Jim Tall Declares Candidacy For Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Florida
We finally have some heated elections going on within the Libertarian Party. I learned today that not only is the LPF Chair position up for grabs with at least four people running but the Vice-Chair position is also up for grabs. Info has come to me about a second candidate for Vice-Chair, Jim Tall. I contacted Jim and asked for his public notice. Below is the info he sent to me.
With all that is going on, the convention in South Florida next month looks like it will be a doosy. Hope you can all make it and vote for your favorite candidate. This may be a turning point for the Libertarian Party.
Yours in Liberty
Today I am declaring my candidacy for Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Florida.
I have been involved with the Libertarian Party in Florida for about three years. We have as a philosophy what I think is the only viable long term solution to the woes that we face as a nation. The two major parties have dug us into a hole that I’m afraid will burden my children – our children – for their lifetimes.
It is this concern for the future of our country and the freedom and liberty of my family that drives my desire to push the Libertarian Party into action to protect our constitution and rights.
The Libertarian Party of Florida over the past three years has been less than an active organization. We have been sidetracked repeatedly by red herring discussions, malfeasance of former and current board members and a self-imposed bureaucracy. We have suffered from a rapid turnover and inability to keep members.
But most of all we have dealt poorly with a drastic and complete lack of leadership without which personal vendettas and ridiculous policy changes have ruled the day.
Since I started working with the committee I have served the Party in four ways: as Region 1 rep, as Marketing/Membership committee chair, as Chair of the St Lucie affiliate and as LPF Treasurer.
As St Lucie County Chair I worked to open the chapter, have done multiple post card mailings at my personal expense and numerous emails to get a list of regulars. While we don’t meet on a schedule we do maintain email contact and the organization which keeps us in the voter guide every year.
As Marketing/Membership committee chair I was charged at the 2010 convention with several tasks: The assembly voted to produce t-shirts to be distributed and sold through the county affiliates and a set of outdoor event tents for the regional reps to use among their counties. In this role I ran into road blocks from other board members: With a committee of 5 we commissioned and requested designs for the t-shirts and based our production on a terrific sketch from Janie Dame: I think they came out great. I took the design for the tents and built on that to produce one with more graphics. They are real attention getters and very smart looking.
The t-shirts, while mandated by a vote of the convention last year, were not met with much cooperation from the board with several regional reps refusing to accept any on consignment. The tents have been much underutilized. Lack of action and responsibility by the EC has caused this initiative along with many others to fail.
I researched and tested several on-line membership management systems, settling on YourPatriot.com. This software has been operational for quite a while yet much of the board has failed to sign up even themselves never mind publicize it amongst their affiliates. Since reporting the completion of our mandates to the board in January I have received no communication, direction or leadership from the officers.
Unfortunately in two positions I terminated my services early. I am a person of action and frankly I don’t like my time wasted. As Region 1 rep I stepped down from the position in protest because of the way the EC body had mishandled a dispute with a former member, Michael Gilson. We wasted almost two whole meetings in discussion and then there were things done in back rooms that I objected to.
As Treasurer I thought I was doing a pretty good job. I stepped up to take the position when there was no one else at the convention willing to take it. It was a difficult time because it required setting up our books and accounts to work under the Federal Election Commission. Filing with the FEC was required after the 2010 convention because of our support for Alex Snitker’s US Senate campaign.
After learning the ropes very quickly, a considerable amount of research and setting up accounts with the FEC to file – things were going very smooth. For reasons still unknown the chair then decided that we needed an assistant treasurer and pushed through appointing one over my objections. I objected because there are some very large liability issues with the position and since the position was not a committee post I was uncomfortable with being left open to that liability. I think it’s possible to make this position workable but not without serious thought about the legal repercussions and likely some bylaw changes. After the committee approved the appointment I offered to allow the committee to appoint someone else that was willing to work within the new legal framework.
Regardless of being on or off the committee I have stayed active championing the cause of Liberty on behalf of the party and working to challenge the board to work effectively rather than blindly.
This is do or die time, literally, for the LPF Executive Committee. The majority of the board over the past several years have been satisfied being insular, picayune about rules, cheap with a dollar but haven’t given a single example of coordinated action. We’ve squandered a huge amount of time with Operation Full Slate, been lackadaisical about fundraising and non-communicative with our affiliates.
This must change now.
I am running to affect the following changes in the EC:
· At last years’ convention I wrote two bylaw changes that are just now bearing fruit affecting how the board communicates with the county affiliates and this needs to be developed more fully.
· There needs to be more visible and consistent action in the communities and public. This can be started by having a biannual conference among the county chairs and officers to discuss what works and what does not, and working on cooperative events. Inter-county communication can raise the awareness and excitement about the party rather than having islands of clubs.
· There needs to be a declaration of what is expected of EC members and they need to be held to that standard. We cannot have another two years of a do-nothing committee.
· Full Slate needs to be kick-started. It was discussed as far back as the convention a year ago and little other than talking has been done since. I will champion a huge fundraising effort because none has been done or is imminent and if Full Slate is to be successful the campaign will be expensive.
· A concerted PR effort needs to be undertaken. If the populace doesn’t know we exist we can’t ask for their consideration. The EC has wasted hours discussing press releases but few are actually sent to anyone other than ourselves. A defined system of approvals and distribution should be set up and every county chair should know the process to submit and distribute press releases for maximum effect.
· We need to improve our public face. Our website looks like a blog, our newsletter website looks like a blog, but we have no informational site with any flair or hard information. Our information and formats need to be standardized
· While we recognize that our organization is grassroots from the counties, it is imperative that there be guidance, standards and coordination set at the state level. It is not enough to expect a county organization to bear the expense of a table at a state-wide conference. Lack of top down support is a great cause of our woes.
We have our heart because of our community base. But, we will only gain strength when we stop being a collection of clubs and begin to coordinate and act as one very loud voice.
I see these things as appropriate for a Vice Chair to do to assist the new Chair in improving our party. I ask for your vote and your assistance as we rededicate ourselves to our party’s principles.