Applicants Sought For LNC Vacancy

Forwarded message:

We have vacancy on the LNC. Lee Wrights effectively resigned by not maintaining his Sustaining Membership in the LP, which Article 8, Section 4 of our Bylaws require as a necessary condition of LNC service. Lee became a Sustaining Member on April 7, 2008 and expired last week.

If Lee reestablishes his Sustaining Membership before the July meeting, we would have the option of selecting him to fill the vacancy.

Attached below is the notice I sent to Lee earlier this evening.

Meanwhile, I am copying the state chairs on this message should any Sustaining Member wish to apply for the seat. Please direct applicants to me at rwsully@att.net.

Bob Sullentrup, Secretary

Libertarian National Committee

From: Bob Sullentrup
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 6:04 PM
To: Lee Wrights At Large
Cc: rwsully@att.net
Subject: Notice of Vacancy

Dear Lee,

One of the duties of LNC Secretary is to keep the LNC’s official membership roll. Article 8, Section 4 of our Bylaws mandates a necessary condition of serving on the LNC is to be a Sustaining Member. I regret I must inform you that your Sustaining Membership lapsed on April 7, 2009, making you ineligible to serve on the LNC. Accordingly, on April 8th the National Committee seat you previously held became vacant.

I have always respected your courage to hold fast to your personal convictions. It is my understanding you made clear at our most recent LNC meeting, when you announced during one of the breaks, that you will never again give a dime to this Party. However, our Bylaws are quite clear in this regard. One must be a Sustaining Member to be eligible to serve on this body.

I’ve confirmed with Robert Kraus that you were mailed two renewal notices (one in February and one in March), so I imagine you made this decision after considerable thought and reflection.

If you should choose to become a Sustaining Member of the LP again, you would then become eligible to be appointed by the National Committee to fill the vacant seat – which will presumably be filled at the July LNC meeting.

Thank you for your past service and dedication to Liberty.

Bob Sullentrup

National Secretary

109 thoughts on “Applicants Sought For LNC Vacancy

  1. John

    It’s about time a true radical showed some true leadership and told the LP to *&%$ off. What a brilliant move! The Boston Tea Party could do well with men like Lee at the helm.

  2. paulie

    Good to see Brian posting here.

    As to the subject: Dues late by one whole week? Jeez, maybe they are in the mail, or there was a data entry error somewhere?

  3. SelfGoverner

    Lee has always been an inspiration to me as one of the MVP’s of the movement. He’s sacrificed so much to stay true to his principle’s. The courage of a free man runs in his veins.

  4. Outlander

    Lee has always been one of my heroes, but never more than today! The national lp is not worth the money. I just sent an email to the national lp office resigning my membership too. If Lee goes to the boston tea party, I’ll follow.

  5. beetlejuice

    Real leaders, like Lee, show the way by their principled actions, not by pontificating about what others should do. Either the LP will take this as a warning and give up trying to be Republican-lite or more long time activists will follow Lee, hopefully over to the BTP, but surely somewhere good in the libertarian movement.

  6. paulie

    Hmmm…yet another member of the John/Outlander/SelfGoverner household weighs in. Are y’all related to the Octamom or anything like that?

    Incidentally, the only prior posts to IPR from that IP address were from a decidely non-radical, anti-BTP, pro-LP perspective. But that might be a coincidence.

  7. Aaron Starr

    Chuck,

    Our bylaws require that the member give the money to the Party. It would also violate FEC laws to contribute money and report it as being paid by someone else.

    Aaron Starr
    Treasurer
    Libertarian National Committee

  8. Chuck Moulton

    Aaron,

    FEC reporting and internal accounting do not have to use the same rules, as you are well aware. The most obvious example of this is cash basis vs. accrual basis accounting. This discrepancy is very similar to the way many corporations have very different accounting records for income tax purposes than for financial reporting purposes.

    I didn’t ask whether someone could contribute and have it reported as coming from someone else for the FEC. I asked if someone could contribute and have it reported as coming from someone else for Bylaws purposes.

    But this is all irrelevant for the reasons mentioned in the next comment.

  9. Chuck Moulton

    Lee meant to pay his dues but did not get the notices because they were sent to a household in which he no longer resides. This is all a misunderstanding.

  10. Not A Barr Fan

    Well I’ll say it again, I said it before when Angela had her troubles and the LP went to Barr:

    1) Why would Mr. Lee even want to associate with the LP? I like many others quit along with Angela and tossed my support to the BTP, IGVA and others. Please join us sir, you’d be welcomed.

    2) Although it is a shame what has happened to this freedom fighter, one must still take personal responsibility for ones actions. My old LP card, which by the way I burned, did have an expiration date on it. I renewed for many years at the same time every year, I bet many of you all do to.

    3) Mr. Lee, did you ever send an address update to the folk? Many of us do move around a bit. I always sent my address updates right in even though I did move forwarding with the post office. Either way, you’d get your mail regardless right? If you ain’t done no move forwarding, then you ain’t got no one to blame but yourself.

    Well good riddance. I’d be sending in something that says “well you can’t kick my white ass out cause I quit” and join the BTP.

    PS — I think I’ll go change my “handle” to “Mr. Lee fan” now. Good luck sir on your future ventures!

  11. R. Lee Wrights

    Mr. Moulton is quite correct here. I have been bouncing all over the country for the last year and my mail has not even begun to catch up with me. I had no idea this was an issue until I was already removed.

    You would think that as easy as access was to me on the National Committee that staff or one of the officiers would have mentioned it to me. I wonder why no one said anything.

    I have no problem with paying my dues. it would have been donme already had anyone bothered to let me know.

    Depending on snail mail in this day and age may be why we are losing so many members. How many, just as I, have been removed from our roles just because they have forgotten to pay their dues or simply have not received their notices?

    Lee Wrights

  12. paulie

    Depending on snail mail in this day and age may be why we are losing so many members. How many, just as I, have been removed from our roles just because they have forgotten to pay their dues or simply have not received their notices?

    Good point.

    Shouldn’t email and phone call notification about lapsing dues be standard for those members for whom the LP has such contact information?

  13. paulie

    Also, why wouldn’t there be an attempt to resolve this situation with a personal phone call/email to an LNC member rather than immediately posting a public notice of a vacancy?

  14. paulie

    “NotABarrFan”

    Thanks for commenting once again, and reinforcing the same point that John/SelfGoverner/Outlander/beetlejuice made.

    But I see at least you are not using the same IP anonymizer.

    Someone sure wants radicals to quit the L, eh?

    BTW, we sure appreciated your insistence that Ron Paul’s endorsement of Chuck Baldwin was fake and your request that we contact people in Ron Paul’s House office. That was special!

  15. Mr. Lee Fan

    Well sir,

    Thank you for your explanation. I am a fan of yours by golly. However you still did not answer my questions?

    You are usually a straight shooter and we will be welcoming you with open arms at the IG and BTP — after all, you’ve supported our candidates in the past financially and with shoe leather which is more than you’ve done for the LP correct?

    However, you still should take responsibility for your negligence in this case and say “don’t let the door hit ya” and all that. I’d still flip the bird to the LP if I was you.

    Can’t wait till you come aboard formally so we can really kick some ass.

    PS – John at the IGVA can voutch for me and tell you Lee is really welcome.

  16. Rachel H

    If you all go to LP.org, you’ll notice that Mr. Wrights has already been erased from the website.

    If you voted for Mr. Wrights, I’d suggest that you go to LP.org and start eMailing and calling your representatives.

    This was a simple miscommunication – a failure of snail mail.

    Let’s not multiply the fallout from the Keaton purge by astronomical numbers.

  17. Rocky Eades

    @ #22 and others – Did the LNC staff get around to choosing a venue for the July LNC meeting yet? And it took the LNC, what, six years to come up with a resolution calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan? Don’t know if they ever did get around to doing a press release on that resolution!

    But, they can work real fast when they want to though, can’t they?

    And, btw, if there is somebody up there doing such a timely job of monitoring the national’s membership rolls, how come I haven’t seen an updated list of national members and inquiries in my local affiliate area in months?

  18. paulie

    – Did the LNC staff get around to choosing a venue for the July LNC meeting yet?

    St. Louis if I recall correctly.

  19. George Phillies

    Liberty for America, the Newsmagazine of the Libertarian Political movement, has had leaked to it a segment of the LNC correspondence on this — and a vast number of other — issues.

    To read the correspondence, much of which I also forwarded to your noble editor here so he might also reprint and comment on it, go the TheDailyLiberty.com, which regularly e-prints articles also to appear or appearing in LibertyForAmerica, the news magazine.

  20. Rachel H

    We are now set up for you to make reservations for the next LNC Board Meeting July 18th and 19th in St. Louis.

    The hotel is the same as our convention hotel:

    Renaissance St. Louis Grand & Suites Hotel

    800 Washington Avenue

    St. Louis, Missouri 63101 USA

    Phone: 1-314-621-9600

    Fax: 1-314-621-9601

    Toll-free: 1-800-397-1282

    Stacie.Adkisson@RenaissanceHotels.com

    Follow the links below to make your reservation. The reservation screen is on your right side and it will be pre-filled with our group discount code which is: lnclnca

    The hotel is $3.50 cent ride way from the airport via the Metrolink Subway. Transportation info is located here:

    http://www.marriott.com/hotels/maps/travel/stldt-renaissance-st-louis-grand-and-suites-hotel/

  21. paulie

    Liberty for America, the Newsmagazine of the Libertarian Political movement, has had leaked to it a segment of the LNC correspondence on this — and a vast number of other — issues.

    To read the correspondence, much of which I also forwarded to your noble editor here so he might also reprint and comment on it, go the TheDailyLiberty.com, which regularly e-prints articles also to appear or appearing in LibertyForAmerica, the news magazine.

    Hmmmm…looks like I’ve been taken off that distribution.

  22. paulie

    Rachel,

    I haven’t been able to get a hold of you since the Charleston meeting. Are you still interested in developing further the ideas we talked about there and before that?

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    Lee,

    You’re incorrect when you say that you didn’t know about this until you had been removed — because you haven’t been removed.

    There’s a process for removing a board member. You’ll find it in Article 8, Section 5 of the bylaws. “Automatic vacancy” is explicitly addressed, and it is not applied to timeliness of sustaining membership dues.

    In other words, until there’s been a 2/3 vote of the LNC to suspend you, appealable to the Judiciary Committee, you remain an at-large member of the LNC.

    Don’t let them get away with this shit.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  24. R. Lee Wrights

    Denver Delegate, you are quite correct.

    Dear R. Lee,

    Thank you very much for your membership and payment of $25.00. Your membership will help the Libertarian Party expand and grow. We depend on donors like you to help us spread the message of Liberty.

    Thanks again!

    Confirmation code:
    4E1YT4FL8RYW

  25. Jill Stone

    Uh, do we dare go to St Louis, Missouri and risk being locked up as terrorists?

  26. Rachel H

    @33 – Jill Stone . . .

    Don’t know . . . I’m not concerned about it – at least not any more than I’m concerned about going to Tea Party tomorrow in downtown Seattle.

  27. Brian Miller

    Oh man, how predictable. Another LNC member who is “too uppity” gets cut down by parliamentary nonsense.

    Why is the LNC “relevant” again? Two of its most popular at-large elected members have been forced off of it in the last six months through procedural bullshit.

    One “vacancy” was filled with a controversial figure who has little to no popular support amongst the delegate base and couldn’t muster any sort of support for a non-appointed role.

    I wish I could say it would be interesting to see who they appoint to replace Mr. Wrights after railroading him, but I’d be lying. At this point, it’s just predictable and boring.

    I understand that Mr. Starr and Co. don’t tend to consider the world outside of their own thin walls, but a market-oriented individual might stop to consider the correlation between falling membership/donation levels and efforts to transform the LNC into a command-and-control entity.

    Fortunately, the LNC is more-or-less irrelevant even within most Libertarian Party politics — ironically enough, by it’s own hand. The group has become a complete joke — I struggle to think of a single state party leader who still regards it as in-touch or even relevant to the membership.

    And that’s the supreme irony. After the mighty conservative takeover, the bullybois will find that their “chamber” doesn’t really matter all that much — even to Libertarians.

  28. Michael Seebeck

    Tom is correct. The issue of automatic vacancy is addressed only for failure to attend meetings. As we all know, Lee had not missed any meetings.

    While it is true that maintaining a sustaining membership is a requirement for being a LNC member, the only way to remove a LNC member is with cause per the Bylaws.

    Absent such a 2/3 vote, Lee has not been removed, Starr and Sullentrup’s claims to the contrary are false.

    I’m not on the JudComm, but it seems to me pretty clear that the proper process in the Bylaws has not been followed. There is also nothing in the Policy Manual on this either. That by itself would be enough to overturn any action against Lee.

    Besides all that…two points need to be addressed.

    First, YTF was Lee not notified in person or via email since he is on the LNC and easily reachable in those manners? Why the reliance on snail mail when that is an outdated mode of communication?

    Second, why is there not a grace period for renewals? Most if not all of the states have that.

  29. sunshinebatman

    Well, as long as the LP is busy circlejerking about their own eligibility, they can’t be bothered to issue a position on the alleged President’s eligibility. This how they stay super-relevant, and also “mainstream” at the same time. More LP genius.

  30. Brian Miller

    The entire “debate” about “eligibility” — Obama’s and Mr. Wright’s alike — are pedantic circle-jerks without basis.

    The entire goal is to shift the debate from one of substance about the issues to one of pedantic semantics — the domain of small minds.

  31. paulie

    The entire “debate” about “eligibility” — Obama’s and Mr. Wright’s alike — are pedantic circle-jerks without basis.

    The entire goal is to shift the debate from one of substance about the issues to one of pedantic semantics — the domain of small minds.

    I agree.

  32. Brian Miller

    The semantic “brain trust” in the Starr Chamber is none too bright itself even under its own standards, as they regularly break their own bylaws and rules while “scrupulously enforcing the rules” against those they don’t like. It would be funny if it wasn’t so damn boring and predictable.

  33. paulie

    If Tom Knapp and Michael Seebeck are correct about the bylaws, the rules have already been broken by the removal.

  34. Brian Miller

    No doubt, and it’s not the first time.

    Alas, it doesn’t really matter either way — the body has no credibility anymore, and getting it back will likely prove difficult if not impossible.

    Fortunately, not enough of the outside world cares, otherwise hardworking activists would have to do a bunch of damage control.

    Mr. Starr had suggested earlier that I “don’t do work” because I was unwilling to do the PR work that the national office seems unable to do (despite being paid for it). While I certainly am open to criticism of my efforts to get media coverage for the LP (again) this pride cycle, I’m struggling rather mightily to see any inherent value in Mr. Starr’s dirty work as it manifests here.

    Oh well.

  35. paulie

    Actually,

    I do think it would be worthwhile to put out a Liberty Activists page commenting on the political issues of the day, distributing our commentaries, and working to mobilize activists and give them tools they can use in the ways we wish LPHQ would. They may pick up on some of our stuff or not, but either way it will get out there.

  36. Brian Miller

    Doubtlessly Mr. Starr will demand that you do the work, for free. When you do — as many people from Susan Hogarth to Rob Power have — your work will then be ignored and you’ll be insulted and ridiculed.

    Meanwhile, we’ll keep seeing national press releases praising Michelle Malkin and quoting Glenn Beck, because that sets us apart from the Republicans (or something).

  37. paulie

    Doubtlessly Mr. Starr will demand that you do the work, for free.

    What I do for free has nothing whatsoever to do with what Mr. Starr demands or does not demand.

    It’s a project I’ve been thinking about and trying to get together for quite a while now, and would be worth pursuing IMO even if the LP did not exist.

    I don’t think our work will be ignored. I’ve found that it is way too easy to get letters, op-eds, columns, etc., printed in midsized markets, and to get radio and TV interviews in them as well. I’ve also seen it done with big city and national media, although I don’t have personal experience there.

    I’m sure some people will insult and ridicule us. If you ever do anything worth doing, that comes with the territory.

  38. Brian Miller

    I’ve found that it is way too easy to get letters, op-eds, columns, etc., printed in midsized markets, and to get radio and TV interviews in them as well.

    I don’t disagree. By “ignored,” I mean “ignored by the PTB on the LNC.”

    Your successes emulate successes I’ve seen elsewhere by local activists in large media markets — work the LNC has little to no involvement in, yet which creates significant awareness of the LP and its positions.

    Such successes without any LNC involvement seriously bring into question the utility of the institution, especially considering its rather arbitrary and capricious activities of late.

  39. Rich Paul

    Well, that was a tempest in a teapot.

    Speaking of which, happy tea party day, and happy tax day, everybody.

  40. Brian Holtz Post author

    The Bylaws say “No person shall serve as an officer who is not a sustaining member of the Party.” Why would there be a 2/3 LNC vote on whether this Bylaw is still in effect? Nowhere do the Bylaws say that the only way an LNC member can cease being a member is through either 1) a 2/3 LNC suspension-for-cause vote or 2) an 8.5 attendance failure. If that were true, then resignation couldn’t end one’s LNC membership without an associated suspension-for-cause vote. If resigning from LNC can be a self-executing procedure, then I don’t see why not paying your dues can’t be.

    I would ordinarily say the LNC should just rubber-stamp the appointment of Wrights to his vacancy, but I’m disturbed at this report that he said he’d “never again give a dime to this Party”. He did not campaign in Denver on a platform of boycotting financial support for the LP, and the LNC should not appoint anybody who so advocates. Wrights should disavow or clarify the alleged statement.

  41. R. Lee Wrights

    Mr. Holtz,

    While it is true I have refuse to support certain “projects” of the LNC financially, I have never made the statement attributed to me in your response.

    Lee Wrights

  42. Andy

    Lee Wrights is a hotheaded jackass and a liar. He might mouth Libertarian rhetoric but as a person he doesn’t practice what he preaches. The Libertarian Party would be better off without Lee Wrights in any position at all. He brings nothing of value to the table.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    There is no “vacancy” to “rubber stamp” the appointment of Wrights to.

    Wrights has not resigned.

    Wrights has not been removed via the “for cause” procedure, which requires a 2/3 vote of the LNC and is appealable to the Judiciary Committee.

    Wrights has not brought the “automatic” vacancy provision into play by missing two meetings.

    Therefore, Wrights remains a member of the LNC.

    You’re not an idiot. Pray stop writing like one.

  44. Jim Davidson

    John @1 I would very much like to see Lee Wrights as chair of the Boston Tea Party. I think he would do an excellent job. But, as Tom Knapp points out, Sullentrup cannot remove someone from the LNC just by wishing he can.

    Oh, no, Mr. Bill!

  45. Jim Davidson

    @49 You give money to the LP, Peter, because we haven’t asked you to give money to the Boston Tea Party.

    But contributions, e.g., to support our upcoming Meatspace Gathering, are welcome. Just make your check out to Boston Tea Party and send to 2040 West 31st, Suite G169, Lawrence KS 66046.

    Or, sure, you could continue to throw money down the black hole which is the LP.

  46. Brian Holtz Post author

    Tom, I’ll repeat the question you didn’t answer while you were busy trying comically to insult me: if the LNC doesn’t need to vote to recognize that someone on LNC resigned, then why does it need to vote to recognize that someone on LNC is not a sustaining member of the Party?

    What do you think should happen if an LNC member adamantly let his sustaining membership lapse, and the LNC following your parliamentary wisdom couldn’t muster a 2/3 vote to enforce its own Bylaws?

    Which part of “no person shall” do you not understand?

    Your cute little purportedly-exhaustive list of LNC exits omitted death, so I guess you’d have us believe in zombie LNC members — at least until the corpse failed to be wheeled into two consecutive meetings…

    Chuck, would you have a problem with an LNC member suggesting publicly that the LP is not to be donated to? Would that problem go away if the member were to pay the minimum dues needed to keep making that suggestion from his LNC seat?

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    “Tom, I’ll repeat the question you didn’t answer while you were busy trying comically to insult me: if the LNC doesn’t need to vote to recognize that someone on LNC resigned, then why does it need to vote to recognize that someone on LNC is not a sustaining member of the Party?”

    A resignation is an administrative process undertaken by the person leaving the LNC.

    A removal (with one exception specifically listed in the bylaws) is an adversarial process undertaken by those attempting to force someone to leave the LNC.

    In other words, while “recognition” may apply to the former, the standard for the latter is not “recognition,” it’s a motion citing cause and the proof of that alleged cause to the satisfaction of 2/3 of the LNC’s membership.

    Attempting to impose a desired outcome by administrative coup when adversarial proceedings are clearly required is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and that’s clearly what Sullentrup (and apparently Starr, and apparently with the chair’s acquiescence) are trying to pull.

    I’m not especially interested in insulting you. I’ll stop pointing out that you’re acting like an idiot as soon as you stop doing so. You’re not doing a very good job of it — you’re merely undermining your moral credibility rather than accomplishing whatever it is you hope to accomplish by sacrificing your intellectual credibility.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    Not one to get involved in this sort of thing, but I wonder: Was Wrights contacted other than by mail?

    That would seem to be common courtesy…to call him, inform him that he was not a dues-paying member and that risked his ability to remain on the LNC.

  49. George Phillies

    Paulie writes
    paulie // Apr 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Hmmmm…looks like I’ve been taken off that distribution.

    Paulie: apologies, apparently the email went astray. I will retransmit.

    Activist Newsletter Issue: The new magazine is Libertarian Strategy Monthly, edited by Jake Porter. LSM will soon be visible as an activity of Liberty for America.

  50. Eric Sundwall

    My letter to the State Chairs list in this regard;

    To All,

    I’m fairly certain I let my membership lapse in ’08 and there was no effort to displace me from the LNC.

    Having had the entire GOP establishment come down on me this last month with little or no help from my libertarian brethren, it seems clear that this petty move will only further alienate potential new members. It seems like enforcement in any body can be selectively applied when it suits certain purposes. I did finally get a return call from our National Chair two days or so after all was said and done . . .

    So while there may be some unnamed claim to insular Machiavellian success in this particular ouster, the ostensible effect will not be strong candidates for dog catcher or a halcyon call for justice or clarity in the polity. Instead, liberty oriented folks will find temporary succor in the mush of pluralism that the tea parties, CFL and RTR etc. provide.

    I will be happy to return to a normal life in ten days when I step down as chair. I would like thank Lou Jasikoff, Travis Nicks, M Carling and Rachel Hawkridge for their support of my recent campaign. Many thanks of course to the dozens of supporters who made the effort possible. I wish everyone else luck in their pursuits also.

    Sincerely,

    Eric Sundwall
    LPNY

  51. George Phillies

    Let us note that there needs to be the step of determining if an allegation that Mr. Wrights’ membership has lapsed is indeed true. That would require, at a minimum, asking Mr Wrights what his side of the story is.

    Recall that when I raised with Mary Ruwart questions about the LNC supply of name data to LPMass, she and the LNC elected representatives were sent a response by LNC staff. That response was severely factually deficient. Details on this matter are found in the latest issue of Liberty For America http://libertyforamerica.com , including considerable evidence on the factual deficiencies.

    Similarly, last year LNC, Inc. funded a lawsuit in New Hampshire on the presence of Presidential candidates on the ballot. A core claim of fact in that suit was completely false. That claim certainly did not come from the LPNH ExComm, which had not seen the filing before it was filed, and whose vote on litigation does not appear to include agreeing to join the suit that is actually extant. Statements from the elected representatives on the LNC indicate to me that they were supplied with evidence on the facts of the matter that are clearly and demonstrably false.

    There are therefore good reasons to suppose that the LNC should have made a careful investigation of the alleged facts of the matter before failing to vote to move Mr. Wrights, as appears to have been required by LNC By-Laws.

    I urge readers to avoiding funding fraud by sending their donations beyond minimum dues to organizations other than LNC, Inc, e.g., your fine state party organization, at least in states where there is a state party that has not been taken over by Republicans.

  52. Rachel H.

    Eric Sundwall said . . .

    “I will be happy to return to a normal life in ten days when I step down as chair. I would like thank Lou Jasikoff, Travis Nicks, M Carling and Rachel Hawkridge for their support of my recent campaign. Many thanks of course to the dozens of supporters who made the effort possible.”

    Eric, thank you for all you do for Liberty. I’m sorry that we’re losing you as State Chair – you are still going to be around tho, right?

    And man, you totally deserve a break!

    BTW – I saw your debate – you done good, guy! You shined, and represented the LP and libertarian principle admirably. Thank you.

  53. Brian Holtz Post author

    Actually, Tom, RRONR (p. 280) recognizes that resignations can be adversarial too: “A resignation sent in to escape charges need not be accepted.” Failing to pay dues seems no less administrative than failing to miss consecutive meetings, and if the latter requires no adversarial proceedings, the former shouldn’t necessarily need to either. Are you and George worried that a rogue Secretary might stage a coup by summarily unseating half the LNC on false charges of dues shirking, but could never do so on false charges of non-attendance?

    The central question here isn’t some “adversarial” versus “administrative” distinction that you’re trying to read into the rules. The question here is whether the suspension-for-cause procedure must be followed to enforce the three Bylaws requirements for continued LNC membership: attendance, sustaining membership, and not being a candidate of a non-affiliate party. An answer is suggested by the fact that these three requirements apply to all LNC members, whereas the suspension-for-cause process does not apply to regional reps. Are you now going to tell us that if a regional rep shirks his dues or runs for office as a Republican, nothing happens until the region’s affiliates notice? I would think that the Secretary has just as much authority to note a regional rep’s resignation as to note a regional rep’s refusal to pay dues, and that neither form of exit requires a vote of the appointing region.

    If a Pat Dixon were running in a GOP primary as a Ron Paul Republican, you’d be shouting “Dixiecrat!” and claiming that he’d vacated his LNC seat. Are you telling us the LNC could forgive such apostasy simply by not mustering a 2/3 vote for suspension-for-cause? Are the Bylaws rules, or suggestions?

    George, do you have a list of state LP affiliates that “have been taken over by Republicans”? Can you even name one? This whole McCarthy-esque I-have-a-secret-list-of-Republican-infiltrators trope is getting pretty tedious.

  54. Susan Hogarth

    The central question here isn’t some “adversarial” versus “administrative” distinction that you’re trying to read into the rules. The question here is whether the suspension-for-cause procedure must be followed…

    Actually I think that’s quite a peripheral question. The real question seems to me to be this:

    Why would the Secretary of the LNC engage in what appears to be such transparent maneuvering based on hearsay (“It is my understanding you… announced… that you will never again give a dime to this Party”) and speculation (“I imagine you made this decision…”) rather than simply call or email his fellow representative? Why wouldn’t he want to avoid even the *appearance* of bias and parliamentary shenaniganism?

    This whole thing makes Sullentrup look bad. He took time to “confirm with Robert Kraus that [Lee was] mailed two renewal notices”, but he didn’t take time to confirm with Lee some bit of hallway gossip that he “understood” to have heard secondhand?

    I suspect Sullentrup of being a secret radical, and wanting to discredit the nonradicals by making them look petty and malicious. Or, he could just be a Tool. Too bad (for him) that he’s sacrificed his own credibility as Secretary for such a petty gain as an administrative cashiering.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mr. Holtz,

    “If a Pat Dixon were running in a GOP primary as a Ron Paul Republican, you’d be shouting ‘Dixiecrat!’ and claiming that he’d vacated his LNC seat.”

    Wow … if I’d known you were going to walk into THAT trap, I might have bothered to actually set it.

    Sorry, but there’s an exactly analogous situation on record — a member of the Missouri LP’s executive committee running in a GOP congressional primary as a “Ron Paul Republican” — in which I took precisely the opposite position.

    The matter was brought to the executive committee’s attention by another member. Both Bob Sullentrup and myself opined that yes, it constituted a conflict of interest.

    But, consulting the bylaws, it was clear that the only body with the authority to remove that executive committee member was the congressional district committee which had appointed him.

    That’s the position I took, and you know I’m no fan of the GOP or of Libertarians running for office as Republicans.

    Mr. Sullentrup, as is not unusual, took the position that the executive committee can do anything it wants to do, at any time and for any reason, regardless of what the bylaws say. That’s not an unusual position for him. On the LNC, he seems to have distilled that position down still further, to one of personal plenary power on his part.

  56. RichmondGurl

    Hey fellas,

    Just saw this on the LPVA list serve:

    From: James Lark
    Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
    To: rleewrights@gmail.com
    Subject: LNC Vacancy

    I hope all is well with you. Allow me to offer some comments about the situation involving Mr. Wrights. In the interest of full disclosure, I have considered Mr. Wrights a friend for several years, and I voted for him in the election for at-large members at the 2008 national convention.

    1) In my opinion, Mr. Wrights’ membership on the LNC ended when his
    sustaining membership in the LP expired. I believe that if a member
    of the LNC fails to satisfy the criteria for membership specified in Article 8, section 4, of the LP Bylaws, that person is no longer a member of the LNC as of the moment that person no longer satisfies the criteria.

    If the person subsequently regains eligibility for LNC membership, the appropriate appointing body may reappoint that person to the LNC.
    However, the person does not regain LNC membership simply by virtue of regaining eligibility for membership. I have taken the liberty of enclosing Article 8 below for your consideration.

    My distinguished colleagues Dr. Ruwart and Mr. Dixon have suggested (albeit in different ways) that Mr. Wrights remains a member of the LNC. While the justifications they have offered are not explicitly vitiated by the language of the Bylaws, and while I do not consider these justifications to be clearly unreasonable, I believe the interpretation I have offered is the most appropriate one to embrace, at least in the absence of a relevant precedent. I am unaware of such a precedent.

    2) It is the responsibility of each member of the LNC to ensure that the criteria for LNC membership are met.

    I will forward more of this when I get it.

    Luv,

    RG xxx ooo xxx

    Live Free or Die

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    RichmondGurl,

    Thanks for forwarding that message from Dr. Lark. By way of response:

    “[A]s of the moment” is a troublesome criterion for two reasons.

    First, there’s the question of when sustaining dues are actually in arrears.

    LNC normally does business with vendors on a “net 30” basis. If that’s good enough when LNC is the customer, it should seemingly be good enough when the LNC is the vendor.

    By way of compromise, I could even see something slightly tighter than “net 30,” just to make bookkeeping easier — for example, renewal dues are required by the end of the calendar month in which they come due — as being reasonable.

    Lying in wait to pull a “gotcha” on dues timeliness in order to remove a fellow board member — and there’s no doubt that’s what Mr. Sullentrup’s game is — doesn’t fall into even the broadest reasonable construction of the “collegiality” that Dr. Lark usually strongly endorses.

    Secondly, there’s the question of who determines that dues are in arrears for purposes of “noting” a vacancy.

    Good sense militates strongly against vesting that power of “determination” in one board member. It amounts to giving the board member so empowered the authority to remove other board members at will, on nothing more than his word.

    If there’s an allegation that a board member is no longer qualified to serve, let that allegation be heard and proven to the satisfaction of 2/3 of the board, pursuant to the bylaws’ clear language on the process for suspension.

    Mr. Wrights paid his dues a week late. If the LNC believes that’s a cause worthy of suspension, let them take up the matter. In the absence of such action, either he remains an at-large member of the LNC, or the LNC becomes a rogue/rebel body which has surrendered its legitimate authority to act for the party.

  58. paulie

    Brian,

    I believe Dr. Phillies is referring to our affiliate here in Alabama.

    Our state chair, Steve Gordon, and our regional rep here in Tuscaloosa, Shana Kluck, are also active with the Republican Liberty Caucus of Alabama. However, Mr. Gordon has stated publicly that he has not joined the Republican Party, only the RLC.

    In a tangential note,

    http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/2009/04/15/stephen-gordon-tea-bags-rachel-maddow/

    Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

  59. Marc Montoni

    Although I don’t hold Mr Wrights in any special high regard, nor do I consider him a personal friend (in fact I hardly know him), I have a few thoughts on this issue.

    First, and most important:

    Oct-08 Nov-08 Dec-08 Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09
    17191 17168 16349 16146 15892 15759

    As anyone can see, membership has been falling since October. For the math challenged, there are 1,432 fewer current dues-paid members/subscribers now as there were in October.

    Those who wish to pursue this course against Mr. Wrights should first ask the question if their actions serve to bring back any of those departing 1,432 donors.

    Procedurally…

    1. I disagree with Dr. Lark in this case. The bylaws say this:

    A National Committee member shall be a sustaining member of the Party …

    However, the sentence does not make clear whether the LNC member shall be a sustaining member when elected by the convention delegates, or if they must maintain their membership throughout their entire term. It should so specify. I believe there is a case to be made that this could be interpreted either way. Therefore, in the presence of such ambiguity, the benefit of the doubt should go to Wrights.

    2) I think a credible argument can be made that resigning membership in the LP or allowing one’s LP membership to lapse constitutes a “cause”, and for fairness’ sake, removal should be run through the procedure outlined in Article 8 Section 5:

    The National Committee may, for cause, suspend any member-at-large by a vote of 2/3 of the entire National Committee. The suspended member-at-large may challenge the suspension by an appeal in writing to the Judicial Committee within seven days of receipt of notice of suspension. Failure to appeal within seven days shall confirm the suspension and bar any later challenge or appeal.

    3) I have never been a member of another organization that expected its members to have their membership expiration dates memorized. Normally, in a Board setting, there should be a credentials check at the beginning (or just prior to) a meeting, and if a member of the board needs to renew, he is asked to do so before the meeting starts.

    4) Another question about this is whether The LNC should invoke that clause at all when it is not in a proper meeting session. When the LNC is not in a meeting, does it commit any acts; and in that case, do the inactions of its members outside of a meeting session really mean anything?

    5) The three or four main individuals pushing this should also consider that they already have enough of a majority to do whatever they want, and that they already successfully sent another LNC member packing and replaced her with an individual who sides with the majority.

    When will enough be enough? If you wish to have any support from the minority members at all, then it’s time to cease and desist. To continue to alienate the loyal opposition means only that you will lose them as supporters of the LP; and given the trends in membership and fundraising, maybe you should consider that might be a pretty major error in judgment.

    6) There is a huge chasm between the matters the LNC has chosen to spend many hours and emotions on (such as the attempted removal of the At-Large member last year), and the matters with which it really should be concerned.

    ————————-

    Mr. Wrights has a right to appeal to the Judicial Committee. I don’t think it will do any good, however; and beyond that, doing so will reveal just how much of a parody of itself the LP is becoming. If Wrights tries to appeal to the Judicial Committee, I see two possible outcomes.

    1) If he appeals now — The LNC will decide that since Mr Wright’s removal was implemented by the fiat of one individual LNC member, that the Judicial Committee cannot hear the case (viz., “has no jurisdiction”), because the Judicial committee only hears appeals of LNC actions. No LNC action, no foul.

    2) If he waits until the LNC meeting to appeal to the JudComm, some will claim that since he was removed supposedly effective April 7 2009, that he should have lodged his appeal within seven days of *that* date, and there again, JudComm has no say. Of course, see #1.

    If Wrights does get a hearing by the Judicial Committee, the LNC will decide to ignore the ruling if it doesn’t support the majority opinion — opening the LNC up for yet another round of extended, vicious internecine warfare, and maybe even a lawsuit (no, I don’t intend to file one; I’m just saying that I think there will be enough “there” there for one of the affected parties to start talking to a lawyer).

    None of this serves the best interests of the LP.

    ————————-

    Let’s go over it again:

    Oct-08 Nov-08 Dec-08 Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09
    17191 17168 16349 16146 15892 15759

    Hopefully, the LNC will put the lid back on this latest episode of the “LP Tempests in a Teapot” mini-series, by giving Wrights a pass — and instead focus on things that matter (fundraising, expanding our advance ballot access work, recruiting more candidates, and raising more money).

  60. Thomas L. Knapp

    I wrote to Dr. Lark about the message posted by “RichmondGurl.” He was on his way out the door (to a Tea Party event), but he did specifically ask me the following:

    “Perhaps you will be good enough to inform the others that important parts of my message did not appear in that which was posted by ‘RichmondGurl.'”

    Dr. Lark forwarded his original message as sent to the LNC list (not to an LPVA list) to me. Since he did not explicitly authorize me to forward it whole (and is at this moment unavailable for me to request such authorization), I will limit myself to brief quotations and paraphrases for the moment.

    After the first two elements, as posted by “RichmondGurl,” there are third and fourth elements.

    In the third element, he notes that the LNC can conduct business by email, and suggests that a motion to appoint R. Lee Wrights to the purported vacancy would be appropriate at this time.

    In the fourth element, he calls for the 2010 bylaws and rules committee to “consider ways in which unfortunate situations involving LNC membership criteria might be addressed.”

    I don’t know if the message appeared in only truncated form on the LPVA list or if RichmondGurl chose only to excerpt, but these additional elements cast Dr. Lark’s message in a much different light.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  61. paulie

    I don’t know if the message appeared in only truncated form on the LPVA list or if RichmondGurl chose only to excerpt, but these additional elements cast Dr. Lark’s message in a much different light.

    Tom, I can’t see that they really do. The formulation that they can appoint him to fill the supposed vacancy (or not) was stated from the beginning, and repeated by several people since then. Calling on the bylaws committee to address this question for 2010 does nothing for this particular case, although it may prevent any questions over similar actions in the future.

    If they do determine that a vacancy exists, filling it with anyone other than Mr. Wrights – now that he has renewed his dues – goes directly against what the delegates voted at the convention.

  62. Marc Montoni

    Aaron Starr said:

    Our bylaws require that the member give the money to the Party.

    The actual bylaw is Article 5, Section 3, which says: “‘Sustaining member’ is any Party member who has given at least $25 to the Party in the prior twelve months, or who is a life member.”

    While the sentence does not specifically address the source of funds for a membership, I think the intent is clear.

    It would also violate FEC laws to contribute money and report it as being paid by someone else.

    Correct — but only to a point.

    As long as a contribution is properly booked to the person who actually wrote the check, that’s all the FEC cares about. They want to know who money comes from. What the organization chooses to do with the money once they know that is of no concern to them.

    The LP has given “honorary” memberships to various people over the years (until recently, for example, all presidential and vice presidential candidates were given an honorary Life membership for taking years out of their regular life (not to mention probably shortening their lives from the stress)).

    Let’s say person A makes a donation, and he wants the LPN’s and other benefits of membership to go to Person B. LPHQ records the donation under Person A’s record, but then goes into Person B’s record and changes the expiration date to a year ahead.

    In the early nineties the LP offered gift subscriptions to libraries, newspapers and such — the state LP’s just had to pay $10 for each one they wanted sent. $10 donations were recorded from the state committees, and the libaries records were simply given 1-year-ahead expiration dates and were rolled into the regular LPNews bulk mailing. It didn’t make the libraries members, however.

    I think if someone paid for Mr Wrights (obviously a moot point now, however), it would behoove the Party to accept the contribution as his membership renewal and leave it at that — because if it was treated otherwise, then you start getting into subsidiary questions, like “well if that renewal hadn’t been submitted for him, would he have submitted his own?” We don’t need to go there.

  63. Brian Holtz Post author

    Tom, it’s not accurate to say your LPMO situation was “exactly analogous”, because the LPMO bylaws have no rule (like the LPUS does) against running for office under another party.

    I ask again: if you’re worried that a rogue Secretary might stage a coup by summarily unseating half the LNC on false charges of dues shirking, why aren’t you worried about a coup using false charges of non-attendance? Any such false charges can be appealed to the Judicial Committee, where the rogue Secretary could be easily brought to heel.

    I also ask again: is a regional rep immune from any enforcement of the LNC qualification rules other than whatever enforcement the region decides to do? If so, then what is the point of the rules — to merely suggest to the region some criteria it might otherwise overlook?

    Nobody is saying that being a week late with dues is grounds for keeping somebody off the LNC. The question is whether not paying your dues has a similar effect under our Bylaws as resigning or missing two consecutive meetings.

    Marc, I too would like the LNC to focus on raising money, and that’s why I think the most interesting thing here is the allegation that Wrights publicly suggested that the LP is not to be donated to. You ask when will enough be enough. I ask: how many LNC members should we tolerate who publicly suggest that the LP is not to be donated to? If you think the answer is something other than zero, I’d love to hear your reasoning.

    Paulie, I don’t recall the Denver delegates electing anybody on a platform of starving the LP of funds. If that really were the position of somebody seeking appointment to a seat he vacated, don’t you think the LNC ought to look for somebody else?

  64. Pam

    As someone who knows Lee better than most of you, I feel the need to make the statement that I know first hand how many sleepless nights he has had thinking about freedom and liberty and fighting back at those that are obviously deathly afraid of his honesty in regard to Libertarian issues and what he is capable of accomplishing. I have heard many venting sessions about those that would love to do everything in their power to shut him up, and some of those are the same ones trying to shut him up this time. Well, I’m sure that those of you who know him well, understand that even if they succeed at yanking him off of the LNC—which I doubt will happen—-that will certainly not shut him up. That will create quite an unferno like they have never seen.
    At this point I have no personal regard for Lee Wrights, but you will be hard pressed to find someone who cares more about advancing liberty and speaking for the people who voted for him in Denver, and even those who didn’t.

  65. paulie

    Nobody is saying that being a week late with dues is grounds for keeping somebody off the LNC.

    Then there shouldn’t be any question that Mr. Wrights should continue to serve, as long as he is able and willing to and is not removed for cause by a 2/3 vote of the committee.

    I think the most interesting thing here is the allegation that Wrights publicly suggested that the LP is not to be donated to.

    He denies this allegation:

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/04/applicants-sought-for-lnc-vacancy/comment-page-2/#comment-54853

    Do you have it in writing, or otherwise recorded? If not, then I suggest that Mr. Wrights should have the benefit of the doubt.

    I ask: how many LNC members should we tolerate who publicly suggest that the LP is not to be donated to?

    I’m a little confused here:

    Is Mr. Wrights being removed for cause? If so, a 2/3 vote is needed. Or, is he being removed for accidentally being one week late with his dues, which you just said nobody is saying is grounds for keeping someone off the LNC?

    If the real objection is some alleged statement about starving the LNC of funds, that may be grounds for removal for cause. I’m not familiar enough with the technicalities to say whether it would hold up. But, you’ve just said yourself that no one should be kept off the LNC for being a week late with their dues; thus, it is a rather transparent attempt at an end run around the 2/3 majority needed for removal for cause.

  66. George Phillies

    @73

    Actually, no.

    Of course, part of this is Mr. Holtz’s inability to repeat what I actually said, which was a hypothetical, but I believe we have already been over the state party whose officer and lead activist are promoting running as Republicans and not Libertarians.

    With respect to an LNC member running as a Christian Dominionist, or whatever, Republican, I would want to hear an explanation before I said anything. That action is much more explicable than using party resources to advantage a Republican candidate in a primary in a state in which there would later be a Libertarian on the ballot for the same office, as actually happened.

  67. paulie

    I believe we have already been over the state party whose officer and lead activist are promoting running as Republicans and not Libertarians.

    By “we,” do you mean you and Mr. Holtz, or we as in “all of us here”? If the latter, please refresh my memory; and if the former, I’m curious as to who, as I’m sure others are as well.

  68. LibertyDude

    Re: #54 RLW – Did you not suuport the LPMA Resolution?

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/01/george-phillies-says-libertarian-party-acting-executive-director-robert-kraus-asked-massachusetts-lp-to-disaffiliate/

    We urge supporters of the libertarian political movement to respond to the Libertarian National Committee’s actions by redirecting your future donations away from the Libertarian National Committee. Donate instead to libertarian groups that do real politics and political education, such as your state Libertarian Party, and national groups such as Freedom Ballot Access and the Advocates for Self-Government.

    As you can clearly see (GP #65) this doesn’t say “avoiding funding fraud by sending their donations beyond minimum dues” it says don’t give at all. Lee was very vocal in supporter of this. Many of us followed your sage advice sir.

    RLW why tell us not to pay our dues and then go back on your word. I don’t know when to trust you? GP is clearly writes fiction, and apparently you do too.

    In Liberty,

  69. paulie

    Re: #54 RLW – Did you not suuport the LPMA Resolution?

    I see no comments from Lee Wrights in that thread. Are they recorded elsewhere where this matter has been discussed? If so, where?

  70. Michael Seebeck

    As it stands right now, the Secretary has no authority to terminate LNC membership, dues not paid or not. That authority lies only with the LNC, per the Bylaws.

    As such, the Secretary blatantly trying to usurp the power of the LNC violates the Bylaws, and if anybody should be removed for cause, it is Sullentrup, not Wrights. Ditto Redpath for signing off on it.

    Hogarth’s comment on hearsay is compeltely accurate, and nobody else seemed to notice it.

    Dr. Lark’s interpretation is in error:

    In simple terms, the only way an at-large member of the LNC can leave the LNC in mid-term is death (DUH!), voluntary resignation (also DUH!), involuntary resignation from consecutive absences (A8S5), or removal for cause by a 2/3 vote (also A8S5). AFAIK, Wrights is still alive, did not resign, and the video broadcasts clearly show him in attendance, so that leaves removal for cause, and no vote on that had been taken by the LNC at this point.

    If there is another way in the Bylaws for an at-large LNC member to leave the LNC, then let’s hear it, people. There sure isn’t anything in the Bylaws about a Secretary removing an LNC member for a dues lapse. Last I checked, a dues lapse does not constitute automatic removal, but it could be grounds for a suspension and removal for cause by the 2/3 vote that hasn’t happened. Therefore, any RATIONAL observer can easily conclude that Wrights is in fact still a full member of the LNC, not suspended or removed.

    Of course, I said a “rational” observer. Whether the Chair and Secretary are rational remains to be seen.

  71. George Phillies

    @83

    You raise an interesting question. I think of “donations” as money beyond the minimum needed to be a member in good standing , but certainly come of my fellow LPMass state committee members stopped sending LNC, Inc any money after we were told (ineffectually) by the LNC to burn some of the nominating papers we had collected. Thus, paying dues is different from sending extra money. However, $25 a year from 14,000 dues paying members (the rest give or take are lifers) is $350,000 a year.

  72. Adam Mayer

    Seeing that this has happened the time now is to move on. I ask for all LNC board members to appoint Lee Wrights to fill the vacated seat. I have already wrote to my regional rep asking for her to do so and I recommend that everyone else contact their reps as well.

  73. Brian Holtz Post author

    Paulie, those of use who have been to recent LNC meetings can evaluate for ourselves the plausibility of the report that Wrights publicly suggested the LP is not worth donating to (or joining, as Angela did in writing months before her resignation). I won’t insult your intelligence if you don’t insult mine. 🙂

    You fail to distinguish between the two hypothetical cases of 1) an 8.5 removal-for-cause for the aforementioned suggestion and 2) deciding the LNC should fill a vacancy with someone other than a person who has made the aforementioned suggestion. The bar is lower in the second case, both on the merits and by the number of votes required to clear it.

    George, if your contention is that your last sentence at @65 is clearly a hypothetical, then I need offer no other rebuttal than to invite people to re-read it. And if you’re willing to certify that what these “hypothetical” Republican infiltrators are doing is nothing worse than what the LNC recently did for the 1988 LP nominee, then I heartily welcome you undercutting your own “hypothetical” charges. 🙂

    Mike, how under your reading are the LP Bylaws any different with the addition of 8.4 (providing that LNC members must be sustaining members and must refrain from running under non-affiliated parties)? Are you saying 8.4 is just a friendly recommendation to keep in mind these two potential causes for removal? Do you say that 8.4 is binding only when an LNC member is chosen, and is only advisory afterward? If LNC passed a resolution saying that a member has deliberately shirked dues but has nevertheless not exhibited cause for removal, can that decision be appealed to JudCom as a violation of 8.4? If so, then why would the Bylaws intend that it takes 2/3 of LNC to check whether a member is lapsed, but it only takes the Secretary or Chair or whoever to check if a member has missed consecutive meetings? You say there “isn’t anything in the Bylaws about a Secretary removing an LNC member for a dues lapse”, but the Bylaws don’t say which officer processes what you admit is an “involuntary resignation” for consecutive absences. Why can’t 8.4 violations be considered just another form of “involuntary resignation”?

    I can think of only one textually plausible answer: in the three places where the Bylaws indisputably talk about a vacancy happening, they use a form of the phrase “deemed vacant”. That construction is not used in 8.4. This absence has to be weighed against the pointlessness of 8.4 if it is not as self-enforcing as the consecutive-absence rule (or, the ill-craftedness of 8.4 if it is supposed to only constrain elections/appointments). Reasonable people can differ on this matter, but people simply acting on agendas will just call other people names.

  74. Michael Seebeck

    Brian, A8S4 only addresses eligibility. It does not address what to do about it if an eligible member becomes ineligible. That’s covered in A8S5. Ineligibility itself is reasonably grounds for removal for cause, and that process is addressed in the Bylaws, which in this case were not followed.

    If the LNC proceeds with a vote to remove for cause and 2/3 is not obtained, then the process is followed and the member is neither suspended nor removed. That sets no precedent, only that in the instant case the burden for suspension was not met. It would not make A8S4 meaningless in the slightest, but in fact would put focus on it to make sure its intent and wording are complete enough (and I’ll agree it isn’t at the moment, and a simple sentence can fix it) and to cause better communication and internal process on sustaining memberships within the LNC, which is really why this mess started in the first place: Bad communication amid the LNC and not properly following their own processes.

    If the LNC simply follows it process and gives Lee the due process he is entitled to under the Bylaws, then there is no controversy. In the current absence of that, there is controversy, which is why this conversation is going on.

    A8S4 does not address dues non-payment as an involuntary resignation. The plain language of the Bylaws indicates that involuntary resignation is from lack of attendance. Had it also been from not remitting dues, then it would say so also. By extending your reasoning to the logical absurd, looking at a member cross-eyed could be seen as an involuntary resignation even though that isn’t covered either. That doesn’t make any sense. (That’s an exaggeration, but it illustrates the point about expansive interpretation in the place where none is needed nor desired.) If the membership desires to list a dues remittance failure as an involuntary resignation under A8S4, then the delegates can amend the Bylaws to do so. In the absence of such wording, it cannot be presumed to exist by implication.

    You’re also neglecting the difference between a mere membership dues lapse of a normal member and the removal from office of a LNC member, which are two totally different issues. A mere membership lapse of a normal member can simply be handled as a recordkeeping duty by the Secretary, as is the case normally. However, in the case of removing an at-large member, then the process goes into the Bylaws arena under discussion. It’s a second step in the process, specifically because of the office involved, and it was not followed here as of this writing.

    In parallel, if a Congressman fails to maintain his membership in his political party that’s one thing, but it takes a separate process to throw him out of his caucuses and committees in Congress. See also Joe Lieberman when he jumped to independent during his last campaign and the question before the Democrats of how to deal with his caucus and committee assignments (which they eventually caved in on in the name of party over principle).

  75. John Famularo

    Marc Montoni wrote;
    “) There is a huge chasm between the matters the LNC has chosen to spend many hours and emotions on …., and the matters with which it really should be concerned. ”

    But Mark, that is why most people want to be on the LNC. It has always been that way and probably always will be that way.
    You can not say what they should “really” be doing unless the LP adopts a clear, concise, unambiguous, measurable and achievable mission statement.
    Until then everyone is free to do what ever they please and claim it is for the advancement of libertarianism.

  76. Michael Seebeck

    Almost, John. They also need assigned tasks to fulfill that mission statement beyond the abstract position of “member of the committee”.

    Otherwise I agree with you.

  77. paulie

    Paulie, those of use who have been to recent LNC meetings can evaluate for ourselves the plausibility of the report that Wrights publicly suggested the LP is not worth donating to

    “Plausibility”? I’ve seen zero evidence, and a clear denial by him that he said it.


    (or joining, as Angela did in writing months before her resignation).

    Lee and Angela are two different people. If you want to remove Lee for cause, you should

    1) Demonstrate that the alleged cause for removal is real and not a rumor (I would think if such evidence existed, it would have been posted here by now, but I could be wrong)

    2) And not do it through a backhanded removal
    over an accidental one week lapse in dues, which you yourself said no one thinks is a reason to remove a member.

    So, logically, if it’s not a reason to remove a member, he should still be a member.

    IF there is reason to remove him for cause, don’t sneak it in through the back door over a one week lapse in dues – do it the right way.


    I won’t insult your intelligence if you don’t insult mine.

    I haven’t insulted your intelligence.


    You fail to distinguish between the two hypothetical cases of 1) an 8.5 removal-for-cause for the aforementioned suggestion and 2) deciding the LNC should fill a vacancy with someone other than a person who has made the aforementioned suggestion. The bar is lower in the second case, both on the merits and by the number of votes required to clear it.

    Except that the removal happened over something which you already said is not a cause for removal.

    Therefore, logically, it is an attempt to lower the bar by backhanded methods – as you just pointed out.

  78. Phillies

    Let us consider a few of Mr. Holtz’s many prevarications. I wrote

    “I urge readers to avoiding funding fraud by sending their donations beyond minimum dues to organizations other than LNC, Inc, e.g., your fine state party organization, at least in states where there is a state party that has not been taken over by Republicans.”

    That is a hypothetical. Nor did I claim that there is a secret list of such parties. However, I call your attention, as reported a month ago on The Daily Liberty, to

    “Writing on the LPRI Yahoo Group, long time (former libertarian) activist Mike Rollins wrote in part:

    “In addition to being a long-time Libertarian Party activist, I am myself now a member of both the North Providence and Rhode Island Republican committees… I also switched from personally appearing on the ballot as a Libertarian to appearing as a Republican back in 2002… This past election our incumbent LPRI State Chairman David Bibeault made the same switch…Our immediate past LPRI State Chairman Dan Harrop made the same switch in either 2004 or 2006–he won the 2006 Republican Primary for Mayor of Providence–and is also now a member of the Rhode Island Republican State Committee. ”

    There is a Republican takeover.

  79. paulie

    Oh yeah, that’s right, you did post it before; I forgot..

    RILP hasn’t even had a web page in quite some time, at least not one linked to LP.org

  80. Michael H. Wilson

    I am sure this will end up with the parliamentarian making a decision, so place your bets.

    MW

  81. Marc Montoni

    I too would like the LNC to focus on raising money, and that’s why I think the most interesting thing here is the allegation that Wrights publicly suggested that the LP is not to be donated to. You ask when will enough be enough. I ask: how many LNC members should we tolerate who publicly suggest that the LP is not to be donated to? If you think the answer is something other than zero, I’d love to hear your reasoning.

    Sigh. I know age catches up with us all, but really — you’re embarrassing yourself. Please try to follow the discussion as it reads, rather than as you want it to read.

    First:

    It is my understanding you made clear at our most recent LNC meeting, when you announced during one of the breaks, that you will never again give a dime to this Party.

    Then:

    While it is true I have refuse [sic] to support certain “projects” of the LNC financially, I have never made the statement attributed to me in your response.

    Unless there is evidence beyond he-said-she-said that Mr Wrights is a liar rather than his accuser, you can’t ask me to defend Wrights for saying something I’m not even certain he said. Nor should you expect me to defend him for saying such a thing in any case, because I raise money for the LP myself.

    It would be much better if you could engage in a conversation without resorting to cheap, insulting, and disingenuous rhetorical trickery.

  82. Marc Montoni

    I am sure this will end up with the parliamentarian making a decision, so place your bets.

    Parliamentarians don’t make decisions; they only advise. The chair is free to accept the advice, or not; and the body is free to accept the chair’s ruling, or not. Overturning the ruling of the chair should never be regarded as a “nuclear” option that’s “just not done”. Robert’s itself says that on issues of heated opinion, the chair should not only not resist, but actively encourage the body to weigh in on a controversial ruling by deciding whether to overrule him.

    Parliamentarians have their limitations — which was rather obvious at the national convention.

    Their training covers standard parliamentary practice. However, when presented with an organization’s bylaws that have a few points of divergence with standard Robert’s Rules, many Registered Parliamentarians seem to have a lot of trouble making peace with the fact that organizations are free to adopt rules other than those suggested by Robert’s.

    I have watched several parliamentarians in action at LP meetings in the past 3 to 4 years; and I have yet to see one that had adequately familiarized themselves with our bylaws before presuming to advise on them. And on one or two occasions, I have witnessed glaringly and consistently wrong advice that tended to support his factional loyalties — a big no-no for Registered Parliamentarians.

    Three guesses on who it was.

  83. paulie

    Overturning the ruling of the chair

    You would need either a majority or a supermajority. Whereas, they would need a 2/3 majority to remove for cause, which it appears they can’t (or worry they can’t) muster, so the bar is being lowered (as Brian Holtz put it) over an accidental one week lapse in dues, even though, as Brian also says, “Nobody is saying that being a week late with dues is grounds for keeping somebody off the LNC.”

  84. Michael H. Wilson

    Marc when the parliamentarian has been chosen by the Chair and makes a ruling that the Chair wants then it is not advise. Its the Chair decision just a different voice.

    The parliamentarian should be appointed by the body for the benefit of the body.

    Yea and I’ll bet I know who the parliamentarian was. How many guesses do I get? Bet I can do it in one.

    And I have seen similar decisions

  85. Michael Seebeck

    MHW @104, I can name that parlimentarian in one letter.

    Name that tune. 🙂

  86. Harland Harrison

    Article 5.5 : Higher levels of contribution by or on BEHALF of a Party member qualify as sustaining member status for any provision of these Bylaws.

    The Secretary must have failed to notice that contributions made during the year were actually made on behalf of Lee Wrights.

  87. LP Observer

    Estimated vote to keep R. Lee Wrights on LNC:

    For: (7)
    Patrick Dixon
    Mary Ruwart
    Tony Ryan
    Mark Hinkle
    James Lark
    Julie Fox
    Rachel Hawkridge

    Against: 3
    Bill Redpath
    Bob Sullentrup
    Aaron Starr

    Unknown: 6
    Michael Jingozian
    Michael Colley
    Alicia Mattson
    Rebecca Sink-Burris
    Stewart Flood
    Dan Karlan

  88. LP Observer

    And a reminder, Angela Keaton’s vacancy was filled by Alicia Mattson on a 9-7 vote.

    Round 1:
    Alicia Mattson, 8 top-choice votes, 50%
    Emily Salvette, 6 top-choice votes, 37.5%
    Rob Power, 1 top-choice vote, 6.25%
    Susan Hogarth, 1 top-choice vote, 6.25%

    Round 2:
    Alicia Mattson, 9 top-choice votes, 56.25%
    Emily Salvette, 7 top-choice votes, 43.75%

    One wonders whether it was Lee Wrights or Mark Hinkle, who nominated Susan Hogarth and Rob Power respectively, who voted for Mattson over Salvette. It could have easily been a tie vote.

  89. libertariangirl

    One wonders whether it was Lee Wrights or Mark Hinkle, who nominated Susan Hogarth and Rob Power respectively, who voted for Mattson over Salvette.

    Me __ Mattson over Salvette ? no shit ,interesting.

  90. Steve Trinward

    As a fellow member of one of Lee’s previous LNC terms, and a longtime friend & colleague, it pains me to see him treated so. (I do continue to be amazed that he puts up with this shite; I gave it up a while ago, and am now enmeshed in my [second] sabbatical from LP doings – while continuing to do more valuable things for liberty IMO) .

    As a member of that LNC (which dragged the party from the literal throes of bankruptcy and dissolution, and which provided for several vital new pathways [e.g., scrapping the “membership dues” funding model, and instituting a “slef-funding project” basis for most activities] to get the LP out of the hole and into prosperity … I’m just glad I stopped pissing away my resources on keeping the neocons fat and lazy … I wonder when Lee will decide in the same direction that the LP (national, and perhaps even deeper?) has outlived its usefulness to the cause of liberty. Without massive re-creation (one I thought the BTP might be capable of … alas!), the LP cannot be saved.

    And that goes for your little dog, too!

  91. Brian Schar

    I held my nose during the Barr debacle and sent money anyway out of long-term party loyalty. The Keaton affair was the last straw for me, when it became apparent that the LP was more interested in devouring itself from inside than to actually promoting liberty. I stopped sending money to National and to the California LP, after much deliberation, and even so didn’t feel very good about my decision. Now, finding out about this newest tempest in a teapot at the LNC, as well as the California LP shenanigans at the recent convention, I am feeling pretty good that I no longer support this organization. While I still strongly support the ideals of liberty, the LP is not the organization to do that within. Sadly, just like Lehman Brothers and Chrysler, this old broken-down party is going to have to collapse faced with adverse market conditions and discombobulated leadership. On the bright side, a new party will end up emerging in the LP quadrant of the Nolan Chart, which hopefully will have more success than the LP has, and which will not carry the baggage that the LP has accumulated over the years.

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