May 6, 2008
An article in the March/April issue of Michigan Libertarian about closing the Lansing office listed me as the author, although I did not write it or approve it.
To set the record straight: the Capital Area affiliate negotiated a reduced rate for the Lansing office to keep the option open for the next LEC to be elected in June. It was not "free" as the article stated. Furthermore, I did not propose, and I am not soliciting monthly pledges to pay the office rent. It has always been my position that the Lansing office be supported from the general fund. A cost/benefit analysis shows that closing the Lansing office is not a big money saver and in fact has many drawbacks (see file at the yahoo lpm-discussion group). Do your own analysis, then bring your opinion to the June convention and let the LEC know what you think.
If we are serious about being an effective political party, we need to lobby in Lansing for changes in election law, or file suit against bad laws like the 2008 Primary, which was thrown out in part due to our efforts. That is the best way to show the general public and the establishment that we are a positive force for change. Sure, having a lot of candidates is good publicity, but if they are not elected we look like perennial losers. The LPM ran 115 candidates in 2000 and what good did it do us? Getting Libertarians on the ballot is good training for future candidates and gives people another choice, but no compelling reason to vote for that choice.
As a candidate in three elections over the last ten years, people asked me "why should I vote Libertarian -- what have you (or your party) accomplished"? One active candidate with proven results is worth 100 paper candidates. Jon Coon's Senate campaign was responsible for the largest membership growth in the history of the LPM.
When the Libertarian Party produces meaningful results that the average person understands and appreciates, then they will jump on our bandwagon.
Are you hardworking, competent, considerate and professional? If so, then perhaps you should consider running for a spot on the Libertarian Party of Michigan's Executive Committee at the State Convention on June 7 in Romulus.
I believe that our LEC has made a good start in the past year upgrading the quality of our party's infrastructure - e.g., newsletter, website, financial planning and reporting, and campaign support efforts. However, much more remains to be done. Having LEC members who aspire to be hardworking, competent, considerate and professional has contributed and will contribute greatly to these efforts.
Your LEC needs hardworking members, willing to pitch in and do the difficult work of running a political party, as part of a team. Not shirkers who do little work between meetings, insist that others should fund and implement their ideas, or attend meetings only to whine and complain. The LEC should be a working board, not a discussion group.
Your LEC needs competent members, who can be relied upon to get the job done, as they have promised. Not apologists who always seem to have an excuse for why they failed to get the job done once again. If you have a particular talent - in writing, motivating volunteers, accounting or fundraising, please share it, by joining the LEC.
Your LEC needs considerate members, courteous of the opinions of others on the board, and anxious to build consensus. Not members who are abrasive, contemptuous of the views of others, and become angry and rude when they don't get their way. Resigning - as Shane Cory recently did as National Director - shows no consideration for your fellow travelers who are left to pull the load.
Your LEC needs members who act professionally, projecting a businesslike, respectful and positive image to the Party's members, the public and the media. Not members for whom a shoddy and unprofessional image is "good enough". We need to constantly upgrade our image, by improving our website, newsletters, media releases, and the venues where we hold our meetings and events.
If you agree, and think you can contribute hard work, competence, a considerate attitude and professionalism to the LEC, then please consider running for the LEC in June.
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