The final minutes from the 9/25/16 online LNC meeting have been posted and are available here.
Mattson has proposed an additional (asking for comments) proposal in the even my Motion passes. This is her proposal (my response follows).. as you can tell my the image I selected here, I don’t approve of lukewarm half-measures:
Below is my first draft of an alternate resolution to email ballot 2016-15.
The only reason for us to say anything about it at all is our financial donation, so I have used that as context.
It does not contain language to discourage other elected officials from switching their registration to the LP in the future.
It is less lecture-y.
I did not opt to include a clause about returning our donation because it ain’t gonna happen.
I initially thought I would mention the detail that he cast a deciding vote on the stadium deal, but when I went that route it got wordy and drifted into the weeds.
I phrased the resolution as an expression of deep disappointment rather than a censure, as censure is typically applied to someone who is a member of the censuring group.
I’m just asking for feedback over the next day or so before I seek co-sponsors. If you’d prefer something along these lines, but couldn’t support it without some particular content, please let me know promptly. I might or might not agree to add it to my draft, but this is the best time for me to consider such requests, before it becomes a motion.
To rescind email ballot 2016-15, if it was adopted, and to adopt the following resolution:
Whereas, One of the bylaw-defined purposes of the Libertarian Party is to move public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office; and
Whereas, The Libertarian National Committee donated $10,000 to the re-election campaign of Nevada State Assemblyman John Moore with the expectation that he would work to move public policy in a libertarian direction; and
Whereas, Assemblyman Moore has recently cast legislative votes which were contrary to core concepts expressed in the Libertarian Party platform, and were contrary to the advocacy efforts of the Libertarian Party of Nevada; and
Whereas, Such votes reflect poorly on the Libertarian National Committee’s decision to assist Assemblyman Moore’s campaign financially;
Resolved, That the Libertarian National Committee wishes to convey its deep disappointment over these votes and the squandered opportunities for one of our elected officials to implement our shared principles.
I would not support. It is anemic in light of what was dine. While we may never get the money back, we owe it to the members to ask for it.
If there has been some release of information that he is not a nationalParty member, I ask that be released to the entire LNC and under what provision that is made public since I have asked, and been denied, a list of the National Party members in Region 1.
A concern was raised before about a @toothless” statement. While both lack enforcement power, this one lacks any rhetorical power.
And I have a point of order. I do not understand how an email motion can be considered on a motion to rescind contingently. I understand Roberts discourages email voting for reasons such as this but if we are allowed ten days to vote – it should be ten days *after the motion is proper* and it is not proper until after something is actually passed.
We have an electronic mail ballot.
Votes are due to the LNC-Business list by October 31, 2016 at 11:59:59pm Pacific time.
Co-Sponsors: Harlos, Demarest, Hayes, Vohra, Starchild, Goldstein, Redpath
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.
Okay this is going to be a bit of a basic background post as I am learning and getting up to speed on the mortgage situation for the National Libertarian Headquarters in Alexandria, VA. I expect most readers need this background as well. In early 2014, the Party moved offices, deciding that it was in our best interest to purchase a building rather than lease space as we had done in the past. On 4/30/14, a mortgage debt in the amount of $500,000 was incurred with a balloon payment due at the end of ten years. Our present balance is $430,598.33 (as of 10/18/16).
As Libertarians, we were understandably concerned about this debt and wanted to handle it responsibly, and thus, the Policy Manual was amended to add this (page 32):
It shall be the goal of the LNC to completely pay off the office mortgage as quickly as possible, and in any case prior to the due date of the 10-year balloon payment. Towards that end the LNC shall budget a minimum of $60,000 in each odd-numbered year to pay down the principal until the mortgage balance is zero. Fundraising for this specific purpose shall be made a high priority. This provision does not preclude additional fundraising and prepayments in even-numbered years.
Thus, we were supposed to pay a minimum $60,000 towards the principal in 2015–the first year we could have demonstrated our commitment to this fiscally conservative plan. And.. we didn’t.
Katz gave this helpful information:
The Policy Manual (in what is known as the Wiener Rule, 2.03.17) requires us to budget $60,000 towards the mortgage in odd-numbered years. When the 2015 budget was under discussion, there was some discussion about amending or suspending this rule. We decided against it, rightly in my view. We budgeted $60,000. Unfortunately, the best I can recall what happens, the provision does not require us to actually pay that much, just to budget it, and we paid less. In my view, we should pay at least the shortfall from last year this year, in addition to this year’s required payments. We may be able to do more, and there may be a case for doing so, but at the very least I think we should do what we must to live up to the intent of the Wiener Rule.
I find the idea that (to the extent this is accurate) the LNC would think the Policy Manual provision only required budgeting, not actually doing it, to be problematic, and not an example of Libertarian good fiscal governance. We would be furious if the State pulled something like that.
Hagan provided this information:
For 2015, we budget $67,300 for Building Fund revenues to pay $60,000 towards the mortgage and $7300 for a house letter, alas, we raised only $22,435.63. At the end of 2015, the reserve was below the target so there was no extra funds to pay on the mortgage. This year’s required payments are being paid, plus we’ve paid additional on the principle in 2016.
After the November 2016 financial reports are written, I will come up with a proposal to consider at the December meeting to use most of the surplus to pay down the mortgage. If the amounts in unrestricted cash and currently liabilities remain the same as last month, I’d be comfortable with paying around $200,000.
The 2015 figure is a bit different from what Robert Kraus relayed by $5,000.00 (Extra payments towards principle 2016: $22,000.00 / Extra payments towards principle 2015: $27,500.00) so this will need to be documented and clarified at the December meeting.
I will absolutely support that we make good on our promise and make up that 2015 shortfall, and I support paying as much as we can additional, and make good on the 2017 obligation of $60,000.00. If we can’t run our own Party, we cannot be trusted to run the economy any better.
Back in February of this year, several Region 1 member, myself included, had noted that there was inconsistent branding and messaging being sent out. Our website and other materials touted “Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom” and promotional emails and the LP News said “Shrinking Big Government, Advancing Liberty.” We felt pretty strongly that we need to be consistent, pick something that truly represents us, and stick with it. “Shrinking Big Government, Advancing Liberty” sounded very Republican-Tea Partyish to those of us bringing this to the attention of the Region 1 Representative at that time, Norm Olsen. Norm faithfully brought a Motion to the LNC to adopt “Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom” which failed as follows:
I believe now, as I did then, that this is a bad decision. At least one other LNC member agrees, and upon the renewed request of another Region 1 member, we are planning on revisiting this in December if possible.
One of the first things I focused on upon my election to the LNC was the state of LPedia.org. For those not familiar, in simple terms, this is an online wiki of Libertarian Party knowledge and history started some time ago and over time, became increasingly abandoned by the LP itself but lovingly maintained by a few key volunteers, such as James Gholston. There is a wealth of information at LPedia (such as every historical Platform) but it could be so much more. Many people have scattered documents from our history that should be made available to all of us that love this Party (for example, I have rare copies of the 1972 and 1978 Bylaws). I have bemoaned regularly about our lack of institutional knowledge, and the dusty abandoned shell of LPedia is a prime example of how we *could* have preserved treasures and did not. Thus this long journey began.
I spoke with James Gholston about what could be done, and basically, the LP needs to either actively allow direct access to update the wiki software and maintain the site (including once again allowing new user registrations) or let it go to someone who wishes to. The LSLA offered to take over this project. I met some resistance when I brought this suggestion up to the LNC in July leading to my comment that we were behaving like a man who no longer is attracted to his girlfriend until some other man shows interest in her. Here is my motion that was made and the vote afterwards:
But there was a problem. The IT Committee had not yet been populated, but it seemed certain, it would be done soon. Ahh, if wishes were fishes we would all cast nets. The LNC appointments to the IT Committee were not made by Chair Sarwark (this is required by our Policy Manual) until 9/14/16. *Please note this is not a criticism of Chair Sarwark–we are in the middle of the busiest election season in LP history, it is what it is.*
But now we are nearly another month out, and the rest of the Committee has not yet been populated nor has there been any advertising for the vacancies.
This has led to my latest email string, culminating in this:
Any continued delays can cause irreparable loss. From what I understand from Gholston, any updates to underlying needed software could break LPedia from any functional use as it is limping along now, and perhaps lose the underlying data. Others are working to scrape the data from outside to preserve, but the easiest, most accurate, and just simply the best way, is for the LP to allow these volunteers access.
This shouldn’t be so complicated. At. All. (the LPedia thing)
Encouragingly, as I was writing this, I heard this:
Co-Sponsors: Redpath, Harlos, Demarest, McKnight, Katz, Bilyeu
Motion: The Libertarian National Committee supports Question 5 in Maine on the ballot on November 8, 2016.
Voting has ended for the email ballot shown below.
Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Goldstein, Harlos, Katz, Marsh, Mattson, McKnight, Redpath, Starchild, Starr, Vohra
Voting “nay”: (none)
Express abstention: Hayes, Lark
With a final vote tally of 13-0, the motion PASSES.
Here is a recent email I sent to the LNC Business Discussion list:
It seems to me that we have a lack of follow-through. I was looking for a past decision on our Party slogan made by Norm, and ran across this:
Mr. Olsen moved that the LNC Chair is requested to direct staff to produce outreach materials for use by the national office and all Libertarian National Committee affiliates concerning the following topics: the economy (regulation, national debt, crony capitalism, Federal Reserve), civil & property rights (justice system, civil forfeiture, police violence), the War on Terror, gun rights.
Following debate, the vote on the main motion was as follows:
Voting “aye”: Feldman, Goldstein, Hagan, Johnson, Lark, Marsh, Mattson, McLendon, Olsen, Redpath, Sarwark, Vohra, Wiener
Voting “no”: Katz, Riemers Abstaining: Ludlow
Was this even done? It seems to have fallen into the institutional black hole like the discussion at the last formal meeting to reach out to Log Cabin Republicans, which does not appear to have ever been done. (And I asked on this list later about it, and didn’t get a response)
Shouldn’t things passed be on some kind of followup list? I expect if I go through past minutes I will find many such items.
You can follow the discussion on the google reflector list here: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/lncvotes/JlZThgC_K7A/43hYZbwnAQAJ
I am pretty disturbed by this actually. I do plan on going through past (probably the past two years) LNC minutes to see what else has fallen through the cracks. This motion above bothers me particularly since it was the Region 1 representative at the time, Norm Olsen, who got this passed, and it was ignored, which is ignoring Region 1. That is not acceptable. And last meeting, I (clumsily due to being new) had the LNC direct “its sense” to the Chair that we should be reaching out to the Log Cabin Republicans. This was requested by a Region 1 member. That request was also ignored, and my follow-up request on it was also ignored. You can view that follow-up here: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/lncvotes/pZ2tvGiwdtY/8wqnHyYwCQAJ
I likely have some fault here. I am learning and new and am getting better at being more efficient. But I am seeing these things from prior to my involvement and as a bit of pattern. I hope to be part of the solution. I am getting a sense of my mission statements for the next two years: Transparency and Follow-Through.
Co-Sponsors: Lark, Goldstein, Harlos, Hagan, Hayes, Starchild
Whereas Mike Fellows was a dedicated and accomplished activist for the cause of liberty who gave generously of his time and financial resources, and
Whereas Mr. Fellows represented the Montana Libertarian Party with distinction by virtue of his many campaigns for public office, including campaigns for the Montana state legislature, Montana Secretary of State, Montana Supreme Court Clerk, and the U.S. House of Representatives, and
Whereas Mr. Fellows served with distinction for many years in positions of leadership in the Libertarian Party, including his service as chair of the Montana Libertarian Party and as an alternate representative on the Libertarian National Committee, and
Whereas Mr. Fellows was a man of integrity, wisdom, wit, generosity of spirit, and commitment to the principles of liberty and personal responsibility, therefore
Be it resolved that the members of the Libertarian National Committee express our sadness at the passing of Mike Fellows, and that we offer our condolences to his family and friends.
Voting “aye”: Bilyeu, Bittner, Demarest, Goldstein, Hagan, Harlos, Hayes, Katz, Lark, Marsh, Mattson, McKnight, Redpath, Sarwark
Voting “nay”: (none)
With a final vote tally of 14-0, the motion PASSES.
What: LNC Meeting 12/10-11
Where: Marriott Residence Inn, 1456 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Room Rate: $119 Per Night includes Buffet Breakfast
Reservations Via this link: http://tinyurl.com/lnc-dec16
Or call 703.548.5474 or 1.800.321.2211 and ask for the “LNC Meeting” room block.
Parking: $15 per day (web site is wrong we have a discounted rate) – must get parking pass from hotel reception prior to entering garage. Street parking available in area (Jamison, West, Commerce or Price – watch signs for restrictions) plus possible limited parking by office in Round House Square (spots marked 1438, 1442 or 1444 only).
King Street Metro (2 stops – 5 min – from DCA National Airport on Blue or Yellow line): Less than ¼ mile away. Exit Metro and cross parking lot. Go down either Dangerfield Rd. or Reinekers Ln (straight ahead as your cross parking lot & Diagonal Rd. from Metro). Hotel is less than 2 blocks away straight ahead on opposite side of Duke St.
Other: LP NoVa is likely to host a reception possibly at LPHQ Fri or Sat evening – details soon!
The hotel offers a free shuttle with drop off & pickup service throughout Old Town. There is also a free trolley on King Street that goes from metro to the river and points in between.