Email Ballot 2017-10: Donation to the Mark Wicks campaign

wicks-dogThe following ballot was started:

Sponsor: Sarwark

Motion: that the LNC contribute $5,000 to the Mark Wicks for Congress campaign

Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Harlos, Hayes, Hewitt, Katz, Sarwark, Vohra

Voting “nay”: Goldstein, Hagan, Lark, Marsh, Mattson, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild

With a final vote tally of 9-8, the motion PASSES.

Email Ballot 2017-09: Lee Wrights

R. Lee Wrights
R. Lee Wrights
Co-Sponsors: Lark, Starchild, Harlos, Bilyeu, Hagan, Hayes, Bittner, Goldstein, Marsh, Demarest, McKnight

Motion: The Libertarian National Committee expresses its sorrow at the passing of Lee Wrights, and extends its condolences to his family and friends. In addition, the LNC expresses its appreciation and gratitude for his work for liberty, and for his many years of service to the Libertarian Party.

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

Voting “nay”: (none)

With a final vote tally of 17-0, the motion PASSES.

Motion: December LNC Budget Meeting set

email_ss_1920Co-Sponsors: Hayes, Harlos, Goldstein, Bilyeu, Redpath

Motion: The 2017 LNC budget meeting shall be held at the New Orleans Hyatt Regency on December 9th and 10th, 2017.

Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Goldstein, Hagan, Harlos, Hayes, Lark, Marsh, Mattson, McKnight, Redpath, Starr

Voting “nay”: (none)

Express abstention: Katz

With a final vote tally of 13-0, the motion PASSES.

Two LNC Motions Passed- Historical Records Move and Next LNC Meeting Location Set

yes-noCo-Sponsors: Harlos, Hayes, Bittner, Demarest

Motion:

Move to budget an additional $5,000 (budget line 90) to relocate the historical records in the Duke Street basement and in the off-site storage facility to a location in Colorado to be determined by Historical Preservation Committee Chair. The facility will be paid by for and under the control of the LNC and will be obtained at a cost equal or less to the price paid for the similar facility in Virginia. The Executive Director will be directed to send out up to two fundraising emails to cover this expense and the prior budgeted Historical Committee expense (credit to budget line 25).

Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Hagan, Harlos, Hayes, Goldstein, Lark, Marsh, Sarwark, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: Katz, Mattson

Express abstention: Redpath

With a final vote tally of 12-2, the motion PASSES.

And in reference to the above, this is an email I sent to the Historical Preservation Committee members:

Committee, as stated yesterday, the LNC motion to move the records archive to CO for my organization has passed. I have been making plans with Wes. My hands-on organizational efforts on this project will shift to the physical items – which is precisely as I planned with the excellent committee appointments we have. James, Ed, and Joe are the technical online end and Joe and I are the physical documents end with the collaboration between the efforts to get them on LPedia. We will be able to prioritize (and our successors will be) much better with me having actual access to the records and I will be able to farm out to volunteers much easier. If mine and Wes’ plans go through as we hope, the records will be here end of this month. Then will begin a multi-year project.
This is an exciting committee to our history on the part of the LNC.

I will be seeking the Committees advice on the organization of these records. In a sense, I am envisioning the physical records to follow a convention similar to the digital files. Categories will be kept in a separate numerical space (i.e. Boxes starting with the number 1… so 1A, 1B, 1C will be LP News… boxes starting with the number 2 will be [insert another category]… so 2A, 2B etc.) This will allow items to be added to categories while not disrupting the numerical flow and keep a logical order. A simple inventory will be kept for each series.
I am amenable to other organizational schemes, this is just my initial plans. There are numerous ways to organize physical records. I am trying to keep things easy to maintain, easy to catalogue, and sustainable.

Other methods don’t worry about literal organization but treat them like indexed computer files retrieved by sequential numbers (or even using Bates numbering). While that is fine for a computer file, the human mind and hands having to work with these records doesn’t work easily like that.

Co-Sponsors: Goldstein, Hagan, Hayes, Bittner

Motion: The site for the August 19-20, 2017 LNC meeting will be Kansas City (MO or KS).

Voting “aye”: Bittner, Demarest, Goldstein, Hagan, Harlos, Hayes, Lark, Marsh, Mattson, McKnight, Redpath, Vohra

Voting “nay”: Starchild, Starr

Express abstention: Bilyeu, Katz

With a final vote tally of 12-2, the motion PASSES.

Amended Resolution Passes on Cuban Prisoners

Flag of Cuba
Flag of Cuba
After the first failure, an Amended Motion on the Cuban Prisoners was preferred:

Co-Sponsors: Bilyeu, Harlos, Demarest, Marsh

Motion:

The Libertarian National Committee strongly opposes the unjust arrest and detention of peaceful individuals. The arrests on February 2, 2017, and subsequent detention of libertarian activists, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velazquez, in Cuba illustrate the threats to freedom we all face around the world.

The Libertarian Party calls on the Cuban government to immediately release details of the above-mentioned arrests and detentions, including the specific charges being levied against the individuals in question. In the absence of such information, we call for the release of these prisoners.

Libertarian activism worldwide must not be deterred by the attempts of authoritarian leaders, totalitarian governments, and dictatorial regimes to silence the voice of freedom. We condemn any acts of official oppression, and uphold the promotion of limited government and free markets in any country. Furthermore, we call on the U.S. Department of State to publicly denounce violations of the right to free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to due process abroad.

This Motion passed on March 21, 2017 as follows:

Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Demarest, Goldstein, Harlos, Katz, Lark, Marsh, McKnight, Moellman, Redpath, Sarwark, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: (none)

With a final vote tally of 13-0, the motion PASSES.

Email Ballot 2017-05: Cuban Arrest v2

Flag of Cuba
Flag of Cuba
After the failure of a prior resolution, a revised Motion was proffered and co-sponsored as follows:

We have an electronic mail ballot.

Votes are due to the LNC-Business list by March 19, 2017 at 11:59:59pm Pacific time.

Co-Sponsors: Bilyeu, Harlos, Demarest, Marsh

Motion:

The Libertarian National Committee strongly opposes the unjust arrest and detention of peaceful individuals. The arrests on February 2, 2017, and subsequent detention of libertarian activists, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velazquez, in Cuba illustrate the threats to freedom we all face around the world.

The Libertarian Party calls on the Cuban government to immediately release details of the above-mentioned arrests and detentions, including the specific charges being levied against the individuals in question. In the absence of such information, we call for the release of these prisoners.

Libertarian activism worldwide must not be deterred by the attempts of authoritarian leaders, totalitarian governments, and dictatorial regimes to silence the voice of freedom. We condemn any acts of official oppression, and uphold the promotion of limited government and free markets in any country. Furthermore, we call on the U.S. Department of State to publicly denounce violations of the right to free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to due process abroad.

I voted YES.

Failed Motion: Email Ballot 2017-04: Cannabis Resolution

unknownThis motion was heard:

Co-Sponsors: Harlos, Demarest, Starchild, Redpath

Motion:

WHEREAS the current federal classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 drug having no medicinal value is an inaccurate classification at odds with the findings of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and those of many other researchers; and

WHEREAS this dishonest classification is an impediment both to useful academic research, and to realizing the economic benefits that legalization offers; and

WHEREAS cannabis is a drug with few harmful effects and zero documented fatalities which is even safer when not forced into the black market, where labeling, testing, and quality control are less prevalent; and

WHEREAS drug prohibition in the United States has been an unmitigated failure, with a third of Americans self-reporting having used cannabis despite strict penalties against its sale, manufacture and use, and over $1 trillion of taxpayer money in a futile effort to enforce drug laws, including those pertaining to cannabis; and

WHEREAS the black markets created by these unconstitutional statutes have led to increased violence both in the United States and in other countries such as Mexico where cannabis and other drugs are produced for the U.S. market; and

WHEREAS millions and millions of peaceful Americans have been arrested, imprisoned, fined, or otherwise needlessly criminalized and stigmatized, potentially for life, because of their use of cannabis, and the 2 million Drug War prisoners currently behind bars in the United States have given this country the highest documented incarceration rate of any nation on Earth, accounting for a reported 25% the world’s prisoners; and

WHEREAS drug prohibition has been the major driver of the practice of asset forfeiture, in which over $13 billion has been seized by law enforcement across the country, often from people who have not been convicted of, or sometimes even charged with, any crime; and

WHEREAS this gross violation of legal due process, has incentivized the arbitrary and often discriminatory arrest of U.S. residents in what has come to be known as “policing for profit” ; and

WHEREAS unconstitutional statutes attempting to control what people choose to put into their own bodies constitute a vast and dangerous government intervention into people’s personal lives violating the cherished American values of individual freedom and choice; and

WHEREAS polls now show that most Americans support legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use, and voters in multiple states have voted accordingly;

NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Libertarian National Committee supports the immediate full legalization and federal de-scheduling of cannabis and industrial hemp products, as a much-needed first step toward ending the destructive “War on Drugs” entirely, in accord with the Libertarian Party’s platform.

I conducted a member poll with well over 90% support and a super-majority feeling it was not a waste of the LNC’s time to make such public policy stands. Enough members voted no as they felt our position was clear (and for other reasons). You can read the discussion here, and I highly encourage you to do so. I had the overwhelming support of Region 1 members and am proud to have brought this motion at the request of the Alaska affiliate.

Here are the results:


Voting has ended for the email ballot shown below.

Voting “aye”: Demarest, Harlos, Lark, Marsh, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: Bittner, Hayes, Katz, Mattson, Starr

Express abstention: Goldstein, Hagan

With a final vote tally of 8-5, the motion fails to achieve the 3/4 vote required to adopt a public policy resolution with previous notice (see LP Bylaws Article 7.11).

Soliciting the opinion of Region 1 Members

PTI Jang Geo form committee
Region 1 members, as you may know, occasionally the LNC votes on public policy resolutions. The threshold for public policy resolutions is as follows from our National Bylaws:

The National Committee may adopt public policy resolutions by a 3⁄4 vote with previous notice or by unanimous consent without previous notice.

So it is a fairly high threshold. I wish to share with you my perspective on some areas of disagreement on the LNC.

Members of the LNC have differing views on whether or not we should be adopting many public policy resolutions at all, particularly on items that are clear in our Platform. My position is that often, when there are points of controversy, current news or happenings (such as the breaking news that the current administration – as signaled by its appointment of Sessions- will crack down on marijuana and the states – such as Colorado – that have exercised their privilege to legalize), or potential confusion, that merely having things in our Platform is not enough. Many of the same members will in another context talk about how platforms are not terribly important and are only of interest to political wonks. I find this contradictory and see a place for both, and that is how I vote.

Another perspective is that this is a “waste of the committee’s time.” I also disagree with this. The non-officers are very busy in their own states, but overall, we do not do that much between meetings as a requirements, and frankly, this is what we signed up for. With the privilege and the honour comes time commitments and duties.
Presently we have a resolution on de-scheduling marijuana before the LNC and the above disputes erupted as they do each time there is a public policy resolution. This resolution was proposed by me at the request of the Alaska affiliate (a member affiliate of Region 1). Colorado, Hawaii, and Montana have thus far written to give their support of my introduction. I would like to get a sense of the support in the region for this resolution being passed by the LNC. Here is the wording:

Co-Sponsors: Harlos, Demarest, Starchild, Redpath

Motion:
WHEREAS the current federal classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 drug having no medicinal value is an inaccurate classification at odds with the findings of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and those of many other researchers; and

WHEREAS this dishonest classification is an impediment both to useful academic research, and to realizing the economic benefits that legalization offers; and

WHEREAS cannabis is a drug with few harmful effects and zero documented fatalities which is even safer when not forced into the black market, where labeling, testing, and quality control are less prevalent; and

WHEREAS drug prohibition in the United States has been an unmitigated failure, with a third of Americans self-reporting having used cannabis despite strict penalties against its sale, manufacture and use, and over $1 trillion of taxpayer money in a futile effort to enforce drug laws, including those pertaining to cannabis; and

WHEREAS the black markets created by these unconstitutional statutes have led to increased violence both in the United States and in other countries such as Mexico where cannabis and other drugs are produced for the U.S. market; and

WHEREAS millions and millions of peaceful Americans have been arrested, imprisoned, fined, or otherwise needlessly criminalized and stigmatized, potentially for life, because of their use of cannabis, and the 2 million Drug War prisoners currently behind bars in the United States have given this country the highest documented incarceration rate of any nation on Earth, accounting for a reported 25% the world’s prisoners; and

WHEREAS drug prohibition has been the major driver of the practice of asset forfeiture, in which over $13 billion has been seized by law enforcement across the country, often from people who have not been convicted of, or sometimes even charged with, any crime; and

WHEREAS this gross violation of legal due process, has incentivized the arbitrary and often discriminatory arrest of U.S. residents in what has come to be known as “policing for profit” ; and

WHEREAS unconstitutional statutes attempting to control what people choose to put into their own bodies constitute a vast and dangerous government intervention into people’s personal lives violating the cherished American values of individual freedom and choice; and

WHEREAS polls now show that most Americans support legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use, and voters in multiple states have voted accordingly;

NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Libertarian National Committee supports the immediate full legalization and federal de-scheduling of cannabis and industrial hemp products, as a much-needed first step toward ending the destructive “War on Drugs” entirely, in accord with the Libertarian Party’s platform.

So I ask Region 1 members to take this quick poll to give me a sense of your support or not for this resolution and whether or not you think such resolutions are a waste of LNC time. You can read the LNC votes discussion for background (though there was another resolution on activists being detained in Cuba that formed an additional part of the background and will be the subject of an additional update email).

As always, I would love to hear from you on any issue of concern.

Historical Committee Passed

Historical-Committee

Those of you keeping up with regional events on Facebook know that this has been a project in the works for a while. There is a lot background to relate, so I will refer you to these Facebook update videos here and here.

The upshot is that after extensive work, the LNC has established a Historical Preservation Committee to begin to digitize and preserve the stores of Party historical information that is located at Headquarters but also in the possession of numerous individuals. The majority of this information will be housed at LPedia – the subject of my first LNC motion which was for us to get back to maintaining this very important resource. There are dedicated volunteers right now (thank you James Gholston and Bonnie Scot

Here is the Motion that was passed.

Co-Sponsors: Goldstein, Harlos, Demarest, Bittner

Motion: The LNC establishes a Historic Preservation Committee to help preserve and publish historical documents of the party and to manage LPedia. This committee is granted a budget of $5,000. Caryn Ann Harlos is appointed chair with authority to appoint up to 4 others. This committee will expire at the end of the LNC meeting preceding the 2018 LP National Convention.

Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Demarest, Goldstein, Hagan, Harlos, Hayes, Katz, Lark, Marsh, Mattson, McKnight, Moellman, Redpath, Starchild

Voting “nay”: (none)

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

If you would like to apply for this Committee, the deadline is February 13, 2017 and you can find more information here.

Although a budget was passed for this, and I consider it a necessary expenditure and within a low threshold, I prefer that those who concur that this is a project worth supporting fund-raise for it as well to receive as much of a burden as possible. We have already raised over $1,000.00. You can contribute to this project here.

Result Email Ballot 2016-15: Censure John Moore (PASS)

look_of_disapproval_motivational_poster_by_kechuppika-d4f6ngrThis was the Motion up for vote:

Motion:

Whereas Nevada Assemblyman John Moore, a former Republican who in January 2016 switched to the Libertarian Party while in office, has during the past month voted not once but twice in the span of as many days to raise taxes on his constituents, including a vote to support a “More Cops” tax which the Libertarian Party of Nevada has tirelessly and thus far successfully opposed, and a vote to provide a $750 million subsidy to finance a billionaire-owned sports stadium at the expense of, among others, indigent persons renting weekly rooms in motels; and

Whereas the elected leaders of our state affiliate party in Nevada have rightfully voted to censure Assemblyman Moore for these egregious votes; and

Whereas we wish to convey a strong message to all and sundry that while we welcome sitting legislators in the Republican or Democrat parties who decide to switch to the Libertarian Party as an act of conscience, we do not welcome them if they intend, as members of our party, to continue voting and acting like Republicans or Democrats;

Therefore be it resolved that the Libertarian National Committee hereby censures Assemblyman Moore for his recent votes in support of tax increases, requests that he return the $10,000 campaign contribution which the LNC this season voted to send him, and admonishes him to henceforward be a better champion of the values held by members of the political party with which he has chosen to affiliate if he intends to remain a Libertarian.

The discussion can be viewed here.

Voting has ended for the email ballot shown below.

Voting “aye”: Demarest, Goldstein, Harlos, Hayes, Lark, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild, Vohra

Voting “nay”: Hagan, Hewitt, Katz, Marsh, Mattson, Moellman

Express abstention: Bilyeu

With a final vote tally of 9-6, the motion PASSES.

Mattson was directed by Sarwark to inform Assemblyman Moore.