An In The Trenches Approach To RKBA


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MagnumDweeb
January 27, 2014, 12:50 PM
A poster on Calguns was kind of enough to ask me to do a condensed version as he sort of got lost while trying to read my word salad.

So I post here what I did there. I have a penchant for demanding, and rendering long winded explanations.

Plain and simple of it. Organize RKBA supporters into contributing to a Trust for as little as $3 per person. The entirety of the Trust being focused on California. One-Sixth of each contribution is added to the trust for later disbursement back to the contributor after at least ten years of maturing (it's not meant to be a lot). The other five sixths are used to create in part a self-sustaining Trust that uses the money of said Trust to engage in lobbying and election efforts in California. Focusing at first on Sheriff candidate's campaigns to remove sitting sheriff's who do not reasonably issue CWP to law abiding individuals. Later on lawsuits to potentially win back rights for Californians, and then even more later, unseat anti-RKBA in the state legislature.

Some may consider what I have below, to be overly wordy and for that I apologize. I just wanted to take people into the depths of it a bit. But sometimes less is more. Please post some kind of response so I may learn to better appeal to your perceptions and wishes. I'm working on a more sophisticated framework but I fear most readers won't have the attention span for it, and I've barely touched on the actual language of the Trust.


Moderators, if this is Activism please move it there and you have my apologies.

Ok, so I posted this on Calguns (I ordered some stuff of the Amazon store for a friend of mine's kid's birthday in two weeks and I'd been playing with this idea for sometime and got a chance to float it about at the Shooting Club I go to). I wanted the folks at THR to take a look. Warning ahead of time, it is very California centric. I'm a Floridian and plan to die in Florida, Alaska, or Montana when it comes my time from ripe old age, or preferably in some unmentionable part of Las Vegas with a big smile on my face. But I see California as the best testing grounds for what I have in mind. If we can make it work there, we can make it work anywhere as they say.

Read on:

I'm always pondering the next evolution in Pro-RKBA activism. I'm a member of the NRA (just renewed) and I donate to various groups like the SAF, and I used the amazon store when I can for calguns (I have birthday shopping to do in March, plus I bought all my fu-fu bath and body works).

But I don't really see anything that makes me feel like there's a voice for the little people. And I mean little people (no not height challenged). I'm a lawyer in Florida and I do a fair amount of trust and estate planning. Not that long ago I started working with a client who wants to leave half of his liquid wealth to his kids (widower), and have the other half plus his property used to create a shelter for abused and neglected animals. Mind you we are talking over two million dollars here in liquid assets and the house (4 bed, three bath) is located on five acres of land not near any real concentration of neighbors. Plus he has some other assets which he also wants used.

So naturally the choice was to create a Trust as I saw it. A trust which would be responsible for creating a non-profit (the trustee would do it) that would lease the premises of the property for the use of rehabilitating, fostering, and housing neglected animals (pets and some wildlife). It was a major PITA figuring out all the laws and assundries to make it happen and work right for when it comes time.

A point I made very clear to the client was that two million dollars would only go so far and the brokerage accounts were great but again would only go so far. This saddened the client who had spent years rehabilitating abused and neglected horses as well as training shelter dogs for use in Old Folk's homes and children hospitals.

There would have to be staff because while we would want people to volunteer out of the goodness of their heart, that's always easier said than done. The staff would need to be paid even if the house was being used as their quarters as part of their payment. Then there would be vet bills, feeding, etc. etc. etc.. The client already has over a dozen dogs in various states of recovery, foster, and retirement (two ten year old pit mixes showed up one day as a drop off and the client knows no one will likely adopt them so he hopes they will spend the rest of their days quietly with him).

So one of the things I suggested, that he ended up liking (since he knows lots of fellow rich people who love to donate to animal rescues) was creating a method for additional people to buy into the trust. Simply where a contributor makes a certain amount, say $100, as a payment to the trust. Per the terms of the trust, $30 is immediately set aside for day-to-day operations of the shelter-nonprofit setup. $40 is put into the Trust's investment pool (to grow the corpus of the trust to help the Trust become more and more self-sustaining). And $30 is put into a second investment pool (where the money is invested for the eventual purpose of repaying back the contributor at some point in time not just for their initial contribution but as a long time beneficiary of the trust).

I'm explaining this quick, simple, and dirty and that's intentional. There is a lot that goes into this and I'm not giving away all the secrets but I want the concept out there for our purposes.

I'm a Floridian but I think we need to fight the Pro-RKBA in a multi-fold way. In the courtroom, at the ballot box, and then in the trenches. The in the trenches mentality is very much about the ballot box so please follow-me as I get to it.

Just because their are anti-gun politicians doesn't mean there are pro-gun politicians. As far as I can tell in cases such as Connecticut and California, there aren't many pro-RKBA politicians. In fact they almost don't exist.

But does mean we should sit on our hands? I don't think so. I think we the little people should join in on the lobbying fight. We can take it somewhere the NRA can't and shouldn't. We can lawfully fight dirty without besmirching the NRA or even the Calguns foundation.

We can assemble contributors and donate to the competitors in districts where antis have long held reign. This unfortunately might mean contributing to an anti as well. But if one must suffer anti should one not suffer a new on one occassion instead of the same one time after time for the anti that remains in power, is the anti that grows in power. And the anti that grows in power is the anti we must fear most.

I seek to change that and I think using a Trust as part of a vehicle to do that can be done. Trusts create duties for the Trustees to abide by the Trust. To breach those duties is a breach of fiduciary duty and to breach that duty caries with it some still civil and sometimes criminal penalties. Now I like the NRA and seek to remain a member always (because they mess with the antis and sometimes win) but I don't feel like we own them, we the little people. And I think we should own something in the fight for the RKBA. This is part of how I would want to do it.

Follow me more here. The Trust would be setup to solely focus on California and it would have two primary goals and one secondary goal (more could be added later). The first primary goal would be to unseat Sheriff's in counties where getting issued a CWP is almost impossible. Now that doesn't necessarily mean the new guy will issue them but if the Trust group were to day contribute $500,000 to the competitor sheriff's campaign making it very clear why it is doing so. That newly elected sheriff is more likely going to realize that if he doesn't play ball somewhat, he can count on his competitor getting that $500,000 next election regardless of the competitor's politics.

But if the Sheriff does play ball, he can count on that $500,000 for his next election run, or that at least his competitor won't get it. And all the Sheriff would have to do would be to issue CWPs to lawful residents of his county. And the new Sheriff might just get a list of the Trust's beneficiaries and contributors, wink-wink nod-nod.

I would think focusing on one county first to make an effective splash would be the preferable. One that is easy as success that is easy is better than defeat that is hard. Just to get started.

The second primary goal would be to help fund court cases with good parties. I mean cleaner than a Nun's umentionables. Where a party is suing for their rights to be respected. This is a little harder and would want the beneficiaries to have voting block powers for the selection of cases (actually all selections but I'll get into that later). Law firms wanting to be hired would have to provide memorandum of what precedent cases (case law) they were seeking to cite, and the likely justification of their success. It sounds improbable but not impossible to me. Lawyers like money, I should know I am one and I very much like money (I'm not licensed in Ca. and likely never will be), so any firm worth its grit would have a heck of a motivation to provide clean and clear memorandums showing why its case should be funded.

Litigating a case can be very expensive and cost prohibitive, but also lucrative. Should an attorney win a judgment of attorney's fees it can be quite enriching. So in essence the Trust would be fronting the money for the litigation and possibly seeing its money returned (not always but there's a chance). Not a guarantee but something I think should be considered.

The secondary goal to me would be to influence state elections. Not the governorship at first, too bold in my opinion. But the state legislatures. The reason I consider it secondary is not because it is any less important or valuable. I just see it as more of an uphill battles.

All three goals would get publicity, heck just having a trust dedicated so would get publicity but the Sheriffs is where the most immediate changes can be seen in my opinion. Especially when it comes to getting CWPs. The legal cases are ones I think we need to fight no matter what but groups like SAF have that mostly in hand (we'd be like the third line in that situation but it's one where we need to bring everything we have). The legislature can be done in time, at first picking off those legislators most at risk of losing their seat so the publicity of our contribution to their disthronement can be seen with the greatest of likelihood.

I've been playing with this idea for quite some time, so bear with me. From there we need membership. The biggest issue to baring membership is of course cost. Few people want to lay out $35 for membership to the NRA, it sucks I know. So we make it simple. Membership would be based on a monthly fee of $3 (one less coffee at Starbucks, one less Big Mac clogging your arteries, one less piece of useless plastic filling your kids toy drawer that was made in China that possibly has a greater lead content than your gun collection). There are more options of course but memberships make things happen.

Here's the next kicker. Seventy five cents gets contributed to each primary goal, fifty cents to the secondary goal, and one dollar to the corpus of the Trust (to help create self-sustainability and ROI [return on investment). Once the coffers of the goals reach at least $250,000 each, then the lobbying and activism would commence. Bear in mind there would be at least $500,000 in the corpus at this time which would be handled in a Corporate Trust like fashion (I'll get into details in later posts) where half of the ROI would be put back into the corpus, a quarter would be broken up amongst the goals, and the remaining quarter set aside for the contributors (not a lot of money but think of the long term implications for a second). A contributor would have to either contribute at least $360 in total to have vote when it came to the trust, or would have to see their contribution mature for at least ten years.

And regardless of the amount contributed. The contributor would only have one vote but all the rights and powers of a Trust's beneficiary. So if some like Bloomberg tried to hijack it, he really couldn't despite his vast sums of wealth. He'd only get one vote. But someone who made a one time contribution of $3 could ten years after their contribution get a vote. See how it would help the little people.

This is just the rough mock up done quick and dirty for the sake of getting ideas. I was at my shooting club this weekend talking about it and some of my fellow Floridians liked the idea. Even if they only ever made just one $3 contribution, it would still count towards something, and their membership would never lapse, and if anything it would pass on to their heirs (so the number of members could grow on the spreadsheet every twenty years or so no matter what).

Can anyone tell me what they think of the idea before I get too much further into it. I don't want to overwhelm folks with info. This all gets very technical and complex very fast.

Thanks.

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MagnumDweeb
January 27, 2014, 03:04 PM
Duplicate Deleted

MErl
January 27, 2014, 03:38 PM
I would say focus just one one goal, unseat antis or court cases, not both. Of those two, I'd choose the first. I don't think any of the existing orgs have that dedicated goal. They'll support pro gun competitors but if there isn't one they wont support a different anti. Removing that seniority once in a while is beneficial even if the policy doesn't change.

The big problem I see is that it could be very slow to get started. Could go years collecting funds before enough is available to even support one race

MagnumDweeb
January 27, 2014, 03:59 PM
MErl thank you. It would not be easy. That is for sure, but that's also partly what the antis are counting on. SAF didn't spring up over night and it didn't give us Heller and McDonald after only being around for a few months. It took years to make happen but look what it got us.

We are the gotta have it now folks it seems nowadays. No investment in the long term. That's why I think a trust is perfect. If drafted right, the contributors have little to lose. It can be written into the Trust that if it can't get off the ground after ten years. All the money has to be returned to the contributors at no cost to the contributors. Meaning someone's going to have to contribute bookoo volunteer hours (namely I, I'm sure).

I understand only having one goal, but I think we have to have the other ones as well as it will raise the cockles and alarm of antis over time. Taking out the sheriffs one by one is what will get the publicity going, I believe. From there it will potentially accomplish an aura of credibility when it comes to being a political force in the RKBA movement.

The other goals can't be forgotten though, perhaps put on the back burner but their time will have to come as well. And there isn't anything that says the contributors/beneficiaries can't vote to jump in with the NRA or SAF, or other group when the time appears appropriate.

And there will be other ways of raising money besides contributions that will be less than $3. I'm working on the details here and there. This idea has really got me cranking today. I'm being so productive it isn't even funny. Ok a little funny because I'll be running with it and my work till ten o'clock tonight.

I know a lot about SEO and even if someone doesn't want to contribute via paying $3 there will be other ways. Trust me.

No one else is doing this and maybe it won't be done great, but if it proves successful, even slightly. It could mean it happening in other states like Connecticut and New York.

It could change the way the game is played.

Telekinesis
January 27, 2014, 04:20 PM
I think it's an interesting idea. Do you have a business plan/model set up by any chance?

Are there any similar organizations structured this way (not necessarily gun rights, but any political goal) and what has their track record been in membership numbers, yearly contributions, and most importantly effect on the political landscape?

What kind of membership numbers are you expecting and how long do you expect it to take to reach your hurdle rate to actually start operations?

You will also need some way to choose a candidate if there are multiple people running for the office. For example if you have an a siting sheriff who is anti and two other candidates (one anti and one pro) you want to make sure the pro gun candidate gets the money.

This may seem like an odd question, but what is the typical cost of a campaign in the counties that you're looking at working in? On one side, if $500k won't make a noticeable difference to the candidate, I think you should change the numbers or look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you're looking at offering $500k and a typical election costs $750k, you may want to look at either giving less and working in more elections, or just pick someone pro gun and finance the majority of his campaign through the group.

I also agree that limiting your goal to just ousting sheriffs is probably better, at least initially. That gives you a clear and concise goal and will make it easier for your contributors/members to see results.

We are the gotta have it now folks it seems nowadays. No investment in the long term.

It's not that people are necessarily short sighted, but youre competing for people's money which is a finite resource. Starting off with ideas is great, but if you sit there for 3-5 years still sayin "we're gonna do great things!...eventually" people will loose confidence in your organization at best, and at worst will accuse you of theft. It's not a "gotta have it now" issue, it's more of proving that you are actually doing something worthwhile.


I think providing a list of contributors to the sheriff is a bad idea. First of all, it won't do any good for contributors outside of the state, but more importantly the practice of "donate to my political campaign and I'll give you a permit" is something that seems at odds with the stated goal of the group.

MagnumDweeb
January 27, 2014, 04:47 PM
Thank you Telekensis. A lot of this I've already started to hammer out but it takes time and I'm using forums to give me insight in to how other people think. Plus other members asking me is a way/device of adding more info without having a massive wall of text which I've already managed once.

Let me first address one of your issues in a round about way that gets us there. Being a Trustee is a big deal in law. If you steal from beneficiaries, it can mean jail time not to mention civil suits. So only one so craven to enter prison would steal from beneficiaries. I understand the desire to produce results quickly, and its need. The reality though must be one where setbacks and defeats are expected and planned for. One can never win if they can't prepare to lose as I have heard it said. So the trust comes into play, the money is protected by the fiduciary duties of the Trustee. If they steal, they possibly go to prison, if the Trust fails in accomplishing its goal, the money gets returned. The Trust lives or dies but the beneficiaries don't truly lose, as I believe.

I haven't seen any other organizations like this before but for the one I started for the client I have and he's only really shopping it to fellow rich folks who are animal lovers. It's not political though, it's merely creating and funding a nonprofit while allowing for some fiscal return to the beneficiaries and their heirs (so the heirs don't litigation happy hopefully).

The difficulty though comes from the fact that I only believe this can work is if it is done on a volunteer basis. No one is getting money from it unless it is to cover costs that are approved of by a majority vote of the beneficiaries, and that is only to cover costs of fulfilling the Trust's goals. Again the whole fiduciary duties and jail time thing comes into play as well.

The $500k I just threw out there, it has no basis in reality, it's just to grab attention. From what I've found on Californian sheriff races, some of the races max out at less than $50k. So the first few Sheriff elections I would say would need to be focused and hammered as to potentially get results.

Another side of the coin would be the inference that Trust has a large voting base that will potentially vote lockstep with the votes of the Trust to fund certain incumbent challengers. Also it would be written into the Trust that funds could not be used to support incumbents unless there was a two-thirds vote (still working on that, if a sheriff gets two-third it would mean the beneficiaries are very happy with what they have done, in my mind anyways).

As far as membership rates and hurdles. Huh I don't exactly know. I'm thinking of the money side from a Corporate Trust side of things. Most Corporate Trusts want a minimum capital amount of at least $400,000 but some will work with as little as $250,000. The main focus is to not only create a politically powerful group, but one that is almost self-sustaining at some point. I'd ultimately want the Corpus side (the Corporate Trust) of the Trust funded at its minimum first. It'd be the hardest goal to achieve but once achieved it would potentially make the organization unstoppable. Also written into the trust would be terms for a return on investment for the contributions. Not a great amount, but enough to added some sugar to the tea after a decade or so. Which I know on a $3 contribution seems absurd but we have to start somewhere.

A point to consider on the back side, one I believe is important, is that the interest must also be in removing incumbents where a pro-gun politician with a chance at winning isn't available. We assume because there is a anti-gun politician, there must be a pro-gun politician. That is not always the case I have found in my research. As such, the power to remove and prevent incumbents would in time deliver a great deal of power and influence to the group then. I would hope.

Thanks, keep bringing the questions. I'll work this iron ore into steal one way or another. LOL.

JRH6856
January 27, 2014, 05:25 PM
Not only is it going to be slow going at first, getting enough member/contributors to be effective, but to keep from alienating the members you do get and continue to attract new members, you are going to have to provide some interim benefit. A magazine, a newsletter, a blog, a forum like this one. Something to maintain interest over time.

MagnumDweeb
January 27, 2014, 05:35 PM
I'm seeing that side as well. I'm thinking a website with a blog component, and also a forum component. But I don't want to compete with THR or Calguns. I would want to keep the forum dedicated to news, polite discussion, politics, and some indulgent topics that won't make a nun blush (sports, muscle cars, motorcycles, hobby machinists and gunsmiths).

I'm months away from doing anything. This is all conceptualizing right now. I want people to tell me what they want, ask the questions they have, voice their concerns. Sort of what the internet was supposed to allow us to do over a decade ago. Be the anti-media and take on a new voice amongst those who think they can ignore us.

I wont be able to do it all myself. If I don't get the idea out there though, I'll never know if it could have been.

I'm also thinking I'm going to have to write a free ebook explaining it and distribute it. Sort of how I've seen Miller/Medicaid Trusts hocked by Trusts and Estate attorneys. Sit down with something concise to read what the "Trust" is all about. I'm dreading it but I'm also excited about it at the same time.

I'd also have to create a special membership section for contributor/beneficiaries where there are biweekly posts involving the account where the money is being kept so people can see there is no stealing going on as well. It's going to be a pain in the neck but nothing ventured nothing gained.

Jorg Nysgerrig
January 27, 2014, 06:02 PM
It might be useful to post the condensed, easy-to-follow version here.

Telekinesis
January 27, 2014, 06:20 PM
I understand that there is a legal duty by the trustees to act in the interest of the trust and that it is illegal for them to steal from the trust. But that won't stop people of making the accusation if nothing happens for years after putting money in. You don't necessarily have to show successful results, just that your group is doing something and making a difference in the politics of the area. If after a year of operation, you can distribute a list that says "with your contributions we did x, y, and z, and here's the outcome of those actions" you'll do well.

It's not so much that people want to see the exact balance of the accounts on a weekly basis, but if you accept money for a significant amount of time and don't have anything to show for it, there will probably be questions.

Also keep in mind that for people putting money into this, their return on investment will be in the form of political, not monetary gain. You could offer the same thing without the possibility of dividends and you will almost assuredly get the same amount of money put in.

I think that having the organization sustain itself is a worthy goal, but should be something more long term, not something where getting the investment account funded is a prerequisite to beginning operations.

And in order to keep people putting money into the org, you'll need some sort of publicity team and/or a marketing team. I would be highly suspicious (from a business point of view, not about you personally) of any company that budgeted nothing for operating expenses.

I may be envisioning a much larger membership base than you are thinking of, and my math may be off (I'm literally doing this on a post it note) but I think you'll need something like 30,000 1-year memberships to reach your stated $250,000 rate to begin operations (if I read right and $0.75 of each $3 contribution goes towards an individual goal like ousting a sheriff). Now I know those are not hard numbers, but on an organization that size I think you'll need a group of executives to coordinate and screen issues that need to be brought to a vote (also, it's a lot easier to discuss a long term strategic plan with 10 people as opposed to several thousand). Those people don't have to be paid (and probably shouldn't be) but it would probably be good to make sure the trust docs set up a managing group.
(I may have missed if you have already said something about governance, so if you have my apologies)

Frosty Dave
January 27, 2014, 06:48 PM
I think one of the first things you need is an editor. If this is the condensed version, I don't ever want to see the director's cut!

But I like the idea; if I can join up with other little guys and know that my contribution is going to an agile and savvy effort to help RKBA work in California, Connecticut or New York I can sure manage to budget another $3 for that.

It might be said that my +$3 would be put to good use by an established group like NRA, but I think there is much wisdom in letting the antis learn to play whack-a-mole with grass roots RKBA groups popping up in their nicely groomed political gardens.

I'll be following your threads and posts on this topic with interest.

MagnumDweeb
January 28, 2014, 09:46 AM
FrostyDave, I've tried a few times to write out a condensed version and I still end up with ten paragraphs. I talked to my fiancee and she agreed to work with me this weekend on a plain statement. I may have to start a whole new thread to streamline things but I'm glad to see that some folks being able to witness that $3 a month could legitimately go to the RKBA fight as something worth donating to as a feasible thing.

Part of my problem is I'm posting between drafting of intense legal documents (memoranda, appellate briefs, etc., I'm not billing the client while posting, I'm just the type that needs a quick break every thirty minutes but can't stop altogether or I risk losing my momentum).

Telekinesis- thank you, that's what I'm looking for. I'm okay waiting a couple of years and getting things together to make something happen but not everyone is like me. Results or actions need to be shown to be taking place.

I was thinking about the publicity/marketing side as well. I was thinking periodicals like Shotgun News would be a good place to advertise the organization. It's read by folks who are really into the Knox Report (which I enjoy when I stop into Books-A-Million to get a Latte') and I don't think it's one of the most expensive periodical advertisers like Guns and Ammos. Then of course would need to be a website dedicated to California politics and gun politics that also dabbled in gun reviews and California gun laws which I would hope would be contributed by members of the Trust seeking to grow something they belong to and own a piece of.

Part of why I like the Trust is it gives to the contributors a sense of ownership. An undeniable say in the course of what is happening, granted that say is reliant largely on majority voting and in some cases 2/3rd (on matters that amend the Trust).

I like the dividends part because it creates an enforceable duty to the beneficiary. I'm seeing this in the light that all of this would still be running long after I've taken a dirt nap. Plus the dividends portion sort of ameliorates, in my opinion, the sting of contributing the money because at some point, on some level you or your heirs are getting the money back (it might take several decades).

Now as to managing blocks, I've been thinking about that. Where once membership hits one thousand people, one hundred people elect a single representative, and those representatives elect up to ten members to the managing board who votes for what issues within the scope of the Trust to deal with. The Trustee will of course be allowed the vote in case of a tie, or if what the managing board wants to do is outside the scope of the Trust, veto the managing boards vote and the veto can only be overcome by a two-thirds vote of the beneficiaries.

With that in mind the scope of the Trust would have to have some set and definite scopes so as to have things happening even where there is a case of gridlock amongst the managing board and beneficiaries. That I'm still outlining.

A big big thing I want, is for no one to be getting paid a salary or income for employment by the Trust. The only money that gets paid out is for marketing, publicity, litigation costs, campaign contributions, and taxes. The Trustee's position would be purely voluntary, the managing board would be purely voluntary, and so on. No one is going to get rich off of the contributions to the Trust unless it is a dividend on their own investment.

Also another thing, something I have to check into, will be denying contributors/beneficiaries entrance based on their political backgrounds. Meaning no folks from the Joyce Foundation, MAIG, etc. who may try to get cute and hijack the Trust. That's part of why I want the Trustee to have veto power in case there is a vote by the managing board to do something counter to the scope and intent of the Trust, say donate to an MAIG supported politician when there is a Pro-2nd politician on the other side.

Alright enough word salad. Thanks so far guys. I see myself having to write an ebook about this.

danez71
January 28, 2014, 11:02 AM
I think its a great idea. I'd join.

Food for thought:

In regards to the "Now Now Now" mentality. While true, IMO, people don't need to see results "Now", they need to see progress "Now". A weekly update email newsletter stating: "This is what we did this week" (could be as simple as 'started fact finding of candidates in XYZ county for Sheriffs and expect to have a selected candidate to back by <date>.) It would also help serve the Trust to keep focused and accountable to its members.

In regards to a website/blog/forum: Consider also piggy-backing it into existing forums. You'll get more exposure.

JRH6856
January 28, 2014, 11:54 AM
Part of why I like the Trust is it gives to the contributors a sense of ownership. An undeniable say in the course of what is happening, granted that say is reliant largely on majority voting and in some cases 2/3rd (on matters that amend the Trust).

I'm going to assume that you have thought of some safeguards to prevent a guerrilla group of anti's frpm joining in sufficient numbers to achieve a 2/3 majority, vote to dissolve the trust, and contribute the assets to MAIG?

MagnumDweeb
January 28, 2014, 12:23 PM
JRH6856, I've contemplated that a great deal and that is being dealt with in the language of the Trust. I'm only working on it at night for a half hour at time focusing on individual sections and outlining some grander parts as I think about it.

Anti-hijacking is a real concern so I'm thinking there will have to be language that if the Trust gets dissolved. All the money will have to be given back to the contributors. Now that brings up issues of giving back what to who, and that's the tricky part. The corpus contribution can easily be given back. The other parts are more difficult. So I'm thinking about limiting the amending powers of the beneficiaries, and limiting beneficiaries to actual corporeal people (no other trusts, corps, or non-profits). Certain scopes will have to be free of amendment but in turn will need set defined parameters.

So say it somehow gets dissolved. If it does, all the money outside the corpus contribution gets donated to the NRA and SAF in a fifty-fifty breakdown. So even if the MAIG hijacked it, it wouldn't do them any good other than temporarily shutting down the Trust and I'd have all the contributors info from before the dissolving and I'd be able to contact them and restart it sans the new members who voted to dissolve the trust.

And if you think about it, it'd take an expense of resources from the MAIG crowd to breakdown the Trust, that they would have to take away from their main mission. Thus forcing them into whack-a-mole.

In addition, in order for someone to join the Trust they'd have to submit a notarized document with their signature. If someone uses bogus aliases that is very much against the law. Also in part why there will be some vehicles created for random and anonymous contributions to the Trust without actually joining the Trust (doing so though will not entitle one to a right to vote on decisions or receive a dividend from the Trust).

Another point to bring up will be that the Trust will likely also have several other powers such as creating a website for itself, printed magazine, or printed newspaper that is distributed to the members should the members vote by majority for it.

So imagine you have thirty thousand members. Let's say a thousand of them are in one county of California, hypothetically. You could then contact various businesses in that county asking them if they'd like to buy ad space in the monthly newspaper. To show their support. You keep the rates competitive with the intent of covering the printing and distribution plus adding to the non-corpus parts of the Trust (unseating anti-Sheriffs for instance). It would be a headache but if it worked, it would be a good thing.

The newspaper would cover local sheriffs, politicians, local laws, proposed laws, etc. in the State of California. It would be volunteer written and paid for printing and distribution. It'd be something a member could leave behind in their doctor's office after having read it, or at their gym, gun range, etc. etc.. Possibly drawing the interest of potential new members.

There are a ton of different ways to go with this.

MagnumDweeb
January 28, 2014, 12:30 PM
If a forum was done I wouldn't want it to compete with THR or Calguns. The forum topics would have to be unique in my mind so as not be possibly considered competition for web traffic. That way the forums wouldn't mind me posting articles and links to the blog and forum posts. In a way we would hopefully all win.

JRH6856
January 28, 2014, 01:05 PM
If a forum was done I wouldn't want it to compete with THR or Calguns. The forum topics would have to be unique in my mind so as not be possibly considered competition for web traffic. That way the forums wouldn't mind me posting articles and links to the blog and forum posts. In a way we would hopefully all win.
Some kind of web presence is required these days. A forum would give the members a place to interact and feel included. The more activity on the forum, the more it would feel like somthing is happening, even if it is just planning.

Given the proposed purpose and associated topics, if a public forum is the chosen path. there would have to be some overlap with exsiting forums, but it could easily be made complimentary. With a good staff of moderators, topics could be referred to a forum more appropriate for the discussion. And it would work both ways.

I would suggest a two tiered approach, with the public face a blog with comments (that way you control the subject matter), and a private members only forum for members to have free discussion without unknown or unwanted lurkers.

MagnumDweeb
January 28, 2014, 04:30 PM
Another reason why the forum will be important is because it will allow the contributors to pool their talents. The Trust will own the website ultimately (my contribution of a running website good for three years) so the material will belong to the members and so the members should want to contribute blog posts, articles, and gun reviews to the website to help other potential members find the website via google, youtube, etc..

The members should elect the PR team via their voting block and allow for folks to submit articles that are voted on for publishing every thirty days. The voting would be done on the forum which would only be available to paying members or members who had achieved voting level. If you're not a member you can't see the forum. In essence someone contributing $3 a month could vote on whether a blog got published regarding building AKs but if they hadn't been a member for ten years or hadn't contributed a total of $360 then they couldn't vote on where the Trusts activist funds were going.

So that way even those who were only contributing $3 a month could make regular contributions via blogs and articles. Thus giving them a voice. All while helping the SEO value of the website improve at the same time.

Articles could be about the evolution of firearms in America. The Politics of gun control. Gun control as it related to labor breaking (union busting). Gun control's failures around the world. Methods of gun manufacturing using nothing but hand tools. And once the printed periodical starts going out, that would have articles as well.

danez71
January 28, 2014, 07:36 PM
So imagine you have thirty thousand members. Let's say a thousand of them are in one county of California, hypothetically. You could then contact various businesses in that county asking them if they'd like to buy ad space in the monthly newspaper. To show their support. You keep the rates competitive with the intent of covering the printing and distribution plus adding to the non-corpus parts of the Trust (unseating anti-Sheriffs for instance). It would be a headache but if it worked, it would be a good thing.
.

This sporting goods store (guns and fishing) already does some cross marketing with Calguns.net and California Rifle and Pistol Association.

http://www.turners.com/

MagnumDweeb
January 28, 2014, 07:58 PM
Thanks dane71, I'll make note of that for when the website gets launched and if ever the newspaper periodicals got off the ground.

What I would love is for there to be 100,000 members who visited the website each and day and clicked on the banner advertisements to driver pay-per-click advertising revenue. :neener:

danez71
January 28, 2014, 10:11 PM
Thanks dane71, I'll make note of that for when the website gets launched and if ever the newspaper periodicals got off the ground.

What I would love is for there to be 100,000 members who visited the website each and day and clicked on the banner advertisements to driver pay-per-click advertising revenue. :neener:

In the lower left part of the home page there are other cross marketing partners. Shooting range etc.

In regards to pay per click: I hear you on that. My wife goes to a certain web page every morning and "clicks" because they donate a portion to Breast Cancer Awareness. I think Susan Komen.

Teachu2
January 28, 2014, 10:46 PM
I'm a native Californian, and live in a rather conservative area of California. My thought would be to start with a very, very small race and hit it with a very, very large hammer. Recruit local, respected business owners, doctors, teachers, and community members to be the faces in your ads, and hit it hard. The last five ads the sheep see before voting need to be yours. And be positive, even when you are throwing mud. "I'm Dr. Saved Yourkid, and I support Jack Reacher, because Jack will fight to keep child molesters off the street. Join me in getting child molesters locked up - vote for Jack!". Pick issues EVERYBODY would support, and OWN them - it doesn't matter if all the other candidates jump up and clain they have the same position. He who says the most stuff that people agree with FIRST becomes the Leader, and that's what the sheeple want to hear. They need to hear as many different people as possible saying good things about the candidate as possible, RIGHT BEFORE THEY VOTE. There's a reason campaign signs aren't allowed at polling places - most voters would elect Charles Manson if he was the only name they recognized.

Pick a race, pick a candidate, and don't tip your hand early. Hit it hard, blindside the opposition, and don't leave enough time to react. Ideally, pick a race that has several candidates for the primary, and blitz it hard enough that your good-but-previously-unknown-and-underfunded candidate can win 50%+1 in the primary, and it's over before the party hacks know what happened.

MagnumDweeb
January 29, 2014, 09:39 AM
Thank you Teachu2. That would be the opening salvo I guess you could say. Making a big splash in a little pond. The way I was seeing it in California that was if we wanted to get Pro-RKBA behind us we needed to start going after the low hanging fruit being Sheriff's who don't issue CWP for garbage reasons. A lot of Californians want CWPs from what I can pickup but can't get them due to the Sheriffs having final say.

So we find a candidate that is anti, that barely won his last election, that raised thirty thousand dollars or less, and then find a lawful way to support his rival with fifty thousand dollars. Be it in direct campaign donations, Super PAC ads, campaign signs, etc. etc. etc.. When it starts rolling, then send letters to the rival we are supporting him regardless of his stance (but if the rival is Pro-RKBA we very much support them, and so we would want to look at races where there are Pro-RKBA rivals initially).

We would want the rival to know we are their supporter but if we don't get what we want, we can very much for the next election support their rival. $50,000 looks like it would make a big difference in a sheriff's race from what I can tell. After that get some publicity and some wins under the belt, plus a larger and larger number of members who see we are actually attempting something and not just sitting on our thumbs. And that the money in now way goes fancy dinners or hotel rooms (it's all volunteer, the money is for campaign donations and the like).

Thank you Teachu2 for your contribution to this thread. We need more posters like you and folks who understand this could be the beginning of something great.

Dr. Sandman
January 31, 2014, 08:39 AM
Start small and be specific. Work on one anti at a time. Then see what happens. You could be responsible for the next NRA!

MagnumDweeb
January 31, 2014, 08:56 AM
Thanks Dr. Sandman, that's more less my plan. I just want to start with Sheriffs because that seems the easiest place to make the biggest and most recognizable difference. I wouldn't go after more than one sheriff till there was at least fifty thousand dollars in play.

As to being the next NRA. Nope don't want that. The NRA is a good organization in my honest opinion but they are too.... much a part of the system. I want the Trust and its participants to be purely volunteer people that way when the antis try to accuse us of being pimps for the guns industry and such we can laugh at them and show the public we are a true grass roots organization that anyone pro-RKBA can join for as little as three dollars in their pocket and make contributions to in the way of Gun Reviews, articles about historical and legislative topics, and possibly even law review articles as well.

I want the news to show up on my front door at my middle class house with my two middle class cars, asking for an interview and me politely telling them the Trust hasn't authorized me to represent their opinions (yeah I'm adding an Agency Clause to the Trust so we don't get any crackpots saying they represent the Trust and playing into the hands of the antis and MSM, to be elected to represent the Trust on the news or in an interview one would have to get two-thirds of the voting power vested beneficiaries).

I don't want Trust representative dining on caviar and drinking champagne. I want them at barbecues grilling chicken, steak, hot dogs, and yes even flavored tofu alongside fellow trust members and prospective members. Showing the public that whether we be doctor, lawyer, accountant, mechanic, school teacher, fast food worker. We all stand behind the second amendment and do not wish it sullied. Just because some of us happen to be vegan, transgender, hunters, MMA fans, etc. etc. we still stand united and cannot be divided.

Ironclad
February 1, 2014, 04:42 PM
I like the idea in concept but I don't like that it would focus solely on California. I would like to see something that helps in all 50 states. When you think about it, it may be more financially feasible to do it that way. More people would be likely to buy in if it helped their home state, and the other states would have fewer issues to spend money on. The bulk of the money would still probably go to CA, NY, NJ, IL, etc, but I think their would be more money to play with.

JRH6856
February 1, 2014, 05:45 PM
I like the idea in concept but I don't like that it would focus solely on California. I would like to see something that helps in all 50 states.

A win in California would help all 50 states--perhaps more than several wins in all the other states. Historically, national trends start in CA. What happens there eventually happens in other states. CA is a stronghold state for the antis. Attack and win there, even take back some or most of what has been lost there, and then let that trend spread.

Ironclad
February 1, 2014, 06:49 PM
I understand that but how many prospective members will you lose who have written off California and are more concerned with their own state?

JRH6856
February 1, 2014, 09:47 PM
Hopefully none will be lost because they will have read, understood and agreed with the strategic goals before they join. :scrutiny:

zorro45
February 2, 2014, 02:27 PM
Technique of selecting critical races, and focusing large $ donations to the conservative opponent, is the strategy of Americans for Common Sense Solutions. It is run by a guy named Chris Stenberg who is a good guy, out of Providence RI. It is basically a bulldog of a conservative "hit-PAC" and I mean that in a very nice and respectful way. It might be worth checking him out, because it sounds like you are trying to do the same thing, only for RKBA, not a broad range of conservative issues. http://americansforcommonsensesolutions.com

MagnumDweeb
February 2, 2014, 04:25 PM
I'm glad to see this thread have some fresh blood. I figured it would die off soon but I'm gladdened.

The Trust would start out in California, and if it bore fruit I would likely start up additional ones. As I started them up I would use the online presence with its forums to passively solicit membership from preexisting members in the California Trust. No mailers, just Forum posts discussing the new Trust and what. We have to start somewhere and California being a may issue state when it comes to CWPs and the sheriffs being a big obstacle to concealed carry, it to me makes sense to start there in part as a way of gaining likely publicity, and a setup like this will need publicity in order to grow and have an influence like how I want it to have.

I'm picking California because of how often I've seen others, and myself, at times just want to give up on California. The problem with that is that is what the antis are counting on. For us to keep playing defensive and not go after them. Imagine Bloomberg and his ilk having to pick between financing antis in California or Colorado. The less money he would end up putting in Colorado would make a bigger difference than the money he put in California.

Plus California is a large state with lots of gun owners who feel abandoned and helpless. Start giving them a sense of belonging, comraderie, and a chance to participate in changing things. I think it would opening a tap of potentially valuable members.

Also I've covered this idea in another threat, post http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=742192&page=4, that I would eventually have the Trust setup an outreach program to have folks who might otherwise be financially unable to buy a firearm and ammo (financial barrier to participation) be provided with a firearm after they performed a hundred and twenty hours of public service in a year (suicide hotline, feeding the poor, cleaning up parks and natural environments, etc.). Because of that I would want the Trust to remain state specific.

Once the model was proven, I'm sure more intelligent and successful people would start them up as well. And I wouldn't just stop with California. Next I'd go after Oregon (sits on the edge of going to antis it looks like to me). So starting with California, would be just that, a start; not an end.

The financial side of the trust would just be the start. The social media side of it would be incredibly valuable as well creating a means for members to actively organize, share information and ideas, and possibly hold public events that would lead to public outreach and positive relationship development with the public.

Take on the antis at the ballot box, reach out to fence sitters, and finance legal actions we need to take. It'd be a big undertaking, but the more of us doing this, the less the antis will be able to just freely wage their agenda against us.

Zorro45, thanks for the info. It is something very important to consider.

I've decided I'm going to launch a website in September (hopefully) to get the process live. By then I should have the Trust fully drafted, proofed, researched, and ready (it's already outlined at two hundred pages and will probably be closer to four hundred by the time it is finished given its activist scope and focus).

Please keep contributing to this thread guys. It's providing me with a lot of insight.

MagnumDweeb
February 2, 2014, 04:34 PM
I understand that but how many prospective members will you lose who have written off California and are more concerned with their own state?
Ironclad, I understand the concern and spent much time deliberating on it. It's partly why I am keeping litigation support as part of it so that way contributions would also have chance of influencing national aspects and issues of RKBA.

I've heard from many of a liberal that once something starts in California, it eventually ends up everywhere in America. So someone sitting in Virginia might not see the sense in contributing their three dollars or visiting the website set up for the Trust and clicking on pay per click ads (so the Trust's assets grew). But maybe someone in Georgia wishing to give California antis hell might contribute their three dollars once a year and perhaps what money they got for scraping their beer and soda cans. As well as writing articles on what they knew about gun history and such along side gun reviews and their opinions on various pieces of legislation. And maybe even visiting the site a few times a week to click on the website's various ads to see what advertisers were offering (and growing the Trust's assets to offer more political activism and public outreach).

So maybe it's not a perfect idea Ironclad, but if it works, can you imagine what it would mean for the RKBA community? Setup to empower every member regardless of wealth (once they contributed $3[I've started altering some points to reduce the barrier to membership and voting powers]), creed, race, religion, etc.. Every member having one vote that counted just as much the next. Able to take part in setting the agenda, and feeling their voice truly heard and appreciated.

Oh what great things we could accomplish.

Ironclad
February 3, 2014, 04:06 AM
I still think that you are needlessly limiting the potential size and power of your trust by limiting it to a single state, but I like your idea and will probably participate anyway. It would definitely be satisfying to turn California around. I also really like your idea of subsidizing firearms for those unable to afford them. I have always wanted to find a way to arm every law abiding citizen who needs / wants a firearm.

MagnumDweeb
February 3, 2014, 12:37 PM
I still think that you are needlessly limiting the potential size and power of your trust by limiting it to a single state, but I like your idea and will probably participate anyway. It would definitely be satisfying to turn California around. I also really like your idea of subsidizing firearms for those unable to afford them. I have always wanted to find a way to arm every law abiding citizen who needs / wants a firearm.
Ironclad, all your points are valid. Look at it this way for a second though. Say I get a hundred thousand people to sign up for the first two years of the Trust's existence. And they never visit the website for the trust and click on the ads (thus no ad revenue).

I'm looking at only charging $3 per person to have membership and voting powers in the Trust (because if you are truly pro-RKBA and you can't find three dollars worth of nasty change floating around your pockets, house, or car....really?). So that's only $150k as far as the trust is concerned for carrying out activism. The remaining 150k goes into the corpus part of the trust and at that amount the ROI will be quite little and not enough to qualify for a Corporate Trust ROI.

So the Trust then has to make a big impression, gain public awareness, and show it can do something with only a $150k if I'm lucky. Spread that out over fifty states and it is not just going to happen. Hit California's sheriffs' races and it would stand a chance of making some people turn their heads and gaining some publicity.

Once a working model is up and running then we could take it to Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Virginia (still fairly pro-RKBA but why take a chance when the antis think they are winning), with individual trusts. Joining each trust would only cost $3 because the membership numbers would ultimately be the most valuable thing and each trust would not require a separate website. Thus the website would become the rallying point for all the Trusts I guess you could say.

Then possibly each member might click on the ad revenue setups to bring a little extra money to the trusts, once or twice a month if they found an ad interesting. Thus growing the trust even more.

JRH6856
February 3, 2014, 03:07 PM
with individual trusts. Joining each trust would only cost $3 because the membership numbers would ultimately be the most valuable thing and each trust would not require a separate website. Thus the website would become the rallying point for all the Trusts I guess you could say.

So, nationally, you would have a network of independent state trusts and for $3 someone could join the trust for the state he/she is interested in helping most; or join multiple trusts at $3 each with voting rights in each trust? Or am I missing what you are saying?

MagnumDweeb
February 3, 2014, 03:58 PM
"So, nationally, you would have a network of independent state trusts and for $3 someone could join the trust for the state he/she is interested in helping most; or join multiple trusts at $3 each with voting rights in each trust? Or am I missing what you are saying?"

I'd set it up as where the members could join multiple trusts at $3 each. I'd just lead with California. As I'm seeing it so far I would have to be the initial Trustee. I wouldn't be paid anything for my work, it would be purely volunteer, and the trust would be setup so there was no paid Trustee unless that person was a Corporate Trustee who's duty it would be to grow the investment corpus of the Trust. There would be limits on who the Corporate Trustee could be and it would require a majority vote of beneficiaries in order to elect the Corporate Trustee who would be elected for up to four years at a time. Essentially the Corporate Trustee doesn't make any money unless it makes the Trust money, that's typically how it works.

Start with California, get it moving and positive, then look to add more states building on California's success. The idea to be building off a known model that the members would hopefully believe in and thus a year later vote to either include another state or contribute another three dollars to create a whole new Trust.

After the first two years there would be an election for a new trustee so long as twenty-five percent or more of the beneficiaries sent in notarized demands for an election, unless the Trustee engaged in gross mismanagement or misappropriation (where a jail sentence usually follows). If the Trustee engaged in gross mismanagement (idle or wasting money) or misappropriation then it would be an election based on a majority vote of the beneficiaries who voted.

Running the California Trust would be a big deal to begin with, which I'm doing for free, then I doubt I would have much more energy or time for another Trust. So I'd likely have to get the California Trust managed by a trustworthy competent person willing to work five to six hours a week for free that is able to get elected by the beneficiaries.

A big part of this is ensuring the beneficiaries have a legitimate voice and influence on the Trust's activities without opening the door for the antis to hijack it (which i'm in the middle of playing with the language so to speak). Let folks decide if they want to be in for a penny or in for a pound so to speak. Save up all your beer and coke cans (and unreloadable brass, and maybe your dirty filthy pennies you typically just throw away) and sell them for scrap as a way of making your contributions to the trust.

With that said I am toying with the idea of having a part in the Trust whereby a two-thirds vote of all beneficiaries (not just voting beneficiaries) would allow for the adoption of another state per annual election (limited to voting in one state a year) which would allow the Trustee to appoint an assistant (who works for free) to help with the Trust's activities in each state. Meaning for every new state, there is a new appointed assistant.

The idea is: "Can we get a million people organized for as little as three dollars a person, then never ask for another dime and then have an ongoing RKBA organization that accomplishes things?"

From there the Trust would organize to have quarterly publishings to its members covering what the Trust is doing, news in the RKBA movement, and gun product reviews. Yes the trust will already have a web presence, forum and a blog. Ad space would be sold to advertisers with the intent of covering the distribution and adding more money to the trust. There would also be the web presence where members could post blogs, articles, etc. about RKBA, gun related legislation, etc. and possibly also see what online ads were being hosted on the site that were pay-per-click, and perhaps click on one or two a month and as an aside also driving the asset growth of the Trust.

I'm looking at it from all angles. I don't want to alienate those who would want to grow the Trust model for their own states, but I don't want it to be such a monster thing it couldn't be done with just volunteers. There are lots of people who want to volunteer for the RKBA movement, they just need an outlet that won't break the bank or put their wallets at risk, that will still be appreciably productive.

stevek
February 3, 2014, 10:06 PM
MD,
Still interested, and waiting to send payment...

MagnumDweeb
February 4, 2014, 10:31 AM
MD,
Still interested, and waiting to send payment...
Stevek, I appreciate it but it's going to be sometime before I have something in place. I'm working on the Trust but there's a lot to it from just the legal side of things. Plus I just got the info on campaigning in California and the legal yes and no that goes with it. This will not be an overnight thing unfortunately. Plus I want there to be more input on it.

Also a website has to be built for the Trust that I'm going to personally front the money for, and I need to get articles together for the Trust as well for the blog, article, SEO side of things so folks can get an idea of what the Trust is about and the people that will potentially belong to it. The website is going to be a big part of the member experience with blogs, forums, and articles that all come from the members.

Then it has to be made clear that this will not be a charity but a Trust, essentially a business venture. Because if you don't have a legal charity entity in place it is against the law to solicit for something that can be deemed to be a charity. So I also have to make sure the Trust has various articles in it, i.e. publishing a quarterly periodical to members in which companies are solicited for advertising fees, that paint it not as a charity but as a business venture in essence which allows it a great deal more flexibility in action and scope.

So I appreciate the enthusiasm, I do. But the first brick hasn't even been put in place, so I can't really accept drywall if you catch my drift. In the meantime if you want to help without laying out any money, PM me so we can discuss what articles you may be able to contribute to the eventual website to help grow the Trust's web presence. They can be about virtually anything from gun reviews of your personal firearms, to shooting ranges near you that you like, to historical bits about various firearms that you like (I'm going to an article on Tokarevs for example).

It might seem odd to have articles for the Trust's website but in order to get a public presence, traffic needs to be driven to the website and in order to do that you need articles. So that way maybe a young twenty something wanting info Glocks might stumble upon the website, read an article or blog about a member's review of their Glock and decide to visit the website a couple times a month, maybe eventually joining the Trust for $3, clicking on one or two ad revenue driving ads on the website a month, and improving the SEO ranking of the website with their traffic.

When it finally goes live I'll be sure to post about it on THR, trust me. I'm getting $2,000 in place to try and make it a reality (what else was I going to do with the money, just buy more guns, send it to the NRA along with my yearly membership renewal, and still feel like I wasn't really doing anything proactive for RKBA). I've got a web design contact who can set the website up for five years and do the layout and design (with the blog, forum, and article parts) for $1,500 he's telling me (he'd also be joining) and the other $500 I'll have for unexpected expenses in the course of creating the website.

By the time the website launches I plan on have six of my own articles done for the website and fiancee plans on having four done (i.e. buying her first gun as a woman, why she prefers semis over revolvers and why revolvers are not always the best option she has found, why she likes .357 magnum revolvers, why women shouldn't be afraid of .45 caliber guns). I figure each article will be about five thousand words each at a minimum, have plenty of outbound links citing various things so they establish themselves as a information source provider.

With that said stevek, till it's ready, till it's live, the best things you can do is keep showing your love on THR and maybe working on a few articles to contribute once it goes live and you are a member. Thanks.

siglite
February 5, 2014, 12:29 AM
I would advise you to consult an attorney familiar with 501c3, 501c4, PACs and super PACs. You start messing around with elections, pushing for or against candidates, there are a ton of state and federal laws. There's required reporting. In short, this is a really good way to land youself in federal prison.

I can see absolutley no purpose in forming a trust that is not far better served with a 501c3 or c4.

And before anyone donates or becomes a trustee in such a complex legal instrument as a trust, I would very carefully research your exposure if this trust purports plans to involve itself in electioneering activity. Most people have no idea what a nasty legal minefield that is.

siglite
February 5, 2014, 12:42 AM
Thinking further, c4s have enormous flexibility. Most of the limitations for a c4 (for your purposes) will hinge around electioneering activity. Lobbying activity in support of the issue, lawsuits, and *some* electioneering activity are all a go. Why not form a c4 and craft the bylaws to provide the membership-ownership levels you seek?

MagnumDweeb
February 5, 2014, 09:09 AM
Siglite, I've been getting up to speed on the legalities of the election part and all of that. It involves a lot of research time, that's why I'm thinking not till September before all the parts are worked out. From where I'm standing now, the formation of Super PACs by the Trust may need to be a power the Trust has so as to create some degree of insulation. Also the use of activist funds to hire appropriate California attorneys for the legal side of things.

I'm drafting some letters to go out to the powers that be regarding election dos and don't in California to make sure there wouldn't be any issues. From what I've gleamed from various legal research, you can actively campaign for a candidate without coordinating with their office but might want to limit it to post signs and very neutral brochures that just make the voting public aware of the candidate. When you start contacting the candidate directly the waters start to muddy.

It's going to take awhile before the Trust is setup to avoid breaking the law like a nun who's taken a vow silence avoids cursing out loud (not an Irish nun lol). I've got to do legal research, read up on rules, laws, and regulations, etc. etc. etc..

I could just go the Super PAC route but it doesn't have that legacy staying power I want to be there.

Thanks Siglite for your points and suggestions. I'm not ignoring them, I'm working on how to get around and comply with them while still maintaining the Trust. Again thanks.

siglite
February 5, 2014, 07:50 PM
Another tactic to consider is one I've seen in another state that is now being used in my own, against the RKBA. Various groups are picking a focal point in a very safe district.

Let me build a hypotetical.

Let's call him Senator Smith, who is a state senator in the state of Pennsyltucky. Senator Smith, if wants to, can stay in office forever, because he's entrenched and he votes with his district's values. You see, Senator Smith is one of maybe five or six openly gay members of his legislature. He represents a district which has a high concentration of GBLT residents. Senator Smith isn't going anywhere. That district will re-elect him over and over again until he dies. Kind of like Dianne Feinstein. She's in forever. She represents and votes the values of San Francisco California. Senator Smith is kind of like that. He's not going anywhere.

So, throughout the country, various groups decide they want to change the laws of our fictional state of Pennsyltucky. They don't like Pennsyltucky's gun laws, among other issues. So, nationwide, they hammer their networks. Donate whatever you can to Senator Smith of Pennsyltucky. Suddenly, millions of dollars from all over the country are flowing in to this state senator's campaign coffers. Millions. Tens, and hundreds of thousands of interested donors are throwing anywhere from $5 to $1000 into his campaign, and he's not even up for reelection for another four years. What does Senator Smith do with this money? He funds campaigns of like minded candidates in less solid districts. And after an election cycle or two, we no longer have one anti-gun vote in the Pennsyltucky senate represented by Senator Smith, but two in the senate, and five more in the house. You see, those people owe their seats to Senator Smith's campaign coffers.

I'm aware of one state where this has happened. It's being attempted in mine. These are the types of tactics we face.

The key of course, for the other side, is that they must be able to trust Senator Smith to do "the right thing" (which from our perspective is the exact wrong thing) with their money. But the takeaway point is that one like-minded state representative becomes a conduit for nationwide funding concentrated on one or two races in the targeted state. It is a broad funnel with a very concentrated target zone.

There is no reason such a tactic could not be used BY us, since it is being used AGAINST us. The problem is that if you were to poll THR's membership and ask, "where should we do that? What districts, in what state?" You'd probably get about 700 different answers. How the other side is getting around that, I'm not sure. I'm not tuned in to their messages and social networking as finely as I should be.

Fun food for thought.

jim000711
February 9, 2014, 11:51 AM
While these Trusts, and gathering money to fight "Anti's" may make a dent, there is another thing that we could use a forum such as this to accomplish. We have a two party system- Democrats and Republicans. But, regardless of party affiliation, there is a problem with both parties. People arrive for their first term as a Senator or Representative and they just know that they are going to be the one to change things, to improve on gridlock, to truly represent the people that put them there. Only problem is, they immediately run into a brick wall. The "career politicians" have all of the power. They have the say over what committees the freshmen class can serve on. So, in order to get on their desired committee, the first thing that the freshmen class has to do is start making concessions to their ideals. That is the beginning of the end.

The biggest problem we have are "Career Politicians" that get too many perks, too many alliances with Lobbyists. They all end up serving the Lobbyists instead of the People. Only way to eliminate this problem is to eliminate incumbents. So, my suggestion is that we need to vote "non-incumbent" in every local, state and federal election. Congress will never approve term limits, and voting against any and all incumbents is the only way to fix this broken system.

Vote your conscience in the primary's to try to get the best new candidates that you feel stand for your values, but in the general elections, vote to fire people. This will cost us some good ones initially, but in the long run, we will get back to our Senators and Representatives working for us.

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