George Phillies: Interesting bits at the latest LNC meeting

George Phillies

George Phillies is the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts. The following email was sent by him to the IPR email list on February 20th:

Esteemed colleagues:
(and other folks with a direct interest or who contributed to the liveblog).

I listed to the livestream of the LNC meeting.  You can see a real-time typed summary here:

I will discuss what I thought I heard people at the meeting say. I will focus on Presidential ballot access, and a few other issues having financial implications. Note if you find a recording that “Presidential Ballot Access” is called “ballot access” by some speakers in the LNC meeting.

It appears that there are serious difficulties with Presidential ballot access.  The difficulties appear to translate as “money”.

Illinois will be very expensive.  I believe I heard Dan Wiener say that Illinois and Pennsylvania together would cost $130,000, and he did not see where the LNC had the money or the cash flow.

Pennsylvania ballot access will cost $90,000, of which the LNC is proposing to put up $70,000, leaving $20,000 to be covered by the State Party.

The Ohio State Party wants to do a  party petition, which would require 35,000 signatures. Redpath believed this is impractical, and wants Ohio to do a candidate petition, which requires far fewer signatures.

Bill Redpath indicated that he would be contacting Presidential campaigns. He claimed that we need to communicate to the Presidential candidates that if they want to be on the ballot everywhere they need to step up soon in terms of ballot access. He noted that there are people saying that Presidential Ballot access is an LNC responsibility, and claimed that it was a responsibility for everyone.

The effect of the Oregon issue on 50-state ballot access was ignored, a point caught by Caryn Harlos.

Redpath claimed that there are people in Massachustts who are against Libertarian Presidential ballot access.  Katz went through a series of statements in the Ballot Access report about Massachusetts that are false. Redpath claimed he did not know  Massachusetts ballot access rules. It appeared to me that he was fond of asking Richard Winger rather than contacting state affiliates about these questions.

I had the sense that no one had racked up what had to be spent when, what the plausible cash flow was for each of the months this year, and therefore how much money had to be cash on hand at the start of this year. It’s a bit late for this.

Holding the LNC meetings in the DC area would svae $1500-2000 per meeting. Choosing a new meeting site each time costs the LNC a great deal of effort.

The claim was made that if we switch the data base from Raiser’s Edge that the RE people will not give us the credit card records for the continuing donors. The claim seems a mite odd, but that was what I heard.

Chuck Moulton reported “Sounds like the 2016 national convention is going to have no Internet access without paying $30,000. Apparently this wasn’t covered in the contract.”

For the recent duplicator lease, Katz noted and was not challenged that we are paying 51% interest over off-the-shelf purchase cost by paying for the gadget over 5 years. On this topic: Redpath appeared to claim that promising to pay a large amount over years to pay for equipment is not borrowing, and therefore the lease was not a bylaws violation. M Carling sensibly noted that when we leased the Watergate building the LNC believed a 2/3 vote was required; the objective of the bylaw is to keep the LNC from raising money to be raised by future LNCs.

There was extended debate over the LNC paying the Executive Director $8000 for moving expenses, when this was apparently not in his contract. Apparently the then-national-chair (Neale) said something or other related to this, the LNC did or did not know, and the cost faded into obscure parts of the budget. In the end, Wes was allowed by the LCN at this meeting to keep the money. The debate on this felt as though it went on as long as the debate over the report of the ballot acess committee, which is going through close to two orders of magnitude more money.

The Hilton Hotel people apparently tried to dun the LNC for hotel bills for LPEX, which they apparently claimed be unpaid. They were told LPEX was not an LNC event, and went away. It was impossible to tell what was actually going on between LPEX and the hotel, and no assumption should be made on this topic on the basis of this report.

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