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.
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: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-Party-of-Texas/164268027014565#
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:
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.
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.
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:
Elect coordinators for State Party-Building committee.