Liberty for Massachusetts
State Organizing Committee
Minutes of August 20, 2005
Present were McMahon, Phillies, Power, and See; Lombardi was present for most of the meeting.
Phillies reported that Drobnis and Roscoe had already indicated they were
unable to attend, but that a quorum (1/3) of the committee was present.
Per Bylaws, Phillies acted as chair and interim secretary.
Power presented the Treasurer's report. Counting recent deposits, we have $295.71 cash on hand. This agrees to the penny with the bank statement. Income in April, May, June, and July was $379, $156, $449, and $135. We now have 19 members, counting SOC members who now need to pay dues. Five members receive paper issues of the newsletter.
The SOC was sent a significant question. What would be our response if someone were to file for partisan office and list 'Liberty for Massachusetts' as the ballot line? Is there an interest in protecting our name? We could do some of this by incorporating, but the reporting requirements following incorporation are unfortunate. We could register our Logo the name superposed on the sunrise. That only protects the logo. A trademark is also not effective.
It was recalled that if LfM were a major party or party designation, which we are not, then only registered voters enrolled as Liberty for Massachusetts voters would be allowed to run as 'Liberty for Massachusetts, and for them it would be mandatory. However, at the present time, a person who was registered as an Unenrolled voter would be entitled to put any three words they wished (with minor restrictions) down as their ballot line, and 'Liberty for Massachusetts' is three words.
It was proposed that our objective is to fix the State Libertarian Party. Where will we be in five years? Will this matter? The Libertarian Party has name recognition that we do not. On the other hand, there are assertions that weak candidates have made 'Libertarian' a ballot line drag. Discussion suggested that if someone did this there could be possible annoying consequences. For example, if they ran for statewide office and got 3% of the vote, we would instantly become the Commonwealth's third major party.
Anyone registered as "Libertarian" must run as "Libertarian". However, many dues-paying members of the National Party are registered as Democrats, Greens, Republicans, or Unenrolled. An Unenrolled voter could run as "Liberty for Massachusetts". Indeed, in the same district we could have two candidates, say running as left libertarian and right libertarian in policies, which should create some press attention. Running candidates is indeed one way to advertise our existence. After considerable discussion, it was unclear if it would be good or bad. It was not clear that it would do any good. Our conclusion was 'we can't stop you, but we don't yet see the point.'
Phillies noted that there is a re-legalization rally on the Boston Common on September 17, and we are sponsoring an antiwar rally on September 25 on the Amherst Common. The PVLA tent will appear at each one. LfM will share the PVLA tent. Outright Libertarians was invited to join us if they didnít want to set up their own tent. The Free State Project is also welcome to share, though they may instead have their own tent. The LPMA has historically had a booth at the Boston Freedom Rally, but not at the Extravaganja (Amherst, spring) or other similar events.
We need a banner for LfM. There was artistic design discussion. The banner will be white vinyl, 1'x10' with metal grommets. Liberty for Massachusetts will be in blue, covering much of the width of the banner, with a red stripe 1" or so tall above and below it. The dot in the "i" will also be red. We will try to use the LfM rising sun logo as the corner piece, and will try to include email addresses in small type below the name. Phillies will send Power a copy of the rising sun. The cost with grommets is $88.93, and this amount was appropriated. Discussion included an alternative: blue field with white letters. However, manufacture is by inkjet printer, and a ľ" edge will be white.
We also need handouts for the two events, one on re-legalization and one on anti-intervention. The format of the GLBTPL flier will be followed, with the Outreach Committee circulating new text to the Organizing Committee. Noting the rate at which we distributed fliers at the Pride rally, 500 of each of two fliers appeared to be a good choice.
Rob Power indicated that he will launch a new Cambridge liberty group, "Drinking Freely", to meet monthly in a local Cambridge bar. The objective is to have a group so large it cannot meet in his apartment, which seats 20 and stands twice that number. Meeting substantially ended as guests arrived for the social.
Supplemental: The web site has had 130 unique visits in August, so far. Excluding state conventions, monthly income of LfM and affiliates is now appreciably larger than income of the LP State committee.