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Candidate Slate for 2009 Convention
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jwalbea



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 11
Location: Birmingham Alabama, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:19 pm    Post subject: Candidate Slate for 2009 Convention Reply with quote

A slate of candidates will be presented for election at the upcoming state party convention on June 27th 2009.

Chair: Dr. Roderick Long
Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University
http://praxeology.net/

Vice Chair: Matthew Givens
Former LPA Vice Chair and candidate for PSC
http://politicsalabama.blogspot.com/

Secretary: Steve Dow
Former LPA Chair and current At-large EC member

Treasurer: Jim Albea
Current At-large EC member

The individuals on this slate share a common vision and operating
model for the LPA as follows:

1) Lean internal expenses. Dispense with maintaining an office
in Birmingham and decentralize the administration of the party.

2) Focus on building and activating the membership base with less of
an emphasis on fundraising.

3) Achievable 2010 electoral strategy. While not cast in stone, given
the present barriers to statewide ballot access, the strategy would be
to target a few local races where we have the best chance of having
an impact.

The plan is to have this group of individuals and this agenda
considered as a whole.

For the slate,
Jim Albea
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well good; Finally a group stepping up. Not a plan to excite the masses for sure though. Are you all certain that you have the drive and determination to make a difference? Or is this another group who seek the titles and don't have vision or ambition?

Your slate smacks of status quo otherwise known as stagnation. But you obviously have the votes. I hope it works.

I don't see how closing the office, raising no money and abandoning ballot access is a plan for anything but disbanding the party though.
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baroquon



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't see how closing the office, raising no money and abandoning ballot access is a plan for anything but disbanding the party though.


I was thinking that same thing actually. Running on the 'close the Birmingham office' platform doesn't really get me excited. Maybe it makes sense but it isn't really a solution to the problems we face. I have some ideas, maybe I'll post them in a bit. I would like to know how 'the opposition slate' (as I will call them moving forward) feel about some of them.

Also, what are you guys going to do to "Focus on building and activating the membership base with less of an emphasis on fundraising."? That is pretty vague and I am not sure anyone can focus less on fundraising, does that mean refusing money people offer Smile? Anyway it seems like it's not really a plan of action just a statement. Further what do you mean by "the best chance of having an impact."? Does that mean races we can win? Thanks.

I hope the 'ruling slate' declares themselves soon. Maybe Mike and Sarah but who else? IT'S SO EXCITING!
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in your ideas Brandon. I sent this out today which prompted their slate and plan I guess.


Here is my plan of action for moving the party forward. The main question for members, readers, EC members and Alabamians is: will we have the collective wisdom to move forward with a solid plan of action after the convention?

Starting with the June 27 convention some firm decisions must be made in the business session. First and foremost is whether the HQ and the EC should continue to be based out of Birmingham, or not? If, as is likely, the decision is made to stay in Birmingham because that is where most of the active Libertarians are, then I believe maintaining an office is probably the right thing to do. If the decision is made to have a floating HQ in the city of the elected Chairman, for instance, then the office should be abandoned and the PO Box system adopted.

Next on the priority list is the reorganization bylaw change proposed by Mr. Dow. I don't have much to say on that subject except that a county coordinator organization headed by an Executive Committee with a County Chairman coordinator has always worked best in third parties. Any system will work though and the proposed reorganization will probably work better than the present one. I would like to see a county by county list in each east-west region however.

The next item of business is recruiting folks to serve on the EC from different parts of the state. I think that there should be a north, south, east, west, central EC design. By that I mean that we must recruit members from different parts of the state and not have everyone from Birmingham. For the time being I would hope that someone from Mobile would serve as well as someone from Auburn, Montgomery and Huntsville area. To that end, someone should take on the task of calling members and recruiting them to serve. People want to be asked. Many will serve if asked but may not step forward by themselves.

Once we have the EC, its first order of business is to raise money and start the publicity machine for 2010.

In order to proceed with a plan after the EC is elected and installed there will need to be some introspection and discussion. Anyone looking at the Alabama Libertarian Party will have several questions for us before considering offering their support.

The first question they would ask and we must answer is:

Why would a Libertarian Government in Alabama be any different than the Democrats and Republicans?

The second question would be:

How would Libertarians improve the lives of Alabamians as a third party?

And third would be:

Where can I join a Libertarian group in my area and find out how I can help the party succeed?

My plan will answer those questions and provide a method for raising money and increasing membership.

As soon after the business meeting as possible the EC must meet to go over and approve a plan of action for the year. First, a determination must be made of exactly how many paid active members exist. An e-mail should be sent to each of these members giving the plan of action and asking for volunteers to serve on committees.

Next, a press release must be prepared noting the names of the people elected to the EC and a picture of the newly elected chairman. The press release must include a brief description of the goals of the party in Alabama and include a statement by the chairman asserting that Libertarians, despite efforts by the two major parties to prevent it, will work to get on the ballot in 2010. In addition, the Chairman should indicate that the party will have a candidate for Governor and other statewide offices.

Following that, it is time for the Chairman to hit the road and visit any part of the state which has a Libertarian contingent. In other words, the Chairman must come to the members, not the other way around. The Chairman, at least in the beginning, will have to pay his or her own expenses on these initial trips.

Then, we must provide frequent communication with members, with weekly (at a minimum) e-mail updates to all members on progress. An electronic newsletter will be the vehicle, similar to what the national party does for its subscribers.

A committee on forming a platform should be established immediately so that prospective members of the party know what we stand for. The committee will take the draft platform I have already written and polish it for membership review and comment via e-mail.

Candidate recruitment for the 2010 elections should begin immediately. We must beat the bushes and advertise for candidates. Every candidate will bring his own circle into the party. We must charge a qualifying fee, probably $50.00, for anyone running under the party banner, assuming we are giving ballot access in return.

We next form a traveling campaign staff (one or two people) whose job it is to train and help candidates. Most of their assistance can be by phone and e-mail.

Fund raising would be next on the agenda followed by signature gathering.

Here is a plan for raising money for two purposes; one, in order to secure operating funds, including office rent, for the next 12 months and two, to create a pot of money for ballot access signature operations.



The purpose of this is to raise sufficient funds to purchase the services of a signature gathering team in order to submit petitions of at least 40,000 valid signatures to the Secretary of State of Alabama in 2010 and 2012. By submitting these petitions we will be on the ballot statewide in 2010 and 2012 and can field a full slate of candidates. A secondary purpose is to provide operating funds.

The Democrat and Republican Parties of Alabama have intentionally made it extremely difficult for any third party to get on the ballot. In fact, the requirement in our state is among the most difficult and onerous in the country. Even if we collect the required signatures we would need 20 percent of the vote in the election in a statewide race to remain on the ballot without submitting signatures again in 2012. We therefore are assuming we will have to resubmit the 40,000 signatures in 2012.


Part I of this project will involve making it known throughout the state that we need help meeting the requirements forced upon us. We will do this by:

1. Issuing press releases announcing our fundraising goals including why we are doing this.
2. Beginning an e-mail chain announcing the project and explaining why we need help.
3. Enlisting the assistance of the National LP in describing our predicament outside the state.
4. Asking our members to spread the word about the need for funds and the reasons why we need help.

Part II of the fundraising project will involve explaining through the same media in Part I, exactly what we intend to do, the timeframe involved, and what will be the end result of their assistance to the party in accomplishing the goals of this project. In addition, the Chairman must travel to Montgomery to lobby legislators to change the ballot access requirements. We must find some sympathetic legislators who will introduce legislation on our behalf during the 2010 session.

Part III of will involve asking potential donors and members to help us achieve our goal through donations. We will use the same media used in Parts I and II to solicit the funds. In addition, we will recruit candidates to conduct debates in various parts of the state in order to raise funds. I also have a plan to induce certain PACS, state and national, to help us with funds. We will solicit these PACS earnestly and incessantly in order to raise funds. I believe that many Democrat PACS will want to help us undermine the Republican vote in 2010, especially if Artur Davis is their candidate.

The timeline is as follows.

Project presentation at the State Convention in June.

Commence part I by August 1, 2009
Complete part I by October1, 2009 and commence Part II


Begin soliciting money in earnest on August 1, 2009. Commence signature gathering as soon as money is available to begin.


This is the fund raising plan outline. Detailed plans will be developed by the EC for approval and adjustment prior to a kickoff announcement.

My signature plan for ballot access is to begin gathering signatures for statewide office ballot access. Once we have those signatures we will specifically concentrate on Congressional districts where we have candidates who wish to run such as Mobile's district held by Congressman Jo Bonner. Either Leo McDermott or Dick Coffee could run there. From there we will help any county who would like to get on the ballot locally for such things as county commission, sheriff, etc.

Qualifying Statewide means we would be on the ballot for Governor, Lt Governor, Sec State, Treasurer, State Senate and State Rep.

Done correctly, I believe we will attract some PAC money from groups who believe we might impact one party or another. At the very least we could make some major party candidates nervous.

My plan is to use Paulie's group to gather the signatures along with a comprehensive volunteer program outlined as follows.

All active members would be sent a package of instructions and a few blank petition forms. We would ask each member to get as many of their family, friends and acquaintances as possible to sign the petition. We would not ask a member to cold call, go house to house, or stand on a street corner if they are uncomfortable with that. We may have a few group venues where several members work together at a festival or something, strictly on a volunteer basis. With professional and member signature gathering I think we could get it done.

Our goals are to increase membership, raise money and have an impact on Alabama elections in 2010.
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RoderickLong



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Auburn, Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject: Introducing myself Reply with quote

Hello, all! Let me say a little bit about where I'm coming from.

For those of you who don't know me, here's a bit about me:
http://media.cla.auburn.edu/philosophy/bio/bio_display.cfm?PersonID=1024
and here's one of my recent editorials:
http://www.cato-unbound.org/2008/11/10/roderick-long/corporations-versus-the-market-or-whip-conflation-now

I'm a member of the Grassroots Libertarian Caucus, whose five-point program is as follows:
Quote:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GrassrootsLibertarians

(I) BOTTOM-UP, NOT TOP-DOWN. We see a party that too often takes after the establishment parties and corporations rather than manifesting itself as a grassroots organization with revolutionary goals. We seek a decentralized Libertarian Party run by its members and activists rather than by a centralized clique of corporate-oriented professionals.

(II) POLITICALLY BALANCED.
We see a party which has become too conservative in both style and substance. We seek to restore a balanced approach to Libertarian Party policy-making and outreach that strives to appeal to the political left as much as to the political right and emphasizes personal liberty no less than economic liberty.

(III) FUN, BOLD, AND FREE-SPIRITED. We see a party that has become too staid, timid, boring, and unimaginative. We seek a culture within the Libertarian Party that is bolder, more irreverent, more free-spirited, more creative, and more fun-loving.

(IV) RADICAL AND PROUD. We see a party that has become too ashamed of its own ideals, a place where "idealist" is too often treated as a dirty word. We seek a party in which Libertarians proudly share a sense of solidarity as radical freedom fighters in a larger movement committed to the vision of worldwide individual liberty expressed in the Preamble and Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party's national platform.

(V) YOUTH-FOCUSED. We see a party that is largely failing to connect with young people. We seek a Libertarian Party whose style, structure, culture, and materials speak first and foremost to the younger generations who hold the future in their hands.


So that broadly describes my approach. (On this point I speak for myself; how far the others on the slate do or don't agree with this is something I'll let them speak to.) A further point I would add (subject to the same qualification): rather than seeing all our activism as a means to LP electoral success, I see electoral campaigns as just one among many forms of LP activism. We should be trying to get people educated and involved year-round and not just during campaign seasons.

Please post any questions you have for me!

To a couple of questions that have gone up already:

a) I don't favor, and I don't think any of my slatemates (if that's a word) favors, a policy of "raising no money." It's a question of emphasis; let's do our best to impress people and bring in members by means of our low-cost activism, and that will in the long run bring in the money for higher-cost activism (like ballot access).

b) Re: races where we have a "best chance of having an impact"; yes, that includes races we can win, but I think it also includes races where we can have more impressive totals. A losing score of 20% has more positive impact than a losing score of 1%.

c) On closing the office: part of the vision involves doing more online and meeting less often in person (thus making it easier to involve more people outside of Birmingham -- one way of getting more people involved); another part is to divide the role of chief spokesperson from the role of chief administrator (so the PO box wouldn't necessarily be where the chair lives).

d) "Why would a Libertarian Government in Alabama be any different than the Democrats and Republicans?" One issue I think needs constant stressing, particularly in this age of the Bailout, is to combat the tendency among both Republicans and Democrats (and from time to time Libertarians too) to conflate free markets with government favoritism toward big business. This conflation is a major obstacle to recruitment, because when the Republicans promote government favoritism toward big business under the guise of free-market rhetoric, voters sympathetic to free markets will say "Why should I support the Libertarians when the Republicans are already supporting free markets?" while the Democrats will point to the bad results of government favoritism toward big business and say, "See? That's free markets for you! That's why we need more regulation." Thus pro-free-market voters are duped into supporting Republican corporate privilege, while voters averse to corporate privilege are duped into supporting Democratic market-bashing.
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jwalbea



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 11
Location: Birmingham Alabama, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

captruss wrote:
... Your slate smacks of status quo otherwise known as stagnation. ...


This is actually a big change for the LPA from a personnel perspective. The current officer group has been in place for over a decade -- with some exchange at the Chair position. Mr. Rster goes back to the mid nineties as the "Executive Director". That sort of entrenchment isn't healthy for any organization.

Steve Dow and I, on the other hand, have recently been on the EC, but I think everyone would agree we have not been a part of the prevailing mindset. Smile Matthew Givens has been far removed from the EC for over ten years, and Roderick Long is completely new on the scene.

There are two At-large positions on the committee and a host of District Reps. It would certainly be helpful in going forward with a cohesive program if some of these positions were filled with individuals who agree with the general direction. The At-large postions are available to be part of the "slate" while the District Reps are selected in separate caucuses at the convention. I would imagine a candidate's opinion of this group would be of interest to other members of the caucus.

Jim Albea
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like different people with the same old mantra. "I don't have time to do anything. I have no vision. I dream no dreams. I've been on the EC and nothing works. I couldn't organize a one car funeral. Nobody will follow me anywhere. Please elect me."

What we need to hear is how this bunch will accomplish the following essential tasks.

1. Make an impact in Alabama politics and government.

2. Get publicity for our ideas.

3. Increase membership by 1000 percent.

4. Raise at least $100,000.00 by 2010.

5. Field a large slate of Libertarian candiates in 2010.

Anything less is stagnation, plain and simple.
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baroquon



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1. Make an impact in Alabama politics and government.

2. Get publicity for our ideas.

3. Increase membership by 1000 percent.

4. Raise at least $100,000.00 by 2010.

5. Field a large slate of Libertarian candiates[sp] in 2010.


You forgot to add 'permanent libertarian colonization of at least 6 of Saturn's moons'.
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK I'll buy that one. You must be from there.
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RoderickLong



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Auburn, Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:44 pm    Post subject: Re: introducing myself Reply with quote

Quote:
Roderick Long is completely new on the scene

Actually, not completely spanking new; back in 1998, when I first came to Auburn, Scott Kjar got me involved briefly as some kind of area rep and I went to a few meetings in Birmingham and Montgomery plus the Supper Club in Auburn. (The main thing I remember was Scott's car accident driving back from B'ham to Auburn in which I broke four ribs and had four stitches in my lip; that took me out of the game for a while.)

Quote:
Get publicity for our ideas.

Well, I think I could help with that; my Auburn faculty position might give me an in with state media, while my Cato/Mises/FEE/ALL/APEE/Objectivist/etc. connections give me a lot of contacts in the liberworld.
(Plus, for what itís worth, a lot of people read my blog -- see the stats here:
http://praxeology.net/AAE-usage-statistics-0509.PNG )

Quote:
I have no vision. I dream no dreams.

Well, I did describe my vision a bit, a couple of posts ago.

Quote:
You forgot to add 'permanent libertarian colonization of at least 6 of Saturn's moons'.

One of the chief 19th-century British libertarians, Wordsworth Donisthorpe, had a regular column titled "Rays From Saturn," so we may already have that covered. (In which case I immediately claim it as an achievement of my candidacy.)
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baroquon



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: introducing myself Reply with quote

[quote="RoderickLong"]
Quote:

One of the chief 19th-century British libertarians, Wordsworth Donisthorpe, had a regular column titled "Rays From Saturn," so we may already have that covered. (In which case I immediately claim it as an achievement of my candidacy.)


I was unable to easily (read google search) verify this so I will assume you made it up to impress us, and I have to say: It worked.
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RoderickLong



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 28
Location: Auburn, Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject: Saturngate Reply with quote

Quote:
I was unable to easily (read google search) verify this


Click here and scroll to the bottom of p. 40:
http://books.google.com/books?id=mgc_x5ph3sEC&pg=PA40&dq=rays+from+saturn+donisthorpe

There, now we have all the important issues settled.
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StephenDow



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Albea makes a good point above about this being "a big change for the LPA" but I thought I should correct a couple dates/numbers in his post. Mike Rster was first appointed as a paid Party Administrator (with the title later changing to Executive Director) in May 2000 (not the mid-nineties). The position was formally eliminated in late 2006, and then Mike was elected Vice Chair at the 2007 state convention and has held that title since.

Matthew Givens "has been far removed from the EC" for about seven years (not "over ten"). I also want to clarify that the statement "Roderick Long is completely new on the scene" refers to the administration of the LPA only. He did briefly serve as Auburn District Rep from late 1998 to early 1999. He's been active with the Auburn University Libertarians. He is well known in the general libertarian movement, his writings appearing widely on libertarian sites: here, here, here, and here to give just a few examples.
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baroquon



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Saturngate Reply with quote

RoderickLong wrote:
Quote:
I was unable to easily (read google search) verify this


Click here and scroll to the bottom of p. 40:
http://books.google.com/books?id=mgc_x5ph3sEC&pg=PA40&dq=rays+from+saturn+donisthorpe

There, now we have all the important issues settled.


(To be clear I was joking.) I feel I should commend you on the speed at which you provided that reference, thanks. I must admit though I was hoping you would cite a work of your own. Smile
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captruss



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 686

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Mr. Long; you want to be Chairman of a state political party.

How many hours a week do you think it will take to manage the party?

Will you attend most party functions, including those in Birmingham?

Are you willing to travel the state on your own nickel talking to folks?

Are you going to patrol the hallways of the State Capitol trying to get ballot access?

Your own plan, I assume you are the author since you are running for Chair, says that you intend to run the party from a PO Box and you are not going to solicit any funds. Let me be the first to say that a state political party with no money, a meeting once a month, and no office, is not a party it is merely a club.

Is it your intention to be the Chairman of the Alabama Libertarian Club which requires a minimal effort? Or are you merely interested in punching another ticket on your resume so that you might publish more articles and get paid for it?

Until I see a detailed plan of your own making, I'll not believe you are anything but an opportunist.
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