October 11, 2009

GPUS SC Conference Call
Sunday, October 11, 2009
8:00 p.m. ET
Jason Nabewaniec
Jill Bussiere
Craig Thorsen
Sanda Everette
Mike Feinstein
Farheen Hakeem

Secretary: Holly Hart

Treasurer: Jody Grage

Staff: Tamar Yager, Brent McMillan

Guest: Jeff Turner, MerchCom
Observer: Julia Aires (FLA)

Facilitator: Jason

a. Executive Director – Brent
Work on Finance Committee. Brent sent a report for Income Side on Fundraising Plan, Case Statement and more to SC. FEC decision regarding granting Illinois GP FEC status came out. FEC approves. Brent sent draft of a letter. Trans-Partisan Alliance has a call scheduled for October 13th. The office received an unannounced visit from a member of GP of Brazil. Added a couple of candidates to current list this week.

b. Fundraising Manager – Tamar Direct mail – discovered through NCOA about 1400 donors whose addresses were updated, but not changed in our database. Update is now being done manually. Empower started phone canvass October 3. We have received a $1000 pledge. From house list they are getting an average of 1 sustainer for every 10 donations.

Still having memory problems with CivicCRM. David Doonan is working on it. FEC report with DiA appears to work, but needs follow up by accountant, Doug Malkan.

Fundraising Committee meets on Thursday nights. FunCom is newly re-constituted, a promising group.

Mike noted that IT advisory group includes some people with whom we’ve contracted or might contract. The question of whether they would work gratis may come up. He plans to propose that his county chapter house their database on DiA and connect to state and national.

$3.2K in general account; $2K in unused loans. Accounts payable of
$40.5K. More loan funds have come in, bringing us to within $22 of the
$25,000 limit. Funds could go to pay Palmer Hilton [final payment?].
Jody needs to authorize paychecks on October 14th. Most we will get in by Tuesday is probably $1000; credit cards for 3 days plus deposits, can bring in as much as $2K. Mid-month payroll is $5.8K. Jody is doubtful we will have enough funds for payroll. Health insurance – need to pay for August & September or they are threatening to drop us. Red Sun Press BIll is $8.2K, they need this before they do another mailing, plus $2K needed for advance payment (postage). Empower has been paid through beginning of June, we owe them $9.6K through September 4rth. August vendors have not been paid, $1.1K. Add up rent (paid) – added up, $27.1K. Income around $19-21K/month. See notice sent by Tamar. Review of current urgent accounts payable and SC recommendations for expenditure sequence. Jody will send a list of accounts payable with the most urgent items listed and suggested options. This includes a Red Sun Press bill that Tamar pointed out needs to be paid before our next direct mail, and Empower Telefundraising bills on which progress needs to be made before they begin doing phone solicitation for us again.

Mike asked if there was a partial “good faith” payment that could be made to Red Sun they would accept to continue with the next mailing. Jody stated this was not an option, and Brent confirmed that payment in full would be needed. Jody said that about the only options are for one or more staff members to wait a week to get their mid-month paycheck, or print money. We owe Red Sun $8K and $4K before they mail; They want it all before they start mailing.

Tamar stated she could wait a week to get her paycheck. Brent also offered to delay his paycheck.

Mike noted that insurance seems to be the priority. Farheen state she is very uncomfortable delaying paychecks. Asked if we could contact Palmer and Red Sun Press. Suggested putting off Tamar’s check, paying insurance, putting off Palmer House and Red Sun a little.

Plan is to call Red Sun to see how much they would take to start, if any; pay insurance, delay Tamar’s check, part of Brent’s check. Tamar stated we can’t guarantee we’ll have enough funds for Red Sun by the time they would go to[ print, so she is in favor of not sending payment now. They need time, and it wouldn’t be a timely letter for direct mail if they had to wait for us to come up with the rest of the funds.

SC AGREED TO: pay one mo. insurance; pay Brian. Tamar and Brent’s paychecks will be delayed one week. Jody will have a proposal for other options by Friday before the next call, and will contact SC members; online vote on recommendations.

[NOTE: As of Wednesday, 10/14), Red Sun has agreed to take partial payment to get started on the next direct mail. – hh]


Brent; Jeff Turner, Co-chair of MerchCom See request forwarded by Brent. The request is to replenish some merchandise items. The cost would be about $3600. We are going into the holidays with very low merchandise inventory. Some popular items are completely out, and we will need them for the upcoming election cycle.

JIll asked about an earlier proposal whereby the MerchCom would re-invest a certain percentage of sales toward replenishing stock.

Jody suggested we wait to see how things looks financially next week. She asked to see a prioritized list of items.

Jeff Turner (MerchCom co-chair) noted that a list had already been drawn up by MerchCom in the proposal sent to the SC. Almost out of hoodies; out of buttons. He noted that Christmas brings sales. MerchCom plans next week to begin working on messaging for the holidays. Suggested some items may be bought on terms, and may not need to get all at once. Realizes finances are tight, but Merchandise brings in funds.

Craig stated he had a check left in a will he is willing to loan for purchasing merchandise, if a percentage would go back into MerchCom purchasing new merchandise. Jody noted that this would need an NC approval as a new loan. Jill suggested the SC send this as a proposal to the NC. SC AGREED to follow up on this. MerchCom will come up with a prioritized list, will be included in financial options next.

Question of whether the SC wishes to sponsor a proposal to create an assistant treasurer position.

Jody has started a list of things such a person could do.

Mike noted Doug Malkan signs reports as Assistant Treasurer. Jody explained he cannot sign as an Accountant, so he uses the title Assistant Treasurer. Mike asked that it be codified in policy that there be two positions, codify Doug’s position as assistant treasurer, and have another. Jody and Jeff both stated that it would not be appropriate for a hired employee to serve in an elected position. Mike stated he thought this position should be a staff position, not elected, doesn’t think an elected position would provide accountability.

Discussion on who should write up a proposal. Jody suggested tabling this item, due to lack of time to address it right now. The budget is more critical.

a. Brief review of proposals in voting queue

b. Apportionment Standing Committee (to use data from 2000 and 2004; ASC is updating language to have the formula use the last and penultimate PNC’s)
2 weeks discussion, 1 week vote
2/3 threshold
Floor Manager: Craig Thorsen
Agreed to send out right away, so the ASC can get started.

c. NC approval for Kai Schwandes (GPNC) for Finance Committee
2 weeks discussion, 1 week vote
50% threshold

Floor Manager: Jody Grage
Sanda asked about a finance background. Jody suggested that the SC could ask Kai to add to his bio with reference to financial experience. Mike stated he believes this is not appropriate for SC to ask for further bio or advocate for merits. Jody pointed out she was not suggesting we make any official request, and noted the policy does not require particular expertise, but that the person be deemed trustworthy by the NC.

d. Proposals for SC from Craig – see proposals forwarded by Craig:

i.To change Voting Requirement for Rules to Simple Majority – Craig askedto table until the proposal is finished.

ii. To Change Requirement for Open SC Elections – Craig asked to table this, as well.

e. Proposals for SC from Mike
i. PNC Housekeeping Policy update
There are a few spelling and formatting inconsistencies in PNC rules. Propose a housekeeping rules. SC AGREED to review on line and send to voting queue next Monday.

[NOTE: As of this time, the document has been approved for the voting queue. – hh]

ii. Amendment to #415 (NC communications). Ron Hardy had proposed this amendment. This would add to the proposal that the NC would authorize the SC to work with IT advisory group to research into web-based discussion forums and do a beta test with idea for NC use. Discussion

Craig is in favor, apparently this is the NC authorization of beta testing.

JIll – unclear

Holly – asked to clarify that this is not authorizing its use beforehand, only research. Believes amendment is not needed because IT group can already do this, anyway. Mike responded that we needed permission from the NC to involve them in a beta test.

SC AGREED to adopt amendment, with Holly and Jason standing aside. Jason – thinks we aren’t adequately assessing the problem, but that’s a larger conversation.

f. GPoNYS Proposal for SC Election Re-Do

Holly pointed out an error or inconsistency: proposal refers to holding an approval vote instead of STV. (The reference is to the software, but the same software is used for any vote on the voting page.) Should be corrected.

Sanda – believes the proposal is incomplete, and a violation of bylaws, unclear. Jody seconded the comments.

Jill – also stated this conflicts with bylaws, hard to see how this could go forward.

Mike stated that since this hadn’t come the SC by 6 days before the call, we are under no obligation to address this now.
SC AGREED that Mike would draft a message from the SC to be sent to GPoNYS before the next call.

SC AGREED it’s no longer relevant.

VI. SC f2f – Farheen
See message from Farheen, regarding moving a SC f2f to January. Farheen had concerns about meeting that particular weekend. There is not much time to prepare, she is personally involved in campaign work at the time. Cynthia McKinney will be coming in that weekend, as well. She would also like to hear from Brent more on logistics about doing an SC retreat. Wants to make sure something is accomplished.

Brent stated that in preparation for last year’s January retreat, a sub-committee worked on an agenda, found an outside facilitator, and held several conference calls in preparation. Staff took on different sections of background. 3-ring binders were prepared for SC members. Staff figured out homestays, meals and food preparation.

Sanda said her intention with this had nothing to do with strategic planning, but was about getting to know each other so we could have a better working relationship – more of the feeling level; also spend a little time with the budget.

Tamar confirmed what Brent said about logistics.

Mike feels interpersonal work is needed, we can handle logistics.

Farheen noted there is no guarantee we’d have abetter working relationship if we met face-to-face. A lot of personal money we will have to spend.

Jody believes it would be a great advantage to work together, but sees us working on things and thereby developing “how we work together,” not just schmoozing.

Holly agrees with Farheen, this is not a god time for some, we’re being asked to spend time and money for something not well planned and not necessarily accomplishing much.
VOTE on whether to change the date of an SC Face-to-Face, suggested dates
in January or February 2010
Sanda – No
Mike – No
Craig – No
Farheen – Yes
Holly – Yes
Jill – Abstain
Jody – No
Jason – Yes

SC meeting will be in November in Minneapolis.

LEGAL – Jill, Mike
Note from Andy Finko and to NC regarding liability question.
SC AGREED to send memo to NC.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION – 11:33 – 11:43 p.m ET

TABLED to Extra Call on October 18, 8:00 p.m. ET
XI. BUDGET – start discussion


Holly Hart
Secretary, GPUS