July 3, 2000
Present: Jim Lark, Chair
Dan Fylstra, Vice-Chair
Mark Tuniewicz, Treasurer
Steve Givot, Secretary
Ken Bisson (IN), At Large Representative
Lorenzo Gaztanaga (MD), At Large Representative
Elias Israel (MA), At Large Representative
Lois Kaneshiki (PA), At Large Representative
Jim Turney, At Large Representative
Ed Hoch (AK), Region 1 Representative
Mike Dixon (IL), Region 1 Representative
Joe Dehn (CA), Region 2 Representative
Scott Lieberman (CA), Region 2 Representative
Barbara Goushaw (MI), Region 3 Alternate
Michael "MG" Gilson de Lemos (FL), Region 4 Representative
Richard Schwarz (PA), Region 5 Representative
Dan Karlan (NJ), Region 6 Alternate
Also present: Dan Wisnosky (NV), Region 2 Alternate
Tim Hagan (NV), Region 2 Alternate
Absent: Jim Dexter (UT), Region 1 Alternate
Mark Nelson (IA), Region 1 Alternate
Sara Chambers (IN), Region 3 Representative
Ben Scherrey (GA), Region 4 Alternate
Carl Milsted, Jr (VA) - Region 5 Alternate
Ken Lindell (ME) - Region 6 Representative
Deryl Martin (TN) - Region 7 Representative
Mary Ruwart (TX) - Region 7 Alternate
Staff: Steve Dasbach, National Director
Ron Crickenberger, Political Director
Lark called the meeting to order at 3:13 PM PDT.
Givot said that the former regions 1 and 7 had merged to form a new Region 1 which is entitled to two LNC regional representatives. He said that LPNJ had left Region 5 and joined Region 6. He said that Region 8 was now renumbered to be Region 7.
Givot informed the Committee of the names of the newly elected LNC members. He said that Region 1 has informed him that they have chosen to have Dexter be the alternate of Hoch and Nelson be the alternate for Dixon. He asked if there was any objection to this method of ranking alternates from a multi-representative region.
There was no objection.
At the suggestion of Lark, each member introduced himself or herself.
Item: Setting of Agenda
Lark proposed an agenda. After recommendations from Committee members, the following agenda was adopted:
Appointment of Executive Committee
Appointment of Judicial Committee
Domain Name Negotiations
The agenda was adopted without objection.
Item: Chair's Comments
Lark said that he wants the help of all LNC members to do the best possible job. He said that he wants the work of the LNC to be open and "transparent" to members.
Item: Staff Reports
Dasbach said that he has no update on convention financial results. He said that attendance was in line with projections. He said that unlike the 1998 convention, there were few surprise expenses.
Tuniewicz said that he had heard that more than 100 media credentials were issued for the convention. He asked what coverage has resulted.
Dasbach said that CNN, Fox, Fox News, and others covered the convention.
Dasbach said that he had already seen print articles in USA Today and the LA Times.
Kaneshiki asked what information was available on 800-number calls generated by the convention.
Dasbach said that he had no information on this yet.
Crickenberger said that more than 300 "I want to volunteer" hits had developed on the web site during the convention.
Fylstra said that C-SPAN aired a 20- to 30-minute interview with Harry Browne this morning. He asked Dasbach if the party was close to breakeven on convention excluding banquet fundraising.
Dasbach said that he is unsure, but there is probably not a large swing either way.
Fylstra asked how much money was raised at the banquet?
Dasbach said that about $137,000 was raised.
Lieberman said that CBS radio covered the convention.
MG said that there had been great press coverage.
Givot asked whether there were any budgetary issues likely to arise in the next few months which the Executive Committee could not address.
Dasbach said that he is aware of not such issues.
Dehn asked where the $137,000 form banquet fundraising will be recorded on the party's financial statements.
Dasbach said that it will be on the budget line entitled "Convention Contributions."
Dehn asked what was budgeted for "Convention Contributions."
Dasbach said that $250,000 was budgeted for this.
Dehn asked what the $137,000 will be used to fund.
Dasbach said that it will be used to fund advertising.
Gaztanaga said that he was impressed with the Browne ads, particularly the IRS ad. He asked how often, and what time of day, will these ads run? He expressed concern that ads might run late at night on CNN. LNC Meeting
Givot said that the time available for sale is limited by the networks. He said that in 1992, for example, the party and the presidential campaign bought all they would sell on CNN Headline News. He said that in 1992 repetitive purchases on CNN in the same day parts were made to achieve ad repetition.
Dasbach said that in 1992, the 10AM-4PM and 12AM-3AM day parts were the most cost-effective time slots as measured by responses per dollar spent. He said that, in 1992, we tended to buy the same day part on different days to achieve multiple repetitions.
Dehn asked who will be doing the buying.
Dasbach said that to the extent that it is for presidential ads, it will be coordinated with the Browne campaign. He said that if it is bought in the LPHQ office, he is unsure who in the office would be buying it.
Dehn asked whether money raised at the convention will be used to pay for advertising slots already lined up by the Browne campaign.
Dasbach said that there has been no discussion with the Browne campaign on that subject.
Fylstra said that the budgeted $1 million for media advertising has not been apportioned among different ads or media.
MG asked Dasbach to clarify his comments about the two best performing day parts. He asked whether the response time was measured based on the time shown locally, or whether there was a simultaneous national broadcast of the ads.
Dasbach said that ads were broadcast simultaneously and that the times of all calls were Eastern Time. He said that CNN runs ads simultaneously in all time zones.
Crickenberger reported that the OK ballot drive is complete and that the LP has been certified for inclusion on the ballot. He said that 99,000 signatures were handed in.
Crickenberger reported that the IL ballot Drive is also complete. He said that more than 70,000 signatures were handed in. He said that as of Friday, no requests to copy petitions had been tendered to the State Board of Elections, so that it seems likely that the IL petition will not be challenged this year.
Crickenberger said that the allocation of resources to complete the OK ballot drive has snowballed through to other states' ballot drives. He said that PA has recently called for help - needing about 30,000 additional signatures this month. He said that CT needs about 8,000 signatures by the first week in August. He said that ballot drives in DC, ME, ND, NY, and RI all lie ahead.
Crickenberger said that he is confident about achieving the goal of running at least 218 candidates for the U. S. House. He said that there are currently 236 announced candidates, but all are not on the ballot. He said that something could happen, but he is confident that the 218 congressional candidate goal will be met or exceeded.
MG asked if the cost per signature - in the $1 to $2 range - is the cost per gross signature or the cost per net signature.
Crickenberger said that is the cost per gross signature.
Hoch complimented Crickenberger on a job well done.
Item: Regional Reports
Dixon said that his region has selected two ranked alternates for his seat and filed a document with the Secretary. He said that the second ranked alternate is only promoted if there is a death or resignation of either the representative or the first ranked alternate.
Givot indicated that he is prepared to accept this approach.
Bisson said that he understands that the region is free to designate its representatives as it chooses.
Goushaw said that she has distributed a report from LPMI. She recognized Greg Dirasian as the person who prepared this report.
Fylstra said that there has been great variation in the quality of past regional reports from great to "thin." He asked the regional representatives to come to each LNC meeting having made a strong effort to contact each state chair in their region.
Fylstra said that he hopes that the At Large representatives will also make an effort to contact others to be aware of what is happening.
Bisson offered to provide a sample of his past regional reports to anyone who would like them.
Hoch said that his region has nine states. He said that this is a lot of people to contact. He said that it is often difficult to make contact with that many affiliates. He said that there is a natural tendency to stop trying to contact people who are difficult to contact.
MG asked what the three salient features of a truly outstanding regional report are.
Fylstra referred the questions to Bisson.
Bisson said that he would like to see what the state chairs feel is an important activity going on in their state plus any problems the state chair may have with what the LNC is doing.
Crickenberger said that a description of individual campaigns, candidates, and activities would be helpful.
Goushaw said handy tips as to what works would be helpful.
Givot said that description of things that were tried and did not work is also helpful.
Item: Meeting Schedule
Lark said that he would prefer to see the Committee move toward four scheduled meetings per year.
Lark asked about the possibility of holding a meeting in late August.
Givot asked what the purpose a late-summer/early-autumn meeting would be.
Lark said that it would be a strategy planning session.
Crickenberger said that August is a time for action, not strategizing.
Tuniewicz asked Lark to define strategy more precisely.
Givot talked about instituting a formal planning cyde. He said that the current cycle began with goal setting, budgeting to meet those goals, and adoption of a staff bonus plan to recognize the extent to which the staff accomplishes those goals. He said that to complete the cycle, the LNC will have to formally review goal attainment.
Givot said that, for the current year, there was relatively little time between the setting of goals and the adoption of the budget. He said that allowing more time between the two would give staff a better opportunity to assure that resources were allocated reasonably to achieve the adopted goals.
Dehn said that he supports the four meetings per year concept in general, but thinks it may be too soon to have a meeting in August.
Lieberman spoke about the cost of attending a fourth meeting each year in DC.
Givot said that he favors meeting around the country, except in December, when the budget is adopted. He cited the need for staff to have access to information at LPHQ during that meeting.
Fylstra said that, as a practical matter, the LNC relies on staff to prepare a draft budget. He said that if there is no meeting before December, the staff will prepare a budget and it will be adopted largely as presented. He said that if the members of the Committee want to have a major impact on the budget, then an earlier meeting is needed.
Karlan said that, in the past, the LNC has held its meetings around the country. He said that two reasons that was changed were (1) conflicts between what the local, hosting affiliate party expected and what the LNC expected, and (2) the cost of transporting three staff members instead of one staff member.
Israel said that it makes sense to have a strategy session first, allow time for preparing a budget proposal, then a meeting to adopt the budget.
MG suggested an ongoing, working emeeting to review policy and strategy. He said that it is better to research and review the materials over a period of time. He said that, by December, the Committee will know what is happening and where it wants to go.
Givot said that he feels it is important that the LNC meets - or reserves a specific time to meet - sufficiently in advance of the September 6 deadline for certification of candidates to the AZ Secretary of State. He said that the LNC may wish to consider action to assure 50 state ballot plus DC access at a meeting scheduled sufficiently prior to that date.
Lark asked the Committee's consent to hear a report from former LNC member John Buttrick regarding AZ.
Buttrick reported that last night the LNC met and directed Bergland to sign an agreement - previously signed by ALP - seeking to assure that the convention's nominees are on the ballot in AZ. He said that the agreement has only been signed by ALP and LNC. He said that ALP, Inc. replied by presenting another proposed agreement which has only ALP, Inc.'s signature on it.
Buttrick said that the main issue before the LNC should be how to get the Browne/Olivier ticket on the ballot. He said that there are three possible ways to achieve this.
Buttrick said that the first way is for ALP to unilaterally decide to do so. He said that this morning the ALP chair and Harry Browne had a "cordial" meeting. He said that ALP has invited Browne to come to AZ to address the ALP governing board. He said that there are no assurances that this will lead to placing Browne's or Olivier's names on the ballot.
Buttrick said that a second way to resolve this dispute is if an agreement is reached between ALP and ALP, Inc. which calls for both parties to place Browne's and Olivier's names on the AZ ballot. He said that many conversations have taken place today, but that as heartening as these are, this has been seen before.
Buttrick said that a third way to place Browne's and Olivier's names on the ballot is a change in affiliation prior to September 6.
Givot asked for the substantive differences between our proposal and the ALP, Inc. document.
Buttrick said that there are three substantive differences.
Buttrick said that the first difference is that the agreement signed by ALP and LNC calls for both ALP and ALP, Inc. chairs' names to be listed by the LNC until the matter is resolved in the courts. He said that the ALP Inc. document calls for only their chair's name to be listed.
Buttrick said that the second difference between the documents relates to the triggering event for determining which group is recognized by the LNC as its affiliate. He said that the document signed by ALP and LNC defines the triggering event as a final judgment or settlement of Count I of the complaint. He said that the ALP Inc. document is more generalized about who wins the lawsuit or which is the real LPAZ. He said that this last issue is not before the court at this time.
Buttrick said that the third difference between the documents is that the agreement signed by ALP and LNC calls for no future litigation in government courts. He said that it calls for dispute resolution by mediation instead. He said that the ALP Inc. document struck that provision entirely, permitting anyone to sue anyone for sometime to come.
Israel said that fatigue on the part of Committee members might lead to a mistake if action is taken today. He suggested referring the matter to the Executive Committee.
Lark said that the purpose of the report from Buttrick was to provide some guidance to the LNC as to whether to schedule a meeting before September 6.
Dehn moved to have a meeting over the Labor Day weekend - September 2 and 3.
Dehn said that August is too soon.
Givot said that this may be too close to the September 6 deadline.
Dixon moved to amend the proposed meeting dates to August 19 and 20.
John Zajac - ALP Inc. Secretary - said that the September 6 deadline is not hard and fast. He said that in his opinion the LNC has until the end of September to address this matter. He offered his understanding of relevant AZ law.
Givot asked whether there is any assurance that the AZ Supreme Court will decide the matters on appeal prior to September 6.
Gaztanaga said that when the government requires you to submit documents by a certain date, it is not a matter of opinion.
Zajac said that the date is not set by statutes.
Gaztanaga said that he would like to see in writing what the required date for submission of the names of candidates and electors is.
Dehn said too much time is being spent on this. He said that in the past the LNC could never tell when these things would terminate. He said that we will end up setting a date that makes no sense. He said that we should set a date that makes sense for the Committee.
Goushaw asked whether the purpose of such a meeting - other than AZ - could be to set strategy upon which to develop a budget.
Lark said that was his preference.
Dasbach said that as soon as September begins it will be increasingly difficult for staff to support such a meeting.
The Committee voted, 9 to 6, to meet on the weekend of August 19 and 20..
Givot read into the record a letter from the State of AZ which identified a September 6 deadline for submission of this information.
Dasbach suggested that it might be imprudent to set a meeting date without stronger consensus.
Israel moved to reconsider.
The motion to reconsider passed.
The motion to hold an LNC meeting on the weekend of August 19 and 20 failed on a voice vote.
MG moved that the LNC meet in the Washington, D.C. area on December 9 and 10 and that Lark should set up telephonic or electronic conferences to provide input to the planning and budgeting process.
Goushaw said that she would like to see a proposed budget well in advance of the scheduled December meeting.
Goushaw said that she would like to see copies of whatever documentation exists regarding AZ including the minutes of the August 1999 LNC meeting as revised as well as all materials submitted by both sides of the dispute distributed to new LNC members.
Dasbach asked that someone other than the staff determine which documents will be provided.
The motion setting the next LNC meeting for the weekend of December 9 and 10 passed on a voice vote.
Item: Appointment of Executive Committee
Israel nominated Bisson.
Bisson nominated Dehn.
Goushaw nominated MG.
Kaneshiki asked for a description of the role of the Executive Committee.
Bisson read the description from the Policy Manual.
Givot described frequency of meetings and historical number of meetings.
Givot moved electing all nominated individuals to the Executive Committee.
Fylstra advised the Committee that being on the Executive Committee involves a significant level of commitment both in terms of the number of hours required and the immediacy of availability.
The motion passed unanimously and Bisson, Dehn, and MG were appointed to the Executive Committee.
Item: Appointment of Judicial Committee
Bisson moved to retain current Judicial Committee, that the current members be contacted prior to the December 2000 LNC meeting, and that at that meeting the LNC appoint replacements for anyone not wiling to continue to serve.
Turney said that he understands that Bruce LaGasse does not wish to continue to serve.
Israel said that if the motion on the floor passes he will be unable to nominate Dan Fitzgerald, and he would like to minutes to reflect his desire to nominate Fitzgerald.
Fylstra said that he opposes the motion. He said that it is unfortunate that the lack of a quorum earlier in the day at the convention has placed the LNC in this position. He said that the lack of the quorum prevented the convention from voting to elect a Judicial Committee and it would be unfortunate if the LNC also postponed action.
Givot said that he could not make an informed choice absent information about some of the people nominated at the convention before it was adjourned.
Dehn said that the motion would provide continuity.
Fylstra said that a number of people went to the trouble to ask to be considered for election to the Judicial Committee. He said that his choice would be made by relying on the information that would now be provided by the nominator.
Givot moved to substitute that the LNC shall retain the current Judicial Committee on an interim basis, that the LNC directs the Chair to contact the current Judicial Committee members to determine which are willing to serve for another two years, that the LNC directs the Chair to contact the individuals nominated at the convention to confirm their willingness to serve, that the LNC directs the Chair to solicit information (not to exceed one page) from each interested individual, and that a mail, preference, instant-runoff ballot be conducted between September 1 and September 15 to determine a ranking from which any vacancies will be filled during the term of the Judicial Committee.
Kaneshiki said that she believes having the LNC appoint an entire Judicial Committee would be a conflict of interest. She said that the purpose of having the convention elect the Judicial Committee is to avoid such a conflict.
Tuniewicz said that leaving the Judicial Committee vacant does not provide adequate checks and balances.
Karlan said that choosing to fill only the vacancies has the advantage of retaining as many people elected by a convention as possible.
The substitute was accepted on a voice vote without objection.
The motion passed on a voice vote without objection.
Item: Administrative Procedures
Givot informed the Committee regarding several procedures in place over the last two years regarding the preparation of draft minutes for LNC and Executive Committee meetings as well as the minutes review cycie.
Givot said that, in addition to what has been done in the past two years, it is his intention to send draft minutes to all Executive Committee meeting attendees and to send email copies of all approved Executive Committee meeting minutes to the entire LNC, not waiting to distribute them prior to LNC meetings.
Givot reported that on June 30, 2000 the LNC adopted several changes to the LNC policy manual. He said that he would prepare the revised LNC Policy Manual for distribution within one week.
Givot said that he would also prepare a set of the last two years' LNC and Executive Committee meeting minutes and send copies to all new LNC members. He noted that Dasbach has already provided minutes of the March 2000 LNC meeting and the Executive Committee meeting minutes since then to new LNC members attending this meeting.
Goushaw asked that a list of LNC members showing who has been on the Committee and how long be prepared and distributed.
The Committee adjourned 5:45 PM PDT.