Saturday, 11 November 2000
Attendance: 45 people were in attendance for the meeting, of which 34 were Central Committee members.
Minutes: The minutes of the 26 August 2000 Central Committee meeting were read and corrected. Steve Boone corrected the minutes with respect to the Constitutional amendment proposal. The minutes recorded Dean Ahmad proposing a friendly amendment to proposal #2, when in fact Dean’s amendment was accepted as proposal #3 to the Constitutional Review Committee. After 4 corrections of substance the minutes were accepted.
Treasurer’s report: Joe Miller presented the report which was accepted without dissent. Joe Miller and Steve Boone explained that the MDLP web site could now accept credit card donations, and described the fees associated with such donations. Tom Mather asked about the expense associated with newsletter postage and production costs versus an e-mail version. Nick Sarwark pointed out that the newsletter is available at the web site and that the MDLP could ask people if they would like to not receive the newsletter, in order save the MDLP money. Robert Glaser estimated the savings at $0.75 per issue per person. Discussion also centered on the newsletter as an outreach tool and the implementation of a significantly smaller “generic” version of the newsletter for outreach. Joe Miller asked the assembled to consider automatic monthly credit card pledges to the MDLP.
Vice Chair’s report: Spear Lancaster updated the meeting on his outreach efforts. Spear had four speaking engagements over the past month. Spear spoke at UMBC, Gay Pride Day, Crisfield School — a private contract school for “unruly” children (the contract is with Anne Arundel county) — and at a Baltimore City school with approximately 300 mostly minority children in attendance. Spear mentioned that he has joined the Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce. Reported that the Anne Arundel County Taxpayers Association was able to defeat the petition to get on the ballot a referendum to overturn the Anne Arundel tax cap. Spear is now the state coordinator for Fair Tax America out of Houston, which advocates a national retail sales tax. Spear acknowledged that he concurs with the notion of a uniform sales tax. On a personal note, Spear stated that he was optimistic about the intellectual change going on in this country and changing the system to make progress.
Chair’s report: Steve Boone updated the committee on Joe Pomykala’s write-in vote total of 459 which did not include Baltimore City. Steve thanked Susan and Lorenzo Gaztanaga for their help with the distribution of literature. Reported that Libertarian registrations in the state as of September 30 at approximately 3,400 and as of October 31 at just over 4,000. Estimated that by election 2002, the LP may need approximately 30,000 registered to achieve the 1% threshold for convention party status. Steve stressed media and marketing planning for the future, and mentioned that the MDLP has new members coming into the party with experience in these areas. Steve mentioned the defeat of SB509 and the efforts made by Tony Spezio and Troy Zinderman, whose efforts also found 15 new prospects for the MDLP. Steve reported that Baltimore County now had 550 registered Libertarians; that they are eligible to be poll judges; and that the party has access to the list for free. He suggested that we investigate sponsoring events with live bands (with a Libertarian message) as a method for youth outreach. Estimates up to 300 new registrations without an active registration drive. Reported that former Republican Central Committee member Bill Prohaska has switched to the Libertarian Party.
Old Business: Due to procedural irregularities, the vote on the proposed Constitutional amendments were tabled.
Elections of Executive Board: The terms of Wayne Daugherty, Bill Galvin, Joe Miller (treasurer), and Stuart Simms (secretary) have expired. Steve Boone, Spear Lancaster, and Nick Sarwark were elected or re-elected at the previous Fall convention, and have one year remaining on their term. The following members were nominated from the floor: Bill Galvin, Joe Miller, Beth Newman, and Steve Sass. Saul Baker, Ron Kean and Stuart Simms were nominated but declined. Nominations were closed with one dissent. After brief discussion, there was a motion to reconsider the vote to close nominations which would require a two-thirds majority. The vote to reconsider closing nominations passed with one dissent. Robert Glaser and Chip Spangler were nominated from the floor, and the nominations were closed with a unanimous vote. Robert Glaser, Joe Miller, Beth Newman, and Steve Sass won two year terms to the MDLP Executive Board.
There was no unfinished business.
New Business: Keith Halderman addressed the committee and reported on his interactions with the Institute for Humane Studies. Keith thought that the people at the I.H.S. were quite receptive to drug law reform, and that the LP could leverage drug law reform to convince people to consider libertarianism. Keith asked the assembled to sign a petition of the November Coalitionto President Bill Clinton for commutation of sentence to time served for all non-violent drug offenders. After Keith read the petition, Jay Baker moved that “The MDLP endorse this effort for clemency of non-violent drug prisoners and urge its members to sign the petition and to direct the secretary to transmit this resolution to the November Coalition.” The motion was seconded and discussion ensued, a motion to call the question passed, and Jay Baker’s motion passed unanimously.
Jay Baker mentioned that he had books for sale.
Doris Gordon spoke about Murray Rothbard with respect to “kids lib” which has been repudiated by the LP platform, which now states that parents have an obligation to their children. Doris’ remarks were in reference to two copies of a book by Murray Rothbard which contain a chapter on this subject matter. These two books are to be auctioned off after the meeting during a fund raiser.
Susan Gaztanaga addressed the members about the possibility that Bill Clinton could use the current electoral uncertainty to suspend the Constitution and stay in the White House until the matter is resolved. She and Lorenzo have vowed to protest in Washington if such an action is taken by the President.
Robert Glaser appealed for newsletter articles.
The Central Committee meeting adjourned at 1:34 pm.
— Stuart Simms