[ ...] Another, separate concern I have is the power that has been given to the LSLA (Libertarian State Leadership Alliance) to make committee appointments. While I’m a proponent of expanding participation by LP members and allowing our committees to be populated with more people not on the Libertarian National Committee, the LSLA as an organization has not been authorized by our convention delegates. Additionally there are serious concerns over the partisan manner in which it is currently being run, most notably with regard to control of the LSLA Secretary, Aaron Starr (who is not actually a state chair or even a state officer), over the organization’s email list, and the use of this control to exclude the state chair of the Oregon affiliate recognized by the LNC from participation on that list except by permission of his non-LNC-recognized rival from the other faction in Oregon. Numerous state chairs have asked that Wes Wagner be put on the LSLA list, but Aaron Starr has not complied with this request.
The LNC made a serious error in a previous term by creating the Libertarian National Campaign Committee, giving it access to the Libertarian Party’s mailing list and donors, and putting Wayne Allyn Root in charge of the committee, who proceeded to turn it into a conservative-sounding self-promotion vehicle. While W.A.R. has thankfully left the party, his name still appears at http://www.lncc.org/sitemap/ as the sole name listed under “About Us”, and the LNCC still bears the stamp of his conservative outlook in numerous ways (take a look at http://www.LNCC.org and see for yourself). Whether this is deliberate on the part of whoever now controls that website or not is unclear.
I have also heard that Aaron Starr (yes, the same Aaron Starr), who I believe is also LNCC treasurer although I could not find any listing of the committee’s leadership on the website, is arguing that once the LNC created the LNCC, it gave up all control over that organization, like giving birth to a full-fledged adult. I strongly disagree that the LNC has the authority under our Bylaws to create a rogue organization in this manner, however the practical reality is that the LNC has exercised little if any oversight over the LNCC, with the results that the Libertarian Party name continues to be used to promote a conservative-flavored website several months after W.A.R.’s exit, and LP resources may be being used in other ways we would not approve of.
While the LSLA is different from the LNCC in that its voting members are state chairs elected directly by LP members and I don’t have any information that it has adopted a more conservative tone than the party as a whole, the fact of Aaron Starr being the group’s secretary is cause for concern given his role in the LNCC and his reported opinion of that group’s legal status. While the state chairs are elected, the LSLA organization itself is not recognized as an official Libertarian Party body in the party’s Bylaws, and as such, convention delegates again have no control over it. Additionally, there is now a second state chairs’ organization, which raises further questions about the status of the LSLA and the propriety of recognizing this particular organization of state chairs in the Policy Manual.
I have no problem in principle with state chairs making some appointments to LNC committees, but I believe our Policy Manual should put those appointments directly in the hands of the state chairs themselves, rather than in some organization purporting to represent them. Under our current allocation of committee appointments, this could be arranged by making it so nominations of volunteers to serve on the Affiliate Support Committee are solicited from the state chairs, and after such nominations have been made, empowering each chair to vote for up to three nominees, with those three persons getting the most votes then being appointed. This would be fairer and more accountable, with less room for partisan shenanigans. We do not want another LNCC situation on our hands — one is enough.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee
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