LP’s Seebeck: Anatomy of a Coup

Michael Seebeck writes at his blog, Muddy Thoughts:

But I have news for you—Lee just happens to be a convenient pawn in a much larger game, and Lee’s outspokenness has been a thorn in the side of certain persons on the LNC who seem to be obsessed not with being the biggest fish in the LP pond, but with being the only fish.

Read it all here.

86 thoughts on “LP’s Seebeck: Anatomy of a Coup

  1. sunshinebatman

    We should never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories about the parliamentary attack of April 14.

  2. Richard Winger

    Michael Seebeck makes a lot of strong points, but he is factually wrong to say the NHLP wanted no part of the 2008 ballot access lawsuit. The NHLP is the most important plaintiff in the case. The goal of the case is to force New Hampshire’s Secretary of State to permit stand-ins on presidential petitions in the future.

  3. Chuck Moulton

    It boggles my mind how often people state things with certainty that are at best uncertain or at worst outright wrong. For some reason debates seem to boil down to people passionately arguing two radically different interpretations and no one allowing for any ambiguity or honest differences of opinion.

    I tend to agree there are shenanigans going on, but many of the accusations made here are either demonstrably false or much more murky than presented. Rants such as this one discredit by association valid criticisms from more level-headed critics.

    Going point by point with my disagreements will take a while, but I’ll try.

  4. libertariangirl

    Um , ok I just read Mikes whole post and while he makes good points , much of it it unproven and factional-sided speculation.

    when one always assumes ones side is right w/o question they assign motives to others actions that may not always be warranted.
    in fact having a “side” at all leads to biased interpretations.

    clearly Mike does some of that with this post.

    in additiin you have to be a sustaining member of Nationa to be a member of LPNevada and Clark County LP as well as there are dues for both. You cannot be delegate to Nat Con from Nevada without having ponied up at least 25 to National and paid local dues,

    In my opinion that is as it should be . If you want to make important decisions , paying a measly $25 bucks is no big deal. Our founding fathers pledged their sacred fortunes , national is asking for $25. We have to worry about a takeover , and while it wold be difficult for those who dont care to part with $25 , for people that value the LP , it should be very easy,

    In fact I would be shocked to know there are voting delegates who had not paid at least $25.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    libertariangirl,

    The bylaws require that a delegate be a member of national OR the party of the state affiliate which he/she represents.

    I don’t agree with Mike that making that an “and” at the state level would violate the national bylaws.

    On the other hand, I agree with the bylaws as they are: The state affiliates set their own membership requirements, they choose who represents them at the national convention, and that may include people who, for whatever reason, haven’t sent $25 to national lately.

  6. Bruce Cohen

    When one is a Board Member of an Organization such as the LP, they are expected to stay current with their responsibilites. They are also expected to give money, raise money and recruit people, while accomplishing things.

    I don’t know that Mister Wrights did any of these things at all.

    Why didn’t Lee head this off by paying his dues?

    And why didn’t he put in effort as a Board Member? Seems to me if he was a paid staffer of a company he would have been let go.

    There is less malice here than anyone thinks on the part of the ‘expellers’.

    The ‘expellee’ has certainly not made any friends, and has gotten in everyone’s face at any slight opportunity.

    Perhaps if the man had been more pleasant and accomplished something, there would not be this question at all?

    I’m quite sure that Lee would be a stickler for the rules if it served his interest, so he ought to have anticipated this. (Sorry to repeat the thought.)

    No conspiracy, just folks wanting to get as much done as they can, feeling like they are legally removing an obstacle.

    Note: I have not opined on the legality or ethics of any move, just on the big picture.

  7. Chuck Moulton

    Michael Seebeck wrote:

    The short form is that the proposal would have added language to the California Bylaws that would have required California’s delegates to the national convention by both national sustaining members and state central committee members. The only problem is that such a “both” requirement comes into direct conflict with the “either-or” requirement of the national Bylaws on the same subject.

    I see no conflict. The states are empowered to choose delegates to national conventions. They can’t send delegates that are ineligible under the national bylaws, but they can limit the people they select to a smaller subset by imposing additional eligibility requirements.

    Do I think such additional requirements are a good idea? Absolutely not. I would have voted against the bylaws proposal. But a lot of libertarians seem to have trouble separating what is legally or procedurally allowable from what is a good idea.

    Michael Seebeck wrote:

    You’ll see a proposal to limit Bylaws votes and Presidential and Vice-Presidential votes to certain delegates (but not Platform, Officer elections, or resolutions?) under the excuse of a potential outside takeover based on a 5% vote that just is not on the radar screen. … What this really does is create one set of delegates for Bylaws and national office nominations, and another for the perpetual Platform bickering and the national officer elections.

    This is demonstrably false. The bylaw referenced only springs into action if the LP qualified for presidential matching funds by virtue of the results from the last presidential election. If it’s not on the radar, it does no harm.

    Michael Seebeck wrote:

    A proposal to change the Party officer elections from the current round-elimination system to an inverse IRV system, which most Party members just don’t understand. … It isn’t broke, and delegates understand it, so why change it?

    Changing to a system of voting that better represents the preferences of the voters is a good thing in my book. Any voting system can be gamed, but I see no reason why this change would give more power to the referenced clique than the status quo.

    Michael Seebeck wrote:

    A proposal to change the LNC At-Large elections from the current vote-for-up-to-X candidates to a confusing and needless “single-transferrable voting” process which relies on a mathematical formula that doesn’t even make any sense! What better way to stack the deck than to claim voting “reform” and create a method that the average delegate won’t understand?

    This accusation is ridiculous. STV is the fairest voting system out there. The will of the voters is neither underrepresented nor overrepresented — unlike plurality voting and approval voting which allow 51% of the delegates to get 100% of the representation. STV allows for proportional representation of minority viewpoints.

    What is especially crazy about this criticism is that radicals are the minority in the LP — at least, judging from the nomination of Barr. The people on the bylaws committee opposing this proposal are the very people Seebeck accuses of trying to takeover the LP with the change. They outright said they opposed the proposal because they wanted 51% of the voters to get 100% of the representation.

    A proposal to allow an electronic voting system to replace state-by-state voting tabulations.

    I have some concerns about this proposal, but the way Seebeck criticizes is just fear-mongering. In fact the system currently being implemented on a test basis is designed for maximum transparency and being carefully audited. Delegates should carefully weigh the benefits of time savings vs. the costs of possible election tampering. However, I see no evidence that the implicitly accused would ever do such a thing and it lowers the level of discourse to throw around such personal attacks.

    A proposal to do mail ballots on Bylaws proposals prior to the convention. The excuse is that a lot time is spent by delegates considering Bylaws proposals at the convention and this would speed it up. But hidden in there is a requirement that the only eligible mail voters are national sustaining members.

    What is not mentioned by Seebeck is that a larger super-majority than normal is required for passage. I see involving more people than spend hundreds of dollars to attend a convention in the governance of the LP as a good thing. There are certainly valid reasons to oppose this proposal and I am unsure of it myself, but the one-sided conspiracy theory picture presented by Seebeck is disingenuous.

    A proposal to strike the Credentials Reporting Requirement and the clear language of each delegate being eligible to vote, in favor of relying on Robert’s Rules. There is no faster way to confuse members than by delving into the arcane, inane, and intricate details of the procedural mess known as Robert’s Rules.

    I disagree. Defaulting to Robert’s Rules decreases the learning curve because delegates can apply their procedural knowledge learned from working within other organizations rather than learning a whole new specialized set of rules.

    There are very good reasons we as an organization should diverge from Robert’s Rules when our rules provide better results that exceed the transaction cost of learning LP only rules. But to cast any attempt to harmonize LP procedures with Robert’s Rules as a conspiracy seems silly to me.

    A proposal to require NOTA to get tokened up (in contrast to toked up, which is a different thing!) like the people candidates, when the convention body already nominates NOTA by default anyway. The net result of this is to draw tokens away from candidates that might be seen as disagreeable, diluting the process.

    Requiring tokens for NOTA would only mean less tokens for other candidates if the people with those tokens would have given them to candidates. It seems logical that delegates would only give tokens to NOTA if they didn’t like any of the candidates though. Further, it is important to note that the tokens only sort out who can give a speech for NOTA… NOTA will always been a choice on the ballot without needing any tokens.

    A proposal to require up to 20 secondings of a motion from the floor, which would include seating delegates. A motion could die from a lack of a second when in fact there was one, which further confuses (and eventually alienates) delegates—assuming they can get seated in the first place.

    I found the repeated motions that did not have much support at all quite dilatory at the last convention. This proposal addresses that problem. It doesn’t seem like a conspiracy to me.

    They want to have delegates give them direct power to disaffiliate states and expel members

    These proposals are very controversial. It may indeed be the intent of the proposers to consolidate power. But the proposals address real problems in my opinion. We should expect a level of loyalty to the LP from our Committee members and to the presidential campaign from our state affiliates. I am open to alternative language that addresses those concerns.

    I wavered back and forth on these proposals for a long time and although I finally voted for on the Bylaws Committee them after many of my concerns were answered, I still am not sure how I will vote as a convention delegate.

    Right now, states can be disaffiliated if they violate the national Bylaws and the LNC votes ¾ to do so. Remember the LP California Bylaws proposal I mentioned above? That would have been a violation, and you can bet a push for disaffiliation would have followed.

    No, that’s ridiculous. See above.

    They don’t want members putting anyone on the ballot other than their people.

    Yes, exactly.

    Ironically enough, this rule would have caused the LNC to be expelled over offering Dr. Paul the LP nomination had it been in effect when that happened.

    No, it doesn’t include primary candidates. At least, that was the consensus during the Bylaws Committee discussion.

    The proposal is written so that such a person may not be a “committee member” in a broad sense. That can easily be interpreted as including a state central committee member of ANY state. Purge of the Ron Paul R3VOLution, anyone?

    I don’t subscribe to that interpretation. It seems like a real stretch to me.

    But they seek to foster that to their advantage by a Bylaws proposal to stretch out the time between conventions from every two years to every four years, allegedly to save on costs, but really to create more time to enact their plans and get members to forget about it and keeping them in power.

    It’s possible that is indeed the intent. I think there are many benefits to spacing out the conventions more though and also many costs. I’d encourage delegates to weigh those benefits and costs rather than assume a grand conspiracy. I’ll probably vote against this in convention, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.

    In summary although I am concerned about the shenanigans and motives of some prominent Libertarians, I don’t believe there is a deep conspiracy manifested in the bylaws changes discussed.

    All delegates should carefully weigh the consequences of proposals — especially unintended consequences that may allow some to game the system. I respectfully disagree on many of the specifics Seebeck mentioned though.

  8. Kimberly Wilder

    Great article! There are similar shenanigans at the national Green Party. Guess it is all the same. Politics is a struggle, and the more power you get, the more struggle.

    I love the idea of calling dues “Pay-to-Play”. There is cyclical discussion at the GP-US to make membership related to dues. Which, is even funnier coming from the allegedly progressive/social justice Green Party, than the Libertarian Party.

  9. libertariangirl

    BC__No conspiracy, just folks wanting to get as much done as they can, feeling like they are legally removing an obstacle.

    It is a shame that fellow LPers are veiwed as obstacles. But Bruce is right about one thing if the tables were turned and AAron Starrs dues had lapsed every person from the other faction would be leading a charge to have him removed.

    there is animosity and contentiousness from BOTH sides and its just got to end . Nobodys right and nobodys wrong , but were all losers as long as garbage like factionalism eats up our time and energies.

  10. Marc Montoni

    Kimberly, glad to see you continuing to post on LP threads.

    I think people should have to be national members to participate at the national convention.

    I also think $25 is far too cheap a price for the LP. I think having the right to vote and decide the party’s business should require a minimum contribution of a rather substantial nature. Certainly over $100, and perhaps even $1,000.

    However, where I depart from the snobbotarians who denigrate those who don’t have a lot of disposable money, is that I think donations of time should count towards dues. If one is an unskilled worker, who nevertheless spends his Saturdays getting ballot access signatures, it should count. A simple note specifying time worked, activities done, and an estimate of the value of the work from the state chair and acknowledged by one other officer should be sufficient.

    ============================================================================
    – Deregulate Private Behavior – End Prohibition – Repeal all gun laws – NonInterventionism
    – Taxpayer bailout: Repeal the Income Tax – Hard Money – Close the Fed
    – End Corporate/Individual Welfare – Abolish the IRS – Eliminate Regulation – Private Protection
    – VOTE LIBERTARIAN – http://www.LP.org – 1-800-Elect-Us
    ============================================================================

  11. Susan Hogarth Post author

    If one is an unskilled worker,…

    Tsk, tsk. There are no unskilled workers, only ‘differently skilled’ workers. And, no, that’s not meant to be either ironic or condescending.

    I do agree with your main point that participating in the Party’s governance shouldn’t be merely a matter of ‘showing up’ – *once*.

    And I appreciate Chuck’s commentary, which I will read – along with the original piece – when I regain consciousness/clarity sometime in the morning.

    Now I must sleep, or listen to Rogue Traders, or, hopefully, both.

  12. Michael Seebeck

    I stand by my opinions, because they are just that, opinions. People can disagree all they want, but I’ve been watching this garbage by the same people for far too long, and the pattern is clear.

    As for the national bylaws vs. state bylaws dues issue, it’s simple: if a state central committee member becomes a national delegate per the national bylaws, then they cannot be denied being a national delegate by not being a national sustaining member. The state bylaws cannot supersede the national bylaws without a violation.

  13. Michael Seebeck

    And yes, I expect Chuck to defend the Bylaws Committee report because he’s on the committee. But he also doesn’t see the pattern either.

    But he’s not the average delegate, either. He sees things from a more abstract position and not from the street level. That’s fine, but it requires a street-level balance as well.T

    The fact remains: A large chunk of the 2010 Bylaws proposals are solutions in search of non-existent problems. Why they are even proposed in the first place, including the same recycled stuff every few years, is what really needs explanation.

  14. Michael Seebeck

    Put into perspective, CA had 5 proposals this year, 3 technical that passed and 2 that were not that went 50-50. We were done with Bylaws in under 30 minutes. Here there’s 38 proposals, more than double of 2008, about half of which are unnecessary, and of the remainder, about 1/3 are actually genuine improvements.

  15. Donald Raymond Lake

    This nonsense is a big reason the reform movement is all but DOA! Parliamentary ‘experts’ John [California] Blare and Beverly [Texas] Kennedy have run the organization into the ground. I once counted 58 ‘point of order’ and ‘point of information’ efforts by Texans Kennedy and Sandra Madison as they tried to shut down the national print news letter. [Later on, 'parliamentarian' Blare did kill the national blog and the monthly news letter --- to protect the nation of Israel!]

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    libertariangirl,

    You write (apparently to me):

    “and what did you think of the rest of his article? gospel or opinion?”

    Clearly opinion for the most part, some of which I agree with and some of which I don’t agree with.

    Believe it or not, I try to separate my evaluations of long-term proposals (such as, for example, bylaws changes) from my positions on instant situations (such as the attempt to remove Wrights without the due process required in the bylaws), and even to a degree from my general “factional” orientation.

    I don’t have an ax to grind versus the IRV/ranked voting proposals. I happen to prefer approval voting and may argue in favor of it (Mr. Moulton’s “51%” claim assumes universal factional line-toeing with the factions backing exact slates, which I think is unrealistic), but I don’t see anything sinister in the proposal. IRV/ranked voting advocates have been active in the LP for a long time and their case for using it internally is not an unreasonable one. I disagree with Mike there.

    I agree with Mike on some things as well.

    I don’t favor giving the LNC the power to expel members or affiliate officers. I’m distrustful of centralizing power in the LNC, especially to that extent, and I will be just as distrustful when “my faction” has a majority on the LNC.

    I don’t favor any kind of “tiered” delegate privileges based on whether or not an LP presidential campaign becomes eligible for matching funds. The delegates represent the state affiliates — let those affiliates be the judges of whether Person X should represent them, and if so, let Person X represent them fully.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    Speaking of this article:

    As some of you may know, I publish (and Mr. Wrights is an editor of) a daily news and commentary roundup for libertarians, Rational Review News Digest.

    Although I usually have a strong opinion on matters such as the “Wrights Affair,” etc. I do try to ensure that RRND covers both/all sides of such controversies as fairly as possible.

    So far, I have yet to see a single coherent article from “the other side” of “the Wrights affair.” I’ve seen some salient comments, etc., but not any kind of full article making an argument in favor of Lee’s removal, the chair’s ruling, etc.

    I even took the unusual step of writing to a prominent “reformer” who had publicly commented on the matter the other day, asking him if he could perhaps put his thoughts into article form so that I could feature them to RRND’s readers. He agreed that would be a good thing, but I haven’t seen any actual output yet.

    So, now that I’ve made this thing longer than it should have been: If you write, or happen across, a “pro-removal-of-Wrights” article of decent quality, please drop me a line at kubby dot communications at gmail dot com. I’d much appreciate it.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  18. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 8 Bruce Cohen writes: “They are also expected to give money, raise money and recruit people, while accomplishing things.”

    Where is this written? I expect people to develop a means to grow the organization, develop the tools to get our story out and develop long term fund raising techniques.

    Some of us have different expectations than others.

  19. George Phillies

    To find Mr. Seebeck’s conspiracy, look down the list of people attacking him. Some of them are not members of the current breathing together, nor would-be members who got dropped, but instead survivors of the prior effort that crashed and burned in 2001-2002.

    With respect to the LNC lawsuit against New Hampshire, note that the LPNH State Committee had not been supplied with the filing, nor asked for permission to proceed, before filings were made.

  20. volvoice

    MM,
    …. If one is an unskilled worker, who nevertheless spends his Saturdays getting ballot access signatures, it should count…..

    That is the exact reason why we have a “no dues” system here in Tenn. Delegates to national conventions are nominated and voted on at our convention. The people of Tennessee knows who works hard and who gives money to the state party. The process of determining, at the national level, how much activist time qualifies you to be a national “sustaining” member would be a burdonsome task to say the least. It is something that I feel the states are equipped to handle.

  21. Rick Meyers

    MS aka Jesus

    You sir are delusional.

    1) LP membership went up not down between Sep and Nov (and my state was and is still growing strong)

    2) According to the Sept and Dec minutes, Angela raised zero funds during her current term on the LNC

    3) All the bylaw proposals appear above board and reasonable and apparently have most if not all of the bylaw committees approval

    Obviously, there is a reason they call that stuff your smokin “dope”

    Rick M.

    PS – What do you care anyway, when was the last time you gave to the LP, 2004?

  22. Chris Bennett

    This is just another way of the conservatarians who have hijacked the party to purge the radicals and povertarians out of their newly formed “white boys Republican-lite country” club. I think Mike Seebeck is right on with his assessment.

  23. Erik Geib

    I don’t think dues are by definition un-libertarian. The party is something you choose to belong to, and it, as a private institution, has every right to ask for dues.

    I spend my spare time playing rugby, and the clubs I play for ask for dues from members as well. Why? Operation costs. Those who don’t want to pay dues become the lowest priority for the club because they aren’t willing to help it sustain itself in this manner. Granted, we make allowances for those who put in volunteer time (such as working at fund-raisers) in the form of reduced dues, but dues are nevertheless necessary. If someone doesn’t like the dues, we encourage them to run for a club officer position, and let them change things from the inside, where they have a better perspective of how the money is spent.

    We can get into as many theoretical battles about the nature of dues as one would like, but the simple fact of the matter is that they go a long way in assisting the financial operation of an organization. And, being as the LP is a private organization (and not government), membership is voluntary, so if you don’t like the rules you don’t have to belong.

  24. robert capozzi

    chris, not sure where you’re getting your data. Hospers and MacBride were white men and right-leaning Ls. Based on my experience since the 80s, L crowds tended to be white and male, perhaps overwhelmingly so.

    so, it could be that Ls could attract more non-whites and women by moderating and losing the absolutist stridency. I’m not sure we can get much whiter and male! caterimg, as we have, to the REALLY angry white male seems to’ve not worked out too well.

  25. Andy

    I’m a radical Libertarian and I agree that Wrights should get the boot. This is not about ideaology, it is about Wrights being a rude beligerent asshole and a liar. Wrights is not a nice guy. He might appear that way at times but this is a facade. He throws irrational temper tantrums and is not above telling lies about people.

    I don’t even consider Lee Wrights to be a real Libertarian because he initiates fraud against people. Just because he shows up at meetings and spouts Libertarian rhetoric doesn’t make him a good guy.

    How about this, elect a radical Libertarian to the LNC who is NOT a worthless asshole and a backstabbing two-faced lying weasel like Wrights?

    More comments below.

    “Bruce Cohen // Apr 30, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    When one is a Board Member of an Organization such as the LP, they are expected to stay current with their responsibilites. They are also expected to give money, raise money and recruit people, while accomplishing things.”

    Exactly. Lee Wrights is a classic armchair warrior bloward who shows up at meetings and struts around like a self important jackass but who does little to nothing of importance outside of that.

    The LNC has a Give or Get program where each memeber donatates or raises a certain amount of money each quarter. Now I understand that everyone can’t afford to give a lot, but Lee Wrights can’t even consistently scrape up the minimum $25 per year to be a Sustaining Member of the party, and he SUCKS as a fundraiser. The times I’ve checked he hadn’t raised JACK SQUAT.

    Political parties can’t do anything without money. DUH!!!!

    I’m not rich, but I’ve donated more money to the Libertarian Party than Wrights has, and I’ve also done volunteer fundraising for the Libertarian Party where I have actually raised money which is something that Wrights can’t seem to do.

    “Why didn’t Lee head this off by paying his dues?”

    Because he’s a loser and an idiot. I’m not on the LNC and I know my dues are up. I haven’t sent in a renewal as of yet because I’m not too happy with LP National (one reason is having that asshole Wrights on the LNC).

    I used to gladly send in $100 to LP National, and would periodically send in donations for different things they were doing, but after Scott Kohlhaas ripped me off on a petition drive in Nebraska I allowed my dues to be expired for a couple of years or so. I rejoined as a dues paying member before the National Convention in Denver just so I’d be assured of being able to vote as a delegate, but I rejoined at the minimum $25 level. If the LP hadn’t screwed me around I would have donated $100-$200 to LP National each year.

    If I was on the LNC my dues would certainly be paid. If Wrights can’t keep track of his dues then maybe he doesn’t belong on the LNC.

    Wrights knew what the rules were, or at least he should have known. If he can’t play by the same rules as everybody else then tough shit for him.

    The FRAUD Lee Wrights doens’t belong on the LNC anyway. Just because he shows up at meetings and kisses Mary Ruwart’s ass doesn’t qualify him for anything.

    “And why didn’t he put in effort as a Board Member? Seems to me if he was a paid staffer of a company he would have been let go.”

    If the LP was run like a business instead of a “good ole boy” social club Wrights would never have made it to the LNC and his idiot loser buddy Sean Haugh never would have been hired as Political Director (and if for some reason somebody did make the mistake of hiring him he would have been canned well before he was), Scott Kohlhaas would have been fired a long time ago and would have been under criminal investigation, and several other people wouldn’t be in or have been placed in positions in which they did not deserve to be.

    “The ‘expellee’ has certainly not made any friends, and has gotten in everyone’s face at any slight opportunity.”

    Wrights is a jerk. I wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting to be rid of him.

    “Perhaps if the man had been more pleasant and accomplished something, there would not be this question at all?”

    BINGO!

    Some people are making themistake of turning this into an idealogical dispute, but the fact of the matter is that Wrights has a shitty personality and even when he does put up his false front and act nice, that’s exactly what it is, an act. The guy is a two-faced weasel and a liar.

    “I’m quite sure that Lee would be a stickler for the rules if it served his interest, so he ought to have anticipated this. (Sorry to repeat the thought.)”

    Lee Wrights would be a stickler for the rules if it served him, and if it did not serve him he’d ignore the rules. Lee Wrights will also make up lies about people if it serves himself or one of his cronies. Wrights has got a lot of people in this party conned, but I know that he’s an unethical slimeball.

    “No conspiracy, just folks wanting to get as much done as they can, feeling like they are legally removing an obstacle.”

    Removing Lee Wrights is more like unclogging a shit backup in your toilet (with Wrights being the shit backup).

  26. Michael Seebeck

    I posted a response to Mr. Meyers over at libertyforall.

    I stand by my opinion, and think that Mr. Meyers resorting to namecalling and insults severely undermines his position.

    And thanks to those who have supported me or respectfully disagreed with me. I prefer the rational discourse.

  27. Michael Seebeck

    Andy, your 78 RPM screechy broken record with the scratches from the broken needles is beyond old. Last millenium, even. Subatomic dot in the rear-view mirror as the rest of us travel down the road of life.

    We’re sick of hearing it. Get some counseling on how to cope with anger and move forward.

  28. Andy

    “I used to gladly send in $100 to LP National, and would periodically send in donations for different things they were doing, but after Scott Kohlhaas ripped me off on a petition drive in Nebraska I allowed my dues to be expired for a couple of years or so. I rejoined as a dues paying member before the National Convention in Denver just so I’d be assured of being able to vote as a delegate, but I rejoined at the minimum $25 level. If the LP hadn’t screwed me around I would have donated $100-$200 to LP National each year.”

    Oh, just to clarify, getting ripped off by Scott Kohlhaas is NOT the only reason I haven’t been happy with LP National. I could make a list of things that various individuals or groups of individuals there have done on a variety of subjects. Some of these things are about internal party functions, some of them are idealogical issues, some of them are about areas where LP National has failed to act, some of them are about the behavior of certain individuals with LP National, etc…

    If or when I decide to renew my LP National membership I’ll likely do it at the minimum $25 level until there is some more house cleaning there.

    I am more open to donating to state or local Libertarian Party affiliates or to individual LP candidates than I am to LP National right now.

  29. Andy

    “Michael Seebeck // May 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Andy, your 78 RPM screechy broken record with the scratches from the broken needles is beyond old. Last millenium, even. Subatomic dot in the rear-view mirror as the rest of us travel down the road of life.

    We’re sick of hearing it. Get some counseling on how to cope with anger and move forward.”

    Tell this to Lee “Temper Tantrum” Wrights.

    You ought to be pissed off at Wrights for SQUANDERING Libertarian Party donors money. That’s right, Lee Wrights has caused donations that many of you have sent in to be WASTED.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Do the bylaws allow the secretary to unilaterally remove a member from the LNC, or don’t they?

    That’s the only question relevant to Mr. Wrights at the moment, and the correct answer is that they don’t. Your dislike of Wrights does not and cannot justify the manner in which he was purportedly removed.

    If you think Wrights should be removed, then convince someone on the LNC that there’s cause to remove him, convince that LNC member to move for suspension based on that cause, and convince 2/3 of the LNC to vote in favor of that motion.

    Until you attempt to do that, your arguments are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  31. Jim Davidson

    @36 Tom, in addition to leaving Lee Wrights on the LNC, it seems to me that the wrongdoing by those who attempted to remove him through chicanery ought to be addressed. If what the Treasurer, Secretary, and Chairman conspired to do in order to oust Lee was wrongdoing, and I am convinced that it is, then they should be chastised by the national committee, or removed from office for cause.

    Got rebar? lol

  32. Brian Holtz

    I agree with pretty much everything Chuck wrote above, except the part where he suggests Mike is being disingenuous. I don’t doubt that Mike sincerely believes everything he wrote.

    Tom, I’m not sure what else I would need to write for you, other than to repeat this paragraph and its unanswered questions:

    Wrights apparently does not dispute that his sustaining membership lapsed, so I’m not sure what a for-cause vote here would decide. Is the LNC free to make up its own rules, or just its own facts? Why would we read the rules as saying the LNC can vote to make up its own facts about a lapse in sustaining membership, but not about a lapse in attendance?

    I guess I would also repeat: given that Wrights has disavowed the idea that the LP is not to be donated to, he should be appointed to fill any vacancy created by his lapse in sustaining membership.

  33. Secret Agent Man

    Oh geez, here we go again Mr. Holtz jockeying for Wrights’s spot on the LNC by defending the bastards who disrespect the by-laws they promised to uphold. Well, Brian any more liberventioniss policies you would like to see made for the next convention?

  34. Bruce Cohen

    Andy,

    Several people dipped into their pockets to pay you for the money Scott K. didn’t get to you, so the problem would be resolved and you would get over it.

    So get over it, please.

    Scott K and Sean H are no longer working with or for the LP, and as of now, it doesn’t look like they want to.

    We have all heard the story 100 times.

    Now it’s time to move on.

    Same thing with Mister Wrights.

    Radical or not, Lee makes Wayne Root seem mellow, Bill Clinton seem honest and James Carville seem nice.

    If Lee hates everyone on the LNC and can’t work with them, no matter what his opinion or ‘faction’, he’s not contributing anything by spouting off about his concept of what perfect
    libertarian ideology is.

    We need team players, teamwork (key part of that word, work), creativity and results.

    The road to Libertarian hell is paved with good intentions.

    The road to Libertarian success is paved with hard work, cooperation and inclusiveness.

    __________

    Note: The extremists who like to call themselves radicals think there is a purge because that’s always been their strategy. They’ve tried to purge a lot of folks for their opinions on various issues, while the ‘mainstreamers’ have tried to include everyone. If there really was a purge, it would serve Wrights and company right.

    But there’s not.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    You write (and designate it a repeated question which you claim I have not answered):

    “Wrights apparently does not dispute that his sustaining membership lapsed, so I’m not sure what a for-cause vote here would decide.”

    It would decide whether or not he gets removed from the LNC. That’s what the bylaws call for.

    “Is the LNC free to make up its own rules, or just its own facts?”

    Neither. The LNC has rules (the bylaws), and it is the LNC’s responsibility to gather, evaluate and act upon the facts in the manner prescribed by those rules, rather than in some other manner.

    The bylaws provide for recognition of constructive resignation in the form of missed meetings.*

    The bylaws also provide for suspension (to become permanent removal if not successfully appealed) for other reasons (“cause”) and delineate a specific process for it.

    Since late dues payments are not missed meetings, it is the latter rather than the former process which is applicable.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

    * Of course, even in the case of missed meetings, the LNC itself does in fact have to act. Attendance at meetings is minuted by the secretary — and the body must approve those minutes before the facts in them become facts of record. For purposes of factual finding, a member has not missed two meetings, and therefore no vacancy exists, until the minutes noting both absences have been approved. To paraphrase John Donne, the secretary is not an island, entire of himself.

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bruce,

    Sorry about that, the cute embed didn’t work. It was a quote from Mark Twain for your edification:

    “It’s better to stay silent and look a fool, rather than speak and remove all doubt.”

  37. V4V

    So the LP is should be likened to an exclusive (not freely shared with others) club to which you may be a member only if you follow their guidelines, dictates (those set forth authoritatively), regulations (laws), rules (set of codes governing action; government)… and pay their required (imposed on one by authority), obligated, and demandable fee (toll; duty; tax) or due (owed as in a debt or obligation)? Yeah, that’s DEFINITELY libertarian by definition…

  38. Susan Hogarth Post author

    V4V,

    There’s a difference between submitting to the rules of a membership organization and submitting to the rule of the state.

    It’s a really simple difference: one is accepted voluntarily and one not.

  39. Michael H. Wilson

    Bruce writes; “Note: The extremists who like to call themselves radicals think there is a purge because that’s always been their strategy. They’ve tried to purge a lot of folks for their opinions on various issues, while the ‘mainstreamers’ have tried to include everyone. If there really was a purge, it would serve Wrights and company right.”

    Bruce since you seem to know so much what are the Power Ball numbers coming up in the next drawing? And who’s going to win the Derby?

  40. Brian Holtz

    Tom, are you saying that suspension for a dues lapse can be effected by approving the Secretary’s report of said lapse, by the same sort of procedure and voting margin as approving minutes?

    I repeat: The question here is whether the suspension-for-cause procedure must be followed to enforce the three Bylaws requirements for continued LNC membership: attendance, sustaining membership, and not being a candidate of a non-affiliate party. An answer is suggested by the fact that these three requirements apply to all LNC members, whereas the suspension-for-cause process does not apply to regional reps. Are you now going to tell us that if a regional rep shirks his dues or runs for office as a Republican, nothing can happen until the region’s affiliates notice? In other words, in the case of regional reps, are the qualification rules for LNC membership merely suggestions to the appointing regional affiliates?

    Secret Agent Man thinks I’m “jockeying” for Wrights’ seat by — wait for it — recommending that Wrights keep it. Sorry, S.A.M., that sort of reverse-psychology works on my 3-year-old, but not so much among us grownups.

  41. libertariangirl

    TK__As some of you may know, I publish (and Mr. Wrights is an editor of) a daily news and commentary roundup for libertarians, Rational Review News Digest.

    I have been readin your RRND for years :)

  42. George Phillies

    I believe that Mr. Wrights has said that he paid the dues when the bill was first presented. Claims that he declined to pay the earlier bills founder on evidence indicating that they were not sent, namely the report from Lee’s former spouse.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Brian Holtz:

    “Tom, are you saying that suspension for a dues lapse can be effected by approving the Secretary’s report of said lapse, by the same sort of procedure and voting margin as approving minutes?”

    No.

    The bylaws provide for “automatic” removal of an LNC member in the case of missed meetings; approval of the minutes is simply the mechanism by which missed meetings become a fact of record, actuating the removal.

    The bylaws also make provision for removal in all cases except missed meetings. That provision is a motion to suspend the member, supported by 2/3 of the LNC.

    Since late dues payments and missed meetings are not the same thing, the obvious bylaws provision is the one applicable to everything other than missed meetings.

    “I repeat: The question here is whether the suspension-for-cause procedure must be followed to enforce the three Bylaws requirements for continued LNC membership: attendance, sustaining membership, and not being a candidate of a non-affiliate party.”

    In other words, you want to continue to pretend that the bylaws do not include separate provisions for removal due to missed meetings on the one hand, and removal for all other causes on the other hand.

    Eight days ago, I wrote you and asked you to make your argument, explicitly and in article form, as I wanted to offer “the other side” of the Wrights Affair argument “equal time.”

    So far as I know, you have yet to do so, preferring to keep the argument implicit and in the form of leading questions in blog comments.

    It’s not difficult to explain that preference: You’d be ashamed to make the argument explicitly, because you know it’s a bullshit argument.

    Make your argument or don’t make it, but if you make it, you’ll have to make it yourself instead of deceiving someone else into making it for you. I’m calling you out. The Brian Holtz Shame-O-Meter has now been turned on.

  44. Jim Davidson

    @46 But the rules of the Libertarian Party, such as its bylaws, very clearly do not provide for the removal of a member of the LNC without the consent of the majority of the LNC, except for the cause of missing meetings. So, V4V is correct in supposing that there are some authoritarian aspects to the LP.

    Which authoritarian features, as you’ve noted elsewhere, show up in their press releases calling for more government enforcement of pornography laws and more government idiocy at the border, to name a couple of the more egregious.

    Got rebar?

  45. Jim Davidson

    @52 Does he have shame? He was appointed EPA administrator at shadowcabinet.us last month. I’ve yet to see him post a statement there about what policies he would implement.

    I find the whole idea of an EPA to be unconstitutional, and the office of administrator to be a shameful embarrassment to all Americans. Former EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus is the first person to ever hold that job. One of the first things Ruckelshaus did was to ban DDT in early 1971.

    Since then, about 111 million people (3 million per year for 37 years) have died from malaria who would not have died had DDT been used to wipe out the disease. Arguably, that makes Ruckelshaus personally and the office of EPA administrator generally the single greatest mass murderer in human history. The only other murderer who comes close is Mao, and we may never get to see all the records of his perfidy. (I’ve seen Chinese dissident estimates as high as 80 million for Mao.)

  46. John Famularo

    Tom Knapp wrote,
    “I’m distrustful of centralizing power in the LNC”

    But that is how the LP was organized from the beginning. The only way to fix it is to totally restructure into a bottom up organization. That won’t happen because the current factions will never agree. They can’t even agree on the mission of the LP. Some may have noticed that the LNC agreed to table the discussion on the mission statement. Redpath ruled that the purposes paragraph of the bylaws is the de facto mission statement of the LP. That paragraph, which includes the Statement of Principles, is a disorganized and unfocused laundry list of pet projects, not a mission statement upon which an effective strategy can be developed. Everything else is irrelevant.

  47. John Famularo

    Jim,
    While the purpose/mission statement of the Boston Tea party is shorter and better than the LP’s, it still adds in too much.

    My proposed statement would be,
    “The purpose of the X Party is to nominate and/or endorse candidates for election and appointment to public office who will reduce the size, scope, and centralization of government while securing the individual rights to life, liberty, and property.

  48. George Phillies

    I have on exellent authority that the LNC has voted to “reappoint” Wrights to the LNC, thus setting the precedent that the Secretary has the power–until the Judicial Committee acts–to remove members unilaterally from the LNC.

  49. Matthew Barnes

    Removal of a representative from an office to which they are elected is a very serious act. Prima facie it breaches the faith and trust of the body and such insults have terrible and wide spread ramifications.

    Because of the severity of the action, and because of the terrible consequences such actions have on the morale of every member, I would expect effective leaders and administrators to insist on the highest amount of diligence in examining any such matter. Justice is the pillar of all libertarian ethic.

    This incident is clear evidence that the LNC is conducting business outside the framework of ethics which I identify as just. In my estimation they are in a continual state of breach, seemingly unconcerned with the effects that their interpersonal rivalries have on the very people that entrusted them to operate in their names.

    I urge our representatives at the national level to rethink their tack. For too long now their most visible actions have their most divisive, and it is a reprehensible state for leadership and trustees to exist, much less… dwell.

    Matthew Barnes
    an ALIVE * FREE * HAPPY Libertarian

    BTW What I really want to hear in all of this is whom on the LNC is arguing exclusively for a stop in motions to remove memberships and elected positions. Who is arguing the side that these questions are inappropriate, and what are their arguments.

    If I wanted to listen to people sabotaging each others good work, I would turn on a sitcom and meta-program myself with the rest of the sheep.

    I want to WIN.

    By all appearances, if the LNC were dice in a game of Yatzee, the best winning strategy I have is to pick up all five and roll again. Where I want to put my energy is in supporting any leaders on the LNC that are behaving ethically and conducting the business of the Libertarian National Committee.

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Matthew,

    One way of identifying “the leaders onthe LNC that are behaving ethically and conducting the business of the Libertarian National Committee” is to look at which members voted to overturn the ruling of the chair to the effect that the secretary has the plenary and bylaws-trumping power to unilaterally remove members on the basis of his allegation that they have become ineligible.

    Those leaders, according to the information I have, are Mary Ruwart, Tony Ryan, Mark Hinkle, Rachel Hawkridge and Julie Fox. Presumably R. Lee Wrights would also have voted this way if he hadn’t been illicitly prevented from doing so.

    The members who voted to support the rebellion of the secretary and chair against the bylaws appear to be: Michael Colley, Pat Dixon, Stewart Flood, Michael Jingozian, Dan Karlan, James Lark, Alicia Mattson, Rebecca Sink-Burris, Aaron Starr and Bob Sullentrup.

    So, six LNC members in favor of the proposition that the bylaws apply to the LNC, ten LNC members opposed.

    At present, and probably for the next 13 months, it looks like the only thing standing between the LP and the attempted coup is the Judicial Committee.

  51. mdh

    Chuck,
    Great work as always! Some of the other votes really shed some light on who falls where, too. Your voting records page is a real asset to the LP membership.

  52. Andy

    “Bruce Cohen // May 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Andy,

    Several people dipped into their pockets to pay you for the money Scott K. didn’t get to you, so the problem would be resolved and you would get over it.”

    We NEVER recieved the .50 cent per signature penalty bonus which we were promised by Scott Kohlhaas, or the credit card style interest which Bill Redpath said that he was going to get for us.

    My pay was held up for almost a year (and we are talking $10,000, and $6,000 of it was because I REACHED INTO MY OWN POCKET AND PAID OFF TWO BROKE PETITIONERS WITH THE PROMISE THAT I’D BE REIMBURSED FOR IT IN A WEEK). I did not recieve the bulk of the money for 10-11 months after the work was done. That was BULLSHIT! If this were anything but a “good ole boy” social club the person responsible (Kohlhaas) would have been fired and there would have been criminal charges brought up against him.

    Also, while it is nice when people donate to any Libertarian cause, including this one, it should be pointed out that everyone who donated was already on the LP donor list and regularly donate to LP causes. In fact, if Kohlhaas had DONE HIS JOB those were all people whom Kohlhaas could have hit up for donations. Furthermore, LP National was planning to do a petition drive in Nebraska for the 2008 election anyway.

    Us going in early and knocking a good 80% of that petition drive out in the fall of 2006 actually SAVED the Libertarian Party money as well as time, because if we had not gone in there in 2006, LP National would have had to have started from ZERO signatures in Nebraska in 2008, and they would have paid out MORE MONEY for the same work that we did and it would have diverted energy away from other ballot access drives, which would likely have lead to another ballot access failure in 2008.

    LP National did in fact pay somebody to finish the petition drive in Nebraska in 2008 (and as I said above, we had 80% (maybe higher) of it knocked out in 2006).

    “So get over it, please.”

    That’s real easy to say if you aren’t the one who lived through it.

    Also, when I confronted Scott Kohlhaas at the National Convention about it he ran away like a coward and threatened to run me out of the business. If anyone should be blacklisted and run out on a rail it is Kohlhaas.

    “Scott K and Sean H are no longer working with or for the LP, and as of now, it doesn’t look like they want to.”

    Last time I check Kohlhaas was State Chair of the Alaska LP. I won’t be suprised if Kohlhaas works as an independent contractor for LP National or for LP state affiliates (that is if any are stupid enought to hire this dishonest slimeball).

    Sean Haugh was hired by Christina Tobin who started this group called “Free & Equal” which is also a petition company (in other words, they gets deals on petitions and then hire a bunch of petition circulators (most of whom are mercenaries) and then package them under a fancy sounding name, this is all a “petition company” really is). There’s NVO (National Voter Outreach), APC (Arno Political Consultants), PCI (Progressive Campaigns), NPM (National Petition Management), NBA (National Ballot Access), etc…

    Free & Equal has already gotten one Libertarian Party deal (in which they failed to get Eric Sundwall on the ballot in New York) and they will likely get more.

    Note Libertarian Party petition drives usually do NOT hire petition companies, they generally hire petitioners on an individual basis (the same thing with most other minor party ballot access petition drives). The Libertarian Party has only hired petition “compaines” once in a while. Petition “compaines” are generally used on ballot initiative drives because the signature requirements are so much higher.

    You see, the way it works is that a petition “company” will get a contract on a petition, and then they will hire petitioners and take an override off of their signatures.

    “We have all heard the story 100 times.”

    And there are still a lot of people who haven’t heard the story. Isn’t this one of the fastest growing political blogs? This would say that there are new people surfing on to this site all the time, new people who have not heard the story.

    Also, there wasn’t really any justice since Kohlhaas got away with it and since myself and the other ripped off petitioner did not recieve the interest penalty/bonus which we were promised.

    “Now it’s time to move on.”

    That’s easy to say when you aren’t the one who got screwed.

    “Same thing with Mister Wrights.”

    Wrights obviously hasn’t “moved on” when he stabbed me in the back in 2007 and then stabbed me in the back again in 2008 and then continues to lie about it.

    Also, I can’t get the money back that I got screwed out of by Wrights (and Haugh) which includes my opportunity costs. This would add up to several thousand dollars which could be and should be in my pocket right now.

    I TRIED the diplomatic route with Wrights (and with Haugh and Kohlhaas for that matter) and the diplomatic route DID NOT WORK. So the time for diplomacy is over.

  53. Stewart Flood

    Andy,

    I contributed $500 at the July 2007 meeting so that this issue would end. We all knew that we had no legal obligation to pay you, but we wanted to help. Now you’re bringing the issue up again and acting as if you are going to go after people anyway!

    My recollection is that Bill Redpath also contributed, so badmouthing him publicly over “credit card style interest” is completely uncalled for. If he had not personally pleaded your case to the members of the committee you would have nothing.

    No, we did not give you a bonus. No, we did not pay you interest. Neither the national party or the members of the LNC had any obligation to compensate you, so be thankful that a few of us decided to contribute personal funds to help you with a situation that was not of our creation or under our control.

    Please think about that.

    Opportunity cost? What about the opportunity cost to those of us who contributed money? I bet I could do a lot with that $500 now that the economy is in the toilet. I might have even earned interest on it by now. Wow, lost interest!

    In business, what you experienced is called a bad debt. It is extremely rare for someone else to pay off a bad debt. Be thankful for that and let it go.

    It is time to move on. You were compensated, just not by the person who owed you the money.

    Stewart Flood

  54. Fair Voter

    Educate yourself about more competitive and representative electoral systems at FairVote’s web site … http://www.fairvote.org.

    And animations show you how STV works at the web site of British Columbians for BC-STV … election in one week from tomorrow!

    Michael Seebeck wrote:

    A proposal to change the Party officer elections from the current round-elimination system to an inverse IRV system, which most Party members just don’t understand. … It isn’t broke, and delegates understand it, so why change it?

    Changing to a system of voting that better represents the preferences of the voters is a good thing in my book. Any voting system can be gamed, but I see no reason why this change would give more power to the referenced clique than the status quo.

    Michael Seebeck wrote:

    A proposal to change the LNC At-Large elections from the current vote-for-up-to-X candidates to a confusing and needless “single-transferrable voting” process which relies on a mathematical formula that doesn’t even make any sense! What better way to stack the deck than to claim voting “reform” and create a method that the average delegate won’t understand?

  55. Michael Seebeck

    Sorry, FV, but that won’t fly. You’d have to educate every delegate on that and most still won’t get it.

    As I said, it isn’t broke. Don’t fix it until it is.

  56. Fair Voter

    The LNC’s at-large plurality system is broke. Many delegates understand what’s wrong not only with LNC elections, but the winner-take-all elections in the U.S.A. that entrench the two-party duopoly.

    All that’s needed is for a majority of delegates to vote in favor of the proposed STV bylaw … many already understand the problem and favor changes that support multi-party systems … as Movimiento Libertario (the Libertarian Party of Costa Rica) enjoys.

    If you want to support the Starr cabal in continuing the status quo of 100 percent of the power with only a plurality of the vote, you’re free to do so.

    To quote Dick Boddie: “Man who says it cannot be done should get out of the way of man doing it!”

  57. Michael Seebeck

    Nice disingenuous argument there FV, claiming that keeping a broken system that isn’t broken is actually supporting the cabal. You made a fallacious argument in the at-large LNC elections, attached a strawman to it in the US elections, then attached a does-not-follow by associating the current system with the cabal (when the top three vote-getters under that system in 2008 were Ruwart, Keaton, and Wrights, all three definitely NOT part of the cabal), and topped it all off with whipped cream and a cherry.

    FAIL.

  58. libertariangirl

    andy , a piece of advice , the longer you are clearly upset by what has happened the longer your oponents continue to win and wield power over you.

    Its like its eating you up and you cant focus on anyything else . as soon as someone posts anything about Wrights or Haugh you go into your tirade.

    dont give the debacle one more word or second of your valuable energy , everyone is already aware . your continuing vehemence only works against you , and your opponents( if there are any) will be sitting back laughing.

    let it go , let what goes around come around , and dont give one more thought to the injustice done you or you will continue to be beaten.

  59. John Famularo

    Fair Voter wrote.
    “The LNC’s at-large plurality system is broke.”

    Why have at-large seats at all? Why are half the LNC seats at-large? Why not have all the seats be regional reps with the chairmanship rotating and the treasurer and secretary selected by the board?

  60. Stewart Flood

    The statement in #70 regarding the top three vote-getters is inaccurate. The vote totals for the top five, as listed on page 85 of the convention minutes:

    Ruwart 221
    Dixon 194
    Colley 191
    Keaton 188
    Wrights 146

    I do, however, agree with the statement that single transferable votes would not work in this type of election. STV is normally used in elections where you are selecting a single candidate. In the case of the election of at-large representatives, the top five candidates are chosen.

    Using STV would obviously make the process of electing the presidential/vice-presidential nominees and the officers go much faster, but that would not necessarily be a good idea. The process of vote transferal would need to be explained to many of the delegates, since it is not something that voters are used to.

    I am personally hesitant to support changing to this system. I would certainly oppose using it for election of the at-large members of the LNC or the members of the Judicial Committee.

    Stewart Flood

  61. Jim Davidson

    @57 Well, John, you can start your own party. Or persuade those in the Boston Tea Party to change their platform.

    I don’t particularly approve of your idea of limiting the methodology to only electing people. I think other methods are agreeable. Given the 40 year history of the LP not electing people it seems like one would not want to exclude all other methods.

  62. Chuck Moulton

    Stewart Flood wrote (comment #73):

    I do, however, agree with the statement that single transferable votes would not work in this type of election. STV is normally used in elections where you are selecting a single candidate. In the case of the election of at-large representatives, the top five candidates are chosen.

    You’re probably thinking of IRV (Instant Runoff Voting). Single Transferable Voting is designed for multi-member elections.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote

  63. Michael Seebeck

    Whether I got the totals wrong or not, the point STILL stands.

    This ain’t gummint.

    It ain’t broke. Don’t fix it until it is.

  64. Trent Hill

    “Given the 40 year history of the LP not electing people it seems like one would not want to exclude all other methods.”

    The LP has some 800 elected members and has had like 6 libertarian party state legislators. Their Presidential candidate routinely get 400-500k. How is the Boston Tea Party doing?

  65. Fair Voter

    John Famularo asked (comment #72):

    Why have at-large seats at all?

    Who knows? Probably because it’s easy to administer.

    But using single-member districts results in a high number of “wasted votes,” and on a larger level reinforces the two-party system (or “two-headed, one party system”).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_law

    Using a proportional representation with the single transferable vote method allows majority rule with fair, proportional minority representation (twenty percent of the vote yields twenty percent of the seats, sixty percent of the vote yields sixty percent of the seats, etc.).

    Winner-take-all elections award 100% of power to a 50%+1 vote majority … or worse, a plurality.

    So in the results above, if the same delegates that elected Redpath as Chair, Jingozian as Vice-Chair, Starr as Treasurer, and Sullentrup as Secretary wanted to, they could have elected all five At-Large Members of the Libertarian National Committee.

    Fortunately, some of the people elected at-large to the LNC serve as a check against the majority-elected officers, but that was more of a fluke than by the design of the electoral method used.

  66. Andy

    “Stewart Flood // May 4, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Andy,

    I contributed $500 at the July 2007 meeting so that this issue would end. We all knew that we had no legal obligation to pay you, but we wanted to help. Now you’re bringing the issue up again and acting as if you are going to go after people anyway!”

    So you are telling me that the Libertarian Party was NOT planning to do a ballot access drive in Nebraska, and that the signature were paid for just for the hell of it?

    If so, this contradicts LNC reports that I have that state that the LNC was planning to pay for a ballot access drive in Nebraska for the 2008 election.

    Us going in early and knocking out most of that drive in 2006 SAVED the party money and hassle for 2008.
    “My recollection is that Bill Redpath also contributed, so badmouthing him publicly over “credit card style interest” is completely uncalled for. If he had not personally pleaded your case to the members of the committee you would have nothing.”

    Show me where I badmouthed Bill Redpath. I don’t recall doing that. In fact, I just spoke to Bill Redpath on the phone a few days ago and the conversation was cordial.

    Bill did in fact say that we should get credit card style interest for our pay being held up for almost a year. We did not get it. I think that it was more of a case of other people not giving a damn than it was of anything that Bill Redpath did.

    The penalty frankly should have come out of the pocket of Scott Kohlhaas. I happen to know that Scott Kohlhaas was on the LP National payroll the entire time that he owed us money, and that he was in fact getting paid $5,000 per month. Go read the FEC reports from 2007. You can find them at FEC.gov and by entering Libertarian Party in the search engine on that site.

    I recall you Stewart Flood saying that Scott Kohlhaas should be fired. Why wasn’t he?

    “No, we did not give you a bonus. No, we did not pay you interest.”

    I happen to know for a fact that LP National paid HIGHER RATES to mercenary (ie-NON-Libertarian) petitioners in 2008 than what we got paid for Nebraska.

    Why is it that LP National was able to cough up more money for that than it was for actual REAL Libertarians who got rip offed by somebody who was on the LNC payroll (ie-Scott Kohlhaas).

    “either the national party or the members of the LNC had any obligation to compensate you, so be thankful that a few of us decided to contribute personal funds to help you with a situation that was not of our creation or under our control.”

    Scott Kohlhaas was on the LNC payroll at the time. He WAS under your control.

    Please think about that.

    “pportunity cost? What about the opportunity cost to those of us who contributed money?”

    When I spoke of opportunity costs, I was mostly refer about incidents involving Sean Haugh and Lee Wrights and LP ballot access in NC. So you completely missed that to which I was refering.

    However, I actually did incurr some opportunity costs, but it was Gary (the other petitioner who got ripped off by Scott Kohlhaas) who really got hit bad by getting ripped off by Scott Kohlhaas in Nebraska.

    ” bet I could do a lot with that $500 now that the economy is in the toilet. I might have even earned interest on it by now. Wow, lost interest!”

    I could say the same thing about any politcal cause to which I donated.

    For instance, I donated $300 to Michael Badnarik for Congress in 2006. I could use that $300 right now for something else.

    And so on and so forth about every political cause to which I’ve ever donated.

    Everytime you donate to a political cause you are forgoing something else for which you could use the money.

    “n business, what you experienced is called a bad debt. It is extremely rare for someone else to pay off a bad debt. Be thankful for that and let it go.”

    Scott Kohlhaas WAS ON THE LNC PAYROLL AT THE TIME. Also, the LNC was planning to do a ballot access drive in Nebraska for 2008 anyway.

    If anything, we ought to be thanked for knocking most of that drive out early and doing it at a lower payrate than what it would have cost the party to do it in 2008.

    We SAVED the party time and money and our thanks for it is that we got SCREWED.

    “It is time to move on. You were compensated, just not by the person who owed you the money.

    Stewart Flood”

    When Scott Kohlhaas did pay us (before he ripped us off), he did NOT pay us out of his own pocket, he paid us by asking people to donate to whatever LP affiliate was doing a petition drive.

    Since you Stewart Flood are on the LNC donor list (as am I, as is everyone who has ever been a member of the party), Scott Kohlhaas could have just as easily called you directly and asked you to donate.

    Some of you people are acting as though the LNC was not planning to do a petition drive in Nebraska, but I know for a fact that they were because I’ve read the freakin’ LNC reports.

    I will not get over it or move on until I see the people who screwed me over go down (in this case, Scott Kohlhaas, but the same goes for Haugh and Wrights).

  67. Stewart Flood

    Yup. Boring.

    Yes, I believe that I said something to the effect that Kohlhaas would have been fired if I’d had anything to do with it. But I didn’t — since all of this took place before our term on the LNC and I was also an alternate on the LNC in 2007 and it wasn’t up to me anyway.

    And that’s exactly the point: quite a number of us were not serving on the LNC when the Nebraska STATE PARTY undertook this. Not the LNC. Not us personally. Absolutely no chain of responsibility on anyone’s party, other than a desire to try to help. Blaming us for wanting to help is not productive.

    And no, I probably wouldn’t have given money if I’d not been an LNC member and someone had called me asking me to pay off a state party’s debt.

    But as Mr Capozzi noted: boring.

  68. mdh

    Stewart, does that mean LNC members like giving money to ballot access drives? If so, consider West Virginia – we’re petitioning right now. :)

  69. Bruce Cohen

    Andy, I believe Bill Redpath said you ‘should’ get Credit Card type interest, not “would”. I think Mister Redpath was speaking on your behalf and making the case of how egregious your treatment was in this matter.

    He, and everyone else, was under the impression, given by you, among others, that if they found a way to reimburse you, that you would move on with your life and let this matter rest.

    That you are not doing so, and worse yet, somehow iumping in parties who rescued you financially in this case, with the people who did you wrong, is out of line.

    Mister Kohlhaas and Mister Haugh are no longer employed with the LP, and I see no signs they will again professionally associate.

    Until and unless they do, please… Move on.

    It will be far better for everyone, and frankly, you certainly aren’t helping yourself here.

    If in the future, any of the folks you feel are at fault in this long past event, do seek employment with the LP, certainly, I would encourage you to add your points to their job application, as it were. Otherwise, you’re spinning your wheels.

  70. Brian Holtz

    Tom Knapp says I “pretend that the bylaws do not include separate provisions for removal due to missed meetings on the one hand, and removal for all other causes on the other hand.”

    The pretense here is Tom’s. The words “all” and “other” aren’t in the relevant Bylaws, which say:

    8.4. A National Committee member shall be a sustaining member of the Party, and shall not be the candidate of any party except the Party or an affiliate.
    8.5. The National Committee may, for cause, suspend any member-at-large by a vote of 2/3 of the entire National Committee.

    You need to recalibrate your shame-o-meter after you stop begging the question and start quoting the text of the Bylaws.

  71. Jim Davidson

    Tom has quoted 8.4 and 8.5 several times on this site in the various threads on this issue.

    What I don’t see is where there is any automatic removal for anything, except missing meetings.

    Your assertion that Lee’s condition under 8.4 was cause for removal, for the brief period when subterfuge was used to pretend he wasn’t renewing, is interesting. The orderly process would be to bring this cause for removal before the LNC per 8.5.

    Since you haven’t the decency to admit that Sullentrup and Starr and Redpath were wrong on this matter, and that Lee should only have been removed by the LNC, there won’t be any recalibration of the shame-o-meter.

    Speaking of shame, Shadow EPA Administrator, when are you going to say something about your policy positions at shadowcabinet.us? Are you too lazy?

  72. Brian Holtz

    Jim, please reread the word “shall” in 8.4, and contrast with the word “may” in 8.5, until comprehension occurs. :-)

    I’ve of course never made the mistake of saying failure to meet the 8.4 qualifications is an 8.5 “cause” for which one may be removed. In the future, if you want to talk about my “assertions”, please type a quotation mark, copy and paste something I’ve actually written, and then type another quotation mark.

    After Sullentrup’s letter, I didn’t accept his account as authoritative, and instead I immediately called on LNC members to be questioned in order to resolve the he-said-she-said dispute over whether Wrights says the LP is not to be donated to. When Wrights disavowed his alleged remarks, I said he should be rubber-stamped back into his seat. I’ve also said I disagree with Redpath’s ruling that his interpretation of 8.4 is not subject to appeal.

    Your snark about “shame” in connection with shadowcabinet.us breaks my irony meter. With all your rabid yet tedious vilifications of me, it’s refreshingly amusing that you would think I would put my serious policy analysis on a site that pretends you’re fit to sit at a table with me. Thanks for reminding me I need to resign from this particular game of make-believe.

Leave a Reply