Document:New York Newsletter August 2000 Free New York
FREE NEW YORK August 2000
Inside This Issue
1.) Monroe County LP is a 10
2.) Armstrong Bows Out
3.) Clifton Campaign Working on Ads
4.) Campaigning for Freedom
5.) YO! Candidates!
6.) State Committee Minutes - July 8, 2000
MONROE COUNTY LP IS A 10
by Stephen Healey
On July 8, the LPNY State Committee ratified the creation of the newest chapter in New York State, the Libertarian Party of Monroe County. This makes it the tenth county chapter overall, and the fourth new chapter in the past twelve months.
Rochester lies entirely within Monroe County. Like many cities, Rochester, has seen residents who can afford to do so abandon many of the city neighborhoods in favor of nearby suburbia. Extensive highways make this easy, though the east side of the city retains an affluent demographic numbering in the tens of thousands.
The downtown shopping is slowly giving way to abandoned stores and seedy appearance, which the Democratic controlled City administration predictably uses as an excuse to demand more pork barrel projects such as city sponsored music festivals. Meanwhile, they refuse to allow competition in the arena of garbage collection, and the schools are widely regarded as disastrous. One quarter million people reside within the city limits, while the Republican controlled county is home to about three quarters of a million people.
In late fall 1999, a newly minted Libertarian named Tom Reidy inquired to the state officers about local activity in Monroe. He was told that one of his neighbors, a 5 year member, had been to the most recent state convention and might be a good person to speak to. At that point I received the call from Tom, and I was impressed with his enthusiasm. He was the catalyst I needed. Soon we were planning our moves over beer at our regular meeting spot, Rohrbachs Brewing Company on Gregory Street.
In December and January invitations were sent to the entire county membership list, and contact was made with key activists from years prior. It was revealed to Tom and me that in the late 70's and 80's, Rochester featured one of the most active chapters in the entire country (our newly minted National Chair, Jim Lark, was once an activist in Rochester), and was paralleled by a chapter of the Society for Individual Liberty (SIL) which had tax exempt status and a significant budget for purely educational purposes.
Activities at the time included not just campaigns but dinner speakers, organized letter-to-the-editor writing, and OPH booths.
Dave Hoesly and Bruce Voris were kind enough to meet with Tom and me to aid in starting what one might call the next phase.
Three planning meetings were held before the Founding Convention on February 15, 2000. Attendance at the latter was a hearty 30 individuals, and I was proud to be elected County Chairman and State Representative. Larry Kiser took the responsibility of Secretary / Treasurer. Bylaws were adopted (after much more debate than anticipated), and phase two was underway.
On April 18 half a dozen members handed out hundreds of Million Dollar Bills at the main Post Office on Jefferson Road to last minute tax filers. Today, efforts are focused on my Congressional campaign against the Democrat Louise Slaughter for the 28th CD. I wish every city was blessed with the dedicated and knowledgeable LP members that populate Rochester. Our goals would be reached far sooner.
ARMSTRONG BOWS OUT
"I have concluded that continuing my campaign to represent the Libertarian Party in this fall`s election against Democrat incumbent Jerrold Nadler in the New York 8th Congressional District is no longer an optimal use of my resources."
With that statement, posted on the LPNY's Discuss List, Robert Armstrong ended his campaign for Congress. However, he made it clear that he will remain active throughout the election by stating, "I am therefore turning my energies to working with Marian Henry, who describes herself as an "Ayn Rand" Republican, and her campaign committee to more effectively pursue our mutual goal. I have made it clear to Marian that my support is specific to our district race and I will continue to be supporting and working for John Clifton`s Senatorial, and Harry Browne`s Presidential campaigns -- they are truly the class of the field in each of their races."
"I will state as I did in the [Johnny] Rotten interview," posted John Clifton, LPNY's candidate for US Senate, "Mr. Armstrong is among the most genuine, earnest and 'real' Libertarians I have met, in his courage to put his principles to praxis. Plan well ahead, raise funds ahead, and run again, my friend. We need more real people running against the corrupt Total State, and not just running scared!"
Mr. Armstrong admits that he was not well prepared for the trials and tribulations of running for office, but insists that it was not a wasted effort. "Theory without practice, -- walks," claims Armstrong. "This is the first election cycle I have ever been involved in (it is Jerrold Nadler`s defense of the Clintons` criminality that activated me) and I have learned a great deal. As each event and milestone has come along, I have wished I could have had understood it, a week or a month or more before. But, of course, that`s the point of diving in to the deep end."
Armstrong also used the e-mail post to thank Jak Karako and Bob Eikel for "their true yeoman`s work collecting signatures" and to those who donated money to his campaign. He generously offered to return the funds upon request: "I do not feel I have met what should have been their basic expectations."
He also gave special thanks to Clifton. "His level-headedness, quiet substance and early support made possible my learning as much as I have," wrote Armstrong.
CLIFTON CAMPAIGN WORKING ON ADS
John Clifton was invited by SCOPE to speak at the Civil Rights rally for gun rights on Saturday, July 29, in Albany. As you are probably aware, Governor Pataki has taken a lunge to the left in his second term. He has followed his government health-care scheme and anti-tobacco tax hike with drastic proposals to further regulate guns. These regulations include: a trigger lock sold with every new gun; semi-automatic rifle ban; raising the age for a pistol license to 21; a background check of private sales (non dealer) at gun shows; and, gun ballistics DNA.
Clifton has also submitted the funds and information to the Third Wheel Group to complete a package of five commercials (3 radio and 2 TV) by mid August, for airing on cable TV and talk radio shows beginning in the fall campaign. The Third Wheel Group is the organization that made Harry Browne's commercials. Depending on the success in raising funds, Mr. Clifton has plans to make an original 30-second commercial based on his "five freedoms" campaign theme. Third Wheel has quoted a price for original production of the spot at roughly $5,000; those interested in providing consulting or funding towards this effort should contact the campaign.
In addition to a direct mail appeal, and a full page ad in the September LP News, Mr. Clifton plans to raise funds to air the commercials through asking individuals to sponsor the ads in the time-slots and stations of their choosing. Cable TV rates for 30-second spots in the NYC area range from $350-$500 per airing; radio ads go for roughly $200 per airing.
Bumper stickers and buttons are in production at this time. These items will be given away as gifts to donors, and to all who request them, while supplies last.
Mr. Clifton is asking for "pre-committments" from area supporters to attend a NYC fundraiser for Harry Browne, John Clifton and local LP candidates being planned for the fall. Mr. Clifton needs these commitments to ensure enough support exists to proceed, and to confirm Browne's appearance. Mr. Clifton is also considering offering half-price admission to all who pre-commit by August 15.
Comments can be sent to: Web: http//www.clifton2000.com; Email: email@example.com Phone: 877-407-5493. Mail Inquiries/Donations to: Elect Clifton Inc., 164-01B 89th Ave. #110, Jamaica, NY 11432 (Jeff Monheit, Treasurer. Please indicate occupation and employer)
News from some of our candidates
CAMPAIGNING FOR FREEDOM
Stephen Healey Candidate for 28th CD
On June 8, key Rochester LP activists asked me to run for Congress against an eight term incumbent Democrat named Louise Slaughter who never met a gun restriction she didn't like and whose middle name is no doubt Porkbarrel. The following day I answered yes.
I was fortunate to have the services of Dave Hoesly as campaign manager. Dave has run for a variety of positions, including Congress, County Legislator, and Lieutenant Governor, and his petitioning accomplishments are legendary. Since he has recently retired, I expect he will keep me on my toes. I am very fortunate to have 15 volunteers in the petition drive, without whom I would have zero chance of appearing on the ballot.
My most memorable petitioning experience to date was four hours at a Gay Pride Picnic with about 1000 attendees. An early downpour forced us under large park shelters, where I found the high density of people seeking shelter led to rapid signature gathering. I had assumed that my heterosexual status would be a hindrance, but I found almost everyone I encountered to be willing to sign quickly. My most memorable encounter was a 10 minute philosophical and political discussion with a woman who was topless. She signed.
Bill Bombard Candidate for 109th AD
Mr. Bombard has been busy collecting signatures on his petitions. The Price Chopper supermarket in Glen Falls has allowed him to collect signatures in their parking lot. Unfortunately, the local Hannaford store has been more obstructive.
"I had success in senior citizen high rises in Glens Falls," says Bombard. "The retirees are both Republican and Democratic and indicate that they vote for the best person and signed my petitions."
He is in need of people to circulate petitions. Collecting the minimum 1500 valid signatures single-handedly is a formidable task. Asking people to sign petitions is a painless, but tedious, task. With more petitioners the task is more enjoyable and, of course, goes more quickly.
Vote independent. Vote Libertarian. Vote for Bill Bombard!
Libertarian candidate for the 109th Assembly District covering Warren, Essex, Franklin and Clinton counties.
PO Box 882 Glens Falls, NY 12801 (518) 743-0108
Matt Siegel is the chairperson of the Kings County LP. He also happens to work in film and television production. He has offered free post-production services to any LPNY candidate wishing to create audio/visual media for their campaign. He is on the LPNY-Discuss list and can be reached there. Or privately at: firstname.lastname@example.org
STATE COMMITTEE MINUTES - JULY 8, 2000
Present: Rich Cooper (Chair), Blay Tarnoff (Vice Chair), Audrey Capozzi (Vice Chair), John Clifton (Treasurer), Caryn Cohen (Secretary), Bob Goodman (At-Large), John Ayling (At-Large), Bonnie Scott (At-Large), Don Silberger (At-Large; Hudson Valley Rep.; Arr. 11:50), Brad Arter (At-Large; Queens Rep.), Chris Garvey (Suffolk Rep.), Jeff Russell (Capital District Rep.), Bridget Rutty (Central NY Rep.), Stephen Healey (Monroe Rep.), Bob Armstrong (non-voting), Jeff Doty (Newsletter Editor; non-voting), Bill Bombard (non-voting), David Gilmartin (non-voting) (Absent: Immed. Past Chair, Nassau Rep., Brooklyn Rep.)
The meeting was called to order at 10:47 am.
Treasurer's Report: John Clifton distributed a Treasurer's report. The ending balance, as of 7/7/00, was $14,568.11. The report concluded that, with the addition of pledged contributions and the LP UMP July check, the actual balance should be about $17,400.
Board of Elections Information Richard Cooper attended a Campaign Finance Seminar. He indicated that we must file with the Board of Elections, as we are a political committee. He distributed an "Important Dates to Remember" sheet. Candidates must file separately. Regional parties, if unsure whether to file, should contact the state.
Chris Garvey moved to accept the members of the "Committee to Fill Vacancies," as listed on the nominating petition. Brad Arter seconded. Bonnie Scott questioned Rich Cooper's presence on the committee and asked whether his intention is to run candidates. Rich indicated that he does want candidates, but not ill-prepared ones. Bonnie commented that the Party needs to mentor people to encourage them to run as candidates.
The motion passed with no nays and two abstentions.
Bob Goodman moved to accept the listed electors. Blay Tarnoff seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Petition Drive Jeff Russell reported that the National Committee has not committed any financial help as of this time. Rich Cooper did not feel that the New York Party should pay everyone who collects signatures, as formerly proposed by Dottie-Lou Brokaw. The NYLP has typically gotten 5-6,000 volunteer signatures.
Rich suggested awarding a cash prize to high-volume petitioners. There was a short discussion regarding what has worked to motivate petitioners in the past; i.e., petitioning seminars, group petitioning parties, and publicizing the existence of large, public events. Bonnie Scott moved to award $300 to the top petitioner, and $150 to the second and third highest signature gatherers.
John Clifton moved to amend the motion to award the first place winner life membership in the LP. John's motion to amend failed. Bonnie's motion passed unanimously.
Chris Garvey moved that Rich Cooper place two ads (at one inch each, for $55 per inch) in Backstage magazine to attract petitioners. The motion passed unanimously.
Rich Cooper suggested that the party needs captains to manage groups of petitioners. He offered to contact the Browne campaign regarding assistance with petitioning.
Alternative Methods to Hold SC Meetings Rich Cooper suggested that we hold State Committee meetings via conference calls. A discussion was held regarding the relative merits of holding audio conference calls, Internet chat meetings, video conference meetings, or voting over e-mail. Caryn Cohen expressed concerns regarding the drawbacks of e-mail votes, such as the lack of continuity of discussion, the confusion which occurs when various people log on and receive messages at different times, and the difficulties involved in keeping track of different votes. Jeff Russell proposed that we use a speaker phone at the Sloatsburg meeting room and in Buffalo. Chris Garvey moved to allow people to attend State Committee meetings by alternative means (i.e., audio conference, computer, etc.). Such people would be counted as officially attending for purposes of the bylaws. The motion passed 10-2. John Ayling proposed a subcommittee to study alternatives to meeting in person; the following people volunteered: Chris Garvey, John Ayling, and Bonnie Scott.
New Chapter Chris Garvey moved to accept Monroe County as a new Libertarian Party of New York Chapter. Stephen Healey reported that thirty people attended a founding convention on February 15, 2000. He presented to the state secretary a written text of the bylaws and a partial list of members voting in favor of LPMC bylaws.
Stephen indicated verbally that there are officers of the Monroe County Chapter. He was elected both chair and representative to the State Committee. The motion to accept Monroe County passed with one nay vote.
2001 State Convention Chris Garvey moved to hold the 2001 State Convention in New York City. The motion passed with one abstention. Volunteers to the Convention Comm consisted of: Rich Cooper, Jodi A., Caryn Cohen, and Blay Tarnoff.
Newsletter Ads There was a discussion regarding the issue of whether to accept ads from outsiders in Free New York. Rich Cooper recommended that we do not run such ads.
Petitioning Jeff Russell discussed the details of the petitioning process. He indicated that local coordinators are needed from each geographic area. He suggested the following guidelines for the coordinators:
-Compile a list of names of people willing to collect signatures in your area. -Collect petitions. -Keep track of paid petitions. -Verify all information on the petitions. The Board of Elections website will list districts according to address.
Brad Arter moved that we send copies of the petition with a sheet of instructions to all members. The number of pages to be sent to each person was left up to Jeff Russell's discretion. The motion passed unanimously. Don Silberger moved to budget $1,000 for this mailing. The motion passed unanimously.
Fundraising Letter The most recent fundraising letter, which cost $866.52, has so far raised $200. (Ed. note: $2824 has been raised as of July 20. Thank you to all who have contributed.)
Harry Browne Campaign David Gilmartin is the New York coordinator of the Browne campaign
Roy Innis Endorsement John Clifton agreed to write a letter to Roy Innis asking whether he would be willing to endorse John Clifton for senate.
Next Meeting: The next meeting will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2000, 11:30, at the LPNY Annual Picnic, at Jim Harris' house in Westbury, Long Island.
The meeting adjourned at 1:40 PM.