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Michael Badnarik put out the followingon his blog yesterday. Apparently they’re running so much good stuff down in Texas that they’ve got a problem pretty much any campaign would love to have: too much volunteer support. Here’s their idea of how you can help put idle Libertarian hands to work:
Wes Benedict is a true, Texas hero! There isn’t a single person in Texas, myself included, who has done more to promote Liberty and the Libertarian Party of Texas, than our Executive Director, Wes Benedict. I never knew Davey Crockett or Sam Houston, but I am very proud to include Wes among my close, personal friends. As you read the eMail that Wes mailed out, please notice how much personal time, treasure, and talent he has selflessly devoted to the cause.
For the Cause of Liberty in Texas, I implore you to contribute money to the LPTX doorhanger campaign. When you call, please tell him “Michael sent me” so he knows that my blog entry is what motivated your donation. I have exactly $90 to my name. I am giving $45 of it to Wes.
Texas Libertarians: Urgent Request
Volunteer support for our “Quiz Across Texas” campaign has surpassed our expectations. (That’s good news!) We are well on our way to distributing our stock of door hangers. These door hangers feature the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz,” which has proven to be one of the most successful ways to get voters to find out they are Libertarians. We’re rapidly blowing past our original goal of 100,000 door hangers and need to place our next order of 100,000 or more immediately, before it’s too late. But to order the additional door hangers, we need funds!
Please visit our campaign materials page to see our outreach materials:
and make a $500 contribution if you can. If you can only afford $200, $100, $50, or $20, please do that.
You can also mail a check (payable to “Libertarian Party of Texas”) to:
Libertarian Party of Texas
Attn: Quiz Across Texas
PO Box 41059
Austin, TX 78704
If you use the mail route, please send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me at 512-442-4910 between 8 AM and 10 PM any day of the week to let me know your contribution is in the mail. Or call me and I can take your credit card information over the phone.
In August, we purchased 100,000 door hangers. We only have 28,800 left! That’s a great problem to have so early in the campaign.
Now, we haven’t actually put up all of the other 61,200 yet. In fact, about 20,000 are in the hands of county chairs and a few distribution points in Dallas, Harris County, and a couple of other locations. Plus many others were recently sent out to volunteers who have not yet had time to distribute them. But they will soon! And when they’re done, they’ll be asking for more because this is such a great way for our many willing volunteers to get the Libertarian Party message out to voters.
Tim Lebsack, the Dallas County Chair, has already put out 2,600 door hangers single-handedly. Many other volunteers have already put out the first 200 we sent to them, and have made second requests for 400, 500, or 1,000 more.
In 2005, I ran for Austin City Council and purchased 45,000 door hangers plus 1,500 yard signs for my campaign. While I raised about $4,000 for that campaign, I also spent $11,000 of my own money because I wanted to make sure every willing volunteer had whatever campaign materials he or she was willing to help distribute. Had I not done that and proven that Austin volunteers alone could put up over 40,000 door hangers for one short city council campaign, I’m quite sure our State Libertarian Executive Committee (my bosses) would have said I was crazy when I said I wanted to purchase 100,000 door hangers for Texas volunteers. For the November 2004 election season, I believe only about 20,000 to 30,000 total pieces of Libertarian campaign literature of any kind were distributed in Texas. We’ll do at least five times better this season, but I’d love to do ten or even fifteen times better.
The first 100,000 door hangers we purchased cost about $5,000, or five cents each. Our next order of 100,000, if we are able to do it, will cost the same. However, because of the major volume discount pricing for high volume print runs, any that we purchase above and beyond 100,000 will only cost about 2.5 cents each.
If you all come through and contribute over $4,500 by Friday, I’ll contribute an additional $500 and order 200,000 more of these door hangers. $5,000 won’t be enough to pay for 200,000 door hangers, but if we can raise the $5,000, I’m confident that additional fundraising measures will cover the rest of the expense.
We really are in desperate need of funds. Based on past experience, we expected our August fundraising letter that went out to 1,500 people to bring in about $5,000. Instead, it only brought in $3,075. I’m not sure why. We had an excellent response rate of 6.8%, but the individual contributions were smaller than normal. Perhaps it was because we focused so heavily on getting people to order yard signs and door hangers rather than stressing the need for contributions.
In addition to the 5,000 yard signs, 100,000 door hangers, and 5,000 bumper stickers we bought last month, I purchased fifty 4-foot by 8-foot signs for $1,705. In hindsight, that may have been a mistake and I wish I had saved that money for door hangers instead. However, I was under pressure to make a decision on those signs weeks ago to get them at such a good price while the printer had available production capacity, and I made the decision I made. Because I ordered those signs and now regret it, I have made a $2,000 contribution myself to the Libertarian Party of Texas in order to cover the cost of those signs.
[See what I mean about Wes? No complaints. No shifting the blame. He just steps up to the plate and makes it happen. Oh how I wish all Libertarians were like that. -Michael]
Since I paid for those signs myself, I will put most of them up in my hometown area of Austin. However, I’m willing to make some of them available to other areas and use them for fundraising for the party. Because of the difficulty of transporting signs of that size, I can only make them available to areas within the triangle of Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio. For people who identify good locations for signs, I’ll find a way to get them delivered to the appropriate area if you make a $35 contribution to the LPT for each sign you’d like to see in your area.
We have a record number of Libertarian candidates in Texas this year. While most are running low-budget campaigns to help promote the party, many have done much more. The National Libertarian Party has a new Candidate Tracker ranking system posted on its website, LP.org. While I’m not entirely supportive of every aspect of the Candidate Tracker project, the fact is that Texas candidates overwhelmingly dominate the list. At the top is Bob Smither, running for Congress in district 22, followed by Michael Badnarik in third running for congressional district 10. The eleventh listed candidate is Matthew Moseley, running for Texas State Representative in district 112 (Dallas area). Matthew helped to organize our strong Libertarian presence last Saturday at the Dallas Hob Nob political event at Reunion Arena. While attendance from the public was lower than expected, Libertarians made a strong showing. Matthew made a $50 contribution to the LP Texas Saturday in order to have a sign placed in the Dallas area. I left three signs in Dallas hoping that two other supporters would come through and help pay for the cost of those signs. Regardless of whether someone makes a contribution, the signs will stay in Dallas (it would be silly for me to go take them back), but we really do need financial support from the Dallas area as well as from the rest of Texas.
Folks, I’m not asking you to take a second mortgage out on your home to support the Libertarian Party of Texas this year. I know many of you have been strong supporters of the Libertarian Party for many years. As I said earlier, I recently contributed $2,000 and am willing to throw in another $500 if enough of you come through to reach $4,500 by this Friday.
This e-mail is going out to over 3,000 Libertarians. All I’m asking is that all 3,000 of you combined come up with just 1.5 times the $2,000 I already contributed this month. And if you contribute $4,500, I’ll contribute another $500. I don’t have time to research all of the statistics, but I believe there’s a group called the Tax Foundation or something similar that reports most Americans work until April just to pay for federal, state, and local taxes. If just 50 people on this list contribute ONE day’s pay to the Libertarian Party of Texas, that will be enough for us to order 200,000 door hangers to make sure all willing volunteers in Texas have all the materials they need to help promote the Libertarian Party message of LOWER TAXES and smaller government across the board.
Our Assistant Director, Arthur DiBianca, has had incredible success calling Libertarians by phone and asking them to volunteer to distribute door hangers. Like I said earlier, while only 6.8% responded to our mailed letter, over 50% of the people Art reaches by phone agree to distribute door hangers. Art is able to get commitments for about 2,000 door hangers each day he makes phone calls. That’s partially why we’re running out of door hangers so quickly. Mailing one yard sign and 200 door hangers to a volunteer costs about $6.00 in postage. Without additional funds, we’ll have to slow down on the phone calling and direct shipping, and have volunteers who request materials drive across town to pick up the remaining materials we have at the various distribution points. I’d rather pay $6 in shipping than have volunteers spend $6 in gasoline plus waste two hours coordinating with county chairs to drive across town in traffic to pick up a limited supply of materials.
Why do I think this project is so important now? I’m thinking forward towards the 2008 elections. We have a record number of candidates, we are already poised to distribute a record quantity of campaign literature, and our candidates are receiving extensive coverage by the press all across Texas. Many reports keep mentioning how upset Democrat and Republican voters are with their own parties and how they are looking for alternatives. The fact that independent gubernatorial candidates Kinky Friedman and Carole Strayhorn are at the top of the ticket means more voters than usual will forego the straight party ticket option and will be more likely to select Libertarian candidates in races below the gubernatorial level. That’s what happened in 1992 when Reform Party candidate Ross Perot ran for president.
While it would be careless for me to confidently predict wins in specific races in 2006 (winning depends on strong individual candidate efforts), I do predict we’ll get our best percentage results ever. And the best way for us to create enthusiasm for the 2008 elections is to work our hardest and do our best in 2006.
After November 2006, rather than having to hit you all up hard for even more donations, I’d like to be able to approach some of the multimillionaire business people in Texas who are well known Libertarians yet who haven’t made financial contributions to the Libertarian Party.
I want to be able to say that due to our unprecedented and proven organizational efforts, we had a record number of candidates, activated a record number of volunteers, and achieve record results. Rather than saying we distributed 95,000 door hangers, I want to say we distributed a quarter million. (There’s something about using the word “million,” even if it is just a quarter, that just has such a better ring to it than however many thousands we might otherwise have to claim.)
Please visit our Quiz Across Texas page or go straight to the donation page and make your best contribution today of $500 or $200 or whatever you can do so we can make sure every willing volunteer is put to work at his or her maximum potential.
Donation page: http://lptexas.org/donate.shtml
And of course, request more campaign materials while you are there.
Libertarian Party of Texas
Call me, 8 AM to 10 PM, any day: 512-442-4910