November 21, 1998

ARCHIVE DATA: The following are the minutes of the LPWV meeting held November 21, 1998.


of the
Libertarian Party of West Virginia
Executive Committee Meeting


13:00, Pasquale Mira's Restaurant, Beckley, WV


(Approved 1999-01-16)



Chair John Brown present
Vice Chair Richard Kerr, M.D. absent
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 present
VP/Campaigns Joseph Whelan, M.D. present
VP/Public Relations Allan Handleman present
VP/Finance Michael Todd, M.D. present
Historian Larry Durrette absent



John Bartlett, Joy Johnson, David Whelan and family, Jeff Robinson, Vicki Shelton, Richard Church, Jackie.


Call to Order

Mr. Brown. A quorom being present, the meeting was called to order at 13:09.


Reading and Approval of Minutes

Mr. Croft. The minutes for the 1998-09-12 meeting were approved as corrected.


Reports of Officers, Boards, and Standing Committees


Mr. Sturgeon.



LPWV 1/1/98 thru 11/20/98
Payments 1998 $5,309.30    
Beginning Balance 1998 $460.74    
Deposits 1998   $5,618.76  
Total Cash Available 1998   $6,079.50  
Cash minus Payments     $770.20
LNC-Memberships     $295.00
Bell Atlantic-WV     $354.99
LDDS - Long Distance     $0.00
Printing & Mailing     $1,251.95
Room Rentals     $0.00
Advertising     $0.00
Press Releases     $0.00
P.O. Box     $40.00
Convention     $2,384.36
Account Credits     $501.00
WV Inter.Net     $82.00
Campaign Contributions     $400.00
Total Expenses     $5,309.30

Checking Account Balance: $770.20


Dr. Johnson stated that he had $2,300 remaining from his campaign that he would turn over to the LPWV treasury if possible. Mrs. Johnson stated that she would turn over the remaining balance of her campaign as well. There was a discussion about the state finance campaign rules regarding holding over a campaign balance if the candidate intended to run for election again for the same office.


Dr. Johnson initiated a discussion on the pros and cons of including independents in a Libertarian Party primary race.


Mr. Brown distributed a document, "1998 LPWV Election Results (unofficial)", detailing the number of votes and percentages of the LPWV candidates for the recent elections including some statistics for past elections for comparison. Mr. Brown stated that new records were set and that one of nine West Virginia voters cast a vote for the Libertarians.


Mr. Handleman stated that having a nominating convention instead of a primary caused misunderstandings with the voters and the press. Mr. Brown cited insufficient press as a result of not having a primary. Mr. Handleman reflected that the mood of the press turned just before the election from that of treating the Libertarian Party as a unique choice to that of emphasizing those Libertarian issues that would be seen as odd by the public. Mr. Brown responded that any press was good for the party.


Mr. Brown stated that the Republicans had failed in the recent election and that the Libertarians should seize upon that as an opportunity. Dr. Todd stated that the Republicans would rebound and that we would still have an uphill fight. Mr. Henshall stated that we would need money for the treasury for this purpose.


Mrs. Johnson stated that we should focus on reforming the ballot to remove straight ticket voting to allow candidates to run as individuals. Mr. Handleman advocated promoting the message of the party. Dr. Johnson stated that in his communications with registered Libertarians, some were unaware of the names of the individual candidates. Mrs. Johnson cautioned that Libertarian candidates need to be libertarians. Mr. Croft responded that this would be taken care of in the primary.


Mrs. Johnson suggested that a non-partisan effort to promote a column in the newspapers on "Civics 101" be initiated to educate the public on their rights with regard to straight-ticket voting and voting in multi-way races. A discussion with regard to the pros and cons of this effort ensued. The feasibility of removing straight ticket voting from the ballot was raised. Dr. Whelan introduced the idea of sending periodic faxes to the media in order to introduce the column. Dr. Whelan described the concept of the "shadow government". Mr. Brown suggested that the matter be defered as new business as that Mrs. Johnson should head up the newspaper column effort.



Dr. Kerr absent.



Dr. Whelan, paraphrasing Churchill in regards to the recent elections, stated that "Never have so few done so much for so many."



Mr. Henshall reported receiving a number of inquiries on the 1-800 number. He ordered Libertarian Party literature for those individuals. He distributed a list of the contact information of the 22 individuals that sent inquiries so the LPWV members could contact them if they were in their regions. Mr. Brown stated that he have the e-mail inquiries transferred to Mr. Henshall. There was a positive mention of the merits of using the national Libertarian Party introductory packet.



Mr. Handleman stated that the old website mirror would be dismantled now that search have had time to update the links to the new site.


Mr. Handleman read a letter from an individual who discovered the Party after the election from the website that advocated a more complete awareness program, a focus on the younger voters, and pushing the party issues. Mr. Handleman raised the issue of Libertarian candidates not clearly identifying themselves as running under the Libertarian Party ticket. Mr. Bartlett stated the need to focus on the younger voters. Mr. Handleman suggested that the campus newspapers would be an ideal target for the "Civics 101" column idea.



Dr. Todd reported continuing to work on building a database of the names of contributors from the FEC website. He requested that any contact information of inquiries be forwarded to him electronically. Mr. Brown responed that all such inquiries were forwarded to the LP national database which was in turn used by the LPWV.


Dr. Todd expressed the need to generate a finance solicitation letter. There was a discussion of costs for such a letter including bulk-mailing and e-mailing. Mr. Henshall suggested that we should test and refine such mailings. Dr. Johnson stated that of the mailing list of voters he had received, roughly 15% were returned due to change of address. There was a discussion of whether such mailings were effective.


Mr. Brown led those present in introducing themselves to the guests.



Mr. Jones was absent but sent his report through Mr. Croft that he and others in the 1st District were promoting an early effort to identify potential candidates for the forthcoming elections.



Karl Swisher reported that he was happy and proud of the efforts in the 1998 elections.



Dr. Johnson reported the results of his bulk-mailing efforts from a list of registered voters. The list cost him $50 for 2,500 names on mailing labels and 15% of the mailing were returned due to a change of address. He recommended imprinting the bulk-mailing number on any distributed literature. He was able to personally call a number of the registered Libertarians in his area and was happy with the results.


Mr. Brown stated that roughly one out of three voters in Dr. Johnson's race cast a vote for him. Mrs. Johnson expressed the need to deliver the alternative message of the Libertarian Party to those seeking it and the need to network. She continued that the LPWV needs to get behind the candidates as a support organization so that the candidates are not running their campaign alone. Dr. Whelan stated that there was no support from the national LP for the campaigns and opined that it may have been better if the other national chair candidate, Gene Cisewski, had been elected so that there would be more grassroots support. He stated that he received more information from the GOPAC fax server on national news and votes on bills.



Mr. Durrette absent.


Reports of Special Committees

Mr. Henshall, Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, distributed a draft of a proposed constitution and bylaws revision that he stated had an emphasis on voter's rights. He recommended that members review the document and submit suggestions to him prior to the next meeting.


Special Orders

Mr. Brown distributed a page of charts showing the historical metrics of the progress of the LPWV.


  1994 1996 1998
Votes - 23,272 61, 771
Registered - - 420
Dues Paying Members 27 85 187
Candidates - 3 19
Elected - - 1
Expenses - $30,000 $50,000


Dr. Johnson questioned the figure for expenses and Mr. Brown replied that it was an estimate. Mr. Brown stated that the number of dues paying members was currently dropping as some of the free memberships that had been given out earlier in an introductory push were lapsing. Mr. Croft asked what percentage of those who had been given free memberships had renewed. Mr. Brown replied that as the majority of those memberships would expire in December, a clearer figure would be available in January.


Mr. Brown pushed for continued success and to get the new voter registration forms with the Libertarian Party on them out. He stated that he discovered that he could not sue the office of the Secretary of State to have the new forms used but that it would instead require a county by county effort. There was a discussion of the efforts of some members to get copies of the new forms from their local counties with mixed results. Mr. Handleman emphasized enrolling dues paying members as a higher priority over having libertarians register as Libertarians.


Mr. Brown stated the need for a primary for the year 2000 elections to get the attention of the media and set up the base of the Party. There was a discussion of merits of such a plan. Mr. Brown suggested that the decision be postponed until the next meeting. Discussion continued on whether to include independents in the primary and whether there would be non-libertarians running as Libertarian candidates.


Mr. Church asked about how information was received on the activities of the legislature. Mr. Brown replied that current sources included Mr. Welbourn and a subscription that he had to a legislative digest. It was noted that all meetings of the legislature were open to the public by law and that individual could observe as lobbyists or freelance journalists. It was pointed out that the LPWV newsletter would qualify a designated LPWV representative as a journalist. Mr. Church advocated roll-call voting as a necessary reform for the WV legislature. Mr. Croft questioned whether there was already a Republican bill to that effect. Mr. Robinson suggested setting up issue PACs. Discussion continued.


Unfinished Business and General Orders

Mr. Henshall announced that a clause for term limits had been accidentally ommitted from the draft of the proposed constitution and bylaws revision distributed earlier in the meeting.


New Business

Mr. Brown announced that some municipal elections would be held in the upcoming year and suggested that the LPWV make an effort to field candidates in those slots.


Mr. Brown announced that Mr. Hornberger of the Future of Freedom foundation had requested support from the LPWV in setting up a stop around March in Charleston on his promotional tour for his book. Mr. Brown reminded those present that Mr. Hornberger was an unofficial candidate for President. Mr. Henshall suggested that the promotional visit be combined with a recruitment drive.


Mr. Brown announced that he had received a letter from a mayor of the Democratic Party inviting the LPWV to participate in an upcoming municipal election. Mr. Brown speculated that this was a sign that this was a sign that the Democrats respected the ability of Libertarians to get votes, primarily from Republicans.


Mr. Brown announced that the national Party would be sponsoring Success '99 in Pittsburgh June 26th and 27th to educate Libertarians on how to win elections.


Mr. Handleman raised the issue of setting a reliable periodic date for the Executive Committee meetings so that members could make long-term arrangements to attend. Mr. Croft introduced a motion for a standing rule that "the LPWV Executive Committee shall hold its meetings the third (3rd) Saturday of every odd-numbered month." The motion was seconded by Mr. Handleman. Mr. Croft responded in discussion that the voting requirements of a standing rule would allow the LPWV Executive Committe to remove the act by majority as necessary. The motion was approved unanimously.


The issue of the location for the next meeting was raised. Dr. Todd suggested Morgantown but cautioned that the meetings should rotate throughout the state. After a brief discussion, Mr. Croft moved that "the next meeting of the LPWV Executive Committee be held in Morgantown." The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. Dr. Todd volunteered to determine the hour and room of the meeting.


Mr. Brown announced that in the last week of the campaign he had received a request for a campaign contribution from the LPWV from one of the Libertarian candidates. Mr. Brown discussed this with some of the Executive Committee officers and disbursed $200 each to Drs. Whelan and Kerr as he felt that they were making a good full-out effort in their campaigns. Mr. Brown expressed his reluctance to disburse funds to his own campaign as he did not want to receive criticism for this act. Mr. Brown expressed that he would want to know if this precedent would be approved and stated that he would personally refund the funds to the LPWV treasury if asked. Mr. Croft introduced a motion to introduce a bylaw addition that "Properties shall only be disbursed for the purposes described in the LPWV Constitution. The approval of all disbursements shall require a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee." There was a brief discussion. Mr. Croft raised a point of order that the Chair should call for a second. The Chair ruled that a call for a second was unnecessary as there had already been discussion for a duration without a second. Mr. Croft appealed the decision. The Chair called for a second. Dr. Todd seconded the motion. Mr. Croft spoke for the motion by stating that the requirement for a supermajority vote on such matters would garner the trust of the contributors that the funds were being used for purposes that reflected the will of the body. Further discussion included whether or not the Chair should have a set dollar amount under which he could spend without approval and whether the current Constitution with regard to this matter was vaugue or whether the interpretation was vague. Mr. Swisher asked to see the motion in writing for consideration at a future meeting. A motion was raised, seconded, and passed to table the motion.


Dr. Johnson announced his plans to file for precandidacy for Governor as the Libertarian candidate. He stated that Richard Kerr had no inclination to run for this office. Mrs. Johnson called for the support of the members for the campaign effort. She asked for each member to get one thousand votes and to push to win.


Meeting adjourned.