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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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