Update on Arvin Vohra LNC Discussion and Action

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 11.18.02 PMMerissa Hamilton of AZ had reported Vohra for Policy Manual violations. I had told her at the time that I did not think the Policy Manual was at issue here, and that this involved different issues. Attached please find our counsel’s report that found no Policy Manual violation. I disagree with him on one point in which I think he incorrectly split hairs, but since I never thought it was a Policy Manual issue, I came to the same conclusion from a different perspective. The report can be found here. Vohra waived confidentiality on the report.

I wanted to provide this in case any of this information would cause any state to reconsider any prior positions.

Also a special meeting has been successfully called for for 2/2 on the issue of possible suspension. Realistically it is not going to pass. Here are the reasons why:
The censure motion will be done prior to then. So far the vote is 5-4 in favour and pursuant to my instructions, I voted yes. I can withdraw or change my vote any time prior to the expiration on January 30 2018.

If the censure motion does not pass, then certainly a suspension will not. And if it does pass, the mood will be that such is sufficient.

Unless I hear otherwise in instructions from you, I will be supporting suspension. The state tally is:

Alaska: Yes
Arizona: Recused
Colorado: Yes (a board member disputes the authority of the chair to make that call)
Hawaii: Yes
Kansas: Yes
Montana: Yes
Utah: No
Washington: No position
Wyoming: Yes

Out of eight potential states included the tally would be 6-1-no answer. which meets the 2/3 for suspension and majority for censure. If I included seven states (since WA has no position, and I generally would not count a non-response, but due to the seriousness of this issue I will), it would obviously still meet both thresholds.

November 2017 Membership Report

membshipreport-smallThe November 2017 Membership Report has been released, and a copy can be found here.

Here are the Region 1 Membership comparisons. Yellow indicates a positive change, green is no change, and pink is a negative change.

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Membership rankings (since not just Region 1 people read this):

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Active Donors have evened out as expected/predicted:

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New Donors have evened out also as expected/prediced:

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Lapsed donors are down (this is a number we want to be down):

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And renewing donors are down, but the trend is upward.

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September Membership Report

membshipreport-smallThe September Membership Report has been released, and a copy can be found here. I have started to compile a running chart of how our Region’s BSM numbers are trending. Membership numbers are trending down, and we need to boost this.

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This report has some interesting charts as usual. One word of reminder though – these are tracking over a one-year period just prior to a highly contentious election and will show volatility. For a better gauge of long-range growth view over longer periods of time. However, it is still critical that we focus on retention. New donors/members may have come because we were Not-Tump and Not-Hillary – but we need to convert that to Yes-Libertarian- and reverse this downward trend by November.

Active Donors have evened out:

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New Donors have evened out:

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Lapsed donors are back down (that’s a good thing) – and its significantly down:

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And renewing donors are significantly on the upswing:

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LNC seeks applicants for Candidate Support Committee

Campaigning-is-the-best-revenge-copy-edit-768x450Please apply by Sept. 15, 2017:

The Libertarian National Committee is seeking volunteers to serve on its recently created Candidate Support Committee. The duties of this Committee will include formulating recommended criteria for future consideration of monetary support for down-ticket candidates and assisting the Candidate Support Specialist (to be hired).

This Committee comprises five LNC members and up to two (2) additional non-LNC members. Additional volunteers are solicited to assist this Committee in the discharge of its duties, so all willing persons are encouraged to apply.

Specific required qualifications include:

willingness to attend frequent online meetings and to independently carry out duties
interest in strategic development of national support for down-ticket candidates
Helpful qualifications include:

prior candidacies for public office
experience in campaign support or management
The Committee will meet and do most work electronically. There may be a rare physical meeting. Members interested in serving on the actual Committee are asked to please apply below by Sept. 15, 2017.

Members simply interested in volunteering to assist this Committee, please apply at any time or email lnc-csc@lp.org.

Results of Two Email Ballots- Email Ballot 2017-18: Unity Statement (Failed) and Email Ballot 2017-17: FPA Resolution (Pass)

Co-Sponsors: Vohra, Bittner, Harlos, Demarest

Motion: The Chair is authorized by the LNC to sign the following petition on behalf of the LNC: http://noforeignbases.org/

——————–Resolution Text——————–

Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases

Unity Statement

We, the undersigned peace, justice and environmental organizations, and individuals, endorse the following Points of Unity and commit ourselves to working together by forming a Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, with the goal of raising public awareness and organizing non-violent mass resistance against U.S. foreign military bases.

While we may have our differences on other issues, we all agree that U.S. foreign military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of U.S. foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Our belief in the urgency of this necessary step is based on the following facts:

1. While we are opposed to all foreign military bases, we do recognize that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). Presently, there are U.S. military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran.

2. In addition, the United States has 19 Naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft — each of which can be considered a floating military base.

3. These bases are centers of aggressive military actions, threats of political and economic expansion, sabotage and espionage, and crimes against local populations. In addition, these military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation.

4. The annual cost of these bases to the American taxpayers is approximately $156 billion. The support of U.S. foreign military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our cities and States to provide necessary services for the people.

5. This has made the U.S. a more militarized society and has led to increased tensions between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Stationed throughout the world, almost 1000 in number, U.S. foreign military bases are symbols of the ability of the United States to intrude in the lives of sovereign nations and peoples.

6. Many individual national coalitions — for example, Okinawa, Italy, Jeju Island Korea, Diego Garcia, Cyprus, Greece, and Germany — are demanding closure of bases on their territory. The base that the U.S. has illegally occupied the longest, for over a century, is Guantánamo Bay, whose existence constitutes an imposition of the empire and a violation of International Law. Since 1959 the government and people of Cuba have demanded that the government of the U.S. return the Guantánamo territory to Cuba.

U.S. foreign military bases are NOT in defense of U.S. national, or global security. They are the military expression of U.S. intrusion in the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of the ruling elite. Whether invited in or not by domestic interests that have agreed to be junior partners, no country, no peoples, no government, can claim to be able to make decisions totally in the interest of their people, with foreign troops on their soil representing interests antagonistic to the national purpose.

We must all unite to actively oppose the existence of U.S. foreign military bases and call for their immediate closure. We invite all forces of peace, social and environmental justice to join us in our renewed effort to achieve this shared goal.

—————End of Resolution Text—————

Voting “aye”: (none)

Voting “nay”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Goldstein, Hagan, Harlos, Hayes, Katz, Lark, Mattson, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild, Vohra

With a final vote tally of 0-14, the motion FAILS.

Co-Sponsors: Vohra, Bittner, Harlos, Demarest, Bilyeu

Motion: The Chair is authorized by the LNC to sign the following petition on behalf of the LNC: https://foreignpolicyalliance.org/a-call-to-reform-u-s-foreign-policy/resolution/

——————–Resolution Text——————–

A Call to Reform U. S. Foreign Policy

1. Whereas, American military personnel are being killed and wounded, and civilian casualties inflicted, in wars fought for purposes unrelated to America’s vital security interests, which the U.S. Government defines too broadly;

2. Whereas, America’s military interventions in other countries have led to costly blowback and unintended consequences;

3. Whereas, outdated Cold War alliances create tripwires that could compel the use of U.S. military force to resolve conflicts;

4. Whereas, escalating tensions between the U.S. and other nuclear powers are moving our nations toward military confrontation and potential nuclear war;

5. Whereas, erosion of civil liberties long held dear by Americans, including freedom from warrantless surveillance, searches and seizures, has accelerated with passage of the USA Patriot Act in 2001, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, and the USA Freedom Act of 2015;

6. Whereas, in a post-Cold War era, the U.S. can safely reduce its security budget by developing a new and more relevant strategy for right-sizing the military to better deal with 21st century security needs; and

7. Whereas, a healthy U.S. economy is critical to an effective security program but is now put at risk by the trillion dollar annual national security budget that contributes to an $18 trillion plus national debt;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Government of the United States should immediately begin a transition to a foreign policy that includes:

1. Rejecting the role of “policeman of the world,” ceasing military and covert intervention in the affairs of foreign countries, and using military force only when absolutely necessary to protect U.S. sovereignty, territory, and vital interests, narrowly defined;

2. Substantially reducing the more than 700 U.S. military installations around the world;

3. Curtailing the bloated military budget, allowing resources to be redirected towards cutting the deficit, cutting taxes, investing in America, or any other use as Americans see fit;

4. Reducing the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal to a minimum deterrent level, and fully supporting the implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;

5. Emphasizing diplomacy, law, and cooperation in international relations and dispute resolution;

6. Upholding civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution; and

7. Reining in executive military action, recognizing that war powers reside solely in the legislative branch.

—————End of Resolution Text—————

Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Goldstein, Harlos, Hayes, Hewitt, Katz, Lark, Marsh, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: (none)

With a final vote tally of 14-0, the motion PASSES.

Additional Information on LNC Meeting

DataCenter_Header_KansasCity_1738x418_092916From Robert Kraus:

A lot going on in KC especially Fri so just wanted to summarize everything:

Hotel Info: Holiday Inn KCI Expo Center – 11728 NW Ambassador Drive – Kansas City, MO 64153 – http://www.kciexpo.com/ – note full hot breakfast is included in our rate – for airport pickup please call (816) 891-7694

Walk-thru & Happy Hour Event: Please meet in lobby 5 pm Fri 08/18 for a quick 20 min walk thru of the Expo Center followed by a complimentary happy hour (beer/wine/snacks) after the tour – we should be finished no later then 6 pm (great chance to pick up a free drink to take to the “room party” see below)

VIP Fundraising Event: Fri 08/18 @ 6:30 PM – The O’Toole & Spragins Residence – 3425 Gladstone Blvd – Kansas City, MO 64123 – full details here (RSVP at bottom of page): https://vip.lp.org/kansas-city/

Room Party: Fri 08/18 drop by anytime between 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Michael Chastain’s room – Bring your own beverage (we will have someone post room # to list Fri once Michael is checked in)

LNC Meeting Sat/Sun: Missouri Ballroom on 1st Floor of Hotel – time typically 9 am – 6 pm Sat & 9 am – 3 pm Sun. A KC BBQ will be served for lunch Sat around 12:15pm

2016 National Convention Minutes Approved

Libertarian2016conventionThe 2016 National Convention minutes are approved and can be viewed here. The delay was due to the fact that I had previously objected to the minutes when initially presented due to what I believed was inappropriate editorializing about Robert’s Rules of Order. The comments, which were originally in the text of the minutes, now appear as an appendix. I still objected as this is still considered part of the minutes, and I don’t believe any editorializing belongs in the minutes—as appendixes or otherwise. However, these minutes did pass the threshold required for a vote. It is not that I don’t find the appendixes useful; in fact, quite the opposite. I simply believe that they belong in an editorial comment in which perhaps all of the convention officials could offer helpful commentary.

New Page to Keep Up with Events Created

events-bannerWe’ve got our events function working on LP.org. Events are limited to national LP events, LNC meetings, LNC subcommittee meetings, and state conventions. That’s a quick summary of what’s allowed there. No local meetings or routine state party meetings.


To have an event listed, like a historical preservation committee meeting, or an affiliate support committee meeting, send the details to Bob Johnston .


Wes Benedict, Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
1444 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314
(202) 333-0008 ext. 232, wes.benedict@lp.org
facebook.com/libertarians @LPNational
Join the Libertarian Party at: http://lp.org/membership

Your Representative Hard at Work


From Alicia on the LNC List:

We hit a milestone this week, as someone posted their 1000th email of this LNC term to the LNC-Business list. (cue balloons & confetti)

With 3554 emails sent by 28 senders so far this term, as of a few minutes ago, the top ten email posters are:

Harlos – 1015
Starchild – 295
Katz – 256
Mattson – 243
Moellman – 224
Demarest – 201
Hayes – 198
Goldstein – 188
Benedict – 136
Bilyeu – 132

The average person has sent 127 emails.

The bottom 20 posters have sent a combined 934 emails.

Failed Resolution on Cuban Prisoners and Request for So-Sponsors on Revised Resolution

Flag of Cuba

The Libertarian Party of Nevada led the way in issuing a resolution in support of two jailed Libertarian activists in Cuba and through Starchild had asked the LNC to issue a similar resolution (several states including Indiana, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire joined Nevada). That motion failed 9-7-1 for multiple reasons, none of which I believe were persuasive. In the interest of saying something – even if I believed it substantially weaker than necessary – after working with several other LNC members and the Nevada Board Member championing this cause, a revised resolution was put forth as follows:

The Libertarian National Committee expresses shock and concern for the detention of libertarian activists Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velasquez by agents of the Castro regime in Cuba on February 2, whose unexplained detention raises suspicions that these political prisoners were targeted for their peaceful activism promoting limited government and free markets. The two men are believed to be political prisoners imprisoned in the infamous Melena II facility, known for appalling living and working conditions. We further ask for an inquiry and response from the Castro regime for information related to their detention, an accurate and complete register of charges, and and for assurances that they will receive fair and open trials on any legitimate charges. We further ask that the Cuban government for their immediate release should such information and assurances not be forthcoming. We encourage Libertarian Party members and supporters to contact their elected officials toward that end, and further ask that the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties join us in applying diplomatic pressure for the Castro regime to release information related to their detention and call upon the national and international media to join us in these efforts.

It is presently in limbo awaiting an additional co-sponsor. I urge you to read the original Nevada resolution and perhaps ask your state affiliate to consider its adoption.

The original vote was:

Voting “aye”: Demarest, Hagan, Harlos, Hewitt, Lark, Marsh, Sarwark, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Goldstein, Hayes, Katz, Mattson, Redpath

Express abstention: McKnight