January 10, 1998

ARCHIVE DATA: The following are the minutes of the LPWV meeting held January 10, 1998.

Minutes of Libertarian Party of West Virginia
Executive Committee Meeting
January 10, 1998
1:00 P.M.
Offices of Ferris, Baker Watts
170 Laidley Tower
Charleston, West Virginia


Present: John Brown, Dr. Joseph Whelan, Travis Raines, Karl Swisher, Bill Clem, Sam Winkler, Les Sachs, David Croft, Dr. Richard Kerr, Dr. Wallace Johnson, Sandra Deel, John Welbourne, Ena Wheeler, Scott McMillian, Alan Handleman, Greg Henshall, John Sturgeon.

The meeting was called to order by State Chair John Brown.

In order to save time, copies of the minutes of the October 25, 1997 Executive Committee meeting were distributed to those present to read. The minutes were approved as stated.

David Croft inquired whether party members who were not on the Executive Committee could vote on motions during the meeting. John Brown advised that only members of the Executive Committee could vote under current rules, but that the matter will be brought up at the LPWV convention.

Officers' Reports:

Secretary/Treasurer: John Sturgeon distributed handouts summarizing the LPWV's expenses, accompanied by a pie chart illustrating their proportions to the whole. The ending balance of the cash account was given as $421.60.

Vice Chair: Dr. Richard Kerr had nothing new to report.

1st District: District Chair David Wolfe was unable to attend due to business commitments.

2nd District: District Chair Bill Clem had nothing new to report.

3rd District: District Chair Dr. Wallace Johnson reported that he has filed pre-candidacy papers with the Secretary of State's office. He will run for a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates in the 27th District.

VP-Membership: VP-Membership Karl Swisher reported that membership is at 212 plus. He continues to receive inquiries and add names to the LPWV mailing list.

VP-Campaigns: VP-Campaigns Dr. Joseph Whelan repeated his offer to advise any LPWV candidate in the state on campaign strategy. Dr. Whelan has filed pre-candidacy papers for the United States House of Represetatives in the 3rd District.

VP-Public Relations: VP-Public Relations Travis Raines reported that he had issued two press releases. One for Kanawha County only calling for a defeat of the school levy. (The levy was defeated.) The second on November 19 calling for the resignation of a member of the state Investment Advisory Board due to a conflict of interest. (The member later resigned.) A new issue of the LPWV Newsletter will be in the mail during the coming week.

Special Reports and Orders:

Membership: John Brown distributed a series of charts graphically illustrating the growth rate of state Libertarian parties. During 1997, an off-election year, most state parties showed a decline in growth. The LPWV ranked number one in the nation with a phenominal 150% increase for the year. The second and third place parties ranked around 25%. Since the re-founding in late 1994, the LPWV has experienced a 700% increase in membership. The number one goal of the LPWV for 1997 was to have 200 members by December 31, 1997. This goal was accomplished.

Finances: Referring to a chart tracking the closing monthly balances of the LPWV cash account, Brown pointed out the lows (following the 1996 election) and the highs (following the infusion of cash to close the Johnson for Governor in '96 account).

LP Platform Committee: John Brown announced that he will serve on the National Platform Committee at the 1998 Libertarian Party Convention.

Old Business:

Candidates & Convention: Forms to file for statewide office were distributed along with a calendar of campaign finance deadlines. Any candidate running as a Libertarian must be registered as a Libertarian or independent 60 days before the general election for the candidacy to be valid. There are some grey areas concerning what should be filed by LPWV candidates and when that need to cleared up with the Secretary of State's office.

The program for the May 9, 1998 LPWV convention was passed around, with a budget showing expenses, revenues and expected profit based on attendance varying between 50 and 120 people. In all cases, the convention will pay for itself and show a profit for the LPWV.

A copy of state ballot positions was handed out, with the names of nineteen LPWV members who have indicated an interest in running inserted. Drs. Whelan and Johnson are the only definite entries so far.

Unified Membership Plan (UMP): Dr. Richard Kerr advised that the LPWV join the Unified Membership Plan that is offered by the national party. He stressed the benefits of integrating well with the national organization, allowing them to do most of the work on basic functions such as inquiries. Under the UMP, the LPWV would send the entire $25 membership fee to the national party, and after a "ramping in" period of six months, the LPWV would receive $1 per member per month. A question arose concerning the pledge all members must sign. There is a provision in the UMP that members must sign the Libertarian Oath ("I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals."), or a similar statement such as "No person, group of people, or government has the right to initiate force against any other person, group of people, or government." Much discussion of an alternative pledge for the state party followed. A motion was made that the LPWV join the UMP. The motion was seconded and passed.

New Business:

1998 Goals: A list of proposed goals for 1998 was handed out. Everyone was asked to rank these in order of importance, with number 1 being the highest priority down to the lowest of 12. Most of the goals had blanks for numbers or percentages to be filled in. These blanks will be filled at the next meeting. The sheets were collected and John Welbourne handled the calculations. The goals were ranked as follows:

1. Win ____ elections

2. Run ____ candidates

3. Increase membership to ____

4. Increase registration to ____

5. Support West Virginia Voters Rights Coalition issues

6. Collect ____ in fundraising

7. Host ____ at convention

8. Earn ____ votes

9. Appoint ____ county chairs

10. Add VP-Finance to Executive Committee

11. Earn ____ media stories

12. Hold ____ public meetings

Long Term Goal Planning: John Brown asked everyone to think about long term goals, five or ten years out, and bring suggestions to the next meeting.

Nominations (Public & Party Offices): Copies of the Nominating Convention Nominating Form were passed around. These will be included in the next issue of the LPWV Newsletter.

LPWV Amendments: None, except by-laws to be voted on at the convention.

County Organization Meetings: John Brown stressed the need for regular meetings of county organizations. The long term goal should be for local units to do the work of the LPWV, decreasing the need for Executive Committee involvement.

LPWV Executive Committee Schedule: Next Executive Committee meeting to be held on Saturday, March 14, 1998 in Fairmont, West Virginia, location to be announced.

Other: None.

The meeting was adjourned.