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The McArdle Memorandum — III — Fundraising, the Takeover, and Other LNC Issues.

The McArdle Memo — III — Fundraising, The Takeover,

Third Party Watch has received a set of documents whose description matches the documents that Miguel Duque allegedly sent to the LNC. One of these was a memo from Angela McArdle to the LNC, whose retransmissal to the LNC apparently upset LNC members.

We are now reprinting this memo in sections. This is the section dealing with the Fundraising, teh takeover, and LNC actions. Note that the section numbers are ours and were not in the original document.

Previous articles in this series are

thirdpartywatch.com/2023/08/17/scooped-the-duque-files-leaked/

thirdpartywatch.com/2023/08/17/the-takeover-has-failed/

thirdpartywatch.com/2023/08/18/the-leaked-mcardle-memorandum-part-i

thirdpartywatch.com/2023/08/18/the-mcardle-memo-ii-staff-issues/

For other coverage, note in particular angelapapers.com

We welcome comments or articles on this topic or as responses to articles, as posts from members
of the LNC or its staff. Articles or responses are moderated and will be subject to our
usual rules on length and civility.

What are we doing about fundraising?

We are spinning our wheels on EPCC issues, filing lawsuits, and making our staff show their work three times over when they tell us our main fundraising tool and data are a disaster. We are also peppering staff with frantic requests for things. That is the LNC fundraising plan. Not a good plan!

Why does it take so long for Lainie to get out the fundraising lists? Well, she’s explained how time consuming and difficult it is to print a simple call list from Civi CRM. What else? Because she is constantly hounded with LNC requests, constantly trying to gain ground on Robert’s game of hide the ball, trying to decipher what EPCC members want and if they are trying to get her secretly fired over her criticism of the CRM and how to address it, trying to figure out metrics to measure staff output, coming up with marketing plans, in meetings with staff, in meetings with me, in meetings with large donors, triaging CRM failures and requests, running necessary reports that crash Civi, attending subcommittee meetings to meet your needs, and the list goes on.

Many of you admitted to not reading her latest report on financials. Is she going to take the time to craft a good list for you, have staff write out scripts, and let that fall be forgotten, too? ￿ Let’s try to put less on her plate so she can fundraise more, and let’s read the financials she gives us.

THE STATE OF THE TAKEOVER

The takeover is turning into a disaster. It started with the migration – which was NOT part of the MC vision. The MC has always wanted to get rid of Civi and has seen it for the hindrance it was. I was aware of the political implications so i thought we should proceed carefully and see if it could be saved first. It cannot be saved and the responsible thing to do is to get rid of it AFTER we clean up our data. Public fighting over the exec director is embarrassing. The lack of productive work coming out of Affiliate Support over the past year (besides the Youth Caucus work by Linnea) has been the source of multiple complaints. Non LNC members have complained to me multiple times about the lack of LNC engagement on the Candidate Support Committee (not Dustin Blankenship), Ballot Access meetings are disorganized and lack clear direction, EPCC is a disaster, and the list goes on.

Our social media is consistently impressive. Thank you, team.

Members have asked me what we are doing. We spend lots of time in executive session, dealing with lawsuits and personnel issues. I haven’t had the time to put together another rally or anything else to move the party forward politically because I’ve been consumed with personnel, administrative and legal tasks. The rally was a high point. We have fallen very low since then.

More bad news: Surprise! Dave Smith isn’t running for President. He backed out and people are going to be really upset. No one is coming to save us. It leaves us vulnerable to attack at the 2024 convention which we entirely deserve. (And don’t worry: most of the attacks will be directed at me.) We might as well endorse Steve Dasbach!

The caucus is demoralized. The members are demoralized. As Miguel would put it, we have put on the face of “Hide The Pain Harold.” If we don’t want the party to be a train wreck, we are going to have to change the way we function as a board.

WHERE WE REALLY WENT WRONG

IMO things began to deteriorate shortly before New Mexico. Prior to that I saw that we weren’t hitting the numbers I wanted us to hit on Project Cicero. I was painfully aware that it was because of the migration for the latter part of 2022. Staff was very focused on it. In the first quarter, Lainie and Andy both believed our financial failure was due to Civi but needed confirmation. Good for them for waiting and doing their due diligence. She was right on Civi. In New Mexico, Dustin Nanna told her (and Andy Buchkovich) that she had to be careful about how she talked about Civi publicly. I wasn’t there for the conversation. Lainie took it to mean that an EPCC member was telling her that she can’t report on certain, critical parts of the party’s health and performance publicly. Dustin and I have since cleared the air on this and he believes it was a misunderstanding.

The other strain has been the pile of legal challenges. We are stressed over this and it’s been a financial burden. It has perhaps caused us to react poorly in other areas. Regardless, now is the time to correct things.

EPCC

When I asked my board member mentors if LNC members should help craft policies, they said that might be ok. When I asked whether or not they should interact with staff, they balked and said absolutely not. The EPCC, whether intentional or not, is muddying up the waters and draining morale in staff. I have personally witnessed it multiple times and been guilty of it myself.

A policy change is essential if we’re going to have a functional staff. EPCC being board members, friends with employees and taking employee complaints does not work. We need a totally separate HR dept to handle employee complaints.

THE GOOD NEWS

As Roger McCaffrey told me today, “Angela, it sounds utterly hopeless. The only way to go is up.”

I’ve got another political action event I’m about to launch as a follow up to RAWM, called the “Decentralized Rally”. I’ve put together a state driven membership drive with the California chair so there’s no additional pressure from staff to work on it. We have a spot at Porcfest that needs to be staffed with volunteers. You can all help with these things. They will launch either tomorrow or Monday and they will be a much needed distraction from fighting and a huge boost to the membership. Porcfest is late June.

I’m issuing the following directives because I think they’re much needed. I’m getting an additional consult tomorrow from someone who is the President of a Board of Directors in a liberty organization. I bet I already know what they will say – same as Roger McAffrey and Anthony Padgett. Both of those men have decades of experience with boards of directors, both public and private. We would do well to take their advice.

CHAIR’S DIRECTIVES

Chair’s Directive No. One: The executive director is instructed to hire an outsourced HR dept as soon as she gets back from vacation and to send me a copy of the contract. (This will be posted publicly.)

Chair’s Directive No. Two:

Informal mediation is to be set up for the EPCC, Lainie, me, Oliver and any other attorney, HR person or advocate Lainie would like present. This is completely non binding and informal. I cannot force Lainie to attend but I am going to provide it. (This is to remain confidential until I consult with the secretary on an appropriate way to make it public without further embarrassing any parties.)

Chairs Directive No. 3:

An ad hoc Fundraising Committee shall be created, constituted by up to 5 members who shall report directly to the Fundraising Director. The three members I have appointed so far are Shawn Hickman, Rich Bowen, and Martin Cowen. I am breaking my rule on staff to LNC interaction with this committee in the hopes that it functions like the Social Media Committee. (This will be posted publicly.)

Chair’s Directive No. 4:

Everyone with social media should be coming up with a creative way to ask for donations on social media at least once every three weeks. If you need help, talk to me. Discord counts as social media. (This will be posted publicly.)

Chair’s Directive No. 5:

(To myself): Chair is to work with the social media team and staff to give a 5 minute video update to members every week, either live or pre recorded. (This will be posted publicly.)

Chair’s Directive No. 6:

Marc Tuniewicz, Dustin Blankenship, Will Hyman and Todd Hagopian are to search for a proposal for board governance or board training, and try to find the most affordable training you can find. I would appreciate if Marc and Will can take this on since Dustin and Todd are already burdened, but I would like their input before bringing a proposal to me. (This will be posted publicly.)

2 Comments

  1. Starchild Starchild August 20, 2023

    In this section of the secret memo from Libertarian Party chair Angela McArdle, which was the first of the leaked documents that I read, the LP chair refers to the software “migration” (moving member data from one software platform to another) as “NOT” being part of the “Mises Caucus vision”.

    Upon reading this, it again occurred to me to wonder exactly what the Mises Caucus vision IS. I hoped I might find an explicit answer elsewhere in the memo or other documents released by former Libertarian National Committee Region 1 representative Miguel Duque, but no such luck.

    In asking people about this over the past year or two, I’ve encountered a fair amount of uncertainty and confusion surrounding this question, which has led to suspicions in some quarters that the caucus may be trying to destroy the party, trying to help Republicans, trying to move the party away from libertarianism, etc.

    I haven’t seen anything that convinces me any of those things are in fact goals of the Mises Caucus, but this may be yet another example of unnecessary secrecy engendering harmful rumors and mistrust among party members.

    Since so many of the party’s current leaders belong to this particular caucus, and since we now have direct proof that members of the LNC who are in the Mises Caucus – and apparently ONLY those members of the LNC – have been conducting secret discussions in another forum off the LNC public list, including discussion of proposed LNC motions and actions, I think party members have a legitimate interest in hearing exactly what the caucus’s vision is.

    In one of the leaked text conversations between himself and Angela McArdle, Miguel Duque wrote, “I think [Mises Caucus founder Michael] Heise underestimated how the decentralized revolution would actually play out with him no longer calling the shots like he’s gotten used to.”

    In the leaked Discord messages between Anna Johnson Duque and Angela McArdle, Anna twice refers to “Founders syndrome” in reference to Mises Caucus founder Michael Heise*.

    She writes to Angela, “If we are all being asked to follow the MC’s every directive, then maybe Michael could stop acting outside the majority of his own board. That’s probably for the Founders Syndrome conversation.”

    Will the board of the Mises Caucus enlighten us on this matter? Let us know what “directives”, the caucus leadership as a group, or Michael Heise as an individual, has given to LNC members or party staff (most of whom, according to a text message to Miguel from Kathy Yeniscavich**, are also caucus members)?

    I’m not suggesting that LNC members or LP headquarters staff who belong to the caucus are just following marching orders from their “caucus masters” or something. As elected party representatives and employees, I would presume they see convention delegates (in the case of LNC members) or the LNC (in the case of staffers), and not the leaders of any caucus, as their bosses. And of course colleagues at the Mises Caucus, like anyone else inside or outside the LP, have every right to communicate with them and give recommendations and advice.

    It is nevertheless unsettling to hear Anna, who is chair of the Libertarian Party of Washington, suggest that “we are all being asked to follow the MC’s every directive,” if such communications are occurring privately, and if Libertarian Party members outside the Mises Caucus do not know what the caucus’s “vision” really is.

    Again I’ve seen nothing to make me think that vision is anything that would be at odds with the Libertarian Party’s Platform and Statement of Principles, but more transparency around the caucus’s goals, and what its leaders are advising their colleagues on the Libertarian National Committee to do, would be reassuring.

    *”Founders Syndrome” is a phenomenon “where one or more founders maintain disproportionate power and influence following the effective initial establishment of the organization, leading to a wide range of problems” (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founder%27s_syndrome).

    **In a text conversation with Miguel Duque, LNC regional alternate Kathy Yeniscavich wrote: “My other concern is that we are hiring all Mises people. That could bleed into other uncomfortable situations.”

  2. Starchild Starchild August 20, 2023

    Is there anything in this memo that ever needed to be secret? If so, what and why?

    According to the LP’s bylaws, Article 7, Section 15 (see https://www.lp.org/bylaws-and-convention-rules/),

    “The National Committee and all of its committees shall conduct all votes and actions in open session; executive session may only be used for discussion of personnel matters, contractual negotiations, pending or potential litigation, or political strategy requiring confidentiality.”

    While this language does not explicitly say that Libertarian National Committee DOCUMENTS, such as memos, are subject to the same standard, and that material in them may be kept secret ONLY when it pertains to personnel matters, contractual negotiations, pending or potential litigation, or political strategy requiring confidentiality, this seems like a reasonable interpretation of the intent of delegates.

    To eliminate any confusion however, I think it would be a good idea for the Bylaws Committee to propose an amendment to the bylaws clarifying that LNC documents are subject to the same transparency rules as LNC discussions.

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