July 26, 1997

ARCHIVE DATA: The following are the minutes of the LPWV meeting held July 26, 1997.

Minutes of Libertarian Party of West Virginia
Executive Committee Meeting
July 26, 1997
2:00 P.M.
Wilderness Plantation
Jane Lew, West Virginia


Present: John Brown, Dr. Richard Kerr, John Welbourne, Greg Henshall, Christine Fishbeck, Travis Raines, Karl Swisher, Sandra Deel, Steve Lonegan, David Croft, Philip Holland, Dr. Wallace Johnson, Alan Handleman, Trampas Robinson, Craig Hammond, Dr. Joseph Whelan, John Sturgeon.

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

The reading of the minutes of the previous meeting was dispensed with, these having been published in the newsletter.

Officers Reports:

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

Secretary/Treasurer: John Sturgeon reported that the LPWV had a current balance of $2154.15 in the cash account.

1st District: Chair David Wolfe was unable to attend, but reported by letter. He voiced his support of advertising in the LPWV newsletter to help pay the costs of printing and mailing. He also advised it may prove helpful to establish an annual budget to force us to prioritize our goals. Pointing out that Secretary Robin C. Capehart of the WV Department of Tax and Revenue had created a tax study commission, Wolfe suggested that the LPWV could affect the state's tax code without getting anyone elected, which is in keeping with our "shadow government" idea.

2nd District: Vice-Chair Christine Fishbeck, standing in for Chair Bill Clem who was unable to attend, had nothing to report.

3rd District: Chair Dr. Wallace Johnson reported that there will be a candidate forum for instruction in Libertarian principles to be held October 25, 1997 from 9:00 A.M. til 4:00 P.M. at the Tamarack Center near Beckley. There will be a charge of $10 per person to help cover the $125 cost of the room. Four speakers will participate: John Brown, Dr. Wallace Johnson, Dr. Joseph Whelan and Craig Hammond.

VP-Membership: Karl Swisher reported that our support seems to be growing among state college students. A student Libertarian Club is likely to be formed at Marshall University. He gave thanks to all for helping to spread the word.

VP-Campaigns: Dr. Joseph Whelan reported that he also was working on membership and was expecting eight to ten new members in his area by next month. Concerning campaign strategy, he advised that it may too early to do any serious planning yet.

Special Reports/Orders:

John Brown stated that our goal for 1998 is 20 candidates on the ballot..

The new voter's registration form is to be printed starting next month (August) and will feature "Libertarian" as a party choice.

With 80% of County Clerks responding, it was estimated that there are 192 registered Libertarians in the state.

Marion County Chair David Croft attended a Young Republicans meeting.

Alan Handleman is busy with the LPWV homepage and has established links to the LP national site as well as Cato Institute and Laissez Faire Books. There is a chat room on Sunday evening from 9 to 11.

Old Business:

1998 Convention: The LPWV convention will be held May 9, 1998 at the Charleston House Holiday Inn in Charleston. This will be three days before the other parties hold their primary elections and should generate some media coverage. Registration fees of $69 for all day and $49 for half day are expected to cover expenses so any fund raising will be "gravy". A proposed agenda was presented featuring prominent Libertarian speakers.

Membership: Everything we do revolves around this. The LPWV has slipped to fifth nationally in the area of membership growth. This will need to be improved. Our goal is 200 members by the end of the year. A new tactic of offering free memberships was announced. The response from an advertisement placed in the Sunday Gazette/Mail was less than overwhelming.

Recruitment: The goal is a minimum of twenty candidates, including one for each of the three U.S. House of Representatives seats that will be open, giving every West -Virginian a chance to vote for a Libertarian. Although paper candidates may be accepted, strong candidates for each office are preferred. This goes back to membership. The more members, the more choice we will have to recruit good candidates.

Shadow Government: Travis Raines has volunteered to send out press releases on "Hot Topics" involving state government and what solutions Libertarians would have for them. These will need to be submitted to him on a timely basis, or they lose their news value.

A motion was made that the LPWV reimburse Travis for the expenses involved in getting these releases out. The motion was seconded and passed.

Other: Proposed job descriptions of executive committee positions and a proposed Statement of Principles were handed out. Attendees were advised to work on these and submit to John Brown any revisions or additions.

New Business:

Newsletter Advertising:

It was suggested that if 25% of the newsletter were devoted to advertising, the revenue would pay for expenses of printing and mailing. This means that a quarter-page ad would pay the cost of the whole page.

Committee for Abortion Neutrality: John Brown is working with others to make the Libertarian Party position neutral on the issue of abortion. A copy of the amendment to the LP National Platform was distributed.

West Virginia Voters Rights Coalition: Greg Henshall announced a meeting to be held 2:00 P.M., September 21, 1997 at the University of Charleston to explore ways to achieve Initiative, Referendum and Recall in West Virginia. The WVVRC is now a Political Action Committee and can distribute money to legislators. He requested help in passing around the word about the meeting, and to refer any questions to him. Speakers at the meeting will include John Brown, Sam Winkler and Henshall. A motion was made to have the LPWV pay one-third the cost of the room at U.C.. The motion was seconded and passed. Henshall pointed out that 1998 will be the 100th anniversary of Initiative, Referendum and Recall, with 24 states now having some form of it.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned, the next meeting being set for October 25, 1997 at 4:00 P.M. at the Tamarack Center near Beckley.