March 20, 1999

ARCHIVE DATA: The following are the minutes of the LPWV meeting held March 20, 1999.


of the
Libertarian Party of West Virginia
Executive Committee Meeting


(Approved 1999-05-22)

Call to Order

The regular bimonthly meeting of the State Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) was held on Saturday, March 20th, 1999, in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston, West Virginia. A quorom being present, the meeting was called to order at 13:11. By unanimous vote, the minutes for the previous meeting of 1999-01-16 were approved as distributed by mail.



Chair John Brown present
Vice Chair Richard Kerr, M.D. present
Treasurer John Sturgeon present
Secretary David Wallace Croft present
1st District Chair Bob Jones absent
2nd District Chair Karl Swisher present
3rd District Chair Wallace Johnson, M.D. present
VP/Membership Greg Henshall absent
VP/Campaigns Joseph Whelan, M.D. absent
VP/Public Relations vacant absent
VP/Finance Michael Todd, M.D. present
Historian Larry Durrette absent



Mrs. Johnson, Connie Kosey, Tom Hawes, and Richard O'Neal.


Reports of Officers, Boards, and Standing Committees


Mr. Sturgeon.


LPWV 1/1/99 thru 2/26/99
Beginning Balance 1999 $4,069.59    
Deposits 1999   $461.50  
Total Cash Available 1999   $4,531.09  
Payments 1999 $615.65    
Cash minus Payments     $3,915.44
LNC-Memberships     $50.00
Bell Atlantic-WV     $73.70
LDDS - Long Distance     $0.00
Printing & Mailing     $305.95
Room Rentals     $0.00
Advertising     $0.00
Press Releases     $0.00
P.O. Box     $44.00
Convention     $0.00
Account Credits     $0.00
Internet Expenses     $142.00
Campaign Contributions     $0.00
Total Expenses     $615.65

Checking Account Balance: $3,915.44


Mr. Sturgeon reported that the finances were in good shape. He attributed this to contributions from the Johnson campaigns funds. $150 to $200 per month was coming from membership dues. Few new members were enrolling directly through WV.

Renewal rates and the viability of the free first-time membership offer plan were discussed.



Richard Kerr proposed a recruiting plan.



Dr. Whelan was absent.

It was determined that voting by proxy on the primary issue was not permitted.



Mr. Henshall was absent. He sent word that his Saturdays were blocked.



Office vacant.



Dr. Todd has been working with the databases from the national LP. Discussed renewal lapses and membership drives. Cited the need for more consistent county by county representation.

Dr. Todd report reviewing the budget with Mr. Sturgeon to determine a schedule. He stated that the current balance was right around the annual budget for a non-campaign year but that costs would be higher for the succeeding year due to the election cycle.

Mr. Croft volunteered to put the membership database information on the web for easy access and updates by officers. Mr. Brown suggested that Dr. Todd and Mr. Croft work together on this.



Mr. Jones absent.

Dr. Kerr reported that Mr. Jones had accepted a job in New York that may or may not be temporary and that Mr. Jones was willing to continue to fill the office until a replacement was found.



Mr. Swisher waived his report in favor of moving forward to the vote on the primary election.



Dr. Johnson gave no report at the time.



Mr. Durrette absent.



Mr. Brown gave no report in favor of moving on to new business.

Reports of Special Committees


Mr. Sturgeon drafted a proposed budget for 1999 after reviewing the expenses for prior years. He cited printing and mailing as the largest expense. He discussed his estimates and distributed the proposed budget.


Proposed Budget 1999
LNC - Memberships     $800.00
Bell Atlantic WV - Phone     $400.00
LDDS - Long Distance     $10.00
Printing & Mailing     $1,500.00
Room Rentals     $400.00
Advertising     $350.00
Press Releases     $30.00
P.O. Box     $44.00
Convention     *$0.00
Internet Expenses     $400.00
Contributions to Candidates     *$0.00
Total Expenses     $3,934.00



Special Orders



Unfinished Business and General Orders



New Business


Mr. Brown presented a proposal in favor of holding a primary election. He cited a request from the office of the WV State Director of Elections for an early decision on the issue to give them time to produce the literature.

He expressed his advocacy for a primary election over a convention election.

Mr. Brown cited some of the history of the LPWV achieving major status by acquiring more than 1% of the vote in the 1996 Johnson gubenatorial race, thereby eliminating the need to petition to get on the ballot in future races. He cited WV law where a party such as the LPWV with greater than 1% of the vote but less than 10% of vote could choose whether to have a primary election or a nominating convention. He stated that the LPWV had done all those things technically necessary of a party except for holding primaries and that this step would prepare for growth.

He cited that the number of registered Libertarians was 322 at the beginning of last year with an increase to 420 by the general election for a growth rate of about 30%. Mr. Brown speculated that a primary election would fuel more registrations as without it there was need to register as such except to run for public office.

Mr. Brown stated that under the current situation it was not necessary for the LPWV Chair to be a registered Libertarian and then expressed his disapproval of such.

Mr. Brown stated that holding a primary election would not prevent the LPWV from holding a subsequent nominating convention as well. He opined that a primary election would garner more press coverage. He stated that the filing fees paid for the primary elections and the general elections and that, by not holding a primary election in the previous year, the LPWV did receive the benefits from their expenses.

He opined that the primary, in combination with the activities of presidential candidates seeking the nomination, would get the public more involved and help LPWV growth. Mr. Brown emphasized that he felt that this was the last piece of the puzzle to start growing the party.

Dr. Johnson objected to the idea of including independents in the primary and opined that the LPWV was too small at this time to hold a primary. Mr. Croft asked how the Maryland legislature responded to a primary that had few votes and Mr. Brown replied that it was a different situation in that parties in that state pay for their primaries.

Dr. Kerr reported that the issue of holding primaries was discussed at Success '99 and that leaders present and the national Party strongly encouraged holding primaries. He stated that Missouri had been holding primaries with independents for awhile and that it had not been a problem.

It was cited that there about 80,000 independents and that the Republicans open their primaries to the independents but the Democrats do not.

Mr. Brown stated that this decision was not binding for future elections so long as the vote remained in the 1 to 10% range. He stated that although this action would be risky as it moved into uncharted territory, moving into uncharted territory was not uncommon for Libertarians and that the risk would bring opportunity.

Dr. Todd stated that he felt that the independents could be swayed to cast votes for Libertarians.

Dr. Kerr reported that Mr. Jones, while not opposed to holding a primary election, wanted to state a possible disadvantage to including the independents as they would not be required to register as Libertarian and thereby lose the incentive to do so.

Mr. Brown replied that the independents would appreciate the choice.

Dr. Kerr added that by allowing them to vote for Libertarian candidates, they would take a proprietary view of those candidates and desire that they win.

Mr. Brown stated that he would not want to see a primary that did not include the independents given that, of the 55 counties, there are 16 counties where there are no registered Libertarians.

Dr. Johnson stated that the primary would emphasize our smallness and, while inclusion of the independents was no danger to the Republicans, it could harm us as independents out-numbered registered Libertarians 200 to 1.

A guest cited how he was accidentally unregistered as a Libertarian by not filling in the Party choice blank on a DMV form.

Mr. Brown stated that we got 16,000 votes but few of those votes were from registered Libertarians. He reemphasized that this would give a reason for those voters to register Libertarians.

Dr. Kerr stated the need for momentum and that this would give us the appearance of greater size.

Dr. Todd stated that this would become a self-fulfilling prophecy and that the press has delegitimized the LPWV in the past by emphasizing its smallness even without a primary. He opined that it was possible for an independent to overwhelm the LPWV but was unlikely.

Dr. Kerr stated that such has happened in the past in another state but that the LP simply disavowed the candidate.

Mr. Sturgeon and Dr. Todd emphasized that this would garner more press. Mr. Brown stated that it was difficult to explain a nominating convention to the press.

Mr. Brown cited the need for the LPWV to be responsive to the registered Libertarians and that a primary would allow for more participation by those who would not be able to attend a convention.

A guest stated that the Democrats and Republicans made no sense with their statements on television. He advocated that by simply making sense, candidates could get elected. Mrs. Johnson opined that this was not necessarily so. There was a discussion about voter apathy.

Dr. Kerr moved that the LPWV select its year 2000 campaign by primary election and to invite the independents to participate. The motion was seconded.

Mr. Sturgeon stated that inclusion of the independents was necessary. Mr. Brown stated that if Dr. Johnson recovers sufficiently to run for governor, he would welcome any competition.

The motion passed by majority vote.



Dr. Kerr proposed the distribution of a recruitment packet to be delivered door-to-door by volunteers. There was a discussion of the associated costs. Dr. Kerr estimated a cost of $0.09 per unit in orders of 20,000 for a total of $1,800.00. There was a discussion of the potentional benefits and alternatives. Mr. Sturgeon stated the possibility of prioritizing on 2 or 3 billboards at $500/month instead as it would be less labor intensive. It was suggested that both could be done with one following the other. An order of 10,000 units at roughly half the expense was proposed.

Mr. Croft moved that $1,000.00 be allocated for the order of the distribution packets. A friendly amendment was made to generalize the wording of the motion with regard to the requirements of what was purchased. The motion was seconded. The motion was passed by unanimous vote.



Mr. Brown stated that he was resigning from his office of Chair due to personal reasons related to time commitments necessary for his business and family. He expressed that the growth of the LPWV to the point of holding a primary election was an affirmation of previous efforts. He volunteered to fill the vacant slot of VP/Public Relations if asked and stated that he would continue to be active by honoring his commitments to the campaigns of individuals such as Mr. Sturgeon, Dr. Johnson, and Mr. Hornberger.

He expressed appreciation and pride in the establishment of the LPWV and announced that he would be stepping aside to permit continued growth, effective immediately.

There were questions on the rules of succession for when the position of Chair becomes vacant. Mr. Brown reviewed the LPWV constitution and determined that the office could be filled by vote of the LPWV Executive Committee.

Mr. Croft moved that Dr. Kerr be elected by the Committee to fill the vacancy of the Chair. The motion was passed by unanimous vote.

There was a discussion of the next meeting location. It was suggested that the next meeting be held in Flatwoods on the 22nd of May at 13:00 with the date being shifted from the standard meeting time due to an election.

Dr. Kerr appointed Mr. John K. Brown of Putnam City to fill the vacancy in the office of VP/Public Relations.


Meeting adjourned.