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Tasks for the LNC — Part 1

Which tasks are uniquely appropriate for the National Committee? One task, and only one, is specified in the Bylaws. Other tasks can be inferred from the mandate in Article Three of the Party Bylaws. Some tasks are reasonably sent to the National Party because they are huge, critical, and only the National Party has the needed resources.

Let’s start with our Bylaws. I’ve inserted numbers in the Bylaws to help you keep track of specified actions.


The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by: (1) functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements; moving public policy in a libertarian direction by (2) building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office; (3) chartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and (4) promoting their growth and activities; (5) nominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and (6) supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office; and, (7) entering into public information activities.

If you count, that’s seven major objectives. Of these, the LNC has succeeded with #5 (Presidential candidate), has performed #3 (issued charters covering much of the United States), has issued press releases (#7) and has usually followed #1 (be a separate and distinct political movement). #2 (win elections) has been a struggle. If you look at our spending, you’ll see we do very little toward #4 (affiliate support) except in terms of supporting Presidential ballot access. At one time, we specified to the FEC in our monthly filings that contrary to #6 we are not supporting candidates. Note that “Presidential Ballot Access” is actually not specified as an LNC action, though it clearly allowed under #6.

What should the LNC uniquely be doing?

1) Run the biennial National Convention. That’s the only specific task the LNC is given in its Bylaws. Every two years, it must run the National Convention. The members voted to require the LNC to run the Convention. Running the National Convention is not a Mission Critical Activity, it is a matter of duty. With the convention comes nominating the candidates for President and Vice President, a further task mandated in the By-laws. A competent LNC will set aside adequate income from member dues to cover the core convention activity the members assigned: the business meeting.

Then there are other activities that the LNC should perform. These can each be justified by reference to the seven major objectives the LNC is assigned in the Bylaws. What are these activities?

2) Ensure we have 50 vibrant, active state parties, not to mention parties in D.C. Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Marianas, and every other place over which the American flag flies. Historically, we have not moved beyond the 50 states and D.C., even though the residents of all those other places are citizens entitled to vote so soon as they move to one of our states. Affiliate development corresponds to objectives 3 and 4; it is a Mission Critical Activity. In the long term, affiliate development makes all the other activities much easier.

Active? Clearly, more is better. We happily look forward to the day that larger state parties have more volunteers, money, and employees than the National Committee does. However, there should be minimum expectations as to what ‘active’ is. There should be reasonable expectations as to what the LNC will try in an effort to procure active state parties.