Document:New York Newsletter March 2001 Free New York

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F R E E N E W Y O R K March 2001

Inside This Issue

1.) US Senate Campaign Analysis

2.) LTE "Mining"

3.) Lesczynski Runs for At-Large Rep

4.) Manhattan Elects Officers

5.) Convention Info

Address Changes

All address changes/corrections should be sent to:

The Libertarian Party Watergate Office Building 2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100 Washington, DC 20037


April 28, 2001 LPNY Convention Holiday Inn-Midtown West 57th Street Manhattan

April 30, 2001

 	Deadline for FNY Articles

May 2001 Next Issue of FNY

U.S. Senate Campaign Analysis

  • * SENATE REDUX, 2001 and BEYOND

by John Clifton, LPNY US Senate Candidate, 2000

I am exceedingly proud to have served as the LPNY's candidate for U.S. Senate in the tumultuous election year 2000. I conceived the effort from the first as the opportunity to integrate several strategies I felt the party had not yet seriously tried out in New York (although proven elsewhere), to gain greater coverage and funding for the Libertarian cause. This meant deviating from the traditional third party formula campaign to a certain extent --- a drift that drew mixed results, among them some major achievements, and several missed opportunities. Briefly, in that order:

Major Achievements: For once, the nomination of a (non-celebrity) LPNY candidate received saturation coverage by the regular media. The early scheduling of the state convention allowed the LPNY to be "first out of the box" with an alternative to the Clinton and (then) Giuliani candidacies. This, coupled with the 14-inch NY Times profile of my campaign (resulting from heavy background work by Richard Cooper), triggered a deluge of reports following the convention, from Associated Press, Time Warner, etc. This news breakthrough was by far the premiere accomplishment of LPNY in 2000, besides the eminent domain protest efforts. I was later profiled again in the Times, along with Newsday, and innumerable regional papers and radio talk shows throughout the year. Besides this exposure, the campaign was able to produce and air professionally made TV commercials (in addition to radio spots) on cable in NYC, Albany and Rochester, a first for LPNY. I had driven most of my campaign resources and appeals into making this happen, even while being advised that "we couldn't afford that." I by contrast tended to favor the wealth orientation promoted by Robert Kiyosaki (author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"), who suggests the correct question to always ask is, "How can I afford it?" Through post-production assistance from Matt Seigel in Brooklyn, and Third Wheel Productions in Nevada, the campaign found cost effective means of creating or customizing TV spots. I think future statewide Libertarian candidates should avail themselves of the "video pipeline" Seigel has in place to streamline the production of commercials, and utilize cable systems to affordably reach the masses. I also heartily recommend the use of well-designed websites to project a professional image to their campaigns. My site was subject to high traffic (at one point hundreds of unique hits per week!) and was cited by many as the only third party site that compared with those of the major parties. Ultimately, the Clifton for Senate Campaign raised over $13,600, the highest amount of money raised for a LPNY statewide candidate ever. I was reported by the NY Times to be the best funded minor party campaign in the New York U.S. Senate Race.

Missed Opportunities: The biggest setback probably came at the outset of the campaign, during the high point of media coverage of my nomination. The lack of campaign cash and organization at the beginning led to my being unable to capitalize on the crest of momentum once it arrived. In retrospect, any candidate just setting up shop in the spring of an election year would have found themselves "behind the curve" (just ask Rick Lazio). Within a month, the wave had dissipated, and for most of the year I was not mentioned by the media, almost as if the late April news explosion had never happened. Even Carla Howell's Senate campaign in Mass. suffered this "ignore third party candidate" syndrome, despite having planned out her campaign much longer in advance. Lesson one for future candidates -- be able to hit the ground running once nominated, to even have a chance at beating back big-media blackout. Another missed moment came from my not being able to secure cross-nominations by other parties, which could have vastly increased my resources and visibility to other New Yorkers. Specifically, in hindsight it appears both the state's Constitution and Right to Life Parties (according to sources I spoke with in November) would have been very receptive to me, but were unaware of my existence prior to nominating from within. I was unable to find out the dates of their conventions until they had already held them. The Conservative Party was not receptive to my inquiries, especially once Lazio became available to run. I attended several Independence Party functions, including their Senate nominating convention in June, and ran across a number of estranged or lapsed Libertarians among their ranks. They had also decided on promoting an insider (Jeff Graham, whom I later was informed was a reluctant candidate), in a proceeding that seemed to me utterly steeped in hardball or pettiness. The one outstanding person I encountered there who redeemed the event was Tom Loughlin, an 'IP' and LP member who concurred with me over how Machievellian the IP was becoming. As Loughlin's own attempts to forge a coalition candidacy also failed despite much greater efforts, I would advise as lesson two: if planning to gain several party endorsements, network early and often, to have enough standing in each party apparatus to succeed. Finally, I over-estimated the clout of the Hillary-Lazio race as a fundraising trigger for third party candidates. The attempts to raise enough money nationally (through LP News, and the website) to begin airing commercials in September was not successful, causing the air dates to be pushed back repeatedly, until the last weeks of the race. This caused me to guard my cash accordingly, which in turn pushed back the ordering or distribution of other campaign media (stickers, signs) until late in the campaign. If I had detected this error in time, I would have run the ads sooner, rather than at the end. I strongly advise future candidates seeking to run commercials to plan to acquire cash early, such that they can run their spots earlier on. Early exposure could lead to enough funds coming in from the viewers to finance subsequent airings. I would highly recommend studying the campaigns of Murray Sabrin (1997) and Carla Howell (2000) in this regard. Campaigns in 2001 should focus on getting the message out closer to the outset than at the finish line, and without relying on the media to give you appropriate exposure to most voters. They won't. I still strongly believe regular advertising, not media interviews or personal appearances, is the preferred way to go to get the Libertarian message to the general population in a reliable and controlled manner. A large number of the interviews I did were either mangled by the interviewer, not published or used, or swiftly forgotten, because the message was not repeated or restated properly, as a careful ad campaign can do. I also found "candidate's nights" to be a profound waste or misuse of time --- neither "real" people/regular voters, nor actual candidates attend these events (just their reps). Personal appearances should be restricted to functions where you, the candidate, are addressing supporters or pro-liberty voting blocks (e.g., fundraisers) and you, yourself constitute "the event" --- not tagging along, crashing, or providing the inventory to someone else's event. I would like to thank Jeff Monheit for his able and dedicated work as campaign treasurer, and to Bill McMillen for advising us on FEC arcania. I appreciate the impromptu coaching Richard Cooper and Bonnie Scott provided, and to all the regional reps who agreed to be available for advice and counsel. I am grateful to Alton Yee and Bob Armstrong for making the effort to show up at key functions. I am particularly appreciative of the work of Keith Gardner of Georgia in reworking the website, now archived by LPNY for use by future candidates. Most of all, I thank all LP members in New York and nationally, who donated to and encouraged my candidacy through the whole long year. Peace And Freedom in 2001!



by Dave Hoesly

A source of Libertarian recruits which should not be overlooked is the Letters-to-the-Editor (LTE) column. Letters appear regularly, supporting some aspect of individual freedom. In the Rochester area, we have begun systematically "mining" this source in our effort to grow our local organization. This article reviews the nuts and bolts of our approach. I'll say at the outset that if you can have one person handle both the LTE mining and the management of your mailing list database (DB), there's a major efficiency to be realized. This is because after the person identifying target LTEs has gone to the trouble to look up the writer's address, s/he can then easily record the address (and the phone number) in the local LP DB. Our process begins by scanning the letters and op-eds for writers who agree with libertarianism on some subject. I cover the daily paper and a couple of the suburban weeklies. The writer's address can be looked up using resources such as the phone book, online people-finders (one, which queries six search engines, is, and voter records. Our local Board of Elections sells a CD listing all the voters in our county, which we can search by several criteria thanks to software written by one of our members. This CD was originally acquired for use in our petitioning effort to get a congressional candidate on the ballot. Three items are enclosed with my letter: the Advocates' World's Smallest Political Quiz, and two brochures from ISIL and/or the LP which are relevant to the writer's subject. One first-class stamp suffices. Before composing the letter, I check the DB to see if I have written to this person before. If so, I try phone contact rather than mail. Otherwise, I compose a letter whose first paragraph is personalized, but the rest is generic, such as:

Dear Mr. Schmoe,

I enjoyed reading your letter-to-the-editor in the D&C. You're right on the mark with your lucid and persuasive article linking increase in crime to decrease in gun ownership!

I am helping the Libertarian Party build its chapter in the greater Rochester area, and am seeking your support!

I've enclosed a couple of libertarian brochures for your perusal.

If you have comments or questions about issues or the LP's programs, I'd be delighted to hear from you by e-mail, phone or snail mail.

Thanks for making your public statement!

For Freedom, /s/ DDH

My contact information is listed in the footer on my letterhead. After stuffing and sealing the letter, I file the cutout LTE in a [real] folder, and add the writer to our DB, including info on when and where his/her letter appeared, its subject and which brochures were sent, and when. Although the publishing frequency of pro-freedom letters ebbs and flows, the average meriting follow-up, in our area, is three per week - in 2000, I followed up on 154 LTEs. Metropolitan Rochester includes about a million people, and New York is very statist, so you can probably adjust the numbers for a similar project in your area. Replies have come in by phone, snail mail and e-mail. This feedback, and that from phone follow-ups when we invite the LTE writers to LP activities, allow us to cull uninterested people from the DB. (Actually, they stay in our DB so we don't waste time contacting them again; they're merely deselected when we print mailing labels from the DB.) Those who are interested are asked for their e-mail address. As I write, our e-mail distribution list saves us 152 first-class stamps every time we want to send info to our sympathizers and activists. I have seen thousands of dollars spent on campaigns which generated a few dozen names for the DB. While campaigns have their place, this method — which contacts people who have already identified themselves as caring about liberty — is remarkably efficient in comparison. Any LP chapter can derive benefit by using it.

Editor's Note: For those who would like to institute a similar program in their districts, the software programmer for Monroe County LP is willing to provide help and advice but cautions, "The likelihood of the data format of other counties' voter databases being identical to our local county's database is very small."

E-mail Dave Hoesly: Monroe LP Website:

Lesczynski Runs for At-Large Rep

Lesczynski Running for At-Large Rep to State Committee

Jim Lesczynski is running for At-Large Representative to the State Committee of the Libertarian Party of New York. Lesczynski is actively involved in politics through the New York County (Manhattan) chapter of the Libertarian Party, serving as the chapter's media relations director and as a member of its county executive committee. In the fall of 2000, Lesczynski joined other New York Libertarians at the Nassau County Supreme Court Building to protest the eminent domain seizure of St. Luke's Church. He also actively supported the campaign of Scott Jeffrey (Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress) by issuing press releases and distributing campaign literature at street fairs and near polling places on Election Day. He will also seek the nomination of the Libertarian Party to be its candidate for New York City Council, 5th District in 2001. Lesczynski's political commentary frequently appears on, and In his spare time, he tutors adults in computer literacy at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and participates in various volunteer activities through New York Cares. Lesczynski is also an accomplished writer and marketing communications professional currently working in the financial services industry. He has an MBA from New York University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Bowling Green State University. Lesczynski lives with his wife Dawn in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan.

Manhattan Elects Officers

Manhattan Holds Convention

LP Manhattan Chapter elected officials in its first annual convention on January 10th. Elected were:

Jak Karako - Chair James Lesczynski - Director of Media Relations Travis Pahl - Director of Personal Freedom Issues Gary Snyder - Secretary/Treasurer Charles Eppler - Director of Economic Freedom Issues

The Manhattan chapter is poised to be an active one, already attracting 40 people on a regular basis, and getting involved in local politics, elections, editorials and other activities. We are looking for volunteers, activists, and supporters.

Email: Website:

Convention Info


Holiday Inn-Midtown, 440 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019-3051 Between 9th and 10th Avenues. 1-800-HOLIDAY.

We will elect a State Chair and other state officers (Treasurer, Vice-Chairs, Secretary, and At-Large Representatives). We can consider other business. If you plan to run, please advise soon to LPNY. We may host the nominating convention for Mayor and other NYC offices.

Speakers will include (as of 2/13/01): Ray Mincone -- prime mover of the OSCAR lawsuit for property owners against NY State -- "Your Property, Your Home -- Whose Is It?" Joan Kennedy Taylor -- VP of Feminists for Free Expression; National Coordinator of Association of Libertarian Feminists -- "Free Expression: Separating State & Culture" Dr. Donna Gaines -- author Teenage Wasteland: Youth in Suburbia "Women's Rights, Gun Rights and Columbine" Jeffrey Russell -- Capital District LP Chair & Coordinator Y2K Petition Drive -- "Petitioning" Reginald Jones -- hip hop entrepreneur and speaker -- "Urban, Rural or Suburban -- The Choice Is Libertarian" Mark Edgerton -- Libertarian candidate for New Jersey governor-- "The Port Authority Versus NY & NJ" Peter Christ -- retired police captain, "Reconsider the War on Drugs" Sharon Surhoff -- playwright -- "Showtime in Waco!: A Brief Tragic History"

Prices: Business session ( 8am-12pm ) is free to LPNY members. Lunch: 12-1:30pm $40 in advance (before 4/10), $50 after. {Important to reserve in advance for smooth operation.} After lunch speakers session: 2-5:30pm $20 in advance (before 4/10) $25 at door.

Please make checks payable to "Libertarian Party of New York" and note "Convention."

Registration form:

Name ___________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________

Phone day ____________________ evening ____________________

e-mail: ___________________

Number of people: _______

Other names in your party __________________________________________________

Choices: Lunch only ______ Lunch & After lunch ______ After lunch only ______

I cannot attend but I would like to help out with a contribution _________

Anonymous contributions cannot be accepted. Contributions are not tax-deductible.

Send check and registration to: Libertarian Party of New York, PO Box 728, Bellport, NY 11713.

(5l6) 746-5769 for questions or email:

Let your fellow libertarians know what you are doing to further the cause of liberty in New York.

Elections and Party politics come first. But we will consider other stories of interest to libertarians.

To Contact Free New York

US Mail Jeff Doty P.O. Box 27 Cuba, NY 14727

Phone: (716) 372-8232

Fax: (716) 968-9087 - 24 hrs