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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crowd-Sourcing The California Libertarian Newsletter

Libertarians advocate voluntary, decentralized, self-organizing solutions to problems that other people think require centralized top-down control of aggregated equal contributions from everyone thought to benefit from the solution.  The Libertarian Party of California had in recent years been spending over $20K/yr in members' dues (including over $4K/yr for editing and as much as $8K/yr for graphical layout) to communicate once a month with the ~1300 recipients of its newsletter California Freedom. The LPCA leadership has been cutting those costs, but not fast enough to avoid suspending the print newsletter last week while they seek more cost-effective arrangements. In response, California Libertarians today unveiled a volunteer-organized online complement to California Freedom.  CalFreedom.net says its mission is

to help the Libertarian Party unite all California voters who seek both more personal liberty and more economic liberty behind the choices that will most move public policy in a libertarian direction. It will provide an informative and lively blend of political news, policy analysis, and civil discussion. It will focus on:
  • California events, rather than national.
  • Externally oriented politics, not internal debate.
  • Our successes, rather than our disappointments.
  • Libertarian analysis of positions that resonate with California voters who want more freedom.
  • Practical guidance on winning elections and changing public policy.
The site will cover the same ground as the LPCA's printed California Freedom newsletter, but will be more timely, more comprehensive, and more engaging.  Past contributors to California Freedom are welcome to publish content here that aligns with the editorial mission.  Just as with the printed newsletter, nothing on this site constitutes an officially-adopted statement of the Libertarian Party unless so indicated.
The site's editor is Brian Holtz, who was an unpaid contributing editor for California Freedom from 2006 to 2007, and served on the LPCA Executive Committee from 2007 to 2009. He has been developing the project for several months, but the final impetus came in the following Oct. 12 email from the LPCA Newsletter Chair:
Dear California Freedom Subscriber:
We've suspended publication of our state Party's newsletter, California Freedom, until we implement more cost-effective arrangements for its publication.
The Party's Executive Committee has authorized research into changing our newsletter so that it remains a high-quality publication with much lower publication costs.
Until we are ready to resume publication, subscribers are welcome to contact Beau Cain at 818-782-8400 or office@ca.lp.org for updates on the state Party's news service.
We regret the inconvenience to you, our faithful subscribers, especially at a time when our Party is working hard to take great advantage of the current political climate. We will notify you of our new news publication as soon as it is ready to be implemented.
In the meantime, we invite you to subscribe to our free online event announcement service, which will send notices and reminders of upcoming California LP events only a few times each month. You can subscribe to this e-mail announcement service in the lower left corner of our Party's home page, or by clicking this link.

1 comment:

  1. Great work, Brian! This site looks terrific, and the initial round of coverage is impressive. I was sorry to hear of the California Freedom newsletter, which had a strong editor and writer in Thomas Sipos, losing its funding, and am glad you have stepped up to fill the breach.


This is a letters-to-the-editor area, where LPCA members and guests can expect us to publish only civil and constructive commentary related to the page's contents. To be published, comments must 1) unambiguously identify the commenter, 2) be related to the article or the comments on it, 3) not conflict with the editorial mission, and 4) reflect the traditional civility and constructiveness of letters to the editor in the print edition of California Freedom.  Submitting a comment releases it under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License, thus allowing it to be published in print editions of California Freedom. Comments about this comments policy, or its application here, will only be accepted at the editorial mission page.