide candidates. Mr Dasbach said this we have been moving in that direction as evidenced by the Illinois law suit and states where we have opted to seek a more the presidential. Mr. Redpath asked for suggestions for encouraging volunteer signatures.
The Supreme court has not yet granted Cert for the North Carolina appeal.
Discussion of strategy regarding law suits.
Mr Redpath congratulated Mr Kris Williams for his efforts in Ballot Access coordination.
11 Convention oversight committee Dan Karlan
11a 1996 Convention
Mr Karlan reviewed the LNC - FEE contract items:
All the financial filings occurred on time and are satisfactory.
The open event has been scheduled as the Liberty Club luncheon with Ms Ayres.
The Secretarial services are still to be dealt with.
The child care services will be announced in LP News.
Mr Karlan asked Mr Ernsberger to address the committee concerning new issues regarding the convention. Mr Ernsberger said he was aware of the possibility of a conflict of interest so he would be abstaining from any voting or the making of any motion concerning the 1996 convention contract. Mr Ernsberger said that the hotel discount rooms are sold out. Arrangements are being made with other hotels in the area. Discussion of exhibitor acceptance. Discussion of stage design and decoration proposal from Hargrove (a trade show service provider). Cost will be approximately $15,000, half of which has to be paid by May 1st. Discussion of the possible reusability of some of the materials. Discussion of stage design. Discussion of some contract modifications. Dave Walter of FEE spoke about the plans for the banquet and awards to be given after the dinner. The major awards that will be given will be;
Sam Adams award (most effective activist)
Thomas Paine award (most effective communicator of Libertarian ideas and values)
Thomas Jefferson award (lifetime achievement)
The nominees will be determined by responses from the ad in the LP News. The top three nominees will be voted on by the registered convention attendees. Speakers at the convention will be introduced by elected Libertarians wherever possible.
Mr Ernsberger said that registration confirmations will be mailed out on May 1st.
Mr Karlan said that the contract changes can be handled by the executive committee.
April 10th is the deadline for the LNC to veto any exhibitor.
Discussion of corporate contributions to the party. Mr Steve Winter asked why FEE is not accepting credit card payments. Mr Walter said that said that he looked ins were reluctant to deal with FEE.
11b 1998 Convention Kris Williams Bids have been received from four different hotels in Atlanta. Mr Williams has toured all four. The decision is to wait until after the 1996 convention to sign a contract with any hotel. The barber shop quartet association is having their convention at the same time as our convention. The hotels in contention are:
one in the North area far from the airport (Stoufer Waverly Renaissance)
one downtown (Hyatt downtown)
one by the airport (Sheraton gateway)
Discussion of the various hotels.
Discussion of conflict with barber shop groups
Discussion of the option of changing the date of the convention, location of the convention. Mr Butler suggested that we investigate Memorial day 1998 as a possible alternative. Mr Willis expressed a concern that so many things about the party are changing that we should continue to explore all options. Mr Karlan said that all attempts to get a response from professional meeting planners was unsuccessful.
Mr Butler made the following motion:
"That the LNC extend authority to the Executive committee to change the date of the 1998 convention to the Memorial Day weekend if necessary"
Motion passed on voice vote without objection.
12 Program Committee Steve Dasbach for Mike Tanner
Foreign policy paper is completed and is going to the APRC. Draft copies will be available.
The Education paper is at the draft stage.
Social Security and inter-generational debt has begun,
Economic growth paper is being worked on by Cecil Bohanan
Looking for someone to work on Environment and Land use paper.
14 Campaign Report Ron Crickenberger
Text of the recruiting manual is available for review. The text of the campaign manual is also available for revue. A test page on an interactive web site called vote link and Town Hall is available as a result of Mr Crickenbergers attendance at the Campaigns and Elections seminar. Discussion of development of a Libertarian voter profile. The 1000 candidate goal seem to be falling short since CA, TX and PA are fielding fewer candidates than projected. The 218 house candidate goal may be achievable.
Discussion of contents of candidates package. Budget limitations will require a slight charge for the candidates package. Getting 1 to 2 candidate calls per day
Discussion of Neil Boritz, Jack Cashin contest for the Libertarian nomination.
Discussion of SD libertarians running as a Republican.
Mr. Williams said that there have been many bright competent people that have come into the headquarters wanting to volunteer to help the Libertarian party. He said that they can not be utilized because he, Bill and Perry have so much to do that there is no management time available.
15 Affiliate Support Karen Allard Karen said she has been getting some ideas from talking to various state chairs but there is no current budget and the day to day activities are being handled by Bill Winter.
16 APRC Steve Dasbach
Foreign policy paper being reviewed.
17 Convention Committee appointments
Nominations for appointments to the five remaining positions on the bylaws committee .
David Aiken of Colorado by Steve Dasbach
Andy Spiegel of Illinois by Robert Franke
Steve Winter of New Hampshire by Karen Allard
Karen Allard of Washington by Gary Johnson
Jackie Bradbury of Missouri by Robert Franke
All nominees accepted by voice vote without objection
consideration of nominees tabled
18 Regional Reports
Region 1 Karen Allard
All state chairs are pleased with HQ operations and monthly packets
Alaska held convention and is sending four delegates to the convention
Colorado will delegation will be nearly full
Idaho not very active Montana convention in late spring, may field 5 candidates
New Mexico holding meetings
Nevada no report
Oregon has two competing newsletters, unified convention coming up
South Dakota new chair will be selected, Bob Newland and Dana Windhorst will register and run as republicans
Utah will have governors candidate
Washington has been growing Tom Stahl selected for Platform Committee
Wyoming regular meetings - will run two candidates
Region 2 Thea McLean
Former chair Pat Wright selected to develop new members. First renewals sent out without an accompanying letter is getting a 20% return.
Region 3 Steve Dasbach
Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia will probably send full delegations to the convention.
Region 4 Gary Illardi
All States will send full or almost full delegations to the convention, except Arkansas.
Alabama - Jimmy Blake attempting to run as a Libertarian and Republican
Florida state courts refused to hear petitioning suit,
Region 5 Dan Karlan
Pennsylvania - 2nd party to pass the 1,000 member mark with the signing of radio talk show host Irv Homer.
New Jersey - held convention last week, adopted a platform, will run 13 house candidates. Full allocation of delegated to the convention.
Delaware convention set for April 20th
Maryland - getting media attention for its libertarian primary (Bob Kreager won with 75% of the vote) in preparation for a possible law suit. Ballot access lobbing is progressing to reduce signature requirements from 3% to 1%. Delegate selection will be selected at the May 11th meeting.
Discussion of possible region re-alignment at the 1996 convention and ramifications.
Region 6 Joe Brennan
Rhode Island continuing to improve
Connecticut starting petitioning
Vermont convention in January, new bylaws, 2 delegates
New Hampshire elected 4 libertarians to local office. Doing outreach to local libertarians. Registrations up 4.5% Don Gorman has introduced a bill to eliminate the random DUI tests, which passed the house and is being considered in the Senate. Don Gorman also got the senate to kill a 1% registration requirement.
New York Convention set for April 26th - will probably send a full delegation. The petition drive will probably need help. Benefit concert for LP on April 22nd.
Maine continuing to organize.
Massachusetts no response
Region 7 Robert Franke
Nebraska no response
Illinois party is in the best shape ever. All offices filled and working. The recent party primary generated over 100 media interviews. Katherine Johns a WLS radio talk show host has declared as a libertarian and has hosted Harry Browne and Irwin Schiff. Fund raising and membership is at an all time high due to interest generated in the primary. (Harry Browne 73%, Irwin Shiff 27%)
Iowa convention held on February 3rd. Will send four delegated
Kansas will have a one day convention on May 11th
Minnesota will have convention on May 18th and will send 5 delegates. They expect to have 200 attendees at the convention. Building a database of political science professors. Have a 30 min cable access show in the twin cities and need programming materials (contact Charles Test). They are recruiting from UWSA.
Missouri will send 11 to 15 delegates to the convention. Will have all 5 statewide offices and 9 congressional candidates, State convention will be held on May 25th.
North Dakota will send 1 delegate - convention to be held on March 31st.
Wisconsin Convention to be held on April 13th. Working on a live radio broadcast from the state convention.
Region 8 Tom Paswater
Louisiana State Chair Wayne Parker moving to Alexandria to host a talk show on KPLD-AM. Will send 5 delegates to DC convention
Mississippi - will send 3 delegates to DC. 5 congressional candidates. 25 people at convention
Oklahoma - Mike Todd elected as state chair - no candidates yet
Texas - will select 40 delegates and alternates for the national convention on June 8th
Arizona - Convention held on Feb 3rd and 4th in Prescott. Mike Dugger elected Chair. Selected a full delegation and alternates. Will have 17 at least at the national convention. Won lawsuit to be removed from the presidential primary. Will run 6 congressional candidates. Continued opposition between the Tucson and Maricopa groups. Region 8 is currently under the 10% requirement. Mr. Dasbach said that Arizona state executive committee has requested that the Pima county officers resign or be subject to a 10 year suspension form the party. Mr Dasbach said that this issue and others will probably come to a head this fall and will probably be decided by court action.
Mr. Franke said the public primary issue was hotly contested in Illinois and that he was originally against it, but that the subsequent success has made him believe that Mike Ginsberg was right. Mr Dasbach said that this was the experience in those state that held public primaries was positive. (Missouri, New Hampshire)
Mr Dasbach is considering a mediation meeting between representatives of the two disputing groups in Arizona.
18b Platform voting procedures Don Ernsberger
Discussion of procedures that will be used to supervise the tabulation of the Scantron plank voting procedures. Sharon Ayres made a motion:
"The Platform committee has the authority to select three of its members to supervise the tabulation of the platform votes"
passed on voice vote.
19 1996 Budget Amendments
tabled until Sunday morning
20 Future meetings Steve Dasbach
Motion by Sharon Ayres
"The next meeting of the LNC will be 1:30p on Wednesday, July 3rd in the Capitol Room of the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill,
400 New Jersey Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Motion passed with no objection
Meeting recessed until Sunday morning.
21 1996 Budget Amendments Perry Willis
Discussion of budget amendments (see attached)
Changes adopted on voice vote without objection
22 Credentials Committee nominations
Discussion of potential nominees.
Lou Steffanelli of New Jersey by Dan Karlan
Jim Boyd of Illinois By Robert Frank
Motion to accept the nominees passed on voice vote.
23 Unified Membership proposal Perry Willis
Discussion of the unified membership proposal (see attached). Mr. Willis said that the proposal will be simple and easy to implement. It will not have a minimal impact on the budget. It will be offered to individual states who wish to participate on a test basis.
The earliest date for implementation will be by the July Convention. Discussion of possible complications regarding county parties. Discussion of technical problems of implementation.
"The LNC adopts on an experimental basis the unified membership plan as
defined by the National Director" (see Attached)
Discussion as to whether to perform a preliminary study or poll or state chairs before adoption. Mr Willis said that if any complication arises he would not attempt to implement the plan.
Motion passed on a voice vote with Don Ernsberger abstaining
24 Secretaries role in determining the presidential nominee order.
Mr. Butler suggested that we clarify the secretaries role regarding the bylaw provisions adopted at the last convention concerning the presidential nominee's proposed platform.
Mr Butler proposed the following business procedure be clarified:
"The Presidential nominees will provide to the national secretary ( John Famularo) on or before 9:00 am Thursday morning July 4th 1996 with 736 printed copies of their presidential platform. The secretary will record the sequence of these submissions and present that list to the chairman. The chair will recognize them in that order on Saturday July 6th. Any other floor nominations thereafter would be controlled by seeking recognition from the Chair".
Discussion of process for including nominees in the Friday presidential debate which is under the auspices of the convention organizers (FEE). Mr Ernsberger suggested a petitioning process. Mr Butler suggested we not consider petitions because of our historical opposition to petitioning restrictions imposed on Mr Butler's sentiments. Further discussion of procedural details.
Mr Ernsberger said that the procedure will be documented in the June LP News. Mr Dasbach stated for the record that this discussion was in response to a request from FEE for input and that no action is required by the LNC.
25 Goals for Presidential Campaign Hugh Butler
Discussion of whether the LNC should express an opinion as to the strategy and goals for the presidential campaign and ask the candidates for their strategic plans. Mr Butler proposed the following motion:
" A proposal to express the sense of the LNC regarding the goals and priorities of the 1996 presidential campaign:
Whereas, the LNC believes that adoption of strategic goals is necessary and beneficial to the well run political organization and;
Whereas, the presidential campaign while a independent organization with its own goals and priorities, may nevertheless choose to adopt party building goals as outlined below and;
Whereas delegates may wish to know which candidates have chosen to adopt these goals;
Therefore be it resolved that it is the sense of the LNC that the following goals adopted by the 1996 LP presidential campaign would significantly contribute to the long term benefit of the Libertarian Party:
: 1. Member recruitment - focus efforts and prioritize activity which bring about significant increase in new member recruitment.
2. Ballot Access - focus efforts and prioritize activity which would significantly reduce future ballot access expense or difficulty for the party
3. Fund raising - encourage and promote near and long term giving to the party
4. Education.- promote the LP program and present the platform of the Libertarian party to more Americans through improved media relationships
5. Votes - project and promote realistic vote total successes by focusing efforts in areas where significant improvements over the past record can be made."
General discussion of goals, measurable results and priorities and the extent to which the LNC should and could affect the presidential campaign strategy.
Mr Ernsberger suggested adding "Campaigning with local elected libertarians"
Ms. Allard assumes the chair
Mr Willis said that who ever would be running the campaign is not going to have time to do anything beyond raising money and getting media opportunities. He said that the effect of the presidential candidacy on local elections would be zero. He also said that quantification of results would be too difficult.
Mr Dasbach offered a motion by substitution:
"It is the sense of the Libertarian National Committee that the priorities for the 1996 presidential campaign should be:
1. Inquiry generation
2. Ballot Access retention
Mr Dasbach said that we should only include those thing that we consider as most important to the party and by not including certain goals it indicates that they are not a priority.
Further discussion of the need for quantification. Mr Ernsberger said that quantification was necessary, Mr Butler and Mr Karlan concurred but thought that it could not be done at this time. Mr Dasbach said that the goals were measurable.
Mr. Famularo said that showcasing local elected libertarians should be a priority. Mr Willis said that it would be counter productive to the presidential campaign.
Further discussion of some form quantification before the next LNC meeting.
Substitute motion passed on voice vote - Sharon Ayres abstaining
Main motion passed on voice vote - Sharon Ayres abstaining
27. Proposal from the Harry Browne Campaign Sharon Ayres
(Ms Ayres is addressing the committee as the chairman of the Harry Browne campaign)
Ms Ayres said that Harry Browne campaign intends to solicit $50,000 to $60,000 in donations to be targeted for the augmentation of the headquarters staff during the presidential campaign.
In response to a question by Mr. Ernsberger, Mr Willis said that the intention would be to retain the additional staff after the presidential campaign.
Mr Butler said that there has to be a clear separation for accounting and reporting purposes of money coming into the presidential campaign as opposed to the National Party. Mr Willis said that the additional staff will have to be brought in before July in order to be prepared for the post July workload. In response to a question from Mr. Famularo, Mr Dasbach said that while there is budgetary authority to hire more staff before July, we may be in a position in July to cut back not only on the extra staff but on current staff if the revenue projections fall short.
Mr Ernsberger said that as far back as the Clark campaign the commingling of the headquarters operation and the presidential campaign has been followed by a financial crisis and loss of morale.
Ms Allard made the following motion:
"The LNC supports the expanding of the staff to the extent permitted by targeted Browne fundraising for getting the office ready for the presidential campaign whomever is nominated"
Mr Dasbach stated that any staff brought on prior to the nomination will only be working on party business and not for any candidate.
Mr Famularo asked what the impact would be if we do not pass this motion. Mr Willis said that without this motion he could not entertain the inclusion of the presidential campaign into the headquarters operation in July.
Motion passed on voice vote - Sharon Ayres, Gary Johnson abstaining
28. Future Plans Dan Karlan
Mr Karlan asked the committee to indicate their plans for re-election.
Planning to run Not Planning to run
Dan Karlan Don Ernsberger
Steve Winter Gary Ilardi
Ron Crickenberger Thea McLean
29 Updating of Goals Steve Dasbach
Mr Dasbach said since we have achieved our goals in having a functioning Affiliate party in every state we should consider update the goal in that area. We should also consider updating the professionalism goal. Discussion of goals to be set at future meetings
John D. Famularo, Secretary