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Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #1 

Call Participants

Ben Shaw-Ben Shaw, “ben” (Texas)

McKenzie Nellis, “mckenzie“ (Tennessee)

Lenny Brody, “Lenny” (Illinois)

Steen Kirby “Steen” (Georgia)


Ben Shaw acted as coordinator for tonight’s call.

  1. Discussion of State Facebook pages.

Ben Shaw began tonight call by talking about the progress of Facebook pages for the states participating on tonight’s call. Ben discussed how he approached his state’s Facebook page:

Ben Shaw said that he posted an average of 11 to 14 posts per day. He tried to contact every new person Liking the page through a Facebook message to that person. Ben said that he tried to use the Facebook page as a way to educate visitors to the page about where the party stands on the issues facing our nation and state. As sources of the party stand on the issues, he used the state party platform, the latest national platform, and Rocky Anderson’s campaign issues.

Lenny Brody said that Illinois had only recently set its Facebook page and formal administration and posting on the side had barely begun. The Illinois Facebook page is located here:

  1. Discussion of how to gain non-profit status with IRS.

McKenzie Nellis asked whether Texas state party had gotten its non-profit status with the IRS.

Ben Shaw said that we had gotten our Tax ID that identifies our state party as a non-profit political party. Ben Shaw reminded the group that there were certain types of income that state parties would be taxed so pay particular attention to the types of income mentioned by the IRS when you apply. Ben Shaw also said that you may be eligible for certain types of exemptions from state and local taxes, so contact your state revenue department to find out the types of taxes that you might be exempt from. As you party matures, and you get a headquarters or other real estate, gaining exemption from state and local property taxes could be very important.

  1. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) registration and affiliation with the National Justice Party

Lenny Brody asked Ben Shaw if the Justice Party of Texas was registered as a PAC with the FEC.

Ben Shaw said that we had to register as an unaffiliated PAC since the national Justice Party did not qualify for matching funds in the last Presidential election. Also, individual state parties had to run candidates in order to affiliate with the national party. We will need to do this in the 2014/2016 election cycles. Once the national party is recognized as a political party, then the individual states parties could write a letter to the FEC asking them to change our states from an unaffiliated PAC to an affiliated state party. The benefits of changing the status of the national and state parties with the FEC is that it raises the individual contribution amounts that individuals can give and it makes it easier for the state and national parties to move money between the national and state parties.

  1. Party Building issues experienced by the state parties in attendance on the call.

Steen Kirby said the recent turmoil with the NSC and the platform and lack of fundraising success with the national party made it difficult to attract members to the national party. Also, there were those who had positions with existing parties that were reluctant to go to a new party from parties that had an existing organization and had ballot access.

Lenny Brody said that the NSC was trying to regroup after the recent resignations from individuals who previously served on the NSC. So he thought that we should be able to get pass the turmoil that Steen mentioned.

McKenzie Nellis asked, “What the main points that could be made in trying to convince new members to join the Justice party?”

  • Steen Kirby said that the opportunity to come up with a fresh approach to our nation’s problems should be mentioned.

  • Ben Shaw said that the Democrats and Republican had lost legitimacy. As one rancher told him, “this deal is not working.” Pointing out the fact that the system is broken and that is time to try something new can appeal to those who know that the current political party system is not producing the results that people need is a good method to appealing what people already know and understand.

  • Lenny Brody said that he feels there is a hunger for more choices in the electorate.

  • McKenzie Nellis suggested that getting in the ground floor of a political party with a chance of influencing the platform of the Justice party could be a good argument for joining in the justice party.

McKenzie Nellis also thought it would be a good idea to contact the persons who ran as independent candidates in the last election in our states to see if they want to join the Justice party.

Action items for next meeting:

  1. Elect coordinators for State Party-Building committee.


Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #2 
Well, it's been a year since this nice, informative post was made and there have been no replies up till now which is most discouraging. Nonetheless, I will offer some feedback which I hope will be helpful.

First in attracting people to a party, in our digital age, the party website has to be the main area where attention is given to I believe. It is the base from which party members should be able to network with others and keep up to date with respect to national and state party news. That said, I am particularly impressed with the efforts to revamp the forum. Nice format and some good people participating here. A party site also goes a long way in trying to attract others and I believe the forum is one of the key areas here(I'm a forum junkie to be quite honest.  ; ) ) Forums can often make or break a party. I used to participate at the recently formed Citizens Party. The leader of that party was a great tech guy, but turned out to be obsessed with the forum as well as other kinds of media. His leadership, particularly at the forum,  actually turned out to be dictatorial(sadly insightful) to the point where I felt the party had no chance of success as long as he was at the helm. After a couple of years, he still hadn't appointed any supporting officers at the national level. That was very telling in itself. Bottom line, a site has to be people friendly.
Secondly, once a national website is up in place, the next and most important step is to fill officer positions. This can be a difficult task as certain positions require more skills than others. Nonetheless, a party with no leadership cannot hope to succeed. People are needed for national level positions as well as state level positions. Along these lines, state party leadership is crucial if the state parties are to be built. Presently I simply do not see enough grassroots efforts going on for whatever the reason.

In any event, just a few items I thought I would throw out here. Will probably have a few more input items at some point.

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Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #3 

You have a lot of good advice, and it seems that you are on the same page with our current efforts.  We actually have a brand-new project underway to revamp the entire national website.  If you are available to contribute in any way (content writing, design, proofreading, etc.), then please let us know.  Your help would be appreciated.

We're also working hard towards building leadership at the state level.  Some states are much further along than others.  Some have full staffs of elected officers (ex:  Washington, Texas, and Pennsylvania); others states might only have one volunteer, thus making officer elections impossible/premature.  Other states are somewhere in-between.  I believe that's actually the intended purpose of the State Party-Building Committee.  It's a forum for anyone wishing to help build a state-level Justice Party in their home state to discuss challenges, share ideas, and seek support.

What state are you from, Eric?  We can put you in touch with other volunteers/activists from your home state (if you are interested).  If there are no active volunteers, then I think we would be eager to have you join our State Party Building Committee as your state's representative.  (Again, if you are interested.)

For the record, though, this thread is not a year old.  It's actually only two days old (posted on August 19).  The content wasn't titled well, but it's a copy of the minutes from the State Party-Building Committee's meeting on August 6, 2013.

Please continue to share your ideas, and if you are interested, we could use your help in other ways, too.

Best Regards,

Aaron Morris
Pittsburgh, PA

Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks Aaron. Sadly, my health is not very good right now and I am limited as to what I can do. Still, we're now at a juncture in this country where I am no longer content  to sit on the sidelines. I'm in Southern California. Would appreciate if you could give me contact info for other Justice Party individuals in the state.

And thanks for your work as well. It's always refreshing to see professionalism . . . especially at forums. ; )

Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #5 
Well, it's been a year since this nice, informative post was made and there have been no replies up till now which is most discouraging

Eric, I think you are reading the dates incorrectly. The first post in this message thread was posted August 19, 2013. You must be looking at my forum registration date.

Also notice the title of the message thread states the date.



Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks, CT, for the info as well as the work you are doing. It's clear at this point that a handful of individuals such as yourself in a number of states are trying to do their best to get the party going. However, with a clear continued dysfunction at the national level right now, that does not bode well for recruitment. As one poster correctly pointed out, if a national party doesn't have official status, that makes it extremely difficult to attract people from other parties. Ballot access requirements vary by state and there is often a different requirment for getting a Presidential candidate qualified and getting a party qualified at the state level. The national party to date appears to have the Presidential contest and not the building of the party at the grassroots level as their main priority sadly. If you look at a party like the Working Families Party(see website) their priority is at the grassroots level. And they have had staying power. I think the key players in the Justice Party have to do serious reflective thinking as to what their priorities are for the future.

As per facebook, I'm not a big fan of it because I don't view it as particularly user friendly in many respects. The front page has various sections and can be confusing. I much rather prefer something along the lines of yahoo groups which are much better organized in my opinion.

Given all the above, I think the way to go here at present is for the current state leaders to strongly consider utilizing the Liberty Districts concept I have proposed(see Town Hall section post). That way Justice Party membership/forces can be concentrated in such a way as to possibly elect someone locally. In the event, the party cannot achieve official party status at the state level, then the JP candidate should consider running as an independent. Here in California as an example, third parties don't fare particularly well in statewide elections. However, Indepenedents have been able to secure some victories. This is the way to go I believe until the national party gets better organized.
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