Olsen Announces LPCO Board Slate
[Norm Olsen currently serves as campaign director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado. Following is an e-mail and announcement he send out about the slate of board positions to be proposed at the 2003 state LP convention, April 4-6.]
Ari... I made my presentation to the Board on Tuesday, and to the Boulder group on Thursday. I was hoping to clue a few more folk personally in before a generalized announcement, but I am unable to that.
I have attached a copy of our official announcement flyer. I do not wish/want to take credit for producing this team, but I am willing to take responsibility for it accomplishing what it says it will accomplish.
We would appreciate inclusion of this "news" in your next release.
What I emphasize when I present this to people personally is that:
1> In the past, the LPCO essentially selected Board members at the convention. Members who had no intention of being on the Board would find themselves nominated. Many (not all) would say, "Well, if nobody else is going to do it...
2> The new Board has its first meeting a month later, and everyone then finds out what it is they are supposed to do. By the second meeting, one or two have resigned. Two months have gone by and the Board hasn't gotten started yet. In fact, they are in a big hole which they will not be able to climb out of.
3> This team is ready to go. Each member already knows what their job is. Each member WANTS to do their job. Each member is excited about doing their job. Most members have already started doing their job. The only thing that stands between us and success is a lack of support. We know we will succeed because we know that once we start showing the way to success, we will have 100% support from everyone.
(Side note: We will not be dealing with Libertarian philosophy, or deciding who is more Libertarian than who. Withholding support because "so and so" is not "Libertarian enough for me" will not be acceptable. We will be building structure and organization. We will not be disscussing, arguing, debating. We will be building. We expect everyone to join us.)
Should you care to have some background:
The team was essentially the result of discussions by several individuals who were not pleased with performance of the party. Rather than continue to simply complain, they decided to do something. I was asked to join the team as Campaign Director, which I did. At a subsequent meeting some weeks later (after about three pitchers) I somehow got promoted to Chair. I gladly accepted because of the higher pay level. [Editor's note: That's a joke; board members are not paid.]
The team is predominantly Jeffco as the original movers and shakers are from Jeffco. There is nothing subversive, underhanded, or conspiratorial about this. This is simply the effort of some unhappy folks to do something positive (as opposed to sit around and bitch and moan).
I am recommending that the team be elected. I do this as they all already know what it is they will be expected to do, and they are all excited about doing it. However, as an existing Board member, I also encourage any and all interested individuals to run for the positions available. I believe that contested Board positions would be absolutely great for the party. In fact, we need to make a habit of it.
PS. The question always comes up, and the answer is unequivocal.
Q: What is Rick Stanley's involvement in this effort?
Libertarians: Start your engines!
We the undersigned have worked together as a team for several months with a desire to form a more positive, effective, and visible Libertarian Party of Colorado (LPCO). We pledge to reinvigorate the Libertarian Party here in Colorado by:
We ask you to help us achieve our vision of a "reloaded" LPCO and to add your own ammunition. We ask for your vote for all of us as we have already learned how to work with each other. We also ask you to add your own storehouse of energy to ours, so we can, together, push forward the boundaries of liberty in Colorado, the United States, and the world.
Proposed LPCO Board
State Chair: Norm Olsen, 303.263.4995, firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign Director: Michael T. McKinzie, 303.384.3393, email@example.com
Outreach Director: Rand Fanshier, 303.670.8563, firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Director: Samantha "Sam" Kelly, 303.384.3393, ssjeanK@aol.com
Publications Director: Steven Gallant, 303.384.3979, Gallant888@aol.com
Public Information Dir: Jeff Oliver, 303.670.3995, email@example.com
Legislative Director: Paul Tiger, 303.774.6383, firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: [No candidate]
Fundraising Director: Dana Wagenhoffer, 303.637.7964, email@example.com
Newsletter Editor: Gregg Miller, 303.467.3451, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster: Cory Hanzlick, email@example.com
Senior Advisor: David Bryant, 303.744.6577, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Message from the Entire Team:
Our objective is simple: Make this party work! To have an Outreach program that reaches out. A Publicity program that generates publicity. A Fund Raising program that raises funds. A Legislative program that knows how to work the capitol lobbies. A Public Information program that gets our message out. A Campaigns program that will do more than just getting names on the ballot; like winning some elections.
We want a party that works in Denver. In Boulder. In Colorado Springs. In Jefferson County. On the Western Slope. In Fort Collins. In Arapahoe County. Everywhere that makes sense without burning ourselves out, without burning out our helpers. We want to develop a series of sustainable activities and events that are doable, that work, and which can replicated everywhere in the state.
We are not going to do anything strange, weird, extraordinary, dramatic, or even terribly clever. We are just going to do what the Board of Directors have always done in the past (or should have done), only more energetically and with a higher degree of success. We just want to make this party work; getting it to accomplish what we all know it can and should accomplish. Nothing more, nothing less.
From Norm Olsen: I've lived in Colorado since 1972 and joined the party in 1996. I have served as Campaign Director for three years and have a reasonably good idea about how this thing called the Libertarian Party of Colorado is supposed to work. That is exactly why I want to serve as party Chair. I want to make this thing work, and produce the results I know we are capable of producing.
Given your support, it will be my task to insure that the others on the team: a) know what it is they are supposed to do; b) know when it is supposed to be done; c) know how to get it done; and d) who to count on for help and support. Our team is dynamic, energetic, knowledgeable, and experienced. But we will accomplish little without your support. Our success will depend on how well I do my primary job: Gaining your support for our activities. Can I count on you?
From Michael McKinzie: I am a registered nurse and a single parent of three teenagers. I have been a Libertarian activist in Colorado since 1992. I was elected to the Board as Outreach Director last year, but resigned in frustration as I felt unable to accomplish anything. I am confident that the support of this team will enable me to avoid frustration and accomplish what I set out to do.
We need to do more than get names on the ballot. With your help, I will assist the Outreach Director in building local structure and organization that will attract qualified candidates with libertarian philosophies as our candidates in local elections. We will do this by providing them with: a) ballot access, b) established base of volunteers, c) a fund raising base, d) campaign finance reporting, e) public relations staff, f) event scheduling support, g) a brand name that they will be proud to affiliate with, and h) national affiliation. From Rand Fanshier: I moved to Colorado recently, but have been a registered Libertarian since 1982, my entire voting life!
I am Outreach Director in Jefferson County, and an activist in the 285 Mountain Corridor. During the 2002 election cycle I participated in or led over a dozen libertarian campaign and outreach events including booths at fairs, handing out literature on the street corner or in crowds, or standing in the snow outside of grocery stores and speaking to voters. My fondest experience was when we set up an easel at the bus depot downtown Denver and I pulled out the bullhorn and held a rally for the Bill of Rights, to the astonishment of passers-by.
I have a vision. A vision of the LPCO doing a great job to find, support and keep activists like myself and my team members, and to one day to replace the jaded and cynical, worn-out politicians we've been accustomed to, with spirited, loving, champions of freedom. Wherever there is even one activist in a region, I will be there to help and support the growth of that local affiliate. I will facilitate organization and cooperation between the different groups in the state, I will support our candidates and to push for our new campaign strategy.
From Steven Gallant: I am celebrating my tenth anniversary as an LP member. I joined the party while living in the Belly of the Beast (Washington, D.C.) in 1993. Since then, I've worked as the membership database manager at LP National Headquarters and volunteered with the D.C. affiliate, the Virginia LP, and, since moving to Colorado in 1999, the Jefferson County affiliate. I served as the Outreach Director for the Jefferson County LP until last summer, when I became the affiliate Chair.
With a degree in Journalism and my experience writing and photographing for a small newspapers as well as writing and editing reports for (ironically) a number of federal government agencies, I believe I can best serve the Colorado LP in the role of Publications Director. My goals will be the publication of a quarterly Liberty and the revitalization of the state LP website.
Our newsletter and website will inform current members, attract new members, support campaigns, and raise funds. The Liberty, under the direction of Gregg Miller, will chart our progress, document our successes, target our obstacles, and provide information for upcoming events. The website, developed by Cory Hanzlick, will provide essential state and affiliate party information as well as a frequently updated calendar.
From Jeffrey Oliver: I have been a Libertarian for at least 20 years, and a Colorado Libertarian for eleven. My introduction to Libertarian philosophy came in the early '80s from the Free Enterprise Institute in Los Angeles and Dr. Andrew Galambos. Significant contributors to my Libertarian education have been Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand.
It is time we started acting like the third largest political party in both Colorado and the nation. As Public Information Director I will endeavor to broadcast a positive message of reason and relevance. Our message must be one of reason, such that any clear thinking person will see the power of our ideas. It must be one of solidarity, as it serves no one to castigate members of our own party. And it must be one of relevance to common issues, for without relevance the power of our ideas will be ignored. We have the ideas; now we need the people!
From Dana Wagenhoffer: I have been a resident of Brighton, CO for 5 years. I am married and I have two beautiful daughters. I have worked over 20 yrs with the "public" in public sector jobs and I have exemplarily customer service skills. I have experience in raising funds for Easter Seals, MS, Birth Defects, Council of the Blind, and several other non-profit organizations. I hope you will provide me the opportunity to lead the fund raising efforts for the LPCO in 2003 and 2004.
I intend to make fund raising a continuous, non-stop, effort. We will continue the traditional fund raising letter approach, but augment that with other events and activities. I believe that my experience will enable me to raise more funds at lower cost. As a continuous on going effort, I will need lots of help. Will you help out? Contact me!
From Paul Tiger: The LPCO involves itself primarily in the selection and promotion of candidates for public office. I find this to be a limiting factor for our energies and outlook. Each day our liberties are being legislated out of existence. We need to be involved in the promotion of, or opposition to, pending legislation. We must make our voice heard each time there is legislation presented that reduces liberty or supports tyranny.
The position of Legislative Director is not one of a liaison. The LPCO needs to actively support legislative action that repeals prohibitions, and to develop our own legislation, finding co-sponsorship in the current state house and senate. My objective is to promote an atmosphere of cooperation between liberty minded legislators and the LPCO. I believe that we can effectively achieve many libertarian goals through legislative efforts.
From Samantha Kelly: I am a LPN, a single parent, and a registered Libertarian. I am rather new to Colorado (3 years) and the Libertarian Party (3 months). My experience includes formal training on computer applications as well as personal self training.
While the position of Information Director is one of the less glamorous, it is also one of the most important jobs in the party. It will be my responsibility to keep our membership list current, adding new members provided by the national, by voter registration lists, and the Outreach Director. I will also be responsible for keeping addresses current as indicated by the returns from Liberty and other mailings. Finally, I will be responsible for seeing that all affiliates and candidates have access to the current information.
[Given Olsen is running for Chair, perhaps a recent e-mail concerning the minor party bill will be of interest to the party's membership.]
I just returned from the capitol. The Senate State Affairs committee voted 4 to 3 to send HB03-1142 to the Senate floor with a positive recommendation. That is, they passed it. The vote was along strict party lines. Four Republicans for, three Democrats against. It now is up to the full Senate, but I am not sanguine about it.
The end result was quite clear to me when I came to the conclusion that John Andrews had already made his mind up. It appears to me that the Republican leadership is behind this bill, and all Republicans will be expected to vote for it. It is very clear to me now that this is a done deal. (I arrived at this conclusion by observing President Andrews' actions. He didn't say much of anything at all. Of course, I certainly could be misjudging him here. I have no expertise at observing legislators, much less Senatorial Presidents, who are under enormous amounts of pressure.)
The effect of the law varies from party to party as the new law supplants party by-laws to a certain degree (again varies by party) and replaces them with state laws. The effect on my party will be small as long as there is no hank-panky (see PS). It will simply require us to get our slate of candidates organized prior to the convention, oops!!!, Assembly. This is not such a terrible burden, it will be something that we wanted to do anyway. However, we still resent having to do this because the Republicans decided it would be good for us to do so.
It will be my suggestion to my party (Libertarians) that we:
1> Play by _ALL_ the rules. If the new rules require a primary, we will have a primary. Not only are we going to have a primary, we are going to have a big one, with lots of publicity.
2> We will use any and every primary we must participate in as a member registration drive. Since our chances in the general election will remain small for some years to come, we will put our energy and money into the primary, and make it a taxpayer subsidized member registration drive. (Rather unLibertarian to be sure, but we don't make the rules. We just have to live by them, and succeed in spite of them.)
3> Should anybody suggest that the primary has turned into a county taxpayer funded minor party membership drive, we will simply remind them that it is required by law. Required by a law passed by Republicans, and only Republicans. We fought this change tooth and nail, as did many Democrats (to their credit). Now that it has been forced down our throat, we are simply obeying the law.
So, I am winding up my efforts in this regard. While I'm not one to give up before the fat lady sings, I am not so dumb as to consume valuable resources beating a dead horse. Doug Campbell is considering an effort to challenge this new law in court. If you would like to help (i.e. $$$) please let him know.
Patrick West of the NLP party has "volunteered" to prepare 35 letters to the 35 Senators. The letter will include a letter from Patrick (CCIPP/NLP) and myself (Citizens/Libertarian) about this law and its affects, and copies of the two Denver paper editorials against it. Doug Campbell of the ACP has volunteered to see that the letters get delivered to the Senators.
When I started out, I didn't want to call this bill a Republican bill and many of you know that. I thought that the Republican's had a bit more class than that. I regretfully now admit that they appear to be political to the point of being parochial. This cannot be denied if you agree with my observation that the Republican leadership is supporting this bill. Their boy Congrove lost, and they had a need for some revenge. I am rather disappointed.
Some time ago, I wrote a piece for Ari Armstrong's Colorado Freedom Report. It took me about a thousand words, but I made my case that I would not be comfortable at all in the Republican Libertarian Caucus; and that to continue my purpose of "confronting socialism" the Libertarian Party was the best vehicle for me. I hereby reaffirm that writing.
Thanks for all your support. I'm looking forward to the next battle. The education I have gained in this battle will give me a better shot at contributing to a victory next time around.