More Commentary From Paul Frankel Re: Region 5S Report and Campus Organizing Report

Here are more comments from Paul Frankel (Paulie) re: the Region5SReport2013-03-16 quarterly report filed by James W. Lark III to the Libertarian National Committee on the activities of Region 5, and the Libertarian National Campus Organizing Report , also filed by James Lark.


CAMPUS ORGANIZING REPORT

“Arvin Vohra designed a very nice piece of outreach literature,”

Please share this and any other new outreach literature we are using (everyone).

On a more general note, is outreach literature on our agenda for the meeting?

The last I remember of the discussion, Rich Tomasso demonstrated some samples of designs for new outreach literature at the last meeting in Virginia….have we followed up, or are we planning to?

“I have been invited to speak at several colleges and universities this spring; I hope to

be able to accept at least three of these invitations. […] I have informed Gary Johnson and Jim Gray that I shall be happy to help them in their efforts

to speak on college campuses.”

Would you be willing to work on a motion to create a Speakers Bureau like we used to have – for colleges, media outlets, LP conventions, other conventions and events that may want LP speakers etc? I can assist with it if my help is in any way wanted or desired, but I’d be just as happy to stay out of the way to have it happen without my active involvement….I’d just like to see it get done.

On a semi-related note: The Alabama LP convention has been scheduled for June 8. We are now starting work on getting speakers for the convention. Any LNC members who would be interested/willing to speak at this event, or have suggestions for and connections to other speakers we should get, please let me know. At this time we have very little money, but it’s possible we might be able to raise at least some for a good speaker that will draw additional attendance.

“As I have mentioned previously, I hope LPHQ will routinely authorize the assignment of an

intern on a half-time basis to work on campus organizing.”

I hope we have a whole team of them!

In the meantime, I can help with this on a volunteer basis; just let me know what needs to be done.

REGIONAL REPORT – 5S

Ryan Sabot of DCLP writes

“We have paid for our mailbox through June; as long

as we raise at least $30 before that, we’ll be fine, but I wish to eventually move beyond just

having enough money to pay for a mailbox. I’d be very open to fundraising suggestions.”

This is a question/problem, along with many other basic nuts and bolts issues, that many local and state LP affiliates face. I think the national LP needs to do more to help the people who are looking for this kind of information find it.

Specifically, http://www.lp.org/campaign-resources has links around the middle of the page

“State Affiliate Resource pages

Several state affiliates have extensive lists of helpful resources and guides. Election laws vary by state. Also, preferred strategies vary. Below are several states with extensive libraries of campaign resources
• Indiana
•Illinois
•Michigan
•Virginia”

In my experience talking to state and local party LP leaders who are looking for this kind of information, they are not finding it. One approach may be to compile the information from those state party pages and post it directly at LP.org. Another thing we can do is periodically feature some of the materials, with links to the rest, in our email blasts, facebook and twitter posts, LP.org blog, LP videos, etc. We need multiple ways and repetition for this information to find its target audience.

If there is any way in which I may be allowed to assist with such an effort, say in updating the website, I would be willing to do so.

I realize there is fundraising underway to create workshops on this kind of stuff and take them around the country, but in the meantime, we should do what we can to get the information to where it can do some good. Would it be appropriate to put this on the meeting agenda, do we need motions to address this, or how should we go about making some progress in this area?

Dr. Stevens of LPPA writes:

“Starchild has interjected himself into the Pennsylvania LP race by endorsing the

challenger as has Paul Frankel and others who are perceived to have an interest in future paid

petitioner business out of Pennsylvania.”

It is true that Starchild has endorsed Steve Scheetz for State Chair. While I am generally sympathetic to the arguments of Steve Scheetz, Ed Reagan and others supporting their slate, I have not issued any formal endorsement. As far as I can remember, the only member of that slate that I have personally met is Richard Schwarz, and I only know him very casually.

It’s entirely untrue that I have any interest in future paid petitioner business out of PA, and it is also entirely untrue that any other petitioners I know have made any endorsements in Pennsylvania. PA requires petitioners to be state residents; the only petitioners I know who live there are Andy and Kevin Jacobs and Darryl Bonner, and I have heard nothing whatsoever from any of them about endorsing any slate of candidates for LP offices – nor have I heard any such endorsements from any petitioners in any other state.

As for myself, I’m weighing my future and whether I should be a petitioner or try to transition to something else. I am inclined towards the latter.

Dr. Stevens has been informed repeatedly that my interest in PA LP controversies has nothing whatsoever to do with my past or possible future business as a petitioner (if there is any such future), and that none of my petition contacts have anything to do with my comments on these matters, yet he persists in spreading these blatant falsehoods repeatedly and has now included them in his region report for official LP dissemination and publication. I am requesting that this false information about myself and my current or former associates be retracted.

I could address quite a few other statements from Dr. Stevens in his regional report that distort the facts, but I will refrain from doing so in this email. Suffice it to say that, besides deviating from the truth, the tone and language of much of that state report (especially the next to last paragraph) is IMO inappropriate for materials that we publish at LP.org (region reports are included with meeting minutes) among other ways that this information is officially disseminated by the national LP organization.

Chuck Moulton of LPVA writes:

“On the technical end, the LPVA has been utilizing Facebook events and meetups for local

organizing. Investments in Facebook advertising have catapulted the LPVA’s Facebook page

to the most liked state affiliate in the country (around 6,000 likes): http://www.facebook.com/

LPVirginia”

I would be curious to know how the amount of money spent on such advertising translates into other measurable party growth indicators such as dues paying members, registered Libertarians (if the commonwealth has that option), number of candidates, vote percentages in the next election, attendance at local events, number of known LP letters to the editor of newspapers, and so on. I hope we begin tracking such results if we haven’t already to compare facebook advertising with various traditional forms of advertising so that interested state parties can decide whether it is the best way to spend their advertising budget or not.

“Lack of state legislative districts in the data dump provided by national has made candidate

recruitment unnecessarily difficult. A volunteer programmer has recently written a script to

hack around this issue. However, Virginia continues to insist that the best long term solution

is for LPHQ to populate its database with state legislative districts (and other districts down to

individual voting precincts) which would in turn be provided in monthly data dumps to states.

Unfortunately other states may not have found such a volunteer programmer, and we fear the

Libertarian Party loses many potential candidates due to LPHQ’s lack of political subdivision

data in its database. Virginia again asks the Libertarian National Committee to instruct staff to

address this database need — a fundamental act of affiliate support facilitating real politics.”

I know this issue has been discussed on this list before, but was any action taken or has any progress been made? If not, should it be on our meeting agenda, or should we have a motion to address it? Should it be a targeted fundraising item? Is there another way of addressing this need that currently exists?

Michael Wilson of LPWV writes:

” A bill has been introduced in the West

Virginia legislature that (if enacted) will make it easier for the LPWV to retain ballot status.”

Are we doing anything to coordinate, facilitate and otherwise help various states in lobbying efforts to make petition requirements more reasonable?

We have a bill like this (S265) we are working on in Alabama, as well as a petitioners rights bill that may be introduced in the legislature. I know other states are working on similar efforts. Can we do anything at the national level to help coordinate these efforts?

And a quasi-related query:

Can we do anything to help coordinate ballot access with campus organizing and local party building activities? I would like to help work on a plan to make our petition efforts do “double duty” in helping us grow the party in other ways.

If anyone on this list would like to work together with me on any of this, please let me know. And if you all can and are willing to get it done without me – please do so! My interest in these matters is not whether I participate or not – I am willing to do so if my help is wanted or needed, or to stay out of the way if it isn’t – only that they get done.

Thanks,

Paul Frankel

415-690-6352

12 thoughts on “More Commentary From Paul Frankel Re: Region 5S Report and Campus Organizing Report

  1. Andy

    “We have a bill like this (S265) we are working on in Alabama, as well as a petitioners rights bill that may be introduced in the legislature.”

    Would petitioners rights bill be to protect people’s right to go out to places where the public has access for the purpose of gathering signatures on petitions without being harassed and run out by the police and other so called “authorities”?

    If so, this is much needed, not only in Alabama, but also in most other states. The only states that currently enforce (or at least generally enforce, since even in these states the police do not always obey the law) anything to protect the rights of petition circulators are Massachusetts, California, Washington, and to a lesser extent, Colorado (I said to a lesser extent because there are people in Colorado because these rights have been under serious attack there over the last 3 years or so).

    There was actually a US Supreme Court ruling that happened in Alabama back in the 1940’s (which was never overturned) about free speech in locations that are opened to the public called Marsh vs. Alabama. The court ruling did come down on the side of free speech, but unfortunately it is not being enforced.

    I petitioned in Alabama in 2006, 2008, and 2012, and there were a lot more problems in 2012 when it came to getting access to locations for petition signature gathering than there were when I petitioned there in 2006 and in 2008 combined.

  2. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote (article):

    On the technical end, the LPVA has been utilizing Facebook events and meetups for local organizing. Investments in Facebook advertising have catapulted the LPVA’s Facebook page to the most liked state affiliate in the country (around 6,000 likes): http://www.facebook.com/LPVirginia

    Paul Frankel wrote (article):

    I would be curious to know how the amount of money spent on such advertising translates into other measurable party growth indicators such as dues paying members, registered Libertarians (if the commonwealth has that option), number of candidates, vote percentages in the next election, attendance at local events, number of known LP letters to the editor of newspapers, and so on. I hope we begin tracking such results if we haven’t already to compare facebook advertising with various traditional forms of advertising so that interested state parties can decide whether it is the best way to spend their advertising budget or not.

    To clarify: I donated all the Facebook advertising in kind. The LPVA did not use an advertising budget or any sort of member donated funds for this.

    I spent roughly $1,000 over about a month that mostly correlated with February. The reason I started advertising was per click rates which were very high during the 2012 election season and the Christmas shopping season suddenly dropped much lower starting late January.

    Long term it has certainly increased our reach to Libertarians around the state. I don’t know how it will translate to party growth yet.

  3. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote (article):

    Lack of state legislative districts in the data dump provided by national has made candidate recruitment unnecessarily difficult. A volunteer programmer has recently written a script to hack around this issue.

    Btw, that “volunteer programmer” is me. I’ll gladly share the script around once it’s completely debugged (a few weeks because I’m traveling soon). It uses a few unique Virginia data sources, but perhaps other states can adapt it to their data needs.

  4. Shane

    Kudo’s to Chuck for marketing on Facebook. It is not easy marketing and takes a good deal of time to see a return on investment. Likes should come in under $.20 ($.09 is optimal) and then you should set a goal of converting over 10% of your likes to names in your database (not necessarily members or donors).

    Just keep in mind that the goal is to get the name and permission to market. Once you have that, you’re golden.

    On the database, I don’t see LPHQ being able to insert district and voter data unless they pay for a third party append service on a regular basis. It’s an easy fix, but costs a bit of $$. Years ago we did an email append and added 60k addresses to the list. The same can be done with just about any other data.

    The more complex route would be to build a system and constantly update it — but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

    As far as Stevens, wow. Someone has serious control issues. It’s sad that Paulie was thrown into it when Stevens doesn’t appear to have taken the time to get to know his good character.

    Politics is not about enemies and friends as so many people on the third party level make it to be. It’s about defining an issue and influencing action.

  5. Shane

    Wow, just read that regional report. The majority of the PA report has no place being disseminated by national. It should have been sent back for edits and if the chair refused, then not included.

    Regional reps need to show some leadership even if it means a little tough love.

    Define or be defined . . .

  6. Paulie

    Would petitioners rights bill be to protect people’s right to go out to places where the public has access for the purpose of gathering signatures on petitions without being harassed and run out by the police and other so called “authorities”?

    Yes, that’s the idea.

  7. Paulie

    Chuck,

    Clarifying my query further:

    I am not saying it’s a bad idea to advertise on facebook, and I’m glad you are doing it. While in your case, you are able to pay for it yourself and that’s how you think your money is best spent – awesome!

    But other states are also contemplating advertising on facebook – Alabama discussed this recently, and I doubt we are the only ones who have thought about it.

    So, I’m wondering if we can start figuring out how it compares to other more traditional ways of advertising in terms of our “bottom line” in various ways. If there are any such measures that you can point to as the “data” comes in, I think other states would be interested in learning about it.

  8. Paulie

    I also noticed that while the title refers to my comments on both the region report and the campus report, the article only included the former.

    I’m going to edit it to include my comments about the campus report also. I hope Jill doesn’t mind. If she thinks that would make it too long, or if she intended to only post the part about the region report, or if she was going to break it up into two articles, she can change it later.

    Thanks to Jill for posting this.

  9. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Paulie @ 8: I think it was an oversight because it was late at night. Thanks for fixing it.

  10. paulie

    Yes, I changed it.

    Since you’re fine with it there’s no problem, but I wanted to make sure you were.

    Given that presumably there’s a reason why I shouldn’t have posted it myself – I can’t be objective on the issue – that logically extends to which of my remarks merit being posted as an article here and how they should be organized.

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