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Minutes of the America First National Committee

Sunday, August 25, 2002

BE IT REMEMBERED that the America First National Committee met on Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, pursuant to the Call by Resolution of the Operating Committee of August 17, 2002.

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman at 9:14 p.m. EDT.

The Secretary called the roll of National Committee members:

Present:

  • Larry Carroll and Wanda Weatherford of Colorado
  • Helen Leka and George Radzwillas of Connecticut
  • Martin McClellan and Gaurav Ahuja of Florida
  • Diane Lovell of Georgia
  • Guadalupe Lynch of Illinois
  • L. Thomas White of Massachusetts
  • John Clark and Virginia Clark of Maryland
  • Michael O'Brian and Gerald Duncan of Michigan
  • Nancy Blankenship of Missouri
  • Francis Winters of New Hampshire
  • John Francis and Ward Chorpenning of Ohio
  • John Fey of Tennessee
  • Wes Anderson and George Pangborn of Texas
  • Rick Besanko and Linda Muller of Virginia
  • John Verser of Arkansas, Ballot Access Chairman
  • Romelle Winters of New Hampshire, Public Relations Chairman
  • Jon Hill of Massachusetts, Finance Committee Chairman
  • Roger Simmermaker of Florida, Platform Committee Chairman
  • Ed Moses of Iowa, Rules Committee Chairman
  • James D. Jones of Tennessee, Party Building Chairman
  • James Edwards of Tennessee, Candidates Committee Chairman
  • John Pittman Hey of Mississippi, Secretary
  • Maureen McHugh of Illinois, Treasurer
  • Gene Lovell of Georgia, Vice-chairman
  • Dan Charles of Colorado, Chairman

Absent:

  • Billie Deeter of Arkansas
  • Floyd Atchley of Connecticut
  • George Bashure of Florida
  • Phil Anderson of Georgia
  • Jim Monagan of Iowa
  • Brendan McCrudden of Illinois
  • John Walker of Michigan
  • Ray Cherry and Dennis Carriger of Missouri
  • Ryan Walters and Candice Schmidt of Mississippi
  • Cleve Pate, Norman Kent, and Gordon Ipock of North Carolina
  • Ted Maravelias of New Hampshire
  • Maureen Flannery of New York
  • James Bunosky of Ohio
  • Blake Buffington of Texas
  • Chris Wenzel of Virginia

The following members joined the meeting after the call to order:
James Arft and Gary Grella of New York
Trey Golmon of Mississippi
Dave Doyle of Iowa
Marcel Dietze of Colorado

Ryan Law and Clint Muskopf attended the meeting, first as observers, and then as members of the National Committee from the State of Minnesota.

David Thomas and George Stryker attended the meeting, first as observers, and then as members of the National Committee from the State of Pennsylvania.

Patrick Wilson, Melvin Johnson, and Karen Fay Wilson attended the meeting, first as observers, and then as members of the National Committee from the State of Oregon.

A quorum being present, the National Committee meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. The Secretary delivered the invocation.

The Chairman moved the adoption of an agenda which had been distributed earlier that day. Mr. McClellan seconded the motion.

Mr. Moses made a point of order that certain items on the Agenda were amendments to the Constitution and required a seven day notice.

The Chairman overruled the point of order, noting that the Constitution specifically states that no notice is required for consideration of an amendment, and that, in any event, no constitutional amendments were listed on the proposed agenda.

The motion to adopt the agenda was approved by vote of all the members except Mr. Moses, who cast the lone dissenting vote.

The Secretary presented a number of amendments to the Certified List of National Committee members.

The Secretary reported receipt of notice from Mr. Verser, Chairman of the America First Party of Arkansas, that Mr. Jess Bonds had been elected to fill that state's vacant position on the National Committee.

The Secretary moved the amendment of the Certified List of National Committee members to add Jess Bonds as the third member from Arkansas. His motion was seconded by Mr. Edwards, and adopted by unanimous vote.

The Secretary reported receipt of a Petition for Affiliation from the America First Party of Oregon chaired by Patrick Wilson. The Petition submitted the names of Mr. Wilson, Mr. Melvin Johnson, and Mrs. Karen Faye Wilson as the National Committee members from Oregon.

The Secretary moved the amendment of the Certified List of National Committee members to add Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Wilson, and Mr. Johnson as National Committee members from the State of Oregon. His motion was seconded by Mr. Jones and adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

The Secretary reported receipt of a Petition for Affiliation from the America First Party of Minnesota chaired by Mr. Ryan Law. The Petition submitted the names of Mr. Law, Mr. Leo Daley, and Mr. Clint Muskopf as the National Committee members from Minnesota.

The Secretary moved the amendment of the Certified List of National Committee members to add Mr. Law, Mr. Daley, and Mr. Muskopf as National Committee members from the State of Minnesota. His motion was seconded by Mr. White of Massachusetts and adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

The Secretary reported receipt of a Petition for Affiliation from the Populist Party of Pennsylvania chaired by Mr. David Thomas. The Petition submitted the names of Mr. Thomas, Mr. George Stryker, and Dr. Samuel Cross as the National Committee members from Pennsylvania.

The Secretary moved the amendment of the Certified List of National Committee members to add Mr. Thomas, Mr. Stryker, and Dr. Cross as National Committee members from the State of Pennsylvania. His motion was seconded by Mr. McClellan and adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

Mr. Lovell moved the adoption of the entire Certified List of National Committee members as amended. His motion was seconded by Mr. Clark and approved by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

The Chairman delivered his report. He discussed the broadcast of the "State of the Party" convention speech on C-SPAN2. The Chairman outlined the itinerary for his East Coast trip the first week of September. He will be meeting with leaders of various organizations which share common issues with the Party, and working to establish cooperative efforts between us. The Chairman is scheduled to deliver an address at the "Congress on Immigration Reform" on September 7 in Washington, D.C.

The Chairman reminded the members how important it is to maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect for the feelings and faith of the members on the party reflectors, and urged each person to make a conscious effort to keep the peace and cordial relations with all party members.

The Chairman moved the adoption of the following Resolution:

Resolution Regarding The Continuous Nature Of The National Committee

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That the America First National Committee interprets the Constitution of the America First Party to mean that the America First National Committee is a perpetual and self-governing body; and,

That the America First National Committee, interprets the Provisional Rules of the America First National Committee and the Constitution of the America First Party to mean that the America First National Committee's existence spanned the transition from the jurisdiction of both documents; and,

That any resolutions adopted by the America First National Committee at any time prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the America First Party remain in force; and,

That resolutions adopted by America First National Committee shall remain in force until they are rescinded or expire.

Mr. Hill seconded the resolution.

Mr. Besanko and Mr. Moses moved to table the resolution, based upon its late presentation and a lack of time to study it carefully before the meeting. Some members expressed agreement with the sentiment to table, while others pointed out that the resolution was straightforward and simple to understand. The motion to table failed with a vote of 9 yeas, 27 nays, and 3 abstentions.

After further discussion, the resolution was adopted by unanimous vote, with Mr. Moses, Mr. Arft, Mr. Verser, Mr. Besanko, and Mr. Anderson of Texas abstaining.

The Chairman moved the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolution Regarding Instructions To The National Committee

Whereas, Article III, Section 1 defines the America First National Committee as the "final governing authority of the America First Party";

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That any attempt by any other body, including the National Convention, to instruct the America First National Committee to take any particular action is null and void and unenforceable; and,

That the America First National Committee shall view such demands as merely strongly worded suggestions; and,

That the nullity of said instructions shall not nullify the remainder of any valid and enforceable clauses in resolutions passed by any body of the America First Party.

Mr. Jones of Tennessee seconded the motion. After some discussion, the resolution was adopted by majority vote, with Mr. Lovell, Mr. Verser, Mr. Moses, Mrs. Muller, Mr. O'Brian, and Mr. Ahuja casting 'nay' votes, and Mr. McClellan, Mr. Francis, and Mr. Dietze abstaining.

The Chairman moved the adoption of a resolution providing instructions to the Committees on preparation of budgets, proposals, and reports for review and approval by the National Committee. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. Besanko.

A friendly amendment was incorporated which modified the time schedule for submission of reports.

Mr. Hill moved an amendment to the Resolution to strike the paragraph mandating that committees seek to maintain regional "balance". His amendment was seconded by Mr. Moses. Mr. Hill argued that no committee chairman should be constrained to reject members simply because they come from the wrong region of the country, especially during the younger days of the party. His amendment was approved by unanimous vote with Mr. Arft and Mr. McClellan abstaining.

The Resolution, as amended, reads as follows:

Resolution Regarding Standing And Special Committees

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That the Chairs of the Standing Committees of the America First National Committee and any Special Committees created prior to the enacting of this resolution shall present to the America First National Committee on or before September 30, 2002, a report detailing proposed operating rules, plans, and budget requirement of their respective committee and any resolutions which shall be immediately necessary to begin implementation of that report; and,

That the Chairs of any Special Committees of the America First National Committee created after the adoption of this resolution shall present to the America First National Committee within two months of the creation of said committee, a report detailing proposed operating rules, plans, and budget requirement of their respective committee and any resolutions which shall be immediately necessary to begin implementation of that report; and,

That the appointed chairs of the Standing Committees and any Special Committees which are created shall, on or before the third Wednesday of every other month, prepare and present a status report of the work of their respective committee.

The resolution was adopted by majority vote, with Mr. Lovell, Mr. McClellan, Mr. Arft, and Mr. Ahuja voting 'nay'.

The Secretary reported good progress improving and updating the party building contact database and the forwarders to the party building representatives. He reported the preparation and publication of the Constitution, Platform, and Resolutions approved at the Orlando meetings.

The Treasurer delivered her report.

The Starting Balance was $2,533.08.
Total Receipts were $6167.78
made up of cash ($1933)
checks ($2823.10)
and in-kind contributions ($1411.68).

Expenses:
Web site: $39.90
Telephone: $167.88
Postage: $21.90
Echo Business Systems: $689.00
Echo Business Systems: $200.00
Orlando Renaissance: $1,000.00
JD Jones (reimbursement for convention costs): $750.00
In-kind Silent Auction items: $1,182.00

Total Expenses were $4,050.68.

Outstanding Debts:
Convention-Attrition: $6223.77
Convention-AV/Setup: $2432.79

Total Debts: $8656.56

Receivables:
Echo Business Systems: $110.00

The Ending Balance is $4650.18.

The Treasurer moved the adoption of the following Resolution:

Resolution Regarding the Appointment of an Assistant Treasurer

Whereas, the Federal Elections Commission strongly suggests that Political Committees have both a Treasurer and an Assistant Treasurer; and,

Whereas, federal law mandates that only the Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer may deposit funds or write checks; and,

Whereas, it would be impractical and counter productive to change the mailing address of the party at this stage of its development;

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That the America First National Committee does hereby appoint Dan Charles to hold the position of Assistant Treasurer.

The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White of Massachusetts, and adopted by unanimous vote. Mr. Moses and Mr. Verser abstained.

The Treasurer moved the adoption of a resolution to reimburse Mr. Charles for convention costs placed upon his personal credit card. Her motion was seconded by Mr. Lovell.

A friendly amendment was incorporated regarding the payment of any "finance charges" which might be added by the credit card vendor.

The Resolution reads as follows:

Resolution Regarding the Founding Convention Related Debts of the America First Party

Whereas, $8656.56 in convention expenses were charged to the personal credit card of Daniel Jay Charles, which was used to secure the convention facilities;

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That the America First National Committee does hereby pledge to pay back this amount in full, without interest, but including any "finance charges" assessed by the card vendor, within one year, with payment occurring on at least a quarterly basis, and that payments shall not exceed 50% of party receipts during that time; and,

That the America First National Committee does hereby authorize the National Treasurer to sign a promissory note agreement in the amount of $8656.56 to Mr. Charles, at the above terms.

The resolution was adopted by majority vote, with Mr. Pangborn voting "nay" and Mrs. Muller abstaining.

Mrs. Winters presented the Public Relations report. She described the press contacts made, and plans to ramp up the production of literature and tangible items to promote the party.

Mrs. Winters moved a resolution to create a logo selection committee. Her resolution was seconded by Mr. McClellan. The resolution reads as follows:

Resolution Regarding the Establishment of a Logo Subcommittee

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That the America First National Committee does hereby instruct the Public Relations Committee Chair to create a Logo Subcommittee that shall have jurisdiction over the process of selecting an official party logo and symbol; and,

That this subcommittee shall collect proposed logos and shall, through a process of its own choosing, select no more than 10 possible logos for consideration; and,

That this subcommittee shall conduct, in cooperation with the Operating Committee and the Finance Committee, an internet and postal mail based "vote for your favorite logo with your dollars" campaign, where people shall be permitted to select the vote for a logo in increments of one vote for every $5 donated, to a maximum of 50 votes; and,

That it shall submit the top 3 vote getters to the America First National Committee for final selection by the America First National Committee at a meeting of the America First National Committee during the second half of October.

The resolution was adopted by majority vote, with Mr. Moses and Mr. Ahuja voting 'nay'.

Mrs. Winters moved the adoption of a resolution to purchase party bumper stickers. Her resolution was seconded by Mrs. Lovell. The resolution reads as follows:

Resolution Regarding the Procurement of Bumper-Stickers

Whereas, the National Secretary, National Chairman, and the State Chair of Michigan have sought competitive bids for the production of bumper-stickers; and

Whereas, the best bid came from Gwennies of Mobile, AL, at $599 for 5000 two-color, vinyl, UV-resistant, easy-off glue backing bumper stickers;

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That the America First National Committee does hereby authorize the expenditure of funds for the purchase of 5000 bumper-stickers from Gwennies of Mobile, AL, using two color design submitted by John Pitmann Hey.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mrs. Winters moved the adoption of the following resolution:

Resolution Regarding the Printing of the First Edition of "The America Firster"

Whereas, there is a desperate need to get printed materials into the hands of our prospects and those who have requested such material; and,

Whereas, the National Secretary and National Chairman have requested competitive bids from several printing companies for an 8-page, full-color, magazine style newsletter; and,

Whereas, the bid procured by Mr. Hey in the amount of $1600 for 5000 copies was cheaper and on a better quality stock than any bid received by Mr. Charles; and,

Whereas, GMT Corporation has the ability to bulk-rate mail these newsletters at the cheapest possible rate;

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That the America First National Committee does hereby authorize the expenditure of funds for the printing and mailing of up to 5000 copies of the newsletter, using the printing company recommended by Mr. Hey, mailed by GMT Corporation at cost, and including the content developed and approved of by the Newsletter subcommittee of the Public Relations Committee and the Operating Committee.

The resolution was seconded by Mr. White of Massachusetts and adopted by unanimous vote. Mr. Clark from Maryland abstained.

Mr. Hill delivered the Finance Committee report. He described the ongoing work on a newsletter which will also be used as a fundraising item. Mr. Hill also described a project devised by Mrs. Muller to design and create a quilt. The quilt will bear panels from each of the fifty state parties, and will be auctioned to raise money for the party.

Mr. Jones delivered a party building report. Contacts are still flowing into the party by toll-free telephone, the mail, and the internet. Twenty-two states have organized and affiliated with the party, and committees have been formed in nine additional states.

Mr. Edwards delivered the Candidates Committee report. He stated that the party has eight candidates running so far, with another possible two candidates in Ohio. Mr. Cameron Bates of Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the first chance to be elected as an America First Party candidate, with his primary election in early September.

Mr. Verser reported that the Ballot Access committee is recruiting members and still in the organizing phase.

Mr. Simmermaker urged every National Committee member to join a sub-committee of the Platform Committee to begin work improving the various sections of the Platform.

The Committee next took up new business.

Mr. Doyle moved the adoption of the following Resolution:

Resolution to Amend the Reflector Rules

Be it Resolved this 25th day of August, 2002 by the America First National Committee:

That, a new rule be added, numbered "9.g" and that all subsequent rules be renumbered appropriately, which reads, "Failure of a poster to identify him or her self in any post, including their name and state."

His resolution was seconded by Mrs. Winters. The discussion centered around the confusion created when unsigned posts are misunderstood by other members.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

Mr. Lovell moved the adoption of a resolution he had previously circulated which addresses the problem of National Committee members who have been absent from three consecutive meetings of the Committee. His resolution was seconded by Mrs. Weatherford. Mr. Lovell asked that the resolution be tabled until the next meeting. The resolution was tabled by unanimous consent.

Mrs. Winters moved a resolution to amend the party platform. Her resolution was seconded by Mr. White of Massachusetts. Mr. Lovell and Mr. Grella moved that the resolution be tabled. The motion to table was adopted by majority vote of the National Committee.

Mr. White of Massachusetts moved a resolution regarding the invocation and prayers delivered at official functions of the party. His resolution was seconded by Mr. Clark. Mrs. Muller and Mr. Lovell moved that the resolution be tabled. The motion to table was adopted by majority vote of the National Committee.

Mr. Lovell moved that the National Committee next meet on Saturday, September 28, 2002 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. His motion was seconded by Mr. McClellan and adopted by unanimous vote.

A discussion was had regarding misuse of the Leaders Reflector. The members were reminded that the Leaders reflector is for discussion of official party business, and all other discussions should be moved to the Chat reflector.

Mr. Francis described the situation of Congressman Traficant. He reported great enthusiasm for his candidacy and campaign in Ohio. He described the bumper stickers which would soon be made available. General discussion was had regarding the party's support for his campaign.

There being no further business, upon motion made by Mr. McClellan, seconded by Mrs. McHugh, and adopted by unanimous vote, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
______________________
John Pittman Hey
National Secretary
America First National Committee

 
 
   
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