[Please don't raise LP dues]


My point was that ballot access is not directly related to recruiting and maintaining members, so its costs should not be included when figuring where to set membership dues. It might bring in some members indirectly, but so might a lot of other activities, such as running TV commercials. In fact, I would not even include the costs of mass mailings to recruit members when figuring where to set dues. The only recruitment efforts that I see the national LP in the best position to do are maintaining a toll-free phone number and Web site and responding to inquiries made to those. The state and local affiliates can publicize the LP name and give out the national phone number and Web address.

Fortunately, the LNC is moving toward making all national marketing and ballot-access projects funded only by special donations. So the question is whether the proposed increase in dues is meant to cover future spending on core functions or to cover debts resulting from past overspending on noncore functions.

By the way, I disagree with your statement that it is mandatory for survival for the national LP to maintain ballot access. My understanding is that most state LPs get ballot access without help from the national LP, and if the LP presidential candidate did not get on the ballot in the states where ballot access is particularly expensive, he or she would still be on the ballot in enough states to have a theoretical chance of winning, which has been proposed as the criterion for getting into the national televised debates. If you think 50-state ballot access is important, perhaps you should direct your LP donations toward that. I would prefer to direct mine toward educating the public about issues and making them aware of the LP's positions, and usually, I would rather do that through a local party.