SECRETARY CANDIDATES, LNC 2018-2020

Secretary


Alicia Mattson (Incumbent)

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What experience and accomplishments do you have in the Libertarian Party? Include internal party positions as well as positions on LP campaigns for public office.

I’ve been a party member for 22 years. At the state affiliate level, I’ve served as a state treasurer, state chair, presidential elector, and as volunteer parliamentarian and/or chair pro tem at state conventions of various affiliates. I served as Treasurer of the Libertarian State Leadership Alliance and organized its training workshops. At the national level, I’m presently the LNC Secretary, have previously been an At-Large LNC member, served on the IT Committee, Advertising Publications and Review Committee (2 terms), Platform Committee (chaired 5 terms, member 1 term), Bylaws and Rules Committee (alternate 1 term, member 3 terms), Convention Oversight Committee (3 terms), the Electronic Meeting Rules Drafting Committee. • When I saw that the LNC was losing a lot of institutional knowledge to personnel changes on the Convention Oversight Committee, I created an extensive archive of event data from past national conventions. This data now helps us negotiate lower-risk contracts, plan event details more precisely, and better manage the finances. • During my tenure as LNC Secretary, the LNC has been able to shorten the timeframe for publishing LNC minutes to the membership. • When I was a state chair, I wrote software to automate certain aspects of membership database management, and I shared this software (free) with other state affiliates. • When I was a state chair, I developed our first monthly pledge program to stabilize party finances. • I started the now-routine practice of sending bylaw and platform proposal surveys to the membership base in advance of national conventions. Regarding campaigns for public office, I’ve knocked doors for two city council candidate campaigns plus one mayoral candidate campaign, as well as participating in campaign message formulation. I served on a two-person team that collected 1,482 signatures for a local initiative, and 12,842 signatures spread across 4 recall petitions. In addition to the signatures personally collected, I oversaw the turn-ins, validation, and progress reporting for the other signatures in both those drives.

What experience do you have outside of the Libertarian Party that you think would be useful or relevant to the position you’re seeking?

I have a B.S. degree in Computer Science, and an MBA degree which helps me provide useful analysis of the LNC’s financial reports and budgets. I am a Professional Registered Parliamentarian, which is the highest credential given out by the National Association of Parliamentarians. I apply this knowledge to help the LNC stay mindful of our bylaws, policies, and Robert’s Rules which is designed to make meetings run well and to be fair to those who are not in the majority.

What does the national committee currently do well, and how can it improve?

Our contractor, Andy Burns, provides excellent support to state affiliates, including website development, and now a CRM service. Another contractor, Lauren Daugherty, has done very well improving our fundraising relationships with donors. The national committee does well attaining ballot access, however this is also an area for improvement. We often agree to joint projects with affiliates even though the performance promises made by the affiliate are overly optimistic. Then when the affiliate can’t live up to its promises, the LNC has to over-extend its budget to make up the difference. Often times the LNC wears rose-colored glasses when funding off-presidential-year ballot access with fanciful hopes that a candidate’s performance will retain ballot access for the next presidential cycle. Then when it doesn’t happen, we have to fund the same state a second time to gain access for the presidential cycle. There is a significant need for the LNC to improve its public messaging. Our social media platforms are run by volunteers who are not trained in LNC policy, are given no guidelines, some of whom brazenly defy any efforts by the LNC to control its own platform, and the result has at times been extremely controversial, unprofessional, or juvenile content.

What specific goals would you would like to accomplish during the 2018-2020 term, if elected?

I’d like to explore the feasibility of arranging volume / group discounts for candidates on certain campaign-related purchases, such as campaign consultants, graphic design, printing and mail houses, polling, etc. The LNC must assert itself to provide messaging guidelines that will result in an improved party image with the average voter. Continuing to provide excellent secretarial skills to the LNC is paramount, and I continually look for ways to improve my performance of this critical role.

How do you see the role of the position you are seeking (e.g. Chair, Secretary, etc.) as it relates to the rest of the LNC, and to the LP Staff?

Unlike some other positions, the role of Secretary has some very clearly defined tasks. On a basic level, providing timely and accurate minutes is important not only to the efficient of the function of the LNC, but it also serves to inform the membership about the actions of its leadership. During the 2012-2014 LNC term, two other secretaries failed to perform the job, and I stepped in to help the LNC adopt a large set of minutes at the final meeting of the term to preserve the institutional records. Besides the job of producing minutes, having an organized and prepared Secretary makes efficient meetings and conventions possible. Particularly at national conventions, I am keenly aware of the reality of human errors in our manually-tabulated elections. Each cycle I add new checks to the process to try to minimize the undetected errors so that our election results will accurately reflect the will of the delegates.

How do you think the national committee can best serve the state and local affiliates, and help get more Libertarians elected to public office?

The website templates and the CRM project are particularly valuable to many of our affiliates. We’re giving them the tools to look more professional and manage their data more effectively, which can impact the success of their candidates. The LNC needs to improve its own messaging and public image so that it does not serve as a hindrance for our candidates in the trenches. The LNC should stop portraying our candidates as merely spoilers for candidates of the other political parties. That image fails to portray our candidates as people who are prepared to actually govern. I would like to see the LNC put more of an emphasis on encouraging our candidates to run for winnable offices, rather than run vanity campaigns for higher office. Developing experience at the local level as an elected official can make a candidate better qualified to later run for higher levels of office.


Caryn Ann Harlos

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What experience and accomplishments do you have in the Libertarian Party? Include internal party positions as well as positions on LP campaigns for public office.

In order to keep this concise, I would refer interested persons desiring more detail to my pink.vote site as well as my entry on LPedia (http://lpedia.org/Caryn_Ann_Harlos). I am the current National Platform Committee Chair, National Bylaws Committee member, Region 1 Representative serving nine states, former Communications Director of the LPCO, current Chair of the Historical Preservation Committee, popular convention speaker, and grassroots activists. I am a go-to source for libertarian news outlets like Reason on topics of my "expertise." I also successfully helped secure great political freedom of speech for Coloradans by suing the State of Colorado for the right to disclose one's ballot. Some accomplishments that I hold with particular pride are leading a complete platform re-write as Platform Committee Chair with the LPCO with no drama and a happy membership. I have personally signed up more new or renewing Party members than the rest of the LNC combined. That isn't a criticism of anyone else--I found something I was good at, and rather than waiting, I did it. There are other LNC members who blow my mind with their fundraising skills, etc. And -- this is deeply gratifying to me -- I have worked with Oregon in order to repair that rift that they have had with the national party, and they have signed a regional agreement to join Region 1. I have became a trusted new member liaison with staff who refer newbie questions to me, particularly those on past history and ideology. Also I have been asked to be part of the National Party's outreach conference calls series three times, specifically to welcome and equip new members, the most times any one person has been asked.

What experience do you have outside of the Libertarian Party that you think would be useful or relevant to the position you’re seeking?

I have served in leadership in the non-profit board of Via de Cristo, was a certified trainer for the Youth Evangelism Explosion program in my church, volunteered with a youth runaway and suicide prevention hotline (1-800-hit-home), and am a paralegal of twenty years experience which involves many of the same required skill sets. I am a meticulous researcher which is manifested in a book that I authored being used as a as class text at Liberty University and many invitations to speak to audiences all over the world via radio and podcasts (as well as a guest lecturer spot at Apalachian State University. In my youth, I was a street activist and fill-in talk radio show host speaking on issues of culture and politics. In order to continue my education in parliamentary procedure, I am enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Independent Learning program on that subject with the intent of obtaining a register parliamentarian designation.

What does the national committee currently do well, and how can it improve?

Currently the national committee is building long-overdue infrastructure in affiliate support, candidates support, and professional fundraising. These items must continue and be allowed to mature and bear fruit. It can improve by striving to be "value-added" to the state affiliates, particularly in items in which a consistent presentation (such as our upgraded branding) and economies of scale make it more efficient to be handled at that level. Also a solid policy for institutional memory and training must be implemented. Lastly, we need to stop thinking that it is okay to say .... well I think we all know what I am referring to. I made the removal motion that nearly passed.

What specific goals would you would like to accomplish during the 2018-2020 term, if elected?

If you hang around with me for a day to talk liberty and the Libertarian Party, bring a notepad. I am constantly thinking of new ways we can make the most out of resources and equip the liberty movement. Here are just *some* things that I would commit to do... in addition to the job core competencies . It should be a given that any candidate can do the minimums... *Assemble a Party training library complete with videos and other easily accessible materials and put out a regular --- perhaps monthly --- "The More You Know" type bulletin with helpful information. *Establish a personal connection with each state affiliate so that they know they have an institutional resource they can turn to, and not only that, its someone they know and like which helps creates the friendly and kind culture that is needed. *Encourage the development and creation of micro-projects that capitalize on individual's passions so that they can succeed and thrive and actively counter the fixed-pie atmosphere that can creep into any board--the success of others does not diminish one's own. *Make institutional memory (and the redundancy of institutional memory so that it doesn't have a single point of failure) a priority. Frankly right now it is not. *Continue to make transparency, accountability, and accessibility priorities on the LNC. Members are not a nuisance, and we should not operate in secret with very very narrow exceptions (legal counsel for instance). *Be willing to support and new ideas and projects and be just as willing to move on when they are not working. Third-party politics requires constant willingness to try fresh and bold ideas. I do think we have lost that. The Party of the 1970s had a fire and a spark that is not present today. They were a group of people who realized they had nothing to lose. People with nothing to lose change the world. I want to change the world. *Conduct regular teleconferences with members to find out their concerns and needs. *Encourage the method of empathetic messaging and "friendship activism." *And never be complacent.... always strive for more.

How do you see the role of the position you are seeking (e.g. Chair, Secretary, etc.) as it relates to the rest of the LNC, and to the LP Staff?

My vision for the Party Secretary role comes from a mix of my professional experience and activism style. I have been a professional paralegal for over two decades, and there is one lesson that I learned from my college program coordinator that I will never forget: "If there is only one thing you take from here as practical wisdom, as you go out into the professional world, don't piss off the secretary." And what he meant is the secretary holds a critical role that is often overlooked since it is performed in the background. Most lawyers will tell you that a great deal of their success is due to having a strong support staff that keeps the inward-facing business organized and well-oiled to allow them to go out and present the best face and service for their clients in public. I see the role of the LNC Secretary in the same light: as an inward-facing source of support and knowledge assisting the Party's Chair, candidates, and other public spokespeople. The LNC Secretary should also be a source of support and mentorship for all members in maintaining and building the Party's organizational structure at all levels. A good Secretary is a reference librarian of institutional memory, an organizational mentor, educator, and manager.

How do you think the national committee can best serve the state and local affiliates, and help get more Libertarians elected to public office?

Giving them "out of the box" basics. For instance website, graphics, manuals, talking points on current issues, and coaching. We also need to be ready to activate a ground crew when a unique opportunity strikes. Let me give an example. The LPCO has a very good reputation. Many people think we have a lot more money and a lot more people than we actually do. As I put it, if one is strategic, one can cast a much larger shadow than one's form (and for the record, I said that before Varys said nearly the same thing to Tyrion).

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  • Richard Patrick Burke
    commented 2018-06-27 17:21:55 -0400
    As one of the people in Oregon dealing with the rift in our state, I can tell you that Ms. Harlos has had nothing to do with progress made toward healing the internal rift in Oregon. Thus far we have agreed to send a joint delegation, will be sending a letter to that effect to the national Credentials Committee, and after writing the first draft of that letter I can say that Ms. Harlos had nothing to do with it. Additionally, our delegation has not decided to join a region as of yet.