Minutes of the Operating Committee of the America First Party
Monday, March 3, 2008
BE IT REMEMBERED that the Operating Committee of the America First Party met on Monday, March 3, 2008 at 9:00 p.m. East Coast Time, pursuant to the previous resolution of the Operating Committee.
The Chairman led the members in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Hey delivered the invocation.
The Secretary called the roll of Operating Committee members:
- Jon Hill of Massachusetts, Chairman
- John Hey of Mississippi, National Secretary and Treasurer
- J. C. Schweingrouber of Ohio, Public Relations Committee Chairman
- Tom White of Massachusetts, Candidates Committee Chairman
- Martin McClellan of Florida, Vice-chairman
- Mike Fleharty of Ohio, Ballot Access Committee Chairman
- Joe Spitzig of Ohio, Platform Committee Chairman
A quorum being present, the meeting was called to order by the Chairman at 9:12 p.m.
Mr. White moved the adoption of the standard Agenda. Mr. Schweingrouber seconded the motion. The Agenda was adopted by unanimous consent.
The Chairman delivered his report. He has prepared a policy resolution for consideration to be forwarded to the National Committee. He reported preparing a donor letter, letters to state and national leaders relating the state of the party, and several press releases.
The Secretary reminded the members that he had previously circulated draft minutes for the January 28, 2008 meeting of the Operating Committee. Mr. Hey moved the adoption of the minutes as published. His motion was seconded by Mr. Schweingrouber. The minutes were adopted by unanimous vote.
A letter was sent to state and national leaders from the Chairman. In addition, the Florida state membership list from the Secretary of State's office was processed and integrated into the party database. Party newsletters were sent to all the new members. All the monthly letters and notices have been prepared.
The Treasurer reported that the party's bank balance is $ 11592.89. There are no unpaid invoices at this time.
Mr. Hill reported that the Finance Committee is preparing to draw up the required resolutions for the upcoming newspaper and fundraising followup.
Mr. Hill reported that Peter Browning has indicated his interest in resuming the post of Partybuilding Chairman.
A discussion of the "Friends" and "Members" categories of supporters took place, with an eye toward opening up access to the party to more casual supporters.
Mr. Schweingrouber reported that the Public Relations Committee met and finalized and approved the articles for the next newspaper. The newspaper is being laid out now and pictures are being collected for inclusion. Mr. Schweingrouber indicated that he will be moving to Virginia and cannot continue to serve as Chairman much longer.
Mr. Hey reported that the Rules Committee met and approved submission of a proposed rules change to the National Committee relating to access to the party building database and web portal.
A substantial time was spent discussing an issue resolution proposed by Jon Hill for presentation to the National Committee. Mr. Hey moved that the Operating Committee recommend the National Committee adopt the following Resolution. His motion was seconded by Mr. White.
The proposed Resolution reads as follows:
Resolution Calling on Congress and The President to Renounce Support for Unrestricted Free Trade and Impose Protective Tariffs
Whereas, a nation's political independence is related to its economic independence; and,
Whereas, for the first 70 years of the 20th century the U.S. had trade surpluses, but for the last 35 years we have been running deficits, with unprecedented annual manufacturing deficits now in excess of $500 billion; and,
Whereas, millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost to overseas competition with protectionist nations like China and Japan, with protectionist regions like the European Union, and with low-wage nations like Mexico; and,
Whereas, 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost between 2001 and 2007, many to nations where workers earn 10% of U.S. wages; and,
Whereas, the Merrill Lynch Chief Economist for North America recently predicted the further loss of 2.5 million U.S. jobs in 2008; and,
Whereas, 33% of U.S. jobs in 1950 were in manufacturing, but now it is 10% and declining; and,
Whereas, the United States now depends on imports for 66% percent of its apparel and textiles, 50% of its automobiles, 30% of its steel, and 100% of its TVs, tape recorders, radios, cameras, and many other goods; and,
Whereas, in many key industries, including aircraft engines and parts, and environmental controls, imports had captured 60-69% of the market by 2005; and,
Whereas, in key sectors such as machine tools, electric resistors and capacitors, imports had captured more than 70% of the market by 2005; and,
Whereas, in 1848, the infamous Karl Marx endorsed Free Trade, writing that "Free Trade ... works destructively [and] ... hastens the social revolution"; and,
Whereas, Adam Smith, the famous 18th century market theorist, enforced Britian's protectionist tariff policies as Commissioner of Customs, and referred to unrestricted free-trade as utopian; and,
Whereas, protectionist tariffs have traditionally been a feature of U.S. trade policy, as evidenced by the fact that the Tariff Act of 1789 was the very first bill to be passed out of the very first Congress; and,
Whereas, tariffs were instrumental in developing the American economy, having ushered in many periods of prosperity, such as between 1869 to 1900 when the GDP quadrupled, prices fell 58%, and real wages increased 53%, despite a doubling of the population; and,
Whereas, it is irrational to deny in the face of all the evidence that the failure to protect U.S. industries and workers with protective tariffs is gravely damaging to U.S. independence, workers, and industry;
Therefore, be it resolved by the America First National Committee:
That, for the purpose of protecting the American interest, as well as United States economic and political independence, the Congress and President of the United States are exhorted to:
1. immediately renounce all ideological attachments to unrestricted Free Trade; and,
2. immediately renounce U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); and,
3. immediately, enact equitable tariffs which compensate for Value-Added Taxes imposed by our trading partners on our exports, and which compensate for other trade advantages resulting from currency manipulation and low wages; and,
4. refrain from any further illegal attempts to usurp Congress's constitutional mandate to regulate trade, either by delegating this role to the international community, or by diluting this role through schemes like "Fast-Track" Trade Promotion Authority.
The motion was adopted by unanimous vote.
Mr. Hill moved that a teleconference meeting of the National Committee be called for Tuesday evening, March 18, 2008 at 9 p.m. East Coast time. His motion was seconded by Mr. Hey and adopted by unanimous vote.
There being no further business, on motion made by Mr. White, seconded by Mr. Schweingrouber, and adopted by unanimous vote, the meeting was adjourned at 10:06 p.m.
John Pittman Hey
America First National Committee