Chuck Moulton: Wes Wagner Not Chair of Oregon Libertarian Party

Bylaws Purportedly Enacted by State Committee Invalid

State Committee Not Authorized to Cancel Convention

The conversation below was extracted from another thread in IPR. It is compiled here in this order to improve readability. Redundant language was removed.

The controversy surrounds an attempted coup by the former officers of the Libertarian Party of Oregon, lead by former Chair Wes Wagner, where the State Committee purportedly adopted new bylaws, canceled the convention, extended their terms of office, and declared many members in good standing as no longer being valid members.

The identified parties in the online conversation are:

Wes Wagner – Former Chair of the LP of Oregon; claims to still hold the position.

Aaron Starr – Former Treasurer of the Libertarian National Committee and current member of the National Association of Parliamentarians.

Chuck Moulton – Former Vice Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, current attorney and Professional Registered Parliamentarian.

Wes Wagner: The bylaws were voted on by the State Committee who passed them unanimously. Further had the new bylaws not been passed (which they were), and the terms of the existing officers actually expired (which they actually don’t since their successors were not elected), that same committee that passed these bylaws unanimously would have been appointing new officers. Care to take a guess of who would get elected again?

On the upside the next time that question is asked it will go out to the registered Libertarian voters in Oregon to answer that question.

Aaron Starr: The problem you have is that your State Committee cannot enact new bylaws any more than the LNC can elect new bylaws for the national party. You seem to want to gloss over that problem.

The way LPO’s bylaws are written — not the fake set you submitted to the Secretary of State, but rather the one that Marc Montoni provides a link to in Comment #109 — the terms for the officers begin and end at the close of the convention.

[editor’s note: LPO Bylaws available here: LP Oregon Bylaws]

Your bylaws – the real ones – do not have a provision that states you get to remain in office until you are replaced.

Here is what your bylaws – the real ones – actually state:

Article V – Officers and Directors

SEC. 2. Officers and Manner of Elections. The officers of the Libertarian Party of Oregon shall consist of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. Terms of office of all elected officers and directors shall begin immediately upon the close of the annual convention. Nominations of all officers and directors elected at the annual convention shall be from the floor, no nominating committees being permitted.

A. Limitations. All officers and directors shall be members in good standing of the LPO. Although state offices or directorships may be combined, no member of the State Committee may cast more than one vote.

B. Vacancy and Succession. In the event of a vacancy in the office of state chairperson, the state vice chairperson shall serve as State Chairperson until the close of the next annual convention. In the event of a vacancy in any other office or in the position of any committee person at large, the State committee may select any LPO member to fill any such vacancy until the next annual convention.

What you thought you could get away with was a scheme where you made a motion to adjourn the March 12 convention until May 21, knowing that before the second meeting of the convention takes place you would attempt to completely rewrite the bylaws and declare the convention canceled. That takes chutzpah!

You almost pulled off a bloodless coup. Almost!

Fortunately, you made a horrible miscalculation.

What you did not count on was that the Convention delegates would meet anyway – exactly as they voted to do, at the time and place scheduled (in accordance with the motion you made on March 12).

And when that convention had its final adjournment on May 21, your term as Chair came to a conclusion in accordance with Article V, Section 2. The remaining members of the board – the county selected representatives – met at the close of the convention, just as they are required to do according to Article VI, Section 3. And they filled the vacancies in the officer positions in accordance with Article V, Section 2B.

Bottom line: The rest of us clearly see that you are no longer Chair of the LPO.

Wes Wagner: [T]he officer positions do not expire as you are trying to interpret it under the old rules. The plain text does not state when their term ends which makes it ambiguous. Ambiguities are settled by a process under Robert’s.

Aaron Starr: If terms only begin and never end, then every person who has ever been elected an officer for the LPO is still an officer to this day. That would be absurd. If officer terms begin at the close of the convention, it’s logical that the previous officers’ terms end at that same point in time.

Wes Wagner: Roberts states that terms should be explicitly stated as either ending at a set time or be qualified as until their successors are elected.

In the absence of such language you are right, it could be interpreted three ways.

1) they expire at the end of the convention
2) they expire when successors are elected
3) we have a crapload of officers

Chuck Moulton: The bylaws and Robert’s are both ambiguous. See RONR (10th ed.), p. 556, l. 31-35; p. 557, l. 1-7. Robert’s suggests specifying a term of years or a term that ends when successors are elected in the bylaws, but does not specify what happens when the bylaws are silent.

However, the bylaws in effect on March 12 are unambiguous about Wes’s own term of office. Wes Wagner was initially the vice-chair, becoming chair when Jeff Weston resigned. His term of office ended when the convention adjourned on May 21. [emphasis added]

LP Oregon Bylaws, Article V, Section 2, Clause B (Vacancy and Succession):

In the event of a vacancy in the office of state chairperson, the state vice chairperson shall serve as State Chairperson until the close of the next annual convention [emphasis added]. In the event of a vacancy in any other office or in the position of any committee person at large, the State committee may select any LPO member to fill any such vacancy until the next annual convention.

LPO bylaw V.2.B specifies that the term of office for any filled vacancies other than the chair end at the next annual convention (it is ambiguous whether this is at the start or end of that convention) and filled vacancy of chair ends at the end of the next annual convention. In the absence of election of successors, it would be somewhat strange for the terms of all vacancy filled positions to expire while the terms of other state central committee members persisted.

Therefore in my opinion it is more reasonable to follow the interpretation that all terms expire at the end of the annual convention.

Interpretation 3 is absurd.

Aaron Starr: Is Wes Wagner the Chair of LPO?

Chuck Moulton: In my opinion his term ended at the close of the annual convention on May 21, as did the terms of all officers and at-large.

I don’t have enough information to know whether the State Committee meeting at which Tim Reeves was selected as chair (to fill the vacancy) was valid or whether some other valid State Committee meeting was held selecting someone else chair (e.g., Wes Wagner). So my opinion can only cover whether Wes Wagner was chair right after the annual convention, not whether he is chair now.

Aaron Starr: [T]he State Committee had no power under the party’s bylaws to amend the bylaws.

That authority is a matter decided by the Convention, as specified in Article XVI of the LPO’s bylaws.

Have you seen anything that leads you to conclude that the Oregon State Committee’s purported adoption of a new set of bylaws is valid?

Chuck Moulton: No.

Aaron Starr: The members attending the March 12 convention adjourned the convention until May 21. Did the State Committee have the authority to cancel the May 21 meeting?

Chuck Moulton: No.

Aaron Starr: Does the convention in the absence of a quorum have the power adjourn sine die?

Chuck Moulton: Yes.

Aaron Starr: Concerning the State Committee, LPO’s bylaws state in Article VI, Section 3F: “A quorum shall be 20% of the members of the State Committee.”

If there are 11 members and 25 vacancies, is the quorum 20% of 11 or is the quorum 20% of 36?

Chuck Moulton: 20% of 11.

Aaron Starr: What do you need to see to determine whether the decision to fill vacancies at the post-convention State Convention meeting, as mandated by Article VI, Section 3 of LPO’s bylaws, was valid?

Chuck Moulton: LP Oregon bylaw VI.3.1 says a meeting shall be held at the close of the annual convention, so the fact that there was no chair to call the meeting is immaterial. That the annual convention was adjourned until May 21 and that the state committee presumably received adequate notice of the March 12 convention should be sufficient to satisfy the notice requirement of State Committee meetings in bylaw VI.3.2.

But bylaw VI.3.6 imposes a 20% quorum requirement and Wes Wagner has alleged this quorum was not met.

I am not in a position to evaluate the proper composition of the State Committee at the county level and I will never be in as good a position as native Oregonians to figure that out, so I won’t venture a try. However, if I am given a list of valid board members and a list of board members who attended, I do feel qualified (in part by virtue of my bachelor’s degree in mathematics) to take 20% of the former number and judge if it is greater or less than the latter number.

Aaron Starr: According to the adopted minutes of the post-convention meeting of the State Committee, the following five individuals were credentialed as members present to vote. David Long (Washington County), Don McDaniel (Clatsop County), Helen McDaniel (Clatsop County), Richard Whitehead (Washington County), Steve Dodds (Yamhill County).

The following six individuals were also recognized as members but were not present: Ron Bream (Multnomah County), David Terry (Yamhill County), Angela Grover (Marion County), Orrin Grover (Marion County), Lars Hedbor (Clackamas County), and Jim Karlock (Multnomah County).

By unanimous votes, the individuals present elected officers to fill the vacancies caused by the adjournment of the Convention.

If there are no other members of the State Committee, do the five out of eleven members constitute a 20% quorum under the bylaws?

Chuck Moulton: Yes.

Aaron Starr: If per chance there are additional unknown members of the State Committee, would there need to be an additional 15 such members of the board, bringing the total to 26 members, for the five present to not be considered a quorum?

Chuck Moulton: Yes.

Aaron Starr: If there is to be a challenge of the credentials of those attending that meeting, which met the notice requirement because its time and place was mandated by the bylaws, when must such a point of order be raised and who has standing to make it? Would the arbiters of such a challenge be the State Committee members assembled on May 21?

Chuck Moulton: This is a complicated question. The answer under parliamentary procedure may be different from the answer under corporate law. I am not going to attempt to research court cases and respond as a lawyer (although I am an attorney, I am not admitted to practice in the state of Oregon). So this is not legal advice.

Robert’s discusses credentials reports and credentials challenges in the context of conventions rather than of boards. For a board credentials are handled by the secretary rather than a credentials committee and the check of credentials is generally pro forma.

The state committee members assembled would be the only ones with standing under parliamentary procedure to challenge credentials and that challenge should be made contemporaneously. The state committee members (i.e., the county representatives because their terms had not expired) would be the arbiters of the challenge.

However, Robert’s makes clear that even though quorum challenges generally can’t affect prior action, with clear and convincing evidence it can.

RONR (10th ed.), p. 338, l. 22-28:

Because of the difficulty likely to be encountered in determining exactly how long the meeting has been without a quorum in such cases, a point of order relating to the absence of a quorum is generally not permitted to affect prior action; but upon clear and convincing proof, such a point of order can be given effect retrospectively by a ruling of the presiding officer, subject to appeal.

Although I have not researched court cases on this point, I suspect courts are likely to extend standing to a broader class than just state committee members. I also suspect that courts are likely to consider overturning action taken by people without proper credentials or action taken without a quorum, using a public policy justification and citing the Robert’s passage above as parliamentary cover.

Let me provide a hypothetical to demonstrate why this would be a good thing. Suppose all factions discussed intended to attend the May 21 Oregon LP convention; however, there was a freak blizzard that left 6 feet of snow on the ground. Practically no one was physically able to attend. 5 rabble rousers had arrived at the hotel a week early. They held the convention themselves, adjourning it immediately for lack of a quorum. Then they held the post-convention state committee meeting mentioned in the bylaws. None of these people were on the state committee (none were county representatives, none were officers, none were at-large), but they read a credentials report declaring they were valid representatives and declared they had met the quorum requirement. They then proceeded to do many far reaching things at the limit of the state committee’s authority while not exceeding it. Could their action not be challenged simply because they were the arbiters of their own action? I find such a position difficult to support.

Aaron Starr: Does former Chair Wes Wagner, who was no longer a member of the State Committee, have standing to challenge the credentials of the attendees? If so, when must such a point of order be raised? Would the arbiters of such a challenge be the State Committee members assembled on May 21?

Chuck Moulton: My answer is the same as above. Under Robert’s because Wes Wagner’s term as chair had ended, he would not have standing to challenge then by virtue of his old position. If he also represented a county, then he would have standing by virtue of that position. Only state committee members would have standing to challenge the credentials report.

Under Robert’s the challenge to credentials should be made contemporaneously to the reading of the credentials report. The arbiters of the challenge would be the state committee members assembled May 21, with any challenged member ineligible to vote on challenges to his own credentials.

But again, I believe a court of law would allow a broader class of people to challenge standing and would allow that review after the fact, though with a presumption that the adopted credentials report was valid. I have not researched corporate law court cases in Oregon or elsewhere on this point — this is just my intuition as a legal scholar. This is not legal advice.

Aaron Starr: In the absence of any other information presented so far, are the current officers of the LPO the individuals elected at the May 21 post-convention State Committee meeting?

Chuck Moulton: In my opinion as a Professional Registered Parliamentarian the slate of LPO officers selected at the May 21 post-convention State Committee meeting to fill vacancies have a stronger case for recognition than Wes Wagner’s slate of officers.

I believe there are genuine issues of law and material fact to be litigated though. Wes’s allegations about improper credentials and lack of a quorum could potentially overturn action taken at that meeting if a court of law grants him standing, rules that a challenge to credentials and a point of order about lack of a quorum can have retrospective effect, and finds that Wes Wagner proves that 1 or less of the people listed were properly credentialed. I find it very unlikely any court would accept Wagner’s quorum definition though… if even 2 of those present were valid state committee members, Wes Wagner would probably lose a challenge to quorum.

Of course the new bylaws purported to be passed by the state committee in April are another monkey wrench entirely. I don’t know how a court will deal with those. In an ideal world state corporate law ought to treat such a passage as invalid, but unfortunately state law can deviate substantially from parliamentary procedure.

106 thoughts on “Chuck Moulton: Wes Wagner Not Chair of Oregon Libertarian Party

  1. Sleazy Libertarians

    Seems like some people trying to rig the 2012 Oregon delegation in Root’s favor.

    A lot of subterfuge, slight of hand, and petty power plays at work in the state and national LPs these days.

    Many LPs give the impression of being sleazy, dysfunctional, dishonest, and corrupt — just like the Demopublicans.

    No wonder one of the largest, fastest growing group of Americans these days are not Libertarians, but “Disaffecteds” — http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/89019/the-demographic-group-should-terrify-republicans

    The Disaffecteds hate “politics as usual” — but they don’t see the LP as any kind of alternative.

  2. Aaron Starr

    Sleazy @1

    It’s difficult to interpret your statement.

    Are you stating that Wagner is engaging in malfeasance because he’s a Root supporter? I highly doubt that.

    Are you stating that Chuck Moulton is giving false opinions because it would benefit Root. I highly doubt that.

    Neither Wagner nor Moulton are on record as supporting Root.

  3. Marc Montoni

    As I said “in another comment”, the only way past this mess is for everyone to give up something.

    The situation has been building for years, due in no small part to the actions and behavior of Richard Burke and his supporters. The emphasis *now* on proper parliamentary procedure and “following the rules” is a day late and a dollar short — Carling, Starr, and the others insisting on that now should have been calling for Burke’s crowd to implement a policy of openness of records and fairness in procedure years ago. You can’t keep the lid on a pressure cooker forever.

    This is going to end up in the courts, a la Arizona, because no one is willing to give up anything. Not even Burke, who aparently promised to stay away from all LP OR meetings.

    My opinion is 1) that Wes and his fellows should be regarded as the current officers until 2) a convention can be called in short order, and meanwhile 3) the Starr/Carling/Burke faction should agree to give up all quorum claim requirements. The LP OR didn’t have a quorum requirement for years prior to 2009; it can survive without it for one meeting.

    Unless all parties are willing to give up something, this will be a rolling mess for a long time.

    The way out is clear.

  4. New Liberty forAmerica issue

    The Parliamentoonian faction is claiming that a state convention with 50+ people in attendance has less power to meet and decide on officers than a state convention with 11 people in attendance. Like all sophists who have studied Socrates’ wrong logic — it’s an amusing play — they will prove whatever claims they want.

    The claim is total nonsense.

    In fact, there is a collision between ‘we want to be a private club’ and ‘we want to be the state-recognized political party with power to nominate by convention or some semblance thereof’.

    The state-recognized political party runs under state law, which over-rules party rules where they conflict.

    As I said previously, we are very close to the Arizona point, in that there was a conflict between a group that wanted to be organized as a state political party and a group that wanted to be organized as a private club.

    In Massachusetts, after finally defeating the group that tried to destroy the private club — LAMA has risen from the ashes — we have the solution. All those who want a private Association — over here. All those who want a state-recognized group organized under state law — over there. You can belong to both, but you cannot legally be on both governing bodies at the same time. And we have found the solution — Joe Kennedy proved it works — to avoid having the two sides step on each others’ toes.

    The matter will perhaps be resolved through the civil courts and/or the criminal justice system.

    The LNC decision, to refuse to share their contact information with either side, based on false claims that our Party Bylaws tell the LNC with whom it may share the lists and a National Chair who appears from his message not to have checked the bylaws himself before telling the LNC, was unwise in the extreme.

    In my opinion, we are approaching the point where there will be three –counting the BTP–libertarian political parties in this country.

  5. Doug Craig

    What state is Aaron star a member of ? man he sure seems worried about Oregon . Why ? I wish I had all the answers. I do not. We seem to have a lot of people not from Oregon in the middle of this . I believe outside people have made this case a lot worse then it would have been if Oregon had been left alone . If this was my state I would not be happy with all of the outside people messing with us. I hope we get to the bottom of this but I really hope that people leave each state alone to take care of their internal problems at home.
    As always call me with questions 770-861-5855

  6. Michael H. Wilson

    Right on Doug! This nonsense has been going on for years and the national party has stuck its nose in from time to time.

    National could provide a way out, but it looks like the situation is going to be allowed to boil over.

  7. Sean Scallon

    Oh my Lord what a mess! Libertarians would be advised to stay away from the LP and help Ron Paul and or Gary Johnson.

    I’m curious, why does it seem the non-major parties have seem to have these problems when it comes to disputes between who’s running the party and conducting proper meetings according to Roberts and well-run conventions. Not that the majors have had their share of problems as well from time to time but it’s the non-majors which these kinds of problems happen more frequently.

    If you can’t run a meeting, I don’t see how you can convince people you can run the country, much less the state or city or village. Perhaps person should dwell upon this before engaging in these kinds of power plays.

  8. Chuck Moulton

    I will be traveling shortly and thus unresponsive for a few weeks. I’m already away from my usual computer.

    The post above is the aggregation of a series of questions Aaron posed to me and my responses. Although he leaves out some context, he fairly accurately conveys my opinions.

    I do want to be clear about two things though. First, a few of my comments are not included in this aggregation, which seem to be the ones admitting there is more than one possible interpretation. In later comments I pondered the issues more and came to conclusions about which interpretation was more reasonable in my opinion — these later comments were included. Second, I responded to several of Aaron’s questions accepting his premises as given (e.g., that the list he provided of state committee members was the correct and valid list). Although the format of the aggregation may create the impression that I agreed with his premises, in fact I have not agreed or disagreed with his assumption because I am not in a position to evaluate them.

    Also it would be helpful to link to the comments that are the source of the aggregation.

  9. Chuck Moulton

    I saw a recent comment by Wes Wagner that cited Oregon State Law 248.072. For some reason I hadn’t looked at this closely in the past, but some things jumped out at me a few minutes ago.

    Oregon State Law 248.072:

    Authority of state central committee. The state central committee is the highest party authority in the state and may adopt rules or resolutions for any matter of party government which is not controlled by the laws of this state. [1979 c. 190 sec. 84]

    Wes Wagner has asserted this paragraph gives the board the authority to amend the bylaws. I hadn’t examined the law in detail because I assumed the law said what he claimed — state laws can say all sorts of wacky things.

    Looking at it now though, I don’t think the law conveys the authority he states or that this paragraph contradicts what I, M Carling, Aaron Starr, etc. have been saying all along.

    (Btw, I am not carrying my copy or Robert’s Rules of Order with me, so I am going from memory. My apologies if I make an error.)

    In parliamentary procedure there are several different levels of authority:

    • corporate charter
    • constitution
    • bylaws
    • rules of order
    • standing rules

    Documents lower on the list are subservient to documents higher on the list.

    When the Oregon law refers to “rules,” it likely simply means rules of order and standing rules, which any board has the authority to pass. These rules constrain the board, but do not constrain the convention. Having the authority to pass a rule does not necessarily grant the authority to amend (or replace) the bylaws. In this case I see no reason to believe the Oregon law would be referring to bylaws rather than “rules of order” and “standing rules,” which more closely match the plain language in the law.

    The law also refers to “resolutions,” but again the ability to pass resolutions does not imply the ability to amend the bylaws.

    Additionally the law says the state central committee is the “highest party authority in the state.” The “highest authority” language pervasively refers to a board of directors throughout the legal literature, even though the board of directors can be restrained by shareholders and are limited in what they may do. Just google “highest authority in an organization.” Just because a state committee is referred to as the “highest authority” doesn’t mean it has the power to amend the bylaws.

    Again, this is just an off the cuff reaction without Robert’s Rules in front of me or much legal research, but I thought I should share it anyway to generate some thought and discussion.

  10. Chuck Moulton

    George Phillies wrote (@11):

    @10

    If it is not too late, what was the list of State Committee members?

    Aaron Starr wrote (article text):

    Aaron Starr: According to the adopted minutes of the post-convention meeting of the State Committee, the following five individuals were credentialed as members present to vote. David Long (Washington County), Don McDaniel (Clatsop County), Helen McDaniel (Clatsop County), Richard Whitehead (Washington County), Steve Dodds (Yamhill County).

    The following six individuals were also recognized as members but were not present: Ron Bream (Multnomah County), David Terry (Yamhill County), Angela Grover (Marion County), Orrin Grover (Marion County), Lars Hedbor (Clackamas County), and Jim Karlock (Multnomah County).

  11. George Phillies

    As it reached me:

    Members of the LNC,

    I have been made aware of the various issues that have been raised regarding the processes that have occurred in Oregon and will address them. First, though, I will summarize them as being moot, because the organizational bylaws were lawfully changed on March 31st in spite of arguments made to the contrary. I will further note that the LPO State Committee Meeting that was alleged to have taken place on May 21st was materially defective even under our party’s old rules (which were and are no longer in effect).

    I will first, however, set out a small amount of history, so it can be understood why this is even being made an issue … and this is an issue that was of the making of the hands of some national members and a long string of interferences that have caused it. You are now only being made aware of it because their efforts domestically have failed, and they now need some additional resources and support to continue their attempts.

    In March of 2010, after years of bitter infighting, the dues-paying members of the Libertarian Party of Oregon passed a plan for reformation of the party, agreeing to certain points of consensus by a 2/3rds vote and a plan of how to move the party forward. That plan included allowing any members to form constitutional committees to propose new governing documents. Further, a special convention would be called by the State Committee for the consideration, amendment and accepting/rejecting of these proposals.

    Only one proposal was offered, and the State Committee set a time and date in November of 2010 for the special convention and served notice. The events surrounding that convention were related to you by Mr. Karlan, and so I have to assume you have a one-sided portrayal of the events because Mr. Karlan never concerned himself with corresponding with the current officers of the LPO at that time.

    In spite of the fact that Americans For Prosperity (the organization from which Mr. Burke is a paid employee) had registered 15 new LPO members prior to the event, a quorum requirement was placed on the LPO to prevent its members from meeting and conducting business by M Carling and Alicia Mattson, the latter acting under the color of official LNC authority.

    [GP: See next two messages when posted. National Chair Hinkle denies having been aware of issues discussed in the next paragraph, and State Chair Wagner has accepted National Chair Hinkle’s statement.]

    Hinkle, Mattson and Carling arrived the night prior to the convention with their plans already in place. They did not communicate openly with LPO officers prior to the event, and held a dinner the night before which was clear to us not to be an open and honest process – of which Hinkle at the last minute could suddenly not attend.

    As a result of these activities the members of the Libertarian Party of Oregon, as it was constituted at the time, were rendered incapable of doing any business.

    Due to that, and the inability to achieve anything close to quorum at the March annual convention, and the issue being made exceedingly more difficult due to the issue of lifetime members — plus the continual interference by national representatives — the Libertarian Party of Oregon State Committee decided to exercise its powers under Oregon State Law (ORS 248) to adopt new bylaws for the organization.

    248.072 Authority of state central committee. The state central committee is the highest party authority in the state and may adopt rules or resolutions for any matter of party government which is not controlled by the laws of this state. [1979 c.190 §84]

    Further the Secretary of State will not interfere in the enforcement and interpretation of these rules that the State Committee has passed:

    248.011 Enforcement of ORS 248.005 or political party rules. Except as expressly required by law, the Secretary of State, a county clerk or any other elections official shall not enforce the provisions of ORS 248.005 or any other rule adopted by a political party. [1995 c.606 §2]

    The new Constitution and Bylaws were passed by a 7-0 State Committee vote (with 2 abstentions) on March 31st, 2011. The passage of these bylaws cured a number of legal issues with the organization, as well as internal issues that we all were able to agree needed to be corrected:

    1) The current party definition of membership was illegal under ORS 248.002

    2) The current bylaws had numerous technical issues that prevented the organization from operating any further as a representative republic/democracy

    3) The current bylaws and its definitions of membership were in question because minutes from the 2009 convention did not match the documents provided by the secretary

    4) The organization was at risk of being co-opted by external parties in a manner that once perfected could not be cured by the membership no matter how many votes they could accumulate.

    Further the current officers did not extend their terms. In the adoption of the new bylaws 9 directors were appointed to the new State Committee as part of the adoption and those directors subsequently appointed officers from among themselves pursuant to the new bylaws.

    I am certain there is a lot of confusion over the order of events and what has occurred. It is worth re-iterating that in all circumstances where Mattson, Carling and Karlan had become involved in the LPO, it has always been ambush politics with no legitimate or bona fide communication with the existing party leadership. They further have been attempting to hide details and facts surrounding the situation by:

    1. M Carling proactively removing Wes Wagner from the state chairs list

    2. Dan Karlan has not been sending copies of his affiliate updates to the current chairperson for correction/revision/refutation prior to publication for over a year now.

    With the current status of the LPO and the reasons why we are here defined, I now will address the functional issues raised by the alleged meeting on May 21st, which had zero authority since the governing documents had already been changed. This change has already been accepted by the Oregon Secretary of State on April 8th, and has never been formally challenged. Even the attempt at holding a May 21st event smacks of the ambush politics we have had to deal with for year at the hands of agents of the LNC (such as previous interferences of Treasurer Aaron Starr and past representative M Carling in 2007).

    The following italicized points have been posted to the LNC list and we will provide comment:

    According to the LPO’s Constitution, Bylaws, and Convention Rules amendments to these items can only be amended at a convention (see Article VIII of the Constitution, Article XVI of the Bylaws, and Article IX of the Convention Rules).

    They weren’t amended at a convention so they remain in effect.

    Response: ORS allows any regular state central committee meeting to modify the rules of the organization.

    The previous LPO officers have not been re-elected at a convention; they can’t extend their terms without enabling amendments to the Constitution, Bylaws, and Convention Rules, which can only be amended at convention.

    Response: The old bylaws were silent on the terms of offices time of expiration (whether it is a set time, or until successors are elected), thus causing an ambiguity. Had this issue ever been pressed, the existing committee likely would have been inclined to retain the people who were last elected by an actual meeting of the members. That is their general MO.

    According the minutes of the March 12th meeting, Wes Wagner adjourned the convention to May 21st and said that the terms of the officers would end at the close of the convention in May.

    Response: If successors were elected that would be true.

    Elections were not held at the May 21st convention due to the lack of a quorum, leaving officer positions vacant upon the May 21st adjournment.

    Response: This is subject to interpretation. The old bylaws provided a process for determining interpretation.

    The Bylaws contain provisions for the State Committee to fill vacant officer positions.

    Response: If they were vacant, that would be the case.

    The State Committee was required to meet May 21 as per the bylaws, and a quorum of members (at least 20%) was present. The State Committee elected new officers to fill the vacant positions as per the bylaws.

    This is not true that a subsequent state committee meeting had quorum (if it had even been lawfully convened under the old bylaws). There have been previous rulings on the issue of quorum of the state committee and it has been held that all previous registered delegates count towards quorum because:

    1) We are never given official notice by former state committee representatives that they have left office, thus we can’t know their status

    2) An individual is not even required to be a member of the state party to be a county representative, therefore there is no way to administratively drop them for failure to maintain requirements.

    3) The only cure for truly vacating their office is disaffiliation of the county, which was never done. The judicial committee ruled on this as early as January of 2010

    4) Quorum was not present at the alleged State Committee meeting on May 21st. Five members would not constitute a quorum. Further the two representatives from Clatsop County were from a county that failed to send in its governing documents in a timely manner and thus were unable to seat their delegation (Per a January 2010 Jud Committee ruling). Further they were not the representatives of record when Clatsop County did send documentation last in an attempt to start the process of curing their deficiency. The representative from Yamhill County likewise had questionable credentials due to failing to file documents in a timely manner at the last request (Per January 2010 Jud Comm). Only the representatives from Washington County would be uncontested under the old rules. Given the number of counties and representatives formally recognized by the LPO that had never been disaffiliated, quorum was not reached. Quorum for a state committee meeting under the old bylaws was closer to 8, possibly 9 depending on what party documentation you believe. Only two of the representatives in the minutes of the alleged May 21st State Committee Meeting had valid credentials under the old rules. One representative present for the March 31st State Committee meeting (David Long) and had requested and received minutes from that meeting and was aware of the new bylaws.

    —-

    In summary, this issue is complicated, but had been put to rest on March 31st with the lion’s share of the organization and its desire to move forward and no longer put up with the antics of Mr. Burke, Mr. Carling, Ms. Mattson and Mr. Karlan. Their behavior for the past several years has been so reprehensible that they have managed to accomplish something few people ever have: they managed to get a group of libertarians to agree on something.

    On June 6th, 2011 the Libertarian Party of Oregon State Committee met and voted to send the above response and the following statements unanimously.

    We strongly rebuke the involvement of any LNC officers or functionaries in the internal affairs of the Libertarian Party of Oregon.

    Whereas we desire to have a productive relationship with the LNC as an affiliated organization, our ability to do so is greatly impaired by the presence of Ms. Mattson and Mr. Carling being involved in any official capacity.

    We further demand that Wes Wagner be added back to the State Chair’s list as Chairperson of the Libertarian Party of Oregon and Harry Joe Tabor be added to the list as the current Vice Chairperson of the Libertarian Party of Oregon.

    I have further been directed to file a complaint with the Oregon Attorney General’s office for the filings of fraudulent documents with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office and/or any other offenses that may be applicable.

    Sincerely,
    Wes Wagner
    Chairperson, Libertarian Party of Oregon

  12. George Phillies

    Mr Hinkle’s statement on the paragraph noted above:

    All,

    The following is not true.

    I never had any prior plans coming into the LPO Convention other than to see what was going on. I had heard a number of members were being denied membership status and thus were ineligible to be delegates at the LPO convention. I wanted to see if this was true. Apparently it was true, because, as I understand it, those members were allowed to be members and also were allowed to be delegates.

    We’ll never know for sure whether that would, or would not, have happened had not Alicia Mattson and I attended.

    I never planned to attend a dinner Friday evening with anyone from the LPO. I had already made plans to visit an old Libertarian activists that I knew from Sunnyvale who moved up to Portland to work at Intel. I went there to celebrate his impending marriage and retirement from Intel. And since I never planned to attend the dinner, I had no plans to pitch any particular agenda at that dinner.

    FYI………………….Mark Hinkle, LNC Chair

  13. George Phillies

    Mr. Wagner accepts Mr. Hinkle’s statement:

    Mark,

    All apologies, we were told by M and Alicia that you would be attending the dinner which was the only reason we agreed to it in the first place.

    Your “sudden and abrupt cancellation” took us by surprise and got interpreted what in retrospect may be incorrectly.

    Sincerely,
    Wes Wagner
    Chairperson, Libertarian Party of Oregon

  14. what a @#$%^ing mess!

    @5:

    The state-recognized political party runs under state law, which over-rules party rules where they conflict.

    Nope. First Amendment association rights trumps state law when it comes to political parties, and only where the party rules are silent does state law take precedence in terms of party operations and organization:

    “[T]he State may not constitutionally substitute its judgment for that of the Party, whose determination of the boundaries of its own association and of the structure that best allows it to pursue its political goals is protected by the Constitution.” Tashjian v. Republican Party, 479 U.S. 208 (1986)

    What this comes down to is this: the only way out of this is have the LNC disaffiliate LPO and do a full reset, with Bylaws that aren’t a fucking mess, and let the chowderheads figure it out from scratch, devoid of parliamentarian bullshit and focused on the simple yet overlooked premise that the LPO’s goal is *supposed to be* moving Oregon public policy and politics in a libertarian direction.

    This perpetual dick-measuring contest over RRONR and such minutiae is the reason the LP had wasted 40 years. All parties involved need to pull their collective heads out of their asses, both their own and each others, get back on the focus of the overall goal, and work on that.

  15. Michael H. Wilson

    re 19 “devoid of parliamentarian bullshit and focused on the simple yet overlooked premise that the LPO’s goal is *supposed to be* moving Oregon public policy and politics in a libertarian direction.”

    Right on!

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    @19,

    “the only way out of this is have the LNC disaffiliate LPO and do a full reset”

    There are two problems with that.

    The first is that the LNC’s bylaws only permit disaffiliation for cause, a term with a specific meaning which “internal dispute over meaning/application of bylaws” does not seem to fit.

    The second is that if the LNC disaffiliates the LPO, there’s a non-trivial chance that the 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate for the Oregon ballot will be decided in Oregon rather than in Las Vegas.

  17. Mark Seidenberg

    First, I am not associated with the LP. So I am looking at the problems Oregon LP are having
    is the use of RONR 10th Ed.

    RONR 10th Ed. does not work well with political
    parties in California that are governed by Division 7 of the California Election Code.

    In 2007 the American Independent Party which
    is the 3rd largest political party in California and
    has major party status in two of California 58 counties, adopted Robert’s Rules of Order:
    Simplified & Applied, 2nd Ed. It was published
    after RONR 10th, so it made changes that are
    more compliant with Division 7 of the California
    Election Code.

    The AIP went through 3 lawsuit between 2008
    to 2011 by a rump group that tried to take control of the AIP. the rump group used RONR
    10th to try to invalidate the 2006 SCC meeting
    in Rancho Cordova of September 3rd 2006, 22
    month after the meeting ended to remove the
    then State Chairman Ed Noonan. Since the SCC
    adopted Robert’s Rules of Order: Simplified &
    Applied, 2nd ed., Published by Robert McConnell Production, 4303 67th Avenue, NW,
    Gig Harbor, WA 98335, in 2007, that 22 month
    later claim was blocked by using the volume
    the AIP picket in 2007. In fact RONR 10th
    was replaced by all but one county central committee in California.

    Sincerely,Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman,
    American Independent Party

  18. George Phillies

    @19 Eu v California assuredly permits the LP of Oregon to arrange its internal affairs in accord with state law, so saying they may or may not be allowed to do something else does not get you anywhere.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    I am bored to tears by intra-party legalisms/proceduralisms. I will say 14 Wagner doesn’t seem to address the SUBSTANCE of Carling’s contention. He regurgitates his previously stated case.

    Near as I can tell, he’s resting his procedural case on this: “The state-recognized political party runs under state law, which over-rules party rules where they conflict.”

    Yet, Moulton, an attorney, not affiliated with SCM, whom I know personally and have tremendous amounts of respect for, both intellectually and integrity-wise, says:

    12 cm: “When the Oregon law refers to “rules,” it likely simply means rules of order and standing rules, which any board has the authority to pass. These rules constrain the board, but do not constrain the convention. Having the authority to pass a rule does not necessarily grant the authority to amend (or replace) the bylaws. In this case I see no reason to believe the Oregon law would be referring to bylaws rather than “rules of order” and “standing rules,” which more closely match the plain language in the law. The law also refers to “resolutions,” but again the ability to pass resolutions does not imply the ability to amend the bylaws.”

    me: I’m still neutral (and may remain so, since I’m not a lawyer and frankly not interested in noise), Wagner is losing me fast. My current read is he usurped “power” he didn’t have, basing it on a misreading of OR law.

    I laughed when I read the summary in 14 and saw the word “rebuke.” Really? If David Duke used procedural trickery to take over the LA LP, wouldn’t we all want the LNC to do everything it could to reverse the trickery? I’m not, btw, suggesting that Wagner is tantamount to Duke ideologically speaking, just that it seems obvious that the LNC and the wider LP needs some means to maintain integrity in the state LPs.

    Flim flamming control of a state party is the charge. Address the charge to maintain the sense of integrity is my strong suggestion.

    Wagner HAS TO SEE that substantive challenges have been made to his assertion. If he doesn’t, then I’d suggest he’s either not paying attention or is purposely obfuscating.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    21 tk, yes, disaffiliation should be a last resort. Mediation seems more chill, and therefore helpful and productive.

    I’d say Moulton would be a great candidate as chief mediator.

  21. Marc Montoni

    Mediation depends on the individuals involved negotiating in good faith. No one seems interested in that, however — because negotiation by definition involves both (or all) sides giving up something.

    Everyone who has commented more than a few times on this fiasco has continually put forth his “logical” or “correct” or “proven” position, as if the other side should no reason to object.

    However, the other side does object.

    No one is going to “win” in this situation unless both sides are willing to give up something.

    As I said before, this situation has been brewing for years. Perhaps if Mssrs Carling and Starr had counseled Mr Burke & his supporters to play the game somewhat differently, so many in the LP-OR would not have become so inflamed that this would be the direction they chose.

    The fact is, this sort of coup could not take place unless there were enough people to make it possible to pull off. Those people didn’t just appear out of Wes’ imagination. If you step on enough toes, eventually the people attached to them will be lining up against you.

    It is unfortunate that Mr Wagner and his supporters now appear to be introducing the same sort of problems that created his camp in the first place. Instead of permanent resolution, it will simply be a see-saw.

    Permanent resolution requires that everyone give up something.

  22. George Phillies

    @25

    Moulton, as mediator? After he took a side on the issue? Unlikely.

    The reasonable solution point was for the large state convention to have told the ‘you don’t have a quorum’ people that they were wrong, because such a radical change required a conscious decision’ and had their state convention last year.

    At this point, a plausible solution is to let the market prevail. The supporters of state organization and membership of the voters have a group. The supporters of being unable to meet because they can never get a quorum have a group. They should both start doing things, and the libertarians of Oregon will eventually migrate to the successful people, and the other group will wither. That’s not the only solution.

    If the LNC has sense, it will admit to the National convention the group of people who are libertarians — haven’t heard anathemas and excommunications being thrown yet — and can give them Presidential ballot access. If the LSLA has any sense, they will tell their Secretary not to exclude Mr. Wagner from their list when the matter is up in the air.

    It appears to me that there has been a period since the first National Convention when an effective National Chair would have been less invisible, but that period is now over.

    At this point, it is more interesting to wonder if the Oregon Party is going to sit there, or if it is going to launch a new national party.

  23. Marc Montoni

    As if Phillies could be a fair arbiter.

    I disagree that Moulton has “taken a side” in the issue. He has consistently stated the pros and cons, as he sees them, of both sides’ arguments. If he finds one or more points having more weight than another, he still doesn’t dismiss the other side’s POV like most of the other players in this debate have (Phillies included).

    Whether Moulton would want to be the mediator is another question.

    If he were willing, frankly, given his past truly exemplary behavior in other situations of conflict, Moulton would be a fine choice as mediator. He has long since demonstrated his willingness to be fair and open to all points of view in an argument.

  24. Michael H. Wilson

    I do have a question and it relates to the quorum issue. If the state party had to have a quorum for its get together then does national have to have a quorum come the Vegas convention?

    Just wondering out loud.

  25. Marc Montoni

    Michael @ 29, a review of the L Bylaws would answer that. Not looking at them at the moment, but as I recall the National conventions are “GAD” events. Those who “Give a Damn” show up, and no quorum is required.

    We amended our Bylaws (actually we call it a “Constitution”) in Virginia many years ago because we kept having the quorum problem. Went through several convention cycles before we finally achieved quorum so we could pass amendments to our rules, however.

    Good thing, too — our most recent conventions have been very sparsely attended.

  26. what a @#$%^ing mess!

    If Mr. Phillies is going to cite a case, then he better cite a case, and he better cite it correctly, meaning the actual name and indexing.

    The Tashjian quote is taken from the holdings of the Supreme Court on the case, is not from the in dicta part of the ruling, and is therefore binding law.

    Furthermore, a political party may certainly organize their organization according to state law, and Tashjian does not prohibit that. What the ruling does say is something quite different, which is that where the state laws and the political party’s structure explicitly differ, the latter supersedes the former. If they are equivalent, there is no conflict. If the latter is silent, the former controls. That’s why every Bylaws in a political organization needs to have a reserved powers clause in regards to state laws. But few do.

    As for Mr. Knapp, certainly “cause” can include “not getting the chartered and directed job done”, which is pandemic to most of the LP because they spend so much time fucking around with procedural bullshit instead of working towards the alleged real goal. Mr. Nolan is looking down on this and shaking his head sadly.

  27. what a @#$%^ing mess!

    And frankly, if the concern over a reset of LPO is over what faction of it sets it up to determine a Presidential candidate to get another 0.3% of the vote, then the focus is still not on the goal but on the infighting bullshit.

    IOW, it doesn’t fucking matter, so get with the correct program of moving the public policy forward, not wasting more time on this internal bullshit.

  28. JT

    what a…: “As for Mr. Knapp, certainly “cause” can include “not getting the chartered and directed job done”, which is pandemic to most of the LP because they spend so much time fucking around with procedural bullshit instead of working towards the alleged real goal. Mr. Nolan is looking down on this and shaking his head sadly.”

    I don’t think “not getting the chartered and directed job done” should be cause for disaffiliation. What the heck does that mean? Not electing enough Libertarians to government offices to move policy in a libertarian direction? If that’s the case, then the LNC should disaffiliate every state party.

    I do agree though that “cause” leaves a lot of room for the LNC to disaffiliate a state party. If a party gets mired in procedural infighting that threatens the ability of that party to conduct business, then I think that could be enough.

    I personally hate when it seems that a party’s focus is more internal than external.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    The charge isn’t mere “infighting.” It seems that it’s a “bloodless coup.” Maybe it’s not a coup, but the evasive responses are making it look mighty fishy.

  30. JT

    Robert: “The charge isn’t mere “infighting.” It seems that it’s a “bloodless coup.” Maybe it’s not a coup, but the evasive responses are making it look mighty fishy.”

    Regardless of the term used to describe it, the point is that it seems to have split the state party and affected the ability to conduct party business. A resolution doesn’t look forthcoming from those involved. To me, that might qualify as “cause” for disaffiliation if the situation isn’t remedied soon.

  31. LibertarianGirl

    Im confused , I usually am..
    am i to understand that only state commitee members i.e voting members in addition to the excom were allowed to elect officers??

    isnt it normally done , at least here , by sending notification to all registerd Libs , with the credential protocol in place to allow any one wanting to pay dues or whatever else the requirements are to show up and take part?

    to me , a convention is where the officers have less power and the members/delegates at large are the decision makers , everyone gets 1 vote..

    if thats not the case then i cant understand why Wes wouldnt have lobbied and enlisted more credential friendly people to vote for his slate

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    Marc @ 30,

    You write:

    —–
    Not looking at them at the moment, but as I recall the National conventions are “GAD” events. Those who “Give a Damn” show up, and no quorum is required.
    —–

    Half-right, half-wrong. It’s “GAD” at the start — however many people show up and get credentialed as delegates is the BASIS for a quorum. A national convention wouldn’t be canceled because only five delegates show up and get credentials. Some percentage of that five delegates would be the quorum minimum.

    However, once delegates are credentialed, that minimum quorum percentage has to be on the floor for business to happen. Or, rather, if someone moves a quorum call and it turns out that the requisite percentage ISN’T on the floor, it’s over. If no one calls for that count, then a quorum is assumed.

    The 2000 national convention adjourned sine die on a failed quorum call.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    WAFM @ 31,

    You write:

    —–
    certainly “cause” can include “not getting the chartered and directed job done”
    —–

    If not getting the “chartered” job done was “cause,” the LNC would have no affiliates.

    As far as “directed” goes, the state parties do not operate under the “direction” of the LNC.

    Generally “cause” involves violating an objective rule of some sort. There are actually a couple of such rules explicitly applied to affiliates in the LNC’s bylaws. So far as I know, Oregon hasn’t broken those rules, although New Hampshire frequently does (for good reason and without penalty).

  34. George Phillies

    @37

    It depends on the state. In some states, a state convention elects the officers. In some states, a state convention elects a state committee, which divvies up the jobs. In some states, state committee is elected in primaries. I am quite sure I recall a mail ballot of members someplace.

  35. LibertarianGirl

    it just seems like so few people to beat ,why didnt he after the conv was ruled no quorum do everything he could to get , what 3 or 4 more people there , theres got to be something im missing

    and i have no room to talk becasue my side in NV lost every election by 1 or 2 votes and we barely tried , instead we relied on the idea we were the good guys , joe creates animosity and we severely underestimated the planning and strategy they would employ..

    wont happen again

  36. George Phillies

    @33 If you want to say ‘not doing work’, I think you should reasonably give them some time to show what they are going to do. You have two new chairs and one completely new set of people saying the are officers. Instead of this nonsensical Roberts chopping, announcing ‘raised money’, ‘recruited candidates’, gained support of local groups’ might be more convincing.

  37. Doug Craig

    Guys i am not sure but one of the new guys on ther new Oregon is eric Saub here is info on face book

    *
    Cascade Business Development, INC
    President
    Cascade Business Development was founded to support and empower, strong and sustainable business. Businesses that are essential to our local and national econom…y and are the backbone of the communities we call home. We combined our strengths and passions for business with our love for Country and Community and set off on a mission, to “Accelerate Business for a Blessed and Prosperous Nation.” Supporting, encouraging and empowering businesses to excel is the fuel that gives the People, the Community and the Nation its blessings, prosperity and our victory. See More
    *
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    Elected for two year term by Republicans in my precinct.
    *
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    Executive Committee
    http://www.clackamasgop.org

  38. Robert Capozzi

    36 jt: To me, that might qualify as “cause” for disaffiliation if the situation isn’t remedied soon.

    me: Yes, agreed, it seems serious. Disenfranchising LP members seems unacceptable to me.

  39. Robert Capozzi

    Another one for the “uncool” file:

    The first article on the LP of OR website has this headline: “Attempted Coup Raises Concerns About National LP”

    http://www.lporegon.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=132:attempted-coup-raises-concerns-about-national-lp&catid=41:top-headlines

    Airing internal dirty laundry in this manner represents exceedingly poor judgment, IMO. Aren’t websites supposed to ATTRACT people? Does anyone in their right mind think this sort of thing attracts anyone?

  40. Robert Capozzi

    4 MM: As I said “in another comment”, the only way past this mess is for everyone to give up something. The situation has been building for years…

    me: Actually, the thing to “give up” is the past. It is past. Carrying perceived grievances forward leads to wrong-mindedness, IMO. Another thing to “give up” is UNTRUTH.

    The question is: What is the truth now?

    Once the truth now is recognized, there is time and atmosphere to mend and reconcile. Dragging baggage into this fray only makes things worse. Dragging baggage forward is counterproductive.

    IMO.

  41. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert the problem in Oregon has to do with more than one issue. There is a question of integrity to the philosophy and then there are the bad work habits. Let’s start with poor bookkeeping, incomplete membership lists, not answering the phone calls, poor website maintenance, no news letter, no outreach to the media or the general public by many state committee officials, county committees where long time officers are never up for re-election, inadequate notification of meetings, conventions held in out of the way locations and I could go on. But I have to go collect signatures for a initiative petition today so if you guys figure out how to solve this let me know.

    This problem can be solved but it requires carrots instead of sticks.

  42. MarcMontoni

    I see, Bob.

    So when RepublicoLibs spend several years hammering away at actual Libertarians and commit all sorts of off-the-reservation hijinks, we are supposed to not pay attention. Ignore it. Fugeddaboutit.

    Then when it comes to head a blows up on them, and the Libertarians take over using tactics that frankly are no worse than anything the previous crowd of RepublicoLibs used for several years, we *are* supposed to pay attention.

    Oh, wait, you want to go with what is true *now*.

    Well, it is true that Wagner and associates are recognized by the state of Oregon. There. That’s your truth. There is no way around it.

    So let’s go from there and leave your baggage behind.

    Maybe if Burke and company (including his Republican Party precinct captain friend) wish to “move forward” they can just wait until the next regular LP state convention.

  43. Wes Wagner

    MM @52

    You are correct, after 20 years of laws for thee but not for me attitudes on the part of the republicans, a populist revolution occurred. They don’t like it.. but it is the natural result and outcome.

    They lost and now are running to national for help to wrest control of the party back. Were national to provide any assistance they would be handing the political party back to a republican group that has bylaws that are so broken they would be dictators for life.

    We know that, because their antics already made us dictators for life. Instead of keeping that system, we punted the party back to all 13,000 members in the state.

    I can understand why they would be greatly distressed at having to contend with the political desires of 13,000 actual registered libertarians, and fully understand their desperation.

    The allies they pulled out of the woodwork to support them though… that is our gift to national. You now know who they are … I suggest dealing with them appropriately.

  44. Michael H. Wilson

    One more point before I leave. Much of what I wrote about can be placed at the feet of one person and that would be Mr. Burke. History has shown and in his own words he has admitted as much, but there are always the excuses.

  45. Robert Capozzi

    mm 52, allow me to clarify. If injustices have been done, by all means address them. Of course, once Pandora’s box is opened, the list of grievances could get mighty long. The cacophony of he said/she said could become overwhelming, paralyzing all.

    Grievances on the roster also become unmanageable. It could all go back to Adam and Eve! Who’s to determine WHICH grievance is relevant and which isn’t?

  46. MarcMontoni

    Hay-zoos! This just gets better and better. Why not just sign up the whole team from Grand Theft Auto?

    But in any case, there is still ha been *NO* documentation or paper trail presented that shows a single one of the individuals who ‘elected’ new state LP leaders on May 21 were actually legitimate representatives of the local LP’s they purported to represent.

    Even Al Gore knew when it was time to go.

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 56,

    I’m trying not to get myself too involved in interpreting a situation I don’t have full knowledge of, but I’m going to try to simplify it a bit. My read on the situation, which may be entirely wrong, is something like this:

    1) Both sides of the dispute acknowledge that the LPO is a broken organization, both at the level of relationships and at the level of having coherent bylaws.

    2) One side, which seems to be identified with M Carling and Richard Burke, claims that their interpretations of Robert’s Rules of Order offer a way to rescue the organization, carefully threading the needle in a way that doesn’t technically break those incoherent bylaws. They claim that their method, having been implemented, makes their chosen leadership the legitimate leadership of LPO, and their authority of recourse for decision on that point is the Libertarian National Committee.

    3) The other side, which seems to be identified with Wes Wagner, claims that the bylaws were SO broken that they had to be jettisoned to save the organization itself. Their authority of recourse is the election laws/election authorities of Oregon itself, and they claim that those laws/authorities legitimize their chosen leadership.

    Obviously there’s a lot of past history and a lot of hard feelings involved, and that’s going to affect the dispute.

    From a technical standpoint, I think that Wagner et. al have the upper hand for a couple of reasons:

    1) Political parties are generally organized and regulated at the state level rather than the national level; and

    2) The courts seem likely to put more weight on state election law than on the pronouncements of out-of-state non-government organizations.

    The Wagner faction has also staked out the high ground on whom it serves. It claims, by virtue of going the election law route, to represent 13,000 Libertarian voters in Oregon; the opposing faction, by hitching its wagon to the LNC, can only plausibly claim to represent a handful of Oregonians who’ve sent $25 to the LNC in the last year.

    Of course, saying that one side is doing a better job of making its case isn’t the same thing as saying that that side is right. But from a distance, and knowing past history elsewhere, I won’t be calling my bookie to put any money behind the Carling/Burke faction. At least not without really good odds.

  48. MarcMontoni

    If injustices have been done, by all means address them.

    Agreed. As stated, there were years of injustices, unaddressed. You prefer to ignore those, and not ignore others that came later. I get it. Really, I do.

    Of course, once Pandora’s box is opened, the list of grievances could get mighty long. The cacophony of he said/she said could become overwhelming, paralyzing all.

    Platitude.

    Grievances on the roster also become unmanageable.

    Only when unaddressed for years on end.

    Years late and dollars short is all the concern now.

    It could all go back to Adam and Eve!

    Ridiculous.

    Who’s to determine WHICH grievance is relevant and which isn’t?

    Unless all parties agree to give up something, it will result in court action. Possibly for years.

    The answer to your question, Bob, is that — barring some compromises by all factions in OR — is A JUDGE will determine the relevance of all of the grievances, if even one side decides to take the dispute there.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    59 mm, it appears you are setting this up as 2 distinct camps. I severely doubt it’s true. If it is truly Sharks and Jets in OR, I’d be shocked.

    Let’s assume Burke is evil incarnate and hopelessly incompetent. I don’t see what that has to do with the substance of Carling’s points, or Moulton’s reading of the law. What am I missing?

    Adam and Eve ARE irrelevant! That’s the point!

  50. Pingback: “Attempted bureaucratic coup” post by Oregon Libertarian Party paints portrait of conspiracy · Hammer of Truth

  51. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 60,

    “What am I missing?”

    The fact that such cases are seldom settled with “oh, fair cop — I see now that the substance of your points and/or reading of the law is correct!”

    I agree with you that the groups involved are not as distinct as their anointed and/or self-anointed representatives are:

    Most of Oregon’s 13,000 Libertarian voters probably don’t give a tinker’s damn how the LPO organizes itself, and of the handful who do, were they informed of the controversy, they’d probably be of mixed opinion.

    Likewise, many of the people who send $25 to LPHQ each year probably don’t care that much about how the LPO organizes itself, and of the handful who do, if they know of the controversy, they are probably of mixed opinions as well.

  52. Robert Capozzi

    63 tk: The fact that such cases are seldom settled with “oh, fair cop — I see now that the substance of your points and/or reading of the law is correct!”

    Me: OK, let’s assume you are correct. Off hand, I don’t know of ANY instances where “such cases” are settled, since this situation seems unique to me. But I suspect you’re saying that this is a case of “mitigating circumstances.”

    Starr and Carling have made the case on IPR that Wagner is not in fact state chair. Apparently, the LNC agrees, having taken his name off the list of state chairs. Starr used the term “bloodless coup,” as I recall.

    I have made the case that LPO’s leadership – legit or not – is exercising poor judgment right now by putting an article at the top of its website airing this “dirty laundry.”

    Carling has refuted Wagner’s claims that he is chairman. Wagner has not responded to the specifics. I’ve linked to LPO’s website which as I write still has an article at the top of the home page saying: Attempted Coup Raises Concerns About National LP. Wagner continues to not disagree that this is extremely poor judgment by leaving that article there for all viewers to see.

    Fair so far?

    So let’s say Starr, Carling, and Burke go to Salem and burn themselves in a sacrificial pyre. As their skin melts and burns, they admit they were each on Dick Cheney’s payroll, part of the master plan to destroy the LP and all liberty in the US and the world. They admit that they believed in One World Government, yet with their dying breaths, they realize that their disinformation and dirty-tricks campaign were pure evil. During their double agency, they saw the Light and realized that only liberty – real liberty – can save America. They considered voluntarily going to the re-education camp in Auburn, AL, but decided that they could best serve the cause of liberty by admitting their sins while they burned to death.

    Even with all this, Starr and Carling’s claim is STILL on the table. Wagner’s claim to chair is still in question.

    For me to consider a mitigating circumstance argument, a case would have to be made that the pattern of abuse that was SO pronounced that Wagner’s action is justified in context. I’d liken it to the battered-spouse with kills her husband in his sleep. If Wagner is like the battered spouse, he has to make that case to persuade me that his actions were justified.

    Or, Wagner has to make the case that Moulton’s reading of the law is incorrect.

    Once the leadership question is settled, then Wagner’s grievances with Burke should be addressed. This is a question of standing. If Wagner is NOT chairman in fact, but rather a usurper of the title, that looks like a profound act of purposeful ill will of an extreme kind.

    Directionally, this situation could explain why it’s unwise to negotiate with terrorists.

    This situation is also a great example of the age-old question of ends justifying the means. Even if we assume that Wagner’s ends are righteous, does it justify his alleged usurpation? If his usurpation is based on his misreading of OR law, I surely can understand that. If he’s reading the law correctly, I’d like to hear his legal case that refutes Moulton’s legal case.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    58 tk: …Wagner et. al have the upper hand…

    me: Could be. My observation is that “et al” have the “upper hand” and they then choose to post intra-party dirty laundry articles on their website, I would not think good things will be coming from this group any time soon.

    IMO, that’s not even worthy of the Bush Leagues. Heck, Little Leaguers know when you hit the ball, you run to first base. This is like a Tee-Ball Leaguer hitting the ball and running to third.

    I’m embarrassed for them, quite frankly.

  54. Wes Wagner

    RC @64

    The Secretary of State’s office has already sent us numerous letters that indicate that Moulton’s reading of the law is not the interpretation they follow.

    Also, dirty laundry is meant to be aired. If people don’t wish to see it aired they should stop creating it. Also the people who taught you not to air it… they did so for their benefit. A culture of secrecy is required for their surreptitious maneuvers.

    Also national has not decided anything. The rogue agent M Carling, since he happens to be secretary of the state chairs list, made the switch in order to try to cut off communications and get first mover advantage. He is now “all in” and can’t admit defeat. That is ok… in the long term it will go ill for him.

    Mr Burke was so desperate for puppets and his support in Oregon he had to use a registered republican and member of the Clackamas County GOP, who also happens to be a repeat felon over theft and fraud, as a choice for vice chair. His other appointed officers also have dubious libertarian credentials.

    This is ok… Mr. Burke was warned long ago to stop his activities. He saw his mini empire burned and razed to the ground for not listening. Now he is at national with his begging bowl being asked to be given a new fiefdom. Something unfortunate happened to his last one you know.

    If national entertains him, they will just share his fate. I am ok with that, because if that is the choice they make, then that is ultimately what needs to happen. If they make that choice, to intervene for the benefit of the GOP in such an obvious manner, or rather even make the attempt, that knowledge will reach everyone they care about it not reaching.

    That is just the way of things.

  55. Robert Capozzi

    66 ww: The Secretary of State’s office has already sent us numerous letters that indicate that Moulton’s reading of the law is not the interpretation they follow.

    me: I’d like to see the letters making your chairmanship definitive in their eyes.

    ww: Also, dirty laundry is meant to be aired.

    me: These are not the words of a chair, IMO. A chair is supposed to be impartial and to represent the body. Your article throws down the gauntlet. This doesn’t mean that controversy should be covered up. It should be dealt with appropriately and fairly. I guess, with ADR, we disagree here.

    me: Also national has not decided anything. The rogue agent M Carling, since he happens to be secretary of the state chairs list, made the switch in order to try to cut off communications and get first mover advantage. He is now “all in” and can’t admit defeat. That is ok… in the long term it will go ill for him.

    me: Could be. I can’t imagine that the LNC will allow Carling to act alone.

    ww: Mr Burke was so desperate for puppets…

    me: Can you read minds?

    ww: This is ok… Mr. Burke was warned long ago to stop his activities.

    me: Dunno about you, but I don’t appreciate threats. As we’ve established, your sense of appropriate behavior and mine differ.

    ww: If national entertains him, they will just share his fate.

    me: Are you intending this as a threat? I’m sorry you feel this way.

  56. Wes Wagner

    RC @67

    RC: I’d like to see the letters making your chairmanship definitive in their eyes.

    Already been provided to some members of the LNC. That is all that matters.

    BTW… as everyone who has been on the wrong side of it… I don’t make threats, they are promises. Actions bring consequences, ones some people have deferred for a long time because they have been dealing with spineless groveling pacifists who are cowed into never retaliating when they are offended.

    That is why you have never beaten the Ds and Rs and never will until you learn the apt and appropriate reciprocation of force. I never started this, but I sure as hell will finish it.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    66 ww: Also, dirty laundry is meant to be aired.

    68 ww: Already been provided to some members of the LNC. That is all that matters.

    me: Which is it?! Total transparency or “back room” dealing?

    68 ww: I never started this, but I sure as hell will finish it.

    me: Certainly sounds like another threat, but more importantly, are you now not taking responsibility for making these moves with the Secretary of State?

  58. Robert Capozzi

    68 ww: I don’t make threats, they are promises.

    me: Generally, in my experience, when people say this, I take it to mean “Mine is not an idle threat.” I take that as a threat, too.

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 64,

    You write:

    “Fair so far?”

    No. You’ve clearly taken a side in this controversy, which is all well and good. But your affectations of “fairness” and “even-handedness” are, as usual, not very believable.

  60. Wes Wagner

    TK @71

    Further he has the same knee jerk “was that a threat” reaction I usually get out of the whole gang of toothless bullies that infect the party.

    No wonder he received the ringing endorsement he did from Ms Keaton for E.D. — He would fit right in with that sad lot. :)

  61. Robert Capozzi

    71 tk, yes, I have a lean, based on Moulton’s take. I know Moulton, hung with Moulton, and know that he’s no SCMer.

    If I had a stack of Bibles, I’d put my hand on it and say without reservation that Wagner still could have a point. Believe me or not, that’s on you. I know what’s in my heart.

    He doesn’t seem interested in making his case here on IPR, and he’s certainly entitled to use back channels and/or discreet venues to sort this all out. Here he seems more interested in discussing side issues.

    72 WW, hmm, if you often have people asking you “was that a threat?” consider the possibility that your words come across as threatening. Just a thought….

    Cause and effect are sometimes difficult to sort out in these matters surely, but here’s an area you might consider reflecting on.

  62. Robert Capozzi

    71 tk: ou’ve clearly taken a side in this controversy, which is all well and good. But your affectations of “fairness”….

    me: oh yes, meant to ask, do you mean to say that one cannot take a side and be fair at the same time?

    Could be, then, that if you are correct, I’m in a world of hurt. I’d rather be fair than right. I care more about being fair, IOW, than what my opinion or lean on any given issue might be. Of course “fairness” is an opinion, too, but then just about everything’s an opinion outside of physics (and even there things may not be what they appear to be!)

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @74,

    You write:

    “do you mean to say that one cannot take a side and be fair at the same time?”

    Certainly one can. But your version of “fairness” tends to take the form of taking a side while pretending not to.

  64. Robert Capozzi

    75 tk: But your version of “fairness” tends to take the form of taking a side while pretending not to.

    me: I’ve indicated that I lean to Starr and Carling’s interpretation because it’s substantive and seems validated by Moulton. I’ve asked Wagner to counter their points, and he refuses to do so. Given that fact set, what choice do I have?

    I — and probably you — believe that Moulton has the background knowledge and no bias toward the dreaded SCM “cabal.” Wagner consistently uses ad hominem arguments, insults, and side issues in response. What does that tell you? At the moment, it tells me he cannot or will not address the SUBSTANCE. He contradicts himself — blatantly so — as I show in 69.

    Yet, I remain open minded to his position. Perhaps he’s shared information with the LNC that clears this all up. At the moment, I doubt it, in truth.

    I don’t care for your interpretation of my view of this, but you are entitled to your opinion. Believe what you want to believe…you don’t have to live like a refugee. ;-)

  65. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 76,

    No need to be Petty about it ;-)

    “I’ve indicated that I lean to Starr and Carling’s interpretation because it’s substantive and seems validated by Moulton. I’ve asked Wagner to counter their points, and he refuses to do so. Given that fact set, what choice do I have?”

    Wagner’s argument is a meta-argument:

    He claims that Starr/Carling’s interpretations of the bylaws, and Moulton’s validation thereof, are irrelevant, and that he doesn’t need to counter them, because Oregon state law supersedes those bylaws.

    Whether he’s right on that or not I do not know, but assuming that he actually believes it, it would be a tactical mistake for him to engage Carling and Starr’s parliamentary arguments. Doing so would tend to lend those arguments standing that he denies they deserve.

    My anecdotal impression of your opinions over the years leads me to believe that in any given situation involving “the SCM group,” you will come down either on their side, or putatively neutral but with a distinct bias toward their side, regardless of the substantive points involved.

    But I could be wrong.

  66. Robert Capozzi

    77 tk: Whether he’s right on that or not I do not know, but assuming that he actually believes it, it would be a tactical mistake for him to engage Carling and Starr’s parliamentary arguments.

    me: thanks for making that explicit. The meta-argument — that the law trumps party rules — might be persuasive, we’ll see. Moulton addressed that, and I’ve not heard Wagner address that, other than saying Moulton’s wrong, without elaboration. The story’s not over, though, and Wagner can still persuade me. I don’t find his tactics generally winning, though, as he resorts to insults. Carling used one (indirectly), too, but he was gracious enough to apologize for his mistake.

    But, no, sorry, if SCM were involved in the Wrights affairs, I came down with a meta-argument of my own. In that case, I found the presumably SCM interpretation hyper-technical. I thought a phone call alerting him was the appropriate response to a lapsed status.

    In addition, I was shocked when I ran into an SCMer after Barr jumped in the race in 08, and discovered the SCMer was supporting Root still. I thought Barr was our best choice by far.

    I value civility and fairness over technicalities. SCM tends to be strong on both in my experience, but on issues themselves I sometimes disagree with them. I prefer the SCM approach on political matters as they generally come down on things closer to the edge and almost never on the fringes. Please don’t confuse a recognition for moderate L positioning with lock-step agreement on all things tactical.

  67. LibertarianGirl

    WW_I don’t make threats, they are promises. Actions bring consequences, ones some people have deferred for a long time because they have been dealing with spineless groveling pacifists who are cowed into never retaliating when they are offended.

    That is why you have never beaten the Ds and Rs and never will until you learn the apt and appropriate reciprocation of force. I never started this, but I sure as hell will finish it.

    me_ Im a bit of a ‘cant we all get along , lets just play fair over naive nice girl’

    Do you giv lessons , I do belive I need some?

  68. Robert Capozzi

    ww: That is why you have never beaten the Ds and Rs and never will until you learn the apt and appropriate reciprocation of force.

    me: Thanks, lg, for the opportunity assess this one more closely. First, I wonder what Wagner means by “you”? Did he mean “we”? Or is he somehow immune to his diagnosis?

    Second, I wonder what Wagner believes is an “apt and appropriate reciprocation of force”? What does he advocate with these words? I’m kind of guessing that he’s implying that the government — run by Rs and Ds — uses “force” in all it does. That begs the question what 15K or even maybe 1MM are supposed to “reciprocate appropriately” with that fact set?

    And what does any of that have to do with the charge that he has launched a “bloodless coup” in seizing control of the LPO?

    I get the sense that Wagner may be taking an “any means necessary” view of internal and external LP politics, but he might be kind enough to share what he REALLY means.

    I’d like to hear more…

  69. LibertarianGirl

    I dont know what he meant , but my 10 sec analysis is fight fire with fire.

    I REALLY hate to admit it , but playing fair and nice has gotten me nowhere ,nice people finish last it seems… I really want some lessons

  70. Robert Capozzi

    lg, yes, “fire with fire” is good shorthand, near as I can tell.

    I’d say playing unfair and nasty can sometimes appear to win/prevail, but I’d say putting bad karma out there always come back to you, in some form.

    Playing fair and nice doesn’t mean “be a doormat.” Stand up for what you think is right, by all means, but don’t do it with hate and anger in your heart. Anger IMO is always a losing proposition, one that sometimes leads to Pyrrhic victories. Put another way, when has it ever really felt good to be angry? When does it feel good to trick and manipulate other people, or to wish them ill?

    Finally, consider getting over the idea of first and last. Your life is your life, filled with blessings and opportunities. If something doesn’t work out to your satisfaction, consider the next moment another opportunity to be kind and giving. That alone feels good — it’s own reward.

    It really is all about you!

  71. Wes Wagner

    LG @81

    Now you get it and are on your first step to cleaning house in NV.

    The sociopaths in this party want you to play fair and nice, while they scheme behind your back and play the game of laws for thee but not for me.

    It is the same macro battle that occurs at the State and Federal level with our respective governments.

    Bastiat solved this problem long ago. Read The Law — and you will understand when you should and should not be bound by it.

  72. Robert Capozzi

    83 ww, can you elaborate on what you mean by Bastiat “solving” the problem? It looks to me that he solved nothing, since governments have gotten nothing but bigger since THE LAW was published.

    Are you saying that there you understand where you should and should not be bound by law? If so, I agree. However, consider being careful what you wish for. Re: LPO, your argument thus far has been that you have OR “law” on your side. Which is it?

    By all means, be a free agent. Just don’t expect others to defer to your claims when you assert your will…just because!

  73. Robert Capozzi

    lg, dunno about you, but the idea of “fighting fire with fire” never made sense to me. 2 fires just make for more fire.

    It’s a silly concept, widely accepted, but it like so many sayings, it makes no sense.

    I’d think it makes more sense to fight fire with water.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    lg, actually, backfires are a different thing, as I understand it.

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/fight-fire-with-fire.html

    Meaning: Respond to an attack by using a similar method as one’s attacker.

    Origin: When we ‘fight fire with fire’ we are likely to employ more extreme methods than we would normally do. That was what Shakespeare was referring to in King John, 1595…

    When I hear most people say “Fight fire with fire,” that generally means to mean to escalate the counter attack. Others may take the meaning to be different, of course.

    I wasn’t referring to the use of back-fires. Those are not “extreme” measures, but controlled, sensible ones.

  75. Marc Montoni

    Let’s assume Burke is evil incarnate and hopelessly incompetent. I don’t see what that has to do with the substance of Carling’s points, or Moulton’s reading of the law. What am I missing?

    Oh come on Bob, stop dissembling.

    Actions have consequences. If a person engages in an action he knows well in advance is going to anger a large portion of the constituency, then either he should simply not do it — or accept the outrage that will be generated by going ahead with it. It doesn’t matter if the action has the color of correctness with Bylaws, law, or Robert’s Rules.

    Burke has spent many years performing actions which he knew in advance would not sit well with many of his constituents. He didn’t listen to their concerns, and over time the ‘unaddressed grievances’ built up into a cacophony of discontent.

    You’re years late being concerned about what has been happening in the LP-OR. I understand that it serves your “[Reform Caucus]” partisan loyalties to pretend that March of this year was the “cutoff” for “letting bygones be”. I understand that you disregard everything that happened for several years prior to May 21 as water under the bridge. You’ve made that clear, everyone gets it. Really, we understand.

    Not everyone has tunnel vision, though. Further, 1) you’re not there so it’s not up to you to dismiss the concerns of one faction yet hold high the concerns of the other faction; and 2) it isn’t water under the bridge to many people in the LP-OR.

    By the way, “evil incarnate and hopelessly incompetent” is your wording, not mine.

    I’ve been encouraging both sides to give up something and come to a compromise. You, on the other hand, have opined at great length in this thread (and others) that this should be a winner-take-all ‘win’ for your favored faction, and you have consistently argued against any compromise where your favored faction gives up anything.

    No one can ‘win’ anything with that kind of rigid, “to hell with you” attitude. At best, all it ‘wins’ is lawsuits, an emaciated party, fewer candidates, less fundraising, and the turn-off of two or three years of new prospects.

    Although I believe Wagner and associates have the upper hand legally, I have publicly called for them to renounce their bylaws and claims to officerhood through next year, in exchange for a new convention called by a disinterested third party within sixty days or so and an end to all claims that there is a quorum requirement for the convention.

    There is a way out of this, and that way is with a compromise. But you, Bob, continue to agitate for the all-or-nothing position; you want Burke and Carling to win and see their opponents turned from the field and never seen again. I would not have thought that outcome would have been in the Rodney King Caucus lexicon.

    I agree with Knapp:

    … your version of “fairness” tends to take the form of taking a side while pretending not to.

    You do this on Every. Last. Issue. Any time a Reform Caucus vs “everyone else” debate comes up, you do the same thing. You call for ‘civility’, yet you never call for it when the abuses are piling up — you only weigh in when the abusers face a revolt. The one-sided calls for ‘civility’ are essentially calls for those who disagree with you to sit down and shut up. Worthy of Obama and his “tone down the rhetoric for you, free pass for us” blather after the shooting in Arizona.

    There is more to life than hack partisanship.

  76. Robert Capozzi

    88 MM: I understand that you disregard everything that happened for several years prior to May 21 as water under the bridge. You’ve made that clear, everyone gets it.

    me: I’m sorry I’ve not made myself clear. If past injustices can be rectified, I’m for that.

    mm: You, on the other hand, have opined at great length in this thread (and others) that this should be a winner-take-all ‘win’ for your favored faction, and you have consistently argued against any compromise where your favored faction gives up anything.

    me: Hmm, I’m not sure where you think you read my saying anything like that, but that’s not my view. I favor compromise, actually, which I believe is best accomplished by all sides putting aside differences, finding common ground, and yielding to truth. Where we may disagree is the question of sequencing. The first thing IMO that needs to be addressed is: Who the hell is Chair of LPO? Which bylaws are in force? Once that’s sorted out, then I would be for healing as many rifts as the LPO can address as fairly and quickly as possible. My premise is that the LP is tiny, and factional differences are in no one’s interest that I can see.

    mm: You do this on Every. Last. Issue.

    me: OK, that’s your perception. How then do you explain my view of the Wrights situation? I took no position on NV, either. I could see the merit in both sides, that’s true. So, the onus is on you to justify your absolute characterization of my stances, as the facts seem obviously not in your favor.

  77. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    MM: The one-sided calls for ‘civility’ are essentially calls for those who disagree with you to sit down and shut up.

    me: If that’s your perception, then I can’t say you are incorrect. My perception, however, differs. I encourage people to stand up and speak their truth…WITH civility. Make any sense to you?

  78. Wes Wagner

    LG @92

    Agreed. A person could easily have other things to do that were more important and interesting… like scrubbing their toilets, or trimming their lawn with a pair of scissors, or aging gracefully on their porch.

  79. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 89,

    You write:

    “The first thing IMO that needs to be addressed is: Who the hell is Chair of LPO? Which bylaws are in force?”

    Not only is that not the first thing that needs to be addressed, it’s the last thing that CAN be addressed.

    Both sides have already staked out their claims on those issues.

    Both sides either genuinely believe in the validity of their claims, or at least can be expected to continue to proclaim said belief.

    Each side believes, with good reason, that if they cede their leadership claims in advance of resolving the other problems, those other problems will inevitably be resolved to the satisfaction of the other side rather than to the satisfaction of their own side

    Each side believes (or claims to believe) itself to be representative of, and acting on behalf of, the organization per se, and the other side to be in rebellion against the best interests of the organization.

    If any kind of compromise or “deal” is possible, it will END with a clarification of party leadership positions and their disposition, not begin with one.

    Marc has pointed to the most obvious way of doing this. I’ll elaborate on his proposal in ways that he may or may not agree with.

    1) The two groups agree to call an emergency re-organization convention (or, if the terminology is more appropriate, “mass meeting”) and to abide by that convention’s outcomes.

    2) The two groups agree on a date certain, location, and funding mechanism for that convention. Any of those three elements may be problematic, but they have to be solved in advance.

    3) The two groups agree on eligibility and credentialing procedures for the convention. This will almost certainly be problematic. Once again, it has to be solved in advance.

    4) The two groups agree to trust administration — credentialing of participants, chairing of sessions, the whole nine yards — of the convention to a neutral group of non-Oregonians trusted by both. Once again, a problem that must be solved.

    It’s likely to be messy, but it’s the only way through this mess that isn’t quite so likely to end up in court or with disaffiliation.

    At the end of the convention, instead of the usual process of outgoing officers and ingoing offers, BOTH sets of claimants to current officership should submit IDENTICAL notices of the new officership to the election authority. That way neither one has to admit to not having been “legitimate” before. All the former things are passed away, etc.

  80. Chuck Moulton

    I’m traveling and on hotel WiFi. A few short thoughts…

    My reading of the Oregon law was a first impression read that was (as I said) without Robert’s in front of me an not intemded to be any sort of thorough legal or parliamentary analysis. I just wanted to raise some issues.

    I think my friend Bob Capozzi is putting more stock in my impressions than even I myself would. On the other side of the coin, Wes Wagner is being a bit too dismissive. Any government agency is bound to read most laws as giving themselves the most authority possible. The intent of the legislature and ruling of courts are often somewhat narrower. In any event, M Carling suggested that this law only applies to major parties… his analysis is much more legalistic and more problematic for Wagner’s interpretation than my application of parliamentary norms
    to the word “rules.”

    I don’t think I would make a good mediator. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I do have strong opinions. Good mediators mediate rather than lead.

    Mediation is probably a good idea though. A special convention agreed on by all could work; however, I am skepical that there are only 2 sides (as has been a common simplifying assumption here) or that some of those involved would ever compromise.

    It would be nice if I could forget about this for a few weeks, return from my travels, and this all has magically been worked out. I think that’s how a lot of LNC members and a lot of Oregonians feel too.

  81. George Phillies

    @94

    With all respect, the difference between your proposal and science fiction is that science fiction offers “willing suspension of disbelief”. I agree that if what you described happen, the problems might be solved for a few months, thought not more, but what you are proposing to happen seems rather unlikely to come to pass.

    Also, steps 1-3 or a variation thereupon have already happened. That was the state convention that the LNC National Committee and Libertarian State Chairs appeared at, and sabotaged. Why would anyone waste their time on a repeat?

    George Phillies

  82. Robert Capozzi

    92 lg, thanks. Could be. TK and MM don’t seem to want to acknowledge that I’m not a “SCM plumb liner,” having disagreed with them publicly on fairly big intra-L matters. I don’t know what’s up with that. I know if the situation were reversed, I WOULD acknowledge it.

    For me, peace is everything, actually, even in (in the grand scheme of things) minute matters.

    94 tk, I think an emergency convention might be the best solution, all things considered. I’m not qualified to think through all the implications, but I salute your peacemaking approach.

  83. Thomas L. Knapp

    GP @ 96,

    You may be right. It may very well be that one or both sides aren’t interested in a fair and genuine resolution of the conflict.

    If you are right, then it won’t happen.

    I never said it would happen.

    I just described what it would look like if it DID happen.

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 97,

    I’m not sure what an SCM “plumb line” would be.

    I do know that when SCM attacks, you can be relied upon to ignore their tactics when possible, minimize the nastiness of those tactics when you can’t ignore them, and fake a good case of the vapors if you see anyone daring to defend themselves.

  85. Robert Capozzi

    99 tk, how you “know” that I can’t begin to say. I was an early commentor when the Wrights situation broke, and if anything my disagreement with the SCM Borg got stronger as the situation unfolded.

    You may have developed a narrative about me, conveniently having selective amnesia on inconvenient matters that weaken your narrative. I don’t mean to single you out in this regard, btw, we all do this to some extent, including me.

    As for the “vapors,” I do my best to put my challenges in the form of a question. Read this thread and I think you’ll agree. Wagner almost never answers my questions. Since I am nobody, I can see why he doesn’t, but I am a seeker of truth, and I can’t think of a better way to do so than to ask questions. When someone won’t answer questions but does respond with insults, what is your read on that behavior, generally speaking? Might they be employing smokescreens, for ex.? Is there a better explanation?

  86. Robert Capozzi

    99 tk: …fake a good case of the vapors if you see anyone daring to defend themselves.

    me: The truth needs no defense.

  87. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 100,

    You write:

    “I was an early commentor when the Wrights situation broke, and if anything my disagreement with the SCM Borg got stronger as the situation unfolded.”

    None of which in any way conflicts with my portrayal of you @99.

  88. George Phillies

    @94

    The other difficulty, that you also correctly identify, is two groups of people who have two different opinions — the registered voters or the dues-paying members — as to whom the party belongs. I think that appears to be in your Point 3. Of course, this issue also rose in Arizona. The advantage of these two contradictory opinions as to who owns the organizations is that, with some analysis, all of the rational bases for having two separate groups exists. That’s two separate groups that both operate without getting in each other’s way within the state.

  89. Robert Capozzi

    104 tk, thanks for at least acknowledging that fact. The good news is you consider me to be reliable! ;-)

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