Libertarian Party Transparency Caucus forming

Posted at Next Free Voice by Matt Harris and at IPR by Paulie. To avoid editorializing, which is against IPR site policy, I will confine my additional thoughts to the comment section, except to add A) that two out of four of us so far like the name “Sunshine Caucus” better and B) a very rudimentary website exists, but we want to make a good first impression, so (realizing that it opens us up to the charge of hypocrisy) we are not linking it here yet, but will share it with those who actually want to help develop it first (email us, or, if you don’t have any of our email addresses, write contact.ipr@gmail.com and we will put you in touch).

So a few of us – namely Paulie, George Donnelly, Mike Seebeck, and myself, along with a few others who have expressed an interest, have been talking a lot about forming an LP Transparency Caucus. At this point, we’re sure that we’re moving forward with this, so we thought it a good time to start soliciting thoughts and ideas from the community at large instead of just talking amongst ourselves. We’ve got the internet site stuff set up, and just needs some design/content/etc – anyone interested in helping out, please let us know.

Here’s what we’re thinking so far: The LP Transparency Caucus is completely non-partisan in terms of reformers, radicals, etc. All we do is try to bring greater openness to the LP. This includes everything from the LNC (we plan to push for live video from every LNC meeting from now on) to bylaws and platform committees, etc. We will be putting out reports or pushing to have reports put out in as timely a manner as possible. We want as much information as feasible to be available to the entirety of the LP membership without in any way compromising the goals of the LP. Certain things are supposed to be public – and we’ll always be lobbying to make sure they are.

Beyond that, we’ll be sending candidates for internal positions such as the LNC and various committees surveys. We will publish the results of these surveys, as well as endorse the best candidates. Once elected, we will help to ensure that these candidates comply with the campaign promises made in terms of transparency and a culture of openness within the given committee. We believe that this will foster such a culture by encouraging candidates to take up pro-transparency positions as well as stick to them once in office.

So have at it – what other ideas and suggestions do you folks have? What else can be done? Keep in mind that bonus points are awarded for doers, not for talkers. Over the coming months and years, we’ll be putting our boots on the ground to try and achieve the goals we’re working on here. If you want to help by doing stuff, don’t hesitate to say so! All are welcome, and we hope you’ll find this idea worthwhile.

Thanks, Matt

George Donnelly adds:

A few weeks ago I stated my intention to form an LP Transparency Caucus.

I’d like to form a Transparency Caucus in the LP in order to identify what concrete and specific steps we can take to be more open and to restore people’s trust as well as to field a slate of candidates for LNC in 2010 that sign a transparency pledge, so that we can effect real change.

This is not a reformer vs radical issue. This is about running an organization in the sunshine, not the dark.

We Make a Great Team

Now that I’ve had the great fortune to team up with such collaborators as the well-known Paulie Cannoli of IPR, Matt Harris, Chairman of the West Virgina LP affiliate and Mike Seebeck, member of the California LP affiliate who broadcasted this past weekend’s LNC meeting, we’re doing just that.

Need your Feedback

But we need your help. What should our mission, goals and other basic defining statements be? What should we work on first?

Please note that we’re just getting started, so don’t expect too much of us yet. What we’re doing now is simply to practice what we preach and give you a chance to shape the caucus at this early stage.

My Rough Draft

Here is my very rough draft of a first proposal to define what our new Transparency Caucus will stand for.

(1) LPTC Vision (two proposals)

(A) The LP Transparency Caucus envisions a Libertarian Party where all members have prompt, free access to party leaders, reports, documents and other information.

(B) The Transparency Caucus wants a Libertarian Party where secrecy and mistrust have been banished because members have free, timely access to information on the administration of the party.

(2) LPTC Mission (two proposals)

(A) The Transparency Caucus seeks to banish secrecy and mistrust from the administration of the Libertarian Party in order to build greater engagement with the membership for a cohesive Libertarian Party that transcends ideological battles.

(B) The Transparency Caucus seeks to build a cohesive Libertarian Party where members of all factions can participate knowing that decisions are made in the sunshine – not the dark – by fostering greater openness and accountability in the running of the national Libertarian Party.

(3) LPTC Values

Our values include openness, fairness, integrity, civility, truth, receptiveness and responsiveness.

(4) LPTC Strategies

Our strategies will include:

- broadcasting of all LNC meetings

- requesting information from LNC members
- proposing transparency rules for the bylaws
- lobbying of LNC members
- surveying current and prospective LNC members
- endorsing candidates for internal party offices
- distributing party information and analysis to all interested LP members.

(5) LPTC Goals and Action Plans

Our goals are pending feedback from interested members.

Our action plans are pending.

(6) LPTC Tagline

For a More Open and Accountable Libertarian Party.

Also Discuss this at …

116 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Transparency Caucus forming

  1. paulie cannoli Post author

    Chuck and LG: Will do

    George: I added your post to the body of this one, with credit. If you would prefer I did not do that, let me know at what point you would like to have it chopped, or whether you would rather have just a link only, and I’ll re-edit again.

  2. JimDavidson

    I’m curious about the request by the acting executive director for LNC members to agree to confidentiality agreements, as if they were volunteers, rather than the oversight board of the party. Which members of the LNC indicated they were signing the confidentiality agreement, and which objected?

  3. kiddleddee

    I would add something in there about “executive session”. Not sure what, but I would add it. Otherwise, good deal. Count me in. We have someone here in Augusta that can tape the LNC meeting in Charleston.

  4. rayehawk

    Sign me up . . .

    Check out this section of law, from The Real Washington(TM) -

    RCW 42.30.010
    Legislative declaration.

    The legislature finds and declares that all public commissions, boards, councils, committees, subcommittees, departments, divisions, offices, and all other public agencies of this state and subdivisions thereof exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of this chapter that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

    The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

    Now substitute party for state, and membership for people . . .

    :o)

  5. rayehawk

    And it kind of looks like this . . .

    Bylaws suggestion
    The legislature finds and declares that all committees, subcommittees, departments, divisions, officers, and all other agencies of the Libertarian Party and subdivisions thereof exist to aid in the conduct of the member’s activism, education and election. It is the intent of this chapter that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

    The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agents which serve them. The members, in delegating authority, do not give their representatives the right to decide what is good for the members to know and what is not good for them to know. The members insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

  6. paulie cannoli Post author

    Hi Rachel

    Thank you very much for joining.

    At this point, we are running into a technical snag.

    We have an email thread with 50 email messages or so that is the opening discussion of the caucus.

    I’ve been doing “forward conversation” as people have been signing up.

    There are problems with this

    1) It is starting to get quite unwieldy to do it this way

    2) When I look at the forwarded conversation in gmail, it is missing chunks where one person quotes another, making the conversation hard to follow.

    No one involved is opposed to publishing what we have said so far, but formatting wise, it just looks horrible.

    So fair warning on the email you are about to receive.

  7. paulie cannoli Post author

    John Famularo

    John Famularo 12.08.08 at 1:56 pm

    Assuming that the mission of your group is to create a “transparent LNC and LP”, then the first thing you need to do is articulate a strategic plan to achieve that mission. A strategic plan should be divided into short, intermediate and long range. The “what do we do first” question suggests that it fits into the short range plan. Jumping ahead for the purposes of discussion, a possible short range action is to concentrate on the current regional representatives, many of which can be replaced by a majority of state chairs in a region. Intermediate action would be to attempt to affect the election of future state LP officials. Various state parties will be having conventions every few months up to the 2010 national convention. The long range plan would be to have a super majority transparency caucus delegation at the 2010 convention.

    Off topic but possible fuel for argument for replacing many of the current LNC;
    There were two fiascos at the last LNC meeting. The Angela Keaton affair drew the most attention, but the more important and more damning of the LNC was their inability to articulate a clear and unambiguous and attainable mission statement. The Dave Nolan proposal:

    “The Mission of the LP is to move public policy in a libertarian direction by building a network of pro-freedom activists who can debate.”

    Like it or not, it has been the actual, if not articulated, mission of the LP from its inception. That is why the LP has gotten anywhere in the last 34 years.

  8. paulie cannoli Post author

    GEORGE DONNELLY:

    Hey Matt and Paul

    I’m thinking the name “Transparency Caucus” may not be optimal since
    that use of the word transparency doesn’t seem to be common in the US.
    (In Latin America “transparencia” is commonly used like this and is
    well-known and I’ve been living in LatAm for 7+ years, hence…).

    What do you guys think of the name “Renew the LP”? Got any other ideas?

    I’m thinking some of our first projects could be:

    - define our group/caucus

    * a vision for the future,
    * a mission that defines what we are doing
    * values that shape our actions,
    * strategies that zero in on our key success approaches, and
    * goals and action plans to guide your daily, weekly and monthly
    actions. (lifted from about.com

    )

    - solicit ideas from all LPers about their top priorities for the
    party, compile that into a top 10 list (I have identified some
    excellent software for this)

    - recruit more members

    - the my LP idea

    - create a statement of principles or goals or something that
    candidates for LNC can sign

    - nominate and/or endorse candidates for the 2010 convention.

    What do you guys think?

  9. paulie cannoli Post author

    MATT HARRIS:

    I don’t think it accurately describes the purpose. Other appropriate descriptive names might include “The Openness Caucus”, or “Eye on the LP”, but I think overall the “Transparency Caucus” thing fits best and best describes the mission of the group. My vision of the caucus is such that it’s completely apolitical, as well, and does not ascribe any given orientation in terms of left/right, radical/reformer, etc to participants.

  10. George Donnelly

    Paul, that’s fine, no changes needed.

    We’re going to take signups via the website soon.

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves or overload people with info or long ugly email threads.

    Right now I think we want people’s ideas for what the principles, mission, goal, vision, activities, etc of the caucus should be.

  11. paulie cannoli Post author

    MATT HARRIS:

    A lot of organizations get caught up in the abstracts and don’t ever end up doing stuff. I’d like to be active in actually doing things that bring greater transparency to the LP and the LNC.

    Actually setting forth some basic documents – a mission statement, bylaws if any, the candidate pledges mentioned below, and things like some initial strategic goals, should be a fairly quick and painless process.

    [..]

    We should narrow things down to what sort of transparency-related issues they would be interested in. Keep in mind though that transparency can be an activism tool – as with the anecdote yesterday about a gal who liked the LP just because our board meeting was so open and live on the net! Of course, I doubt she realized that that was a grassroots thing and not official, but still. If the formal folks ain’t gonna do it, it’s gotta become the work of us grassroots folks.

  12. paulie cannoli Post author

    MATT HARRIS

    Should we go for political positions, or just internal ones? Food for thought. My first thoughts on this lean towards internal ones (LNC, JudComm, and the various committees such as platform and bylaws).

  13. VirtualGalt

    I was wondering what the deal was with the Nolan mission statement thing. All the more fuel for my “operation Clean Sweep.”

  14. paulie cannoli Post author

    GEORGE DONNELLY

    I see it as about building trust in the LP, connecting it
    more closely with the members and building the LP, making it more
    professional.

  15. paulie cannoli Post author

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves or overload people with info or long ugly email threads.

    I don’t have any easy way of cleaning up the long ugly email thread, so I’m just pulling out quotes from it so people who are interested can be up to speed on the conversation we have had thus far.

  16. paulie cannoli Post author

    GEORGE DONNELLY

    by “candidates for the 2010 convention” I indeed mean internal ones.
    Only internal ones will be selected at the 2010 convention. :)

    It’s too late for platform and bylaws, they won’t be chosen again
    until 2010/11. But if we’re fast enough we can come up with some
    proposals to send to the official bylaws cmte. Will a Transparency
    caucus have anything to say about the platform? I suspect not.

  17. paulie cannoli Post author

    I suggested the name SUNSHINE CAUCUS rather than Transparency caucus. My thoughts on this (not in the email thread):

    1) Easier to spell. I keep wanting to type transparancy. Only the red underline in firefox is telling me which variant is correct.

    2) Shorter.

    3) Sunshine is a commonly used description for meetings which are open to the public; see “Sunshine laws”.

    4) Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

    5) Only vampires should be afraid of sunshine.

    6) Sunshine is essential for growth.

    Coincidentally, on yesterday’s chat at justintv Mike Seebeck had the same idea when we alluded to the Transparency Caucus – without having seen my email at that time.

  18. paulie cannoli Post author

    ME, from email: I think we should keep things as simple as possible. Recruit members regardless of how extreme or moderate, liberal or conservative leaning. The common thread should be dedication to making the process open at all levels, making sure as much information as possible is available to as many people as possible, and the willingness to take active steps to make it happen – like you did with your LNC survey, like what we are doing with IPR, like what Mike Seebeck is doing with the LNC this weekend. Just keep doing that kind of stuff, and set up a new website as a clearinghouse, maybe with a form for people to fill out to get on the list. That’s as far as I have thought it out.

    How else to recruit members? Well, as we do stuff, news about it will spread. Talk to people at various state, regional, national events. IPR can be a venue for press releases. I don’t know that there will be anything that we would attempt to get into non-LP press, but if there is, we can work on it at that time.

  19. paulie cannoli Post author

    MATT HARRIS

    At conventions, it may be necessary to call out LNC or other committee members who have done things that have harmed openness, and laud those who have done things that have increased transparency. These sorts of activities are what score us clout in terms of policy decisions at the end of the day.

  20. George Donnelly

    One small strike against sunshine caucus is that lpsc.org is taken…

    I’m fine with sunshine caucus but unless we see an outpouring of support for it and against transparency, i’m sticking with it.

    for ease we can tell people lptc.org, that’s pretty easy.

  21. paulie cannoli Post author

    GEORGE DONNELLY:

    any thoughts on software to use for website?

    I like wordpress bc it’s basically a lightweight CMS. I run a bunch of
    wp sites so it’s easy for me to add another one.

    i expect we will need some informational pages, a blog, maybe some
    forms – anything else?

  22. paulie cannoli Post author

    the names should be compatible though. we have to pick either ‘transparency’ or ’sunshine’. using both will confuse people.

    Well, what if we start with both, and then do a poll/survey to see which one people like?

    I don’t want to make too big an issue out of the name. Matt Harris suggested we do a poll, but we don’t have to.

  23. paulie cannoli Post author

    MATT HARRIS

    I don’t know if you guys have ever worked in an organization that endorses candidates before, but basically the way it usually works is that we send out a survey to potential candidates and pick the best ones. I think it could be interesting to see what sort of transparency-related answers we get from potential internal candidates regarding transparency issues. In fact, I can hardly wait. Let’s make our 2010 survey good.

  24. George Donnelly

    Paul, I registered you using that form, worked for me with your trav.. email. you should get the email in a sec.

    Actually I think I suggested the poll, go for it, but can we do it quickly?

    I already registered 2 domains around ‘transparency’ anyway…

  25. paulie cannoli Post author

    Actually – reviewing the email conversation it was George Donnelly who said Maybe run a poll in the IPR thread for which name people like best?
    polldaddy is good i think.

  26. paulie cannoli Post author

    MIKE SEEBECK

    That’s easy in concept. A Bylaws change to require digital video recording
    and archiving of the recordings of the meetings, to be available to members
    within seven days of a request.

    I’ll come up with some wording specifics for you.

  27. paulie cannoli Post author

    GEORGE DONNELLY (respond to email from Mike Seebeck which I quoted in comment 36)

    ok but who’s gonna pay for that? that will be the opposition’s call to arms.

    i think it’s more likely to get done if we have to rely on ourselves to do it.

    Has anyone worked on the vision/mission/values/goals etc and/or does
    anyone have edits for my very rough first draft?

    http://georgedonnelly.com/libertarian/transparency-work-first

    Once we finish that IMO we can move on to people signaling agreement
    with them via the website and then move on to setting goals in line
    with what John Famularo has suggested.

  28. paulie cannoli Post author

    ME

    From email: Folks – let’s kill this email thread – when you hit reply all to a message you are missing the newest added people if they joined after that point.

    I am transcribing most of it to IPR (minus floater ideas we have already flushed) so let’s keep the conversation going there.

    Not from email: I also did not include the tech-speak between Matt and George which I did not understand.

    If they wish to transcribe it here, I’ll leave it up to them.

  29. paulie cannoli Post author

    MIKE SEEBECK

    It can be done for under $500 sans laptop. Magnetotape is just too bulky.

    Parts needed: digital camera, tripod, external omnidierctional microphone
    (optional but not a bad idea), firewire hookup if needed, laptop, DVDs and a
    storage case, external hard drive (preferable for archiving) or DVD-RW to
    burn the video to DVD and make copies (preferable for member requests as
    well as a backup for the archive).

    In fact, there is no real reason the LNC shouldn’t have a house laptop with
    this rig sans camera for this purpose and other data storage anyway, then
    the info is always around at the meetings. I’d even recommend online secure
    storage myself, which would eliminate the need for the external hard drive,
    but that creates security issues and the cost factor may be higher.

    Live broadcasting needs a little more, specifically on the connection side.
    I’ll be mentioning that in the technical evaluation I’ll be posting a little
    later in various spots.

    I think the cost objection can be overcome with some simple parts research.
    I’m willing to attack that angle and a Bylaws proposal to go with it since
    I’ve already sorta done part of it.

  30. paulie cannoli Post author

    C. Al Currier @ NFV:

    I dunno!

    I spent a few months last summer desperately trying to convince some former employers to STOP sending money to Bob Barr and Co. (the LP).

    Reasons:
    1) ‘Champaign-appetite-on-a-beer-salary’ type folks are lousy workers, but even worse as ‘leaders’ like POTUS
    2) I don’t want the laws of economics privatized
    3) I don’t want the laws of gravity privatized

    My former employers wouldn’t listen to me, nor would they listen to Mr. Nolan when he said ‘pull-the-plug’.

    I ain’t LP nomo’ but BTP and happy.

    Befo’ I get suckered into this LP caucus, do I have to rejoin the LP?

    I mean like, I am a happy man now.

  31. paulie cannoli Post author

    My thoughts re C.Al’s point:

    What does “having to rejoin the LP” mean?

    We have not defined caucus membership yet. At this point, you “join” the caucus by participating in our conversation as much or as little as you wish.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

  32. George Donnelly

    This is a natural and good question.

    The thing is that nearly nothing is happening the BTP. And the LP is not going away any time soon.

    Therefore, it is more productive IMO to fix the LP than to build the BTP.

  33. mdh

    I’ve asked George to setup an email list on the lptc.org server for us. That can be publicly archived, which will kill the burdens on us to be manually transparent. ;)

  34. mdh

    I don’t think we need to demand people be members of the LP to be active in the LPTC. On the other hand, if you don’t care about helping the LP by making it more open and responsive to its membership, then the LPTC probably doesn’t appeal to you at all.
    Keep in mind that at the end of the day we are trying to help the LP.

  35. mdh

    I find mailman much less of a hassle than YG. YG requires a seperate account and can only readily be used by Yahoo users. I have a yahoo email address specifically for it, but in fact i prefer working with my lpwv address in my real email client (thunderbird).

  36. paulie cannoli Post author

    I use yahoo groups and am on over 100 of them.

    I have them all set to web-only view so I get zero emails from any of them, and go to them when I have time and interest in a particular group.

    This works well for me.

  37. George Donnelly

    can we just move on to the next step in the process please instead of debating the name?

    i already bought domains and set up the webpage. paul, you’re the one who wants to move fast on this and start publicizing it.

  38. paulie cannoli Post author

    It’s already publicized in the way I meant (IE posted here).

    The name issue is not terribly important to me. You suggested a poll, but if you want to kill the poll and make an executive decision, I think you have earned that right at this point by virtue of having done more than anyone else.

  39. hogarth

    I don’t think we need to demand people be members of the LP to be active in the LPTC.

    A caucus is by nature an internal group. There’s a separate word for people outside of a group who want to change the group’s policies:

    busybodies.

  40. mdh

    Susan,
    I believe that it’s in the best interests of both the LPTC and the LP in general to have everyone with a genuine interest in making the LP better involved in the caucus. Many people who care a great deal for the LP are no longer members of the LP because of the choices made by staff, leadership, and others over the years. Not all, but some of these people, still care for the LP and wish to see it succeed. To those people, I would welcome them with open arms into the LPTC and encourage them to do whatever they can to assist us in achieving our goals of greater openness, responsiveness, and transparency.
    Those who do not genuinely care for the LP will likely not waste their time trying to help the LP. If they come to the LPTC as trolls, they will most likely quickly find that we have no place for them unless they take action to help achieve our goals.
    - Matt

  41. JimDavidson

    I think openness and transparency are important. However, I am not a dues paying member of the national LP. I have been a dues paying member of various state LP groups, in Wyoming, Texas, Kansas, etc. Does that count? Or what is the standard for membership, if any?

    As well, I used to be a dues paying member of the national LP. I would be one of those 100,000 or so who have signed the pledge and been a member, but stopped paying dues because, frankly, the lack of openness, lack of transparency, and persistent corruption and abuses of power (including the recent witch hunt against Angela Keaton for thought crimes) have bothered me to the point where sending the LP money was more trouble than it was worth – and only likely to encourage them.

    There is another word for people outside a group who are interested in reform of its policies, Susan. Prospects.

    I would suggest that an effective LP which is operated by and for its members, with significant transparency as to its operations, and without significant corruption or abuses of power would be very attractive to me. As well, it would be attractive to at least some of the 740+ members of the Boston Tea Party.

  42. George Donnelly

    I think membership in the LPTC should be entirely open and should not be limited to members of the LP. 99% will be members of the LP, but we don’t need to enforce that.

  43. JimDavidson

    @67, Sure, but Hogarth has already made it clear that anyone who is not a dues paying member in good standing is a busy body. Obviously, I want this matter settled before I waste my time involving myself in another organisation with her. She was distinctly unwelcoming about my involvement in LP radicals.

    With regard a statement of purpose, or a strategic mission statement, I suggest something along these lines.

    Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. For consent to be meaningful, it must be informed. A political party which seeks to control the government of a free people should welcome inquiries and provide information openly. The Libertarian Party Sunshine Caucus seeks to enhance the spirit of liberty by increasing the transparency and openness of the business operations, headquarter operations, and policy operations of the Libertarian Party and Libertarian National Committee. The purpose of this work is to inform the membership as thoroughly as possible so that their consent may be knowing, willing, and competent.

  44. paulie cannoli Post author

    @67, Sure, but Hogarth has already made it clear that anyone who is not a dues paying member in good standing is a busy body. Obviously, I want this matter settled before I waste my time involving myself in another organisation with her. She was distinctly unwelcoming about my involvement in LP radicals.

    A) Susan is not the dictator of this caucus. If anyone has final say it’s George Donnelly, but I don’t know whether he wants final say on anything.

    Matt and I were the next two join, followed by Mike Seebeck. For whatever that is worth.

    B) Susan never said you are not a bona fide member of the LP, at least, not in this thread.
    By the LP’s own definition, you are a bona fide member unless you have renounced the oath.

    C) No one has said anything about you or Susan not being welcome to join. As far as I am concerned, you are members if you want to be, but please do conduct any personal beefs you have from elsewhere, elsewhere. Speaking only for myself, and not demanding anything of anyone.

  45. JimDavidson

    71 A. Doesn’t matter. I could care less who thinx he’s dictator. I have choices about where to waste my time. I won’t waste my time within any group that Hogarth is a member, unless it is clear that my involvement does not constitute being a busy body to her. I realise that seems odd, but I have had about as much of her mean, cynical, vituperative hatefulness as I care to.

    B. Hogarth obviously has a problem working with me, and I with her. Again, there are choices here. My consent involves her retracting her statement about busy bodies.

    C. The whole point of not having this come up in the future is to deal with it in advance.

    This situation is, in my experience, the very essence of all groups in, of, or relating to the LP.

  46. mdh

    No one needs to support the LPTC who doesn’t want to. Susan doesn’t set policy in the LPTC.

    As I’ve said before, though, the LPTC will probably not be a worthwhile endeavour for anyone to join in who does not sincerely believe in helping the Libertarian Party. We’re not doing this to be mean to the LP, we’re doing it to help the LP overcome some shortfalls that we feel exist in certain specific areas. We don’t necessarily blame the LP or anyone in specific for these shortfalls. The fact is, we haven’t been doing this stuff, and neither has anyone else! The difference? Now we will be. We’re taking action where previously there was only inaction. This is all for the good of the LP.

  47. paulie cannoli Post author

    I won’t waste my time within any group that Hogarth is a member,

    Your choice. Both of you are welcome to be members if you wish. If Susan does not want to be a member, or does, is up to her. The reasons why she decides to be a member or non-member are up to her. Same with you. I have neither the desire nor authority to exclude either of you.

    Neither of you will be appointed in charge of excluding anyone else. At least, not by me.

  48. hogarth

    I believe that it’s in the best interests of both the LPTC and the LP in general to have everyone with a genuine interest in making the LP better involved in the caucus.

    I don’t fault your logic or goodwill. I just disagree. I’m certainly not arguing for any sort of control, and it’s your sandbox anyway. As far as your message is defined so far, I am in agreement with it, so I guess you may want to count me as a member.

  49. hogarth

    There is another word for people outside a group who are interested in reform of its policies, Susan. Prospects.

    Ha. You have me there :) Point taken. I still wouldn’t call those folks a caucus, but that’s just because I like to see words used correctly.

  50. mdh

    @75
    Happily. Welcome to the crew. :)

    The reason I supported the use of the term caucus is because the job we seek to do is the job of a caucus. We are an internal organization seeking to fulfill solely internal LP goals. We do not wish to impact electoral politics, nor to deal with ideology in any way. The purpose is simply to increase openness, responsiveness, and transparency within the LP.

  51. George Donnelly

    I don’t seek final say or to be a BDFL (benevolent dictator for life). I like making decisions democratically or by consensus.

    I don’t think the caucus need have any elected officers or any distinction between founding and other members. I’m only speaking for myself of course.

    That said, I’m in a hurry to get this show on the road.

    I welcome everyone who agrees with the mission of the caucus to join.

  52. Gene Trosper

    You wouldn’t happen to want me in your group, would ya??? : )

    The caucus is an ace idea, and after having attended this past weekend’s LNC meeting, I believe it is an idea that is way overdue.

  53. paulie cannoli Post author

    You wouldn’t happen to want me in your group, would ya??? : )

    We insist you join. Of course, we won’t hold a gun to your head. Actually you have already done caucus work with the Wayne Root at LNC video so you are a member whether you like it or not. Of course, that does not obligate you to do work again, but we certainly hope you keep it up!

  54. paulie cannoli Post author

    I like making decisions democratically or by consensus.

    I don’t think the caucus need have any elected officers or any distinction between founding and other members. I’m only speaking for myself of course.

    Nope, I agree completely.


    That said, I’m in a hurry to get this show on the road.

    Me too.

    Most urgent IMO: We need a scanned copy of the materials distributed to the gallery which we can put up online, and we need to what we can to make sure the process for selecting a replacement for Keaton and any future LNC vacancies is completely open.

  55. Michael Seebeck

    Paulie, sunshine may be the best disinfectant, but sometimes so is a blowtorch or a power-scrubber. :)

  56. Gene Trosper

    Thanks, Paulie.

    One of the reasons I showed up to the LNC meeting was to document on video some of what was going on. I have a bit more video to go through, but nothing terribly exciting. What I really wish I had caught on video was Mike Seebeck’s public comment on Sunday. It was one hell of a doozy and got the best reception of any public comment made.

  57. Gene Trosper

    George @ 81:

    There are quite a few things I want to work on and one of them is a biggie idea that crossed my mind shortly after hearing of Keaton’s resignation. I need to sleep on it though to make sure it’s something I really want to do though.

  58. Michael Seebeck

    I am in the process of generating a technical-oriented writeup of this weekend. By that I mean what I did on the feed, and what I think can be done better for the future.

    To overkill an analogy, Knapp carved the trail, Keaton made it a path, I made it a road, next step is to make it a freeway!

    And I propose we name Angela an honorary caucus member.

  59. mdh

    We’re working on making LPWV meetings broadcast live on the net, too. It may happen starting with the one this weekend.
    Depends on my secretary’s technical abilities, I’ll let everyone know where to watch me half-assedly run a meeting if we do get it working though. ;)

  60. paulie cannoli Post author

    She has done work for the caucus so she is a member. If she is unable to continue doing more, it is understandable, especially in view of her message about her health today.

  61. mdh

    Just so everyone knows, I will be taking whatever steps are sane and possible to make the LPWV a model of transparency for other affiliates and even the national party to look at. :)

  62. Michael Seebeck

    BTW, by “honorary” I mean we honor her achievements in this area, not that she actually has to do anything. :)

  63. Steve M

    I think there are only two areas to focus on.

    1) Technology/Volunteers

    how to arrange to have the meetings recorded and broadcast.

    2) Party Leader Requirements

    What is the minimum criteria that we should demand from candidates to become members of the LNC or any of the important committee positions

  64. Michael Seebeck

    Now that I’ve FINALLY had a chance to look things over after what can best be described as a WTF??? day, here are my thoughts on the original post above. Sorry about the delay.

    Vision: A
    Mission: A
    Values: Looks good
    Strategies: Looks good.
    Goals: TBD
    Tagline: Looks good.
    Name: I know I suggested Sunshine Caucus off the cuff, but I’m OK with either.

  65. paulie cannoli Post author

    WTF??? day,

    Same here. But we are getting something good started. I have a strong feeling about that.

    The lptc website does not seem to allow me to make any more posts right now.

    Poll is running 8-7 for Sunshine.

    Like I said that is not the most important thing.

    First priority projects I think are important

    - Lobby LNC to make the deliberations for replacing Angela public

    - Get a scanned copy of the binder distributed to the gallery in SD online ASAP

    - Find out who was responsible for placing Hospers article in LNC binder

  66. JimDavidson

    @73 “We don’t necessarily blame the LP or anyone in specific for these shortfalls. ”

    You don’t have to, sir. I am more than happy to blame the members of the LP for allowing the lack of transparency and openness to get out of control and continuing to send it money. I am more than happy to blame the members of the LNC for not having the intestinal fortitude or backbone to confront a thought crimes prosecution and end it immediately, with a rebuke for the one bringing it. I am more than happy to blame the acting executive director for attempting to defraud the members of the governing body of the LP into signing confidentiality agreements as though they were themselves volunteers working for the staff of the LP rather than its actual governing body. I am more than happy to blame any of the individual members of the LNC who signed any such confidentiality agreement.

    I am quite eager to find fault with Aaron Starr, Sean Haugh, Bill Redpath, Dan Karlan, M Carling, Stewart Flood, Krause, Davis, and other specific individuals for their specific actions. I am enthusiastic about pointing blame at Shane Cory for defrauding Angela O’Dell for her work in West Virginia as a paid petition gatherer who has never been paid. I am insistent about focusing blame on the Barr campaign for failing to name her as a creditor in their reports to the FEC, which I believe is both criminal fraud and a violation of the (nonsensical) FEC laws.

    It seems to me that if you plan to have a Sunshine Caucus that doesn’t focus attention on wrongdoing to the point where those to blame for the wrongdoing are either shamed into not doing wrong, or are removed for doing wrong, then you don’t have much of a group.

    And, as I have stated above, my interest in working with Hogarth in the presence of her normal “nobody plays in my sandbox without taking a loyalty oath to the LP” crap is nil. The same goes for you, sir.

    No, I don’t have the best interests of the LP in mind. I have been against the LP for some time, and I am against it now, and I shall continue to be against it until: it conducts its affairs in an open and transparent fashion completely accessible to its members; provides the membership ample and frequent opportunity to over-rule the actions of the national committee and headquarters staff; nominates actual libertarians rather than racist Dixiecrats; and conducts some action worthy of general acclaim on behalf of individual liberty in this country. By general acclaim, I mean everyone in the freedom movement hears about it and approves.

    I would be personally and professionally embarrassed to have anything to do with the LP unless and until it is worthy of my support. Which undoubtedly means that I am not someone you’d be willing to “put up with.” I would be critical. I would level blame. I would identify culprits and call for their dismissal. I would identify wrongdoing and ask that it be stopped.

    And since that is exactly what you don’t want from people like me, that is exactly why a Sunshine Caucus is needed, and that is exactly why you are unlikely to be capable of effecting meaningful change.

    I sent along a proposed mission statement to George’s new site for your caucus. I assume that because George likes to censor things that if I make a habit of posting there, or anywhere else that George has the power to censor me, he’ll do so, sooner or later.

    Therefore, I am on the sidelines. I’m going to watch what you guys do. When you screw up, I’m going to report it as loudly as I can, wherever I please.

    Presumably, out of concern that people like me are watching, you’ll want to have your deliberations in private. That way, when you refuse to openly disclose who did what to whom and why, you can cover it up. I look forward to the progress toward openness that the secret deliberations of the LP Sunshine Caucus can make.

    Who knows, you might also invent perpetual motion.

  67. paulie cannoli Post author

    It seems to me that if you plan to have a Sunshine Caucus that doesn’t focus attention on wrongdoing to the point where those to blame for the wrongdoing are either shamed into not doing wrong, or are removed for doing wrong, then you don’t have much of a group.

    Sunshine will expose those who want to commit nefarious acts in the dark and not be seen. If no one is doing that, no one will be exposed. We don’t have to be negative; the transparency will expose all, good and bad. You can take the information we dig up and make of it what you will.

    And, as I have stated above, my interest in working with Hogarth in the presence of her normal “nobody plays in my sandbox without taking a loyalty oath to the LP” crap is nil.

    We have no loyalty oath. And Susan does not get to kick people out here. But she is a member, and we are not going to kick her out so you can join. You’ll either have to tolerate her presence, or not be a member. Up to you.

    Therefore, I am on the sidelines. I’m going to watch what you guys do. When you screw up, I’m going to report it as loudly as I can, wherever I please.

    Thank you for your tactical support. We need someone to watch the watchers.

    Presumably, out of concern that people like me are watching, you’ll want to have your deliberations in private.

    Nope.


    That way, when you refuse to openly disclose who did what to whom and why, you can cover it up.

    As far as I am concerned that goes against our principles. In fact, I hereby propose that all caucus discussions be public, period.

    I think everything we do that is connected with thsi project should be done in the open.


    I look forward to the progress toward openness that the secret deliberations of the LP Sunshine Caucus can make.

    Sorry to disappoint. No secret deliberations if people accept my view on this.

    Thanks for helping build the caucus, Jim, and I don’t care if you consider yourself a non-member. I’m more interested in actions than words, and by your actions you are already helping us. What you want to call that is up to you.

  68. JimDavidson

    Okay, Paulie, I agree to watch the watchers.

    I am very pleased by your idea of having the Sunshine Caucus keep its activities in the light of day. I shall do my utmost to hold you guys to that commitment, assuming it becomes a general principle of your group.

    Yes, I do think that reporting on this group’s progress is important. I plan an essay for The Libertarian Enterprise. I’ve already blogged a bit about it tonight at bostontea.us.

  69. mdh

    I believe we should use rough concensus of the body to make decisions. This is how things are done in the IETF, and it works well.

    Any other thoughts?

  70. George Donnelly

    - the sign up form is now on the website. pls feel free to invite people to join now.

    - pls provide more feedback on http://lptc.org/about/ and the text at top right on all pages and anything else you think we need to get started.

    - YahooGroups vs Mailman. I’m inclined to go with the former since it is actually easier for me and use of YG is already very great among libertarians. So far one person wants Mailman, one person has expressed a preference for YG, so unless someone else wants MM, I’m breaking the tie in favor of YG.

  71. mdh

    Any wordpress site can be logged into using /wp-admin

    That’s how I do it and I have accounts on a crapton of wordpress sites.

  72. George Donnelly

    Paul @107 those 2 sites are hosted on wordpress.com.

    lptc is a self-hosted wordpress site.

    all wordpress.com sites you are on will appear in your same wordpress.com admin screen.

    self-hosted sites AFAIK will not integrate like that with wordpress.com. At least not by default.

  73. paulie cannoli Post author

    We got it figured out on email.

    But I do wish we could stop using email for caucus business.

    BTW Davidson has already been appointed as head of Internal Affairs and we will be called to the carpet.

  74. C. Al Currier

    That’s MISTER Busybody, not just busybody or anybody.

    RE: name of this new caucus

    How ’bout:

    Glasnost-LP

    If the meetings are typical LP boring, boring, boring, atleast the name will have some kind of life and excitement to it.

  75. Michael Seebeck

    OK, a previous confusion was cleared up By “making Anglea an honorary member” I was referring to The Keaton, not Ms. O’Dell. My apologies for the confusion, and no slight intended either.

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