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Saturday, March 29, 2014

2014 LPCA Convention Day 1

The Libertarian Party of California convened today in Visalia.

09:15 Came to order with 44 delegates. Kevin Duewel elected Secretary Pro Tem.
09:45 Chair’s report by Kevin Takenaga. Registered Libertarians count is up, surpassing Greens for the first time since c. 1990. Highlighted elected officials and a new College Libertarians group, which held its first convention here yesterday.
10:00 N. Vice Chair’s report by Gale Morgan. Yolo and
MadisonPlacer county affiliates activated. San Mateo county endorsed Doug Radtke for City Council, and has been energized by new Secretary Kevin Duewel. We had 98000 Reglibs in Aug 2013. Set a goal for increase, it’s already been surpassed.
10:11 Treasurer’s report by Brian Darby. $12K operating loss was due to a large donor re-targeting donations to the county level. Switching from DonorPerfect to Neon will cut labor costs from $20K in 2013 to $4500 in 2014. 793 members currently. Cutting convention budget (i.e. floor fees, and thus cutting convention profit from $7000 to $700) did not appreciably increase attendance.
10:20 LNC Representative’s report by Dan Wiener. LNC is purchasing an $825K office ($300K down-payment) to replace Watergate rental office. Will save about $5K/month in cash flow. National convention is in June in Columbus Ohio. LP candidate for VA governor (Sarvis) got 6%. LNC social media outreach is active. Hired Wes Benedict as Executive Director, moved Carla Howell to Political Director.
10:40 College Libertarians founder Antoine Hage spoke. Created 3 campus clubs in 3 months. Focus on local elections.
10:47 Gale Morgan, Treasurer of Candidate Support Committee. Spent $25K fighting Top Two. Donated to several campaigns. Balance is $15K.
10:50 Officer Q&A. Jose Castenada asked about the lack of state-level candidates. Takenaga answered: Top Two. 10,000 signatures needed to waive filing fee, and doesn’t guarantee spot on November ballot. Gale Morgan: RegLib count is high enough that we no longer need 2% in the gubernatorial election.
11:00 Brian Darby: 2012 convention earned $7K profit. 2013 had lower floor fees, earned $700 profit, but no increased attendance. Starchild asked for more spending details.
11:05 Mark Hinkle: we had 3992 members in 1992, but 793 now. Takenaga: RegLibs matter more than paying memberships. LPUS and LPCA used to have joint membership. Hinkle: “you guys are failing”.
11:10 Aaron Starr: Membership revenues discrepency. Brian Darby: page-1 figures are net, combining income and expense. Roughly $6K revenue shared to counties, not shown in data.
11:14 Takenaga explains Coffee Club donor program, says it hasn’t been pushed and has probably gone down.
11:15 Brian Darby: would need a Bylaws change to allow teleconference meetings.
11:18 Q&A extended 10 minutes. Matt Barnes asked what members can do to help. Antoine Hage asked for help for College Libertarians. Darby and Morgan emphasized local politics. Wiener: recruit from new RegLibs.
11:26 Castenada asked about Candidate Support Committee. Morgan: guidelines are: candidate has to be on ballot, endorsed by county, and have a web site.
11:28 Morgan: county chairs association has been meeting by Google hangout.
11:30 Morgan began the Platform report with Proposal 1 to rewrite IV-5 Immigration & Citizenship. Aaron Starr moved to strike 3rd paragraph about “sovereignty of California”. Amendment failed narrowly. Proposal failed 25 for, 14 against.
12:00 Lunch.
2:15 promoted free campaign websites for candidates.
2:20 Libertarian city council members: John Inks of Mountain View, Susan Marie Weber of Palm Desert, Jeffrey Hewitt of Calimesa.
Weber: Everything you do is a chance to promote libertarianism. I’m a tax accountant who tells people that taxation is theft.
Hewitt: I’ve had more libertarian impact as appointed planning commissioner than as elected city councilman, so volunteer for local boards. Libertarians are the mainstream. I’d like to sell legalized drugs and prostitution, but we need to prioritize the freedom to prosper. Told a Tea Party crowd he favored marijuana legalization, and realized he was a libertarian. Got LP donations in his city council race. Planning to bring other candidates into the LP. Once we get one Libertarian in the legislature, then the landslide will begin.
Inks: 5 of 7 current city councilmen in Mountain View did not win first council race. Built resume as commissioner. Staff and colleagues respect my principles. Declined to join Mayors Against Guns, so opponents organized a march against him. Termed out, trying to recruit a replacement.
3:15 Panel of Libertarian water board members Jonathan Hall (Tehachapi Cummings), Jim Hoerricks (West Valley), and Brian Holtz (Purissima Hills). Discussed water supply issues, pricing, and tragedy of the commons from well over-use.
4:00 Platform Proposal 2 to replace IV-1 IV-7 IV-9 and V-8 with a new consolidated IV-1 “Criminal & Civil Laws” plank. Starr moves to not delete IV-9 “Sovereign Immunity”. Votes against his own motion after receiving a clarification, but his motion passes anyway. Amended proposal failed 19 for, 14 against.
4:24 Proposal 3 to replace 11,13 and 14 of IV with a consolidated sub-plank after IV-16 titled “Family, Marriage, and Reproductive Rights”. Starr moved to divide the question, to delete the 3 planks first (by majority vote) before adding the consolidated new plank (by 2/3 vote). Starr’s motion failed, after criticism that it was an attempt to hold the platform hostage. The proposal failed 21 for, 13 against.
4:40 Proposal 4 to delete opposition to laws setting drinking ages and curfews. Starr moves to adjourn because there is not a 2/3 sentiment for approving any platform changes. Motion carries, adjourned at 4:50.
The first 3 platform proposals were major consolidations of multiple planks, but the PlatCom handouts did not include the language being replaced. The full copies of the Platform in the delegate handout did not include plank numbers or section headers, so it was hard for delegates to understand what each proposal was deleting. This may have contributed to the failure of all the proposed platform changes.
Tomorrow: officer elections and Bylaws debate.

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