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

LP Historical Preservation Committee Meeting 3/1/17

Historical-Committee

This is a notice for the first meeting of the LP Historical Preservation Committee Meeting. All LP members are welcome to attend. A formal agenda is forthcoming. As screen sharing will be used, please try to attend via the web connection and not via telephone.

Libertarian Party Historical Committee
Wed, Mar 1, 2017 4:00PM Mountain Time

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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.

December 2016 End-of-Month Financial Report Released

annual-reportThe December End-of-Month Financial Reports are attached. The reserved was at $232,692. This is after paying the extra $100,000 toward the mortgage’s principle.

Support and revenue for the year was $2,624,990 versus a budget of $1,907,869, and the year had a surplus of $274,327. Total expenses were below budget, but some expenses ended over budget. In particular Administrative Costs, Member Communication (LP News), and Building Fundraising Expenses were more than 10% over their budgeted amounts.
Tim Hagan

You can view the report here.

January Membership Report Released

membshipreport-smallThe January 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 growing.

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This report has some interesting charts as usual.

Active Donors are rising again:

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New Donors are back up:

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Lapsed donors are decreasing once again (good news!):

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But renewing donors back down:

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But since this gives us the whole of 2016 let’s take a bit of a look. Active donors are up around 75%. That’s incredible. Lapsed donor trends are only slightly up. New donors are averaged down but that is only because of a huge spike after convention — they are up. Renewing donors are the only figure that is down, and this from before convention, so we are not only losing (in average) those who were only excited about the campaign, but more established members. This is an area to watch out for.