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Carol Moore for Secretary -- Libertarian National Committee - 2002
Leadership - Not Compromise!

 Accountability | Principle | Visibility
Peace | Community
June 8,  2002 version

    Working for Liberty, Not Power
       I am running for Secretary of the Libertarian National Committee ("LNC") to make sure the Libertarian Party keeps as its goal liberty--not money, prestige and power.  What we are advancing is a secular version of the Golden Rule advanced by every spiritual or ethical system--don't to others what you would not want them to do to you.  Or do what you want but don't harm others--or, as libertarians say, don't use force or fraud on others.  Only if we try hard to live up to the principled vision--and hold our leaders accountable to do so--will we gain and keep credibility with those tempted to join our libertarian world.
      Below I detail how the Libertarian Party can have accountability, stick to principle--as well as attain higher levels of visibility through promoting wedge issues that attract dissatisfied citizens.  I also talk a bit about two of my pet issues--non-intervention/peace and community self-governance/secession.
      I am running for Secretary to warn that some libertarians' big plans to "grow" the Libertarian Party should not be accomplished by suppressing principled and even radical voices and strategies, including the community-oriented and secession ones that I myself advance.  Needlesstosay, one faction enforcing "unity" of vision, strategy and tactics is hardly libertarian! (See my article on the diverse strategies preferred by various libertarians.)  And I am running to support grass roots volunteers who can be demoralized when professional, paid activists mislead them and/or disrespect their efforts.
       Big government already is failing--we must offer workable and high visibility libertarian alternatives. Below I describe what I believe the LNC should do about my five main areas of concern: LNC/staff accountability; standing by principle; peace and community issues; and high visibility. 

LNC and Staff Accountability
       Unfortunately, every organization at every level of society attracts its share of "apparatchiks," people who may generally agree with the goals of the organization, but whose main objectives are personal profit, prestige, power, perks, paychecks.  (See the Robert Shea article Empire of the Rising Scum.)  Not all leaders or paid staffers are apparatchiks, of course.  Apparatchiks are known by their tendency to form I'll-scratch-your-back, you-scratch-mine alliances and to use ruthless means, including force and fraud, to gain and keep their power.  We must not allow apparatchiks to control the Libertarian Party.  Instead we must turn our apparatchiks into good libertarians!
       Many charge that over the last six years the Libertarian National Committee and LP national staff have "grown" the party at the expense of  principles and especially ethics.  Some seem to see it as a honey pot of jobs and money for employees and consultants who sell big dreams, with disappointing results.  Staffers--who many assert really control the party--know more members mean more money for higher salaries and more staffers.  Some LNC members seem obsessed with squashing competitors and protecting unethical behavior by cronies. This has lead to a number of demoralizing "controversies" over the last few years. See details and documentation regarding the top 16 controversies.
        One way to restore accountability is by booting off the Libertarian National Committee the individuals responsible for recent controversies--most particularly Ken Bisson, Steve Givot and Elias Israel.  The other is to institute certain party policies and By-laws that will lessen all LNC members temptation to abuse their power.
    Short Minutes, On Time!: The LNC seems to think members should wait three to six months before they read the official minutes of decisions made in LNC and Executive Committee meetings.  They do not seem to understand that members need to know what the decisions are so they can instruct their LNC representatives on how to proceed at the next meeting!  The LNC is falling short in one of its most essential duties!
       Current Secretary Steve Givot believes in taking detailed minutes of the full discussion of issues, which only slows down the process since LNC members have more to read and comment upon.  It took until February 15, 2002, for the August and October 2001 LNC Meeting minutes to make it to the LNC Minutes web page.  The April 2001 minutes, which were put up only in early February, remain in draft form.  Perhaps spurred by my candidacy, Givot did manager to get the draft minutes of the December 2002 minutes on the web page by early March, 2002.  Executive Committee minutes are somewhat more up to date.  LPNEWS stories do cover some, but not all, important stories.
       I will create short minutes recording motions and final decisions, get them out to LNC members as soon as possible and keep on top of them to respond quickly. I will urge the LNC to vote to approve minutes by Mail Ballot so that they are available at least one month before the next LNC meeting. (I am not opposed to doing separate "discussion" minutes, at a leisurely pace, but these should be considered a luxury, not a necessity.)
      I will work to improve dissemination of relevant information to members, be it through getting minutes online as soon as possible; encouraging the LNC to ensure the availability of online audio of LNC meetings, now done on a volunteer basis; requesting the LP office let state executive committee and other interested members know when minutes are online; posting notices myself to the announce lists of those state parties which are interested in having the availability announced; and, if necessary, creating a LPNEWS Secretary's column to make sure you all get an accurate summary of important new LNC and Executive Committee decisions.
        Bylaws or Policies to Deal with Accountability Issues:
        [That I would promote on or off the LNC...] The LNC and staff may yell "micromanagement" but sometimes only membership micromanagement will ensure accountability!
       ** Under Membership: some National Committee members may want to give the body the right to expel members; I suggest several safeguards to prevent this power from being abused, should this be heavily promoted.
       ** Under Officers and National Committee: require minutes be approved 60 days after each meeting; limit the clout of any National Committee recommendations of changes in the Bylaws and Platform; forbid LNC staff from recruiting specific candidates or funding them without approval of state party apparatus, as communicated through the state chair; institute term limits for LNC members; allow national party members to appeal decisions of the LNC by 2.5%, instead of 5%, of the membership; allow petition of 5% of national party members to remove any LNC officer or At-Large member.
       ** Under Finance and Accounting: require a detailed accounting for all contributions to state parties or candidates; create a Fundraising Committee with authority to review staff major donor fundraising.
       As Secretary and LNC member I also call for Roll Call votes on all the important issues so that members will know who did and did not vote for the most important and/or controversial motions.
       I should note my position on Jacob Hornberger's Bylaw and LNC Manual amendment forbidding LNC members from taking money from candidates or campaigns, as opposed to merely reporting such moneys as they must do currently. Hornberger cites opposition of top apparatchiks Ken Bisson, Steve Givot and Elias Israel to it in the spring of 2001. This certainly makes me suspect such a Bylaw may be necessary.  Disclosure of potential conflicts is sufficient if you have independent voices willing to challenge the conflicts candidates paying LNC members for services might provide.  However, the LNC is not always filled with such independent voices!  So I remain open to promoting and voting some restrictions on LNC members themselves receiving money from candidates.
      Full disclosure note:  Because Carol Moore works part-time and averages $12,000 a year after taxes, she will need to do fundraising in libertarian circles to pay for her expenses for the one, and occasionally two, LNC meetings a year that are outside of Washington, D.C.  So don't say I didn't warn you!!
      Of course, this brings up the whole issue of: why does the LNC have to meet three or four times a year, costing $700-1000 per member per meeting?  Why not only once or twice a year? Why can't it conduct business via a Yahoo Groups where only LNC members can post but all members have access to information? This might cut down some of the clubby/cliquish nature of the LNC and make it more accountable to members.
      Libertarian Party members must hold the LNC, and the staff it hires, accountable in the ways described above. Otherwise, we probably will see the same old destructive controversies from the "New Libertarians" angling to take control of the party.  Should such reforms not be made, or should they prove ineffective, I certainly would join those who call for disbanding the legal entity "Libertarian National Committee, Inc." and allowing Libertarian Party members to create looser networking structures to deal with the need for a national presence.

Protect Libertarian Party Principles
      Since 1993 (see Committee for a Libertarian Majority) current LNC Secretary Steve Givot has been a leader of the faction trying to expunge from the LP platform mention of the many laws and taxes we seek to abolish, while emphasizing short term "interim" goals and measures.  Libertarians who share these views admit they do not want to "frighten" people by talking about all the programs we would abolish; nor do they want a hostile press to use the platform to "embarrass” more candidates trying to appeal to mainstream voters.  However, many libertarians consider a detailed platform to be the main proof that we are serious about liberty and oppose "gutting the platform."
      At the December 2001 LNC meeting Steve Givot confidently stated that the 2002 Convention could suspend the rules and replace part, or even all, of the old platform with the new one which the LNC's "Strategic Plan" has charged the Platform Committee to create. Downplaying the implications of libertarian principles could turn the Libertarian Party into another Reform Party -- one doomed to takeover and annihilation.
      Some believe the LP's problem is it is too ideological.  However, I believe the problem is it is not ideological enough!  That is why I re-wrote the platform into a somewhat shorter, Positive Libertarian Party Platform [Original Version], re-structured to open with a clear and detailed vision of libertarian alternatives separate from the necessary listing of the most important laws, taxes and agencies to be repealed or abolished.
      I also would push for the national party to put together a study group program and promote it to members for local education and organizing purposes.  A 15 week study group course based on both brief required and longer suggested readings could be re-cycled over and over until everyone had a chance to make at least one meeting on each topic.  This would be a great educational and social project that would help members gradually build their commitment to principle and the party.
     Current LNC members have promoted making the "War on Drugs" our signature issue.  Like many, I doubt the efficacy of having one signature issue and doubt whether drug legalization should be it.  And I certainly am wary when I hear staffers talk about wealthy drug legalizers who want to contribute to the party, since many drug legalization leaders are liberal Democrats, some are funded by George Soros who has many statist positions, and some even urge the government to legalize drugs so it will have more resources for the "War on Terrorism."
      As an LNC member I would volunteer to be on the Advertising & Publication Review Committee.  The LNC obviously has not been exercising proper oversight.  For example, articles in recent issues of LPNEWS have spoken in favor of "anti-trust" type regulation of corporations and government manipulation of the money supply and retaliatory use of nuclear weapons against "areas" to which terrorist attacks are traced.  More insidiously, issue after issue of LPNEWS includes articles and letters criticizing libertarians for being too principled and too radical.  These obvious attempts to placate the least libertarian members of the party only drive away principled libertarians.
       I believe those who encourage people to enter the party by promoting a falsely moderate image are misleading new members.  Those who enter the party knowing it is a principled and therefore radical party in order to stifle the  most radical critics of government are doing worse, i.e., the work of the state.

Promote High Visibility, Wedge Issue Campaigns -- Issues Build Movements!
      A recent LPNEWS poll of 1,300 members showed that protecting principles and high visibility were their two top goals.  I agree!  It was when the national party did something it got the kind of national publicity it needs: i.e., the 1998 Convention Resolution calling for the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the 1999 campaign to defeat the "Know Your Customer" regulation, the 2002  USA Today newspaper advertsisements against the war on drugs.  Better late than never, libertarian leaders are learning how to use wedge issues to get higher visibility.
     There are different types of issues that can be addressed: "hot" issues that are on the front page today (the approach largely used by the national party in press releases); "outrageous" issues that usually attract press attention (like sex or violence-related issues or breaking of social taboos, which often are the topic of national LP "joke" press releases); "bread and butter" issues (like taxes, schools, gasoline prices); and "wedge" issues which attract a significant number of supporters who challenge entrenched laws (like drug laws, gun laws and civil liberties abuses).
      Of course we should never pass up opportunities to score points on hot issues or some outrageous issues.   One definition of "leadership" is finding the parade and getting out in front of it!  And it is important to continue to educate on bread and butter issues, explaining why the private sector performs better than government. However, the best issues are high visibility, wedge issues, be it ones we latch on to or ones we create. We especially should look for issues that would interest the overwhelmingly liberal media!

Carol on Nightline, 1995

Carol on Free Congresses'
Endangered Liberties, 2000
     DO-ERs not Talkers: I myself have experience gaining such visibility on the Waco issue, with the Committee for Waco Justice and my book The Davidian Massacre.  I found that if you are a forthright spokesperson with a unique angle on the issues you don't have to harass the press to get yourself on television and radio, they come to you.  And if our group had bothered to do active promotion we probably could have done a lot more television and radio!
      One thing that attracted the press to our group was that we didn't just sit in offices and issue press releases stating our opinions.  We issued press releases to invite them to our street protests and street press conferences in front of the FBI, the BATF, the Justice Department.   At half a dozen of our events we had over twenty press representatives. The press is attracted to do-ers, not talkers. Running campaigns is a DO-ER activity and that's why I support electoral campaigns.

Carol Associated Press
Photo, 1996

order book

    Boot-Strapping with Both Elections and Action:  Many state and local libertarian parties already combine single issue ballot initiatives, lobbying, protest and even civil disobedience with electoral politics.  This is in line with the "public information" section of the Bylaws statement of purpose of the party and with Strategy 17 of the new Strategic Plan which reads: "Encourage state, local, and campus Libertarian Party organizations and our entire support base to be involved in political processes at all levels outside of campaigns and elections."   (For an idea of all the different kinds of options libertarians have for dramatizing issues and achieving liberty see 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.)  The June 6th arrest of two LP staffers who, with several otheres chained themselves to the doors of the DEA Headquarters in Washington is one example of such nonviolent action.
       The national party should facilitate more such multi-tactic organizing--without, of course, dictating to the states.  By doing so we can "bootstrap" our way to national publicity and visibility.  Many national organizations with much smaller budgets and membership achieve more publicity and credibility than libertarians because they know how to mobilize members to focus on high visibility, wedge issues.
       For example, in the last two years there was a huge "anti-globalization" parade which the Libertarian Party could have exploited by holding press conferences and counter-protests to highlight how the IMF and World Bank are used to stifle true free market and free trade activity, even as we criticized the violent anti-capitalists who protest against free trade.  The Libertarian Party of DC was planning just such a press conference the week before the planned IMF/World Bank protests at the end of September, 2001.  As one of the few voices against the planned street violence, we doubtless would have gained publicity and public favor, had the events of September 11th not caused cancellation of the protests.
       There are certain issues which cut through the tangle of lies of governmetn power.  Tackling them can help the party embody the concept of “leadership, not compromise.”  The history of successful change movements show it is better to be a well known group on a small unpopular issue with a few million fervent supporters, than a little known group taking a moderate position that no one can disagree but no one gets that excited about. Below are such high profile, wedge issues I think libertarian parties at all levels should be encouraged to take on.
    Denounce the War on Terrorism and call for Repeal of the Patriot Act.  Why let the anti-capitalist and socialist left be the ones monopolizing the media in exploiting this high profile, wedge issue? We must emphasize protecting America by ending foreign entanglements, bringing the troops home, and spreading the message of "World Peace through World Liberty." See more below.   Libertarians for Peace is organizing to encourage the LP to do just that.  The September 11, 2001 attacks will seem small in comparison should the next retaliation for U.S. interventionism be a suitcase nuclear attack.
    US Out of the Middle East Campaign:  Most Americans know that United States' intervention in Middle East affairs, and especially its support for Israel's continued oppression of the Palestinians, is the reason we suffered the September 11, 2001 attacks.  Many continue to support such intervention because they know US oil and gasoline prices could double should such oil be cut off; others refuse to criticize Israel because of fears of being called "anti-Jewish."  However, this is an excellent issue for dramatizing our principled and courageous free market and non-interventionist stands--and for attracting committed and courageous activists.
     End the War on Drugs remains an important high profile, wedge issue.
     Legalize Pollution Lawsuits:  How many times have people told you they like the libertarians except for their "awful" positions on the environment.  They think we support the freedom to pollute.  We must make it clear we support the freedom to sue polluters, a freedom denied us by a myriad of local, state and federal laws that "regulate" and permit much higher levels of pollution than would be allowable if individuals had stronger private property rights and the full right to sue.  Don't let the Green Party co-opt a libertarian issue--they want to limit, not expand, our rights to protect our own property!
    100% Health Care Tax Credits:  Medical expenses are growing uncontrollably because of government interference.  One reason is that companies can deduct most of their employee health care and insurance expenses, but individuals can deduct few of theirs.  Americans overwhelmingly support this right but the Demopublican's big financial contributors oppose it.  If individuals could have a 100% tax credit for health care and insurance costs, a market in much lower priced health insurance and services would develop.  (We also could promote the right to form medical contracts that limit liability--and thereby decrease insurance rates!)  President Bush talks about small time tax credit plans. The Libertarian Party should create a high visibility campaign to appeal to Americans who already know that tax credits and free choice in health care can cut medical expenses and save lives.
     "Right to Self-Governance and Secession" Constitutional Amendment:  Many libertarians believe the United States Constitution is an experiment, and one which has not sufficiently protected Americans' life, liberty and property. (See below and see Libertarian Secession Strategy page.) Imagine the political education and national publicity that would result from libertarians nationwide working for an "interim measure" like a Constitutional Amendment similar to the following [Original Version]:

Individual States of the United States of America, as well as self-defined constituent communities thereof, shall have the right to self-governance within or complete secession from the United States government.  Members of self-governing states or communities shall retain the right to American citizenship, to full legal and due process protections, to vote in presidential elections, and to military defense; they will be subject to common law restrictions and to paying fees for military defense.  Self-governance shall be permitted when 66% of eligible voters via referendum or initiative support same.  Secessionist states or self-defined communities will be regarded as separate nations or territories.  Secession shall be permitted when 75% of eligible voters via referendum or initiative support secession to an entity which includes legal safeguards for individual rights and liberties.  No governmental authority shall restrict the formation of self-governance or secessionist communities through law or police or military action.
    Free the Ballot Campaigns: The Demopublicans use any excuse to tighten ballot restrictions, including the contretemps of the 2000 presidential elections.  Libertarians believe the government has no place deciding who is on the ballot. The party platform states the proper way to run an election is to allow voters to cast cards printed by candidates or parties.  We might consider conducting a series of education campaigns and publicity stunts promoting this alternative.  Whether or not they are running candidates in an election, libertarians can set up tables outside of polling places with a sample "ballot box." They would give voters a choice of sample cards, which could be printed with humorous summaries of the other parties' real agendas.  Pre-election day press conferences could draw attention to these "Free the Ballot Campaigns."
      Lean, Mean Freedom Machine:  Such exciting and controversial electoral and protest campaigns, promoted by professional media staffers and contractors, can bootstrap libertarians into the public eye and put libertarians on national television every week.  The Libertarian Party should lead Americans not only to vote for liberty, but to take any and all nonviolent actions necessary to obtain liberty in our lifetime.  We must ACT like libertarians -- not just talk like politicians! It's time to make the LP a lean, mean freedom machine!
Emphasize Protecting America and World Peace Through World Liberty
     The so-called "War on Terrorism" is really a war to ensure the United States' political and economic dominance as the only "super power"--under the false guise of promoting liberty and peace.   If the U.S. government really cared about protecting or defending the American people, it would not be provoking peoples worldwide to hate the "global bully" the U.S. has become.
      Libertarians must resist being taken in by post-September 11 patriotic fervor or being silenced by insults or repressive new laws. It remains our duty to emphasize truly protecting America by ending U.S. military intervention, especially in the two most dangerous areas, the Middle East and Asia.
      I am particularly opposed to Elias Israel becoming Chair of the Libertarian Party.  At the August, 2001 LNC meeting he publicly criticized libertarians who want the United States out of the Middle East as being "anti-Jewish."  And during the October 14, 2001 LNC meeting he identified himself as a "hawk" as he proposed a resolution supporting United States military strikes against alleged terrorists in any nation. The relevant part read: "Such criminals must be rooted out and destroyed before more innocent people die. Their training camps and weapons must be eliminated. Their supply infrastructure must be shattered." It also noted: "Every precaution must be taken to minimize injury or death to innocent civilians and non-combatants -- in Afghanistan and in other nations."  Language added to placate non-interventionists does not change this belligerent stance.  See full details and quotes from both meetings on the articles page of Libertarians for Peace and on my "New Libertarians" page.
      The Libertarian Party must not let military interventionists take over the party.  Instead the party must work harder to promote the non-interventionist position and to remind the peoples of the world that only world liberty can ensure world peace. As a Libertarians for Peace organizer, I already am exerting such leadership.  The LP must be seen as a light of liberty--not a fist of the United States' imposed world order!!

Emphasize Secure, Self-Governing Communities Not "Anything Goes"
       Libertarians' biggest credibility problem is convincing people freedom doesn't mean they have to put up with strip clubs, crack houses, garbage dumps or chemical plants in their back yards.  Another problem is the fear that "liberty" means they have to give up working with others in community towards common goals.
       The Libertarian Party and its candidates can address these "elephants in the living room" by emphasizing individuals' right to form diverse, self-governing, contractual communities either largely or totally free of state control (i.e., minarchist or anarchist).  In such communities individuals can create true security, both from negative outside influences and through cooperative community endeavors. My proposed "Positive" Platform [Original Version] includes reference to such alternatives. The libertarian decentralist or secure communities approach is a principled way of assuaging American’s fears about how true liberty would work and how it would benefit them.
       This approach is does not hide libertarians' belief in the right to secession.  In 22 years of libertarian activism I have never met a libertarian who would use police or military force to keep secessionists within the union--and I have asked that question of many many libertarians.  Secession is the natural option for both anarchist libertarians who want no government and for minimal state (minarchist) libertarians who want complete freedom from the demands of a national state.  I detail how an explicit secessionist strategy would work in my article Libertarian Secession Strategy, as well as in my web page Secession.Net
      I also have started a new page, ConfederatedCommunitiesofAmerica.Net, which could be used as a networking vehicle by nonviolent community secessionists and separatists in the future.  Considering that tens of thousands of Republicans were contemplating seceding from the union in November and December of 2000, should Al Gore steal the election back from George Bush, libertarians should not be afraid of the secession issue!


HINDU: This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.
ZOROASTRIAN: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not
good for itself.
TAOIST: Regard your neighbour's gain as your own gain, and your neighbour's loss as your own loss.
BUDDHIST: Hurt not others in ways that you
would find hurtful.
CONFUCIAN: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.
JAIN: In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.
JEWISH: Whatever thou hatest thyself, that do not to another.
CHRISTIAN: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
ISLAMIC: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires
for himself.
SIKH: As thou deemest thyself, so deem others.
WICCAN: Do what thou wilt, but harm no other.
LIBERTARIAN: You are free to do as you like as long as you do not initiate force or fraud on others.

From Carol Moore's page ConsciousnessRules.Net