Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania convention to be postponed due to inadequate notice?

According to emails we have received,

Steve Scheetz:

Right now, we have a number of members who are concerned about the validity of the convention. This is something that we will HAVE to address at the emergency board meeting on the 13th.

James Babb:

Anybody, can have a meeting in Danville, but it’s not an LPPa Annual Convention unless the membership is notified.

Luckily, this problem can be addressed now, instead of after an invalid “convention” is held in Danville. I think Oregon has been slugging it out for years after a similar problem.

Put June 8 and 15 on your calendar now as possible target dates.

Getting this back on track won’t be that hard.

Erik Viker:

You can see by reading my previous email, Mik, that we agree the convention is a Board responsibility pursuant to the Bylaws, not a responsibility of the state chair. This year the Board ceded actual responsibility for arranging that conference to the state chair, who in practice served as a committee of one. It’s safe to say if one member in good standing fails to receive notice of any rescheduled convention for any reason, that meeting would not be invalid if there was evidence that the notice was actually sent in accordance with the Bylaws. This year evidence seems scare that the act of sending official notice to all LPPA members actually happened. There is a big difference between your hypothetical “one missed member” and this year’s failure to send notice by Bylaws-required means to all members in good standing. I’m on the membership list, but I received no notice of the event except through the Yahoo BB email group, which we know excludes members that Tom has disapproved of, and certainly is not subscribed to by every LPPA member in good standing. If the Board inquires it will find other members did not receive notice via email, phone, or U.S. mail. If the Board chooses to pretend there was no problem with the meeting notice this year, the Board will probably have to deal with credible grievances that the proceedings of an April 27 business meeting in convention are invalid.

And as previously reported, Steve Scheetz also wrote:

[Stevens] renamed all of the facebook LPPA pages he controlled, or he took them down.

This came after Tom Stevens had an independent LPPA facebook page shut down under threat of lawsuit. However, he has now changed the official LPPA facebook page that he controls to no longer be affiliated with the LPPA. The new headline image for the group is the Statue of Liberty holding a gun to its own head.

And:

Currently, Past LPPA Chair, David Jahn (who is chair of Delaware County) is being refused access to the membership data for his county. […] I of course, was not [given county data] despite the fact that I have been chair for 4 years.

Erik Viker in IPR comments:

I have little respect for rules fetishists, but some rules are necessary for a functioning organization. One critical example is adequate notice for the most important event of the political party, the annual business meeting in convention. It has become obvious that as conference coordinator Tom Stevens failed to provide the 50-days advance notice to all members in good standing by email, telephone or U.S. mail as required by the bylaws. Members who were banned by Tom from the Yahoo email group did not get notice as required, and not every member in good standing was subscribed. As disappointing as it may be to some, the proceedings of an April 27 business meeting will have no validity and members will have no obligation to recognize any officers elected then. Any platform or bylaws changes will be meaningless. The painful but necessary solution is this:

1. The LPPA Board meets to demand the immediate resignation of those responsible for this failing, or the removal from office of those persons. This may result in a vice-chair becoming temporary state chair, but will go a long way toward restoring confidence in the Board.

2. The Board should set a date for the 2013 business meeting that allows for 50 days notice and enough time to make arrangements for a meeting room. The bylaws grant this responsibility to the Board, which has no obligation to check all sorts of people’s calendars first. Anyone who cares enough to be a delegate or run for state office will rearrange their calendars to attend. That is what 50-days notice is for.

3. The Board should designate a person to secure a meeting space for the date selected, preferably in a central location. The borough of State College is very close to the geographic center of Pennsylvania and would have many options for a meeting of this size. Do not try to plan speakers or workshops. Secure a meeting space and refreshments for a four-hour event. Any decent hotel will suffice.

4. Use the most current list of members in good standing to determine who must get notification of the annual business meeting.

5. Designate a trustworthy person (we seem to lack a functioning secretary) to send a notice by U.S. Mail to all members in good standing, as this notification method will to avoid people missing a phone message or having an email go into a spam filter.

6. Set an agenda as described in LPPA byways and convention rules, publish that agenda, and run that meeting. Let the healing begin.

Background:

Steve Scheetz, Candidate for LPPA Chair, Provides Update on Pennsylvania Situation

Erik Viker Calls For LPPA Board Action Regarding Chair Tom Stevens

ObjectivistParty.US: Dr. Tom Stevens – 2008 & 2012 Objectivist Party Candidate for President

Stevens Not Seeking Re-election as LPPA Chair

Statement from Steve Scheetz, Candidate for LPPA Chairman

Paul Frankel Responds to Dr. Tom Stevens and Asks for Retraction

Ed Reagan: “The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania’s Liberty Lyin’ Roars Again”

More News from Pennsylvania LP

What’s Going On with the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania?

Manhattan Libertarian Party Formally Invites Dr. Tom Stevens To Re-Join

Statement from Roy Minet, Candidate for LPPA Chair

98 thoughts on “Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania convention to be postponed due to inadequate notice?

  1. Erik Viker

    Even an “oversight,” however that may be defined, still does not trump the Bylaws which says all members in good standing must receive notice at least 50 days before the convention via email, telephone, or U.S. Mail. This was not done at the original notice about the annual business meeting scheduled for April 27 at 8:30 AM, and was certainly not done when the event time was changed to 3:00 PM , well into the 50-day period before April 27. Several members in good standing report they did not get notice of the event. There’s indication that the notice was made on an email list that is NOT subscribed to by all members in good standing, an email list from which excluded members in good standing (including at least one county chair) had been banned by Tom Stevens.

    Yes, if the event was rescheduled for 50-plus days from now, some people would need to rearrange work schedules and such, but that is what 50 days’ notice is for. Individuals’ hotel reservations can be cancelled. The LPPA has no responsibility for any private bus transportation arrangements, and individuals make those arrangements at their own risk. The convention fees can be refunded by the Treasurer for those who are unwilling to transform the fee into a contribution, or credit it toward a future event. “My personal inconvenience” is not listed as a valid reason to waive the Bylaws of a political party, especially those Bylaws that ensure a valid annual business meeting in convention.

  2. Shave the Whales!

    Sorry Nevada and Oregon.

    IMO right now Pennsylvania has you guys beat in the LP “special ” states competition.

    You guys need to work harder to catch up!

  3. Shave the Whales!

    What are the chances the convention will be postponed?

    And what are the chances Stevens will get shitcanned on April 13?

  4. Mark Axinn

    If you guys cannot hold your convention April 27, feel free to come east one state for a real good time in Rhinecliff, NY.

    Unfortunately for some, we will not be castigating Tom Stevens or Wayne Root. Instead we will be focused on attacking drug warriors, Mario Cuomo and all the thugs behind the NY SAFE Act, and much more.

    See you in the Evil Empire State.

    More info at http://www.ny.lp.org.

  5. LibertarianGirl

    no fucking way PA has us beat in anything.!!!!!!!.. ( ive been so busy i have no idea wtf is even happening there;) lamo……gonna take at least 3 more shots to bunker down and read….its more likely ill throw on some Dead and forget all about it:)

  6. Mark Axinn

    Me @ 7–

    Oops! Forgot the Garden State.

    Okay, come two states east for a great time on the 27th.

  7. Mike Green

    Mr. Tom Stevens is a bleeding, oozing cyst on Lady Liberty’s anus. May he soon die a slow, painful death and rot in the bowels of hell for all eternity.

  8. Mark Axinn

    @10 and 11–

    Yes, go north on 81 to Binghamton and turn right.

    But beware of the speed trap in aptly named Deposit, New York.

  9. James Babb

    Shave, the convention will be held in accordance with our bylaws. 6/8 seems to be the earliest possible date.

    As for booting Tom, that is up to the Board of Directors. They have been flaccid for the past year, so don’t hold your breath.

    If we are successful, the LPPa will be as strong as ever in a few months.

  10. Steve M

    News headline…. Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania reacts to having too successful of a presidential election by hounding the State Chair out of office.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    And once again, Steve M shows up not to contribute anything, but to argue just for the sake of arguing.

  12. paulie Post author

    News headline…. Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania reacts to having too successful of a presidential election by hounding the State Chair out of office.

    Yes, but let’s remember, you are not his proxy, not trolling, and none of it is his fault… it’s not like he has a similar history in numerous other organizations, parties and movements or anything. Oh wait…

  13. Erik Viker

    According to an email this morning, Vice-chair Betsy Summers has asked the Judicial Committee for a ruling on the validity of the April 27 conference considering questions about adequate member notification as required by the Bylaws.

  14. Erik Viker

    Sam @20, I think the history varies according to situation being ruled on. I do not see a trend. The LPPA website lists the Judicial Committee as Wm. Martin Sloane (Chair), John DiLiberto, Mik Robertson, Marakay Rogers, Timothy A. Russell .

  15. Sam Kress

    From what I have heard Marakay and Mik are in Tom’s corner. So that leaves me wandering about the other three.

    I also wonder if the LPPA site is up to date on this, I’ve heard many of the pages have not been updated in years.

  16. Richard Schwarz

    The Board of Directors could and should take control of this situation. I wouldn’t even refer this to the Judicial Committee, I’d just move the convention anyhow.

  17. James Babb

    For some reason, the board seems unwilling to even have a meeting to discuss this. Punting to the Judicial Committee is not a solution. If the board fails to act, the result could be a devastating schism.

    While the JD has the authority to rule on blylaws disputes, there doesn’t seem to be a dispute. I have yet to hear an assertion that the notification requirement was met. Has anyone made that claim?

    The JD does not have the authority to wave bylaws for “a compelling interest.”

  18. Executive Detractor

    I understand wanting a convention notice to be sent properly. However, I question whether failure to send a notice on time has the penalty of postponing a state convention. What if the shoe were on the opposite foot. In essence, what if a rogue state chair failed to send notice deliberately in an effort to postpone a convention. It could set a a bad precedent to say a convention can’t be held because a notice wasn’t sent. They don’t cancel Presidential elections because a county failed to send a notice that is required by state law. I’m not choosing a particular faction to support. I hope you all work this out. Go to the convention. Have a fight there. Let the victors win, and let the losers go back to their local activism. I stand ready to work with the victors (statewide), and the losers (locally). By the way, 27 members of the Pennsylvania LP are also members of the Winner Party. Does Pennsylvania even allow fusion?
    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/04/april-1-winner-party-launched-nationwide-smashes-records/

  19. Executive Detractor

    Pennsylvania Winner Party members listed here:
    https://www.lp.org/state/pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania’s Elected Libertarians
    Michael Robertson
    Licking Township Supervisor
    Berlie Etzel
    Ashland Township Constable
    Obie Mild
    Montgomery County Judge of Elections, Norristown 2-2
    Erik Viker
    Selinsgrove Borough Council
    Derek P. Zona
    Marion Township Auditor
    David Owens
    London Britain Township Supervisor
    Cathy A. Beeman
    Waterford Township Auditor
    Timothy A. Russell
    Emlenton Borough Mayor
    Larry Allen Boyle
    Polk Borough Mayor
    James Fryman
    Victory Township Auditor
    Susan Haythornthwaite
    Abbott Township Auditor
    Paula L. Meddings
    Houston Borough Council
    Chad M. Roberts
    Houston Borough Council
    Randall J. Forester
    Sugarcreek Township Constable
    Brian Collins
    Allegheny County Inspector of Elections, Mt. Lebanon 4-3
    Vance Mays
    Sugarcreek Borough Constable, District 3
    Demo Agoris
    Houston Borough Inspector of Elections
    David Moser
    York City Inspector of Elections, Ward 5
    William Shoemaker
    West Manheim Township Constable
    Dale Traupman
    Lehighton Borough Council
    Shawn House
    Columbia Borough Constable, Ward 9
    Kevin Caridad
    Seven Fields Borough Council
    John Mest
    Montgomery County Judge of Elections, Douglas 1
    Patricia Fryman
    Victory Township Auditor (Venango County)
    James Fryman
    Franklin Area School Board
    Vance Mays
    Valley Grove Area School Board
    Vernon Etzel
    Oil City Treasurer

  20. James Babb

    @25,

    It is the board that is responsible for the convention, not the chair. With a functioning board, a rogue chair could not stop a convention.

    http://lppa.org/documents/lppa_bylaws_2012.pdf

    “ARTICLE IX. CONVENTION
    Section 1 – Arrangements
    It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors to set the time, place, and schedule of events of the convention. At least fifty days notice by phone, email or postal service must be provided to the membership concerning these arrangements.”

  21. Murray Hill

    If the convention is postponed, Stevens should be suspended. He should not be rewarded by extending his term in office for screwing up notification.

    If the convention happens as scheduled, there’s probably going to be lawsuits from the sounds of it, so it would be stupid to let it proceed.

  22. Erik Viker

    Murray@28, please see my Point #1 in the original post, regarding your observation about not “rewarding” an officer who contributed ot a dereliciton of responsibilties. I am confident that if the Judicial Committee fails to support a postponement ofd the April 27 convention meeting, more than a few LPPA members will refuse to acknowledge any of the proceedings of that convention business meeting. It’ll be “Oregon II: East Coast Fiasco.”

    Executive Detractor @25, your suggestion that the LPPA run a challengeable convention only kicks the can down the road, causing a fight on April 27 and various other fights later. A postponement cleans up many procedural uncertainties and prevents a bunch of fights. And Wes, a political party is not a government so the attempted comparison of party officer elections to government elections is dubious at best.

  23. Erik Viker

    My email response to the Vice-chair’s notification about sending the question to the Judicial Committee:

    I respectfully encourage the Board to prepare for the likelihood of the Judicial Committee ruling that the April 27 date cannot be used for the conference due to questionable notice. If the JC rules by the end of next week (April 13), there will be adequate time to choose a date, secure a site, and send notice by U.S Mail for an early June date. June 8 is an option for the business meeting, if the Board is already prepared to send notices that can be delivered to members by April 18. With that in mind, please consider these suggestions:

    1. Identify a trustworthy person NOW to secure a current list of members in good standing and their street addresses. The Secretary and the Membership Committee chair may not be as actively involved as necessary to make this happen. And based on recent events the Board cannot rule out the possibility of what could be considered passive-aggressive resistance to a request for membership information. Don’t let quibbles about this point interfere with timely resolution– nobody can reasonably question the authority of a Vice-chair to have a full spreadsheet of membership data at any time.

    2. Identify an individual ready to print and send postcards announcing the postponement and the new day/time of the business meeting in convention. James Babb has volunteered if a Board member isn’t available to do this. Even with the two-day-ish delay for U.S. Mail delivery, it’s the least questionable way to ensure notice arrives in the hands of every member.

    3. See if Barry Dively can identify meeting spaces in Harrisburg that are likely to be available for Saturdays in June, at his place of employment or using his area hotel industry connections. Other sites might be nice too, but we have an “in” with the Harrisburg hotel community. If a ruling comes down that a new date is needed, an individual authorized by the Board could strike quickly to nail down a definite site if possibilities are already identified. Don’t worry about programs and speakers, just get a place for a meeting where out-of-towners can find lodging nearby.

    Thank you for considering these ideas.

    Erik Viker
    Chair, Libertarian Party of Snyder County

  24. Murray Hill

    The board should reschedule the convention even if the JC rules in favor of Stevens. The governments courts might not agree with the JC, so why even it allow it to go to them by holding an invalid convention?

  25. Murray Hill

    I’m pretty sure he doesn’t make a secret of it, but I apologize if I am mistaken about that.

  26. Erik Viker

    Some express concerns about existing hotel reservations, the meeting room deposit, employment days off already arranged, and travel plans including some sort of bus convoy from Montgomery County.

    People may need to rearrange work schedules and such, but that is what 50 days’ notice is for. Individuals’ hotel reservations can be cancelled. The LPPA has no responsibility for private bus transportation arrangements, and individuals make those arrangements at their own risk. The LPPA might lose a few bucks in deposits, but that is the price you pay to clean up a mess. The convention fees mmbers hav ealreayd paid for entertainments can be refunded by the Treasurer or can be credited toward a future event. “My personal inconvenience” is not listed in the Bylaws as a valid reason to waive the Bylaws of a political party.

  27. Wes Wagner

    I can offer some Oregon history on improper notice …

    There was once an attempt to hold a nominating convention … I believe in January of 2010 where the legal notice that went out to electors stated that electors (wrongfully) had to be members of the party for 30 days to participate in a nominating convention.

    The issue was taken before the judicial committee at the time, who ruled that the notice was invalid and any nominations would be invalid.

    Given that this involved actual nominations to the ballot almost anyone would have had standing to challenge that the nominations were illegitimate, so I think the cancelling and postponement was very prudent.

    On the other hand, an internal party election is a very different beast, since the only people who would have standing to challenge would be internal party members, and that drags up all sorts of 1st amendment crap, issues of standing, etc.

    It could get extremely messy if say the GOP of PA were to volunteer one of their lawyers to just make your lives difficult for the benefit of a disgruntled ex-director of the party who otherwise has no political future and nothing to lose.

    Not that I would have any experience in these areas.

  28. Wes Wagner

    EV @37

    You may find that anyone who incurred expenses for this event that cannot be recouped will have a valid tort and will prevail if they press a claim in small claims court.

    Whereas Robert’s Rules allows a body to break contracts, it also specifically advises that you will bear all the legal consequences of it.

    As far as saying “there is no contract” — go read up on detrimental reliance.

  29. Erik Viker

    Wes@39, take it up with whoever said “there is no contract.”

    Fear of a hypothetical future small claims court verdict shouldn’t trump the very real consequences of a disputable convention business meeting proceedings. The LPPA can give member conference fees back to members who already paid them and there’s not much money at stake with the dodgy roadside motel. The LPPA has no responsibility for whatever private bus transportation arrangements individual people may have made. And word on the street is that those are reschedulable anyway, so that’s good.

  30. Wes Wagner

    EV @40

    I think the real risk is the:

    “It could get extremely messy if say the GOP of PA were to volunteer one of their lawyers to just make your lives difficult for the benefit of a disgruntled ex-director of the party who otherwise has no political future and nothing to lose.”

    Type crap…

    If there is nothing really material at stake in pressing forward, a reschedule may be the lowest risk option.

  31. Ben Smith

    If there is nothing really material at stake in pressing forward, a reschedule may be the lowest risk option.

    You are probably correct.

    Some express concerns about existing hotel reservations, the meeting room deposit, employment days off already arranged, and travel plans including some sort of bus convoy from Montgomery County.

    It will be a lot more expensive to deal with a court case if the improperly scheduled convention proceeds.

  32. Erik Viker

    This just in, an email from Tom Stevens:

    “Effective immediately and as promised, I have appointed Betsy Summers to be a member of the Convention Committee. Previously, I have taken the lead to work with the Convention Committee to set up plans and organize the schedule for the upcoming LPPA Annual Convention. The Convention Committee approved the contract with the Days Inn Conference Center in Danville, which I signed. The tentative schedule as posted on the website was the following:
    Tentative Schedule
    Saturday, April 27, 2013
    Friday, April 26th 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. – Social at CLUB FUSION (in the Days Inn)/Early Check-In (Free)
    Saturday, April 27th 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Banquet Room (Danville Days Inn Conference Center; 50 Sheraton Road, Danville, PA 17821; Exit 224 off I-80)
    8:30-9:00 a.m. – Early Check-In
    9:00 a.m. -12 noon – Speakers & Presentations (Included in Day Fee – $44.00)
    12 noon – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch Break
    1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Speakers & Presentations (Included in Day Fee – $44.00)
    2:30 p.m. -3:00 p.m. – Late Check-In
    3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Business Session (Free Admission)
    Dinner – On Your Own With Friends
    The cost for this portion of the Annual Convention (not including the free Business Session) is $44.00.
    In addition plans were being made to purchase breakfast and lunch for attending delegates; to order color coded wrist bands to distinguish those who were paid attendees as well as those who were members for less than 180 days and more than 180 days; paper ballots and proposed bylaw and platform amendments were to be photocopied; and a pool of people had volunteered to staff the credentialing tables and to pick up the food. Hotel links were posted on our website and a list of restaurants nearby were being complied. Finally, invitations for more guest speakers had gone out and I invited all members to suggest other possible speakers.
    When Betsy Summers posted a notice of an upcoming Board Meeting to “help Tom” with the convention, clearly I read that as an attempt by the Board to micromanage the details of the convention, which were well in hand.
    NOT ONE BOARD MEMBER INVOLVED CALLING THE BOARD MEETING TO “HELP ME” CALLED TO OFFER HELP OR TO EXPRESS ANY CONCERNS THEY MAY HAVE HAD.
    I am therefore withdrawing from any further active planning of the Annual Convention, which I only have the obligation to Chair. I am leaving all further details in the hands of the Convention Committee and its newest member, Betsy Summers.
    I wish you all well on organizing a successful convention and I hope all my work makes your task easier.
    In Liberty,
    Dr. Tom Stevens
    LPPA State Chair”

    Note that this “tentative schedule” was posted on a website that is not one of the three meeting notification options described as necessary by the Bylaws, and that the business session (the only item that really matters procedurally) was originally scheduled for 8:30 AM but had been moved to the afternoon, also without Bylaws-required notification to members.

    And COLOR-CODED WRISTBANDS, you guys.

  33. Murray Hill

    Didn’t another email from Tom Stevens say he was turning over the chairing of the chairing of the convention to Mik Robertson? Yet here he seems to be claiming he will chair the convention.

  34. Jill Pyeatt

    I SOOO wish I could be there to blog for IPR. I’m sure it would be quite the hoot!

    (I wonder: would one of you give me your wristband as a souvenir? Will it have value on Ebay, kind of like “I survived the convention”-type thing?)

  35. James Babb

    I hope all of the problem counties get their own color wristband.

    We will certainly try to set up some live streaming. However, if the faux-convention happens in Danville, there probably isn’t WiFi. (They are still trying to get the heat working.) Even phone based data could be sketchy in this remote area.

    I’ll also try to stream from the (hoped for) emergency board meeting.

  36. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Proper notice of the upcoming Annual Convention was sent by e-mail more than 50 days before the convention – multiple times.

    Mik Robertson has agreed to chair the Business Session of the Annual Convention and he probably will.

    I may or may not attend the Annual Convention.

  37. Smart Alex

    Dr Tom Stevens @ 51: ” I may or may not attend the Annual Convention”. Promises, promises !

  38. Murray Hill

    Stevens, you sanctimonious slut:

    When you say “proper notice via email” what exactly do you mean…just the yahoo BB list than you have banned various people from and which others were never subscribed to? Or something more than that? Because numerous members in good standing report never having received emails. Did you send each and every member in good standing an individually addressed email?

    And then there’s this from James Babb on facebook:

    “Evidently, the Executive Committee doesn’t have contact information for 3/5th of the Board of Directors. I wonder how they were notified of board meetings, per our bylaws. Could the the entire past year of board business be invalid as a result?

    The shit is so deep, I don’t know how the party can get back on track.

    No membership list, means we can’t verify the legitimacy of Tom’s new county committees. We don’t even know how many board reps there are.

    No board member list, means we can’t calculate the majority required to have a board meeting to conduct business, to get the membership list and schedule a convention.

    I think we are going to need some sweeping actions at the convention to put the party back on a path to conducting legitimate business. However, we can’t schedule a legitimate convention without a board meeting…

    Tom Stevens is an inside job…”

    What say ye?

  39. Lefty Danger Pistolero

    Lefty reporting in.

    Still no notice of convention, formal or otherwise, in York County. At all. Nada. None of our membership to the LPPa notified, and we are recognized and maintain voting status.

    Bullshit detector showing red in all sectors, Tom.

  40. Be Rational

    Don’t waste time ranting or trying to cancel or postpone the upcoming PA convention.

    You have everything booked and a convention that will happen.

    Everyone concerned should send out invitations by USPS, email and phone anyone they think should be notified – yes, individually or by county group.

    Then attend the convention, elect decent leadership …

    … and move on.

  41. Erik Viker

    There is nothing rational about holding a meeting that does not clearly meet the requirements of the Bylaws. Doing so will put PA firmly in the company of Oregon because members could refuse to recognize the proceedings of the business meeting. A complete schism would result where now there is disagreement.

  42. Erik Viker

    The convention committee needs only to provide electronic evidence of those multiple emails referenced by Tom @51 that demonstrates how all the people who state they did not receive notification are incorrect. This evidence would of course have to also show that notice was given of the change in time for the business meeting from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, also 50 days in advance of the April 27 event. As noted above, the Board Business email list from which some members are banned and many other members are not subscribed, does not suffice.

  43. Be Rational

    @57 What is not rational is starting a major legal battle over a tiny issue.

    Just contact all of your supporters and known activists and go to the convention.

    Elect a decent group of officers and board members.

    Then move on.

    Do not cancel or attempt to cancel. Do not start legal battles, lawsuits and fights. These are the things that are not rational. They take more money and energy than the situation is worth. There will be another convention in a year or two – whatever the bylaws state … and then another … and another.

    Oregon is an example of spending too much time and money fighting over a tiny thing. The mightiest king of the tiniest hill …

    … you guys make the War of the Roses look sane.

  44. Young Libertarian Boys Club

    You didnt give proper notice. ….no you didnt….fine i am taking my ball and going home!

    Tommy’s lastest email …

    ” LPPA Board Members:

    It is my opinion that no Board Meeting is necessary from now until one is held after the Business Session at the LPPA Annual Convention on April 27, 2013.

    The Board of Directors authorized the Convention Committee to make all plans for the upcoming convention and while I was taking the lead in making this happen with the members of the Convention Committee, I have stepped aside and Betsy Summers will now be handling that responsibility.

    I will not be calling a Board Meeting and I encourage other Board Members not to sign on for a request for one. I am committed to defending the private information of our members and I am concerned a Board Meeting would not serve that goal.

    The Board Meeting called for April 13th was defective in two respects. It did not properly state the place of the meeting. Naming a city is not sufficient notice. Second, the number of people calling for the meeting was not the 1/3 of Board members required. As a result, that meeting cannot legally take place.

    It is time to move forward.

    In Liberty,

    Dr. Tom Stevens LPPA State Chair”

  45. Erik Viker

    I do not know who “Be Rational” is, but he/is repeatedly ignoring the inconvenient central issue that the convention he’s trying so hard to push forward is going to be invalid according to the bylaws. We can either do it now or do it correctly. An April 27 convention business meeting will be rejected by a significant portion of the LPPA membership as invalid, causing a protracted battle about the legitimacy of officer elections and any platform/bylaws changes happening there, which leads to continued national embarrassment. Moving the convention to June will prevent all that chaos and division, for the price of minor inconvenience now.

    Tom’s attempt to invalidate the Board meeting being scheduled to investigate his failings is laughable. There are easily eight people on the Board (the required 1/3) willing to meet to take the action necessary to fix his failures (likely to agree are both Vice-chairs, the Treasurer, the Immediate Past Chair, and at least the county reps from York, Delaware, and Montgomery, and three standing committee chairs). Tom would be wise to resign and retreat with some dignity. His house of cards is collapsing and even the nine young men he appointed to be his “Executive Assistants to the Chair” are turning against him.

  46. paulie Post author

    he/is repeatedly ignoring the inconvenient central issue that the convention he’s trying so hard to push forward is going to be invalid according to the bylaws.

    No, he’s saying it does (or might), but even if it does, that this should be ignored because it’s not worth rescheduling the convention or having a legal battle.

    Unfortunately, I think at this point if it’s not rescheduled a legal battle may well be inevitable. I’m not sure whether one will happen anyway if it is rescheduled; Stevens’ comments about the April 13 meeting that could reschedule the convention itself being improperly scheduled point in the direction of a possible lawsuit if it is rescheduled.

    There are easily eight people on the Board (the required 1/3) willing to meet to take the action necessary to fix his failures

    As I understand it, his claim is that 8 people would have had to formally call for the meeting and proper notice had to be served of the exact location, and that this did not happen. I haven’t studied your bylaws, so I can’t evaluate that claim.

  47. Erik Viker

    My letter to the Board just now:

    “Tom’s attempt to invalidate the Board meeting being scheduled to investigate his failings is futile. There are easily over eight people on the Board (the required 1/3) who woud be willing to meet to take the action necessary to fix his failures (based on email review, those likely to agree a meeting is necessary include both Vice-chairs, the Treasurer, the Immediate Past Chair, and at least the county reps from York, Delaware, and Montgomery, and three standing committee chairs).

    Bylaws: “The Board of Directors shall meet at such time and place as may be determined by a call of the Chair, or by the request of one third or more of the members of the Board of Directors. Notice of the time and place of the meeting shall be communicated to each member of the Board of Directors not less than fourteen days prior to said meeting, unless an earlier date is agreed to by a majority of the Board of Directors.”

    Betsy should send out an email to the Board NOW requesting an immediate response on two questions:
    1. Do you support a Board meeting called for X date and place (Harrisburg Hilton seems available) to investigate concerns about convention planning and overall communications administration? Note that 9 “yes” responses validate the meeting.
    2. Are you willing to waive the 14-day notice requirement for such a meeting, whether or not you can eventually attend? Note that 13 “yes” responses validate the meeting.

    Even if you do not get 13 affirmative responses for the second question, get the Board together and you’ll probably find at least 13 will be there and will almost certainly agree that a meeting is necessary inside the required 14-day notification window (because they’re already sitting there). If the minutes show a consensus to waive that rule as the first order of business, you’re fine, because the waiver is not describe das being necessary BEFORE the meeting begins. It simply must be “agreed to.” Use the list of Board members Tom recently provided to keep track of who’s who (reproduced below for convenience).

    Erik Viker

    Chair, Libertarian Party of Snyder County”

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    EV @ 65,

    “Tom’s attempt to invalidate the Board meeting being scheduled to investigate his failings is futile.”

    Yes, but it’s part of his usual tactics set. He operates sort of like a computer virus — sneak in, take over the machine, populate the machine with its own tools, and shut down anything that might be used to contest its control of the machine.

  49. Be Rational

    Here’s what will happen:

    The whiny Viker caucus will waste their time, whining, complaining and spinning their wheels. They may even manage to hold an emergency board meeting with part of the board in attendance.

    The Chair and the rest of the board not in attendance will declare that meeting invalid.

    The convention on April 27 will be held as scheduled. The whiny Vikers will not be prepared because they are whiny Vikers and did not get their ducks lined up to just win the fight at the scheduled time. Plus, by being whiny Vikers they have alienated part of the support they could have had by acting like adults.

    So, they hold their own convention in June, which they call the legal convention and elect an alternate board.

    Now they can spend a few years in court, thousands of dollars, waste time not competing in elections in 2014 and maybe miss getting the LP POTUS candidate on the ballot in 2016.

    All because the whiny Vikers decided to whine and complain and squirm and act like spoiled children … instead of organizing themselves, contacting everyone to come on April 27, lining up their supporters, campaigning, taking control of the LPPA and moving on with building a real LP organization in Pennsylvania without Tom, Tom the Piper’s son.

  50. paulie

    That’s one possibility.

    Another possibility is that the April convention will happen, and someone (not necessarily Viker, who is not part of any caucus) will sue due to the alleged lack of proper notice, but no June convention will take place.

    Another possibility is that the April convention will take place, and the side that is mostly complaining about the lack of notice wins, so the issue goes away. However, since Viker doesn’t like either side, he might sue anyway, even if that happens.

    Another possibility is that the board will meet April 13, reschedule the convention for June, and Tom Stevens will sue because he claims the meeting on April 13 did not have proper notice.

    There is the possibility that they will meet, reschedule the convention for June, and then get sued by people who made plans to attend the April convention, even if Tom Stevens goes away and stops messing with PA.

    Finally, there is the possibility that the board will meet, reschedule for June, and no one will sue.

    That seems more likely than an April convention taking place without a lawsuit after the fact.

    Otherwise, I’m not sure what the probabilities are.

  51. Robert Capozzi

    Will PA become the next OR? Tune in tomorrow to find out, In The Days of Our Lives….

  52. paulie

    It has surpassed Oregon on the trainwreck-o-meter.

    Witness the lack of discussion on the most recent Oregon thread, for example.

  53. James Babb

    It’s heartwarming to see the membership come together. Better late than never. Now that the sleeping board members have awoken, things are looking up.

    Long time LPPa member David Jahn summed it up well: “Contrary to what some people might think, we aren’t infighting. We are uniting to clean up the mess created by the failure to the board to comply with our bylaws.”

    I hope what happened here will serve as a warning to other groups. Never let things get this far of the rails.

  54. James Babb

    I’m not that familiar with the Oregon saga, but I’m under the impression that there are rival factions competing for control of the party.

    Pennsylvania is much different. There is no Tom Stevens faction. Just a sad man on a petty power trip who found a vulnerable organization.

    While no one was looking, a raccoon got into the kitchen. Animal control is on its way. The varmint will be extracted and the cleanup will begin.

    While the Oregon saga drags on, I expect a resolution here very soon.

  55. paulie

    There is no Tom Stevens faction.

    There’s Marakay Rogers.

    Mike Robertson also sounds generally positive about Stevens.

    There’s the slate of officers he seems to be backing, even though he has not formally endorsed them.

    I don’t know how much of a faction all these folks are.

  56. Jill Pyeatt

    All joking aside, we’re having a significant bear-entering-houses problem here in my community.

    If/when you get rid of your nuisance, please don’t ship him to southern California! We have enough of our own, thank you!

  57. paulie

    @81

    Well, Marakay or someone pretending to be her said they were headed “south”, so…

  58. Erik Viker

    Coward hiding behind the fake name Be Rational says: The whiny Viker caucus will waste their time, whining, complaining and spinning their wheels. They may even manage to hold an emergency board meeting with part of the board in attendance. The Chair and the rest of the board not in attendance will declare that meeting invalid.

    Erik Viker responds: I am the only member of the “No Fiasco” Caucus, which the coward hiding behind the fake name Be Rational called the Viker caucus. There has been no whining. The way to document Board meeting validity is described above and has not been refuted.

    Coward: The convention on April 27 will be held as scheduled. The whiny Vikers will not be prepared because they are whiny Vikers and did not get their ducks lined up to just win the fight at the scheduled time.

    EV: You cannot know for sure if the April 27 event will be held as scheduled. You have failed to demonstrate how any caucus would not be prepared for any meeting except by attempting a silly insult about a caucus that does not exist.

    Coward: they have alienated part of the support they could have had by acting like adults.

    EV: You fail to provide any evidence that any of the people you disapprove of have not acted like adults, or that anybody remains at risk of being alienated. Your silly name-calling does not prove immaturity on the part of any participant.

    Coward: they hold their own convention in June, which they call the legal convention and elect an alternate board. . . .blah blah. . . court. . .ballot in 2016.

    EV: The same regrettable outcome could be predicted if the April 27 meeting goes on, with the difference being there is no evidence that Bylaws-required notification was provided for that event, and ample opportunity to ensure such notification is made before a June event.

    Coward: All because the whiny Vikers decided to whine and complain and squirm and act like spoiled children … instead of organizing… blah blah…taking control of the LPPA . . .blah. . Tom the Piper’s son.

    EV: You perpetrate a fallacy by pretending the motivation of those concerned about validity of the convention business session is whining and complaining, as the actual motivation has been very clearly described in these conversations. You also underestimate the extent of LPPA-wide dissatisfaction about convention arrangements and notification, and various other Tom Stevens endeavors. These indicators, your misreading of “Vikers” (there really is only one), and your cowardly anonymity suggest you lack the knowledge needed to be taken seriously in these conversations. I smell troll.

  59. Erik Viker

    Paulie @ 72, I do not care enough to sue. As previous explained elsewhere on IPR, I still give a rat’s ass, but not as much as a flying fuck.

    1/3 of Board memebrs in agreement allows for a Board member to call a Board meeting without the Chair calling it. This is how a Board is empowered to challenge the behavior of a chair that has lost the confidence of a considerable portion of the membership at large. The chair offering up roadblocks and resistance to this planned “emergency “Board meeting only demonstrates further why so many LPPA members lack confidence in the chair. It would be more dignified and graceful for the chair to simply recognize that an adequate portion of the Board wants to meet to discuss concerns about divisiveness and administration of the convention and communications media. A chair clinging to the last shreds of power on paper to try to prevent Board members from deliberating on the record pretty much shows everybody why those Board members SHOULD be deliberating on the record. This behavior is very telling.

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  61. Be Rational

    @83 I really don’t give half a viker about your attempt to justify your spinning, squirming and whining. The ultimate point is that you have the opportunity to get rid of Tom, Tom on April 27, and then to move on and build the LP PA. The notification is a tiny issue. Just call everyone. Hold the meeting. Get rid of Tom, Tom. Elect new leadership and move on.

    But, congratulations on becoming a unit of measurement. Midway between a rat’s ass and a flying fuck … your mother will be proud.

  62. Erik Viker

    Coward hiding behind the fake name “Be Rational” @88, you can read the bylaws for yourself and see why your suggestion is flawed: http://lppa.org/documents/lppa_bylaws_2012.pdf Those who are concerned about the lack of adequate notification for the business meeting in convention have successfully supported their position using this document. Those, like whoever you are, who want to hold an April 27 event have failed to support their position that such an event would be valid under our organization’s operating documents. “Calling everyone” now is patently a violation of the required notification which exists to give members plenty of time to plan to attend if they wish to. I am not a rules fetishist, but I wouldn’t buy a house without getting a copy of the property deed in my hands. Sometime evidence is necessary for validity. Article IX, Section One says “It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors to set the time, place, and schedule of events of the convention. At least fifty days notice by phone, email or postal service must be provided to the membership concerning these arrangements.” The Board retains responsibility for convention arrangements including setting the date and time of the convention. The Board is empowered to cancel the April 27 event and establish a new date and location by majority vote, regardless of what the Judicial Committee may opine about inadequate notice being made for the April 27 date and (changing) times. You should ask yourself why you care so much about having the convention on April 27 instead of in June. You have been very entertaining, almost as entertaining as predicting which Board members will still fall in line with Tom and which will decide to render him impotent. I have little investment either way except as a pleasant exercise in critical thinking.

  63. Executive Detractor

    The bylaws do not say: “It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors to set the time, place, and schedule of events of the convention. At least fifty days notice by phone, email or postal service must be provided to every single member concerning these arrangements, and proof of notice must be verifiable and provable to every single other member, otherwise the convention must not be held, but there is no penalty for the delinquency of the board of directors ever scheduling a convention.”

    Anyway, Wes Benedict (my wiser half) knows I never should have drug myself or him into this Pennsylvania mess by offering suggestions. Best wishes to LP Pennsylvania. I hope you find a way through it without wasting too much of the good guys’ time.

  64. Erik Viker

    Wes @90, if it was one crank complaining, members would be having a different conversation. But we have many members expressing concerns about the handling of the convention arrangements including member notification, and about the way LPPA communication has been regulated in general. Those members expressing concerns include county chairs, Life members and former state chairs. This is not the anti-Tom rabble-rousing that Tom wants to pretend it is. Considering the level of divisiveness the LPPA has endured in the past eleven months, despite promises to unite and grow the party, it’s best to make sure that no faction has a reason to reject the work of the next convention. Moving it a month into the future does little harm and prevents lots of problems. I’m personally not invested except to the extent that I am compelled to seek order from chaos whenever possible while promoting liberty in government. It’s my life’s work. Well, that and drinking moderate amounts of single-malt Scotch.

  65. Nicholas C Hillman

    Dr. Tom is resigning and James Fryman to take helm till convention. Motion for this is up for vote now. If you are one of the 25 people with a vote, vote now so we can move on.

  66. Be Rational

    Very good news if Dr. Tom, Tom is resigning.

    Assuming that this leaves a board that can work together amicably, it reduces the urgency of holding the convention ASAP and removes some of the legal problems from not holding it on April 27. There still may be financial losses depending on what agreements were made with the venue provider. Breaking contracts can sometimes be expensive.

  67. Richard Schwarz

    Any losses regarding any contract with the Days Inn in Danville should be the responsibility of the person who signed that contract–Tom Stevens. This is actually how we’ve always done it in PA. The convention organizer assumes the risk and/or receives the profit.

  68. Chuck Moulton

    Richard Schwarz wrote (@95):

    This is actually how we’ve always done it in PA. The convention organizer assumes the risk and/or receives the profit.

    My recollection is in the past the board would cover losses of up to $1,000. The convention organizer would cover losses beyond that or would keep all profit.

  69. Be Rational

    @95 If the convention organizer occurs losses because the board failed in its duty to notify members and so cancelled the convention, it would be the board that is liable for the losses. So, the board should be careful in its deliberations and planning. It may seem worth the cost to change the date, but the board would be wise to find out the details and consider any potential losses, if any. Hopefully the venue provider will allow the date change at little or no cost.

  70. James Babb

    Any money spent at the shithole Days Inn was squandered when the board failed to notify the membership. It’s water under the bridge.

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