Central Committee Minutes, 23 November 2003

Minutes of the Central Committee of the Libertarian Party of Maryland
Sunday, 23 November 2003
Opening: The Libertarian State Central Committee of Maryland met at the Comfort Inn in College Park, Prince George’s County, Maryland. The meeting was called to order at 1:58 pm by chairman Chip Spangler. Prior to the meeting, the following were distributed: the Treasurer’s report and an agenda; Constitutional Amendment Proposals 1-10 and the Minutes of the 13 July 2003 Central Committee meeting were mailed in advance.

Attendance: the Credentials Committee consisted of: Robert Glaser; Nick Sarwark; and Ron Kean. It validated that 23 Central Committee members were in attendance for the meeting. Additionally, four proxies and one proxy vote were represented. The Central Committee rolls consist of 68 members.

Minutes: The reading of the minutes was waived; the minutes were accepted as submitted.

Treasurer’s report: Joe Miller gave a verbal report on the convention, as requested at the last Central Committee meeting: $3445 income; expenditures of $700 for space rental, a $200 honorarium, $100 for travel expense, a reimbursement of $1180.57 to Katie Marshall, and a reimbursement of $575.63 to Chip Spangler; resulting in a net convention profit of $688.80. We received $298 this month in monthly credit card pledges. The Treasurer’s report was accepted.

Chair’s report: Chip Spangler advised potential delegates to the national convention to research both of the LP presidential candidates; we will try to get both to appear at our state convention to be held in April. He announced a meeting to be held at 1:00 pm on December 13 at the Columbia Rocky Run Tap & Grill to bring together activists to prepare for this Maryland election cycle.

Constitutional Amendments: Proposed amendments 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8 passed on a voice vote. Proposed amendments 2, 3, and 9 unanimously passed on a voice vote. In amendment 4, a typographical error was corrected by changing the word “lesser” to “less”; it then unanimously passed on a voice vote. Proposed amendment 10 failed with 13 for, and 7 against votes. Proposed amendment 10 was then reconsidered: it then passed with 17 for, and 5 against votes.

Petition Drive Update: Doug McNeil reported for Roy J. Meyers III: we turned in 11,756 raw signatures: the Board of Elections found 6,665 to be valid, and 5,091 invalid. Half of the invalid signatures were rejected for the date being entered without a year. We are trying to get the decision reversed, but we need an attorney, which we don’t have. Depending upon that outcome, we are either about 3,300 short or 800 short. Chip Spangler asked people to collect more signatures or donate money for petitioning purposes.

Fred Childress, Region 5 Representative to the LNC: acknowledged Lorenzo Gaztañaga as a “person of principle”; Fred said that it was an incredible joy to work with Lorenzo on the LNC. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) has been a thorn in the side for the LNC. David Owens from PA is our new alternate — he moved from AZ where he was a bridgebuilder with regard to the libertarian factional difficulties there. The national office has cut staff, but will be bringing its level back up now that the finances are in order; there are plans to hire an editor for LP Newsshortly. Fred asked those interested in party strategies to pass along comments to him. His email address is FChildress*Fastmail.fm and noted that members can participate in ongoing listserve discussions by joining the Region5LNC*YahooGroups.com group.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment: Strike the words “as shown on the records of the Election Board of the County in which she is a voter” from Article V, Section 7, Part A-3 and any other places it appears in the Constitution. The proposed amendment passed unanimously on a voice vote.

Announcements: Chip Spangler said that many of the group will be gathering at the localBennigan’s after the meeting. Doug McNeil informed all that the candidate petition signature requirement has been struck down as a result of the Green Party lawsuit; the state submitted a motion for reconsideration of that finding, which was denied except for one minor point. He noted that the state invalidated 2,500 of our petition signatures for a trivial and illegal reason. The legislature reconvenes in January, but he is not aware of any adverse proposed legislation yet. He is worried that they will drop the party signature requirement in order to reinstitute the candidate signature requirement. We need people to monitor legislation online, talk to state representatives, and to testify with a cross-party ballot access group. David Eagle reported that Roy J. Meyers III and he have been setting up a telephone tree, and requests participants; he solicited helpers for Executive Board responsibilities which are too great for one officer to handle alone. Chip Spangler said that a manual of Standard Operating Principles is nearly done. Robert Glaser asked for submissions for a planned January Free? State Libertarian issue. Lorenzo Gaztañaga praised Doug McNeil, Roy J. Meyers III, and Fred Childress. Ron Kean and Nick Sarwark said that a Montgomery county holiday party is planned for early January.

Adjournment: the Central Committee meeting adjourned at 4:11 pm.

–Robert E. Glaser