Tom Stevens Resigns As LPPA Chair; James Fryman Elected

This was posted at Dr. Tom Stevens’s blog, Liberty Lion, today.

Stevens Resigns As LPPA State Chair; Fryman Elected

On Thursday, April 4, 2013, Dr. Tom Stevens, State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, issued the following statement:For personal reasons involving the health of one of my close family members, I, Dr. Tom Stevens, hereby resign my position as State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania effective upon the appointment by the Board of Directors of a successor State Chair to serve for the reminder of my term of office. (It has been posted elsewhere that Tom’s mother has cancer and is undergoing an additional surgical procedure on April 15, 2013)The following motion was made by Matthew Kelly (Membership Committee Chair) and seconded by Jay Burkos (Legislative Action Committee Chair):

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Dr. Tom Stevens as State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania appointing Lawrence James Fryman as State Chair to serve for the remainder of his term in office. This vote will remain open for 15 days for Board Members to cast a vote of Yes, No or Abstain. However, the vote will be considered closed and a new State Chair elected upon 13 Yes Votes being cast, which constitutes a majority of the Board Members currently serving.

On Friday, April 5, 2013, Dr. Stevens wrote the following e-mail to LPPA Members:

Effective immediately, Jim Fryman has been elected State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. I am now Immediate Past Chair. The motion to accept my resignation and appoint Jim Fryman State Chair  has obtained fourteen (14) votes, which constitutes a majority of the Board Members currently serving. Quorum was achieved. Additional votes not yet cast may be posted for posterity. I wish Jim Fryman a most enjoyable term in office.

Dr. Stevens urged a YES vote on the motion to grant his request to be excused from his duty. The fourteen (14) Yes votes were cast by the following members of the Board of Directors of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania:

Betsy Summers (Eastern Vice-Chair)
Jim Fryman (Western Vice-Chair)
Patti Fryman (Treasurer)
Lou Jasikoff (Immediate Past Chair)
John Karr (Election Committee Chair)
Greg Teufel (Legal Action Committee Chair)
Jay Burkos (Legislative Action Committee Chair)
Roy Minet (Media Relations Committee Chair)
Matthew Kelly (Membership Committee Chair)
Tyler Kobel (Blair County LP Representative)
Nicholas Hillman (Bucks County LP Representative)
Alex Humanick (Lehigh Valley LP Representative)
Marc Connuck (Northampton County LP Representative)
Dr. Tom Stevens (Philadelphia County LP Representative)

When casting votes, the following comments were made:

I would like to say thank you to Tom for his hard work to grow the party and to defend our ballot presence last November. (Patti Fryman – Treasurer)

I thank Tom Stevens very much for the many hours of effort he expended recruiting new members and defending our nomination petition signatures. (Roy Minet – Media Relations & Marketing Committee Chair)

I thank Dr. Stevens for his leadership and guidance. I wish him the best in all his future endeavors.(Alex Humanick – Lehigh Valley LP State Representative)

A year ago, the LPPA reached a height never expected by the major parties nor by the LP national leadership.  That was not by accident.  It was the direct result of the hard work of a group of dedicated liberty minded people, and Tom’s strong leadership. (Jay Burkos – Legislative Action Committee Chair)

Dr. Stevens, I applaud your accomplishments as State Chair. Membership in the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania was up 87.8 % from the April, 2012 Annual Convention through the end of 2012 and you established a new Life Membership for the party. LP News designated you a “Libertarian Ballot Access Hero” for obtaining 18,000 additional signatures after problems were identified with the quality of the signatures obtained during the petition drive, which was considered over when you took office. You spearheaded a 9-week successful defense of our petitions with the help of 84 volunteers and not only got Gary Johnson and our statewide candidates on the ballot but also re-gained Minor Party for our party. You more than doubled the number of counties with County and/or Regional Committees and, as a result, the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania now has an active presence in Adams County, Berks County, Blair County, Bucks County, Carbon County, Chester County, Columbia County, Franklin County, Lehigh County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County & Schuylkill County. In my opinion, you have been the most active and successful State Chair in the history of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. I am sorry to see you go. (Matthew Kelly – Membership Committee Chair)
Richard Winger of Ballot Access News wrote this about Dr. Tom Stevens, State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania:
Tom Stevens led the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party to the greatest ballot access victory in the state party’s history. The Pennsylvania Libertarian Party’s 2012 ballot access victory was the first time any statewide minor party or independent candidate for statewide office has ever defeated a challenge backed by one of the two major parties.Lawrence James (Jim) Fryman, the newly elected State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, issued the following statement:
I will serve as State Chair until replaced at the State Convention.

Roy Minet, a declared candidate for State Chair at the next Annual Convention wrote:

For those of you who don’t know him, I will point out that Jim Fryman is a solid libertarian who has worked hard for the LPPA for years.  He drives many hours to attend board meetings that are way closer to Philadelphia than to his home.  He helped validate signatures in Philadelphia.  Anyone WHO HAS BEEN ACTIVE helping the LPPA has surely gotten to know and respect Jim.  I hope everybody will cooperate and help Jim as he takes on a difficult job that is only made more difficult by…(I’ll stop right there because I have promised not to tear down any other libertarian). Good luck, Jim, and you can count on my help and support.
 
Jim Fryman served this past year as Western Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania.

42 thoughts on “Tom Stevens Resigns As LPPA Chair; James Fryman Elected

  1. James Babb

    Wow. All the comments are flattering. His resume just gets better all the time.

    Let me add: “Thanks for putting the Pennsylvania LP in the national spotlight on Independent Political Report.”

  2. Jill AKA Minnie Pyeatt

    Hmmm, let’s be fair, James. I don’t think that was Dr. Stevens’ choice., although he did give me permission to post the initial article.

  3. Ed Reagan

    Just like Tom did with the Boston Tea Party, history repeats itself again.

    For historical perspective on Tom’s involvement with the Boston Tea Party.

    “I appealed the “one affiliate, one vote” procedure to the membership (as provided for in those bylaws I keep harping on) … and all hell broke loose. Interim Vice Chair Tom Stevens deleted the member polling while it was in progress. As the party’s site administrator, I yanked his privileges with respect to controlling site content. This provoked an outburst on his part about “mere members” defying his authoritah, etc.

    It was at that point that I began to suspect something wasn’t right — that there was more than just non-bylaws-compliance going on. The driving force behind the “one affiliate, one vote” idea was Dr. Stevens, who was also a candidate for the party’s VP nomination, and who had spearheaded the party’s affiliate drive. Interim Chair Davidson didn’t have a problem with “one affiliate, one vote” per se (he felt that it would encourage members to start active affiliates), but when this chain of events began to get heated, both he and I started looking for an explanation of why Dr. Stevens might be so hell-bent on it.

    The short explanation is that the “affiliates” turned out to be, as far as we could tell, empty shells with no members, each presided over by “a friend of Dr. Stevens.” In the case of at least two affiliates, the people listed as affiliate chairs/presidents didn’t even live in the applicable states, but rather in New York, where they held positions in other organizations, also headed by Dr. Stevens.

    The “controversy” ended with Dr. Stevens and his compadres resigning from the national committee and dissolving their apparently imaginary “state affiliates.” Playing “unitary executive” again, I simply noted that the poll versus “one affiliate, one vote” had been running unanimously against when it was shut down, and held that it was obvious the members preferred “one member, one vote” … so that was how it should be. The chair agreed. End of “controversy.””

    http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/a-brief-history-of-the-boston-tea-party-part-2/

    Fast forward to today.

    Now lets examine who voted in favor of Tom’s LPPA resignation motion.

    - Betsy Summers (Eastern Vice-Chair) – Current board member that did nothing to control Tom’s actions a Chair for over 11 months.

    - Jim Fryman (Western Vice-Chair) – Current board member that did nothing to control Tom’s actions a Chair for over 11 months. Tom’s hand picked replacement.

    - Patti Fryman (Treasurer) – Current board member that did nothing to control Tom’s actions a Chair for over 11 months.

    - Lou Jasikoff (Immediate Past Chair) – Current board member that did nothing to control Tom’s actions a Chair for over 11 months.

    - John Karr (Election Committee Chair) – Current board member that did nothing to control Tom’s actions a Chair for over 11 months.

    - Jay Burkos (Legislative Action Committee Chair) – Recent Tom appointee to the this Board position and one of Tom’s “Executve Assistants” , resigned all positions in the LPPA as of April 7, 2013 and is on the agenda of items to be covered at the April 13 board meeting in Harrisburg, PA.

    - Roy Minet (Media Relations Committee Chair) – Current board member that is responsible to organizing the bulk of the ballot access defense…kudos. Introduced resolutions to keep people from being banned from LPPA communication channels (which were still violated by Tom), but most importantly did nothing to control Tom’s actions a Chair for over 11 months. Roy is also Tom’s hand picked and widely promoted candidate for LPPA Chair.

    - Matthew Kelly (Membership Committee Chair) – Recent Tom appointee to the this Board position and one of Tom’s “Executive Assistants”.

    - Tyler Kobel (Blair County LP Representative) – Chairman of the Convention Committee and representative of a county LP organized by Tom in the past year.

    - Nicholas Hillman (Bucks County LP Representative) – Recently resigned Chair of the Bucks County LP, a county LP organized by Tom in the past year.

    - Alex Humanick (Lehigh Valley LP Representative) – representative of a county LP organized by Tom in the past year and one of Tom’s “Executive Assistants”.

    - Marc Connuck (Northampton County LP Representative) – Officer of the Bucks County LP, acting as a representative of Northampton County LP organized by Tom in the past year. Resident of Bucks County, one of Tom’s “Executive Assistants” and Tom’s hand picked candidae for Secretary of the LPPA.

    - Dr. Tom Stevens (Philadelphia County LP Representative) – County reorganized by Tom in the past month or so, via an unannounced meeeting where only a few selected members of the LPPA who live in Philadelphia were invited to attend.

    I have been trying to point out that Tom was building these new shell County Committess so that h had enough board votes to control the LPPA. Looking at the evidence above, it appears that he controls enough board votes to control the LPPA from the Immediate Past Chair role, or even as a non-member of the LPPA.

    I respectfully ask the LPPA Board and the Judical Committee to invesitgate this whole mess. Incuding:

    1) Tom’s violation of the LPPA Bylaws

    2) The entire Board for not upholding their fiduciary responsibility to ensure all board members followed the LPPA Bylaws

    3) Investigation of he county and regional LPPA affiliated organizations created by Tom. Many of which appear to be empty shells, like Northampton County and Philadelphia County LPs which are chaired by Tom and have not run a single candidate for office under his leadership.

    4) Investiation of the practive of Tom to move members from one county affiliate to another in order to maintain the affiliate’s board votes. A prime example of this is Marc Connuck who lives in Bucks County but is the Northampton County Board Rep. Northampton County also has a Treasurer who lives in Chester County and was lured away from Chester County LP by Tom with the reward of the titles Northampton County LP Treasurer and the title of “Executive Assistant to the LPPA Chairman”.

  4. Stewart Flood

    How can someone live in one county but represent another? How is that allowed? Is this a party or a club?

  5. Chuck Moulton

    This is getting more and more ridiculous!

    Dr. Tom Stevens just deleted the board business list, which was the official communications list of the board of directors.

    This is really looking like a slash and burn.

  6. Ed Reagan

    Tom Stevens Update:

    Tom has begun as slash and burn campaign of the LPPA resources that he is in control of. Which includes the deleteing of all of the LPPA affiliated Meetup Groups; deleting all of the LPPA affiliated Facebook Groups, and within the last hour or so he deleted the LPPA’s Yahoo Group LPPA _BB.

  7. Golly Shaggy...

    SF @5

    For a long time we had members who didn’t even live in our state!

    When you stop trying to make it a club and make it a political party… irony of ironies… Aaron Starr attacks you ;)

    The man who led the anti-radical faction purge by saying we needed to be a political party, not a dinner club.

  8. Michael H. Wilson

    re # 9 I have heard that story before with almost the exact same wording when I was in Burkeistan aka Oregon.

  9. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote (@6):

    Dr. Tom Stevens just deleted the board business list, which was the official communications list of the board of directors.

    Apparently he just renamed it and claimed personal control rather than deleting it.

  10. Wes Wagner

    Yeah there appears to be no imminent implosion/explosion … there are issues, but they are much more latent than I was first led to believe.

  11. NewFederalist

    As a new LPPA member I really want to attend the state convention but can anyone tell me where East Bumfuck Pennsylvania is? I can’t seem to find it on the map. Thank you.

  12. James Babb

    More good news:

    On Apr 6, 2013, at 10:00 PM, Dr. Tom Stevens wrote:

    I have just resigned as Chair of the Libertarian Party of Philadelphia in light of John Karr directing Chuck Moulton to remove me as Organizer of the Libertarian Party of Philadelphia Meetup Group.

    I asked John if he would like me to offer my resignation and he said yes, so I offered it.

    Tom Stevens
    Philly LP Chair

  13. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Re: 11

    The Board Business list was not deleted. It exists at:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LPPA_BB

    In addition, I made the new Chair, Jim Fryman a moderator.

    I resigned as a Manager of the Libertarian Party of Bucks County and as a Manager of the Nick Hillman for Judge of Elections Facebook Pages leaving both exclusively in Nick Hillman’s control

    Yet Marc Connuck removed Matt Schutter, Matt Kelly and myself as Managers of the LPPA Facebook Page without notice or authorization. I have no idea whether he deleted the new State Chair as a Manager as well. I added Jim Fryman yesterday.

  14. Jill Pyeatt

    It’s interesting that he’s giving up so easily now. I wonder who or what got to him.

  15. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Re: 26

    The rats are jumping ship to save their hides and I seem to be the common enemy that may permit them to survive the new regime and the purges that have already begun.

    Only my true friends remain so it is time to move on one step ahead of the lynch mob.

  16. Jill Pyeatt

    Good luck, Dr. Stevens. It sounds like you’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    We spent some time with the Republican Liberty Caucus of Los Angeles last evening at a premiere of the Silver Circle movie. I must say that they are a good bunch.

  18. Erik Viker

    As of tonight, Tom Stevens has resigned from chairing the LP of Philadelphia, which means he will not have a state Board seat and therefore no Board vote once Jim Fryman becomes Immediate Past Chair at officer elections in convention (which will almost certainly be postponed until June). Tom has said via email that he is not likely to attend any future Board meetings between now and then.

    We will now see if the LPPA factions are able to cooperate on anything other than sending Tom on his way.

  19. Nick Lebelle

    “Tom has begun as slash and burn campaign of the LPPA resources that he is in control of. Which includes the deleteing of all of the LPPA affiliated Meetup Groups; deleting all of the LPPA affiliated Facebook Groups, and within the last hour or so he deleted the LPPA’s Yahoo Group LPPA _BB.”

    Yes he is indeed, I can confirm this. Last night the “Dr.” removed everyone from the ChesCo meetup group. With zero members in the group now, no one can take over the organizer role.

    He could have just stepped down from the group, and let the ChesCo LP take it over. He made it a point to remove all of the members first.

    Hell has no fury like a…..

  20. Chuck Moulton

    Nick Lebelle wrote (@34):

    Yes he is indeed, I can confirm this. Last night the “Dr.” removed everyone from the ChesCo meetup group. With zero members in the group now, no one can take over the organizer role.

    It’s incredibly immature.

    He blasted me for having the foresight to prevent him from doing that to the Philadelphia LP Meetup group and the LPPA Facebook page.

  21. Erik Viker

    Ed @33, it would be interesting to see if that county actually has twelve members in good standing qualifying it for a Board representative. Email conversations suggest the only people who have the current list of members are Tom himself, his friend Matt Kelly the Membership Committee chair, and Marc Connuck (as designated Keeper of Membership Data) who seems to be distancing himself from Tom. Marc might be legit, and if he gives the list to the new chair, I’d be inclined to trust him more. But until I see a list with those voting counties clearly having a done members in residence (or somebody I trust sees it), I will be skeptical.

    Chuck @25, it would not surprise me if several Board members bring charges to suspend Tom’s membership for cause (Bylaws Article II, Section 3)based on his hijacking of and vandalism of LP communications media. There might even be some who would add the mismanagement of convention notification to that suspension effort.

  22. Chuck Moulton

    Erik Viker wrote (@36):

    it would not surprise me if several Board members bring charges to suspend Tom’s membership for cause (Bylaws Article II, Section 3)based on his hijacking of and vandalism of LP communications media. There might even be some who would add the mismanagement of convention notification to that suspension effort.

    That would be a waste of time.

    The LPPA should move on: focus on nominating candidates and building county affiliates and putting on a good state convention.

    The only issue from the past that may need significant board direction is adopting a clear policy on membership data sharing with county affiliates.

  23. Mark Axinn

    Chuck @ 37 wrote:

    >The only issue from the past that may need significant board direction is adopting a clear policy on membership data sharing with county affiliates.

    I suggest that LPPA also focus on its petitioning process so as to be certain that mistakes of 2012 (such as leaving the year off the petition forms and not starting to petition as soon as the statute permits) are not repeated in 2014 and thereafter.

    I am certain that Roy and all of the people who worked so hard last year to salvage your petitioning effort would prefer to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2012.

  24. Mark Axinn

    Eric @ 36–

    As some of you know, I was Chair of LPNY in 2010 when Dr. Tom Stevens was suspended as a member of the New York State LP.

    I am not going to debate the merits or lack thereof of such action, but I can tell you that it was an incredible distraction at a time when my main concerns were to get six statewide candidates on the ballot and to grow my affiliate’s membership.

  25. Tesak Welikoprujin

    I knew a man Tom Stevens and he’d dance for you
    In worn out shoes
    With silver hair, a ragged shirt, and baggy pants
    The old soft shoe
    He jumped so high, jumped so high
    Then he lightly touched down

    I met him in a cell in New Orleans I was
    down and out
    He looked to me to be the eyes of age
    as he spoke right out
    He talked of life, talked of life, he laughed
    clicked his heels and stepped

    He said his name “Tom Stevens” and he danced a lick
    across the cell
    He grabbed his pants and spread his stance,
    Oh he jumped so high and then he clicked his heels
    He let go a laugh, let go a laugh
    and shook back his clothes all around

    Dr. Tom Stevens, Dr. Tom Stevens, Dr. Tom Stevens, dance

    He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs
    throughout the south
    He spoke through tears of 15 years how his dog and him
    traveled about
    The dog up and died, he up and died
    And after 20 years he still grieves

    He said I dance now at every chance in honky tonks
    for drinks and tips
    But most the time I spend behind these county bars
    ’cause I drinks a bit
    He shook his head, and as he shook his head
    I heard someone ask him please

    Dr. Tom Stevens, Dr. Tom Stevens, Dr. Tom Stevens, dance..

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