Libertarian National Committee Region 7

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jumpin' on the Gravy Train?

It's the best job I've ever had. Travel 3-4 times a year, staying in nice hotels, opportunities for vacation each time . . . and I didn't even have to fill out a job application.


I'm from the Seattle area, Washington State. When I got to Denver for convention in May, I found out that we weren't part of a region, and didn't have any representation on the LNC.

Some preliminary attempts to put together a region that was made up of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Hawai'i, and the remainder of California's membership had been made, but nothing was final. California is large enough to have one representative of their own, and a large number of members left over.

California made some demands that were unacceptable to the smaller states, and the deadline for region formation was fast approaching. Washington's State Chair hadn't arrived yet - there were tornadoes in the area, and many flights were late. After hours of back-and-forth, back-and-forth, I thought that we had things all negotiated, when California decided that they were not going to relent on one point that was totally unacceptable to the smaller states. It was 3pm, and the deadline for filing the papers was 5pm.

At just about this point, Florida pulled out of the SE Region, and requested that we join with them. Bravo! Region 7 was born.

That's how I got here.

Now for the gravy train . . . When I first considered doing this, my husband and I talked about it. See, I don't work at a job, so I have time, but I don't make large decisions all on my own. I am married, and I like it that way.

My Hugs' response? "Go for it, babe! If you want this, we'll do it, and I'll support you completely."

Hugs knows that total support is not just money, it's listening to me complain and moan, putting up with me laying awake at night, thoughts racing, checking eMail or writing notes. It's laughing when I'm bouncing off the walls excited about LPWA's newsletter, or attaining ballot access in Washington.

I went to my first meeting after the convention, to find out that we'll have meetings in DC (Sept '08), San Diego in December, and Charleston in the Spring of '09. Cool.

So, the first meeting in DC - let's start with the cost - $600 for plane tickets (I have to take Hugs, it's his birthday!), and another $600 for hotel. Of course, there are all the incidental costs - food, internet access ($10/day!), parking at SeaTac, etc.

The meeting is contentious; thoroughly unpleasant, for the most part. There are
some good parts, too. Afghanistan Resolution passes, small birthday party with a friend, getting to know some fellow Committee members.

Travel home is a nightmare - 4 hour delay in Newark due to weather, then Continental Airlines loaded a plane clear full, and made us sit at the gate for ANOTHER 4 HOURS! No crew. Loaded us by mistake, not enough intestinal fortitude to say "We're sorry, there's going to be a delay. Let's unload, and have a snack."

Then 45 minutes or so standing on line to take off. Runways were backed up. 5 hours with tired, cranky passengers (especially me!) and crew. We finally arrive at SeaTac, and wait to pull up to the gate. You'd think that when an airline knows a plane is coming in, they'd go move one of those planes that is waiting for morning, huh? (Remember, I said this was Continental.)

A 5 hour flight has now taken over 13 hours, and we have been traveling for about 18 hours.

Now, I'm not complaining (well, I am complaining about the airline - that's Continental!), but there seems to be the perception that LNC members get all kinds of perks. Yep, we did - a "continental breakfast" grabbed as we went into meeting on Saturday and Sunday. Yoghurt, fruit for Hugs, coffee for both of us. (I'm a double dipper - about 3 cups/morning for me!) Oh, and more coffee mid-afternoon.

And there was that $50 person fundraiser that we went to Saturday night. WooHoo! Yeah, we paid $50 each to go. But Hugs drank 2 glasses of wine, and I took my wine to our room. For the birthday party. :o) Which we drank with a flourless chocolate cake and whipped cream.

Okay, to summarize, we spent approximately $1400.00. We travelled for 28 hours, spent 20 hours in a meeting room with with a bunch of other unhappy people.

Best job I've ever had. :o)


Richard Shepard said...

Rachel, you ARE a trooper. I'm proud of you!

LNC Region 7 said...

Aww, thanks, Richard. I really do want to be here. :o)

See you Monday, noon! Engraves date into brain!