ARCHIVE DATA: The following are the minutes of the LPWV meeting held January 25, 1997.
Minutes of Libertarian Party of West Virginia
Executive Committee Meeting
January 25, 1997
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Present: John Brown, Dr. Wallace Johnson, Dr. Joseph Whelan, Bill Clem, Christine Fishbeck, Karl Swisher, John Wells, Frank Ney, John Sturgeon.
State Chair John Brown called the meeting to order.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read by Secretary-Treasurer John Sturgeon. There was one change: the word "sales" was replaced by "health care provider" in the District Two report of Dr. Johnson. Reading approved, seconded and passed.
Special Reports and Orders:
A motion was made to amend the by-laws to add the office "Vice President - Membership" to the Executive Committee and to appoint Karl Swisher to the office immediately. The motion was seconded and passed pending approval at the next LPWV convention.
A motion was made to amend the by-laws to allow District Vice Chairs to substitute for District Chairs if necessary. The motion was seconded and passed.
State Chair John Brown reported that he will be sending a letter to all County Clerks in West Virginia requesting a list of names and addresses for all registered Libertarians in their counties. The letter advises the Clerks that the LPWV will be requesting this information periodically so it would be to their benefit to start using a separate code for Libertarians. The state is also in the process of redesigning voter registration forms. Brown also reported that anyone who registered as a Libertarian before 1995 will not appear on these lists because of a change made in that year when the "Motor Voter" program went into effect.
The Treasurer's report was given by John Sturgeon. The LPWV currently has a checking account balance of $22.64 with outstanding bills of $62.57. With "Major Party" status comes deficit spending. Dr. Wallace Johnson reported that a refund of approximately $700 from Bell Atlantic for the Johnson for Governor campaign will be forthcoming. In addition, a newsletter to be sent after the Executive Committee meeting will incur costs of approximately $300 for printing and mailing. There is also a new recruiting pamphlet to be printed and mailed to everyone in the LPWV data base. The cost of this was unavailable.
The State Vice Chair report was not given. Roger Fritz could not attend due to the imminent birth of his second child.
The District One report was not given, District One Chair David Wolfe being absent.
District Two Chair Bill Clem advised he had nothing to report.
The District Three report was given by District Three Chair Dr. Wallace Johnson. There will be no Libertarian response to the State of the State address on Public Television. The reason given was that there are no Libertarians in the legislature. However, Dr. Johnson's response will be issued the following day in a press release to be prepared by Roger Fritz. Dr. Johnson will also be appearing on Dr. Joseph Whelan's radio show to present the Libertarian side. A tape of this show will be sent to other radio stations around the state. The Political Action Committee set up by Dr. Johnson has received nearly 200 letters in response, giving some ability to lobby the legislature once he and Dr. Whelan register as lobbyists. A Founders Day Banquet was proposed for April 13, Thomas Jefferson's birthday. Charleston was discussed as a possible location, and $35 a plate as the price of admission. No definite plans have been made.
The Vice President - Campaigns report was given by Dr. Joseph Whelan. In keeping with the Ninth Infantry motto, "Keep Up the Fire", Dr. Whelan has had on his radio show National LP Communications Director George Getz and LP National Chair Steve Dasbach. The destructive nature of the War on Drugs was one of the main topics. As mentioned earlier, Dr. Johnson will appear and give the Libertarian response to the State of the State address. Dr. Whelan also reported that the United Mine Workers were very appreciative of his thanks for their support of him. He emphasized the importance of the Shadow Government to respond to every major move by the Incumbent Party to keep the LPWV's name and concepts before the public.
The Vice President - Membership report was given by newly appointed Karl Swisher. He is continuing to discuss libertarian issues with people he knows, and has received more copies of Harry Browne's book to distribute. He is also circulating copies of Browne's acceptance speech at the 1996 LP National Convention. He solicited ideas for organizing students at the small colleges in West Virginia, and he intends to make this a top priority.
The list of goals set at the previous meeting was reviewed and discussed. John Brown pointed out that the purpose of this meeting would be to implement those goals.
1997 LPWV Convention:
John Brown announced that LP National Chair Steve Dasbach has agreed to speak at the convention. A motion was made to set the location of the convention in Charleston, West Virginia. The discussion involved the proximity of Charleston to other population centers and access to more media outlets. The motion was seconded and passed.
A proposed new recruiting pamphlet was presented by John Brown. This is a compilation of several different pieces of existing LP literature, but has been edited and aimed at West Virginia. Everyone agreed that it should be very effective in explaining libertarianism to the uninitiated. It will be made part of the next newsletter. Brown also indicated with a chart that membership had slacked off since our phenomenal growth spurt of 1995. This was probably due to our emphasis on the 1996 election.
The goal of $15,000 by the end of the year has been set. Now we need someone to focus on it. It was agreed that this all goes back to the primary goal of increasing membership. Increase the number of members and everything else must follow.
Already taken care of.
Candidates and County Chairs:
A minimum of three candidates are needed for 1998. These will be for the three House of Representative seats, giving everyone in West Virginia the chance to vote for, or at least see on the ballot, a Libertarian. Possible candidates include either Dr. Johnson or Dr. Whelan in the Third District and John Brown in the Second District. Even a "paper candidate" may be considered, if necessary.
Other new business:
Ballot Access News reports the requirement that anyone voting in the primary is ineligible to sign a petition for a third party is being challenged. John Brown has already appeared before two legislative sub-committee hearings on this. Any third party would benefit from the removal of this requirement. The Liberty Caucus has listed the LPWV effort in attaining ballot access a success. John Brown will be attending a meeting of State Chairs at National Headquarters March 1 & 2, 1997.
Next meeting is to be held April 26, 1997 at 2:00 P.M. in Beckley with the site to be determined later. Clarksburg was named as the tentative site for the third quarter meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.