Signal Intelligence About The LP

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

In Electoral Success, LPCA Leaves LPTX In The Dust

Wes, I don't dispute that you've had excellent results in terms of candidate recruitment and fundraising. (I also love your door hanger and bumper sticker efforts!)

You didn't answer my only question to you above, so I'll restate it. Your LPCA/LPTX comparison is about raw revenue levels, but four of your five pieces of advice to LPCA are about candidate recruitment. One of the four is a vague one about "coaching" candidates, and I note that we have a 100-page candidate manual (by Allan Rice), an active candidates' Yahoo group, and database support for ballot-access signature-gathering. The other three recruitment tips are about lowering standards for candidates, and ours already are pretty low. My question was how these four recruitment tips can increase our revenues. I like the sound of your vague fifth tip of being realistic and showing results, but to the extent that it's actionable we already tend to follow it.

Regarding LPUS and LPCA, my understanding is that LPUS membership has been increasing for a year or two, while LPCA membership has declined somewhat. Up until 2005, during the steepest declines in your LPCA revenue graph, our membership and revenues were closely tied to national's through UMP. LPUS revenue in fact declined even more drastically than LPCA revenue, from $3.6M in 2000 to $1.4M in 2005, and (along with LPUS membership) has increased since then -- i.e. around the time we donated our state Chair to be the LPUS Treasurer.

Oh, and another factor that helps explain your graph is that our state conventions (and their revenues) have in recent years usually been off-budget due to outsourcing them. That alone explains a lot of our revenue drop from 2005 to 2006.

A state LP leadership should be measured by its most important inputs to, and outputs from, the political process. Our most important inputs include net (not gross) money and time actually deployed for influencing the political process. Our most important outputs include votes received, constituents or budget authority of offices occupied, membership, and audience reached. The causal connections between our inputs and our outputs aren't always evident (or even existent), but lately the LPCA has had pretty good outputs in view of the inputs it has been able to mobilize.

Here are all the LPTXers that lists as elected to legislative bodies (in LPTX, just city councils), along with the population of their jurisdictions:

Dixon 4000
Clayton 2000
Johnson 1700
Bush 1400
Anderson 1200
Kleinschmidt 500

The corresponding list for LPCA starts with Inks at 70,000 and Tryon at 40,000 -- numbers more than an order of magnitude larger than those of LPTX. (A few years ago we had a mayor of a city of 140,000, but she quit the LP in 2003 saying its "unrealistic" platform had burdened her in every election. We need to see if our new mainstream platform can win her back.)

For directors of special districts -- whose responsibility can have very little relationship to district population -- it's best to divide district budget by number of directors. LPTX has just Perez with $2M of responsibility. The top of the corresponding LPCA list looks like this:

Westwell $15M
Briscoe $15M
Hickey $5M
Healey $2M
Bolliger $2M
Gardner $1M
Holtz $0.7M

So by electoral success as measured in constituents and budget authority, LPCA leaves LPTX in the dust.

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