Libertarian State Leadership Alliance

Letters on Libertarian Strategy

Money -- What Should We Do With It?

We should invest in the things that work. We should not invest in things that fail. We should also invest in things that we have not tried, things that we will need to build the Libertarian future of peace, freedom, and prosperity.

Spending by the national committee on national activities:

First, the core activities of the National Committee lead to unavoidable core expenses. Each LPUS member gets issues of LP News. If we have members, we must have membership records, renewal notices, and other activities. This is all back office work.

Second, the National Committee does do fundraising for its causes. Fundraising costs money. If we want to raise money for legitimate National Committee activities, we have to spend the money that the fundraising requires.

[ In my opinion, potential resources are not totally limitless. Yes, some money is only available to a presidential campaign or an Operation Politically Homeless booth. Yes, to some extent a cleverly-designed campaign can reach out to non-Libertarian supporters and raise money that other campaigns would never see. However, to some extent the National party and state party and local parties compete for the same resources, the same donations from the same donors. A National Party that drains dry every accessible donor leaves less for other groups. A National Party that believes that it can spend every dollar more effectively than state or local groups is being nearsightedly greedy in a way that hurts the Libertarian political movement. ]

Third, some activities really are specific tasks for the national party, such as assuring 50-state-ballot-access for our Presidential candidate. Stand Up for Liberty! discusses a variety of these activities. The exact cost ballot access depends on our state parties. Allowing for increases in the cost of living, a repeat of the 1996 effort might -- come 2004 -- cost under a half- million dollars, or perhaps $100,000 per year amortized over the four-year election cycle. A competent national committee will notice before December 2003 that there is a Presidential election in 2004. A competent National Committee will make sure that the requisite funds are in place when they are needed, without disrupting other operations because no one acted on the well-known fact that 2004 is an election year.

The above costs reflect necessary activities of the National Committee. We must service our members. We must raise money. We must maintain our 50-state ballot access. We can change our tactics for carrying out these activities, but the strategy that demands these activities is locked into place. The membership will rightly not tolerate a National Committee that fails to publish a regular newsletter, fails to honor commitments to state committees, fails to get us 50-state ballot access without a rational explanation, or fails to raise the money it needs to carry out its missions.

I'm not saying the above list includes everything we must do, but everything on the above list must be done.

Please propagate this letter to other appropriate Libertarian lists, such as state lists.

George Phillies

The Clean Slate Action Program Committee
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