Sunday, June 11, 2006

Libertarian Party of Indiana Central Committee Meeting Yesterday

Yesterday, the Central Committee of the Libertarian Party of Indiana met at the Indianapolis home of State Chairman Mark Rutherford. It was both a business meeting and retreat.

The Central Committee was treated to a showing of the almost completed DVD of the Penn & Teller interview (it is missing graphics, but has the introduction and conclusion by David Ruprecht). This was shown at lunch.

Executive Director Dan Drexler ran the retreat portion of the event. He introduced the new foundation he's worked hard to develop over the last few months. This foundation is designed to greatly improve our fund raising efforts and our communications, both with the public and our activists.

Among the matters he introduced are the redesigned LPIN website, the improved database and internet record keeping, a redesigned and improved Liberty Beacon electronic newsletter, easier on-line contributions and tracking, the use of Meetups to recruit activists, the benefit of using the Meetup brand and improvement of our database of activists. He also discussed the revamped 1994 Society and fund raising efforts behind it. Furthermore, he led discussions on the recent animation project with national for the web site, as well as the use of it and the Penn & Teller DVD this fall.

He talked about candidate recruitment (deadline is June 30 at noon for organizations to select candidates) and his efforts to find quality candidates to run locally, as well as to run against State Senators and Representatives that currently don't have opposition.

Discussion was had on the Small Business Initiative, the Property Rights Initiative and the development of the Family Initiative (this is in its beginning stages and hopefully will be ready for the 2008 election season).

He also reported on his efforts to prepare written "how-to" manuals for our candidates, county parties, etc.

The retreat also focused on communications and the need for District Representatives to be the contact for the state party. It was suggested that District Representatives should focus on contact with county chairs and where there is none, develop a county contact for communications purposes only. The goal is an organized county party in each county, but a county contact may be a step in this direction.

Emphasis was made on the impressive growth of the party, the need for a staff of three to meet expectations at the state headquarters, the need for the state party to eventually be able to focus solely on the General Assembly and state wide issues - and the need for it to get out of the business of worrying about local issues except for broad internal governance issues. However, there is a need for the county parties to grow and take on local issues, so that the state can get out of the business. In other words, we want to be a grassroots organization, but by its nature, a state party has a hard time being a grassroots organization because of its nature. It is the county parties that are in the best position to do this.

The Central Committee was also reminded of the need to keep focused on the Secretary of State's Race. They were reminded that it was our ballot status race, and that failure to get at least 2% of the vote would require us to petition for signatures to get on the ballot.

State Secretary Rebecca Sink-Burris, the only person in the room who had gathered signatures when the LPIN was in the ballot access wilderness (1984-1994) briefly told everyone how difficult that was and that we don't want to have to do that again.

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