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Minutes of the America First National Committee

Saturday, September 28, 2002
Sunday, September 29, 2002

BE IT REMEMBERED that the America First National Committee met on Saturday, September 28, 2002 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, pursuant to the Resolution of the National Committee of August 25, 2002.

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman at 8:26 p.m. EDT.

The Secretary called the roll of National Committee members:

Present:

  • Wanda Weatherford and Larry Carroll of Colorado
  • Helen Leka, Floyd Atchley, and George Radzwillas of Connecticut
  • Gaurav Ahuja of Florida
  • Guadalupe Lynch of Illinois
  • L. Thomas White of Massachusetts
  • John Clark and Virginia Clark of Maryland
  • Michael O'Brian and Gerald Duncan of Michigan
  • Ryan Law and Clint Muskopf of Minnesota
  • Nancy Blankenship of Missouri
  • Trey Golmon of Mississippi
  • Francis Winters of New Hampshire
  • Maureen Flannery of New York
  • John Francis of Ohio
  • George Stryker and Sam Cross of Pennsylvania
  • 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 Edwards of Tennessee, Ballot Access Committee Chairman
  • James D. Jones of Tennessee, Party Building Chairman
  • John Pittman Hey of Mississippi, Secretary
  • Maureen McHugh of Illinois, Treasurer
  • Dan Charles of Colorado, Chairman

Absent:

  • Billie Deeter and Jess Bonds of Arkansas
  • Marcel Dietze of Colorado
  • Martin McClellan and George Bashure of Florida
  • Diane Lovell and Phil Anderson of Georgia
  • Jim Monagan and Dave Doyle of Iowa
  • Brendan McCrudden of Illinois
  • Leo Daley of Minnesota
  • Ray Cherry and Dennis Carriger of Missouri
  • Ryan Walters and Candice Schmidt of Mississippi
  • Norman Kent, Cleve Pate, and Gordon Ipock of North Carolina
  • Ted Maravelias of New Hampshire
  • Gary Grella and Jim Arft of New York
  • Jim Bunosky and Ward Chorpenning of Ohio
  • Karen Wilson, Patrick Wilson, and Melvin Johnson of Oregon
  • David Thomas of Pennsylvania
  • Wes Anderson and Blake Buffington of Texas
  • Chris Wenzel of Virginia
  • Gene Lovell of Georgia, Vice-chairman

Mr. John Spooner attended, first as a guest, and then as a member of the National Committee from California.

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

The Secretary reported receiving notice of the resignation of John Fey of Tennessee from the National Committee. The Secretary moved the amendment of the Certified List of National Committee members to strike Mr. Fey from the list. His motion was seconded by Mr. Muskopf and adopted by unanimous vote.

The Secretary reported receipt of petitions for Affiliation from two different organizations from California. The first was delivered on September 6, 2002 by the America First Party of California, whose chairman is Mr. Ron Teal. This petition reported Mr. Teal, Mr. John Spooner, and Mr. Rick Horowitz as California's three National Committee members.

The second petition for Affiliation was delivered to the Secretary shortly before the meeting on behalf of Mr. Richard Underwood, who has organized a competing state party organization. Mr. Underwood's petition described a Founding Meeting held on September 27, 2002 and reported Mr. Underwood, Mrs. Kathy Underwood, and Mr. Ernie Earl as its National Committee members.

Mr. Jones, the Party Building Chairman, reported to the National Committee that Mr. Spooner was the designated party building contact in California, which information had been posted on the Party's web site for several months. Mr. Jones attended the founding meeting held by Mr. Spooner and observed the election of Messrs. Teal, Spooner, and Horowitz. Mr. Jones stated that he had no prior knowledge of Mr. Underwood's organization.

The Secretary moved the amendment of the Certified List of National Committee members to add Messrs. Teal, Spooner, and Horowitz as members from California. His motion was seconded by Mr. White.

Questions were put to Mr. Underwood and to Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones reported that his committee had interviewed Mr. Underwood and had determined that he was unsuitable as party building contact for California, due to certain explicit statements he made during the interview.

Mr. Underwood denounced Mr. Jones' statement as a lie, and made certain statements calling into question the Chairman's alleged support of the state of Israel. The Chairman reiterated his support for the party's platform and America First policy regarding our country's involvement in Middle East politics.

Mr. Underwood questioned the Chairman's charitable giving, and his attendance at Synagogue.

Numerous members demanded that debate be terminated and the question called. All members of the National Committee voted in favor of terminating debate and calling the question except for Messrs. Verser, Moses, and Ahuja.

Upon the Question of amending the Certified List of National Committee Members by adding Messrs. Teal, Spooner, and Horowitz as National Committee members from California, all members voted "aye" except Messrs. Verser and Moses, who cast "nay" votes, and Messrs. Ahuja and Law, who abstained.

Mr. Besanko moved the adoption of the Agenda as previously circulated by the Chairman. His motion was seconded by Mr. Clark.

Mr. Moses demanded a quorum call. Upon calling the roll, the Secretary announced that thirty members were present. There being sixty-seven members, a quorum was not achieved.

The Chairman called a recess of the meeting until 8 p.m. EDT the following day (Sunday, September 29, 2002).

The National Committee reconvened at 8 p.m. EDT, Sunday, September 29, 2002.

The Secretary called the roll of National Committee members:

Present:

  • Ron Teal, John Spooner, and Richard Horowitz of California
  • Wanda Weatherford of Colorado
  • Helen Leka, Floyd Atchley, and George Radzwillas of Connecticut
  • George Bashure and Gaurav Ahuja of Florida
  • Guadalupe Lynch of Illinois
  • L. Thomas White of Massachusetts
  • John Clark and Virginia Clark of Maryland
  • Michael O'Brian of Michigan
  • Ryan Law and Clint Muskopf of Minnesota
  • Nancy Blankenship of Missouri
  • Trey Golmon of Mississippi
  • Norman Kent of North Carolina
  • Francis Winters of New Hampshire
  • James Arft and Maureen Flannery of New York
  • John Francis of Ohio
  • George Stryker and Sam Cross of Pennsylvania
  • George Pangborn of Texas
  • Rick Besanko of Virginia
  • John Verser of Arkansas, Ballot Access Committee Chairman
  • Romelle Winters of New Hampshire, Public Relations Committee 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
  • 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 and Jess Bonds of Arkansas
  • Marcel Dietze of Colorado
  • Martin McClellan of Florida
  • Phil Anderson of Georgia
  • Jim Monagan of Iowa
  • Brendan McCrudden of Illinois
  • Gerald Duncan of Michigan
  • Leo Daley of Minnesota
  • Ray Cherry and Dennis Carriger of Missouri
  • Ryan Walters and Candice Schmidt of Mississippi
  • Gordon Ipock of North Carolina
  • Ted Maravelias of New Hampshire
  • Gary Grella of New York
  • Jim Bunosky and Ward Chorpenning of Ohio
  • Melvin Johnson of Oregon
  • David Thomas of Pennsylvania
  • Wes Anderson and Blake Buffington of Texas
  • Linda Muller and Chris Wenzel of Virginia
  • James Edwards of Tennessee, Candidates Committee Chairman

Diane Lovell of Georgia, Dave Doyle of Iowa, Cleve Pate of North Carolina, Larry Carroll of Colorado, and Patrick and Karen Wilson of Oregon joined the meeting after the call to order.

A Quorum being present, the chairman called the meeting to order at 8:13 p.m.

Mr. Besanko moved the adoption of the Agenda as previously circulated. His motion was seconded by Mrs. Weatherford.

Mr. White moved the amendment of the Agenda to delete an item he had previously placed on the Agenda. His amendment was seconded by Mr. Clark, and approved by unanimous vote.

The amended Agenda was adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

The Chairman delivered his report. He reviewed his trip to the East Coast last week, detailing the contacts he had made on behalf of the party. He stressed the importance of the party members supporting our candidates during the month prior to the election November 5th.

The Chairman reported on the Freedom Drive which is being organized by Bob Schultz and the "We the People Foundation." The Freedom Drive will rally at the Capitol on Veterans Day (November 14) and additional speeches, forums, and activities are planned over a three day period. The focus of the Freedom Drive will be the return of freedom to Americans in matters of taxation, as well as maintaining personal liberty during the so-called "War on Terrorism."

Mr. Charles moved that the America First Party support and endorse the Freedom Drive initiative. His motion was seconded by Mr. Besanko, and adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

The Chairman suggested that the Party should promote the Freedom Drive with an ad in the American Free Press. After some discussion, Mr. Charles moved the following Resolution:

Resolved, that the Finance Committee and the Treasurer are hereby instructed to determine the financial viability of advertising the Freedom Drive in the American Free Press, with authority to spend no more than $1200; and if feasible, that the Public Relations Committee is instructed to design and submit the ad for publication.

The resolution was seconded by Mrs. Weatherford, and adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

The Chairman discussed the importance of exploiting every possible free media outlet. He reported Mr. James Bunosky's appearance on CNN's Cross-Fire program to promote Jim Traficant's campaign.

The Secretary reported that he had circulated minutes of two prior meetings, and that the minutes of the Orlando national committee meeting would be available shortly. He stated that he would ask for approval of the minutes at the next meeting.

The Secretary also reported more progress on the Party Building web site. The entire prospect and state party membership lists are now available for review and upkeep by the state party building representatives.

Mrs. Winters delivered the Public Relations Committee report. She reported work on a report and budget for the committee. In addition, the party's first bumper stickers are in production and should be available shortly.

Mrs. Winters reported that she and Connecticut State Party Chairman Helen Leka had appeared on a New England television program, and that a video tape of their appearance was available for circulation.

Finally, Mrs. Winters reported that numerous logo suggestions had been forwarded to her, and she would put together a final set for review and vote shortly.

Mr. Edwards reported that the Candidates Committee was on hiatus, as it was now too late to recruit any candidates before the November elections. He intends to resume committee activities in December.

Mr. Hill delivered the Finance Committee Report. He discussed briefly the previously circulated comprehensive written report.

Mr. Hill moved the adoption of the following Resolution:

RESOLUTION REGARDING THE REPORT OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE

Be It Resolved by the America First National Committee that the Finance Committee Report, entitled "2002 Operating Plan for the America First Finance Committee", and as amended by the same committee on September 26, 2002, be accepted by the America First National Committee; and

Be It Also Resolved that the Finance Committee is hereby instructed to begin implementation of the report; and

Be It Also Resolved that all other standing or special committees fully cooperate in the implementation of the Finance Committee report.

The resolution was seconded by Mr. Doyle, and adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee, with Mr. Besanko abstaining.

Mr. Hill moved the following Resolution:

Resolved, that the Finance Committee is authorized to determine the donation levels required for the receipt of various gift items.

The resolution was seconded by Mr. Ahuja, and adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

Mr. Moses delivered a brief Rules Committee report. The Rules Committee reported a Resolution governing the setting of the Agenda for National Committee meetings. After some discussion, it was the consensus of the members that the Resolution was not as broad as it should be in covering all types of meetings.

Mr. White moved that the Resolution be tabled. His motion was seconded by Mr. Pangborn. After brief discussion, Messrs. White and Pangborn withdrew the motion to table.

Mr. White moved to recommit the Resolution to the Rules Committee for further study. His motion was seconded by Mr. Pangborn, and adopted by unanimous vote of the National Committee.

Mr. Jones delivered a brief Party Building Committee report. In addition to the 23 state parties already established, there are currently nine organizing committees working to establish parties in other states.

Mr. Lovell reported that the Convention Committee is still in its formation stage.

A Resolution by Mrs. Winters to amend the Party Platform that had been previously tabled, was withdrawn by its maker, so that the Platform Committee could make a recommendation regarding the language of the amendment.

Next was called up from the table a Resolution regarding attendance by National Committee members at the committee's meetings. After some discussion, Mr. Hey proposed a package of amendments to the Resolution. The Resolution's sponsors, Mr. Lovell and Mrs. Weatherford, accepted the amendments as friendly.

The Resolution, as amended, reads as follows:

RESOLUTION TO REQUIRE ATTENDANCE AT NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Whereas, the business of the Party is of urgent import to the future of our Country; and

Whereas, the successful conduct of the Party's business requires the attendance, input, and leadership of all National Committee members;

Now therefore be it resolved by the America First National Committee:

That the Secretary be instructed to inquire of those National Committee members who have missed three consecutive meetings as to their intentions; and

That the Secretary provide notice to the state party chairs of the affected National Committee members; and

That the Secretary report to the National Committee on the results of his inquiries.

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

Mr. Clark moved a Resolution of Support for HR 2712. His resolution was seconded by Mr. O'Brian.

After some discussion, Mr. Charles suggested a package of amendments to the resolution. Messrs. Clark and O'Brian accepted these amendments as friendly.

The Resolution, as amended, reads as follows:

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT HR 2712: A BILL ENTITLED "MASS IMMIGRATION REDUCTION ACT OF 2001"

Whereas, the platform of the America First Party calls for changes in the immigration laws, to include "a temporary ban on all immigration, except for spouses and minor children of US citizens"; and,

Whereas, since the introduction of this bill in early August of 2001, our nation was attacked by foreign nationals who would not have had the opportunity to attack us if this legislation had been enacted and enforced; and,

Whereas, the flow of illegal aliens into the U.S. has not abated, and is resulting in adverse impacts on the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens and government offices and resources; and,

Whereas, current immigration laws, practices and enforcement do not provide for the assimilation of immigrants into the American fabric, with fracturing effects on the stability of our society; and,

Whereas, immigrants, when naturalized, may now retain their country of origin citizenship thereby putting in question their allegiance to the U.S. in circumstances such as September the 11th;

Therefore, be it now Resolved by the America First National Committee:

That we do herewith endorse the immediate passage of this bill by both houses of Congress and the immediate signing and implementation of the enacted bill by the President of the United States; and,

That this outcome shall be promoted through a "grassroots" effort in the communities of America by America First Party members, their friends, neighbors, families and organizations, as well as all means possible to make this America First Party endorsement known to the American people; and,

That the inaction by Congress on these important immigration reforms and their continued refusal to take necessary actions to secure our borders is further indication of the need for this party to elect members to both houses of Congress; and,

That we support the efforts of the Congressional Immigration Caucus on this matter and condemn the press, the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic Parties and the President of the United States for their attempts to demonize or cast aspersions upon these efforts and personally attack those who support these efforts.

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

Mr. Jones moved the adoption of a Resolution mandating the solicitation of donations in the party's future advertisements. His resolution was seconded by Mr. O'Brian.

Mr. Hill moved to amend the resolution to provide for a more subtle appeal for funds in the party's advertisements. His amendment was seconded by Mrs. Winters. The amendment was defeated.

The question was called on the original Resolution. The resolution was defeated.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of a Resolution setting the time and place of the next meeting of the National Committee. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. O'Brian, and read as follows:

RESOLUTION TO SET THE DATE AND TIME OF THE NEXT MEETING

Be It Resolved by the America First National Committee:

That, In accordance with Article III, Section 2, Subsection (a), the next meeting of the America First National Committee is called for Tuesday, October 15, 2002 at 9pm EDT by teleconference; and

That the Committees shall prepare and transmit written reports prior to the meeting; and

That the Finance, Public Relations, Ballot Access, and Platform Committee chairmen shall be prepared to answer questions about their reports from the members.

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

In light of the resolution previously adopted, Mr. Jones withdrew a proposed Resolution setting the donation levels required for the receipt of the party's bumper stickers as gifts.

There being no further business, upon motion made by Mrs. Weatherford, seconded by Mr. White, and adopted by unanimous vote, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 12:15 a.m.

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

 
 
   
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