In May of 2011, the Libertarian Party of Nevada released the following press release:
Posted by LPNevada News on 11 May 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Libertarian Party of Nevada announces the results from Executive Committee meeting.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada, May 10, 2011 ― The Libertarian Party of Nevada (LPNevada), the Libertarian Party is America’s third-largest political party who believes in minimum government and maximum freedom, announced the results of its May 5, 2011 Executive Committee meeting.
The LPNevada Executive Committee (ExCom) had its regularly scheduled meeting held telephonically on May 5, 2011 at 8:00PM PST. The agenda included the Treasurer’s report, establishing state levels of donor contributions (memberships), authorization of spending funds and, most notably, a motion to unite the state’s leadership. Other issues discussed were the addition of the new LPNevada website (www.LPNevada.org), LPNevada Logo, engagement of social media activities and the introduction of contributors to the LPNevada blog.
A far-reaching motion spearheaded by Joseph P. Silvestri, the state Chairman, and made by Irv Hopkins, the At-Large Representative, to consolidate its leadership and party platform on a state level. The ExCom voted in favor (6-to-2) of de-affiliating all the county organizations with the intent to consolidate the LPNevada into one centralized state party.
The board members voting in favor of this change want to state that our primary reason for this change was to more effectively pursue Libertarian goals of identifying and electing qualified Libertarian candidates statewide by creating a single source of a unified, positive message of freedom and responsibility. When the LPNevada is compared to other LP state affiliates on a per-capita basis, we do well for the population base we have. But in raw numbers, we have few activists who are spread too thin across our organizational structure. Without adequate coordination, the voting public is getting mixed messages from different parts of the LPNevada as county affiliates often focus on issues of little importance to mainstream voters. Once the LPNevada has grown to a size to adequately support a multi-level structure, we hope then to be able to rebuild county affiliates.
“Based upon a review of the past decade’s lack of membership growth and current membership totals, the LPNevada ExCom believes the current system design of individual county organizations is both inefficient and counterproductive,” said Joseph P. Silvestri, LPNevada Chairman. “While Chairman of the Clark County affiliate, I saw firsthand the difficulties in maintaining an effective affiliate organization. This decision was long overdue.”
Silvestri continued, “While this decision was not taken lightly, there was strong consensus that this change was absolutely necessary. I am very pleased with the direction the LPNevada is now heading, which will also create uniform membership criteria statewide. I encourage other Libertarian Party leaders of small affiliates to consider reviewing their organizational structure and adopt positive changes like we did here in Nevada.
Here are links to some articles we posted here at IPR about the disaffiliation:
And now, 18 months later, we have received the following letter from Brett Pujonis:
November 25, 2012
Libertarian Party of Nevada
P.O. Box: 34688,
Las Vegas, NV 89133
Dear Executive Committee,
As an active member of the Libertarian Party, it saddens me to write you this letter. As you know, I have been a very active member of LPNevada as well as the National party. My personal goal is to build the Libertarian Party nationwide while building LPNevada into the strongest Libertarian Affiliate. I am fully committed to achieving these goals and made tremendous personal sacrifices to advance liberty, below is a list of some of my contributions:
Libertarian Party of Nevada:
o Served on the Libertarian Party of Nevada Executive Committee as Secretary and previously held other appointed positions.
o Volunteered and/or organized numerous events for LPNevada including hosting many events at my home. I also secured a venue for the last state convention at no cost to LPNevada.
o Rebranded all marketing efforts including a new logo for LPNevada. Designed most of the marketing content for web and print such as postcards and emails.
o Designed, hosted, search engine optimized and maintained www.LPNevada.org at no expense to LPNevada.
o Created and built a strong social media presence for LPNevada and personally paid for advertising to promote them.
o Reached out to volunteers, new members and encouraged a large number of people to get involved in the party.
o Helped LPNevada utilize technology to get organized.
o Built relationships with other liberty oriented organizations.
o Included LPNevada as sponsor or negotiated its involvement in other political events to bring additional exposure to the Libertarian Party.
Libertarian National Committee:
o Currently, I am serving my second term on the Libertarian National Committee and I am on the Information Technology Committee as well as the Audit Committee.
o As Regional Representative on the LNC, I have provided vital training to help grow the Libertarian Party such as the 101 Training Series which is widely accessible for all affiliates.
o I fight to support the state affiliates by introducing motions to provide training and technology.
o Launched the first National campaign in over a decade time called DoubleTheLP. The concept of this campaign is to encourage each member of the LP to bring in a new member to double the size of the Libertarian Party. Thus far we have signed up 109 new members!
Other Libertarian Activities:
Young Libertarian National Alliance (YLNA)
„X Co-founder and Co-Chairman of the Young Libertarian National Alliance (YLNA), a grassroots partisan political youth organization which provides essential leadership training and experience to young Libertarians. The YLNA prepares the youth to serve as future leaders of the Libertarian Party, as well as elected positions at the local, state, and federal levels of government.
„X We have launched our first chapter at UNLV and intend on launching more chapters over the next year.
o Libertarian State Leadership Alliance (LSLA)
„X Served as Treasurer of the LSLA. During my term I was very active and I was one of the members responsible for rebuilding the organization.
„X Rebranded the organization by designing a new logo, developing the LSLA website, and setup and built all of the social media accounts.
„X Established the LSLA Online Technology Standardization Committee to select online technologies to develop a platform for all the states and counties to use.
„X Established the LSLA IT Committee to draft the technical specifications document which would be used to develop the Saratoga platform.
„X Took responsibility of overseeing the vendor booth sales at the National Convention.
„X Hosted online training seminars for the affiliates.
„X Developed the GROW project which is an online Wiki and file repository for states to share documents used to build their organization.
„X Organized the 2012 LSLA Convention and set up the workshops and speakers.
Gary Johnson 2012 Presidential Campaign
„X Worked closely with the GJ 2012 Presidential campaign on a National level assisting in many different areas such as fundraising, event planning and securing media coverage.
„X Developed GoLibertarian.com which is the only social network for Libertarians. Individuals can connect with other like-minded liberty lovers,
share ideas, and inspire a new generation of libertarian thought and action. GoLibertarian.Com also has tools available to help affiliates collaborate and communicate better.
„X Currently under development, LibertarianPost.org will be the first major Libertarian media portal. LibertarianPost.org will aggregating all Libertarian content such as blogs, radio shows and videos in one website. We have currently identified over 20 contributors who have committed to publishing content weekly. The goal is to syndicate our content to major news organizations to get the Libertarian message out to mainstream media.
I thoroughly enjoy fighting for the advancement of liberty and I have made significant career changes to enable me to dedicate even more time to building the Libertarian Party.
When I first met Chairman Joe Silvestri, he encouraged me to get involved with the party and I had high hopes for his ability to build LPNevada. We worked together and I greatly appreciate everything that he did to help me within the party.
However, over the past few months Joe Silvestri has made several very public attempts to remove me from the LPNevada Executive Committee and failed each time. Each attempt wasted a tremendous amount of time from not only Joe and me, but also our members. Each time this happened it distracted me from working on projects that help grow the Libertarian Party.
He has attacked me personally and politically making false claims that have absolutely no relevance to my role as Secretary. It was shameful the way he tried to discredit me to fellow LPNevada members. When I asked him why he was so upset with me he told me that I ¡§broke faction lines¡¨ and he no longer trusts me.
Our bylaws state that an Officer can only be removed for failure to perform his or her duties. He has tried to remove me by forcing an illegal vote without cause. Recently he has presented the other 3 Executive Committee members with ultimatums that it is either Joe or I that will have to go. Is this good leadership? From the LPNevada By-Laws:
Should it be determined that any Officer is found not to be performing the duties of said office, such Officer may be removed by a simple majority vote of the remaining members of the Executive Committee, and a replacement may be appointed, by the Chair, with advice and consent of the remainder of the Executive Committee, by Pro Tem appointment, to serve until the next Convention.
Libertarian Party of Nevada
C. The Secretary shall record and maintain Minutes of party meetings and conventions, and all non-financial records of the LPN including, but not limited to, these bylaws and all committee reports.
Joe Silvestri has alienated the majority of our supporters by disaffiliating the counties in Nevada and our membership and number of activists are at an all-time low. He does not let anyone he doesn¡¦t know take an active role in the party because he doesn¡¦t trust them. He has told me a few times that he would rather have people around him that he can trust who are not active, than build a strong organization comprised of people he doesn¡¦t know. There is little direct communication taking place between the party and its supporters. It is hardly surprising that much of the party¡¦s grassroots simply drifted off into a passive membership or have left completely.
Joe Silvestri has not presented a plan on how we are going to grow this party and in my opinion that is due to a lack of leadership. During his time as Chairman, the party has not grown (it has actually decreased in size and we do not have any county affiliates) and there is nothing significant he can point to as his accomplishments.
I will always do what I think is in the best interest of LPNevada. At this time, I think it would be best for LPNevada if I were to resign as Secretary and help out LPNevada in other ways. Therefore, it is with much regret that I write to inform you that I have decided to resign as Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Nevada effective immediately. It is my intention to work with the new Secretary to ensure a smooth transition of all the files I created and maintained as Secretary. I will continue being an active member of LPNevada and serving on the LNC.
I wish LPNevada success and I hope they can capture some of the momentum from the recent election to grow the party!
Brett H. Pojunis
So, what is currently going on with the Libertarian Party of Nevada? This writer would like some discussion as to whether the major changes from May 2011 have produced the desired results.