April 27, 1997

ARCHIVE DATA: The following are the minutes of the LPWV meeting held April 27, 1997.

Minutes of Libertarian Party of West Virginia
Executive Committee Meeting
2:00 P.M.
April 27, 1997
Pasquale Mira Italian Restaurant
Beckley, West Virginia

Present: John Brown, Dr. Wallace Johnson, Joy Johnson, Dr. Joseph Whelan, David Wolfe, John Welbourn, Alan Handleman, Karl Swisher, John Sturgeon.

State chair John Brown Called the meeting to order.

The minutes of the January 25, 1997 executive committee meeting were read by secretary-treasurer John Sturgeon. Reading approved, seconded and passed.

Officers Reports:

Vice-Chair: John Brown reported that state vice-chair Roger Fritz has accepted a job in his home state of Iowa and has resigned his office. He will be sorely missed.

Dr. Richard Kerr, former Monongalia County Republican vice chairman, has resigned his office and Republican Party membership and joined the LPWV. He has since been appointed new state vice-chair of the LPWV. John Brown read a letter from Dr. Kerr accepting the position and apologizing for being unable to attend the committee meeting.

Secretary-Treasurer: The treasurer's report was given by John Sturgeon. The LPWV checking account currently has a $3214.92 balance, thanks largely to infusions from Dr. Johnson's gubernatorial campaign.

The 1997 Tax Day Protest at the Charleston post office, although scaled back from previous years, got some coverage on local television. A slightly different approach was taken this year. No "$1,000,000 bills" were passed out. Instead, signs were displayed reading "Born Free, Taxed to Death" and "Taxation is Theft". These generated many "thumbs up" responses from people in vehicles and pedestrians, as well as some literal pats-on-the-back.

Vice-President Membership: The Membership report was given by Karl Swisher, who was pleased to report progress at the college level. There is now a student Libertarian Club at WVU, and contacts have been made at Marshall University and Concord College. Advertisements are scheduled to run in the student newspapers at Fairmont State College, West Virginia Weslyan, Shepard College and Ohio Valley College, these being donated by Mr. Swisher. There are also plans for a web page at West Virginia Tech.

Vice-President Campaigns: The Campaigns report was given by Dr. Joseph Whelan, who advised that there will not be much to report in this area until we have some focus. He did stress how vital it will be to recruit college students to serve as campaign workers. He also suggested that we identify the races where the LPWV has a real chance and concentrate on them.

District One: The District One report was given by District One Chair David Wolfe. He has received some phone calls asking for contacts in the LPWV. Mr. Wolfe has filed the final report for Johnson for Governor in 1996 with the West Virginia secretary of state's office. In the future, he suggested that an accountant, either certified public or other, be used to handle the nuts and bolts paper work of campaigns, and to advise candidates on their financial reporting requirements. He also requested a class at the state LPWV convention for potential candidates to let them know what they will be required to do and how best to handle their campaigns.

District Two: The District Two report was not given, District Two Chair Bill Clem being absent.

District Three: District Three Chair Dr. Wallace Johnson reported that he gave a response on West Virginia Public Radio to a previously broadcast commentary by Kate Long concerning welfare. In his reply, Dr. Johnson stressed how job creation is not a responsibility of government, but rather a function of the market. If possible, Dr. Johnson would like to become a regular commentator on Public Radio, giving the Libertarian view.

The Ruritan Round-Up was held at Fairleigh, W.Va., organized by Cleve Benedict with 600 tickets sold, and featured speakers from each political party on three topics: Juvenile Justice, Education Reform and Welfare Reform. Speaking for the LPWV were Dr. Johnson, Dr. Whelan and John Brown. The event received minimal media coverage, Dr. Johnson reported.

Special Orders:

John Brown attended "Success '97", a meeting of Libertarian Party State Chairs, held in Washington, D.C. at the end of March..

At a meeting with West Virginia Secretary of State Ken Hechler, John Brown and Roger Fritz were informed that "Libertarian" will be a choice on the voter registration form, but not until the current supply is exhausted and new forms printed, probably in August.

With 44 of 55 West Virginia counties reporting, there are over 170 registered Libertarians.

The recent fundraising letter has so far received 50 responses out of 160 mailed and brought in approximately $500. The cost of printing and mailing was $150.

A financial plan, using Indiana as a model, was presented at Success '97. Applying the model to the LPWV, John Brown estimated that funds of $6500 a year could be generated. A credit card pledge program is in the works, allowing members the option of monthly donations.

An error in the newest recruiting pamphlet was reported: the local LPWV phone number should be (304) 343-LPWV. It is 345-LPWV on the brochure. This will be corrected in future printings. The 800 number is correct.

The May newsletter will tentatively include the remarks of all three LPWV speakers at the Ruritan Round-Up.

Old Business:

LPWV Convention: Now scheduled for Charleston, date to be decided. Three sites are being considered. The Charleston Marriott has advised that an October, 1997 date could be accommodated, and a proposal, with prices, has been received from them. The Charleston House Holiday Inn can not be used for a fall 1997 event, but could have us the weekend of May 2, 1998. This could be advantageous as a media event, falling just before the May Primary Election. The Ramada Inn has not yet replied to our inquiries.

The date of the convention was discussed. A proposal was made to move the date to spring of 1998. This would require a modification of LPWV by-laws to handle an even-numbered-year convention. Candidates could begin raising funds for their campaigns this summer, giving a long lead time. In the event of more than one candidate for an office, the convention would be used as our primary election. Instead of holding a mini campaign school at the convention, it was suggested that the executive committee meeting of October 1997 be expanded to include this.

Shadow Government: John Brown plans to approach new state vice-chair Dr. Richard Kerr about handling press releases of Libertarian responses to state government actions.

Web page / e-mail: Alan Handleman has offered the LPWV room for a web page. Departed Vice Chair Roger Fritz had been maintaining an America On Line account for this purpose.

Other Goals:

Membership: Although the goal is 200 members by the end of the year, we seem to be floundering at around 90 members. This may be due in part to the absence of an upcoming election. Possible events where an Operation Politically Homeless booth could be deployed include the West Virginia State Fair and the Marshall-WVU football game, where students could help out. Advertising through the West Virginia Press Association is another possibility, hitting state weekly newspapers where rates are lowest. As someone observed, "The fire's not lit, but the pilot light is on."

New Business:

John Welbourn, former Republican, offered insights into the lack of interest the state Republican party seems to have in wanting to get new people involved in their organization.

David Wolfe pointed out that we now have a list of previous donors for future reference. Our agenda offers much to big business, although at present there is no way to implement it, lacking anyone in the legislature. He also pointed out that obtaining a list of big contributors from the secretary of state's office is possible, since it is a matter of public record.

It was suggested that an advertisement be run in the local paper where the next executive committee meeting is to be held and allot time after the meeting to meet with anyone who may be interested.

The next meeting was set for 2:00 P.M., Saturday July 26, 1997 in Jane Lew, W.Va. at the Wilderness Plantation Motel and Restaurant.

Meeting adjourned.