The below press release from the Reeves faction of the Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO) was issued in the aftermath of their June 14 victory in court against the Wagner faction. Both view themselves as the legitimate leadership of the LPO.
The Reeves faction is now seeking an expedited hearing so they can formally direct the Oregon Secretary of State to place Gary Johnson’s name on the ballot as the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President, a step which could have been legally performed as early as June 1, but which the Wagner faction has thus far not done and has not provided public assurance that they shall do.
One observer at the hearing reported that the judge complimented the Wagner faction’s attorneys for their well-written arguments, but then stated that it was clear to him that Oregon law supported the position of the Reeves faction.
The judge also stated the Reeves faction will be allowed to argue for the awarding of legal fees at trial.
The press release asserts that one of Wagner’s directors resigned as a result of this. The author of this post has confirmed that the LPO website currently controlled by the Wagner faction now displays a vacancy in one of the directorship positions. Whether the director’s resignation is due to her anticipation of being added to the lawsuit or some other personal reason has not been confirmed, and might simply be speculation on the part of the press release’s author.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 16, 2012
Reeves group wins major legal battle in their struggle to restore legitimate governance and leadership within the Libertarian Party of Oregon.
Nine motions to dismiss the Reeves case were denied, the case now goes to trial.
OREGON CITY, OREGON – A Clackamas county judge handed Tim Reeves and his fellow plaintiffs a major victory in their battle to restore the leadership and governance of the Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO) as organized under governing documents adopted by members in convention. By way of context, defendants led by Wes Wagner purportedly adopted new governing documents for the LPO written by Wagner and his supporters in violation of existing bylaws on March 31, 2011. They went on to appoint themselves to new terms of office in accordance with these documents.
Because Wagner was the legitimate LPO chair on March 31, 2011, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Election Division accepted his governing documents and officer list. When informed that these governing documents were not legitimately adopted, the Elections Office said they would only take direction on such matters from a state chair or a judge, hence the Reeves lawsuit.
Attorneys representing Wagner’s group brought nine motions asking the court to dismiss the Reeves lawsuit on a variety of technical grounds unrelated to the merits of the case. One of them contended that they were immune from such proceedings even though they argued, to the Libertarian Party’s Judicial Committee, that Oregon courts should arbitrate the dispute. In any case, all nine motions to dismiss the case were denied in court on June 14. The case now goes to trial. To speed things up the Reeves group will request an expedited hearing; they want to resolve this quickly so they can put Gary Johnson and James Gray, nominated for president and vice president at the Libertarian’s National Convention last month in Las Vegas, on Oregon’s general election ballot before the filing deadline. The organization under Wes Wagner purporting to be the LPO has been able to do so since June 1 but has refused thus far.
In addition to denying all nine of Wagner’s motions to dismiss, the judge also said that the Reeves side will be allowed to argue for attorney fees. And, at the direction of the judge, the lawsuit is being expanded to include all of the directors of Wagner’s organization. This expansion has caused at least one director representing Marion county to resign her directorship.
Tim Reeves, Chair, Libertarian Party of Oregon
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