Document:LNC Minutes 7-8 March 1998
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Minutes. Libertarian National Committee. Regular Meeting, Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8, 1998. [Approved.] The Libertarian National Committee met on Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8, 1998, in Washington, D.C., at the George Washington University Inn, 824 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. The chair, Steve Dasbach, called the meeting to order on Saturday, March 7, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Credentials. The secretary, Gary Johnson, announced that John Famularo had been appointed the Region 5 alternate. Present for all or part of the meeting were the following: chair, Stephen L. Dasbach; vice chair, Karen A. Allard; secretary, Gary E. Johnson; treasurer, Hugh A. Butler; at-large, Sharon A. Ayres; at-large, John Buttrick; at-large, Steven I. Givot; at-large, Barbara Goushaw; at-large, William W. Hall; Region 1 representative, Joseph W. Dehn III; Region 2 representative, Gene Cisewski; Region 3 representative, Ken Bisson; Region 4 representative, Candi Copas; Region 5 representative, Tim Moir; Region 7 representative, Robert H. Franke; Region 8 representative, Geoffrey J. Neale; Region 1 alternate Scott Lieberman; and Region 5 alternate John Famularo. Region 1 representative Paul Smith, Region 6 representative Mark A. Tuniewicz, Region 1 alternate Terry "Curt" Savage, Region 2 alternate Bennett Rutledge, Region 3 alternate Donald Gallick, Region 4 alternate Gary Ilardi, Region 6 alternate Joseph Brennan, Region 7 alternate Mike Ginsberg, and Region 8 alternate Lynn Atherton did not attend. Minutes. Ken Bisson said the December 13-14, 1997, LNC minutes should have said Region 3 alternate Donald Gallick was present and David Bergland was elected chair of the Rules and Bylaws Committee, not the Platform Committee. Steve Givot said his name should have been included as being in favor of a vote of confidence in Bill Winter as LP News editor and director of communications. Steve Givot recalled he had said "almost all," not "all," speakers at the national convention would be party members. Joe Dehn said Paul Smith should have been listed as not present at the meeting. Sharon Ayres moved to approve the minutes of the December 13-14 LNC meeting as amended. The motion passed. Agenda. The agenda for the meeting was set. Executive Committee Minutes. Minutes of recent Executive Committee meetings were reviewed. Audit Committee Report. The chair of the three-member Audit Committee, Tim Moir, said there was no majority report, but committee member Geoff Neale presented a written minority report. There was a general discussion of what tax forms, if any, the party would need to file. Hugh Butler said that, although the audit firm was not hired to deal with taxes, he would like for the firm to be asked for its opinion on the party's tax liability. Tim Moir said the Audit Committee agreed with the audit firm's recommendations, saying they were common sense and low cost. Joe Dehn expressed concern that the dates on the written audit material were inconsistent. Ron Crickenberger said a final report for 1996 had been received by e-mail but not yet on letterhead stationery. Hugh Butler expressed concern that the audit firm had mistakenly reported an accounting error (In fact, it was not an error.) and that the party had to pay Stuart Reges to correct the misunderstanding. Noting that the dates on some of the audit firm's paperwork were inconsistent, Sharon Ayres said the headquarters should time stamp the paperwork when it was received. Tim Moir said the Audit Committee felt the audit firm did a good job except in communication. He said the committee recommended hiring the same firm for an audit of 1997, with the report to be ready by the end of May. Gene Cisewski moved to (1) direct the headquarters staff to resolve the tax exposure issues and report back to the Audit Committee and the LNC, (2) keep the 1996 Audit Committee report open until the final letter was received from the audit firm, and (3) proceed with the same firm for an audit for 1997 to be completed by May 31. Karen Allard moved to divide the question. The motion to divide passed. Hugh Butler said the first motion was unnecessary because the treasurer was responsible for tax issues. Steve Givot moved to amend the motion to change it from "direct the headquarters staff" to "direct the headquarters staff and the treasurer." The amendment passed. The first of the three motions passed as amended. Joe Dehn moved to amend the second motion to set a deadline for closing the 1996 Audit Committee report of no later than May 31. The amendment passed. There was a discussion of whether the second motion was necessary. Steve Givot said the LNC's acceptance of the 1996 Audit Committee report, when finished, would close the report. Karen Allard moved, as a substitute for the third motion, to (1) have the LNC hire the same independent auditors, the accounting firm Rubino and McGeehin, to conduct a 1997 audit immediately and report to the LNC by April 15 and (2) have the LNC appoint a new Audit Committee for the 1997 audit. Steve Dasbach said it would be impossible to finish by April 15. Karen Allard accepted May 31 as a friendly amendment. The substitute for the third motion passed. There was a discussion of the appointment of the 1997 Audit Committee. Sharon Ayres nominated Geoff Neale, Steve Givot, and Bob Franke. They were elected. Information System Audit. Geoff Neale described his audit of the computer systems at the national headquarters in the Watergate. He expressed concern about software programmed by John Famularo for which the source code was inaccessible. Geoff Neale said physical security at the office needed to be improved to protect against a break-in or burglary. The meeting recessed from 11 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. EST. Steve Dasbach said the office management agreed with the recommendations of the information system audit and promised to implement them. John Famularo said he would reply in writing to the concerns expressed about the software. He said he owned the proprietary source code and programmer Dan Gallagher had no authority to change it. John Famularo gave a history of the software beginning in 1989. He said he intended to move legally against Dan Gallagher for changing the software without permission. Karen Allard presided. There was an extensive discussion of the history of the software on the computers at the headquarters, which had been written and revised over the years by several programmers. Questions were raised about who, if anyone, had known that John Famularo considered it proprietary. Steve Givot moved to accept Geoff Neale's information system audit report. The motion passed. Steve Dasbach again presided. Karen Allard asked John Famularo to give the party its corporate seal. He said he had a seal, but not "the" party seal. Chair's Report. Steve Dasbach presented a written chair's report. The financials for 1997 were discussed. Directors and Officers Insurance. Bill Hall said quotes for directors and officers insurance had been solicited from underwriters. He said $1 million of coverage would cost about $6,000. John Buttrick said the insurance policy being considered looked like a good one. Ron Crickenberger asked about employee practices liability insurance. Steve Givot moved to purchase a directors and officers insurance policy for $1 million of coverage. There was a discussion of investigating the savings from a higher deductible. The motion passed. Treasurer's Report. Hugh Butler presented a written treasurer's report. Steve Dasbach said the Policy Manual should be changed to eliminate the requirement that checks at the headquarters have two signatures. Legal Counsel's Report. The legal counsel, Bill Hall, reported that the party was not a defendant in any lawsuits. He said he had been working on negotiating the convention contracts. He said a confidentiality agreement needed to be signed by the headquarters employees covering, for example, the treatment of software. He recommended formalizing the policies on mailing list rentals, in light of recent problems with unauthorized uses. He reported that he had started work on registering the party's name as a trademark and he expected the process to take about a year. Headquarters Report. The national director, Ron Crickenberger, presented a written report on the headquarters. He said Tiffany Rodney was leaving the staff and Nick Dunbar, a former national director, had been hired as office manager. In answer to a question from Hugh Butler, Perry Willis described the status of the Archimedes membership prospecting project. Internet. The Webmaster, Joe Dehn, described recent changes in the Web site. Credit card payments could be accepted. He said video was not worth the cost. Joe Dehn said he would be able to provide information about the national convention from the floor. There was a discussion of allowing members to join over the Internet. Gary Johnson said the Bylaws require new members to certify "in writing" they do not believe in the initiation of force and joining through the Web site would require a change in the Bylaws. David Bergland and John Buttrick said, legally, all that was needed was ascent and that memberships could be accepted over the Internet without a Bylaws change. Steve Dasbach said that, unless the LNC objected, the headquarters would accept the certification for membership from the Web site. Gary Johnson moved to not accept computer certification and to refer the matter to the Rules and Bylaws Committee at the next national convention. The motion failed. Communications. The director of communications, Bill Winter, presented a written report. George Getz, press secretary, described recent publicity. Bill Winter noted that the Web site was being mentioned in L.P. News. He said he planned to hire a reporter. In answer to a question from Gene Cisewski, Bill Winter said an ad from Bumper Hornberger had not run in the April issue because the deadline had been earlier, but the ad would run in the May issue. The meeting recessed from Saturday at 5:30 p.m. to Sunday at 9:00 a.m. EST. Political Director. Ron Crickenberger reported on his work as political director. He said 250 Libertarians were in office. He said he believed 1,000 candidates would run in 1998 and 122 were already running for Congress. He said $13,000 had been given to Carl Strang for the Florida State Representative campaign, $6,000 raised by e-mail. Ballot Access. The projects manager, Kris Williams, reported on the petitioning for ballot access. National Director (Continued). Ron Crickenberger complained that John Famularo had walked into the headquarters and used a computer to look at party data without first asking the staff for permission. There was a discussion of this. Ron Crickenberger presented a written report about problems with the use of the mailing list by Gene Cisewski's company, the Monticello Group. Gene Cisewski said that, in the campaign for Governor of New Jersey, the candidate Murray Sabrin had signed the contract with the party and he, as a vendor to the Sabrin campaign, had not seen the contract. Gene Cisewski apologized for changing a fund raising letter for the Institute for Humane Studies after a draft of the letter had approved by Ron Crickenberger. In answer to questions from Karen Allard, Gene Cisewski said he and his company did not have still have a copy of the party's mailing list, he and his company were not using it without authorization, and he understood the policy on the use of the list. There was a discussion of safeguards to protect the mailing list. Geoff Neale said the agreement should include penalties for violating it. Steve Givot said the problem was with getting the list back from the candidate after the campaign. Joe Dehn suggested giving the list only to approved mail houses. National Conventions. Steve Givot announced that a $95,000 check had been received from the Sheraton Washington Hotel for its cancellation of the contract for the 1998 national convention. He said the hotel had helped with negotiating for the Washington Convention Center. He described the program for the convention and said speakers were being lined up. Kris Williams reported on the exhibit hall, the staging, and the sound and lighting. Steve Dasbach said the party had a "hold" on the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles for the 2000 national convention. Kris Williams asked if a professional vendor could be hired to run future national conventions. David Bergland recalled that Ed Crane had hired one for the 1979 convention. Regional Reports. Joe Dehn and Scott Lieberman presented an oral report on Region 1. Gene Cisewski presented a written report on Region 2. Ken Bisson presented an oral report on Region 3. Candi Copas presented a written report on Region 4. Tim Moir presented a written report on Region 5. Bob Franke and Steve Givot presented an oral report on Region 7. Geoff Neale and John Buttrick presented an oral report on Region 8. Convention Committees. The LNC elects 5 of the 10 members of the Credentials Committee at the national convention. Gene Cisewski nominated Steve Boone of Maryland, Tim Moir nominated Berlie Etzel of Pennsylvania, Bob Franke nominated Mike Ginsberg of Illinois, Karen Allard nominated Dena Johansen of Virginia, and Gary Johnson nominated Dean Ahmad of Maryland. All 5 were elected. Karen Allard nominated Dena Johnansen for interim chair. He was elected. Bob Franke nominated Ron Emery of Wisconsin for first ranked alternate by the LNC to the Credentials Committee, Steve Givot nominated B. David Pierenboom of Illinois for second ranked alternate, and Gene Cisewski nominated Shelley Tamres of Virginia for third ranked alternate. All were elected. Karen Allard nominated Dana Johansen for first ranked alternate by the LNC for the Platform Committee and Gene Cisewski nominated Bill Piper of the District of Columbia for second ranked alternate. They were elected. Future LNC Meetings. Geoff Neale moved to meet Wednesday, July 1, at 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C., at the convention hotel. The motion passed. Policy Manual. Steve Givot moved to delete from Part III, "Officers," Section 3, "Position Description of National Treasurer," Paragraph B, "Checking Accounts," of the Policy Manual the sentence "Each and every checking account established, except payroll accounts, will require two signatures on all checks." The effect would be to allow the checks to have a single signature. Joe Dehn moved to amend the motion to keep the sentence and add the words "over $1,000" at the end. Karen Allard presided. Steve Dasbach, Ron Crickenberger, and Perry Willis spoke against the motion to amend. The motion to amend failed. Joe Dehn asked for his vote in favor to be recorded in the minutes. The main motion passed. Joe Dehn voted against. Steve Dasbach again presided. Steve Givot moved to delete from Article IV, "Staff," Section 3, "Employment Policies," Paragraph C, in the Policy Manual the sentence "No employee shall serve as a delegate to any National or State Party convention." and to renumber Paragraph D to C. There was a discussion of conflicts of interest. The motion failed. Steve Givot moved to delete from Article IV, "Staff," Section 3, "Employment Policies," Paragraph C, in the Policy Manual the words "or State." The motion passed. Joe Dehn voted against. Gene Cisewski moved to adjourn. The motion passed. The meeting ended at 12:05 p.m. EST. Respectfully submitted, Gary E. Johnson, secretary.