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Motion to disband the Libertarian Party of Alabama
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Gallatin76



Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:18 pm    Post subject: Motion to disband the Libertarian Party of Alabama Reply with quote

Dear friends of liberty:

In the last email that I sent out I announced that I was considering the position of Chair. I urged our members and friends that if they cared about the Libertarian Party of Alabama and its future to respond to that email.

I had also mentioned that the LPA is on the verge of disappearing due to a lack of financial support and membership involvement.

The situation has not changed.

Your response and your lack of a response gives me tremendous pause of taking on the position and whether or not we should continue. Please read the last paragraph if you have already read the appeal below. Otherwise if you care about the LPA take a moment to read the appeal now.

***
To restate our situation:

Right now our monthly pledges have fallen dangerously low. Many long time supporters have dropped off this past year. Our Treasurer Gordon Maddox has informed me that unless this situation changes we will be out of business in less then six months.
Right now responses to our emails are at an all time low.
Right now veteran members are taking well deserved breaks. Many members of the EC have been on board for many years and are seeking to step down. Chairman Stephen Gordon will not be running for the position again and I have announced to the Executive Committee that I am considering it. No one else has expressed an interest in running. The Chair has told me that he would support my bid for the position and I appreciate it. However what I really need is the support of the membership. I need to know that the membership actively supports me and this organization.

Without that support we are just fooling ourselves.

So.

Right now we need you.

Right now we need you to get engaged.
Either by volunteering or by supporting our efforts through the monthly pledge program.

Right now we need to develop a political party that will be a force in the upcoming years when our presence will be necessary for the survival of our liberties and our money.

I am asking every individual that is on this list to join the pledge program and/or to volunteer.

Please remember - we can't do any of this without your financial donations.

We are looking for 100 individuals that believe liberty is worth fighting for.
We are asking for a monthly pledge of just $10 or $5 a month from each of you.

Your donation will support infrastructure expenses (office, telephone, internet, meeting room) as well as provide for opportunities for greater media exposure. It would take a mere $1000 a month to get us on our feet and back in the game.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal. Just send an email to Gallatin76@aol.com for details. DO NOT HIT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. It will bounce.

After replying, I need you to forward this to five libertarians and ask them to do the same.

****
Should this email be ignored, I will strongly put forth the motion that the LPA be disbanded. If the Libertarian Party of Alabama is to exist, I don't want it to be a joke. I don't want it to be a handful of activists struggling without financial or volunteer support from their membership but rather an organization capable of taking care of its obligations as a political party. $25 a year to the National LP doesn't cut it. The NLP does not fund the LPA. The LPA can only be a functioning entity with real support from its supporters.

Your comments will be appreciated. Your actions noted. Your silence will be recognized for what it is.


****

In liberty,
Mike Rster
Vice Chair
Libertarian Party of Alabama
2330 Highland Ave
Birmingham, AL 35205
1-205-328-8683 - voice mail
Gallatin76@aol.com

PS I wish to apologize to the members of this group as I have been remiss in including activities on these lists. I had been concentrating on the LPA-Announce email list for my communications. Unfortunately that left you out of the loop. Be sure to join that list. It is a low volume LPA announcements only list from Executive Committee members. Send an email to lpa-announce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear you Mike and I must say that your appeal is likely to fall on deaf ears for several reasons, not the least of which is the poor performance of the Executive Committee over the last several years.

One only need look at my continuing topic Libertarian Republican to see there is interest in this forum. Over sixteen thouand views. Not unique and many repeat maybe, but there are so many hits it is high on the Google pecking order.

What we inactive members have been crying out for is an action plan. I wrote one, got 2000 hits, and the EC ignored it. I wrote a Libertarian Platform which has over 900 hits and the EC ignored it. I tried to help Paul get primed for a signature drive and the EC paid it only lip service and really didn't want any part of it.

I have no problem with you as chair. However, if you want support and money you will have to give us an indication of what our money is going to actually buy. To simply contribute money for renting an office no one ever sees, and having an EC who treats everything like a CIA secret is not going to cut it.

The purpose of the EC is to organize and grow the party. It is not to promote ideology beyond providing a framework definition of Libertarian, nor is it the EC's responsibility to take up every niche political issue and run with it.

Organize, organize, organize.

Recruit, recruit, recruit.

Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise.

Find candidates, find candidates, find candidates.

Publicity, publicity, publicity.

Ballot access, ballot access, ballot acces.


Follow those directions and we may have a party. Everything else is a waste of time for a state party. If you must engage in political issue debate, do it through a separate committee.

I'll volunteer to do anything, hold any office, or fundraise if I see a working plan.

Use mine for starters.

Remember, I offered to run for Governor and drive around the state giving Libertarian speeches. But I won't work a minute for a disorganized, lazy and egotistical EC.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Putting this topic back on top.
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Gallatin76



Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 6:02 pm    Post subject: Motion to Disband Reply with quote

Re: Motion to Disband

From the Vice Chair:

I am pleased that people are actually talking about this issue. I have gotten a fair response. My biggest fear was that I would not get any response at all (as in the past).

The LPA has existed up to this point because of personal sacrifices on the part of a few people. I cannot tell you how much time and money that people have donated to this organization. Of the people that I know personally - Dr. Jimmy Blake, Mark Bodenhausen, Stephen Gordon, and myself - it has been a huge time and financial commitment, that has not eased in the slightest.

I sent out this distressing email to the lists because if the libertarian community wants a Libertarian Party of Alabama they ought to support it.

I sincerely appreciate every concerned response.

I am curious that most of the comments run with the idea of reducing the LPA to a post office box. That is NOT A SOLUTION. That is just a long lingering death. At this point if we can't afford a $450 office bill - how are we supposed to do anything else?

Please ask yourself - what have you done to keep the LPA going these past few years?

If you have done nothing - which sadly constitutes much of the libertarian community, I urge you take the first step and join the pledge program. Details below.

Take a moment and join us in the libertarian revolution by becoming a pledger or a volunteer today! Details below.

In liberty,
Mike Rster
Vice Chair - Libertarian Party of Alabama
2330 Highland Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35205
gallatin76@aol.com
1-205-328-8683 - voice mail
1-205-322-1848 - fax

PS For up-to-the-minute news on activities around the state of Alabama join the LPA-Announce email list. This is a low volume list that you can join by sending an email to lpa-announce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

PPS Support the Libertarians! Consider the LPA Pledge Program...how about
helping us with a $5...$10 or even $20 a month pledge?

You have to ask yourself:
Is liberty worth $10 a month? Is it worth having someone fighting for what
you believe in?

It's easy and you get

Free voting membership in the Libertarian Party of Alabama.
Access to LPA Library.
Local networking along with updates on local activity.
And many other benefits!

We accept Visa, MasterCard and Paypal. Just send an email to
Gallatin76@aol.com.
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Dy



Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Morgan Co.

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 12:59 am    Post subject: Re: Motion to Disband Reply with quote

Gallatin76 wrote:
Re: Motion to Disband

From the Vice Chair:

I am pleased that people are actually talking about this issue. I have gotten a fair response. My biggest fear was that I would not get any response at all (as in the past).

The LPA has existed up to this point because of personal sacrifices on the part of a few people. I cannot tell you how much time and money that people have donated to this organization. Of the people that I know personally - Dr. Jimmy Blake, Mark Bodenhausen, Stephen Gordon, and myself - it has been a huge time and financial commitment, that has not eased in the slightest.

I sent out this distressing email to the lists because if the libertarian community wants a Libertarian Party of Alabama they ought to support it.

I sincerely appreciate every concerned response.

I am curious that most of the comments run with the idea of reducing the LPA to a post office box. That is NOT A SOLUTION. That is just a long lingering death. At this point if we can't afford a $450 office bill - how are we supposed to do anything else?

Please ask yourself - what have you done to keep the LPA going these past few years?

If you have done nothing - which sadly constitutes much of the libertarian community, I urge you take the first step and join the pledge program. Details below.

Take a moment and join us in the libertarian revolution by becoming a pledger or a volunteer today! Details below.



Mike,

As you know, I'm pretty much brand new, here, and trying to get a feel for things. I hope you'll indulge me in scaling the learning curve a bit, here.

Is there somewhere we can see how much money the Party has, where it's going, and what is needed? I've tried to find details, but I've not had much luck, yet. Are there ongoing projects that need continuous funding? Are there special projects that need specific infusions? I don't think many people outside the EC are really familiar with the financial status of the Party, other than that it, evidently, needs more money.

One of the projects money is currently being raised to support is the ballot access initiative, correct? What other plans or programs are on the docket and in need of funding? What are the outlays, needs and goals of the LPA, in financial terms? In short, where would this money be going once it came in?

I don't have the history with the group that those of you who have worked so hard do, and I admittedly don't have any particular attachment to a street address over a P.O. Box. However, I haven't seen the office situation mentioned as a "solution" to anything, but rather as one expenditure that could be alleviated. To say that to consider the relinquishing of expenditures that cannot be met is synonymous with a lingering death for the party... I don't see that. It seems a bit emotionally tinged. To me, it sounds less like suicide and more like fiscal responsibility. And I venture to say that resonates with others who may have spoken favorably of giving up the office. For example, if I cannot afford a car payment, yet I need transportation, I go with a less expensive option that is within my budget, correct? It may not be the ideal choice, but it makes more sense than over-extending myself in perpetuity. Obviously, there's some history there I'm not privy to, for your response on that front, but I don't think I'm quite seeing your perspective on that.

Ideally, we'll be sending our letters to our Libertarian Public Servants in Montgomery, and County Seats throughout the State, at some point. And realistically, it matters more to have a responsive, active, energetic base than anything else, regardless of where correspondence goes, does it not? I do realize this is simply an outsider's perspective, but I thought I would offer that up for consideration.

Anyhow, back to the original topic, perhaps a clearer idea for the layfolk of the Party as to the goals, funds, and state of the party, in absolute terms and balance sheets, may help people feel more encouraged to give. Or even help them feel more comfortable parting with money when they know it is going toward active promotion of the Party in the State. These are just some ideas that come to mind from my experience thus far, as well as from past experiences with other organizations.

Thanks for posting here! This is a fantastic forum, and it's helping me get my feet wet.

Dy
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StephenDow



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks to Dy for a very sensible post above. I'm particularly pleased that I'm not the only one who thinks dispensing with the office "sounds less like suicide and more like fiscal responsibility." Regarding the questions about party finances, I have a topic here "party finances, office rent" with some of that information.
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touchman



Joined: 04 Oct 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dy makes some good points. Can the LPA present a plan for the next year or some other time span that shows what our money would go to besides just a nice office?

I have to say that the office is very nice (I have been there many times in the past) and I would love for the LPA to keep it, but I do believe the LPA can survive without a rented office...it has done it before and other states do it too. In my humble opinion, the LPA without a rented office does not equate to an ineffective and dying party. Boots on the ground are just as effective with a P.O. as they are with a rented office. Plans, actions, and learning for improvement do not require a rented office, either.

On the other hand, having a physical presence somewhere does have great advantages. I have to admit that an LPA with a physical address, especially one that has existed for the LPA for a long time like the current one, does lend much credibility for the party. Also, no matter who is in the party leadership the address doesn't change when there is a physical, permanent address like the current one. Having an office in downtown Birmingham and in the location that the current one is in is well worth $450/month if you ask me. We should try to keep it, but not at the pain of death of the party.

Concerning support from the libertarian community, I put the blame for non-support on the party. It is the party's job to make sure people support it. Obviously, this part of the party's job is not working well. Not sure what can be done to change this, but the party can not count on the libertarian community to support the LPA just for the novelty of having a party. I don't have any answers on this, but maybe someone smarter than me can provide some thoughts.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Jonny Letson
Former LPA Florence and Huntsville Area Chairs
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent posts from everyone and right on. In order to follow the party's leaders they must tell us where they are going and how they expect us to get there before we will actually get in line and march toward a common goal. I have provided plans and goals frequently on this forum and via e-mail but no one takes advantage, disagrees with me, modifies the plan, or provides a different one.

Office or no office, no one is going to throw money and time down a black hole with no light at the bottom.

I'll say it straight out and bluntly. The party needs new leadership. They can claim hard work and they're probably right but the leadership they are providing simply is not working. Great people, good effort, totally ineffective. We must have a new EC at the convention and get somebody in there with fresh ideas and excellent communication skills.

There I've said it. And I'll put myself where my mouth is. I'll run for Chairman if anyone wants me too. Vice Chair anyone?

Russ

Russ
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And another thing. I personally believe we can create and operate the party via the internet. Ron Paul created a huge movement via the internet. A physical location is only required after we have enough members that one is needed.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know why we bother sometimes but can't we at least get a forum discussion going on this subject. I think I have a clue as to what is wrong.

We have a whole group of part time Libertarians who tune in and out and don't truly have a passion for the subject. Some who serve on the Executive Committee seem more enamored of beefing up a resume and inflating thier egos with titles rather than doing the hard organizational grunt work required of a third political party.

Yes this is a somewhat stinging criticism of the status quo but we just have to get a dialogue going. If it is necessary to aggravate everyone to get your attention then that is the right thing to do.

I do wish everyone reading this would also read the Action Plan for 2010 also on this forum in its entirety. It contains the only roadmap to success for Alabama Libertarians in print today. Barring input from you, it is the only way forward.

If you love freedom, if you truly believe in Libertarianism, if you want a third party in Alabama, please say so in a reply to this post. If you view participation as a hobby fine. Please help us and tune in when you can. If you are serious, tell me what your e-mail address is and we'll start going in a new direction. I may travel to the national Libertarian Party headquarters in Washington to find out how we can form a new state party in Alabama. I may show up in Birmingham with a plan if a convention gets off the ground. Please check this forum frequently for news.

Russ Anderson
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mrjones0913



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell everyone I have been gone for a while sitting back and looking end. I see the same old same old going on. We have about three people that are trying to make this work now that Dy has joined Russ and Stephen. I my self have not put in whole heartily because of the actions of a select few that think that this is a place (the party) to build their resumes. I have talked with Mike at great lengths on several occasions and it just comes across as we have nowhere to go with the current leadership. WE DO NOT NEED TO DISBAND JUST READJUST. We need new leadership with fresh ideas that work.We need a grassroot movement. The Libertarian Party is at the best position that it has been in ever, but the Alabama chapter is in the worst. We need leaders that are in their positions to lead not to have President of the Alabama Libertarian party behind their name or so forth. I did post several times on this site and the only person to email me directly was Russ. I will give the Dem's and Republicans something I have talked personally with people from both when I have inquired about things here I get a response from someone nowhere near the leadership. The EC is a joke no plan. FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL.
Russ I think you would make a great President for the Alabama Chapter at least you have a vision it seems the current EC has the sight of Steve Wonder.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Mr. Jones for your helpful comments and support. I know a lot of folks read these forum posts but only submit posts once in awhile. I ask again to show us you are interested by responding to one of these.

One of our positives in the State Party is that we have a population of really nice, earnest people who want things to work. This certainly includes the present EC who are longtime members. I mean no ill will toward anyone but to borrow from Obama's words, heaven forbid, it is time to look forward not back. As well meaning as these folks might be, their leadership is just not working. Mike Rster wants to be Chairman of the party. If he has a vision and a plan I support him.

How about this. We have a debate between Mike and myself on this forum where we both present our plans for moving the party forward. After we both post our plans you all ask questions and we answer them.

After that we have an internet vote of members for Chairman of the party. That way no one has to travel and we don't spend money on a physical convention.

Comments please?
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StephenDow



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks mrjones0913. I'm hesitant to criticize Mike too harshly because he has done a lot of work for the party. However I do think we need to make some changes. If I am able to convince the membership at the next Convention that we should end the party's support of an office in Birmingham, or Mike simply isn't able to drum up the money for that with this disbandment plea, then it seems likely a change of leadership will come along as part of that.
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touchman



Joined: 04 Oct 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the LPA actively and/or planning to do to further the following stated goals as stated in our bylaws at http://lpalabama.org/pages/bylaws ?:

a) Disseminating information about libertarian ideals and principles;
b) Nominating and promoting candidates for local, state, and national public office;
c) Promoting and coordinating district and local organizations throughout the state;
d) Selecting and sending delegates to Libertarian Party national conventions.

What projects would my monetary/time donation go to for supporting the above stated goals? Are these listed in order of importance in the by-laws since some of these may conflict with others?

Jonny Letson
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Dy



Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Morgan Co.

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

touchman wrote:
What is the LPA actively and/or planning to do to further the following stated goals as stated in our bylaws at http://lpalabama.org/pages/bylaws ?:

a) Disseminating information about libertarian ideals and principles;
b) Nominating and promoting candidates for local, state, and national public office;
c) Promoting and coordinating district and local organizations throughout the state;
d) Selecting and sending delegates to Libertarian Party national conventions.

What projects would my monetary/time donation go to for supporting the above stated goals? Are these listed in order of importance in the by-laws since some of these may conflict with others?

Jonny Letson


Jonny,
Thank you for linking that! This is a good point, and reminds us all that we are, in fact, working with a fully-developed set of working definitions. No need to re-invent the wheel, so to speak.

Looks like I've got more homework to do as I get spooled up. I know you posted this for GP, but thank you, personally, as well. (By-laws - one of those things that's so painfully obvious when it's put on the table, and yet, didn't occur to me to read up on, or ask about, before I started posting! Embarassed )
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